by Deacon Nick Donnelly

After the difficult events of the Extraordinary Synod in 2014, I know I’m not alone in feeling a sense of anxiety and powerlessness about the Synod that opens this weekend, (4th October). Cardinal Burke is clear that we are facing a pivotal time in the history of the modern Church. He told Polish television:

“We’re in a time of crisis in the Church, a critical moment in which we may have to give our all to safeguard both the truth of the Faith not only for our own salvation but for the salvation of our world and for the generations to come”.

My own experience confirms Cardinal Burke’s sense that the Church is facing a grave crisis. I am hearing about directly, and reading about, Catholics becoming ill, disillusioned or driven to desperate measures by the chaos caused by the two Synods.

by Deacon Nick Donnelly

Edward Pentin, the respected Vatican Correspondent, has brought out a new book, The Rigging of a Vatican Synod: An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. In this, he reports an alarming conversation with a “well-informed source close to the Vatican”:

‘There is a growing sense in Rome that the divorce and remarriage issue is simply a Trojan horse, appearing innocuous and affecting relatively few people, but if passed, would erode a key teaching of the church and so pave the way for weakening Catholic teaching in other areas such as same-sex relationships. “We all thought this was about divorce and remarriage,” one well informed source close to the Vatican told me. “It’s not, it’s about gays.”’

 

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).

by Deacon Nick Donnelly

In the remaining weeks before the Synod in October I think it is necessary for faithful Catholics to re-claim the apostolic warning cries of “anathema” and “heresy”. These are salutary reminders when faced with the danger of the imposition of a “counterfeit Christ” on the Church. And let us not be in any doubt, those who seek to allow the divorced and re-married to receive Holy Communion, even though they are committing the sin of adultery, have a misunderstanding of Christ’s merciful role as Saviour. It is a caricature of Christ, that leads them to downplay the significance, even the existence, of sin and forget that we are to be His holy people trying to follow His command to “go away and sin no more”.

SchneiderTalk-1-1024x490In 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

The vote for the next leader of the UK Labour Party will close on Thursday 10 September 2015, with the results announced on Saturday 12 September 2015. The following is an assessment of the four candidates from a Catholic perspective.

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).

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