Friday, February 19, 2010

Pope Ropes in Australian Anglicans
February 19, 2010 From theTrumpet.comThe Romanizing of traditional Christianity reaches Down Under. By Ron Fraser

Reports are emerging confirming the prospect of 16 Anglican parishes in Australia converting to Roman Catholicism.

Ecumenism has been actively pursued in Australia since the 1950s. The highest profile activity has been among certain non-Anglican Protestant groups forming the Uniting Church of Australia. But Rome has also been active reaching out to those in Australia’s largest Protestant denomination, the Anglicans, or Church of England as it is more traditionally known Down Under.

Roman Catholics comprise 26 percent of the total Australian population, slightly edging out Anglicans, who make up 24 percent, with other Protestants over 17 percent. Up to World War ii, Anglicans were by far in the majority. However, a great influx of European migrants swung the pendulum toward a Roman Catholic majority after the war. Catholics are highly organized within Australian society, enjoying a high profile in the civil service, the legal profession, education, and medical and hospital services, plus having quite a degree of clout in Australian politics.

The pro-Catholic Anglican movement is riding on the coattails of similar moves toward Rome made in Britain following Pope Benedict’s issue three months ago of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This allows for Anglicans to obtain corporate union with Rome.

The precedent for the pro-Catholic Austro-Anglican move is that set by the Traditional Anglican Communion in Britain. It has already broken away from the corporate body of the Anglican Church having declared that its members will become Catholics under the apostolic constitution. The main driver of the Australian Anglo-Catholic movement is, as it is with the British Traditional Anglicans, the endorsement by the Anglican Church of homosexuals and female priests.

“Under the terms of the Vatican’s offer made last October, Anglicans who are disillusioned with the church’s liberal direction will be allowed to enter into full communion with the Holy See. But they may be able to continue using their old prayer books and church services, and will come under the pastoral care of a new bishop called an ordinary” (, February 16). This is an old and proven formula that has been used over generations of Roman Catholic evangelizing. It is not unusual to witness even pagan practices permitted continuance in numerous countries where Rome dominates their populations religiously. Latin America is a typical example.

Many of the most strident voices of conservatism increasingly hail from the Roman Catholic right within Anglo-Saxon countries. The decamping to Rome of influential Anglican communities may well work to enhance Roman Catholic influence in the politics of Anglo-Saxon nations as this universalist church aggressively pursues its global crusade under Pope Benedict xvi.
Look for this trend to continue and even accelerate as Orthodox communities follow the Anglican example and return to the religion that mothered them all.

To educate yourself in this phenomenon, read our booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? It may help you take a firmer hold on reality as world events rapidly gear toward the full exposure of the source of all this world’s religions, and its ultimate end, just prior to the implanting of the only true religion around this globe at its Savior’s return. •

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bioethics: Human Dignity and Natural Moral Law - Pope
Vatican City: February 15, 2010, (PCTV Newsdesk)

On Feb 13 the Holy Father received in audience members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the president of which is Archbishop Rino Fisichella. The academy is currently meeting for its annual plenary assembly.

"The problems revolving around the question of bioethics", said the Pope, "bring the anthropological question to the fore"; this concerns "human life in its perennial tension between immanence and transcendence, and has great importance for the culture of future generations".

Hence, he went on, "it is necessary to institute a comprehensive educational project which enables these themes to be approached from a positive, balanced and constructive standpoint, especially as regards the relationship between faith and reason."

Bioethical questions often throw light on the dignity of the person, a fundamental principle which faith in Jesus Christ ... has always defended, especially when it is overlooked in dealings with the most simple and defenceless people", he added.

"Bioethics, like any other discipline, needs guidelines capable of guaranteeing a coherent reading of the ethical questions which inevitably emerge when faced with possible conflicts of interpretation. In this space lies the normative call to natural moral law".

"Recognising human dignity as an inalienable right has its first foundation in that law - unwritten by the hand of man but inscribed by God the Creator in man's heart - which all juridical systems are called to recognise as inviolable, and all individuals to respect and promote. Without the basic principle of human dignity it would be difficult to find a wellspring for the rights of the person, and impossible to reach ethical judgements about those scientific advances which have a direct effect on human life".

"When we invoke respect for the dignity of the person, it is fundamental that such respect should be complete, total and unimpeded, ... recognising that we are always dealing with a human life", said Pope Benedict. "Of course, human life has its own development and the research horizon for science and bioethics remains open, but it must be reiterated that when dealing with matters which involve human beings, scientists must never think they are dealing with inanimate and manipulable material. In fact, from its first instant, the life of man is characterised by the fact of being a human life, and for this reason it has, always and everywhere, its own dignity".

"Conjugating bioethics and natural moral law is the best way to ensure" recognition for "the dignity that human life intrinsically possesses from its first instant to its natural end".

The Pope also highlighted "the commitment that must be shown in the various areas of society and culture in order to ensure that human life is always recognised as an unalienable subject of law, and never as an object dependent on the whims of the powerful". In this context he pointed out that "history has shown how dangerous and damaging a State can be when it proceeds to make laws that touch the person and society, while itself claiming to be the source and principle of ethics".

"Natural moral law", the Holy Father concluded, "is a guarantee for legislators to show true respect both for the person and for the entire order of creation. It is the catalysing source of consensus among peoples from different cultures and religions, enabling differences to be overcome by affirming the existence of an order imprinted into nature by the Creator, ... an authentic call to use ethical-rational judgement to seek good and avoid evil".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Christian faith without love cannot live, pope says
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With love, faith comes alive, and without it, faith is dead, Pope Benedict XVI said.

It is God's love that grants true spiritual knowledge and transforms people's lives, he said Feb. 10 at his weekly general audience.

"Charity lies at the heart of faith and makes it come alive. Without love, faith dies," he said.

The pope's audience talk focused on the life and teachings of St. Anthony of Padua, a 13th-century Franciscan friar who was a contemporary of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Anthony played a key role in developing Franciscan spirituality, the pope said, especially concerning the role and nature of prayer.

Only through authentic prayer can a person experience spiritual progress and fight the temptations of greed, pride, and impurity and instead live a life marked by poverty, generosity, humility, obedience and chastity, he said.

St. Anthony taught that prayer needs silence -- not so much an absence of audible noise and sounds, but an inner silence in which all worries and mental distractions are quelled and the soul finds a sense of calm, said the pope.

He said the saint taught that there are four "indispensable" steps to perfecting the art of prayer.

The first step is confidently "opening one's heart to God's presence," he said. The second is to "have an affectionate dialogue with God, seeing him present with me," the pope said.

The next step, he said, comes easily to most people: telling God what is on one's mind. Then lastly, praise God and thank him, he said.

These steps help make prayer a loving and joy-filled conversation with God that will enrich and strengthen one's faith and spiritual journey, he said.

He said the saint also urged people to pursue "true wealth -- that of the heart," which brings goodness and mercy to the world.

St. Anthony asked that the faithful not forget the plight of the poor, which is "a very important and pertinent message today," the pope said. Financial crises create serious economic gaps, which cause poverty and misery, he said.

In order for an economic system to function correctly, it must have an ethical basis that is based on friendship and respect for the human person, he said.

Paul VI Audience Hall Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Saint Anthony of Padua

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Continuing our catechesis on medieval Christian culture, we now turn to Saint Anthony of Padua, a contemporary of Saint Francis who helped lay the foundations of the Franciscan theological and spiritual tradition. Born in Lisbon, Anthony became an Augustinian canon and then a Franciscan Friar. His great eloquence and learning made him one of the great preachers of his time. His Sermons, imbued with the traditional spiritual exegesis of the Scriptures, offer a guide to growth in the Christian life and stress the importance of prayer as a loving and joy-filled conversation with the Lord. Here we see one of the principal characteristics of Franciscan theology: its emphasis on God’s love, which grants spiritual knowledge and transforms our lives. At a time of great economic growth, Anthony called for the cultivation of interior riches and sensitivity to the needs of the poor. Typical also of the Franciscan tradition is his stress on the contemplation of Christ in his humanity, particularly in the mysteries of the Nativity and the Crucifixion. In this Year for Priests, let us ask Saint Anthony to pray that all preachers will communicate a burning love for Christ, a thirst for closeness to the Lord in prayer, and a deeper appreciation of the truth and beauty of God’s word.
* * *

I am pleased to offer a warm welcome to the Delegation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America here with us today. I also greet all the English-speaking visitors present at this Audience, especially those from England, Denmark and the United States. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Speaking out does make a difference after all

Pope Benedict XVI has criticised the “increasing tide of secularism” in Britain, in his second comments on the country in a week.

By Martin Beckford

The pontiff condemned support for euthanasia, which he said goes directly against the Christian understanding of the dignity of human life, and recent developments in embryo research.
He also said that too many people see the Roman Catholic Church in terms of “prohibitions and retrograde positions” but ignore its positive vision of the world.

The pope added that faith schools are a “powerful force” for improving society.

It comes just days after Benedict XVI made an unprecedented attack on Labour’s “unjust” equality laws, claiming that they restricted religious freedom.

He made his earlier intervention in politics, which triggered protests from MPs and campaigners, when he met 35 bishops from England and Wales on Monday.

On Friday the pope addressed Scotland’s Catholic bishops at the Vatican, where they had made the five-yearly “ad limina” pilgrimage.

Benedict XVI confirmed that he would journey to Scotland as part of the historic first papal state visit to Britain.

“Later this year, I shall have the joy of being present with you and the Catholics of Scotland on your native soil,” he said.

But he told the bishops they must “evangelise society” as he highlighted his concerns about the country.

The pope said: “That task requires a readiness to grapple firmly with the challenges presented by the increasing tide of secularism in your country.

“Support for euthanasia strikes at the very heart of the Christian understanding of the dignity of human life.

“Recent developments in medical ethics and some of the practices advocated in the field of embryology give cause for great concern.”

Last month Margo MacDonald, a member of the Scottish Parliament, published a bill that would let terminally ill people ask a doctor to help them end their lives. This would go even further than the guidelines for England and Wales being drawn up by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, which are likely to state that anyone who helps a loved one die will not be prosecuted unless they did it for profit or the victim was not seriously ill.

In 2008 the UK Parliament passed a law that would allow the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos to help develop cancer treatments.

The pope went on: “The Church offers the world a positive and inspiring vision of human life, the beauty of marriage and the joy of parenthood.

“All too often the Church’s doctrine is perceived as a series of prohibitions and retrograde positions, whereas the reality, as we know, is that it is creative and life-giving, and it is directed towards the fullest possible realization of the great potential for good and for happiness that God has implanted within every one of us.

“You can be proud of the contribution made by Scotland’s Catholic schools in overcoming sectarianism and building good relations between communities. Faith schools are a powerful force for social cohesion, and when the occasion arises, you do well to underline this point.”

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the most senior Catholic in Britain, told the pope: “Your Holiness has let it be known that you will visit Great Britain in the autumn, and we are thrilled that your visit will include Scotland.

“We remember with joy the visit of your venerable predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in 1982.

“We are certain that the Scottish people will give Your Holiness a heartfelt welcome. We hope that your visit to Scotland later this year will bring us renewed encouragement, vigour and joy as we seek to serve Christ in the circumstances of the present day.”

Homosexuality rights campaigners and secular groups have announced that they will stage protests when Benedict XVI arrives in Britain – likely to be in September – after he spoke out so strongly against equality law.

He had in mind the order that Catholic adoption agencies must consider same-sex couples as potential parents, and the clause in the Equality Bill currently before Parliament that could have left churches unable to require that employees are Christians, and forced to admit homosexuals to the priesthood.

Labour later disclosed that it would not seek to reintroduce the contentious clause of the bill, saying: “The Pope's intervention has been noted.”