Some reporting on the Abuse Synod by Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service was picked up by CRUX, and indicates what Scicluna knew and when concerning Trenton N.J. priest, Msgr. Joseph R. Punderson, a senior official of the highest Tribunal of the Holy See called the Apostolic Signatura. Punderson was removed in 2018 upon the non-prosecuted “credible accusation” (whatever that means) back in 2003 regarding allegations back in 1977. Punderson was working for the Holy See since 1993. Scicluna was the Promoter of Justice for the Abuse Office in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1993 and long past 2003 and has always had a role to play until this day. But he was the Promoter of Justice when the “credible allegations” were made known and sent to his office in Rome. But don’t blame anyone else about this at the Signatura. Scicluna was the one with full authority for all this. Get it?
So, my question is this: If Fraud + Charles Scicluna can do that, a cover-up of what the real and actual policies are, did he do anything else to help cover up for connections with others? But as we have found out, that meeting on abuse in February was meant only to smack down those who thought that abuse was bad and evil. Which it is by the way.
From GloriaTV on + Charles Scicluna smashing down suffering Catholics in Malta, describing their gentle promotion of the faith “propaganda”:
Archbishop Charles Scicluna distanced himself on May 23rd on “thechurchinmalta.org” from the advert: “The Archdiocese of Malta categorically states that, while respecting the right of freedom of expression of every person or any other entity, it is not in any way involved with the propaganda by the ‘Maltese Catholics United for the Faith’.”
Your Grace: Why did the Malta Times take down their article about you? Were they wrong? Did they misrepresent you? Really? Since you invite dialogue, as a Missionary of Mercy I will put some questions before you for the sake of, you know, promoting justice, for the good of the Church, pro bono ecclesiae. So…
Your Grace: You say that the teaching of the Church — let’s just call it by the name of the encyclical Humanae vitae — is only for married couples which you say can be constituted only of one man and one woman, but that you don’t judge other couples, though you insist that extramarital sex is sinful but at the same time insist that adulterous couples can receive Holy Communion if they are at peace with themselves regardless of their flagrant rejection of Jesus’ teaching, of Sacred Scripture, of Sacred Tradition, of the constant interventions of the Magisterium of the Church: does this mean that you are making a sacrament of sinful behavior?
Your Grace: Lest anyone think that is a sarcastic question, let’s provide an analogous question regarding your longstanding promotion of the civil celebrations of homosexual love in civilly recognized homosexual unions, as long as there is no sexy hanky panky going on, though all love including homosexual love, you say, is given by God and is good and holy: are you saying with your recent statements about peaceful consciences for adulterous couples that homosexual acts are also a kind of sacrament, objectively sinful as they may be, as long as the homosexuals involved are at peace with themselves regardless of their flagrant rejection of Saint Paul’s teaching, of Sacred Scripture, of Sacred Tradition, of the constant interventions of the Magisterium of the Church?
Your Grace: You seem to be throwing a tantrum that the Malta Times got it wrong, but would you say that — you know, in being honest here — that they had a good instinct about your utter hypocrisy regarding sexual morality, so that anything whatsoever is just fine, including contraception also in marriage as long as those involved are at peace with their consciences?
Your Grace: Do you put condom dispensers in your Catholic parochial school bathrooms for those who judge their consciences to be at peace? Or do you put those dispensers out, say, in the lunchroom along with free copies of the Qur’an which you let be taught in your parochial schools?
Your Grace: Jesus warned those who teach people to break the commandments, so are you going to spit on Jesus while you continue to teach people to break the commandments?
Your Grace: You slit the throats of those seminarians who wish to follow the teaching of Jesus and Paul, that is, those seminarians who do not reject Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition and the constant interventions of the Magisterium of the Church: so do you think that Jesus, who is calling them to His priesthood, is happy with your violence against them?
Your Grace: Your close friend (Monsignor) Edward Arsenault, at the epicenter in so many ways of the abuse crisis, just got out of prison and is in home confinement, where he just received the news that he has been dismissed from the clerical state (laicized): is what you are doing with your not so ambiguous and inconsistent but really very clear statements related somehow to demands of his, you know, because he could spill the beans about how things have actually gone in these USA, over in Europe, and at the Holy See?
The Archbishop of Malta told his seminarians to leave the seminary if they disagree with his own wild interpretation of chapter 8 of Amoris laetitia, which Pope Francis describes instead as a mere contribution to dialogue that has nothing to do with any magisterial intervention. To viciously smash down Jesus’ vocations based on a diverse contribution to dialogue is… well… let’s just say I wouldn’t want that on me going to the judgment before Jesus who called those young men to be His priests. All this while the priests of Malta are being bullied without mercy. Here.
To those seminarians in Malta I say: Just be faithful. Always in everything. This is about respect for Jesus. You are called to be faithful to Him before you are called to be priests by Him. If Jesus wants you to be a priest, He will make it happen. But you be faithful. Those kicking Jesus in the face think they have power because they are not yet killed by the holy angels of the Most High while they continue to kick Jesus in the face. But don’t agree with them. They have no power. Jesus took on the worst onslaught of hell when all His apostles ran away from Calvary. Stay with Jesus. Don’t compromise, ever. The Love Who is Living Truth is the Way. Don’t be afraid. No terror allowed! Rejoice and be glad. Read the beatitudes… to each other… support each other…
To +Charles: This is your moment, friend. That’s all you get. Happy?
Laudie-dog, listening intently, eager to follow orders
Obedience is not a descriptor for a reaction to a cold authoritarian command that negates one’s very existence as a person with free will, but rather, instead, obedience, from the Latin OB-AUDIRE (referring to intense listening) is all about an eager following of commands given in love and received in love. Our Heavenly Father speaks himself in one divine Word, who is already, then, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who is always listening intently to the Father with love. Our Heavenly Father speaks Jesus into us, as it were, with that Word reverberating within our hearts and souls, now a symphony. Obedience isn’t a bad thing!
If a command is given that negates the very existence of a person as someone with free will who is meant to follow our Lord, so that one is expected to reject conscience and reject our Lord, that is not a command given in love and it doesn’t need to be followed. As Aquinas says, law is not law if it contradicts God’s law. “Disobedience” in such a case is actually true obedience.
Any priest in Malta who obeys the sinful direct command of the bishops of Malta to provide the Most Blessed Sacrament to notorious sinners flaunting their sin but protesting that they are at peace with God commits a number of grave sins that put them in eternal peril of losing eternal life.
Saying that they are coerced into doing so is no excuse. Will they be removed from ministry? Most likely. Will their names be blackened, their personnel files filled with notes about being divisory, unfit for ministry, etc.? Most likely. Will they eventually be dismissed from the clerical state as useless? Yes, even that can happen a number of years later, you know, when no one is looking. The priests know this. They do feel the pressure. But that is no excuse to sin. Instead, they are to rejoice and be glad that they are treated like the prophets before them, indeed, just like John the Baptist, just like Jesus.
The judgment will come much sooner than later. We will all stand before those wounds of Jesus and he will ask where our wounds are. What will we have to say for ourselves if we simply compromise so as to do what? Keep our “jobs”?
Priests are not dogs. Dogs are treated better than priests in some places.
For all the background documentation for what is in this post, see:
The idea for +CJ Scicluna’s version of Amoris laetitia is this: even if you are a notorious in your sin, known by all as an adulterer, not only flaunting your sin but murdering anyone who disagrees, but you feel yourself to be at peace with God, hey!, just go up and get that white wafer Communion thingy with television cameras uplinking to the world:
Question: Am I fomenting disobedience among the priests of Malta?
Answer: No, I am encouraging true obedience to Jesus and to the Church.
When people have cancer, their hair falls out because of the treatment they must endure. Often enough, friends and classmates shave their heads to show their solidarity with those who have cancer. Very nice, that.
I’m wondering if there is a way to be in solidarity with priests who are thrown out of ministry into the darkest of existential peripheries precisely because of the priestly love they have for their sheep in Christ Jesus our Lord. If there is a priest thrown out of ministry because he sees that this or that sheep is fully capable and otherwise willing to rejoice in the love of our Lord and so the priest wants them to continue to accompany a certain sheep but is then for that reason smacked down by Archbishop Scicluna or any other like minded (arch-)bishop right around the world, is there a way to be in solidarity with those good priests, some of whom will feel lost and bewildered in their having been so terribly betrayed.
There should be a registry of such faithful priests. We should keep track of them as they enter the darkest of existential peripheries where the mercy of the Church in the eyes of some cannot or at least should not reach.
Even more than this, and quite specifically, I’m wondering if it is possible for priests who are in good standing and in active ministry to self-report their love for Christ Jesus and their desire to share the greatest love of their lives, Christ Jesus, who is at the same time the greatest truth in their lives. In self-reporting, can they also be thrown out with the other priests, you know, suspended or even dismissed at a later date from the clerical state? After all, it can be said that they are rebellious and the cause of division and perhaps even the cause of uncomfortable feelings. Self-reporting to be removed from active ministry would be like shaving one’s head to be in solidarity with those who have cancer. “I should be thrown out as well since I believe just like they do.”
God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to be in solidarity with us, himself being thrown into the darkest of existential peripheries, spit on, mocked, ridiculed, rejected, called all sorts of names… As the Master so the disciple… right?
I wonder if there is a way. I wonder. As a Missionary of Mercy, I feel obliged be in solidarity with Jesus and his priests as he and they are once again betrayed by one of their own.
I remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen telling a story of a Jewish girl when, during the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp climbed up a veritable mountain of corpses and sat down to die, even while other survivors were leaving the camp. She was asked what she was doing. Her response was: “How can I live while all my people are dying?”
So, this Missionary of Mercy has done some logistical investigations… ;-)
The Archbishop of Malta, C.J. Scicluna has high praise for dialogue, discernment and accompaniment in a document directed to priests which he published in the Vatican newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano (Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris laetitia), but he rejected all of this, including papal authority, by adding this:
10. If, as a result of the process of discernment, undertaken with “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it” (AL 300), a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (see AL, notes 336 and 351).
The words “cannot be precluded” are directed at the priests, telling them that they have no real voice in dialogue, discernment and accompaniment, undercutting their priestly ministry and, quite frankly, threatening them with what would have to be removal from active ministry if they wish instead – knowing well the smell of their sheep – to prolong the process of dialogue, discernment and accompaniment for the good of those very sheep.
The Times of Malta reports that “Archbishop Charles Scicluna refuted the criticism, insisting Bishop Mario Grech and himself had decided not to engage with individual bloggers on the matter.” “Decided not to engage” is also not a dialogue. The “criticism” refers to Ed Peters, a canon lawyer whose blog entries on this topic can be found HERE and HERE. Ed Peters has a serious analysis. I’m amazed that +CJ Scicluna, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, dismisses Ed Peters so readily, since Peters is a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura, the Holy See’s top tribunal.
Archbishop Scicluna then turns his attention to those he might think are a more vulnerable class of people, the priests: “I am saddened by the reaction from certain quarters and invite priests who may have concerns to come forward and discuss them directly with us because we want to be a service to our people.” I’m sure the priests want to be of service to their people as well. But here’s the problem. If any priests go to him with their concerns they are merely self-reporting that which is absolutely intolerable, reporting that they are precluding or envision precluding that which Archbishop Scicluna says cannot ever be precluded. If they open up a dialogue with him they will simply have their heads cut off. That’s another example of what he really thinks about dialogue, discernment and accompaniment. Moreover…
The threat to impose sanctions that is inescapably implied in the absolutist phrase “cannot be precluded” goes so far beyond Pope Francis’ direction in this matter that Archbishop Scicluna is de facto usurping the authority of Pope Francis to guide the Barque of Peter. And that I find disgusting.
The direction Pope Francis gave to us Missionaries of Mercy began by all of us singing together the Salve Regina with Pope Francis. I’m sure he remembers the exuberance:
Pope Francis brought all of us Missionaries of Mercy together and brought us through, with incisive distinctions, refined moral and sacramental theology, using anecdotes some of which were terribly sad and some of which were hilarious. He did his best to form us priests into being good confessors, those who would dialogue with, discern with and accompany penitents on their journey to know the will of Christ Jesus in all of their unrepeatable circumstances.
But Archbishop CJ Scicluna rejects that effort of Pope Francis. Sad, that. Sad for him. Sad for the penitents. Sad for the priests who are treated as his robots, not as Jesus’ fathers of their parish families. And this is also the point: CJ Scicluna rejects the unrepeatable circumstances of people, ideologically putting them all in one group.
Much more could be said about anthropology, psychology, grace, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, etc., with some saying I say too much and others too little. What I’m writing about in this post is just this one aspect of what is happening:
the ministry of priests is unimportant in the Church because + Scicluna said so.