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UPDATE: A number of you have expressed concern for my health and asked how I am doing. I appreciate your kindness. Without going into details, I’ve really been put through the shredder over the past few weeks, but am now slowly recovering strength – though I have a way to go. This has been the “malady of surprises,” so please pray that nothing else springs out of a trap to slow down my recovery.

I am happy to report that during this trial, I was visited by two relics of Padre Pio: his cloak and a relic containing blood from the wound on his hand. I am most grateful. Please keep up the prayers. Thank you.

J Vennari

Cardinal Burke defends dubia signers in blockbuster EWTN interview

Cardinal Burke defends dubia signers in blockbuster EWTN interview Please take the time to watch brief interview all the way through. Historic interview Excerpt: "You can’t have a maturation of a teaching which is a rupture from that teaching, which is a breaking away from that teaching," said Burke. "Cardinal Schonborn’s remarks in that regard do not reflect what is called development of doctrine—in other words, through the Church’s reflection she deepens her appreciation of a teaching and, and helps the faithful to practice that teaching. This case, it’s a question of complete rupture in the teaching of the Church, a complete going away from what the Church has always taught and practiced. And that you can’t call a maturation."

Bishop Schneider Defends Four Cardinals’s Dubia

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“We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor. 13: 8)

A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church

A response from Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany), His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, have published on November 14, 2016, the text of five questions, called dubia (Latin for “doubts”), which previously on September 19, 2016, they sent to the Holy Father and to Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, along with an accompanying letter. The Cardinals ask Pope Francis to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” concerning the interpretation and practical application, particularly of chapter VIII, of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and its passages relating to admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments and the Church’s moral teaching.

In their statement entitled “Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia,” the Cardinals say that to “many — bishops, priests, faithful — these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union.” Speaking so, the Cardinals have merely stated real facts in the life of the Church. These facts are demonstrated by pastoral orientations on behalf of several dioceses and by public statements of some bishops and cardinals, who affirm that in some cases divorced and remarried Catholics can be admitted to Holy Communion even though they continue to use the rights reserved by Divine law to validly married spouses.

In publishing a plea for clarity in a matter that touches the truth and the sanctity simultaneously of the three sacraments of Marriage, Penance, and the Eucharist, the Four Cardinals only did their basic duty as bishops and cardinals, which consists in actively contributing so that the revelation transmitted through the Apostles might be guarded sacredly and might be faithfully interpreted. It was especially the Second Vatican Council that reminded all the members of the college of bishops as legitimate successors of the Apostles of their obligation, according to which “by Christ’s institution and command they have to be solicitous for the whole Church, and that this solicitude, though it is not exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church” (Lumen gentium, 23; cf. also Christus Dominus, 5-6).

In making a public appeal to the Pope, bishops and cardinals should be moved by genuine collegial affection for the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth, following the teaching of Vatican Council II (cf. Lumen gentium, 22);, in so doing they render “service to the primatial ministry” of the Pope (cf. Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, 13).
The entire Church in our days has to reflect upon the fact that the Holy Spirit has not in vain inspired Saint Paul to write in the Letter to the Galatians about the incident of his public correction of Peter. One has to trust that Pope Francis will accept this public appeal of the Four Cardinals in the spirit of the Apostle Peter, when St Paul offered him a fraternal correction for the good of the whole Church. May the words of that great Doctor of the Church, St Thomas Aquinas, illuminate and comfort us all: “When there is a danger for the faith, subjects are required to reprove their prelates, even publicly. Since Paul, who was subject to Peter, out of the danger of scandal, publicly reproved him. And Augustine comments: “Peter himself gave an example to superiors by not disdaining to be corrected by his subjects when it occurred to them that he had departed from the right path” (Summa theol., II-II, 33, 4c).

Pope Francis often calls for an outspoken and fearless dialogue between all members of the Church in matters concerning the spiritual good of souls. In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, the Pope speaks of a need for “open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions. The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity” (n. 2). Furthermore, relationships at all levels within the Church must be free from a climate of fear and intimidation, as Pope Francis has requested in his various pronouncements.

In light of these pronouncements of Pope Francis and the principle of dialogue and acceptance of legitimate plurality of opinions, which was fostered by the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the unusually violent and intolerant reactions on behalf of some bishops and cardinals against the calm and circumspect plea of the Four Cardinals cause great astonishment. Among such intolerant reactions one could read affirmations such as, for instance: the four Cardinals are witless, naive, schismatic, heretical, and even comparable to the Arian heretics.

Such apodictic merciless judgments reveal not only intolerance, refusal of dialogue, and irrational rage, but demonstrate also a surrender to the impossibility of speaking the truth, a surrender to relativism in doctrine and practice, in faith and life. The above-mentioned clerical reaction against the prophetic voice of the Four Cardinals parades ultimately powerlessness before the eyes of the truth. Such a violent reaction has only one aim: to silence the voice of the truth, which is disturbing and annoying the apparently peaceful nebulous ambiguity of these clerical critics.

The negative reactions to the public statement of the Four Cardinals resemble the general doctrinal confusion of the Arian crisis in the fourth century. It is helpful to all to quote in the situation of the doctrinal confusion in our days some affirmations of Saint Hilary of Poitiers, the “Athanasius of the West”.

“You [the bishops of Gaul] who still remain with me faithful in Christ did not give way when threatened with the onset of heresy, and now by meeting that onset you have broken all its violence. Yes, brethren, you have conquered, to the abundant joy of those who share your faith: and your unimpaired constancy gained the double glory of keeping a pure conscience and giving an authoritative example” (Hil. De Syn., 3).

“Your [the bishops of Gaul] invincible faith keeps the honourable distinction of conscious worth and, content with repudiating crafty, vague, or hesitating action, safely abides in Christ, preserving the profession of its liberty. For since we all suffered deep and grievous pain at the actions of the wicked against God, within our boundaries alone is communion in Christ to be found from the time that the Church began to be harried by disturbances such as the expatriation of bishops, the deposition of priests, the intimidation of the people, the threatening of the faith, and the determination of the meaning of Christ’s doctrine by human will and power. Your resolute faith does not pretend to be ignorant of these facts or profess that it can tolerate them, perceiving that by the act of hypocritical assent it would bring itself before the bar of conscience” (Hil. De Syn., 4).

“I have spoken what I myself believed, conscious that I owed it as my soldier’s service to the Church to send to you in accordance with the teaching of the Gospel by these letters the voice of the office which I hold in Christ. It is yours to discuss, to provide and to act, that the inviolable fidelity in which you stand you may still keep with conscientious hearts, and that you may continue to hold what you hold now” (Hil. De Syn., 92).

The following words of Saint Basil the Great, addressed to the Latin Bishops, can be in some aspects applied to the situation of those who in our days ask for doctrinal clarity, including our Four Cardinals: “The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers. We are not being attacked for the sake of riches, or glory, or any temporal advantages. We stand in the arena to fight for our common heritage, for the treasure of the sound faith, derived from our Fathers. Grieve with us, all you who love the brethren, at the shutting of the mouths of our men of true religion, and at the opening of the bold and blasphemous lips of all that utter unrighteousness against God. The pillars and foundation of the truth are scattered abroad. We, whose insignificance has allowed of our being overlooked, are deprived of our right of free speech” (Ep. 243, 2.4).

Today those bishops and cardinals, who ask for clarity and who try to fulfill their duty in guarding sacredly and faithfully interpreting the transmitted Divine Revelation concerning the Sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist, are no longer exiled as it was with the Nicene bishops during the Arian crisis. Contrary to the time of the Arian crisis, today, as wrote Rudolf Graber, the bishop of Ratisbone, in 1973, exile of the bishops is replaced by hush-up strategies and by slander campaigns (cf. Athanasius und die Kirche unserer Zeit, Abensberg 1973, p. 23).

Another champion of the Catholic faith during the Arian crisis was Saint Gregory Nazianzen. He wrote the following striking characterization of the behavior of the majority of the shepherds of the Church in those times. This voice of the great Doctor of the Church should be a salutary warning for the bishops of all times: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for, excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing up again and revival of Israel by the influences of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interest, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance” (Orat. 21, 24).

When Pope Liberius in 357 signed one of the so called formulas of Sirmium, in which he deliberately discarded the dogmatically defined expression “homo-ousios” and excommunicated Saint Athanasius in order to have peace and harmony with the Arian and Semi-Arian bishops of the East, faithful Catholics and some few bishops, especially Saint Hilary of Poitiers, were deeply shocked. Saint Hilary transmitted the letter that Pope Liberius wrote to the Oriental bishops, announcing the acceptance of the formula of Sirmium and the excommunication of Saint Athanasius. In his deep pain and dismay, Saint Hilary added to the letter in a kind of desperation the phrase: “Anathema tibi a me dictum, praevaricator Liberi” (I say to you anathema, prevaricator Liberius), cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, n. 141. Pope Liberius wanted to have peace and harmony at any price, even at the expense of the Divine truth. In his letter to the heterodox Latin bishops Ursace, Valence, and Germinius announcing to them the above-mentioned decisions, he wrote that he preferred peace and harmony to martyrdom (cf. cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, n. 142).

“In what a dramatic contrast stood the behavior of Pope Liberius to the following conviction of Saint Hilary of Poitiers: “We don’t make peace at the expense of the truth by making concessions in order to acquire the reputation of tolerance. We make peace by fighting legitimately according to the rules of the Holy Spirit. There is a danger to ally surreptitiously with unbelief under the beautiful name of peace.” (Hil. Ad Const., 2, 6, 2).

Blessed John Henry Newman commented on these unusual sad facts with the following wise and equilibrated affirmation: “While it is historically true, it is in no sense doctrinally false, that a Pope, as a private doctor, and much more Bishops, when not teaching formally, may err, as we find they did err in the fourth century. Pope Liberius might sign a Eusebian formula at Sirmium, and the mass of Bishops at Ariminum or elsewhere, and yet they might, in spite of this error, be infallible in their ex cathedra decisions” (The Arians of the Fourth Century, London, 1876, p. 465).

The Four Cardinals with their prophetic voice demanding doctrinal and pastoral clarity have a great merit before their own conscience, before history, and before the innumerable simple faithful Catholics of our days, who are driven to the ecclesiastical periphery, because of their fidelity to Christ’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. But above all, the Four Cardinals have a great merit in the eyes of Christ. Because of their courageous voice, their names will shine brightly at the Last Judgment. For they obeyed the voice of their conscience remembering the words of Saint Paul: “We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor 13: 8). Surely, at the Last Judgment the above-mentioned mostly clerical critics of the Four Cardinals will not have an easy answer for their violent attack on such a just, worthy, and meritorious act of these Four Members of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

The following words inspired by the Holy Spirit retain their prophetic value especially in view of the spreading doctrinal and practical confusion regarding the Sacrament of Marriage in our days: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4: 3-5).

May all, who in our days still take seriously their baptismal vows and their priestly and episcopal promises, receive the strength and the grace of God so that they may reiterate together with Saint Hilary the words: “May I always be in exile, if only the truth begins to be preached again!” (De Syn., 78). This strength and grace we wish wholeheartedly to our Four Cardinals and as well as to those who criticize them.

November 23, 2016

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

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Predictably: Pope Francis dismisses critics of his teachings

As expected, Francis dissmisses the four Cardinals’ Dubia against Amoris Laetita, and resorts to personal insults: “They are acting in bad faith to foment divisions.”

Report below – j. vennari

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Pope Francis dismisses critics of his teachings

by David Gibson, National Catholic Reporter

Vatican City — Pope Francis is firing back at foes of his efforts to make the Catholic church more open and pastoral in its ministry, telling an interviewer that “they are acting in bad faith to foment divisions.”

The pontiff’s lengthy interview in Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian hierarchy, was published Friday and followed days of news coverage of demands by four hard-line cardinals who have grave concerns about Francis’ approach.

The four say that focusing on ministering to people in their particular circumstances is eroding the church’s doctrinal absolutes and that Francis must dispel any ambiguities or face serious consequences.

The four critics, led by U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, a Rome-based prelate and longtime opponent of the pontiff’s policies, had written privately to Francis in September.

They asked the pontiff to state whether passages in a landmark document on ministering to families that he had issued in April could be interpreted to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion in some cases.

On Monday, the cardinals went public with the letter because they learned that Francis was not going to respond to their demands that he answer five specific questions about the document, an exhortation calledAmoris Laetitia, or “The Joy of Love.”

The cardinals said he had to answer their questions in order to clear up their doubts about whether the document undermined the church’s teaching on sin and the permanence of marriage.

Then in an interview published Tuesday in the National Catholic Register, Burke raised the stakes by saying that if Francis did not offer a clarification, the next step would be to make “a formal act of correction of a serious error” — a phrase that some believe is tantamount to accusing the pope of heresy.

Avvenire
’s interview with Francis focused largely on ecumenism and Catholicism’s relations with other churches.

But the pope also took the opportunity to push back against his critics — he did not name them — who view the faith through the lens of “a certain legalism, which can be ideological.”

“Some people — I am thinking of certain responses to Amoris Laetitia — continue to misunderstand,” Francis said. “It’s either black or white [to them], even if in the flow of life you have to discern.”

Asked about critics who accuse the pope of “Protestantizing” the Catholic church — an objection often raised by conservative Catholics in the U.S. — Francis said, “I don’t lose sleep over it.”

He insisted that he is following the model of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s that set the church on a path to internal reform and greater engagement with the world.

“As for opinions of others,” he said, “we always have to distinguish the spirit in which they are given. When not given in bad faith, they help with the way forward. Other times you see right away that the critics pick bits from here and there to justify a pre-existing viewpoint; they are not honest, they are acting in bad faith to foment divisions.”

“You see right away that a certain ‘rigorism’ is born out of a lack of something, from a desire to hide inside the armor of one’s own sad dissatisfaction,” he said.

The papal document Amoris Laetitia was Francis’ summation of two extraordinary Vatican meetings of the world’s bishops, held in 2014 and 2015, that sought to reorient the church’s approach away from a focus on doctrinal formulations and the reiteration of rules and toward accompanying people in difficult or unusual circumstances.

But the document has become a flashpoint for an increasingly open struggle between old guard hard-liners and supporters of Francis.

One of the three American prelates that Francis is to elevate to the rank of cardinal on Saturday — along with 14 other churchmen — pushed back against Burke’s campaign in unusually strong language, calling the effort “troublesome.”

Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin, who is going to head the Archdiocese of Newark, told The Tablet of London that Amoris Laetitia cannot simply be reduced to a question of ‘yes or no’ in a specific pastoral situation.”

He said that the challenge by the four cardinals “is at best naive.”

Originally posted at: https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/pope-francis-dismisses-critics-his-teachings

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“Seeking Clarity.” The Appeal of Four Cardinals To the Pope
Cardinal Burke says if Pope won’t clarify ‘serious error’, Cardinals must make ‘formal act of correction’

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“Seeking Clarity.” The Appeal of Four Cardinals To the Pope

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“Seeking Clarity.” The Appeal of Four Cardinals To the Pope
One letter. Five questions on the most controversial points of “Amoris Laetitia.” To which Francis has not replied. One more reason, they say, to “inform the people of God about our initiative” by Sandro Magister

ROME, November 14, 2016 – The letter and the five questions presented in their entirety further below have no need of much explanation. It is enough to read them. What is new is that the four cardinals who had them delivered to Francis last September 19, without receiving a reply, have decided to make them public with the encouragement of this very silence on the part of the pope, in order to “continue the reflection and the discussion” with “the whole people of God.”

They explain this in the foreword to the publication of the complete text. And one thinks right away of Matthew 18:16-17: “If your brother will not listen to you, take with you two or three witnesses. If then he will not listen even to them, tell it to the assembly.”

The “witness” in this case was Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. Because he too, in addition to the pope, had been a recipient of the letter and the questions.

The five questions are in fact formulated as in the classic submissions to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. Formulated, that is, in such a way that they can be responded to with a simple yes or no.

As a rule, the responses given by the congregation explicitly mention the approval of the pope. And in the routine audiences that Francis gave to the cardinal prefect after the delivery of the letter and the questions, it is a sure bet that the two talked about them.

But in point of fact the appeal from the four cardinals received no reply, neither from Cardinal Müller nor from the pope, evidently at the behest of the latter.

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The four cardinals who signed this letter and are now making it public are not among those who a year ago, at the beginning of the second session of the synod on the family, delivered to Francis the famous letter “of the thirteen cardinals”:

> Thirteen Cardinals Have Written to the Pope. Here’s the Letter (12.10.2015)

The thirteen were all members of the synod and in full service in their respective dioceses. Or they held important positions in the curia, like cardinals Robert Sarah, George Pell, and Müller himself.

These four, however, while all are recognized for their authoritativeness, have no operational roles, either for reasons of age or because they have been dismissed.

And that makes them more free. It is no mystery, in fact, that their appeal has been and is shared by not a few other cardinals who are still fully active, as well as high-ranking bishops and archbishops of West and East, who however precisely because of this have decided to remain in the shadows.

In a few days, on November 19 and 20, the whole college of cardinals will meet in Rome, for the consistory convoked by Pope Francis. And inevitably the appeal of the four cardinals will become the subject of animated discussion among them.

The ebb and flow of history. It was at the consistory of February 2014 that Francis gave the go-ahead for the long trek that resulted in the exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” when he entrusted to Cardinal Walter Kasper the opening talk, in support of communion for the divorced and remarried.

Right away at that consistory the controversy broke out with the greatest intensity. And it is the same one that divides the Church even more today, including at the highest levels, seeing how the unclear suggestions of “Amoris Laetitia” are being contradictorily interpreted and applied.

Kasper is German and, curiously, two of the cardinals who – on the side opposite his – have published the present appeal are also German, not to mention Cardinal Müller, who signed the letter “of the thirteen” and now has received this other no less explosive letter.

The division in the Church is there. And it conspicuously runs through precisely that Church of Germany which represents for many the most advanced point of change.

And Pope Francis remains silent.  Perhaps because he thinks that “oppositions help,” as he explained to his Jesuit confrere Antonio Spadaro in giving over for publication the anthology of his discourses as archbishop of Buenos Aires, which have been in bookstores for a few days.

Adding:

“Human life is structured in oppositional form. And that is also what is happening now in the Church. Tensions need not necessarily be resolved and regulated. They are not like contradictions.”

But that’s just the point. Here it is a matter of contradictions. Yes or no. These and no others are the fitting answers to the five questions of the four cardinals, on the crucial points of Church doctrine and life brought into question by “Amoris Laetitia.”

Now it’s their turn.

__________

Seeking Clarity.

A Plea to Untie the Knots in “Amoris Laetitia”

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1. A Necessary Foreword

The sending of the letter to His Holiness Pope Francis by four cardinals has its origin in a deep pastoral concern.

We have noted a grave disorientation and great confusion of many faithful regarding extremely important matters for the life of the Church. We have noted that even within the episcopal college there are contrasting interpretations of Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia”.

The great Tradition of the Church teaches us that the way out of situations like this is recourse to the Holy Father, asking the Apostolic See to resolve those doubts which are the cause of disorientation and confusion.

Ours is therefore an act of justice and charity.

Of justice: with our initiative we profess that the Petrine ministry is the ministry of unity, and that to Peter, to the Pope, belongs the service of confirming in the faith.

Of charity: we want to help the Pope to prevent divisions and conflicts in the Church, asking him to dispel all ambiguity.

We have also carried out a specific duty. According to the Code of Canon Law (c. 349) the cardinals, even taken individually, are entrusted with the task of helping the Pope to care for the universal Church.

The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted his sovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection, and the discussion, calmly and with respect.

And so we are informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.

We hope that no one will choose to interpret the matter according to a “progressive/conservative” paradigm. That would be completely off the mark. We are deeply concerned about the true good of souls, the supreme law of the Church, and not about promoting any form of politics in the Church.

We hope that no one will judge us, unjustly, as adversaries of the Holy Father and people devoid of mercy. What we have done and are doing has its origin in the deep collegial affection that unites us to the Pope, and from an impassioned concern for the good of the faithful.

Card. Walter Brandmüller
Card. Raymond L. Burke
Card. Carlo Caffarra
Card. Joachim Meisner

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2. The Letter of the Four Cardinals to the Pope

To His Holiness Pope Francis
and for the attention of His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller

Most Holy Father,

Following the publication of your Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, theologians and scholars have proposed interpretations that are not only divergent, but also conflicting, above all in regard to Chapter VIII. Moreover, the media have emphasized this dispute, thereby provoking uncertainty, confusion, and disorientation among many of the faithful.

Because of this, we the undersigned, but also many Bishops and Priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the Exhortation.

Now, compelled in conscience by our pastoral responsibility and desiring to implement ever more that synodality to which Your Holiness urges us, we, with profound respect, we permit ourselves to ask you, Holy Father, as Supreme Teacher of the Faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity, benevolently giving a response to the “Dubia” that we attach to the present letter.

May Your Holiness wish to bless us, as we promise constantly to remember you in prayer.

Card. Walter Brandmüller
Card. Raymond L. Burke
Card. Carlo Caffarra
Card. Joachim Meisner

Rome, September 19, 2016

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3. The “Dubia”

1.    It is asked whether, following the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person “more uxorio” (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by “Familiaris Consortio” n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” n. 34 and “Sacramentum Caritatis” n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live “more uxorio”?

2.    After the publication of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

3.    After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

4.    After the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

5.    After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

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4. Explanatory Note of the Four Cardinals

CONTEXT

“Dubia” (from the Latin: “doubts”) are formal questions brought before the Pope and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for clarifications on particular issues concerning doctrine or practice.

What is peculiar about these inquiries is that they are worded in a way that requires a “yes” or “no” answer, without theological argumentation. This way of addressing the Apostolic See is not an invention of our own; it is an age-old practice.

Let’s get to what is concretely at stake.

Upon the publication of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” on love in the family, a debate has arisen particularly around its eighth chapter. Here specifically paragraphs 300-305 have been the object of divergent interpretations.

For many – bishops, priests, faithful – these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union, while others, admitting the lack of clarity or even the ambiguity of the passages in question, nonetheless argue that these same pages can be read in continuity with the previous magisterium and do not contain a modification in the Church’s practice and teaching.

Motivated by a pastoral concern for the faithful, four cardinals have sent a letter to the Holy Father under the form of “Dubia”, hoping to receive clarity, given that doubt and uncertainty are always highly detrimental to pastoral care.

The fact that interpreters come to different conclusions is also due to divergent ways of understanding the Christian moral life. In this sense, what is at stake in “Amoris Laetitia” is not only the question of whether or not the divorced who have entered into a new union can – under certain circumstances – be readmitted to the sacraments.

Rather, the interpretation of the document also implies different, contrasting approaches to the Christian way of life.

Thus, while the first question of the “Dubia” concerns a practical question regarding the divorced and civilly remarried, the other four questions touch on fundamental issues of the Christian life.

THE QUESTIONS

Doubt number 1:

It is asked whether, following the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person “more uxorio” (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by “Familiaris Consortio” n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” n. 34 and “Sacramentum Caritatis” n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live “more uxorio”?

Question 1 makes particular reference to “Amoris Laetitia” n. 305 and to footnote 351. While note 351 specifically speaks of the sacraments of penance and communion, it does not mention the divorced and civilly remarried in this context, nor does the main text.

Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris Consortio”, n. 84 already contemplated the possibility of admitting the divorced and civilly remarried to the sacraments. It mentions three conditions:

– The persons concerned cannot separate without committing new injustices (for instance, they may be responsible for the upbringing of their children);

– They take upon themselves the commitment to live according to the truth of their situation, that is, to cease living together as if they were husband and wife (“more uxorio”), abstaining from those acts that are proper to spouses;

– They avoid giving scandal (that is, they avoid giving the appearance of sin so as to avoid the danger of leading others into sin).

The conditions mentioned by “Familiaris Consortio” n. 84 and by the subsequent documents recalled will immediately appear reasonable once we remember that the marital union is not just based on mutual affection and that sexual acts are not just one activity among others that couples engage in.

Sexual relations are for marital love. They are something so important, so good and so precious, that they require a particular context, the context of marital love. Hence, not only the divorced living in a new union need to abstain, but also everyone who is not married. For the Church, the sixth commandment “Do not commit adultery” has always covered any exercise of human sexuality that is not marital, i.e., any kind of sexual acts other than those engaged in with one’s rightful spouse.

It would seem that admitting to communion those of the faithful who are separated or divorced from their rightful spouse and who have entered a new union in which they live with someone else as if they were husband and wife would mean for the Church to teach by her practice one of the following affirmations about marriage, human sexuality, and the nature of the sacraments:

– A divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond, and the partners to the new union are not married. However, people who are not married can under certain circumstances legitimately engage in acts of sexual intimacy.

– A divorce dissolves the marriage bond. People who are not married cannot legitimately engage in sexual acts. The divorced and remarried are legitimate spouses and their sexual acts are lawful marital acts.

A divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond, and the partners to the new union are not married. People who are not married cannot legitimately engage in sexual acts, so that the divorced and civilly remarried live in a situation of habitual, public, objective and grave sin. However, admitting persons to the Eucharist does not mean for the Church to approve their public state of life; the faithful can approach the Eucharistic table even with consciousness of grave sin, and receiving absolution in the sacrament of penance does not always require the purpose of amending one’s life. The sacraments, therefore, are detached from life: Christian rites and worship are in a completely different sphere than the Christian moral life.

*

Doubt number 2:

After the publication of the Post-synodal Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

The second question regards the existence of so-called intrinsically evil acts. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” 79 claims that one can “qualify as morally evil according to its species … the deliberate choice of certain kinds of behavior or specific acts, apart from a consideration of the intention for which the choice is made or the totality of the foreseeable consequences of that act for all persons concerned.”

Thus, the encyclical teaches that there are acts that are always evil, which are forbidden by moral norms that bind without exception (“moral absolutes”). These moral absolutes are always negative, that is, they tell us what we should not do. “Do not kill.” “Do not commit adultery.” Only negative norms can bind without exception.

According to “Veritatis Splendor”, with intrinsically evil acts no discernment of circumstances or intentions is necessary. Uniting oneself to a woman who is married to another is and remains an act of adultery that as such is never to be done, even if by doing so an agent could possibly extract precious secrets from a villain’s wife so as to save the kingdom (what sounds like an example from a James Bond movie has already been contemplated by St. Thomas Aquinas, “De Malo”, q. 15, a. 1). John Paul II argues that the intention (say, “saving the kingdom”) does not change the species of the act (here: “committing adultery”), and that it is enough to know the species of the act (“adultery”) to know that one must not do it.

*

Doubt number 3:

After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?

In paragraph 301 “Amoris Laetitia” recalls that: “The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations.” And it concludes that “hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace.”

In its Declaration of June 24, 2000, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts seeks to clarify Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which states that those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” The Pontifical Council’s Declaration argues that this canon is applicable also to faithful who are divorced and civilly remarried. It spells out that “grave sin” has to be understood objectively, given that the minister of the Eucharist has no means of judging another person’s subjective imputability.

Thus, for the Declaration, the question of the admission to the sacraments is about judging a person’s objective life situation and not about judging that this person is in a state of mortal sin. Indeed subjectively he or she may not be fully imputable or not be imputable at all.

Along the same lines, in his encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”, n. 37, Saint John Paul II recalls that “the judgment of one’s state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one’s conscience.” Hence, the distinction referred to by “Amoris Laetitia” between the subjective situation of mortal sin and the objective situation of grave sin is indeed well established in the Church’s teaching.

John Paul II however continues by insisting that “in cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved.” He then reiterates the teaching of Canon 915 mentioned above.

Question 3 of the “Dubia” hence would like to clarify whether, even after “Amoris Laetitia”, it is still possible to say that persons who habitually live in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, such as the commandment against adultery, theft, murder, or perjury, live in objective situations of grave habitual sin, even if, for whatever reasons, it is not certain that they are subjectively imputable for their habitual transgressions.

*

Doubt number 4:

After the affirmations of “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 81, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

In paragraph 302, “Amoris Laetitia” stresses that on account of mitigating circumstances “a negative judgment about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about the imputability or culpability of the person involved.” The “Dubia” point to the Church’s teaching as expressed in John Paul II’s “Veritatis Splendor” according to which circumstances or good intentions can never turn an intrinsically evil act into one that is excusable or even good.

The question arises whether “Amoris Laetitia”, too, is agreed that any act that transgresses against God’s commandments, such as adultery, murder, theft, or perjury, can never, on account of circumstances that mitigate personal responsibility, become excusable or even good.

Do these acts, which the Church’s Tradition has called bad in themselves and grave sins, continue to be destructive and harmful for anyone committing them in whatever subjective state of moral responsibility he may be?

Or could these acts, depending on a person’s subjective state and depending on the circumstances and intentions, cease to be injurious and become commendable or at least excusable?

*

Doubt number 5:

After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” n. 56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

“Amoris Laetitia” n. 303 states that “conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God.” The “Dubia” ask for a clarification of these affirmations, given that they are susceptible to divergent interpretations.

For those proposing the creative idea of conscience, the precepts of God’s law and the norm of the individual conscience can be in tension or even in opposition, while the final word should always go to conscience that ultimately decides about good and evil. According to “Veritatis Splendor” n. 56, “on this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept.”

In this perspective, it will never be enough for moral conscience to know “this is adultery,” or “this is murder,” in order to know that this is something one cannot and must not do.

Rather, one would also need to look at the circumstances or the intentions to know if this act could not, after all be excusable or even obligatory (cf. question 4 of the “Dubia”). For these theories, conscience could indeed rightfully decide that in a given case, God’s will for me consists in an act by which I transgress one of his commandments. “Do not commit adultery” is seen as just a general norm. In the here and now, and given my good intentions, committing adultery is what God really requires of me. Under these terms, cases of virtuous adultery, lawful murder and obligatory perjury are at least conceivable.

This would mean to conceive of conscience as a faculty for autonomously deciding about good and evil and to conceive of God’s law as a burden that is arbitrarily imposed and that could at times be opposed to our true happiness.

However, conscience does not decide about good and evil. The whole idea of a “decision of conscience” is misleading. The proper act of conscience is to judge and not to decide. It says, “This is good,” “This is bad.” This goodness or badness does not depend on it. It acknowledges and recognizes the goodness or badness of an action, and for doing so, that is, for judging, conscience needs criteria; it is inherently dependent on truth.

God’s commandments are a most welcome help for conscience to get to know the truth and hence to judge verily. God’s commandments are the expression of the truth about our good, about our very being, disclosing something crucial about how to live life well. Pope Francis, too, expresses himself in these terms when in Amoris Laetitia 295: “The law is itself a gift of God which points out the way, a gift for everyone without exception.”

__________

Origially posted at: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1351414?eng=y

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BREAKING: Cardinal Burke says if Pope won’t clarify ‘serious error’, Cardinals must make ‘formal act of correction’

It appears that with the four Cardinals’ magnificent “Seeking Clarity” document on Amoris Laetitia, there is the plan for a formal statement against Francis for heresy or at least deviation from the Faith. The Cardinals are following the proper canonical process. As one writer noted, “The step of making a ‘formal act of correction’ would be the preliminary, according to classical theology and Church discipline, of declaring someone – anyone – a formal heretic.”

This is an earth-shaking development we continue to follow. It is clear that the Cardinals’ intention are to safeguard the Faith, not simply to accuse anyone of heresy. They mean to take necessary corrective action. Prayers and support for these four courageous prelates: Cardinals Walter Brandmüller,  Raymond L. Burke, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner.

Read the summary of Cardinal Burke’s important interview below. Oremus. – j vennari

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BREAKING: Cardinal Burke says if Pope won’t clarify ‘serious error’, Cardinals must make ‘formal act of correction’

by Patrick B. Craine


ROME, November 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – After joining a group of four cardinals in releasing a call for Pope Francis to clarify grave errors in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Raymond Burke has now indicated the cardinals are contemplating a “formal correction” should the pope fail to address their concerns.

The cardinals had written to the pope with their concerns on September 19, but after failing to receive a response for nearly two months, they released the letter publicly on Monday morning.

Now, in an interview with the National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin, Burke discusses the next steps should the pope fail to address the cardinals’ concerns. Here is Pentin’s question and the cardinal’s response:

What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve?

“Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.”

Burke goes on to insist that in a case of conflict between the pope and Church Tradition, the Tradition is binding. “Ecclesial authority exists only in service of the Tradition,” Burke explains. “I think of that passage of St. Paul in the [Letter to the] Galatians (1:8), that if ‘even an angel should preach unto you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.’”

Historically, in the rare cases where popes have taught heresy, Burke explains, “It is the duty…, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.”

The September 19 letter, signed by Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, and Joachim Meisner, asked the pope 5 short questions which call for ‘yes or no’ answers that would immediately clarify the meaning of the confusion-plagued document on precisely those points where theologians, priests and even bishops have offered contradicting interpretations.

In the interview, Burke emphasizes that the cardinals have sought to act for “the good of the Church,” which, he says, “is suffering from a tremendous confusion” on the points they have raised especially. He notes, for example, that priests in different dioceses are being given contradictory directions on how to handle the question of access to Communion for those in adulterous unions.

“We, as cardinals, judged it our responsibility to request a clarification with regard to these questions, in order to put an end to this spread of confusion that is actually leading people into error,” he says.

“For us to remain silent about these fundamental doubts, which have arisen as a result of the text of Amoris Laetitia, would, on our part, be a grave lack of charity toward the Pope and a grave lack in fulfilling the duties of our own office in the Church,” he adds.

Read Ed Pentin’s full interview with Cardinal Burke
here.

Originally posted at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-if-pope-wont-clarify-his-serious-error-cardinals-must-make-a
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Sneering, Condescending Francis Insults Young Tridentine Catholics – the new “deplorables”?

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Sneering, Condescending Francis Insults Young Tridentine Catholics
The New “Deplorables”?

John Vennari

Pope Francis is a typical modernist Jesuit who loves every religion but his own. In this report below, we see Francis insult young traditionalist Catholics for their love of the true Mass, even stooping to claim to know and castigate their moral motives: “…This rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.”

Dear Francis, with these statements you tell us more about your own toxic disorientation than any of the alleged shortcoming of faithful young Catholics. The Bergoglio menace has insulted my children and the young (and not-so-young) Catholics who recognize the true value of the Mass of all time. We are dealinig with a remarkably sick man. The report below speaks for itself. Oremus

• • •

Pope, in interview, laments ‘rigidity’ of youth who prefer Latin Mass
From Catholic Culture:

Cardinal-designate Blase Cupich of Chicago joined Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, as a presenter at a Vatican press conference on the publication of Nei tuoi occhi è la mia parola (“In Your Eyes Are My Word”).

The book is the first unabridged collection of the future Pope Francis’s homilies and addresses from 1999 to 2013, when he served as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Other presenters at the press conference included Father Arturo Sosa, the new superior general of the Society of Jesus, and Father Federico Lombardi, the former director of the Holy See Press Office.

The book also includes a new interview with Father Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of Civiltà Cattolica. During the interview, the Pope spoke about the importance of listening to others, as well as his method of preparation for his daily Mass homilies.

He also discussed the sacred liturgy. Crux reported:

Asked about the liturgy, Pope Francis insisted the Mass reformed after the Second Vatican Council is here to stay and “to speak of a ‘reform of the reform’ is an error.”

In authorizing regular use of the older Mass, now referred to as the “extraordinary form,” now-retired Pope Benedict XVI was “magnanimous” toward those attached to the old liturgy, he said. “But it is an exception.”

Pope Francis told Father Spadaro he wonders why some young people, who were not raised with the old Latin Mass, nevertheless prefer it.

“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.”

• • •

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6) The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
7) Our Participation in the Mass: Tremendous Source of Grace
8) Our Participation (Part II) • Why is the Mass in Latin?
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Another Alinsky Candidate: Hillary

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Photographic reproduction of infamous epigraph to the devil from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

Another Alinsky Candidate: Hillary
by John Vennari

The first Trump-Hillary Debate took place the evening of September 26. No matter what one may think about the ups and downs of the event, there is one fact that stands out clear and firm: we can believe nothing Hillary Clinton says.

This is because Hillary is a devoted disciple of the left-wing radical Saul Alinsky who taught as a foundational principle that the end justifies the means.

Hillary was enamored with Alinsky while in high school and college, communicated with him, considered working with him, brought him in to speak at Wellesley, and wrote her undergraduate thesis on him. “Hillary was magnetically drawn to Alinsky, and he, apparently to her. Alinsky seems to have seen in Hillary a younger version of himself.”1

Alinsky even offered Hillary a job but she declined in order to attend Yale Law school.

In 1971, Alinsky published what is to this day his most popular and influential book: Rules for Radicals, A Pragmatic Primary for Realistic Radicals.

The book opens with Alinsky’s infamous epigraph to the devil. Here Alinksy writes:

“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical; from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”2

Alinsky lays out his foundational principles in the first chapter of the book. Alinsky claims:

1) There is no such thing as dogma, all truth is relative;

2) There is no such thing as a fixed rule of ethics, the end justifies the means;

3) Corruption in the leader is a kind of virtue.

Many conservative commentators make the mistake of opening directly to Alinsky’s chapter on his “Tactics” inRules for Radicals, but to do so is to miss the even more corrupt and cynical foundational principles on which he operates – and by extension – by which his disciples operate. Two of his most famous disciples are Barack Obama3and Hillary Clinton. As students of Alinksy, these perverse foundational principles are Obama’s and Clinton’s central modes of operation – and it shows.

We will quote Alinsky directly on the three points.

1) He begins Rules for Radicals with an attack on all dogma (in other words, objective truth). As early as page 4 we read, “Dogma is the enemy of human freedom. Dogma must be watched for an apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolution.”4 He glorifies doubt and the supposed relevance of truth.

“For the organizer”, Alinsky says “truth to him is relative and changing. Everything to him is relative and changing.”5 He says the organizer “does not have any fixed truth”; and that the community organizer is in a superior position because he is “free from the shackles of dogma.”6

As with most liberals, he was a nest of contradictions. On the one hand, he talked about the organizer’s deep concern for the “preciousness of human life,”on the other hand, he was a supporter of birth control and abortion,7which is hardly respect for the “preciousness of human life.”

2) Logically following the rejection of all dogma, Alinsky believed and taught as a principle that there is no such thing as a fixed morality or ethic. He said, “Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times.”8

In short, there is no objective ethic, only the means to the end — the end justifies the means. In this, he is perfectly aligned with Communism. It is a tenet of Communism that the end justifies the means – moral utilitarianism, just do what works.

3) Worse, Alinsky elevates corruption of the leader to a kind of virtue.

“The man of action views the issues of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms,” says Alinsky. “He asks for ends only. Whether they are achievable and worthy the cost of means, only whether they will work. To say that a corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process. He who fears corruption fears life.”9

He goes on to say that action is for mass salvation not for the individual’s personal salvation; and a leader who places his personal conscience and personal salvation first, “does not care enough for the people to be ‘corrupted’ for them.”10

He even mocked those insist on proper ethics, saying such people “end up on the ends without any means.”11 He later insists, “moral rationalization is indispensable to justify the selection or use of ends or means.”12

Thus for Alinsky, the Ten Commandments, the law of Christ and the natural moral law do not count. Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times. He closes his chapter on “Ends and Means” stating that the only question that must be asked is: “Does this particular end justify this particular means?”13

This is the school in which Barack Obama was formed, and the school of radical principle principles on which Hillary Clinton operates:

1) no dogma – no objective truth;

2) no fixed standards of ethics, the end justifies the means;

3) corruption in the civic leader is a kind of virtue.

This alone indicates that we can believe nothing HiIlary Clinton says. As a disciple of Alinsky, she will hold there is no objective truth, the ends justifies the means, and there is no fixed standard of ethics. She will be as ruthless and dishonest as the situation warrants. If she believe it necessary to lie, she will lie. If it is in her advantage to cheat, she will cheat. If she must crush someone who gets in the way, she will crush.

These characteristics of Hillary are well known to anyone who has eyes to see.

Even Camille Paglia, a leftist lesbian intellectual who happens to think for herself in a number of areas, recently denounced Hillary as “utterly corrupt,” “absolutely soulless” and “incompetent.”14

Thirteen Rules

Now that we have laid out Alinsky’s immoral foundational principles, we turn to his infamous thirteen Rules for Radicals.

“Tactics” is one of Alinsky’s most important chapters, wherein he lists the primary “rules for radicals.” It is important to know these as Hillary the Alinsky disciple will employ them at every opportunity.

Rule #1) Power is not what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.

It is important to make the enemy believe you are a mighty organization.

Rule #2) Never go outside the experience of your people.

If a tactic is outside of their experience, they are uncomfortable with it, which results in confusion, fear and retreat. All communication breaks down and the tactic may collapse.

Rule #3) Whenever possible, go outside the experience of your enemy

Going outside the experience of your enemy always disorients him. Use this tactic at every opportunity. Alinksy gives numerous examples of how this works, including General Sherman’s Civil War “March to the Sea” where Sherman deliberately made war against the property of southern civilians – destroyed their homes, killed their livestock. This was completely foreign to the civilian’s experience and devastated them.

Alinsky also says he once walked around a block in Los Angeles calmly offering everyone he saw a free $10.00 bill. Everyone jumped back from him as if he were insane; no one took the money. He did this to demonstrate that when something is outside the experience of people, they do not know how to react.15

Rule #4) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules!

Alinsky says you can kill them with this, because they probably cannot do it.

Rule #5) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

It is almost impossible to counter-attack ridicule, he says, and it infuriates the opposition who react to your advantage.

Rule #6) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

He says the best tactics are the ones that your people have great time doing. If they people do not enjoy it, or are uncomfortable with it, there something wrong with the tactic.

Rule #7) A tactic that drags on too long is a drag.

Tactics call for change and creativity.

Rule #8) Keep the pressure on.

Keep it up with different tactics and actions.

Rule #9) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

Rule #10) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain constant pressure upon the opposition.

Rule#11) If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.

Rule #12) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
Do not be caught ill-prepared if your opposition asks what you want. Have your alternative plan in place and ready from the beginning.

Rule #13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.16

Paul Kengor calls this one of Alinsky’s most ruthless tactics. Alinsky “advised cutting off the support network of the person and isolating the person from sympathy. He cruelly urged going after people rather than institutions because people hurt faster than institutions.”17

These “Rules for Radicals” reflect the true calibre of the pro-abortion, anti-Christian Hillary Rodham Clinton. She will employ dishonesty and ruthless tactics as the situation warrants.

It is a sad fact that most people expect politicians to lie. But for Hillary, lying, the ends justifies the means, and the rejection of objective moral law are central principles on which she functions.

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Notes:

1. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, Dinesh D’Souza [Washington: Regnary, 2016], p. 172.
2 Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals [New York: Vintage, 1971], Epigraph page. See photo on above.
3. Covered in detail in “The Alinsky-Obama Connection,” John Vennari, Catholic Family News, (Parts I & II), May & June, 2009..
4 Rules for Radicals, p. 4.
5 Ibid., pp. 10-11 (emphasis added in the original).
6 Ibid., p. 11.
7 Ibid., p. 94.
8 Ibid, p. 32.
9 Ibid., p. 25.
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid., p. 43
13 Ibid., p. 47 (emphasis in the original).
14. Web interview: “Camille Paglia talks to Ella Whelan about Feminism,” April 14, 2016. Paglia favors either Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein of the Green Party.
15 Rules for Radicals, pp. 86-87.
16 Ibid., pp. 127-130.
17. “The Devil is in Her Details,” Paul Kengor, The American Spectator, July 26, 2016.

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