Monthly Archives: June 2013
From Pope Francis’ address to the bishops on occasion of yesterday’s “Pallium Mass”
The Second Vatican Council, in speaking of the hierarchical structure of the Church, states that the Lord “established the apostles as college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from their number” (ibid., 19). Confirming in unity: the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the primacy. We must walk on this path of synodality, grow in harmony with the service of the primacy.
The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome, with the universal church, with the Synod of Bishops, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion.
It is at first difficult to really understand what is really meant here, even if this homily was certainly not off-the-cuff. Particularly the grammatical structure of “confirming” through “primacy” seems very adventurous to me, and without a proper meaning. Still, by flexing one’s synapses one can understand what the Pope (probably; more or less; in some way) wanted to say: that he envisions a path of increased synodality, by which the bishops remain not only in harmony, but at the service of the primacy of the, erm, bishop of Rome. This is repeated in the second phrase I have mentioned: being a servant of the communion means at the same time being at the service of the primacy of the bishop of Rome. If the latter isn’t there, the former isn’t either.
As so often with this Pope, this is the Seventies all over again. Like your typical communist apparatchik, or Western agit-prop, of those years, the Holy Father wants to have all the power and all the decisions, but by letting it appear that they both come from the “collective” (you remember the “collectives”? If not, you’re still young…), or the “group”.
Notice the typical Seventies pattern: it is fine to “grow” in synodality, as long as your “growing” is the one I want. If this is not the case, you aren’t serving the “communion”, because you are working “against the group”.
You may ask: fine, he is the Pope, but where is the need for that? Why all the talk about synodality if in the end he is the one making the decisions? Isn’t he the Pope and, therefore, the one entitled to decide anyway?
Well, yes and no. In a proper way, of course he is. But you see, he doesn’t want to; or at least, he does not want to appear to.
As in a Communist Party of the Seventies, or in a students’ collettivo of the same period, things must never be allowed to appear as they are. “Harmony”, “growth”, the “walking” of the “permanent assembly” will be stressed. A “collective” endeavour. The “people” (in this case, “of God”) clearly, clearly is the one from which ultimately everything emanates.
Path Walking. Harmonic Growing. “Confirming in Unity”.
It must not be said the Pope – or the party secretary, or the head agitator – is autocratic! God forbid! We live in the years of post Vatican II, where the Pope doesn’t behave like that anymore! No siree!…
In a sense, it is reassuring. If my interpretation is correct, what Francis is saying is that there will be all the rhetoric about collegiality the bishops and the public can bear, provided in the end things go as they always did. Ah, human nature… plus ça change…
I sometimes think this way of talking is exactly the one that John Paul I would have chosen if he had decided – as some seem to think – to suppress the excesses of Vatican II. Taking the name “John Paul”, and promising how much he would have remained faithful to the path of his two predecessors, he would have been able to remake everything from a position of strenght or, as they would have said in the Seventies, from the “head of the movement”.
Alas, Francis does not give any impression of wanting to suppress anything wrong, rather to amplify it, and I suspect he actually wants to make sure he can go on with his work without undue interference from his lieutenants; obviously, apart from the smoke screens of the “G8”, the “synodality”, the “harmony”, and the “walking”.
Yes, this is another one straight from the Seventies.
One feels younger already.
After an observation or two in the comment box, it is perhaps fitting to say one or two words about this little effort, so that any uncertainty that there might have been in less attentive – or less assiduous – readers is definitively dispelled.
1. Read the statement from Robert De Piante on the right hand column of this blog:
What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now.
This is probably the most famous statement expressing in just a few words the essence of traditional Catholicism. It is there for a reason. I do not exclusively employ the term “traditionalist” because I think that “conservative” Catholic also perfectly fits the bill, though in a wider sense. Since this blog’s inception almost three years ago, pretty much all of my posts have been tagged “traditional Catholicism”. If some post isn’t, it’s because I forgot. My blog “line” (the one you also read on every search engine) is also very telling: tradidi quod et accepi, another famous traditionalist “punchline” commonly associated with the SSPX.
2. My blog posts in support of the SSPX are very many, though they are certainly not enough in number or worthy enough in their quality. I do not think I have ever been ambiguous in my approval of their work both in the present time and at the time of the disobedience/refusal to close down the seminary in Econe/appointment of the four bishops. Where I stood in the matter of the preambolo dottrinale is also very clear to everyone who reads my blog with a minimum of regularity and attention, and I dare to say I have made myself clear in as open a way as I could without thinking I was failing to show the proper respect to the office – and in the case of Pope Benedict, the person – of the Pontiff.
3. I attend very often Novus Ordo Masses, and will continue to do so. This I do because I fear the effect that an entrenchment on the Traditional Mass would have on me, given my uncompromising nature and the resulting tendency to incendiary emotions and hardline militancy; emotions and militancy that can be very dangerous, and might well lead me astray unless I recognise the problem and act accordingly to counter them and soften my approach. Therefore, as long as I have no doubt that the Novus Ordo Masses I attend to are sacramentally valid, I plan to continue to do so for as long as I see the danger of slowly slipping into Sedevacantism if I don’t. I also see it as a form of penance, when I reflect that our sins (mine, and yours; not only the clergy’s) are also a cause of the present mess.
Through the participation to a second-rate – but by all means not invalid – Mass, I figure I show the Lord my loyalty to the Church even when it hurts, and at the same time keep my inner religious arsonist in check. But this does not mean I think you should do the same. The Novus Ordo is vastly inferior to the Traditional Mass (I do love to call it “Tridentine”, by the way), and if you can and want to attend it every time, more power to you. For the same reason (obedience to the Pope in as much as I can without conflicting with 2000 years of Catholicism) I go to confession to Novus Ordo priests, as I have up to now never met a priest in the confessional who was such a clown as to make me think, after due reflection, the absolution was not valid. I think most of my readers do the same. Or you can say this: as long as I think a Novus Ordo priest can provide me with a valid absolution, I personally see no reason to confess to an SSPX priest. But if had valid, constant reason to fear then I would happily recur to the services of the SSPX priest. But again, personal fears play a role in my decision: the day I decide a NO priest isn’t good enough, how far am I from Sedevacantism? You may not have the problem. I do. Novus Ordo confessor is it, then.
Still, either the SSPX have supplied jurisdiction, or they haven’t. As I am persuaded they have, after long reflection and opportune readings I have reached the conclusion that I can’t see how this should not be extended to confession. The SSPX priests also obviously think in the same way, and as I would trust my path to salvation much more eagerly to them than to the most conservative of the Cardinals, I can’t see anything wrong in that. In times in which the Popes are bad Catholics, a religious order can certainly be more Catholic than the Pope. Since March, I’d say this is not difficult at all even for a properly instructed layman. The Holy Ghost never promised the Pope would be a good Catholic, or would know the Ten Commandments, or wouldn’t be a murderer, a robber, a fornicator, an accommodating coward, or a pious nincompoop. Read the contract attentively, it’s in the small print.
4. In consequence of all the above, I think it should be clear enough to any reasonable reader what this blog is about. I notice, though, here and there a certain tendency – again, perhaps the fruit of insufficient reflection – to approve of what I write without considering what this necessarily entails. If you think that the SSPX are in formal Schism, then you must think that they endanger souls. If you think so, already the reading of the quote mentioned above and of the blog line should be reason enough for you to strongly disapprove of this blog, whose support of the SSPX is as staunch as its author can express with words. To behave any differently means either to take one’s own salvation lightly, or to read this blog because of the titillation coming from the enjoyment of my somewhat robust prose (and many thanks for the compliment!), but without sufficient reflection as to the values this little effort constantly tries to defend.
I do not write this blog for the sake of a vast audience. I have never searched popularity or approval. Wretched sinner as I am, I write this in the first place in the hope the Blessed Virgin will one day look at my effort and find it certainly inadequate and unworthy, but not entirely useless.
I take my salvation extremely seriously. I spend a lot of time thinking of it, praying for it, hoping for it, fearing for it. I have found that the best course to follow is to be on the side of 2000 years of Catholicism; no ifs, no buts, and most certainly no Pinocchios. Faithful to the Church always. Obedient to the Pope as long as that faithfulness is not challenged. Whilst I am sure the day I die many horrible sins will reemerge to haunt my conscience, I am very confident my support for the SSPX will be on my assets, not my liabilities column. You who read these lines, do you think the same?
My dear reader, please reflect on the consequences of your reading this blog. Be wise and do not follow it merely for the sake of emotional satisfaction and enjoyment of my somewhat, ahem, Italian writing style. If the SSPX is wrong, then they are entirely wrong, as is this blog. If they are in schism, then not only 2000 years of Catholicism are in schism but both yours truly and you are, with my approval of them and your approval of me, being an accessory in this sin.
Of course, I do not think they are in schism, because I do not think 2,000 years of Catholicism can be declared “schismatic” without contradicting the very essence of what Catholicism is. I think the safest way is to live and die on the side of these 2,000 years, rather than following the madness of a new way of thinking that came to power during the Kennedy/ Khrushchev era. If logic and common sense were not enough to persuade me of this, the immense devastation of the last 50 years would.
Stuff Pinocchio. I for myself will take my refuge, and put my hope, in the Church transmitted to my grandmothers and to countless generations of devout Catholics before them; then if we are wrong now, they were wrong then. If they were right then, we are right now.
You might not have read my blog post about the big drip, but we have now another demonstration of how it works.
Margherita Hack had all the wrong ideas. It was very easy: if something was wrong, Margherita Hack was very likely to be in favour of it.
Militant atheist. Animal right activist. Supporter of perversion. Communist candidate. Euthanasia fan.
Margherita Hack kicked the bucket earlier today in Trieste at the ripe age of 91 extremely ill spent years, and one way or the other (actually, the one is far more probable than the other) she now knows better.
I have found no sign whatsoever of a possible conversion, or even of the beginning of it. Whilst we can have no absolute certainty, your betting a pint on the female having escaped damnation would be, if you ask me, an extremely foolish move.
Another day, another tool of Satan takes her leave.
The big drip goes on.
Below, a musical accompaniment for the Renaissance Princes among you.
(P.s. One “Eternal Rest” for her for the extremely odd probability she might have repented and for the sake of her guardian angel, if you please.)
The press release that appears below has been published two days ago on the site of the SSPX Press Agency, DICI.
Even by the always elevated standards of the SSPX, the beauty of this declaration is such that I want to put it on my site in its entirety, for everyone to come back to it time and again in difficult hours. I am afraid we will have very many of those in the years to come.
When I compare the text below to the tofu-tasting, politically correct drivel coming from the Vatican – a tofu-tasting drivel which used to be confined to archbishops and cardinals, but of which the Pontiff himself is now the main driving force – I get the entire measure of the wasteland the earthly Jerusalem has been reduced to after 50 years of madness. The vineyard is in a state of complete neglect because husbandry has gone out of fashion, pruning is considered insensitive, and the vines are supposed to be “inclusive” of the weed and open to ” ecumenical dialogue” with the wild plants.
Read the text below, and pray that the punishment of the entire V II movement (including V II itself; and good riddance) may be taken from us soon, or we may be given the grace to suffer it in serenity and without ever losing our faith in Christ and His Church, however disfigured by the bunch of sellouts currently in power.
Good bless the good people of the SSPX. Emphases mine.
Declaration on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations (30th June 1988 – 27th June 2013)
1- On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations the bishops of The Society Saint Pius X are eager to express solemnly their gratitude towards Archbishop Lefevbre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer for the heroic deed they were not afraid of performing on the 30th June 1988. Most especially they would like to express their filial gratitude towards their venerable founder who, after so many years spent serving the Church and the Sovereign Pontiff, so as to safeguard the Faith and the Catholic priesthood, did not hesitate to suffer the unjust accusation of disobedience.
2- In his letter addressed to us before the consecrations, he wrote, “I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all churches, in the integral Catholic Faith, as expressed in the Professions of Faith, in the catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with that which you have been taught in the seminary. Remain faithful to the transmission of this Faith so that the reign of Our Lord may come.” It is indeed this phrase which expresses the profound reason for the act which he was going to undertake “so that the reign of Our Lord might come,” adveniat regnum tuum!
3- Following Archbishop Lefebvre, we affirm that the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church does not reside in a bad interpretation of the conciliar texts – a “hermeneutic of rupture” which would be opposed to a “hermeneutic of reform in continuity” – but truly in the texts themselves, by virtue of the unheard of choice made by Vatican II. This choice is manifest in its documents and in its spirit; faced with “secular and profane humanism,” faced with the “religion (as indeed it is) of man who makes himself God,” the Church as unique custodian of Revelation “of God who became man” has wanted to make known its “new humanism” by saying to the modern world, “we too, we more than any other, have the cult of man.” (Paul VI, closing speech, 7th December 1965). But this coexistence of the cult of God and the cult of man is radically opposed to the Catholic Faith which teaches us to render the supreme cult and to give the primacy exclusively to the one true God and to only His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity corporeally” (Col. 2:9).
4- We are truly obliged to observe that this Council without comparison, which wanted to be merely pastoral and not dogmatic, inaugurated a new type of magisterium, hitherto unheard of in the Church, without roots in Tradition; a magisterium resolved to reconcile Catholic doctrine with liberal ideas; a magisterium imbued with the modernist ideas of subjectivism, of immanentism and of perpetual evolution according to the false concept of a living tradition, vitiating the nature, the content, the role and the exercise of ecclesiastical magisterium.
5- Henceforth the reign of Christ is no longer the preoccupation of the ecclesiastical authorities, despite the fact that Christ’s words, “all power is given to me on earth and in heaven,” (Mt 28:18) remain an absolute truth and an absolute reality. To deny them in action is tantamount to no longer recognising in practice the divinity of Our Lord. Hence because of the Council, the sovereignty of Christ over human societies is simply ignored, and even combatted, and the Church is imbued with this liberal spirit which manifests itself especially in religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality and the New Mass.
6- Religious Liberty, as exposed by Dignitatis humanae and its practical application these last fifty years, logically leads to demanding God-made-Man to renounce His reign over man-who-makes-himself-God, which is equivalent to dissolving Christ. In the place of a conduct which is inspired by a solid faith in the real power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we see the Church being shamefully guided by human prudence and with such self-doubt that she asks nothing other from the State than that which the Masonic Lodges wish to concede to her: the common law in the midst of, and on the same level as, other religions which she no longer dares call false.
7- In the name of a ubiquitous ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and of a vain inter-religious dialogue (Nostra Aetate), the truth about the one true Church is silenced; also, as a large part of the clergy and the faithful no longer see in Our Lord and the Catholic Church the unique way of salvation, they have renounced to convert the adepts of false religions, leaving them rather in ignorance of the unique Truth. This ecumenism has thus literally killed the missionary spirit through seeking a false unity, too often reducing the mission of the Church to that of delivering a message of a purely terrestrial peace and of a humanitarian role of lessening want in the world, placing it thereby in the wake of international organisations.
8- The weakening of faith in Our Lord’s divinity favours a dissolution of the unity of authority in the Church, by introducing a collegial, egalitarian and democratic spirit, (see Lumen Gentium). Christ is no longer the head from which everything flows, in particular the exercise of authority. The Sovereign Pontiff who no longer exercises effectively the fullness of his authority, and the bishops who – contrary to the teaching of Vatican I – esteem that they can collegially and habitually share the fullness of the supreme power, commit themselves thereby, with the priests, to listen to and to follow ‘the people of God,’ the new sovereign. This represents the destruction of authority and in consequence the ruin of Christian institutions: families, seminaries, religious institutes.
9- The New Mass, promulgated in 1969, diminishes the affirmation of the reign of Christ by the Cross (“regnavit a ligno Deus”). Indeed, the rite itself curtails and obscures the sacrificial and propitiatory nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Underpinning this new rite is the new and false theology of the paschal mystery. Both one and the other destroy Catholic spirituality as founded upon the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary. This Mass is penetrated with an ecumenical and Protestant spirit, democratic and humanist, which empties out the sacrifice of the Cross. It illustrates the new concept of ‘the common priesthood of the baptised’ which undermines the sacramental priesthood of the priest.
10- Fifty years on, the causes persist and still engender the same effects. Hence today the consecrations retain their full justification. It was love of the Church which guided Archbishop Lefebvre and which guides his sons. It is the same desire to “pass on the Catholic priesthood in all its doctrinal purity and its missionary charity” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey) which animates the Society of Saint Pius X at the service of the Church, when it asks with insistence for the Roman authorities to regain the treasure of doctrinal, moral and liturgical Tradition.
11- This love of the Church explains the rule that Archbishop Lefebvre always observed: to follow Providence in all circumstances, without ever allowing oneself to anticipate it. We mean to do the same: either when Rome returns to Tradition and to the Faith of all time – which would re-establish order in the Church; or when she explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the Faith and to reject the errors which oppose it, with the right and the duty for us to oppose publicly the errors and the proponents of these errors, whoever they may be – which would allow the beginning of a re-establishing of order. Meanwhile, faced with this crisis which continues its ravages in the Church, we persevere in the defence of Catholic Tradition and our hope remains entire, as we know by the certitude of Faith that “the gates of hell will not prevail against her.” (Mt 16:18)
12- We mean to follow well the injunction of our dear and venerable Father in the episcopacy: “Dear friends, be my consolation in Christ, remain strong in the Faith, faithful to the true sacrifice of the Mass, to the true and holy Priesthood of Our Lord, for the triumph and the glory of Jesus in heaven and on earth” (Letter to the bishops). May the Holy Trinity, by the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, grant us the grace of fidelity to the episcopacy which we have received and which we want to exercise for the honour of God, the triumph of the Church and the salvation of souls.
Ecône, 27th June 2013, on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
(Source : FSSPX/MG – DICI June 27, 2013)
Bishop Bernard Fellay
Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais
Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta
Reblog of the day
Here and then one reads an interpretation – much popular in the Vatican, I think – which makes of those Conciliar Fathers who approved and pushed the V II reform a sort of well-intentioned, but vaguely naive churchmen who, persuaded as they were of the virtues of modernity, were just a tad slow in understanding the problems this marriage between Christ and the modern world would engender.
There is no way the “modernisers” within the Church can escape their responsibility for what happened, and explanations like the one given above are, as we say in Italy, an attempt to hide behind one’s finger. Let us see why:
1) The idea that the world and the Church would now be – because this was the message – happy ever after is fundamentally flawed, and flawed in such a way that no one can claim not to see the falseness of…
View original post 696 more words
Very interesting Vortex today, and Michael Voris is absolutely right in pointing out how difficult it must be nowadays to be a good priest without exposing oneself to sanctions or worse.
Outside of the SSPX, that is.
Particularly interesting, to me, is something Voris does not say but about which I would like to make a short reflection.
Listen to Voris from around 2:40, and tell me in what the prelate he describes diverges in his act and way of talking from the current Pontiff. I certainly can’t imagine the present successor of Peter behaving like the first one at Pentecost.
More likely, he would write a book together with Caiaphas, and receive a blessing from some of his colleagues.
Well, I thought it just had to be said.
And it came to pass that the credibility of the former priest who had denounced the existence of a ring of pedophile priests apparently was (and I quote from my previous post) “a whining queen desirous to slander as many as he can”. So much so, that Rorate reports the man is now under arrest.
My take on this, before the wetties begin to cry and to run to mamma:
1. It was not only very right, but the salt itself of Democracy that La7 (and Michael Voris) made the news public. The time of complicit silence towards the filth of the elites has gone, and the Vicariate barks at the moon if they think they can play victim now. The Vicar should not have had sodomite priests among his ranks (albeit defrocked in the meantime) in the first place. Let the Vicariate be worried about the homosexuals in their midst, rather than about the free Press of a free Country. The problem of sodomites within the Church is extremely serious and I have the impression the Vatican clergy are the only one who still do not get it, and try to deflect the attention instead.
2. The fact that the priest in question may turn up to be libellous does not mean everything he said was necessarily wrong. He might, for example, know some “meeting points”, and have slandered some of his enemies saying that they go there, and the like. As a faggot priest, he may well know enough to interest a prosecutor anyway, if said prosecutor thinks the ex priests has information leading to the discovery of criminal behaviour (pedophilia, but not sodomy, that Italy has stupidly decriminalised like almost everyone else in Europe).
3. The Vicar has expressed full confidence in the work of the judiciary. This is typical Italian parlance for ongoing investigations.
I will not publish any comment critical of the behaviour of the press. When people complain about the filth in the Vatican corridors but shoot at the free press that is one of the best checks to this corruption not only in the Vatican but the world over, it truly makes me sick.
Michael Voris was right. A major Italian Television channel has now confirmed all the main details: a ring of priests sleeping with minors – boys, but also girls -; one of them now singing like a canary bird with the Italian prosecution service; a big investigation in full swing as you read. Very probably, this was the object of the surprise morning meeting of a couple of days ago.
This day must, for us, be a day of rejoicing. It is good that such scandals happen. Actually, it is a blessing. The filth was there already, the scandal is merely the way the filth emerge, for all the world to know and for the culprits to be punished.
If you think the Italian prosecutors are as lame, or stupid, or corrupt as the many sissies sullying the magnificent offices of the Vatican, think again. Italy has the best justice system of the developed world, bar none; one in which prosecutors are completely protected from any undue influence from the Ministry of Justice, do not have to seek elections, and are part, together with judges, of a professional body called Magistratura, a body that is entirely self-governed. This is how an astonishingly rich tycoon can be in Government so many years, and the Prime Minister to boot, and never manage to shake them off his back.
Again, I do not know any other country in which neither the ministry of justice nor the fickle electorate decide what is important and what should (ahem, cough) better be left aside in order to get career rewards, or the means to fight the next election. In Italy?
Not. Going. To. Happen.
Of course, what we will have to see now is whether the canary bird is one with credible and verifiable information, or a whining queen desirous to slander as many as he can in order to drag as many of his enemies as he can in the mud with him.
Even if the latter is the case, this does not mean that there is no homosexual mafia within and without the Vatican; of course there is, don’t you listen to the “inclusive” and “charitable” sounds coming from the Vatican, and elsewhere? We merely don’t know who the perverts are.
Now, if anyone – from the Pope down – has ever thought this matter can be dealt with in the usual John Paul II way (that is: hush-hush, no scandals, send a couple of them away, and that’s that) the involvement of the Italian justice has put an end to this once and for all, and this someone will soon realise – if he is Italian, he has already realised – that he had better bracing himself for a new and rather harsh reality. As the entirety or almost the entirety of the criminal offences must for obvious reasons have been committed on Italian soil and involving Italian citizens, the Italian prosecutors will move the steamroller on this, and I can’t see a bunch of faggots succeeding where even Berlusconi has parlously failed for two decades. I actually doubt that many of the suspects have Vatican citizenship in the first place, which will make things easier; in addition, may I point out that the Italian justice system has trials in contumacia, meaning a bishop or Cardinal can be prosecuted, trialled and condemned even if absent. They might escape jail, but they will be destroyed. Ask Marcinkus.
If there is some truth in the allegations – a big “if” – you will soon see the difference between the way of the Vatican and the way of the Magistratura. Once again, not even a Vatican intervention with the Italian government would achieve anything. The Italian government is utterly powerless to stop or even influence any prosecution. This truly is one of the Italian traits of which yours truly has always been most proud.
Ask Berlusconi how does he like to have the Italian prosecutors on his back. Pause. And rejoice.
Oportet ut scandala eveniant.
This here is rather self-explanatory.
We will have to wait to see what emerges more in detail. But this could be huge. When the domino pieces start to fall, there’s no saying when they stop.
It is ironic that this huge scandal would – if the information is accurate – be started by a disgruntled sodomitical former priest.
The ways of the Lord, and all that…
Rorate has these beautiful quotes from Pope Benedict. I have kept the emphases in their entirety.
Please note Pope Benedict made all these comments far before the astonishing regress in Western civilisation achieved since March 2013 in several countries.
Pope Benedict wasn’t a lion, but at least he had the lucidity to understand he had to speak, and the intellectual depth to speak in an effective way.
The contrast is, as they say in Italy, impietoso; that is: merciless.
None of us, in fact, belongs exclusively to himself or herself: one and all are therefore called to take on in their inmost depths their own public responsibility.
Marriage as an institution is thus not an undue interference of society or of authority. The external imposition of form on the most private reality of life is instead an intrinsic requirement of the covenant of conjugal love and of the depths of the human person.
Today, the various forms of the erosion of marriage, such as free unions and “trial marriage”, and even pseudo-marriages between people of the same sex, are instead an expression of anarchic freedom that are wrongly made to pass as true human liberation. This pseudo-freedom is based on a trivialization of the body, which inevitably entails the trivialization of the person. Its premise is that the human being can do to himself or herself whatever he or she likes: thus, the body becomes a secondary thing that can be manipulated, from the human point of view, and used as one likes. Licentiousness, which passes for the discovery of the body and its value, is actually a dualism that makes the body despicable, placing it, so to speak, outside the person’s authentic being and dignity.
Address at the Diocesan Convention in Rome at the Lateran Basilica
June 6, 2005
When new forms of legislation are created which relativize marriage, the renouncement of the definitive bond obtains, as it were, also a juridical seal.In this case, deciding for those who are already finding it far from easy becomes even more difficult. Then there is in addition, for the other type of couple, the relativization of the difference between the sexes.
The union of a man and a woman is being put on a par with the pairing of two people of the same sex, and tacitly confirms those fallacious theories that remove from the human person all the importance of masculinity and femininity, as though it were a question of the purely biological factor.
Such theories hold that man – that is, his intellect and his desire – would decide autonomously what he is or what he is not. In this, corporeity is scorned, with the consequence that the human being, in seeking to be emancipated from his body – from the “biological sphere” – ends by destroying himself.
If we tell ourselves that the Church ought not to interfere in such matters, we cannot but answer: are we not concerned with the human being? Do not believers, by virtue of the great culture of their faith, have the right to make a pronouncement on all this? Is it not their – our – duty to raise our voices to defend the human being, that creature who, precisely in the inseparable unity of body and spirit, is the image of God?
Christmas Address to the Roman Curia
December 22, 2006
[Human] love is the privileged path that God chose to reveal himself to man and in this love he calls human beings to communion in the Trinitarian life.
This approach enables us also to overcome a private conception of love that is so widespread today. Authentic love is transformed into a light that guides the whole of life towards its fullness, generating a society in which human beings can live. The communion of life and love which is marriage thus emerges as an authentic good for society.
Today, the need to avoid confusing marriage with other types of unions based on weak love is especially urgent. It is only the rock of total, irrevocable love between a man and a woman that can serve as the foundation on which to build a society that will become a home for all mankind.
Address to Members of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute
May 11, 2006
…there are mounting threats to the natural composition of the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, and attempts to relativize it by giving it the same status as other radically different forms of union. All this offends and helps to destabilize the family by concealing its specific nature and its unique social role.
Address to the Diplomatic Corps
January 8, 2007
…no law made by man can override the norm written by the Creator without society becoming dramatically wounded in what constitutes its basic foundation. To forget this would mean to weaken the family, penalizing the children and rendering the future of society precarious.
Address to Participants of Congress on Natural Moral Law
February 12, 2007
Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms. These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature. There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29).
[Reposted; original post: 2008]
And it came to pass that the broom so loudly rumored decided to imitate the Pontiff and… did not show up.
Instead, we have a commission to look into the Istituto Opere di Religione (IOR); something actually anticipated by the Pope in one of his mane extemporaneous sermons, or talks, or off-the-cuff declarations, and did not surprise anyone.
This has been discussed for months now. If he did snub the concert for this, then we know with absolute certainty it was an excuse.
This Pope is, it appear, an enemy of money per se, so the idea of having a bank might not be entirely savoury to him. You see, to preach Franciscan simplicity and have a bank does not really strike the fantasy of this fickle creature, “the people”. Therefore, he might well abolish it, causing the loss of around 120 well-paid jobs and forcing religious order the planet over to go to other institutions to place their money.
People like Barclays, who give money to Stonewall, come to mind.
So if he decided to shut down the shop (which I doubt, but you never know; the man clearly “hath no music in himself”, so he is fit for … a lot) we would end up indirectly financing Stonewall; at least we would end up doing it in an additional way besides those we already do not know.
Populism against common sense. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. My pint goes on a revised and improved Istituto Opere di Religione, but no killing.
There are limits even to Franciscanism.
“The Church exists to proclaim, to be the voice of a Word, her husband, who is the Word,” [the Pope] said June 24, the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, who died a martyr.
“The Church exists to proclaim this Word until martyrdom. Martyrdom precisely in the hands of the proud.”
Beautiful words from the Holy Father.
Perhaps a phone call to the Imam in New York would be in order.
Fascinating hypotheses are now making the round of the Internet concerning why the Pope failed to show up at the concert giving all of (I am informed) 180 seconds’ notice.
The most intriguing I have read is the one where the smart Pope and a couple of his fedelissimi planned the … unplanned absence in order to discuss some terribly smart move whilst all the Curia men that count (and were supposed not to take part) were away listening to Ludwig.
Unfortunately, this clever explanation neglects to consider Francis is – whatever he may say himself in moments of particularly grave attacks of humble-itis – the Pope. Being the Pope, he is literally the last person on earth who has any need of this kind of manoeuvring: he can fire everyone every time he likes, can surround himself with the above mentioned fedelissimi with merely a dozen of phone calls, and can in general afford not to care a straw for the great old men of the Curia, whom he could even send to a monastery for an extended holiday en bloc if he thought they are in dire need of it.
It is, in fact, an always new source of surprise to me to what extent many people – in good faith, no doubt; and moved by a sincere love for the Church – will go to try to find explanations for what is increasingly more evident. When the Imam Dolan denies Christ, no one comments that perhaps this is a tremendously clever move to convert the Mohammedans on the sly; and when he invites Obama to a guffawing photo-op, no one says the “wolves” are plotting to let him do what he does not want to do, or that he is putting in place some wonderfully cunning plan we are too thick to even understand.
Not so for the Pontiff. What the Holy Father does must be both right and smart, and it is for us to amuse ourselves trying to discover in which wonderful way this might have happened.
Please also consider that in this occasion, as in many others, the Pope has failed to do anything to deny what is attributed to him. A Pope who can’t resist having his utterances on the media with more than worrying frequency never found the time to say two words, obviously off-the-cuff, to explain that those who die in their atheism go to hell; or that he never said it is wrong to count – nay, pray! – the Rosary.
He also did not say – at the time of writing – the one with the Renaissance Prince is not his. Nor can it be said this is an aloof, very sovereign Pope, who would never consider it appropriate to even give such denials. The Holy Father has set the “aloofness” bar basically on the ground. As one talking all the time about whatever happens to cross his mind, does he really have no time to say a word that would tranquillise good Catholics the world over? A Renaissance Prince type would, very probably, consider it beneath himself to even deny; but not the all-approachable, all-humble, black-shoed, bus-travelling, self-cooking bishop of Rome, surely?
In the meantime, I read around (I wish I remembered where) that the suite where the Pope is modestly residing is going to be renovated at the favelas-friendly price of, if memory serves, one million Euro. I have not seen the bill, mind, and the information might be wrong, or wrongly remembered. It will, in any way, be some bill. I cannot avoid thinking that to stay in the Papal apartments would have reduced the bill to nearly zero, as I cannot imagine Pope Benedict left the place in an inhabitable state, or what is good enough for Pope Benedict isn’t good enough for bishop Bergoglio.
Apparently, he moved to the Hotel in order to preserve his own sanity. Gosh, that’s an expensive modesty therapy. I doubt it will catch on in the Favelas anytime soon.
Yours truly, being a simple mind, will be therefore forgiven for thinking in a very simple way: that in this case the empty chair means his occupier simply thought it no big deal to leave it empty; that one who does not give the impression of being exactly a genius probably isn’t; that one who has the time to chat about everything under the sun but does not spend two words to reassure good Catholics about rosaries, or the simplest truths of the Faith, simply does not want to.
Call me simple. I am proud I am. If an animal walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I am so simple that to me it is a duck until you prove me it isn’t. Certainly I do not choose to see in him an eagle cleverly disguised, just because for some strange reason I think I have to.
Honestly, after the massive amount of news with which we have been confronted in the last three and a half months,it is slowly time to face the reality of a clearly inadequate Pope; a Pope completely out of his depth concerning both liturgy and theology, and made the more dangerous by his humble persuasion that he knows better than his predecessors.
One must truly wonder at the kind of people walking along the corridors of the Vatican.
The statement above was – Rorate reports – initially fed to a relevant Internet site, and only after more than little surprise was expressed at the alleged Pontiff’s words it was taken away and substituted for a more neutral comment about the Pope’s general lifestyle and preferences, and the fact he was so busy.
Concerning the words himself, either the Pope is their author, or he is not. If he is, we are clearly in front of a philistine of the most worrying sort, and one taking a very cheap shot at Pope Benedict to boot. If he hasn’t, he should stop having people near him putting words in his mouth that he has not said. To send out an official denial that he has said the words would also be useful.
Others will comment about the empty chair, and the general duties of a Head of State who is also the Successor of Peter. I would, in this blog post, limit myself to remark that in all probability, those who sent out the statement, directly attributed to him, about the “Renaissance Prince” – which, between you and I, sounds so much like Pope Bergoglio it’s even scary – thought they would make him a service, and increase his popularity.
Not very smart, I know; but thinking of it, if it worked with the bus-riding Pope, the home-cooking Pope, the black-shoes-wearing Pope, the Mozzetta-hating Pope, the bishop-of-Rome Pope and the newsagent-telephoning Pope one can see how some people might think it will work with the oh-so-hard-working, down-to-earth, Beethoven-shunning, “no time for luxuries”, “one-of-us” Pope.
In a way, it makes sense. Most people’s concept of musical achievement stops at the likes of Lady Gaga, and if one is so thick that he thinks riding the bus makes for a better Pope he might well think a Pope who fails to show up at a Beethoven concert is very much in tune with “the people”.
Alas, this time it has backfired. Apparently, to shun the Mozzetta is good, but to shun Beethoven is bad; to disparage pomp is good, but to disparage a classical music concert is bad; the Pope is praised when he breaks liturgical rules, but he is criticised when he breaks rules of etiquette.
Now, if you are one of the simpler kind you may well believe that the Pope did have urgent work to do, like the all-busy CEO of a troubled multinational company running from one emergency to the next; but I truly hope few of my readers think like this. What I think most of them will believe is that the Pontiff just doesn’t have much in common with Beethoven, considers beauty a kind of luxury, doesn’t really care much for rules and when he has no fancy to show up at a concert he just avoids it; not out of wilful discourtesy, mind, but of a semi-socialist, philistine mentality according to which a classical music concert is a pastime for the bourgeoisie, and his attendance to it more or less inappropriate whilst the favelas suffer poverty.
Remember, this is a man staging Pinocchio masses. Beauty must be a rather foreign concept to him. He doesn’t see beauty, he sees luxury and pomp.
My impression is that the time of the easy popularity is rapidly going to an end. Three months ago, most mainstream bloggers would have fawned about the Pope, the new buddy of the poor, shunning the luxury of a Beethoven concert because he is so far away from all these unnecessary frills, and so hard working for peace ‘n justice; now that people start to think clearly, all the limits of this quest for popular gestures – certainly fed by a lack of cultural depth – start to show up, and it hurts.
If you ask me, this Pope must still learn his job, in the sense that he seems not to have grasped – another sign of mediocre intelligence, or humble arrogance – what the job entails. On the contrary, he seems to think that he can behave as he pleases, rules aren’t so important, people fuss too much about immaterial things, and provided he is concerned for the poor he will be fine.
I am afraid he will learn the lesson the hard way.
The “Renaissance Prince” reblog.
Like the excellent Charles Pope in this blog post (and thank God for a priest saying to us that he “joined the church choir to meet the pretty girls who sang there”) I always felt a strong connection between music and God. Not in the sense that I though that there must be a God because I hear beautiful music (I am one of those fortunate being who always had, since childhood, a strong interior feeling of the existence of God; something you can’t explain to those who haven’t it more than you could explain how it is to be in love to those who never were) , but because in my eyes music must tell even to the atheists that man con achieve summits by which one can, even as an atheist, seriously doubt that this is purely the work of man.
I still remember the first time…
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It was in June 1988, twenty-five years ago, that Archbishop Lefebvre decided enough is enough and, together with Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, consecrated the now famous four bishops destined to allow the Society to continue its work after his death.
Almost no day passes without yours truly gratefully thinking of the SSPX as the safe port of call for orthodox Catholics who desire to die believing in the same way as their ancestors did. The thought runs to them with almost daily frequency now, because it is now an almost daily occurrence that either the Pope himself – not ex cathedra, of course; purely out of ignorance, desire for popularity, misguided do-goodism and a robust dose of humble arrogance – or some other prelate tries to pickaxe the one or other aspect of Catholicism.
Without thinking much, if I reflect on the last few days we have Cardinal Dolan openly apostatising and Archbishop Mueller trying to rehabilitate Liberation Theology. All in just a few days; events that even during Paul VI’s pontificate would have caused huge uproar, but only scandalise a minority of conscientious and well-instructed Catholics – those who refuse to have Catholicism and themselves dumbed down to less than kindergarten level by our disgraceful clergy, from the Pope down – in these times of universal salvation and multi-truth dialogue.
The SSPX is at this point, for me and for many others, the true measure and safest litmus of what is proper Catholicism, and an important source of Catholic instructions. In times when not even the Pope can be trusted to be orthodox – though of course it is difficult to think he would even have the guts to try to give a dogmatic sanction to the many errors of his thinking – we must be extremely grateful that in the SSPX we have a prestigious, highly ethical, worldwide operating organisation able to be a natural beacon of sound Catholic thinking for all of us.
The time might come – not in our lifetime, I think; though you never know – when a Pope openly dares to plunge the Church into open conflict and to sabotage Catholicism at a dogmatic level, thus placing us in front of the supreme test. If such events were to happen in my lifetime, I would look at the SSPX first to know whether a Sede Vacante situation is now in effect. This is how much I trust them, this is how grateful I am that The Lord gave us this providential beacon in these times of dangerous seafaring.
Please join me in saying today’s rosary – or three eternal rests – for the late Archbishop Lefebvre, a great man of God.
And yes, you are supposed to count.
The “Pope Francis seems a smart man” reblog…
You might not have noticed it, but those who have clicked around to take the temperature of the Catholic blogosphere have become aware of a widespread unease at Pope Francis’ latest exploits. Already weeks into his pontificate a good, young priest commented on Rorate Caeli and made no mystery of the fact he was scandalised by the Pope’s behaviour; another priest promptly assured him he has the same feeling. For any two to write, there are hundreds who think the same.
In addition to simple comments, if you read around the blogosphere you will even find blogging priests – I will not make names – expressing themselves with unusual openness about the problem they see in the Holy Father’s behaviour. The cry of orthodox Catholics has become so loud than in just a few days the “Guardian”, the “Times” and the German “Spiegel” have reported, and none of them has…
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And it came to pass that yours truly went to confession, and after some very wise words of consolation and counsel from the other side of the grate I was asked to recite the Act of Contrition. After I finished the good man asked, for obvious reasons: “Italian”?
I answered this was the case, and Father extracted from his pocket a booklet where he had written the formula of absolution in several languages. I did not consider it fitting to ask if he had any Latin version, so Italian it was; and a more than passable pronunciation, too.
In the end, he even asked me – in Italian – to pray for him; something I always like, because it shows your Novus Ordo confessor believes in God, which nowadays isn't automatic at all.
This I happily did. May I kindly ask you to do the same.
From the open letter of Father Pavone to Nancy “abortion is sacred ground” Pelosi.
If you follow the link, you will find a way to send Pelosi’s office your approval of Father Pavone’s letter.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Dear Mrs. Pelosi,
Last Thursday, June 13, you were asked a question in a press briefing that you declined to answer. The question was, “What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?”
Given the fact that the Gosnell case has been national news for months now, and that Congress, where you serve as House Democratic Leader, was about to have a vote on banning abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, this was a legitimate question.
Instead of even attempting to answer the question, you resorted to judgmental ad hominem attacks on the reporter who asked it, saying, “You obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.”
Mrs. Pelosi, the problem is that you’re not interested in giving an answer.
Your refusal to answer this question is consistent with your failure to provide an answer to a similar question from me and the members of my Priests for Life staff. Several years ago, we visited your office with the diagrams of dismemberment abortion at 23 weeks, and asked the simple question, “When you say the word ‘abortion,’ is this what you mean?” In response, nothing but silence has emanated from your office.
In what way is this refusal to address an issue of such national importance consistent with the leadership role you are supposed to be exercising? Public servants are supposed to be able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Apparently, you can’t. Otherwise, you would have been able to explain the difference between a legal medical procedure that kills a baby inside the womb and an act of murder — for which Dr. Gosnell is now serving life sentences — for killing the same baby outside the womb.
Moreover, you stated at the press briefing on June 13, “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”
With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves “practicing and respectful Catholics” and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside the womb — reprehensible.
You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them.
Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were.
Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason.
And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not “have anything to do with politics” reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.
Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office. We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
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. . .
His Holiness St. Pius X, 1 September 1910.
The first weekend of summer has arrived, though from my window I can’t see much of it.
Summer, who has inspired countless poets and filled so many hearts with joy and optimism.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” the Bard asked some unknown beauty.
We do not know whether the beauty in question liked the comparison, though we are informed she was more lovely and more temperate, and her eternal summer would not fade.
What we know, though, is that the summertime is the perfect time to dump Starbucks, and to give your money to enterprises that do not glorify sexual perversion instead.
The de facto Commander-in-Chief of the American Catholics today openly apostatised, officially declaring his abandonment of Christian dogma. Now allegedly moved by Mohammed, he went to visit a local Mosque.
Great was the joy of the still cardinal at being finally able to enter a place considered sacred by the followers of a child rapist. “I thank God that this day has arrived”, said the future Muslim cleric, overwhelmed by emotions after so many years of clearly outdated Tabernacles, Blessed Virgin statues, and worship of Christ and the Holy Ghost as God.
Mr Dolan, now slated for a position of high responsibility among New York Muslims, officially announced his abandonment of Christianity, explicitly saying that Muslims and Christians believe in the same God.
After the future Imam’s official betrayal of Christ, commenters are divided among those who think he is a retard and those who think he is simply a prostitute, with the second faction apparently prevailing for the time being. Sudden insanity has been excluded, and the still cardinal was reported to eat with the usual appetite today.
The new Imam has given a short outline of what he thinks leads to salvation: love of marriage and family, or children and babies is what saves. The Truth, the Way and the Life are clearly, to him, past sell-by date.
Coherently, he has called for Muslims not to lose their faith. Otherwise they might – God forbid! – become Christians…
The new Imam, who has declared Christians and Muslims love “the same God”, is on record for thanking the Muslim for letting him feel “part of the family”, and his blatant denial of the divinity of Christ and the Holy Ghost persuaded everyone.
Today, Timothy Dolan denied Christ, and truly became part of the Muslim family.
I was browsing around the German site of the SSPX, and one page was dedicated to their churches.
It turns out the SSPX has built up to now no less than twelve churches from scratch, and they have bought further eight. This is in addition to their almost thirty chapels.
Not only are these numbers very impressive in themselves, but it is also impressive to read the Society passionately explain why they build churches, and spend as much as they can on them, rather than using the money to, say, improve life in the Favelas.
Whilst all of you know the arguments, the element worth noting is that such arguments were very unlikely to be found on the website of your own diocese, where social work, peace ‘n justice, environmental claptrap or ecumenical rubbish are more likely to be found. Note the SSPX does not get a penny from the Kirchensteuer, either.
Some people have their priorities right, some others have them wrong.
Whatever the colour of their cassock.
The acclaimed actor James Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack, and the entertainment establishment was not slow in lavishing praise on James Gandolfini, the actor. Wonderful publicity, by the way, to have one’s tweet in the world press.
We Catholics, though, cannot, on such days, avoid reflecting on the caducity of life in general, and the destiny of Gandolfini’s immortal soul in particular.
The son of Italian immigrants of – says Wikipedia, for what is worth – devout Catholic faith, the probability that Gandolfini was not at least halfway instructed is very thin. Still, Gandolfini was – again, says Wikipedia – divorced and remarried, and unless he had things made by the book (say: first marriage annulled; Wikipedia doesn’t say, but that doesn’t mean much) I cannot but smell danger.
A heart attack is, if you ask me, not a bad way to die. One does not have the time to call a priest, but in many cases he will, one supposes, have a clear perception that the bus has reached its destination, and he must get out fast. I can’t imagine that this does not concentrate the mind wonderfully, and the effort of one’s Guardian Angel must be supreme in those moments. It is fair to say if those twenty or forty seconds were not sufficient, then a long additional life would not have been sufficient, either (which would lead me to write about Providence and Predestination, but it would be too long a digression).
One reads about Gandolfini’s death, and wonders. Did he recite the Hail Mary every day, at least when he was a child. Did he stop afterwards. Did he grow indifferent as honours and praise were lavished on him, and lost sight of what really counts in life. Did he – horribile dictu – in the end fail to achieve the only real aim in life, the only metre of failure and success, the all-deciding admission to Purgatory.
We hope he did make it, and I invite you to remind him today in your prayers. But please notice this little Catholic detail: that the world famous, rich, celebrated James Gandolfini appears, at first sight, to have been in far greater danger of damnation than his obscure, poor, simple, not educated, but devout parents.
A prayerful mother is a thing of heaven, and if it is true that Gandolfini’s parents were devout Catholics I smell here the sweet fragrance of endless prayers of a mother for the eternal welfare of her child. I like to imagine that even if the son was going astray, his earthly and his Heavenly mothers were helping him, silently, every day.
Let us hope that this motherly help succoured James Gandolfini in the hour of truth, and supplied every deficiency that he might have had; and that the same may happen for us, when the moment arrives; and let us reflect that in those solitary moments in a hotel room in a foreign country honours and prizes and wealth already counted for nothing, and the only currency accepted was prayer and, if needed, perfect contrition.
We have a mother in Heaven. Let us ask her for her help in those moments every day, lest we discover on our skin how little every earthly pleasure or achievement is worth in the end.
The Death Reblog.
My recent post about Medjugorje let me reflect about the vast amount of ignorance of basic Christian doctrine that might here and there – instead of the willed rejection of Christian teaching – be present. Whilst only the second would get one a first class seat on the Hell Express, it is necessary for every Christian to be informed of the most elementary truths of Christianity. Most of my readers already know this of course, but a couple of messages on my comment box (deleted, as the comment box on the Medjugorje post was closed) have persuaded me that at times it is better to state the obvious, so there we are.
1. There is no possibility of repentance after death.
“There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.” (CCC 393)
2. The judgment after death…
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I notice again and again that even among secularised people a subterranean desires emerges at times, to know more about God. This desire has several way of manifesting itself, and is certainly not strong enough to move to a real search, to the determination to take the matter seriously; but it is probably fair to say in many it sits there somewhere in their consciousness like a mixture of mild curiosity to search, and acute discomfort at what might be found.
We have now a rather brutal example of this in one of the most atrociously secularised countries of the planet, Norway; where, as EF informs us, a new edition of the Bible has now become the best seller, dethroning Fifty Shades of Gray, a book certainly much more in tune with the country's psyche and attitude.
I have few doubts this new Translation will be an atrocious one, trying to erase Christianity from Scripture as much as it can. Still, the mere fact that people buy his book is, again, an indication of this subterranean desire to know more.
Whilst I personally consider suspicious every new translation of the Bible, as I imagine the desire to make Christianity more palatable is the main motivation behind such enterprises, it is probably better to have a bad Bible at home, than none at all.
There are to be found today, and in no small numbers, men, of whom the Apostle says that: 'having itching ears, they will not endure sound doctrine: but according to their own desires they will heap up to themselves teachers, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables' (II Tim. iv. 34). Infatuated and carried away by a lofty idea of the human intellect, by which God's good gift has certainly made incredible progress in the study of nature, confident in their own judgment, and contemptuous of the authority of the Church, they have reached such a degree of rashness as not to hesitate to measure by the standard of their own mind even the hidden things of God and all that God has revealed to men. Hence arose the monstrous errors of 'Modernism,' which Our Predecessor rightly declared to be 'the synthesis of all heresies,' and solemnly condemned. We hereby renew that condemnation in all its fulness, Venerable Brethren, and as the plague is not yet entirely stamped out, but lurks here and there in hidden places, We exhort all to be carefully here and there in hidden places, We exhort all to be carefully on their guard against any contagion of the evil, to which we may apply the words Job used in other circumstances: 'It is a fire that devoureth even to destruction, and rooteth up all things that spring' (Job xxxi. 12). Nor do We merely desire that Catholics should shrink from the errors of Modernism, but also from the tendencies or what is called the spirit of Modernism. Those who are infected by that spirit develop a keen dislike for all that savours of antiquity and become eager searchers after novelties in everything: in the way in which they carry out religious functions, in the ruling of Catholic institutions, and even in private exercises of piety. Therefore it is Our will that the law of our forefathers should still be held sacred: 'Let there be no innovation; keep to what has been handed down.' In matters of faith that must be inviolably adhered to as the law; it may however also serve as a guide even in matters subject to change, but even in such cases the rule would hold: 'Old things, but in a new way.'”
Pope Francis strikes again, and much as one would avoid having to write about this disquieting man all the time, one is forced to say one or three words about it.
Rorate Caeli has the latest piece of waffle coming from the mouth of the Pontiff. Below the excerpt in its entirety.
In the Church therefore, there is a variety, a diversity of tasks and functions; there is not flat uniformity, but the wealth of gifts that the Holy Spirit distributes. However, there is communion and unity: all are in relation with each other and all combine to form a single vital body, deeply attached to Christ. Let us remember well: being part of the Church means being united to Christ and receiving from Him the divine life that makes us live as Christians, it means remaining united to the Pope and the bishops who are instruments of unity and communion, and it also means learning to overcome personal favoritisms and divisions, to understand each other better, to harmonise the variety and wealth of each one; in a word, to better love God and the people near us, in the family, in the parish, in the associations. In order to live, body and limbs must be united! Unity is superior to the conflicts, always! Conflicts, if they’re not resolved well, separate us from one another, separate us from God. Conflict can help us grow, but it can also divide us. Let’s not take the path of division, of fights among ourselves! All united, all united with our differences, but united, always: this is Jesus’ path. Unity is superior to conflicts. Unity is a grace that we must ask from the Lord, so that He may free us from the temptations of division, of struggles among us, of selfishness, of gossip. How much harm gossiping does, how much! Never gossip about the others, never! How much damage comes to the Church from divisions between Christians, from being biased, from petty self-interests!The divisions among us, but also the divisions among the communities: Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, why are we divided? We must seek to bring unity. I will tell you something: today, before leaving the House [Domus Sanctae Marthae], I spent forty minutes, more or less, half an hour, with an Evangelical pastor and we prayed together, and sought unity. But we must pray among ourselves as Catholics and also with the other Christians, pray that the Lord may give us unity, unity among us. But how can we achieve unity among Christians if we Catholics are unable to achieve it among ourselves? To have it in our family? How many families fight and are divided! Seek unity, the unity that makes the Church. Unity comes from Jesus Christ. He sends us the Holy Spirit to create unity.
As always, we are served a triple portion of waffle of the usual “don’t kick the cat” variety, which seems to be the only aim Pope Francis has set for his pontificate; though here and there some trademark traits emerge (his obsession with gossip is remarkable; he must have heard confessions of women for a long time; sodomy is provocative, let’s talk about gossip!).
The biggest problem, thought, is that this Pope cannot think straight, and contradicts himself without even noticing it. And he does so, because he is either very slow (the least dangerous outcome for his soul), or not properly instructed, or willfuly heretical.
Just read the above to get an idea of the scale of the senselessness: after making himself beautiful telling us that communion with the Pope is so important and the only way of being part of the Church, he undermines what he has just said by boasting of having prayed together with a heretic, thus reinforcing him in his error, perpetuating the same divisions about which he has just complained and confusing the Catholics into thinking it is all right to pray together with a heretic. This is Assisi made a daily event, and boasted about. Can’t wait for the first Buddhist monk praying with his friend “Jorge”.
Again, one wonders whether this man is so slow that he does not realise he cannot be even coherent with what he has said forty seconds before; but whilst this Pope is certainly not a genius, to think him seriously deficient in the brains department is probably not realistic. What is more probable is that Pope Francis is so badly formed that he does not even realise the astonishing amount of senseless waffle and heretical bollocks he keeps regaling us with, and too arrogant to admit he is doing it seriously wrong and must reform his own way of thinking if he wants to be an orthodox Pope. This, provided he is interested in being an orthodox Pope in the first place, about which doubts are, at this point, certainly justified.
It is very telling that up to now no Cardinal has dared – at least to my knowledge – to correct the Pontiff. I never forgot the great Cardinal Biffi giving Pope John Paul II a very public lesson, from the pulpit of Bologna’s Cathedral, about the Doctrine of War in the days preceding the Iraq invasion in 2002. This was a Cardinal of the old school, taking his job very seriously and caring for the salvation of souls and the transmission of an intact patrimony of faith.
Compare, please, with Pope Francis’ latest utterances: he feels good when he waffles about unity, and he feels good when he undermines the same unity he has been waffling about. At all times, he sounds very much in tune with the modern thinking, with a world that does not even understand anymore that unity is already there, and those who are separated themselves from it must become part of it. In Pope Francis’ world, you can reinforce one in his heretical convictions whilst you talk about the necessity of unity with the Church, and this is fine because… well, you must ask him on his.
If you hope this Pope’s inordinate thinking and acting will be soon be dismissed as the talk of the senile uncle everyone smiles at and no one listens to, you may as well abandon hope now: this is just the kind of talking that will make him popular among the uninstructed, the skeptical and the heretics, without giving them any help to become more instructed, less skeptical or less heretical. On the contrary, by boasting of praying with a mickey mouse Protestant religious, Pope Francis is doing nothing else than actively promoting heresy.
And by the way, he seems to have counted the minutes he was praying with sufficient accuracy, but counting the rosaries with great accuracy is, to him, reason of concern. On second thoughts, one truly wonders whether this man is not just plain thick.
Make no mistake: ten years or more of Pope Francis waffling (another word comes to mind) over the Bride of Christ are going to make serious, serious damage. The sooner we open our eyes and realise the serious scale of devastation that is going on here, the sooner we will be able to react and to counter this, in our own little sphere of influence, with right Catholic thinking with those with whom we are in contact: relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. We live in times where we must constantly warn our friends about the many ways in which the Pontiff tries to reshape Catholicism. I never though I’d see the day.
Still, there is no ground for panic. The Blessed Virgin is looking upon us. Everything is closely monitored up above. We are being punished for our worldliness and unbelief, and the earthly Church is being punished because Her clergy deserted the faithful. One day, sanity will reign again.
Pray the Blessed Virgin of Quito that this punishment may be taken away from us soon; and in your charity, pray for Pope Francis: a man obviously unworthy of his habit and who with his novel theology would never have made it past the seminary in pre-Vatican II times, and now made Pope. Reflect on this, and think how urgent is his need for your prayers.
My rosary today is for him.
For the avoidance of doubt, I will count.