Category Archives: Catholicism
I truly believe that unless we return to the very basics in our preaching, in our school texts and in our public statements, and unless we return to a liturgy that is God-focused rather than people-centred, we will continue to see the Church dwindle by lapsation and lose influence in society. We need to be formed again, theologically and catachetically. in key issues: the Primacy of the Pope in Doctrine and Discipline; the unique nature of the Catholic Church as the One True Church from which all salvation flows; the necessity of regular Confession for regular Communion; the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary and not simply a fraternal banquet; the inherent evil of contraception; of fornication, abortion and euthanasia. We also need to rediscover the essential vocation and responsibility of the laity as the salt of the earth wherein they set out to evangelisation of the world in its media, health care, politics, education etc. We in the clergy need to remember that we serve by taking responsibility (not power) before God for the teaching, sanctifying and governing of the Church. Collaboration does not mean shirking this responsibility.
This is an excerpt from a very good post at “Catholic Collar and Tie” (this one is from the “collar”, if you ask), where a priest reflects on what went wrong and why. His very fitting reflections conclude with another phrase I cannot avoid citing:
In that it is the Truth which sets us free, I believe we have to return –and return soon- to forming them in doctrinal accuracy and in the understanding that Holy Mass is the worship of God in adoration, propitiation and supplication, rather than a community jamboree, which it becomes when we seek jolly songs and use skits and dramas.
The part about “who is Jesus Christ for you?” must also reflect a common problem in English school, as it is not the first time I hear of such nonsense (didn’t happen in my country and in my time, happily. We weren’t asked who Jesus is. We were told. At least that).
I suggest that you click and read the post in its entirety, and also focused on the first comment, from “Adrienne”, which truly gives a realistic picture of what is happening.
It is consoling to see that some of the younger priests “get it” and do not continue in the delusions of their older colleagues, who seem to consider the “key issues” like immaterial options that can be left out provided one has a good heart, or the like .
I had to smile when I read on Rorate that Pope Francis is asking the Pontiff Emeritus to … complete the encyclical letter on Faith. I could almost hear the Pontiff says to the Emeritus, in tears, “aiutami, Benedetto!” after comparing the existing text with his own additions…
Don’t take me seriously, of course. It is normal for encyclical letters to be either written or co-written with expert theologians (when they are expert, or rather orthodox), and even a smart Pope like Pius XI asked his very own Cardinal Pacelli to write Mit Brennender Sorge. Nothing wrong or unusual per se.
Still, I had to smile…
Also interesting is the other news the Pope is working at an encyclical letter on (you guessed it) poverty, hopefully and allegedly intended in the proper way. Beati pauperes is clearly being hinted as a possible name for this effort.
We shall see, but I don’t think I’ll need to read any period of this twice, or will emerge from the reading tremendously enriched.
No great risk of controversy, either. Expect rather grilled tofu on soya sauce. I do not doubt the, ahem, simplest Catholics will be delighted, and the tofu blogosphere will be utterly, utterly delighted.
We shall see, and read. I do not doubt which of the two encyclicals will make the better reading.
I have read around in a blog I prefer not to mention an interesting post concerning “intrinsic disorder”. Leaving aside the sugary parts (the “thoughtful debate” therein mentioned, with the perfectly meaningless conclusion that “the Church must listen to the gay community”, but also “the gay community must listen to the Church”, which is a soundbite meaning perfectly nothing) what surprised me is the analogy between gluttony and homosexuality. The very fact that such an analogy could be made is in my eyes another example of a subterranean Protestant current easily to be found in Anglo-Saxon countries, perhaps not at an explicit level (the blogger in question does not make the comparison; many of the author’s readers will), but certainly at the level of underlying mental and moral category.
To an Italian, to even think to put gluttony and homosexuality on the same plane of “intrinsic disorder” flies in the face of common sense, and means to be no more than 2.5 inches away from Protestantism.
Common sense and Christian tradition have always made a great difference between those sins that go with nature, and those sins that go against it. Gluttony is certainly a capital sin, and at some point it will become a mortal sin, too. But the desire for food is, in itself, perfectly natural, rather indispensable for the human existence and completely God-given. This is absolutely not the case for someone whose “intrinsic disorder” consists in wanting to screw a dog, or his mother, or a person of the same sex, or a child. These kinds of behaviour all blatantly go against the very fabric of our human nature; far from being a wrong use of, or excessive dependence from, or even obsession with what is a God-given desire, they go frontally against the way God made us. God makes every healthy man with the desire for good food, but none with the desire of the abominations described above.
This seems to me such an obvious thought, that a discussion about it appears perfectly superfluous; but this is not the first time the way of thinking explained above is, if not openly professed (again, the post merely makes the point one can send yourself to hell with gluttony, and to get the excuse that “it is part of me” won’t help much in the end), at least invited, or involuntary suggested, in a public area.
We must recover sound thinking and common sense in the discussion about Catholic morals; and we can do it only if we serenely acknowledge, and openly profess, that there is an intrinsic gulf between the immoderate or misguided use of desires that are supposed to be there, and the perversion (per and versio, “wrong direction”) resulting in desires that are utterly disgusting, and conflicting with natural law.
This lack of proper focus, or if you wish this inability to see the forest of reason and common sense because of the obsession with the trees of this or that verse, or this or that public statement, of this or that desire to be “inclusive”, appears to me another speciality of the Protestant world, where the madness of sola scriptura has caused a century-long tradition in word-picking and a high specialisation in self-serving private interpretation of Scripture; until the point comes when the forest is completely out of sight.
We must reacquire the habit of talking straight and call a pervert a pervert and an abomination an abomination. There is an intrinsic and ontological difference, not merely a variance in degree, between the sin of a glutton and the sin of a sodomite. We must say this straight, because to mix up things in that way isn’t charitable, merely extremely dangerous for human souls, potentially including ours.
We recover proper Catholicism by recovering healthy thinking, and accepting that Christianity – and more so Catholicism – never go against sound wisdom and elementary common sense.
In my neck of the wood it is becoming more frequent to see pregnant women wearing a “baby on board” badge. Whilst this is very nice, it must also be noted no one asks the women in question where is the baby they are supposed to be carrying, or whether they have forgotten him at home. Everyone knows the baby is the human being inside her mother, a human life obviously and naturally perceived as such.
Isn’t it strange that a society which so unquestioningly accepts the creature in the womb is a baby also unquestioningly allows this baby to be killed, perfectly legally and basically – if not formally – on demand?
But then again this is the same society which claims to value marriage and family, but allows perverts to live together as faggot & faggot (or lesbian and lesbian) without any problem. Par for the course, then.
And so the Gay Scouts Of America have decided that young faggots can flaunt their perversion in front of your children, and get in touch with them. It will take some time before faggotry paves its way to the leaders, but it appears clearly unavoidable as once you give up the principle the rest will follow from itself.
I am now curious to see what excuses bad Catholic bishops will take to justify the permanence of Catholic boys in this organisation, now officially dominated by Mormons, liberal Proddies, and corporate money.
I truly hope the sane elements among the Boy Scouts will defect and create parallel organisations, something certainly not difficult to do once the local organisation is … already there.
I also make an easy prediction: the numbers will continue to go south, and the cry for the admission of homosexual leaders will become louder in just a few years' time. It is the logic of the Presbyterians; which is illogical, but they don't know that.
The Boy Scouts of America (and of many European Countries) join the number of organisations now polluted by the satanic influence of the times, and which therefore deserve to die. Which they will do one day, but not before helping to ruin countless souls.
I do not know you, but I think that the shallowness of this Pope is getting seriously embarrassing. This, if we charitably assume that the Pope is being merely unintentionally shallow rather than wilfully disingenuous. As one tries to be charitable particularly concerning the Holy Father, I suggest we assume the first, but never become blind to the possibility of the second.
“Nessuno deve uccidere in nome di Dio” and “anche soltanto dirlo e’ una bestemmia”, the Pope has declared in one of his rather spontaneous sermons. Now, in Italian “uccidere” is in common parlance used both for killing and for murder, and the context tells you which is which, though if you mean “murder” you may well use unambiguous words like “assassinare”.
Therefore, the words of the Pope can be interpreted in an orthodox way (“no one can commit a murder in the name of God, and even to say so is blasphemy”; I certainly can’t hack a man to pieces with a meat cleaver in the name of God), but can also be understood in the “spirit of V II”, pacifist way of “no one can wage war in the name of God, and even to say so is a blasphemy”; negative implications for the capital punishment can be drawn in exactly the same way.
Now, has the Pope said countless saints of the past (think of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the real engine beside the promotion of the Second Crusade; or even Saint Francis, another great friend of the Crusades, to mention just two) were blasphemous, together with all those men who risked or gave their life in battle for Christ? No, he didn’t say so and, if confronted with the thoughtless shallowness of his own words, he would certainly deny it.
Still, this is the way everyone who so desires will be able to understand the Pope’s words, and there is no denying the constant desire for popularity coming from the Vatican media outlets took care that this is the case.
Now, whenever the Pope makes such affirmations we are not given the full text of the homily, possibly because of the inordinate rambling therein contained; but as the Pope allows this to happen, and allows the Vatican Radio to publish the “convenient” and “savoury” snippets of his sermons, he must be held responsible for the consequences of their posturing and cheap marketing.
Therefore, either the Pope knows better, but wilfully sows these kindergarten banalities in order to become popular among the ignorant and the stupid (we do not want to think that, if we can); or, more probably and more charitably, he is a man of such little depth that whenever he talks in public he utters every thought that comes to his mind without reflecting on the implications, and without any concern for the way his words will be interpreted; what this also tells us about his well-publicised humility, I will leave it for you to decide.
This Pope has been compared to a country priest. Frankly, I think we have the right to expect better than that from a country priest, too; but at least the country priest doesn’t have the Vatican Radio website to divulge urbi et orbi whatever is produced by his “streams of consciousness”.
My suggestion is that the Vatican Radio website either ignores the Pope’s homily or publishes them in their entirety. But the best solution would be that the Holy Father starts to understand what his role entails and to read homilies carefully prepared (possibly not by him, or reviewed by a sound theologian) beforehand, so that both theological nonsense and ambiguities are avoided.
This Papacy is becoming a kindergarten. The Pope seems not displeased.
Two men sit in a car around 2pm in a busy street in London, near the Woolwich Barracks. They wait for someone to come out. When this happens, they knock him down with the car, with a violence showed by the damage to the vehicle as it ends against a post.
The two get out of the car and start to, literally, butcher the man alive, insulting him and shouting Islamic slogans. They are armed with a least a big knife and a meat cleaver (yes, a meat cleaver), apparently also with a machete that I have not seen in any video.
After the murder they remain there, shouting, inviting people to get near, and take photos and videos. The man with the meat cleaver, his arm and hands covered in blood, rants his Islamic slogans. They are clearly waiting for the armed police to arrive and probably shoot them. After an astonishingly long 20 minutes the armed police is there, and punctually takes both of them down. One is gravely wounded, and is transported with a helicopter to an hospital to (oh, the irony…) save his life.
Not even the stupidest, most brainwashed liberal out there can have any doubt these people were compos mentis, and will be convicted as surely as the “amen” in the church.
In saner times, they would have been condemned to death. In a case like this – an obviously premeditated murder, and a brutally cruel one at that, against a man targeted purely for being a soldier – the capital punishment is not only the expression of an elementary sense of justice, but is also very useful for the murderers, as the approaching of the punishment for their deed helps them to repent and die at peace with at least their god, hoping the real one considers it sufficient to avoid hell. They say – and I do believe – that the approaching of death concentrates the mind beautifully.
This was also what happened in, say, the Papal States. Justice required foul murders to be paid with one's life, and charity provided spiritual assistance to the very end. Who knows how many have (obviously helped by God's grace) managed to achieve a happy death at the gallows, who might otherwise not have been achieved.
Not in these disgraceful times, though. You can butcher a man you have never seen with a meat clever, and an army of social workers will be busy on you for the decades to come, the prospect of freedom one day a distant, but not unrealistic one. The social workers will, in fact, do all they can to avoid realising you are just evil; you must be mad, or at least reformable if enough employment opportunities for the likes of them (not you; them) is given.
Modern society is so scared with death that it does not want to contemplate it, not even for evil bastards like these two. The country simply removes the reality of death from its radar screen for as long as it gets. Life (all life; even the foxes' or the badgers') is one of the sacred cows of our godless societies.
Let us congratulate, then, the two bastards; who after having butchered a man alive have now the perspective of a long life, all expenses courtesy of the stupid taxpayer, whilst feeling like heroes.
Someone tweeted me the question whether I believe that V II was not the work of the Holy Spirit. The tweet was possibly a joke, as anyone who takes two minutes to read my blog cannot really have many doubts where I stand. Still, we must confront the tragic reality that as I write this there are people out there who in fact believe the Holy Ghost, instead of Satan, was the source of inspiration for the entire matter.
So let us think for a moment what the logical consequence of this thinking is. If the Holy Ghost inspired V II, it follows that the Holy Ghost has changed his mind very radically about the way to say Mass, thinking on second thoughts that the injection of Calvinist elements and the removal of Catholic elements from the Mass is just the ticket. Following, we must also agree the Holy Ghost desired that theologians censored by the Church only a few years before may now be called to redefine what Catholic theology is, even trying, as they almost successfully did, to demolish Papal authority or – as, if memory serves, Rahner tried, inter alia, to do – to steer the Church towards embracing the Protestant tenet of sola fide.
Further, the Holy Ghost must in this perspective have wanted the most spectacular exercise in muddling of Church teaching ever attempted in two thousand years – involving key aspects of the Church, like religious freedom – with the explosion of duplicity and doublespeak – and the utter abandonment of clear theological language and Thomist thinking – found pretty much everywhere in the conciliar documents.
But this is not all. The biggest crisis of vocations ever experienced, and a significant percentage of the clergy leaving the habit, must also have been wanted by the Holy Ghost, because if the Holy Ghost wills a revolutionary council he must perforce will its consequences. From this follows, with elegant inevitability, that the Holy Ghost also willed (as opposed to: allowed) the huge loss of grip of the Church in Catholic countries, and Catholics all over the West starting to divorce, contracept and abort in a manner not really distinguishable from the ways of non-Catholics.
I could go on for very long, but I will keep it short. In short, the idea of these people is that the Holy Ghost both changes his mind and starts doing things in a catastrophically wrong way.
If you ask me, in order to believe such a huge load of rubbish one must be equipped with either a very low intelligence, or a robust dose of disingenuousness, or a substantial emotional investment blinding him to the obvious error of his ways. I’d say the first kind is rather spread among the less gifted pew sitters; the second is the preserve of those desiring to do away with hell and all the unpleasant teachings, and the third is the main trait of most of the clergy, starting from the Popes – all of them, almost certainly; though we do not know what Pope Luciani would have done with V II behind the usual words – and ending with the stupid priest wishing “a bigger role for women with the new Papacy” about whom yours truly has reported.
To all of them is common a good dose of denial. To see so many Western countries introduce a parody of marriage whilst church attendance plummets to very low levels and still think that this is nothing to do with the Church’s surrender to the desire of popularity and harmony proves that it is the desire not to see that blinds them, and makes them think V II may have something to do with the Holy Ghost rather than being an open attack to Him.
In the meantime, we experience a new generation of Catholics: those whose sons are generally indifferent and whose nephews don’t get baptised. I wonder when this has happened last. I actually wonder whether it has ever happened in the first place.
Two generations after V II, we are seeing post-Christianity at work. To say this immense work of demolition of Christian societies all over the West is merely a problem of implementation has the same content of intelligence and logic as to maintain Communism was good, but unfortunately its implementation was lacking.
As I write this, the death count of the Oklahoma tornado is at 91. My and your prayers are, I am sure, with the deceased and their love ones.
As this is a Catholic blog, though, I would like to share some of the very politically incorrect thought that went through my mind as I heard the news. How many of the deceased believed in God? Did they have time to prepare themselves? How many of them are now saved, and how many condemned?
“But Mundabor, how can you have such insensitive thoughts when so many have died? How can you even think that this is the time to think about hell? How can you, come to that, think that God would send to hell even one of those whom he deprived of life in such a way? And the children, the children! How can you imagine God would send even one of them to hell??!!”.
Well, I have insensitive thoughts because I think the thought of salvation and damnation is not only never out of place, but actually very salutary in situations like this, reminding us in a very media effective way that in the midst of life we are in death. I also think that every day is the right day to think about hell, and that a day without a single thought of hell was probably a day that could have been better employed. I also, being a Catholic, do not think that dead people become heroes, or saints, just for being dead. Actually, I think the reality is far more sobering: after death the judgment.
Being a Catholic I also know that the cards of those children who died unbaptised are rather bad, with limbo to be generally expected for the little ones, and hell for many of the not so little anymore. It is important to be baptised. Actually, it is vital. Our forefathers knew these things, we are the only one who are so stupid to think we know better, and extend baptism by desire to pretty much everyone, probably including the cat and the dog if at all possible.
In the midst of life, we are in death. And if we didn't care two straws for God's laws in life, we will be very probably screwed forever in death. It's as insensitive as that.
You may think it cynical, or even wicked, to think (and remind others) of the fact that a number of those who died are probably in hell already. You may want to ask St. Thomas about the probability of damnation rates of less than 1%, but I won't insult your intelligence with such V II rubbish. Personally, I agree with Garrigou-Lagrange and many before him, whose tentative count would look rather different. Insensitive thoughts. But very salutary ones.
In your charity, pray for the dead; but as you pray, keep in mind there is one life, and after that the judgment. If you ask me, these are the days that can do most for us and the ones we love.
Interesting post on Father Z's blog, informing us of another disquietingly interesting innovation of these V II plagued times: the “Deaconite Couple”.
This appears to be a new, co-operative office by which the wife of a deacon, in a mysterious way, participates in the holy orders of her husband, the deacon; and in fact, the strange adjective referred to the dual entity, the “couple”, can only mean that the wife thinks – and many other pretend to believe – that some of the holy orders of the husband, in a manner of speaking, “stick” to the wife in virtue of her being… the wife.
Reading the comments, other interesting details of the life of some V II parish emerge, like the procession of the deacons and their wives at mass; another strange and more than somewhat disturbing innovation, showing not only that dissent can be expressed in more subtle ways than those of the mad nuns, but also that the V II mentality, with his allergy for the truth said whole, positively encourages such behaviour.
Now what must happen for such an interesting wannabe “innovation” to be introduced in the life of a parish? Let me think. The parish council (or however it is called) probably came up with the idea, and probably no one said “I will inform the priest of your disobedience”. The priest went along with it either because he is a nutcase, or because he is a coward, and no one told him “I will inform your bishop and Rome of your subversive behaviour”. The pew-sitters reading the announcements, parish newsletters etc. have also evidently not come to the idea of writing to the priest asking for this to stop, and if they have done they have done it too kindly, which when dealing with this kind of people is always the wrong way of doing things.
The funnier (for us) issue seems to be that some deacons have married the wrong woman and, as it often happens in these cases, don't have the guts to talk frankly to her. I can't imagine what would happen if the married priest were to become the rule within the Roman Rite: “priestly couple” galore in no time, and the procession with the wife at the start of the mass…
Vatican II pollutes the very heart of parish life. It encourages the wrong people to live in a fantasy world, where stupid personal wishes and an even more stupid desire for preeminence (I hear the woman already: “we as a Deaconite couple think inter religious dialogue is very important”) prevail over the most elementary rules of obedience. This is dissent on the sly, and I wonder how on earth can any priest be allowed to get away with that.
Vatican II is the gift that keeps on giving.
The Boy Scouts Of America (and not only of America; in other countries the situation is much worse) remind one of the Presbyterians: when the number started to dwindle, they gave away their values thinking marketing comes before ideals. The problem with that is that you generally end up failing on both sides.
I must smile when I read the pro-faggot faction claiming the decreasing membership can be countered by angering many of those who are still members, as if their belonging to the organisation were due to coincidence, or fate. It makes the same sense as to think that as boxing is declining, it is now fitting that aspiring boxers should also learn ballet.
I find the idea also stupid because it is not that the Boy Scouts have some special monopoly on their activity. They are based on territorial units which can easily detach themselves from the mother ship, or be cloned into rival organisations faithful to Christian values. The “brand” of the Boy Scouts may well still have some traction, but only as long as the existing organisation does not collide with the values of the generations before them, after which they will go, in the public perception, the way of the Presbyterians.
I do not have much hope Thursday's vote will go the right way: it is obvious that a caste of paid functionaries scared for their jobs will do all they can to have things their own way; but when the defections come, redundancies among them will be unavoidable anyway.
Loss of value, loss of prestige, and ultimately loss of jobs. This is what happens when an organisation formerly inspired by Christian values sells itself to the fashions of the day, and allows bad marketing to take the place of sound thinking.
Farewell, Boy Scouts of America? We'll soon know…
Cardinal Dolan has found another way to make an ass of himself or, seen from his perspective, to gain more points with the powers that be whilst trying to appear orthodox.
The Cardinal's intervention has already caused an uproar during the weekend, so I will not repeat what many other have eloquently written. I will, though, allow myself a couple of considerations about the motives and the forma mentis of this despicable man.
Cardinal Dolan doesn't care two straws for murdered children, or Catholicism come to that. It is clear to him the habit is a way to pursue a career exactly in the same way as he might have pursued a career, say, in marketing or, rather, politics.
In order to advance his career with the best chances of success, the Cardinal needs to do the following:
1. Be perceived as “strong” by those who do not closely follow his action; basically, he needs to be a “tough guy by hearsay”.
2. Be perceived by mainstream politicians of both colours as a safe bet: one who will never give anyone serious trouble and can therefore be helped to rise high, or at least not hindered from doing so.
3. Create an image of “popular guy”: the smiling uncle Cardinal you'd want at your table at Thanksgiving, obviously hoping he doesn't eat all the turkey.
4. Be seen by his fellow Cardinal as a harmless guy they can elect without fear of surprises; one who will produce himself in that kind of popular waffling they love so much without seriously angering anyone. The Cardinals have just elected one of those, by the way; so it works.
Notice how relentlessly the Cardinal pushes his agenda, and how well it is working for him. Observant Catholics do know he is a bad 'un, but why should he care? His public perception is what counts, and his public perception is doing just fine. The last threat of a “holy war” against a, erm, “Catholic in good standing” may be a total contradiction and an extremely stupid thing to say, but this is not how it will go down in the public opinion. For the masses, the perception will be of a tough Cardinal, because they do not think to the point of wondering what all this though talk will in the end lead to, and how can you threat holy wars without having the gut to say Cuomo is an evil man on his way to hell who must be annihilated. Dolan's wars are, evidently, fought by guffawing.
You can therefore see how the outrage among the fringe group of devout and attentive Catholics does not disturb the Cardinal in the least. Pope Francis will not be Pope forever, and with the years he will grow in stature and in weight (erm, cough) among his fellow Cardinals.
Make no mistake. His strategy is working just fine.
The first “gay Prime Minister” has been increasingly under attack during the weekend concerning his and his wife's favourite perversion. I have written about it several times in the past, and I think it is fair to say the roots are mightily angry and many MPs are suitably scared, but still no decisive action is taken.
It is as if many would think what no one dares to say: what has this idiot made of us. Unfortunately, he could make of them a party of undecisive whinos because they are a party of undecisive whinos, torn between a looming revolt among the voters and their inner prostitute suggesting they do not go against the fashion of the day.
Do it, faggots. Grow some balls, and get rid of him. Margaret Thatcher would laugh at your whining attitude, and tell you very clearly how wet you are.
Get rid of him, or you might well discover the Country wakes up, and gets rid of you.
Nice words from the Holy Father, again, and I thought I would spend a couple of words with you about them, and him.
More than once, reading the Pope’s utterances, I am reminded of a dish of spaghetti alla Carbonara: a simple, but very savoury and always pleasant dish (actually, I now think I’ll have them for lunch today…). And in fact, if our Holy Father can certainly not be called a theological high-flyer one cannot deny he has, like a good Carbonara, more than some pepper.
The last rustic dish cooked for us from the Holy Father is here, and again it has the strong but genuine flavours of the Italian kitchen: be zealous, don’t be afraid even to annoy, let people know where you stand, do not shrink back from the unpleasantness of confrontation for the right reasons.
Up to here, it is all very well.
The problem I see is, though, that the Holy Father himself is a living example of the very behaviour he criticises.
In the two months since he has been Pope, one issue has dominated the world news both in and outside the religious sphere: the so-called gay marriage. Have you heard one single word from the Pontiff about this?
One. Single. Word?
The one who tells us to be zealous, to be obnoxious, to be unpopular, to dare the fight, and who is the first one who has the duty to be zealous, to be obnoxious, to be unpopular, and to dare to fight, seems more interested in being lukewarm, agreeable, popular, and able to only crash open doors (poverty, social justice, and all that jazz); he manages, though, to be astonishingly silent, and utterly non-existent, when a real controversy presents itself. So yes, this Pope does manage to be annoying, but not for the reasons he (rightly) says we should.
God is punishing us all right for the madness of the last 50 or 60 years, by allowing the Princes of the Church to continue in their ways. We must endure this prayerfully, and hope for better times.
Still, the next time I hear someone saying all must be fine because Francis is the Pope the Holy Ghost hand picked for us I will be tempted to slap him in the face.
The usual Rorate Caeli has the integral text of Cardinal Policarpo's prayer for the consecration of Pope Francis' Pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima.
There is so much sugar it would spoil every coffee. If I read it again, I'll have to get a medical check for diabetes, so I suggest you inflict the exercise on yourself only once.
The Blessed Virgin thought it fitting to show to the three children of Fatima (operative word here is children) a horrifying vision of hell, which became famous worldwide and helps faithful to keep away from hell to this day and, no doubt, for many days to come. If you read Cardinal Policarpo, there's so much luuuv you think you are in a hippy commune, but no warning about the horrible punishment of hell, and the concrete danger it represent for everyone of us and all those we love.
I dare to doubt the Blessed Virgin will be much pleased with a Cardinal only able to pick on the good parts of the apparition to make of it another exercise in popularity quest, which is the very negation of the true charity the Blessed Virgin had for the children when she showed them the vision of hell.
But here we are: what the Blessed Virgin thought children can not only stomach, but make their own and draw great spiritual profit from, the Cardinal thinks unfitting for adult Catholics, in a message that he certinly knew would get worldwide resonance.
Not only does the Cardinal avoid every explicit threat or even mention of hell; but if you read the last sentence, he produces himself in the usual exercise in V II doublespeak, with a phrase that – particularly in the sugary context – allows all those who so desire to read it in the sense that Mary does lead all to salvation, so we will be all fine.
If you want a good example of what nuChurch is, you need to do no more than to read the Cardinal's message.
Once, of course.
A mini debate has erupted as to how to reverse the trend of slow decline that has afflicted the Church everywhere in the West. I must admit that I am somewhat surprised that there should be such discussions in the first place, because in my eyes what is wrong with the Church, and what should be done to repair her, is so simple that every uneducated devout peasant or peasant's wife living around, say, 1955 could have answered like a shot, far better than every V II polluted theologian.
The decline was caused by having the wrong people doing things the wrong way. The remedy is to have the right people doing things properly.
The faith hasn't gone south because the Wicked Witch of the West cast a spell over us, but because too many within the Church thought it uncool to do Christ's work, and started following the ways of the world instead; starting, of course, from the very top. John XXIII was a prominent example, Paul VI was an even worse one, John Paul II certainly didn't do much to reverse the trend, Pope Benedict didn't have the guts to do what he knew is right, and now we are stuck with the one who gets blessed by the Proddies, goes to Hanukkah celebrations and has the huge Pinocchio puppet and other strange things at his mass. Sleep with V II, wake up with Pope Francis.
This obviously cascades throughout the system. Bad Popes appoint bad bishops, who will be perfectly happy with bad priests, who will not care about the sheep, who will not care about God. This is the Church history of the last 50 years explained in two lines.
The remedy is, again, to do things properly. Priests who care for the salvation of souls rather than social issues, talk about hell rather than “joy” and, generally speaking, make themselves unpleasant. A priest who wears a cassock is preaching all the time, a priest who wears the clericals is renouncing to preach whilst he does, a priest in civilian clothes is preaching for the devil.
Obviously, such a brave, “1955″ priest would go against V II every day of his life; but again, V II was an attack on Christ every day of its life, so this is par for the course.
The Church is repaired by doing things properly. Before V II things were done properly (no, they weren't perfect; nothing human ever is), so it doesn't take a genius to understand that the more and the faster we abandon the ways of Vatican II, the better it will be for all of us.
Sound (means: traditional) liturgy as much as one can; priests in cassock, and utterly uncaring of ridicule and hostility; hell and judgment like there's no tomorrow, and tons of brimstone; no compromise with the world, and no Vatican II rubbish in any way, shape or form. This is, if you ask me – or the above mentioned peasant's family – how to repair the Church.
What do you say? Such a priest would incur the hostility of his bishop, and be soon transferred elsewhere, perhaps even to a place full of mosquitoes? The Pope wouldn't do anything against such a bishop? Every priest who refuses to bow to some extent to the mantras of V II would very soon be silenced or neutralised?
Ah, you see. We have come to the root of the problem here.
You can't really repair the Church until God punishes us with the wrong Popes, the fruit of the wrong mentality and of a Council inspired by Satan. The way to repair the Church is, therefore, to try to be the best we can (layman, priest, bishop, cardinal) and wait for the day – after our death, probably – when God sends us a Pope who starts, once again, to do things properly. No blasted Pinocchios anymore; no clericals; no Novus Ordo masses; no rubbish talk about secular issues. Utterly undiluted, and utterly unpopular Church; then Christ never tried to be the popular guy.
In the meantime, don't hold your breath and thank the Lord if you have a good priest (or, rara avis, a good bishop) around you. They will not repair the Church, for sure; but they will save some more souls, besides their own.
If you google a bit around, you will read the reports about the state of Catholicism following the official data released by the Vatican. Whilst there are some positive elements to be stressed, it is very clear there is no ground for triumphalism.
Yes, the Church is growing. She is growing, in fact, more than the world population, which means she is authentically gaining ground. It is also undeniable that vocations have been on the rise pretty much on a global scale, with a robust growth both in Africa and in Asia. I personally add that the Vatican data do not seem to include the underground church in China, which according to sources I have read in the past might already have more Catholics than the United States.
All fine, then? Not really.
This growth is in fact a very fragile one, because the Church generating it is a very weak one. True, there is sincere religiosity in Africa and Asia, but will the V II church be able to stand the test of the times? Are all those singing and dancing faithful going to pass their faith to their offspring? As in many African countries the Church gains influence and becomes institutionalised, how will they avoid going the same way as the churches in the West, worried about popularity instead of about Christianity? Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. If the liturgy is inadequate, how can it give permanent fruits?
Then there is the always important issue of money. The complex and rather unique “global redistribution system” run by the Church means that the growth in Africa and Asia is propelled by the money coming from the West, with last time I looked Germany in the first spot (Kirchensteuer) and United States in the second. Basically, a bunch of abortion supporters with vague notions of Catholicism is defraying the expenses for the planetary growth and for how long this will go on is anyone's guess. Whilst money is not necessary for the Church to grow, it is certainly useful.
Lastly, and most importantly, is the civilisation issue. If you think, as I do, that Western civilisation is the Civilisation par excellence, the crown of human achievement and the powerhouse of human progress, you cannot look at the matter simply as a question of numbers. The West is being de-Christianised, and if you ask me this is a worse tragedy than the two world wars and the Holocaust taken together, both in terms of loss of souls and in the scale of the events involved. As a consequence, the loss of the traditional Christian heartland cannot but be seen as an extremely painful amputation and disfiguration irrespective of the more or less robust growth obtained elsewhere.
Granted, things are not as bad as they used to be. The worst might (Pope Francis allowing) be over, and even in the West the still little plant of sound Catholicism is growing more and more robust, nor will any Pope Francis ever be able to do – more or less intentionally – much against it. Vocations are on the rise, and the average quality of the priests Western seminaries are forming is very probably much better than the one found in the priests who were formed on the Seventies and Eighties, which is in fact not a great achievement at all.
The Church is growing, but it is not a solid growth. It is a growth fuelled with the money of half-agnostics of dubious faith, generally not supported by sound liturgy, and in the main happening notwithstanding – as opposed to because of – the workings of the Vatican. The message sent by the Chinese archbishop last year, saying in so many words he was ashamed of the corruption of the Church in the West, was a good indicator of what really propels the Church in these countries.
I hope the data released in the last days will not be the cause of misplaced complacency. We are in bad shape, particularly in the West, and we must wake up and react before Christianity is wiped out of her historic heartland, and the Papacy forced to move to Africa or Asia.
The Vatican has announced today Cardinal O'Brien will leave Scotland for a while, after which… It is not yet decided what will happen.
This is, if you ask me, another of those lost occasions. It would have been so fitting and so wise to announce the Cardinal is going to seclude himself in some remote monastery to spend in a fitting way the years allotted to him. It would have been strong and charitable at the same time. Redemption at work, courtesy of the Only Church.
Instead, we have this non-decision, which does not help anyone – not even the Cardinal -, leaves all questions open, and consolidates the impression the Church does go to extra mile to please her buddies. In fact, it seems to me the decision can be read as “the Cardinal will be sent on extended holiday whilst we see whether we can accommodate his wishes without loss of face”.
Five Stars treatment, I would call it. A regard in striking contrast with the treatment of every priest who were to be accused of improper behaviour by a couple of lunatics (say, mother and son; or angry mother and scared son) with an axe to grind.
Not a good day for the Church in Scotland, for sure.
This is one of those days when the nicest thing one wishes to the Tory party is a painful death. I mean, I wish them death every day, but some days I wish them a painful and shameful death.
The Prime Minister has been forced to another humiliating U-turn about Europe, only hours after two Tory heavyweights (Gove and Hammond, the first a possible successor) have stated on TV they would vote “out” to an in or out referendum about he EU, almost in the same hours in which the chameleon was extolling the great advantages for the Kingdom in staying in.
One follows the events, and gets mightily angry. Cameron can be slapped on both cheeks by his lieutenants week in and week out on Europe, but nowhere is the same level of hostility towards him to be seen in the infinitely more important matter of sexual perversion.
You want proof? Many Tory MPs have complained out loud concerning the new so-called “same sax marriage” legislation, but Cameron hasn't deemed it necessary to modify one word of the legislative proposal. Contrast this with Europe, when it is clear by now even to Ed Milliband Cameron is expected to march with his own backbenchers, or call the removal company sharp-ish.
Cameron understands all this. He clearly sees the opposition to sexual perversion does not threaten his position, but has noticed by now whenever there is ferment about Europe his backside is very fast on the line, and very much at risk of a very painful same sex treatment.
The Tories have – even those who bark a bit for the sake of their constituency – largely betrayed this country. They have chosen to prostitute themselves to the inclusive mantras of the time, instead of doing what they are supposed to do first and foremost: fight for the conservation of what is good for the country. They have become a party of stupid champagne faggots and amateur progressives, thinking they can be a Janus party, with either face to be shown according to local convenience.
It is improbable they can win outright in 2015, and not very likely they will manage to keep the coalition in place; but personally, I wish them to lose bad and be supplanted by he UKIP as the (very imperfect) standard bearer of conservatism. The UKIP might one not too distant day go entirely the way of Cameron, but at least the demise of the Tories would put an end to the political aspirations of countless little prostitutes able to sell Christianity to the best offerer.
What a stupid party they have become. Friends of perverts who don't vote for them, and always with the nose in the air to see where the wind blows. Stupid, stupid party.
How I hope it might die.
The mystery of reprobation is one of the darkest but profoundest aspects of Christianity; one in which, as it has been beautifully written, the light of God is so powerful that the human mind cannot grasp it, and therefore perceives it as obscurity. At the same time, this obscurity allows us to better grasp – at least confusedly – the vastness of God’s infinite power, and to better abandon ourselves to God’s mercy.
Still, the observing mind cannot avoid looking around and seeing how the world around him corresponds in actual fact to what he has learnt.
We are, then, infallibly taught God allows a number of people sufficient grace (hence the name) to attain salvation, but without giving them that kind of gentle but factually irresistible grace (called efficacious grace) able to infallibly lead them toward salvation.
This means that those provided merely with sufficient grace all (as in: all) end up in hell, because in God what is willed is realised also, and therefore once God has decreed that Titius will be saved, said Titius will be provided, in addition to the sufficient grace given to all, with that efficacious grace that will infallibly lead him to salvation.
This simple concept leaves one initially rather baffled: God wants all to be saved (in abstract) but allows some to merit damnation out of their free will, by actuating a behaviour and espousing a way of thinking that is entirely of their own doing, and for which therefore they themselves, and not God, are entirely responsible.
Would not an infinitely merciful God allow all to be saved? No, because the goodness of God is revealed both in His mercy and in His justice. At the appointed time, everyone will see God’s mercy and justice perfectly explained and put in practice in himself as well as everyone else: that those who have been saved have been saved because of God’s mercy, and those who have been damned have been damned because of God’s justice, in a punishment they have completely deserved and, so to speak, made entirely out of their own hands.
How can, therefore, people choose in such a way as to merit reprobation? Well, look around you! Think first of all those who very openly and very publicly defy God’s laws, and you’ll have few doubts. But please think further. All those people who think it “cool” to have “gay friends” and can’t avoid mentioning them in the usual non-judgmental context, what are they doing if not entirely espousing perversion in their heart, if admittedly not in their physical behaviour? Have they not already turned their back to God in the most grievous way? Are they not accessory in sin, and very consciously so, every day of their life? How many of them are aware – at least with a sufficient degree of discernment – that the God of the Christians is completely opposed to such perversions, and considers them abominations, but insist in thinking God’s laws rather stupid, “outdated”, plain wrong, or entirely bonkers? Have they not made a choice; a fully conscious one; one taken in the full, or at least sufficient awareness of it being in frontal conflict with the God of the Christians? Where will they hide when the time comes?
The list of such people is very long, and is becoming longer by the day as Satan’s deadly virus of “inclusiveness” metastasises and spreads into the very fabric of our once Christian societies. Nor can in this matter be opposed the argument that “invincible ignorance” is at play: firstly because Christian opposition is still spread enough that almost no one could claim lack of awareness of it – actually, even all Hindu and Muslim colleagues I ever had were perfectly aware of that – and secondly, but crucially, because in such matters we have to deal with natural law, that is: with notions of what is right and wrong that God has put in everyone of us, and that do not admit a plea of ignorance. Everyone who is not eked by perversion is, to a degree, already perverted; better said, has already allowed himself to be so.
Now, think again of what we have reasoned above: that a number of people are provided by God with sufficient (actually: more than sufficient) grace to avoid damnation; but that they, entirely out of their own will, put themselves in a position of such opposition to God’s law that, unless repentance occurs (because of God’s grace: the source of all good) they will merit hell and experience God’s justice for everyone to see. Again, the reprobates deserve their punishment entirely. Millions do it daily, entirely out of their own free will. When confronted with God’s teaching they will insist, in more or less eloquent words, that God is wrong and they are right. They will, every day of their lives, worship the golden calf of the secular societies, “inclusiveness” and “acceptance” of every perversion in a twisted – nay, perverted – concept of tolerance, and a cruel parody of charity. It’s not necessary to attend to black masses to go to hell. Being in agreement with Satan at the moment of death is more than sufficient.
Reprobates are all around us, and in this generation it appears they are taking the upper hand in many Western, and certainly in almost all Anglo-Saxon societies (this means, seen from the other side of the coin, that God allows many reprobates to operate in these disgraceful times). We have no certainty about who is going to be saved or damned and can therefore – in the individual case – not have any certainty of any one person’s damnation, or of our own very much hoped, and daily prayed for, salvation come to that. Still, the Church teaches that there are signs of reprobation and signs of predestination, and it isn’t difficult even for an atheist to grasp the fact that if God exists, then Padre Pio always was a safer bet for salvation than Gore Vidal.
Every day now I see reprobation in action, as the number of those not caring to openly deny or defy God’s laws reaches the millions only in this once great United Kingdom. Some of them will, no doubt, be saved by a merciful God who will efficaciously help them to repentance at some point before they die; but it is a very reasonable assumption (and consistently supported by the smartest theologians before V II) that a great number of those who live in defiance of God and have not shown any sign of reformation also die in the same defiance (a defiance entirely chosen and willed in its content, though certainly undesired in its consequences), and pay the price of their folly.
Satan will get a huge harvest out of this sudden love for sodomy the West has developed in its madness. At the same time, ultimately not one of those who God wills to save will be lost because of the snares of the devil, and those who damn themselves will be the sole responsible for their own destiny.
We, who hope to be saved one day, will continue to fight our battle and stick to the Faith of our fathers, in the very reasonable hope that the words of the Dies Irae will be true for us:
Flammis acribus addictis
Voca me cum benedictis
Interesting comparison on Linen on the Hedgerow between Peter Tatchell and David Cameron’s stance on why perversion would, in this stupid world of ours, be “conservative”.
There is a striking similarity of thinking between the two, which means that of Cameron isn’t a closet faggot himself he certainly draws inspiration from the very public ones.
Every time I read this kind of news, it strikes me anew how deep we have sunk. We live in a world where perversion has become not only mainstream, but object of praise. What the dirtiest prostitute, the most despised person in every community would not have dared to even think one hundred years ago is now on the flag of the Prime Minister.
When I was younger and read on the bible the story about Sodom I found it difficult to understand – in the sense of, to grasp as a concrete reality – how sodomy could have considered so… normal.
A couple of decades later, something truly biblical is happening under my very eyes: the open, official, institutionalised sabotage of Christianity, via the democratically elected leaders of the country.
It didn’t end well for Sodom. Unless they repent, it will not end better for David Cameron, Maria Miller and the other bunch of prostitutes brown-nosing the popular opinion of a godless country, where religion (at least the Anglican one) is now largely confined to hymns in which no one believes and fuzzy feelings unable to even distinguish the clearly good from the outright satanic.
I hope Cameron is taken down fast. Still, the problem is bigger than him, as abundantly proven by the fact that he is still there trying to push his agenda.
The immense stupidity of the “protection” allegedly afforded to religious objection to “same sx marriages” was exposed as a total fraud today, as it emerged military chapels, many of them on Crown land, could be used for such parodies of marriage against the wish of the confession using it. Yes, it also applies to Catholic chapels.
This is today causing vast anger among Tory MP who still say they believe in God. “This indicates where the government is coming from and is utterly contemptible and is entirely as I feared”, said former minister Sir Gerald Howarth, certainly expressing the opinion of many, Tory or not.
Still, to complain is not enough. Cameron’s arrogance must be punished now, or his and his party’s arrogance will be punished even more severely in 2015, when a well-deserved defeat seems in the cards anyway.
Cameron must be taken down now, if the Tories want to keep some Christian credentials. Murmuring and voting against the law will not be enough, as Cameron knows his yellow and red “gay friends” will give him the votes he needs to keep having sex with his wife.
The man is so in favour of sodomy, the party should allow him to taste it on his own political backside. I for myself would have great understanding for such a same-sex political act. Nay, I would outright celebrate it.
Don’t hold your breath, though. It is by now abundantly clear the majority of Tory MPs is against the measure, but will not take a Christian stand beyond murmuring.
Wailing, and gnashing of teeth. This is how, law or no law, it is going to end.
Read here an interesting article about what is apparently happening in the south of the U S of A. In short, it would appear than in those territories traditionally dominated by Protestantism, and that have maintained a solid Christian feeling whilst the Catholic regions in the East were sinking in a sea of indifference and secularism, have now become a fertile ground for the growth of the Catholic plant.
As I started reading the article, I thought immigration – the legal one, or the one condoned and factually promoted by many US bishops – would play a big role in many situation, but this would appear not to be the case. My take on the matter is rather that a growing disappointment with the PC stance of their local community pushes many sincere Christians towards an uneasy search for authentic Catholicism, until by God’s grace they begin to seriously consider what, perhaps, they would have derided or dismissed as largely superstitious only ten years ago.
Does it mean that the local clergy is particularly good? I doubt. Does it mean that it is better than the average in, say, Boston or Philadelphia? Probably.
In the end, and as the article also points out rather directly, it will be much easier even for the less strong among the priests to send out a clear message, if the environment – with his lack of obsessive inclusiveness and political correctness – poses less obstacles to it. A second element seems to be the fact that whilst the Catholics on the East Coast were producing agnostics, the Proddies in the South were clearly producing Christians. Their crops are now, so to speak, ready to be harvested, whilst the Boston priest has to deal with a godless generation, which all too often they also try to appease.
Why do I tell you all this? In order to show that solid evangelisation does not require – at least not yet in the West – heroic efforts and extraordinarily good clergy. What is sufficient is that the priests and bishops do their work. If they do, they will naturally attract those souls searching for Truth; if they don’t, they will produce Catholics of such poor instruction that the more intelligent among them will be attracted by more robustly Christian congregations without even having clear the gravity of their apostasy.
Still it is not too late for a robust work of evangelisation, though this is probably the last generation that can say so. But in order to work, evangelisation must be serious and robust, not rose water Catholicism trying not to offend anyone.
Alas, this is not what is happening, at least in the West. We live in such stupid times that even something so simple like evangelisation must be given a new label and be called “new evangelisation”, as if evangelisation could ever be any different today than it always was.
It doesn’t take geniuses, only serious workers in the vineyard.