Rorate Caeli

More on the Recife Case: Archbishop of Olinda and Recife threatens a canonical denunciation against Archbishop Rino Fisichella

A most distressing case that gives so much scandal to the faithful. Add to this the recent comments of Cardinal Cottier!
As Msgr. Michael Schooyans states (as quoted in the Chiesa article linked above):
- Fisichella’s article reflects arguments which ally him with the pro-choice Catholics. He is compromising the immense effort made under the impetus of the Popes of the last century in favour of life and family. The article we have analysed contains not the slightest echo of the work sponsored by Cardinal López Trujillo of the Pontifical Council for the Family, for example the celebrated Lexicon. Nor is there any reference to the prestigious School of Personalist Bioethics, founded by His Excellency Mgr Sgreccia, on which the Pontifical Academy for Life was broadly modeled.
- It would be disastrous for this affair to be hushed up or dragged out, given that the turmoil is great among the faithful, and "secular" movements are evidently ready to exploit the slightest new crack in Church unity. An abnormal silence would imply that the Holy See confirms the repudiation of Archbishop Cardoso, pronounced implicitly by Fisichella.
- It is essential to measure the reactions already raised in the international press and the pro-life movements, as well as in the clergy and among the laity, in the face of what many describe, not without reason, as a scandal. On three essential points, a serious error has been perpetrated: an error in the morality of respect for life; an error in fundamental morality: opportunistic morality; an error in ecclesiology, given that solid and established doctrine cannot be swept aside by a stroke of the pen or abolished by a coup de force. In addition, at disciplinary level, it is not certain that Fisichella has a special mandate to repudiate a Diocesan Bishop, an Archbishop like himself. Urgent measures must therefore be taken to break the deadlock. The Pontifical Academy for Life needs a pilot. It is necessary to re-establish the truth and restore, with confidence, a unity now seriously weakened.
- Although he has recently criticised the policy of President Obama on abortion, Fisichella has misjudged the political impact of his article, at a time when Brazil, Latin America and Africa are being subjected to an outright siege on the part of the propagandists of the culture of death.
- The dissent is exposed to the light of day. Confident in the precedent created by the head of a dicastery of the Roman Curia, other archbishops and theologians will not fail in turn to take liberties with doctrine and claim the right to dissent, even transgression. In addition, what Fisichella has said on the subject of abortion could be transposed to other issues.
- The Recife affair highlights the fact that the unity of the Church cannot be reduced to a matter of political convenience. [...] Rather than to the truth, the foundation of unity, preference is increasingly being given to an outward appearance of unity, designed to placate the world. People are content with a truth rooted in ambiguity. But this ambiguity leads inevitably to a generalised doctrinal relativism. Should this trend be encouraged?
- To recap, faced with the turbulence provoked by Fisichella’s article, there is, it appears, only one real solution: a strong statement from the Holy Father. Fisichella’s article has created a general doubt concerning the “legitimacy” of abortion. However, it is uncertain whether, in Rome, the gravity of the situation created is sufficiently perceived. Yet the doubt is now being passed on to the universal Church, reinforced by two factors: the senior position of the article’s author, and the unofficial nature of the periodical publishing it. If the Pope says nothing, the doubt will persist and we will see a repetition of what is happening today with "Humanae vitae" (1968).

30 comments:

New Catholic said...

The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Cardoso this week, one year after having reached the age limit. His successor is a Liberal Benedictine, who should destroy what Cardoso managed to salvage from the Liberal disaster named "Hélder Câmara".

In other words, the Archdiocese has no longer any interest in this matter.

This affair is the most shameful and scandalous event of this Pontificate: RORATE will return to this matter soon.

NC

Prof. Basto said...

Well, at least on this one, Cardinal Re, who usually sides with the liberal side, sided with those who are right, when he defended Archbishop Cardoso.

However, it seems that Cardoso's successor was a very poor choice. Has Cardinal Re desisted from defending what is correct, or has he been overruled?

What is the role of Cardinals Levada and Bertone in this affair?

Is this yet another example of the Secretariat of State disappointing us? What about the CDF? Has it given up its disciplinary role altogether?

Can't Archbishop Cardoso, even as Archbishop Emeritus, continue to pursue his case, not in the name of the Archdiocese, but in his own personal name, against the error and slander committed by Fisichela? After all, Cardoso, also an Archbishop, was offended and unduly reprimanded by Fisichella, who is not his superior, without having had prior chance to defend his position. Fisichella proclaimed his erroneous views and slammed Cardoso without even phoning him first.

What a shame that Pope Benedict isn't standing up for those who stood up for the Truth and for Life in this shameful case.

Sadly, it must be said: the conduct of the Vatican in trying to end the matter without proper correction of Fisichella and vindication of Cardoso causes scandal among the Christian people, not to mention the weakening of the Church's stance against the absolute evil of abortion.

Anonymous said...

"Fisichella’s article reflects arguments which ally him with the pro-choice Catholics"

With WHAT ????

Anonymous said...

Please contact Sister Eva-Maria spokesperson for the Apostolic Visitation in the USA about the coming of the demographic winter and the Muslim demographics and all the compromise in Rome and the USA...

http://www.apostolicvisitation.org/en/other/contact.html

New Catholic said...

"Can't Archbishop Cardoso, even as Archbishop Emeritus, continue to pursue his case, not in the name of the Archdiocese, but in his own personal name, against the error and slander committed by Fisichela?"

I think so, Prof. Basto - and he has good company: a majority of the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

NC

Anonymous said...

On Professor Basto's comments:

First of all, I wouldn't trust anything Cardinal Re says. I'm not accusing him of anything. It's just that, given his work over the years, I don't trust what he says. He's the Prefect for Bishops. Surely, he had the last word on advising a successor for Cardoso.

As for Fisichella, only his removal will do. I pray that the Pope finds a way to do it soon.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

P.K.T.P.,

I do not trust Card. Re either. As I said in my earlier post, he usually sides with the wrong side.

His position as almost the lone voice among the Heads of Dicasteries defending Archbishop Cardoso when this affair started is what was surprising to me.

And he probably was behind the naming of a liberal sucessor to Olinda and Recife.

But the Pope ultimately is the one who makes the appointment, and, given this messy affair, it is the Roman Pontiff who should have been more active in the defense of the pro-life position. The buck stops there.

Accepting Cardoso's resignation now sends a terrible signal; naming a liberal successor an even worse signal, and not reprimanding Fisichella (after Fisichella's public dissent from Church teaching and his public scolding of an Archbishop who was defending Church doctrine and acting according to law) is a mostruous ommission of governance.

I pray that the Pope will correct that situation soon. Perhaps he has not been fully informed, but, if so, then this kind of alienation is a huge embarrassment.

If an Archbishop was reprimanded by another Archbishop for defending life and doing his duty, if the Head of the Pontiff's own Academy for Life is not defending Life but jeopardizing the Church's defense of it, all this is the Pope's business. If the Pope's newspaper aids the Archbishop who is against life and who dissents from the Magisterium, but refuses to publish the Archbishop of Olinda's reply, this is also the Pope's business. If the Pope accepts, at a terrible moment, the resignation presented for age reasons by the party who was defending life, and in his place appoints a liberal, that sends a wrong message, and that is the Pope's business.

So, let us hope that the Pope will now act to punish Fisichella, because his actions and omissions related to this affair so far have only benefitted the enemies of life. I will give the Pope the benefit of the doubt that this result was not his intention, but he must, must correct Fisichella.

Or else this will have been the greatest failiure of leadership of his pontificate, as New Catholic points out.

There must be an outcry over this, or else the diplomats in the Vatican (S. Damaso) will want to bury the whole story to save face and avoid a public confrontation against a curial official.

Jordanes said...

Yep. Archbishop Fisichella has got to go. The sooner the better. He's manifestly disqualified for the office the Holy Father entrusted to him.

Hopefully Archbishop Cardoso will press ahead with a denunciation of Archbishop Fisichella.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything the last Anonymous contributor has written.

I add that the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife is one of the most important sees in all of Brazil, and has a *huge* population of over three millions. It ranks as number three in population for Brazilian sees, lower only than São Paulo & Rio de Janeiro.

While the 75 age limit is the law, there are a number of 'established customs' which should be considered. Cardinal-Archbishop of major sees can be 'permitted' an extra five years in office, which was the case for Cardinal O'Connor of New York, Cardinal Wetter of Munich, and even Cardinal Kitbunchu of Bangkok. In the case of non-Cardinal Archbishops of major sees, they typically get retired at age 77 or 78 if they *want* to stay on that long. I could furnish many examples.

In other words, it would have been a bit surprising to relieve Cardoso at the age of 76 even if there had been no crisis in the first place. But to do so shortly after he was reprimanded for standing up for the faith is a *very* hard slap across his face.

Where does this slap come from? Well, it comes from the Pope himself and from Cardinal Re, despite what Re may say in support of Cardoso. After all, Re has the last word on advising the Pope and could have pointed out the inopportunity of retiring Cardoso at this time.

I am predicting that a great deal of pressure was brought to bear on the Pope from the Brazilian Bishops' Conference and from ... Cardinal Hummes, the Brazilian Prefect for Clergy and an advocate for the heretical system of liberation theology.

We battle against principalities and powers, however. Make no mistake. I wonder how many consolation prizes will be given to the liberals before the S.S.P.X is recognised as a Catholic association whose priests have faculties?

P.K.T.P.

Prof. Basto said...

P.K.T.P.,

Just so you know and understand, I was the last anonymous, and I was replying to your reply to my earlier post. I should have signed the last comment, but didn't because it was quicker to post as anon. But I even made reference to my earlier post.

Anonymous said...

P.K.T.P. said:

"I add that the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife is one of the most important sees in all of Brazil, and has a *huge* population of over three millions. It ranks as number three in population for Brazilian sees, lower only than São Paulo & Rio de Janeiro."

It's wrong. It tanks as number four, lower than São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. See: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dbelo.html ; http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/doler.html .

Brian said...

"consolation prize given to liberals"?

Abortion is the most pressing moral issue of our lifetime. Countless millions of innocent human beings are being murdered throughout the world, many of the by Catholic parents. The Nazi holocaust pales in comparison.

The most pro-abortion U.S President in history was elected because he received half the U.S. Catholic vote. The flagship Catholic University honors him and Catholic Cardinals praise him.

Now a strong moral stance for life by an Archbishop is publically and dishonestly criticized in the Vatican newspaper and the Pope responds by accepting the resignation of the courageous Archbishop?

This is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

"The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Cardoso this week, one year after having reached the age limit. His successor is a Liberal Benedictine, who should destroy what Cardoso managed to salvage from the Liberal disaster named "Hélder Câmara"."

This reflects Pope Benedict's terrible judgement, and the sinister influence of his advisors remaining from the John Paul II era...namely the present Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops, the radical dissenter who was even labeled "the most liberal member of the Roman Curia" by his brother Cardinals in the Curia....Giovanni Battista Re, friend and confidant of John Paul II, radical liberal extraordinaire.

Anonymous said...

"Accepting Cardoso's resignation now sends a terrible signal; naming a liberal successor an even worse signal, and not reprimanding Fisichella (after Fisichella's public dissent from Church teaching and his public scolding of an Archbishop who was defending Church doctrine and acting according to law) is a mostruous ommission of governance.

I pray that the Pope will correct that situation soon. Perhaps he has not been fully informed, but, if so, then this kind of alienation is a huge embarrassment."

Pope Benedict XVI is turning into a "jellyfish" Pope, just like his mentor Paul VI.

But at least Paul VI issued "Humanae Vitae".

Don't expect anything from Benedict XVI. He's too timid, shy, meek, retiring, afraid.

Whatever happened to "Panzerkardinal" or "God's Rottweiler"?

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Bertone, and Levada.

Bertone is a radical liberal...as is his Order, the Salesians. The only good Salesian I heard of was the late, great Cardinal Alfons Stickler!

Bertone is totally corrupt. Does he have aspirations for the Papal throne? Don't bet on it. He's already nearly 75.
As weak and accomodating as he is, I'd rather have Pope Benedict XVI last another 6-7 years than have Bertone make a run for the job.

Anonymous said...

"We battle against principalities and powers, however. Make no mistake. I wonder how many consolation prizes will be given to the liberals before the S.S.P.X is recognised as a Catholic association whose priests have faculties?
"

I never though about it that way, but I'll bet that is what our weakling Pope is doing.....bending way over to please the radical liberal dissenters so they won't all stage massive temper tantrums and leave the Church if/when the SSPX is reconciled.

So, if they left, it's no loss. They are not Catholics anyway.

Pope Benedict is too accomodating and cautious. We need another Pius X, Pius XII, or going back even further in Papal history, a Gregory VII (1015-1085) who was a great reforming Pope in the god sense of the word....he cleaned house of all the corruption in the VAtican and in dioceses.

Jordanes said...

John Paul II, radical liberal extraordinaire ***

Ha! Thanks, Anonymous. I needed a good laugh.

Whatever happened to "Panzerkardinal" or "God's Rottweiler"? ***

The fact of the matter is he was never, ever that kind of person. Those were vile smears of emboldened heretics who were livid that anyone would try to call them to account, no matter how gently or patiently, for their errors. The CDF under Cardinal Ratzinger disciplined only a comparatively small number of false teachers, and that only mildly. Sure, when you compare him to other cardinals, he has seemed like a searing blowtorch of orthodoxy, but no, he's actually never been like the stereotype invented by his heretical enemies. Which is disappointing, as I think there are plenty of false teachers who are overdue for a good scorching from a blowtorch of orthodoxy . . . .

Gregory VII (1015-1085) who was a great reforming Pope in the god sense of the word....he cleaned house of all the corruption in the VAtican and in dioceses. ***

Or at least he made a great start toward that. He was a great reforming pope, but he "bit off more than he could chew" -- the problems in the Church were horrendous, andd were much too big to be tackled all in one pontificate -- and by trying to do that, his papacy actually ended a failed one.

Anonymous said...

This sad affair offers more evidence that a state of necessity as argued by the FSSPX is valid. The Church simply cannot continue "business as usual" amidst the contradictory chaos that now emanates from the Vatican. The crisis is now more than 40 years old. Our only hope was that Benedict, being a veteran Curial insider for than 20 years before his ascending to the Petrine office, would clean house and appoint a different type of bishop (after all, on more than once occasion during his tenure as Prefect of the CDF, he stated publicly that the heart of the Church's problems lay with the bishops and until they were changed the crisis would continue).

Count Neri Capponi, an old Vatican hand, said shortly after Cardinal Ratzinger's elevation to the Papacy that the election of Benedict had put the Curial progressives back on their heels (they hadn't expected it). He added, prophetically, that Benedict had precious little time before they re-organized and continued the behind-the-scenes-obstruction that had plagued the Wojtyla Pontificate. We're witnessing their resurrection.

Catholics --especially priests -- cannot tolerate the continued contradictions. It saps the intellect and the spirit and leaves each of us as the private interpreters of the meaning of Pontifical action and inaction. The various national hierarchies luxuriate in the governance vacuum and continue the headlong lurch into an Anglican-type "communion" of national churches.

The state of emergency is now. I think you will soon see surprising personalities affirming the legitimacy of the FSSPX's position.

Essentially the Benedictine Pontificate leaves Catholics with the untenable choice of the continued drift into contradictory chaos (aided an abetted by the national hierarchies with the progressives firmly entrenched in all of them) or the reluctant embracing of those few bishops (those of the FSSPX) who offer the consistency of Catholic moral and dogmatic teaching.

If the Papacy forfeits its governing authority, God help us, but I see no other choice.

Perlimplín said...

Please, a note on the Traditional Mass forbidden by the Archbishop of Malaga, Mons. Catalá.

UNA VOCE MALAGA has released a press note:

http://www.unavocemalaga.com/

John said...

Meanwhile, in the UK, the priest responsible for "converting" several politicians announces that his new book is to be launched in an infamous strip joint:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6634090.ece

Anonymous said...

The Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho is our (I am a Brazilian catholic) "little tropical Ratzinger". His successor is a very liberal bishop and a great disappointment - It is like Lefebvre and Mahony, water and oil, etc. The choice was "unhappy" but the liberals are so touched with the "nomina" of a friend...
Archbishop Cardoso resigned according to the Canon Law, but the newspapers are saying that the Pope is "making justice" and they're painting Dom Jose as the incarnation of evil.
We can only say that the Curia is not a friend of Dom Jose...
To be a "emeritus" and see all your work being destroyed...uau! It must be terrible for that "little" bishop (Dom Jose is like cardinal Canizares...). The new archbishop will be a strong voice of all the bishops of the Northwest region of my country, and all the bishops there are liberals and Helder-like (that is why dom Jose was not supported by his fellow bishops during the "Recife case").
But, and this is important, the Archbishop Cardoso declared that he is not pushing the case against Archbishop Rino... Three weeks after this declaration, he was replaced...

Danilo

GVA said...

Hi,
I´m a catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife (so, sorry for may poor english writing), and I think I could give some helpfull informations on the case.

1. First of all, the allways well-informed Sandro Magister seems to have mistaken some information... The Archbishop Cardoso didn´t thought about a denunciation against Archbishop Rino Fisichella, all though some have pointed that as a last resource case. All that our great Archbishop tried, was to have his side of the story published in "L´Osservatore", as a response to Fisichella´s article.
I think he hardly will try to go on with this attempt, as his retiring, and as a carmelite is going to a humble convent in conutryside of Pernambuco (state where are situated both cities of Olinda and Recife).

2. I just wanna point out that our new Archbishop, Fernando Saburido OSB, though is treated as a radical liberal, by most of the local midia, in comparison with our bishop so far, we should say he´s more like a moderate kind. As he worked as auxiliary-bishop together with Archbishop Cardoso from 2000 to 2005. So, though liberals will probably have a bigger place, I, hopefully think, he won´t be exactally a problem for the most traditional catholics.

In the precious blood of Our Lord Jesus Crhist,
GVA.

Prof. Basto said...

From Sandro Magister's Settimo Cielo blog comes this followup to his "www.chiesa" article:

"Vaticano segreto ma non troppo. Gli accademici pro-vita ricusano il loro presidente
Postato in General il 3 luglio, 2009
Sugli sviluppi della controversia accesa dall’articolo dell’arcivescovo Rino Fisichella sul caso della bambina brasiliana fatta abortire dei due gemelli che portava in grembo, www.chiesa ha informato nel servizio messo in rete il 3 luglio: “Il caso di Recife. Roma ha parlato, ma la causa non è finita“.

Ai fatti pubblici lì riportati, tuttavia, vanno aggiunti importanti retroscena.

L’articolo di Fisichella – uscito il 15 marzo sulla prima pagina de “L’Osservatore Romano” – ha fatto colpo non solo per i contenuti e le modalità della pubblicazione, ma perché il suo autore è presidente della pontificia accademia per la vita.

Ebbene, 27 dei 46 membri che fanno parte di questa accademia scrissero il 4 aprile scorso una lettera collettiva a Fisichella, chiedendogli di correggere le “errate” posizioni da lui espresse nell’articolo.

Il 21 aprile Fisichella rispose loro per iscritto, respingendo la richiesta.

Il 1° maggio, 21 dei firmatari della precedente lettera si rivolsero quindi al cardinale William Levada, prefetto della congregazione per la dottrina della fede, chiedendo alla congregazione un pronunciamento chiarificatore sulla dottrina della Chiesa in materia di aborto.

La lettera fu consegnata il 4 maggio ma non ricevette risposta. Gli scriventi seppero da un funzionario della congregazione che la lettera era stata girata al segretario di Stato, il cardinale Tarcisio Bertone, “poiché l’articolo di Fisichella era stato scritto su sua richiesta”.

Due membri della pontificia accademia per la vita trasmisero allora direttamente al papa un dossier sulla vicenda.

L’8 giugno Benedetto XVI avrebbe discusso il caso con Bertone e avrebbe ordinato di pubblicare una dichiarazione che ribadisse la dottrina della Chiesa in materia di aborto.

Ma questo testo ancora non ha visto la luce. C’è chi si oppone a che sia pubblicato su “L’Osservatore Romano”. E c’è chi vorrebbe che sia trasmesso in via riservata solo a un ristretto numero di destinatari: i vescovi e gli accademici più direttamente coinvolti nella controversia."

Biggus Headdus said...

I do not understand what in the world is going on in the hierarchy. When you're elevated to a prominent position within the Church do you enter a different world? It seems that you have to check your brain at the door and exit reality into a swirling fog of grey.

Being the simple fool that I am - I can only call to mind the words of Our Lady of Akita:


"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops.

The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres.

Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord."

New Catholic said...

Thank you, GVA.

We are aware that Archbishop Cardoso was very generous towards Traditional Catholics in the Archdiocese. Let us hope that Archbishop Saburido is as "moderate" as you hope he is.

Thank you once again,

NC

Anonymous said...

Please note that Magister confirms that "Rino" Fisichella's article was written at the request of none other than Bertone himself.

Anonymous said...

I think this liberal Fisichella's career is ruined now!

LOL!

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote:

"It's wrong. It tanks as number four, lower than São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. See: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dbelo.html ; http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/doler.html ."

No, Belo Horizonte is Number Four and Recife is Number Three. Here is the proof:

http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/country/scbr1.html



P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great scandal, that if the pope does nothing to correct it, I fear he shall be damned for it...

Anonymous said...

what is a canonical denunciation? pardon my ignorance