Two good news from the front.
The first one is the first Catholic Mass ever celebrated at CPAC.
The second is this summary of beautiful traditional churches being built in the US.
Before you ask, I think this one here is the most beautiful.
What this tells me is that The Evil Clown can make all the noise he wants. In the ends, there is a rich humus of Catholicism that keeps nourishing young, tender plants. No Pope can control the sum total of still a vast number of devout Catholics. I’ll go further than that and state that even in the midst of sixty years of V II devastation, an awful lot of people keep longing for the “old religion”, and a good God instills in their hearts a certainly confused but clearly aching desire for that reverent, beautiful, so logical and so consoling faith of old.
Traditionalism will keep advancing, because it is the consequent, logical, final product of a more general desire for sound Catholicism that finds expression in these beautiful new buildings. And when Traditionalism is ready to take over again – not in our lifetime, I am pretty sure – it will find an awful lot that was done the right way even when the Church was headed in the wrong direction.
It will find a lot of churches built for the New Mass but perfectly suited for the old, the result of the effort of a lot of people who perhaps did not fully understand Traditionalism but still wanted to respect tradition. Even a lake of mud will produce beautiful water lilies, because the Lord in His goodness has decreed that no amount of mud will prevent their growth.
Make no mistake, vast is the damage that Francis and his minions – and very possibly, his successors – will create. But again, there is only so much you can destroy, and the Lord will not allow these people to destroy the Church.
Out of the rich humus of the faith, new plants will continue to grow.
At times I read posts in blogs written by priests that are so good I am very tempted to report them here, and add some words of personal encouragement; but then I refrain from it, because I am afraid that this might, in time, attract the ire of their bishop once some parishioner of them (or not parishioner of them) complains said priest is lauded in “ultra-conservative Catholic blogs” of the (bbbrrr…) “SSPX type”.
I make an exception this time for two reasons: the good priest in question keeps keeping me in his blog column (thus showing a remarkable, rather astonishing candor); and his blog is – from what I can see from the referrals to mine – growing so fast that if the good man has problems with the bishop it will certainly not be because of me, but because of the bigger and bigger audience his blog attracts.
Allow me, then, to show you what a blogger priest can write when he is really, really good. Emphases in red mine.
A Liberal is one who seeks to change Church teaching or pastoral practice in order to accommodate the changing values of the world, such as artificial contraception, cohabitation and homosexual pairings. In reality they exchange the teaching of Christ for the theories of Rogers, Freud, Marx etc. Such a person has fallen into moral heresy, abandoning Gospel morality as taught for 2000 years under the guidance the Holy Spirit.A Conservative is one who is loyal to Rome no matter what. Be they laity or prelates, they are blind ultramontanes; those who change their teaching and pastoral practice because Rome has said so –and without asking whether Rome was entitled to make the change. This form of ultramontanism is most dangerous because it appears loyal, but it is erroneous in that it is loyal only to the Pope of the day and not to the whole history of papal and Conciliar teaching.
A Traditionalist is one who is loyal to the Pope of the day as long as that Pope’s teaching is consistent with that of previous Popes and Councils. There can never be a ‘good Pope’ who changes doctrine or allows doctrine to be sidestepped for pastoral concerns, since doctrinal change is renunciation of previous teaching and a pastoral sidestep creates a lex vivendi which gives impetus to a change in the lex credendi. A Pope who changes doctrine or sidesteps it in practice cannot be a safe, good or loyal Pope, because his task is simply to defend and promote the Deposit of Faith. He may develop it in application to new situations, but he cannot distort it or discard it in order to accommodate new situations.
Another statement is absolutely brilliant, and what we very seldom hear from priests:
Doctrinal change and/or pastoral sidestepping are what liberals expect of Pope Francis, and at the end of the day I cannot see him obliging them. Certainly some of his off-the-cuff remarks have given a hope to liberals and in that sense they are to be regretted, but unless he has the arrogance of assuming that for two thousand years the Church has been wrong; that he alone has correctly perceived the mind and will of God who is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb.13:8) and in whom “there is no change, nor shadow of alteration” (Jas.1:17), Francis simply cannot oblige liberal desires.
There’s a lot here. I’ll leave this without comment. It’s just too beautiful.
May God richly bless this brave priest, and give him the richest reward when his time comes.
Those of you who understand French will certainly enjoy this hour-long documentary about French Traditional Catholics produced from France 3 and appeared on Gloria TV. The documentary is obviously not without faults, but one must say that the effort to understand French Traditionalism and accurately transmit its values to the viewers is, for a secular sender, remarkable.
There are small parts you won’t like (a stupid reference to alleged “Islamophobia” comes to mind; one also notices that secular people are unable to discuss Traditionalism without mixing it with the private opinions of Bishop Williamson), but in general I think that many lukewarm French Catholics who have seen this documentary have been left with a lot to think about.
Those who do not understand French (no subtitles, unfortunately) will enjoy the period footage of Archbishop Lefebvre and the beautiful music in the first part of the documentary.
He will also enjoy the masses. Both on the impressive footage from the Sixties and on the parts dealing with contemporary traditionalism, one can’t avoid noticing the numerical impact of an organisation numbering 150,000 in a country with around the same inhabitants as the United Kingdom. Since Vatican II France has been disgraced with bishops among the worst on the planet, but it is also the country where the reaction to “Catholicism easy” is strongest and best organised.
You’ll notice (and this is correctly put in evidence in the documentary) the strikingly low average age of the French Traditionalists. In addition, the entire editorial cut of the documentary makes at least an honest effort to portray them in their daily lives and as normal people rather than deluded nutcases, as the BBC or Channel Four would most certainly do.
These are young people, young mothers, families with children; they are listened to in the course of their daily life, in the kitchen, the reception room, at lunch, in a brasserie or bar; they smoke and drink beer, are dressed correctly but like everyone of us and are evidently not living in a parallel, alternative world like a hippy or an extremist biker. These are people with normal jobs and normal lives, whom every lukewarm Catholic could easily have as friends.
I recommend the viewing to the french-speaking readers, but even those who don’t will probably find the initial part – with the period footage and the music – rather interesting.