Report: Pope to Infallibly Declare Jeffrey Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself

ACMPress – ROME – Sources within the Vatican have told ACMPress that Pope Francis is preparing a document in which he will infallibly declare that Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

“The Holy Father has been following the case very closely,” an anonymous spokseman said. “The malfunctioning security cameras in his cell, the conflicting autopsy reports, Mr. Epstein’s alleged crimes and potentially explosive testimony, the removal of his cellmate without a replacement  – these things and more have convinced Pope Francis that his ‘suicide’ was too coincidental.”

Declaring infallibly that Epstein didn’t kill himself would make it a truth binding on all Catholics. “This should end the controversy once and for all, because as everyone knows, when the Church declares something is infallible, Catholics stop arguing about it,” the spokesman said. “So yeah, I’d say this is pretty big noose.”

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The Truth in Cardinal Müller’s Manifesto of Faith

I finally got around to reading Cardinal Müller’s “Manifesto of Faith” (can be read here, via the National Catholic Register) this morning, after seeing all the foofaraw it caused on Twitter and at other Catholic publications and sites. Depending on who you read, the manifesto was: a) a veiled attack on Pope Francis, because Müller didn’t mention the papacy; b) a swipe because the Holy Father still hasn’t answered the dubia over Amoris Laetitia; or c) a reprisal at having been removed from the CDF.

People either condemned the manifesto, or praised it, for those very reasons.

And not to be outdone, a couple days ago, Cardinal Kasper of Germany claimed that Müller’s manifesto’s contains half-truths and blanket statements, and went so far as to suggest Müller was following in the footsteps of Martin Luther.

Folks, it ain’t that complicated.

Does anyone recall this story in the Catholic News Agency from February 4?

Open Letter to Cardinal Marx Urges Changes to Church Teaching on Sexual Morality

In an open letter published Sunday by a German daily, nine German Catholics, including two prominent Jesuits, demand a break with the Church’s teaching on sexual morality.

The signatories call for a reworking of ecclesial structure, namely a “separation of powers”, the priestly ordination of women, an end to mandatory priestly celibacy, and other changes.

Published in the Feb. 3 edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the letter is addressed to Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, president of the German bishops’ conference, and tells him that if he and other bishops were to decide to “spearhead the Reform movement”, they would be assured of the signatories’ full support.

This is what Müller was responding to, in my opinion. It wasn’t an attack on Pope Francis. It was a clear definition of the moral and sacramental life, as taught by the Church through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium. Period.

And let’s be honest: German Catholic theologians have always been kinda kooky, right? Their open letter is par for the course, and deserved to be addressed. By a German Cardinal.

The folks invested in either valiantly defending Pope Francis or actively opposing him interpreted the manifesto as an attack because nearly everything is evaluated through Francis-colored lenses. Long lost is the art of taking things at face value, at extending the benefit of the doubt. It’s about the “hot take”. And I say this as a Catholic who has given up on this pontificate.

Call me stupid, call me naive, call my analysis shallow and cursory. I don’t care. It may someday be proven that my opinion is completely wrong. I still don’t care. I’m not telling people what to say, argue, or debate, or what opinions they ought to have. Let them trade barbs and foist bad faith. Let them get angry. All I know is this: life is more peaceful, and faith is stronger, when other people’s bad intentions aren’t the first – and sometimes only – assumption.

If that’s the price of naivete, then please – take all my money.

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Dear Pope Francis: Your Fatherhood Is Failing Us

Dear Pope Francis –

I don’t know how to put this any other way, so I’ll come right out and say it as politely as possible: Your fatherhood is failing us.

Trust me, I don’t want to think this way, but your actions give me no choice. My Well of Benefit of the Doubts has dried up. I lower my bucket, and it returns empty. Wasn’t always like this – for most of your pontificate, I’ve extended best intentions, or shrugged stuff away because I didn’t know all the facts. At times, I’ve defended you. I wanted to think the best of you. Unfortunately, I can’t do that anymore.

This has more to do with your decision than just not answering the Dubia. This goes beyond the way you’ve handled the Vigano document. I’m way past McCarrick, Wuerl, the Pennsylvania report, Chile, and the rest of the episcopal-level abuses, and your apparent lack of concern for Catholics abandoning the church, both due to the atrocities that were covered up, and the lack of concrete action coming from your chair. The agreement with the Chinese government certainly hasn’t helped, either.

Maybe my tipping point was your failure to appoint an Apostolic Visitor to the US church, which makes it seem you don’t care. Oh sure, you’ve said you want a less top-down Church, giving more authority and autonomy to bishops and their conferences. And that may be true. But the way I see it, when the kids are begging for the guy in charge to do something about the arsonists who’ve burned down the orphanage, it’s not loving and merciful to permit the arsonists to investigate the crime.

Your Holiness, your children are desperate for fish and eggs, but you’re handing us snakes and scorpions. I’m a father, and despite my sinfulness, I’d like to believe I’m wise enough to know that when my sons appeal for help, I don’t first shame them for throwing plastic in the ocean. When they request – no, demand – proper justice, I don’t turn tone-deaf ears towards them, pretending to listen. I don’t scold them and say, in effect, that exposing such nefarious scandal is the work of Satan.

Fathers don’t act that way. Not those who love their children, anyway. It’s not how love – tough love, even – works. We want healing, justice, and a steady hand to guide us to holiness, no matter the pain, no matter the cost. If you refuse to lead the flock through this crisis, then whatever comes should be laid upon your shoulders. The future will determine your papacy’s account, whether it be glorious or notorious, illegitimate or valid. Plenty of others have planted their flag in that regard, and frankly, that seems to miss the point. The bottom line is this: your children are suffering, yet your mercy and compassion seem inexplicably directed more towards the ones causing it, than the ones enduring it.

Scripture says “Honor your father.” Scripture says “My child, support your father in his old age, do not grieve him during his life. Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy, do not despise him in your health and strength.” Do you see the untenable position in which you’ve placed us? Do you see the uncertainty you’re creating? Do you care?

So while I don’t despise you, and am commanded to honor you, I’m done with your pontificate. I do and always will love the Church, and will never leave it. I will pray for you every day, as any son ought to do for any father. But your actions have put me – and many other Catholics like me – between a rock and a hard place. And the fact it’s The Rock, makes it all the worse.

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Man Credited with Saving Alaskan Glaciers up for Beatification

[ACMPress] – ROME – An official at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints confirmed with ACMPress they’ve begun the beatification process for the man credited with saving Alaskan glaciers from the ravaging effects of climate change.

Phil Ehrrupp, a lifelong Catholic from Juneau who died in 2012, is believed to be the first person in Alaska to voluntarily stop using plastic grocery bags. In 2010, he spearheaded an incandescent light bulb replacement program at his parish, Our Lady of Sustainability, called “Be The CFL Light of the World”. Phil was also very concerned about pollution and fracking, and was known to write a lot of letters to the editor.

“Phil’s life of heroic virtue encapsulates what it means to be a saint in today’s Church,” one Congregation official told ACMPress. “Without a doubt, his example and sacrifice prevented the further retreat and deterioration of Alaskan glaciers. Phil perfectly represented the Holy Father’s unwavering commitment to protecting the environment, by far the Church’s most pressing issue,  and will one day be called The Patron Saint of Climate Change.”

Family members were elated when they learned of Phil’s upcoming beatification, scheduled for Earth Day, 2019.

“Nobody worked harder to lower their carbon footprint than Phil,” his wife Carrie said. “His life ambition was to have zero impact upon our planet, and while dying six years ago helped him realize his goal, it’s wonderful the Church is recognizing him. If it weren’t for Phil, those glaciers would all be melted now.

“I’m sure his only regret was not having lived long enough to have read Pope Francis’ letter  Laudato Si,” she added. “But who knows? Perhaps Phil inspired him to write it.”

Carrie said her family – their four children, thirteen grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews from around the world – along with hundreds of parishioners, are arranging flights to attend the beatification in Rome next Spring.

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Vatican Officials Annoyed Pope Francis Won’t Shut Up Over His Being Silent

[ACMPress] – ROME – Numerous Vatican officials have complained to ACMPress that Pope Francis, ever since recommending “silence in prayer” in a homily delivered on September 3, to deal with those seeking scandal and division, hasn’t stopped talking about how silent he’s been.

“It’s intolerable,” one official said, agreeing to talk under the condition of remaining anonymous. “If he sees you in the hallway, he comes up to you and says, ‘Have you noticed how silent I’ve been? Pretty great, huh?’ And then he goes on for ten to fifteen minutes about how silent he’s been the past few weeks.”

“It’s gotten to the point where I actively try to avoid him,” a second official said. “But even that doesn’t work. I think the Holy Father goes out of his way to seek me out, and tell me how important it is to be silent in prayer.”

“He won’t shut up about it,” said yet another anonymous official. “He’ll say ‘I’ve been silent now for a whole week now! It’s fantastic!’  And then he asks if I’ve been silent in prayer, too. Once he asked while I was kneeling in the basilica!”

One official said he employs one simple trick to avoid Francis’ constant talking about being silent. “When I see him coming, I ask, ‘Your Holiness, do you have a moment to discuss the sex abuse crisis amongst the bishops?’ To which he always responds, with a shake of his head, ‘Not now. Silence and prayer.’ And then he walks away. Works every time.”

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