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In a discussion with one of our writers this morning, I mentioned the absolute glut of Church news. He responded, “Reading the headlines at Pewsitter these days is like trying to bat away a thousand bricks.”
With that in mind, it’s TIME FOR THE FRIDAY ROUNDUP!!
- Expert Vaticanist Sandro Magister has revealed that Pope Francis has decided to postpone the publication of his long-awaited encyclical on the environment. The reason, according to Magister, is that the Pope realized that the document in its current state had no chance of receiving the approval of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The encyclical was allegedly ghost-written by Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández of Tiburnia, Argentina. Fernández is also alleged to be the principal author of Evangelii Gaudium and the 1995 Spanish-language classic, Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing. I am not making this up:
Wrote Fernández in the intro to his book, “I want to clarify that this book was not written based on my personal experience but based on the lives of those who kiss.” And: “Therefore I have spoken for a long time to many people who have much experience in this field.”
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- The Traditional Latin Mass is in the news again this week, with Bishop Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida – you may remember him as the bishop who opposed those trying to prevent the starving death of Terry Schiavo – closing down the main Latin Mass two communities in the diocese in a dismissive, one might even say hostile, letter. Designating Epiphany Parish as the new “center for the Latin Mass,” the bishop announced that at the end of June, celebrations of the TLM would be forced to end at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in San Antonio and Incarnation Parish in Tampa, and instead moved to Epiphany parish, which is also home to a Vietnamese mission. Lynch goes on to say, “I envision this site capable of meeting the needs of THOSE FEW PEOPLE who have been attending Mass in the Extraordinary Form at both of the parishes where it has been previously celebrated.”
- On the upside of the TLM coin, Bishop Mark O’Toole of the diocese of Plymouth in the UK gave an interview to Mass of Ages, the quarterly publication of the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales. Bishop O’Toole disclosed his plans to ‘normalise’ attendance at Old Rite Masses; create a new center for Traditional liturgy in the east of his diocese; encourage traditional orders to take over a parish and provide pastoral support. And he praised the ‘fidelity’ of those who like to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form. O’Toole went on, ‘I am very aware that people feel slightly marginalised,’ he said. ‘That’s unfortunate because it’s very clear to me that they have a great love of the Church and the Church’s liturgy and great faithfulness. One of the things I have always been impressed by is when you reflect on the nature of Church…many of the saints’ experience was of the Tridentine Mass, this is what formed them. So the thing for me is one of integration, and normalisation’. ‘How can you say the people who celebrated it for 1,500 years [were wrong]-you can’t ban it or regard it as lesser. It is a matter of recognising that it has a legitimate place.’
- Father Linus Clovis, a leading priest in the international pro-life effort, gave a closed-door (but recorded) talk in Rome last week, where he discussed the difficulties priests and bishops are facing under the so-called “Francis Effect.” Referencing Cardinal Dolan’s congratulatory comments regarding the coming out of homosexual football player Michael Sam, Fr. Clovis said,“When a bishop — a Catholic bishop — can applaud sin publicly, it causes us to tremble. But this is essentially the ‘Francis Effect.’ It’s disarming bishops and priests, especially after the Holy Father said, ‘Who am I to judge?’ I as a priest say Mass, preaching, and I make a judgment about a sin, one breaking the ten commandments, I would be condemned for judging. I would be accused of being ‘more Catholic than the pope’. There used to be a saying — rhetorical — ‘is the pope Catholic?’ That’s no longer funny.”
- Finally today, news that Cardinal Tagle, the Filipino prelate often called the “Asian Francis,” has been elected the new leader of the global, Vatican-controlled charity organization Caritas Internationalis. Tagle is considered by many to be a papabile – a favored potential replacement for Pope Francis when the time comes for a new conclave. Caritas was formerly headed by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who was known for his sympathies both to Modernism and Liberation Theology. Caritas was revealed last year by Michael Hitchborn of the Lepanto Institute to have a seat on the governing body of the World Social Forum, a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-communist group. So far, no effort has been made to remove Caritas Internationalis from that position, and as yet, there is no indication that Cardinal Tagle intends a program of reform for the organization.
That’s all we’ve got for this week’s roundup. What were your favorite stories this week? What are you going to be watching in the week to come? Let us know in the comments.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.