Daily Archives: October 24, 2013
The “Francis headline of the day” is, as we are reliably informed,
The Church has to bring Christ to everyone.
Fine; but, thinking in Francis' terms… why?
Has he brought Christ to Scalfari during the interview? Has he even made the attempt? Has he not called – whatever sophism you may try to use to hide this simple truth – exactly this very same attempt to bring Christ to an atheist, who is in most need of Christ's mercy, a “solemn nonsense”?
Further: if Francis is persuaded that an atheist can be saved by merely following his conscience – no, he still has not disowned his words; seriously, he hasn't – what is the reason he can adduce to make other people accept the “Diet Christ” brought to them? No premarital sex, no contraception even in marriage, no drunkenness, no adultery, obviously no remarriage, no abortion, mass attendance, penance, prayer, conflicts, and a lot of other nos? Why should anyone accept them, if he can get away with doing what he pleases with the benediction of the humble, look-at-my-old-car Pope?
The ugly truth is that Francis has been saying, for now almost eight months, that Christ is an option. Christ is, if you ask him, merely the – in his opinion, mind you; but who is he to judge? – more scenic way, better truth, and more joyous life. The man who says the Church can't be a glorified NGO makes of Her exactly a glorified NGO. In his mind the way is extremely broad that leads to salvation, and this way does not need I do not say Christ, but not even the acceptance of a god whatsoever, like a Hindu in invincible ignorance might believe.
He insults those who pray by rote saying they don't believe in God, but when he has in front of him one who really does not believe in God and doesn't even say prayers by rote he is very fine with it. Ah, if everyone only followed his abortionist conscience, what a better place the world would be!
Therefore, if you listen to Francis the Church must bring Jesus to the people as if He were a medicinal herb, or a new kind of aspirin. Necessary for salvation? Of course not. Should I try to convert other people? No, no, no! What about proselytism? Solemn nonsense…
Francis merely markets an option which he considers, in his humbleness, the best. He had no gut then to say to an atheist that unless he repents he will go to hell; he has no guts now to tell the world Jesus is no option, least of all for those who openly refuse Him. In short, Francis promotes Jesus like the Marlboro Man promotes cigarettes. This means, for him, that the church according to Bergoglism isn't an NGO. Oh no.
Come to where the “joy” is. Come to Bergoglio Country.
Please say three Hail Marys, rigorously learnt by rote, for this confused man.
Yes, you can count them.
This one is the last prelate to clearly and, I would say, officially react to the papal waffle of the last eight months.
Archbishop Chaput does not beat around the bush. His intent is clear: to avoid US Catholics feeling abandoned by the Church in a climate in which “youth unemployment” and “the loneliness of old people” are considered the most important problems of our time.
On the contrary, he rallies his troops and makes clear the rambling of an old Peronist Jesuit cannot change anything in the Catholic vision of the world, and will not change the priorities and the focus of those who care for Catholic values.
Smartly, the Archbishop reminds his readers not only of basic Catholic thinking, but of more than 20 years of pro-life activity (however lame, I should add) of the US clergy. Years of clear “V II” orientation, and that can therefore not be accused of being “restorationist”.
I might be wrong, but it seems to me an tragically interesting game is taking place here: the Pope ignores Catholicism, and the most orthodox among the clergy ignore the Pope.
Nor should anyone complain and say we traddies have a double moral, because we criticise the liberal clergy when they ignore Benedict and praise the conservatives when they ignore Francis. The litmus test of every papacy is its adherence to the Catholic truth this papacy must transmit intact to the next generation. The obedience to the Pope is linked – as Archbishop Chaput eloquently shows – to the higher loyalty due to Catholic Truth.
When the two get in conflict something's got to give. And it ain't Truth.
Very interesting development in the matter of the FFI.
six dissidents (oops… let me correct this: between 150 and 200 friars) have asked the Bishop of Rome permission to create a separate congregation, which would be exclusively devoted to the Traditional Mass.
It seems to me the Argentinian chickens are coming home to roost. Here we have a Pope profiting from a small number of opponents to the clearly conservative (also liturgically) character of the organisation to stage a coup and install at its head the leader of the six (six; sei; sechs) dissidents, and what is happening now is the result of another of Francis' inconsiderate actions.
The sheer number of those who made the request should prove to the blindest Pollyanna that Francis did not try to (and did not have any need to) “pacify” an organisation torn by “internal strife”. On the contrary: the organisation was and is extremely compact, and Francis used a very small number of troublemakers to subvert the organisation's spirit.
It can be that, when Francis refuses their request or refuses to answer it, a couple of dozen of them will pack their bags and move in the direction of Econe. It can, though, also be that they simply want to document where the hearts of the members lie, without drawing the consequences when it is clear they are isolated.
It seems evident to me the new leaders installed by Francis' Golpe will rapidly infiltrate the organisation with sissified elements of their own liking. Therefore, not only this request makes a lot of sense, but the decision to leave – for those who will decide to leave – will make a lot of sense too.
In time, more and more religious will understand the SSPX is an island of Catholic sanity in the middle of the lio in which the Church has been plunged by this disgraceful papal election. In time, Francis might also get to understand he is the Pope, but not the Führer, and will not receive the utterly blind and utterly unquestioning obedience Hitler enjoyed; then Hitler was the god of a religion of his own making, Francis is the first of the servants of God who made him.
This will be interesting to follow. Francis might decide to simply not answer, waiting to see if the next six or twelve months lead to the anger (because this is what it is; massive, and completely justified) deflating enough to allow him to quietly “normalise” things. He might, though, simply refuse the request as, ahem, Restorationist. He might, in theory, even admit his mistake and consent to their request, though the exodus that would follow would let him look rather badly.
Notice, though, what is happening: the Mass Of The Ages is such a beautiful patrimony that once a sound religious order has been allowed to enjoy it, its members will do whatever they can to keep it.
My rosary of today is for the signatories of the petition. May they be allowed to continue their work in the proper way.
From the pleasantly surprising mini-essay of Archbishop Mueller (I know, I know…) concerning marriage, some rather interesting excerpts. Emphases mine.
Marriage can be understood and lived as a sacrament only in the context of the mystery of Christ. If marriage is secularized or regarded as a purely natural reality, its sacramental character is obscured. Sacramental marriage belongs to the order of grace, it is taken up into the definitive communion of love between Christ and his Church. Christians are called to live their marriage within the eschatological horizon of the coming of God’s kingdom in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God.
Pastors are obliged, by love for the truth, “to exercise careful discernment of situations” […] And yet they cannot be admitted to the Eucharist. Two reasons are given for this: a) “their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist” b) “if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage”.
Clergy are expressly forbidden, for intrinsically sacramental and theological reasons and not through legalistic pressures, to “perform ceremonies of any kind” for divorced people who remarry civilly, as long as the first sacramentally valid marriage still exists.
the faithful concerned may not present themselves for holy communion on the basis of their own conscience: “Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors … have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church’s teaching”
The doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage is often met with incomprehension in a secularized environment.
Love is more than a feeling or an instinct. Of its nature it is self-giving. In marital love, two people say consciously and intentionally to one another: only you – and you for ever.
If remarried divorcees are subjectively convinced in their conscience that a previous marriage was invalid, this must be proven objectively by the competent marriage tribunals. Marriage is not simply about the relationship of two people to God, it is also a reality of the Church, a sacrament, and it is not for the individuals concerned to decide on its validity, but rather for the Church, into which the individuals are incorporated by faith and baptism.
in the case of the indissolubility of sacramental marriage we are dealing with a divine norm that is not at the disposal of the Church.
A further case for the admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments is argued in terms of mercy. Given that Jesus himself showed solidarity with the suffering and poured out his merciful love upon them, mercy is said to be a distinctive quality of true discipleship. This is correct, but it misses the mark when adopted as an argument in the field of sacramental theology. The entire sacramental economy is a work of divine mercy and it cannot simply be swept aside by an appeal to the same. An objectively false appeal to mercy also runs the risk of trivializing the image of God, by implying that God cannot do other than forgive. The mystery of God includes not only his mercy but also his holiness and his justice. If one were to suppress these characteristics of God and refuse to take sin seriously, ultimately it would not even be possible to bring God’s mercy to man. Jesus encountered the adulteress with great compassion, but he said to her “Go and do not sin again” (Jn 8:11). God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church. Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father.
I won’t lie to you and say every thing is as good as that. But most of the article is as good as that. Please let us leave aside for the moment the problems of the text and let us focus on what is means in this particular moment, when the Bishop of Rome blabbers about “mercy” and “pastoral care” clearly engendering the impression some big trouble might be in the making. I see the following possibilities:
1. Francis got scared of the messianic expectations of the liberal crowds, particularly after the Freiburg initiative has shown him what kind of problems are in the making when one opens his mouth without thinking (which is, I would say, every time he is not eating). Therefore, he has a rare moment of reasonableness and sends forth his lieutenant Mueller to calm down the nutcases, and explain he wants to be the Nelson Mandela of Catholicism, but not at the price of formal heresy. This makes sense, because it makes of Mueller, not Francis, the “baddy”. Francis remains, therefore, the good chap who would allow adulterers to receive communion. But the cruel men around him they will not, will not, will not allow him to. Everyone’s happy.
2. Francis wants to “make a mess”. His lieutenants, who have grasped the extent of the man’s subversive madness, start blocking him in purest Vatican style. They are saying “you can be as much as a nutcase as you please, but we won’t follow you where you give such a scandal”. Notice that Mueller’s opposition is presented in term that have to do with the nature it self of the Church and the sacraments, not pastoral care. The Church can’t allow adulterers to receive communion, full stop. He isn’t saying “I think this would be wrong”. He is saying “this can never, ever be right”.
I would, at this point, be happy to congratulate Archbishop Mueller for his defense of the most elementary Catholic truths. Forgive me if I don’t, as I think the time where a future cardinal, archbishop and head of the CDF is praised simply for stating the obvious should be completely forgotten. Archbishop Mueller surprises with his show of (V II; read the article well) orthodoxy. But he should certainly not be praised for saying it.
I am curious to see what will become of this. I would bet my half pint other prelates will intervene in the matter, repeating the points made by the Archbishop. If this happens I will, personally, read this as a preventative straitjacket put around Francis to prevent him from doing immense harm to himself and to the Church. It is good that the reiterations of simple Catholic truths start now, rather than waiting for October 2014.
You never know what a bunch of hippy cardinals, led by a hippie pope, could do instead.
Allow me, for the moment, to draw a brutally frank conclusion: there is reason to hope that either this pontiff has now reached the limit of his own incompetence, or his own men will take care he does not go beyond a certain – and extremely scandalous in any way – limit of incompetence; which they can do simply by publicly recalling the Truths of the faith in such definitive terms as to castrate from the start every attempt to impose a Che-Church (shall I patent this?) on the poor faithful.
Archbishop Mueller did his job today. In a very V II way, I admit, but he did it.
This makes news. Mala tempora currunt.