Rorate Caeli

Scandal in Brazil
Bishops' Conference Chairman
defends appointment of abortion supporter to Supreme Court

Our reader Marcos Mattke reports from Brazil:

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Our National Conference of Bishops (CNBB) is supporting a lawyer that is a well known ally of our president and DEFENDS ABORTION AND RESEARCH WITH EMBRYONIC CELLS and who was appointed by the President for the Supreme Federal Court. If his indication is approved it will be loss to pro-life fight because the liberalization of abortion is in the docket for judgment at the Supreme Court.

First, an introduction to an interview granted by the appointed lawyer to the country's most read weekly [Veja] earlier this year:

José Antônio Toffoli has been the personal lawyer of President Lula in the last three [presidential] campaigns, occuppied the juridical consultancy of the Office of Chief of Staff in the administration of the former minister José Dirceu and, since March of 2007, he has been the Solicitor-General of the government - sort of a legal consultant of the government. At the age of 41, he is preparing himself for a big leap in his career: he is the favorite in the Planalto [Presidential Palace] to fill one of the two positions of Justice of the Supreme Federal Court that will be open before the end of 2010. Toffoli says that he will accept the position if he is invited, but he rejects the suggestions that he will be a soldier of the Workers' Party [the government party] in the Court. In an interview to VEJA, the young lawyer ... defends the decriminalization of abortion and gay marriage - even though he is a practicing Catholic, the brother of a priest and nephew of a monsignor and goes assiduously to Sunday Mass.
Now, the declaration of the Chairman of the Brazilian Bishops's Conference, Bishop Dimas Lara Barbosa, in an interview published today:

The secretary-general of the CNBB [Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil - National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil], Bishop Dimas Lara Barbosa, defended the appointment of the Solicitor-General, Minister José Antônio Dias Toffoli, to the STF [Supreme Federal Court] this Tuesday. The bishop said that Toffoli, a Catholic by formation, has the competency to take over the position of Justice Menezes Direito in the Court - who died one month ago.

"The Minister has declared to be a Catholic person. Father Toffoli himself attested to the competency and ethical behavior of his brother. Therefore, we expect that the Judiciary may exert its function with the collaboration of the future Justice in order to make justice happen in our country", the bishop affirmed.
The lawyer is the brother of Father José Carlos Toffoli, a former assistant of the CNBB. Toffoli will be heard this Wednesday by the CCJ [Constitution and Justice Committee] of the Senate. His name must be approved by the full Senate before being named to the STF.
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Well, what else could one expect from the most "Progressive" Episcopal Conference in the world?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

KYRIE ELEISON!

Anonymous said...

What do you expect, when the Vatican and the past and present Popes....but especially this one....do nothing about this issue, and dozens of others. The scandal of Austria for example.

Anonymous said...

And some will lead you to believe that Catholics from Latin America and /or Africa will save us decadent North Americans. When will people wake up and realize the Church is in trouble all over the world.

Anonymous said...

In our age whose Popes dare to act against the fruit of bishop collegiality? They are becoming very strong now, a superbody. Just follow the main stream and live in harmony...

Brian said...

If, indeed, Bishop Martino was pressured or forced to step down; and if, in contrast, Bishop Dimas Lara Barbosa remains in serenely in place, would that suggest anything about the leadership of the Church?

LeonG said...

The Vatican will say and do nothing, as usual.

C. said...

The lack of a decisive response to the Fisichella crisis, and the fact that he even remains in office, is a major problem.

Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic living in Salvador,Bahia Brazil. The Church here is basically a communist propaganda machine. I have to travel miles to Church on a Sunday just to get to a Mass celebrated by a priest who doesn't spout Marxism from the pulpit.
My younger daughter hasn't made her First Communion as I am afraid of the instruction she will receive from these heretical priests. I heard oe priest announce from the pulpit that if we didn't follow the CNBB directives we were excomunicating ourselves.
Why hasn't the Vatican done something about these heretics?
I feel so alone and that my family and I have been abandoned by the Church.

Anonymous said...

The gates of the Episcopal Conference shall not prevail!

Anonymous said...

Jordanes and Mr. McFarland,

Please provide some clarity on this situation.

My understanding of Catholic teaching regarding birth control is that it is not allowed except for medical reasons and then for a short term only. If a husband and wife wish to engage in sexual activity then they must be open to having children.

Open to having children even though a women is older and to this point childless and fearing having a Downs Syndrome child (a real possibility) or fearing physical problems from giving birth (another real possibility). Also, economic realities, that is not being able to provide a decent quality of life for a child such as participating in school activities such as sports.

Nonetheless they are supposed to be open to having a child. The NO priest says that a women can take the pill or practise birth control as long as the couple are open to having a child should God provide a pregnancy despite her efforts not to get pregnant.

I would like what you think is clear Catholic teaching is on this matter.

Enessa

Paul Haley said...

In an interview to VEJA, the young lawyer ... defends the decriminalization of abortion and gay marriage - even though he is a practicing Catholic, the brother of a priest and nephew of a monsignor and goes assiduously to Sunday Mass.

"The Minister has declared to be a Catholic person. Father Toffoli himself attested to the competency and ethical behavior of his brother. Therefore, we expect that the Judiciary may exert its function with the collaboration of the future Justice in order to make justice happen in our country", the bishop affirmed.

Uh, no, sorry, he cannot be both a supporter of the decriminalization of abortion and gay marriage and still call himself Catholic. And, his brother cannot attest to the "competency and ethical behavior" of this young lawyer. Another example of the diabolical disorientation, methinks.

The position of the Catholic Church and all Catholics must be that human life is sacred from conception to natural death and that marriage is between one man and one woman. But, that is what the Church has always held, taught and professed to be true since apostolic times...only in these beastly times would anyone say different and profess to be Catholic...whether that person be lawyer, priest, monsignor or bishop.

Jordanes said...

Enessa, I can only point to what the Church has said on the subject of "birth control" or "contraception" in her Catechisms, and in papal encyclicals, including Leo XIII's Arcanum, Pius XI's Casti Connubii, and Paul VI's Humanae Vitae (whose teachings are echoed or reiterated in various other documents of the Church, such as in John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae).

My understanding of Catholic teaching regarding birth control is that it is not allowed except for medical reasons and then for a short term only. If a husband and wife wish to engage in sexual activity then they must be open to having children.

Your understanding is partly correct, but presents some confusion. "Birth control" is not allowed at all, for any reason. A married couple may used morally acceptable means to temporarily delay having children, but "birth control" refers to immoral means of preventing the conception or birth of a child, whether through chemical or mechanical means of contraception or through abortion, killing the child before he can be born. Because procreation is the primary purpose for sexual activity (more properly called the conjugal act), a married couple is not to engage in any sexual activity that intentionally thwarts or subverts the procreation of children. Pius XI makes this clear in Casti Connubii nos. 54-62, which is worth reading in full:

"But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.
"Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, 'Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it.'

"Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.

"We admonish, therefore, priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: 'They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.'

Jordanes said...

Continuing with Pius XI's Casti Connubii:

"As regards the evil use of matrimony, to pass over the arguments which are shameful, not infrequently others that are false and exaggerated are put forward. Holy Mother Church very well understands and clearly appreciates all that is said regarding the health of the mother and the danger to her life. And who would not grieve to think of these things? Who is not filled with the greatest admiration when he sees a mother risking her life with heroic fortitude, that she may preserve the life of the offspring which she has conceived? God alone, all bountiful and all merciful as He is, can reward her for the fulfillment of the office allotted to her by nature, and will assuredly repay her in a measure full to overflowing.

"Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin. Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.

"We are deeply touched by the sufferings of those parents who, in extreme want, experience great difficulty in rearing their children.

"However, they should take care lest the calamitous state of their external affairs should be the occasion for a much more calamitous error. No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. This truth of Christian Faith is expressed by the teaching of the Council of Trent. 'Let no one be so rash as to assert that which the Fathers of the Council have placed under anathema, namely, that there are precepts of God impossible for the just to observe. God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.'

"This same doctrine was again solemnly repeated and confirmed by the Church in the condemnation of the Jansenist heresy which dared to utter this blasphemy against the goodness of God: 'Some precepts of God are, when one considers the powers which man possesses, impossible of fulfillment even to the just who wish to keep the law and strive to do so; grace is lacking whereby these laws could be fulfilled.'"

Jordanes said...

Pius XI's doctrine was never contradicted or mitigated in any way by Vatican II nor by any papal declaration since then. Paul VI expounded further on the Church's doctrine in Humanae Vitae, in which he stated: "With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons ***and with due respect to moral precepts***, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time" (HV 10).

Paul VI explains further what are acceptable and unacceptable methods of "family planning" or "regulation of birth," in HV 10-16. Note that he says "due respect for moral precepts." What is called "natural family planning" is the only morally acceptable method (and even it can be abused -- used with a contraceptive intent). Other methods or actions are NEVER acceptable, no matter how serious the reasons are (or how serious the reasons are claimed to be). In HV 14, he say, "Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means."

Open to having children even though a woman is older and to this point childless and fearing having a Downs Syndrome child (a real possibility) or fearing physical problems from giving birth (another real possibility).

Yes, those would not constitute "serious reasons" to avoiding having children. If the wife is mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy, there would not be a "medical" justification for delaying or avoiding pregnancy. But a mere fear of physical problems from giving birth couldn't be adequate justification: if it were, you could delay or avoid pregnancy for any reason.

Also, economic realities, that is not being able to provide a decent quality of life for a child such as participating in school activities such as sports.

Again, yes, that would not constitute "serious reasons" to avoid having children. If it were, say, a case of serious economic deprivation -- famine, serious poverty and want, disruption of life due to a military assault on the place where you live -- those would be serious reasons to delay having children.

Nonetheless they are supposed to be open to having a child. The NO priest says that a woman can take the pill or practise birth control as long as the couple are open to having a child should God provide a pregnancy despite her efforts not to get pregnant.

I don't know which "Novus Ordo" priest you are referring to, but I know that many priests have ignored, flouted, and violated Pius XI's admonition in Casti Connubii no. 57. They have much to answer for. It is certainly NOT permitted to use contraceptive poisons or other methods of birth control as long as the couple is willing to accept a child should God perform a miracle that overrides their intentional violation of the natural and divine law. You can't say, "I'm going to cut off my arm, but if God does something to make the saw break or to cause my arm to reattach or grow back, then I'll submit to God's will and let my arm stay on my body." No, you have submit to God's will BEFORE you sin, not just accept His expressed judgment after you've violated His will and law. Any priest who gives such vile counsel is talking diabolical nonsense and gibberish, and will have much to answer for on Judgment Day.

Paulo Ghetti Frade said...

What is worse and most people don't know is that many of the priests who support these Brazilian bishops are being "imported" to the US and are implementing their "do-it-yourself liturgy" in the so called "Brazilian parishes" especially in Massachusetts and Florida. This link http://apostoladobrasileiro.com/mass/content/view/825/335/ from the official site of the Brazilian Apostolate in the United States gives an idea of what happens in these parishes. Here's also a link http://apostoladobrasileiro.com/fotos/framingham_missa_crioula09/index.html with many pictures of the usual liturgical abuses in these "Brazilian parishes". Most of these Brazilian priest are contaminating the faithful with Liberation Theology. I know it first hand since I was in the midst of it all for over 10 years.

Marcos Vinícius Mattke said...

Bad news. The senate has approved (with 59 votes in favor, 9 against and 3 abstentions) his indication to the Supreme Federal Court. Unfortunately, he's now one more Judge of the Supreme Court that favors gay marriage, abortion, embryonic cells research and liberalization of drugs...

Marcos Vinícius Mattke said...

http://oglobo.globo.com/pais/mat/2009/09/30/senado-aprova-toffoli-para-supremo-tribunal-federal-767851563.asp

The link to the Senate's approval.

ICK said...

Fire the entire Bishop's Conference immediately!

LeonG said...

The truth of the matter is that to the north the USCCB is little less than a criminal organisation, as quoted by a district attorney a few years ago during a legal process against another errant "catholic" bishop. Meanwhile, to the south is being implemented a similar process of delinquency and ultimate criminality that attempts to justify itself with conciliar, phenomenological and marxist ideologies. The very worst factor that underpins this virtual schism is that The Vatican remains caught up in silent paralysis that has its roots in the post-conciliar liberal modernist tendency to tolerate all expressions of personal freedom, except traditionalism, of course.

The relativism and pluralism rampant throughout the postmodern church haunts it like a meddlesome demon: encouraging creative liturgies; accepting wide-ranging personalised positions on focal Roman Catholic beliefs; coupling these are endless destructive interreligious and ecumenical scandals perpetrated from the top of the hierarchy. The evidence is there for everyone to behold, documented in pictorial and verbal form. The fact that there has been so much wide-ranging debate over the meaning of the councils statements & outcomes illustrates perfectly their essentially ambiguous un-Catholic nature.

While supreme pontiffs recall ancient praxis how is it that they have participated in their deconstruction during the last 45 years? Non-Catholics given Communion; first communicants handed the host in the modernist manner and numerous counter-syllabuses proclaimed as such? The list is a long and incriminating one. So is the silence and failure to discipline those who flagrantly and divisively break the laws of the church and its beliefs.

The consequences of compromise and indifference are severe: open rebellion and chaos within and a hostile secularism from without. This is the responsibility of the post-conciliar pastoral experiment & its proselytes. Man has been placed at the centre of society rather than its true Saviour. Over-emphasis on "human dignity", man's love for man, Christ's humanity and realisation ofthe "self" have combined with the euphemisms of freedom of conscience and religious liberty to the exclusion of Our Blessed Lord. Marx, Freud, Darwin and Husserl appear to have more influence over modern catholic thinking than the clarity of customary Roman Catholic norms, values and mores. Even recent church surveys on these issues demonstrate that most lay and many clergy are no longer certain about them.

Any Roman Catholic reading Pope St Pius X on these matters understands why he is certainly an implacable enemy of modernism.

Prof. Basto said...

Toffoli has now been confirmed by the Brazilian Federal Senate (Toffolli appeared before the Justice commitee of the Senate on September 30th, the commitee voted to confirm him in the same afternoon, and in the evening the full Senate also voted to approve his nomination).

So the Brazilian Senate discharged its constitutional scrutiny powers in less then 24 hours, and Toffoli pro-abortion stance wasn't even a issue. Actually, he was praised for his competence in winning "important" cases for the Government before the Federal Supreme Court in his previous role as Solicitor-General (such as the case that ruled on the constitutionality of embrionyc stem cell research, in which the Supreme Court held that the protection of human life as a constitutional right only begins at birth, and that the law can regulate degrees of protection for the "developing fetus that will eventually turn into a human person" before that).

Our Episcopal Conference is a shame!

Anonymous said...

We, Brazilians, are abandoned by our priests. At on side they only think in social justice, agrarian reform, Liberation Teology, and a speech pro-Cuba and pro-Castro and in the other side there is the charismatism, their "experiences" in liturgy, doctrine, etc. etc.
God, save our Church. Nossa Senhora Aparecida help us!

In Praelio said...

Infelizmente essa é só a ponta do Iceberg!

Nossa Senhora Aparecida Rogai por Nós!

Jefferson Nóbrega