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PORTSMOUTH, England, November 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Diocese of Portsmouth, England, issued updated guidelines for activities allowed in church from November 5 to December 2, in accordance with recent government legislation, that permit “essential voluntary services” such as food banks, blood donations, and support groups but prohibit Masses, baptisms and weddings.

The tragic irony of the state of the Catholic Church in England is that blood donations — the offering of blood from man to man — are now allowed in churches, but not the supreme offering of God’s blood to God for the sake of sinful man.

While recent English legislation allows for individuals to “attend a place of worship,” it stipulates a limited set of activities permitted there. This includes “individual prayer,” but not prayer that forms part of “communal worship,” such as Mass. Also permitted are funerals and “essential voluntary services or urgent public support services,” which include food banks and “blood donation sessions.”

The Diocese of Portsmouth guidelines explain that while funerals with attendance of up to 30 people are permitted, weddings and baptisms — what the diocese bizarrely refers to as a “life cycle event” — are only permitted for those who are fatally ill.

The guidelines also state, “Essential support groups can continue in person with up to 15 participants. Providing mutual aid, therapy, education or any other form of formal support is allowed.”

So, up to 15 people can participate in therapy sessions together, as well as other types of “formal support,” but they cannot worship together.

If even group “support,” therapy, and education are allowed, what is the point of communal worship if it does not meet an “urgent” need of man? Or, one might ask, why do we need communal worship when we can worship God on our own?

We should not be surprised that the secular governments of our age do not acknowledge man’s religious obligation to participate in the Mass, nor the right of God to be worshipped in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, nor the Mass’ infinite value as the sacrifice of Calvary renewed.

What should be shocking is that our very shepherds have willingly handed over the rights of God and man, and effectively denied the faith, through their active participation in the banning of Masses.

The submission of the Catholic Church to unjust legal dictates that are, frankly, an attack on the very rights of God, is itself an evasion of Christ’s Social Kingship, as Sean Wright argues. However, sadly, our clergy are guilty of more than mere compliance with unjust laws. In England and the United States, for example, they have rushed to close churches and cease celebrating public Masses even before, or without, government prohibitions on worship.

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PETITION: Ask Pope Francis to clarify and rectify scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions
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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/cardinal-burke-on-popes-homosexual-civil-union-remarks-contrary-to-the-teaching-of-sacred-scripture-and-sacred-tradition

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cdl.mueller-popes-words-on-gay-civil-unions-purely-private-expression-of-opinion-which-every-catholic-can-and-should-freely-contradict

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/archbishop-vigano-and-bishops-tobin-strickland-respond-to-popes-approval-of-homosexual-civil-unions

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/deepest-sadness-cardinal-burke-condemns-pope-franciss-remarks-supporting-civil-unions

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In England, clergy have gone so far as to actively push for the closing of churches, in what can only be described as a betrayal of their flock. In March, the bishops of England and Wales prohibited the celebration of public Masses before the nationwide lockdown came into force and, according to their own statement, played a crucial role themselves in convincing the government to require that churches be closed altogether.

When churches were allowed to open again, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) released guidance for the resumption of the public celebration of Mass, which included members of the congregation wearing face coverings, allowing Holy Communion only in the hand while standing, not allowing congregational singing, and encouraging those who receive Communion to leave the church immediately after Mass.

The rights of both God and man are being trampled upon — by state and church.

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Emily Mangiaracina is a Miami-based journalist for LifeSiteNews. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of Florida. Emily is most passionate about the Traditional Latin Mass and promoting the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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