By Judie Brown
We read and hear about many disconcerting activities going on in the Catholic Church right now. The sad truth is that much of it could directly affect the manner in which our children and grandchildren may be taught in the coming years. So stay with me for a few moments as I address some of these problems.
In the Vatican, there has been a shakeup of the kind that sends shivers down my spine. Italian archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who is currently the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has been given a new role. According to Zenit, “Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as the new president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. . . . Archbishop Paglia had previously served as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; that council has now been merged into the new Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life.”
Paglia is well known as a prelate who does not take a clear position on the Church teaching that divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist. In fact, he has said that “the subject of the divorced and remarried and access to Communion is important, but it requires, above all, a pastoral approach and not to make this into a ‘category.’” This statement is fundamentally at odds with doctrine and the statements of other prelates who uphold magisterial teaching, such as Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In recent guidelines published by the archdiocese, we find this affirmation of what the archbishop describes as a “hard teaching” for some. The guidelines state: “Undertaking to live as brother and sister is necessary for the divorced and civilly-remarried to receive reconciliation in the Sacrament of Penance, which could then open the way to the Eucharist. Such individuals are encouraged to approach the Sacrament of Penance regularly, having recourse to God’s great mercy in that sacrament if they fail in chastity.”
These guidelines are clear in the message they provide, while Paglia creates confusion with his comments.
In addition, there is the odious program entitled The Meeting Point, described as a “project for affective and sexual formation.” This is simply another name for a sex education program for Catholics. This program was developed in Spain and approved by Paglia in his former role as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
The very sad but true fact about this program is that the same Pontifical Council for the Family, under the guidance of my dear friend Cardinal Alfonse Trujillo had published an outstanding document entitled The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality—a set of guidelines for education within the family.
Cardinal Trujillo must be spinning in his grave!
And as a final straw, we have learned that San Diego, California’s, bishop Robert McElroy is convening a “San Diego Synod” in October. “The bishop believes the synod will not only help San Diego Catholics grapple with the modern challenges to family life and the church as they are explored in the exhortation; it will also offer the diocese a new model for ‘being church.’”
We are not sure what that means, but we do know that McElroy espouses what he says he and Pope Francis describe as a “‘law of gradualness’ which recognizes that humans achieve moral growth in stages and which ‘reflects love more than judgment.’”
If this sounds like a dumbing down of the Ten Commandments to become something akin to Ten Ideas or Ten Suggestions, then you have read my mind!
So here is what we have to do:
- Sign the petition on LifeSiteNews calling on the Vatican to withdraw the flawed sex education program The Meeting Point.
- Learn how Catholic parents can preserve the integrity of the Church’s teachings on human sexuality by owning and sharing Culture of Life Studies Program materials that are faithful to Catholic doctrine on all subjects dealing with respect for the dignity of the human person.
- Protect the most precious gift that the Lord has given to you: your family.
Never forget these profound words of Saint John Paul II: “Christian spouses and parents are required to offer ‘the obedience of faith.’ They are called upon to welcome the word of the Lord which reveals to them the marvelous news—the Good News—of their conjugal and family life sanctified and made a source of sanctity by Christ Himself.”