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Paglia: It's not a commission. It's a "study group"!

by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 19, 2017

In my last column, I reported on an article by Roberto de Mattei confirming the existence of a “secret” commission to “reinterpret” Humanae Vitae (HV) in light of Amoris Laetitia (AL), which dares to introduce a form of situation ethics into the life of the Church respecting obedience to the Sixth Commandment.  The commission, says de Mattei, is coordinated by Gilfredo Marengo and its members are Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, Prof. Philippe Chenaux, and Msgr. Angelo Maffeis.

Contraception, which HV condemns as “absolutely excluded” in an affirmation of the Church’s constant moral teaching, is a patent violation of the Sixth Commandment, which AL, Chapter 8, purports to subject to certain exceptions based on “different situations” and “concrete cases” involving divorce and civil “remarriage.”

Application of AL’s “novelties” to HV could not fail to produce the same outcome we now see respecting the admission of divorced and “remarried” persons to Holy Communion: what Edward Pentin has called “doctrinal anarchy,” as the bishops of Buenos Aires, Malta, Sicily, Belgium, the Philippines and Germany issue “guidelines” to permit this mass sacrilege, while the bishops of Poland and elsewhere maintain the constant teaching of the Church that Holy Communion for public adulterers is intrinsically impossible. The catastrophic result, Pentin observes, is that “geographical location becomes the determining factor on whether you must adhere to traditional Church teaching and practice, or not.”

In the wake of de Mattei’s report on the HV commission, a carefully worded denial has come from Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. Pro-“gay” and pro-Holy Communion for adulterers, Paglia is also a defender of the scandalous homoerotic mural he commissioned in his former diocesan cathedral, created by a notorious homosexual artist, which includes a semi-nude image of himself. In 2016, he was installed by Pope Bergoglio as President of the gutted Pontifical Council for Life, whose new membership now includes a “moderately” pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia Anglican “theologian.”

According to Catholic News Agency, Paglia — whose credibility hovers around zero as far as I am concerned — declares: “I can confirm that there is no pontifical commission called to re-read or to re-interpret Humanae vitae. However, we should look positively on all those initiatives, such as that of professor Marengo of the John Paul II Institute, which aim at studying and deepening this document in view of the 50th anniversary of its publication…” 

Translation: the group that is examining HV in order to “deepen” it — Modernist code for subverting its teaching — does indeed exist, and it is indeed headed by Marengo, even if it is not formally designated a pontifical commission.

CNA reports that Marengo, for his part, derides de Mattei’s “imaginative report.” But Marengo does not deny that he heads a group that is studying HV in order to “deepen it” and that the group includes Pierangelo Sequeri, Philippe Chenaux, and Angelo Maffeis.

Moreover, CNA further reports that “a source in the Pontifical Lateran University, speaking on background, told CNA there is ongoing research in the university archives on the encyclical’s genesis,” which is exactly what de Mattei has claimed, referring to the “preparatory work” whose authors urged the Pope to change the Church’s infallible teaching.

As CNA notes: “It may be that what has been reported as a ‘papal commission’ is one of the many study groups on Humanae vitae created as its major anniversary approaches. In fact, the source at the Pontifical Lateran University told CNA that ‘many studies are underway’ and that ‘Pope Francis has been informed of them, and has encouraged them.’”

Many studies! Many study groups! But what is there to “study,” given the constant teaching of the Church that contraception, as Paul VI teaches in HV, is “absolutely excluded” and “intrinsically” wrong? Here is the answer: Marengo and his group are “studying” ways to subvert HV while appearing to affirm its teaching — the usual Modernist two-step.  

Marengo, et al. will of course deny such intent. A Modernist always denies what he is affirming. But their denials are about as credible as the claim that the Synod of 2014-2015 was all about defending marriage and the family. The whole Church can now see that lie for what it always was from the Fatima perspective.