Monthly Archives: July 2011
Sancta Missa is a kind of “Tridentine Mass comprehensive guide and tutorial” for both laity and clergy, and is the brainchild of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
What may seem boring is in fact a fascinating journey of discovery of the Tridentine Mass, a journey you can start from the comfort of your sofa.
The graphic layout is extremely pleasant and very accurate (the image above gives you an idea of what awaits you), and guides the visitor through various aspects of the Mass. Several videos of the same high quality (many produced “in house”) integrate the texts available. You can click around at your heart’s content and discover more and more of the beautiful Mass of the Ages.
If you click on the, so to speak, ueber-Home page you will see that the site is available in several languages. Personally I find such sites not only useful to know more about the liturgy, but a valuable help to the learning of foreign languages, too. As stated, numerous videos allow the visitor to have a real, palpable idea of the sacredness of the Tridentine Mass even if he never had the privilege of attending to one.
But this site is about so much more than the Mass. There are separate sections dedicated, for example, to the spirituality of the Tridentine Mass, to the Sacred Music, or to the Liturgical year.
The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago also organise workshops and the sites gives useful information on the matter.
Summa summarum, a thoroughly well-made, high-quality work and an invaluable help to all those, clergy or laity, who want to improve their knowledge of what is clearly destined to be the future of the Church after the devastations of the last decades.
Today marks one month from the unspeakable call to open revolt from more than 250 Austrian priests. Including the deacons, their number exceeds 300.
Now please consider this:
1. Austria has around 4200 priests (not bad at all for a country of 8.2m inhabitants. But I digress… ), which means that at the moment around 6% of the Austrian clergy is openly heretical.
2. The list of the members of the “Pfarrer-Initiative” is not updated anymore. This might have to do with the desire not to embarrass Cardinal Schönborn, who might be forced by the Vatican to do something when it is clear that the movement is growing further.
3. An anonymous letter is enough to have a priest immediately suspended. An open call to disobedience and adhesion to blatant heresy isn’t, if Cardinal Schönborn is your archbishop.
4. Besides being the head of the Austrian bishop’s conference, Schönborn is the Archbishop of Vienna. This means that (if the information found on the internet is accurate) he is the superior of both Helmut Schueller, the priest vastly recognised as the leader of the movement, and Hans Bensdorp, the priest in whose name the internet page has been registered. These two leaders of an heretical movement which has now swept away 6% of the Austrian Priests are still in good standing, and so are all the others. What on earth is happening here?! Whose side is the Cardinal on??
5. These heretics are so sure of impunity, that their internet site now has an invitation to their annual assembly in Linz, in November. Among the heretics it’s business as usual. They know that they have nothing to fear from the Archbishop.
One month on, Cardinal Schönborn hasn’t been able to do anything else than make some obligatory noises about the rebels being “disobedient”. He allows them to continue undisturbed. He hasn’t suspended anyone of the more than 250 openly heretical priests. He hasn’t even provided for the taking down of the internet page.
After one month, there can be no excuse for such scandalous inaction . Cardinal Schönborn is clearly doing everything he can to allow this heretical movement to grow. He is their best ally and their most scandalous accomplice.
Please help to stop this unspeakable shame by directly addressing the Vatican, as Cardinal Schönborn will never do anything unless forced to.
Addresses are as follows:
Congregation for the Clergy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Papal Nuncio in Austria: email@example.com
Holy Father: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also help to stop this scandal by forwarding this information. You may want to forward (and mention in the protest emails you send) the links to blogs written by priests as they might be more effective. Two beautiful examples are EF Pastor Emeritus and Father Z.
Please take the time. Souls are at stake. Heresy is spreading in the middle of Europe, in the total absence of any will to do something effective against it.
Re-browsing the exceedingly beautiful “Life of Christ” from the great Fulton Sheen (a book that, if you ask me, should be obligatory reading in every RCIA, or confirmation class) I stumbled upon this very beautiful concept which, once again, made on me a profound impression (emphases always mine).
“The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is the Christ”. […] Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilization chooses the unscarred Christ.”
“Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study, and dedication to supraindividual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentrantion camps, firing squads, and brain-washings”
“The Western post-Christian civilization has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminized, colorless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgment, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces. […] Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears”.
This is impressive enough, and the lucidity of the man almost uncanny. The next part, though, is almost scarily prophetic.
“The problem now is: Will the Cross, which Communism hold in its hands, find Christ before the sentimental Christ of the Western world finds the Cross? It is our belief that Russia will find the Christ before the western world unites Christ with His Redemptive Cross”.
Communism is now, practically, no more; Russia is slowly but surely coming back to an increased form of religious practice. The West has deformed his “Christ without the Cross”, “patched together with a thousand commonplaces” to the point of parody, to an extent that Fulton Sheen probably couldn’t even imagine. Still, we can see a reaction forming already, with Christians now awakening to the danger and closing ranks.
This is also to be seen in the fundamental optimism of this great man, unable to wonder if Christ and the Cross will be reunited, but merely when.
Ah, to have half a dozen like him in these difficult times…
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?
Everyone knows that it is a logical fallacy to believe that two events are connected only because they happened in order. Nevertheless, at times one just stops and ponders.
Let us take Sony, then. The once celebrated company, at one time seen as the very epitome of technological innovation for the consumer market (like Apple is today), has been in the last years collecting misfortunes with beautiful regularity. Whether it was the self-burning laptop batteries affair in 2006, the PlayStation fiasco in 2007, or the attacks on the PlayStation network of this year and the damage through the Japanese earthquake also of this year, it would seem that rather alarming things are happening. And so the losses are now at record high and counted in billions of dollar, emergency plans are prepared, work force is laid off. No, I am not talking of General Motors. The once proud makers of Walkman are now limping, big time.
When did it start? Well, did it perchance start with the decision to make a film out of a fashionable but very blasphemous book? No doubt, to bring “The Da Vinci Code” on the big screen must have looked like a brilliant idea to some. Alas, the US Christians soon organised themselves and were not slow in expressing their outrage; as a result, not only the film didn’t perform as hoped in its main market, but Sony even had to hire a firm to minimise the reputation damage. Yep, not a very smart move after all.
The situation doesn’t seem to have improved much in the last years, and the sky is actually becoming increasingly more clouded. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?
As Catholics, we must avoid plunging into this kind of superstition. We don’t do that. We are rational, soberly thinking creatures. Still, it will be allowed to:
1. register the coincidence.
2. note how outlandish some of them are. Batteries starting to take fire, or hackers paralysing a big conglomerate for a month. Good Lord, this would be good material for a best-selling novel, and a movie!
3. notice, as the author of the above article brilliantly states, that the hypotheses that Sony’s woes may be traced back to their blasphemous greed is still easier to believe that the Da Vinci Code itself.
I do not want to indulge in Schadenfreude here as jobs, savings and pensions are involved.
But perhaps Sony would consider some big film production about, say, the life of Padre Pio?
My recent post about Medjugorje let me reflect about the vast amount of ignorance of basic Christian doctrine that might here and there – instead of the willed rejection of Christian teaching – be present. Whilst only the second would get one a first class seat on the Hell Express, it is necessary for every Christian to be informed of the most elementary truths of Christianity. Most of my readers already know this of course, but a couple of messages on my comment box (deleted, as the comment box on the Medjugorje post was closed) have persuaded me that at times it is better to state the obvious, so there we are.
1. There is no possibility of repentance after death.
“There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.” (CCC 393)
2. The judgment after death is immediate.
“The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith” (CCC 1021).
“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven […] or immediate and everlasting damnation. (CCC 1022)”.
Besides this concept being a clear tenet of Christianity, and being clearly stated by the Catechism in several places, common sense tells us that it must be so. If we were allowed, as the alleged apparition in Medjugorje apparently states, to have a last shot at salvation after death the absurd consequences would be – to mention just the first ones coming to my mind – as follows:
1. confession would be devoid of every meaning or purpose in the economy of salvation: I’d just wait that I am asked after death.
2. the portals of evildoing would be open to everyone who believes in this tale: every wannabe Stalin would feel free to do whatever he pleases, just paying attention that he doesn’t do anything stupid when he is requested where he would like to reside.
3. the references of Jesus to a hell clearly surprising those who end up there would be devoid of every significance.
The idea that only those would merit hell, who would choose eternal suffering after death, willingly and just out of a great desire to be miserable in all eternity, is naive to the utmost. No Stalin or Hitler ever showed any desire to be miserable during life. Actually, they had a huge desire to be happy; it is only that this desire was ego-driven (and ego-gratification the way of their illusory quest for happiness) rather than tending to God.
It must be clear to everyone devoting two minutes to the matter that such fantasies make a mockery of Christianity and are only good to endanger the souls of those who believe in them; if someone tries to make you believe that the Christian God revealed to us is not merciful enough and that we now need to change our mind as to the way he acts, be sure that that person is doing the work of the devil.
Similarly – and also here, referring to a message I have received a propos Medjugorje -:
3.Private revelations can never change the truth of Christianity. In this case, the example made was from St Giovanni Bosco, who would apparently have had a vision of hell in which people are allowed to choose between heaven and hell after death. Firstly, this is not true as the dream (which you can read here; alas, sedevacantist site, but the text seems faithfully rendered) makes it perfectly clear that when one dies, the time is up. Secondly, a private revelation can never modify Christian tenets; on the contrary, it is the adherence to Christian tenets that is the conditio sine qua non of the private revelation’s credibility.
The dream of St Giovanni Bosco makes for a beautiful reading, and might be the subject of a separate post. But for today’s purposes I’ll leave the details aside.
Apologies to all those who don’t need to be told these elementary truths. Once again, I thought that – in consideration of both the stakes and the dismal situation of Catholic and Christian instruction – it would be better to, for once, state the obvious.
Let me start with a very European observation: I ‘ll never get accustomed to the way those american ads work. He looks at her smiling in a woody, embarrassing way as she talks, and she look at him with Newfoundland dog eyes when his turn comes; one almost expects to see her tongue dangling out whilst he gives her the bowl with the Royal Canin. Cheesy, I would call it. Still, if it works the other side of the Pond it is not for me to criticise…
What it is for me to criticise in this video is something that for many Christians in the US will probably be a detail, but for a Catholic actually never should: Pawlenty apostatised.
The messages I get from the video are the following ones:
1. Pawlenty discovered a profound connection to Christianity through Protestantism. He mentions very much en passant his being born as a Catholic, but it is very clear that the bible studies & Co. “introduced him to the Lord in new and powerful ways”. It seems to me that in Pawlenty’s environment Catholics weren’t doing their job properly (his family; his priest; the Catholic culture around him) whilst Evangelicals were. I can’t explain in any other way how the man could feel in him a desire to know the Lord “in a more powerful way” without understanding that the right way to do so is to improve his knowledge of Catholicism.
2. Pawlenty doesn’t see a problem in his apostasy, nor probably do most of his viewers. He doesn’t say a word of real justification as to why he apostatised; he seems not to consider this a possible source of trouble with the 70 million of US Catholics. He presents his choice as a kind of “path to unity”, basically still sending the message that he did something good. There’s not even a hint at his feeling, today, some degree of guilt, or at least discomfort.
From the points above I can only deduct that the Church in the US must have done something massively wrong for decades, as I can’t imagine any other possibility to explain how someone could not only apostatise, but think that he can candidate to the office of President without this becoming at least an issue that must be seriously dealt with.
Mind, I am not saying that Catholics shouldn’t vote for an apostate, as every sincere believer, pro-life supporter and defender of the real marriage surely is a zillion times preferable to Adolf Hussein Obama. I am also not saying that having apostatised should make every man not worthy of a Catholic’s esteem (Sarah Palin is, as far as I know, another apostate, and Glenn Beck a third; no doubt, there will be many others). I am merely pointing out that the absence of a real debate on the matter – a debate strong enough as to force Pawlenty to say a bit more about the issue than his utterly unacceptable “I wanted unity in my family, so I apostatised” – clearly indicates that there is an awful lot of religious relativism going on in the Church in the US and that this goes on unchallenged.
Independently of Pawlenty’s suitability as a President, it seems to me that:
1. he is still awfully ignorant of the relevance of the step he took at the time;
2. the broad public, even Catholic, is not much better instructed than he is;
3. the US clergy, collectively seen, doesn’t seem to care.
Irrespective of the US presidential race, it seems to me that there is a lot of work to do.
To this Catholic, it is instructive to see how the Holy Spirit works. In the Only Church, the tempest of “modern” thinking violently shakes the barque for a while; but in one or two generations the crew reacts and starts with the work of leading the barque out of the dangerous waters. This, they do with the sure instinct of the Only Church; they do it because the Holy Ghost helps His own Church, not the imitations. All the others are on their own in the dangerous waters of human frailties and sinful desires.
And so it is that the so-called (Protestant) churches, not having the help of the Holy Ghost, get into the tempest and can’t see the way out anymore; they have no invisible help at the helm; they’ll be blinded by the terror of the ship soon sinking, and start doing all the wrong things; and sink, one day, all of them will.
Good riddance, say I; and not a day too soon.
You see the Anglicans, and the Episcopalians, and the Methodists, and the Quakers, and the mainstream Lutherans all with the same problem: a secularisation from the inside that is eating them out like a slow, malignant cancer. They forgot God (which their ancestors, wrong and blinded as they certainly were, still had firmly in mind) and dedicated their attention to men; that is, to this earth; that is, to social justice and supposed “rights”. The punishment came swiftly, but in their blindness they can’t even see that they are killing themselves, and insist on pushing the knife harder within themselves in the hope that this might be what leads to their healing.
You see this from the article, curiously redolent of Father Corapi’s press office’s “fan base”. They want to “go for growth”, talking of themselves as if they were selling diapers, or energy drinks; they talk of “recruitment” as if the problem were in people not knowing that they exist, and where to find them. They can’t understand that their decline has not happened notwithstanding their feminist and secular drive, but because of it. They don’t get that in becoming a mouthpiece for social instances, they have made themselves superfluous as a religious organisation. They are terrified of drowning as their ship is violently shaken, and they can see all too clearly that the skipper is perfectly incompetent, more terrified than they are, and has no idea which route to take.
Whenever I think that the Church in England has problems, I only need to look at the Anglicans and feel much better already. These are people able to reduce themselves to between 3% and 4% of weekly churchgoers and still unable to see what’s wrong with them. And so they continue to sail towards even more dangerous waters, thinking that in this way help will come from…. no one knows where. More modern, more “inclusive”, more “relevant” they want to be; more superfluous, more ridiculous, more ignored is what they become. Even their dying out barely makes headlines.
All points out to a continuation of this slow suicide, drifting further away from Christianity and sinking deeper into a social mentality now barely distinguishable from socialism; a very cheap “go for growth” strategy, and a rather stupid one. By introducing bishopesses and very soon, no doubt, unrepentant perverts in official position of leadership, they will further become the Disneyland of what they once were, a Las Vegas-style outfit meant to please everyone, and not needed by anyone; the tacky “made in china” imitation of the only Church, hoping to survive with a cheap theology to be flogged to those who aren’t interested in any theology. It won’t work, of course.
In the meantime, the Only Church smells the blood. The very visible decay of this now clearly ridiculous outfit opens the possibility of reaping, in only one or two generations, all that was lost almost five hundred years ago. If there’s one thing that the Ordinariates clearly show, is the Roman conviction that worldwide Anglicanism is on its last legs and it is now time to start reaping the fruits of its deadly disease. And in truth, worldwide Anglicanism now strongly resembles a small version of the Ottoman Empire, bearing the signs of its advanced state of decay for everyone to see.
Some Anglicans begin to see it, too. They’ve opened their eyes to the madness of trusting their soul to a ship shattered by the waves, with no guidance whatsoever and no security of purpose. They long for an unsinkable ship, one able to carry them safely to their destination. A ship not without problems for sure, with some awful seamen, disgraceful midshipmen and, alas, the one or other evil officer; but unsinkable nevertheless. In the coming decades, more and more of the Anglican crew are going to change ship, as the waves of feminism and “inclusiveness” shatter the vessel with all their violence whilst it heads towards self destruction.
Unless they experience a phase of true repentance and moral regeneration – nowhere to be seen up to now; the contrary is the case – the Anglicans are going to extinguish themselves whilst discussing the next wave of feminist and “inclusive” reform; which, if you ask me, is exactly the end that this heretical outfit has deserved from day one.
Born from the bastard child of a swine and his concubine, it will die as the bastard child of feminism and sexual perversion.
In my eyes, one of the main keys to a proper understanding of every apparition is one simple but at the same time very difficult word: obedience. Obedience is what we saw when the Fatima apparitions were initially – as it was very natural – seen with scepticism from the local clergy and obedience is what we saw when the apparitions to St Faustina Kowalska were considered not authentic by the Vatican. Obedience is, therefore, not only an obvious element of sainthood, but the path clearly indicated by many (perhaps: all) approved apparitions. Most certainly, no approved apparition ever incited to disobedience. In fact, it has never been prescribed by the doctor that an apparition be immediately recognised as authentic, but it has always been prescribed by the Church that Her decisions in the matter be accepted and obeyed.
God doesn’t need disobedience to have His will recognised; on the contrary, he will use obedience as a way to have it recognised.
It must be clear to every sensible Catholic that no alleged apparition can ever authorise disobedience, and that the Blessed Virgin would never ever suggest disobedience to the Church. Therefore, when the bishop (well, two bishops, really) says that there is nothing supernatural happening in Medjugorje, that’s that. To say that one wants to wait for the Pope is already disobedience; there is no need for the Pope because the cleric responsible for the verdict on apparitions is not the Pope, but the bishop. “Oh, but the Pope could reverse the decision”. Well I am sorry to say that, but you’ll have to wait and hope, and obey in the meantime.
With the train of thought of the Medjugorje crowd, I could wake up one morning and say that I am the Second Son of God; I could receive a message from papi every day at 6:30 pm and give it to the adoring crowds; and these crowds would feel free and authorised to believe that I am The Second Son – even after the Bishop has said that I am no supernatural phenomenon at all – because the Pope hasn’t pronounced himself on the matter (which would, very probably, never happen). Of course I’d have God encourage people to communion, confession, and the like, and I’d have Him talk a lot about peace, understanding among the Peoples, and all that jazz. “Thank you for listening”, I’d have God say every day. It pleases the ego of the public, so it can’t be bad.
To think in this way is not devotion. No it isn’t. Superstition and rebellion, that’s what it is.
It follows from this that even if people arrived in Medjugorje and started to fly it would still not be an authentic apparition, because no authentic apparition can incite to disobedience. You have converted? Good for you! God can convert you in the middle of a dump, but a dump it will remain.
The idea that the Blessed Virgin would go against the Church is worse than unorthodox; it is diabolical.
Unsurprisingly, disobedience in matters of authenticity leads to disobedience in all other matters. A lady on twitter informed me that God leaves every person free to choose, after death, to decide whether he really, really wants to go to hell or would, rather, not choose paradise (oh, you chose the latter? you don’t say?). I kid you not. I answered to her that this is an error. The Blessed Virgin in Medjugorje said it, was her answer.
We are at this point. Basic Christianity counts for nothing, a daily fax is the new God. But hey, an army of poor deluded devils go to communion and confession, so it must be fine. With this reasoning Jansenists were fine, too.
So let us recapitulate: forget the alleged “good fruits”, because an entire orchard of poisoned fruits is clearly visible; forget the alleged healings, because they are available in quantity at every pentecostal mega-gathering; forget the number of confessions or communions, because they are available everywhere outside of Medjugorje; forget how many people get inspired or converted, because this is something Protestants manage to do every day. The key here is the matter of obedience. It can’t be that the Blessed Virgin is disobedient, this is the purest oxymoron you’ll ever encounter.
Every “follower” of Medjugorje must seriously ask himself what he would have to abandon, if he decided to obey the Bishop. If the answer is “nothing, I am completely orthodox anyway”, there is no reason whatsoever not to obey the bishop. If the answer has any other content whatsoever (cue the lady who wants to believe that one can choose between hell and heaven after death) then what keeps one linked to Medjugorje is heresy. And I would like for the rhetoric of the “good simple people who are deceived” to be abandoned once and for all. For twenty centuries, countless illiterate peasants have accepted their bishops’ decisions in matter of miracles without any problem. This is not so difficult that every person could not, after examining his conscience, have it right in five seconds; ten seconds, tops.
The bishop is responsible. The bishop has spoken. You either obey the bishop, or you make the work of the devil.
P.s. The comment box is closed. These are matters of elementary truth. Truth is accepted, not discussed.
Interesting article on the National Catholic Register about the newest findings regarding the way Pope Pius XII helped the Jews.
In April of 1939, just one month after Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pope, the U.S. Jewish Veteran magazine called the new Pope’s leadership “a source of great satisfaction to Jews.”
“Pope Pius XII is known as a staunch friend of Jews,” the veterans wrote, noting the success of his election despite the attempts by anti-Semitic Fascists to prevent it.
The March 1939 issue of the magazine also expressed the community’s “fervent hope” that Pius XII would “have a long and successful reign; that he will fill the spiritual vacuum left by the decease of his predecessor, and that he too will be sanctified by the love of his fellow men.”
Here must be said – what many people nowadays conveniently forget – that Pius XII was Mussolini’s candidate, and the worst possible choice for the Nazis. The Nazis knew his stance when he had been the Nuncio in Bavaria – that is, the Nuncio for Germany as there was no nunciatura in Berlin – and knew that he was the driving force behind, and the actual writer of, Mit brennender Sorge. The Voelkischer Beobachter was savagely critical of Pacelli’s election.
Another very interesting piece of information is about the situation in Poland:
[…] then-Cardinal Pacelli had intervened to block an anti-kosher law in Poland in 1938.
Had the legislation passed, it would have forbidden Jewish ritual practices and constituted a “true persecution for Jews,” Pope Pius wrote at the time.
The facts are the facts, and the day the communist lie about “Hitler’s Pope” ( a lie conveniently adopted since by everyone with an axe to grind) is debunked among the great public is getting near every year.
No doubt, news like this one will multiply in the years to come, and the opening of the vatican archives will give additional impetus to the re-establishment of sanity. At that point, I think, there will be no obstacle for this great Pope’s beatification, whose beatification prayer is already approved.
From the Pope’s address to the bishops of England And Wales (emphases mine):
Your country is well-known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed. I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth.
In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free.
I do not know where Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols was when these words were pronounced. In the loo, possibly, or perhaps outside for a cigarette. The most probable hypothesis is, however, that he was there, heard the words, read them afterwards, and never cared.
This is the same Vincent “Quisling” Nichols who, you will remember, had to make clear, in the very weeks of the papal visit, who is boss by stating that he doesn’t know whether he would “recognise the reality of gay marriage”. This is, also, the same person who, when the ink on Universae Ecclesiae was not yet dry, was already on record stressing that there would be no instruction in the celebration of the Tridentine Mass in seminaries.
Many, and most of them scandalous, are the achievement of this champion of imitation Catholicism. I have recently reported that his penchant for getting at odds with Catholic teaching has recently received the honour of an internet page ad hoc, that I have linked on the right (Catholic links) under Bad Shepherds: The Vincent Nichols Files
I am now informed – from whom I understand to be the same good soul who has set up the internet site, and many thanks to him – that Vincent Nichols is striking again: he is allowing premises of the diocese to be used by an openly dissenting (means: clearly heretical) homosexual and lesbian group (plus other assorted perversions) called Quest. The excellent site of John Smeaton has the story , and provides you with several links to the astonishing affirmations of these people. Please send the children to bed in advance.
If you read the words at the beginning of the message, you’ll understand what mockery Archbishop Vincent Nichols is making of the Pope’s words. We are far away, here, from Catholic teaching “always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended”. We are, actually, by its exact contrary: Catholic teaching not presented at all, and openly undermined.
All this, on the Diocese’s premises, which gives the group a kind of at least indirect endorsement. The 1986 “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons” (link on this site, under “Catholic links”; and another document that Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols must have misplaced) expressly deals with the matter, stating as follows:
“All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous”.
I am, alas, not a mother tongue, but the meaning of these words seems rather clear to me. It seems to me that the then Cardinal Ratzinger says to the bishops:
1) you may think that to allow “dissenters” to use diocesan structures is just and charitable, but it isn’t;
2) to do so is:
2.1) contradictory to the purpose of teaching sound Catholicism;
2.2) misleading, and
2.3) often scandalous.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols is, also, accessory to these perverts’ heresies not only by silence, but – in giving them the space – by partaking. Not bad for the head of the Church in England & Wales.
John Smeaton wonders whether this time, Archbishop Nichols will “surprise us with a new found fidelity”. I appreciate the humour, but I’d say that it is safer to try to have him surprised by a phone call from Rome:
The place where to address your concern is:
Congregazione per il Clero
Palazzo della Congregazioni, Piazza Pio XII, 3 – 00193 Roma
tel. 06 69884151 fax. 06 69884845
You can, I think, simply send Mr. Smeaton’s link (more diplomatic than mine) with some short words of concern. Please forward his link or mine to people you know and ask them to also send an email or a letter.
I do hope that our anonymous good soul will update Mr. Nichols’ site with this latest exploit. It might, one day, make Rome’s work easier.
In order to try to understand what is happening in Austria, it is perhaps useful to inform the readers about a peculiarity of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In these countries, you can pay a kind of voluntary tax, or more simply said a tithe, through your normal income tax. This is called Kirchensteuer in Germany and Switzerland, and Kirchenbeitrag in Austria.
This means that:
1) the taxman will do everything for you, and give the money to the relevant church;
2) Once you have registered for the tax, you’ll pay automatically in proportion to your income tax (Germany) or to your taxable income (Austria);
3) In Germany, the procedure to get out of the tax was considered, last time I looked, bureaucratic and unpleasant, so that there is a kind of psychological/administrative disincentive to the dreaded Kirchenaustritt, the getting out of the system.
In the countries where it is in place, the Kirchensteuer ensures vast sums of money to the relevant church organisations. This is why the German priests are probably the best off of the planet (the Swiss ones might beat them, though), and I can easily imagine that the Austrian ones are not left very far behind.
Now, in order to try to understand the (shameless) workings of Cardinal Schönborn’s mind, you must understand that in Germany and Austria, a lot of people pay the Kirchensteuer, who don’t go to Mass or even believe in God. This has cultural and historical reasons: in the traditionally Protestant Germany the belonging to a church is more strictly linked to the paying of the tithe; but even among Catholics, the paying of the Kirchensteuer is often seen as a kind of “doing one’s duty”: I don’t go to Mass, the reasoning goes, but I do my part financially so it’s all right. Don’t think that the German clergy does anything to persuade them that this is not true! Various other elements traditionally concurred, like the scandal of the parents if one started to talk about Kirchenaustritt, the shame of telling one’s parent that one doesn’t even believe in God anymore, the fact that the Germans live in small(ish) villages in greater percentages than Brits or Italians, the clear Christian roots, the diffused moral conservatism, etc. A colleague of mine was once told in no uncertain terms that in case of Kirchenaustritt she would be disinherited. You understand from this that the grip of the Kirchensteuer-system on the country was, in the past, rather strong.
After V II we therefore had a very strange situation: millions and millions of people who have forgotten – or haven’t been taught – the very basics of Catholicism, but who are the one who pay for it. This creates, in my eyes, several distortions:
1) Many Catholics have started to believe, in their culpable ignorance, that their paying gives them the right to meddle in the way the shop is run from the theological point of view. Austria is an extreme example.
2) The Catholic Church in these countries has become a fat, satiated, overinflated, bureaucratic, ministerial apparatus providing a service to their non-churchgoing clients: the Church has lost them as solid Catholics, and she now panders to their wishes in order not to lose them as good spenders. We see this in Germany but, most clearly, in Austria.
3) There is no incentive for the local priests to have a vibrant, orthodox Catholic community. The priest knows that the shop lives largely out of those whom he never sees. He knows that the thread which keeps them linked to the Kirchensteuer-system is rather feeble, and becomes more so as the older generation dies. Therefore he tries, like Simon & Garfunkel, to keep the customer satisfied.
4) The dissatisfaction has become more virulent with the scandals; scandals which have hit Austria particularly hard and by which the late Pope Blessed John Paul II distinguished himself with his well-known talent for trusting the wrong people, then denying reality, then denying reality again, then doing nothing, then protecting his friends, then finally doing too little, and too late. This has caused permanent damage in a country where church attendance was already dwindling and respect for and obedience to the Church as an institution not taught at all.
Mind that this situation is different from, say, Italy. In Italy you pay a part of your taxes to either the Church or some other organisation of your choice, but you can’t choose whether to give or not. In Germany and Austria it is different: once you get out, your net pay increases.
This is, then, the situation Cardinal Schoenborn is facing: great dissatisfaction with church scandals from people who haven’t been properly instructed, and therefore think they can make the rules. At the same time – again, these people not being properly instructed – the hierarchy is afraid of telling things as they are, lest a mass exodus from the voluntary tax occurs.
The edifice is now trembling, the Kirchenaustritte fastly accelerating, and the Church in Austria reacts….. trying to keep the customer satisfied.
Now: if Cardinal Schoenborn believed in God, he would simply do what is right and trust that Providence will always give the Church the money it needs; he would strongly call his sheep to obedience, punish the rebels, instruct the others, and be an example of orthodoxy himself. In short, he would do his job and serve God instead of Mammon.
Instead, Cardinal Schoenborn authorises the exhibition in the Cathedral museum of a work of (degenerate) art showing the Last Supper as homosexual orgy, a feat possibly beyond Peter Tatchell. He authorises the strikingly sacrilegious Western Masses, and this for three years in a row and not caring for opposition. He flies to Medjugorje without consultation with the local bishop, further encouraging the very questionable – and censored by the local bishop – “nuChristianity”, “Madonna at teatime”, “ecumaniacal” practices going on there. He expresses himself more or less in favour of married priests (not a heretical position in itself) with reference to the (homosexual, but don’t tell him) pedophile scandal to please the angry liberals. He expresses himself in conciliatory ways towards sodomites living together.
This is not the behaviour of one who believes in God. This is the behaviour of one who, in plain language, doesn’t care a straw for anything else than his own popularity among the public and the proceeds from the Kirchensteuer.This is the simony of modern times.
This explains, I think, his behaviour and the constant pandering for the favour of the angry Austrians sitting (or more often, not sitting) in the pews. He silently encourages rebellious behaviour in his priests so that they can give the angry spenders the motivation to stay in and continue to pay; when an open uprising erupts, he does as little as he absolutely must, at the same time sending a clear message that he is not the enemy of the heretics, Rome is; he authorises the above mentioned blasphemous exhibition initiative to pander to the atheists and show them that he really doesn’t care for God, so they have nothing to fear from him (but they can continue to pay to please their mother, bitte sehr); he makes a mockery of the mass (see also here for another mass after his liking) in order to please the ignorant crowds.
In doing all this, Cardinal Schönborn always pays attention not to stretch things too much: he is always ready to backpedal (blasphemous exhibition; western masses; Sodano criticism) when he must, but he always does things in a way which lets him appear the “good, sensitive, modern guy” even when he must cave in. You see how it works here: I’ll show to my customers that I am such a capital chap; and then I’ll backpedal if I have to, deflecting the criticism in Rome’s direction.
This is how Cardinal Schoenborn is presiding over the slow destruction of Catholicism in Austria. His example might find imitators in Germany and Switzerland, particularly if the “Call to Disobedience” is not stopped very soon; he will do the latter when the pressure becomes strong enough, and not one moment before; as always, paying attention to appear like the good guy; the one whose bills atheists, militant homos and rebellious Catholics can continue to pay in good conscience. I so wish the Cardinal would hear from Rome some words from the same song:
you’re in trouble boy,
and now you’re heading into more.
Don’t hold your breath.
It would seem unbelievable that in a world that reacts to news in a matter of hours, the heretical call to disobedience from around 250 Austrian priests is still online.
Furthermore, no news has reached the internet of any serious disciplinary proceeding against the initiators of this uprising. We all know how fast a priest can be suspended pending investigation, and the news made public so that what these priests say or have said is not confused with priestly ministry. This doesn’t seem to apply to heretical priests calling to disobedience, at least not if Archbishop Cardinal Schoenborn is in charge.
This uprising has in the meantime more than 250 priests as followers, but the internet site has not been updated so we don’t know how many they have become in the meantime. The only reaction of Cardinal Schoenborn has been some obligatory meowing centred on the need of obedience, without a word of clear condemnation of the delirious theological position of the rebels.
As I write, all the priests calling to open disobedience, and whose names can be read under “Mitglieder” on the internet page, so openly shameless and sure of impunity are they, continue to be in good standing and continue to spread their heretical ideas and to confuse the faithful.
This call to disobedience is demolishing the Church in German-Speaking Countries with every day that it is allowed to stay online. It gives the Austrian Catholics the impression that rebellion be legitimate; it makes it more probable that such rebellion may spread to other German-speaking countries; it makes a mockery of the office of the priest and of his promise of obedience.
Every day that such a scandal is allowed to survive, Cardinal Schoenborn makes himself beautiful with the vast mass of Austrian “rebels lite”; those who don’t know much about Catholic doctrine, but pay the “church tax” the Cardinal is clearly after and are now, polluted by the heresies their own priest have encouraged, refusing to pay en masse; at the same time, the Cardinal gives these “catholic lite” the impression that they do have a leverage against Rome. Fools all of them, but the biggest fool is the Cardinal, who doesn’t do anything sensible (obligatory meowing not being anything sensible) to stop this and allows his desire for popularity and Kirchensteuer-money to come before sound Catholicism, the prestige of the Church and the soul of his sheep.
The initiative has started on the 19th June. If the Cardinal had been awake – and thinking about Catholicism rather than about his Kirchensteuer proceeds – the initiative would have been stopped in a matter of hours, the responsible suspended pending investigation, and an example given to everyone. This is what a shepherd does who doesn’t want heresy to spread among his sheep. Cardinal Schonborn does, of course, the exact contrary and we now have more than 250 priests in the uprising.
I can’t imagine any better way to help them to spread the heresy than the sort of fake ex officio rebuke, but in practice complete inaction, that Cardinal Schoenborn is staging.
This scandal must be stopped; the initiators and all those who have given their support suspended, investigated and asked to offer a complete retractation or – better, say I – be defrocked. Most of all, the priests responsible must be ordered to take the site down, now.
Greg Quinlan was a homosexual activist. One of the obnoxious, vocal, and truly lurid ones.
Well, this has all changed. Say farewell to the tales of unchangeable sexual orientation and hello to the truth about homosexuality, written from an insider.
Mr. Quinlan’s tale begins with a history of parental abuse, and early sexual perversion (emphases always mine).
“I knew the Scripture and liked going to church,” he said. But at age 10, a neighbor boy introduced Greg to sex. His double life had begun. “But I kept going to church and playing the Christian role,” he said. “Growing up as a teen, I was interested in sex with other men only because of that introduction,” he added. “I’ve known thousands of homosexuals and I’ve never met someone who was not introduced to sex at an early age, generally with the same sex.
These are very interesting observations: the introduction to sexual perversion adds to a climate of violence within the family, probably encouraging the low self-esteem and hate of self (homophobia) that is the most typical mark of the homosexual. Secondly, please note that he reports the frequency of early experiences of sexual perversion among homosexuals. “Born that way”, my aunt. Thirdly, a link between homosexuality, ephebophilia and the call of people like Peter Tatchell to lower the age of consent as much as they can get away with is certainly reasonable.
Let us continue with Mr. Quinlan’s life story:
At age 23 Greg made his sexual behavior public, “blowing the doors off the closet,” as he describes it. He had many sexual encounters, visited gay bath houses all across the state, was a regular patron of porn shops and lived the party life within gay social circles
The self-hating homosexual reacts, as so many, in the wrong way: he can’t see (or doesn’t want to see) the Christian side of it and his “outing” becomes a war declaration to the planet. Unfortunately for him, and for all the others, this doesn’t solve any problem, not even one. Still, the desperate desire to feel better with himself pushes Mr. Quinlan towards militancy:
“HRCF is the largest gay and lesbian political organization in the country, chiefly responsible for securing AIDS research money from the federal government,” Greg said. “I raised several thousand dollars out of Dayton and really got involved because of the AIDS project. But in all my work with HRCE I was trying to justify being in the lifestyle, because I was miserable.”
The AIDS problem – he is a nurse, and sees people die – is here just one side of the medal: the other side is expressed by his revealing words: “I was trying to justify being in the lifestyle, because I was miserable.” It doesn’t need a genius to see that this is the motivation behind homosexualism. Please remember, folks: every time you hear a homosexualist talk about his agenda, be in no doubt that he feels like shit, as he well should. The problem with these people is that they don’t use their feelings to get out of the dump of their lives, but to dig deeper into it.
Mr. Quinlan’s trajectory starts, at this point, to become slightly different:
Having grown up in church and still possessing a good knowledge of the Bible, Greg was often asked by friends to do their eulogies.So he ended up speaking at funerals and reading Scriptures. “There was the Lord’s hook,” Greg commented. “Like it says in Scripture, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it’,” he offered, quoting from Proverbs 22:6.
Slowly, a process begins: several events concur to let him think more and more; the fall of the Berlin Wall even leads him to think (this is a Protestant, remember) that the Second Coming might draw near. Slowly, something begins to work on him, whilst he continues to lead the same lifestyle.
“I had this hunger and craving,” he recalled. “I missed the hymns, the music and the worship. Even while I was in the gay lifestyle I made a point of going to church on Easter Sunday. I still had that hunger to be satisfied, to worship the
Lord. It was still there after all those years.
As it always happens in these cases, the first small glimpse of light makes him receptive to receive, more or less willingly, more and more of it.
One show featured a number of former homosexuals who had left the gay lifestyle. “I watched intently~ partly making fin (sic), partly wishing it was true,” Greg said. “I thought, ‘Can it happen to me?’ I was really miserable.“
Notice here the small, gradual process. Please also notice the insistent repetition of the inner drama of every homosexual, whether he admits it or not.
Mr. Quinlan is encouraged to start one of those Republican “Poofs for Conservatism” groups. He refuses. He continues his lobbying activity, but something has been broken:
“You know I had been on TV, radio and in newspapers (as a homosexual activist),” Greg said. “I was not ashamed of being a homosexual and talking about the AIDS crisis. I’d go to Washington D.C. two to three times a year to lobby Capitol Hill. But I had a lot of trouble telling this guy what my problem was. I was suddenly ashamed of being gay. I wasn’t happy about it.”
Notice here the mechanism: he felt miserable, but at the same he was unashamedly homosexual. Think Peter Tatchell, or Steven Fry. This is how Satan works with homosexuals, using the bite of their own conscience to further damage their soul, to let them entrench in their own perversion. Mr Quinlan can, at this point, no longer follow this path.
The following part is very Protestant, but I think as Catholics we still get the meaning:
Greg fought through his angst and finally revealed his problem He said a prayer over the phone and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior that very night “There were no bells or whistles but I slept that night he said.”There was peace.
Greg’s decision resulted in a sudden and abrupt turn in his life. He got into church immediately changed his telephone number stopped hanging out at gay bars and discontinued his volunteer nursing with the Dayton Area AIDS Task Force. “I stopped cold turkey doing anything in the gay lifestyle,” he said.
Note here: he decides to act. And when he acts, he acts in a serious, adult manner. He even stops his AIDS volunteering work. It’s an abrupt, definitive change. Ende. Aus. Feierabend.
The end of the journey is now rapidly approaching:
But stopping the wrong behavior was merely the first step. One Sunday a guest preacher at church had a special message for Greg. Her sermon had convicted him sharply and he had gone forward to the altar where he was crying uncontrollably.
“She told me, ‘Son, there’s a call on your life’,” he related. “She told me some things only God could tell her, that what the devil had trained me to do God was going to use for his glory.” Shortly after this event the director of Ohio Christian Coalition called Greg looking for help. He worked there four years and a year ago last March left to start the Pro-Family Network.
This a man who (besides not converting to Catholicism; but hey, what did the Church in the US do to move him to change?) makes everything right: he understands that as the religious impulse was the necessary primer for his change, so he needed to ground himself into Christian thinking if he were to heal in a definitive way. The words of the preacher are truly beautiful, and he has acted wisely on them.
Today, Mr Quinlan is a vocal “ex-gay activist”, fighting to help other people get out of their terrible problem and fighting for the social recognition of the thousands of “ex-gays”, to whom President Obama has not seen fit to dedicate a month.
Please click on this link to send your electronic petition against a blasphemous play, depicting among other things the Blessed Virgin as a lesbian, staged at the University of Oklahoma.
As the petition says, “blasphemy is not a legitimate form of artistic expression”.
Please take a minute of your time to help on this and forward this or the link to everyone you know.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
There is an excellent blog post about male priesthood from Jennifer Fulwiler on the National Catholic Register. The blog post is the more interesting, because the now-converted (Deo gratias…) author remembers her reasoning about the male priesthood when an atheist and – as she herself admits – a feminist.
Mrs. Fulwiler brilliantly puts it as follows (emphases always mine):
At the time I had recently become a mother, and there’s nothing like pregnancy and childbirth to hit home the fact that men and women are really, really different. Even outside of the Catholic perspective, there’s no denying that whoever created us—whether you call it God or Nature or Allah or whatever—created men and women with complementary yet entirely separate capabilities. Women can carry new human life within their wombs, men can’t. Women can breastfeed, men can’t. Men are generally stronger; the strongest man in the world is always going to be the stronger than the strongest woman in the world. The list of the innate differences between the genders goes on and on. Assuming that the entire human race was not born into an inherently unfair situation, it would seem that our Creator does not believe that you need to be able to do all the same stuff in order to be equal.
This injection of common sense would do a lot of good to a lot of feminist – be they atheist, or wannabe Christian – out there. But such an injection would require them to sacrifice some holy cows, which is why they choose to remain impervious to logic, and allergic to truth. One of these cows is described by the blog post author as follows:
[…] I had begun to question this pervasive modern idea that what you do is your value. […]. One of the results of this idea is that we, as a society, decided that if women are not invited to do every single thing that men are invited to do, the only possible explanation could be that they are valued less — and being barred from doing certain activities means that their options for reaching complete fulfillment as human beings are limited. The more I considered it, the more this worldview struck me as sadly utilitarian. I started to think that it’s possible to believe that men don’t make good lactation consultants, women don’t make good guerrilla warfare combatants, etc. without it being a commentary about the inherent worth of one gender over another.
I generally explain this concept with my persuasion that feminists want to be men, and therefore feel as a deminutio every instance in which it becomes clear to them – or, alternatively, to the thinking part of the human race – that they cannot. Strangely, you never hear feminists fighting for the abolition of one of the last, blatant bastion of sexual discrimination: the separation of men and women in sport competitions. No need for equality there. Differences must be taken into account. There are structural specificities that would be impossible to ignore.
The next injection of common sense comes regarding the male priesthood itself:
When God took on human flesh, he did so as a man. He could have come down as a woman, as a brother and sister team, or as a genderless being. But he didn’t. If you want to reject Christianity as untrue, that’s one thing; but if you accept Jesus Christ as God incarnate, it seems like you must also accept that God sees the male gender as having a special role to play in the world.
Yes, brilliantly and amusingly true. Once again, the contradiction of accepting Jesus as God Incarnate and refusing what choices this God Incarnate made is clearly absurd. The fact that 100% of the Apostles were men (no female quota there, in a clear show of political incorrectness) actually closes the question.
The best part is for the end: the Blessed Virgin.
Once I discovered Catholicism, one of the many things that rang true about its teachings was the emphasis on Mary. It made perfect sense that God would give a woman a critical role in his plan, someone who could serve as an example of perfect feminine holiness—and it made sense that his true Church would understand and celebrate this fact.
I add to these beautiful words a fact that to me seems extremely relevant: that in the heavenly hierarchy (yes! There is a heavenly hierarchy!) the Blessed Virgin is above every saint, above every Apostle, even above Peter and Paul and St. John the Evangelist and St. John The Baptist; even above every Angel, every one of them! Only the Trinity is higher in glory than the Blessed Virgin!
So let me reassume the brilliant feminist theory: a bunch of chauvinistic traitors manage to utterly ruin the clearly feminist, emancipated message of Jesus; they isolate Mary Magdalen and succeed in cancelling from history every trace of her apostolate; they proceed to create a rigidly man-dominated system, clearly showing which one is the qualitatively better sex………then they proceed to put a woman in the highest place conceivable for a human being, and this in a society that had come to consider women as little more than reproduction instruments.
Explain this, angry feminists….
It is beautiful to see that, when one is ready to apply some elementary logic rather than senseless slogans, a lot of things start to appear very clear, and to make a lot of sense.
Even for an atheist.
Very interesting blog post of Archbishop Chaput (one of the best of the new generation of orthodox, vocal bishops in the United States).
The blog post focuses on the fundamental choice given to anyone of us to choose whether we want to follow Christ, or the world. But what I think makes this article particularly interesting is the frank admission that in some Muslim countries, the time devoted to their sacred texts is vastly superior to the time devoted to the same purpose by us.
This relates, of course, to the usual problem of the missing instruction of the Catholics from the part of those who should care for them in the first place: the priests; but at the same time, it stresses the fact that in the Muslim countries, this instruction effort becomes mind- and world-shaping:
They read and discuss the Koran every day, for hours each day, every day of the week until they know it by heart. Many of them can recite whole sections of the Koran without thinking. Little by little, like water dripping on a stone, it shapes their whole view of the world—what’s right and what’s wrong; what’s important and what’s not.
Now don’t get me wrong: what they do is wrong in the sense that they spend their time on the wrong texts, believing a lie. But what they do is certainly admirable in the zeal they show, in their desire to have their lives shaped by their religious convictions, instead of doing the contrary as many mickey mouse-Christians in the West try to do. In the end, my being a Christian must lead me toward seeing my entire existence and the world around me in the light of Christ’s teaching. It cannot be that Christianity becomes just something we put in a corner of our consciousness, to be used only when it doesn’t conflict with the rest of our lives.
This is why I find the discussions about what do so-called homo-marriages take away from (the only) marriage so useless: the problem with so-called homosexual marriage is not that homos will, after having been “married”, try to kill as many husbands and wives as they can. The problem is that so-called homo marriages are the contrary of what Christianity teaches and must therefore be refused by every Christian not only as a private choice, but in their very existence.
Coming back to our eagerly reading Pakistanis, the observation can be easily made that such a zeal can degenerate into fanaticism, and it rather often does. But my answer to this is that such ardent zeal can become fanaticism because they follow the wrong religion, not because it be wrong to be zealous in the first place. You just can’t be too Christian.
We live in a world which looks with mistrust at sound knowledge; a world more ready to rely on the often misguided “common feelings” – those things that everyone in one’s social group believes – than on sound knowledge recognised as truth. As a consequence, our countries are full of people sincerely claiming to believe in Christ, but who never made the effort to understand the implications of this. Muslims seem to have less of a problem with that.
Bishop Chaput puts the Christian alternative as follows:
American Catholics have the one true Word of God in the Bible. If we took just one hour of the time we waste on television every day and used it to study and pray over the Gospels, we’d be fundamentally different people, and our country and our world would be transformed.
Bishop Chaput is here referring himself to the American Christians as a whole, the majority of whom are (for the time being…) Protestants; but we integrate the encouragement with the reading of sound books of Catholic doctrine it certainly applies to Catholics, too.
To conclude, let me express once again my deep gratitude for the work of those rare determined, orthodox and vocal bishops who, like bishop Chaput, are not afraid of saying it as it is irrespective of the “hurt” it may cause in those, well, permanently hurt. If in Western Countries we would have had more bishops like him in the past twenty or thirty years, I doubt that we would be discussing euthanasia and homo so-called “marriages” now.
We are not yet at the “marriage” with animals, but this novel concept that marriage (and actually: everything) is simply not what it is, but how one decides to define it is already bearing its first poisoned fruits.
As you can read here, a strange collection of people claiming to be a sort of, oh well, “extended family” (and in fact, “Mormon traditionalists” as it would appear) has now challenged the Utah bigamy law.
The author of the blog post, Tom Crowe, says it right:
…. if Adam and Steve can get married, then there is no logical argument against Adam and Eve, Betty, Patty, Jane, and Suzy. Or Adam and Steve and Betty and Jane and Bill and Patty and Jim and Suzy and Leo.
Or, I venture to add, between all the above mentioned and Fido; or between (among?) all the abovementioned where Steve and Betty (or Patty, or Jane, or Suzy; or all of them) are relatives; like siblings, say, or daughters of the same father.
Tom Crowe also notes that:
the legal argument is the same: my relationships are my business and there is no reason why my relationships as I deem them appropriate should not be recognized by the state as “marriages” with all rights and benefits accruing thereto
and in fact, I am at a loss to understand how those unspeakable people (like our streetworker, Mark Grisanti) who dare to be in favour of “not discriminating” against sodomites will justify in front of their electors their refusal (if any) to allow all other sort of abominations. Hey, are you not “discriminating” against them, then?
An evil genie has been let out of the bottle. The fight to get it back again starts now.
Read here on the National Catholic Register about the vote of the US Congress regarding the ban of the celebration of so-called same-sex marriages in naval bases on the ground that it violate the federal Defence of Marriage Act.
This amendment removes (for the time being) the possibility that a military chaplain may find himself threatened in his religious liberty (because, say, obliged to either perform the “ceremony” or find a substitute for its celebration) and the resulting predictable exodus of military chaplains (Catholics, but not only) from the US Navy. In addition, it reinforces the federal law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The US Congress has now a republican majority of course, but this vote is said to have been bipartisan.
The battle against the modern parody of reality called “same-sex marriage” has just begun; if the Christians in the US wake up and smell the coffee, it can have only one outcome.
For the moment though, and at least in the US Navy, “Loretta” will have to wait.
Being Italian, I could write a blog post or two about shameless politicians. Still, I must say that the behaviour and declarations of Mr. Mark Grisanti are rather indigestible fare even for an Italian politician.
Mr. Grisanti first says, as recently as 2009, that he is “unalterably opposed to same-sex marriage”; then says that he is still opposed to same-sex marriage, but “if he takes the Catholic out of him”, which is “hard to do”, then he should actually be in favour; then he proceeds to decide that to get the Catholic out of him is not hard to do at all, and prostitutes his vote against, no doubt, a lot of money for his campaign comes election time. His astonishing explanation for his behaviour is that he could not “deny anyone in my district and across New York the same rights I have with my wife”.
And why is that, Mr. Mark Jezebel? What is your marriage to do with what perverts want to have legalised? You are a Catholic, right? “Oh no, I have taken that out of me, you know”. You are a harlot, Sir.
At this point the criticism evidently becomes ferocious, and Mr Grisanti must explain whether his prostitution phase was the one before, or the one after the vote, being clear that here prostitution has been at play at some time. At this point, our lady of pleasure chooses to say that hey, he never prostituted himself, he just happened to take the Catholic out of him! Let us hear him:
“in the past what I was telling you, and what I believed at that time, was the truth.”
This is fantastic: he believed that “it was the truth” when his Democratic opponent was pro-homos and it was convenient to “keep the Catholic in”, but at the first opportunity of currying favor and money the Catholic was promptly kicked out, obviously “believing” that it be right to do so.
But this is not enough, as the barrage in front of such astonishing, Berlusconi-shaming hypocrisy forces him to change his mind again after just a couple of days and to declare that his past “unalterable” position
“was probably more political than actually conscience.”
What an unspeakable, dirty little rat, and what a triple-faced Jezebel. In comparison to this man, Berlusconi and Craxi are shining beacons of political integrity. I hope that Mr. Grisanti – and the other little prostitutes like him – will be annihilated at the next opportunity, money or no money. Let him receive – metaphorically speaking – the same treatment he so approves in the sodomites, and we’ll see how he likes it. It is important that it be so in order to send a clear message that such behaviour carries consequences, and it’s the end of one’s political career.
Seriously: what a w&@re.
Perhaps it is just me, but I do not remember hearing so much talk of “joy” from Catholics when I was living in Italy, or Germany. Actually, not anywhere near as much. On the contrary, I remember a different accent being put on things: that life is a vale of tears I have heard infinite times as a child, and that we must bear sufferance with resignation was another leitmotiv.
Notice here that the people from whom I heard these words (mainly my grandmothers, and their sisters) where, generally speaking – and as most Italians, by the grace of God, undoubtedly are – rather serene, reasonably happy, good-natured and good-humoured people. So much so, that as a child – eagerly registering every word of the adults – you have some problems in reconciling these mostly jovial, smiling, loving old women with the affirmations they were spreading around as if they were the most natural things on earth.
When I came here, I started to hear a different tune. You talk with some Catholic and you think that they have just come from some Protestant superchurch, or spent a couple of hours listening to protestant tv evangelists. I am not talking only of people in the pews here, but also of priests. I’ll never forget the Franciscan in Notting Hill who thought he was a fat and bald version of Joel Osteen, and felt undoubtedly very cool in being so. You listened to him and you thought that life is just a huge amusement park, and your duty to enjoy every moment of the fun whilst shouting “praise the Lord” all the time. Sufferance was just swept aside.
Granted, such priests will tell you that the joy is about the Good News, but crucially, notice that these are invariably the priests you’ll very rarely hear focusing on….. the bad news: the very real, ever-present possibility of hell and the unavoidable reality of sufferance and trial, of disease and death, of bereavement and bitter tears. They just sweep all of this aside, and then you understand that all this talking of “joy” is actually a big process of removal of the unpleasant realities of life and, more often than not, of the unpleasant duties of a Catholic. If you want additional evidence of this, think of another show of Protestantism utterly unknown in the world in which I grew up: the turning of funerals into “celebrations”.
When you have become a party master you can never allow the party to be interrupted, lest the guests notice that the party is not such a great fun after all, and the party master a bit of a smoke seller.
All this focusing on joy sounds very much “new age” to me, and dangerously shallow. It seems to me that those people of a couple of generations ago – those you never heard talking of such things – had a better measure of Catholicism, and of life. They didn’t invite sufferance for sure, but they were under no childish illusion about the nature of our journey on earth. What they appeared to have most in mind was not really their supposed joy, but rather Our Lords’ Passion. As a result, they were acutely aware of the significance and richness of a correct dealing with sufferance in a proper Catholic fashion. The “vale of tears” was reminded to them every time they recited the “Hail, Holy Queen” – which must have been, for many of them, daily -, and this kind of preparedness allowed them to both cope better with the reverses of life, and to make the most of them spiritually.
I don’t see much of this today. Rather I see – as in other matters, too – a protestantisation of English Catholicism; a desire to be like the neighbour attending the church at the other end of the road, shouting his “joyous” message and fully immersed in his “feelings”; and then, possibly, divorcing his spouse because no one told him about the vale of tears. A dangerous thing, joy. If I am supposed to be oh so joyful a witness for Christ, why shouldn’t I divorce if this allows me to give God my joy, be a luminous witness of my joy in Christ, & Co? Is it such a surprise that as the perception of life as a vale of tears fades in the background, the number of divorced Catholics increases? How is it that as the accent shifts on our joy, the serenity of our children slowly fades in the background? “It is better for them, too”. Really?
In traditionally Catholic countries it worked -and, I would say, it largely still works – differently. This fixation with being “witnesses of joy” is just not there – not at the popular, everyday level I mean – because the Protestant neighbour with the amusement park mentality is just not there, either. I met the first chap telling me that he had “met Jesus” and wanted to “share his joy” outside of Italy, already in my twenties; he was a Canadian and I thought that he had some screws loose, so unusual, outlandish was his entire way of thinking and talking. We didn’t grow up with this “joy” thing, at all. We didn’t “meet” Jesus. Rather, your grandma would put you in front of a crucifix and make you kneel and pray, this was our “meeting Jesus”. Again, our ancestors didn’t share much the “joy” thing, as they did the Passion. What I distinctly remember, though, was the immense respect for people, like Padre Pio, who had suffered all their lives. This is what, if you ask me, I’d say that sat – and probably still sits – deepest in people’s consciousness.
And this is also what allowed them to carry on; what gave strenght to the widows; what consoled the wives with a husband and father, or with a son on the front line; what helped men to work hard, alone, in another continent, for the ones they loved; what helped people to help each other as they helped themselves. I know this, because I am old enough to have directly experienced, or heard from eyewitnesses, the way that generation coped with sufferance and misery, and made of it a treasure. Believe me, it worked.
You might think that this is an old-fashioned way to look at things; that it goes together with the fire and brimstone about which the abovementioned old ladies also talked without any problem; fire and brimstone that you will, tellingly, rarely find on the lips of the apostles of “joy”, the idea of gnashing of teeth being a bit of a theological party pooper. I think, on the other hand, that this is more authentic Catholic fare: not so sweet perhaps, but healthier in the end, and truly nourishing.
It’s not a walk in the park, the old ladies were saying. It’s serious. Literally, deadly serious. But this doesn’t mean that they were funereal people themselves! Actually, the contrary is the case! They were simply much better equipped to cope with life, and to get to heaven, than the present generation is. Their absence of illusions made them, in the end, more serene people, giving them more of exactly that “joy” the others are so focused about.
If I compare the old Catholic mentality with the new protestantised version I found here in England, it is not a surprise to me that divorce be so widespread among modern Catholics. They are just not equipped to deal with the, alas, harsh realities of life; they have been raised in a world where happiness is expected, nay, demanded and considered a right. By all the focusing on the joy, no one has told them of the sorrow, and the tears, and the hard gym this life is for everyone of us.
Those old women of the past had a wisdom in them that no trendy priest will ever get near to. Divorce would have seemed absurd to them, the search for individual happiness at the cost of disobedience a thing of the devil.
No much talk of “joy” there. But I am in no doubt as to who lived, and died, better.
Read here an article of the National Catholic Reporter about the vocation crisis among the US Hispanics.
The article is particularly interesting for some, I think, rather extraordinary affirmations of Auxiliary Bishop Nevares of Phoenix; affirmations that I would like to share with you:
Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares of Phoenix believes that because Hispanics have such a strong sense of family that they don’t want to leave to attend seminary
This is very interesting. We learn from this that in the past, when Mexico and Latin America didn’t even know how to spell “vocation crisis”, the sense of the family must not have been so strong. Bad times, I suppose.
Even better is the second explanation:
Additionally, young Hispanic men have a sense of obligation to help support the family financially, which they cannot do in the seminary.
This is also very instructive, because it teaches us that in the past, when Mexico was infinitely poorer than the Hispanics today living in the US are, young boys did not hesitate in plunging their families into destitution and utter misery.
Bishop Nevares’s conclusion is, then, perfectly aligned with his “pass the buck” premises:
“We need to persuade young married people that having a son that is a priest is honorable and will bring many blessings to a family,” said the bishop. “It is a wonderful gift to have a child that is a priest.”
Yes, let us make a bit of marketing for the priesthood, says the bishop. If we just could explain. Perhaps a Power Point presentation would be useful? This way the bishop could impress the family, who would then say to him “Pedro and Armando are already too much into wine and songs, but we’ll talk to our youngest, Benito, who might be interested”.
It seems to me that bishop Nevares looks for the culprit in the wrong place – the society out there – rather than where he should – inside the Church structures, and in the mentality reigning within her -.
The mere idea of a bishop thinking that priesthood be a matter of mentality of his faithful is not very reassuring. This is an entirely secular thinking, which in turn cannot but reflect the way a diocese organises its affairs and, in turn, the way it is seen by its faithful. A Church focused on the world will never have enough vocations, a Church focused on God always will.
Is it a surprise that the Hispanic population, who has been so systematically deprived of the very bases of Catholic instruction – at the point of giving massive support to Obama in the 2008 election – does not produce vocations? Where is the relentless defence of Catholic values that would allow the Hispanic families to rediscover the importance and dignity of the priestly office? Where are the brave, manly priests able to inflame a child’s heart with love for God and to let him desire to be, one day, himself on that pulpit, fighting God’s fight? Where is the constant stress of the role of the priest as Alter Christus, the explanation and constant reminding of his unique role in the economy of salvation, the constant stressing of the miracle which takes place daily through him?
If you make of a priest a vaguely pathetic wannabe social worker who can’t marry – and rather often not even a very masculine one at that – is it a surprise that this priest will not be taken as model, will not inspire anyone to want to become as largely irrelevant and vaguely superfluous as they themselves are? Vocations are the result of the young being taught properly and being instructed about the role of the priest, and of the young seeing these priest both taking their sacramental role seriously and fighting the good fight. Prestige is not a matter of marketing or of persuasion, and the uniqueness of the priest’s role can’t be properly transmitted if the rest of the church’s activity, and the daily actions of the priests themselves, contradict the marketing slogans.
I wonder how many Traditional Masses these dioceses with vocation problems have, because I do not know any situation in which a massive use of the Tridentine Mass doesn’t go together with healthy, or very healthy, vocations. For crying out loud, the SSPX is in imperfect communion and they don’t know where to put all their seminarians – seminarians who look forward to suspensio a divinis the day they are ordained! – and reasonably wealthy, growing communities of dioceses perfectly aligned to Rome complain about vocations and blame the “secular mentality” out there? Where do they think the conservative/traditionalist orders live, on Mars?
Again, both the analysis of the bishop and the proposed solution show where the problem lie: the consciousness that vocations will come when Catholicism (in the liturgy; in the instruction of the faithful; in the defence of Catholic values) is taken seriously again is just not there.
You will remember Herman Spronck (this is apparently the correct name, not Spronk as previously reported), the Dutch Salesian Superior who was publicly fine with sex at twelve and, in the wake of the scandal caused by his words, suspended and at risk of being defrocked.
1) Herman Spronck has, as his lawyer reports, left the order. It is not clear whether he went away or he was officially defrocked; possibly he was allowed to do the first to avoid the second.
2) In his position as the head of the Salesians in the Netherlands, Mr Spronck was the man who conducted the conversations with people alleging to have been victims of abuse through the Dutch Salesians. Yes, you have read correctly: the Salesians had a man who thinks OK to have sex with a boy of twelve be the one who talks to those claiming to be victims of sexual abuse. It’s a bit like having a wolf having preliminary conversations with the sheep claiming to have been assaulted by a wolf.
3) In case you think the salesians were in the dark as to the, erm, dark soul of Mr Spronck, you might be surprised (or not, as the case may be) to know that Spronck was convicted in 2006 for possession of child pornography and was condemned to 240 hours of unpaid work, (which is, I understand, the maximum allowed before jail kicks in). I agree with Messa In Latino that it is simply not credible that the Salesian Headquarters wouldn’t know of this conviction.
Therefore, the Salesians knew what kind of person he was and not only they left him at his place, but even allowed him to continue to be directly responsible for the handling of alleged cases of abuse. This truly goes beyond disgusting.
Messa in Latino makes the easy predictions that this is not the end of the revelations; and in fact, it is difficult to imagine any person in possession of a degree of sanity to have allowed Spronck to have remained at his place without the necessity of covering up further problems.
Please note that Spronck’s conviction is not a very old episode happened, say, in times were some people played with the idea that such behaviour was not so bad after all – if you are surprised, look at how sodomy is looked at now by these very same “liberal” people – but it is only five years old, of a time when the scandal was raging and the roles of priests as educators subject to particularly close scrutiny. Frankly I can’t imagine that here stupidity on an unprecedented scale was at play, rather something worse.
Spronck’s might well not be the last head to roll.
From the brilliant blog Ite ad Thomam, a predictably brilliant piece of the great theologian Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange about Practical Naturalism, manifested as both Americanism/Modernism and as Quietism. I have already written about this great man when presenting his view on deathbed conversion.
It is difficult to try to summarise or “explain” Garrigou-Lagrange’s points, as he writes in such a pithy but always very understandable manner that there is, in fact, no need whatsoever to do so.
What can be more interesting is to point out that “developments” that one would otherwise tend to consider new ones are, in fact, not new at all. In their struggle to take faith – and the inconvenient consequences of it; for example, awareness of and fight against sin, and necessity of penance – out of everyday life, modern thinkers are neither more original, nor more successful than their ancestor were. In the end, they end up taking Christ away from Christianity, and the search for a more convenient, less burdensome way of life necessarily leads them into a dark tunnel of absurdities chasing each other.
Enjoy this brilliant piece of Catholic thinking.
25 years later, “Yes, Prime Minister” continues to be one of the most profound pieces of TV comedy ever written. The great insights of the screenwriters is shown in the extremely elegant manner in which their simple truths are imparted, the clear message gently softened by that wonderful, wonderful British humour.
This time the always perceptive, suavely cynical Sir Humphrey Appleby introduces Jim Hacker, the Prime Minister, to the so-called Church of England.
It is sad to say that much of what he says applies to many of our bishops, too.
A new discussion has erupted regarding the limitations of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal concerning the music when the new missal comes into force. It appears very clear that these changes will be sweeping (no fantasy song at the Entrance and at Communion, say) and will be aimed at recovering some reverence and Catholic dignity to the Mass. I do not doubt that disobedience and pretending not to understand the instructions will be rampant at the beginning, but in time things will slowly adjust.
This is, though, another indication of what has happened in the last years:
1. A wonderful mass was available (the Tridentine);
2. V II and the “Spirit of V II” intervened and ravaged the Mass, protestantising it and reducing it to the travesty of the reverent, theologically sound celebration it was.
3. An attempt to recover the old, reverent way of celebrating Mass is ongoing, but still whilst trying to remain coherent with the principles of the new Mass.
What we continue to see is an attempt to repair a devastated Mass by staying as much as possible faithful to the principles of those who caused the devastation in the first place.
This is illogical. It must be clear now to everyone that what was wrong with the Novus Ordo is the Novus Ordo. It is not that there was a “right reform” which subsequently degenerated in the “wrong reform”. On the contrary, there was a wrong reform and this inevitably led to even worse problems, as logically as the French Revolution led to the Terror and the October Revolution led to the Stalinian purges. To start the “aggiornamento” and to think that it would stop where the initiators (allegedly) hoped it would stop was exactly as intelligent as to throw oneself down a cliff and to hope that one will stop in mid-air. There is no single problem of the Novus Ordo that has not been generated by the very mentality that has originated the Novus Ordo, that is: that the old ways were wrong, and the way of celebrating Mass had to be “updated”. The mentality is always the same, the only difference is the degree of devastation. The “Spirit of V II”-crowd is – liturgically speaking, of course; on the theology there have been no innovations, only a lot of confusion – not the betrayal of V II, but its logical end.
Further proof of this is that the allegedly moderate, “prudent revolutionaries” Conciliar Fathers who have given us the V II reforms were the same people who came back to their dioceses and immediately started to preside over the further work of destruction. This was not an accident, nor was it the result of all these bishops suddenly losing their head. It was the logical development of the ideological premise, that the liturgy needed to be “updated” and adapted to the new world. When you start to think that the Mass must be updated, where will the update stop? When you start to think that it must be adapted to the changed times, how will you stop those who want to, after some time, “adapt” further?
The recent attempts at repairing the Novus Ordo are laudable in themselves, but they are a path leading back to the only inevitable conclusion: the recovery of tradition, and of the Tridentine Mass. To continue to make wrong things less and less wrongly but remaining within the realm of the wrong mentality that caused the problems in the first place is an improvement (less wrong is better than more wrong, for sure), but it will never lead to doing things right.
The only way of doing things right is doing them the way they were done before the wrong mentality crept in.
Give us back the Tridentine Mass as the only Mass. This solves all the liturgical problems.
Susan Brooks Thistletwhaite is one of those liberals according to whom if you disagree with her you can’t be Christian. Coherently with this position (or perhaps not; but this is irrelevant at some point) she believes that Catholic bishops don’t have the right to be Catholic bishops, this being “undemocratic” and “not pluralistic”. The level of confusion going on here is impressive, but funny at the same time and shows all the Goebbelsian arrogance of Liberalism.
Today, I present to your attention (via The American Catholic) a fine piece of fisking of the delirious rants of the elderly lady, written by a Protestant. (a fine soul it would appear, who regularly defends the Catholic clergy and values from the attack of the liberal crowd. A prayer for his conversion is certainly in order).
It shouldn’t be said that I do not do my part for the understanding among Christian denominations..
From the Lux Occulta blog, a site with an almost inexhaustible (and growing!) collection of old Catholic booklets from the times when Catholicism was taken seriously, “Matthew, Mark,Luke,John”, a rather impressive work with a telling subtitle: “Were they fooled? Did they lie?”
This booklet is very unusual in that whilst other booklet of past ages (this is from 1945) generally take some time to get to the point, this one starts abruptly with a dialogue between an imaginary atheist and the author. The booklet has several themes unfolding in rapid (and never boring) succession. I find the most important the following:
1) humans are not always driven by logic. Once an opinion is consolidated and the emotional investment is big enough, truth will be discarded in whatever way rather than being accepted because logically invincible. I never understood how protestant throw gospel verses at you, but they never cut off their arm when it offends them. If every verse is enough to sustain an argument, go get the machete…..
2) the martyrdom is otherwise inexplicable. People who mock the “legends” of Christ’s life fail to explain how so many people from all walks of life would gladly die, or risk death, for a legend. I don’t know many urban tales able to effect the conversion of roman centurions (well-known as very smart people), prestigious members of the sinhedrin, and rich tax collectors. These were people who held their job or position because considered highly intelligent, reliable, efficient, or trustworthy.
3) there was no incentive to conversion: so these people not only started to believe in legends; they were ready to die for it. More and more with the time.
4) the facts of the Gospel were not questioned by contemporary Jews. There is no record of such in Jewish sources. It is obvious that Jesus could only have been put on trial if he had had a growing number of followers; many of his miracles were very public; you can’t fabricate a public reputation of miracle-making on miracles no one has seen, and denied by the religious leaders. But heal ten lepers at the same time, and that will be something impossible to deny or silence. Many people claim to be God, but they just don’t go around healing lepers. That’s why instead of starting a new religion, they are in mental health structures. In the case of Jesus, the religious leaders preferred to accuse him to operate miracles through demons rather than deny miracles that were under everyone’s eyes.
5) The evangelists contradict one another: never in essential matters, but they’ll obviously have slightly different recollections or direct the attention on different aspects of the same situation. This is actually further proof of their authenticity and truthfulness, as conspirators to a forgery would certainly have cared for total concordance. Four different people, different times, different languages, different audiences, different priorities and, in part, a slightly different remembrance. Exactly as it would happen if you’d ask ten different people to describe the dynamic of a true car accident they have witnessed.
6) It is so difficult to convert a Jew. Today is no different. Jews have an extremely strong sense of belonging to their group. You don’t see many of them converting. To them, religious identity is identity tout court. Still, so many were converted, to the point of becoming dangerous for the religious authorities. Would a deluded fool spreading legends, and mad to the point of self-destruction, persuade so many people to follow him in the same senseless madness? This would, in truth, be a miracle bigger than any one recorded in the Gospel.
7) The Evangelists were rather simple people. So let us recapitulate what happened according to some sceptics: a small bunch of fishermen creates an astonishing story about the messiah having arrived on earth; they persuade people that this man performed miracles; they elaborate a complicated story about why this messiah did not lead them to prosperity and military power, but rather died a horrible, humiliating death on the cross to atone for their sins; they write four tales during several decades to keep the legend alive; and in the process, they proceed to be almost all killed for the sake of this story, and to cause the death of countless others. All very logical, isn’t it? How come we have not thought about it before…
8 ) There have been no manipulations. It is not possible to construct the Gospels as a later, modified version of some mythical original – and different – version. All authorised Gospels around correspond to extremely old Gospels in the hands of the Vatican. There has been, demonstrably, no “evolution” in the text of the Gospels, the ones we read today being entirely consistent with the oldest versions known. Therefore, we read today the same story the Christians of the I century read; miracles, promises, parables, and all.
As every apologetical work, this booklet will not persuade those who do not want to be persuaded. But it will, I think, be a useful reading for the many people who are a bit confused about the truths of the Gospel or want to be in a position to better defend it.
I have written about the possible purchase of the so-called Crystal Cathedral from the Diocese of Orange, and suggested that the construction ex novo of a cathedral made in the good old way would be a far preferable solution to the conversion of a protestant temple without the typical aesthetic (and spiritual) feature of a cathedral.
From the always excellent Rorate Caeli, an example of what can be done: the new Cathedral of Pristina, Serbia/Kosovo.
As you can see from the photograph, this is a very traditional, beautiful, inspiring building. It is also encouraging that it should be build in a region tormented by civil war not many years ago.
The future looks, thank God, more and more similar to our beautiful past.
If you needed some evidence of the power of the new media, look no further than at the excellent Rorate Caeli blog. Here, what is clearly a retractation from him (he calls it “clarification”; let us put a charitable blanket of silence on that…) was posted.
Allow me to say beforehand that I will not insult your intelligence by pretending to believe – and asking you to believe – that no external pressure was at work on this, and Rorate Caeli themselves have no doubt whatsoever on the matter. If you ask me, this has “Rome” written all over it and my congratulations are for them, not for the Cardinal.
The most salient words of Policarpo’s message are in my eyes the following (emphases always mine):
The reactions to this interview have forced me to look into this theme with greater care, and I have ascertained that, mostly for not having taken into appropriate consideration the latest declarations of the Magisterium on the matter, I gave rise to those reactions
So, he has forgotten to read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, or was not attentive in class. Which, OS having been released only seventeen years ago, goes under “latest declarations of the Magisterium”. Still, it is nice and deserving of credit that he acknowledges that the problem has been caused by him.
The most recent Magisterium of the Popes interprets this uninterrupted tradition, that has its origin in Christ and in the Apostolic body, not only as a practical way to proceed, which may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit, but as an expression of the ministry of the Church itself, which we must receive in faith.
The Cardinal is wrong again here, but one understands that he is just trying to give some half-baked excuse for his scandal. The truth is that the Church has never said that male priesthood is a practical way to proceed. Never, ever. The Cardinal is confusing male priesthood with male celibacy, for sure. Much less has the Church ever said that male priesthood “may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit”. Already the idea that there be a “rhythm” of the Holy Spirit “rhythmically” changing Truth is openly heretical and again, the Cardinal is confusing Catholicism with, say, Episcopalianism. The idea that there could be an “uninterrupted tradition” in such vital doctrinal matters that could be changed by the “rhythm of the Holy Spirit” is purest “so-called bishopess Schori”-thinking.
Male priesthood is constant and universal tradition of the Church. This is Ordinary and universal Magisterium, period. This would be every bit as infallible if Ordinatio Sacerdotalis had never been written. Someone who had expressed himself in, say, the Thirties as Cardinal Policarpo expresses himself today would have found himself in deep trouble, very fast.
Let us read again the relevant bit of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, also cited by the Cardinal:
‘Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.’
How is it possible to understand from here anything else than the simple, plain fact that the “rhythm of the holy spirit” bollocks has never been justifiable, that it has always gone against Church teaching and that it even goes against “the Church’s divine constitution” is beyond me. If a teacher teaches to his pupils in 1994 that 2+2=4, this is not the teacher’s “latest declaration”. This is fact. It has always been this way, not starting from 1994!
The Cardinal continues with the following words:
“We are thus called to accept the Magisterium of the Holy Father, in the humility of our faith, and to continue to deepen the relationship of the ministerial priesthood with the priestly quality of all the people of God, and to discover the feminine way of building the Church, in the decisive role of the mission of our women sisters.
I hate to be fussy, but the good Cardinal obviously still doesn’t get it. It is not the teaching of JP II that says that male priesthood is the only way. It is Ordinary and universal Magisterium, because it is what “has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church”. There can’t be a clearer indication of this being Ordinary and universal Magisterium than these words. Cardinal Policarpo, and all those with the same strange “rhythmical” fantasies, must once and for all stop pretending that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has brought any change. It hasn’t. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has merely stated what always was.
In the end, though, and making some allowance for the embarrassment of a poor man trying to justify the unjustifiable – like the pupil caught sleeping in class and asked to give an explanation of what he is doing – Cardinal Policarpo makes very clear that where the Magisterium is, there is he. This is a welcome, erm, “clarification”, because a different message had been spread through his words.