Contributing to CAFOD is a Sin!
On 24 September 2004 - under the surreal headline: “Catholics back AIDS condoms” - an article in London’s Daily Telegraph trumpeted the flagrant dissent from Church teaching practiced by the charity Catholic Action for Overseas Development (CAFOD).
Barely a week later, on 3 October, priests up and down the country sullied the Sabbath by permitting a collection for that same organisation during Holy Mass, co-opting their hapless parishioners into the sacrilege in the process.
This juxtaposition of public scandal and complicity in scandal exemplifies the casual, self-destructive response to the ongoing dissolution of the Church in these Isles. For here was another missed opportunity to send out an uncompromising, unequivocal message of protest and disgust at the arrogant manner in which the laity’s money is gathered up by the hierarchy and syphoned off to all manner of dissident groups, programmes and jamborees.
Doubtless, many informed Catholics would have shifted uneasily in their pews, gritted their teeth, bit their tongues and sat resolutely on their hands as the CAFOD collection plate passed by. Tragically, however, many more would have dutifully doled out their hard-earned cash, blissfully unaware of CAFOD’s public shaming of our holy Faith; a scandal, moreover, broadcast to the far corners of the earth thanks to its additional publication on the Daily Telegraph website.
As we shall see, this is not simply a matter of the latest in a long list of CAFOD trespasses. Since it is not enough to plead ignorance about Church affairs in an age when information has never been so readily available, it is also about our collaboration in CAFOD’s corrosive Liberalism and, therefore, a matter of personal salvation for each one of us. If lay Catholics, especially committed faithful such as those subscribing to the likes of Christian Order, are to stand before Christ at Judgement without blame for such myriad scandals that plague the Church today, then they had better start taking some responsibility for the intended recipients of their charitable donations – beginning with the increasingly repugnant subject of this brief study.
CAFOD, set up by our Bishops’ Conference in 1962, is the official overseas development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in Englandand Wales and part of the Caritas International Federation. It has now become a familiar part of parish and diocesan life; a charity which our bishops continually urge us to support financially despite its open dissent being common knowledge among informed Catholics for years.
Yet even among those less familiar with its history, the organisation is a source of increasing concern and upset. Not so long ago, following a Mass where the priest spoke in his sermon about the good work being done by CAFOD, a parishioner confided that she didn’t give to CAFOD as she wasn’t entirely happy with them. Asked what reservations she had, it was interesting that her concerns centred not so much on anything CAFOD said, as on what it so often didn’t appear to say. It is a view increasingly common in orthodox Catholic circles.
This woman went on to explain that she found CAFOD promotional literature cold and uninspiring, and apart from broad references to Christianity, remarked that some of it could have been produced by any politically correct, secular social work agency.
She might have added that on some occasions when Christianity is mentioned more explicitly, CAFOD still disgraces and disappoints. For instance, considering the wealth of inspirational Catholic saints available to instruct and edify the faithful through their peerless lives, it was both telling and pitiful to see a CAFOD brochure offering for sale ‘Jubilee icons’ of Martin Luther King - a man long exposed as unchaste, a chronic plagiarist and a Marxist [see “Neither Martyr, Nor Doctor: The Truth About Martin Luther King,” Christian Order, Aug/Sept, 2001] .
Declaration of Intent
Still, while Martin Luther King is hardly a role model to present to Catholics, the sale of his icons by CAFOD is not our main concern. It is merely indicative of the left liberal mindset that has long driven this charity, especially where Catholic moral teachings are concerned. And in this regard, its latest condom outburst is merely an extension of the public dissent manifested at an event held 10 years earlier.
Co-sponsored and organised by CAFOD, under the auspices of the Bishops’ Conference, it took place at the Barbican in London on 25 June 1994 under the title “One World, One Family,” to mark The Year of the Family. Nearly every speaker invited was a known dissident from Catholic moral teaching, including the infamous Dr Jack Dominian, who took part in the ‘Question Time’ on Marriage and the Family. Dr Dominian’s outspoken dissent from Church teaching on a range of moral issues, including sex before marriage, homosexuality, contraception, masturbation and sterilisation is well documented.
At the same gathering, a panel discussed the theme: ‘Families Under Threat, What Can The Churches Do?’ The panel consisted of journalist Clifford Longley (“I share none of the Roman Catholic Church’s attitude on contraception, divorce, abortion, and religious education of my children . . .”) and Paul Vallely (who prior to the event had articles published in The Universe spelling out his opposition to the Church’s teaching on contraception), along with Jim Richards and moral theologian Julie Clague. In answer to a question from the floor, the members of the panel all admitted to rejecting the Church’s teaching on contraception, as reaffirmed by Pope Paul VI in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Since the views of these participants were long held and often notorious, CAFOD’s intention to subvert Catholic moral teaching and family values could not have been more clearly signalled.
Rise of CAFOD Condomania
This unholy agenda became increasingly blatant with every passing year thereafter, especially with regard to CAFOD’s policy on HIV prevention, condoms and Catholic ethics. Emboldened by their dissident episcopal paymasters (Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, for one, has recently suggested that the use of condoms might be morally obligatory in certain circumstances) they were soon exhibiting their thinly veiled sedition on the CAFOD website.
Towards the beginning and end of an account posted on November 2001, the organisation took pains to proclaim that it works “within the social and ethical teaching of the Catholic Church” and that “as the official agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and respectful of Catholic teaching and beliefs, CAFOD does not fund the supply or distribution of condoms.”
In between these statements, CAFOD says it believes that “in the long term behaviour change is the most important and fundamental way to reduce the spread of HIV. Fully consistent with that standpoint and working towards that end, CAFOD aims to help people to modify their sexual behaviour, to reduce the number of their sexual partners and to strive towards living out the ideal expressed in the teaching of the Church of abstinence before marriage and fidelity within it.”
So far, so good. But then the tone changes somewhat. It continues:
All this seemed to mirror an article in The Universe, when Ann Smith of CAFOD’s AIDS section was quoted as saying: “Abstinence outside marriage and fidelity inside marriage is the ideal. That is what we are journeying towards and CAFOD want to support that ideal. But while wanting to uphold that ideal we may need to look at more practical short term arrangements” [emphasis mine].
Ms Smith continued: “Moral theologians would agree that the AIDS pandemic is not about contraception. It is about the preservation of life not the prevention of life”. She called for a “different ethical consideration” with regard to condoms and AIDS prevention, adding spuriously: “It is a medical fact that condoms will significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV and we must include the medical truth.”
Condomania and the Catechism
But of course CAFOD’s call for “the promotion of harm minimisation” or looking at “more practical short term arrangements” or advancing the “medical fact and truth” of life-saving condom usage, is simply bloodless jargon aimed at diverting attention from the “fact and truth” of the high condom failure rate and the ‘safer-sex’ disease and deaths which ensue from encouraging condom-Russian Roulette!
Neatly summing up the vast scientific and medical evidence attesting to the false sense of security encouraged by condom advocates, Scotland’s Dave Parry, a former Librarian, wrote in a letter of 12 July 2004:
In the document “Family Values Versus Safe Sex,” Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, head of The Pontifical Council for the Family, also pointed out that condoms are often ineffective because of manufacturing defects and other defects from “shipping, handling and storage” and treatment by the end user. The US Food and Drug Administration allows the sale of batches of condoms whose rate of defects is not more than 4 per 1000. Yet, wrote His Eminence, “[i]f four leaking condoms are allowed in every batch of 1,000, there could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of leaking condoms circulating all over the world ... Does the public know this?” Even more alarming is that while US standards for condom manufacturing is high, standards in other parts of the world are much lower, making these condoms even more dangerous.
Morevover, as Austin Ruse, President of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute has noted, “even perfect condoms tend to be used incorrectly. A study by the Medical Institute in Texas found that ‘When given a basic list of procedures for correct condom use, less than half of sexually active adolescents report they use condoms correctly’.”
Confirming the results we would expect from promoting condoms as a positive and crucial factor in AIDS prevention against all this bald evidence to the contrary, Cardinal Trujillo also cited the example of Thailand vis-à-vis the Philippines. Noting that AIDS was found in both countries around the same time, the Cardinal pointed out that Thailand dealt with the problem by introducing a vigorous campaign of “100% Condom Use” while in the Philippines the Church and government opposed “the condom program and sexual promiscuity” and low rates of condom use continued. Today, he wrote, “there are around 750,000 cases [of HIV/ AIDS] in Thailand ... [and] only 1,935 cases in the Philippines - and this considering that the Philippines’ population is around 30% greater than Thailand’s!”
So much for the worth of Ms Smith’s above claim that “It is a medical fact that condoms will significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV” and lead to “preservation of life not the prevention of life”! Not to mention her empty promise that “we must include the medical truth” – since, quite apart from the above evidence, we haven’t even touched on the explosion of sexually transmitted diseases [STD] among Western teenagers, the most targeted group for Ms Smith’s “safer-sex” message, and the associated problems of depression, suicide, incurable infertility and related cancers (causing thousands of deaths each year in America). This crisis is now openly admitted by government health authorities in the UK, as also in the USA where statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health show correlations between the increases in STD with increases in condom usage and promotion of the safe-sex message!
In any event, science and statistics aside, simply contrast CAFOD’s deadly condomaniacal ‘policy,’ cooked up on the basis of Ms Smith’s “different ethical considerations,” with this objective, timeless extract from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, upon which the bishops and government of the Philippines have faithfully based their successful life-affirming policy:
Three sections beneath this, we read:
‘Theology’ of Condomania
CAFOD’s November 2001 website account of their HIV prevention policy ends with the statement that it “actively supports on-going theological reflection on the implications of prevention for HIV... .”
This statement is tantamount to saying that since Rome hasn’t settled the condom issue (utterly false) we’ll continue advocating them as the lesser evil in HIV prevention (diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching).
In other words, and tragically for souls, the sort of “theological reflection” intimated is outrageously dissident and subversive of Catholic truths expounded in the Catechism, as above. Indeed, the gist of such “reflection” is trumpeted by the rebellious observations contained in this extract from an arrogant and clearly pro-homosexual piece on the CAFOD website by Enda McDonagh, entitled “Theology in a time of AIDS”:
Professor Enda McDonagh is a cleric. It is of the gravest concern that a priest of Jesus Christ should hold and espouse such views, let alone be given a global platform to pontificate like an antipope on the website of the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
A genuinely Catholic organisation led by authentically Catholic shepherds, would have preferred to proclaim the truth about sexuality, contraception and condoms, building on the fundamental truths outlined in the Catechism along the following lines, as expounded by Australian Michael Baker on his own website in response to yet another false exposition on the subject by the Tablet.
The Catholic Truth about Condoms
A condom is an instrument. In the order of causality, it falls into the category of instrumental cause. The morality of an instrument is generally indeterminate. Whether it is used for good or for ill is dependent upon the moral choices of the one using it, the principal. Thus a knife may be used to cut food or to kill an innocent man. However, an instrument may be so designed that its very ordination is immoral. Its end, that is, its finality as instrument, and its form, that which makes it be the peculiar instrument that it is, are built into the condom. Its end is the prevention of transmission of the natural emission of semen and bodily fluids during intercourse and its form satisfies that end.
It is difficult to think of any setting in which the use of a condom as a condom (not as a kiddies’ balloon, or a container, etc) could ever be licit. The thing has an inbuilt ordination to immoral activity.
An age which has become hardened to self-disfigurement and blinded to its malice will have difficulty accepting that a condom is something whose ordination (as condom) is intrinsically evil. Our bodies are not our own to do with as we please. They may only be used licitly and we will be called to account for the uses we have made of them. Pope Pius XII said: [T]he principle is inviolable. God alone is the lord of man’s life and bodily integrity, his organs and members and faculties, those in particular which are instruments associated in the work of creation.
A prosthesis is an artificial part designed to assist the body to perform its natural functions, or to supply for a defect in the body. Its licitness is guaranteed by its ordination for the good of the body. Of such sort are false teeth, spectacles, and artificial limbs. A condom is a sort of anti-prosthesis, designed to interfere with the way God has made our bodies. In that very interference lies its illicitness. The very use of such a thing as it is designed, without more, is sinful.
Once these distinctions are made, the shortcomings in the article by Martin Rhonheimer in the edition of 10th July 2004 of The Tablet, entitled The Truth about Condoms, become manifest.
The principle according to which he proceeds is the subsidiary principle of harm minimisation. That principle has no place in the Church’s moral lexicon when it conflicts with the principles of the moral law and of theology. The first theological principle is that of charity - Love God first above all things, and love your neighbour as yourself. The first moral principle, in the form of its first corollary, is - It is not licit to do evil that good may come of it.
Any use of a condom, as condom, is immoral and against the law of God. It offends against both these principles. It follows that Rhonheimer’s conclusion - the Church [cannot] possibly teach that people engaged in immoral lifestyles should avoid [condoms] - is in error.
Rhonheimer fails to judge of the various issues from the point of view of principle at a number of levels. Among them is the implication that a good intention on the part of the condom user justifies the use of the device. This arises from a failure to understand the essential distinction between finis operis (the end contained in the thing itself) and finis operantis (the end of the agent using it). A good end can never justify the use of an instrument whose very use is in breach of the law of God.
Hence, when Church leaders teach that the HIV-infected should never use condoms, their teaching accords with the mind of the Church.
Web of Dissent: CAFOD and Friends
In order to explain the unbridgeable gap between Catholic teaching and the self-styled Episcopal-CAFOD-McDonagh take on theology, morality, contraception and condoms, we need to unpack this unholy alliance and understand, for instance, that Fr. McDonagh is one of the few men listed as a member of the Catholic Women’s Network. Which brings us to CAFOD’s network of faithless allies.
In researching and documenting the activities of radical dissident groups for an ongoing series of articles in Christian Order, Patricia Phillips has discovered just how comfortable they are with CAFOD and how willing to promote its work. Joining the dissident dots in the following summary, Phillips depicts a web of dissent connecting CAFOD to the lowest of the low. Nothing could be more revealing. By their friends ye shall know them:
This fleeting overview barely skims the surface of CAFOD’s extensive networking with seriously dissident groups. And since most of these links can be gleaned directly from the CAFOD website, one can only marvel at the elephantine hide of this episcopally protected organisation which manifests itself whenever such openly rebellious connections are raised by concerned Catholics.
On one occasion, in the March 2003 editorial of Christian Order, passing mention was made of an item in a National Association of Catholic Families Newsletter which evidenced the fact that CAFOD helped fund a pro-abortion Yugoslav women’s Non-Governmental Organisation which “supports every woman’s right to choose.” Apparently, this financial assistance was categorically listed in the NGO’s 2001 annual report. Yet upon receiving a complaint from a CO reader, CAFOD came over all indignant, playing the aggrieved innocent and demanding to know the source of this allegedly scurrilous information. In her response to the complainant, Deputy Director Pat Jones squirmed:
Well, what a relief! We can all rest easy now, secure in the knowledge that “other languages and cultures may have a different interpretation and understanding of the phrase ‘a woman’s right to choose’ which do not involve abortion.” Pulleeeeze!!
The most charitable thing one might say about such comedic rationalising and endless denial is that CAFOD employees are at least no more spiritually blind and lacking in self-knowledge, self-awareness and Catholic faith than our bishops, who themselves steadfastly maintain that donating money to organisations which only fund ‘a little bit of abortion’ (like Comic Relief) is OK!
Our Blessed Lord referred to this terminal state of affairs as ‘the blind leading the blind into the pit’ [Matt 15:14].
CAFODGATE: The Filochowski-Pendergast Affair
Before proceeding, a word to those superficial souls who consider it bad form to expose the sordid underbelly of aid agencies that provide help to many people throughout the world. To such as these one can only point out that if an organisation uses the name Catholic, then surely it must always be seen to vigorously support, defend and promote all aspects of Catholic teaching. Likewise, it should also be seen to avoid even the slightest appearance of fraternisation with, or support of any concern that is inimical to the Faith.
In an age when everything is held up for criticism - particularly teachings or instructions emanating from Rome - and when liberal pundits are forever harping on about ‘openness’, ‘accountability’ and ‘freedom of speech’, let us never apologise for taking a critical look at the likes of CAFOD. Because ultimately, it’s the hard-earned cash of the Catholic in the pew - your cash - that helps keep the whole thing afloat.
In this regard and from what we have presented thus far, most readers will have understood how comprehensively the bishops and CAFOD have betrayed their trust and goodwill. But for the obstinate and/or ignorant who still don’t get it, let us recall the scandal that finally opened the eyes of the vast majority of Catholics who had always happily supported CAFOD, and which left them in no doubt as to the moral and spiritual decrepitude of the hierarchy that maintains it.
The event in question, first revealed in The Daily Telegraph of 9 June 2001, was the Mass held in London to celebrate the 25-year “relationship” of CAFOD’S aforementioned homosexual Director, Julian Filochowski, and his “partner,” the ex-Carmelite priest and radical “gay rights” campaigner Martin Pendergast. It transpired that the Bishop of Middlesborough, John Crowley, was to have celebrated this Mass - which the bishop’s diary of his own diocesan newspaper listed as an “anniversary Mass.”
Due to the outcry which followed the Telegraph expose, Bishop Crowley did not offer the Mass but, nonetheless, still caused scandal by remaining in the congregation along with Bishop John Rawsthorne of the Hallam Diocese. The Mass was actually said by the dissident anti-Humanae Vitae cleric, and then-Rector of the moribund Ushaw Seminary in the Hexham & Newcastle Diocese, Father Jim O’Keefe.
The shameless episcopal ducking and weaving which ensued only added insult to gravely wounded Catholic sensibilities. Especially offensive was the denial that either bishop realised the two men were in a homosexual relationship, despite both admitting their friendship with Filochowski and Pendergast and the latter’s notorious public profile as a homosexual activist involved in running several dissident organisations, including the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (RCCGLCM), Celebrating Catholic Diversity and Christians for Human Rights. Indeed, the bishops’ own Catholic press has reported regularly on Mr Pendergast’s activities relating to “gay rights” or AIDS prevention, even quoting him as saying that he believes condoms are vital in the fight against AIDS.
To make the Crowley/Rawsthorne denial even more transparently disingenuous was the fact that only two weeks prior to the scandalous “anniversary” event, Martin Pendergast’s name was splashed over all the Catholic papers – this time defending the fact that the RCCGLCM were holding their own Masses in the London area, served by a rota of eight or nine priests from London and the South East, in spite of the fact that this organisation openly states that there is no conflict between Christ’s teaching and homogenital activity. At the same time, Mr Pendergast also declared that two talks had been arranged after these Masses, one by dissident American theologian Mark Jordan and one from dissident, Vatican-censured nun Sr Jeannine Grammick.
With all this publicity staring them in the face, it is quite impossible to see how Bishop Crowley and Bishop Rawsthorne - or anyone connected with them who could have warned them - did not hear about it, or about Martin Pendergast’s involvement.
Although limp efforts were made to dissociate CAFOD from this event which publicly humiliated the Catholic faithful and shamed our Holy Church, it only brought the organisation under closer scrutiny. “Nobody, but nobody who openly dissents from Catholic teaching should be allowed to hold office in an organisation calling itself ‘Catholic’,” wrote layman Patrick McKay in a (predictably unpublished) letter to the Catholic press. “I am one of many who are even more incensed about the Church hierarchy’s refusal to sack Filochowski, my letters about this to various senior clerics (including the Apostolic Nuncio) not even answered. It beggars belief, therefore, to read in the Catholic Herald that Bishop Rawsthorne and Ms Jones [Deputy Director of CAFOD] jointly regard ‘all of CAFOD’s programmes and policies’ to be ‘faithful to Catholic teaching.’ His Lordship and Ms Jones should re-read the 8th Commandment, or are they are few beads short of a rosary?’
Yet while indignant Catholics like Mr McKay were rightly calling for the disgraced Modernist bishops Crowley and Rawsthorne to be deposed, Fr O’Keefe to be removed from his position overseeing the formation of future English priests and Mr Filochowski to be summarily sacked, CAFOD spokeswoman Fiona Fox was also quoted in the press as saying that Mr Filochowski was “absolutely not” considering resigning, and that “he has the full faith and confidence of all the staff at CAFOD”.
Faith and confidence which, beyond the incestuous confines of CAFOD, was well and truly shattered by this unspeakable revelation of the homosexual “partner” of a notorious gay ex-priest running the highest profile Catholic charity in the land, on a fat salary funded by a hapless and hoodwinked laity, all with the blessing of prelates who make their turncoat Reformation forebears look like the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
Private Vice and Public Virtue?
Of course, it is rarely, if ever, necessary for any of us to know personal details about the lives of those who provide a service to us. It suffices for us to know that those we are dealing with are proficient in the task they perform. However, when one represents an official Catholic organisation, then the very least that Catholics have a right to expect is for them to fully accept, uphold and promote Catholic teaching in its entirety.
This in no way conflicts with the fact that we are all sinners. Obviously, if any Catholic organisation refused to employ sinners, then it would cease to exist! But there is a world of difference between fully believing Catholics - who acknowledge their sinfulness and try with the help of prayer and the Sacraments to live the Faith - and dissidents who rationalise their sinful behaviour and end up rejecting whatever parts of the Faith cannot be reconciled with their disorders.
Dissent from Magisterial teaching is the death-knell for any charitable organisation that claims to be Catholic. It saps the supernatural life from any work, turning it into the mere humanism of the social gospel so beloved of the Modernist heretics condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his scorching and masterful 1907 encyclical Pascendi.
Even when an organisation claims to work within the teaching of the Catholic Church, if those who work inside it - particularly those who direct it - don’t fully accept Catholic teaching, and merely function within what they regard as a restrictive or oppressive moral framework (the classic modus operandi of the Modernists) then the end result will always be the same – compromise; equivocation; spiritual decay and death. For how can any Catholic enthusiastically uphold and joyfully proclaim the teachings of the Church, when they have no real conviction themselves? Or even worse, when their own lives are testimony to their claiming to be a Catholic while denying what it is that makes them one?
Julian Filochowski has always maintained that he does not dissent from Catholic teaching, but he can hardly blame others for wondering what moral and mental gymnastics are required in order to fully accept Church teaching, while living for 25 years as the “partner” of a man who has been, and continues to be, blatant about his dissent on the issue of practicing homosexuality; one of the several unspeakable “sins that cry to heaven” [CCC 1867]. Nor can he blame others for calling his judgement into question for taking part in a Mass celebrating his 25-year “relationship” with this man, as he surely wouldn’t have us believe that he participated in the celebration against his will.
Now eased out of CAFOD and into a comfy new job with Caritas International, Mr Filochowski has passed the baton to Mr Chris Bain, who continues the Filochowski line: telling a recent complainant that he is a loyal son of the Church while simultaneously rationalising CAFOD’s dissent on the use of condoms by claiming that Rome has not yet spoken definitively on the subject.
This is the Big Lie at the rotten heart of CAFOD and similar condomaniacal agents of dissent: that since the Vatican hasn’t clearly enunciated Church teaching on this matter, the use of condoms to combat AIDS is theologically, morally and practically negotiable. It is a lie grounded in the ideology of Liberalism which, like all ideologies, places inconvenient objections to its agenda in a small pigeonhole to one side – in this case Catholic truth and the facts about condoms – thereby disqualifying them in advance.
It is particularly perverse since absolutely everyone except so-called ‘liberal Catholics’ understand that Rome has indeed spoken definitively on the immorality of condom use and that this is accepted Church teaching. In its report of 24 September 2004, for instance, The Daily Telegraph’s religion correspondent stated that “Cafod, the leading Roman Catholic development agency, departed from official Vatican teaching yesterday to argue that condoms could be used in the battle against Aids.” An article title “Condom Crusade” in the 15 December 2003 edition of Newsweek also took for granted the Catholic position, stating that “Catholics for a Free Choice, a dissident lay group, began a pro-condom ad campaign last week in defiance of Vatican policy.”
Furthermore, whenever the usual motley collection of rationalising, disobedient prelates - like Cardinal Daneels of Belgium (“When someone is HIV infected … he should use a condom.”), Cardinal Murphy O’Connor (“I would agree with Cardinal Daneels’ position”) or Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa (“If one were to use [condoms] to promote health … then one is promoting a moral imperative”) - are dredged up to pad out hackneyed reports on this subject, it is always understood that these “senior clerics” have betrayed “the Church’s official blanket ban on artificial contraception,” as the above Telegraph article correctly stated.
Clearly, then, groups like CAFOD and prelates like Cormac Murphy O’Connor have lost the Faith, lost the plot and ultimately, through their passion for condom-Russian Roulette, lost souls. They are indistinguishable from so many secular siren voices espousing the same prophylactic propaganda.
Like the International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF], which argues that “safer-sex practice [read: ‘condom-sex’] allows couples to reduce their sexual health risks. Safer sex is anything we do to lower our risk of sexually transmitted infection.” The IPPF Director General, Steven Sinding, even stated at a recent global AIDS conference in Bangkok that pushing abstinence programs over condom use “is naked pandering to an extremist constituency” i.e. “religious conservatives” like the Catholic Church. “Millions of people around the world have been persuaded by the arguments of the US government and religious right,” he said. “Their actions represent a setback in bringing HIV/AIDS under control.”
How is such spurious, anti-Catholic condomania proclaimed by IPPF, the most evil organisation on the face of the earth bar none, essentially different from the ‘Catholic’ dissenters? Indeed, as if parroting the IPPF mantra and against all the evidence, “The Cafod policy paper,” noted the Daily Telegraph, “said that simplistic prevention policies for AIDS [read: ‘polices which condemn condoms’] would not work.”
And so we see what happens when you part ways with the Church on matters of doctrine and morals; when you look to conform the truth to your own desires (even well-meaning ones) rather than your desires to truth: you end up preferring to share your bed with seductive deviants like IPPF rather than commonsense conservatives, like Ted Green from President Bush’s AIDS council, who questioned the focus on condoms at the Bangkok conference. “If you are telling me that people can’t stop AIDS unless they buy a product,” said Green, “I simply don’t agree with that.”
The sheer uncomplicated commonsense of Green’s comments would sound as cold-blooded as fingernails screeching down a blackboard to the rebellious ears of CAFOD and Murphy O’Connor who are now, philosophically and morally, sleeping with the enemy: tucked up with IPPF and associated groups and individuals, such as the amoral Catholics For a Free Choice. In between lobbying to have the Vatican kicked out of the United Nations, this repulsive organisation runs aggressive pro-condom campaigns like their 2002 global “Condoms4Life” effort - “aimed at Catholics and non-Catholics alike to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms in preventing new HIV/AIDS infections.”
Featuring newspaper ads and huge billboards strategically placed in countries with predominantly Catholic populations and sporting messages like “Banning Condoms Kills,” the whole point of the campaign was summed up by one of its promoters, who pontificated: “It is crucial that the Catholic church revisit its stance on condoms, which is inconsistent with the rest of its approach to fighting the epidemic.”
Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, the Director of CAFOD, the head of IPPF and the Secretary-General of the UN et. al., could not have put their morally bankrupt case more succinctly.
The manic desire of ecclesiastical dissidents to squeeze condoms into the AIDS equation come what may, has not only led them into unspeakably treacherous alliances, but also, inevitably, into manipulation and distortion of Catholic teaching articulated by the Vatican, not to say barefaced lies.
As long ago as 1988, the administrative board of the US National Conference of Catholic Bishops kicked off dissident proceedings with its document The Many Faces of AIDS.
A politically correct embarrassment overseen by the nefarious Cardinal Joseph Bernadin of Chicago, a cleric renowned for his criminal circle of perverted pals [see “Bernadin’s Boys,” Christian Order, January 2002], it embraced condoms as a valid means of containing the spread of AIDS, stating: “… educational efforts, if grounded in the broader moral vision [of sexuality], could include accurate information about prophylactic devices or other practices proposed by some medical experts as potential means of preventing AIDS.”
At the time in 1988, an article appearing in L’Osservatore Romano responded bluntly to the US document: “To seek the solution to the disease in the promotion of the use of prophylactics is to take a path that is not only unreliable from a technical point of view, but also and above all, unacceptable from a moral point of view.”
Subsequently, the document was condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “It hardly seems pertinent to appeal to the classical principle of tolerance of the lesser evil… In fact, even when the issue has to do with educational programs promoted by the civil government, one would not be dealing simply with a form of passive toleration but rather with a kind of behaviour which would result in at least the facilitation of evil.”
And yet, even though The Many Faces of AIDS was then buried by the US bishops, it is doubtless the sort of discredited document that still emboldens and fuels the dissident line adopted by CAFOD and the rest of the ecclesiastical condom lobby. Meanwhile, they simply ignore or distort superb expositions of the Catholic stance against condom use.
Typical of this perversity was the shameless misrepresentation of a masterful paper by Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which appeared in the 19 April 2000 edition of L’Osservatore Romano.
Titled “Stopping the Spread of HIV/AIDS, Prophylactics or Family Values?” it was described by Dr. Brian Kopp in The Wanderer of 28 September 2000 as a treatment of “beautiful simplicity and intelligence,” in which Msgr Suaudeau “discussed the very real tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, and the enlightened response of the Catholic Church and her varied relief efforts, [displaying] an unequaled depth of compassion and understanding on the part of the author. Despite the difficulty of the issue and the powerful forces of political correctness surrounding it, the article was orthodox and faithful to the principles of Catholic sexual ethics.”
We can be sure that CAFOD never filed a copy of this superb article, for it would demolish its corrosive bleeding-heart liberal take on AIDS in one foul swoop.
Far more appealing would have been the widely publicised yet utterly twisted interpretation of Msgr. Suaudeau’s article by two Jesuits, who contended that he was flagging a change in Vatican policy on condoms. A classically wicked piece of condomaniacal dissembling and disinformation, it is worth recounting Dr Kopp’s demolition of this Jesuitical claim which typifies the mendacity of Modernist condom propaganda everywhere, even and especially by clerics.
Condom Propagandists - A Case Study
The article, entitled “Tolerant Signals: The Vatican’s New Insights on Condoms for HIV Prevention,” appeared in the 23 September 2000 edition of mega-Modernist America magazine, written by Jon D. Fuller, S.J., M.D., and James F. Keenan, S.J. Where did these authors find these new “tolerant signals” by the Vatican concerning condoms? “Unbelievably,” wrote Dr Kopp, “they claim to have found these hints hidden within Msgr. Suaudeau’s excellent April 19 article itself.” He went on:
Dr Kopp explained that the source of the UPI article was a piece in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 15 September previewing the article by Fathers Fuller and Keenan. Apparently, Bishop Anthony Bosco of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a co-author of The Many Faces of AIDS whose diocese is adjacent to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, had used the Jesuits’ interpretation of Suaudeau’s article in L’Osservatore Romano to inform the Post-Gazette that he now felt vindicated.
Along with Cardinal Bernadin, Bosco had urged his fellow bishops to say that condom use was the lesser of two evils for both married couples where one spouse was HIV positive and for those who would not refrain from promiscuity. “This proves to me that maybe the logic that led me to that conclusion follows from sound moral principles,” Bosco said.
“The fact that the headline, ‘Vatican Newspaper Says Condom Use Tolerated to Battle AIDS,’ went out across the media landscape,” Dr Kopp concluded, “seems to further vindicate a bishop with a theological axe to grind.”
Kopp went on to objectively analyse Msgr Suaudeau’s L’Osservatore article, showing up the absurdity of the Fuller and Keenan interpretation.
“It is eminently apparent,” he wrote, “that Msgr. Suaudeau is consistent with Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1988 comments [denouncing The Many Faces of AIDS], both in the totality of the article and its minutiae. Although Msgr. Suaudeau is always charitable and compassionate, his disdain for the very concepts the America magazine article claims to have found between the lines is palpable.”
Indicative of Msgr Suaudeau’s stance is a passage in which he contrasts the example of attempts to eradicate malaria, unsuccessful because they did not address the roots of the disease, with the attempts to prevent typhoid, successful because behaviour was indeed corrected:
The last line above, as Dr Kopp pointed out, is clearly understood to be made by way of explanation, and is certainly not an acceptance nor endorsement of condom use, as is clear when Msgr Suaudeau goes on to explain why they will always fail:
This is strong language for an author whose writings the Jesuit authors claim to signal a sea change on the Vatican’s position about condoms and AIDS. And Msgr Suaudeau goes further:
He sums up the essential truth of any sane discussion of the AIDS issue admirably:
Msgr. Suaudeau also presents cases where condom distribution is claimed to be successful, in Uganda and Thailand. Even here, his fundamental disagreement with condom supporters is seen:
He maintains that success in Uganda came not from condom use at all, but from behaviour changes the Catholic Church itself recommends:
In summary, Msgr Suaudeau then presents the role the Catholic Church has played in the true victories in the battle against AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, among groups of young people organized by religious and laity, involved in fighting HIV/AIDS among their classmates and companions, with a commitment to sexual continence until marriage and to conjugal chastity after marriage:
Given this superb defense of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of man, human sexuality, and the insult to both represented by the prophylactic mentality, Dr Kopp asks: “just what form of mental gymnastics is required for two Jesuits to come up with an analysis of the same article titled, “Tolerant Signals: The Vatican’s New Insights on Condoms for HIV Prevention”? He then proceeds to show precisely how these Jesuits, in tried and true Modernist fashion, “found shadows between the lines, in order to suit an agenda already condemned by the Vatican.”
Again, it is important that we very briefly examine this black methodology utilised by advocates of moral and doctrinal “change,” so that readers will recognise media celebrations of the latest oh-so-reasonable social gospel assertions of dissembling Modernist individuals and organisations for what they are: indubitably false, fraudulent and a betrayal of the Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
From the very first paragraph, Fuller and Keenan reach the impossible conclusion that Msgr Suaudeau’s article reveals a “Roman Curia more tolerant on the matter” of condoms than bishops who object to them! Their entire thesis, states Kopp, swings on a “wilful and perverted” misinterpretation of the single sentence where Msgr Suaudeau states that “The prophylactic is one of the ways to ‘contain’ the sexual transmission of HIV-AIDS, that is, to limit its transmission.” As Kopp explains, although clearly a simple explanation and certainly not an acceptance nor an endorsement of condom use, the two Jesuits “maintain that herein lies the entire, airtight evidence of the Vatican’s change in stance, interpreting this single line to represent this change.”
“Given this perverted interpretation of the author’s and the Vatican’s intent in that first single line,” states Kopp, the Jesuits “derive further conclusions that defy logic,” such as stating that the Suaudeau article “does not attack the endorsement, promotion, distribution, or use of prophylactics. Rather, it introduces a distinction between containment and prevention and claims only that prophylactics alone are inadequate prevention.”
So much for Msgr Suaudeau’s statement that “an error has been committed in dedicating every effort to the ‘containment’ of HIV/AIDS by using an artificial barrier unworthy of human sexuality and unworthy of the human person.” Not to mention his other comments which indirectly and admirably, through his illustrations and observations, leave no doubt as to his opposition to “the endorsement, promotion, distribution, or use of prophylactics.”
The America article’s agenda-driven conclusions will simply not tolerate such clear objections. Misrepresenting Msgr Suaudeau at every turn, it then stated triumphantly that “more than 25 moral theologians have published articles claiming that without undermining church teaching, church leaders do not have to oppose but may support the distribution of prophylactics within an educational program that first underlines church teaching on sexuality.”
As if the prideful blather of a handful of contemporary Judases – ludicrously considered by the authors as now constituting “a theological consensus on the legitimacy of various HIV preventive efforts” - mattered a jot to Holy Mother Church! Yet presumably these are the sort of treacherous creatures CAFOD Director Chris Bain was referring to when he informed an erstwhile donor, objecting to CAFOD’s dissent, that ‘Church teaching on this area is not clear and he has had conflicting advice’?
“Without known interference,” the Jesuits speculate knowingly, without the least pretence of supporting their thesis, “the Vatican has allowed theologians to achieve this consensus. Vatican curial officials now seem willing publicly to recognize the legitimacy of the theologians’ arguments. Hesitant local ordinaries will in turn, we hope, note Msgr. Suaudeau’s tolerant signals and more easily listen to the prudent counsel of their own health care and pastoral workers and their moral theologians.”
Dr Kopp responded to this arrogant nonsense:
In concluding this case study of mendacious Modernist methodology, if any doubts remain about the intent and overarching agenda of the Jesuit authors, and all their traitorous liberal comrades marching under Satan’s condom freedom flag, Dr Kopp produced these telling comments by one of the authors, Father Fuller, from an earlier America article of 18 March 2000, “Priests With AIDS”:
Was not this the diabolic battle cry of the CAFODGATE outrage?
Definitive Papal Censure
And so, having briefly viewed its history, motivations, actions, omissions and methods, both individually and in the round, we are finally left to ponder just how contemptible and ludicrous beyond words are CAFOD’s Modernist protestations of Catholic orthodoxy.
One stands open-mouthed and gobsmacked, for instance, before the kind of arrogant self-assertion and self-justification espoused on 25 September 2004 by its so-called HIV corporate strategist, Ann Smith, who magically morphed into a master theologian to assure Tablet readers that CAFOD’s “abstinence, be faithful, use a condom” strategy was “based on sound theological principles… [and] is the only understanding of HIV prevention that CAFOD can, with integrity, seek to promote.”
Ms Smith should stick to corporate affairs and leave the theology to Christ’s Vicar on earth, who enjoys the special direction and protection of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity in these matters. And the plain fact is that CAFOD’s ‘strategy’ - as embodied in Cardinal Murphy O’Connor’s recent condom-justifying “God knows people just don’t live up to ideals” interview with The Independent [30/7/04] - has been utterly and definitively condemned by the Vicar of Christ in this one commanding sentence:
It would be a very serious error to conclude that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a ‘balancing of the goods in question.’
Thus wrote John Paul II in paragraph 103 of Veritatis Splendor, laying bare and demolishing the false and corrupting foundation of CAFOD’s [read: the bishops’] entire approach. Actually, in para. 105 the Holy Father goes further, stating that such a policy:
corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific acts, and it ends up confusing all judgements about values.
So much, then, for CAFOD’s irrelevant, disingenuous, tongue-in-cheek disclaimers in the episcopally controlled Catholic press (e.g. “We do not fund the supply, promotion or distribution of condoms,” 1/10/04) which follow all its condomanic outbursts as a matter of course.
Schism and Sin
Like life in general, it can reasonably be said that just about all the scandals in the Church today finally reduce to two things: sex (mired in dissent from Humanae Vitae) and money. With CAFOD, the two have simply coalesced with the full blessing of our hireling Shepherds.
Not a single bishop raised so much as a quizzical eyebrow over the faith-shattering Filochowski-Pendergast affair (a smoking gun they had happily condoned, and subsidized, for years). Not one has had the common decency even to apologise to the laity for the heinous abuse of their money in funding jobs for the likes of Mr Filochowski. And certainly none possess sufficient faith or guts to break the collegial code of silence and call for CAFOD heads on platters, let alone enough Y chromosomes to demand that the agency be shut down. Snakes in sheeps’ clothing one and all, their dissent over condom use is merely the latest expression of their schismatic mentality, long manifest and now sclerotic.
It comes down to this: the dissident hierarchy of England and Wales is in de-facto schism from Rome; to fund its aid agency is to fund dissent; and to knowingly fund dissent - which henceforth would include every donor who has read this article - is a grave sin of commission.
There are nine ways of causing or sharing in the guilt of another’s sin: command, concealment, consent, counsel, partnership, praise, provocation, silence, defending the evil done [cf. 1Cor 5:9-13].
I leave it to believing Catholics who persist in donating to Modernist CAFOD to take their pick from among these biblical determinants in labelling their own particular brand of complicity in the aid agency’s dissident and dissolute agenda.
While so doing, such donors should keep in mind these associated passages from the Catechism which bear directly on both their own guilt and CAFOD’s condomanic disdain for Church teaching and the natural law:
1868: Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we co-operate in them: by participating directly and voluntarily in them; by ordering, advising, praising or approving them; by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; by protecting evil-doers.
1869: Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. ‘Structures of sin’ are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a ‘social sin’.
1871: Sin is an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law. It is an offence against God. It rises up against God in a disobedience contrary to the obedience of Christ.
Finally, in para. 1874, comes the dreadful reckoning: “To choose deliberately – that is, both knowing it and willing it – something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.”
In layman’s terms, that means Hell - forever.
Nor will self-righteous attempts to dress up the Modernist “social gospel” as Catholic “charity” cover even one of CAFOD’s multitudinous sins or earn a single ‘get out of Hades free’ card.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver recently led the way in underlying the gravity of this personal responsibility of each soul for their complicity in the sins of others.
Discussing the non-negotiable items for the US Presidential elections: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage, he stated that a vote for Mr John Kerry, the Democratic candidate who is pro-abortion and pro-embryonic stem cell research, would be a sin that must be confessed before receiving Communion.
“If you vote this way, are you cooperating in evil?” he asked. “And if you know you are cooperating in evil should you go to confession? The answer is yes.”
The New York Timesof 12 October 2004 reported that “Never before have so many bishops so explicitly warned Catholics so close to an election that to vote a certain way was to commit a sin. Less than two weeks ago, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis issued just such a statement. Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs and Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark have both recently declared that the obligation to oppose abortion outweighs any other issue.”
While war and even the death penalty can in certain circumstances be justified, “In theological terms,” the Times continued, “these bishops… argue that abortion and the destruction of embryos are categorically wrong under church doctrine.”
Ditto, according to the Vatican, for the act or facilitation of evil involved in condom use.
In fact, Archbishop Chaput might have been addressing our spineless local hierarchy when he said: “To remain silent while a President Kerry [CAFOD] supported stem cell research [condom use] would seem cowardly.”
While John Kerry himself might have been mistaken for a CAFOD spokesman when, in one of the televised presidential debates, he ludicrously professed his faithful allegiance to the Church. “I can’t take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn’t share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever.”
It turns out that a Humanae Vitae-dissenting, condom-advocating, homosexual-condoning, rationalising CAFOD Catholic is just a ‘Kerry Catholic’ (in British terms, a ‘Cherie Catholic’). Which is to say, no Catholic at all.
Pull the Plug! Spread the Word!
When all is said and done, viewed in the light of Church teaching, there is simply no argument: faithful Catholics who love and uphold our holy Faith cannot and must not support the bishops’ aid agency. If they are aware of the facts presented in this article and still possess a healthy fear of God, they must immediately cease their CAFOD contributions.
It is not so much a question of telling them how to apportion their charitable donations, but how to take Holy Communion in good conscience; not just about how their donations impact physically and spiritually on others, but a matter of their personal salvation.
And after all, we owe CAFOD less than nothing. There are many truly Catholic alternatives. Charities like The Little Way Association ensure that all your money (not a mere percentage of it) goes directly into the pockets of faithful Catholic missionaries who accept Church teachings one hundred per cent and joyfully proclaim them. While vital truth-telling, evangelising groups closer to home, such as UK LifeLeague and Christian Order, are always strapped for cash. Seek out such as these and support them!
At the same time, since adverse publicity and money are the only languages that speak to the hierarchy nowadays, keep your wallets and purses firmly shut next time a CAFOD appeal passes your way. Clearly, it is way past time to pull the financial plug on CAFOD and bring it crashing down.
Meanwhile, tell your family and friends that you have no desire to line CAFOD’s coffers because, as the Catechism says, “sin is a personal act” and “we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we co-operate in them”:
In fact, bound by these criteria, we have a duty to tell anyone who cares to listen that all the evidence is in, and that the verdict is crystal clear: contributing to CAFOD is a sin!