Sunday, January 22, 2017


The news media has trounced and pulverized the Catholic Church exclusively on the sex abuse scandal but refused to report similar stories just as egregious as the Church's in other major religious institutions such as in Protestantism and Judaism not to mention the public schools' systems.

Led by the New York Times, which owned the Boston Globe at the time, we all know the liberal media's political desire to neutralize the Catholic Church's influence in promoting the truth of our pro life teachings as well as our marriage and human sexuality teachings.

President Trump does not cower or kiss the ring or anything else of the "bishops" of the dishonest main line liberal media. Catholic bishops could learn a lesson from President Trump in this area.



The soon to be Pope Benedict give Holy Communion to the Protestant head of an international ecumenical monastery, Brother Roger, at Pope Saint John Paul's Requiem.

Chapter Hall of the Former Augustinian Convent, ErfurtFriday, 23 September 2011 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I begin to speak, I would like first of all to say how deeply grateful I am that we are able to come together. I am particularly grateful to you, my dear brother, Pastor Schneider, for receiving me and for the words with which you have welcomed me here among you. You have opened your heart and openly expressed a truly shared faith, a longing for unity. And we are also glad, for I believe that this session, our meetings here, are also being celebrated as the feast of our shared faith. Moreover, I would like to express my thanks to all of you for your gift in making it possible for us to speak with one another as Christians here, in this historic place. 

As the Bishop of Rome, it is deeply moving for me to be meeting you here in the ancient Augustinian convent in Erfurt. As we have just heard, this is where Luther studied theology. This is where he celebrated his first Mass. Against his father’s wishes, he did not continue the study of Law, but instead he studied theology and set off on the path towards priesthood in the Order of Saint Augustine. And on this path, he was not simply concerned with this or that. What constantly exercised him was the question of God, the deep passion and driving force of his whole life’s journey. “How do I receive the grace of God?”: this question struck him in the heart and lay at the foundation of all his theological searching and inner struggle. For Luther theology was no mere academic pursuit, but the struggle for oneself, which in turn was a struggle for and with God.

 “How do I receive the grace of God?” The fact that this question was the driving force of his whole life never ceases to make a deep impression on me. For who is actually concerned about this today – even among Christians? What does the question of God mean in our lives? In our preaching? Most people today, even Christians, set out from the presupposition that God is not fundamentally interested in our sins and virtues. He knows that we are all mere flesh. And insofar as people believe in an afterlife and a divine judgement at all, nearly everyone presumes for all practical purposes that God is bound to be magnanimous and that ultimately he mercifully overlooks our small failings. The question no longer troubles us. But are they really so small, our failings? Is not the world laid waste through the corruption of the great, but also of the small, who think only of their own advantage? Is it not laid waste through the power of drugs, which thrives on the one hand on greed and avarice, and on the other hand on the craving for pleasure of those who become addicted? Is the world not threatened by the growing readiness to use violence, frequently masking itself with claims to religious motivation? Could hunger and poverty so devastate parts of the world if love for God and godly love of neighbour – of his creatures, of men and women – were more alive in us? I could go on. No, evil is no small matter. Were we truly to place God at the centre of our lives, it could not be so powerful. The question: what is God’s position towards me, where do I stand before God? – Luther’s burning question must once more, doubtless in a new form, become our question too, not an academic question, but a real one. In my view, this is the first summons we should attend to in our encounter with Martin Luther.

Another important point: God, the one God, creator of heaven and earth, is no mere philosophical hypothesis regarding the origins of the universe. This God has a face, and he has spoken to us. He became one of us in the man Jesus Christ – who is both true God and true man. Luther’s thinking, his whole spirituality, was thoroughly Christocentric: “What promotes Christ’s cause” was for Luther the decisive hermeneutical criterion for the exegesis of sacred Scripture. This presupposes, however, that Christ is at the heart of our spirituality and that love for him, living in communion with him, is what guides our life.

Now perhaps one might say: all well and good, but what has this to do with our ecumenical situation? Could this just be an attempt to talk our way past the urgent problems that are still waiting for practical progress, for concrete results? I would respond by saying that the first and most important thing for ecumenism is that we keep in view just how much we have in common, not losing sight of it amid the pressure towards secularization – everything that makes us Christian in the first place and continues to be our gift and our task.

It was the error of the Reformation period that for the most part we could only see what divided us and we failed to grasp existentially what we have in common in terms of the great deposit of sacred Scripture and the early Christian creeds. For me, the great ecumenical step forward of recent decades is that we have become aware of all this common ground, that we acknowledge it as we pray and sing together, as we make our joint commitment to the Christian ethos in our dealings with the world, as we bear common witness to the God of Jesus Christ in this world as our inalienable, shared foundation.

To be sure, the risk of losing it is not unreal. I would like to make two brief points here. The geography of Christianity has changed dramatically in recent times, and is in the process of changing further. Faced with a new form of Christianity, which is spreading with overpowering missionary dynamism, sometimes in frightening ways, the mainstream Christian denominations often seem at a loss. This is a form of Christianity with little institutional depth, little rationality and even less dogmatic content, and with little stability. This worldwide phenomenon – that bishops from all over the world are constantly telling me about – poses a question to us all: what is this new form of Christianity saying to us, for better and for worse? In any event, it raises afresh the question about what has enduring validity and what can or must be changed – the question of our fundamental faith choice.

The second challenge to worldwide Christianity of which I wish to speak is more profound and in our country more controversial: the secularized context of the world in which we Christians today have to live and bear witness to our faith. God is increasingly being driven out of our society, and the history of revelation that Scripture recounts to us seems locked into an ever more remote past. Are we to yield to the pressure of secularization, and become modern by watering down the faith? Naturally faith today has to be thought out afresh, and above all lived afresh, so that it is suited to the present day. Yet it is not by watering the faith down, but by living it today in its fullness that we achieve this. This is a key ecumenical task in which we have to help one another: developing a deeper and livelier faith. It is not strategy that saves us and saves Christianity, but faith – thought out and lived afresh; through such faith, Christ enters this world of ours, and with him, the living God. As the martyrs of the Nazi era brought us together and prompted that great initial ecumenical opening, so today, faith that is lived from deep within amid a secularized world is the most powerful ecumenical force that brings us together, guiding us towards unity in the one Lord. And we pray to him, asking that we may learn to live the faith anew, and that in this way we may then become one.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


I was struck by how insistent and without fear of being labeled non-inclusive, the Protestant ministers at the presidential inauguration used the name of Jesus over and over in their prayers. One went so far as to use the Gloria Patri.

Shouldn't Christians let go of the Holy Name of Christ in Interfaith and no-faith services so as not to offend anyone who may not pray through Christ our Lord? 

My own feeling is that if I am asked to give a prayer in an ecumenical or interfaith service, that I would  be respected as a Catholic priest who represents the Catholic Church and Jesus Christ the sole mediator between God and man. I would not attend an interfaith service where Jesus Christ is disrespected or neutralized or religious differences are falsely neutralized.

I would expect a Jew to pray as a Jew does, a Muslim as a Muslim does and any other world religions to pray the way they pray. If I disagree with these kinds of prayers, then I would not go. But if all are respectful and respect the purpose of the prayer service, than so be it.


And an exquisite Mass it is and a role model for all Catholic parishes throughout the world for the Ordinary Form Perhaps John Nolan can tell us which Latin setting the choir is using for the Sanctus. Is it a newly written Latin setting?

Friday, January 20, 2017


Let us be clear! To be Catholic one must respect the pope even if one disagrees with this, that or the other. Public Dissent to papal teachings can be silenced and has been frequently done in the past.


This is copied from Rorate Caeli:

DECREE no.1977
Of January 16, 2017
By which a priest is suspended



1st. That Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina has expressed publicly and privately his rejection of the doctrinal and pastoral teachings of the Holy Father Francis, mainly regarding Marriage and the Eucharist.

2nd. That today, January 16, 2017, His Excellency the Bishop summoned Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina to explain his doctrinal position regarding the teachings of the Holy Father. This act included the presence of four priests of the diocesan clergy.

3rd. That Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina, in this meeting, persisted in his posture against the Holy Father Francis. Therefore, for His Excellency the Bishop and the priests there present, it was concluded in a decisive manner that the aforementioned priest separated himself publicly from the communion with the Pope and the Church.

4th. That Canon 1364 paragraph 1 of the Code of Canon Law states that, "an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication." Paragraph 2 states that, "if contumacy of long duration or the gravity of scandal demands it, other penalties can be added, including dismissal from the clerical state." Moreover, considering Canon 194, par. 1, n. 2, he for is removed by virtue of law from the ecclesiastical position. Likewise, Canon 751 defines schism as, "the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

5th. That on January 2, 2017, Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina, without notifying his Bishop or any diocesan authority, abandoned the Parish of Santa Cecilia, in Pueblo Rico, [Department of] Risaralda.



Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina is suspended from the exercise of the priestly ministry.


Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina is prohibited from diffusing his ideas contrary to the Catholic faith and the ecclesiastical discipline.


The faithful of the Catholic Church are asked not to follow the teachings of the aforementioned priest as long as he does not accept the doctrine and teachings of the Vicar of Christ.


The faithful are exhorted to pray for Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina so that he may return to the Unity of the Church.

Be it thus notified and ordered.

Given in Pereira, Risaralda, on the sixteenth day of January of the year two thousand and seventeen.

Bishop of Pereira

Father Alirio Raigosa Castaño

- See more at:


Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Msgr. John Cuddy retired priest of the Diocese of Savannah. He was 88 years old and ordained a priest in 1953, several months before I was born! I followed him as pastor of Saint Joseph Church from July 1, 2004 until June 21, 2016. Until today there were only two living former pastors of St. Joseph Church, now there is only one. 😭

Monsignor Cuddy died at 12:15 pm EST, a few minutes after having received the Last Rites of the Church. He died exactly 15 minutes into the presidency of Donald John Trump! No correlation, I don't think but who knows?

Monsignor John Cuddy in September of 1997 as St. Joseph Church looked then with the original altar railing in the original position on the third step between the main pillars of the church:
Monsignor Cuddy's 60th Anniversary of ordination in May of 2013:
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. Rest In Peace! Amen! May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed Rest In Peace. Amen!

Msgr. Cuddy was down to earth and had the smell of his sheep on him. He was also a prince of a priest, a scholar and a gentleman!


 Pope Fabian was elected pope in a miraculous way when a dove landed on his head at a conclave, but he was a lay person! Thus he had to be ordained a deacon, priest and bishop before his coronation.
President Donald J. Trump, never a politician, a billionaire business man and celebrity didn't have a snowball's chance in hell to be elected president according to billions of people, but he's now president, one of a handful on non-politicians. 

I couldn't find a photo with a dove on his head, but this one is after the dove flew off his head:


My ancestry on my father's side is Catholic Scotland who immigrated to Nova Scotia in the 1800's. I wonder if I have any relatives in the church? Maybe I need to find out!

Priest and parishioners pelted with eggs outside Fife church (SCOTLAND)

A priest and parishioners at a Fife church have been attacked with eggs and subjected to anti-Catholic abuse as they made their way into Mass.

The incident happened on Tuesday at St John and St Columba's Church in Rosyth.
Police Scotland said they were investigating the incident.

Last July, a visiting priest in Broxburn, West Lothian, called in police after both he and parishioners were subjected to anti-Catholic chants by youths standing outside a church.

Police also had to be called in May 2015 after St Andrew's parish in Livingston was extensively spray-painted with anti-Catholic graffiti.

Father Kevin Dow, St John and St Columba's church priest, said: "It's dreadfully sad that in today's Scotland we still have young people who seem to be brought up or encouraged from elsewhere to be anti-Catholic and to do so in an open, intimidating and violent way."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police in Fife received a report of a disturbance outside St John's Church in Rosyth on the evening of Tuesday 17th January.

"Officers are following a positive line of inquiry."

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I reprint this from Crux this morning. We are in ominous times and stealthy attacks and bamboozling tactics from high places compromise so much of authentic Catholicism from the top down and the bottom up! Our sure and certain Faith assures us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church.

What is so disconcerting is that the good and tireless work of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to reverse the malaise in Catholicism inherited by the wishy-washy loss of Catholic identity of the 1960's has returned with a vengenace but this time from the papal magisterium.

I know many do not like what Pope Paul VI allowed, but he never ever confirmed the silliness in the season of his papacy to be confirmed by him but he tried heroically to change course. Humanae Vitae is an example. He decried liturgical abuse of the reformed Mass, tried to get more Latin chanted in the Mass and refused to allow those who wanted to ordain women prevail on his watch. He called what was happening during his reign in terms of the destruction of Catholic identity the "smoke of Satan" which he said had entered the sanctuary of the Church. His are prophetic words that should be taken very, very seriously today.

Many people in the Church, and I include myself in their ranks, see what is happening today with the recovery of the 1960's mentality in the papal magisterium as the decisive battle between the two aging groups of the 1960's represented by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, polar opposites. Many believe the orthodox, common sense and pastoral approach of Pope Benedict will one day prevail in a decisive victory for the Church.

‘Amoris Laetitia’: Are we seeing change by stealth?

‘Amoris Laetitia’: Are we seeing change by stealth?
Pope Francis blesses the marriage certificate of a U.S. couple during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 14. (Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring.)
The main problem with the apparent “change by stealth” approach has become apparent. Because 'Amoris Laetitia' remains ambiguous, different bishops are issuing contradictory guidelines. Their attempts to clarify the pope’s teaching will therefore only cause more confusion and contradiction.
The news that the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has published the Archbishop of Malta’s controversial instructions on divorced and re-married people participating in the Eucharist has made many Catholics wonder whether Pope Francis intends to bring about change in the marriage discipline of the church by stealth.
Last September, a letter from Pope Francis was leaked to the media in which he endorsed the Argentinian bishops’ interpretation of his encyclical Amoris Laetitia. The bishops had said that in certain circumstances it might be possible for divorced and remarried individuals to “have access to the Eucharist.”
They made it clear that this meant receiving communion.
Pope Francis affirmed their reading, saying that the bishops had captured the full meaning of his encyclical and “there was no other interpretation.”
Defenders of the pope said it was a personal letter, and it should not be taken as definitive teaching. Now the official newspaper of the Vatican has published the pastoral letter of Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta which also opens the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to “participate in the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist.”
At the same time, the Holy Father has still declined to answer a request for clarity on this matter from four cardinals. Are ordinary priests and people wrong to be confused and wonder why such ambiguities continue to persist?
While L’Osservatore Romano has published the guidelines of the Bishops of Malta, one wonders why this particular bishops’ pastoral letter was chosen for publication and not one of many others that have been written.
I do not have the information at hand, but one may ask, were the Archbishop of Philadelphia’s pastoral guidelines on Amoris Laetitia published by the Vatican newspaper? Archbishop Charles Chaput’s guidelines can be read here.
Did the Vatican newspaper publish the letter by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth in England? Both Philadelphia and the Diocese of Portsmouth are many times larger than Malta.
Was the Maltese bishops’ letter chosen for its particular theological acumen? Was it chosen because there was something in the letter which promoted it to universal attention in the church despite the small size of the flock in Malta? Is there something about Maltese bishops or Maltese Catholics which makes that diocese’s pastoral guidelines more important than others?
Is it wrong to pose these questions?
L’Osservatore Romano is the official paper of the Vatican. It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that Scicluna’s letter was published because it conforms with the desired direction of those who wish to promote a more progressive reading of the pope’s encyclical. If so, then it is also difficult to avoid the conclusion that someone, somewhere in the Vatican is promoting change by stealth.
If this is so, it should stop.
Catholics have a right to expect clarity in teaching from their pastors. They also have a right to expect charity in pastoral care. To uphold the timeless teachings of Christ and his church on the matter of marital and Eucharistic discipline does not necessarily lead to a harsh, judgmental and rigid attitude.
Good pastors know how to uphold the sanctity of marriage while still dealing gently and kindly with those who have not succeeded. The guidelines of Chaput and Egan are models of how this can be accomplished.
Yes, it is difficult to be a Catholic, and a good pastor will do everything he can to help the members of his flock.
However, it is also part of the gospel that one must take up the cross and follow Christ. It is also part of the gospel that the way to salvation is narrow and few there be who find it. It is also part of the gospel that the way to destruction is a broad, downward slope. Mercy is necessary, but so is discipline.
Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.” Then he said, “Go and sin no more.”
The main problem with the “change by stealth” approach has already become apparent. Because Amoris Laetitia remains ambiguous, different bishops will issue contradictory guidelines. Their attempts to clarify the pope’s teaching will therefore only cause more confusion and contradiction.
Worst of all, the priests and people will find themselves picking and choosing which pastoral guidelines they prefer. “Shall I listen to Chaput or Scicluna?”
In Catholicism, everything is connected. Therefore the continued ambiguity over Amoris Laetitia will eventually undermine the principles of authority in the Catholic Church. Before long the question will not be about the pastoral care of divorced and remarried people, but about the teaching authority of the pope, and that question will unfortunately be not only papal, but personal.
The ultimate question will be, “Does the pope, the successor of Peter, believe he has the authority to define and defend church teaching or not?”
Then Pope Francis’s critics will start saying, “If he does, he should do so. If he does not he should resign.” Such criticism would undermine the good work Pope Francis has done and distract everyone from getting on with the work we are all called to do.
We obviously don’t want to go there.
We’ve had three popes once before, and it was not a success.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Catwoman may be catwoman but she is not a he or a cat. We need real news not fake news!

Chelsea Manning's prison sentence commuted by 

Barack Obama (fake news when he is called she?)

The whistleblower, who has been imprisoned for six years for leaking state secrets, is now set to go free on 17 May

Monday, January 16, 2017


Most Catholics who are old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II Church can remember how dogmatic priests and bishops were. The laity were often treated as children rather than adults. In part, this has a great deal to do with the laity's rebellion in the late 1960's when the Church after Vatican II began to be more pastoral than dogmatic. Many Catholics under the heavy yoke of authoritarianism, like a child, moved from childhood to adolescence using and abusing their new found freedoms. They did not move to their adult state.

Today, heterodox, progressives continue to promote a pastoral council, which Vatican II was, as well as more recent documents coming from the Holy Father in a dogmatic, pre-Vatican II authoritarian way just as it was done by the Magisterium after Vatican II and their cohorts. Just think of the Maltese Falcons, I mean, bishops.

The orthodox, though, should keep in mind that prior to Vatican II, pastoral theology was often promoted in a dogmatic, authoritarian way. Just think the the theology of Limbo for unbaptized infants. It was a pastoral theology that presented a better option than eternal damnation for unbaptized infants. It was a more merciful pastoral approach not only for the infants but for their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. But it was never a formulated doctrine let alone dogma. It was a pastoral theology.

The greatest area in which progressives highjacked and dogmatized the Second Vatican Council is on its pastoral perspective (which can never be dogmatized, by the way) as well as on the reform of the Liturgy. One gets a sense of this in a recent interview by Italian media with the Liturgist, Fr. Andrew Grillo, professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm. (Keep in mind, though, how Pope Francis described liturgists recently: "what's the diffference between a liturgist and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist!" )
This originally appeared as a feature on Rai Newsand was conducted by Pierluigi Mele:
 Professor, there is a debate in the Church of Rome, which at first might seem only to be of interest to the “insiders,” but which is in reality important to all the people of God. We are talking about translation of the liturgy. As you know, the Second Vatican Council initiated a Copernican revolution in Catholic liturgy. Under Pope John Paul II, the document Liturgiam authenticam was issued. It provides the criteria for the translation of the liturgy from Latin to the various languages. We know that the current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship is the ultra-conservative Cardinal Sarah, who dreams of a “reform of the reform” of the Catholic liturgy. What, in your view, are the limitations of Liturgiam authenticam?
The first thing to say is that the 2001 document is part of a long chain of texts produced by the central magisterium – papal and curial – between the late 1980s until the first decade of the new century. All these documents are united by one characteristic: they are the fruit of fear. They are a reaction to the trust and confidence that the Second Vatican Council had introduced into the Church of the 1960s and 1970s, overcoming the anti-modern trauma that had paralyzed the Church for more than a century. Now we move back to the old mistrust and suspicion. They brought back the nineteenth-century frame of mind. In this particular case, it is the mistrust and suspicion of modern languages ​​and modern cultures. The authority to translate them has been taken away, and keeping in line requires a method of translation from Latin that yields a result that is, one can say without exaggeration, comic: If you follow the rules laid down, the resulting text is incomprehensible; but if you want a text that is understandable, you have to violate the rules. This is the experience of all the national episcopal conferences for the past 15 years. It is happening widely. The events related to the Missal translation into English, German, French, and Italian are just the best known examples.

After reading the authoritarian, myopic, narrow views of Grillo above, compare this with the common sense approach of Cardinal Ratzinger the future pope. His views are certainly more pastoral, middle of the road and beneficial for the Church:

In this 2003 video, Cardinal Ratzinger speaks of ad orientem celebration:

He also speaks about a future document favorable to the Traditional Mass:

"There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.  What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

My final comments: What Cardinal Ratinger and later as pope, wanted to do was to promote inner healing in the Church which was happening under his pontificate as Catholic identity was being recovered in a marvelous way and polarization was being reduced. Pope Francis and his friends still enamoured with the post Vatican II confusion and rupture want to restore the wounds to the Church that Pope Benedict so valiantly tried to heal. What a mess we are in now and very similar to what happened after Vatican II by these very same dogmatists who are so very authoritarian.


Wow! How do you spell bamboozled?

Ethicist says ghostwriter’s role in ‘Amoris’ is troubling

Ethicist says ghostwriter’s role in ‘Amoris’ is troubling
Archbishop Victor Fernandez with Fr Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, at the Synod of Bishops. (Credit: CNS.)
It turns out that the most important footnote in 'Amoris Laetitia' may be one that's not there, because a key passage of the document is lifted almost verbatim from a 1995 essay in theology by Archbishop Victor Fernandez -- raising troubling questions about Fernandez's role as ghostwriter, and the magisterial force of his ideas.


[Editor’s note: In this essay, Professor Michael Pakaluk of the Catholic University of America examines the role of Argentine Archbishop Victor Fernandez, a theological adviser to Pope Francis, in Amoris Laetitia, the pontiff’s document on the family. Crux invited Fernandez to respond, and his comments appear at the bottom of the article.]
The most important footnote in Amoris Laetitia may not be, as many suppose, one dealing with access to the sacraments for Catholics in “irregular” situations. Instead, it may be a footnote that’s not actually in the document but which should be, since one of the sentences in Amoris is lifted nearly verbatim from an essay published in 1995 in a Buenos Aires theological journal.
The sentence, from the notorious chapter 8, is this: “Saint Thomas Aquinas himself recognized that someone may possess grace and charity, yet not be able to exercise any one of the virtues well; in other words, although someone may possess all the infused moral virtues, he does not clearly manifest the existence of one of them, because the outward practice of that virtue is rendered difficult: ‘Certain saints are said not to possess certain virtues, in so far as they experience difficulty in the acts of those virtues, even though they have the habits of all the virtues.’” [Cf. Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 65, art. 3 ad 2 and ad 3].
One must see the Spanish to see the plagiarism clearly.  In Spanish, the Amoris sentence is this:
“Ya santo Tomás de Aquino reconocía que alguien puede tener la gracia y la caridad, pero no poder ejercitar bien alguna de las virtudes, de manera que aunque posea todas las virtudes morales infusas, no manifiesta con claridad la existencia de alguna de ellas, porque el obrar exterior de esa virtud está dificultado: ‘Se dice que algunos santos no tienen algunas virtudes, en cuanto experimentan dificultad en sus actos, aunque tengan los hábitos de todas las virtudes.’”
And the corresponding sentence from that 1995 theological journal is this:
“De hecho santo Tomas reconocia que alguien puede tener la gracia y la caridad pero no ejercitar bien alguna de las  virtudes “propter  aliquas dispositiones contrarias” (Summa Th., I-IIae., 65, 3, ad 2), de manera que alguien puede tener todas las virtudes pero no manifestar claramente la posesion de alguna de ellas porque el obrar exterior de esa virtud esta dificultado por disposiciones contrarias: “Se dice que algunos santos no tienen algunas virtudes en cuanto tienen dificultades en los actos de esas virtudes, aunque tengan los habitos de todas” (Ibid, ad 3).”
And here is the footnote that should be there, but isn’t: “Victor M. Fernandez, Romanos 9-11 : gracia y predestinaciónTeologia, vol 32, issue 65, 1995, pp. 5-49, at 24.  Cf. Victor M. Fernandez, La dimensión trinitaria de la moral II: profundización del aspecto ético a la luz de “Deus caritas est”Teologia, vol 43, issue 89, 133-163 at 157. Evangelii Gaudium 171.”
One must add the bit about Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the joy of the Gospel, because the same sentence was used there too without attribution, and one must also refer to another article by Fernandez, with yet another version of the sentence.
Naturally, I use the term “plagiarism” in its material, not formal sense.
You and I will suspect that Fernandez, now an archbishop and close friend of the pope and said to be the ghostwriter of Laudato Si, was also the ghostwriter of Amoris chapter 8 and parts at least of Evangelii Gaudium. In the sentence cited above, he was simply helping himself to his own, earlier writings.
But materially, for an author to present the words of another as his own words is still plagiarism, and Pope Francis, not Victor Fernandez, is the author of Amoris and Evangelii Gaudium.
In fact, the use in Amoris of material from Fernandez’s earlier writings is more pervasive than a single missing footnote. At one stage, an entire section of the document is largely lifted from a 2001 essay by Fernandez, though it’s of lesser theological and ethical import.
Here is a chart showing the dependence:
Amoris Laetitia 129
Victor Manuel Fernandez,
“Danza de alegria en el cielo y en la tierra,” Revista Criterio No. 2268, Dec 2001, p. 4.
La alegría de ese amor contemplativo tiene que ser cultivada.
Puesto que estamos hechos para amar, sabemos que no hay mayor alegría que un bien compartido: «Da y recibe, disfruta de ello» (Si 14,16).Puesto que estamos hechos para amar, sabemos que no hay mayor alegría que en un bien compartido: Da y recibe, y alegra tu vida (Eclo 14, 16).
Los carismas que hemos recibido son para iluminar la vida en sociedad con el gozo de dar y recibir. Por eso, dice el Eclesiastés que no hay mayor placer que gozarse en el fruto de un trabajo (Ecli 3, 22).
Las alegrías más intensas de la vida brotan cuando se puede provocar la felicidad de los demás,Las alegrías más intensas de la vida brotan cuando un don recibido provoca la felicidad de los demás,
en un anticipo del cielo.
ya que hay más alegría en dar que en recibir (Hech 20, 35) y Dios ama al que da con alegría (2 Cor 9, 7).
Cabe recordar la feliz escena del film La fiesta de Babette, donde la generosa cocinera recibe un abrazo agradecido y un elogio: «¡Cómo deleitarás a los ángeles!». Es dulce y reconfortante la alegría de provocar deleite en los demás, de verlos disfrutar. Ese gozo, efecto del amor fraterno, no es el de la vanidad de quien se mira a sí mismo, sino el del amante que se complace en el bien del ser amado, que se derrama en el otro y se vuelve fecundo en él.Cabe recordar la feliz escena del film La fiesta de Babette, donde la generosa cocinera recibe un abrazo agradecido y un elogio: «¡Cómo deleitarás a los ángeles!». ¡Qué dulce y reconfortante alegría es la de provocar deleite en los demás! Ese gozo, efecto del amor fraterno, no es el de la vanidad de quien se mira a sí mismo, sino el del amante que se complace en el placer del amado…. No basta derramarme en el otro, hacerme fecundo en él.
I wish that these lapses could stand as a regrettable but isolated fact about Amoris, but they cannot. I will point out three broader implications.
The first is that Amoris needs to be “taken back to the shop,” to have various flaws removed or corrected.  I have already pointed out how footnote 329 misquotes Gaudium et Spes, and that it must deliberately misquote that document to advance its implicit argument.
Surely no text published under the name of the Roman pontiff should contain an inaccurate quotation of an ecumenical council.
There are seven or eight other instances of poor scholarship-misquotation, misleading quotation, misattribution, and so on-which should be corrected.  I would be happy to supply a list. But there are many competent scholars, with goodwill toward the pope, who could have vetted the document in advance and who could still help clean it up now.
I suppose if Amoris were “taken back to the shop” for these relatively minor flaws, it might be good if Pope Francis at the same time definitively resolved its widely-noted ambiguities.
A second implication is that these instances of material plagiarism call into question Fernandez’s suitability to be a ghostwriter for the pope.  A ghostwriter should remain a ghost. By quoting himself, Fernandez has drawn attention to himself and away from the pope.
In secular contexts, a ghostwriter who exposed the author he was serving to charges of plagiarism would be dismissed as reckless.
Worse than that, Fernandez strains the consciences of the faithful. Not a few bishops and cardinals, putatively speaking on behalf of the pope, have been saying to laypersons who find difficulties in Amoris, “It is the magisterium.  You must accept it.”  But in the plagiarized sentence do we find “the magisterium,” or Fernandez’s own theological speculations?
You may say that, as the pope has approved of the text, so he has approved those speculations. But surely each sentence in the text is approved in the manner appropriate to it.  When Francis quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., Jorge Luis Borges, and Mario Benedetti, we rightly take the quotations to have exactly the weight that should be given to what poets and activists have astutely said, and no more.
Likewise, an explicit quotation of a theological journal article would be received as having its own distinctive force and weight. To say about it, then, in an unqualified way, “it is the magisterium,” would be a kind of spiritual bullying.
In fact, there is a distortion of St. Thomas in the first line from Fernandez quoted above, as he seems to want to use St. Thomas’s sound point (that some saints have found difficulty in doing some virtuous acts easily and well) to support an unsound point (that some persons have been saints while acting contrary to some virtues). I reject as contrary to the thought of St. Thomas what the sentence seems to intend to suggest, as do other scholars.
But a third implication arises from the fact that these earlier texts were even consulted at all.  Why should someone ostensibly writing about “the joy of love” be rummaging about in obscure theological articles?
Since Fernandez did go to these articles, we should expect their bigger themes to be connected to what he wrote in Amoris.  The suspicion is not wholly unjustified that perhaps he might aim to have his own speculations win out, not through the usual tug-and-pull of theological debate, but by slipping them in as papal teachings.
If one reads the 1995 article, it presents an argument from Scripture and tradition that, by virtue of the Passion of Christ, each member of the human race, past and present, without any exceptions, and even apart from the instrumentality of baptism in any ordinary sense, has been saved and “effectively predestined” by God to eternal happiness.
He regards this view as the proper development of the tradition and, although he concedes it is not a “truth of the faith,” still, he feels so strongly about it that at the end of his article he concludes with a passionate Credo: “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.”
It follows, Fernandez says, that the Gospel needs to be presented with an emphasis on God’s mercy and in a purely positive light, emphasizing its beauty and joy.  Fear is never a good Christian motive, as the only question facing the soul is what degree of glory it will attain in the life to come.
If everyone is effectively predestined to salvation, then should everyone also be invited to share in Holy Communion?  Fernandez seems sympathetic to the suggestion, although he takes up the question only indirectly.
He says Catholics who believe that only those already in a “state of grace” should receive Communion are not simply excluding others, they also seem to be “flouting” or “boasting about” freely given grace.
Fernandez seems to prefer, in contrast, sinners who would approach the Communion table without that kind of boasting, although, he puts it delicately, this approach “points in the direction of a dialogue with Luther’s doctrine of simul iustus et peccator” (that everyone is at the same time both justified and a sinner).
Fernandez uses the plagiarized sentence in arguing that persons might be in objectively sinful situations yet still be “effectively predestined to salvation.”  To be concerned that such persons risk eternal damnation, is to suppose that human creatures just on their own could reverse God’s will.
These are the main speculations of the article.  If they are affirmed, it seems, the essential nature of Christianity as involving test and probation changes; the moral law is rendered irrelevant; and the distinction between mortal and venial sin breaks down. That is, Fernandez’s essay is deeply problematic.
Yet now an apostolic exhortation of the Holy Father references it. Worse than that, a plagiarized passage is plucked right from a line of thought which bears a superficial similarity to the Holy Father’s.
This can only cause confusion-because in the Holy Father too, of course, one finds an emphasis on mercy, including: a confidence of God’s action even among sinners in seemingly desperate conditions; a concern to hold up the appeal of a Christian way of life as beautiful and joyful; and a solicitude to welcome and foster (by “accompanying”) even the most fragile signs of movement toward God in souls.
These attractive themes are among the most loveable and helpful notes of Francis’s papacy. It seems obvious that they mark a good path for the Church now. Yet how can anything but mischief be the result if the problematic speculations of Fernandez are yoked to them?
It is not difficult to imagine the Holy Father and his ghostwriter as inadvertently at cross-purposes. This need not be deliberate; in professional ethics one speaks of a “conflict of interest.” What the pope understands as special solicitude for the weakest Christians, the theologian might view, perhaps even in spite of himself, as the fuller expression of everyone’s effective predestination.
In fact, Fernandez has a track record of distorting papal teaching to match his own theological ideas.
In the 2006 article, Fernandez applies his 1995 view to Pope Benedict’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est. After using that sentence about St. Thomas and citing the Catechism at 1735 and 2352, Fernandez says, “There can be no doubt that the Catholic magisterium has taken the position with clarity that an act which is objectively wrong, such as a premarital relationship, or the use of a condom in sexual relations, does not necessarily lead to the loss of the life of sanctifying grace, from which the dynamism of charity springs.”
Rather, in such couples who have diminished culpability (including same-sex couples, he says), it is precisely their sexual relationship which can realize subjective values which have “a theological and Trinitarian richness.” Sex for them becomes “an expression of the ecstatic dynamism of the love which imprints sanctifying grace.” It involves “a sincere and genuine search (búsqueda) for the happiness of the other,” which is the essence of charity.
To propose, then, that such couples should continue this search while refraining from sexual relations, “to exclude completely bodily desire and pleasure,” Fernandez says, would be to place eros and agape in opposition, which Pope Benedict in his encyclical “has rejected with overwhelming force.”
It follows from Benedict’s teachings, he says, that the sexual acts in such relationships have “a deep Trinitarian content, which is at the same time a positive moral reality.”
It is shocking enough that Fernandez says such things, but even more disturbing that he says that Pope Benedict is committed to them also.
As for Amoris, Rocco Buttliglione argues that its silence on some key teachings of Popes John Paul II and Benedict - silence, not a contrary assertion- can be construed as a continuous development or extension, involving a small group of problematic cases. Others, such as Ed Feser, are not so sure, and think they see, even in the absence of an affirmation, the risk of a surrender to the sexual revolution or a collapse into antinomianism.
Whatever we hold on these matters, it cannot be denied that Fernandez’s “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved,” and then what he seems to regard as the concrete pastoral implications of that doctrine in his “extramarital sex can be an expression of the ecstatic love of charity,” represents a fundamental, not a slight, difference.
Michael Pakaluk is Professor of Ethics at The Catholic University of America and author of The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God (Ignatius).

Archbishop Victor Fernandez responds:
First, Fernandez said that anyone wishing to understand his views on grace and the sacraments should consult this article published in 2011.
Second, he sent two paragraphs of response to Pakaluk’s analysis:
“The article about predestination has no connection with much later articles on the Trinitarian dimension of morality. The commentator also imagines that I make a connection between predestination and the possibility of Communion of a sinner, but that is in his imagination and cannot be based on my texts, because I would never make that connection. Why? Because predestination is related to the final state of the person and therefore with the grace of final perseverance (at the last instant), but not directly with the historical path of the person.”
“I would never admit that anyone can receive Communion if the person is not in a state of sanctifying grace. This profoundly contradicts my own theology, and cannot be based on my texts. I say only that an objective situation of sin can be subjectively not guilty. In that case, the objective situation of sin would not deprive the state of sanctifying grace.”