Oh, What Torments Must the Heart of Jesus Endure!
Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 April 2017 - 21:41:12 | by admin
Gloria TV News has reported that the new Opus Dei prelate, Bishop Fernando Ocariz, has sacrilegiously spoken in favour of Holy Communion being given to adulterers, as though this were ''a new pastoral impulse'' following from Amoris Laetitia.
Such evil news, breaking even as the Church enters liturgically into the sufferings of Our Blessed Lord, demonstrates that the Catholic Church has certainly been infiltrated by her enemies to even the very highest levels.
We must console Our Lord Jesus Christ in His sacred Passion in this dark night for the Catholic Church.
To help us, here is a timely reflection from the classical writings of St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
The Bloody Sweat and Agony Suffered by Jesus in the Garden
We read in history that several penitents being enlightened by divine light to see the malice of their sins, have died of pure sorrow for them.
Oh, what torment, then, must not the Heart of Jesus endure at the sight of all the sins of the world, of all the blasphemies, sacrileges, acts of impurity,and all the other crimes which should be committed by men after His death, every one of which, like a wild beast, tore His Heart separately by its own malice?
Wherefore our afflicted Lord, during His agony in the garden exclaimed, Is this, therefore, O men, the reward that you render me for my immeasurable love?
Oh, if I could only see that, grateful for my affection, you gave up sin and began to love me, with what delight should I not hasten to die for you! But to behold, after all my sufferings, so many sins; after so much love, such ingratitude; - this is what afflicts me the most, makes me sorrowful even unto death, and makes me sweat pure blood: And His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground (Luke 22:44). So that, according to the Evangelist, this bloody sweat was so copius that it first bathed all the vestments of our Blessed Redeemer, and then came forth in quantity and bathed the ground.
Ah, my loving Jesus, I do not behold in this garden either scourges or thorns or nails that pierce Thee; how, then, is it that I see Thee all bathed in blood from Thy head to Thy feet?
Alas, my sins were the cruel press which, by dint of affliction and sorrow, drew so much blood from Thy Heart.
I was, then, one of Thy most cruel executioners, who contributed the most to crucify Thee with my sins.
It is certain that, if I had sinned less, Thou, my Jesus, wouldst have suffered less. As much pleasure, therefore, as I have taken in offending Thee, so much the more did I increase the sorrow of Thy Heart, already full of anguish.
How, then, does not this thought make me die of grief, when I see that I have repaid the love Thou hast shown me in Thy Passion by adding to Thy sorrow and suffering?
I, then, have tormented this Heart, so loving and so worthy of love, which has shown so much love to me.
My Lord, since I have now no other means left of consoling Thee than to weep over my offences towards Thee, I will now, my Jesus, sorrow for them and lament over them with my whole heart.
O, give me, I pray Thee, so great sorrow for them as may make me to my last breath weep over the displeasure I have caused Thee, my God, my Love, my All.
The sacrilege and heresy being spread by false shepherds causes faithful Catholics grave spiritual suffering. May none of us waste this suffering. Instead, may we thank God for it; because it shows that, by His love, grace and mercy, we truly love Him. Then, may we all join our sufferings with His in reparation, and for the conversion of poor sinners.
Jesus I Trust in Thee!
Holy Thursday - Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist
Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 April 2017 - 20:34:37 | by admin
On this night, in which the Sacred Liturgy joins us by anamnesis to the Lord's Supper, His Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, and of His giving of Himself totally to His Passion in the Garden of Gethsemane, it seems appropriate to contemplate the following words from St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
The Love of Jesus in Leaving Himself for Our Food Before His Death
Jesus, knowing that His Hour was come that He should pass out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (John 13:1).
Our most loving Redeemer, on the last night of His life, knowing that the much-longed-for time had arrived on which He should die for the love of man, had not the heart to leave us alone in this valley of tears; but in order that He might not be separated from us even by death, He would leave us His whole Self as food in the Sacrament of the Altar; giving us to understand by this that, having given us this gift of infinite worth, He could give us nothing further to prove His love: He loved them to the end.
Cornelius a Lapide, with St. Chrysostom and Theophylact, interprets the words ''unto the end'' according to the Greek text, and writes thus: ''He loved them with an excessive and supreme love.''
Jesus in this Sacrament made His last effort of love towards men, as the Abbot Guerric says: ''He poured out the whole power of His love upon His friends.''
This was still better expressed by the holy Council of Trent, which, in speaking of the Sacrament of the Altar, says that our Blessed Saviour ''poured out of Himself in It, as it were, all the riches of His love towards us.''
The angelical doctor, St. Thomas, was therefore right in calling this Sacrament ''a Sacrament of love, and a token of the greatest love that a God could give us.''
And St. Mary Magdalane of Pazzi said that a soul, after having communicated, might say, ''It is consumated''; that is to say, My God, having given Himself to me in this Holy Communion, has nothing more to give me. This saint, one day asked one of her novices what she had been thinking of after Communion; she answered, ''Of the love of Jesus.'' ''Yes,'' replied the saint; ''when we think of this love, we cannot pass on to other thoughts, but must stop upon love.''
O Saviour of the world, what dost Thou expect from men, that Thou hast been induced even to give them Thyself in food? And what can there be left to Thee to give us after this Sacrament, in order to oblige us to love Thee?
Ah, my most loving God, enlighten me that I may know what an excess of goodness this has been of Thine, to reduce Thyself unto becoming my food in Holy Communion!
If Thou hast, therefore, given Thyself entirely to me, it is just that I also should give myself wholly to Thee.
Yes, my Jesus, I give myself entirely to Thee. I love Thee above every good, and I desire to receive Thee in order to love Thee more.
Come, therefore, and come often, into my soul, and make it entirely Thine. Oh, that I could truly say to Thee, as the loving St. Philip Neri said to Thee when he received Thee in the Viaticum, ''Behold my love, behold my love; give me my love.''
We pray that all who read this will receive the graces which overflow on the earth, to those who are open and disposed to receive them, on this very holy night in the Christian year.
All Ireland - Holy Face Vigils on Good Friday
Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 April 2017 - 20:06:15 | by admin
The Good Friday Holy Face vigil in Kerry last year.
We recently reported on HLI Ireland's hugely successful Holy Face campaign which is presently running in Ireland.
Patrick McCrystal, his team and countless supporters throughout Ireland are building on the foundations which they established last year, with even more billboards, posters, literature and prayer vigils being spread throughout Ireland this time around.
Remarkably, they have increased the number of public Good Friday prayer vigils from 32 last year, to around 60 being planned for tomorrow.
HLI Ireland aims to have two of these Good Friday vigils in most of Ireland's counties tomorrow.
These vigils provide a good opportunity for public prayer, witness and reparation to be made in these times when apostasy is sadly spreading in God's Own Country.
Readers in Ireland are therefore strongly encouraged to please add to their attendance at the Good Friday liturgies in their parishes, by also attending these vigils wherever possible. Please see the link to HLI Ireland at our Links Page for all the details.
Wherever in the world folks are reading this, we ask that you join in too, by please praying for the success of these vigils in bringing many souls, as well as Ireland's culture, back to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the One True Faith.
Our Lady of Sorrows - Pray for us!
St. Patrick - Pray for us!
Sacred Easter Triduum - Some Traditional Latin Mass Times in NW Region of England
Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 April 2017 - 19:20:04 | by admin
Here are some of the details of Traditional Latin Mass and Liturgy times for Easter in the north west region of England. Please note that the following list may not be exhaustive.
St. Catherine Laboure, Stanifield Lane, Farington, PR25 4QG.
10am - Sung Traditional Latin Mass
(Also: New Rite Masses celebrated at Farington ad orientem, with use of Altar Rails and traditional music on: Holy Thursday at 7:30pm, followed by watching at the Altar of Repose until close with Sung Compline at 9:50pm, Confessions available after Holy Mass; Good Friday at 3pm, Confessions at 4pm; Holy Saturday Solemn Vigil and First Mass of Easter at 8:30pm).
St. Anthony's, Scotland Road, Liverpool, L5 5BD.
3pm - Low Mass
ICKSP Shrine Church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, 7 Atherton Street, New Brighton, Wallasey, CH45 9LT.
7pm - Solemn High Mass - followed by Procession to Altar of Repose and Adoration until Midnight.
12noon - 2pm - Confessions
2pm - Stations of the Cross
3pm - Liturgy of the Passion
5-6pm - Confessions
9am - Gregorian Matins - 'Tenebrae'
2pm - 6pm - Confessions
9pm - Easter Vigil and Solemn High Mass
10:30am - Solemn High Mass
5:30pm - Solemn Vespers and Benediction
ICKSP Shrine Church of St. Walburge, Weston Street, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 2QE.
6pm - Solemn High Mass - followed by Procession to Altar of Repose and Adoration until Midnight.
9pm - Tenebrae
3pm - Liturgy of the Passion
6pm - Stations of the Cross
9pm - Tenebrae
8pm - Easter Vigil and Solemn High Mass
10.30am - High Mass followed by blessing of Easter Eggs.
Holy Cross, Corporation Street, St. Helens, WA10 1EF.
11:30am - Low Mass
3pm - Solemn Benediction
FSSP Shrine Church of St. Mary's, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NS.
8pm - Sung High Mass
10:00-11:30am - Tenebrae, Gregorian Chant.
11:30am - 1pm - Confessions
12noon - Solemn Stations of the Cross
3pm - Solemn Good Friday Liturgy
10:00am - 11:30am - Tenebrae, Gregorian Chant.
2pm - 4pm - Confessions
10pm - Easter Vigil followed by Sung Mass (ending by 1am).
10:30am - Confessions
11:00am - Sung Mass
Attention - There is no 6pm Sunday Mass this week.
We give thanks to God for all of these good priests and encourage readers in the NW region of England to support by prayers and attending where possible.
We Must Console Our Lord in Gethsemane
Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 April 2017 - 09:45:52 | by admin
Fr. James Martin SJ
It was awful to read a few days ago that Fr. James Martin SJ had produced a subversive book to promote homosexual ideology within the Catholic Church.
Worse still, was the fact that two of Pope Francis' most recently promoted cardinals were giving public backing to this attempted subverison of Catholic Faith and Morals.
As LifeSiteNews reported, Martin's book argues that Church employees should not be fired for endorsing homosexual acts or openly professing homosexuality. He also suggests that Church leaders should use the LGBT terminology when addressing ''LGBT people''.
Interestingly enough, Martin himself seems to have left out some of the ever-growing list of letters in this alphabetical collective, which has by now grown to at least LGBTQIA proportions. One is led to wonder what would Martin do if some of those people ''identifying'' under those various letters suddenly labelled him as exclusive...
Anyway, Cardinal James Tobin of Newark was out describing the new book as ''prophetic''. Meantime, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Pope Francis' choice to head up the Vatican's new family and life dicastery (!), suggested that Martin's book will, ''also help LGBT Catholics to feel more at home in what is, after all, their church.''
That's funny, I always thought it was Christ's Church, to which all people were called to membership through ongoing conversion of heart.
The release of a book such as this, coupled with high level support from men currently holding positions of power in the Church, gives serious scandal to Christ's flock and to those who may be thinking of joining it. At the same time, it undermines those Catholics who experience same-sex attraction and yet co-operate with grace in the Sacraments to live chaste lives in the Church.
That is because, whilst all people should be loved and welcomed by Christ's faithful, Martin would have us also welcome their sinful lifestyles and actual sins. That could only lead to spiritual death, disunity and unhappiness for all involved.
This is why his efforts ought to be resisted by the Church.
All of the above-mentioned travesties have now been made even worse by the disturbing news that Fr. James Martin has just been appointed as a consultor to the Vatican's communications office.
That is to say that Fr. James Martin, the same man who criticized the Catechism of the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality when he publicly received an award in 2016 from the dissenting, homosexualist New Ways Ministry - a group already condemned by both the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops - will now be an official consultor to the Vatican's communications office under his friend Pope Francis.
Everything being described here underscores the questions I recently posed to Archbishop Ganswein about his claim that the ''Gay Lobby'' was not a ''power lobby''.
It also points to the question I also posed, over the reliability of the Vatican's public communications office in regard to other matters; such as the Synods of '14 and '15, and the claims of Fr. Ingo Dollinger and Archbishop Negri.
For the good of his immortal soul, and those of the people he might influence with his errors, Fr. James Martin should not only not be receiving this appointment; but he should rather be being given public correction from his religious superiors.
Alas, we are living through a grave crisis in which those same superiors both share in and promote such theological errors and moral vice.
On a happier note, I see that Mr. Michael Warsaw of EWTN has also been appointed as a consultor to the Vatican's communications office. I pray that he will follow the example of the late Mother Angelica, and continue in the fidelity which he typically demonstrates himself, by using this new platform to resist these grave scandals.
If, for some reason he does not, then EWTN's vast customer base should raise their voices to defend the Faith. In fact, they should do that anyway.
Today is Holy Thursday.
Let us join close with Our Lord and His many sufferings. On this, one of the holiest of nights in the Church's year, may God grant each one of us the grace to remain with, and to console, the Sacred Heart of Jesus in this, His Hour.
The Shroud of Turin Exhibition at St. Mary's in Warrington
Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 12 April 2017 - 21:20:19 | by admin
There are many good things happening at the FSSP Shrine Church of St. Mary's over in Warrington.
It is always a marvellous sign of life and growth in the Church when new members are received into full communion at a parish. By God's grace, a gentleman called Colin was received into the Catholic Church and made his First Holy Communion at St. Mary's yesterday. He will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon in May. Please pray for this gentleman as he continues his walk with the Lord.
Another heartening thing that the good FSSP fathers have going on there at present is an exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin in the narthex of their beautiful church.
This is providing folks with a unique opportunity to contemplate life-size replicas of the relics of the Passion. If you take a look via the link at our Links Page, you will see that a devoted expert on the Shroud called Pam Moon has installed this very moving exhibition for the duration of Holy Week and Low Week.
As the FSSP website explains, ''It is the perfect time of year to have so many details of this divinely made image to contemplate... All welcome to come and examine it and pray. Head to toe, front and back, even piercing His Heart, He sustained these wounds to redeem us.''
The FSSP UK blog also has a working link up to Mrs. Moon's excellent Shroud of Turin Exhibition website, which we feel is well worth your time to view.
The FSSP newsletter invites its readers to take their friends and relatives along with them to view the exhibition. It reads: ''No need to know Latin to appreciate this moving display of the suffering love of Jesus for each of us.''
We strongly encourage all readers in the north west region of England to make the best of this opportunity to view and pray with the replicas of the Holy Shroud while they can in this holy season.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.
This is Holy Week
Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 12 April 2017 - 15:16:18 | by admin
A bit of street evangelization from the comfort of home!
Speaking of the Knights of St. Columba, it is great to see that their Province 29 has had these eye-catching Holy Week posters printed out for distribution. I managed to pick one up in Lancashire last week. May God bless the Knights involved for this excellent initiative!
Back in the 80's and 90's, there were still many houses on and around Merseyside which used to display these types of Holy Week posters in their front windows during the lead up to Easter. They seem to be much less common today; I haven't actually spotted one for several years.
In recent times, we have not been able to get hold of a new copy either; and our old ones were looking pretty faded and dog-eared.
As I've said before, my late father, Ken, always made his own home-made window-posters to bear witness to the Catholic Faith at seasons like Christmas, Lent and Easter.
In fact, that 10-inch tall crucifix below the poster in the above image was Dad's too. We are keeping up his little tradition of having that up on display throughout the whole year, apart from during the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Easter itself.
On Easter Sunday, we'll likely post up one of Dad's colourful posters again. In the meantime, it is nice to have a new Holy Week poster to spread the message locally in the lead-up to the Sacred Triduum.
What makes these particular posters so neat is that they have a fold-down tab at the bottom for Easter Sunday, which bears the beautiful words, ''He is Risen!''
Let's conclude with part of a reflection on Our Lord's Passion from the writings of St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
O Jesus, O treasure more worthy of love than all others! Why is it that men love Thee so little? Oh, do Thou make known what Thou hast suffered for each of them, the love that Thou bearest them, the desire Thou hast to be loved by them, and how worthy Thou art of being loved. Make Thyself known, O my Jesus, make Thyself loved.
In this holy season, may God give us all the grace of a deep understanding of His love for each one of us personally; and the strength to make that love known to others.
Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace - Pray for us!
NHS Care Quality Commission Investigation into BPAS Liverpool
Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 12 April 2017 - 12:05:02 | by admin
Last month, the conscientious Liverpolitanus blog drew attention to the underpublicized report on BPAS Liverpool, which had been released by the NHS' Care Quality Commission on 26th January, 2017.
BPAS Liverpool is of course notorious as one of the main abortion facilities in the north west region of England. Thankfully, a deal of loving pro-life witness was shown there recently by the various priests and lay faithful who joined with 40 Days for Life to pray outside that grim abortion centre.
As the Liverpolitanus site noted, Britain's NHS (National Health Service) could never be accused of being pro-life. Therefore, it should have captured much wider attention that the Care Quality Commission, the NHS' own watchdog, should have been sufficiently concerned about BPAS Liverpool as to carry out their own inspection of the place. Liverpolitanus should be thanked for carefully drawing attention to this much overlooked report.
The report is available on-line, and can be accessed directly through Liverpolitanus, by clicking the link at our Links Page.
It makes for a sobering read...
Liverpolitanus has highlighted some of the disturbing items which that report contains.
Among these are included:-
The story of delayed treatment for a 16-yr-old suffering from sepsis;
Filled but unlabelled syringes left lying unattended on unsterile surfaces for hours;
Lack of a resuscitation trolley in the recovery room;
Lack of ''robust systems'' in place to check emergency equipment and lax procedures in routine defibrillator checks and awareness of the need to do so;
Uncapped and therefore ''no longer sterile'' syringes left in an anaesthetic room;
Observations in theatre which recorded that ''the surgeon did not wash or clean their hands prior to wearing gloves and gauntlets to perform a surgical procedure.''
Of course, the worst thing about BPAS Liverpool is that the place is a centre for the killing of pre-born babies. However, that wickedness is only multiplied by the various health hazards underlined by the NHS' Care Quality Commission report; of which the above-listed are only a selection.
The Liverpolitanus site concluded its careful report by noting that Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, Tom Williams, is the Chair of the Healthcare Reference Group of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
As such, we add our voice to that of Liverpolitanus in calling on Bishop Williams to please join in the calls for BPAS Liverpool to be shut down. As Liverpolitanus concludes, ''It cannot always be left to the laity to speak out.''
May we further add that, at an annual provincial dinner held at Liverpool's famous Adelphi Hotel on 17th February, Bishop Tom Williams was also installed as a member of honour by the Knights of St. Columba. This installation was celebrated with the presentation to Bishop Williams of a splendidly framed certificate confirming his honorary status.
Given the good work that the Knights of St. Columba so frequently accomplish, it is to be hoped that those Knights who read this site will be able to add their voices to this request for Bishop Williams to join the calls for the closure of BPAS Liverpool; a location wherein so many pre-born babies are destroyed every single day with no-one to defend them.
This tragedy is only exacerbated by the fact that BPAS Liverpool is but 1.2 miles from the offices of the Liverpool Archdiocese at the LACE conference centre.
St. Columba - Pray for us!
Georg Ganswein Welcomes Homosexual Pairing to the Vatican...
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 11 April 2017 - 12:05:07 | by admin
Until yesterday, I sometimes found myself worrying that I may have gone too far in raising various questions about Archbishop Georg Ganswein and the Vatican of Pope Francis.
I stopped having such scruples when I encountered these troubling images at the website of Tradition in Action yesterday morning.
You will remember that Pope Francis had welcomed 27 European political leaders to the Vatican on 24th March, in order to celebrate with them the 60th anniversary of the EU's Treaty of Rome.
We had already critiqued that meeting in a recent article, because Pope Francis appeared to step beyond earlier Church teaching by ignoring the Universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ; whilst he instead presented a concept of, what he described as, ''authentically secular societies''.
Tradition in Action notes that the Vatican welcomed various EU leaders on that day together with their spouses.
However, scandal and confusion have been given by the fact that a homosexual pairing where also welcomed to that event; the two men being received in exactly the same manner as those who attended as husbands and wives.
As you know, Xavier Bettel is the prime-minister of Luxembourg. He came to the Vatican with Gauthier Destenay; a man described as Bettel's ''husband'' in a homosexual pairing.
As the first image shows, Archbishop Ganswein personally received Bettel and Destenay together as a ''couple'' at the Vatican, in his capacity as head of the Papal Household. The second image demonstrates their comportment during the visit.
Tradition in Action has pointed out that both the Pope and the Vatican could have easily avoided this encounter by contacting the Luxembourg government. However, it seems that this did not happen.
Instead, an air of legitimacy was leant to homosexual pairings by the official reception at the Vatican of the two men as though they were an ordinary married couple.
Later on, Bettel was even cordially received for a personal encounter with Pope Francis, as the ever-present Archbishop Georg Ganswein looked on smilingly.
To this radical departure from all previous protocol at the Vatican, must be compared the very last Christmas address given by Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia in December 2012.
In that address, Pope Benedict warned that the spreading acceptance of ''gender theory'' was a denial of God, Revelation and nature, which threatened the family and the basic meaning of reality to its very foundations in the Western world.
Pope Benedict added: ''When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker Himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.''
Just two months after that very clear address, Pope Benedict would suddenly shock the world with his unexpected abdication and the days of Pope Francis would be merely weeks away...
23rd September, 2015: Pope Francis meets and hugs his old friend Yayo Grassi, together with his homosexual ''partner'' Iwan Bagus. Instead of any warning about the gravity of sin, a faux air of legitimacy was given by this much publicised exchange.
In Saturday's article, I asked a number of questions about Archbishop Georg Ganswein.
Each of those questions has become even more valid in light of the warm public welcome extended to the homosexualists Bettel and Destenay, as though they were just another married couple, at the Vatican of Francis.
Clearly, there is something very wrong at the heart of Rome.
May the Holy Family - Pray for us!
Update on Archbishop Scicluna
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 11 April 2017 - 10:21:59 | by admin
In my haste to thunder out yesterday's article on the keyboard, in between duties around here, I typed the word ''contraceptives'' in a sentence instead of the word ''abortifacients''.
That meant that for most of the day, a section of the article confusingly read: ''As a result, countless numbers of couples and other observers around the world, the majority of whom will never get to hear of Papagiorcopulo's answer, have been left with the false impression that Pope Francis' chum Scicluna has said that it is now OK to contracept, as long as this is only done in marriage and with the avoidance of contraceptives. Only a clear and direct statement from Scicluna himself could put that right.''
With the word abortifacients inserted in place of the word contraceptives, the section now makes correct sense. The original was updated around dinner time here in the UK last evening.
2. Malta Today Pulls the Original Article
LifeSiteNews now reports that the original article at Malta Today has been pulled; and that the pro-life Dr. Miriam Sciberras has provided a translation to suggest that Malta Today's depiction of Archbishop Scicluna's words had been inaccurate.
As that original article at Malta Today had been the source of the many headlines around the world, to which we were responding yesterday, it is important to put up Dr. Sciberras' translation here to be fair to Archbishop Scicluna.
Whilst Dr. Sciberras' translation follows, we will conclude with some further commentary on this update at the end.
Archbishop Scicluna: First of all, we insist that people who request or buy these medicines should be informed of the mode of action of these products. We are also saying that the faithful should listen to us, that people of good will listen to our advice. That if any of these tablets - because there are various, just as there are various active ingredients - instead of preventing fertilization, actually act after fertilization - then they are not acting as contraceptives but stifle a new life that has begun. In this case the consumer has a right to know and to avoid killing a newly conceived human life.
Saviour Balzan: How do you see the position taken by Gift of Life Network?
Archbishop Scicluna: I think that they have a right to ask the question, is the drug authorized corresponding to the intention of the authorities such as it acts as a contraceptive, or is the product abortive? This is a legitimate question and I feel that I should not be the one to answer it... I do not agree that all is black or white, because there is also the grey... that is why people do not always agree with what I say... because I would be speaking about grey, and not necessarily clear-cut white or black. Why? Because I feel that the role of the Archbishop is not to decide on brand names - because it is simply not within my role to substitute science. Science must be presented, the consumer should be informed - he is then free not to accept my suggestion. What I am saying is - do not take pills that kill a new life.
Saviour Balzan: You are clearly stating that a couple who have sexual relations can use some form of contraception.
Archbishop Scicluna: I do not judge people who use contraception in sexual relationships.
Saviour Balzan: If you were speaking on the Church position on contraception in this room 10 years ago, your position would have been crystal clear. Today you are more cautious?
Archbishop Scicluna: Quite often we avoid mentioning the Church teaching but I think in this case, it needs to be made clear that the anti-contraceptive stance is first of all related to marriage - and in these discussions we are not speaking about marriage. The second point is that one should not have sexual relations outside of marriage, thereby avoiding the problem. However, should anyone still insist or persist in using a contraceptive, we are saying, do not kill a newly conceived human being in the process.
The pro-life Dr. Sciberras has said to LifeSiteNews that Archbishop Scicluna was misrepresented when Malta Today claimed that he had said that non-abortifacient contraception was acceptable within marriage. Instead, Dr. Sciberras has argued that the Archbishop was explaining that Church teaching about contraception is a teaching specifically to be presented within marriage.
I think it fair to say that the translation provided by Dr. Sciberras certainly appears to put Archbishop Scicluna's discussion in a better light than was originally suggested by the Malta Today article; and by all of those, including ours, that either followed or critiqued it around the world. Certainly, that comes across in Archbishop Scicluna's discussion of the abortifacient component of some forms of contraception.
That being said, one could hardly describe his overall performance as a bold expression of Catholic orthodoxy.
As we said yesterday, the Archbishop does fail to clearly spell out the intrinsic evil of all forms of contraception. Nowhere is the word ''sin'' mentioned.
His insistence that he does not judge those who use contraception and his final words, which seem to present an ''if you can't be good, be careful'' approach, are certainly less than is needed at a time of such widespread rejection of Church teaching on chastity and Holy Matrimony.
And, although his ''grey areas'' remark has a context, it could easily be used by some to affirm the relativistic mentality of those rejecting Church teaching.
At the end of the day, whilst it is good that Archbishop Scicluna does say that there should not be sexual relationships outside of marriage, there remains a logical and theological inconsistency in his use of those words, when his very own Amoris Laetitia ''guidelines'' so clearly subvert Church teaching on marriage, and reduce moral decision making about divorce, re-''marriage'' and Holy Communion from the objective truth to merely subjective criteria.
To conclude: Dr. Sciberras' translation brings some further light and nuance to the discussioin, but we still feel that Archbishop Scicluna needs to correct all the impressions given by his interview with a clearly worded affirmation of Church teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception.
And, of course, he needs to publicly repent of his sacrilegious and scandal-giving ''guidelines'' before anyone can really take his statements about Holy Matrimony with any degree of seriousness.
Please pray for Archbishop Scicluna during Holy Week to be given the grace to put right the harm he has already done with those ''guidelines'' and to return to the clarity of his earlier defences of Catholic Truth.