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The Basic Values of the Catholic Church

Wake up Call to the Laity

Peter Isley, a sex-abuse survivor, has seen the sex-abuse crisis erupt in the Church three times. But this last time is different: The scope of the crisis emerging is global, the responsibility of the bishops for the cover-up of abuse is laid bare, and the laity are now taking the reform of the Church into their own hands.


“I’ve not seen this level of lay people angry,” he said. “They’re just not tolerating this anymore.”


But Isley said now lay Catholics are beginning to wake up to the global scope of the problem and how the bishops and other clergy behind this crisis “destroyed a significant portion of the next generation of Catholic leadership” — young people who had also come from “incredibly Catholic families.”


Not even a year has passed since reports emerged about ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged history of sexually abusing minors, seminarians and young priests, which were followed by explosive revelations about the extent of episcopal malfeasance in covering up hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.


Those revelations fueled more victims to come forward and showed a global crisis where the victims of abusive clergy and enabling bishops included both children, laymen and women, seminarians and religious sisters — and the cover-up included horrific crimes such as aborting unborn children.


Though decades late for survivors, the sleeping giant of the lay faithful is finally stirring in response to these enormous crimes. New coalitions are forming to create alliances between the laity and those clergy and bishops committed to reforming the Church and delivering it from the evil that has scourged so many victims and bled it of countless disillusioned faithful.

As Pope Francis dampened expectations around the Vatican’s summit of presidents of bishops’ conferences, lay faithful groups began educating and mobilising each other to reform the Church’s governance within the parameters of the Church’s doctrine.


Lay-Driven Reform and Initiatives

One such new initiative is the Society of St. Peter Damian, a penitential society that started to form in August after Catholics on social media decided the Church needed the laity to provide a “Catholic response” to these crimes and found a champion in St. Peter Damian, the doctor of the Church who exhorted the laity to work with reform-minded bishops and clergy to fight the scourge of clerical immorality that had poisoned the papacy and nearly overwhelmed the Church in the 11th century.

“We are an entirely lay-driven apostolate of Mass going Catholics,” Jonathan Carp, the executive director of the St. Peter Damian Society, said. “We’re really a cross section of faithful Catholics from across the country.”


Carp said celibate clergy who engage in extramarital sex of any kind need to be removed from priestly ministry and office for the good of the Church.


“Corruption breeds corruption,” he said. “When you tolerate any sort of corruption, you can’t police any of it.”


The laity are also mobilising at the diocesan level. One group, the Daniel Coalition, formed in 2018 to “help bear the burdens of victims and put an end to sexual abuse and misconduct by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Lansing.” The group, which is named for the prophet Daniel coming to the defence of Susanna, a victim of attempted rape by sexually predatory religious leaders, says it represents victims, documents their stories, refers for counselling, and advocates for justice through secular and canon law.


The culture of clericalism, they said, explains the cover-ups by the bishops and their chanceries, but it does not explain the phenomenon that led priests to engage in sexual abuse in the first place. The Catholic Women’s Forum director maintained the abuse of minors “cannot be cordoned off, as if it’s completely separate” from the sexual abuse of lay adults, seminarians, nuns and “the general climate of sexual misconduct.”


The Church needs a thorough study on clerical celibacy and the conditions that need to be addressed so clerics can live out their vocations healthily and prevent harm done to their victims’ bodies and souls and to the Church at large. Hasson said it was clear that a certain number among the hierarchy seem to think that violating celibacy is not “that big a deal.”

(taken from an article by Peter Jesserer Smith.)

National Catholic Register.


More issues of concern above those already mentioned include


Abortion - the murder of the unborn


The appointment by Francis to the Pontifical Academy for Life of those who have advocated abortion as a right including Mariana Mazzucato an outspoken advocate of abortion rights, having recently shared her opposition to the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Twitter.

(Source Catholic News Agency)


In his 2020 book “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future,” Pope Francis described Mazzucato’s work as “thinking that is not ideological, which moves beyond the polarization of free market capitalism and state socialism, and which has at its heart a concern that all of humanity have access to land, lodging, and labor.”


The Pontifical Academy for Life was formed by St. John Paul II in 1994 with a pro-life mission to “study, information, and formation on the principal problems of biomedicine and of law, relative to the promotion and defense of life, above all in the direct relation that they have with Christian morality and the directives of the Church’s Magisterium.”


The academy’s first president, Venerable Jérôme Lejeune, established bylaws requiring members of the academy to sign a declaration stating, “before God and men we bear witness that for us every human being is a person” and that “from the moment the embryo is formed until death it is the same human being which grows to maturity and dies.”


In 2016, however, with the appointment of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis approved new statutes that eliminated the requirement that members declare themselves “pro-life.”


In 2017 a pro-abortion theologian, Nigel Biggar, was appointed to the academy. An Anglican professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Oxford, he supported legalized abortion up to 18 weeks and had expressed qualified support for euthanasia, the National Catholic Register reported.


Synods


Recently over 70 bishops from four continents warn that heterodox German reform efforts risk fracturing Church unity, adversely impacting the Church globally.


The multinational bishops’ letter expresses several concerns with the German “Synodal Way”: undermining the credibility of Church teaching and authority; drawing inspiration primarily from sociological analysis and political ideology; replacing a Christian notion of freedom with “autonomy”; lacking “the joy of the Gospel”; an overly bureaucratic, anti-evangelical tone; and a focus on power that “suggests a spirit fundamentally at odds with the real nature of Christian life.”


The Vatican is aware of a gulf between teachings and common practice on social issues. Last year it issued its own worldwide survey to try to gauge the attitudes of ordinary believers on subjects such as divorce, contraception and gay marriage, and last week bishops in Germany said its results showed that most Catholics in their country disagreed with the church's stance on artificial birth control, premarital sex, homosexuality and communion for remarried divorcees.


Pope Francis has called bishops to Rome in October for an extraordinary synod, only the third in history, to discuss how the church should respond "in the context of the pastoral challenges facing the family today". While expressing his firm opposition to women's ordination, gay marriage and abortion, the Argentinian pontiff has also said the church needs to be less obsessed with doctrine and more focused on pastoral care if it is to hold on to its existing members and reach new ones.


Cardinal Hollerich, according to the Guardian, who leads the synodal process on behalf of Francis will not only be a participant, but a driver of the global synodal process now underway. He With this latest interview, that is very good news for LGBTQ people.


Last year he has called into question not only foundational Church teachings on sexuality but the integrity of doctrine itself.


But perhaps even more troubling than the specific content of Cardinal Hollerich’s view is the underlying logic related to Church doctrine and development that prompted it, a concern amplified by the significant role the prelate is set to play in the synod.


Pope John Paul II stated that ‘Homosexual acts are contrary to natural law. The Church he said cannot silence the truth, because this…. would not help discern what is good from what is evil.


Pontifical Academy for Life


Returning to the question of abortion under Francis, who has encouraged debate on a number of questions previously considered closed - including divorce and homosexuality the church at its highest level is now debating the morality of contraception just over half a century after another Pope handed down what was supposed to be a definitive statement on the matter.


Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro the Chancellor of the PAV is now suggesting that the possibility of ‘transmission of life’ in the marital act may be in conflict with ‘other values worth protecting’.


In short all of the above simply is stating that the traditions and Doctrines given by Jesus and passed down through the ages from the Apostles has been and is in error!


Listening to the prophesies of the Blessed Virgin in her apparitions particularly in La Salette, Fatima and Akita one can begin to see what really is going on. And the third Fatima Secret???

All this and no mention of Pachamama


St Peter Damian

The Church of Damian’s time had been rocked by almost two centuries of political and social chaos, and the doctrinal ignorance, scandalous personal behavior, and petty venality of the clergy had reached intolerable levels. Bishops and priests were involved in every kind of immorality, publicly living with concubines or illicit wives, or furtively engaging in homosexual practices. Many had purchased their ordinations and the lucrative benefices that accompanied them, and spent their free time in scandalous secular amusements. An outraged laity was beginning to rise up against ecclesiastical authority, sometimes in riotous outbursts of violence that threatened the civil order.”

“In a rebuke against the 11th century equivalent of covering up scandals of sexual misbehavior, Damian blames lax ecclesiastical superiors for their “silence” with regard to clerical sodomy, and regards them as sharing in the guilt of those under their authority. “Undoubtedly, those who turn a blind eye to the sins of their subjects that they are obligated to correct, also grant to their subjects a license to sin through their ill-considered silence,” writes Damian