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Cardinal Cupich at The University of Chicago Institute of Politics Nov. 6, 2017. Facebook / University of Chicago IOP

April 27, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Following an article in America by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, in which he reiterated the Church’s teaching on the importance of approaching Holy Communion with the right dispositions, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago wrote a curious admonition to Aquila (to which the archbishop then responded):

I respectfully note that to claim that we can do anything to diminish the Eucharist, or its effects, is contrary to the church’s longstanding teaching. Catholic sacramental theology is based on the premise that the sacraments are the work of Christ, which is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation at Trent (DS 1608) that the sacraments act ex opere operato, or, as St. Thomas wrote in the Summa, III, 68,8: “The sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.” Owing to the nature of God, Christ and his works can never be diminished by any act on our part.

Here, Cupich points out that an unworthy recipient of Holy Communion genuinely receives the Body of Christ, and erroneously infers that he also receives the grace which should accompany Holy Communion. But God does not force His grace on us. As the ancient chant composed by St. Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi expressed it: “Sumunt boni, sumunt mali, sorte tamen inaequali, vitae vel interitus — The good take, the bad take, yet with unequal destiny, of life, or of ruin.”

It is difficult to believe that Cupich really thinks that communicants receive graces entirely irrespective of the state of their souls and their good dispositions. Such an attitude would by superstitious: It would make the Blessed Sacrament into a magical amulet which saves people without their knowledge or consent.

Again, take the sacrament of matrimony. The efficacy of the sacrament does not depend on the worthiness of the ministers, which in this case are the spouses themselves. If they fulfill the conditions for validity — essentially, they are free to marry and intend to marry before an authorized witness — they will indeed marry, no matter if they are marrying for unworthy motives (money, for example), or are in a state of mortal sin. The couple will be bound to each other by the marriage bond, yes, but that does not mean that they will enjoy the graces which the sacrament offers. They will be joined, as Shakespeare described such a couple, “as winter to rough weather”: indissolubly, but not happily.

The action of the sacraments are indeed objective, as the action of Christ, but if we are to benefit from them we must not create barriers to grace. Babies, of course, do not create such obstacles, but we won’t see the effects of this grace until they have grown up to an age in which they can cooperate with it.

Baptism does not make it impossible for us to go to Hell: There, indeed, it will be a mark of shame. Reception of any of the sacraments without the right dispositions is a sin against these holy things: It is sacrilege. We do not receive graces through sins, but lose those we had before.

Something else Cupich’s words obscure is the distinction between God’s intrinsic and extrinsic glory. He wrote that “Christ and his works can never be diminished by any act on our part,” and this is true of the glory intrinsic to Christ. But consider activities which, as we might say, “give glory to God”: teaching children the Faith, building a beautiful Church, taking part with fervor at a Mass celebrated in a truly worthy way by a holy priest.

These things do something: They give to God glory which He ought to have, but too rarely receives, on earth, from us. If those things stop happening, God’s glory is diminished on earth. It is not diminished in heaven: The glory which is intrinsic to Him cannot be diminished or augmented by anything we can do. But we can certainly make more, or less, of an effort to give Him the glory which He deserves here. In the words of George Herbert, “In my heart, though not in heaven, I can raise Thee.”

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PETITION: Tell Vatican to CANCEL 'Health' conference packed with pro-abort, secularist speakers
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The Vatican has announced its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul," to take place between May 6-8, and nearly everything about the conference is rotten -- morally, scientifically and culturally.

Incredibly, the conference organizers have listed huge numbers of globalist and abortion-promoting speakers such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, vaccine developers, Mormon elders, pro-abortion Chelsea Clinton, population control advocate Jane Goodall, a New Age activist, a prominent UK Muslim scholar, and pro-abortion American actress Cindy Crawford, among others.

The logo for the conference is a circle of people linking hands, colored in the tones of the LGBT rainbow flag, and positioned next to the crossed keys and Papal tiara of the Pontiff. In the ten goals listed for the conference, the Pontifical Council for Culture makes no reference to God or the Catholic Church.

The organization and promotion of this conference is beyond an outrage, it is a closer to a sacrilege (also outrageous!).

Indeed, of the conference, Archbishop Viganò has said that the Holy See is "making itself the servant of the New World Order." [More below about Arbp Viganò's reaction to the conference...]

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition urging the Vatican to CANCEL this desperately wrong-headed appeasement to the secular world disguised as a "health conference."

114 speakers are set to appear at the event, including prominent and diverse names such as:

  • The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna, the former of which produces abortion pills;
  • The Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins, who advocates using fetal tissue in research projects;
  • Chelsea Clinton, a strong advocate for abotion;
  • The head of Google Health, David Feinberg;
  • And, Dr. Anthony Fauci from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose advice to government officials played a major role in shutting down American churches last year.

These "VIP" speakers are also joined at the Vatican conference by the following: United Nations representative and conservationist Jane Goodall, who supports population control; new age activist Deepak Chopra; rock guitarist Joe Perry; Mormon Elder William K. Jackson; executive chair of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf; pro-abortion model Cindy Crawford; and, by Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, who has firmly aligned himself with the globalist, liberal elite, by censoring conservative voices on his platform.

The sheer number of speakers holding anti-Catholic views has sparked a firestorm of well-deserved criticism.

And, in an letter published by LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò roundly condemns this conference and, moreover, the infidelity to the Church's perennial teaching. Here is a brief excerpt (read the whole letter by clicking on this link):

"...The Holy See has deliberately renounced the supernatural mission of the Church, making itself the servant of the New World Order and Masonic globalism in an antichristic counter-magisterium.

The same Roman Dicasteries, occupied by people ideologically aligned with Jorge Mario Bergoglio [i.e. Pope Francis] and protected and promoted by him, now continue unrestrained in their implacable work of demolishing Faith, Morals, ecclesiastical discipline, and monastic and religious life, in an effort as vain as it is unprecedented to transform the Bride of Christ into a philanthropic association enslaved to the Strong Powers.

The result is the super-imposition over the true Church of a sect of heretical and depraved Modernists who are intent on legitimizing adultery, sodomy, abortion, euthanasia, idolatry, and any perversion of the intellect and will. The true Church is now eclipsed, denied and discredited by her very Pastors, betrayed even by the one who occupies the highest Throne."

The fact that there is so much anti-Catholicism (i.e., anti-truth) held by so many of the speakers makes it impossible to ask for the organizers to simply disinvite disreputable speakers.

That is why we are urging the Vatican to CANCEL this anti-life, anti-truth, anti-Catholic, anti-health "health conference" altogether!

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the Vatican to CANCEL its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul."

This conference contains such a high concentration of poison for the Faith and the faithful that is should be canceled, not only for the contents itself, but also for the grave scandal it will (and is, already) cause.

After SIGNING and SHARING, please take a minute to contact the following Church authorities to politely, but firmly, voice your dismay and displeasure at the anti-God, anti-life and anti-faith conference which the Vatican has scheduled for the beginning of May.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi - Head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture

Email: [email protected]

Phone: [+39] 06 6989 3811

His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre - Papal Nuncio for the United States

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-333-7121


'Viganò on Vatican ‘health’ conference with Fauci: Holy See is ‘making itself the servant of the New World Order’' -

'Vatican hosting Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, Pfizer CEO, Big Tech oligarchs at ‘health’ conference' -


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By the same token, when the Blessed Sacrament is received unworthily, when the liturgy is celebrated in a slapdash or ugly way, when rioters burn down or desecrate churches, or when priests are so unworthy of their orders that they abuse children, these things make a real difference to God’s extrinsic glory.

God is not harmed, certainly, but acts of desecration and calculated insult towards God are things to which Catholics must respond, with greater efforts to restore to God some measure of the honor which is His due, from the human race. It is perhaps convenient to think of God as being entirely above the fray, but we are called on to build God’s Kingdom on earth: to build up His Church, and His reign in the hearts of men. As we know, this is a project which can go backwards as well as forwards, according to the efforts of Catholics, and of the Church’s enemies. They don’t let up. Neither must we.

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Dr Joseph Shaw has a Doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University, where he also gained a first degree in Politics and Philosophy and a graduate Diploma in Theology. He has published on Ethics and Philosophy of Religion and is the editor of The Case for Liturgical Restoration: Una Voce Position Papers on the Extraordinary Form (Angelico Press). He is the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and Secretary of Una Voce International. He teaches Philosophy in Oxford University and lives nearby with his wife and nine children.