NEWS:  February 17, 2010

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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

THE COUNCIL CONTINUES TO LOSE STEAM  - A new movement was launched in London in late January - Stand Up for Vatican II. Its first public action is a petition being addressed to the Bishops of England and Wales asking that they not forget Vatican II and that they give it new attention.

Fr. Anscar Chapungco in South Wales

Fr. Chapungco, OSB, in South Wales: "Don't turn the clock back"
It reflects the generalized fear of rank-and-file progressivist priests that “the clock has been turned back” regarding Vatican II’s reforms. A superficial look, indeed, shows that a return to the times of Pius XII could be the interpretation of Benedict XVI’s more conservative measures - the lifting of the SSPX excommunication, the Summorum Pontificum and the recent revision of the English translation of the Mass. The choice of “conservative” Prelates for important sees – such as Andre Vingt-Trois to replace the avant-garde Card. Lustiger in Paris, Vincent Nichols to replace Card. Murphy O’Connor in Westminster, and the recent nomination of Andre Leonard to take the chair of progressivist Card. Danneels in the Archdiocese of Brussels – help to reinforce this impression.

There is no need to say that conservative grassroots are wearing ear-to-ear smiles with this policy, while their progressivist counterparts display long faces.

Taking note of these discontented priests who accuse their superiors of setting aside the Council, the progressivist weekly The Tablet reminds them that all is not as dour as it may seem. In its editorial it affirmed: “On the evidence of his three encyclicals, it is hard to convict the present Pope of any such intentions. Nor have the English and Welsh Bishops shown signs that they need reminding of their commitment to the main conclusions of Vatican II” (January 30, 2010, p. 2).

As I have written before in this column (here, here and here), it is my conviction that we are witnessing a maneuver. In History we have often seen similar ruses:
  • When Arianism was defeated and rejected, a “moderate” Semi-Arianism entered the picture to spread the same errors in a milder version;

  • When Pelagianism was rejected, a “conservative” Semi-Pelagianism took its place;

  • When Protestantism and Calvinism were unmasked, a “judicious” Jansenism came;

  • When Modernism was condemned, the same errors cautiously surfaced 20 years later under the name of Progressivism.
Then, at Vatican II, Progressivism took over the entire Church. Now, when public opinion is turning against those novelties, there is no better thing for Progressivism than to repeat the same strategy.

A “conservative-progressivist” Pope takes the stage to win the sympathy of those who were rejecting the reforms and to induce them to accept the same errors in a lofty presentation. Hence, the measures of Pope Ratzinger are designed to make Progressivism conquer under a different look: it will be a “conservative” new Mass and a less radical Vatican II more palatable to the mainstream.

It would be an illusion to imagine that many conservatives will change after reading these arguments. They do not want to change. They like to deny the truth known as such and to be taken in by the appearances: “Everything will be OK!” Comfortably seated atop a flagrant contradiction - a “conservative Progressivism” - they look at us traditionalists and laugh. I believe that because of people like this, the chastisement of Fatima is indispensable. Perhaps if they had been in Haiti last month they would have stopped laughing and taken a more serious look around them. Until something like this happens, I leave this warning to them here.

What we are seeing is a shrewd maneuver to fool the naïve. But a still more important point is to remember that Vatican II is attracting fewer persons every day.

MORE WOMEN AT THE VATICAN  -   Our “conservative” Pope decided to invite another woman to assume a top position in the Holy See. On January 21, 2010, he chose Flaminia Giovanelli to be number three on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Enrica Rosanna and John Paul II

Sr. Enrica Rosanna, dear to JPII, is still the highest ranked woman in the Roman Curia
She is replacing Msgr. Frank Dewane, an American Prelate who became the Bishop of Venice, Florida. The new president of this Council is Card. Peter Turkson; the secretary is Bishop Mario Toso and its under-secretary is Flaminia Giovanelli, who has been working in that organ for some time. Increasing the feminine presence in the Holy See, Benedict XVI advances the feminist agenda.

His appointment follows the pattern set by John Paul II, who named other women to the Roman Curia, including Salesian Sr. Enrica Rosanna as under-secretary of the Congregation for Religious. Since Congregations are higher than Councils, Rosanna continues to be the highest placed woman at the Vatican.

PRELATES APPROVE CONDOMS -  Last October the mentioned “conservative” Card. Turkson, then Primate of Ghana and now president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, granted a press conference during the African Bishops Synod.

Cardinal Peter Turkson defends his position

Card. Turkson: Good quality condoms
are recommended to prevent AIDS
In response to a journalist’s question, he affirmed – as Synod spokesman – that “for a couple with one spouse contaminated by AIDS, the use of the condom, along with the fidelity of the couple, are recommended to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa” (check the news report in Italian here and in English here).

Turkson was invited to head the Pontifical Council less than one month after making this statement.

Shortly after his inauguration as the new Archbishop of Brussels, the “conservative” Andre Leonard also stated in a TV debate that condoms can be useful in fighting AIDS “if one cannot make the choice of controlling oneself” (The Tablet, January 30, 2010, p. 33).

This provides some background on the heroes entering the international arena.

SANTO SUBITO  - Since too many complications have arisen to make Karol Wojtyla a blessed and a saint following the regular channels, it seems that Benedict has decided to take a shortcut. He already signed a declaration that Wojtyla heroically practiced all the theological and cardinal virtues, and the ceremony of his beatification is planned to take place on October 10. At least this is what Robert Mickens, the well-informed correspondent of The Tablet in Rome, affirms. He goes so far as to advise his readers to book flights and hotels for that date if they want to be in on the big party (ibid, p. 34).

The required miracle for beatification still has not come to light. But we need not worry about this trifle. Benedict – who was so authoritative in declaring that a cure of back pain was the necessary miracle for Newman’s beatification – will find the healing of some mosquito bite as the decisive miracle to raise Wojtyla to the altars…


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