Many thanks to Gerard Brady for pointing me out to an Eponymous Flower blog post exposing an internet site shamelessly dedicated to the provision of “dating services” to homosexual priests, in several languages.
I never thought I’d see the day, that’s all. Such is the extent of the devastation the endemic stupidity of the post-Vatican II era has caused.
I read around this Pope will be judged by history according to his ability of dealing with the restructuring of the Curia.
I’d rather say this Pope will be judged by history (and from the Lord above) according to his energy in dealing with sexual perversion within and without Church structures.
Read on Rorate the transcript (unofficial and unauthorised; I wonder whether a dementi will follow) of the latest free-wheeling thoughts of a Pope for whom to think of something and to say it seems to be one and the same.
A group of faithful offers him more than 3,500 rosaries prayed for him. Think how beautiful and moving this is! Would you not be moved at knowing someone prayed one Hail Mary for you? When the Pope receives not 3,500 Hail Mary, but 3,500 rosaries he is not at all overwhelmed by the stunning beauty of this gift; instead, he takes it “with respect”, but he is also “concerned” at the practice.
The Rosary? Seriously? Do you think you live in the Forties? And come on, are you even counting?
Please visit Rorate and read there the entire text of the transcription; it transpire an atmosphere of mockery among the present, to which the Holy Father reacts by saying to them not to laugh, but clearly showing with his “concern” he thinks the same as they do, without the mockery.
For a Pope who goes around saying he is particularly devout to the Blessed Virgin, this is seriously beyond the pale. Actually, this is beyond the pale for anyone wearing a habit.
We live in times where, to put it mildly, what would be considered object of mild derision and cause of very sad reflections in a country curate comes from the mouth of a Pope with such astonishing frequency as to make it a part of everyday life, in the same way as the ramblings of the village stupid isn’t even noticed after a while.
In this case I don’t know about the village, but I don’t have many doubts about the stupid, because a Pope who has recently been publicly corrected about a fundamental tenet of Christianity – one that should be within the grasp of every catechised child – and insists in saying whatever happens to cross his not very well instructed or reflective mind without any problem perfectly fits the description. Can you imagine the Pontiff Emeritus talking like that? Can you imagine any Pope of the past doing the same?
And so we learn that to the string of pearls this truly astonishingly incompetent Pope has given us in less than three months another one must be added: don’t pray the Rosary because it’s so passé and for Heaven’s sake, don’t count them! I mean, do you think we are in the Forties?
I am now eagerly awaiting for the corrections or, ahem, “clarifications”, of the Lombardis and Rosicas of the world, explaining to us that the Pope is oh so very fond of the Rosary and by any means, feel free to count.
The worst of it is that the clarification might even not come.
What is cause for concern here is not the Rosary, but a Pope who is concerned about them.
My next rosary is for Pope Francis. I hope he won’t be too concerned.
Read on the usual Rorate the report concerning a talk held by Father Berg, FSSP superior. Father Berg tries, like the FSSP as a whole, to square the circle, and unavoidably fails to persuade.
The main messages Father Berg sends are in my eyes two: a) the Council radicalised the conservatives as well as it did the progressive, and b) none of the two opposing sides tried to follow the “difficult” path of the much-abused “hermeneutic of continuity”.
As to the first point, we do not have the script, but I would be curious to know whether Father Berg brought some evidence of the supposed “radicalisation”. Unless and until Father provides evidence, I think it much fairer to say the Conservatives haven’t radicalised themselves in the least, but have simply kept the position the Church always had. It is a contradiction in term to accuse he who hasn’t changed of having radicalised himself simply because other people have done exactly the same.
As to the second point, Father puts himself in an argumentative cul-de-sac with his very words: if Vatican II had been the fruit of orthodox thinking, the “hermeneutic of continuity” wouldn’t have been difficult at all; but the Council was exactly that: revolutionary and disruptive, hence the mess that followed it.
The Council must, says Father, be interpreted in a spirit of continuity with the past. Of course it must; every Church document must be read in this way, and it would be utterly Un-Catholic to even attempt anything else. But exactly here lies the problem. When examined with a hermeneutic of continuity in mind, the Council documents appear gravely wanting: muddled, duplicitous, wrong, or outright stupid.
There is no way you can reconcile white with black and keep it white. There is no way you can, say, reconcile religious liberty as seen before and after Vatican II and say it is the same. It just isn’t. Therefore, one must read the Conciliar documents in a hermeneutic of continuity and conclude they are seriously flawed documents.
I am all in favour of a hermeneutic of continuity. Again, I do not think any other approach is possible. But exactly for his reason I think all documents produced by that disgraceful exercise in marketing and populism must be put in the attic and substituted for newly written documents addressing the relevant issues without ambiguities, and able to stand the test of being read with a hermeneutic of continuity and found not wanting.
Odd, isn’t it, that by the encyclicals and other documents from pre-V II Popes problems of “hermeneutic” were never a big issue? Perhaps because they were clearly written, and orthodox, in the first place?
Vatican II was the fruit of the flawed (nay: heretical) ideology that took possession of it pretty much from the start of the official works. Its documents are nothing but the unavoidable consequence of this original flaw. Consequently, they must be discarded and their place taken by new documents, which are written in sound orthodox language and transmit sound orthodox Catholic values rather than trying to please everyone, but particularly the wrong crowd.
It’s exactly their reading in an Hermeneutic of continuity that demands it.
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.
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.
I have written only yesterday about what would have happened if the SSPX had been foolish enough to accept the Preambolo dottrinale in its latest version, which included the poisonous pills about the silent acceptance of Vatican II.
It is, perhaps, fitting to take stand on where – I think – the SSPX stays today, and why they should in my eyes congratulate themselves for having done the right thing back then.
I think the time will soon come when many who thought they could afford the luxury to criticise the Society will realise they can't afford this extravagance anymore. If this Papacy drifts towards the easy rhetoric and the avoidance of the difficult issues we are certainly authorised to fear, many will be those who understand the Church needs more than easy slogans, and it is time to show some charitable, but proper Catholic teeth. None does this better than the SSPX.
This is the more important because up to now I have noticed in Pope Francis' utterances a marked reluctance to frontally assault controversial themes. Please note that when the Pope wants to speak in defence of the poor – which he does, well, every time – he has no qualms in specifically and openly addressing the issue; whilst themes like abortion and sexual perversion are deemed to have been touched by some commenters, but have in fact been avoided up to now.
For example, the Pope intervened to defend Creation, and half an army of commenters was willing to remark that hey, Creation includes babies in the womb, so the Pope is speaking against abortion! No, he isn't: one speak against abortion by clearly saying that abortion is the legalised murder of an innocent life, not with convenient words about the very popular and utterly uncontroversial environment. Again, the SSPX does the clear talking admirably.
Then there is the matter of liturgy. Not only has the SSPX avoided a probable self-destruction by refusing to accept V II, but the FSSP and the other traditionalist organisations must be now overjoyed they did. If we look at the situation as it is, the continued existence of a dissenting SSPX is the only reason why the Vatican steamroller might not crush FSSP & Co., forcing the Novus Ordo down their loyal throats. Without the SSPX vigilant and ready to cry foul game – and to welcome, perhaps, the refugees – it is fair to say the moderate Traditionalists would very probably be all, liturgically speaking, on the death row by now.
Then there is the pure doctrinal matter. The SSPX have already publicly criticised the Pontiff pointing out to his V II, “dialogue” mentality, and will continue to do so. They are respectful, but pertinent. They cannot be dismissed as a motley crew of lunatics, and more and more people will understand in the coming years where real Catholic orthodoxy lives. They will be the wise cricket talking to… The Vatican Pinocchios about their mistakes, and will continue to rally and inspire admiration in sincere, orthodox Catholics. Once again, I cannot imagine a more powerful brake to the antics of the wreckovation supporters in the style of Cantalamessa then a strong and vigilant SSPX.
By deciding to stay put, the SSPX has been of excellent service to Traditionalism, to conservative minded Catholics and even to the common faithful in the pews. Many will continue to criticise them, whilst continuing to profit of their very existence. Many others will at some point understand what treasure of orthodoxy we have in them.
I think they are the biggest consolation sent from Heaven to help us overcome this difficult age. Long may it last.
It is a mild day in September 2012. The SSPX has decided the post-Conciliar Church has now become trustworthy, and under the lead of the wise Pope Benedict XVI is going to progressively mend Her ways. Yes, they have been asked to “accept” Vatican II; but in the end, what is the risk of that? It is clear the worst excesses are behind us, and the situation will in time adjust itself by its own dynamic. They have also been asked not to publicly criticise those manifestations of Vatican II they consider questionable, but why would this be so important? If one is satisfied that a self-healing process is already at work, does it make sense to insist in accelerating this process at the price of a painful laceration within the Church? Is it not so, that the advantage of being able to gain influence from the inside vastly overweights the small disadvantage of not being able to openly criticise the mistakes of Vatican officials and other influential prelates? Furthermore, would this silence not be more then compensated by the rapid increase in followers and weight a regularised SSPX would now have?
The SSPX priests then decide that the price is worth paying: they accept the Preambolo dottrinale as modified by Pope Benedict at the last minute, and decide the price to pay is high, but the rewards for the Church will be much higher. A sizeable minority thinks this is madness, but the majority of the moderates carries the day.
Fast forward to April 2013. Benedict is not the Pope anymore; in his stead, an Argentinian obsessed with social issues Is now in charge. This man never picked a fight with the SSPX in Argentina and on many issues appears to be fairly orthodox; but liturgically speaking he is, compared to Benedict, like Donna Summer compared to Schubert. He is not new to Pinocchio Masses, and doesn’t even think he is bound by the Church’s liturgical rules, which he evidently considers stuffy and of archaeological rather than pastoral value. Around him, there is open talk of destruction, and an almost revolutionary ferment is clearly perceptible.
The SSPX priests think of the September decision, and reflect on what has become of their hopes.
The liturgical abuses are not behind them. On the contrary, they are now coming from the very top, with Muslims or women put in the place that is properly reserved for bishops, or priests, or at least laymen. Our friends cannot say anything, as this would be seen as grave insubordination; particularly so, because coming from those who were long seen as disobedient.
The wreckovation is now going on in full force, and the Society is silent. With the most prestigious and influential voice for Tradition falling away, they notice they have become accomplices of the upcoming devastation, then their silence now makes them accessories in the same sins they have been denouncing for decades.
But what about their influence? Did they have even one Cardinal in the Conclave? No, they hadn’t, and for good reason. Utterly isolated and seen as dangerous hotheads, the SSPX have no friends in the Vatican, and the Curial knives are out for them; the more sharpened, because the Society would now not be able to resist their slaughterers without losing her face and reputation.
Perhaps there are good news from the front? No, there aren’t. The reputation is gone, because there is no reason anymore to be a priest or supporter or donor of the Society. Those priests who have recognised their mistake, or had voted against the agreement but did not want to abandon ship, are now going in droves. Why should they remain, when the SSPX is not anymore what moved them to join in the first place? Then, they might as well have joined the FSSP, who will now, so much is clear, better face the wrath of the Vatican corridors.
The priests of the SSPX sit in front of the ruin of a once proudly Traditionalist organisation, reduced to self-castration, humiliation and perhaps annihilation. They have lost face, and they know it. If they were to re-rebel now, no one would give them any credibility: like virginity, credibility is lost only once, and once gone there’s no way to have it back.
It’s too late now. The ship has sailed for the wrong destination, and there’s no hope she will be able to make it to a safe heaven. The voyage begun with such high hopes and confidence in the future has now proved to be a safe recipe for shipwreck.
They realise only now that their hopes, and their delusion, was exactly the same of Vatican II.
Fittingly, The punishment also looks the same.
The Angelus Press is, as you can imagine, a very good source of sound instruction, unadulterated by the errors of our times. They also have good resources available for Kindle, which – much as I hate the faggots at Amazon – is very useful if you read whilst traveling.
Some months ago I read the “Catechism of the Crisis In The Church”, by Fr Matthias Gaudron; a well-explained, ruthless description of the devastation brought by the Council, divided in topics helping the reader to focus on particular issues (say: religious liberty, or ecumenism). I recommend this very useful book to all those desirous to learn more about the issues afflicting the Church today in a way that is still accessible in terms of time investment and accessibility of the text.
Some weeks ago I decided to follow-up with the book in the title. The latter is, so to speak, an expansion of the former, and starting from the philosophical foundations of Catholicism explains the way modernism (first the original Protestant strain; then the “Catholic” one; then the Neo-Modernism) corrupted the Catholic message and paved its way up to the very heart of the Church.
This second book will be of very easy digestion for those of you who already have studied philosophy at school or university, but it will still be accessible – albeit probably with a bit more effort – for those who don’t. This book, by Father Dominic Bourmaud, makes the philosophical premises of Modernism accessible to the “lay” reader, helping him to understand not only the genesis of this disgraceful “mother of all heresies”, but its siege and conquest of the Vatican starting from the accession of John XXIII.
You will find this book very useful both in the reading and as a consultation work, because it is laid out in a way that makes it easy to “refresh” the knowledge of the one or other major heretic, each one of whom has a chapter devoted to him.
The book, originally published in 2003, is anterior to Pope Benedict’s papacy, though it tears both his and (particularly) JP II’s theology to very minute shreds. It also sheds a very interesting light on the modernist tendencies of Pope John XXIII, and gives interesting details about the growing mistrust of Pope Pius XII for his once trusted collaborator Montini, promoted to Milan in the end but without a red hat, and never again received by the Pope after having been sent away. It is clear, though, Montini well dissimulated the extent (not the existence) of his modernist tendencies, or he would never have been made the Archbishop of Milan. Pope Montini is also depicted as a less irresolute man than he is generally considered, already fully devoted to the “cause” at the time of the council’s start and consciously initiating a coherent and aggressive work of modernist “aggiornamento” before fully grasping – at the latest with the controversy about Humanae Vitae – the extent of the problems he had created or allowed to consolidate.
Among the Neo-Modernists, Teilhard de Chardin, de Lubac and Rahner are examined in detail, whilst in the interest of the usability of the book less decisive actors – like von Balthasar, Kueng and Schillebeeckx – are given less attention. Be warned, though, that the extent of heretical influences in the thinking of the future Pope John Paul II might well sound shocking to your ears if you had no previous knowledge of the vagaries (to put it gently) of the former Popes’ thinking.
If you are interested in a digestible but accurate presentation of the plague of Modernism, you can do worse than reading this useful book.
I will not beat around the bush: I was shocked at reading the latest intervention of the Holy Father concerning what was wrong with Vatican II. His analysis boils down to the concept that whilst Vatican II was wholesome in itself, it was… the Press who disfigured it, and the planet promptly followed.
By reading this, after the first reaction of shock a second one came, and I was reminded of the wonderful scene in Blues Brothers where John Belushi explains to the angry woman he had left alone at the altar why he was not able to show up. In an astonishing piece of comedy, he tries everything from not having fuel to the dry cleaners, to his mother’s funeral, to flooding, earthquake, and the unforgettable locusts…
And seriously, this latest excuse for Vatican II would be as funny as John Belushi’s ones, if the immense importance of Church matters would not make of this a really tragic exercise in escape from reality and flight from responsibility.
The Holy Father’s excuse is, of course, not more credible than John Belushi’s ones, and he owes it to his position that his rather naive attempt at justifying the huge cracks in the edifice of Vatican II with external interventions does not cause the explosion of laughter caused by John Belushi’s locusts.
I have seldom seen a Western man with a public position so entrenched in denial as the Holy Father in this intervention. The attitude he shows reminds one of old Politburo members in the years of rapid decomposition of Communism, or of the ability to correctly analyse reality of the North Korean government.
Try to imagine any other leader of a big organisation – like Coca-Cola, or Boeing, or Fiat – saying to his stakeholders “things have gone badly in the last fifty years because the press has misrepresented what we do” and, so to speak, count the minutes until he is kicked out.
What is happening within the Vatican truly gives you the full scale of the self-delusion and – as I have pointed out often in the past – sheer incompetence that has been reigning undisturbed within the Vatican this past fifty years; and one must truly stun, and looks heavenwards in gratitude, at the greatness of the Church and the wonderful protection accorded to her by the Holy Ghost, if the tragic behaviour of the last decades at all levels (starting from the Popes, and trickling down; then we must never forget the fish always stinks from the head) has not caused Her complete destruction, which by any other organisation would most certainly have been the case.
I have sometimes thought in the past that the Conciliar Popes should have taken the name Pollyanna I (Pope Roncalli) to Pollyanna V (Pope Ratzinger), such is the sheer naïveté showed by all of them concerning the direction things were taking. But one can say that at least Pope John XXIII died before having the possibility of seeing the consequences of what he had put in motion; that Paul VI was at least painfully aware that the cause of the problems was within the Church, not outside of Her; that Pope John Paul I did not have the time to tackle the problems (and if you read “Iota Unum” you’ll realise he might have been a very energetic Pope and a man of action if he had lived); and that even John Paul II never tried to place the blame on the press, the lack of money to grab a taxi, or the locusts…
Pope Benedict’s intervention was clearly meant to leave some kind of explanation or justification for fifty disastrous post Vatican II years, and in this indirectly defend his pontificate; but frankly, he has made things worse, and has shown once again such an inability to face reality that one wonders whether the allegedly so high intelligence of this Pontiff (a man apparently able to have a great strategic plan for the next fifty years, but unable to select the right collaborators – down to his very butler – today, or to grasp simple concepts like the one that he is supposed to be in charge and no one else) was not rather overvalued the whole time.
What stands in front of us is a good, well-intentioned, but rather deluded old man in a state of complete denial concerning several decades of Church history – and, by reflection, his own papacy -; unable to even see the huge elephant in his own room, and eager to the last to say “it wasn’t our fault”. I have already written and repeat today that I am absolutely persuaded of his good intentions and love for the Church. But it is very clear to me he wasn’t right for the Papacy, and his being tarnished with Vatican II, of which he was one of the last surviving protagonists, prevents him from seeing clearly the devastation to which he has contributed.
I have more than a suspicion that the following generations will see Pope Benedict as a Paul VI plus Summorum Pontificum. After his last utterances, I am unable to see how he will be able to escape this destiny.
Important as Summorum Pontificum was, I think it is fair to say this papacy was another waste of time for the Church, whilst the Western world burns.
Please Lord, give Pope Benedict a serene and prayerful time in his courageous retirement, and give us – unworthy as we are – a Pope willing to see the devastations of Vatican II, correct them with energy, and start the fight we need to see now if we want to avoid Christianity wiped out of Europe, and perhaps North America, in the next generation.
A comment some time ago induced me to reflect on another hopefully unintended consequence of V II: the plenary indulgences to go.
Apparently, in hospitals the last rites are not really “last”, and people collect them as I collected model cars when I was a child. To the Last Rites is obviously connected the possibility of a plenary indulgence, and I can’t imagine someone thinking he can receive them every few days does not also believe that a plenary indulgence is a very easy matter.
The brutal fact is that in their assault to the Church, the generation of VII has not spared even this sacrament; which, like pretty much everything else, has been trivialised and made similar to a small tale for the very young or the very old.
Therefore, you can bet few priests will treat this sacrament other than like a kind of benediction routinely given to old people, and fewer less will explain to said old people a plenary indulgence was traditionally considered not an easy matter to obtain. This fundamental mistake will then forcibly lead to others, as very ill people form already in this life a strong consciousness of their own impending canonisation, and this thinking then transmits to their relatives; with the very probable result that the departed discovers he was not canonised after all, and his relatives do not pray for him.
Lastly, and also taking inspiration from the comment found in my comment box, this warped thinking warps the entire concept of Purgatory; then if purgatory is so astonishingly easy to avoid, then it cannot be so bad either. Again, the trivialisation of everything Catholic introduced from Vatican II extends to Purgatory.
If you ask me, the recovery of sound Catholicism must also go through a recovery of old thinking in what concerns everyday life: fear of The Lord, seriousness of sin, seriousness of the punishment merited by sin, necessity of honest work towards our salvation, etc. The fear and trembling must get in, and the self-canonisation must go out. When this happens all the other pieces fall into place, and we understand the logic behind indulgences and Purgatory in a way the mentality of the “I want it all and I want it now” will never allow us to grasp.
Fear of the Lord. Judgment. Purgatory. Hell. I do not even hear these words anymore. They are simply disappearing from the public consciousness; another sign of the progressive de-Christianisation of the West we who live in England see in such a traumatic way in these days.
I have written some days ago about the very efficient way in which the Jesuits are getting rid of themselves.
From an extremely interesting post appeared on Rorate Caeli it now appears that at least in Spain the disease is spread, with pretty much the same virulence, in many other Novus Ordo orders, some of them very traditional. The numbers do not even seem better among the Dominicans, widely considered to be on the slow way to a recovery on a global scale, but clearly with a lot of work to do in Spain. In other Western countries the figures might be somewhat different, but it is fair to assume the music is pretty much the same.
One sees the mess and wonders how these people can be so blind, or so stupid, or both, to not understand they are dying because they are infected with a deadly virus called Second Vatican Council. Surely, at this point even the dimmest intellects must have made two and two?
My personal opinion is that the problem has been clearly recognised, but there is a refusal to act because every action in that direction would endanger the power structures currently in place. Consensus among those who are in is important for those who are in as it affords a quiet life and in some cases possibilities of advancement, and who cares if there are no new entries and the order is slowly dying; many of them have probably lost the faith anyway, and therefore they do not care whether their order survives, provided they can get a comfortable life as long as they live. When the Grim Reaper gradually arrives, they will simply adequate the structures to the swindling numbers, and go on merrily with their inane waffle about social justice and peace, the gods of idiots and atheists the world over.
What does the Vatican do to counter this? Absolutely nothing, of course, and they do so because they have the exactly same problem: a Curia drenched in Vatican II cannot admit Vatican II is the disease, and will therefore not push for a general return to pre-Vatican II rules in all religious orders. Besides being very uncomfortable to religious in many cases accustomed to a rather lax observance of even the lax rules they have, such a U-turn would signal to the entire Catholic world that the Vatican hierarchy got it spectacularly wrong in the last 50 years.
This cannot happen. Therefore all those traditional orders, often rich in tradition and glory, will be allowed to either die or reduce themselves to small groups of survivors.
Like every other revolution, Vatican II is devouring its own children; which, as in every other revolution, serves them right.
I have always thought religious orders make provisions for their member’s retirement.
It appears this might not be so. On the one hand, dying orders like the Jesuits and the Franciscans surely must swim in real estate, as the swindling number of members leaves their structures unused and ready for the market; on the other hand, it appears in many cases no direct retirement capital provisions have been made, with the result that the cash-flow issues might become acute in the next years.
Perhaps I should be “charitable” here and call for the generous support of the old nincompoops from the part of the pewsitter, grateful for 50 years of mindless and shameless devastation to the point of helping those who have destroyed vocations to have a comfortable retirement for themselves. But you see, I am not sure it would be the right thing to do.
When those who have almost destroyed Catholicism discover that their idiocy is now falling directly on their heads, this can only have salutary effects for their own soul. After the attempt to pump money out of the masses they have so “joyously” instructed fails miserably, they might well ask themselves why this is so; and when even the remaining, small but growing minority of real Catholics tell them they have made their bed and should now lie in it, because the faithful’s own money will rather go to finance the brutal expansion of the likes of the SSPX, this might also be a real eye-opener for the poor chaps. At that point, they might discover poverty in a rather literal sense, and will feel nearer to the oppressed… Perhaps they will even discover some real humility, the one for example that does not lead one to think God was wrong for the last 2000 years, and needed them to establish a new religion based on stupidity and common places.
Most importantly, the experience might show them what goes around comes around, and if you destroy Catholicism to satisfy your own vanity and desire of a comfortable, conflict-free life you might discover what you have left of Catholicism is not enough to provide you with more than the bare necessities…
Sadly, it is easy to predict this is mot going to happen. The cash flow needs will be provided for, I am very much afraid to say, by the sale of the huge assets, and the poor asses will comfortably sail towards a fat retirement and, in many cases, an unrepentant death after all the devastation they have caused.
This might well be the last fat harvest the devil obtains from the Vatican II generation(s), before a new breed of real Catholics, steeled by the antics of the said V II asses, takes over.
Do not be worried, then, for the material welfare of this disgraceful generation of miserable friars. Be afraid for their spiritual one instead.
It has been rightly said that new ideas do not prevail because people are persuaded by them, but rather because the people who believed in the old ideas slowly die and are replaced by people raised with the new ideas.
We see examples of this everywhere, from the long process of “denazification” in Germany (which actually worked with the future generations much better than with those who had lived Nazism and had approved of Hitler) to the great damage inflicted to Catholic orthodoxy by a generation and a half of priests and laymen raised with common places and populist rubbish.
If this is true, then the consequences of it are rather banal: the work of rebuilding Catholic identity must start now, and how many Sixty-Eighters will jump on the train is not really relevant. If, for example, the Vatican were to announce the replacement of the Novus Ordo with the Traditional Mass (a feat which, if truly wanted, could be accomplished in a handful of years) the impact on old potheads would be probably small, but the impact this would have on growing generations and on an awful lot of now non-instructed adults would be significant.
This sound long-term thinking seems not to be the specialty of many priests, who prefer to pander to the lies and fantasies of their awfully instructed and worse disposed grey-haired pewsitters rather than to start injecting some sense into the head of at least the young. The very fact that a priest who denies confirmation to a young heathen should make headlines is an impressive testimony of where things are now.
The bishops should, of course, be the biggest part of the solution; alas, they are the biggest part of the problem: mainly Sixty-Eighters with no faith, no spine and no decency, they are appointed by Popes not much better than they (how do I know that? Because said Pope have appointed the bishops; by their deeds you’ll recognise them…) and they will simply not be the one who defend Catholicism, because they are the one who raped it. To them the same rule apply as to the other: they will largely die as faithless as they have lived, and may God forgive them the incalculable loss of souls they have aided and abetted.
Still, it seems to me – though I am the first to admit I suffer an almost pathological form of optimism - that a new generation of priests is slowly occupying the pulpits, and in time a new generation of bishops will flourish out of them. The old V II generation will soon go to their (doubtful) reward, and from them decent Cardinals and Popes might result. I think I have at least anecdotical evidence to show that a new blood is starting to flow through the Church’s veins, and in time it will not fail to bring the much-needed Catholic oxygen to the pews.
It will be a long work; it might be some time before renewal starts in earnest, meaning: with that assertiveness the secular world calls “aggressive”; we might, I fear, have to cope with indecisive, weak, or outright delusional Popes for a while, as the evil of Vatican II is evidently still running almost undisturbed within the corridors of the Vatican; but the signs are multiplying that those born today might get a much better instruction at their disposal than those born one generation. The problem is, those who might get a better instruction will be a lot less than those who would have get any form of instruction just two generations ago, so we have the situation of a smaller troop of more motivated people, instead of the bigger troop of indifferent ones.
I still think it will be an improvement: small professional armies have always worked much better than big drafted ones. In this, Lenin was probably right: a small minority of truly determined people can achieve much, and punch vastly above their weight.
I think we’ll be there one day. Let us pray for good priests and, in time, bishops.
Very strange contribution some days ago on Rorate Caeli, with Archbishop Gullickson writing about the controversy and saying that he is a friend of the SSPX, but clearly implying they are in his opinion behaving in a rather stubborn way, refusing to consider that not everything can be perfect in life and that one should be able to accept the one or other little inconvenience and injustice for the sake of a greater good.
Archbishop Gullickson is, from what I can read around, a good Archbishop and a friend of true Catholicism; but frankly, one cannot but be unpleasantly surprised at the mentality his message betrays. The idea – coming from one who described himself as their friend – that the Society would now be doing, in the end, not much less than throwing toys out of the pram for a laudable, but misguided desire of perfect justice is so out of touch with the reality of the last 40 years, that one must despair this generation of VII churchmen will be able to even get what is going on.
What the Archbishop seems unwilling to understand is that the SSPX is fighting against a very grave, fundamental corruption of the entire way the Church thinks and acts. Their opposition to the New Mass, for example, is not the result of the fact that they consider it sub-optimal, or a questionable way to celebrate the liturgy. Their opposition to the Mass is due to it being the result of a radically wrong thinking, which engendered a dumbing-down, a Protestantisation and a general loss of sacredness of which the Novus Ordo is but the most dramatic and most tragically wrong expression. Their refusal of the Novus Ordo is the result of the refusal of the entire poisonous mentality behind it. It’s not a matter pf wanting to be right in everything, or to have everything set up to perfection. It is a battle for the fundamental way in which the Church thinks and acts; or, to use an imagery I often employ, a battle waged to help the Only Church to regain soberness after the drunkenness of populism, bad or outright heretical theology and utterly manifest desire to please the world rather than convert it that we have witnessed in the last fifty years; starting with Paul VI, soon to be beatified in order than V II be beatified, and continuing (albeit in a generally less drunken way) in our own age, with Neocatechumenal Masses, Assisi III rubbish, and the like.
When, therefore, the Archbishop invites his “friends” of the Society to be a bit flexible and stop being a fuss already, he clearly misses both the nature of the problem and the concern it represents for orthodox Catholics like the brave priests of the SSPX.
For a “friend” of the Society, the Archbishop shows a rather alarming disregard of why the SSPX exists in the first place, and why the “solution” ventilated by him is utterly impracticable.
Friend or no friend, after 40 years of existence one would expect those prelates who write about the SSPX to at least have an in-depth knowledge about what the SSPX is about, instead of assuming they are making a fuss over, in the end, secondary matters.
And this is the knowledge of a friend of the SSPX, and I do not doubt a rather sincere one.
Imagine the enemies!
As the thing seems to be in the headlines again (Cardinal Dolan seems to have picked this in his effort to reestablish a good reputation), please allow me to say a couple of words about meat abstinence on a Friday.
I started again sometime in, if memory serves, early 2011, and was somewhat lucky a couple of months later the UK bishops announced the reintroduction of this beautiful “obligatory” Friday penance for all of the Kingdom. I had difficulties at first, because being single and rather forgetful I ended up forgetting rather often; but I insisted, as I was desirous to recover for myself another small piece of the beautiful Catholic world V II had taken away from me and had been part of the life of so many generations before this disgraceful one.
In time, I forgot less and less, and now I do not forget (almost) anymore.
The beauty of the exercise is that, like many other Catholic practices, it shapes one gently but irresistibly. I now have to plan my groceries in advance for the Friday, and must stop and think what day is it much more often. This way, the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary becomes more and more of a daily recurrence, something present in many small activities of the day, “sneaking” into your consciousness with far bigger frequency.
Then there are the times when it’s uncomfortable, like when you go out with friends on a Friday and are the only one not to choose that succulent steak everyone else is enjoying. This is the most useful time, because it reminds me that though He died on the cross for me, I still manage the feat of considering it a problem to pick the vegetarian plate instead. I assure you the shame that follows helps one to miss the steak a lot less.
Catholicism is made of many small things, gestures, habits. They may seem trivial at first sight, but in time they truly help us to get in spiritual shape. It’s like in many other spheres of our daily activity, where we can easily observe that – say – the best way to lose weight is to slowly change habits, and wait for time and patience to work their magic.
Sinner as I am, I pray that Christ may allow me, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, to slowly change my habits. Friday penance is a little, but effective way to do so.
How stupid was the generation who abandoned Friday abstinence from meat (together with many other salutary practices) as “old” and “out of touch”.
The old generations, they really got what is important in life. We have managed to land on the moon, and don’t think about Salvation anymore.
My suggestion is: don’t wait for the Cardinal, and start your own meatless Friday now.
In time, you’ll see how good it is for you.
One might agree that 600 odds churches are an awful lot for a city of 1.3m inhabitants, even if these inhabitants are – nominally, at least – very largely Catholic.
Still, it can’t be denied the newly announced project to reduce them to around one-quarter smells of decline, or better said decay. One could also say there was obviously a time where there was need for all the 600-odd churches; but that was before the “spirit” began to “inspire” the Church and, therefore, does not count.
The official mantra is that every one of the surviving churches will have several priests and several
masses a day; but a moment of logic reflection will lead us to conclude that the situation will not be a long-lived one, with the structure already downsizing in prevision of the decline in both priests and mass attendance to be expected in the years to come. I do not think the idea is to create big churches. I think it is to manage the decline they see coming, fast.
There could be no better demonstration of the mess caused by Vatican II than this attempt to orderly march towards self-extinction. .
Loss of priests, loss of faithful, loss of orthodoxy. The Austrian hierarchy presides over the slow destruction of Christianity in a country – and a city – that have been in the past symbols of staunch Catholicism and – in the case of Vienna – of a legendary fight against the forces of evil.
The forces of evil now sit in the archiepiscopal offices, and ravage Catholicism from the inside; what the Ottomans could not achieve, Schoenborn & Co. are managing rather fast, smiling all the way.
St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
I have barely left the keyboard after writing about the impending “Beatification of V II” and already the Vatican lets it transpire the beatification of Paul VI is rather imminent, and we will soon know what happens with John Paul I.
I will not add much to what I have already written, then I am sure many of you perfectly echo my sentiments without the need to repeat unpleasant words. In the end, beatifications are NOT expressions of the Church’s infallible Magisterium and if a Pope wants to make a pig’s breakfast of the institution this may happen without anyone being seized by Sedevacantist doubts.
I for myself will smile at this very questionable effort, very much in bad taste, of beatifying in one stroke both V II and… oneself once one has gone, and will rather wonder at who the next candidates for beatification will be. Bugnini comes obviously to mind, but Martini might be another one if time allows.
The desperate attempt to give any credibility whatsoever to an entire age of superficiality, desire of popularity and theological drunkenness must fail, because ridicule has never been able to avoid exposure by means of a couple of medals given here and there. One is reminded of those old Soviet fat cats heavy with medals no one knew how they had deserved. A big medal is on its way for Pope Paul ( a man whose escape from Hell, if actually achieved, should give great hope to everyone of us, as the consequences of our actions play on an infinitely smaller scale and we never accepted the responsibility of being Popes), but frankly it does not let him look any better than the old Politburo members.
One day, this farce will end and the Church will look with horror at a time when Popes beatified each other serially, and the Catholic world said pretty much nothing.
I would have looked with great pleasure at the beatification of Pope Pius XII, but frankly I do not know that I would be able to rejoice now that the institution begins to resemble the Nobel Peace Prize.
Not a good time to be a Catholic. When some Proddie makes a mockery of this serial papal beatification, I think I will do the wise thing and shut up. Which I don’t do very often.
This is not a scam in Medjugorje style, or a pious fantasy of old maids with an excitable fantasy.
This apparition took place at the beginning of the XVI century, and was approved by the local bishop a short time later. It was accompanied by further miraculous events at the beginning of the XX century, when the events described by the Blessed Virgin were approaching.
This apparition is very remarkable for the insistent and very precise predictions of the Blessed Virgin concerning facts that would only happen several centuries later. In this case, the predictions are – at least as far as we are concerned – so shockingly precise, that one cannot – if he has some fear of God left in him – but stop and reflect on every word the Blessed Virgin was saying several centuries ago.
In this case, the Blessed Virgin predicted a tragic, extremely upsetting (to make it clear: not a continuity, but a disruption) and long-lasting event within the Church, starting around after the half of the XX century. Look, the “advent of the Holy Spirit”, the phenomenon with “theological implications” was, in fact, accurately predicted three and a half centuries before it happened, with uncanny accuracy, by the Blessed Virgin herself, in an apparition officially approved! Ah, if only Pope Benedict and Archbishop Mueller had been around some four centuries ago, to deny the allegations!
Now, apparitions of the Blessed Virgin are private revelations and no one is bound to them. Still, those who have ears to hear and a healthy fear of the Lord will find the accusations extremely familiar, the time astonishingly precise, and the described events very well exposed. All in all, the general effect of Satan’s attack is painted in extremely vivid colours and with great richness of detail, three and a half centuries before the fact. Not bad for an apparition, and rather worrying for an approved one.
Let us see some of the highlights, and again note the uncanny precision of the prophecy, which rather resembles a chronicle:
Our Lady said that the enemies of the Church would “focus particularly on the children in order to achieve this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times!”
Many of us have children in our circle of acquaintances, or among our relatives, who are either unbaptised or utterly unaware of the very rudiments of Christianity. The sins of the parents visit the children, and how hardly they visit them in these disgraceful times! The first generation after V II was indifferent; the second is unbaptised. V II is the gift that keeps on giving.
It goes on:
Our Lady warned that the Sacrament of Marriage would come under special attack as would modesty in women.
When sluttish behaviour becomes norm and even socially encouraged (“open mentality” or “free spirit” I think it’s called nowadays) it is no surprise marriage comes under pressure. Of course, sluts have always been there; but their behaviour was stigmatised; nowadays, it is taken as a matter of no consequence, or even “modern”. As to marriage, when the sense of its sacredness – once felt even by protestants – is no longer respected, it comes only natural that people should demand to “marry” one or more persons of the same sex, or animals, or whatever they like. To them is not a sacrament, you see; not even a sacred bond; to them it’s merely an occasion to party.
During one apparition which took place in the Convent chapel, the sanctuary lamp went out leaving the chapel in darkness. Our Lady explained that this signified the “great spiritual catastrophe which would engulf the Church” .
Note the words: a) spiritual catastrophe, which b) will engulf the Church. Strong tobacco, for sure, but so true.
But when would this catastrophe happen? Perhaps it is meant by that the conservative pontificate of Pius XII, or the aggressive oppression of free spirits of a St. Pius X? No, the prophecy is about
the world-wide crisis in the Church in the late 19th Century culminating in a disaster for the Church, described by Our Lady, with great accuracy, as occurring “shortly after the middle of the 20th Century.”
We have it all here: a crisis beginning at the end of the XIX Century (obviously: Modernism), eventually exploding (obviously, as Neo-modernism) “shortly after the middle of the XX century with, of course, Vatican II. This is so precise it’s chilling, and the prophecy happened at the beginning of the XVII century!
It gets even better (or worse):
“In this supreme moment of need for the Church, those who should speak out will fall silent.”
This is, in fact, the impression I have whenever I read of the latest speech of the Holy Father about some utterly peripheral and uncontroversial theme (go on CNA and you’ll find several at any given time; you will have noticed by now I do not waste your time with platitudes and easy sound bites, so I tend to avoid them) whilst the building burns from all sides and heresy spreads all over Central Europe: silence.
Is, then, all so bad as it seems? Well yes, it is, but do not despair; then (emphasis mine)
Our Lady promised Mother Mariana that, just when everything seems lost, her hour would come when she would rescue the Church.
Things might well become even worse than they are now (and they are bad enough, I’d say); the recent appointment of a disconcerting man in more than odour of heresy as the Church’s main protector against… heresy tells us all the extent of the trouble. Can it get worse? Well, who knows what the next Pope might bring us: if the Cardinals allow the Devil to persuade them they must follow their German and Austrian colleagues on their way to either open heresy or thinly veiled Neo-modernist accommodation, I think Assisi and Mueller and not the worst we have seen, or not all we have seen of them.
Still, the Blessed Virgin will watch from heaven, and will intervene at the hardest time, “when everything seems lost”.
We should remember this chilling, but still beautiful apparition. We should remember it to draw strenght in times of crisis, and to remind ourselves that in the end it is called Our Lady of Good Success because this is what will come out of this mess in the end.
Which, in these troubled times, is no small reassurance.
From yesterday’s SSPX communique’
“doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy”, which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.”
amidst a Church in crisis and a world which distances itself farther from God and His law with each passing day.
…waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities
If I understand correctly, the chap in white with the long hair is a Catholic priest, and this horror was set in scene in a real Catholic Cathedral.
In other words, this is not a movie, or a joke. This is supposed to be the real thing.
Welcome to the Church of Paul VII.
In case you want more, here is another video about the same exercise. Note how after (or during?) the “concert” what is supposed to be Holy Communion is distributed among the “faithful”, leaving one in no doubt that this is not a joke or a videomontage, but a bona fide Vatican II mass. The priest is (cela va sans dire) in full communion, and no doubt he has the bishop’s blessing.
After this beautiful “outpouring of the Spirit” (both videos from Catholic Church Conservation) , excuse me if I terrify you with the shocking images of the schismatic Mass of a splinter group of disobedient priests, who have the unspeakable arrogance to doubt all the wonderful things the Spirit is doing for the Church.
Thankfully, the bishop clearly approved the mass (or attempt of it) of the first two videos, and I am glad to inform you the splinter group is not in full communion, and the Holy Father is allegedly very cross with them. They are disobedient, you see.
Perhaps they should buy an electric guitar and start staging such “masses”?
This would mean they are obedient to the Pope, surely?
Forgive my stupidity, I had failed to understand that the SSPX is the real problem afflicting the Church today. The only words I can say to my defence are:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Heard at a Novus Ordo Mass not many weeks ago.
” In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
“The Lord be with You”
“And with your spirit”
“Good morning everybody!”
Even here there is need for a new evangelization, which is why I propose you intensely live the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, 50 years from the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Council documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians, for the formation of our conscience. So read them, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and rediscover the beauty of being Christians, of being Church to enjoy the great “we” that Jesus has formed around him, to evangelize the world: the “we” of the Church, never closed, but always open and projected towards the proclamation of the Gospel.Benedict XVIJuly 15, 2012
I read around various posts more or less based on the fact that the degeneration (in all possible meanings) of the Church in the last 50 years is not (necessarily) due to V II, but to the changing times and the particularly hard challenges that came with it.
One would be tempted to say “yes and no” but, really, I think the answer is “no”.
Clearly, the world emerged from WWII posed great challenges to the Church. An explosion of unprecedented welfare challenged the traditional basis of society, based on charity and hope rather than on social services and long life expectancy. On the other hand, another unprecedented phenomenon took place: an entire generation grew up with a degree of instruction – at least in the traditional way instruction is measured – vastly superior to that of their parents, and as a result felt authorised to challenge their parent’s teaching in matter of religion in the same way as they challenged them in the many little ways in which a better educated person can show the less educated the error of his way. In societies traditionally based on transmission of traditional values – among which the obedience to the parents, and the awe in front of the wisdom of the elder were paramount – this had to become a powerful threat to traditional religious wisdom.
But this is only one part of the equation and is a bit – leaving political correctness aside, which I love doing – like saying that the explosion of obesity is due to the expansion of McDonald’s. With all due respect, McDonald’s never made fat anyone; fat people make themselves fat. Similarly, cars and wealth never stabbed the Church; the Church stabbed herself.
The difference between good and bad Popes, bishops and priests is not in whether they have challenges. Of course they will. The difference is seen in how they react to them. As long as he was alive (and particularly so, when he was healthy), Pope Pius XII had the situation fully under control. He could not make a trial to intentions of course, and the voices of ferments and strange thinking coming to him from various corners could not be fought more energetically than he did, considering they did not come out in the open, challenging the status quo.
But the corpse of the great Pope was, metaphorically speaking, not entirely cold that great “changes” were already planned, and clearly the modernists saw their hour coming. Still, they are not the primary cause of the mess. They were there before. The primary cause of the mess is in the people who allowed them to come out with their own subversive ideas (less so during the council; much more so after it) and these people are mainly two: Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Blaming the heretics for their undisturbed march is like blaming the mice for the infestation. I’d give a hard look at the cat.
I also know – from unimpeachable testimony of many relatives – that the Italy of the Fifties, growing in prosperity like it’s going out of fashion, also experienced a great rigidity in matter of mores, actually a much bigger rigidity than the one commonly experienced during Fascism. This is further proof growing economic security does not have to translate into moral relaxation, if there are at the helm people strong enough to understand the times and act accordingly.
The great tragedy – and unredeemable construction fault – of Vatican II consists in exactly this: that, having seen the evil coming from the new times, it chose to embrace them, in the very stupid assumption that to embrace the world means to make it more like you, whereas at the very moment they decided themselves for the embrace they had already decided they wanted to become like it.
All the tragedies that ensued derived from this fundamental initial mistake: the liturgical and spiritual atrocities of the “spirit of V II” would have never had a chance, if it had not been absolutely truethat VII ushered a spirit - not necessarily and not so openly in the official documents, mind; but in the air these documents allowed, nay, demanded to breathe – of revolutionary change. Without this “encouragement”, the “spirit of V II” would have had no more chances of sweeping the Catholic world than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
V II and its aftermath both happened, because they were wanted and the idea of the “spirit” of V II suddenly appearing as if brought by the stork and surprising everyone is naive to the utmost. Ex nihilo nihil.
It is, therefore, clear the societal changes did pose a problem and, admittedly, a rather large one. But the great damage was not made by the problem, but by the Vatican not only ceasing to fight against the problem, but becoming part of it. Think of the cat selling out and declaring that from now on there will be no enmity between the mice and him.
Fifty years later the mice are everywhere, but astonishingly so many people keep saying the cat was misunderstood, or is surrounded by wolves, or must be oh so prudent because if he angers the mice there might be… an infestation.
Unfortunately, there is no brilliant mind out there able to act in an effective, practical way. Not only there is no “Top Cat” in sight, but if we stay to the practical decisions we are very far even from the passion and zeal of Sylvester The Cat.
It will change one day of course, as we know the Gates of Hell will not prevail.
But I’d prepare myself for a long wait.
Can you imagine one of those very dangerous dogs looking at you in a threatening way whilst the scared owner says her dear animal is not dangerous?
I had to think of such episodes when I read this article; which, though it reports positive news in itself, is merely another attempt to avoid looking at reality as it is and to continue with the rather amusing tale of the “unilateral interpretations” of the Vatican II.
Vatican II has – as it is now gradually but irresistibly acknowledged – been followed by countless such “misinterpretations” but, strangely, none of these should now be traced back to the Council as their real cause. The logical fallacy of the argument appears instantly clear is we reflect that these misinterpretations held sway within the Church for decades for no other reason than because they were the logic continuation of the mentality and ideology of the Council.
The only alternative to this conclusion is the admission Vatican II caused some kind of drugged stupor in thousands of Bishops, leading them to oversee the accumulation of “misinterpretations” and overheard the voices of sensible Catholics warning about the dangers.
I can’t wait for the time we will be told it was a “misinterpretation” of the Council which led to the isolation of and open hostility towards the SSPX, at the point of forcing Archbishop Lefebvre to appoint four bishops to avoid his order to be eaten alive after his death. Of course, when we are told this we will continue to hear the same mantra: V II in itself was good, it is merely everything that happened all over Catholicism because of it that wasn’t. This sounds to me a lot like saying that Mein Kampf wasn’t bad, but was merely misinterpreted from 1933 onwards.
You can say that the link between Nazism and Mein Kampf is far stronger than the link between V II and the devastations that happened afterwards; but I would heartily disagree, exactly because the Council was called as justification for every single one of these devastations, bar none, and all this was accepted and approved by the official Church as a body for the very same reason. In case, then, you should be shocked at the comparison in itself, please note V II has damaged the Church far more than Mein Kampf ever did; the enemy within will always be more insidious than the one without.
V II can be safely compared to a vicious dog, who has gone on massacring everything in his sight for decades and of whom we are now told he just wanted to play.
Hopefully, Pope Benedict will be seen by history as the last Pontiff still trying to defend the indefensible.