March 2019 Print

News from Tradition: Church and World

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

At a time in the Church’s history when any good news is hard to find, there came the announcement that a miracle had been attributed to the intercession of Bl. John Henry Newman, paving the way for his canonization. The miracle was the inexplicable healing of an expectant mother from life-threatening complications from her pregnancy after praying for Newman’s intercession. Her doctors testified that they had no medical explanation for her sudden and complete recovery.

Sadly, and unfairly, Cardinal Newman has been seen by some in traditional Catholic circles as being the forerunner of many of the damaging ideas coming out of Vatican II. This is so because the modernist innovators, in an attempt to validate their ideas, began to spread the thinking that Vatican II was “Newman’s Council.” Needless to say, this is demonstrably untrue. Even from before his conversion to the Faith, Newman was writing against the “liberals” in the Church of England who held the same ideas as those whom Pope St. Pius X would call Modernists some 40 years later.

Interestingly, it was Newman’s historical research into the Arian crisis and St. Athanasius that started him on the path to the Church from Anglicanism. Through this research, he came to see that the Protestant Revolution was an abandonment of what the Church in the first centuries believed. He also came to see, contrary to what he originally hoped to prove, that Anglicanism was not the via media (middle road) between Protestantism and Catholicism, but rather just another Protestant sect which kept a liturgical character about it.

After his conversion from Anglicanism, Newman faced many hardships. He was abandoned by much of his family and many former friends. Colleagues wanted nothing to do with him for becoming a papist. They even went so far as to say that he was always a “crypto-Catholic” who passed himself off as an Anglican. Sadly, some Catholics in England would not accept him as a “real” Catholic and saw him as a “plant” by the Anglicans seeking to destroy the Church.

In 1879, Pope Leo XIII raised Newman to the College of Cardinals (which Newman saw as his vindication from the accusation that he was not a “real” Catholic). In his short speech given after he was presented with the document naming him a Cardinal, Newman stated: “For 30, 40, 50 years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion… Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste, not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men who go to Protestant churches and to Catholic, may get good things from both and belong to neither. They may fraternize together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrine in common, or seeing the need of them. Since, then, religion is so personal a peculiarity and so private a possession, we must of necessity ignore it in the intercourse of man with man. If a man puts on a new religion every morning, what is that to you? It is as impertinent to think about a man’s religion as about his sources of income or the management of his family. Religion is in no sense the bond of society…

The general character of this great apostasia is one and the same everywhere…I lament it deeply, because I foresee that it may be the ruin of many souls; but I have no fear at all that it really can do aught of serious harm to the Word of God, to Holy Church, to our Almighty King, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, faithful and true, or to His Vicar on earth. Christianity has been too often in what seemed deadly peril, that we should fear any new trial for it now. So far is certain; on the other hand, what is uncertain, and in these great contests commonly is uncertain, and what is commonly a great surprise, when it is witnessed, is the particular mode by which, in the event, Providence rescues and saves His elect inheritance. Sometimes our enemy is turned into a friend; sometimes he is despoiled of that special virulence of evil which was so threatening; sometimes he falls to pieces of himself; sometimes he does just so much as is beneficial, and then is removed. Commonly, the Church has nothing more to do than to go on in her own proper duties, in confidence and peace, to stand still and to see the salvation of God.”

In reading these words from Newman, it becomes obvious that he in no way ever espoused those ideas which would come to infect the Church at Vatican II, and would certainly have been a clear voice condemning the errors of Vatican II were he alive today.

Cardinal Newman died in 1889 and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!


All of Newman’s writings may be found online here:


Cambodia Commemorates the Fall of Communism

January 7, 2019 was the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Khmer Rouge reign of terror; over 60,000 Cambodians commemorated this fortunate event in the presence of their Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In the packed Olympic stadium, the head of the Cambodian government called the fall of the communist regime a “second birth” for his country.

Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge party imposed a reign of terror based on a faithful application of the principles of Communism. Over 2 million Cambodians, nearly a quarter of the entire population at the time, perished, most of them in atrocious conditions.

The Catholic Church in Cambodia suffered greatly from the persecution organized by the Khmer Rouge; we must not forget that Christianity has never been more than tolerated on this Khmer land where Buddhism is the official religion.

In the 18th century, many Catholics persecuted in Vietnam emigrated to Cambodia; thus, in 1970, the Church had 65,000 faithful, 90% of whom were Vietnamese.

But when General Lon Nol came into power that same year, he stirred up ethnic enmities and organized pogroms against the Vietnamese: 40,000 of them returned to their native land.

Of the Catholics who were still there when the communists arrived in 1975, 48.6% fell victim to the Pol Pot regime, advances Marek Sliwinski’s report published in 1995, Le genocide khmer rouge : une analyse démographique (The Khmer Rouge Genocide – A Demographic Analysis). This made Catholics the religious community most affected by the communist regime, proportionately speaking.

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity. In 2006, the Church consisted of 22,000 Catholics—7,000 Cambodian, and the rest Vietnamese—with an average of 200 catechumens requesting baptism every year.


Archbishop Viganò Vindicated

The name of Archbishop Carlo Viganò has become, for most Catholics, very well known over the past six months—certainly more well known than when he was Papal Nuncio to the United States from 2011 until 2016—due to the three letters of testimony he has written concerning the continuing coverup of the malicious deeds of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Although there have been numerous attempts to discredit the archbishop, none of these attempts have been characterized by a refutation of the charges he made, but rather they were simply ad hominem attacks on the Archbishop’s character.

One part of Archbishop Viganò’s testimony had to do with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. (now retired, but appointed by Pope Francis as apostolic administrator until the naming of the new archbishop). Viganò stated very clearly in his letters that Wuerl was well aware of the sexual abuse of seminarians and young priests by McCarrick. Following the publication of Archbishop Viganò’s testimony, Wuerl made the rounds of various media outlets denying any knowledge of McCarrick’s sinful and scandalous behavior. In a subsequent letter Archbishop Viganò stated that Wuerl was lying when he made the claim of not having any knowledge.

In early January 2019, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported that Wuerl, while Bishop of Pittsburgh, reported to them that McCarrick had committed sexual abuses in 2004 and that Wuerl had forwarded the report to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, D.C. The Diocese of Pittsburgh, in a press release, confirms the veracity of the CNA report.

Sadly, but typically, Wuerl tried to claim that what he meant when he said he had “no knowledge” of McCarrick’s deeds was that he had no knowledge of his abuse of minors (the 2004 report dealt only with the abuse of an adult male). Within a day of this monstrous prevarication, a tape of a CBS “This Morning” interview with Wuerl shows him being asked specifically “Were you aware of the rumors McCarrick was having relations with other priests?” to which he responded “No, no.”

The evidence is in and it is clear that Archbishop Viganò’s accusations regarding Wuerl were completely accurate—Wuerl did indeed know about McCarrick’s actions and that he is a first class liar. With this revelation, it is now almost impossible to paint Archbishop Viganò as a discontented crank who is merely trying to make Pope Francis look bad, as many have tried to do.


Faithful Chinese Catholics Abandoned by Pope Francis

As had been rumored for months, the Vatican and the Communist Chinese Government have signed an accord wherein the communists will be able to nominate the bishops of the Church in China in exchange for the pope being recognized as the head of the Church. The pope will, at least on paper, have the right to veto any particular nominee, though this is seen as a placation of the Underground Catholic Church (i.e., those bishops, priests and faithful who have refused to join the Catholic Patriotic Association which is the puppet of the communist government and refused to acknowledge papal authority).

Under the agreement, the Underground Church will be subsumed into the Patriotic Association. It has been well circulated that Pope Francis himself was anxious to have the agreement signed.

To make matters even worse, the Vatican representative, Archbishop Claudio Celli, handed several underground Catholic bishops letters signed by Cardinals Parolin and Filoni asking them to resign their dioceses in order to make way for new bishops chosen by the Chinese government. It was implied that Pope Francis expected them to do so as a “gesture of obedience.” It should be noted that these bishops have been persecuted by the government and even spent time in prison for their faithfulness to the true Faith.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the emeritus Archbishop of Hong Kong, who has been very vocal in warning against this precise type of sell out of faithful Chinese Catholics (he once said: the Vatican is helping the government to annihilate the underground Church that Beijing was not able to crush.) seems himself to have caved to the prevailing attitude in the post-conciliar Church that the pope must always be obeyed even if he commands something evil. Cardinal Zen stated: “I have told these two bishops that they should not resign voluntarily so as not to cooperate with evil. But I have also advised them to obey if the pope orders it, because a pope’s command must always be obeyed… There is the problem of the seven bishops excommunicated and pardoned by Francis. So far none of them have been placed at the head of a diocese. If this happens, I will be silent for ever, because that would be unacceptable and would force me to decide to rebel against the pope or to remain silent. I will be silent.” It is indeed a sad state of affairs when the seeming champion of the Underground Catholic Church in China falls under the sway of “papolatry.”