30 January 2015

Why Should We Pray?: The Pope's 2015 Agenda

Good evening, everybody.  It just hit me, after reading this excellent blog post about our duty to be vigilant in defense of the faith, that the Pope's already announced schedule for 2015 is a veritable minefield of trouble.  And I have to admit, I don't expect His Holiness to avoid the minefield, or even to tip-toe through it.  I expect him to start throwing bombs at the minefield, with us in it.

But I tend to be a doe-eyed optimist.

Just what, in this calendar year, is so worthy of prayer?  Well, all of the following events are on deck:

-- visit to the United States, with speeches to the U.S Congress and the United Nations included

-- the release of a new Encyclical, believed to be on environmentalism

-- the dreaded Synod against on the Family

Creative Minority Report already posted that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency met with the Pope today.  Great. Glad to hear it.

Imagine the Pope's trip to the United States, where there will no doubt be at least one Papal mega-Mass.  Plenty of good photo-ops for notorious pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, "Catholic" politicians to receive Holy Communion sacrilegiously.  Hey, with any luck, they'll receive it from the Holy Father himself. Imagine him addressing Congress and the U.N., undercutting the efforts of the remaining Catholic bishops, priests, and laity to resist sodomitical marriages, junk science climate change totalitarianism, or whatever else he thinks of that morning.

The upcoming encyclical will be the first for which he is solely responsible, and if it is at all like his Apostolic Exhortation, we're headed for whitewater, as Mike Sexton would say.

Then, finally, the great planned mini-Vatican II to sabotage marriage and Holy Communion, and to set the stage for the normalization of adultery and homosexual conduct.

You can't wait, either?

Oh, and I almost forgot-- he will preach a homily nearly every day and give a public address nearly every week. Who knows what any of those will bring.

What else can we do but pray? 

Remember, though I have written somewhat cheekily here, we don't save the Church, the Church saves us.  But that does not mean we don't get the leadership we deserve.  And what have our sins deserved?  

May the Mother of the Church be our constant aid.  Mater Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis!

May the Salt not Lose Its Savor

"Perhaps the time has come to say farewell to the idea of traditionally Catholic cultures. Maybe we are facing a new and different kind of epoch in the Church’s history, where Christianity will again be characterized more by the mustard seed, where it will exist in small, seemingly insignificant groups that nonetheless live an intensive struggle against evil and bring the good into the world....

"The Church... will be less identified with the great societies, more a minority Church; she will live in small, vital circles of really convinced believers who live their faith. But precisely in this way she will, biblically speaking, become the salt of the earth again."

-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth

Was this rational deduction, speculation, or prophesy, on the part of the future Pope Benedict XVI? Bishop Fellay has hinted at the last. Whatever the origin, it certainly was in the mind of the Pope at the beginning of his reign. And who knows what the Church will look like at the end of his life, the usual time when papal reigns end?

My family are blessed to be in a small, seemingly insignificant group of believers. I know that there are many readers also so blessed.

God bless all of the small, vital circles of really convinced believers who live their faith!

Not a Huge Deal in Light of What Has Already Happened, But...

The Pope has abandoned the traditional investiture of the pallium for Metropolitan Archbishops that has typically taken place in Rome on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The stated reason is that this way the local churches get to be more involved.


It seems to me that this is another public humility display forced on the bishops at the Pope's whim. But, amazingly, no one asked me.

With typical efficiency, the Pope will still have the Archbishops fly to Rome on the feast day for a concelebrated Mass, so it isn't a money saver. He will just bless the pallia privately somewhere and hand them out privately too.

This way nobody will think he is a real big shot.

Why not? Too much ceremony in the Church these days, right?

29 January 2015

True That

Liquor will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no liquor.

--Bob Dylan

A Complete Divorce from Reality

I want to thank Pewsitter, for without that fine Catholic central clearinghouse site, I would not have read the two posts I link below.  My usual rule is not to give Mark Shea any more hits than he already gets-- he does just fine without me-- but this is an exception.  His post here, read along with the post of Fr. Longenecker, show just how far out there the neo-Catholic normalist crowd has gone, and will go, to prop up their comfortable status quo. There is no logic, no argument, no persuasion, that will reach them.

I mean, wow.  It would be hilarious if the situation were not so dreadfully serious.


Feast of St. Francis de Sales

Today is the Feast of the great Doctor of Charity, St. Francis de Sales, patron of the Oratory, co-patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, patron of journalists and writers, and great agent of the conversion of heretics.

You can still attend Mass today, as the Oratory will celebrate High Mass tonight at 6:30pm.  Faithful who assist at this Mass, or at any Institute Mass today, may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

Dom Gueranger says of the saint who converted 72,000 Calvinists:

God gave him to the Church at the very time that heresy was holding her out to the world as a worn-out system, that had no influence over men's minds.  He raised up this true minister of the Gospel in the very country where the harsh doctrines of Calvin were most in vogue, that the ardent charity of Francis might counteract the sad influence of that heresy.  If you want heretics to be convinced of their errors, said the leaned Cardinal du Perron, you may send them to me; but if you want them to be converted, send them to the Bishop of Geneva.

Thanks to JJR for this great novena prayer to St. Francis de Sales:

O Blessed Francis de Sales, who in your mortal life did excel in all virtues, especially in love of God and of neighbor, I earnestly entreat you to take me under your immediate protection, to obtain from God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners, especially of (the names of persons for whom you wish to pray should be mentioned here). Teach me, O Father, to fix my eyes on heaven, that I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory which you in your mercy hold out to me. Obtain also that particular favor for which I now pray. (mention intention)

Assist us, O Lord, we beseech you, through the merits of St. Francis de Sales. That what our endeavors cannot obtain may be given us by his intercession. Let us pray: O God, who for the salvation of souls, did will that St. Francis de Sales, your confessor and bishop, should become all things to all men and women, mercifully grant that we, infused with the gentleness of his charity, guided by his teachings, and sharing in his merits, may obtain eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A reflection from Divine Intimacy quotes from St. Francis de Sales:

"O Lord Jesus, when You died on the Cross Your heart was so filled with kindness toward us and You loved us so tenderly, even though we ourselves were the cause of Your death, that You had but one thought: to obtain pardon for Your executioners, even while they tortured You and cruelly insulted You. Help me, I beg You, to endure my neighbors' faults and imperfections with kindness.

"To those who despise me or murmur against me, teach me to reply with humility, mildness, and a steadfast kindness of heart, never defending myself in any way. For love of You, I desire to let everyone say what he wishes, because words are not of value but love is, and he who loves more will be more loved and glorified. Help me, then, my Jesus, to love You; help me to love creatures for love of You, especially those who despise me, without letting myself be disturbed by their contempt, but applying myself to the practice of humility and mildness; then You will be my reward.

"Teach me to comport myself always with mildness and sweetness, and never to disrupt peace with anyone. All that I can do and obtain with love I will do, but what I cannot do or procure without a dispute, I will let be. Help me to make use of the repugnances and aversions I encounter in my contacts with others to practice the virtue of mildness, and to show myself loving with all, even with those who are opposed to me, or who are a cause of aversion.

"Finally, I purpose with Your help, O most lovable God, to apply myself to acquire kindness of heart toward my neighbor by thinking of him as Your creature, destined to enjoy You some day in Paradise. Those whom You tolerate, O Lord God, it is but just that I, too, tolerate them tenderly and with great compassion for their spiritual infirmities."

Blessed feast day to you all!

28 January 2015

Preaching Another Christ: Synod Against the Family 2015

A tip of the hat to the Dyspeptic Mutterings blog, for the scriptural citation relevant to the upcoming Synod:

2 Corinthians 11: 3-4

3 But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or another gospel which you have not received; you might well bear with him.

Dear readers, with the issues on the table at the Synod against on the Family, kept at bay last year through the resistance of some good Bishops and laity, now coming back with a vengeance, we come close to bedrock principles of just what the Church is, just Who Christ is, and whether the Church will turn her back on her own Divine Spouse.  If the Dogmas and settled doctrines of the faith (and in this case these include those spoken by Our Lord's own mouth) are open to "development" and "interpretation" such that they mean the opposite of how they have always been held, than what in this world is worthy of any belief?

The Church is seemingly headed by a man who urges Catholics not to evangelize-- er, I mean, "proselytize", a man who faults Catholics who seek to maintain the faith as always held and worship as Catholics have always worshipped, and who claims a God of "surprises" wants the Church to forego any attempt to convert and save souls.  

Will the Church lose confidence in her mission for the sake of mob popularity? Will she lay down her divinely-given mission, and refuse her divinely-given guarantee of truth?

Oh, that's right, I'm being too dramatic.  Pope Francis is always just misunderstood and misquoted.  He is a second Benedict XVI, or better. 

Got it.  I wonder, though, whether the men he himself has appointed in positions of leadership are all misquoted.  Or they all have gone rogue and now spout a line of belief different from their boss?  With impunity?  Without even a comment from the Holy See?

As you can read here, here, here, here and here, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the man the Pope appointed Secretary General of the Synod, scolded a group of faithful lay Catholics this week for presuming that doctrine cannot change.  He put Catholics on notice: why call a synod if all we are going to do is to restate what we already believe? 

I'll quote from some of the linked stories above in a moment, but know this:  If Cardinal Baldisseri has his way, the 2000-year teaching on marriage, divorce, adultery, and communion is up for grabs:

--from Lifesite:

An international conference, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family from 22-24 January, was addressed by Cardinal Baldisseri, organiser of the upcoming Synod on the Family. The expressed purpose of the conference was to provide opportunity for around 80 lay groups to assist the PCF provide input into the synod to be held in October 2015.

Baldisseri defended the right of Walter Cardinal Kasper to assert that divorced persons living in unions not recognised by the Church should be permitted to receive Holy Communion. Baldisseri, in response to a concerned pro-family advocate, told delegates that we should not be “shocked” by theologians contradicting Church teaching.  The Cardinal said that dogmas can evolve and that there would be no point holding a Synod if we were simply to repeat what had always been said. He also suggested that just because a particular understanding was held 2,000 years ago does not mean that it cannot be challenged.

Hearkening back to the modernist playbook from Vatican II, the Cardinal reminded the lay groups involved to mind their own business; the experts will weigh in, it shouldn't disturb them:

-- from Aleteia:

Cardinal Baldisseri responded by saying, “We shouldn’t be shocked that there is a different position from the ‘common doctrine.’”

He cited the example of the many contrasting positions that were in evidence at Vatican II.  “Therefore, there’s no reason to be scandalized that there is a cardinal or a theologian saying something that’s different than the so-called ‘common doctrine.’ This doesn’t imply a going against. It means reflecting. Because dogma has its own evolution; that is a development, not a change.”

The cardinal added that it is “right that there is a reaction” and that “this is exactly what we want today. We want to discuss things, but not in order to call things into doubt, but rather to view it in a new context, and with a new awareness. Otherwise, what’s theology doing but repeating what was said in the last century, or 20 centuries ago?”

Theology, he said, “is meant to be investigated” and therefore “we shouldn’t be concerned.”

We need to wake up.  This isn't just some guy saying these things.  

This is the Pope's handpicked choice to lead the Synod, and furthermore one he kept in that position after last year's near disaster. Ask Cardinal Burke if the Pope knows how to remove a person from his position if he disagrees with the approved agenda.

We need to remain vigilant and prayerful, and hold these prelates of whatever rank to the Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  We must remain Catholic, even if they don't want to be Catholic themselves.

I leave you with this fine reflection from Monsignor Charles Pope in D.C., who I can't believe still has a diocesan platform from which to speak.  God bless him.  God have mercy on us.

27 January 2015

Meatless Snowday, Snowless Edition

A number of observations on the non-event that was the predicted New York City "Snowpocalypse", based upon my razor-sharp brain mulling over the events of recent history:

1)  I believe the forecast for New York City this week was to receive something like 75 feet of snow, with temperatures hovering around -50 F. The weathermen (yes, I said men) climbed atop their doppler radar dishes to warn the victims of NY that if they stepped outside for one second their children would instantly die.  As it turned out, not so much.  But that didn't stop the people and the government of the nation's largest metropolis to collectively curl up into the fetal position and await The End.

2)  A similar response and media-generated panic occurred when Pope John Paul II made his pastoral visit to St. Louis in 1999. There was an absence of snow, that this caused sadness among all local newscasters, as there was no need to stand on the Tamm Avenue overpass and predict mass deaths from the storm, whether that meant traffic accidents or a shortage of Bunny Bread at Schnucks or what-may-you.  The JPII event was a welcome substitute, however.  Predictions of Trafficocalypse caused similar warnings and yielded similar results.  The Post-Dispatch remembered it recently this way

Remember more than 14 years ago, when the late Pope John Paul II visited St. Louis? Police and traffic planners warned that drivers who parked their cars on surrounding interstates would have those cars towed. MetroLink stations would be packed to Fair St. Louis proportions. All this because traffic was supposed to be bumper-to-bumper. That traffic never materialized. People steered clear. And the “popemobile” rolled through mostly empty streets in downtown St. Louis.

In fact, the streets were so desolate it looked like Downtown at 10 p.m. on a normal Friday night (Zing! I kid because I love!).  Bonus points to any reader who still has an "I survived the JPII traffic jam and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt" souvenir.  

3) Speaking of snowstorms, it wasn't that long ago, in 2010, that a snowstorm caused the NFL to cancel a football game in Philadelphia.  Yes, a pro football game was cancelled for snow. It's common knowledge that snow football is the best! The cancellation prompted this wonderful rant from Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell-- a Democrat, for Pete's sake:

"My biggest beef is that this is part of what's happened in this country," Rendell said. "I think we've become wussies. ... We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."

Brilliant.  BTW, why does the NFL get such attention, anyway?

4) Can anyone tell me, why does a prediction of snow override the Constitution, and allow restrictions on the freedom of assembly? The Government has truly become our father, our Big Brother, our master.  I'm scared!  Please, big government, protect me!

5)  Thank goodness we live in such times of safety.  I suppose the Battle of Trenton, when the Freemasonic forces of liberty attacked the forces of the illegitimate Protestant pretender to the throne of England on the feast of Our Lord's Birth, would never have happened today.  Then where would we be?  They hate us for our freedoms! Right? Is snow a terrorist weapon?
What good am I if I’m like all the rest
If I just turn away, when I see how you’re dressed
If I shut myself off so I can’t hear you cry
What good am I?
What good am I if I know and don’t do
If I see and don’t say, if I look right through you
If I turn a deaf ear to the thunderin’ sky
What good am I?
What good am I while you softly weep
And I hear in my head what you say in your sleep
And I freeze in the moment like the rest who don’t try
What good am I?
What good am I then to others and me
If I’ve had every chance and yet still fail to see
If my hands are tied must I not wonder within
Who tied them and why and where must I have been?
What good am I if I say foolish things
And I laugh in the face of what sorrow brings
And I just turn my back while you silently die
What good am I?
-- What Good Am I?, by Bob Dylan

23 January 2015

Bishop Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Rightly Rebukes Mercy Health

"Lord, I obeyed all your commandments until Caesar told me I couldn't!"  Is that what passes for martyrdom these days?

Bishop Johnston reminds Mercy Health that real martyrdom is a real possibility for real Catholics.

As for complying with unspecified “government regulations,” he said “no believing Christian worthy of the name should violate God's law because of ‘regulations.’ Our ancestors refused to abandon the faith even when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire, but in our age unspecified 'regulations,' government funds, and fear of public ridicule is sufficient in order to secure the compliance of some.”