(LifeSiteNews) — Father James Altman returns on this episode of Faith & Reason, in which he, John-Henry Westen, and Liz Yore discuss the latest developments in ecclesial news, starting with the appointment of Archbishop Victor Fernández as head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) by Pope Francis.
Francis announced Fernández’s appointment earlier this month. It was immediately met with controversy over Fernández’s previous doctrinal statements, his record on disciplining priests accused of sexual abuse, and a book Fernández published in 1995 called Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing that contains erotic passages.
This week, former head of the then Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the DDF’s predecessor, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, confirmed in an interview with the National Catholic Register that the CDF had a “red-flag file” on Fernández over concerns for his orthodoxy.
“I would say this is the most catastrophic and unconscionable appointment of [Francis’s] ten-year reign,” Yore declared. A lawyer with experience in child abuse cases, Yore further stated that “this is, in many respects, a gut punch to the Church, to clergy abuse victims. This appointment is going to set back the clergy abuse victims another 50 years.”
Father Altman noted that, despite the problems in the Church, all one has to do is hold true to the Catholic faith. In fact, he argued that Fernández’s appointment was a net gain for the Church: “The faithful know what the faith is. [Fernandez] is a disaster for those people, the blind leading the blind … who through their own fault … have failed to become informed in their faith,” and are vulnerable to being led astray.
“Don’t get discouraged, people,” Altman continued. “All you can do is all God asks you to do. He hasn’t asked you to change the world. He’s asked you to be faithful.”
The discussion on Fernández shifted to an upcoming consistory set to be held shortly before the Synod on Synodality is held in October. According to Pope Francis’ announcement of the consistory, 21 men will be added to the College of Cardinals, including Fernández and Stephen Chow, S.J., Bishop of Hong Kong, approved by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as part of the Vatican-China deal. Eighteen of the new cardinals will be of voting age in the next conclave.
Yore noted that Chow’s appointment to the College of Cardinals marks the first time a cardinal will have been “approved … by the CCP.” She also pointed out that with the upcoming consistory, Francis will have appointed three-quarters of the voting cardinals for the next papal conclave, many of whom being “problematic.”
Altman affirmed that he did not know why God was allowing the appointment of men such as Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego and Fernandez to the College of Cardinals, saying: “God’s ways are above our ways. His thoughts are above our thoughts. So who can figure out what God’s doing by allowing this to happen?” He further stated that a good deal of the faithful that are ignorant of the faith will be led astray.
Also this week, Francis announced his picks for who would participate in the Synod on Synodality. Among those appearing on the list of participants are Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., Cardinal McElroy, Cardinal Blaise Cupich of Chicago, and Father James Martin, all of whom have supported LGBT “inclusion” in the Church.
“It’s a stacked deck,” Yore reiterated. “If you have any doubt as to the result of the working document from the ‘Synod on Sin,’ then you just can look to the personal choices of Francis to know what we’re going to be having to deal with.”
Altman also reiterated his position, as previously stated earlier in the show. “We don’t worry about being low in numbers, because God plus one is a majority,” he said, emphasizing faith and trust in God. “He only needs us to remain faithful.”
He continued noting that people should be grateful that God is making the problem in the Church obvious through the list of names. “It’s so obvious now,” Altman stated. “There’s no more hiding in the shadows. They are now out in the open and doing what they do.”
For this and more, tune in to this week’s episode of Faith & Reason.
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1. Vatican news
Father Timothy Radcliffe’s Designation as Synod on Synodality’s Retreat Master Stirs Anxiety [National Catholic Register]
2. International news
3. Good news
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