by Deacon Nick Donnelly
A friend recently went through statements published by the Irish Bishops’ Conference between 2012 and 2015 to examine the language the bishops used about morality, especially in response to the initiatives of the Enda Kenny government. During this period the Irish government legalised both the killing of unborn babies through abortion and the treatment of homosexuality as equivalent with heterosexuality through so called same-sex "marriage". The statements from the Bishops’ Conference show the Irish bishops failing to name the evil of abortion and homosexual sex even though the Second Vatican Council named abortion an “unspeakable crime” (Gaudium et Spes, 50) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church names homosexual acts as acts of “grave depravity” (CCC, 2357).
In this new interview with Catholic Voice, Bishop Athanasius Schneider comments on the Instrumentum Laboris for the 2015 Synod, warns against trying to find politically correct language and explains the duty of a Catholic bishop when faced with the moral issues of the day. His Excellency also offers examples of saints and spiritual writings to which we can turn for consolation and encouragement in this time of confusion and disorientation in the Church.
by Deacon Nick Donnelly
As an ordained minister of the Church the key purpose of my life is very straightforward – adoring God and saving souls. Nothing else matters. I proclaim and defend the doctrines and the disciplines of the Faith because they have been entrusted to the Church as the means by which souls attain their supernatural destiny of sharing in “the good things of God”. It’s rare to hear nowadays, but I seek to cultivate in myself and others a “passionate zeal for souls”. Of course zeal for souls involves zeal to save man in his totality, body and soul, as expressed in the practice of corporal acts of mercy combined with spiritual acts of mercy. Pope Francis said earlier this year that the salus animarum [the salvation of souls] is the highest law of the Church, which he describes as helping people hear and live the universal call to holiness.
It is from this zeal for souls that I want to share with you my growing concern about attitudes, behaviours and arguments that I have observed among some Catholics whom I consider my friends and collaborators during this time of battle in the Church. I don’t write from some detached perspective but as someone who struggles against the same temptations. Ultimately, I write this because I want to see us all standing before the throne of Almighty God and hear His glorious words of recognition and welcome, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Mt 25:34).
by Deacon Nick Donnelly
Homosexual activists have succeeded in persuading the ruling elites to use the power of the State, media and big business to successfully campaign for the legalisation of same-sex “marriage”. A government minister of Ireland, one of the most pro-life countries of the world, has announced with satisfaction the killing of 26 babies in 2014 as a result of Kenny’s abortion law.
These are the first ‘legal’ abortions ever conducted in the Republic of Ireland. A majority in the UK House of Commons, that prides itself on promoting feminism, have voted down a motion to protect baby girls from gendercide abortion. No wonder there is a sense among faithful Catholics that moral life is spinning out of control in Ireland and Britain. The question is, does the accelerating abandonment of morality and the riotous celebration of immorality, coupled with increasing hostility towards Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, indicate the activity of supernatural evil in both Britain and Ireland? The most significant evidence that the devil is conspiring to bring these events about is the reversal of public morality, where good is now condemned as evil, and evil is celebrated as good. For example, during the referendum in Ireland good people who defended marriage between a man and woman for the procreation and upbringing of children were pilloried in the media and meetings as wicked bigots.
Faced with the activity of supernatural evil in our countries what should be the response of faithful bishops, priests and laity?
Fota VIII International Liturgy Conference, Cork, Ireland, 4-6 July 2015
The eighth Fota International Liturgy Conference was opened this morning by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.
The initial session of the conference heard two papers on the scriptural aspects of the priesthood of Baptism. The papers were delivered by Fr. Joseph Briody, St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts, and by Professor Dieter Böhler, SJ, Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt.
by Bishop Athanasius Schneider
During Pentecost, the Holy Ghost filled the hearts of the faithful with his Divine presence, and their souls with his seven-fold gifts, and above all with the gift of Divine love. It is from that day that the fire of Divine love started to burn in their souls.
What are the effects of that Divine fire? It is the transformation of our weak and inconstant human love into a supernatural love. Thanks to that supernatural love, we are able to love God with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Above all, the fire of Divine love in our soul gives us the virtue of fortitude. That virtue of fortitude has, for two thousand years, given the faithful the capacity to prefer death to the betrayal of their baptismal promises, to prefer to die rather than to sin, to die rather than to betray their priestly vows, to die rather than to betray their religious vows.
By Deacon Nick Donnelly
The impoverished state of the Catholic faith and the Church in Ireland has been exposed by the large majority voting to legalise same-sex “marriage”. I have heard reports from the Irish Diaspora of faithful Catholics being in a state “beyond shock” at the enormity of Ireland’s betrayal of marriage and the repudiation of the Church. A friend told me that she thought that the “yes” vote was such a serious desertion of the Faith by so many Catholics that it could be one of the worst events in modern Irish history. Another friend described the “yes” vote as the greatest possible insult to past generations of Irish Catholics who had sacrificed so much, even their lives, out of fidelity to the Faith and the Church. Around the world many are asking the same question, “how could this have happened to Ireland?”