October 7, 2023 Column Father De Celles News

FCPS Family Life Education Unmasked. Please join me this coming Thursday, October 12, at 7pm in the Parish Hall for a presentation by Cathy Ruse and John Murray entitled, “Family Life Education in Fairfax County Public Schools, A Critique.”

This presentation is designed to inform parents about the serious problems in the FLE and reveal better alternatives. It will explain how FLE actually encourages sexual relationships outside of marriage, teaches students how to obtain contraceptives and abortion without parents finding out, and contains additional harmful and misguided teachings as well as serious omissions. Transgender identity is promoted, and maleness and femaleness erased.

Cathy Ruse is well known to St. Raymond’s, not only as a nationally known figure, but also having spoken here several times in the past. She is currently Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at the Family Research Council and co-founder of Catholics Engaged for Fairfax.  She also previously served as Pro-life spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

John Murray is a long-time pro-life activist and currently the founding director of Parentandchild.org, and Pro-Life Coordinator at Saint Mary of Sorrows. He has held a variety of staff and management positions at HUD, FEMA, and DHS, and is a Lt. Colonel, USAF ret.

I hope to see all the parents of Fairfax County School students in attendance.

Synod. Well, the Synod on Synodality has begun in Rome and will run for most of the next month. For a good understanding of what’s happening daily I suggest you follow our own parishioner, the brilliant, inciteful and well-connected Dr. Robert Royal at “TheCatholicThing.org.” as he reports daily from Rome. [I also recommend following folks at The Pillar (pillarcatholic.com).]

Here is an excerpt from one of Dr. Royal’s first reports (an excellent analysis):

“If you wanted two words to describe the Synod on Synodality, the event that begins today in Rome, it would have to be deep confusion. Unless you wanted to add a third, deliberate. Because it’s been clear from a series of concrete measures that what’s been said is not what’s going to happen. And what’s going to happen has not been said. Yet there’s a method, of a sort, to this madness.

“To begin with, the very format of this Synod is already a kind of deliberate confusion – and for a reason.

“On the one hand, we have been told by the very highest synodal authorities – from the pope on down – that synodality is a recovery of an ancient dimension of the Church that was preserved in the East but had been lost in the West…

“On the other hand, we have the words of the exarch (leader) of the Greek Catholic Church – part of that very Eastern tradition (though in communion with Rome) – warning:

“‘if the West understands synodality as a place or as a moment where everyone, laity and clergy, act together in order to arrive at some ecclesiastical, doctrinal, canonical, disciplinary decision, whatever it may be, it becomes clear that such synodality does not exist in the East.’

“Historically, this is correct beyond question. That’s why when synods began to be held after Vatican II, they were synods of bishops, in conversation with the pope, which is to say of those with the apostolic authority to govern, teach, and sanctify. That’s the Eastern tradition that we’re being told was lost in the West.

“The new configuration, which has been conjured out of thin air by people shaped by some unfortunate cultural currents in recent decades, suggests that the further claim by the Roman organizers – that the synod is not a democratizing of the Church – is not merely a historical mistake about tradition. That much is obvious. The only question is why?….”

More News From Rome. Did you see these widely covered stories last week?

Catholic World News:The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has barred Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard from public ministry outside of his diocese of residence for five years as punishment for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in 1987, La Croix reports.

“The dicastery’s ruling…permits the 79-year-old retired archbishop of Bourdeaux (France) to vote in a conclave and to minister publicly in the diocese in which he currently resides, if the local bishop permits. Cardinal Ricard remains a member of the College of Cardinals and of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity….

“In November 2022, Cardinal Ricard admitted abusing a 14-year-old girl in the late 1980s, when he was a parish priest, Reuters reported.…

(Pastor’s Comment: any priest similarly accused would be defrocked/ laicized).

National Catholic Register:Five cardinals have sent a set of questions to Pope Francis to express their concerns and seek clarification on points of doctrine and discipline ahead of this week’s opening of the Synod on Synodality at the Vatican. The cardinals said they submitted five questions, called dubia, on Aug. 21 requesting clarity on topics relating to doctrinal development, the blessing of same-sex unions, the authority of the Synod on Synodality, women’s ordination, and sacramental absolution….

“The dubia were signed by German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, 94, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; American Cardinal Raymond Burke, 75, prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura; Chinese Cardinal Zen Ze-Kiun, 90, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong; Mexican Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, 90, archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara; and Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, 78, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

“The same group of senior prelates say they submitted a previous version of the dubia on these topics on July 10 and received a reply from Pope Francis the following day… Pope Francis’ responses ‘have not resolved the doubts we had raised, but have, if anything, deepened them,’ they said in a statement to the National Catholic Register…They therefore sent the reformulated dubia on Aug. 21, rephrasing them partly so they would elicit ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ replies…. They say they have not yet received a response to the reformulated dubia ….”

Catholic News Agency:The Vatican on Monday publicly released responses to 10 dubia submitted by Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka regarding ‘the administration of the Eucharist to divorced couples living in a new union.’

“….the DDF’s response — signed both by Pope Francis and new prefect Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández — had been issued to the Czech cardinal on Sept. 25….

“On the question of admittance to the Eucharist for a Catholic divorced from his/her sacramentally married spouse but civilly remarried to another, Fernández wrote that while priests should provide pastoral accompaniment to the individual, ‘it is each person, individually, who is called to put himself before God and expose his conscience to him, with both its possibilities and its limits,’ and evaluate their disposition to receive.

“‘This conscience, accompanied by a priest and enlightened by the guidelines of the Church, is called to be formed to evaluate and give a sufficient judgment to discern the possibility of accessing the sacraments.’

[Pastor’s note: needless to say, this has only added to the confusion since it apparently contradicts constant Church teaching and ignores Church law, which still prohibits priests from giving these people Communion].

Oremus pro invicem, et pro Ecclesiam. Fr. De Celles