Author Archives: Dennis Mallon

About Dennis Mallon

Secular Franciscan of the Order Franciscan Seculars

OFS – NEC’s Statement regarding the recent scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The Lord give you peace!

The National Executive Council is publishing the following statement regarding the recent scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania.
With you in prayer, Jan and the NEC
Jan Parker OFS, Minister, [Order Franciscan Seculars] USA

A Message to Secular Franciscans Regarding the Recent Scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania 

Sisters and Brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order, United States: 

The release of the Grand Jury report in Pennsylvania is a cause of sorrow, pain and agonizing self-scrutiny for the Catholic Church in the United States.  We are again faced with the tragic reality of sinful abuse perpetrated on the most vulnerable of our faith family.  How, we ask, can we trust those shepherds with our lives, our children, and our faith?  Can the victims find peace and healing in the Church that betrayed their innocence?  Can we, as professed Secular Franciscans, stand as mere bystanders watching this tragic play unfold before us?  What are we to do?  What can we do? 

It saddens all of us that a small minority of men who made a commitment to serve the Church betrayed the promises they made to serve and used their positions of being an authority figure to aid predatory behavior; truly we have wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Mt 7:15) If it were only a case of a few parish priests, the trust of Church leaders may more easily be re-established; but when it is demonstrated that our chief shepherds, the bishops, were involved in secrecy, cover-ups and payouts, the trust, respect and moral authority of the Church as an institution suffers great damage.  We must all face the truth and make no excuse for those who are guilty of these crimes against the living stones of the Church, the mystical body of Christ; those who have been unfaithful spouses to the Church as the Bride of Christ! 

St John Chrysostom, a fourth-century bishop, described pastors as the “salt of the earth”. (Mt 5:13) He said of pastors, “If others lose their savor, then your ministry will help them regain it.  But if you yourselves suffer that loss, you will drag others down with you.”  Sisters and brothers, we have witnessed many being dragged down by those shepherds who have lost their savor as the salt of the earth. 

As a Secular Order, we are in a unique position to help those who feel abandoned, threatened and fearful of the clerical hierarchy that betrayed their trust.  We are an order of people in the pew.  As people in the pew, we can listen to our broken sisters and brothers.  We can listen without judging, without trying to immediately heal them of their pain. We can listen to them and acknowledge their pain without defending or making excuses for the institution that betrayed them.  We can “with a gentle and courteous spirit accept them all as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ” (OFS Rule, Art.13). We can make contributions to support the counselors who will help heal the wounds of those suffering souls. 

We were founded as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance.  All of us in our individual lives, in our fraternities, in our regions and our national fraternity must do penance for this great sin.  Some demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29) This is our call to action! Our Lord asked St. Francis to rebuild the Church which was falling into ruin.  Are we called to do anything less as followers of Francis?  Francis lived his vocation authentically as a living example of Gospel Life.  We must do the same.  Only by living an authentic Gospel life will our light shine and the Church be rebuilt.

We must also stand with our brothers and sisters who have and are serving the Church as good and faithful servants.  These men and women who are faithful to their call are now called to be suffering servants.  They are guilty by association with the Church institution that has betrayed their trust.  How difficult it will be for them to preach the Gospel as representatives of a Church that has lost its moral authority in the public square and in the pew.  We must stand by those faithful servants and help them continue to look after the well-being of others. 

 Sisters and Brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order, we stand in support of the victims and in favor of holding those responsible for these crimes accountable for their actions.  We pray for healing, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and a Church that will be rebuilt and with God’s grace, and the movement of Holy Spirit, one day, will once again be a beacon of light, hope, and refuge.  Let us go forth and witness to the light of Christ and rebuild the Church so that it may once again be full of grace and truth. 

 The National Executive Council of the [Order Franciscan Seculars] USA (OFS-USA)  August 26, 2018

Respect Laws of Country That Receives You: Pope

Pope to Migrants: With Respect for Culture & Laws of Country That Receives You, May You Work Out Together the Path of Integration

Pope Celebrates Mass for Migrants in St. Peter’s Basilica on Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Visit to Lampedusa on July 8, 2013
JULY 06, 2018 15:20DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVPOPE AND HOLY SEE

‘With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.’

Despite technically being on ‘summer break,’ Pope Francis said this during the Mass he wished to celebrate for Migrants, at the Altar of the Chair, in St. Peter’s Basilica today, July 6, at 11 a.m. The news of the Mass–which coincided with the fifth anniversary of the visit of Pope Francis to Lampedusa on July 8, 2013–was announced by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, in a statement earlier this week.

The Mass was a time of prayer for the deceased, for the survivors and for those who assist them. Approximately 200 people were present, including refugees and caregivers. While always free, participation was reserved for those with tickets.

In his homily, the Holy Father called for treating migrants as Jesus had treated the poor and disadvantaged, but also stressed that migrants ought to be properly integrated.

Noting he wished to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa with them, who represent rescuers and those rescued on the Mediterranean Sea, he said: “I thank the rescuers for embodying in our day the parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to save the life of the poor man beaten by bandits. He didn’t ask where he was from, his reasons for travelling or his documents… he simply decided to care for him and save his life.”

To the rescued, Francis reiterated his solidarity and encouragement, noting he is “well aware” of the tragic circumstances that they are fleeing.

“I ask you to keep being witnesses of hope in a world increasingly concerned about the present, with little vision for the future and averse to sharing. With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying: “I ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and to stir our hearts to overcome all fear and anxiety, and to make us docile instruments of the Father’s merciful love, ready to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters, as the Lord Jesus did for each of us.”

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s homily:

***

“You who trample upon the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land… Behold the days are coming… when I will send a famine on the land… a thirst for hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:4.11).

Today this warning of the prophet Amos is remarkably timely. How many of the poor are trampled on in our day! How many of the poor are being brought to ruin! All are the victims of that culture of waste that has been denounced time and time again. Among them, I cannot fail to include the migrants and refugees who continue to knock at the door of nations that enjoy greater prosperity.

Five years ago, during my visit to Lampedusa, recalling the victims lost at sea, I repeated that timeless appeal to human responsibility: “ ‘Where is your brother? His blood cries out to me’, says the Lord. This is not a question directed to others; it is a question directed to me, to you, to each of us (Homily, 8 July 2013). Sadly, the response to this appeal, even if at times generous, has not been enough, and we continue to grieve thousands of deaths.

Today’s Gospel acclamation contains Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). The Lord promises refreshment and freedom to all the oppressed of our world, but he needs us to fulfill his promise. He needs our eyes to see the needs of our brothers and sisters. He needs our hands to offer them help. He needs our voice to protest the injustices committed thanks to the silence, often complicit, of so many. I should really speak of many silences: the silence of common sense; the silence that thinks, “it’s always been done this way”; the silence of “us” as opposed to “you”. Above all, the Lord needs our hearts to show his merciful love towards the least, the outcast, the abandoned, the marginalized.

In the Gospel we heard, Matthew tells us of the most important day in his life, the day Jesus called him. The Evangelist clearly records the Lord’s rebuke to the Pharisees, so easily given to insidious murmuring: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’” (9:13). It is a finger pointed at the sterile hypocrisy of those who do not want to “dirty the hands”, like the priest or the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan. This is a temptation powerfully present in our own day. It takes the form of closing our hearts to those who have the right, just as we do, to security and dignified living conditions. It builds walls, real or virtual, rather than bridges.

Before the challenges of contemporary movements of migration, the only reasonable response is one of solidarity and mercy. A response less concerned with calculations, than with the need for an equitable distribution of responsibilities, an honest and sincere assessment of the alternatives and a prudent management. A just policy is one at the service of the person, of every person involved; a policy that provides for solutions that can ensure security, respect for the rights and dignity of all; a policy concerned for the good of one’s own country, while taking into account that of others in an ever more interconnected world. It is to this world that the young look.

The Psalmist has shown us the right attitude to adopt in conscience before God: “I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set your ordinances before me” (Ps 119,30). A commitment to faithfulness and right judgement that all of us hope to pursue together with government leaders in our world and all people of good will. For this reason, we are following closely the efforts of the international community to respond to the challenges posed by today’s movements of migration by wisely combining solidarity and subsidiarity, and by identifying both resources and responsibilities.

I would like to close with a few words in Spanish, directed particularly to the faithful who have come from Spain.

I wanted to celebrate the fifth anniversary of my visit to Lampedusa with you, who represent rescuers and those rescued on the Mediterranean Sea. I thank the rescuers for embodying in our day the parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to save the life of the poor man beaten by bandits. He didn’t ask where he was from, his reasons for travelling or his documents… he simply decided to care for him and save his life. To those rescued I reiterate my solidarity and encouragement, since I am well aware of the tragic circumstances that you are fleeing. I ask you to keep being witnesses of hope in a world increasingly concerned about the present, with little vision for the future and averse to sharing. With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.

I ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and to stir our hearts to overcome all fear and anxiety, and to make us docile instruments of the Father’s merciful love, ready to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters, as the Lord Jesus did for each of us.

Mass migration waters down Europe’s Christian identity:

By Athanasius Schneider, Catholic, Immigration, MILAN, Italy, July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) —

A Catholic bishop has stated that the mass migration from Africa and Asia into Europe in recent years is part of a plan to change the Christian identity of Europe.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, 57, told an interviewer from Milan’s Il Giornale last week that “the phenomenon of so-called “immigration” represents an orchestrated and long-prepared plan by international powers to radically change the Christian and national identities of the European peoples.”

The Church, he said, was being exploited.

“These powers use the Church’s enormous moral potential and her structures to more effectively achieve their anti-Christian and anti-European goal,” he stated.

“To this end they are abusing the true concept of humanism and even the Christian commandment of charity. ”

Asked to comment on Italy’s new and very outspokenly Euro-skeptic Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, the bishop said that he did not know Italy’s political situation well, but that he applauded any European government’s attempt to emphasize their nation’s sovereignty and “historical, cultural, and Christian identity” against “a kind of new Soviet Union” with “an unmistakably Masonic ideology”: the European Union.

In the interview, the bishop also answered questions about the “doctrinal confusion” in the Catholic Church, on intercommunion, on the dubia concerning Pope Francis’s controversial encyclical Amoris laetitia, and on the phenomenon of children being raised by same-sex couples.

Regarding doctrinal confusion, Bishop Schneider reflected that even forty years ago Pope Paul VI had realized there was a problem in the Church, saying: “We believed that after the Council a sunny day for the history of the Church would arrive. What arrived instead was a day of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching, of uncertainty. The smoke of Satan entered through some crack into the temple of God.”

The situation has become worse, Schneider said, leading “the great” Cardinal Carlo Caffaro to say, shortly before he died, that “Only a blind man could deny that there is a great confusion in the Church.”

Concerning recent attempts by some bishops to admit non-Catholics to Holy Communion, Bishop Schneider underscored that since the result of communion is the “perfect union of all the members of the [Catholic] Church”, granting it to a someone who continues to reject the Catholic faith is a “lie.”

The dubia (questions) touching on the admission of Catholics in irregular marital unions have not been resolved, the bishop said. He noted that some clerics at every level had simply decided to allow communion to people living as if they were legitimately married, but that “no ecclesiastical authority has the power to dispense with the Sixth Commandment and the indissolubility of marriage.”  

The bishop was just as candid with his opinions about homosexuality, especially regarding same-sex couples raising children.

“The Catholic Church, just like every human person of common sense and simple reason has always rejected homosexual activity,” he said. “Entrusting children to homosexual so-called couples is a violation of a fundamental right of every child to be raised and educated by a daddy and a mommy.”

“The entrustment of children to homosexual so-called couples represents in the last analysis a moral abuse of children, the smallest and most defenseless,” Schneider continued. “This phenomenon will go down in history as one of the greatest degradations of civilization. Those who daily fight such a crying injustice are the true friends of children and heroes of our age.”

Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary bishop of Astana, was born in the Soviet Union in 1961, the child of minority German Catholics who were sent to gulags after the Second World War. Like other German Catholics trapped in the USSR, the Schneiders catechised their children in secret. Not having much money for train fares, they could take their children to the nearest available Mass only once a month. In an interview with the Catholic Register, Bishop Schneider said that his elders  “imbued us children with the crystal-clear, concrete and beautiful Catholic faith of all ages, which they themselves received from their parents and grandparents.”

Islamist Invasion: The visions of John Paul II

The Islamist Invasion: The visions of Pope John Paul II

Source:http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/11/24/st-john-paul-ii-had-vision-of-an-islamist-invasion-of-europe/

(Mgr Mauro Longhi, who often accompanied the former Pope on hiking trips while still a student, said St John Paul was a mystic who “dialogued” with Our Lady [His Blessed Mother] and had prophetic visions.)

Mgr Mauro Longhi said… [Pope John Paul II] foresaw a ‘mortal wound’ to the Church in the third millennium [2000 – 2999] He had a prophetic vision of an “Islamist invasion” of Europe, a former confidant has claimed. He made the remarks during a lecture at the Hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul in Bienno, northern Italy, which has been posted on YouTube.

During one meeting in 1992, Mgr Longhi says, John Paul II told of a disturbing vision he had had about the future of Europe.

“The Pope told me: ‘Tell this to those whom you will meet in the Church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a mortal wound. More profound, more painful than those of this millennium,’ referring to Communism and Nazi totalitarianism. ‘It is called Islamism. They will invade Europe. I have seen the hordes come from the West to the East,’ and then told to me each country one by one: from Morocco to Libya to Egypt, and so on till the East.

“The Holy Father added: ‘They will invade Europe, Europe will be like a basement, old relics, shadows, cobwebs. Family heirlooms. You, the Church of the third millennium, must contain the invasion. Not with armies, armies will not be enough, but with your faith, lived with integrity.

Mgr Longhi accompanied Pope John Paul II on hiking and skiing trips from 1985 until he was ordained 10 years later. He said the Pope would leave Rome in a modest car, so as not to attract attention, and stay at an Opus Dei home in the mountains in Abruzzo.

At night, the Pope would often kneel before the Tabernacle in the chapel of the building, conversing “at times even animatedly” with the Lord.

Mgr Longhi also said that Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, one of John Paul II’s closest friends, told him the pontiff had the “gift of visions”. “He speaks to God Incarnate, Jesus; he sees His face and he sees also the face of Our Lady, His [Blessed Mother],” the cardinal said.

Pope John Paul II is well-known for promoting inter-faith dialogue between Catholics and Muslims, most famously becoming the first Pope to set foot inside a mosque in 2001.

However, in his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia in Europa, the former pontiff wrote that dialogue with Islam “needs to be conducted prudently, with clear ideas about possibilities and limits, and with confidence in God’s saving plan for all his children.”

“It is also necessary to take into account the notable gap between European culture, with its profound Christian roots, and Muslim thought,” he added.