Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37

James Hacker: Will you answer a direct question?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: I strongly advise you not to ask a direct question.
James Hacker: Why?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: It might provoke a direct answer.
James Hacker: Never has yet.

Yes Minister: The Moral Dimension 1982

I’ve been too busy with other things to talk about Pope Francis and the formal Filial Correction sent to him, the first such document sent to a pope since 1333.

With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness.

We are permitted to issue this correction by natural law, by the law of Christ, and by the law of the Church, which three things Your Holiness has been appointed by divine providence to guard. By natural law: for as subjects have by nature a duty to obey their superiors in all lawful things, so they have a right to be governed according to law, and therefore to insist, where need be, that their superiors so govern. By the law of Christ: for His Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to rebuke Peter in public when the latter did not act according to the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2). St Thomas Aquinas notes that this public rebuke from a subject to a superior was licit on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith (Summa Theologiae 2a 2ae, 33, 4 ad 2), and ‘the gloss of St Augustine’ adds that on this occasion, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects” (ibid.). The law of the Church also constrains us, since it states that “Christ’s faithful . . . have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence, and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church” (Code of Canon Law 212:2-3; Code of Canons of Oriental Churches 15:3).

Scandal concerning faith and morals has been given to the Church and to the world by the publication of Amoris laetitia and by other acts through which Your Holiness has sufficiently made clear the scope and purpose of this document.

The Document lists seven heretical positions that directly contradict the faith as taught for centuries. and these positions have been propagated via Amoris Laetitia’s

Ironically as I’ve written the vast majority of Amoris Laetitia is pretty good. Paragraph after paragraph contains teaching that a Catholic should take to heart but the infamous footnote included has been used by those on the left in the church have used to drive a bus through doctrine. Much like this exchange from Yes Prime Minister

PM Jim Hacker: I can read between the lines, Some politicians have a feeling for foreign affairs. I could tell that you were warning me that St. George Island might need our help
Luke: Oh Yes, Well No actually, only on one paragraph on page 107!
PM Jim Hacker: It was enough I can take a hint.

Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986

It didn’t matter how much good was in that document, that footnote was used by several Bishops around the world to directly counteract Catholic Doctrine in their areas of communion for the divorced and remarried, doctrine that has been clearly established as long as there has been a church.

Now a year ago a set of Cardinals sent a Dubia asking the Holy Father to clarify this footnote.  The cardinals and the dubia have alternatively been ignored and attacked at the Vatican but most importantly nobody has answered them.

There are many things I like about Pope Francis, his emphasis on Mercy, on Confession and his direct statements about the Devil being real are first rate.  He has also been very explicit on life in all of his encyclicals (something that I keep urging the GOP to bring up every time a Democrat quotes one but I digress).  Furthermore I certainly get the idea of trying to get those in mortal sin back into the Church to aid their salvation as that is the primary job of the church.

It my opinion, however, that his silence on this matter has been a huge mistake.  It is promulgating division in the church and the sooner these questions are directly answered, our yes meaning yes and our no being no, the better for the Church and the people it serves.

It is the job of the Vatican to emulate Christ, by refusing to answer a direct question we have reached this point, that it is instead emulating Sir Humphrey and the civil servants of British comedy.

Two years ago (before we found the reality of Catholic front group” I famously asked Catholic Call to action this question in response to their tweets on Synod 2015.

They declined to answer and I wrote at the time:

Now I’m not a professed catholic organization with a big leadership team, chapters around the nation holding national conferences with a list of keynote speakers and endorsements as famous a Christian an ex-president of the United States but I know this much:

Any christian individual or organization whether Catholic or Protestant should give Catholic Call to Action the widest birth possible because any organization that can’t clearly and without hesitation proclaim: “Jesus Christ is the son of God and died and rose from the dead” yet claims to be “Catholic” can’t be trusted.

I urge the Vatican not to mimic the silence these fellow’s silence in response to a direct question.  It speaks volumes and none of it is good.

My advice to my fellow Catholics, continue to Pray for the Pope and the Church and continue on as you have before, because even at a time like this we should remember that while we have no idea what the Holy Spirit is doing, God does so we must answer this challenge in the words made famous by St. Faustina:

Jesus I trust in you.

There are many things about this story that might, at first glance, make a faithful Catholic want to tear out what little hair he has left:

The Vatican took action after Krzysztof Charamsa, a mid-level official in its doctrine office, came out in newspaper interviews in Italy and Poland saying he was happy and proud to be a gay priest, and that he was in love with a man whom he identified as his boyfriend.

the idea that this guy was working in the congregation for the doctrine of the faith since 2003 makes one wince as does the idea that he’s been on the Vatican’s International Theological Commission since 2009.

And certainly tweets like this from high profile priests:

whose only objection is to the breaking of a vow and not the lionizing of mortal sin that, unrepeated sends one to hell is also a matter of some concerning.

But consider instead the positives here.

This priest by his radical agenda and his demands from rewriting the catechism to rewriting scripture plainly and openly puts the actual agenda of some at the vatican and in the Church out in the open.

By this one act happening at the opening of the synod he has effectively cut out the legs underneath those who claim that they are simply looking to expand the outreach of the church to those struggling in sin.

The Backlash, particularly from the African bishops, where the church is growing and thriving is going to be spectacular. As the prophet Nathan told David

You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’

2 Samuel 12:12

Thus the best laid plans of Cardinals Godfried Danneels & Walter Kaspar will likely find themselves checkmated before they can even begin.  Or as it has been famously said: Man plans God laughs.

Don’t tell me the Holy Spirit doesn’t know what he’s doing

As for Msgr Charamsa himself:

“I also know that I will have to give up the ministry,” he added, but said he felt he had a duty towards sexual minorities to come out.

which of course supersedes his duty to Christ but have no fear, he will likely be picked up by a protestant denomination who will be delighted to have him and  he and his boyfriend will spend a lifetime (barring repentance of course) celebrated by the media and the left for his courage and beliefs…

…after that he’s on his own.

Update: These words from Rod Dreher concerning the Anti-Benedict conspiracy apply equally well here.

I am glad this came out now. The orthodox bishops and others going to the Synod now know what a nest of snakes they are working with, and how high up the corruption goes.

Update 2: Ed Morrissey

Celibacy does not mean the absence of sexual intercourse for Catholic priests and consecrated. It means the sacrifice of romantic relationships of any kind. Even if this particular relationship remained unconsummated, so to speak, it would still violate the priest’s vows; they are not allowed to “date,” nor are monks, nuns, or even widowed deacons. And regardless of whether the priest worked at the Vatican or in a local parish, the bishop would remove him from his ministry for public disobedience to those vows, especially if the priest in question publicly used his dating relationship to attempt to mislead people about Catholic teaching.

So no, the Vatican did not fire the priest for being gay or even publicly acknowledging his orientation. The sexual orientation of priests who adhere faithfully to their vows of celibacy is irrelevant. They fired Charamsa and will probably laicize (defrock) him because he broke his vows of celibacy and obedience, remains defiant of them, and intended to set an example that would mislead Catholics.

I actually didn’t know that about widowed deacons but is Ed actually surprised that the media is spinning this?

Update 3: Misspelled Charamsa in title corrected although given the media reaction perhaps I should have added quotes to that title instead.

Via Southern Orders I discovered a rather interesting letter sent to Sacra Liturgia 2015 a four-day catholic conference in NYC that was received from Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea who last November Pope Francis appointed head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In his letter (PDF HERE) he specifically states what Pope Francis expects him to do (emphasis mine):

When the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked me to accept the ministry of Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, I asked: “Your Holiness, how do you want me to exercise this ministry? What do you want me to do as Prefect of this Congregation?” The Holy Father’s reply was clear. “I want you to continue to implement the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council,” he said, “and I want you to continue the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI.

This would be the same Pope Benedict that the MSM considered public enemy #1, the same Pope Benedict who in Summorum Pontificum said this about the Latin mass:

Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.

The Cardinal’s Letter gets even more interesting:

The liturgy is not some social occasion or meeting where we come first, where what is important is that we express our identity. No: God comes first. As Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in 2004:

If the Liturgy appears first of all as the workshop for our activity, then what is essential is being forgotten: God. For the Liturgy is not about us, but about God. Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age. As against this, the Liturgy should be setting up a sign of God’s presence. (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Collected Works: The Theology of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2014, p. 593).

The Church’s liturgy is given to us in tradition—it is not for us to make up the rites we celebrate or to change them to suit ourselves or our own ideas beyond the legitimate options permitted by the liturgical books. That is why we must celebrate the Sacred Liturgy faithfully, with that reverence and awe of which I spoke earlier.

If you read the whole marvelous letter you might find yourselves confused.  After all this doesn’t sound like the type of guy our friends on the left & in the MSM would approve of, yet this is the man Pope Francis decided should be in charge of regulating , revising and reviewing liturgical & sacramental affairs in the church.

Now I don’t recall a lot of people making a fuss about when this appointment took place nor did a see many people comment on this letter from one of the most important men in the church.  As Jeff Ostrowski put it:

It would be difficult to distort these clear words, but I nevertheless expected various “progressive” magazines & blogs to try to spin his testimony. It hasn’t happened.

And the silence is eerie.

I find it equally eerie that those on the opposite end of the spectrum would not have greeted this with joy since many seem to think that Pope Francis is one step away from becoming Martin Luther.

I think the reason for all the silence is clear.  It makes everybody comfortable.

One the left and in the media, as Jeff put it, they would have a hard time spinning those words so the better choice for them is to make sure as few people as possible hear them.  Much better to pretend they were never said and live with the fantasy that before the end of his pontificate Francis they will see the Beatification of Mary Daly & appointing Jeannine Gramick as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

As for the silence of some on the right, I’m wondering if they have fallen in love with the MSM narrative on the Pope.  A narrative which suggests one devotion to the faith is superior to the Holy Father is bound to turn a person’s head and after a while might feel a lot more comfortable than the humility of obedience.

In the end reality is not what we want it to be reality is what it is.  And I’m thinking when it comes to the Church reality is looking a lot better than some people think, and a lot worse than others.

Update: the Anchoress points out in email that Rorate Caeli covered this too and suggests we should Climb Down from the Catholic Ledge:

The other day, a Catholic man tweeted to me (not for the first time) “talk me down from the ledge!” He was upset to read that Pope Francis had appointed Heiner Koch as Archbishop to Berlin.
Oy. Be at peace. For every Koch, there is a Sarah. For every Cupich in Chicago, there is a Fisher in Sydney. We are a universal church filled with every type of person, and I think Pope Francis is trying very hard to make sure that its leadership reflects that.

And makes a comment on comfortable narratives that will get her labeled an oppressor from Stacy McCain’s feminist enemies

I begin to think the constant freak-out over this pope on one side and the selective smugness on the other serves something connected more to human ego and conceit than to anything enlarging or salvific. A papal narrative that proves pet theories correct (whether they be of delight or of doom) is a papal narrative much too powerful to disturb with inconvenient headlines.

A preferred narrative, and the power one perceives from its promotion, is like chocolate to a PMSing teenage girl. It must always be kept safe and handy.

But Elizabeth has so many who throw rocks at her a few more won’t make a difference
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this week the Vatican put out what I consider one of the most important statements yet about the slaughter of Christians in Iraq:

The Vatican has called on Muslim leaders to denounce unambiguously the persecution of Christians andYazidis in Iraq – and hinted that it is considering breaking off dialogue with Islamic representatives if they fail to do so.In a statement on Tuesday, the department in charge of inter-religious dialogue said: “The dramatic situation of the Christians, the Yazidis, and other minority religious and ethnic communities in Iraq demands that religious leaders, and above all Muslim religious leaders, people engaged in inter-religious dialogue and all people of good will take a clear and courageous stance. All must be unanimous in their unambiguous condemnation of these crimes and denounce the invoking of religion to justify them.”

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there were quite a few Islamic voices that were ahead of this call including CAIR

“American Muslims view the actions of ISIS as un-Islamic and morally repugnant. No religion condones the murder of civilians, the beheading of religious scholars or the desecration of houses of worship. We condemn the actions of ISIS and reject its assertion that all Muslims are required to pay allegiance to its leader.“CAIR strongly urges American imams and other community leaders to continue to speak out against American Muslims traveling abroad to join extremist groups and sectarian militias. While ISIS uses romanticized imagery in its propaganda materials, its human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented.”

Via Deacon Greg over at Pathos who lists other Muslims who have stepped up  to the plate and notes:

MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute), which could never be accused of being apologetic to Islam or Muslims, has just published a “Special Dispatch,” in which it gives a platform to several significant editorials written by Muslims in important Middle Eastern newspapers — condemning the atrocities taking place in Syria and Iraq in no uncertain terms.

Some highlights:

Given what we’ve seen from radical Islam it’s nice to see people step up to the plate here.  It’s particularly worth noting that the CAIR statement came out in early July well before the video that finally caught the media attention’s on this story.

Now regular readers know I’ve never had much use for CAIR and frankly trust them even less that I do  this administration, nevertheless as I’ve not been shy about hitting them in the past it would be bad form on my part if I did not acknowledge this statement as a positive step and complement them for making it a full month before the Vatican issued its call.

You’ve got to start somewhere.