Monthly Archives: March 2012
In the personal conversation I had with Mr. Stangl, I was impressed with his pious attitude, his humility and his firm willingness to serve. …
These are the words with which Cardinal Schoenborn commented the fact that his diocese decided to confirm the election of an homosexual, living in a registered civil partnership, in the local parish council.
If this weren’t satanic enough, you may want to know that the diocese is very happy with the high participation to “church life” of the parishioners, whose “church life” finds expression in electing with large majority a self-confessed homosexual with institutionalised wannabe “marriage” to show his “love” to his partner.In Schoenborn’s world, “popular participation” is the new word for “orthodoxy”.
Mark my words: don’t be surprised if one day we should discover that Cardinal Schoenborn himself is a homosexual, or a paedophile, or both. Such level of complicity with sexual perversion generally does not happen by coincidence. This here is the same level of reckless, demonic devastation of Catholic values we have seen in Belgium, and when the entire tone in the Diocese is given by the “progressive” bishop, we might discover the bishop is like this one; or that among his priests there are people like this one.
The problem with this individual is that he is bent on sabotaging everything that is Catholic, and does not care a straw for what his truly Catholic parishioners think (or for his eternal salvation, in which I think he stopped believing a long time ago; or else he is on drugs). He will do whatever it takes to be popular with the masses, both because of the money of the Kirchensteuer and because of his alleged (and easily believable) boundless vanity. Another mark of many homosexuals, by the way.
Cardinal Schoenborn makes the work of the devil day in, and day out. In the meantime, we hear about the 600,000 people who have greeted the Holy Father in Mexico, and made him an “honorary Mexican”, and I truly wonder……..
In not punishing or removing him (better both, I should say), Pope Benedict makes the same mistake of John Paul II: he trusts the wrong people, and does not listen to the voices of reasons when they are about people he likes; as a result, his papacy will be tarnished by his ill-selected friends like the papacy of his predecessor. We are all human of course; but good Lord, at some point this huge, huge scandal will have to be stopped.
Schoenborn must wish Pope Benedict a very long life. Something tells me when this Pope is gone, he’ll go down like a stone.
P.s. Don’t forget: this is the hero of the Medjugorje crowd.
At this point I generally copy and paste some of the best statements. It gives the readers a clear idea of what is happening.
But this time, why should I? The photo says it all!
Good Lord, how the times change…
When I was a child, cremation was actually not contemplated by your mainstream Italian (churchgoing or not) and from what I seem to understand not allowed in principle, though I think no one really cared. As to keeping them in urns at home, this is something you saw in American movies, and cringed.
If you want to know in what confused times we live, you can read here Italian Catholics are now not allowed to scatter the ashes or to have an urn at home.
If you read the article, you will notice a rather important thing: the mention of “burying the dead” as a work of mercy is not even mentioned.
Instead, we are treated with this beautiful snippet of post-Vatican II thinking: the Church will not defend a custom honoured by the centuries, and will happily allow Catholics to import masonic/protestant ways as long as long as they don’t do it in order to show hostility to the Church or loss of faith in the Resurrection.
Now, I understand this is not a doctrinal point, but come on: how can the Church hope to reinstate Catholic sanity, if she does not insist on traditional Catholic practices?
We see, once again, the equivocal mentality of the Vatican, in which a certain push or encouragement for the embracing of Catholicism goes together with a lack of courage to walk the walk after one has talked the talk.
So we see the Pontiff, and many others, insist on the loss of religious feeling, the growing consumerism, the void left by the abandoning of a healthy religious life. It just doesn’t seem to occur them to think that Catholicism has always maintained that this religious life is nourished and made more robust by countless practices and customs which, though not obligatory in themselves taken singularly, all together constitute the backbone of the Catholic life of a country.
It is very much like V II to think that a tepidly Catholic man or woman can be recovered to a traditional Catholic thinking, if the Church does not insist in a traditional catholic acting. This intimate union of spiritual life and everyday practices has always been a great strenght of Catholicism, and your grand-grandmother would even considered a life without Vespers or Rosary as deprived of a spiritual leg, even if – undoubtedly – there can be life without a leg. And would have told you, without the shadow of a doubt and without caring of what post Vatican II priests think, that to cremate bodies is un-Catholic, period; something you do only in case of absolute emergency, like pestilence; and which you otherwise do with rubbish or, in case, dogs.
The kindest thing I can say of this initiative is that it is not good enough, and shows a rather worrying love for gradualism in the best of cases, and a disregard for Catholic traditions and for works of mercy in the worst.
In case of doubt, always think WWMCGGT (what would my Catholic grand-grandmother think). Alas, I think this is a much safer guidance to what is authentically Catholic than many “guidelines” and “instructions” of these disgraceful times.
Reblog of the Day
Another excellent blog post from the “man with no uncertain trumpet”, Monsignor Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington.
This time, Monsignor Pope’s attention is focused on the image of Jesus that was smuggled around in the Seventies, and that still influences the Sixty-Eighters and other pot-smokers today. In those years – and whilst I was a child, I got my share of those years – Jesus was generally portrayed as a kind of a whimp, a girly boy unable to exert or project any form of manliness, a mixture of hare “krishna” follower and Gandhi with, later, the addition of a dollop of Nelson Mandela. Victimised, but as meek as a sheep; bullied, but always answering with a smile, and unable to threat or harm, this is the Jesus we had brought to us as an example. “Peeaace” and “luuuuv” were everywhere, and not a whip in sight.
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I sometimes – nay, rather often – wonder what is the use of a layman’s Catholic blog. I mean this not in the figurative sense, but in the literal one: what contribution can the blog of a layman give?
Take, for example, my little effort.
At the beginning, I though a blog could win new Catholics. I didn’t think this was the main aim, but I though it would be a somewhat interesting weapon. I saw it as an outlet where people more or less vaguely seeking would stumble, be intrigued at what they read, and bring home with them one or two seeds of, perhaps, one day, a future conversion.They would, I though, be shocked or even angry at first, but if they are moved by a sincere search they would gather the nerve to continue reading and bring home more and more contributions to a better perception of the hard, but beautiful Catholic Truth.
Twenty months later, I wonder.
This blog has grown very slowly but very steadily over the twenty or so months of its existence. When I started, the pageviews were counted in dozens. Nowadays, one thousand pageviews a day aren’t news anymore, and are rather an almost daily occurrence when I have time to care for the blog. At first sight, it would look like the contribution given by this blog would grow; that it would, as the saying goes, “make a difference”. But does it? Let us look at things with a bit of realism.
1) The blogosphere grows. Soon every child will be able to go on the internet from everywhere using his iPhone. Growing pageviews do not necessarily mean a growing interest, rather a growing pool of people clicking your blog by mistake. Every blog grows its pageviews. It must be so. If it didn’t grow, it would mean it is going backwards. Very simply, the tide of clicks lifts all blogs, and the tide of the blogosphere is growing fast.
2) Many – I do not know how many, but many – of my clicks probably come from people searching for images. Not very flattering I know, but I think the reality of most blogs who use photos. I like a photo in my blog post, I just do not flatter myself there won’t be people visiting not my blog, but the photo.
3) Some other clicks come, I suppose, from people who are curious in a very superficial way.They care for religion as much as I care for feng shui. Still, it goes in the statistics.
4) Lastly, a majority of the clicks – I dare to think this, at least – come from sincere Catholics, who already think as I do.
So: many readers don’t care at all; others aren’t really interested; the majority do not need to be persuaded. As to the sincere seekers who are slowly approaching Catholicism, I am more and more persuaded they would rather go to blogs written by religious, of which there are many excellent ones. I think it is a reasonable assumption and it is what I would personally do, instead of clicking Mundabor. With all due respect for Mundabor, of course. Capital fellow.
Why, then, a layman’s blog? I’d say for the following reasons:
1) My “about the author” page states as follows:
This blog’s aim is to allow true, traditional, unadulterated, strictly orthodox Catholic doctrine to be made available in a world suffocating more and more in political correctness and “feel-good”, “everything goes”, “let us not upset anyone” so-called Catholicism.
I allow myself to think this is important, or at least useful, even if I were to exclusively “blog to the converted”. It gives ammunition, some adrenaline here and there, a sense of urgency in the battle, that might otherwise not be so keenly felt. The trumpeter in the midst of the battlefield might not be decisive, but he is certainly not superfluous, and he might not manage to give courage to the pavid, but he will give some encouragement and spirit to the brave. This blog is particularly aimed at the brave, and tepid Catholics will soon feel encouraged to click somewhere else. I see myself as an anonymous smuggler of politically incorrect Catholic weaponry for the Catholic warriors out there.
2) A blog like mine gives one the confirmation that one is not alone. A blog written by Joe Bloggs gives the reader clear evidence that normal, fully common people, like your baker or butcher or the person sitting near you on the bus have had enough of this, big time. I’d find it reassuring, even if I were already “converted”. There’s strenght in number, and security in counting one’s own side’s numbers before the battle.
3) As the ways of the Lords are infinite, you never know whether a layman’s blog might still be one of them. An idea, a sentence which remains impressed, one or two arguments the readers ruminates about after he has left the blog, are always within the realm of the possible. With growing visitor numbers, they become rather inevitable.A small effect I know, but with the time it adds up…
4) The echo effect. Reader A might be already perfectly persuaded, but reader B who reads his retweet perhaps not, and reader C who talks about it with B at the pub might become curious. He will look for blogs of religious of course, but a seed is valuable even if very tiny.
5) Peace of mind. Perhaps is the advancing age but no, I think it is that I now write a blog. When something makes my blood boil, in the past my blood would happily boil away with all the consequences, sleepless nights not excluded. Nowadays, I simply think “I will write a blog post about this” and (almost always) feel already better. When you know you’ve done all you can, the sense of raging impotence is much lessened.
6) (shameless plug). I blog, my dear reader, also for your prayers, of which I am in need. Do not think for a second that just because I write a blog I am less of a sinner than most others are, or less in need of prayers than everyone else is. My being a sinner is, in fact, a main motivation for me to write. If I were to be surprised by death tomorrow, knocked down by the new (and very beautiful) London bus, the around 1060 blog post already written would, I hope, be of some help, and so would the prayers you have hopefully said for me.
Please, dear reader, if you like this blog do not deny me a short Hail Mary every now and then.
First of all, my dear reader, ensure that you are calm and relaxed. Then consider going in the kitchen and preparing a good camomile. Valerian drops will also do, I think.
When you are in such way prepared for what I am going to point out to, you may want to say a Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. After that, if you really feel ready, click here, where you will be able to see with your eyes that the smoke of Satan, far from merely finding a way true a fissure of the Church, has been smoking out many an important room within the place for some considerable time.
I will not repeat the arguments against the latest blasphemous and heathenish monstrosity of the old Cardinal. I do not think that having Parkinson’s disease can be an extenuating circumstance. Whilst Parkinson’s disease can go together with dementia, a demented former Cardinal does not get his books published. Although in this case “demented” might seem appropriate, as the Cardinal talks like one who has, literally, lost his mind.Only he hasn’t. Soul, more likely.
You will read in the brilliant blog post the well-exposed considerations, about which I have written several times, based on which the Cardinal can be said firmly in the hands of Satan. I think of the times when one could have landed on the stake for doctrines like that, and wonder whether our society is really so civilised as we think, or merely weak and stupid. Very weak, and very stupid.
You can read the considerations of the case over there. here, I would like to make a couple of ancillary considerations:
1) This man is rumoured to have been papabile. I do not think he ever was, firstly because the Holy Ghost does not allow such catastrophes and secondly because after the tragedy of Paul VI the Popes have all been clearly more conservative than Martini by any conceivable standard. Still, if it is true that the man managed to coagulate around him the support of the liberal wing, it tells you everything you need to know about how serious the situation within the Vatican is.
2) I keep reading around readers – good souls in perfect good faith, I imagine – whose only approach to the SSPX-Vatican controversy is that the SSPX must “submit” to the Vatican or, even, to “Vatican II”. It is basically like saying that if her mother moves in a brothel, an obedient daughter will follow her over there because this gives plenty of opportunities for conversions, whereas the daughter who stays out and keeps saying her mother to be reasonable and get out of the place is the disobedient, rebellious one.
3) This is rather strong tobacco, as Martini was in his day more influential than our Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols will ever be, and his book will most certainly get the echo it does not deserve. One would think the Pope would immediately intervene and force him to immediate abiura; isn’t it? I mean, this will certainly happen, right? Right?
Truly, the Church has no need whatever of external enemies.Those inside are already doing an excellent job.
One of the greatest graces in my life – possibly, if I think of the possible reward, the greatest – is a robust faith.
Faith to me was never something I had to reach to, or to fight for. I remember perfectly well a time in which I could not read or write, and perfectly well knew that there is God; and I remember this feeling was so natural I would not have doubted it more than I could have doubted the existence of the sun.
It went on when I was a little child, but at this point the “Person I knew Was There” (not in the sense that I saw him, or perceived him physically; but in the sense I knew he was there in the same way as you know your mother exists even if she is not in the room, and you know her love is with you even if she is not physically there) had a name: God. I actually still remember very well the moment and the place I was told the name, and remember thinking with childish surprise “ah, so that is his name: God”.
In the first school years, when as every other child I became more open toward external sensations and contacts, this knowledge remained very strong. It was, just, there.
This clear knowledge – a diffused knowledge, but which did not admit doubt; the same as when you know you’re healthy even if you don’t think continuously “I am healthy”; it is just there – decreased in my teenage years, and when I was sixteen-seventeen had become rather tenuous. I can’t say there has been a day in my life I didn’t believe in God, but certainly there were days in my life I knew I didn’t believe so strongly as I used to do. I remember comparing it with a flame, once very big and warm but now smaller and smaller, and you can see it’s still there, but start to wonder whether the time will ever come when you can’t see it anymore.
When (as I know now, and did not know then) the hormonal tempests of the inordinate growth started to subside, I started to notice the flame was, gradually, getting bigger and bigger; when I was twenty-one I’d have rather doubted the existence of my own right hand than God’s. By the grace of God, and an healthy prayer life even before I started to practice again – this is another thing I always did without any constriction and fully spontaneously – things have remained so since, and I pray they may remain so to the day I die.
Strangely, since a child I have been considered rather intelligent, but I never ever had a non-believer wondering how I could, being rather smart, believe in God. I must have been a problem to them, because if you think I believe in fairies then you’re saying I’m stupid, and if you go around saying I’m stupid I am probably not the one who is going to look it. The atheists condemn belief as a tale in abstract, but have more difficulties in condemning otherwise rather intelligent people as children, as all those believing in tales must be.
Still, I am one of those cases – a minority I think, but by no means rare – of faith which never had to be conquered, and never was seriously put in doubt. I never had a vocation, either, and I assume that those who have must feel it in them in the same unquestionable way as one feels he is in love, or that there is God.
Some people never got this thing of the certainty, and thought – for some reason known only to them – that the one who doubts be, in some secret way, in a better position than the man who knows; or more intelligent, or more intellectual, or more profound. Bollocks.
Think about being in love. There’s no doubt those who have never been in love must be unable to even start to conceive what it is, to be really in love. They might argue for hours about the self-delusion of those people thinking that they are in love, and bla bla, and bla bla. Meanwhile, those in love do not doubt in the least of the existence of this most powerful force, and have only a sad and sympathetic smile for those who don’t believe in love’s existence. How much do they miss. They miss, very simply, a different plane of existence, and say it’s not there because they’ve never been there, and can’t arrive there.
Alas, in my case faith never had such a violent grip on me as love. In some people, though, it has, and among those the St Francis and St. Clare are born. They simply believed with the passion of the lover.
This different plane of reality – something which doesn’t need science to be demonstrated more than love would – fully escapes the atheists. They are like ants solemnly declaring there is no Milky Way, because they haven’t found it in their ant-books.
Now, of course this kind of faith – inborn, so to speak, and more mystical than rational – is not a grace given to everyone, but merely one of those graces God distributes around in a seemingly random way: some are born witty, some intelligent, some tall, some strong, some rich, some healthy; some, with an inborn faith.
This kind of faith is not given to everyone. Still, to pretty much everyone reason is given, and grace to inspire this reason to the right steps, and the ability to pray that one may be given faith, and the humility to move slowly but surely in the right direction until one arrives. Knock, and all that. Here you see another clear mark of the atheist: he refuses the honest search, let alone the earnest one. He behaves like the one who does not believe in love, mocks all those who have experienced it, and positively refuses to be, so to speak, open to the possibility of falling in love. Alas, he will more easily be cured from the second error than from the first, then God requires from most people that they put some solid effort, or at least start some serious questioning, or at least show some humility.
From some, he seems not to require this effort. He makes someone rich, someone beautiful, someone witty, someone healthy, someone intelligent. To some others, he gives unquestioning faith. Then he sends them around to quarrel, and write blogs. They well should, because like those in love they do not doubt, they simply know.
I have found here some interesting quotations about the Death Penalty. Please refrain from commenting about the site.
The same divine authority that forbids the killing of a human being establishes certain exceptions, as when God authorizes killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time.
The agent who executes the killing does not commit homicide; he is an instrument as is the sword with which he cuts. Therefore, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ to wage war at God’s bidding, or for the representatives of public authority to put criminals to death, according to the law, that is, the will of the most just reason.
(The City of God, Book 1, chapter 21
St. Thomas Aquinas
It is written: “Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live” (Ex. 22:18); and: “In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land” (Ps. 100:8). …
Every part is directed to the whole, as imperfect to perfect, wherefore every part exists naturally for the sake of the whole. For this reason we see that if the health of the whole human body demands the excision of a member, because it became putrid or infectious to the other members, it would be both praiseworthy and healthful to have it cut away. Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since “a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6).
(Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)
The fact that the evil ones, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement.
They also have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so obstinate that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from malice, it is possible to make a quite probable judgment that they would never come away from evil.”
(Summa contra gentiles, Book III, chapter 146)
The first Pope to take a stand in favor of the death penalty was Innocent I in the year 405. In response to a query from the Bishop of Toulouse, Pope Innocent I based his position on Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
He wrote: It must be remembered that power was granted by God [to the magistrates], and to avenge crime by the sword was permitted. He who carries out this vengeance is God’s minister (Rm 13:1-4). Why should we condemn a practice that all hold to be permitted by God? We uphold, therefore, what has been observed until now, in order not to alter the discipline and so that we may not appear to act contrary to God’s authority.
(Innocent 1, Epist. 6, C. 3. 8, ad Exsuperium, Episcopum Tolosanum,
20 February 405, PL 20,495)
The secular power can without mortal sin carry out a sentence of death, provided it proceeds in imposing the penalty not from hatred but with judgment, not carelessly but with due solicitude.(Innocent III, DS 795/425)
Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.(Pius XII, Address to the First International Congress of Histopathology
of the Nervous System, 14 September 1952, XIV, 328)
Catechism of the Council of Trent
The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thy shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.
In the Psalms we find a vindication of this right: “Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord” (Ps. 101:8).
…. just look here.
Put the children to bed first.
By-the-bye, this is scheduled to happen again this year.
St. Micheal the Archangel, defend us in battle!
Reblog of the Day
Interesting blog post on the Domine, Da Mihi Hanc Aquam blog. The blog post makes clear that, whilst Catholics avoid the noisy excess of screaming Protestant preachers, repentance for our sins is still – bar a Divine mercy that we have no right to expect – mandatory to avoid Hell.
The author of the blog post puts it in simple and very clear terms:
…refusing to repent of one’s sins constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and such a refusal will not be forgiven. In fact, refusing to repent cannot be forgiven. God will not save us against our will. He will love us right into hell.
Foreseeing the scandal of the liberal crowd, the author hastens to add:
This sounds harsh, I know. But this a truth of the Catholic faith that cannot be spiced up or sugar-coated or hidden away.
Everytime I read phrases like…
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Schmidberger is certainly not pleased with the tones of the Vatican message, and does not do anything to conceal it. More interesting is that he seems to think a positive conclusion is still possible.
I personally prefer to be positively surprised if something – which would at this point, I think, be a real surprise – should happen rather than risk further disappointing if nothing happens.
Still, I think prayers are in order.
In a world where one can’t talk about the necessity to put up a fight against the enemies of Catholicism without running the risk of the next wannabe Mother Theresa making (generally) herself beautiful saying that the “we must pray for our enemies”, I found this prayer – courtesy of Father Z – extremely refreshing.
The fact is, we must pray for the salvation of the enemies of the Church. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t our enemies, nor that they must not be – God willing – crushed. Alas, the good-ism stinking of cheap incense forgets it all too often.
The text is as follows:
Hostium nostrorum, quaesumus, Domine, elide superbiam: et eorum contumaciam dexterae tuae virtute prosterne. Per Dominum.
Crush, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the pride of our enemies: and prostrate their arrogance by the might of Thy right hand. Through our Lord.
It seems to me this is like a “pocket” version of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. One can easily learn it by heart and use it whenever the occasion arises; which is, alas, more and more often.
Interesting film, this one, and most certainly not only for young adults.
I will not give any spoiler, but what I found striking was the following:
1) The theme (not new) of the omnipotent Central Government, the absolute ruler of its subjects. Rather an actual theme, I would say.
2) The absence of every Christian message, in a desolate world that has – leaving aside the theological implications of this – forgotten Christianity. This is not “The Descendants”, where there is no Christianity because in the mind of the writers and director everyone is too cool to believe in God. This is exactly the contrary, and you rapidly understand this world can only be cruel, because there is no Christianity.
3) The open criticism of the growing kitsch dominating our lives. The hair and general clothes of most of the “leaders” (not, crucially, of the two main and of the “positive” characters) is characterised by a grotesque absence of taste. Interesting, because the way most people dress, their haircut and , in some circles, their tattoos would have been considered disgusting and worse than ridiculous just a couple of decades ago.
4) The dig at the “inclusive” culture. The movie – I have not read the book – sends some unspoken messages: the hair and clothes clearly mean this is a “liberal” dictatorship, where no one is “discriminated” or “made to feel excluded” for his personal taste and at least the ruling class can “express” itself as it pleases. Similarly, there is a clear message that in this fake “liberal” world, in reality extremely cruel and devoid of any ethics, homosexuality is considered normal. I see in this a criticism to the Nazism our liberals are trying to build around us: violently illiberal, but open to every perversion in sexual morals, or simple taste.
5) This is a clean movie. A movie completely centred on adolescents of both sexes, but without sex, actually without even sexual innuendos. Mind, this is not a movie for 12 years old, and I would not bring a 12 years old to see it. Say, 15 to 18 must be the main target, but even as an adult there are no limits to its fruition.
Nowadays, when teenagers are confronted with sexual messages in every aspect of the trash “culture” dished to them, to make an expensive movie of this kind is more than laudable. I couldn’t avoid thinking that if the movie had been co-produced by the BBC, some of the “good characters” would have been most certainly perverts: the BBC does it without exception, with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” being only the last example.
The movie is more than a bit upsetting, because the viewer is plunged in a world of brutal fight for survival for a longish time. Again, I wouldn’t bring there a 12 years old.
Still, I think you wouldn’t waste your time and money, and many of you would agree with me in my interpretation of some of the aspects of this movie. Again, I haven’t read the book – nor do I plan to – so I cannot tell you whether these issues run through it.
I am very sorry to tell you if you clicked here hoping to find the usual copy-and-paste blog post about the last papal trip you will have to click somewhere else. The same applies if you want to read what has been said thousands of times before, and will be said thousands of times in future: the young are the future, the papal visit has inflamed so many hearts, Pope wants peace, and water is wet.
This blog is of a rather more critical and, if you wish, more cynical nature, and his humble author tries to understand what results these papal visits achieve rather than to dish the soup warmed one thousand times already.
Mexico, then. I have lived the Papal visit in the UK in September 2010, have seen the masses it has attracted – this was really a surprise much different from the “water is wet”- newsline, considering the climate which the BBC & Co. had tried to create and the popularity deficit of the present Pontiff if compared to the former one – and even so I can tell you, eighteen months later, that the papal visit has left no permanent mark whatsoever. On the contrary, whilst eighteen months ago the so-called homo-marriage was not in the cards, it has now become a very real possibility, and euthanasia has started to make its first timid steps towards official – first judicial, than legal, as it happens very often over here – recognition.
One is, therefore, forced to ask oneself what use these papal visits are, if after the departure of the Pontiff the local clergy – generally the most immediate cause of problems – is left in the same dismal state as it was before.
The use is, I am tempted to say, the headlines. A bit of PR here, a bit of headlines there, a bit of smoke a bit everywhere. It seems to work as an alternative to serious action, as we see that serious action never follows the quest for the headlines; and when people start to wonder, you can always plan the next visit.
The harsh reality is that a papal visit is the equivalent of a straw fire in your own fireplace, generating a very short phase of beautiful flame followed by, pretty much, nothing.
One could say that the world Catholics need – or have a right, even; all read already – to see their Pontiff. This is a novel concept, never applied in the past two thousand years of Catholicism. It is also a rather impracticable one, as if you accept Catholics are entitled to the expectation of a papal visit you had better expect the Pope doing nothing else than travelling. Besides, we are in the age of internet and tv, with the Pope accessible everyday to a large part of the planet’s Catholics.
I am a very old-fashioned man. In my world, the Pope is the man who sits in Rome and cares for his job of successor of Peter pretty much from there; whereas the work of evangelisation is mainly directed by those appointed for the job (they are called, then, bishops) and executed in daily life by their aides (they are called, then, priests) or people sent ad hoc (they are called,, then, missionaries).
If the Church on the ground does not work, no amount of papal visits will ever manage to let it work. If the Church on the ground works, a Papal visit is a nice addition but is in the end not needed.
This point is, it seems to me, sorely neglected. The Church in Germany does NOT work, and the – if I remember correctly – two papal visit there from Pope Benedict have achieved pretty much nothing in improving things. The same goes for the visit in England, though here the impressive popular participation was unexpected; but again, notwithstanding that pretty much nothing happened as a direct result of the visit.
One could say that in England the reintroduction of the meatless Friday was due to the Papal visit, but I would disagree; this was a decision of the bishops all right, taken one year later, to pay some lip service and compensate for a continued disregard of orthodoxy, and for which the anniversary of the papal visit was merely a convenient excuse, to try to give themselves some credentials for their otherwise dismal lack of action.
The same goes for all the talk of the local hierarchy being oh so energised, and the faithful oh so enthusiastic. Bad bishops will continue to be bad exactly in the same way, and poorly catechised Catholics to use contraception exactly like before.
I am, I am sure, not the only one who wishes the Popes (the former one, the present ones and, no doubt, the next one) would dedicate less time to flying around the world and show more decisiveness in dealing with the vast, but plain to see and rather easy to deal with problems of the Church particularly in the West (it’s not difficult, really: you kick out the bad bishops and substitutes them with good ones. There’s no other way, though I admit it’s more controversial than travelling). You can’t substitute decisiveness with air miles, and your bad bishops won’t become better because suddenly inspired by your visit.
The problem is, when the Popes is gone the problems remain exactly the same, and the headlines are very short-lived anyway. Seriously: what has changed in England? What in Germany? What would a visit to Austria change?
I wonder how many foreign trips Pius IX ever made, and how many Catholics were angry because he never visited them; but again, Pius IX didn’t seem very interested in headlines, either.
Having had the privilege of living in what can be called as different cultures, I can give my readers a perspective – a subjective one of course, but I think a widely shared one – about the issue of gluttony.
In Italy, gluttony as a concept is still alive and kicking. When I was at school, the teachers did not hesitate in publicly scolding overweight children – children who in today’s britain would not even be called fat – as “gluttons”, and there was an icy atmosphere in the class as an eight-year-old girl was ruthlessly exposed as an example of wrong behaviour, or a nine-years-old boy as a menace to his own happiness.I remember very, very clearly no one in the same class would have ever thought of branding such scoldings as “insensitive”. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knew they were made out of sincere interest for the health – moral or physical, according to the single teacher – of the young pupil.Social control worked – and still works – rather well.
The same mentality you would encounter outside the classroom. In Italy there is a certain way of thinking, by which a moderate amount of fat is still considered OK. The “fat” southern Italian mamma was never considered an example of gluttony, and the well-rounded man a’ la Peppone in the Don Camillo movies a universally accepted figure. Still, they would both be called, if not gluttons, certainly fat.
The line was drawn when the fat began to be an impairment, or eating a clear priority in one’s life. People started to be called obese far before they reached the extreme I see here in Blighty, whilst the latter example (people literally unable to walk and moving around in electric chairs, or fat to the point of circus attraction deformity) were basically non-existent.
The situation was not much different in Germany, a country still largely dominated – in those times at least, that was before Merkel and so-called same-sex marriages – by a broadly intended Christian thinking. Whilst the point at which one is considered fat was somewhat shifted, the thinking was largely the same. In both countries excessive, deformity-inducing fatness – which one could see over there every now and then, though it was rather seldom – was considered a sure sign of an uncontrolled character, an immoderate lack of every discipline and, in general, a sign of gravely immature character to say the least.
Then I moved to England. Together with the great shock of noticing Christianity was an option, rather than a standard (which is, in short, what prompted this very poorly instructed, non-practising, confused Catholic to start deepening Catholicism and, in time, to start going to Church again, greatly encouraged by the presence, in this country, of those assertive, orthodox Catholics I had never found in Germany), I noticed a different attitude to a lot of things; very notable among them, gluttony.
Gluttony as a concept is, in this country, non-existent at the level of the general population, and I wonder how present it is even among Catholics, and among church-going Catholics. The general idea seems to be that whilst obesity is a health problem, the culprits for the problem are to be largely looked everywhere but in the obese people themselves. From McDonald to Coca-Cola, from consumerism to TV advertisements, to lack of proper education pretty much everyone and everything is made responsible for the (very evident) problem of obesity, but gluttony.
The problem is made worse by the omnipresent culture of understanding for pretty much everything under the sun – a country who doesn’t have the guts to condemn sodomy will never have the guts to tackle gluttony -, engendering a mentality where an immoderately obese person can think he is entitled to various benefits (from those ridiculous electric vehicles to surgical operations when they massacre their knees with beautiful regularity) without anyone questioning the wisdom of such mentality. When the national health service decided a person weighing 180 Kg would have to get down to 140 Kg before being entitled to a knee operation, there was a socialist uproar. Gluttony was, of course, nowhere to be heard in the debate.
And so it happens that a country throwing away every Christian concept – which are not only divinely ordained, but conducive to a healthier and happier life – then throws money at the problems this abandonment has created, and cannot notice the cul-de-sac in which it has put itself. As I write, gluttony is never seen as such; you have rather two opposed fractions of nannies opposing each other: the health nazis who want to kill every joy in life and see obese people as a public enemy; and the socialist fraction obviously patronising them and giving the responsibility for their deformity to everyone who is not the obese people themselves.
In all this, Christianity is not to be seen. Absolutely nowhere, not even in the stance of the Church who would, once, have acknowledged the existence of such a sin as gluttony and has, today, all but forgotten it.
Guess whether they will manage to solve the problem with the same un-PC efficiency the Italians do.
Rorate Caeli has some reflections about Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who died 21 years ago.
I disagree with their statement that without him the struggle for the preservation of traditional Catholicism would have been lost – my take is the Holy Ghost allows the Church to undergo periods of confusion, not to lose Her mission and identity – but I think it cannot be put in doubt that this man gave a huge contribution to the vocal defence of what Catholicism had always been and should have remained.
Twenty-one years after his death, we see Archbishop Lefebvre – though of course not perfect – more and more vindicated not only among conservative Catholics (who certainly have always loved him to a degree, even those who disagree with the SSPX stance) but among mainstream Catholics and the Vatican hierarchy, as the problems he foretold punctually exploded with devastating force and as the drunkenness (I keep describing it this way, as it seems to me a very fitting description) of V II slowly but surely makes place for a long due soberness.
Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX were not the only ones to vocally oppose the systematic destruction of Catholic liturgical tradition and orthodox thinking during and following the Council, and I only need to remind you of Romano Amerio’s wonderful Iota Unum to show opposition came from several corners, and was extremely strongly worded.
Still, it cannot be denied that it was this organisation which carried – and still carries – the flag in the most recognisable of ways, spreading all over the West whilst the people of the tambourines ravaged the very essence of Catholicism and the Vatican looked on in culpable impotence.
Therefore, on this day one Eternal Rest or three for this brave man is, I think, more than appropriate.
Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre, and his brave soldiers of Christ.
Reblog of the day, part III
We have examined in the past two posts (here and here) the most common ways to understand reincarnation and their fundamental incompatibility with the existence and work of Christ. Let us now conclude by examining the utter failure of such new age “Christianity-cum-reincarnation” perspectives from a more practical point of view.
In order to do so, one must decide whether Indians are a people intrinsically or even genetically prone to violence and cruelty, or not. If one decides that they are, one subscribes to a racist vision of the world which is the contrary of what modern followers of reincarnation tend to (at least consciously) believe. If one doesn’t, he has a problem.
It is in fact clear from the most superficial exam of the Indian society that a high level of cruelty and ruthlessness, unknown to Christian societies, has dominated its social structures for a long…
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Reblog of the day, part II
This is rather easy, as the belief in reincarnation can only be (erroneously) held if no attentive and systematic reading of Scriptures has taken place. What generally happens is that a “hearsay Christian” (vast majority nowadays, I’m afraid) reads or receives from some friend some information about verses of the Gospel in which Jesus would seem to endorse the theory of reincarnation. Also rather spread are legends about the bible having been “manipulated” (an old dish of heresy, this one), but I am going to discard those for their evident absurdity.
One verse often cited is the one in which Jesus asks the Apostles who they think He is and they answer ” Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Mt. 16, 13-14). To an attentive reader it is evident here that Jesus could not possibly have been the reincarnation of John…
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Reblog of the day, part I
I am rather sure that it has happened to you too at some point: some friend or colleague or acquaintance of yours not only believes in reincarnation (perfectly possible, if he’s not a Christian), but sometimes even considers this compatible with Christianity; perhaps he even calls himself a Christian with utter conviction and in perfect good faith and will still say that he believes in reincarnation.
In such errors we must see another result of the disgraceful catechesis of these last decades; when such things happen I would invite you to be gracefully firm with the person in question and simply point out to the incompatibility of reincarnation with Christianity, and explain why. Sadly, though, we live in such times that new age infiltrations (or Buddhistic ones, or such like) are allowed to dilute the message of Christianity because no effort whatsoever is made by the Clergy to maintain the…
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The fight against HHS extends to Attorney Generals, of whom a growing number (eight, and counting) oppose the HHS Mandate.
This article was on CNA.
“We are grateful to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange for taking such a strong stand on this issue,” said Michael P. Warsaw, president and CEO of the Eternal Word Television Network, in an announcement made after Strange filed in federal court as a co-plaintiff on March 22.
“This suit demonstrates that the Alabama motto, ‘We dare to defend our rights,’ is no mere slogan,” Warsaw observed.
“The state could simply have chosen to file a brief advising the court of the impact of the case on its citizens. Instead, it is intervening in the suit as a co-plaintiff with EWTN.”
The move sends a message “that this unjust, unconstitutional mandate hurts not only EWTN, but the entire community,” Warsaw said.
The media network filed its lawsuit against the government on Feb. 9, one day before the administration confirmed the rule that requires many religious ministries to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs in their health plans.
The network, assisted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, was among the first religious organizations to sue the federal government over the contraception mandate. Alabama’s filing on Thursday makes it the eighth state whose attorney general is challenging the rule in court.
Somewhere, Obama is banging his head to the wall.
I had not written about this, because I felt unable to control my adrenaline level.
One would have to give a long and hard look at why these things happen in the first place, but it is good to know that at times someone wakes up – or is, well, woken up – and realises the folly of such initiatives.
Reading around about the SSPX-Vatican talks, I can’t avoid making a couple of small considerations as follows:
1) It would seem there are some people who think if the SSPX does not agree with the Vatican, they will be declared schismatics.
This reasoning – very similar to those of the cave-in Catholics, though in this case some might be in good faith – is in my eyes fundamentally flawed. Being schismatic or orthodox is not something depending from the humour of the Pope of the day, much less – if we have a modicum of esteem for the current Pope – a matter object of emotional handling: if you do not agree with me now, I’ll declare you schismatic. Thank God, even the post-Vatican II Church is much better than this.
The Vatican cannot and will not declare the SSPX schismatic, because the Church cannot declare Herself schismatic. You won’t find any other “flaw” in the SSPX as the iron will to be as the Church always was. No amount of V II blabber can ever go over this point, and the talk of the SSPX beig “schismatic” is, in the essence, V II blabber.
The argument that the SSPX be “disobedient” is also a rather shallow one: the SSPX is obedient to the Magisterium, and obeys the Pope only in the measure in which the latter is faithful to the Magisterium. If the Pope is imperfectly faithful to the Magisterium, he will have to live with the consequences. This has always been so in the past and will always be so in the future: dissolute and greedy Popes have to live with the damage they create, and weak Popes unable to enforce orthodoxy must do the same.
Every properly instructed Catholic (not many of those, I admit) knows a Pope is not infallible, and not even orthodox, qua Pope. A Pope is orthodox in the measure in which he follows orthodox thinking (which is variable), and he is infallible only in certain very limited circumstances.
If you ask me, the talk of schism is pure fantasy thinking, and a comfortable excuse for the friends of the appeasement.
2) Msgr Bux speaks eloquently and at times movingly, but one wonders how representative he is of the real mood within the Vatican. His invitation to join the battle would be flawless if the battle had been successful in the past decades; nay, if the battle were not the disaster which prompted Msgr Bux’s letter in the first place. As it is, the appeal is more of a beautiful call to arms and a rather vague hope things will work out in the end, than a fair assessment of the present situation. As things stand, my impression is the SSPX should, in the end, join a rather drunken army but not be allowed to thunder against alcoholism. I think past the emotional assessment of Msgr Bux’s letter, the SSPX sees this clearly.
3) Personally, at this point I am persuaded the differences are not so much theological as practical. Will the SSPX, after a theoretical reconciliation, be able to be as critical of the V II praxis as it has been up to now? Msgr Bux says, emphatically, “yes”, but one wonders whether this is the case; then were this to be the case, the impotence of the Church towards the forced secularisation of once Catholic masses – people who 100 years ago would have been very well instructed and today can’t even recite the Commandments – would not be so painfully obvious. To persuade yourself of the failure of this conservative battle you need to look no further than at Summorum Pontificum, a beautiful document now a dead letter in vast parts of the planet. Alas, the reality on the ground is that if the SSPX joined the battle inside the Vatican today they would find some Buxes, and an awful lot of Nicholses and Schoenborns. I even wonder if they would be allowed to wage this battle in the first place. Can we really say, for example, that a battle is raging for Summorum Pontificum?
In my eyes, the problem is very simple: what happens after the reconciliation. Look at the FSSP and tell me whether you can say they are as effective as the SSPX in defending traditional Catholic values. I never ever read of FSSP priests taking a courageous stance against some modern error of the Church. I might be wrong, but my impression is on the whole they are content with being allowed to do their own thing, without “meddling” in the matters of the broader Church; and I do not doubt if any FSSP priest would take a courageous public stance against V II the press and blogosphere would adequately amplify his declarations. The fact is, the FSSP has lost in bite (many of them are, I think, ex-SSPX) what it has gained in “official” recognition. They are, so to speak, in full standing but factually not allowed to stand against V II. This is in my eyes not really good (we all agree, I think, the SSPX stance of aiming at the restoration of traditional Catholic thinking is the better, more Catholic approach than the narrow view of being just content with having the Tridentine Mass and being free from the NO) and might well prove their doom in just a couple of generations, whilst the SSPX is thriving and, it seems to me, gaining prestige and recognition as the decades go by.
Beautiful as Msgr Bux’s words are, in my eyes there is a lot speaking for letting things stay as they are. The SSPX should, I think, accept a full reconciliation only of they are allowed to continue their work exactly in the same way as they are doing it now. Until this is the case – and this seems at the moment not to be the case – I would rather prefer to see the SSPX continue the battle than being reconciled but, in the end, silenced.
Archbishop Lefebvre would not have wanted to stay out just for the sake of “staying out”: he signed the V II documents, but he also tirelessly warned about the need to improve them and the danger they represent.
What I think he would never have done is to accept to shut up in exchange for privileges for his order.
This is the film previously known under the working title of “Cristiada”.
As previously reported, this is another take of Andy Garcia (a great man if you ask me, and as cool as ever on the silver screen) at conservative social values after the beautiful “The Lost City”.
Happily for Garcia, the movie will start on the first of June, probably when the discussion about religious freedom in the months leading to the 2012 Presidential election has reached its highest point. Those who have a brain to think will easily make the comparison between Mexico then and the US (or Europe, in a more subtle way) now.
Garcia is a man who doesn’t hesitate in putting his money where his mouth is, as “The Lost City” abundantly (and beautifully) proves. I disagree with “The Lost City’s” Ines Sastre being substituted for Eva Longoria but alas, nobody is perfect….
What is certain, is that this movie promises to be the most shameless witness of Christian thinking (and fighting) after “the Passion of the Christ”.
I wish the film the same success, but it is a reflection of the times we live in I cannot tell you I am sure this film will gain access to the big channels of film distribution in Europe. The film might – and it will easily – be considered too “divisive” and not enough “nuanced” for countries where even the Catholic hierarchy is all too often more or less openly heretic.
The cave-in Catholic is, like the Republican In Name Only, a fake. A six pound note. The fifth column.
The cave-in Catholic wants you not to be Catholic – much less fight for Catholic values – whilst trying not to appear a coward; in the most hopeless cases, he even tries to look smart.
The cave-in Catholic loves playing armchair general, only he can’t be a general even from the armchair. To him, not to fight is smart. He’ll lose the battle all right, but he’ll try to persuade you it was very smart not to fight it, because this way he has, whilst losing, avoided defeat.
The cave-in Catholic cares for pretty much everything under the sun, except Catholicism. This is a lost battle, he will say. Not good for the cause. Let’s fight only the battles we know we’ll going to win, it’s so much smarter.The polls say we can’t win. The BBC is against us. If we lose, we’ll be sent back into the catacombs in no time, so we had better… lose. We shouldn’t fight, because if we fight our enemies will rejoice at their victory, whilst if we don’t fight they will merely rejoice that they have won without even having to fight. How smart is that…
The cave-in Catholic has, more often than not, some serious problem. He doesn’t believe in God, hence his problem with fighting a battle he sees as lost. Or he is dissenting in some way of his, and therefore fears the calls to orthodoxy unavoidably linked to the hardening of the religious climate. Or he is, say, a sodomite, and there are some battles he would like to, erm, not see fought at all. I suspect of the latter there is, both with and without clerical garb, more than you think.
You recognise the cave-in Catholic even before he tells you how smart it is to be a coward. He will be, at all times, politically correct. He will use the word “gay”, perhaps because he isn’t exactly exempt from that kind of “feeling” himself. He’ll sprinkle with “women’s right”, and will say “pro-choice” because “abortionist” is “divisive”. He will never call to battle. He will hide behind the finger always used in this occasion: not the right time, not the right place, not the right weather, not the right battle, not the right moon phase. not the right media support. The main thing is not to expose himself as a coward, or worse.
The cave-in Catholic is everywhere. He can be a nun, a priest, a professor in a Catholic university, or a soi-disant Catholic journalist. Very often, he is a bishop or archbishop. In some countries, it would seem this is a strict requirement to become the latter.
The cave-in Catholic knows every time he talks of cunningly surrendering he’ll find people ready to believe him, or even to think him smart. What a brilliant strategy, to lose without fighting. A bit like the boy bullied at school and trying to persuade you he is pursuing a brilliant long-term strategy based on the tactic of submission.
The cave-in Catholic is, at any one time, just one click away.
Do the right thing, and click him away.
Monsignor Bux, CDF, wrote a letter to Bishop Fellay about the present situation. Rorate Caeli has the story, and an English translation of the letter.
Msgr Bux’s statement are, in places, nothing less than stunning. I had to stop and read twice, to be sure I had read correctly.
You can (and should) click the link to Rorate to read the entire letter. I will limit myself, here, to comment on what I find the most important statements. Emphases always mine.
It is undeniable that numerous facts of Vatican II and of the period that followed it, related to the human dimension of this event, have represented true calamities and have caused intense pain to many great Churchmen.
There are four statements of barely believable vis polemica here:
1) Vatican II itself (not the “spirit”. The Council itself) was, in part, an utter disgrace.
2) The “Spirit of Vatican II” which followed continued the work of destruction.
3) This is nothing to do with the Holy Ghost. This was a purely man-made devastation.
4) The mess caused many great Churchmen to suffer whilst the destruction went on substantially unchallenged in Rome. I personally believe this is a personal tribute to Archbishop Lefebvre.
If we except statement 2, I’d say the other three are a frontal attack to the “moderates” within the Vatican, and an open declaration of support for fundamental SSPX tenets.
But God does not allow His Holy Church to reach self-destruction.
The V II crowd would have, left to itself, utterly destroyed the Church. But God would never allow it. The devastating force of these words cannot be put in doubt: Monsignore says self-destruction, in the same breath as he talks of the “true calamities” of V II.
[…] we believe that God has prepared and continues to prepare, throughout these years, men who are worthy of rectifying the errors and the ommissions we all deplore.
Make no mistake, among the men God prepares are the priests of the SSPX, to whom the letter is addressed. They are among the men God trains for the good fight, and to whom He gives the task to put things right. Again, read the letter in its context and tell me whether this is not a reference to those who have made “resistance” in the past (in general) and to the SSPX (in particular). It doesn’t mean, of course, these men only come from outside of the Vatican.
These divine interventions seem to grow in proportion to the complexity of the facts. The future will make it clear, as we are convinced, and it seems dawn is almost at hand.
The V II-induced darkness is almost at hand, but it’s there still.The Church is still enshrouded in V II darkness, but dawn is near. And we are not even sure of this, because still it is dark.
With Saint Catherine of Siena, we wish to say: “Come to Rome in complete safety,”
This seems to me to echo what I have written just some days ago: that the main obstacle is now the fear of the SSPX of being muzzled after a reconciliation. Msgr Bux seems to me to lean out of the window and say: “come in, dear friends; let us fight together. You’ll be fine; you’ll have allies in the Vatican only waiting for you to come in to fire from all cannons”.
Your refusal would increase darkness, not light. And yet the sparks of light we can already admire are numerous, beginning with those of the great liturgical restoration effected by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”. It stirs up, throughout the whole world, a large movement of adherence from all those who wish to increase the worship of God, particularly the young.
This is, I think, the core of Monsignor Bux’s sales pitch: the movement has already started and it will soon become unstoppable. You’ll help it by getting in, you’ll damage it by staying out. Not sure about that personally, but one gets the drift.
How not to think of the contribution you could give to the welfare of the whole Church, thanks to your pastoral and doctrinal resources, your capabilities and your sensibility?
This seems to me to reinforce the point made above: we don’t want you muzzled. We want you barking, and biting. Come to us, o hounds of the Lord, and join us in this glorious run that will end with the killing of the cunning fox of Vatican II.
There are some other elements which I consider rather secondary, like the invitation to consider how good the Pope has been to them and how much he suffered (erm… all the way back from Assisi… but I digress…); but in general, I’d say this is the most explicit statement of admiration and support for the SSPX I have ever read from a papavero of the Vatican.
Will this dispel the SSPX’s reservations? I doubt it. But it could give them a big hand inside the Vatican in this delicate phase, and in my eyes it shows that within the Vatican there is a “right wing” not ready to see the SSPX being refused admission without putting up a fight to allow them to get in in the proper manner.
We shall see. For sure, this is a surprise.
Reblog of the day
This man is good, and he clearly lost patience with being both misinterpreted in public, and mistreated from the auxiliary bishop.
On Saturday February 25th I showed up to officiate at a funeral Mass for Mrs. Loetta Johnson. The arrangements for the Mass were also not my own. I wish to clarify that Ms. Barbara Johnson (the woman who has since complained to the press), has never been a parishioner of mine. In fact I had never met her or her family until that morning.
The funeral celebration was to commence at 10:30a.m. From 9:30 to 10:20, I was assigned to hear confessions for the parish and anyone in the funeral party who would have chosen to receive the sacrament.
A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her “lover”. Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to…
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You would think US Catholics are rather spread in the traditional coastal regions of the North East and in the regions of newer emigration like California, whilst the “Bible Belt” is the unassailable fortress of the Evangelicals. Well, yes, and no.
It turns out Catholics are experiencing healthy growth in the region. So much so, that some dioceses like Charlotte expect to double the number of Catholics in the next 20 years, after healthy growth in the past.
In another rather impressive news, a future seminary and a community of cloistered nuns have united their wallets and bought a rather impressive plot of land of almost 500 acres (to you Europeans, that’s almost 200 hectares, or almost 2 square kilometres) in the same region.
It is rather notable to read that whilst historic seminaries are closed in Europe (because of corruption and homosexuality, like in Austria; or scandalous inefficiency like in Ireland) new ones are built where people still care, and Catholicism receives an infusion of new energy. Where people do not care – and the hierarchy with them – what we have is DVDs explaining to the faithful which churches will be closed (those with conservative, pro-Summorum Pontificum priests, rather), whilst the church leaders ceaselessly insist on how “nuanced” they are.
I rather have the impression the cloistered nuns are not very “nuanced”, and the seminarians destined to come out of the new erected structured might be not much less conservative, either.
Guess where Catholicism will thrive, and where it will languish.
the answer is here.
If you think this man was the, erm, Republican candidate only four years ago, you realise how much better the chances are this year; and, of course, how dangerous it would be if Romney were to win in Tampa.
Est modus in rebus, of course, and the candidate should be able to appeal to broad sections of the electorate. But with the likes of McCain the Republicans run the risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Reblog of the day
The Magisterium is the teaching authority, or the teaching office, of the Church; the way we use to express the fact that the Church has the right to teach us what is the Truth. It comes from the Latin Magister, “teacher”.
The Magisterium is divided into two:
1. Infallible Magisterium, called Sacred Magisterium and
2. Fallible Magisterium, called Ordinary Magisterium.
The Infallible Magisterium is, in turn, divided as follows:
1.1. extraordinary declarations of the Pope, speaking ex cathedra. This is the typical subject coming out when there is any discussion about “infallibility”. An example is the declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
1.2.extraordinary conciliar decrees. This is when not a Pope, but an ecumenical council declares what the entire Church holds as true. An example is the declaration of papal infallibility made by the First Vatican Council.
1.3. ordinary and universal Magisterium…
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