Olivier Demeulenaere :François Hollande, l’insoutenable légèreté d’un non-président-qu’il aille faire de la musculation comme Kundera

Je ne reviendrai pas sur les innombrables gaffes, offenses et injures dont François Hollande, cette caricature de président, s’est rendu coupable tout au long de son mandat. Il suffit de se pencher sur ses deux dernières “sorties” pour mesurer toute l’étendue du désastre. Désastre qui témoigne cruellement de ce qu’entraîne pour un pays le tragique abandon de toute prétention à maîtriser son identité et son avenir. De tout respect de soi. OD

hollande-armes-france

(source de l’image : Le blog à Lupus)

Donald Trump : « Paris n’est plus Paris » :

François Hollande : « Je ne ferai pas de comparaison mais ici il n’y a pas de circulation d’armes, il n’y a pas de personnes qui prennent des armes pour tirer dans la foule ! » :

« La France est aimée (…) par les Américains, enfin la plupart des Américains, et partout dans le monde. J’enverrai peut-être un billet spécial à l’un d’entre eux [Trump] pour qu’il vienne au moins à Eurodisney (sic) et qu’il comprenne ce qu’est la France (re-sic)«  :

hollande-invite-trump-a-euro-disney-pour-qu-il-comprenne-ce-qu-est-la-france

H

:)

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Economic collapse:Retail Apocalypse Gains Momentum As David Stockman Warns ‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th

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Retail Apocalypse Gains Momentum As David Stockman Warns ‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th

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Retail Apocalypse 2017 - Public DomainJ.C. Penney and Family Christian Stores are the latest retail giants to announce widespread store closings. As you will see below, J.C. Penney plans to close between 130 and 140 stores, and Family Christian is closing all of their 240 stores. In recent months the stock market has been absolutely soaring, and so most people have simply assumed that the “real economy” must be doing well. But that is not the case at all. In fact, the retail apocalypse that I have been documenting for quite some time appears to be gaining momentum.

J.C. Penney is not in as rough shape as Sears is just yet, but it is definitely on a similar trajectory. In the end, they are both headed for bankruptcy. That is why it wasn’t too much of a surprise when J.C. Penney announced that they are getting rid of about 6,000 workers and closing at least 130 stores

J.C. Penney (JCP) plans to close 130 to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 workers as the department-store industry sags in competition with online sellers and nimble niche retailers.

The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base.

Meanwhile, many observers were quite surprised when Family Christian Stores decided to fold up shop for good. They were known as the largest Christian retailer on the entire planet, but now after 85 years they are going out of business forever

Family Christian, which bills itself as the “world’s largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise,” announced Thursday it is closing after 85 years.

The non-profit company, employing more than 3,000 people in 240 stores in 36 states, said in a brief statement that the retailer had been facing declining sales since filing for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and had no choice but to shut down.

These two announcements are part of larger trend that we have been witnessing all over the country. As I have documented previously, Macy’s announced that it would be closing 100 stores earlier this year, and about the same time Sears said that it would be closing another 150 stores.

Back in 2010, Sears had a staggering 3,555 stores.

Before their recent announcement, Sears was down to 1,503 stores, and now this latest round of cuts will leave them with somewhere around 1,350.

Of course it won’t be too long before Sears has zero stores, and my regular readers know that I have been talking about the demise of Sears for a very long time.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that the “real economy” is a total mess, and that is one of the primary reasons why these ridiculous stock market valuations that we are seeing right now are not sustainable.

One expert that agrees with my assessment is former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman. In a recent interview, he explained why he believes that “everything will grind to a halt” after March 15th…

Stockman, who wrote a book titled “Trumped” predicting a Trump victory in 2016, says, “I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in the hot place that’s going to happen. This is delusional. This is the greatest suckers’ rally of all time. It is based on pure hopium and not any analysis at all as what it will take to push through a big tax cut. Donald Trump is in a trap. Today the debt is $20 trillion. It’s 106% of GDP. . . .Trump is inheriting a built-in deficit of $10 trillion over the next decade under current policies that are built in. Yet, he wants more defense spending, not less. He wants drastic sweeping tax cuts for corporations and individuals. He wants to spend more money on border security and law enforcement. He’s going to do more for the veterans. He wants this big trillion dollar infrastructure program. You put all that together and it’s madness. It doesn’t even begin to add up, and it won’t happen when you are struggling with the $10 trillion of debt that’s coming down the pike and the $20 trillion that’s already on the books.”

Then, Stockman drops this bomb and says:

“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th 2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash. We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises. Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

In that same interview, Stockman also predicted that “markets will easily correct by 20% and probably a lot more“, and he noted the glaring disconnect between current stock prices and how the U.S. economy is actually performing

“The S&P 500 has been trading at 26 times earnings while earnings have been dropping for the past six or seven quarters. There is no booming recovery coming. There is going to be a recession and there will be no stimulus baton to bail it out. That is the new fact that neither Trump nor the Wall Street gamblers remotely understand.”

It is very difficult to argue with Stockman on this.

There are some people out there that seem to think that Donald Trump can miraculously turn the U.S. economy around just because he is Donald Trump.

It doesn’t work that way.

We are 20 trillion dollars in debt, and we are currently adding about a trillion dollars a year to that total. There is no possible way that Trump can cut taxes, increase military spending, build a border wall, spend much more on veterans and spend an extra trillion dollars on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

We are flat broke as a nation and there simply is not money available to do everything that Donald Trump wants to do.

So we shall see what happens after March 15th.  Unfortunately, I happen to agree with Stockman that economic reality is about to come knocking and Trump and his supporters are about to get a very rude wake up call.

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Cardus:Banana Peel Politics

Canada’s Premier Hub For Faith In Common Life

Banana Peel Politics

Publisher Peter Stockland reports on the Manning Conference, Jason Kenney’s new platform, and the University of Toronto’s Jordan Peterson on the importance of speaking up.

Banana Peel Politics February 27, 2017  |  By Peter Stockland
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After the Oscar ceremony went Keystone Kops presenting its own best picture Academy Award, it might seem incongruous to herald Canadian conservatives for tagging comedy as a force for cultural renewal.

Yet the same weekend that Hollywood flipped itself farce-over-coffee-pot by announcing that La La Land , errrr, whoops, we meant Moonlight was the year’s top film, delegates to the conservative Manning Centre Conference in Ottawa were urged to unleash their inner comic and laugh the rest of us past the morass that is left-liberal post-modern thinking.

The urging came from no less a battle-hardened absurdist than the University of Toronto’s Jordan Peterson, who even looks a little like playwright Samuel Beckett if you squint in the right light. Okay. That’s tongue in cheek. Professor Peterson doesn’t remotely resemble the late, great Irish dramatist famed for his theatre-of-the-absurd works.

But last fall, Peterson faced job loss and legal punishment for refusing to use university-mandated pronouns when speaking to transgendered students. He was placed in a circumstance straight out of Beckett’s Endgame or Krapp’s Last Tape. No doubt he endured, at least in part, by treating it as a dark Beckettian joke. Sanity, he had to believe as a clinical psychologist, must ultimately prevail.

The conviction certainly seemed to fuel his message to a Manning Conference audience seeking effective responses to suppression of dissent on North American university campuses. Peterson’s prescription was a short, sharp, straightforward thrust. The conservatively minded must speak up, he said, and then speak up some more. They must never succumb to self-censorship or preventative silencing.

“It’s not safe to speak. It never will be. But it’s even less safe not to speak. If you don’t speak up, you’ll find in 20 years that you’ve become a miserable worm,” he said.

Things then turned quirky when he held out Milo Yiannopoulos as a model to be, figuratively speaking, embraced. Yiannopoulos, of course, has fallen from grace faster than a fat man stepping on a banana peel whilst carrying a cardboard box of cream pies. Being caught on video suggesting approval of pedophilia will bring even the highest flyer low.

But Peterson’s point was not to condone perversity. His call was to harness the power of the unpredictable on which all comedy, and by coincidence all hope of cultural renewal, relies.

As a flamboyant gay British Republican expat who loves black men as much as he loves saying shocking things to dour post-modernists, Yiannopoulos is no one’s stereotype of a conservative. It’s hard to imagine, in fact, what anyone but Samuel Beckett might imagine him to be. That’s precisely where unpredictability powers on in, Peterson said.

“Milo is a trickster figure, a comedian, a court jester. He’s poking fun. He’s laughing. Court jesters risked being whipped if they went too far, but they took that risk. Milo took that risk,” he said.

Then he added this: “The times call forth the speakers.”

Indeed they do. Or not. To be at this year’s Manning Centre Conference was, with the exception of Peterson’s remarks and my colleague Andrew Bennett’s courageous defense of religious freedom, to witness silence triumphing almost manically. The degree of tip toeing around certain [read: socially conservative] issues rivaled Saturday morning at a ballet school in its clench-jawed determination, if not its artistry.

Case in point: Jason Kenney, once Canada’s crown prince of quintessential social conservatism, got through a lengthy panel discussion on the future of conservatism in Alberta without ever mentioning matters that used to be his political bread and butter.

At the outset, Kenney admitted that once he wins the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, reunites the PCs with their rebel cousins in the Wildrose Party, and defeats Rachel Notley’s governing New Democrats, he hopes to emulate former Premier Ernest Manning, who ruled Alberta unopposed for 25 years.

When it came time for content, though, he seemed more prone to taking a page from the late Premier Ralph Klein, whose otherwise free radical administrations operated under a stringent ban on even mentioning the so-called 4 H topics: Habitants, Homosexuals, Handguns and Habortion.

Nor was Kenney an outlier. A two-hour debate among the 14 federal Conservative leadership hopefuls trooping across the Manning Conference stage produced but one, MP Pierre Lemieux, who even hinted that social conservative concerns warrant reasonable discussion in Parliament. All the rest was silence, which is curious given what is happening south of the border where ancient post-modern liberal-left orthodoxies are being vigorously contested by the rising generation of conservatives to whom the “trickster” Milo Yiannopoulos appeals by bringing forth peals of laughter.

Granted Hollywood, which obviously can’t even properly organize its own awards show, will continue to protect and promote such orthodoxies as models of social organization. But that only underscores Jordan Peterson’s contention that spoofing, whether aping Yiannopoulos or someone less outré, is what will finally overthrow the post-modern paradigm. Through humor, as any reader of Waiting For Godot knows, sanity can be rescued from absurdity.

Conservatives, start your inner tricksters.

Topics: Politics, Conservatism
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✝ Riposte-catholique ✝ : “Indignation après l’affaire de Ste Marie de Neuilly”-et varia

 

 

 

✝ Riposte-catholique ✝ : “Indignation après l’affaire de Ste Marie de Neuilly”

 

✝ Riposte-catholique ✝ : “Indignation après l’affaire de Ste Marie de Neuilly”

Link to Riposte-catholique

Indignation après l’affaire de Ste Marie de Neuilly

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 12:35 PM PST

Indignation après l’affaire de Ste Marie de Neuilly

Suite à la soumission du directeur de l’établissement catholique au politiquement correct, Anne Merlin-Chazelas, docteur en histoire, lui a écrit :

Monsieur Pierrick Madinier,
chef d’établissement
Institution Sainte-Croix
30 avenue du Roule
92200 NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE

Monsieur le Directeur,

Aucun de mes enfants et petits-enfants n’est scolarisé dans votre établissement, mais je souhaite qu’un livret, comme celui que vous aviez eu la saine initiative de distribuer, puisse être mis entre les mains de mes petits-enfants … Lire la suite…

Mgr Colomb : on met Dieu de côté, c’est une persécution douce

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 10:49 AM PST

Mgr Colomb : on met Dieu de côté, c’est une persécution douce

Voilà 199 ans arrivait à Ars le futur patron de tous les prêtres du monde. Pour ce 199e anniversaire du Saint curé, les cérémonies ont été célébrées par Mgr Georges Colomb, évêque de La Rochelle. Il a été interrogé par La Voix de l’Ain :

Quel message voulez-vous transmettre sur l’arrivée du curé d’Ars en 1818 ?

Le curé d’Ars est arrivé dans ce village qui était une terre ingrate et inhospitalière, il a … Lire la suite…

Mgr Jaeger bénit les cloches de la cathédrale

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 10:42 AM PST

Mgr Jaeger bénit les cloches de la cathédrale

Domitille, 475 kg, la petite nouvelle, Omer, 575 kg et datant de 1686, et celle de 1933, restaurée, appelée Jeanne, sont les cloches de la cathédrale d’Arras. Toutes trois ont été bénies par Mgr Jean-Paul Jaeger.

L’évêque d’Arras a dit sa «  joie particulière  » de prendre part à «  un événement exceptionnel  » dans une cathédrale bondée.

«  Avec ces cloches, c’est la cathédrale qui va retrouver sa voix à l’extérieur. C’est le signe

Lire la suite…

Communiqué sur la situation de Points-Coeur

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 10:32 AM PST

Communiqué sur la situation de Points-Coeur

Par Points-Coeur :

Suite à la publication dans le « Var matin » du 25 février de l’article « Le père Thierry de Roucy bientôt excommunié » à partir d’informations communiquées par l’évêché de Fréjus-Toulon et aux nombreuses réactions de surprise, d’incompréhension et d’indignation suscitées par ce dernier, il nous apparaît nécessaire de préciser les points suivants.

1) Quelle communication ?

Nous ne pouvons que manifester notre grande surprise en constatant que la presse fut l’interlocuteur privilégié

Lire la suite…

La Fraternité Saint-Pierre en Irlande

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 08:00 AM PST

La Fraternité Saint-Pierre en Irlande

Depuis quelques années, des prêtres de la Fraternité Saint-Pierre assure la célébration de la messe ponctuellement en plusieurs diocèses irlandais. Au jour d’aujourd’hui, elle n’a pas de prêtres résidents dans le pays mais assure plusieurs messes ‘mensuelles’ :

Nouvel apostolat dans l’Ile des saints: après Cork, la Fraternité assure depuis le mois de janvier, toujours à partir la Maison générale de Fribourg, une messe mensuelle le dimanche à la Cathédrale de Waterford en Irlande.

Un … Lire la suite…

Agenda: Les Camps pour enfants et jeunes organisés par l’Institut du Christ Roi

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 06:41 AM PST

Agenda: Les Camps pour enfants et jeunes organisés par l’Institut du Christ Roi

L’Institut du Christ Roi propose plusieurs camps d’été pour les enfants : Renseignements et inscriptions sur ce site spécifique

Lire la suite…

Mgr Santier incite à s’engager en politique

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 04:54 AM PST

Mgr Santier incite à s’engager en politique

L’évêque de Créteil donne ses clés de lecture pour découvrir l’ouvrage des évêques de France « Dans un monde qui change, retrouver le sens du politique » :

Lire la suite…

Une ordination dans la forme extraordinaire au Nigéria

Posted: 27 Feb 2017 01:30 AM PST

Une ordination dans la forme extraordinaire au Nigéria

La Fraternité Saint-Pierre a annoncé qu’en plus des ordinations annoncées aux Etats-Unis, en Allemagne, en Angleterre (les premières dans la forme extraordinaire depuis la réforme liturgique), un prêtre sera ordonné au Nigéria le 15 août prochain. D’après notre calcul, la Fraternité Saint-Pierre devrait connaître en 2017 son plus important nombre d’ordinations sacerdotales depuis sa fondation en 1988.

Lettre de mars de la Confraternité Saint-Pierre

Après les toutes premières ordinations sacerdotales en Angleterre annoncée pour

Lire la suite…


 

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Le blog de Frédéric Delorca:Renouveaux nationaux, Equateur, The Empire Files

 

Le blog de Frédéric Delorca

Renouveaux nationaux, Equateur, The Empire Files

27 Février 2017 , Rédigé par Frédéric Delorca Publié dans #Colonialisme-impérialisme, #La droite, #Grundlegung zur Metaphysik, #Peuples d’Europe et UE, #Débats chez les « résistants », #Espagne

Les identités nationales relèvent la tête. En Grande-Bretagne UKIP ne veut plus recevoir de leçons d’anticolonialisme (c’est pourquoi je pense que Macron avec sa tirade sur l’Algérie a 10 ans de retard par rapport à l’histoire des idées, même s’il est exact que les crimes de guerre là bas furent atroces au 19e siècle comme dans les années 50-60). En Espagne dans El Pais du 27 février, l’universitaire andalouse María Elvira Roca Barea explique : L’Inquisition a tué 1 300 personnes en 140 ans, Calvin en a brûlé 500 en 20 ans. Elle se propose de lutter contre l’hispanophobie qui a inspiré l’intelligentsia européenne depuis le 18e siècle (un sujet que j’ai un peu abordé en parlant de Custine il y a 5 ans – déjà !).

Mon petit côté romanesque me fait m’intéresser à cette Clémentine Autain de droite qu’est la journaliste Charlotte d’Ornellas, née en 1986,visage de Jeanne d’Arc en 2002, qui avait en 2014 nourri les polémiques avec un article dans Boulevard Voltaire sur un viol avec actes de barbarie sur un Française de 18 ans par des jeune morveux proche-orientaux à Evry. L’hiver dernier elle se réjouissait de la libération d’Alep Est, puis publiait un livre sur les chrétiens d’Orient et fondait une revue qui chante la louange de Marion-Maréchal Le Pen. Un fossé m’a toujours séparé des catholiques conservateurs que j’ai connus au cours des trois dernières décennies, et plus encore maintenant que je commence à comprendre certains ressorts métaphysiques de ce monde (un sujet qu’hélas je ne peux pas trop aborder dans ce blog car je ne veux pas choquer les lecteurs laïques). Mais il est toujours intéressant de découvrir ce qui fait la chair et le sang des diverses tendances politiques, puisqu’il faut bien que les idées s’incarnent.

La lecture d’Emmanuel Berl me fait prendre du recul à la fois à l’égard de ce qui à fait la grandeur et la misère de l’internationalisme et de ce qui a fait et fera la grandeur et la misère des nationalismes. Le mouvement de balancier a l’air assez inévitable, même s’il est vrai que la technologie en complique la problématique ou en atténue la portée.

On s’inquiète en ce moment de la possible défaite au second tour de la présidentielle le 2 avril prochain du dauphin de Correa en Equateur. Le président sortant a un plan B pour provoquer une « mort croisée » de l’exécutif et du parlement (acquis à sa cause) un an plus tard. La constitution le lui permet. Mais en attendant c’est Assange qui en ferait les frais. Tout cela en partie à cause de la candidature au premier tour de Cinthia Viteri (cf ci dessous). Mais pas seulement bien sûr… La défaite de la gauche au 1er tour dans les zones orientales indigènes où sévit l’extraction pétrolière doit faire réfléchir…

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OnePeterFive:After Nearly a Year, Female Diaconate Still Being Advanced by Vatican

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After Nearly a Year, Female Diaconate Still Being Advanced by Vatican

(Image: Prassede Mosaic depicting “Episcopa” Theodora, believed by feminist theologians to be an example of women’s ordination in the Early Church; Source)

On May 12, 2016, during a meeting with 800 women serving as general superiors of religious orders from around the world, Pope Francis surprised Catholics everywhere when he announced that he was preparing to set up a commission to investigate “deaconnesses” in the early Church — a proposal that came in response to a question as to whether such women might have a role in 21st century Catholicism. Shortly thereafter, Pope Francis’ favorite harbinger of radical change, Cardinal Walter Kasper, began advancing the issue in an interview with La Repubblica:

“There is going to be a fierce debate, I think. On this issue, the Church is split down the middle,” German Cardinal Walter Kasper said in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica.

Kasper’s comments came a day after Francis said he would set up a commission to study the possibility of having women serving as deacons, ordained members of the clergy who can carry out many of the duties of priests.

Kasper, one of the most influential liberal voices in Catholicism, said Francis wanted the issues aired after years of demands for women to have a greater role in the Church hierarchy.

“I personally don’t have a clear position but I am always open to and ready for innovation,” Kasper said, adding it was impossible to predict the outcome of the review.
“If you look at what has happened in the past, it would lead you to say no (to female deacons). But anything is possible.” [emphasis added]

At the time, I shortsightedly observed that I didn’t “expect much movement on female deacons. They’ll dredge it up and look at it all over again, and very little will come of it, despite the excitement of Fr. James Martin and company.” My primary concern was the near-constant introduction of novelty, and the instability it causes in the Catholic mindset.

And at first, it appeared I might have been correct. After a brief flurry in the Catholic media, the matter died down from public view as the controversy over the then newly-released post synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, surged. Nevertheless, in August of 2016, the commission proposed by Pope Francis was established. And quietly, the question of a female diaconate has continuously been advanced behind the scenes ever since.

Looking back over the past year it’s possible to observe small glimpses of this agenda surfacing. In May 2016, Dr. Stefan Sander, a German theologian and the managing director of the International Diaconate Center in Rottenburg, was received in a papal audience. Dr. Sander has been on record as an advocate for the female diaconate, and he published a report that same month with Radio Vatikan — the German division of Vatican Radio — entitled, “The Church Needs Women as Deaconesses.” As Maike Hickson reported at the time:

Sander now claims, according to katholisch.de, that “there is no dogmatic stipulation that would exclude women from the diaconate.” As Sander told Radio Vatikan: “A diaconal Church needs the deacon, and a diaconal Church needs the women!” He continues, by saying: “In my view, this Church also needs women as deaconesses.”

In June 2016, there was another blip on the radar. A meeting of the group “Women’s Ordination Worldwide” was held in Rome, and the group was granted an audience with the Vatican Secretariat of State. A petition with their concerns was given to the pope, and they were allowed to protest in the gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo on the very same day that the Pope was offering a jubilee mass for priests in St Peter’s Square. Members of the group were also given tickets to attend that papal Mass for priests, a symbolic gesture not lost on their leadership:

“We thought that the Jubilee for Priests was a perfect time to really give an offering and a celebration for all women called to priesthood,” said Kate McElwee, co-executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, the U.S.-based member of WOW. “We really wanted to have this as a celebration and a serious conversation of women in the church.”

In August of 2016, a statement was released by the Central Committee of German Catholics (Zentralrat der Deutschen Katholiken – ZDK) — the largest lay organization in that country — advocating a relaxation of the rules of priestly celibacy in response to Germany’s devastating vocational crisis. In the statement from ZDK, there was another theme – a proposal to further discuss the idea of female deacons.

The issue of relaxing priestly celibacy came up again in September 2016, in separate reports from Vaticanistas Marco Tosatti and Sandro Magister. And while the question of female deacons was not specifically addressed in these reports, the not uncommon intermingling of calls for the relaxation of priestly celibacy and a move toward the female diaconate, as seen in the ZDK statement above, should be remembered when evaluating such proposals. At the time, Magister spoke of a possible forthcoming “Amazon synod” that would address certain issues that might therefore also invite conversation on the female diaconate:

There is renewed vigor behind the rumor that Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to assign to the next worldwide synod of bishops, scheduled for 2018, precisely the question of ordained ministers, bishops, priests, deacons, including the ordination of married men.

In December 2016, noted liberation theologian Leonardo Boff gave an interview to the German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. In her translation of that interview, Maike Hickson reported a noteworthy observation by Boff which echoed Magister’s prediction:

[Boff]: …Only recently, Cardinal Walter Kasper, a close confidant of the pope, told me that soon there will be some great surprises.

Q: What do you expect?

Who knows? Perhaps a diaconate for women, after all. Or the possibility that married priests may be again engaged in pastoral care. That is an explicit request from the Brazilian bishops to the pope, especially from his friend, the retired Brazilian Curial Cardinal Claudio Hummes. I have heard that the pope wants to meet this request – for now and for a certain experimental period in Brazil.  [emphasis added]

What was only rumor at the time of Magister’s report and Boff’s interview has since been at least partially confirmed as fact. We now know that the next synod will take place in 2018, and that the topic will be “Youth, faith and vocational discernment”. In the synod’s preparatory document, released in January 2017, there is nothing specifically addressing priestly celibacy or the female diaconate, but there is language that could easily establish the groundwork for such innovations:

Accompanying young people requires going beyond a preconceived framework, encountering young people where they are, adapting to their times and pace of life and taking them seriously. This is to be done as young people seek to make sense of the reality in which they live and to utilize the message which they have received in words and deeds in their daily attempts to create a personal history and in the more-or-less conscious search for meaning in their lives.

[…]

Precisely because the proposed message involves the freedom of young people, every community needs to give importance to creative ways of addressing young people in a personal way and supporting personal development. In many cases, the task involves learning to allow for something new and not stifling what is new by attempting to apply a preconceived framework. No seed for vocations can be fruitful if approached with a closed and “complacent pastoral attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way’” and without people being “bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities” (Evangelii gaudium, 33). [emphasis added]

In February 2017, Magister again noted a more significant development in the push toward a female diaconate — one which comes by way of revisiting the question of women’s ordination to the priesthood:

On August 2, 2016, Pope Francis instituted a commission to study the history of the female diaconate, for the purpose of its possible restoration. And some have seen this as a first step toward priesthood for women, in spite of the fact that Francis himself seems to have ruled it out absolutely, responding as follows to a question on the return flight from his journey to Sweden last November 1 (in the photo, his embrace with Swedish Lutheran archbishop Antje Jackelen):

“For the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last clear word was given by Saint John Paul II, and this holds.”

But to read the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the question of women priests appears to be anything but closed. On the contrary, wide open.

“La Civiltà Cattolica” is not just any magazine. By statute, every line of it is printed after inspection by the Holy See. But in addition there is the very close confidential relationship between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the magazine’s editor, the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro.

Who in turn has his most trusted colleague in deputy editor Giancarlo Pani, he too a Jesuit like all the writers of the magazine.

So then, in the article with his byline that appears in the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” Fr. Pani calmly rips to shreds the “last clear word” – meaning the flat no – that John Paul II spoke against women’s priesthood.

To see how, all it takes is to reread this passage of the article, properly speaking dedicated to the question of women deacons, but taking the cue from there to express hopes for women priests as well.

Specifically, Fr. Pani asserts:

The historical fact of the exclusion of woman from the priesthood because of the “impedimentum sexus” is undeniable. Nevertheless, already in 1948, and therefore well ahead of the disputes of the 1960’s, Fr. Congar pointed out that “the absence of a fact is not a decisive criterion for concluding prudently in every case that the Church cannot do it and will never do it.”

Moreover, another theologian adds, the “consensus fidelium” of many centuries has been called into question in the 20th century above all on account of the profound sociocultural changes concerning woman. It would not make sense to maintain that the Church must change only because the times have changed, but it remains true that a doctrine proposed by the Church needs to be understood by the believing intelligence. The dispute over women priests could be set in parallel with other moments of Church history; in any case, today in the question of female priesthood the “auctoritates,” or official positions of the magisterium, are clear, but many Catholics have a hard time understanding the “rationes” of decisions that, more than expressions of authority, appear to signify authoritarianism. Today there is unease among those who fail to understand how the exclusion of woman from the Church’s ministry can coexist with the affirmation and appreciation of her equal dignity.”

Magister sums up:

In the judgment of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” therefore, not only should the infallibility and definitiveness of John Paul II’s “no” to women priests be brought into doubt, but more important than this “no” are the “developments that the presence of woman in the family and society has undergone in the 21st century.”

And then, in language very much reminiscent of the above-cited preparatory document for the 2018 synod, Magister exposes Pani’s conclusion:

One cannot always resort to the past, as if only in the past are there indications of the Spirit. Today as well the Spirit is guiding the Church and suggesting the courageous assumption of new perspectives.

And Francis is the first “not to limit himself to what is already known, but wants to delve into a complex and relevant field, so that it may be the Spirit who guides the Church,” concludes “La Civiltà Cattolica,” evidently with the pope’s imprimatur. [emphasis added]

This push from La Civiltà Cattolica, a periodical that is reportedly reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication, can hardly be seen as merely speculative. As Canadian priest and Convivium editor Fr. Raymond de Souza wrote in 2015, La Civiltà Cattolica editor Father Antonio Spadaro is “both a close confidant and mouthpiece of Pope Francis. It is inconceivable that he would write something contrary to what the Holy Father desired.” What is likely happening in Father Pani’s piece, therefore, is likely the setting up the thesis and antithesis in one of Francis’ favorite approaches to injecting controversial issues into the heart of the Church: the Hegelian dialectic. If John Paul II’s “final word” in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is the thesis; Pani’s promotion of a female priesthood the antithesis.

And the synthesis?

This has now, it seems, been presented to us by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture. In a February 24, 2017 interview with the official online publication of the German bishops, katholisch.de, Ravasi pushes the issue of the female diaconate further into the Catholic consciousness. Asked what possibilities he sees for women in the Catholic Church, Ravasi responded:

A diaconate for women would be possible, I think. But of course, it must be discussed, the historical tradition is very complex. In general, I think it is clerical to constantly focus on women’s priesthood. Why do we not start talking about other, very important functions of women in the Church? For example, the leading of a parish, from a structural point of view. Or the area of catechesis, volunteering, finance, architectural planning, design. Why should that not be in the hands of women? Also in Vatican institutions, there could be a stronger presence of women, at higher levels. This is what the Pope also said. Of course, this does not happen immediately.*

The interviewer noted that Ravasi has implemented a first — a female only advisory body for his Pontifical Council for Culture. Ravasi responded with some background on these 35 women – noting that there are among their number Muslims, a Jew, and “non-believers”. He goes on to say that he hopes what he has done will be a model for other Pontifical Councils. When asked why the only pontifical commission with female advisers is Ravasi’s own, he dismissed the insinuation that it is because culture doesn’t play a significant role in the Vatican. He also warned against a danger of women in such roles as being seen as merely filling a “quota”. He then went on to say:

Of course, I also take a risk here. If one of the female counselors, for example, would say that she is in favor of the female priesthood — and in my opinion it would be legitimate to express her opinion — most probably afterwards, there would be the headline: Cardinal Ravasi has proposed the female priesthood. This ambiguity in the field of communication and in the media is currently a very big problem.

It appears here that Ravasi thinks women in positions of influence at the Vatican advancing the idea of a female priesthood are perfectly acceptable. As for the communication problem he says such a statement would represent — namely, that he would be associated with any such position put forward by one of his advisers — it appears to be a problem that nobody in the Vatican is very keen to solve. After all, such a statement attributed to a cardinal of stature like Ravasi is just the kind of thing that helps keep the issue of the female diaconate moving forward. And too much work has already gone into that cause for it to be merely a trivial piece of the papal agenda.

* Translation by Maike Hickson. This post has been updated.

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