The news has been widely publicised that Archbishop Martin of Dublin has criticised those young Irish priests who, uncaring of the new Age Of Catholic Protestantism, insist with such an obnoxious and uncharitable nuisance as Catholic teaching.
The way the Archbishop criticises the young orthodox priests is very telling: they would be, we are informed, “conformist”, and “closed”.
Well I never…
Last time I looked, the first duty of a priest was to espouse conformism; to be, in fact, the very epitome of it. Or since when has anti conformism become a positive trait in a priest? Who is a good priest for Archbishop Martin? One who teaches his sheep that it is not necessary to convert anyone to Catholicism?
The same goes, of course, with the “closed” thing; a word which means nothing (the bishop himself is “closed” to pedophilia, surely?) but clearly conveys a clear message that orthodoxy itself must now be seen as narrow-minded. Which explains what “closed” means in this context: Catholic.
One seems to understand how Father Martin made a career, does one not?
Still: it is a consolation to know that in this vast lake of mud, Catholic nymphaeas in the form of orthodox priests are still growing here and there; so much so, that the Bishop must intervene, lest one day Ireland should become Catholic again.
You see: certainly, Francis is a huge problem, because before him the Popes were at least presentable. But the other and vaster problem is the very many little Francis running countless dioceses; they have been left, in essentials, unpunished and even undisturbed by those very same presentable Popes now so fondly remembered, and they were allowed to slowly infiltrate the ranks of the Cardinals. The accident of the election of one like Francis to the Papacy was therefore, given time, unavoidable given the mentality with which the former Popes have made their appointments.
No, I do not think the Cardinals – most of them anyway – really knew what they were doing. But when you have so many rotten apples in the Sistine Chapel, it is unavoidable that at some point one be given a Mozzetta. Which he will then, rather coherently with his rotten thinking, refuse to wear.
My prayers are with the young orthodox priests in Ireland, whose Catholicism so much alarms the Archbishop; and with all young and less young priests who take their vocation seriously, and believe they will have to give an account for it one day.
Frankly, I very much doubt Archbishop Martin has the same belief as them.
And it came to pass that the priest announced, not without a tone of very special satisfaction, that on that particular festivity a total of seven priests would be concelebrating the Mass. Not, mind, all from the same Country, but from several of them, located in three different Continents.
Some “ahh” and “ohh” of delighted surprise was clearly audible, as if the showmaster had announced a guest of particular importance. Thankfully, most remained perfectly silent, and yours truly thought that perhaps, just perhaps, we will avoid the deepest part of the pit.
At the consecration, you would have thought it was the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games: fourteen arms stretched to make what the celebrant was doing perfectly well anyway; of which twelve, mind, belonging to priests rather perfectly inactive the rest of the time – the altar “boy”, perhaps in his Seventies, would certainly not be displaced so easily – and who at least helped by the distribution, thus showing the air fare from India or Mexico has been a wise investment after all.
Was the consecration more effective because of the fourteen stretched arms? Was it more “international” because the arms belonged to priests from three Continents? Is there a special grace in having India and Mexico represented?
The older I get, the more I am persuaded that Catholicism's problems are to be looked exclusively among Catholics; then if the latter had not become afflicted by bad clergy and the dreaded aggiornamento disease, they would still be so powerful that no homo lobby, no Nazi prosecutor, no Merkel, no Cameron and no Obama would dare to go head on against them.
The last example of the advanced state of decomposition of Catholic thinking in the head of people who define themselves as Catholics comes from a well-known forum, where a commenter seriously asks what is the problem if a couple of wannabe “married” sodomites want to receive communion.
The commenter opines that the two wannabe “married” fags might live a oh perfectly oh chaste oh life, and why should we, therefore, conclude that they are doing anything wrong?
There are people for which even public scandal isn't enough to deviate from their usual “who am I to judge” mentality, and who would probably need for the very sin of the sodomites to take place under their very eyes before contemplating the possibility that something fishy is happening.
The very fact that scandal is happening is nothing to them. Even the fact that these two people choose to add to the scandal the further attack to Christianity of their mock “marriage” isn't a problem. They will insist in being blind, and stupid.
You might say that such a one is probably an homosexual troll trying to infiltrate a Catholic blog with a fake “charitable” attitude meant to confuse the poorly instructed, but I doubt this is the case. It is far more likely that comments like the one mentioned are more obvious cases of the same effeminate, brainless, and utterly uninstructed mentality that has taken hold in so many Catholic heads in the last decades.
When Catholicism is reduced to soppy sentimentality, the desire not to see the evil becomes a very comfortable way to avoid having to confront it, and to “feel good” in the process. This mentality is obviously encouraged and amplified by the “do not judge” crowd, of whom Francis, disgracefully reigning, has now become the undisputed leader.
It's not the Obama and the Cameron that will, ultimately, cause the persecution of the Church.
It's the stupid Catholic clergy, and their even more stupid sheep.
Another very interesting blog post from Father Ray Blake concerning, among other things, a poorer Church.
Whilst this is not the only interesting point Father makes, I would like here to write some reflections on this issue.
It seems to me that particularly after V II poverty has been vastly overrated, if not almost deified. Reading about the Church of the past I never got the impression that the Church feels the need to be poor, or that there be any particular grace in being poor. True, God's providence works with everything, and poverty can be an excellent way to grow in holiness; but in others, poverty will lead to degradation or outright revolt against God, so again there is no indication poverty is a blessing in itself.
Padre Pio did not treat his rich followers differently than the poor ones, nor did he consider them second-class followers. In all ages, pious people have used their riches to give us the massive monuments to Christianity that we find all over the Christian world. Even today, in many countries, an awful amount of the expenses of the Church is actually paid by the rich (I wish I remembered where I read here in the UK donations from wealthy individuals make 40% of the total income). Whilst everything can be a vehicle of God's grace, and God may use poverty and financial misfortune as a medicinal remedy, or even as a special sign of affection for those He loves – and whom He will allow to get, through their poverty, nearer to him – I don't think it can be said that poverty is desirable in itself. If it were so, Catholics would not seek to alleviate poverty, but would rather limit themselves to congratulate the poor for the blessing so copiously showered upon them from God; and the more starving, the better.
In fact, we see that the contrary happens: the poor is given the chance to grow in holiness through patience, perseverance in prayer, lack of envy for the rich, gratefulness for their help and useful activity to better his situation if he can; and the rich can grow in charity by helping the poor, using God's grace ad maiorem Dei gloriam, and grow in charity avoiding the sin of pride, loving the poor and the afflicted, and understanding wealth is, like every other grace, given to one so that he makes good use of it.
This is not the narrative I see too often around me, and which rather states the childish equivalence “poor, good” and “rich, bad”. In this I see the sin of envy that causes socialism, communism, and liberation theology, and that this envy is covered under a blanket of supposed pious feelings makes it the more odious.
I make a point of saying a prayer for every obviously rich man I see on the streets of Central London – you see a lot of Ferraris, and the like – in the same way as I pray for every one I see on a wheelchair or with an obvious disability; not because I think that the rich is more in need of prayers than I am, but because it helps me to understand that God's providence works in the rich and the poor alike, and I do not need to be despondent, much less envious, because others have infinitely more earthly goods than I have.
I know, the one or other can take some saint out of context and let him state that rich people go to hell, & Co;, but these generally colourful encouragements to embrace one's condition or use one's wealth properly can never be used to go against the univocal Church teaching on wealth, about which I have written in the past (the search function is your friend).
The mentality that wealth is “bad” unavoidably leads to the other mistake that the Church and Her components must, consequently, be poor. Again, it is not known to me this is the way the Church traditionally saw itself. Rome alone has several thousands churches all telling a different tale. Granted, it can be part of the rules of a religious order that its members be poor, but such rules do not extend to the order itself, nor to parish priests, much less to the Church as institution.
If you ask me, the Church must not only be rich, but she must be splendid. She must have beauty and splendour to honour God, and the financial muscle to intimidate her enemies; her priests and bishops should be always ready to suffer persecution and death for Christ, but they should also live, whenever possible, in a way at least proportionate to the dignity of their office; if they have special powers and responsibilities, their outward appearance, residence, transport and general way of life should reflect their special role.
Modern bishops don't want to live in palaces, but they would also not be able to justify, with their Christian zeal, their living there. Their modesty is the modesty of the mediocre, and their simplicity the somplicity of the philistine who doesn't know beauty, and therefore thinks doing without it is no big deal; it's the modesty of the one who refuses the fine wine, because his horizon does not go beyond Pepsi. Many agree with such bishops, and with the Pepsi mentality.
Of course such people don't understand why the Church should be rich and splendid and powerful: they would want the Church to be as mediocre and little as they are. Of course they want the bishop to drive a Ford Focus and live in an apartment: they would be envious if he had a Mercedes S-Class and lived in a palace. Of course they want the Church to “sell her treasures”: they will never understand their beauty.
There is nothing wrong with a Prince of the Church living in a palace, provided he is a true Prince of the Church. Princes are not called to be poor. But they are called to be true Princes of the Only Church, rather than caricatures of social workers desperate for approval.
Give me a strong Bishop, truly committed to Christ, truly ready to fight the fight. I will, with many others, make some sacrifices so that he can have the palace and the S-Class Mercedes, the cooks and the servants, the glory and the splendour of the Only Church.
I have published yesterday a post about the shocking pictures now coming from Rio, showing the most irreverent, stupid, desecrating way of distributing Holy Communion one could imagine.
What does this tell us? In my eyes, this is a sure sign that evangelisation is clearly dead in the church of nice. The Bishop of Rome does not “judge”, but he can certainly entertain. His travels, his messages, his public appearances all tend to the same: promoting a gigantic mass exercise in feeling good, clearly coupled with the cult of one person.
Not only the Bishop's Brazilian show, but his entire reign consist of the spreading of a “message” entirely based on feelings, in which everyone is good, everyone feels good, and everyone has fun with Francis; with the excuse of a casually mentioned Jesus who, unbeknown to the Copacabana crowd, taught that not everyone is good, to feel sorry for our sins is obligatory on the way to purgatory, and this life is rather a vale of tears, and certainly not a permanent amusement park.
It is obvious people who receive communion casually handed to them from a plastic cup can have no proper idea of what Communion is. It is just as clearly evident the Bishop of Rome is not interested in teaching them, either. He is not even interested in the basics. What interests him is the cult of Francis, a cult he has been aggressively promoting since March, and with some success among those who neither are, nor want to become, sound Catholics.
How Catholic were the – vastly exaggerated; hey, the hype must go on – crowds who chose to have a beach-cum-event-cum-pope day? How much do they know of Catholicism? How much do they care?
Still: in their perspective, there might be nothing wrong in that. Does Francis show he is less shallow than they are? Has he dished them anything else than the stupidest platitudes one can imagine? If even the Bishop of Rome is an intellectual zero, why should they feel encouraged to improve themselves and grow in the faith?
Cheap entertainment is what Francis offers them, and cheap entertainment is what they take. That at the end of it communion should be casually taken from a plastic cup like as many children at the distribution of M&Ms is only the consequence of this.
Say farewell to evangelisation, or even proper catechesis.
Say hello to Circus Bergoglio.
On Father Ray Blake’s blog there is an interesting blog post touching on various topics.
What I found particularly worth mentioning is this section, that I allow myself to reproduce in its entirety (emphasis mine):
At the heart of St Vincent’s words is the notion of continuation, a timelessness and universality, ‘always, everywhere and by all’. The understanding of Catholic merely as ‘universal’ is a foreshortening, it is the timelessness of it that is important. In many ways the dismantling of the ancient liturgy following VII undermined the sense of ‘always’. If the worship after 1968 could be changed, so could the content of ‘the faith’ and if the changes were enforced from above, from Rome then surely this is also the source of ‘the faith’, Again, if the liturgy could vary so widely from Mass at the High Altar of Brompton Oratory, with traditional vestments and music and in Latin to Father X sitting on a bean bag wearing just a stole making it up as he went along, why could ‘the faith’ not also be variable. Despite its intention VII taught, subliminally at least, especially through the liturgy, that Catholicism was what Ratzinger would define as ‘Relativistic’, most importantly of all by Father quite literally turning his back on that which was held holy by past generations, if not smashing it with a sledgehammer.
‘The faith’ post VII, was not the faith of the previous generations, it was in a state of flux. The movement of the Blessed Sacrament in some diocese from the centre of the apse to a side chapel or a tabernacle in the corner of the sanctuary and rubrics restricting the genuflections of the priest, said what we believed yesterday about the Real Presence is not what we believe today, similarly the change in funeral rites from sombre black, the Dies Irae, intercession for the dead to Mass in thanksgiving for the life of the dead person brought in a serious undermining of one of Catholicism most important certainties about death and judgement, again it said what we believed yesterday, we do not believe today.
I agree wholeheartedly with Father Blake’s reflection.
To me, the consequence of this is brutally clear: the Novus Ordo must die.
It is absolutely true that the very fact that the Mass of the Ages has changed suggests that the content of the faith can be changed in the same way. The fact that this is simply not true does not change an iota in the collective perception; particularly if we consider that the New Rite was introduced exactly to signal the changes (not doctrinal, of course) going on in the Church.
The new mass destroyed mass attendance, and severely damaged the way Catholicism is perceived. This in turn caused the almost disappearance of the grandmother (correctly) teaching the faith to her nephews. Said nephews remained exposed to a priest that was, in many cases, a phony and a coward, desperately trying to look cool and to be popular. I could mention half a dozen of those from my youth without any effort. We all despised them and found them pathetic, and very unmanly. Then one wonders that there is a lack of vocations.
But really, the biggest bomb that was made to explode under the edifice of the Church was the introduction of the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo was wrong even before all the abuses that followed its introduction, because its very being “new” and its desire to signal “novelty” had to, had to, *had to* lead to those abuses and to the raping of the Catholic Faith.
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
Get the Traditional Mass, and you will end up with Pope Pius XII.
Get the Novus Ordo, and you will end up with the Bishop of Rome, Jorge Bergoglio.
My dear reader, the new season of madness that is coming upon us will see our faith attacked from all sides; from the media and from our friends, from the environment (at work, etc.) that will isolate us, to the worst treason of all, the one of the clergy suddenly “embracing” those things for which their grand-grandmothers would have slapped them in the face.
We must now expect many of the “how cool it is to be a conservative” camp to make a volte-face, and decide that yeah, the Church got that with homosexuality wrong these last two thousand years; hey, it happens in the best families; but look at how many people go to see the Pope as if it were the Cannon Man or the Bearded Woman! Hey, he must be doing something right! Can’t you see how much the world luuuv him?!
Be ready. Be steadfast. Never waver. What the Church has taught to your grand-grandmothers, that is the Church you belong to. Novelties must have no effect on you. No amount of drunkenness of the Vatican II clergy must ever let you think that perhaps, perhaps one who says ten thousand times what was right is now wrong might have an argument. He hasn’t. This is Goebbel’s method. Just repeat the lie long enough, and most will end up believing it is the truth.
The sirens of pacification, suggesting that you go with the flow and simply embrace all the shallowness, stupidity, and outright heresy of the times make – even when they are in good faith – the work of the devil. There is no way sloppy theology can be right, exactly as there is no way guitars at Mass can be right. There is no way it would have been right for Pius XII to be a “Renaissance Prince”, and it is right for Pope Francis to mock “Renaissance Princes”. There is no way God or Christianity have “changed” and the Holy Ghost is now, under the stewardship of Francis, changing the course after the first 2000 years of introductory experiment.
The next years are going to see a polarisation in the Catholic camp: as those who love to call themselves (vaguely) Conservative but do not care for the conservation of Catholic values “embrace” Francis’ devastation of Catholic tradition and abetting of perversion, a minority of people who really care will continue to say it as it is, in the serene knowledge that Truth is unchangeable, and those who try to tamper with it will pay a terrible, terrible price.
As to this blog, I invite you to read its headlines: tradidi quod et accepi, and Catholicism without compromise. They will continue to be the guiding lights of this effort; and if one day the Bishop of Rome dances a passionate Tango with his buddy Monsignor Ricca in the middle of St. Peter’s square, or produces himself in a dance dressed in a pink tutu, I will first ask myself what my great-grandmothers (in my case, the grandmothers would be more than sufficient) would have thought of it; and what Pope Pius X, or Pope Pius XII, or Padre Pio would have made of the event; and what they would have thought – you know perfectly well what they would have thought – I will also think, and there you have it.
Stuff “change”, stuff the new times, stuff the fashion and the bollocks of an unbelieving clergy only interested in popularity and short-term quiet. The mere idea the new times could not be lived with the instruments of the old ones is the very core of Modernism.
Thanks, but no, thanks. Give me the old religion, and may the Lord give me and us the force to bear whatever price for our faithfulness we may be called, one day, to pay.
There was a video of either singing bishops, or people singing in front of bishops, from the WYD. This video was published by Rorate Caeli, Father Ray Blake and EF Pastor Emeritus, but they must all have linked to the same Internet location, whence the video was now pulled out probably following the, ahem, less than enthusiastic reception.
Unfortunately, whilst the video might have been pulled out, the stunt did take place.
Following the motto oportet ut scandala eveniant, yours truly asks for a reliable and stable link to the event.
I understand we will have to be strong. But if we are to endure Bishop Francis, we will have to anyway.
After an observation or two in the comment box, it is perhaps fitting to say one or two words about this little effort, so that any uncertainty that there might have been in less attentive – or less assiduous – readers is definitively dispelled.
1. Read the statement from Robert De Piante on the right hand column of this blog:
What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now.
This is probably the most famous statement expressing in just a few words the essence of traditional Catholicism. It is there for a reason. I do not exclusively employ the term “traditionalist” because I think that “conservative” Catholic also perfectly fits the bill, though in a wider sense. Since this blog’s inception almost three years ago, pretty much all of my posts have been tagged “traditional Catholicism”. If some post isn’t, it’s because I forgot. My blog “line” (the one you also read on every search engine) is also very telling: tradidi quod et accepi, another famous traditionalist “punchline” commonly associated with the SSPX.
2. My blog posts in support of the SSPX are very many, though they are certainly not enough in number or worthy enough in their quality. I do not think I have ever been ambiguous in my approval of their work both in the present time and at the time of the disobedience/refusal to close down the seminary in Econe/appointment of the four bishops. Where I stood in the matter of the preambolo dottrinale is also very clear to everyone who reads my blog with a minimum of regularity and attention, and I dare to say I have made myself clear in as open a way as I could without thinking I was failing to show the proper respect to the office – and in the case of Pope Benedict, the person – of the Pontiff.
3. I attend very often Novus Ordo Masses, and will continue to do so. This I do because I fear the effect that an entrenchment on the Traditional Mass would have on me, given my uncompromising nature and the resulting tendency to incendiary emotions and hardline militancy; emotions and militancy that can be very dangerous, and might well lead me astray unless I recognise the problem and act accordingly to counter them and soften my approach. Therefore, as long as I have no doubt that the Novus Ordo Masses I attend to are sacramentally valid, I plan to continue to do so for as long as I see the danger of slowly slipping into Sedevacantism if I don’t. I also see it as a form of penance, when I reflect that our sins (mine, and yours; not only the clergy’s) are also a cause of the present mess.
Through the participation to a second-rate – but by all means not invalid – Mass, I figure I show the Lord my loyalty to the Church even when it hurts, and at the same time keep my inner religious arsonist in check. But this does not mean I think you should do the same. The Novus Ordo is vastly inferior to the Traditional Mass (I do love to call it “Tridentine”, by the way), and if you can and want to attend it every time, more power to you. For the same reason (obedience to the Pope in as much as I can without conflicting with 2000 years of Catholicism) I go to confession to Novus Ordo priests, as I have up to now never met a priest in the confessional who was such a clown as to make me think, after due reflection, the absolution was not valid. I think most of my readers do the same. Or you can say this: as long as I think a Novus Ordo priest can provide me with a valid absolution, I personally see no reason to confess to an SSPX priest. But if had valid, constant reason to fear then I would happily recur to the services of the SSPX priest. But again, personal fears play a role in my decision: the day I decide a NO priest isn’t good enough, how far am I from Sedevacantism? You may not have the problem. I do. Novus Ordo confessor is it, then.
Still, either the SSPX have supplied jurisdiction, or they haven’t. As I am persuaded they have, after long reflection and opportune readings I have reached the conclusion that I can’t see how this should not be extended to confession. The SSPX priests also obviously think in the same way, and as I would trust my path to salvation much more eagerly to them than to the most conservative of the Cardinals, I can’t see anything wrong in that. In times in which the Popes are bad Catholics, a religious order can certainly be more Catholic than the Pope. Since March, I’d say this is not difficult at all even for a properly instructed layman. The Holy Ghost never promised the Pope would be a good Catholic, or would know the Ten Commandments, or wouldn’t be a murderer, a robber, a fornicator, an accommodating coward, or a pious nincompoop. Read the contract attentively, it’s in the small print.
4. In consequence of all the above, I think it should be clear enough to any reasonable reader what this blog is about. I notice, though, here and there a certain tendency – again, perhaps the fruit of insufficient reflection – to approve of what I write without considering what this necessarily entails. If you think that the SSPX are in formal Schism, then you must think that they endanger souls. If you think so, already the reading of the quote mentioned above and of the blog line should be reason enough for you to strongly disapprove of this blog, whose support of the SSPX is as staunch as its author can express with words. To behave any differently means either to take one’s own salvation lightly, or to read this blog because of the titillation coming from the enjoyment of my somewhat robust prose (and many thanks for the compliment!), but without sufficient reflection as to the values this little effort constantly tries to defend.
I do not write this blog for the sake of a vast audience. I have never searched popularity or approval. Wretched sinner as I am, I write this in the first place in the hope the Blessed Virgin will one day look at my effort and find it certainly inadequate and unworthy, but not entirely useless.
I take my salvation extremely seriously. I spend a lot of time thinking of it, praying for it, hoping for it, fearing for it. I have found that the best course to follow is to be on the side of 2000 years of Catholicism; no ifs, no buts, and most certainly no Pinocchios. Faithful to the Church always. Obedient to the Pope as long as that faithfulness is not challenged. Whilst I am sure the day I die many horrible sins will reemerge to haunt my conscience, I am very confident my support for the SSPX will be on my assets, not my liabilities column. You who read these lines, do you think the same?
My dear reader, please reflect on the consequences of your reading this blog. Be wise and do not follow it merely for the sake of emotional satisfaction and enjoyment of my somewhat, ahem, Italian writing style. If the SSPX is wrong, then they are entirely wrong, as is this blog. If they are in schism, then not only 2000 years of Catholicism are in schism but both yours truly and you are, with my approval of them and your approval of me, being an accessory in this sin.
Of course, I do not think they are in schism, because I do not think 2,000 years of Catholicism can be declared “schismatic” without contradicting the very essence of what Catholicism is. I think the safest way is to live and die on the side of these 2,000 years, rather than following the madness of a new way of thinking that came to power during the Kennedy/ Khrushchev era. If logic and common sense were not enough to persuade me of this, the immense devastation of the last 50 years would.
Stuff Pinocchio. I for myself will take my refuge, and put my hope, in the Church transmitted to my grandmothers and to countless generations of devout Catholics before them; then if we are wrong now, they were wrong then. If they were right then, we are right now.
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.