sábado, 31 de octubre de 2015

The Synod has ended, and what a strange thing it is to hear the sighs of relief coming from some respected quarters of the Church...

The Synod: In Poetry and Prose

by Anthony Esolen and Fr. Mark Pilon

A Parable for the Synod

by Anthony Esolen

Much has been made at the recent Synod of the parable of the Prodigal Son. People who try with all their hearts to honor the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage have been cast as the elder son in Jesus’ parable, who resents his brother, the penitent wastrel. That is uncharitable and unjust. Allow me a parable that more accurately portrays our situation:

A man had two sons. And the younger said to his father, “Give me my half of the estate, quick.” So the father divided the estate, and gave half to his son, who took the proceeds and went to live in a far country, where he spent half upon drink and whores, but invested the rest in a business importing fish, so that when a famine struck the land, he became wealthy.

After he had lain with a score of women, he married and divorced, and took a curly-haired Greek lad into his home, lying with him as with a woman.

One day he recalled the holy feasts he had enjoyed at his father’s house, and he shed a tear, which he wiped soon, and said to his bedfellow, “Pedophilus, let us arise and go now unto my father’s house, for there they enjoy holy feasts, which this land is empty of.” So they set forth.

When they were yet a distance away, his father saw him and came running, and threw his arms about his neck and kissed him. And the son said, “Father, I have grown rich in a far country. Here is my friend, with whom I lie as with a woman, and to whom I have given rings and shoes and fine robes. Now go slay the fatted calf, for I am famished for celebration, and long to see the holy things again.” But the father hesitated. “Be off with you,” said the son. “I have returned!”

So the father did as he was commanded, with a troubled mind and a heavy heart.

When it came time to pray, the younger son bowed his head and squeezed the hand of his bedfellow. “I shall go in unto the altar of God,” they said, “of God, the joy of my youth.” The younger son shed a tear, because he had returned, and then wiped it soon, and gave his friend a wink.

So it was for many years. Every Sabbath the father presided over the feast, and his mind grew a little soft and his heart grew a little hard. Meanwhile, the customs of the far country spread into that land, and it was said that they lived like the angels, neither marrying nor giving in marriage, but lying with one another all the same. Still the father wished it were not so.

Through all these years, the elder son tended his father’s fields, draining the meadows, sowing the barley, clearing the weeds, reaping the stalks, winnowing the fruit from the chaff, milling the grain and hauling it in sacks back to the estate. He had married too, a good and patient woman. They had one child, a son. The boy loved them dearly, and from his earliest years followed his father about his work, lending a hand whenever he could. He grew in wisdom and stature, ruddy in the cheek and broad of shoulder.

“Father,” said the boy, “why does my uncle do what he does?”

“He does not understand,” said his father, the elder son. “You must pray for your uncle.”

One day a girl from the far country came to the boy and said, “Joshua, you are as handsome as a stag. Come lie with me.” And her eyes glanced like sunlight upon the waters. The boy walked past, and she laughed at him and called him an evil name.

“Father,” said the boy, “why does my grandfather allow it?”

“He is old and weary,” said his father, the elder son. “You must pray for your grandfather.” So he returned to his work, more alone now than ever. But the people mocked him, and called him a broken stone from a ruined house. And the boy burned in shame, and he defended his father. Sometimes he came home in tears, bloody and bruised, with the flesh raw on his knuckles. Still the girls beckoned to him and said, “Joshua, Joshua the handsome, come lie with us.”

But the grandfather grew accustomed to the new ways. One day he threw a great feast, and invited all of the harlots of the land to enjoy their harlotry, and he set up a golden calf in the midst, and a statue of a god with crisped hair, and another with the body of a man and the head of a dog, and he cried out to all, “Come feast with us, for the Lord has blessed us with abundant riches!” And there was the noise of licentiousness and revelry.

And it came to pass that the elder son and his boy were coming from the fields, filthy to the knees with mud. When they heard the noise of the feast, they asked a servant what it might be. “Your father has slain a dozen calves, because he has come to his senses, and has decided to take into his home one of the women from the far country.”

Then the elder son shed a tear, and he beckoned to the boy. “Come, son,” he said. “Let us go home and pray.”

But Joshua said, “No, I will not go with you.” And he walked with the servant toward the great house.

“Son,” pleaded the father, “do not abandon me! You are with me always, and everything that I have is yours!”

“Father,” said Joshua, “I have loved you all my life. But you have nothing, and you are a fool.” And he turned and went.


What a Strange Conclusion

by Fr. Mark Pilon

The Synod has ended, and what a strange thing it is to hear the sighs of relief coming from some respected quarters of the Church. “It didn’t contradict the teachings of the Church.” “There is no doctrinal error in anything that has been published.” “The Synod itself is much, much better than the worst we have feared.” How did we arrive at the point where we are rejoicing that a Synod didn’t overthrow the teachings of the Church, and the Synod turned out to be much better than we had feared? That’s quite a commentary on the state of the Church today.

A woman asked me what I foresee as the Synod’s outcome. I think she was a bit shocked when I said “absolutely nothing.” The Synod has now come and gone, the final report has been issued, and the pope may write his own exhortation. And little or nothing will change in the actual life of the Church when it comes to marriage and the family. Such verbose documents are read by very few Catholics. Such documents bore because they contain the new Vaticanese in which wordiness and vagueness often cloud clarity and intelligibility. Synods are like all bureaucracies when they try to compose such documents.

What will impact the Church most, probably, is Pope Francis’s altering of the code of Canon Law to make it easier for people to get annulments, but even that will not greatly change the present situation of the Church. What the motu proprioendorses and what the so-called Synod “progressives” desired to become universal law, allowing the divorced and remarried to receive Communion, are already widespread practices. That’s why nothing will really change much. This radical suggestion at the Synod was merely trying to give justification to what’s already going on.

That’s what was so unreal about these hot button topics at the Synod. Is there any doubt that, at least in the European churches, but in many other churches as well, the divorced and remarried are already getting the so-called internal forum solution, if they bother seeking it? Indeed, the situation has “progressed” to the point today where such alienated Catholics really don’t bother, because they only show up for Communion once or twice a year, or perhaps when they attend weddings and funerals in the Church. So they don’t bother asking priests for permission. Receiving Communion no longer has any meaning for them; the polls confirm that only a minority of Catholics in the Western world believe in the Real Presence. It’s just a matter of politeness to take part in the ceremony, but it has little or nothing to do with faith.

This parallels the pope’s rather unrealistic, lopsided, and incessant attacks on people who are “tied to the rules,” which almost sounds antinomian. More importantly, one might honestly ask him just where in the contemporary Church are all these people obsessed with “rules”? Unless you’re talking about the rules for financial support of the Church in Germany! Where are all these hard-nosed bishops who are sitting in the chair of Moses judging people? Have you run into any lately? Since Vatican II, Church discipline has taken a nosedive, and nobody seems to be punished today for anything, including the most heretical opinions.

Yet the Pontiff regularly scolds “closed hearted,” “judgmental” people who “hide behind the Church’s teachings” and with an air of superiority condemn people who have family problems. Even The Washington Post noticed his tone as one of “scolding” those who disagreed with him, inevitably directed at people whom he considers too “traditionalist” in one way or another. Yet surely the number of people who might fall into this category has to constitute a minority in the Church where 80 percent of the people blithely ignore Church teaching on contraception and 60 percent on abortion, divorce, and remarriage. Moreover, the pope never adopts this tone when towards those who are too “progressive,” a rather rare occurrence in comparison with his attacks on traditionalists. And the former are surely a much larger number in the Western world than the rigid traditionalists that he seems to be almost allergic to. I wonder if the Church in Argentina or Buenos Aires was filled with traditionalists who opposed his episcopacy; is that the root of this animosity?

It’s also striking how little the teaching of St. John Paul II seems to have been absorbed by many bishops, assuming that the Synod was truly representative. That’s another reason I think the Synod will have little impact. Cardinal Pell mentioned that the bishops had very little Thomistic underpinning, but what is far more serious was the obvious fact that they had so little familiarity with the most substantial teaching on marriage in the history of the Church ,found in the writings of St. John Paul II. You have to wonder if in fact it was largely rejected by European church leaders over the past few decades, as it clearly seems to have been by men like Cardinal Danneels.

One of the more promising revelations at the Synod, however, was the performance of the American bishops who seem to have more deeply assimilated JPII’s teaching – with one notable exception, and he was the first major U.S. appointment by our present pope. That may not bode well for the future. Documents do not reform the Church; bishops do. What I fear most is that the Pope Francis may now try to remake the American episcopacy in the image of the enlightened European contingent, which has all but destroyed the Catholic Church in Europe; especially if he comes to view the U.S. bishops as among the recalcitrant or traditionalist element at the 2015 Synod.

Le Synode sur la famille - Rapport final - le contexte dans lequel le texte a été élaboré est un élément totalement différent qui restera sensible pendant les années à venir

Le texte et le contexte

Par Robert Royal


Le Synode sur la famille de 2015 s’est conclu sur quelques lumières et un bon nombre de points flous. Dans son état actuel, le Rapport final contient de profondes réflexions spirituelles fondées sur l’Ecriture sainte et les traditions de l’Eglise. Il traite aussi de manière réaliste de la vaste variété des situations socioculturelles et politiques des familles de par le monde – situations qui varient grandement, allant de la culture hédoniste et obsédée par la sexualité de l’Occident à la guerre et aux persécutions qui sévissent au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique. Il aurait mieux valu omettre certains paragraphes. Mais le contexte dans lequel le texte a été élaboré est un élément totalement différent qui restera sensible pendant les années à venir.

Un sujet souvent repris par les Pères synodaux pendant les trois semaines du Synode est qu’une Eglise préoccupée par l’avenir de la famille aujourd’hui aurait un point de vue très limité si elle ne tenait compte que des préoccupations occidentales au sujet des homosexuels et des divorcés. L’un des signes du caractère progressiste du synode de 2015 est que, en dépit de problèmes persistants, il n’a jamais été question « d’accepter et valoriser… l’orientation sexuelle [homosexuelle], sans compromettre la doctrine catholique sur la famille et le mariage », un grand pas en arrière par rapport au regrettable rapport à moyen terme de 2014. Pendant la fin de semaine, la BBC a déclaré que le pape François avait subi une « défaite » sur la question des homos, une déclaration assez inexacte puisqu’il n’est pas un partisan du mariage homosexuel. Et en outre, l’Instrumentum laboris original, dans lequel il s’était peu investi, ne parlait guère de l’homosexualité. Mais la BBC n’a pas été le seul média à exagérer pour nourrir ses propres obsessions. Méfiez-vous des reportages de ce type.

Une importante partie du Rapport final est utile et constitue un bon message pour une Eglise universelle désireuse de proclamer la Bonne Nouvelle et d’assumer ses responsabilités envers les familles du monde entier. Quand il aura été traduit [en anglais], ce sera une lecture éclairante pour tous ceux qui s’intéressent aux soucis actuels et aux espoirs concernant l’avenir des familles.

Mais c’est la communion pour les divorcés remariés qui a été le plat de résistance en Occident – surtout dans les médias. Il aurait été satisfaisant de pouvoir dire que nous savons précisément où nous en sommes à présent. Le Wall Street Journal est affirmatif : « Les évêques mettent en échec le pape sur l’ouverture aux catholiques divorcés ». (C’est-à-dire que, comme beaucoup l’ont constaté, l’admission à la communion des divorcés n’est pas mentionnée explicitement dans le document qui n’appuie donc pas une tendance qui s’est manifestée pendant les deux années du processus synodal depuis le message adressé par le cardinal Walter Kasper aux évêques à Rome, à l’invitation du pape François, le 15 février 2014). Le journal romain Il Messagero a une autre version : « Oui à la communion pour les divorcés ».D’autres qui veulent qu’il en soit ainsi le prétendront également. En fait, le résultat final est, comme c’est souvent le cas avec ce pape, beaucoup plus embrouillé.

Les évêques ont décidé de ne pas voter sur le document dans son ensemble, mais seulement sur les paragraphes un par un, si bien que le texte est essentiellement une série de réflexions présentées au pape pour examen et non une déclaration officiellement approuvée par les pères synodaux. Nous allons devoir attendre que le Saint-Père lui-même nous dise ce qu’il considère comme la prochaine étape. Il s’est peut-être compliqué la tâche tant pas la gestion du synode et (voir plus bas) par sa réaction violente aux critiques et aux croyants traditionnels.

En dépit de ce qui sera souvent affirmé dans les jours et les semaines à venir, il convient de répéter cette vérité : le Rapport final du synode ne parle pas de la communion pour les divorcés remariés. Comme nous le rabâchons depuis le début, cette proposition s’est heurtée à un tir de barrage manifeste. Par suite des controverses, les explications concernant les relations entre la conscience et la loi morale sont bien plus claires dans le Rapport final que dans l’Instrumentum laboris.Mais deux paragraphes de ce rapport – ceux qui ont recueilli le plus grand nombre de voix négatives – vont loin dans le « discernement » des circonstances individuelles et invoquent le « for interne », c’est-à-dire la direction de conscience par un prêtre ou un évêque, se situant donc à deux doigts de la communion pour les divorcés remariés, sans l’autoriser en toutes lettres.

Certains journalistes y ont vu un solide appui de l’enseignement de l’Eglise, ce qui est par trop optimiste. Mais ce n’est pas non plus un boulevard pour les catholiques progressistes. Il y a eu des efforts pendant les débats du dernier jour pour bien faire comprendre que ce texte n’était pas une invitation générale à changer la doctrine ou la discipline. Le père Federico Lombardi a délibérément souligné la continuité avec les enseignements de saint Jean-Paul II et de Benoît XVI. Le cardinal de Vienne, Christoph Schönborn, a de façon moins convaincante défini des critères clairs pouvant guider le discernement. S’il y a bien des critères, leur clarté est loin d’être avérée. Quand vous lisez le texte, voilà ce que vous y trouvez :
85. Saint Jean-Paul II a proposé un critère global qui demeure la base valable de l’évaluation de ces situations. « Les pasteurs doivent savoir que, par amour de la vérité, ils ont l’obligation de bien discerner les diverses situations. Il y a en effet une différence entre ceux qui se sont efforcés avec sincérité de sauver un premier mariage et ont été injustement abandonnés, et ceux qui, par une faute grave, ont détruit un mariage canoniquement valide. Il y a enfin le cas de ceux qui ont contracté une seconde union en vue de l’éducation de leurs enfants et qui ont parfois, en conscience, la certitude subjective que le mariage précédent, irrémédiablement détruit, n’avait jamais été valide ». (traduction non officielle)
Tel est le texte de saint Jean-Paul II utilisé pour appuyer l’idée d’un discernement plus actif, ce qui est déjà un peu en forcer le sens, étant donné l’interprétation actuelle du discernement. Ce qui manque, c’est ce que Jean-Paul II déclare deux alinéas plus bas dans Familiaris Consortio : « L’Eglise réaffirme sa discipline, fondée sur l’Ecriture Sainte, selon laquelle elle ne peut admettre à la communion eucharistique les divorcés remariés. Ils se sont rendus eux-mêmes incapables d’y être admis car leur état et leur condition de vie est en contradiction objective avec la communion d’amour entre le Christ et l’Eglise, telle qu’elle s’exprime et est rendue présente dans l’Eucharistie. Il y a par ailleurs un autre motif pastoral particulier : si l’on admettait ces personnes à l’Eucharistie, les fidèles seraient induits en erreur et comprendraient mal la doctrine de l’Eglise concernant l’indissolubilité du mariage. »

L’indissolubilité est affirmée ailleurs dans le Rapport final et certains passages disséminés dans le texte évoquent ce que saint Jean-Paul II a formellement énoncé. Il contient aussi des références au Catéchisme de l’Eglise catholique sur les cas où « l’imputabilité » et la responsabilité d’une action peuvent être diminuées voire supprimées (par.1735). Respectées à la lettre, ces citations pourraient faire croire que nous sommes encore sous le même régime que de tout temps dans l’Eglise. Mais quatre-vingts pères synodaux ont voté contre ce paragraphe (la plus forte opposition à un point du texte), parce que, sans autoriser explicitement un changement de discipline, il peut ouvrir la porte à plusieurs dérives.

La question qui se pose est la suivante : le discernement sera-t-il bien guidé par ces fermes principes moraux énoncés par saint Jean-Paul II ? C’est sur ce point que s’établira la ligne de partage entre la position du Wall Street Journal et celle d’Il Messagero. Voici le libellé exact de ce texte :
86. L’accompagnement et le discernement orientent ces fidèles vers un examen de conscience touchant leur situation devant Dieu. La discussion avec le prêtre accompagnateur, au niveau du for interne, est complétée par la formation d’un jugement correct sur ce qui fait obstacle à la possibilité d’une plus pleine participation à la vie de l’Eglise et sur les pas qui peuvent la favoriser et la faire croître. Etant donné qu’il n’y a pas de gradualité de la loi sur ce point (cf. Familiaris Consortio, par.34), ce discernement ne pourra jamais faire abstraction des exigences de la vérité et de la charité telles que proposées par l’Eglise. Pour que cela se produise, il faut que soient garanties les conditions nécessaires d’humilité, de réserve, d’amour de l’Eglise et de ses enseignements, dans la sincère recherche de la volonté de Dieu et dans le désir de parvenir à y répondre plus parfaitement.[C’est Robert Royal qui souligne]
Ce libellé repose sur beaucoup de compromis et les théologiens avertis le retravailleront sans nul doute avec soin. Mais en lisant ces paragraphes dans leur version actuelle et en les séparant du contexte controversé, on pourrait dire qu’ils auraient pu être écrits par Jean-Paul II. La phrase en italiques semble pencher fortement en direction surtout du besoin d’un changement de vie pour éliminer les obstacles. Et quand on affirme qu’il n’y a pas de gradualité dans la loi, on veut dire que les personnes se rapprochent graduellement de la conduite qu’elles sont censées suivre, mais que la loi elle-même est toujours constante et ne saurait être abrogée simplement parce que les personnes ne parviennent que lentement à s’y conformer. Pourtant, il y a une raison expliquant que soixante-quatre pères synodaux ont voté contre ce paragraphe, non pas tant à cause de ce qu’il dit qu’à cause de ses conséquences éventuelles dans le climat actuel de l’Eglise.

Mais considérez aussi ces données : les votes pour le Conseil synodal, le groupe directeur pour le suivi du synode. Comme je l’ai expliqué vendredi (avant la publication des résultats officiels), ceux-ci indiquent en gros une majorité des deux tiers en faveur des enseignements catholiques traditionnels. Sandro Magister a annoncé que c’est l’archevêque Charles Chaput de Philadelphie qui a obtenu le plus grand nombre de voix à lui seul dans l’ensemble du monde – mais les cardinaux George Pell et Robert Sarah ont eu aussi recueilli beaucoup de voix. En Amérique, nous avons le cardinal canadien Marc Ouellet (un citoyen solide) et le cardinal Oscar Maradiaga (un proche conseiller du pape). En Asie, les cardinaux Pell, Oswald Gracias (Bombay) et Luis Antonio Tagle (Manille). En Afrique, les cardinaux Sarah, Wilfred Napier et l’évêque du Gabon Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan.

Ce n’est qu’en Europe que les scores sont plutôt faibles : Schonbörn, l’archevêque anglais Vincent Nichols et l’archevêque Bruno Forte (des cardinaux italiens en bonne position comme Scola, Caffara, Bagnasco ont chacun recueilli un grand nombre de voix et si les Italiens s’étaient concertés et avaient choisi un candidat unique, l’un d’eux aurait remporté la victoire). En tout cas, dans la mesure où le Conseil du synode orientera les futurs événements, on ne peut que constater la prépondérance de personnalités sérieuses, et leur sélection traduit l’attitude générale des pères synodaux. Le pape lui-même n’était pas de très bonne humeur à la fin du processus, bien que, comme il est naturel pour les événements au Vatican, selon la version officielle, tout se soit terminé dans la fraternité et la synodalité, avec même une ovation lors de son discours de clôture. Mais après de nombreuses affirmations positives, le pape François a toutefois exprimé son irritation à propos de certaines parties du débat : « Au cours de ce synode, les différentes opinions qui se sont exprimées librement, n’étaient parfois, malheureusement, pas entièrement bien intentionnées… »

Et dans ses observations sur les leçons du synode, il a lancé : « L’Eglise ne doit plus juger avec des cœurs fermés qui souvent se cachent derrière les enseignements de l’Eglise ou derrière les bonnes intentions pour s’asseoir sur la cathèdre de Moïse et juger, quelquefois avec supériorité et superficialité, les cas difficiles et les familles blessées ».

C’est un de ses thèmes récurrents. Nul ne nierait qu’il y a des gens trop autoritaires parmi ceux qui insistent sur les enseignements traditionnels – tout comme il y en a aussi parmi ceux qui professent des vues théologiques opposées. Mais ces cas sont rares et marginaux. De nombreux ecclésiastiques et laïcs ont été offensés – et irrités – par cette remarque. Et elle risque d’exacerber les divisions préexistantes.

C’est un fait dont nous devrons probablement tenir compte pendant un bon bout de temps dans l’Eglise. Le Rapport final est un texte acceptable, surtout s’agissant d’un texte rédigé par une commission de 270 membres. S’il avait été adopté sous la papauté de Jean-Paul II, il n’aurait guère suscité d’inquiétude. Mais dans un contexte de méfiance et de ressentiment mutuels, ce qui est acceptable pourrait devenir inacceptable.

Lundi 26 octobre 2015

Source :

Robert Royal est rédacteur en chef de The Catholic Thing et président du Faith& Reason Institute de Washington.

Pope John Paul II: "the exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man."

CERC Weekly Update

"Pride is a poison so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues; it even poisons the other vices"
  • In this week's reflection, Pope John Paul II tells us that we are incapable of understanding ourselves fully without Christ — and so "the exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man." Our personal and national histories are histories of salvation. 
  • See "To Set Fire on Earth."
  • Archbishop Charles Chaput's interview with Famille Chretienne on the synod is a breath of fresh air after the deluge of speculation over the past weeks. He is realistic about the working document — "the scope of the working document is large, and its flaws are many" — and about the solution. "If we really believe in Jesus Christ, then he is the center and meaning of history. If we don't start with Jesus and the Scriptures, then the social problems and challenges that exist in every century will always overwhelm us."
  • See "We can only begin to hope ... when we believe in Jesus Christ."
  • Fr. Raymond de Souza writes an excellent piece on "What the synod is really all about." "Conversion is at the heart of the debates at the synod," he says. "The question before the synod fathers is whether people today are capable of conversion and, to put the matter more bluntly, is the Gospel still worth converting one's life toward?"
  • Flannery O'Connor wrote, "The Southerner, who isn't convinced of it, is very much afraid that he may have been formed in the image and likeness of God." And in "Finding Ourselves in Flannery's Freaks," Fr. Dwight Longenecker explains how, "afraid that we are creatures of eternal glory, we turn away to caress our addictions and obsessions. Our false loves turn us into freaks."
  • In "Pius XII, co-conspirator in tyrannicide," George Weigel discusses a new book, Church of Spies, that sheds lights on Pius XII — "Hitler's Pope" — long known to have been involved in one plot to assassinate Hitler and now revealed to have been "complicit in a variety of plots, initiated by patriotic, anti-Nazi Germans, to assassinate Hitler and replace the Nazi regime with a government that would make peace with the West."
  • Finally we have a delightful essay from Chesterton in which the scientific enquirer retires to a public house for the primary purpose of observing humanity (and the incidental purpose of drinking a few beers) to see whether pride, in practice, is really the root of all evil. He finds that "Pride is a poison so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues; it even poisons the other vices." 
  •  See "If I Had Only One Sermon To Preach." - Meaghen Hale

Editorials of Interest

The world needs real freedom says Romanian doctor at Synod - Voice of the Family

As Catholic doctors defending life and family, we can see this is, first of all, a spiritual battle. Material poverty and consumerism are not the primary cause of the family crisis. The primary cause of the sexual and cultural revolution is ideological.

Creative Tensions? - Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Maybe we just have to learn to live with a lot of seeming ambiguity, knowing that only God has all perfection, only the Lord has the answer to these questions that perplex us, and that all we can do is try our best to live as He has revealed, to rely on His grace and mercy, and leave it up to Him to bring order out of this mess.

Dear Synod Fathers: You missed a step - Crux

What the Catholic Church in the United States does today to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of good if sometimes difficult choices when it comes to sex and marriage, isn't remotely proportional to the times we live in, nor to the significance of sex and marriage within our tradition.

Five ways the Church can help married and engaged couples - First Things

As lay Catholics, it is insufficient to sit back and expect the Synod fathers to solve the marriage crisis on their own. We are as much the agents of change as they, and coming up with concrete and constructive ways to be helpful is what the Church is asking of us.

Where Was Our Catholic Culture? - The Catholic Thing

How can you counter the deep decay we all see without an equally deep way to heal it?

Your #1 job as a wife: it's not what you think - Catholic Lane

Our priest emphasized that our primary job as a spouse is to help each other get to heaven. That one piece of advice completely reframed marriage in our minds. Suddenly, our marriage was not just supposed to make us happier, but holier too.

Bernie Sanders' Debt To Religious Freedom - The Federalist

If Bernie Sanders didn't have to fight in Vietnam because of his beliefs, why do business owners have to participate in gay weddings in spite of theirs?

Choose the right path: a message from a repentant murderer - Catholic Gentleman

I feel that religion with its precepts is not something we can live without, but rather it is the real comfort, the real strength in life and the only safe way in every circumstance, even the most painful ones of life.

"Discern If You Must, but Not in Public, Please!" - Aleteia

This process of wondering repeats itself over and over again because Catholicism is a faith that stands up to scrutiny and has always allowed reason to come out and play in its fields even if things get "a little messy."

Holding God in the Palm of Your Hand - Aleteia

The Holy Eucharist is above everything else a gift. Christ comes to us as we are, where we are, giving everything. He is the gift.

In Defense of Christendom - Wall Street Journal

All that the West sees in its own history is the despicable and the destructive; it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure. What Europe needs is a new self-acceptance, a self acceptance that is critical and humble, if it truly wishes to survive.

Saints, Accidentally - Fare Forward

What we celebrate in the saints is not their piety or perfection but the fact that we believe in a God who gets redemptive and holy things done in this world through, of all things, human beings, all of whom are flawed.

The Strength of the Hills Is Not Ours: Our Modern Identity Crisis - Mere Orthodoxy

While nature may have lost much of its persuasive power, as demonstrated by the ever-expanding list of gender identities available to us, history has not. It is an encouraging thing that something still exists which can negate the claims of an individual wishing to define their own concept of existence.

16th Century Church Re-Emerges from Water After Drought - IFL Science

The church is said to have been built by a group of monks led by Friar Bartolome de la Casas, who arrived in the area with Spanish settlers around the mid-sixteenth century.

Abortionist Caught With 14 Containers of Aborted Babies in His Car - LifeNews

"The working theory is he may have been performing abortions outside of a clinical setting."

Notre Dame replaces PE class with mandatory 'cultural competency' lessons - The College Fix

The University of Notre Dame replaced its longtime mandatory physical education course for freshmen with a health, cultural competency and social awareness course that aims to "foster a spirit of inclusiveness on campus."

Archbishop Miller: Strong Catholic Families Make Strong Catholic Schools - Catholic Education Daily

It's crazy for us to expect great Catholic education when our family system is weak. They work in direct proportionality, not inverse. So the stronger the family, the stronger the school, the weaker the family, almost inevitably the weaker the school.

Last Word with Farmer-Author Wendell Berry - Modern Farmer

To farm well is to solve structural problems of the same nature as a novelist encounters.

Love, Dad - City Journal

Now you have headed off to college, a new chapter in your life. Your future is in your hands. Your mother and I are here to advise and enable you. Still, your own choices will shape your future more than anything else.

La France est libertaire pour les valeurs et socialiste pour l’économie (57 % de dépense publique)

Les conservateurs ne sont pas ceux que l’on croit

par Christian Vanneste

L’un des mots interdits en France par la novlangue de l’idéologie dominante est « conservateur ». Comme le nuage de Tchernobyl, le mot s’est arrêté à la frontière.

L´un des mots interdits en France par la novlangue de l’idéologie dominante est « conservateur ». Comme le nuage de Tchernobyl, le mot s’est arrêté à la frontière. Il y en a partout sauf chez nous. Chez nous, il faut à tout prix avancer. On fonce dans le mur, mais on avance. Le réactionnaire qui ferait marche arrière ou le conservateur qui voudrait stopper la descente sont évidemment d’extrême droite, autant dire d’abominables fascistes plus ou moins camouflés, qu’il s’agit d’empêcher d’exister politiquement.

On ne les tolère que s’ils font amende honorable, dénoncent les hérétiques, renoncent à leurs dérives et rentrent dans un front pour défendre une République laïque et obligatoire, née en 1789, baptisée en 1793, communiante en 1830 et 1848, confirmée par la séparation avec l’Église et mariée avec le socialisme en 1936. 

Tout ça, ça fait d’excellents Français qui viennent de partout sauf d’un royaume catholique interdit de mémoire. 

Leur laïcité n’exclut pas le sens du péché, celui que les heures sombres de leur histoire font peser sur leurs consciences. En battant leur coulpe, ils se doivent donc d’accueillir toute la misère du monde et ne peuvent avoir l’indécence d’imposer des règles de conduite qui nient la diversité et la liberté de ceux qui, pleins de mansuétude, viennent vivre chez eux. Les droits de l’homme sont une obligation pour les Français et des droits pour les autres. L’avenir des Français est ailleurs, dans une Europe aux contours incertains, délivrée des valeurs chrétiennes, constituée d’individus ouverts à la pensée universelle et obéissant à des technocrates géniaux.

Mais, dans le monde, il y a beaucoup de conservateurs.


L'Occident déboussolé: nos politiciens se vautrent dans la « normalité » comme dans une fange miraculeuse.

Poutine, Orban : pourquoi les autocrates séduisent à l'Ouest

Par Caroline Galactéros

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - Pourquoi donc Vladimir Poutine est-il si populaire ? Pour Caroline Galactéros, le président russe incarne la figure de l'homme d'Etat autoritaire alors que les dirigeants occidentaux apparaissent de plus en plus impuissants.

Comme les grands fauves, survivants incompris et pourchassés d'un temps révolu, ils se sentent, se reconnaissent, se respectent, même dans l'opposition farouche, et d'une certaine façon aussi se serrent les coudes. Ils méprisent souverainement la faiblesse de leurs interlocuteurs qui leur parlent morale pour masquer leur idéalisme impuissant ou leur cynisme au petit pied. Ils tiennent pour indispensable la centralité de la décision et l'autorité sur leur «peuple» qu'ils ne réduisent pas à une «population» mais entendent guider vers un horizon de puissance et d'influence peut-être contestable mais au moins défini et clair. Pour eux, le collectif est plus que la somme des intérêts particuliers ; il doit incarner quelque chose de plus grand que soi. Ils ont compris que la clef de la popularité durable réside dans le courage de l'impopularité immédiate.

Le Moyen-Orient ensanglanté est désormais le théâtre central de l'affrontement de deux modèles d'hommes politiques, et dans ce combat, les démocraties européennes ne tiennent plus le manche. Elles prétendent incarner le stade abouti du Progrès humain, du Vrai, du Juste et du Bon, mais sont en pleine crise sociale, morale et politique. Une crise aigüe de la représentativité et de la crédibilité de leur personnel politique lui-même. Elles prennent de plein fouet l'affirmation de pouvoirs plus directs, confiants et déterminés qui leur jettent le gant et remportent la mise. La Russie, la Chine, l'Iran, les figures autoritaires d'un Assad, d'un Erdogan ou d'un al Sissi incarnent chacune à leur manière ce renversement des modèles de pouvoir.


Lire la suite:

Caroline Galactéros est docteur en sciences politiques, polémologue et colonel dans la réserve opérationnelle des armées. Spécialiste en intelligence stratégique, elle a écritManières du monde, manières de guerre paru en 2013 aux éditions Nuvis.

Tthe tyrants in power employ the Machiavellian approach to history in which those who control the present control the past

The BBC: Writing Christianity Out of History

by Joseph Pearce

A few days ago I had the slimy experience of listening to a forty-minute discussion on BBC radio purporting to show the history of Britain through the medium of poetry. I describe the experience as slimy because I felt, having listened to it, that I had been slimed, finding myself covered spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally in a decaying, mendacious goo.

Let me explain.

A poet friend of mine sent a link to BBC Radio’s celebration of National Poetry Day on October 8, which included several forty-minute discussions of British history, seen through the eyes of the poets. Fearing the worst, I thought I’d dip my toe in the water, or my ear in the airwaves, somewhat tentatively at first. Feeling that the first discussion, which was on the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon roots of Britain, should be fairly safe, being far removed from the wasteland of modernity, I tuned in to learn more.

It was horrible.

Presented by Andrew Marr, the veteran broadcaster, who describes himself as a “pampered white liberal” and as being resolutely secular, i.e. non-religious, I should have expected the worst. Here is Marr on his religious position: “Am I religious? No. Do I believe in anything? No.” Since, however, it is simply not possible for a human being not to believe in anything, let’s look at what he does believe in. Having turned his back on his parents’ Presbyterianism as a young man, he became involved with the International-Communist League as an undergraduate at Cambridge, earning the nickname “Red Andy.”

“The BBC is not impartial or neutral,” Marr stated in October 2006. “It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities, and gay people. It has a liberal bias, not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.” Rephrased, Marr was effectively saying that the BBC was biased against rural populations, old people, the ethnic majority, and heterosexuals.


Read more:

Family Matters

The Data Show, Again, That Family Matters


It’s been a good month for champions of the traditional family, but don’t expect the family wars to be ending any time soon. 

In recent weeks, a barrage of new evidence has come to light demonstrating what was once common sense. 

“Family structure matters” (in the words of my American Enterprise Institute colleague Brad Wilcox, who is also the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia). 

Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution released a study that reported “most scholars now agree that children raised by two biological parents in a stable marriage do better than children in other family forms across a wide range of outcomes.” 

Why this is so is still hotly contested. Another study, co-authored by Wilcox, found that states with more married parents do better on a broad range of economic indicators, including upward mobility for poor children and lower rates of child poverty. 

On most economic indicators, the Washington Post summarized, “the share of parents who are married in a state is a better predictor of that state’s economic health than the racial composition and educational attainment of the state’s residents.” 

Boys in particular do much better when raised in a more traditional family environment, according to a new report from MIT. 

This is further corroboration of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous 1965 warning: 
“From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future — that community asks for and gets chaos.”

viernes, 30 de octubre de 2015

A sign of the catholicity of the Church is that throughout the entire world her teaching is one

Ukrainians React to Papal Calls for “Decentralization”

By Alexander R. Sich

Recently, there was a positive development during an interview with Bishop Borys Gudziak (President of the Ukrainian Catholic University—UCU) by Crux regarding the issue of “decentralization,” which was proposed in a favorable light by the Holy Father during the recent Synod on the Family. Bishop Gudziak echoed the position of the Head of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church (UGCC), His Beatitude Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who expressed his support for decentralization—with an important distinction: decentralization should not apply to “the fundamental human issues… For example, I support a devolution in terms of the selection of bishops.” On the Kasper proposal, however, Gudziak said “it would be very problematic, to put it lightly.”

In a subsequent interview, Bishop Gudziak noted that the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, apparently would not support the removal of language from the draft of Ukraine’s new constitution that defines marriage as being exclusively between a man and woman, and that good, strong arguments must be provided to politicians to support the president’s pledge. Nonetheless, it appears UCU still has not dealt directly with three of its faculty (in the School of Journalism) who publicly promote homosexuality as “normal” and homosexual “marriage” as a “human right”—one of those faculty members being a member of Parliament. On this point, the teaching of the Universal Church, as stated by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, is crystal clear and worth quoting at length:

In the working document the question of homosexuality was raised. However, the [Synod] Fathers immediately noted that it has no relation to the issue of the family because the life of a same-sex couple cannot be termed a marriage. And, no matter the pressure whatever international lobby may exert upon the Church, the Church—in accordance with its conscience and being faithful to the teaching of Scripture—can never change its teaching on this issue. For this reason some of the Fathers noted assertively that the issue of homosexuality must be removed from the final document, inasmuch as this issue has nothing in common with the subject of the Synod, that is, the call and role of the Christian family in the Church and the world. The issue of the distinct teaching of the Church regarding such matters of sexuality absolutely has no place here.

On the other hand, what was discussed was the notion that the individual person, irrespective of which sin by which he or she is burdened, is and remains created in the image and likeness of God. We must always respect the person [as person] no matter their acts. We respect the sinner but assertively warn them against their sins and can never approve of their sins. This distinction was always present during the discussions of the Synod Fathers. For this reason, on the issue of homosexuality the Fathers are absolutely unanimous.

It is a great tragedy and a great moral evil to propagandize homosexuality as some kind of model for relations or even the attempt, at the legislative level, to compare such a lifestyle with the family. Such pressure is an expression of great disdain toward the family and marriage as institutions. (Emphasis added.)

It is de rigueur these days that one must rarely (if at all) speak about the objective nature of the sin (for example, inherently disordered homosexual inclinations acted out as grave sin). Rather, one must fully accept the person with the sin all but affirmed, in the “hope” that one’s non-condemnation of sin will somehow lead the sinner to repentance. I am a direct witness of a UGCC bishop taking precisely this approach regarding a person who for years clung (and continues to cling) to the notion that the Church is “wrong” about homosexual marriage … because homosexuality, this person believes, is “natural.” Predictably, that accommodationist tree bore no fruit.

Moreover, in this light, it is difficult to understand part of the Holy Father’s closing remarks—widely interpreted as a blanket castigation of those who hold to the Church’s teaching on the traditional understanding of the family, and which angered many: “[The Synod] was also about laying bare the closed hearts, which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.” Clearly, there are those with superiority complexes on both sides of official Church doctrine … who, while vociferous, are relatively few in number.

Yet, is it not true that precisely because significant representatives of the clerical hierarchy either kept silent or actively shielded sexual offenders in their ranks, that only now is the Church slowly emerging from the diabolical destructiveness of the pedophilia scandals? Is it not true that fearful clerical silence in the face of the promotion of homosexuality, euthanasia, abortion, etc. has led to scandals among the faithful and a weakening of the Church’s moral stature to deal with these issues—including the weakening of the institution of the traditional family? Cardinals Kasper and Marx are examples of those who would compromise Church doctrine while hiding behind “pastoral reforms,” and who “lead” eparchies collapsing from a certain lack of Magisterial oxygen … in the context of the “radical individualism” and “sex-saturated hedonistic culture of the West.” Is this not, at least partly, the case at UCU as it struggles with its serious identity crisis?

Why is it that significant numbers of lay people and pastors have succumbed to the zeitgeist—making them unable (or unwilling?) to consider both the pastoral and doctrinal elements as crucial, that is, speaking the truth to sin, while accepting and loving the sinner precisely as a fallen human being? The unfortunate outcome is completely backwards, or as Robert Royal points out in the context of the current Synod on the Family, such an accommodationist approach grants “communion before repentance and reconciliation.” Why is it so difficult to understand that the Church’s position is not a restrictive “either … or” but an inclusive “both … and” in its doctrinal and pastoral messages? That is, why is it so difficult to hold in one’s mind—and even more difficult to proclaim—that there is no love without truth, forgiveness without acceptance of one’s fault, conversion without repentance, and mercy without reconciliation and justice?

Unfortunately, in this regard, the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Bishop of Edmonton, David Motiuk, is unabashed in his communion-before-state-of-Grace approach, as he supports offering communion to an unrepentant and highly confused transgendered man—with repentance and reconciliation at best presented as a rain check. That is, Motiuk is effectively acting against the Head of his own particular church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, and against Catholic teaching—both doctrinal and pastoral.

Returning to the issue of “decentralization,” there is more here than meets the eye. What many don’t realize is how deeply one of Cardinal Kasper’s particularly pernicious ideas has been absorbed by some in the UGCC … and I don’t have in mind Kasper’s mischief in the context of the recently-concluded Synod on the Family. There is a distinct possibility that the Pope will decree that bishop’s conferences take on more responsibilities previously held by the Curia in a more “decentralized church.” This is not new, and to the extent it has to do with administrative issues at the level of particular churches or countries with significant numbers of Catholics, the idea is a healthy one.


Read more: 


What the New Left has mastered most, is the ability to transform political language, its meaning and its use

Roger Scruton on the New Left:
From Jargon To Incantation


Roger Scruton has a striking sense of timing. He was in Paris during les événements of May 1968. His last novel, The Disappeared, dealt with sex trafficking in a northern city in England just as the child abuse cases in Rotherham and Oxfordshire were making headlines. His latest book, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, appears at the very moment when the Labour party has chosen as its leader a man whose political beliefs, from crypto-Marxism to egalitarian Newspeak, are much inspired by New Left thinkers. Jeremy Corbyn’s success shows that the New Left is still a major intellectual current in Britain and elsewhere.

The New Left is the wave of European and American left-wing intellectuals who gained prominence in the post-war era, especially from the 1960s, in a context of dramatic social and cultural change, a new yearning for emancipation and the continuing influence of Marxism despite the decay of the Soviet Union. In 1985 Scruton, eager to target these Pied Pipers, published a first version of Thinkers of the New Left; it was greeted with contempt by much of the intellectual establishment. Thirty years later, the book is back, enriched with new details and brought up to date. All the big names are there, and no one escapes the scrupulous and devastating Scrutonian laser.

Scruton possesses a rare quality: that of being able to describe and judge at the same time. Each chapter deals with a specific time and country, and deploys the same strategy: describe, analyse, save a little piece of truth and kill the rest. The journey is very intense, from Hobsbawm’s Marxist view of history to Galbraith’s liberal disdain for consumer culture; from Sartre as rigid servant of Communist ideology to Foucault and his paranoid obsession with power; from the horrifying Lukàcs, for whom “the bourgeoisie possesses only the semblance of human existence”, to Habermas’s appeal for “a wide dialogue excluding most of his detractors”, as Scruton puts it. The French have developed their own brand of delirium: Althusser, in language that was obscure even for a Marxist, struggled with superstructure and infrastructure; Lacan preferred to deny any meaning and truth; and Deleuze, determined to fight capitalism in the name of desire, developed a curious “syntax without semantics”, in Scruton’s words.

The final firework is worth the wait: Badiou and Žižek and their worship of revolution. Why pay attention to the vast sufferings that the French, Russian and Maoist revolutions caused, when “fidelity” to the event — their trademark concept — is “a sufficient justification for carrying on regardless”?

Encompassing all those thinkers under the umbrella of the New Left is inevitably limiting and doesn’t capture all the nuances of their thoughts. Some are Marxists, others Structuralists or Keynesians, still others sui generis. But they have many features in common, the first being that they represent everything that a conservative like Scruton dislikes. They have inherited from the Old Left an enduring quest for liberty and equality, without any acceptance of the possible contradictions between them. They interpret all institutions as features of domination and oppression, and their purpose is always to change everything. They see the state as the main instrument for the new order “that will rectify the ancient grievance of the oppressed”. For them, politics is everything while civil society or the rule of law doesn’t interest them much. They are utterly negative: they are often filled with resentment.

What the New Left has mastered most, Scruton argues, is the ability to transform political language, its meaning and its use. It has created an imaginative narrative where abstractions such as “bourgeois” and “capitalism” are pilloried, while the “workers” are invoked — even when most of these workers have actually ceased to exist. Instead of trying to understand and describe how capitalism really works, how the classes are really constituted, and how people live, develop customs and use institutions, the New Left deals with a world without any substance. Some of these thinkers have even decided to exclude the use of argument and reason. When Scruton quotes Lukàcs, Althusser or Deleuze, it is absolutely clear that most of their sentences make absolutely no sense. And when Lacan and Badiou pretend to use mathematics as a proof for their crazy systems, it is not in order to save reality but to bury it.

As a matter of fact, reality is what they want to escape. According to Lukàcs, empiricism is “an ideology of the bourgeoisie”. That’s why, as Scruton explains, “anyone who actually consults the ideas of ordinary working-class people commits a heinous communist error, the error of ‘opportunism’.” Here lies the deep negativity of the dogmatic Left. It explains how and why a large part of the leftist intelligentsia was reluctant to condemn the crimes of Communism, despite its millions of deaths. It explains also why the New Left still manages to attract people despite the lessons of experience. It is because its ideal is not supposed to be realised: it is here to be dreamed about, and so never to be questioned. These thinkers will never describe anything practical that they wish to achieve. They will cast spells, as in the sentence attributed to Stalin that “the theories of Marx are true because they are correct.” These ideas meet a desire that lies in every human being: the need for religion and for an eternal justice that will compensate for all the perceived injustice in this world. Just as these spells are repeated as prayers, their authors have been worshipped as gurus. Visit Highgate Cemetery in London, and you will see that people leave roses, notes and presents at the foot of Marx’s grave, under his awe-inspiring statue.

Nevertheless, Scruton is still able to demonstrate a degree of sympathy for some of these thinkers. Not only does he make the effort to find something — however small — interesting in each of them, he sometimes sincerely agrees with his opponents. This is the case when he discusses the American criticism of consumer culture, where he shares their starting point but not their conclusion, when he praises Sartre as a great writer, or when he recognises the beauty of Foucault’s last work, The History of Sexuality. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the British Left ends up relatively spared from attack, as British socialism, according to Scruton, shares with conservatives a love for home and territory, and may have been less influenced by Marxism as a consequence.

This is an outstanding and very necessary book. I may be biased, as I am the author’s translator into French, but I like his work because it is true, not the other way around. The only fault of the book is that it gives so much space to the sticky prose of the New Left. But that is a necessary evil. And Scruton’s fluid and lively sentences are such a relief. No wonder: you are at least reading something human.


 Read more:

Mgr Anatrella: Il ne s’agit pas de juger pour condamner, mais de juger pour discerner

Synode sur la famille: "Le chantier est encore devant nous"

Propos recueillis par Anita Bourdin

Mgr Anatrella (*) analyse le document final

« Ce sont les personnes qui sont l’objet de la pastorale et non pas des situations singulières, même légales, que nous aurions à valider alors qu’elles sont contraires au sens de la famille », explique Mgr Anatrella.

Le synode sur la famille vient de s’achever, après la publication du Rapport final, samedi 24 octobre 2015 : dans cette 3e interview, Monseigneur Tony Anatrella, riche de son expérience clinique et de sa connaissance des sciences humaines, analyse ce document.

Il fait notamment observer que lorsque le pasteur pose un jugement « il ne s’agit pas de juger pour condamner, mais de juger pour discerner et faire œuvre de compréhension ».

Mgr Anatrella met en garde contre « la séduction pastorale qui est une déviance du sens biblique de la miséricorde rappelé par le Pape François ». Et il fait observer l’attitude du Christ : « Sans chercher à séduire, le Christ ne tenait pas des propos méchants, ni humiliants à l’égard des autres, mais il savait nommer les exigences inhérentes au salut. »

Il conclut : « Le chantier est encore devant nous. »

Voici le deuxième des quatre volets de cet entretien à propos de la synthèse finale du synode 2015 sur « la vocation et la mission de la famille dans l’Église et dans le monde contemporain ».

Zenit - Il y a également la question relative aux divorcés remariés ?

Monseigneur Tony Anatrella - Oui. La Relatio synodi envisage que soient traités par les Conférences des Évêques de chaque pays ou aire culturelle, les problèmes posés par la situation des divorcés remariés (n. 53). Il est proposé d’envisager dans chaque diocèse « des parcours de discernement et d’implication de ces personnes, pour aider et encourager la maturation d’un choix conscient et cohérent ». Le texte évoque quelques critères sans préciser davantage et sans évoquer la réception des sacrements (n. 85). À aucun moment le texte n’évoque l’hypothèse que ce discernement prépare à la réception des sacrements. Laisser à l’appréciation des diverses conférences épiscopales ce discernement et sa finalité, est peut-être insuffisant s’il n’y a pas une régulation dans l’Église universelle. Ce devrait être le rôle de la Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi ou du nouveau dicastère pour la Famille. Sinon, nous risquons de voir apparaître des réflexions et des décisions divergentes en la matière, surtout si elles ne reposent pas sur la théologie du mariage. On a d’ailleurs vu apparaître chez certains Pères synodaux une attitude parfois anti-intellectuelle et anti-juridique en voulant opposer les idées et les lois de l’Église aux personnes. L’Évêque ne devrait plus être le pasteur qui gouverne son diocèse selon les concepts et les lois de l’Église mais avant tout, être proche des personnes et des situations particulières. Une attitude qui est à l’image de ce qui se faisait, il y a quarante ans, lorsque des pères de famille voulaient davantage être le « copain » de leurs enfants que l’adulte qui représente la loi symbolique permettant à la famille de se structurer. À ne voir que la relation aux personnes, on risque de passer à côté des idées qui mènent le monde et structurent les psychologies individuelles. En agissant de la sorte, les pasteurs sont sans doute très gentils et seront gratifiés par le monde, mais ils ne font pas leur travail pour éduquer l’intelligence de la foi et des mœurs qui en découlent.

Le travail de discernement est un projet très délicat qui nécessite, répétons-le, des prêtres particulièrement formés au sens de l’écoute, du discernement et de l’évaluation morale des situations particulières. Il est difficile de séparer ces trois attitudes conjointes. Ce qui est une ancienne pratique d’évaluation pastorale de l’Église qui s’inspire de la théologie morale et des règles de droit (cf. Code de droit canonique) pour le salut des personnes, mais qui a souvent été oubliée. Le risque est de vouloir écouter pour écouter. Or l’écoute n’est jamais une fin en soi ! Elle s’effectue toujours en vertu d’un objectif précis. L’écoute du prêtre, du directeur spirituel ou du confesseur, l’écoute du commerçant, l’écoute de l’agent d’une administration ou encore l’écoute d’un psychothérapeute n’est pas la même et n’a pas le même but. Au nom de l’écoute on peut simplement s’arrêter à la demande, voire à la plainte du demandeur sans se croire autorisé à dire une parole qui incline à prendre telle ou telle décision morale dans le domaine qui nous concerne ici et qui est pastoral.

Les Pères synodaux n'ont-ils pas été guidés par l’anxiété de la non-discrimination et le refus de tout jugement ?

Monseigneur Tony Anatrella - En psychiatrie sociale nous étudions l’impact des idées, des faits et des clichés sociaux sur les psychologies et sur les pathologies. Tout le monde est concerné par ce type d’influence qui induit les raisonnements et les comportements. À l’issue de ce Synode, il y a une sorte d’euphorie journalistique à dire « enfin, nous sortons du permis et du défendu » parfois à l’image du désir des adolescents qui sont dans l’illusion de vouloir s’émanciper de toutes les lois. Les pasteurs de l’Église doivent-ils être pris au piège de cette méprise ? Certes, pour revenir à votre question, il ne s’agit pas de juger pour condamner, mais de juger pour discerner et faire œuvre de compréhension. La perspective de l’écoute est sans doute généreuse, elle n’en demeure pas moins très exigeante de la part des pasteurs et implique une formation très singulière. Nous avons à découvrir ce que représente le sens du discernement à travers la casuistique, l’une des disciplines classiques de l’Église où chaque cas est retenu pour lui-même, par exemple afin de préciser les modalités de son accès aux sacrements.

Il a également été dit à propos des divorcés remariés qu’ils doivent « être intégrés dans les communautés chrétiennes selon les divers modes possibles, en évitant toute occasion de scandale… Il faut discerner quelles formes d’exclusion actuellement pratiquées dans le domaine liturgique, pastoral, éducatif et institutionnel peuvent être dépassées » (cf. les n. 77, 84, 85).

Là aussi, comment prendre ce type de décision sans être enfermé dans telle ou telle situation et en oubliant que la rupture avec l’économie des sacrements implique de ne pas être en mesure d’exercer des responsabilités ecclésiales ? Vaste question que l’on ne peut pas résoudre sentimentalement pour simplement faire plaisir aux uns et aux autres, voire en sacrifiant à l’air du temps qui ne supporte ni « discrimination », ni exclusion. Il y a des situations objectives qui provoquent cet état de fait et qui n’est pas l’expression d’un rejet de la part d’un prêtre ou de l’Église. Le risque ici est de s’abandonner au subjectivisme et encore davantage lorsqu’on fait référence au « for interne » qui serait le lieu des ultimes décisions du sujet face aux exigences de l’Évangile et lui permettrait ainsi de décider intérieurement, par lui-même, de la validité de son mariage.

Le recours au « for interne » (n. 86) a encore besoin, là aussi, d’être travaillé car dans les mentalités actuelles il risque d’être compris dans le sens où chacun fait ce qu’il veut. Un principe qui est cher aux conférences épiscopales d’Allemagne, d’Autriche et de Suisse qui cherchent une voie de passage, relativement démagogique, face à la sortie de l’Église de personnes divorcées qui ne paient plus l’impôt religieux. Certes, le Pape Benoît XVI avait évoqué cette hypothèse du « for interne » chez ceux qui s’étaient mariés religieusement sans adhérer à la foi chrétienne, qui se sont séparés, se sont convertis et remariés civilement, et, souhaitant se marier chrétiennement, pensent intérieurement que leur premier mariage était frappé de nullité. Mais après avoir travaillé cette question et pris conseil, Benoît XVI s’est ravisé en disant « que le problème est très difficile et doit être encore approfondi » (Conférence aux prêtres du diocèse d’Aoste, 25 juillet 2005). Peut-il être vraiment résolu de cette façon ?

Le chantier est encore devant nous. Dans l’alacrité actuelle, il faut éviter les fausses solutions qui coûteraient cher à la cohérence de la foi chrétienne et à l’unité de l’Église. Autrement dit, dans ce besoin quasi obsessionnel de vouloir à tout prix décider de tout, il faut aussi être capable de reconnaître humblement que, dans certains cas, il n’y a pas de solution. On ne peut qu’assumer le manque et la privation, là où tout doit être légitimé. Dans ce cas, il s’agit d’ouvrir à une spiritualité adéquate marquée sous le signe de la pauvreté qui est aussi un chemin d’espérance et de confiance au Christ.


(*) Monseigneur Tony Anatrella, est psychanalyste et spécialiste en psychiatrie sociale, Consulteur du Conseil Pontifical pour la Famille et du Conseil Pontifical pour la Santé. Il est enseignant à Paris et expert auprès des Officialités en France. Il est l’auteur, pour le thème de cette interview, des livres : Le règne de Narcisse, le déni de la différence sexuelle – Éditions Presses de la Renaissance et Mariage en tous genres, Éditions l’Échelle de Jacob. Il vient de publier : Développer la vie communautaire dans l’Église, l’exemple des Communautés nouvelles, Éditions l’Échelle de Jacob. Et a participé à l’ouvrage collectif : La famille : enjeux pour l’Église, aux Éditions Lethielleux.


Lire la suite: 

Silence from Catholic colleges ... “makes it more difficult for them to hear and live by the truth of the Gospel"

‘Coming Out Day’ at Catholic Colleges Risks Betraying the Faith, Harming Students

By Adam Cassandra |

While many Catholic colleges and universities are using the occurrence of “National Coming Out Day” to sponsor events promoting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities and lifestyles throughout the month of October, such events could actually be harmful to the students and risk betraying the Catholic faith, according to information from the Catholic Medical Association and Courage International, a Catholic apostolate that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction.

“Events like ‘Coming Out Day’ run the risk of equating a person's identity with his or her sexual attractions, which, although they form a significant part of a person's experience, are only one factor in the whole complex reality of what it means to be a human being,” said Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Promoting events that reduce a person's identity to his or her sexual attractions betrays our Catholic faith in the dignity of the human person, and does a disservice to those it claims to defend,” he said.

Georgetown University, along with several other Catholic colleges, recently promoted “Coming Out Day” on campus, encouraging students to be proud of and embrace LGBTQ identities.

According to Georgetown’s description of the event online, “This event will feature a door through which students ‘come out’ as proud LGBTQ Hoyas and Allies.”

In addition to “Coming Out Day,” Georgetown is sponsoring a “six-week long celebration of the LGBTQ community” dubbed “OUTober.” OUTober events at Georgetown are organized by the University’s LGBTQ Resource Center and the student group GU Pride in partnership with the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Campus Ministry and 28 other University departments and programs.

None of the OUTober event descriptions include discussions of chastity, Church teaching or rejecting LGBTQ identities and lifestyles in any way. The Newman Society asked Georgetown to provide examples of specific University-sponsored events or materials promoted by the University that stress rejection of same-sex attraction (SSA), but no response was received by time of publication.

The student newspaper, The Hoya, describes the OUTober events as helping students feel “proud” about embracing LGBTQ identities. And while these events last over a month, the paper claims the University isn’t doing enough in this regard: “As we continue to celebrate OUTober and the importance of accepting all identities, the Georgetown community would do well to recognize how far we still have to go.”

But in its publication “Homosexuality and Hope,” the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) stresses the need for individuals with same-sex attraction to seek out treatment, not embrace LGBTQ identities or lifestyles. And CMA emphasizes the responsibility of educators in helping those individuals to obtain treatment.

Teachers, along with parents and priests, “have a serious responsibility to communicate the fullness of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, to counter false information about SSA, and to encourage people with SSA to obtain help,” according to CMA.

“Therapy can help a client to identify the underlying causes of his or her SSA, which often include low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, sadness, and loneliness, and to resolve emotional pain,” CMA states. “Treatment can then help the person work toward freedom to live chastely according to his or her state in life.”

“True compassion toward those with SSA requires communicating to them the scientific truth about treatment,” the CMA publication says.

The Newman Society asked Georgetown to respond to questions about University-sponsored OUTober events potentially harming students in any way, physically, psychologically or spiritually, but no response was received by the time of publication.

Fr. Bochanski said Catholic colleges should strive to combat unjust discrimination of students with SSA, but agreed that educators have a responsibility to reject acceptance of LGBTQ lifestyles and to emphasize Church teachings on human sexuality.

“Catholic institutions of all sorts ought to be the first to identify and repudiate unjust discrimination, and Catholic colleges and universities are right to welcome all students, including those experiencing same-sex attractions, and to accompany them along the way of holiness,” he told the Newman Society. But he said, “It is not charitable or loving to withhold or obscure the truths of faith, even when this is done in an effort to be compassionate or welcoming.”

For guidance on welcoming students with SSA into the Catholic community on campus, Fr. Bochanski pointed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1986 letter to bishops on the pastoral care of those with same-sex attraction:
No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.
We would heartily encourage programmes where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral.The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.