Monthly Archives: October 2011

England and Poland

As my American readers won’t know, in the last few years Halloween has become bigger here in the UK, blown out of all proportions considering the near-zero level of such a tradition.

This new fashion is, really, nothing more profound than the next stupid TV program, and basically just another occasion not to think and/or get drunk. Pubs, restaurants and venues of all kind have started to pump “Halloween” as if it was St George’s, or St. Patrick’s day. Very soon, millions pretended to believe the hype, as it offers another occasion to “have fun”, basically a polite way of saying “getting drunk to the point of vomiting”.

As we are in England, Halloween is conveniently anticipated to the last weekend before the 31 October; therefore, this year Halloween basically fell on the 28 and 29 October, with the 31st clearly left for the children. Children, it must be said, who to great numbers (at least in London) haven’t even been baptised and might not know what Christmas is about, but – make no mistake – will grow up knowing what Halloween is.

Aahh, the miracles of inclusiveness, diversity, understanding for the disintegration of every value and the loss of every decency… but hey, the parents will have to make some “sensitivity training” in the office, so everything is fine, isn’t it?

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Fast forward, Poland, All Souls Night.

I read Left-Footer’s comment on how the Poles live this night and boy, was I ashamed. Please follow the link and give it a read yourselves.

By the way, tomorrow is Holy Day of Obligation. You may want to google the mass times of the churches near you, or near your office.

God help Western Europe.

Mundabor

Bishop Slattery and V II

Samples of Vatican II.

Rorate Caeli has an interesting excerpt from an interview to Bishop Slattery. Whilst the link to the original interview is given, I prefer to link to Rorate because it focuses on one issue: the liturgy, and this gives us an excellent starting point for wider considerations.

I am pleased that Bishop Slattery unites his voice to the ones of those who say that Vatican II has caused damage to the liturgy. What I would like to point out here is that I continue to see in his words the usual mentality by which the dirty water is defended and it is said that the baby was made dirty just because the dirty water was not used in the right way. Alas, if you wash a baby with dirty water you won’t clean him much.

Let us examine his words:

What we lost in a short period of time was continuity. The new liturgy should be clearly identifiable as the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church. Changes, like turning the altar around, were too sudden and too radical. There is nothing in the Vatican II documents that justifies such changes.

Reading this phrase, one has the impression that – bluntly speaking – some asteroid had fallen from the skies, suddenly causing the end of the liturgical continuity; that the “radical changes” were something which surprised the church hierarchy rather than being tolerated and/or promoted by them; and that everything that happened after Vatican II has to do with anything at all, besides.. Vatican II.

This idea of all the problem of Vatican II not originating in Vatican II is made more clear in another observation:

it was not a wise decision to do away with Latin in the Mass. How that happened, I don’t know; but the fathers of the Council never intended us to drop Latin.

The bishop “doesn’t know” how Latin was massacred. Well, I can tell him how it was: it was because those very same conciliar fathers who didn’t touch Latin during the works set up to its destruction as soon as the official works were finished.; it was because revolutions are seldom proclaimed officially, rather they explode when those who wanted half-revolutions fail to either see the danger, or lack the will to fight against it; it was because V II set a process in motion that made its interruption unacceptable, nay, unthinkable. It was because the clergy at all levels (from Pope Paul VI down) preferred to “go with the flow” rather than to order an end to the madness.

To say that Vatican II was right and the devastation that followed was wrong is the same as to say that Castro was right and Castroism wrong, or Lenin right and Stalin wrong; it is an indication of that particular blindness that doesn’t see the evil causes, but only condemns the evil effects; it reminds one of the girl who indulges in premarital sex and upon discovering her pregnancy says, with the bishop: “How that happened, I don’t know”.

I personally find this insisted defense of the indefensible increasingly embarrassing, as if it were possible to consider Vatican II as if it had taken place in a bubble and without giving a single thought to why it was called to life in the first place, which was the cultural climate in which it started, what happened during the works and which were the unavoidable consequences of the events. Nor can it be said that the consequences of Vatican II on the Catholic world were not visible, or that it would not have been possible to foresee them. Archbishop Lefebvre and many others – even near to the top, as theOttaviani intervention proves – could very well see where all this was leading to. But really, Lefebvre & Co. weren’t the only ones: everyone could see, but most among the clergy liked what they were seeing, or conveniently chose to look away.

If you ask me, the problem with Vatican II is Vatican II; and if you ask me, until this is honestly acknowledged we will continue to wash the baby with dirty water.

Mundabor

Newt Gingrich Says It Straight

Refreshingly blunt: Newt Gingrich

 

 

The CNA has an interesting article about some remarks of the 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

First, there is this interesting remark:

“Any leader should seek God’s guidance,” he said. “The teachings of the Church inform my thinking about solving earthly problems.”

I do not know to what extent Gingrich practices what he preaches, but I can’t say he is preaching badly. The idea that a Catholic could be allowed to forget his faith when voting or taking political decisions is certainly being challenged more and more often.

Please also note that Gingrich correctly says “the Church” instead of, say, “my Church”.

The most interesting part is, though, the following one:

Gingrich said that he would “listen” to the concerns of those who feel threatened by his views and values.

“In many cases better communications and clarification will eliminate their worries,” he said.

“In some cases they are right to feel threatened because we have incompatible values and fundamentally different visions of the future.”

It is the first time that I read of a Presidential candidate saying to the anti-Christians fraction such open words, “you are right to feel threatened”. They are right to feel threatened because they are a threat to Christianity and their right to damage Christianity would therefore be taken away.

He is basically saying that there will no namby pamby slogans about everyone not having anything to fear, and a Christian society being able to be Christian and at the same time accommodate everyone’s whims, like, say, your British bishop would do.This kind of open talk is very, very rare in Europe and is probable to have one accused of being an extremist.

If a conservative President is elected, a march toward the curtailing of legal right will be set in motion, either through direct presidential action or through legislative action – if the President disposes of the necessary majorities in Senate and Congress, which I consider rather probable – or more long-term with the attempt to appoint decent Supreme Court judges instead of, say, left-wing lesbians.

It is good and honest that these things are said loud and clear, and become an integral part of the electoral campaign. It is also refreshing that Gingrich doesn’t try to use the usual European tactics of “do not worry, we’ll make everyone happy anyway” and says instead that, legislatively speaking at least, there will be blood.

How refreshing.

Please do not use the combox to write your opinion about Mr Gingrich as a candidate, as I think that such discussion belong elsewhere – I might make a poll in future about this -. The matter here is, as I see it, not whether Mr Gingrich is a good candidate or even a good man, but whether the debate is going to go in the direction of frontal assault to anti-Christian legislation. If anyone could provide a parallel statement of other candidates, this could be very interesting.

Mundabor

 

 

 

 

Strange Theology At Assisi III

In this rare photo, Assisi I and Assisi III pose for the camera.

Rorate Caeli has the integral text of Pope Benedict’s intervention at Assisi.

I see in his words a clear example of what I lamented in another post: the attempt to remain orthodox whilst at the same time not saying the things that hurt. I also see an unfortunate reprise of one of JP II’s clearly noticeable traits: to express Catholic truths in a way that non-Catholics can easily interpret in their own way.

Let me examine the parts I find problematic:

Unfortunately, we cannot say that freedom and peace have characterized the situation ever since.

This, and other references, show a rather secular perspective of war and peace. It is as if peace would be the state we are supposed to be in, but we continue to be in a state of more or less spread war. An atheist will not see in this any reference to the fact that, this being a fallen world, there will always be war. But the Pope says this, too! He says that “violence as such is potentially ever-present and it is a characteristic feature of our world”, basically expressing the same concept, but accurately avoiding any Catholic explanation of it and giving rather an anthropological description of the phenomenon of violence. The secular reader will be perfectly free to interpret his words in a secular way: men tend at time to be violent, but a war-free world is possible through human effort. The pacifists’ god, Peace, is not attacked in any conceivable way.

In a way that is more subtle but no less cruel, we also see religion as the cause of violence when force is used by the defenders of one religion against others. The religious delegates who were assembled in Assisi in 1986 wanted to say, and we now repeat it emphatically and firmly: this is not the true nature of religion.

Here, the Pope seems to throw to the pacifist dog an even bigger bone: violence to defend your religion against another is wrong, and this we have already oh so beautifully said in Assisi (where I did not want to go, btw). Besides the obvious considerations  about, say, the Crusades and Lepanto this seems a condemnation of even purely defensive violence like the resistance during the siege of Vienna. I do not doubt that many who were gathered in Assisi in 1986 would have given Vienna to the Ottoman for love of peace, but the point is that this is pacifism, not sound Catholic theology. Note, though, that what he is says is, literally taken, merely that violence is not the true nature of religion. Well no of course it isn’t, but is this truism really the whole point?

Of course,, one can construct the Holy Father’s speech in such a way as to link this kind of violence only to the unmotivated, unjustified violence he was talking about. But once again, the choice of words is such that everyone can feel pleased, and frankly you would need a person well-instructed in Catholic teaching, and possibly re-reading the text in search of the veiled references to Catholic theology, to get the orthodox interpretation. All the others will hear exactly what they wanted to hear, and be mightily pleased with their own opinions as a result.

As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame

More of the same. The Holy Father here is certainly not talking about, say, the Crusades, but of the massacres made in the name of God in all ages. It stands to reason, though, that every Muslim and many others who were present have read this in exactly the wrong way. I do not doubt that everyone was pleased.

But where is God? Do we know him, and can we show him anew to humanity, in order to build true peace? Let us first briefly summarize our considerations thus far. I said that there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace.

Two rather rhetorical questions are posed here. Yes, of course we know that there is God. We can have absolute, rationale certainty of that. God has given us the way, if we collaborate with him, to reach this rational certainty. And yes, we can and must show God to the world, to the atheists and to the pagans, to bring His truth to the world. None of the questions is answered in the Catholic way, and even an atheist might subscribe to the concept expressed by the Pope in the following phrases: that faith in God can be an instrument for good. The Pope doesn’t say that God certainly exists and that He is the certain and inescapable answer, nor that it is a duty of every person to do his work and accept Christ’s message and the Church’s teaching; he says that some people believe in God and some of them put their faith to good use. Am I the only one missing the missionary message here? Am I the only one thinking that a reminder to conversion, made in the opportune way still clearly formulated, should be the first message of every address to non-Christians and non believers? 

In addition to the two phenomena of religion and anti-religion, a further basic orientation is found in the growing world of agnosticism: people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God. Such people do not simply assert: “There is no God”. They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness. They are “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”.

I found this positively disturbing, and another huge bone thrown, this time, to the agnostics present. Agnostics to whom it is told how good they are – provided they are, in some way, “seeking” – rather than how necessary to their salvation faith is. I saw no trace here of the concept that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The way of Jesus can be doubted, his Truth not accepted, the Life given through Him set aside like a piece of cake which might, or might not, have gone off; but hey, one is a “seeker of truth” and, in an even more daring automatism, “seeker of peace” and then he becomes a kind of positive force. I also read no warning as to the fact that only through Jesus salvation can be obtained, rather an agnostic can think that, if he proves to be totally wrong at death, his being “seeker of truth” and (why?) of “peace” will be more than enough to get, so to speak, past the bouncer.

Also, when the Pope speaks of those to whom the gift of faith is not given, he does not mention that faith as a theological virtue – rather than the mystical faith he is rather referring to – requires submission of intellect, serious work and intellectual acceptance of Revealed Truth and that this effort and acceptance are a duty, not an option. He also omits to say that men have the duty to pray that they may obtain faith, rather than putting their own values regarding, say, the righteousness of their own “seeking” above the Truths taught by the Church. The Holy Father is not converting them, he is pleasing and appeasing them, finding strange merits in their behaviour that have never been part of Catholic teaching in the following passage:

“but they also challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others”.

What? Since when did we need agnostics not to become unjustifiably violent Christians? Since when has the agnostic become a healing element of Christian society? This expression logically means that a world with Christians and agnostics is a better world than one where everyone is a Christian, because in the latter we would miss the positive elements of the agnostics not challenging etc.

Once again, I am in no doubt that a trained theologian will find some way in which the words of the Holy Father can be proved to be, in some unexpected way, bent to adherence to Catholic theology. But this is not the point. Christians aren’t trained theologians, and pagans are it even less. As a Catholic, one has a justified expectation to hear from a Pope clear Catholic teaching explained without fear and without ambiguities meant to please – or at least not anger – the crowd of the day. 

Compare Pope Benedict’s words with the recently published excerpts from “Mortalium Animos“, and you’ll get a better idea of what I mean. There is, in the entire document, not a single word which would expose itself to misinterpretation, and no strange theology praising agnostics for their “research” whilst they refuse to accept Christ. If you refuse to accept truth you are not a pilgrim of truth, full stop.

It seems to me that Assisi III had all the construction faults of Assisi I, thought in a much smaller format.

Mundabor

 

 

Assisi III Flops

Feel-good exercises are not what they used to be.

I do not know whether you have the same impression, but I have the distinctive feeling that the Assisi III meeting was a big, big flop.

I had written already about the fact that the secular media has given some notable space to the event, even noticing the dissent within conservative Catholicism. What i would not have expected is how rather massively ignored this event was, basically finding a substantial echo only in those place where this was unavoidable: the Catholic world.

One might legitimately say that in a world constantly looking for headlines, the Euro crisis stole the show and therefore the Assisi gathering went largely ignored. One might also say that a good God helped this to happen so as to avoid, as much as possible, embarrassment and controversy. I for myself would like to make some further points:

1) I always disagreed, and still disagree, with the extraordinary idea that a Pope has to do something just because he is put under pressure to do it. This is purely and simply not the case. The Pope, and no other, decides which gatherings to promote and which ones to ban. It is not only his faculty to do so, but his responsibility.

2) The “peace gathering” currency is rapidly becoming as discredited as anthropogenic global warming. It has now become that kind of abused, common place, worn news that the media will pick up only if there is nothing better to put in the first page, but will be happily ignored if more interesting things happen. To stay here in the UK, the mere fact that not only the Euro crisis, but even a couple of hundred campers near St. Paul could steal the show to the Pope says it all about the utter and total failure of this initiative, the non-necessity of it being done, and the supposed inevitability of the Pope having to – as the Germans say – “put himself at the head of the movement” in order to avoid further damage.

3) One could also say that the initiative was not picked by the media because a couple of non-Christian big wigs decided not to attend. This argument, if believed, says two things: a) that the Pope needs other people to gather interest around his initiatives, and b) that if the initiative dies because some Egyptian cleric doesn’t attend, it would have been annihilated if the Pope himself had not been there; nay: that it would have been ignored if the Pope had forbidden it.

Assisi III was a clear failure. Thank God for that. I hope this will be taken as a lesson and as an inspiration to do things differently in future, with more Catholicism and less banalities.

What has happened in Assisi was nothing else than a failed attempt to please the masses with a handful of trite common places. I am glad to say that it seems not to work anymore.

Mundabor

Pagan Chant In The Church: The Spirit of Assisi III

Queen Amidala's office denied any responsibility in the accident.

Read here in Father Z’s Blog about the pagan priest chanting to a pagan deity in the church.

This happened in the presence of the Pope, after the Pope himself had given the microphone to the chap.

I cannot imagine that this was a provocation, or was made with any kind of malicious intent; and this is, I think, exactly the problem.

If a Pagan thinks, in perfect good faith, that he can pray in a consecrated Catholic church, in the presence (I assume) of the Blessed Sacrament, in the presence of even the Pope, and after being given the word by the same Pope, this is a clear indication that the entire exercise was made in the wrong spirit, or at the very least that it was made so carelessly and with such blatant disregard for Catholic Truth, that such a thing could happen with the intention of pleasing the presents, and the Christians among them. This is how – to say it mildly – confused the entire concept was.

This is the unavoidable result of the ambiguity of wanting to do things straight and curved, pleasing the peace ‘n love ecumenical crowd and the orthodox Catholics at the same time. The concept of meeting together “for peace” in the spirit of accepting that it is fine to belong to different religions, but at the same time asking them to pray separately because it is not, simply avoids the issue of truth and lie, and of why Christianity exists in the first place. As the chap was singing alone, as requested, he was certainly not thinking of doing something contrary to Christian feelings; he was probably not even aware that for Christians he is actually supposed to convert; he certainly thought it a gesture of friendship to start singing pagan songs in a church.

Well, one can’t but wonder how could it come to such a point, and the answer is known to all of us: because Christian values have been pushed in the background in an awkward attempt to link, but not link, spirituality and desire for peace; to accept, but not accept, that people have other faiths; to say that it is cool, but that it actually also isn’t, to pray to one’s deity for peace.

I wonder whether the chap is aware, as I write, of the scandal he – unwittingly – caused. Possibly not, as no one might have thought it charitable to inform him of the fact. He was, after all, such a nice bloke so affectionate to his Amidala, or Olokuna, or however she is called.

If you ask me, this incident epitomises so much that is wrong in today’s work of the Church: the attempt to remain formally orthodox without saying the unpleasant things. This entire Assisi episode has been a long walk on the brink of heresy, with the Pope assuring us that he would take care that we would not fall into the pit, but in my eyes failing to provide a convincing argument that such a walk was advisable – let alone necessary – in the first place.

The result is the “Spirit of Assisi III”, clearly seen in a chap who thinks it perfectly appropriate to chant a pagan song in a Catholic church.

Congratulations.

Mundabor

 

 

Before Assisi: “Mortalium Animos”

Not a crowd-pleaser: Pope Pius XI

To help you to recover after the orgy of crowd-pleasing peace slogans – and worse, as I might write separately – some points from Pius XI’s  Mortalium Animos.

All emphases mine. Enjoy:

…although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act, it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ.

8. This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ.

Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost: has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself?

If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy.

Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth.

These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment “Love one another,” altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ’s teaching: “If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you.”

Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord’s Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, “the one mediator of God and men”. How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians.

So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.

Mundabor

Crystal Cathedral Goes To Chapman University

Will remain as Catholic as Calvin: the Crystal Cathedral.

 

This deserves a Te Deum.

Not due to the diocese of Orange, but merely to the sellers having picked the institution offering the on the whole best package for them, the Catholics of the Orange diocese have avoided having a Cathedral that looks like the headquarter of a pharmaceutical company, or a  potential venue for Holiday On Ice.

The agreement now reached allows the proddie community to continue to remain in the building, transforming the bankruptcy procedure in a certainly painful – but not as traumatic as bankruptcy and asset liquidation – sale and lease back. The community will even have the right to buy back the property once the financial situation improves. The Christian Cathedral Ministry (as I think it’s called) could really not have picked any other solution, once the offer of Chapman guaranteed to satisfy the creditors. If we look at it realistically, if there is an offer which is acceptable by the creditors and allows the Ministry to buy back the building, the Ministry will have to be seen to be willing to buy the building back irrespective of the real chances of this really happening.

Please note that the offer of the Orange County diocese would also have allowed the ministry to remain in the place for another three years, thus making the solution certainly attractive from a financial point of view, but not so terribly fast compared to the process  of building a new Cathedral.

Just as an aside, I allow myself to direct your attention to the result of the “miracle campaign” started last summer and about which I had already reported. It now turns out the final result of the worldwide fund raising campaign was….. £172,775.50.

I dare say that if we want to see miracles, we will have to continue to look for them in the place provided for them by God: His One Church.

Mundabor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

France: Poor Clares Not Entirely Starving

From Rorate Caeli, the new mansion dwelling of the Poor Clares in Ronchamp, France.

Turns out the Poor Clares aren’t so poor after all, as twelve million euro are spent to provide suitable accommodation for seven of them. Last time I looked, that was 1.7142857 million euro per (Poor) Clare.

One wonders how the “Rich Clares” would live.

Please also note the extreme spirituality of the place, immediately recognisable as a place where Catholic sisters live, and irresistibly inducing to spirituality and contemplation.

You will be glad to know that no Church money has been spent to create this… thing, which is actually the work of the rather well-off lay organisation owning the site; still, one wonders what has happening to once cherished concepts like, say, Christian spirituality.

The author of this work is Renzo Piano, whose fame rests, among other things, on some of the most anti-spiritual religious buildings ever devised by human mind. As you can see in the photo, this was another excellent effort.

Poor Clares. Every little helps*.

Mundabor

* That’s only for the Brits, I am afraid.

The Inner Contradiction Of Assisi III

King Theoden, facing the impending Assisi III meeting

To say it with King Theoden, “and so it begins”: the dreaded Assisi III is upon us.

I cannot avoid noticing that in these last days, the secular/atheist press has given some space (more than I ever dared to dream) to the criticism from conservative Catholics of the past Assisi exercises, and the efforts made by the Holy Father to make things differently. You find in the so-called “Guardian” one of the frequent examples of the last weeks.

One cannot avoid a smile at seeing that the numerically still small fraction of conservatively minded Catholics is now so much in the centre stage of Catholic life that even the dark red “Guardian” notices its presence. Still, it seems to me that already today – and very probably, more so in the next days – it can be easily said that this Assisi gathering brings to the light the mistakes of the past ones. In his effort to let people know how to do it right, the Holy Father brings to the attention of the Catholic world how, in the past, it was made wrong. This, of course, provided that this gathering doesn’t give rise to scandals, which – though I am personally half-optimist, as long as I can – remains to be seen. 

If Assisi I and Assisi II were right, then there was no necessity to point out to the differences. If they were wrong, then I continue not to see the necessity of, one generation later, informing the Catholic planet of the fact. It seems to me a bit as if the Vatican would promote a new and orthodox version of Jansenism in order to show that what was done wrongly in the past can be done rightly in the future.

Add to this that I am very afraid to be submerged by the worst possible “we are the world” rhetoric, the piercing smell of peace and love molasses already reaching these not-so-delicate ears.

We will see how this pans out. I trust that it will not be anything anywhere similar to the 1986 gatherings in his heretic potential, but I am afraid that it will still be much different from how Conservative Catholics would have done it.

If they thought they had to do it, that is; which I personally don’t believe at all.

Mundabor.

Rumours of Hippy Pope Unfounded

Official: No Vatican tents.

No prelates in the tents, it transpired.

If you need proof of the spectacular stupidity of the mass media – particularly in these times of desperate need of headlines and 12-second attention span – you need to look no further than to the reaction of the press to the alleged “Vatican document” allegedly expressing itself for an alleged “world bank” able to run the financial world like, erm, Snow White would.

The mediocrity of this kind of information has been already exposed on several sites, but I particularly liked this one, from the pen of Georg Weigel. I allow myself to quote some of the most interesting phrases:

Drudge got it wrong: “Vatican Calls for ‘Central World Bank’.” CNBC got it wrong: “The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a ‘global public authority’ and a ‘central world bank’.” The best of the Italian Vaticanisti, Sandro Magister of L’espresso, linked Occupy Wall Street and “the Vatican at the Barricades” in the headline of his insta-commentary, a theme also harped upon by the deposed editor of America, Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J.

All of which was “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.”

The truth of the matter is that “the Vatican” — whether that phrase is intended to mean the Pope, the Holy See, the Church’s teaching authority, or the Church’s central structures of governance — called for precisely nothing in this document. The document is a “Note” from a rather small office in the Roman Curia. The document’s specific recommendations do not necessarily reflect the settled views of the senior authorities of the Holy See

Both Cardinal Turkson and Bishop Toso indicated, in line with long-standing Catholic social doctrine, that the Church-as-Church was incompetent to offer “technical solutions” but rather wished to locate public policy debates within the proper moral frameworks.

To suggest, as most of the immediate reporting and commentary did, that the Catholic Church was endorsing one or another set of proposals for re-ordering international finance, and was doing so as a matter of exercising its doctrinal authority, was a very bad category mistake, reflecting either the pitfalls of instant analysis in the 24/7 news cycle, progressivist-Catholic spin, or both.

Bottom line (so to speak): This brief document from the lower echelons of the Roman Curia no more aligns “the Vatican,” the Pope, or the Catholic Church with Occupy Wall Street than does the Nicene Creed. Those who suggest it does are either grossly ill-informed or tendentious to a point of irresponsibility.

I thought it fitting to give some words of warning, as the obsession with the “news” and the instant-headline, which doesn’t even spare the likes of Magister, is making more and more damage.

I also bring to your attention that such an institution as the one – if you ask me, very naively; and I am being gentle – envisioned by Cardinal Turkson and Bishop Toso would in fact create the most powerful, illiberal, oppressive istitution on the planet, deciding on the economic destiny of billions without the, well, planet having a say in what they do. A socialist dream come true…

These days, you don’t need to have had an introduction to macroeconomics to understand that the moves of central banks do decide of success or failure, prosperity or recession, of entire nations, and that a world bank with a world economic policy would be tantamount to a world dictatorship of bureaucrats. But who cares, provided it sounds nice and lets one feel so good…..

The kind of world monetary government suggested by our two heroes reminds one strongly of the discussions of children in kindergarten about how they would regulate the world economy, or what they would do to avoid wars. It would be, in my eyes, a good move if the higher echelons of the Vatican would suggest that in future, churchmen limit themselves to doing their job, rather than trying to get some popularity by improvising a competence they just don’t have and blatantly ignoring the simplest bases of freedom, popular sovereignty and self-determination.

Sutor, ne ultra crepidam!

Mundabor.

In Bruges

It was the same as the movie: sad and shocking. Unfortunately, nothing of the movie´s strange beauty, though.

Saturday afternoon mass. I run to a church with the usual unpronounceable name, in the city centre. Mass is about to start; not on the main altar, but in a space at the back.

It turns out they celebrate mass in the old choir. A wonderful altar is just ignored. There is a long table, the priest with two altar boys celebrates on the short side. A very small crucifix on the table/altar, and that´s all.

Due to the beauty of Vatican II, I don´t understand a goddamn word. The priest is young, very trendy. At a certain point he starts with the homily, and explaining a point takes a coin. There is a young boy among the 41 people present (including myself, the priest, two altar boys, the chap at the portable organ and an old lady who fancies herself the director of a non-existent orchestra, but is so satisfied with herself it seems in bad taste to tell her she makes an ass of herself). The boy is around 15, blond locks, tall and slender, looks like a cherubim from a Hans Memling painting.

The priest goes to him, and poses him a question. He answers, correctly as it seems. Creepy, thinks yours truly. After a couple of minutes, the “scene” happens again, the priests walks the entire space to pose a question to him. Goddamn creepy, thinks yours truly; but we are in Belgium, and no one notices.

The homily ends, and after a while the organists plays an Elvis Presley song, “Can´t stop loving you”, whilst the priest pronounces the consecration prayers. I am not joking, and this is not a movie.

The vessels are of a ceramic wanting to look like clay, which in my eyes is a liturgical abuse (but hey, this is Belgium, right?). At this point all the present gather around the table, and it becomes clear why the priest was on the short side: they all keep hands like many schoolchildren, but the meaning is that they participate in the consecration. I stay at my place, alone, and everyone of the present notices that the foreigner doesn´t do trendy masses.

In an heroic effort of inclusiveness, some of the consecration words are pronounced in English. The host is a huge flat thing, which he then proceeds to break (with great attention, I must say) in many pieces, each one of them fitting to damage the roof of the mouth but hey, it´s so trendy.

I have some short moments of reflection, at the end of which I reflect that the consecration is probably valid nothwithstanding the vessels (I might be wrong), and decide to receive. I am the only one who receives on the tongue.

Everyone comes back to his place, and the mass is soon at an end.

I doubt that I have fittingly described the atmosphere of sugary music, sugary attitude, sugary everything. It was a diabetes-inducing circus dominated by the desire of letting everyone feel “included”.

Particularly the blond boy.

It seems to me that this was an entirely self-serving exercise, that always the same people attend (who seemed to be in family groups; I doubt more than ten families were represented) and that these people are very satisfied with the look of things and don´t care that everyone else is just so disgusted that they prefer to attend elsewhere, if they still attend.

That was a portrait of the Church in Belgium, and no mistake. Including the boy attracting the attention of the priest.

Mundabor

Get Your Kicks: Father Pavone

Get your kicks...

Like many Europeans, I know Amarillo only from the famous song:

Well goes from St. Louie down to Missouri
Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty
You’ll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino

It would appear that Amarillo is now condemned to a certain sort of popularity for being the theatre of the conflict between Fr Pavone and his bishop, Zurek.

The details still appear unusual: a bishop orders one of his priests to be confined within his diocese, but does not suspend him. He says that he wants to know more about his non-profit activities, but does not accuse him of financial impropriety.  Fr Pavone himself obeys him by confining himself within the Amarillo diocese and stopping his ETWN apparitions (no pun intended), but doesn’t show up when the bishop asks to see him, is clearly planning to be moved to a different diocese and in general seems not to be in best terms with Zurek.

To us, this matter is interesting because of the vast popularity of Pavone and the favour he could summon for the pro-life cause in and outside of the Catholic world. Which is not to say that he is an angel, or clean , or even always appropriate in his behaviour (cue his vicinity to supposed pro-life gay groups; I wonder what he would do with pro-life dog “lovers”).

I truly hope this won’t become another Corapi case (what has happened to the man, by the way? Long-term, I fear the worst; short-term, I fear the worst). A torrid 2012 campaign is approaching, and we need all the pro-life cannons aligned and firing.

Mundabor

Bp Williamson Absent in Albano, Bp Fellay Authorised To Go On

Spot the missing person

The photo above shows the participants to the recent meeting in Albano. We now have more detailed information, as diffused by both Rorate Caeli and Messa in Latino:

1) Bishop Williamson was not present at the meeting. Not a logistic problem, apparently, but he was either not willing to participate, or not invited to. Bishop Williamson had already expressed his misgivings about the possible attempt at reconciliation, I have reported here.

2) The non-rejection is very good news in itself. Messa in Latino reports that it is the habit of the SSPX to make public any serious reservations immediately. It seems improbable, therefore, that the SSPX considers the documents not a valid basis for further talks.

3) Fellay and his strictest aides have been authorised to go on. Always according to Messa in Latino, the General Counsel of the Fraternity authorised to continue the talks is actually composed of Fellay and his two strictest aides, to whom one or two people may be added in special circumstances. This means that the participants in the Albano talks have enough confidence not only in Fellay, but in the possibility of success of the entire exercise to allow his small team to continue the negotiations.

Whilst none of these news is of an exceptional nature, it seems to me that a picture slowly composes itself, of cautious progress and will to further negotiation. In addition, please consider that the text of the Preambolo Dottrinale being open to modifications, the discussions will not be of a “take it or leave it” sort.

Encouraging signals, methinks, which should allow the moderate elements of the Fraternity to survive the harsh criticism very probably linked to the Assisi exercise.

Further prayers are certainly in order.

Mundabor

“Religious Harassment” Training Harasses Catholics

This comes from the “American Papist”. It is not a joke, but pure fact.

Follow with me the horrible ordeal of Khalila, the good Muslim, and Janice, the nasty Catholic woman.

This is a new slide of a training that is at least five years old. Some moron must have taken part at a sensitivity training too much, and thought he/she would use it to try to look intelligent.

Let me describe what is happening with the words of the Catholic woman who has to take the training every year, and spotted the addition:

By creating this implausible scenario, the trainers did exactly what they’re trying to educate people from doing. They used an offensive stereotype about Catholics, implying we would be the type of people to blatantly intimidate or harass another faith. Under the guise of educating people, the trainers actually become the ones who offend.

Beautiful words, and so fitting.

Mundabor

How to make a stupid video

A good idea if you want to make a really, really stupid video is to make one trying to persuade Christians to give you money, arguing from a secular perspective.

Simply idiotic, you would think; apparently some people don’t, as the video above shows.

The ways this video is outright moronic are such that one feels sorry for those behind it. Nevertheless, let us spend a word or two just for the fun of it.

The video is centred on the idea that it is wrong to give money to churches, the bright idea being to give them directly to secular non-profit organisations instead, who are seeing their taxpayer-funded trough decrease whilst religious organisations prosper.

The target of the video is mainly – but clearly, as a proxy for the entire religious sector – Protestant “megachurches”. About these, we learn:

1) That the are growing like there’s no tomorrow.
You don’t say? Perhaps it is because an awful lot of people want to be…. wait… Christians?

2) That the biggest had revenues of $70m last year.
And? It’s called “mega-church”, not “micro-church”. How much money did Oxfam make?

3) That their pastors can earn a lot of money.
Fine with me, as long as they only get what the board allows them to get and don’t waste or promote an abortionist agenda like, say, the relevant UN organisations.

4) That in order to give, you don’t need “church”. But, dear geniuses, these people don’t go to church in order to give, rather they give because they go to church. They see their giving as part of their being Christians, not as the fulfillment of some strange obligation to keep abortionists, atheist and socialist self-appointed wannabe do-gooders in gainless employment.

Even from a Catholic point of view, this video appears totally brainless because it asks for the money of Christians without even understanding why Christians give money in the first place. This is really, really stupid, and the fruit of a mentality so much centred on secular values, that the supernatural element of the exercise is seen as an unnecessary middleman taking money away from the well-intentioned do-gooder that, for reasons unknown to them, keeps giving money to a church.

Geniuses.

Mundabor

SSPX Answer To Preamble “In A Reasonable Time”

This is the press release from the General House of the Priestly Society of St Pius X.

It says that the 28 people who have the responsibility for running the Society have all met near Rome – actually, also very near to Castelgandolfo – to discuss the Preamble. They will present an answer “in a reasonable time”. We know from other sources that the text is seen as, so to speak, “negotiable” or better said, adjustable. This is possibly another reason why it has not published, though after almost a month it is rather surprising that it hasn’t been leaked.. 😉

Let us make no mistake, the Assisi-tempest now over us will not help this, for a while at least. Personally, I think that the divulged separation between matters concerning the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium on the one side and the possibility of criticising V II on the other, which seems to be the leitmotiv of the document, is very encouraging, but we shall see. I have written already on the matter and I would like to refer the reader to what I have already said, if you click “FSSPX” on the side bar under “Categories” you’ll find, if you are so inclined, plenty of material.

Again, we shall see. Not a very short wait I am afraid, and it is possibly very good so.

Mundabor

 

 

The Lepanto Trilogy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Events Leading to the Battle of Lepanto

Battle of Lepanto: Excerpts from an Italian Documentary

The Battle of Lepanto and Our Lady of Victory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary: A Rosary Omnibus

As today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, I thought it might be useful to the one or other reader to have a collection of the blog post I have written on the matter.

Pray the Rosary!

Mundabor

Colombiana and the Rosary

Rosary and Salvation

The Rosary and Pope Pius XII: Ingruentium Malorum

Rosary in Latin

On the Rosary… again!

Two Words on Fatima

The Rosary and so much more: the “Age of Mary” website

A Rosary Video

The Rosary

The Rosary Old and.. New?

 

 

 

Steve Jobs’ Achievements, In Perspective.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

I will be the last one to deny the genius of Steve Jobs. Besides liking the people who do things their own way without looking too much right and left – and one can safely say that no other big company has been, in modern times, run as much according to the wishes and vision of one man as Apple – Jobs truly had a capacity for innovation and – I hate to use the word, but this time it truly fits – vision that is to be found very rarely on this planet.

If you add that his achievement with Pixar alone would be enough to give him rather long obituaries today, or that only one of his innovative products – iPad, iPod, iPhone; no, wait: the iMac alone; no, wait: the first Macintosh, really….. –  would make of his death a world news, you get the idea of what kind of entrepreneur the world has lost today. The long list of condoleances and interventions from powerful people from Adolf Hussein Obama down is ample testimony of the stature of the man.

Still…..

still, whenever a famous person dies, I cannot avoid wondering what  remains, now, of his prestige and reputation, or whether the long list of honours will give him any better chance of making it through the Pearly Gates.

In days like this, one discovers the immense importance not of people like Steve Jobs, but of everyone of us, because it is on days like these that we realise that if the man managed to avoid hell, this achievement is for him a far bigger triumph than all the innovations he brought on the market; whereas if he didn’t, all the above mentioned achievements are dust anyway.

I do not want to express where I would bet my half pint about his eternal destiny. Actually, I do not want to think of it, because the thought is very sobering. In a way, Jobs epitomised the idiotic ways of so many of his contemporaries: the strange pescetarian diet (apparently, generally chosen for health reasons. Then you get pancreatic cancer…),  the Zen Buddhist marriage, or the clearly “progressive” orientation (google around to see Catholics angry at having their applications not allowed, when the sodomites have all theirs). Let us say that, bar a last minute conversion, his hand of cards does not make the impression of having been very good.

And this is really the key, isn’t it? If we try to have a better hand of cards the day we kick the bucket (and we might well not be given as much time as Jobs, a man who knew several years ago that his way to the Creator was being fast-tracked) everyone of us can fairly easily accomplish more than he ever did on this planet;  then, by definition, an infinite success ranks above every earthly one. Particularly, I add, when it concerns us so directly.  The immensity of one human soul lets Apple Computer pale in comparison.

On a secondary note, I also point out that Jobs is a cautionary tale of the wrong approach to simple things: the obsession with health at the point of discarding good food doesn’t make much sense when we reflect that we are ashes, and can be taken away at one moment’s notice anyway. Last time I looked, Jesus wasn’t worried about his followers eating meat, either. Similarly, Jobs’ idea (how oh very “progressive”) that he could cure his cancer with alternative methods is another of those aha-moments that must have caused him, and many others, a rather brusque awakening from a world of vaguely new-age fantasies. In these attitudes, even a certainly extremely intelligent man shows the childishness of the human brain when it starts to abandon common sense in general , and Christian common sense in particular.

An “Eternal Rest” for Steve Jobs is, I think, fully in order.

Yesterday, he might have achieved his greatest success.

Mundabor

Sodo-“Marriage”: Hate Card Not A Joker Anymore

Not what it used to be...

It appears more and more evident that among the black population in the United States the support for sodo-“marriage” is rather in the minority, even in places like California where you would expect people to be, in a way, more liberal or at least more prone to listen to the Democratic party.

The last piece of information comes from this poll conducted in Maryland, which among other things (look at the Obama approval rate numbers if you want to have a laugh) states that opposition to re-defining logic marriage is 59% among the black population, a massive 10% more than the average.

I know, I know, statistics….

Still, from what one reads around even from this side of the Pond, it seems to me that the black support for traditional marriage is a fact.

This means that all those homos and their liberal friends playing the hate and human rights card have, how should I put it, a slight problem…

Mundabor

“The Way” On Its Way to the USA

Santiago de Compostela: Cathedral

I have written already about “The Way”, after having seen the film in May.

It now turns out that Martin Sheen

chose the last name “Sheen” after Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, whom he described as having an “extraordinary presence” in his household when he was young.

Also interesting is that

Sheen said that he has been amazed by “the number of young people that have been inspired by our film and are interested in making the pilgrimage.”

Personally, I find it already beautiful that the film made it to the American silver screens, a sure testimony of a pleasing success in Europe. Whilst the Camino de Santiago might say less to an American audience than to a European one, I think that the money is well spent.

Besides, as far as I know the ruthless rules of the US distribution state that if a movie has disappointed in the first weekend, it might not make it to the second. Whilst I do not know to what extent this applies to movies that are not supposed to be blockbusters, the movie starts on the 7 October and you may want to plan it within the first weekend, if you find a screening near you.

Not a revelation, but worth the money for sure.

Mundabor

Online Petition Against the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007

Repeal or amend Sexual Orientation Regulations

Responsible department: Home Office

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to remove or amend the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs, enacted 2007) that Outlaw Discrimination in the Provision of Goods and Services on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans sexual etc etc.) These violate our human right to choose goods and services supportive of traditional family life where there is a father and mother, husband and wife at its centre and simultaneously refuse us the right to reject goods and services that force us and our children to conform to gay and secular ideology, or be in an environment that condones or promotes it.

This is a UK e-petition created by David Skinner, follow the link here.

To validly sign the petition you must be either a British citizen or normally resident in the UK.

Already more than 2,000 signatures.

If you have a blog, please put it up on your blog. Otherwise, please tweet it as if there’s no tomorrow.

Please take the time.

Mundabor

“Quaerit Semper” continues the “Reform of the Reform”

New brick announced

On the 27 September, the Holy Father issued a new motu proprio, Quaerit Semper.

Beside some decisions in matters of ordination et alia, the key passage of the document appears to be the following one:

“In these circumstances, it appeared adequate that the work of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments be dedicated essentially [potissimum] to a resumption of the Sacred Liturgy in the Church, according to the renewal that the Second Vatican Council desired, beginning with the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium.”

What this means is that the Congregation for Divine Worship will be relieved of secondary duties and be allowed to concentrate on the reason why it exists, namely: the Liturgy and discipline of the Sacraments.

This being still a post-Vatican II Church – for how long, it’s anyone’s guess – the invariable mention of Vatican II and of the supposed “renewal” couldn’t fail to make its appearance; the Holy Father seems persuaded that Vatican II wanted a “good renewal”, but for some reason (the locusts? Black cats crossing the street? The Conciliar Fathers? The “renewal” mentality which originated the very same V II?) “good renewal” lost itself and his place was taken by his evil twin, “bad renewal”. A bit like Gorbachev saying that the October Revolution wanted a “good communism”, but hey, it got lost on the way so they ended up with Stalin.

Be it as it may, what is important to us is that, V II rhetoric aside, the Liturgy is supposed to be made more similar to the way it was, and the reform of the reform continues as repair work.

Being sanguine by nature, I do not doubt that the following decades will see the total abandonment of the V II rhetoric, a sober realisation of the errors unavoidably born from the very mentality that engendered it, and the substitution of the Gorbachevian interpretation with the restoration of what has worked so well for so many centuries.

For the time being, I think we should be glad that the dismantling of the mistakes engendered by V-II continues with noticeable energy, and might even intensify in the near future.

Mundabor

Vatican-SSPX Talks: No Compromises, Says SSPX Senior Figure

SSPX Model not yet in the shops.

Father Niklaus Pflueger, First Assistant of the SSPX, has said that an agreement with the Vatican will be “very, very difficult”.

Let us read and examine his exact words:

“Assisi III and even more the unfortunate beatification of John Paul II but also many other examples make it clear that the leadership of the Church now as before is not ready to give up the false principles of Vatican II and their consequences […]. Therefore, […] any ‘offer’ made to Tradition must guarantee us the freedom to be able to continue our work and our critique of ‘modernist Rome.’ And to be honest, this seems to be very, very difficult. Again, any false or dangerous compromise must be ruled out.”

It seems to me that this is a bit of a message in preparation of the meeting next week in Albano. Basically, Father Pflueger seems to send the following messages:

1) we are strong enough not to be in need of any agreement, and there will be no agreement for the agreement’s sake;

2) we are ready to achieve full communion, if this means that no limitations to our criticism of the “V II Church” will be imposed on us afterwards. The criticism of V II will go on unabated with or without agreement; and

3) if the Vatican can’t live with this, though.

Honestly – and setting aside for a moment the ascertained inability of most SSPX officials to speak with a modicum of diplomacy – it seems to me that there is nothing new here, beside the further confirmation that the SSPX in not in the mood for autumn sales. They are ready to accept the doctrinal preamble, unless its acceptance means feeling that one has received a practical muzzle. The “very, very difficult” seems therefore to me rather a warning of what the Vatican can expect from the SSPX than a refusal.

Fair enough, says I. The Vatican will certainly emit the right sounds as to whether they can live with it. If you ask me, they would be wise to.

I have the impression that in the weeks leading to the Assisi III trouble – and perhaps, catastrophe – such messages will certainly not become more infrequent.

Mundabor

Assisi III: The SSPX’s take.

No, this is NOT photoshopped...

If I were in the mood for a joke, I could say that I love posting links to SSPX articles as they let me appear – semel in anno – a moderate expressing himself in very gentle tones.

The reason, though, why I publish this blog post with the link to the SSPX intervention about the impending Assisi III gathering is that, setting aside for a moment the rather harsh tones – at the cost of disappointing you I will say that expression like “immense scandal” seem over the top to me – I was unable to find any fundamental flaw in the arguments of Father Régis de Cacqueray, District Superior of France and therefore not your obscure Sunday ranting enthusiast.

If we set aside for a moment the incendiary tones used – which I do not want to condemn, being myself not new to the experience; and perhaps, perhaps feeling in me as I write a lack of that fire that must be burning into the heart of this brave Catholic – I am unable to disagree with the concept that

the scandal of Assisi 2011 will be substantially the same but less spectacular than Assisi 1986.

In fact, by examining the invitation made by the Holy Father and the constant, omnipresent appeal to peace – the leitmotiv of the 1986 as well as of the 2011 gathering – one cannot in my eyes escape the conclusion that, as things look today – nay: as they have been announced and planned – the similarities with 1986 will be far more pronounced than the differences. The very fact that this gathering happens to remember the old one is enough of a tell-tale.

This, without considering what the media will do of it all. To say it again with the words of the author:

Before the image of a Pope uniting the representatives of all the false religions, the reaction of the majority of men will be to relativise truth and religion still more. What individual, little acquainted with the Catholic religion, will not be tempted to be reassured about the fate of non-Catholics when he sees the Pope inviting them to pray for freedom of conscience? What non-Christian will see in the Catholic religion the one true religion to the exclusion of all others when he learns that the head of the Catholic Church has convoked a pantheon of religions? How will he interpret the Pope’s exhortation not to yield to relativism if not by thinking that it is a matter, not of holding to the truth, but of being sincere?

“Ah, but this time it will be different”, I hear you say. In some measure, yes. But I had to stop and read the following words thrice:

Of course, unlike the first meeting at Assisi, it appears that the prayer will be in silence, albeit very present. However, to what god will they pray in silence, these representatives of all the false religions? They will they pray to their false gods, since the Pope invites them explicitly to live more deeply “their religious faith”? To whom will the Muslims turn then, if not to the God of Mohammed? To whom will the animists speak, if not to their idols? How then is it conceivable that a Pope call upon the representatives of false religions, to take part as such, in a day of personal prayer?

Or think about the biggest difference of Assisi III with Assisi I, the attitude towards common prayer:

Formerly Assisi was defended by making a subtle distinction between “being together to pray” and “praying together.” Will they now be saying that there will be no common prayer, but rather a day of prayer in common? Instead of denying the concomitance of the silent prayers, shall we say that everybody prays separately according to his own religion? As if these specious distinctions were not manufactured for the needs of the cause. As if these subtleties were immediately grasped by the majority of men, who will retain only one thing: a gathering of all the religions for everyone to pray to the divinity, abstracting from any Revelation.

Harsh words, these (and I have spared you the truly inflammatory ones); but frankly, I can’t see how I could deny the substance of Father Régis’ argument.

The rest of the article is of the same high level of argumentative force, though of at least the same level of incendiary choice of words, too. When he talks about “peace”, for example, the author once again hits the nail on the head (with a sledgehammer, that is… ).

I suggest that you arm yourself with a prayer (why not try this) and a camomile and read the article in its entirety. Please forget the call of blasphemy and the apocalyptic tones, and see it from the perspective of the one who doesn’t think that the Pope has unwittingly sold himself to the freemasonry, but is trying to see what is authentically Catholic in this exercise; what kind of signals will be sent; what kind of signals will be received.

We will have to wait and see what happens, but let me say that I do not think that the one or other orthodox aside – certainly to be expected from the Holy Father, and certainly picked up by the few well-instructed Catholics and some fine blog – will really do anything to counter the impression of huge multifaith fest that the media will predictably give of this event.

So predictably, in fact, that to claim afterwards that the event has been distorted by the media would seem rather disingenuous to me.

Mundabor

The Oath Against Modernism

Not the Assisi-Type: Pope St. Pius X

I have read this on Father Ray Blake’s Blog, and gladly respond to the invitation of putting it up in our own blogs.

THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.
I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.
Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.

Rediscover Catholicism.

Very intelligent and perceptive video from Michael Voris. He examines the difference between the Anglo-Saxon countries (I include the UK), where the Catholic hierarchy has been occupied for decades with appeasing the Protestants, and Continental Europe, where the Catholic hierarchy has been occupied for decades with appeasing everyone, that is: mainly Catholics. And in fact, a European landing in the US would immediately notice the strong religious feeling still present there, at least compared with the standards he knows. Similarly, a Continental European moving to the UK would clearly notice how protestantised Catholicism has become, when compared to what he sees in traditional Catholic countries.

Voris expresses some intelligent concepts:

a) Protestantism leads to atheism. This is particularly evident in Europe, where one and a half generation of Communism could only scratch the surface in the religious feeling of Catholics – whose religious faith is now coming back with a vengeance, see Poland, Hungary – but completely annihilated Protestantism, that has been wiped out as religious belief from, say, the former DDR and has become nothing more than an embarrassed talk about social justice by people in funny clothes.

I had wished to hear such words from Pope Benedict during his recent visit in Germany. Alas, we got a visit to Luther’s sanctuary in Erfurt instead. Mala tempora currunt.

b) Atheism doesn’t develop overnight. It is rather the result of a gradual process, where the failure to transmit the truths of the faith leads to a slippery slope gradually ending in the cessation of the faith in God. Once again, I’d say that the empirical evidence confirms this analysis, and the only ones who can’t see it are the priests of the V II generation.

c) The solution of the problem is to rediscover Catholicism. Which seems easy to say, but implies the rejection of that protestantised “do not judge”, “love and do what you like”, “heart in the right place”, “provided you believe in God you’ll be fine”- mentality that is the standard fare of so much of nowadays Catholicism in the UK; if not explicitly so, certainly in the message that it is desired the sheep take home with them.

As I have opined very often, the problems of Catholicism are largely self-made. They are the product of five decades of self sabotage planned and executed from the Catholic Clergy, in what might well be the most insidious – if not the most spectacular – attack moved by Satan to the Church of Christ in these last two thousand years. It is, in my eyes, pure folly to say that the diffuse secularism of the modern world is the fruit of its unprecedented wealth. The United Stated is the most powerful, and its citizen among the wealthiest on the planet, but the religious feelings there are still rather strong. Similarly, we all know people who are very rich and strongly religious, and people who are poor and atheist.

Faith is nothing to do with wealth, it is about being properly instructed.

Rediscover Catholicism. This is the only way.

Mundabor

Pope Didn’t Call Mexico. Sad, really.

"Internal matter"?

A rather embarrassing small incident after the victory for pro-life supporters in Mexico.

It would appear that Bishop Guerrero Macias had boasted that “a call from the Pope, I don’t know to who[m]”, had changed the situation.

Federico Lombardi promptly intervened and said that oh no, God forbid, the Pope would never do that. The head of the biggest organised religious organisation in the planet to say to a Catholic what he thinks about what he is doing with his soul? Unthinkable. The Pope “always respects the internal affairs of nations”, and therefore such calls simply do not take place.

I have a couple of small problems here.

Firstly, the Pope is not only a head of State, but the head of a religious organisation. It is not clear to me how it should be a problem that – wearing his religious hat, so to speak – he should contact whomever he pleases in the discharging of his religious duty. On the contrary, I see it as difficult to justify how he could not intervene.

Secondly, Lombardi’s principle sound dangerous, as it makes every religious controversy “an internal affair” of that nation. If in Malta divorce is legalised the matter concerns all Christianity, not only the Maltese. Christianity doesn’t know “internal affairs”. This is why religious blogs like this one deal with Christian matters wherever they happen, UK or US or Mexico or Hungary.

There might be reasons of prudence suggesting that a Pope doesn’t make this or that phone call. But when Lombardi declares with such blunt words that the Pope has the duty to shut up in matters concerning “the internal affairs of nations” and that it would be “disrespectful” to intervene, I wonder whether the mentality in the Vatican is becoming a rather secularised one.

Mundabor

Red State, The Movie

You don't want her as a neighbour.

Strange movie in the Londoner cinemas now: Red State.

I do not know the background of the director, but the movie stinks of secular propaganda rather insistently, if never unbearably so. The story is about a group of ultra-right wing religious fanatics doing those things liberals fantasise right-wing religious people to do. The nutters’ main target are, of course, sodomites and one perceives here an implicit criticism not only of social conservatism, but of Christianity itself: the homicidal nutters are, in fact, those who take the Christian matter seriously, and clearly formulate the rules and the consequences of their willful disobedience.

Thankfully, though, we aren’t confronted with the usual “good faggot” now so common in Hollywood’s romantic comedies (see the last example, “Friends with Benefits”; or “Hitch” comes to mind) nor are we put in front of an explicit condemnation of Christianity. There is even a hint of an attempt to exonerate serious Christians, when it is mentioned that the head nutcase had traveled to Rome to protest against the Vatican; which is, by the way, something liberal and atheist nutters love to do in a most special way….

The movie stinks of liberalism in other ways, too, but I do not want to write any (excessive) spoiler here. I do not feel like condemning the movie outright as I did with that cretinous work of some months ago, the brainchild of two children without brains. But I do think that an occasion has been lost here to give an intelligent representation of Christianity, and to put some atheist baddy in the salad just to avoid being considered biased.

By the way I do not subscribe to the mantra that “God hates fags”, but I am fully persuaded that he totally hates faggotry.

Mundabor

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