by Deacon Nick Donnelly
For most of this year I have been haunted by photographs of the murderous persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq by Muslim terrorists. I cry with Pope Francis ‘how can human beings do such cruel and depraved acts?’ A toddler in his pyjamas hanging from a wall, a little girl beheaded with a child’s bracelet on her wrist, a young woman tied to a bed, violated and murdered by a crucifix shoved down her throat, room after room filled with the bodies of women shot in the head for being ‘prostitutes, just because they were not dressed in bruqas and habibs. Christian men crucified with their ‘crimes’ written on plaques hanging from their necks or nailed above their heads.
The 8th December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, marked the 150th anniversary of the Syllabus Errorum (“The Syllabus of Errors”) and Quanta Cura (“Condemning Current Errors”) by Blessed Pope Pius IX. The Church in his day was in grave danger of being hurt by enemies within and overwhelmed by enemies without. The holy Pio Nono saw therefore the need to teach strongly against the theological, philosophical, moral and other errors behind this danger. In December 1864 he did this not only with an encylical (Quanta Cura), but with an annex to that encylical listing these errors, all of which had been condemned previously in his other Magisterial statements.
By Patrick Hayes
Following today’s case Bernadette Smyth says, “I’m not going away! Even if you tell lies about me, slander my name, or take me to court, I will still defend the unborn.” Commenting on the verdict, Solicitor Aiden Carlin said: "The pro-life movement worldwide will be disappointed at this decision which we are planning to Appeal to the County Court. Bernadette Smyth and Precious Life have been assaulted, insulted and falsely accused for simply defending the rights of mothers and their unborn children to choose life. This court case was a ploy to deter Precious Life and to curtail their rights under Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the European Convention. The pro-life movement and their legal representatives will not been silenced."
The Church and the world do urgently need intrepid and candid witnesses of the whole truth of the commandment and of the will of God, of the whole truth of Christ’s words on marriage. Modern clerical Pharisees and Scribes, those bishops and cardinals who throw grains of incense to the neo-pagan idols of gender ideology and concubinage, will not convince anyone to either believe in Christ or to be ready to offer their lives for Christ - said + Athanasius Schneider Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan in interview with Izabella Parowicz.
The Reverend Nicholas L. Gregoris, S.T.D.
Having lived in Rome for nearly a decade as a seminarian and a student priest, I had numerous opportunities to participate in momentous occasions from the promulgation of papal decrees, to canonizations, to a papal funeral, to the vast array of activities associated with the Great Jubilee of 2000. This month I returned to take advantage of the unique opportunity to cover the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, providing theological expertise to various journalists. What follows arises from interaction I had with secular and Catholic reporters, inquiries coming from the curious and confused through telephone and email, and observations from clergy and laity with whom I rubbed elbows during the first two weeks of October.
By Deacon Nick Donnelly
The day after the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the faithful woke up and groaned to find the Catholic Church in disarray. Familiar certainties about Rome, popes, and cardinals had been swept away. Among faithful Catholics there is a sense of numb disbelief over the attempted casual and brutal changes to the doctrine of the Faith in the name of pastoral care. There is also grief and anger at the destruction of so much good that was achieved over the last 35 years by Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.