Monday, December 08, 2014

Unlike John Paul II is Pope Francis in a Bubble of Bad Advisers?

If Pope Francis continues to follow his narrow group of advisers he will need to reject objective reality also known as the law of non-contradiction at least if he keep listening to C. Casper. 

According to Robert Royal of Catholic Things "Honduran Cardinal Maradiaga, head of Francis’ “G-8” governing body of cardinals"  appears to be getting the Pope into economic conspiracy theories.

Royal observes that unlike Francis "John Paul II took the trouble to listen to people who actually knew something about economics and that’s why, even after his warnings about certain types of capitalism in Centesimus Annus [42], the following analysis [43-62] remains the best overall commentary on the complexities – and occasional paradoxes – of modern economies.
Read that. If you do, you’ll hope Francis seeks out some new friends. He has sincere concern about the poor. He needs to hear from those who can show what’s demonstrably helped so many in need."

Pray and fast for this Pope, but even more for the Church.
Fred

 

Good comments on Card. Burke and on a serious translation error


I had intended to write today about the translation error in the English version of the recent Synod’s final document. However, over at The Catholic Thing, Robert Royal covers the issue well and says many of the same things I had intended to say, and he does so masterfully. I urge you to read his piece.
Royal also comments on the demotion of Card. Burke, saying:
There’s a double sadness here. Pope Francis clearly approved these moves – whether they were instigated by him personally or by advisers he listens to. But it’s precisely voices like Burke’s that he needs to keep around. He’s already hearing plenty from often unreliable counselors like Cardinals Maradiaga, Marx, and Kasper. The last in particular seems more and more incoherent as he tries to explain precisely why marriage is indissoluble and yet those in a second sexual relationship – though not a marriage – may be absolved and return to receiving Communion. The only way that’s possible is if God repeals the Law of Non-contradiction. I don’t think that’s on his to-do list.
But there’s more and, I think, worse. I’m not especially given to conspiracy theories in sacred or secular contexts. But there’s some – let’s say – systemic problem within the Vatican that having a loyal truth-teller like Burke around helps to correct.
Read the rest over there.
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/11/good-comments-on-card-burke-and-on-a-serious-translation-e

Pope Francis Needs New Friends



BREAKING
:
Hobby Lobby wins!
Check in tomorrow @ TCT for Hadley Arkes’ take on the Court’s decision.

World expenditures on arms reached an impressive $1 trillion in 2012. That same year, however, the global economy was $85 trillion, meaning arms sales accounted for a little over 1 percent of all expenditures. That’s still a lot. But the “right” level of defense spending – like the right budget for police or firemen – cannot be determined in abstract mathematical terms. It has to be related to the nature and scope of the threats – of which there are dozens globally at any moment.
The U.S. military budget in recent years has been about $800 billion, just under 5 percent of the whole U.S. economy ($17 trillion/year). And U.S. arms sales abroad were $80 billion, half a percent of GDP. Big numbers, but relative to everything else in the economy, a significant but not unreasonable amount, especially for the nation that often has had to step in when others won’t or can’t, sometimes in humanitarian missions. By comparison, Apple alone has over $100 billion in reserves it can’t decide where to invest in an uncertain global economy – more than America’s arms sales per year.
I rehearse these figures because a few weeks ago in an interview with a Spanish magazine, the pope said something quite bizarre. All popes deplore war and all rational human beings oppose arms sales when they stoke pointless conflicts. But Francis went beyond that, saying that the world capitalist economy is a failure and “they” know it could only be made to work if “they” could start World War III. But “they” can’t, so that’s why there are regional wars.
One doesn’t know where to start with such an assertion. As one of the largest arms dealers, the United States would certainly have to count among “they.” But is America driving the main conflicts today in Syria, Ukraine, Africa – even Iraq and Afghanistan – for economic reasons? No economist or political analyst who wants to be taken seriously would assert such a thing. And that’s why the pope’s remarks have largely been ignored, even in places like The New York Times or MSNBC, where they have the greatest likelihood of getting a hearing.
The only plausible explanation for the pope’s words is that he’s in a bit of a peace-and-social-justice bubble, and needs new friends, candid friends. “People tell me” he said in the same interview, that youth unemployment in Europe is high, maybe 50 percent in places. Indeed it is high there. In America, too. But to connect that – and global poverty – with a kind of conspiracy theory about arms sales and wars is simply bizarre. Francis is getting that from somewhere, somewhere not very reliable.

He’s clearly in a bubble, which he’s tried to escape in other realms. That’s why he needs some new friends – if nothing else to help him appreciate that there are other explanations, indeed explanations that really explain.
Who among his current friends may be maintaining the bubble? Honduran Cardinal Maradiaga, head of Francis’ “G-8” governing body of cardinals, must be among them. He’s the one who said, to great fanfare, at a conference on libertarianism sponsored by the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America just a few weeks ago: “This economy kills.” Maybe, but no economy since the Fall has succeeded in bringing everyone into the benefits of its activity. More accurately, the globalized economy has rescued hundreds of millions of people from poverty: The Economist, a liberal-leaning magazine, has reported that extreme poverty was cut in half between 1990 and 2010:
How did this happen? Presidents and prime ministers in the West have made grandiloquent speeches about making poverty history for fifty years. In 2000 the United Nations announced a series of eight Millenium Development Goals to reduce poverty, improve health and so on. The impact of such initiatives has been marginal at best.
What’s the answer? “Almost all of the fall in the poverty rate should be attributed to economic growth.”
There’s large moral grandstanding in remarks to the contrary. It wasn’t international institutions, relief agencies, or income transfers that produced that miraculous, if incomplete, result. When you denounce a person or a system as murderous, others have the right, the obligation, to ask: where’s your proof? And in this instance, what makes you think your scheme (redistribution) would do better, not worse?
There are environmental threats, uneven advances, social disruptions associated with globalization, to be sure. But those are different, if related, problems.
Francis lived and worked among the poor and earned the right to keep them in view. Others may be just talking. When churchmen address economics, they almost always show a lack of basic understanding. They imply there are known means to relieve poverty and all that’s standing in the way is the greed of business people or the inaction of politicians.
There aren’t such known means – outside economic growth. Some businessmen are greedy and some corporations exploitative, but it’s in the absence of business activity that the people perish. And it takes blind faith to believe that politicians, as we typically find them in all ages and climes, are better at solving economic problems than pandering to voters.
There’s no shame in priests, bishops, even popes not understanding economics, just as there’s no shame in a lay man or woman knowing little theology. But we all need to make a sincere effort to understand what we know and don’t know. That’s simple honesty and humility.
John Paul II took the trouble to listen to people who actually knew something about economics and that’s why, even after his warnings about certain types of capitalism in Centesimus Annus [42], the following analysis [43-62] remains the best overall commentary on the complexities – and occasional paradoxes – of modern economies.
Read that. If you do, you’ll hope Francis seeks out some new friends. He has sincere concern about the poor. He needs to hear from those who can show what’s demonstrably helped so many in need.

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, now available in paperback from Encounter Books.
© 2014 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org
The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.
http://www.thecatholicthing.org/2014/06/30/pope-francis-needs-new-friends

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Pray that Pope Benedict ask for Prayers for Pope Francis

Pope Francis needs our prayers so he will follow in the foot steps of Pope John Paul 2 and not follow advisers like C. Kasper who according to C. Burke (who I consider a new Padre Pio) are leading the Church to be a ship without a rudder.  Pray that Benedict ask for prayers for Francis.                                                      

Sunday, October 26, 2014

If Pope Francis is a New Pope Paul 6 , What can we do?



It appears Pope Francis is following Pope Paul 6 in issuing true teaching, but creating
an environment where the moral teaching is not followed.  What can we do that wasn't done
in the 60's breakdown? Speak the objective truth and pray.
Email everyone in your email list to pray for the Pope to teach the truth with mercy as
Pope JP 2 did. Pray that Jesus remove all bad advisers and bring advisers like JP2 to
advise him. 
If you are reading this you are the one to start a prayer crusade for this Pope. Prayer for
Pope Francis to follow in the foot steps of a future doctor of the church, Pope JP2,
or at least be given the grace not to harm the Church as it was harmed by the 60's
breakdown.
 In JMJ,Fred Martinez

The Synod by Steve Wood
 October 2014, Volume 20, Number 6

Family Synod’s Lasting Harm to Catholic Men, Families, & Youth
I can’t remember where I came across this riveting Civil War question, “Why didn’t the
Civil War soldiers turn in battle when facing canons loaded with canister?” I often
wondered how men kept marching forward in the face of near-certain death by having their
flesh mercilessly shredded. Surely there was uncommon valor and bravery. Yet, was there
another dynamic moving them forward in the face of a hideous death?
Civil War soldiers marched into battle in units composed of men from their hometowns and
home states. If a man turned in battle, his cowardice meant that he couldn’t go home as
a man. His reputation was on the line. The vast majority of soldiers facing canister
preferred to lose their lives rather than lose their manhood.
Many Catholic Church leaders desperately need to learn a critical lesson from Civil War
soldiers. Men have a deep divinely-embedded instinct to preserve their masculinity and
thus are repulsed by feminized and homosexual-friendly environments.
Leon Podles in his important book, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of
Christianity, states:
“If the feminization of the Church continues, men will continue to seek their spiritual
sustenance outside the churches, in false or inadequate religions, with high damaging
consequences for the church and society.
The current attempts, within almost all Christian denominations, to normalize
homosexuality will, more than anything else, convince heterosexual men that religion had
best be kept at a great distance.
Catholic churches that cultivate a gay atmosphere (Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian
Outreach, gay choirs, gay tolerance talks in schools) will keep heterosexual men away.
Fear of effeminacy is one of the strongest motivations in men who will sometimes die
rather than appear effeminate.”

Millions of Catholic wives wonder why their husbands don’t want to go to Mass with them.
Likewise, thousands of bright and beautiful young Catholic women wonder aloud, “Where
are the marriageable young Catholic men?” I’m afraid it’s goodbye to many good men
because of the effeminate atmosphere of the contemporary Catholic Church. The
contemporary homosexualized church atmosphere is the penultimate level of feminization,
and it stinks in the nostrils of normal men.
Reporting on the defective interim report of the Family Synod, the secular media was
delighted to broadcast worldwide that there is a pro-gay seismic shift in the Catholic
Church. While the final report of the Synod backtracked on the morally defective
statements on homosexuality and communion for those living in adulterous relationships,
make no mistake, the lasting worldwide damage is done. For the man on the street, the
Catholic Church is just one more institution caving in to our culture’s gay-friendly
transformation.
It’s important to keep in mind that the public perception of the Catholic Church’s pro-
gay drift hasn’t just grown out of news reports from the Family Synod. A long train of
events and declarations have supported the pro-gay drift of the Catholic Church. I’ll
mention just a few of the disastrous statements and actions leading up to the Family
Synod’s interim report.
Despite the denial of a few within the Church, literally the entire world knows that the
Catholic clerical crisis was mainly a homosexual crisis. The striking failure of so many
bishops “to connect the dots” as they moved homosexual abusers from parish to parish
revealed a lot about the moral framework of many leaders.
According to the Pew Research Center, due to “the sexual abuse of children by Catholic
priests and their coverup by the Catholic Church, roughly a quarter (27%) of former
Catholics who no longer identify with a religion cited clergy sexual abuse scandals as a
reason for leaving the Church. Among former Catholics who now identify as Protestant,
21% say the sexual abuse scandals were a reason for leaving the Catholic Church.”
A Barna Catholic youth 2013 survey reported, “Among all 18-29-year-olds who have a
Catholic background, 43% say the “priest abuse scandals have made me question my faith.”
The big bombshell was the media’s out-of-context reporting of Pope Francis’ statement,
“Who am I to judge?” His question is emblazoned on the tee-shirts of homosexual
activists. While I fully realize that the context of his answer was deliberately
ignored, or misinterpreted, nevertheless, his answer convinced millions of youth and
young adults that the Catholic Church is now “ok” with sodomy.
The Catholic press may publish lengthy articles listing the seven reasons why the Pope’s
answer was taken out of context (and it was), but young people are not reading these
articles! They are just skimming the headlines and reading a few sentences on their
smartphones. At colleges and universities, both Catholic and Protestant students are
asking, “Why is Pope Francis pro-gay?”
The Church is certainly right to reach out in mercy to homosexuals, couples having
children out of wedlock, couples remarried outside the Church after divorce, and couples
fornicating. Yet, such a merciful outreach needs to be carefully balanced with truth.
Otherwise, the message that’s received is that the Catholic Church is finally ok with
the full spectrum of the sexual revolution. Such a distorted message in today’s sex-
saturated culture will catapult millions of youth and adults into the claws of the sins
of the flesh.
In case anyone in the United States had any lingering doubts about the homosexual-
friendly atmosphere in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Dolan dispelled them when he agreed
to be the Grand Marshal of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In his
announcement he said that he welcomes the inclusion of a homosexual group. This is an
out-of-the-closet group of NBC’s homosexual activists marching under a homosexual banner
with the cardinal’s blessing.
Never before in the history of this annual parade, which first took place on March 17,
1762, has an in-your-face group of militant homosexuals marched carrying a homosexual
banner. Rest assured that next spring Cardinal Dolan’s being ok with the homosexual
activist participation in this parade will be broadcast coast to coast in the secular
media.
Oh, I almost forgot Cardinal Dolan’s widely reported exclamation of “Bravo” in response
to a news story about a professional athlete who came out of the closet. Bravo? What was
he thinking? Most men seeing the homosexual NFL player kissing his little boyfriend on
ESPN were repulsed.
Then there’s the utterly strange case of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the primary
author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. One would imagine that Cardinal
Schönborn of all people would be able to discern a genuine view of human sexuality from
a corrupt one.
Cardinal Schönborn complimented two practicing homosexuals in Vienna who allegedly live
in what he said is “lifelong fidelity.” The cardinal said things like: “It was
wonderful, in a human way as much as in a Christian way, how one was taking care of the
other.” He added: “Such things must be recognized.”
Questioned on the Church’s attitude to homosexuals, the cardinal said: “We should give
more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” while adding: “A stable
relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.”
In April 2012, the election of a young gay man who was living in a registered same-sex
partnership to a parish council in Vienna was vetoed by the parish priest. After meeting
with the couple, Cardinal Schönborn reinstated him. He later advised in a homily that
priests must apply a pastoral approach that is "neither rigorist nor lax" in counselling
Catholics who "don't live according to [God's] master plan".
Since 2006, the cardinal has allowed active and unrepentant homosexuals to be “blessed”
in his cathedral on St. Valentine’s Day.
The Fatal-to-the-Family Vatican Synod interim report was just one link in a long chain
of indicators revealing a growing pro-gay atmosphere in the Catholic Church. While
faithful Catholics were understandably troubled by the interim report, not everyone was.
It is instructive to read the comments of retired Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson on the
Vatican Family Synod’s interim report published in The Daily Beast. Bishop Gene Robinson
earlier in life was married and had two daughters. He divorced his wife. While openly
living in a gay relationship he was consecrated as an Episcopal bishop. In 2014 Bishop
Robinson announced the end of his “marriage” to partner Mark Andrew.
Bishop Robinson, writing about the Family Synod said:
“With respect to homosexual people, there is a decidedly changed tone. No wonder gay and
lesbian people feel like it’s a new day! No mention of sin here. No reiteration of
official Catholic policy and teaching that homosexual persons are ‘intrinsically
disordered.’ And most positive of all, there is mention that our unions may (emphasis
added) contribute ‘gifts and qualities’ beneficial to the Body of Christ.”
You can be sure that the active homosexual community was joyful upon hearing the interim
summary report from the Family Synod, while many faithful bishops and laity were
appalled.
Despite the Family Synod’s backtracking in the final report, we can be sure the damage
from the worldwide broadcast of the initial report will be lasting and profound. In the
popular mind, the Catholic Church finally caved to the sexual revolution. The Family
Synod has given the appearance that the last worldwide moral restraint on sexual sin has
given way.
At the fall 1980 Synod of Bishops, Pope John Paul II was asked by the Synod fathers to
prepare something to aid the family. The result was, The Role of the Christian Family in
the Modern World [Familiaris Consortio]. This document was the primary cause for my
conversion to Catholicism in 1990.
The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World is faithful to Jesus’ teaching
about marriage and divorce, timeless Catholic doctrine, and human sexuality, while being
charitable to families and marriages in all situations. If you haven’t read it, I urge
you to do so now.
After hearing John Paul II speak on the importance of the family in 1991, I launched the
Family Life Center International in 1992. For the past twenty-two years, it has been a
joy and privilege to urge families worldwide to heed his advice and counsel on marriage,
family life, and human sexuality.
Now with the moral earthquake created by the 2014 Synod of Bishops, I’m forced to warn
those same families about mixed signals, defective reports, and dangerous statements
regarding homosexuality. In an attempt to deal with the crisis of the family in the
modern world, the Cardinal Kasper coalition at the Family Synod has created one.
My heartfelt wish is for the 2014-2015 Family Synod to re-adopt Saint John Paul II’s The
Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World and formally recognize it as the finest
tool to deal with the contemporary crisis in family life. Please, no further action is
needed!
My plea to those in Catholic media is, “Please don’t put a happy face on this tragedy.”
We’ve had enough Catholic-spin on the homosexual drift within the Catholic Church. The
Church is in the midst of a full-scale crisis and the first step in healing and
defending her is an honest and forthright diagnosis. In a nutshell, the problem is the
sexual revolution and sodomy among many inside the Church.
Tragically, the Family Synod modernists have set Catholic fatherhood backwards for our
lifetime. It will be Catholic families, wives, children, and single young women who feel
the brunt of men of all ages repulsed from the Church because of the sodomite smoke
seeping from its midst.
Yours in His Majesty’s Service on the Feast of St. John Paul II,
Steve Wood


http://jimmyakin.com/2006/04/weigel_on_the_t.html
Weigel on The Truce of 1968
by SDG
in The Church


Hey, Tim Jones, here.

1968 was the year that I “got saved” in the Baptist church and was baptized. I was
seven, and at the time I’m certain that I thought everyone was a Baptist.

Even if I had been a Catholic at the time, though, I would have been too young to take
note of the portentious “Truce of 1968″. Like the Kennedy assassination and Vietnam, it
was one of those historic events of which I was blissfully unaware, but the effects of
which would resonate through the rest of my life.

In THIS ARTICLE over at Catholic Exchange, George Weigel explains The Truce;

“In 1968, Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle of Washington, D.C., disciplined nineteen priests who
had publicly dissented from Pope Paul VI’s teaching in the encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Three years later, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy decreed that Cardinal O’
Boyle should lift canonical penalties against those priests who informed the cardinal
privately that they agreed that the Church’s teaching on “the objective evil of
contraception” was “an authentic expression of (the) magisterium.”
 The Congregation explicitly avoided requiring that the priests, who had dissented
publicly, retract their dissent publicly. A new biography of O’Boyle, Steadfast in the
Faith (Catholic University of America Press), suggests that the decision not to require
a public retraction was made by Paul VI himself.”

To many who were adult Catholics at the time, the “Truce” was a watershed moment, in a
decade of watershed moments.

At the time, it was one of a number signs that the Church hierarchy lacked the will or
the courage to discipline dissident priests and bishops. It appeared to be almost
paralyzed with fear of schism.

They appeared to be intensely concerned with keeping the modernists in the Church, with
the result that we now have a Church full of modernists, each worshipping his own
conscience.

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=1057



The Pope is not the problem
 By Phil Lawler

Thoroughly rattled by the stories that emerged from the October meeting of the Synod of
Bishops, many faithful Catholics are now worried that Pope Francis is leading the Church
in a dangerous direction—and perhaps even doing so intentionally. Their fears are
understandable, in light of some confusing messages from Rome. But like my colleague
Jeff Mirus, I am confident that those fears are misplaced.

Believe me: I understand the concerns. Regular readers will recall that while the Synod
meetings were taking place, I produced a four-part series on “What’s Wrong with this
Synod.” I voiced my own concerns about the bishops’ apparent unwillingness to address
fundamental questions about the meaning of marriage; the censorship that produced a
badly skewed public understanding of the Synod’s work; the fixation on issues of
interest to the affluent secularized nations, where faith is on the wane; and the
massive failure of marriage-preparation programs. Some commentators have sought to
reassure worried Catholics that nothing untoward happened at the Synod—that the Barque
of Peter is sailing on smooth seas, under favorable winds. I disagree. With this Synod
the Church ran into a serious squall.

The efforts to manipulate the October sessions were blatant and unrelenting. Under new
rules, adopted for this meeting (and cynically justified by the claim that they would
encourage open debate), the speeches of the Synod fathers were not made public. The
world heard only driblets of the bishops’ conversations, filtered through the Vatican
press office. A preliminary report on the discussions—which, in the opinion of many
prelates, was not an accurate summary—was released to the public without formal
approval. When the Synod fathers voted not to approve several paragraphs in a final
report, those controversial paragraphs were included anyway, with the negative vote
noted, so that they could remain under discussion.

Predictably that preliminary report, with its controversial language, has received far
more public attention than the final Synod document. It is virtually impossible to avoid
the conclusion that the Synod’s main organizers wanted this result. Consider this: the
preliminary report, the relatio post disceptationem, was released immediately in several
languages; the Synod’s final report is still not available in an official English
translation.
So naturally the secular media fastened on the relatio as the main story of the Synod,
to the exclusion of what the Synod fathers actually said. “No Consensus at Vatican as
Synod Ends,” read the New York Times headline. Of course there was plenty of consensus:
on an entire document, with most of its passages approved by lopsided majorities. But
that message—the message of the full Synod assembly, rather than a handful of
organizers—has not reached the general public.

Russell Shaw, an acute analyst of Catholic affairs, observed that the tumultuous
proceedings of the Synod could be attributed to one of two possibilities. Either the
organizers did not realize the strength of the forces they were unleashing, or they were
attempting to present the full assembly with a fait accompli. Shaw concluded: “In
charity, I favor the first explanation—culpable naïveté—but others will see it
differently.”

In a strained effort to make the argument that the Synod was not manipulated, the Jesuit
columnist Father James Martin, writing in the Jesuit magazine America, said that the
assembly benefited from “a rather ‘Jesuit’ model of decision-making.” There is
considerable irony in that claim, since the most controversial passage of the relatio,
on the acceptance of homosexuals, was evidently written by Archbishop Bruno Forte with a
substantial assist from another Jesuit journalist, Father Antonio Spadaro. My friend
Robert Royal reported from the scene that Archbishop Forte and Father Spadaro exchanged
a very visible thumbs-up sign when that passage was read aloud.

Yes, there were unquestionably some serious machinations at the Synod. But then, as Jeff
Mirus has also observed, there are always machinations at any assembly in which strong-
minded people try to advance their own ideas. Far more troubling, to faithful Catholics,
is the abundant evidence that Pope Francis was a party to the manipulation.

It was the Holy Father, after all, who gave Cardinal Walter Kasper an opportunity to
present his own favorite proposal to a consistory of cardinals in February. The Pope
praised the German cardinal’s presentation, and then remained silent as Cardinal Kasper
repeatedly hinted that he was speaking for the Pontiff. The Pope appointed the committee
of prelates who drafted the relatio, and anyone familiar with the Catholic hierarchy,
looking down the list of names, could have guessed what was in store. Pope Francis
reportedly saw that final report before it was made public, and made no move—then or
later—to block its release or distance himself from it.

Any one of those papal moves—all of them, really—could be explained. But Catholics of a
conservative or traditionalist bent were not inclined to listen to explanations. They
had already seen what they interpreted as clear indications of the Pope’s own views,
ranging from his damaging “who am I to judge” comment to his shocking demotion of
Cardinal Raymond Burke. When Pope Francis told an Argentine reporter that he enjoyed
debating conservative bishops, that seemed to clinch the point. Insofar as such labels
are useful in Catholic affairs, the Pope thinks of himself as a liberal.

Fair enough. Pope Francis will often make statements—has often made statements—that
unsettle those of us who are ordinarily classified as “conservative” Catholics. He will
urge us to take a different perspective. He will criticize us for refusing to accept new
ideas. Criticism is often difficult to accept, especially for those who have been
fighting intellectual battles for decades. But if we cannot accept correction from a
pastor, we are treading down a very dangerous spiritual path.

In the past week I have been dismayed to see some “conservative” commentators write
about Pope Francis with the same sort of vitriolic disdain that Father Richard McBrien
showed for St. John Paul II in the 1980s and 1990s. If that contempt for the Vicar of
Christ was wrong then—and it was—it is wrong now.

Outside the tight circle of opinionated Catholics, and in spite of the confusion caused
by the Synod, Pope Francis retains his phenomenal popularity with the general public. It
is significant, I think, that his fiercest critics use this popularity as part of their
indictment against him. Yes, I realize that our society has trouble distinguishing good
from evil. Yes, I agree that playing to the crowd—demagoguery—is dishonorable. But
popularity in itself is not a bad thing! If he is encouraging the world to look upon the
Catholic Church with fresh and even sympathetic eyes, Pope Francis is doing an
immeasurable service.

The Synod fathers—including, I assume, those who were angry about the attempted
manipulation of the meeting—reportedly gave Pope Francis a long and loud ovation after
the address with which he closed the session. I strongly recommend a careful and
dispassionate reading of that remarkable speech. In it, the Holy Father helps us all to
understand why this Synod meeting was so contentious, and why we should not be overly
troubled by the turmoil.

In that speech Pope Francis warns against some of the temptations that afflict Catholic
prelates—and, I would add, by extension, Catholic commentators. He warns that some
Catholics concentrate on the letter of the law, to the exclusion of the spirit, while
others extol a “a deceptive mercy that binds the wounds without first curing them and
treating them;” some want to turn stones into bread, and others want to come down off
the Cross. All of these warnings echo the words of Jesus.

If there is one clear theme in the teaching of Pope Francis, it is the demand for
Catholics to go out to the “peripheries,” to draw people closer to Christ. Unfortunately
we are lazy creatures, and we give ourselves excuses for avoiding this evangelical duty.
As I read the Pope’s closing address, and especially that section on the particular
temptation that different sorts of Catholics face, I saw him attacking those excuses,
prodding us to recognize how we are failing, even sometimes when we think we are doing
our best.

Some Catholics—call them conservatives if you like—have a healthy desire to fight
against the destructive ideas that are steadily gaining ground in our society. But we
(and I put myself squarely in this group) may not take into account that when we attack
the ideas, those who hold them recoil, take a defensive posture, and draw further away
from the truth. Other Catholics-- call them liberals—profess more sympathy toward the
people who follow destructive ideas. But by failing to correct them, they allow those
poor people to continue injuring themselves.

To put it a bit differently, conservative Catholics tend to slip into the belief that we
can convert people by arguing with them, while liberals believe they can convert people
by agreeing with them. Both are wrong. To bring people into the Church we need to meet
them, befriend them, listen to them, accompany them, evangelize them. That is the
fundamental message of Pope Francis, and to drive home that message he is willing to
tolerate—perhaps even to encourage—a raucous Synod meeting.

Yes, the October session of the Synod was messy, confusing, and contentious. But lively
debates can be healthy, especially when there are real disagreements to be aired and
resolved. The history of the Church is dotted with heated disputes. Often—as with the
Council of Jerusalem, the earliest such episode—they are preludes to new bursts of
evangelical activity.

To be sure, the October session of the Synod left important arguments unresolved. During
the coming year those arguments will be hashed out, thoroughly but not always
decorously. Inevitably there will be more attempts to manipulate the media, more
inaccurate reports, more charges and countercharges. The process will be frustrating for
those who believe that the life of the Church should always be placid and quiet. But the
Church is more interested in seeking the truth and presenting it in new ways to a new
generation than in maintaining a smooth public façade.

The coming months and the continuing debate will also be frustrating for those who, like
myself, want to see every argument resolved, every intellectual enemy defeated. We may
need to remind ourselves frequently that the work of the Church is not to win arguments,
but to win souls. 

Why VOTF's Solution to the Catholic Scandal is Wrong?
By Fred Martinez
The New York Times, Boston Globe as well as newspapers in Ireland and on the European
landmass have recently been promoting Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) as having a solution
to the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal.
The VOTF solution to the scandal is to democratize the “authoritarian” church and have
the bishops cede authority to lay Catholics.
For this group “democracy” appears to mean that the Bishops should cede their authority
to lay “Catholics” such as possibly pro-gay abortion advocates like Leon Panetta, Bill
Clinton's former chief of staff, or Robert Bennett who was Clinton’s hardnosed lawyer in
the Paula Jones sex scandal.
If that’s the case then VOTF is too late because the US bishops have already attempted
to cede these Clintonian “sex abuse experts” authority on their 12-member National
Review Board to deal with the sexual abuse scandals.
It’s obvious that groups such as VOTF- who are calling for “democracy” because bishops
are “tyrannical rulers”- don’t know many bishops. The reason there is a crisis is
because many bishops - far from being tyrants - cede or refuse to use their authority to
discipline liberals who are abusing their positions to morally corrupt the Catholic
people.
The problem is that many bishops are acting like politicians.
Even Frank Bruni in the Oct 20 New York Times admitted the “American Bishops were
responding to the child sexual-abuse crisis in an almost secular, political fashion:
rewriting rules, confessing faults and acknowledging that they need outsiders [such as
Panetta and Bennett] to keep them honest.”
Bishops as Politicians
Many bishops instead of steadfastly upholding the moral teachings of Jesus Christ, act
like politicians worrying about the media and liberal diocese bureaucrats. Thus the
media and liberal bureaucrats control even many otherwise once orthodox bishops by
intimidation.
According to historian James Hitchcock:
“[I]n an [diocese] environment governed by ideology, this [orthodox] scenario really
cannot play itself out. Liberals are quick to notice even small ‘backward’ steps by
their bishop, and they test him by relentlessly pushing ahead with their agenda, so that
he must either confront them or surrender.“ Professor of history at St. Louis University
Hitchcock in the 1995 World Catholic Reporter said,
“Conservative secular journalists have cynically invented the ‘Strange New Respect
Award’ which the media bestow on conservative public figures willing to betray their
principles. Every bishop, whether or not he hankers after the award, knows that it
exists.
(Thus in one diocese a bishop with a national reputation for conservatism before he was
appointed now enjoys regular encomia from the local media, even as he actively
cooperates in portraying conservative Catholics as unbalanced fanatics.)”
Conservative bishops also find that the full moral teachings of the church are
undermined by their follow bishops and that they are treated as a second class citizen
for their orthodoxy. Hitchcock who is a founder of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
said:
“Despite fifteen years of episcopal appointments by John Paul II, the National
Conference of Catholic Bishops remained essentially a liberal body, in which determined
conservatives have difficulty merely staving off serious defeats, much less winning
substantial victories.
Once again it requires a particularly resolute kind of man to accept the status of a
defined minority within a body which seems to place great importance on the spirit of
belonging.
If nothing else, a new bishop is likely to discover quickly that he will be consistently
on the losing side unless he moderates his positions substantially.”
According to Hitchcock, the Vatican since after 1980 has appointed bishops who are
“personally orthodox and pious but low-keyed, cautious, and ‘non-confrontational.’"
Unfortunately, through1970s the Holy See appointed liberal bishops who were “tolerant of
dissent” as well as some that were “personally sympathetic” to dissent.
The problem is that the personally orthodox, but non-confrontational weak bishops are
profiled for failure when confronted by hardened doctrinaire liberals and in some cases
hardened doctrinaire sexual revolutionaries with agendas.
Sexual Revolutionaries in the Church
Catholic journalist Paul Likoudis in his book “Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops,
Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda” presents a case that sexual
revolutionaries although a small minority are to some extent in control of the American
Catholic Church.
Likoudis documents that since the 1950s many bishops’ offices and other top management
positions within the Church were filled by men of “perverse sexuality.“ These men
created an old boy network with those of like mind to corrupt the sexual morality of
Catholics in catechism and by sex abuse.
Fr Joseph Wilson who wrote the preface to “Amchurch Comes Out” in a nutshell explains
the bishop crisis:
“If you stop for a few moments and quietly ponder the fact that the percentage of
bishops whose names have been linked with sexual incidents is appreciably larger than
the percentage of priests, it begins to seem less mysterious that so many sexual
offenders in the priesthood were tolerated by their bishops.”
One central figure in the corruption of Catholic sexual morality was Clinton’s Cardinal-
Joseph Cardinal Berdardin. In appreciation for all he had done for the cultural elites’
sexual revolution Berdardin at his “well-publicized death-bed” was visited by Hillary
and received a letter from Bill Clinton.
The Most Influential Bishop in the History of America
Berdardin has been called “the most influential bishop in the history of America.”
Neither orthodox Catholic nor liberal “Catholic” deny that his influence. Likoudis said:
“ No one disputes his influence: as creator of the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference: as a bishop-maker who...consoled and
empowered dissenters while professing his loyalty to his Roman superiors; as an
architect of proposals to deconstruct the Roman liturgy, Catholic education and the all
-important field of catechetics.”
What the liberal “Catholics“ and the media have covered up about “the most influential
bishop in the history of America” according to “Amchurch Comes Out” was that “ one after
another of Berdardin’s closest clerical friends from his native Diocese of Charleston
made the newspapers for charges of pedophilia: Fr Eugene Condon, Fr Justin Goodwin, Fr
James Robert Owen-Howard, Fr FX Seitz, in addition to continuing allegations against
[Monsignor Frederick] Hopwood...[r]eputedly, he was Berdardin’s best friend and seminary
roommate.”
Likoudis documents not only that Berdardin’s friends were involved in alleged sex abuse,
but that some of his closest bishop friends were responsible for pedophiles such as Fr
Kos of Dallas.
“Amchurch Comes Out” also exposes a number of other lesser know bishops and church
leaders who were Berdardin clones. The thread that ties all these church leaders
together is their pro-gay advocacy and activism “to deconstruct the Roman liturgy,
Catholic education and the all-important field of catechetics.”
The reason for this activism is summed up by Fr Wilson:
“If sexual autonomy is one’s goal, one will not want the traditional Mass as the central
symbol of the Faith, for the very form it takes will always seem a reproach... [a] nd as
for catechesis: well, why else would one promulgate religion textbooks that avoided
subjects such as commandments, precepts of the Church, original sin; why else would one
find situation ethics attractive -- unless one were anxious to usher in a new religion,
one much more amenable to one’s whims.”
Sexual Revolutionaries’ New Religion
According to Likoudis the doctrinaire liberals as well as the sexual revolutionaries in
the Church with their liturgical “reform” have caused a sixty- percent decline in Mass
attendance.
The liberal’s catechetical and “tolerance” parochial school reform has lead to two-
thirds of Mass-going Catholics not being able to “identify the Catholic doctrine on the
Eucharist” and eighth graders who are “learning about anal sex and bestiality in their
Catholic school classrooms” according to Fr Wilson.
If what Likoudis and Wilson say is true then the liberals have created a religion that
is not Catholicism. The new religion appears to be pan-sexualism in which original sin
and personal sin are denied. Pan-sexualism in it’s extreme form allows all sexual acts
including homosexuality, anal sex, bestiality, sex abuse of children and minors.
Even the National Catholic Reporter on May 17 admitted the Vatican knows about pan-
sexualism. The May article said:
“The [church's highest court, the Vatican] Signatura's brief, later published in the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, stated: "St. Luke Institute [where the US bishops send sex
abuse priests], a clinic founded by a priest[Fr Michael Peterson] who is openly
homosexual and based on a mixed doctrine of Freudian pan-sexualism and behaviorism, is
surely not a suitable institution apt to judge rightly about the beliefs and the
lifestyle of a Catholic priest."
However, some liberal bishops continued to rely on Peterson for advice despite the
Vatican's warning, as shown in the liberal National Catholic Reporter's May 17 article:
"By the time of Peterson's death [of AIDS], Cardinal James Hickey of Washington had come
to rely on Peterson, along with a number of bishops, for advice in handling sex-
offending members of the clergy. During the Mass, Hickey praised Peterson's work at St.
Luke Institute, calling him a 'brilliant and hard-working priest.' "
If some liberals are doctrinaire pan-sexualist then they will pretend to promote
policies against sex abuse only as a means of public relations. However, they will with
the cover of the cultural elites’ media continue to promote and act out sexual
perversions that are in opposition to twenty centuries of Catholic moral teachings.
The only change will be that the sexual revolutionaries will have to become cleverer in
their war against Catholic morality. And as seen in the case of Bill Clinton if they
stay true to doctrinaire pan-sexualism then the media will cover up and protect them
from their sex scandals.
Orthodox Catholics Two Choices
The orthodox Catholics have only two choices if it is true such liberals and
revolutionaries are in many of the Churches top leadership positions.
They can do nothing and as a result allow the liberals as well as the revolutionaries to
continue to corrupt the young people of the Church. In such a case in a few decades not
even one-third of the Catholics in the US will know or support the most central Catholic
moral or faith teachings.
Remember liberal catechetical and parochial school “reforms” have made it possible for
two-thirds of Mass-going Catholics to not be able to “identify the Catholic doctrine on
the Eucharist.”
In addition, even though the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that " homosexual
acts are intrinsically disordered...[and] under no circumstances can they be approved;”
these same “reforms” have made it possible, as reported in recent polls, for 80% of high
school Catholic seniors to believe (contrary to Church teaching) that homosexuals should
have the “right” to marry while around two-third of adults agreed with the Churches
position that gay marriages should not be legal according to the Sept 6 The Wanderer
newspaper.
If this trend continues in three decades the vast majority of these Catholic high school
seniors who are the future church and most the those “reformed” during these future
decades by “Catholic” education will cease to be Catholic.
The Catholic Church in America will increasingly cease to exist except for a few
orthodox Catholic colleges, the Catholic home schoolers and many times clandestinely
orthodox Catholic parishes.
The other choice the people of US Church have is to first pray and then do everything
under their power to influence the Vatican to start appointing a new type of bishop. One
who is not afraid to confront sexual revolutionaries in the media as well as among their
follow bishops and bureaucrats.
These strong bishops must be willing to discipline- as a good father- those who refuse
to stop corrupting the Catholic youth. They must be willing to fire bureaucrats who
refuse to abandon pan-sexualism. They must be willing to come under fire to the point of
martyrdom from the pan-sexualist media and their liberal “Catholic” allies.
If the Vatican does not start appointing this new type of strong bishop, then Catholics
in the United States must start joining orthodox Catholic parishes as well as groups
such as the Apostolate for Consecration, Legionnaires of Christ and other groups like
them, which are loyal to the Pope and the full teachings of the Church.
(The real fruit of Vatican II and John Paul II are these young spirited groups, which
will hopefully lead to the evangelization of America as the old “Catholic” liberals fail
to replace themselves because they offer the young only secularism with a Catholic
veneer.)
These young groups are protected by the Vatican and offer refuge as well as support to
orthodox Catholic families whose faith is often literally under siege. Such groups must
be rallied round to grow rapidly so that if the Vatican waits a few decades to reform
the bishops of America then there will still be a strong portion of Catholics to enjoy
the reform.
In other words, it will be the job of these groups to evangelize the Catholics who are
being run through the liberal catechetical and “reformed” parochial school programs if
the Vatican doesn’t act.
Pope John Paul II needs Prayers
But most importantly Catholics must pray for John Paul II and his successor.
Everyone must remember that, for whatever the reason John Paul II has for not appointing
strong bishops, he as well as his office of Pope (the holder of the keys of Peter) is
hated and seen as a last stronghold against the sexual revolutionaries.
In nation after nation, at the World Summit for Children, from Beijing to Cairo, he is
one of the last worldwide bastions fighting against the cultural elite’s agenda.
Remember the timing of the media’s "breaking" story was when Pope John Paul II’s health
appeared to be deteriorating during masses. In fact the media was sending correspondents
to Rome with expectation of a papal conclave.
On June 14, Mary Jo Anderson in the WorldNetDaily reported:
“The Globe and others have known for over a decade about the growing gay sub-culture in
the Church, but the Globe and others simply winked – they are no less guilty of a cover
up than Cardinal Law. It did not seem worthy of print. Until, that is, Pope John Paul
II, the disliked "reactionary" pope faltered during Christmas masses.”
According to Anderson the goal of the timing of the scandal reporting was “to create
chaos” and to built “momentum” so that “the cardinals can be stampeded into electing an
unusual pope: a candidate approved by the New York Times and the United Nations.”
As can be seen, the Pope and the office of Peter (the Pope) needs prayers even as
Catholics pray and work towards moving the Vatican to appointing strong bishops.
Orthodox Catholics should take heart because this may be a time the Vatican might be
ready to listen to calls for strong orthodox bishops after seeing the US bishops in
politician mode.
The Vatican may now be aware of the American bishops confusion as to “who they are.“
This new found Roman awareness of the bishops acting the part of politicians instead of
the successors of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ was confirmed by the Oct 20 New
York Times. The article by Frank Bruni was called “Vatican Defends Authority: US
[Bishops] Sex-Abuse Policies that Cede Power to Lay People Rankle Rome.”
According to the New York Times’ report a Roman church official said: “They’re [the US
bishops] dealing with the matter as if they don’t understand who they are.”
In his just released book “The Courage to be Catholic,” George Weigel said that because
of archaic and poor information gathering methods the Pope and the Curia before the
scandal had “a generally high impression of the U. S. hierarchy.” But if the New York
Times report is correct then the crisis may have changed the Vatican’s impression.
Vatican insider Weigel in his book indicated that the Rome may be willing to listen to
loyal orthodox Catholic input on how to fix the U S hierarchy.
Orthodox Catholics must take this change in the winds to heart in order to pray as well
as do all in their power to help the Pope and Curia


http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=157454
George Weigel talked about it.
Courage to be Catholic pp. 67-70
"But the explosion of bureaucracy in the Church after Vatican II, and dramatic changes
in the way bishops understood their office, made it ever more difficult to maintain
doctrinal cohesion and eccliastical discipline -- problems exacerbated by what often
seemed to be uncertain papal leadership during the fifteen - year pontificate of Pope
Paul VI. And so it was that, when the sexual revolution hit the Catholic Church with the
force of a hurricane, the Church was intellectually, organizationally, and spiritually
ill-prepared for the blow".
"The results are now obvious, in the crisis of clergy sexual abuse and its magnification
by incompetent or malfeasant episcopal leadership. "The Sixties" did not "cause" the
crisis, which is primarily the Church's responsibility. In the late 1960's, however, a
culture of dissent took root in the Catholic Church in the United States, unmistakably
influenced by the spirit of the times. In that culture of dissent, "fidelity" too on a
new meaning -- or, perhaps better, "fidelity" lost its true, ecclesial meaning. At
precisely the same time, the crisis of clergy sexual abuse gathered such critical mass
that it spilled over into the next two decades. The timing was not accidental. Neither
was the relationship between clergy sexual abuse and the culture of dissent."
The "Truce of 1968"
"Public dissent from Humanae Vitae began even before the official text of the encyclical
was made available. It was led, not by dissapointed laity, but by priests, religious,
and theologians, some of them men and women of considerable influence. One focal point
of the dissent was the Archdiocese of Washington. Priests of the archdiocese joined the
public dissent against the encyclical (which was intense at the Washington-based
Catholic University of America) and, after several warnings, nineteen Washington priests
were disciplined by the local archbishop, Cardinal Patrick O' Boyle; the penalties
imposed by Cardinal O' Boyle varied from priests to priest, but included suspension from
the active ministry in several cases. The priests involved took their case to public and
appealed to the authorities in Rome."
"In April 1971, the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy issued a document on 'The
Washington Case', which drastically minimized the nature of the dissent involved and
'urgently' recommended that Cardinal O' Boyle lift the sanctions against those
Washington priests who would agree to the 'findings' of the Congregation's report. Those
findings did not include earlier the obligation to repudiate previous dissent or the
obligation to make an explicit affirmation of the moral truths taught by Humanae Vitae.
O'Boyle removed the sanctions he had imposed on those among the original nineteen who
still remained priests ( a number had abandoned their ministry in the interim three
years)."
"According to the recollections of some who were present, every one involved understood
that Pope Paul VI wanted the 'Washington Case' settled without a public retraction from
the dissidents, because the Pope feared that insisting on such retraction would lead to
schism -- a formal split in the church of Washington, and perhaps beyond. The Pope,
evidently, was willing for a time to tolerate dissent on an issue on which he made a
solemn, authoritative statement, hoping that the day would come when, in a calmer
cultural and ecclesiastical atmosphere, the truth of that teaching could be appreciated.
The mechanism agreed upon to time for that to happen was the 'Truce of 1968'".
"THEOLOGIANS, PRIESTS, AND NUNS WHO PUBLICLY DISSENTED FROM HUMANAE VITAE -- WHO SAID
THAT THE CHURCH'S TEACHING ABOUT THE MORALLY APPROPRIATE WAY TO REGULATE BIRTHS WAS
FALSE --WERE ENCOURAGED BY THE TRUCE OF 1968 TO CONTINUE, EVEN AMPLIFLY, THEIR DISSENT." understand the need to appoint new
bishops who act like the successors of the Twelve Apostles.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Is Christopher West the Next Fr. Corapi?


 
I hadn't thought of writing in over a year until, a some weeks ago, I read Alice von Hildebrand's new book "The Dark Night of the Body" which is on the problems with Christopher West's Theology of the Body (TOB) and how it misrepresents the Pope John Paul II's teaching in some areas. 
 
The book is excellent, but it and all the articles, I read, on this subject seemed flawed because they didn't use quotes from TOB refuting West's misunderstandings.
 

I felt called to write an article that remedied this deficiency.
 
 Fred
 
PS-Below is the article and Thomas Howard's email commenting on my article. (Mr. Howard wrote a blurb for the back cover of von Hildebrand's"The Dark Night of the Body.")   
 
 
 
Dear Mr. Martinez:

I think your piece on Chris West does touch on the crux of the difficulty that he poses for those (including me) who want to remain faithful to biblical and catholic teaching on sexual morality. It certainly has seemed to a lot of us that Chris sails far too near the wind, and that some of his statements grant too much to us mortals, e.g., "looking" without "lusting." Show me the man who lives that way!

I should think Dr. von Hildebrand would appreciate your contribution to the discussion!

Best regards,

Tom Howard




Is Christopher West the Next Fr. Corapi?
 
 "If [Christopher West is] saying that unavoidable near occasions of sin present an opportunity to practice virtue, he's right. If he's saying this does not at least begin with keeping custody of the eyes, he wrong. Very wrong. Stupidly wrong. ... If he's advising [this] he should be stripped of his EWTN Rock Star status as Fr. Corapi” according to Thomas Leith.
["’Smoking Guns’ of West's Theology” by Wade St. Onge, http://wademichaelstonge.blogspot.com/2012/02/tob-smoking-guns-of-wests-theology.html]
This piece is not about knocking down West’s general body of work, or even for that matter Corapi’s, they have brought thousands of souls back to the faith. My niece Anna Nino says of them:
“I credit Christopher West teachings, in large part, for bringing me and my husband back to the faith.  I pray that he is not the next Fr.Corapi, as I was so heartbroken in watching how things played out with him. Along with Theology of the Body, I owe Father much credit for reeling me back to the Church.” 
 I hope that West will not become the next fallen EWTN Rock Star.
 
 His general body of work seems sound, but he makes two mistakes that have sent him on a path of teaching incorrectly some aspects of the total and true meaning of Theology of the Body (TOB) of Pope John Paul ll.
 In a Protestant fashion he appears to be a sola-Theology of the Body and therefore ignores critics who don’t quote TOB, but quote past Popes or Doctors of the Church.
As did Martin Luther with the Bible phrase “justified by faith apart from works,” he is taking a certain passage of the Pope’s TOB teachings which he makes all important while ignoring other passages in that body of work that bring out the full meaning of that passage.
West's “justified by faith apart from works” phrase from John Paul II is:
 
In mature purity, man enjoys the fruits of victory over concupiscence.”
 
On the set of a TV interview, he showed how his total focus on this phrase has lead him to deep error:
 
 “During a university TV interview of Christopher West [actually, a panel discussion on “Franciscan University Presents”] a professor [Dr. Scott Hahn] told West that if he were to see a friend’s wife [the friend being fellow panellist Dr. Regis Martin] naked, it would be his responsibility to look away.”
 
“West responded, ‘No, it would be to not lust.’ [Hahn] and West took turns repeating themselves until the moderator called for a break in the program.” [1] Drawing upon other accounts, this exchange began when West began speaking about his doctrine of “mature purity”, whereby when we grow enough in chastity, we should dispense with practicing “custody of the eyes” which is merely an initial “negative” step for those in the “purgative stage” of purity, and should instead look upon women and their God-given beauty with the ‘pure gaze of love.’”
  “Considering how contrary this is to the Catholic Tradition (as will be shown later), Hahn objected and told West we could never be sure we were in that state and that we would remain in that state if we gazed."
 
Pope Puis Xll, St. Francis de Sales and other Doctors of the Church teach that “custody of the eyes can’t be dispensed.
Wade St. Onge says West and his supporters claim Doctors of the Church are “tainted by Manichaeism... something West's editor Sr. Lorraine explicitly stated about St. Francis de Sales. (See comment #25, at: http://thomasfortoday.blogspot.com/2010/10/janet-smith-responds-to-alice-von.html).”
[Wade St. Onge comment after “Christopher West is Anti-Purity” article posted by Paul Stilwell http://spikeisbest.blogspot.com/2012/03/christopher-wests-anti-purity.html]
 
Luther similarly had problems with Catholic Tradition and he ignored other parts of the bible such as St. Jame's "Faith without works is dead" which went against “justified by faith apart from works.”
 
Likewise, West ignores the Pope’s TOB phrases that are a sharp rejection his explanation of the “mature purity” phrase:
 
"[T]he Sermon on the Mount Christ did not invite man to return to the state of original innocence, because humanity has irrevocably left it behind ...The ethos of redemption contains in every area—and directly in the sphere of the lust of the flesh—the imperative of self-control, the necessity of immediate continence and of habitual temperance." [http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb48.htm, Christ Calls Us to Rediscover the Living Forms of the New Man, GENERAL AUDIENCE OF 3 DECEMBER  1980]
 
Looking at a friend’s naked wife instead of turning away is the opposite of the Catholic definition of immediate continence which is to control unruly movements of sexual desire; and habitual temperance which is to moderate sex desires of body emotions.
 
Pope John Paul ll expert Fr. Gregory Gresko explains in what way West is wrong in his understanding of the “mature purity” phrase.
 
First, he misunderstands that the TOB is talking about spouse's seeing the other spouse’s body. When the Pope speaks of the virtue of chastity in seeing or looking at bodies he is not talking about the "attempt to look at any body with the hope of seeing the other with pure eyes, West’s theological presentation is under serious threat of becoming an apologia for pornography.”
 
Next, he is reducing persons to no more than bodies."
 
What West "is missing from the discussion is the greatest need to love other persons most, encountering them as integrated bodies and souls."
 
Here is Fr. Greskois full discussion on West's misinterpretation of the “mature purity” phrase:
 
"Such purity involves one spouse’s ability to see the other spouse’s body in purity.  Spouses certainly should not be seeking to look at other persons’ naked bodies (except when necessary to care for their children or when medically required, with the obvious complete respect for human dignity that is due).”
 
“However, West argues that mature purity at a virtuous level signifies being able to look at any body and maintaining perfect chastity; if he has to look away, West states that he is merely continent but not virtuous, although admitting that the vast majority of persons would find themselves in such a position.  If discussions on the virtue of chastity, or “mature purity”, attempt to look at any body with the hope of seeing the other with pure eyes, West’s theological presentation is under serious threat of becoming an apologia for pornography, which is precisely the separation of the body from the person.” 
 
 “West spends much time talking about the importance of loving others’ bodies properly, but what is missing from the discussion is the greatest need to love other persons most, encountering them as integrated bodies and souls, with virginal innocence.  Loving persons accordingly is consonant with Karol Cardinal Wojtyla’s articulation of the personalistic norm in Love and Responsibility, without reducing the person to mere bodiliness."[ http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2164]
 
Is this misinterpretation of the Pope’s TOB an apology for pornography?
 
 Inside the Vatican writer Simcha Fisher’s book review of West ‘s At the Heart of the Gospel claims the author support pornography:
“A generous reading of West’s claim that evil is to be suffered rather than thrown out is that he would never intend his words to be used to support pornography. However, he uses those very same words in a January 2012 online audio interview promoting At the Heart of the Gospel—and this time there is no question about what he means:”
“There’s always something good behind the evil that we have to reclaim, that we have to take back. On this topic, we could look at pornography, for example. Pornography is a great evil. It is destroying marriages, it is destroying families, it is wreaking havoc in our culture. And yet, we must not overreact. There is  something good behind it. What is good behind it? The human body in its nakedness. Behold, it is very good!”
 
I would rather say it is possible his teaching is a “serious threat of becoming an apologia for pornography.” It is possible he means the human body in its nakedness behind closed doors between two spouses is very good. However, his support of looking at a friend’s naked wife as a general norm from his misinterpretation of the “mature purity” weights against this interpretation
A main argument the author of At the Heart of the Gospel uses in his defense of his misinterpretation of “mature purity” is his story of “two bishops.”
Dawn Eden says West claims it is “adapted from the story of Bishop St. Nonnus of Edessa and the harlot Pelagia.”  Here is West’s distorted version of story of St. Nonnus as recorded by Eden:  
                             
“The following story illustrates what mature Christian purity looks like. Two bishops walked out of a cathedral just as a scantily clad prostitute passed by. One bishop immediately turned away. The other bishop looked at her intently. The bishop who turned away exclaimed, ‘Brother bishop, what are you doing? Turn your eyes!’”
 “When the bishop turned around, he lamented with tears streaming down his face, ‘How tragic that such beauty is being sold to the lusts of men.’ Which one of those bishops was vivified with the ethos of redemption? Which one had passed over from merely meeting the demands of the law to a superabounding fulfillment of the law?”
“West explains that ‘the bishop who looked away was continent, but the bishop who saw rightly was virtuous.’”
Below is the true story of St. Nonnus:
“While Bishop of Heliopolis, St. Nonnus went with his deacon to Antioch for a synod with the Archbishop of Antioch and six other bishops. While there, St. Nonnus was asked to preach on the steps of the church one day after Divine Liturgy. Just then, Pelagia, the most notorious prostitute in Antioch, passed by with a crowd of foolish young men. The seven other bishops averted their gaze as to not be tempted by her appearance, but St. Nonnus stared intently at her, weeping that such great beauty was being wasted on such great sin and that she cares for her body even more than he cares for his soul.”
“He spent that night in tears praying for her conversion saying, ‘O Lord, suffer not the work of Thy hands to perish, and permit not such beauty to remain in subjection to the demons. But do Thou turn her to Thyself, that Thy holy name may be glorified in her, for all things are possible for Thee.’"
“During the course of this night, he had a vision that he was at the altar during the Divine Liturgy. A black dove flew in, circled his head, and smelled so foul that he could not abide the stench. When the deacon cried out ‘Catechumens depart’, the dove left. After Divine Liturgy, the dove returned, still filthy, and St. Nonnus plunged it into the baptismal font. The dove emerged pure white and flew away.”

“The next morning, a Sunday, after Divine Liturgy, St. Nonnus was again asked to preach. St. Pelagia again happened by and was moved to tears by his sermon. She wrote with her own hand, ‘To Christ’s holy disciple from the devil’s disciple, a sinful woman. I have heard that your God has bowed the heavens and come down to earth, not to save the righteous but sinners.’”
 
The West story is a distortion in the same way it would be a distortion to tell the story of Jesus’ mercy in saving the adulteress from being stoned if one left out Jesus’ parting words to her. “Go now and sin no more.”
 
In one sense West is right it could be Christ like to look intently at another person who happened to be scantily clad or naked if ones consuming concern were her soul; if West’s story were told like this it could possibly not be distortion of the true story.
 
But even considering all the above Eden adds:
 
“Most significantly, when Pelagia then writes to the bishop and asks to see him, he agrees only on the condition that there be other bishops present. ‘[S]eek not to tempt my weakness,’ he writes.’ Eden explains: ‘It is not surprising that West omits that last detail, as, by his own definition, it would mean Bishop St. Nonnus was insufficiently virtuous.”
 
My advice to West is to stop telling a distorted even false story of Bishop St. Nonnus. If he is to tell the story, tell the total true story.
 
The tragedy of the story is not that such a beautiful body should be sold to the lusts of men instead of that men who are of “mature purity” should look upon that woman’s scantily clad or naked body with her “God-given beautiful body” with the “pure gaze of love.”
 
 The tragedy of Pelagia is “that she cares for her body even more than he cares for his soul.”
 
It would be a tragedy if Christopher West cared more for his misinterpretation of “mature purity” than the true teachings of the Pope’s Theology of the Body.
 
Pope John Paul ll specifically teaches in his TOB section on “the privacy of one's own body:”
 
“The person of developed sensitivity overcomes the limit of that shame with difficulty and interior resistance. This is seen clearly even in situations which justify the necessity of undressing the body, such as in the case of medical examinations or operations. Mention should also be made especially of other circumstances, such as those of concentration camps or places of extermination, where the violation of bodily shame is a method used deliberately to destroy personal sensitivity and the sense of human dignity. “
“The same rule is confirmed everywhere—though in different ways. Following personal sensitivity, man does not wish to become an object for others through his own anonymous nakedness. Nor does he wish the other to become an object for him in a similar way.
[https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb60.htm, Reflections on the Ethos of the Human Body in Works of Artistic Culture, April 22, 1981]
 
Another  tragedy besides  West teaching  the opposite of the Pope’s TOB teachings would be that the great beauty of most of West’s work which have brought so many back to the Church and away from sin might be wasted.
 
Following the example of St. Nonnus, I pray daily for Christopher West not to waste his great God-given talent and work on the pride of one mistake.
 
I, also, pray daily for Fr. Corapi not waste he great God-given talent and work.
 
Please Christopher West don’t break more hearts.
 
Please Fr. Corapi help to heal the broken hearts of those like who my niece love you. Return to the Church.