24 September 2008

Harbinger


St. Luke 12:38

Et si venerit in secunda vigilia et si in tertia vigilia venerit et ita invenerit beati sunt servi illi.

Sometimes local Catholic news comes at you so fast that it is impossible to miss--like a monsoon. Sometimes it trickles so slowly that it is hard to find. Sometimes it is as obvious as a press release. Sometimes it is so esoteric as to require a lawyer's explanation.

The big Catholic news story in St. Louis right now is one which has yet to break.

The Catholic restoration that began to take shape in this Archdiocese several years ago, and advanced so rapidly under Archbishop Burke's care, is still at work. Yet there is a palpable expectation in the air as we await the announcement of His Grace's successor.

The restoration will continue, and the works already accomplished will not be easily stuffed back into the bottle. But will there be the fulfillment of the integration of faith, liturgy and culture that is at the heart of the Holy Father's public words and works-- particularly in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and in his encyclicals?

When the announcement comes, as it must come sooner or later, the media will focus on issues affecting the political sphere, or maybe on a few of the local issues of religious controversy. But more to the point are these:

  • What will the typical parish liturgy in the Archdiocese look like if the Archbishop's wishes are obeyed? Will both forms of the Roman Rite be available to the faithful, whose right it is to receive the sacraments as the Church intends?

  • Will priests be allowed to carry out their administrative and sacramental responsibilities in parishes or will lay "pastoral associates" (sometimes acting, as we have seen, as "co-pastors" or stealth priestesses) continue to encroach in this area?

  • Will our children in Catholic schools receive catechetical instruction sufficient to actually effect the transmission of the Catholic faith?

  • Will Catholic hospitals and schools have the backbone to remain faithful to immutable Church teaching in the face of hostile political pressure?

  • Will the tone of vibrant orthodoxy so ably fostered by our last two Archbishops be continued?

If the faith is presented, whole and entire, Catholics will respond. If the liturgy of the Church, particularly the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is celebrated as directed by the Church, with reverence for Christ in holy obedience, Catholics will respond. There is not a money issue out there that is as important as any of the above. And on the contrary, the more the Church acts like the Church, the numbers of the faithful, and their contributions besides, will increase.

These are the thoughts that occupy me today at the keyboard.

Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

St. Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.

St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us.

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

20 comments:

Peklet Mom said...

Well said, Timman!

If I may add...

Remember oh Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee oh Virgin of Virgins my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee do I stand, sinful and sorrowful. Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate, dispise not my petitions, but in thy Mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

cp said...

Is there a hidden message HERE for me to decipher??

Fenian said...

Well said.

thetimman said...

cp, you can relax.

StGuyFawkes said...

Peklet Mom,

The Memorare is my favorite prayer. It's has the bounce and high tone of Shakespeare and just a little bit of feudal chivalry.

In the prayer we plea with Our Lady as if we were servants and she were "Mi'Lady". Also the prayer allows us to converse with Our Lady and employ just a hint of flattery ("Remember O Most Gracious....that never was it known"). As if she has to be reminded of her perfect record.

The feudalistic conceit is beautiful and it makes the prayer all the more personal.

I think.

Anonymous said...

I wish the author of this blog would post a "Where I Stand On The Key Catholic Issues" statement, so that we the readers can know exactly where he stands. Today he speaks of coming "Restoration" in this archdiocese and in the Church worldwide. That seems to mean that the author of this blogs holds to the view that the Catholic Church was in a period of apostasy under John Paul II and Paul IV, or, if not apostasy, something very close to it. Does this author hold to the view that the Vatican II Council was not the Will of God, or taught heresy, or encouraged heresy, or was a tragic mistake, or what? I think the author of this blog, given that he is predicting a "Restoration," needs to be clear with his readers and tell us HONESTLY and FULLY where he stands on all these things.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I also wish the author of this blog would tell his readers clearly where he stands with regard to (a) the Society of St. Pius X, (b) the famous/infamous interfaith prayer meeting led by John Paul II at Assisi, (c) ecumenism in general. The liberals and dissenter priests in the Catholic Church generally carefully conceal their true beliefs and positions. But that's wrong of them to do, right? So please don't do that yourself. Tell us please exactly were you stand on all the issues that traditional Catholics talk, thank and write about! Thank you.

thetimman said...

Well, anonymous wisher, I don't know that anyone would really be all that interested by my personal views on matters the Church has already spoken definitively about, other than to say that I submit every word I write and every position I hold to the correction of Holy Mother Church. She is the standard to which I must hold-- not vice versa.

But you need not be so dramatic. There is not space herein to give my opinions on "all the issues that traditional Catholics talk, th[i]nk and write about. The answer to all these things is contained over a year and a half of blogging nearly daily. It is absolutely no secret. Read the posts, see the sites to which I link, the books I read. It's all there.

I am not a member of the SSPX; it is probably pretty obvious that I am quite partial to the ICRSP.

The restoration to which I refer is very well laid out by Pope Benedict XVI in his famous Christmas address to the Curia, in Summorum Pontificum and in his many edifying speeches, addresses and writings.

There is no rupture between what the Church taught 1975 years ago and what she teaches now. That is the whole point. To be Catholic means to accept all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, "because [God] has revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be decieved."

dulac90 said...

What!?!

You mean this isn't a sedevacantist site?

C'mon Timman, nobody really believes we should strive to adhere to everything the Church teaches. That's unpossible.

What's your game here? Your readers have a right to know! I pay good money to read this...oh, never mind.

Anonymous said...

Here are some exact quotes from the St. Louis Catholic blog today: "The Catholic restoration that began to take shape in this Archdiocese several years ago...." and "The restoration will continue, and the works already accomplished will not be easily stuffed back into the bottle...." I think these can only mean that the Catholic Faith was absent prior to the papacy of Benedict XVI. You can only restore was destroyed or stolen. If it was there all the time, then you would not need to restore it. If I stole the refrigerator out of you kitchen, I could restore it later on. But if your refrigerator was never missing, there would be no need or possiblity of restoring it. See what I mean? I think you really do view John Paul II and Paul VI as being heretics, or at least terribly bad leaders, and you really must view Vatican II as being from Hell. Why else would you use the term "Restoration" as you have? If all was well in the Universal Church and in this archdiocese prior to Archbishop Burke coming here and prior to the election of Benedict XVI, then there'd be no need for something as serious as a "Catholic restoration," to quote your post today. Right? P.S. I am not hostile to you. I like your blog. I am like Socrates, who is using words and reason to try to get at the heart of things. I think maybe you don't see the full significance of speaking in terms of a "Catholic Restoration." That term is usually used by the Sedevacantists, who believe firmly that John Paul II and Paul VI were terrible heretics and destroyers of the Catholic Church. After all, restoration only makes sense if first of all there had been a destruction or theft. By the way, I don't view the SSPX or the Sedevacantists as completely wrong or horrible. They are sincerely trying to remain faithful to God in terrible times. There are priests in good standing in this diocese who are actual heretics, and teach actual heresy from the pulpil pretty regularly. It is this state of affair that the SSPX and Sedevacantists are reacting to. You apparently see this sitation too. You believe that Benedict XVI is carrying out a Restoration to correct all this. But, time will tell, right? You have to wonder what is taking him so long. Hasn't be been in office 2-3 years already? I remember all too well when some people John Paul II was going to carry out a Restoration. Some people think he did--that's why they attach "the Great" to his name. Let us pray for mercy.

thetimman said...

Anon, if you're Charlie Gibson, I'm not Sarah Palin.

Your premises are unfounded, and your conclusions do not follow.

It is simply not true that you cannot restore something that wasn't stolen, or missing. By way of example, the Sistine Chapel frescoes were restored in the last decade or so. Were they not there before? Or were they somewhat obscured, and in need of loving maintenance and repair?

It is a huge step to use the term restoration and conclude that I must think that Paul VI and John Paul II were heretics. Are you kidding me?

I think the term restoration can be used when, as the Supreme Legislator himself said in Summorum Pontificum,

"Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lex credendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.

It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents 'Quattuor abhinc annis' and 'Ecclesia Dei,' are substituted as follows:

Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary."

So, for instance, the traditional Mass had never been abrogated; yet its use was discouraged and even suppressed, de facto, in many places. To bring it back into greater use is restoration.

Or again, if the catechism of the Church has not been well-taught in our schools, to do so would be a restoration, yes?

I could continue with examples, but I won't, because as I said before the universe of examples could not be contained in this space, and I doubt any or all would satisfy your inquiry-- about the point of which I am unclear.

Anonymous said...

Last anon -

When one speaks of restoring a piece of furniture, it does not mean that the furniture does not exist. It simply means that it still exists but needs some touching up to "restore" it to its former glory (needs to be refinished, etc.). Same thing with a house.

www.dictionary.reference.com:
"re-store...3. to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor..."

Thus, the Catholic Church has always existed but has been going through a rough time and could use some restoring. It's not contradictory.

SW

StGuyFawkes said...

Anybody who has read this blog should know that this blog is neither sedvantist nor hostile to the intentions of Vatican II. Nor do many, or any, of the STLC's regular readers reject Catholic communion with regular Novus Ordo parishes or view the author of Humanae Vitae (Paul VI) or the author of Ut Unum Sint (JP-II) with disrespect or skepticism.

It looks like all the excitement is over a choice of words.

"Restoration" is a term that reeks of monarchist attachment; it implies a return to legitimacy after a period of usurpation.

For instance, when we talk about "Restoration Comedies" we refer to that period of English literature after the Civil War when Charles II restored the monarchy.

So restoration usually means a return to kingly ordere after a period of democratic riot.(Although Charles II was a rake and Cromwell a murderous prude but let's not get down to cases.)

Anyway, everyone should calm down. Tim just means respect for doctrine and sacraments have been restored and will be restored. Nobody is going to have to get subscriptions to the Remmant to prove they are Catholic.

All things shall be restored in Christ. That's all Tim means the way I take it.

doughboy said...

what's "the remmant?"

thetimman said...

It is linked at the side. It is a traditionalist newspaper.

Anonymous said...

This is why I love this blog!

It speaks truth!

The anti-catholic (liberals) are scared as you know what to think who their new, "His Grace" might be.

Why is it so hard for them to follow the Church, her leaders, and the faith? I guess we will never really know.

Without the Pope, Bishops in UNION with HIM,(the POPE) there is NO CHURCH. Its that simple.

But this I do know. All of you are against the Chruch, and trying to continue to "reform" her with your anti Pope, anti Bishop, "we" are church thinking.....It's time you get a different job.

I suggest you pack your office and leave on your own will. It will be easier for you if you do.

It's a new day, and if you think the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ is going to send someone to StL, who will not continue what has begun, your only mistaking and hurting yourself.

I also I have to say, this blog, doesn't believe any of the modern popes were not popes.

Mother Angelica said it best in 1993, and that still rings true today.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help, ora pro nobis.

St. Louis IX, King of France, ora pro nobis

One more thing, no need to refer to me as uncharitable, because the truth is the truth. The truth is charity.

Anonymous said...

For those who accept and love Vatican II, the correct term to use is "Renewal," not "Restoration." Restoration is the term used by those who reject or regret Vatican II. Pope John Paul II spoke about "renewal." So does Benedict XVI. Anyone who calls for restoration or predicts restoration is someone who rejects the Vatican II Renewal which started in 1962 and is still going on. The mass was "renewed" by Pope Paul VI. Benedict XVI has permitted greater use of the old mass, but it is false to say that Benedict XVI restored the old mass, unless you see the mass of Paul VI as not being a true mass or as being something really Godforsaken. In any case, the vast, vast majority of Catholics alive today will never even see the old mass. There has been no restoration. Benedict has not said he is working to acheive a restoration, not at all. He supports and is continuing the Vatican II Renewal.

thetimman said...

anon, there is no possibility that the Church can teach error. There is no possibility that it can teach anything not reconcilable with Sacred Tradition. Clearly, Vatican II has been used as an excuse to jettison much of traditional practice and to discourage people from adhering to the faith as handed down. That is the fault of those who do this.

The texts of Vatican II cannot teach error. There is much ambiguity and of course there were no solemn, anathematized definitions produced. Hence any of the many parts of Vatican II that are subject to varying interpretations must be interpreted in light of tradition. Vatican II did not teach anything new. Indeed, it could not.

This is the position of Pope Benedict XVI; it is the position of the working agreement signed by him and Archbishop Levebvre in 1988. Vatican II, when properly interpreted in light of tradition, does not teach error or novelty.

On many subjects, documents issued prior to Vatican II are much more clear, concise and effective for imparting the faith, in my humble opinion, and so I prefer recourse to them whenever possible. Restoration means reacquainting Catholics with Mortalium Animos, or Unam Sanctam, or Mystici Corporis, or Pascendi, or Quas Primas or others.

I don't know where you're going with this line of commentary, but I don't know if this will go on much longer.

Anonymous said...

Vatican II did not teach anything new, at least in terms of dogmas of the faith. Jesus is still the son of God, and God is still Love. The documents are to be read in the light of tradition and in CONTINUITY with past councils. The 1985 synod of bishops stated this in one of their norms for interpreting the council.

But you can’t ignore the DISCONTINUITY with past councils and church history. The way the Church is in the world, the way it views the world, the way it views itself was changed by Vatican II.

The CONTENT of the documents may not have changed markedly or said anything completely new. But the LITERARY GENRE and VOCABULARY changed.

Before Vatican II, the genre of most councils was like canon law. The vocabulary sounded like a superior speaking to an inferior. It used words of threat and intimidation, surveillance and punishment. (And who knows? Maybe that kind of language and tone was necessary during those times).

Vatican II, on the other hand, came in with (or rather brought back) the “panegyric” genre -- a genre, you Timman, have accused Fr. Kleba of using. It’s a genre that’s about inspiring people to something greater. It presents ideals and common causes. It’s meant to bring people together, rather than divide them. It’s meant to inspire people with hope so that they will work together for the common good, not define why they are different. The vocabulary is that of a peer persuading another. It’s one of reconciliation, invitation, and respect. It’s more open-ended. It’s more a language of the heart.

There were no longer words of alienation, exclusion, threat, punishment, surveillance. Yes, there still is a heirarchy in the Church that should be respected and listened to. But Vatican II stopped speaking of it in monarchy-subject terms. It began speaking of “brothers and sisters”, “partnership,” “collaboration,” “collegiality,” and...if you can stomach it, Timman... “dialogue.” (Oh, the horror).

All of this taken together could be called “The Spirit of Vatican II.”

Vatican II changed (or redirected) how the Church (including the people who are the Church) should behave and be in the world.

thetimman said...

anon, I certainly don't agree with the entirety of your description, but I get your gist. That being said, this "Spirit of Vatican II" approach as you describe it has been an undeniable disaster for the Church by every measurable objective standard.

Almost as though a "restoration" is needed, eh?