30 April 2014

A Positive and Helpful Post for the Synod on the Family

A holy woman once asked me, after one of my more satirical and critical posts, whether I thought such a post was doing anything to build up the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. I thought it a fair question and a helpful criticism. Since then, I actually do ask myself the question at difficult times (when I think about it, which explains why it might be honored more in the breach). So, after checking my level of cynicism the last few days and finding it pegged at a firm 8 out of 10, I've decided to do something purely positive.

I thought, "How can I build up the Church in advance of this Fall's Synod on the Family, which has been attended by much foreboding among Catholics, but with a level of anticipatory glee by the Church's enemies?"

Thus, I thought I could do some research on the question of divorce, remarriage, and Holy Communion, so the Synodial Fathers wouldn't have to trouble about "umbras and penumbras", to recall the unfortunate author of Roe v. Wade. But the research had to be super solid, from a source the Bishops would recognize as authoritative, because the two thousand year, unchanged teaching of Holy Mother Church didn't seem substantial enough.

I almost despaired, but then, voila!, I found this really incredible book.

It's called the New Testament, and it contains the inspired Word of God. I wondered if it said anything, anything at all, that could be helpful. Can you believe it, it does! Lots of helpful stuff. Well, as my contribution to the Synod, I'll post some excerpts below:

First, the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messias, Saviour of the World, Son of God, Consubstantial with the Father, the Eternal Word, God Incarnate:

Every one that putteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18

And the Pharisees coming to him asked him, tempting him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce and to put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart, he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Mark 10: 2-12

There also are words of the Apostle Paul, on the gravity of presenting oneself to receive the Eucharist unworthily:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he comes. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11: 23-29


I hope that this small effort at building up the Church will save the Synodial Fathers some time and help to prevent any confusion about Cardinal Kasper's so-called "serene" theology.

29 April 2014

Psalm XI


Psalm 11 [1]
11:1 Save me, O Lord, for there is now no saint: * truths are decayed from among the children of men.
11:2 They have spoken vain things every one to his neighbour: * with deceitful lips, and with a double heart have they spoken.
11:3 May the Lord destroy all deceitful lips, * and the tongue that speaketh proud things.
11:4 Who have said: We will magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; * who is Lord over us?
11:5 By reason of the misery of the needy, and the groans of the poor, * now will I arise, saith the Lord.
11:6 I will set him in safety; * I will deal confidently in his regard.
11:7 The words of the Lord are pure words: * as silver tried by the fire, purged from the earth, refined seven times.
11:8 Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve us: and keep us * from this generation for ever.
11:9 The wicked walk round about: * according to thy highness, thou hast multiplied the children of men.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.







On Such a Day, a Most Providential Saint

I had so much work to do today I could not keep up with the stream of horrible news coming from the Vatican and environs. Feel free to check out CMR, Rorate Caeli and Steve Skojec-- and of course the fawning press courtiers of the neo-Catholic professional class (to assure you all is really well).

But it might be a good idea to pray to today's Saint (in the real calendar), the champion of the True Faith, foe of heresy, assassinated by the enemies of the faith he loved, St. Peter of Verona.

Maybe it's a sneak preview of coming attractions. OK. Probably.

Paul VI and John Paul II on the Council and Its Interpretation-- and Fatima




I've been struck in the last several days by the observation of many that by the canonizations and beatification of this year that Pope Francis was in effect "canonizing the Second Vatican Council". This effort has been obvious to me for some time, but for some reason the phrase kept sticking with me last weekend.

Therefore, I was more than usually struck by comments I recently read from these popes themselves about the Council they are being used to "canonize", and of its consequences.

This first passage is from Paul VI, and I actually feel very sorry for him-- his worry and disillusionment come through. And note he comments about the Council's interpretation and then speaks of Fatima:

"The first intention is the Church: the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. We wish to pray for her interior peace. The ecumenical council has reawakened many energies in the bosom of the Church, has opened more ample visions in the field of her doctrine, has called all of her children to a clearer conscience, and more intimate collaboration, a more lively apostolate. It pushes us so that this benefit and renewal will be conserved and will grow. What an evil it would be if an arbitrary interpretation, not authorized by the Magisterium of the Church, were to transform this spiritual renewal into a restlessness which dissolves the Church's traditional structure and constitution, substituting the theology of true and great teachings with new and partisan ideologies which depart from the norm of faith, that which modern thought, often lacking the light of reason, neither comprehends nor accepts, finally transforming the apostolic anxiety of redemptive charity into an acquiescence in the negative forms of the profane mentality of worldly customs. What a disenchantment, then, would be caused by our effort at a universal approach!

This thought carries our memory at this moment to those countries in which religious liberty is practically suppressed and where the denial of God is promoted... We declare: the world is in danger. Therefore we have come by foot to the feet of the Queen of Peace to ask for the gift that only God can give: peace.... Men, think of the gravity and the greatness of this hour, which could be decisive for the history of the present and future generation. The picture of the world and of its destiny presented here is immense and dramatic. It is the scene that the Madonna opens before us, the scene we contemplate with horrified eyes."


-- from the Homily of Paul VI, at Fatima, May 13, 1967 (emphasis added)

St. John Paul II also echoed these thoughts fourteen years later:

"We must admit realistically and with profound suffering that Christians today feel lost, confused, perplexed and also disappointed; there are diffused ideas in contrast with the truth as revealed and always taught; there are diffused true and proper heresies in the field of dogma and morals [...] the liturgy has been altered; immersed in intellectual and moral relativism and therefore in permissiveness, Christians are tempted by atheism, by agnostics, by agnosticism, by a vaguely preached illuminism and by a sociological Christianity, deprived of definite dogmas and moral objectivity. It is necessary to begin all over again." John Paul II, as reported in L'Osservatore Romano, Februay 7, 1981 (emphasis added).

Paul VI also released an Apostolic Exhortation dated the same day as his Fatima homily. It is a beautiful document about Our Blessed Mother-- so good that I hope to post separately on it in the future. From that document:

"And then a message of supreme utility seems today to reach the faithful from her who is the Immaculate, the holy, the cooperator of the Son in the work of restoration of supernatural life in souls. In fact, in devoutly contemplating Mary they draw from her a stimulus for trusting prayer, a spur to the practice of penance and to the holy fear of God. Likewise, it is in this Marian elevation that they more often hear echoing the words with which Jesus Christ announced the advent of the Kingdom of heaven: "Repent and believe in the Gospel"; and His severe admonition: "Unless you repent you will all perish in the same manner."

Therefore, impelled by love and by the wish to placate God for the offenses against His sanctity and His justice and, at the same time, moved by trust in His infinite mercy, we must bear the sufferings of the spirit and of the body that we may expiate our sins and those of our fellow beings and so avoid the twofold penalty or "harm" and of "sense," that is to say, the loss of God--the supreme good--and eternal fire."


Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, Signum Magnum, May 13, 1967


Can anyone doubt that we are living the crisis about which these Popes warned? When will we heed the admonitions of Our Lady of Fatima to our great good? Theses Popes link the crisis to Fatima (Paul explicitly in the above excerpts and John Paul in other statements not above). When will the consecration of Russia be made?



The above quotes can be found in Antonio Socci's must-read, The Fourth Secret Of Fatima, within pp.79-83.

28 April 2014

Meatless Friday Monday: Cranky Baseball Fan Edition




Just so we're clear. Anyone who uses the terms "OPS", "BABIP", or "WAR", around me should expect immediate retribution.

Synod on the Family Official Announcement

“Why? Why do the fools fly?' said Denethor. 'Better to burn sooner than late, for burn we must. Go back to your bonfire! And I? I will go now to my pyre. To my pyre! No tomb for Denethor and Faramir. No tomb! No long slow sleep of death embalmed. We will burn like heathen kings before ever a ship sailed hither from the West. The West has failed. Go back and burn!”


J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

27 April 2014





John 6: 68

And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.



Bank This Story

It might be important later.

The Pope sacked four of the five Cardinals on the commission overseeing the Vatican Bank.

I can't comment too much on the Cardinals being booted, but the one remaining and the four new additions seem to be the usual progressive apparatchiks so much in favor these days.


26 April 2014

From Tonight's Compline




Psalmus 87 [1]
87:1 Dómine, Deus salútis meæ: * in die clamávi, et nocte coram te.
87:2 Intret in conspéctu tuo orátio mea: * inclína aurem tuam ad precem meam:
87:3 Quia repléta est malis ánima mea: * et vita mea inférno appropinquávit.
87:4 Æstimátus sum cum descendéntibus in lacum: * factus sum sicut homo sine adiutório, inter mórtuos liber.
87:5 Sicut vulneráti dormiéntes in sepúlcris, quorum non es memor ámplius: * et ipsi de manu tua repúlsi sunt.
87:6 Posuérunt me in lacu inferióri: * in tenebrósis, et in umbra mortis.
87:7 Super me confirmátus est furor tuus: * et omnes fluctus tuos induxísti super me.
87:8 Longe fecísti notos meos a me: * posuérunt me abominatiónem sibi.
87:9 Tráditus sum, et non egrediébar: * óculi mei languérunt præ inópia.
87:10 Clamávi ad te, Dómine, tota die: * expándi ad te manus meas.
87:11 Numquid mórtuis fácies mirabília: * aut médici suscitábunt, et confitebúntur tibi?
87:12 Numquid narrábit áliquis in sepúlcro misericórdiam tuam, * et veritátem tuam in perditióne?
87:13 Numquid cognoscéntur in ténebris mirabília tua, * et iustítia tua in terra obliviónis?
87:14 Et ego ad te, Dómine, clamávi: * et mane orátio mea prævéniet te.
87:15 Ut quid, Dómine, repéllis oratiónem meam: * avértis fáciem tuam a me?
87:16 Pauper sum ego, et in labóribus a iuventúte mea: * exaltátus autem, humiliátus sum et conturbátus.
87:17 In me transiérunt iræ tuæ: * et terróres tui conturbavérunt me.
87:18 Circumdedérunt me sicut aqua tota die: * circumdedérunt me simul.
87:19 Elongásti a me amícum et próximum: * et notos meos a miséria.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen.

[...]

R.br. In manus tuas, Dómine, comméndo spíritum meum, * allelúia, allelúia.
R. In manus tuas, Dómine, comméndo spíritum meum, allelúia, allelúia.
V. Redemísti nos, Dómine, Deus veritátis.
R. Allelúia, allelúia.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. In manus tuas, Dómine, comméndo spíritum meum, * allelúia, allelúia.

V. Custódi nos, Dómine, ut pupíllam óculi, allelúia.
R. Sub umbra alárum tuárum prótege nos, allelúia.

[...]

V. Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te véniat.

Orémus.
Vísita, quæsumus, Dómine, habitatiónem istam, et omnes insídias inimíci ab ea lónge repélle: Ángeli tui sancti hábitent in ea, qui nos in pace custódiant; et benedíctio tua sit super nos semper.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.
R. Amen.

The Glories of the New Springtime to be Forced on All Forever




This kind of delusional story at the Wall Street Journal-- but, really, it is typical of most-- smacks of Orwell and Stalin more than anything else. Excerpts:

"The bigger significance of this event is the Second Vatican Council and its status marking a sort of springtime for the church," said Chad Pecknold, assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, noting that Pope Francis is making saints those most closely associated with it.

Vatican II was a watershed for the Catholic Church, introducing vernacular to replace Latin at masses and calling for greater participation of laity and women in the life of the church. It encouraged ecumenism, or dialogue with other religions and other Christian denominations, and scrapped the concept of Jewish guilt for the crucifixion of Christ, which soured Christian-Jewish relations for centuries.

The Second Vatican Council also advocated more decentralization of power in the church, a concept that Pope Francis has strongly backed. For instance, Last year he ordered a survey of parishes around the world to hear clerics' and parishioners' greatest concerns regarding issues such as birth control and same-sex marriage in preparation for a major meeting of bishops later this year on the family. He has also called for a greater role for women in the church and recently appointed a woman as the head of a pontifical institute.

Pope Francis also made a statement in favor of ecumenism last December, when he declared one of the first Jesuits, Pierre Favre, also called Peter Faber, a saint. The Jesuit is known for his contacts with Protestants during the Reformation, flouting the official church line considering them heretics.

The importance of Vatican II is also evident in the expected beatification later this year of Pope Paul VI, who presided over the Council's closure in 1965 and reigned until 1978.

"The renewal brought by Vatican II opened the way," Pope Francis said Friday in a video message for residents of the small northern Italian town where Pope John XXIII was born. "There is a special joy in the fact that the canonization of John XXIII happens together with that of John Paul II, who advanced that renewal during his long papacy."



The Party Line is Fixed. Only Our Lady can fix this dangerous nonsense.

Benedict will help "preside" (to use the parlance of our times, as Maude Lebowski would say) over the death of all his attempts to salvage the integrity of the post-Vatican 2 paradigm.

The Vatican has confirmed that retired Pope Benedict XVI is invited to the ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica. The prospect of two popes potentially attending a canonization of two popes whom they knew personally has drawn world attention, as well as millions of pilgrims to Rome in recent days.

It's enough to make one hope he's being coerced. But of course, now is the time to let go of illusions.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

25 April 2014

To Tide You Over



In case we don't meet again after Sunday. God bless.



More fallout from Phonegate

"Finding out that your father is really Darth Vader is going to give anyone a case of the Mondays." --Steve Skojec

Hilary White and Steve Skojec (who refers to Hilary's post) cover the potential fallout for the Church and our own proper response, if the worst is true of the substance of Phonegate, particularly if the unthinkable happens at the Synod on the Family this Fall.

In one of my posts from yesterday concerning Phonegate, I linked to an article by Fr. Ray Blake, whose initial take on the matter was to assume that the Pope could not have told that woman it was OK to take Communion, because otherwise Very. Bad. Things. necessarily followed.


Miss White and Mr. Skojec beg to disagree.  Read both in their entirety, but excerpts below:

Hilary White:

Here is where we have one of the biggest problems in the post-Conciliar Church and a source of huge misinformation perpetuated by those who think they are doing all they can to rescue Catholics from despair and apostasy (or sedevacantism... which is pretty much the same thing).

I get it. I get that faithful Catholics are freaked out at what's been happening. But if the very worst is true, it SO doesn't mean what Fr. Blake says it means.


If the pope isn't Catholic, it doesn't mean that we are all not Catholic, or that we have to abandon the Faith, or that it is "built on sand." Only if you have got into your head the error that "the pope is the Faith" or that the Faith requires a good pope to be true can it possibly follow that a bad pope = bad or untrue religion.


This is the error of papal positivism - papolotry - at it's core, but it is opposed to the Faith.


[...]

 It is clear that the current worries about Francis and the general state of things are not isolated, unique or distinct from the general catastrophe that has befallen us. We're hurting more than we would have, I think, because the transition from John Paul II to Benedict XVI seemed to us like a natural progression in the Great Effort to Fix Things. That was something else that we incorrectly put our faith in, that the situation was terrible in the 70s and 80s, and since then there has been a steady restoration to sanity. All the evidence that this was not the case we tended to just sweep under our mental rug and ignore.

Well, we can't ignore it any more, can we. Francis, if I may say something so dreadful, is a symptom - or perhaps the culmination - of the overall disaster that has become the ruling principle of the world since 1965. Francis, in other words, is nothing new, and if we had not put so much energy into clamping our eyes shut against the real problems with both the last pontificates, we would not be in such a state now. We would have been able to, with the Trads, shrug and say, "Well, what can you expect. It's NuChurch."


But again, if Francis is a bad pope this has no effect on the Faith. None. The Faith is simply the Truth. The Real. The realness of the Real does not change or fade because lots and lots of people want to deny it or because powerful men try to fight it. Two and two still equal four. Marriage is still what it is. The Holy Eucharist is still the Holy Eucharist. 


[...]

 Facing up to what is really happening is the only way to maintain the Faith. Retreating and saying, "Oh, that couldn't possibly happen and if it did then the Real is no longer the Real," is going to allow the disaster to spread still further. Only the Real counts. And if the pope and all the cardinals and bishops of the world try to say that something other than the Word of Christ is true, then we reject that as a wicked lie. We know what is true because we have the Faith.

As laypeople (and humble parish priests) our duty is clearly before us. We don't have the power to stop bad men from doing bad things. But we have the power to continue to maintain the Faith, what we know. And to pray for a just solution to the terrible troubles of our times.
 



Steve Skojec:


Facing up to what is really happening is the only way to maintain the Faith. Retreating and saying, "Oh, that couldn't possibly happen and if it did then the Real is no longer the Real," is going to allow the disaster to spread still further. Only the Real counts. And if the pope and all the cardinals and bishops of the world try to say that something other than the Word of Christ is true, then we reject that as a wicked lie. We know what is true because we have the Faith.

As laypeople (and humble parish priests) our duty is clearly before us. We don't have the power to stop bad men from doing bad things. But we have the power to continue to maintain the Faith, what we know. And to pray for a just solution to the terrible troubles of our times. 



[...]


This is what is happening. Right now, seeing the Church agonizing and being compromised and the pope doing and saying unthinkable things, the faith of many is being severely challenged. And yet, even if the worst case comes to pass, even if the pope himself apostatizes, this isn’t the end of the road for us as Catholics.

This may really be the Church’s via dolorosa, but there will be a Road to Emmaus that follows. If you’re struggling with the possibilities, take heart. God is present and active in his Church in ways that we don’t see. God will find a way and keep his promises. He always does, even if he seems to take a certain delight in making us wait for it until it seems all hope is lost.
I prefer to ride the faith train. I am, by God’s grace alone, praying more these days than I ever have, and God is making his presence known to me in ways that are entirely new and incredibly comforting. Reach out to him. He sees the confusion and the hurt. He will console you. Take heart, and draw close to the Lord.

24 April 2014

Man Crushed to Death by Crucifix Dedicated to John Paul II







Nothing to add here, just read all the way to the end. From the UK Telegraph:

Man crushed to death by giant crucifix dedicated to Pope

Tragedy happens only days before canonisation of Pope John Paul II who had had crucifix dedicated to him

By Nick Squires

An Italian man was crushed to death on Thursday by a giant crucifix dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II, just days before the Polish pontiff will be made a saint in a ceremony at the Vatican.

In a bizarre coincidence, the 21-year-old man was reported to have been living in a street named after Pope John XXIII – who will also be canonised in the ceremony on Sunday, in an event that is unprecedented in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church.

The man, named as Marco Gusmini, was posing for a photograph with a group of friends in front of the 100ft-high cross when it suddenly collapsed.

A large, 20ft-high statue of Christ the Redeemer was attached to the crucifix, which was created for John Paul II’s visit to Brescia, in the northern region of Lombardy, in 1998.

It was subsequently removed from Brescia and re-erected in the mountain village of Cevo in 2005.

The massive cross was unusually shaped – it bowed and bent downwards and was held in place by steel cables.
In what one Italian newspaper called “a tragedy full of disturbing coincidences”, the victim lived with his parents in a town called Lovere in Via Papa Giovanni XXIII – Pope John XXIII Street.

------
h/t, Steve


Quick Survey of Thoughts on the Telephone Game

You may already be aware of the unfortunate telephone conversation between Pope Francis and a divorced and (civilly-) remarried woman (recent reports say the husband was the divorced one) wherein she claims the Pope told her that she could present herself for Holy Communion, and further that the whole issue was up for discussion at the Vatican.

Initially, I didn't post because I hoped (rather than expected) that the Vatican would issue a denial of the substance of the conversation.  It has not; rather it has confirmed the existence of the conversation but dismisses it as a private matter.  

So now this very public matter-- the same kind of practical public relations nightmare as "Who am I to judge?"-gate-- is open for discussion among Catholics.  Predictably, the paid shills of the status quo are shucking and jiving, spinning plates and dancing for nickels.  The award for most comical attempt to diffuse the situation goes to Jimmy Akin, who laughably suggests radical-sanation-by-phone: "for decree of nullity, press 3; for radical sanation, press 9; if you would like to speak to a Roman Pontiff at anytime, please press 0".

More to the point is this post from Fr. Ray Blake, who describes the problem quite well by using the rhetorical device of describing what the situation must be in order for there not to be a problem.  A good read-- but read carefully.

The best summary and analysis I've read, though, comes from Steve Skojec.  I will excerpt it below.  You might recall that I have in the past found fault with those bloggers who always want to point out how the Pope's words and actions are being misinterpreted.  I think that regardless of intent, he knows exactly what he is doing by these "random" "casual" comments etc.  If he didn't the first time, or three times, he does by now.

Skojec says what needs to be said about the current fracas:

_______________

So, the phone call happened.
Pope Francis called an Argentine woman married to a divorced man and reportedly told her that she could receive the sacrament of Communion, according to the woman’s husband, in an apparent contradiction of Catholic law.
Julio Sabetta, from San Lorenzo in the Pope’s home country, said his wife, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, spoke with Francis on Monday.
Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona wrote to the pontiff in September to ask for clarification on the Communion issue, according to her husband, who said his divorced status had prevented her from receiving the sacrament.
“She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong,” Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate.
A Vatican spokesman confirmed the telephone call but would not comment on the conversation’s content.
“It’s between the Pope and the woman,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.
Rosica said that any comments made by the Pope should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. “The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls.”
Is anyone else getting really, really tired of this game?

Pope Francis consistently says things that cause serious concern among Catholics who know what the Church teaches. No sooner have the words left his mouth (and of course, been reported on far and wide) than the spin machine goes into high gear – powered in large part by Catholic bloggers who make a living promoting the status quo within the Church (no conflict of interest there!) — telling us why we should not worry about the obviously controversial thing because of one of the following reasons:
  1. It’s a translation issue
  2. It’s a contextual issue
  3. When he said “X” it’s clear that he probably meant “Y”
  4. The source is unreliable
  5. The information is not first-hand
  6. We must look at the issue through the Argentinian cultural lens
  7. The media is misrepresenting what he said
  8. He contradicted himself in another thing that he said during a homily last week
  9. Fr. Lombardi says it ain’t true
Take your pick. There are probably others. I imagine the Catholic apologists in the tank for this nonsense have a sort of flow chart they pass around every time they add a new option. “Did the Pope speak in Italian? –> IF YES, it’s not his native language. Lost in Translation. IF NO…”
[...]

You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm. I’m starting to find this all incredibly offensive, and insulting to the collective intelligence of Catholics who see what is really going on.
The Holy Father is, for all intents and purposes, shooting a rail gun into the heart of the faith. He is undeniably causing mass division and confusion, which are not signs of God’s work, and these things are particularly afflicting the faithful Catholics who are in the tiny minority among the world’s self-professed Catholics.

You can’t simply look at each incident as an isolated issue. You have to look at the problem comprehensively. All this build up about divorce and remarriage and communion. The endless goings on about pastoral concerns trumping rubrics. The condemnations of triumphalism and neo-pelagianism. The public praising of Kasper’s dangerous speech on the topic, and of him as a theologian. The constant shaking up of the way things are done and the obvious disregard for the way things are supposed be. The false humility which masks the absolutely unilateral power with which tradition is dispensed with. The insistence on collegiality and delegating papal authority to local bishops, only for the pope to go directly to people and make these kinds of phone calls.

 [...]

The pope has been made personally aware of the way people receive his comments (with “big eyes” no less.) He has responded directly (by phone!) to some of his critics, thanking them for their criticism (isn’t he MAGNANIMOUS?!). Still, he has not become sensitive to the fallout or changed his approach. He has not, in a word, become responsible.
So this phone call happens. It is reported that the pope tells this woman something that is clearly in contradiction with Church teaching. The Vatican press office is asked about it — and the story is confirmed — thus making the inner circle aware that people want to know, especially leading up to the synod in October, which will address this issue of communion for the divorced and remarried.

And yet, we receive no clarification. We get vagueries from Fr. Lombardi, which some are choosing to interpret as a polite way of saying that lies are being spread[...]

Why would this woman lie if she got the answer she wanted? Why make something up?
And if she didn’t get the answer she wanted and did lie about it, only the Pope himself can say, “Yes, I spoke to her, but this is not what was said.” Since he knows this is becoming a big story, it behooves him to do this if he cares about preserving doctrinal clarity and avoiding unnecessarily scandalizing the faithful. If he doesn’t want to speak to it directly, the statement that needs to be made by the press office, with his authorization, is astonishingly simple:
“The Holy Father cannot comment on the contents of a personal phone call, but suffice to say that in his discussion he did, in fact, reaffirm the Church’s longstanding teaching on divorce and remarriage, and the conditions for the reception of communion.”

That kills the noise. Instead, this continues to get bigger and spread and affect people’s perceptions of what is really going on. The pope understands by now how fast the media machine works. He should be pretty used to creating controversy at this point, and a man in his position with his obligation to safeguard the sensus fidei would, one would assume, care a great deal about setting the record straight.

And yet…nothing.

[...]

The Hits Just Keep Coming




Now we learn that Paul VI will be beatified this Fall. No, this is not a joke. La Stampa published it here, with a quick translation at Creative Minority Report here.

The problem with the CMR translation is that the entire La Stampa article isn't translated. There is a whole slate of surprising people to be canonized this Fall:


Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill



Martin Luther King



Kaiser Wilhelm


This Guy



And, in a bold move, a still living Pope Francis himself.

What's more, the Synod of Bishops web page will have a sign up link to enter a raffle where 7 lucky people will be randomly selected for Beatification-- one from each continent. It's nice to see Antarctica finally get some love, am I right?

Exciting times.



Like It's 1999!!!





Vatican Message to SSPX Emphasizes Fraternity





In a very welcome development, the Vatican issued its annual statement to the S-, ...what? Huh?

Oh.

Never mind.


Alabama Supreme Court Rules Unborn Child has "inalienable right to life from its earliest stages"

This is not in context of an abortion case, but the logic of the holding puts it squarely against that excrement-on-paper, Roe v. Wade. It is just so good to see a judge willing to stand up for reality for once. Pray for this Court. I'm sure there will be blowback.

From Lifesite News:

MONTGOMERY, AL, April 22, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) –– Children in the womb should have the same legal standing as other children, the Supreme Court of Alabama ruled Friday.

The decision upheld the prior conviction of Sarah Janie Hicks for “the chemical endangerment of her child,” when she exposed her unborn baby to cocaine. The boy, referred to as “JD,” was born testing positive for cocaine.

The 8-1 decision reaffirmed the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling in a similar case last year that the word “child” includes “unborn child.”

Friday’s decision was a review of the lower Court of Criminal Appeals’ conviction of Hicks.

According to Justice Tom Parker, who wrote the majority decision, “It is impossible for an unborn child to be a separate and distinct person at a particular point in time in one respect and not to be a separate and distinct person at the same point in time but in another respect. Because an unborn child has an inalienable right to life from its earliest stages of development, it is entitled not only to a life free from the harmful effects of chemicals at all stages of development but also to life itself at all stages of development. Treating an unborn child as a separate and distinct person in only select respects defies logic and our deepest sense of morality.”


23 April 2014

Down the Popebit Hole, Two Bishops in White to Attend Canonizations



Pope(s) Benedict and Francis

Hmmm.

Pope Benedict made a surprise appearance at the February 2014 consistory creating new Cardinals.

Pope Benedict is now reported to be attending the canonizations this Sunday.

What do these two events have in common? Well, for one thing, it is usual for the Pope to attend consistories creating Cardinals and for the Pope to attend ceremonies canonizing Saints. 



Good thing Pope Francis is in attendance, too.


Just one more day in Wonderland.  


Having two living Popes, both in the public eye, both dressed like the Pope, both addressed as His Holiness, both claiming the title of Pope, is super cool.  What harm could it do?

"...Loving the church also means having the courage to make difficult, trying choices, having ever before oneself the good of the church and not one’s own.

Here allow me to return once again to April 19, 2005. The gravity of the decision was precisely in the fact that from that moment on I was committed always and forever by the Lord. Always – he, who assumes the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and totally to everyone, to the whole church. His life is, so to speak, totally deprived of the private sphere. I have felt, and I feel even in this very moment, that one receives one’s life precisely when he offers it as a gift. I said before that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and are fond of him, that the pope has truly brothers and sisters, sons and daughters all over the world, and that he feels safe in the embrace of their communion, because he no longer belongs to himself, but he belongs to all and all are truly his own.

The “always” is also a “forever” --there is no returning to private life. My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry, does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I do not abandon the cross, but remain in a new way near to the crucified Lord. I no longer wield the power of the office for the government of the church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter’s bounds. St. Benedict, whose name I bear as pope, shall be a great example in this for me. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God."


--from the General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI, 27 February 2013.

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

From the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus of Blessed Pope Pius IX:

CHAPTER I.
ON THE INSTITUTION OF THE APOSTOLIC PRIMACY IN BLESSED PETER.

We therefore teach and declare that, according to the testimony of the Gospel, the primacy of jurisdiction over the universal Church of God was immediately and directly promised and given to Blessed Peter the Apostle by Christ the Lord.

For it was to Simon alone, to whom he had already said, "You shall be called Cephas" (John 1:42), that the Lord, after the confession made by him, saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God", addressed these solemn words: "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven. And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven." (Mt 16:16-19).

And it was upon Simon alone that Jesus, after His Resurrection, bestowed the jurisdiction of Chief Pastor and Ruler over all His fold, by the words: "Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17).

At open variance with this clear doctrine of Holy Scripture, as it has ever been understood by the Catholic Church, are the perverse opinions of those who, while they distort the form of government established by Christ the Lord in His Church, deny that Peter, in his single person, preferably to all the other Apostles, whether taken separately or together, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction; or of those who assert that the same primacy was not bestowed immediately and directly upon Blessed Peter himself, but upon the Church, and through the Church on Peter as her Minister.

If anyone, therefore, shall say that Blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the Prince of all the Apostles and the visible Head of the whole Church Militant; or that the same, directly and immediately, received from the same, Our Lord Jesus Christ, a primacy of honor only, and not of true and proper jurisdiction; let him be anathema.

CHAPTER II.
ON THE PERPETUITY OF THE PRIMACY OF BLESSED PETER
IN THE ROMAN PONTIFFS.

That which the Prince of Shepherds and great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus Christ our Lord, established in the person of the Blessed Apostle Peter to secure the perpetual welfare and lasting good of the Church, must, by the same institution, necessarily remain unceasingly in the Church; which, being founded upon the Rock, will stand firm to the end of the world. For none can doubt, and it is known to all ages, that the holy and Blessed Peter, the Prince and Chief of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind, and lives, presides, and judges, to this day and always, in his successors the Bishops of the Holy See of Rome, which was founded by him, and consecrated by his blood.

Thus, whosoever succeeds Peter in this Chair, obtains, by the institution of Christ Himself, the Primacy of Peter over the whole Church. Therefore, the disposition of truth remains, and Blessed Peter, persevering in the fortitude of the Rock that he accepted, has not relinquished the governance of the Church that he received.

Therefore, it has always been necessary that each Church -- that is, those who are the faithful everywhere -- should agree with the Roman Church, because of the greater power of the principality that She has received, in order that, all being joined together in the unity of that Seat, from the veneration of which the rights of communion flows to all, might associate closely as members of one Head, in the compact unity of the body.

If then, any should deny that it is by the institution of Christ the Lord and by Divine right, that Blessed Peter should have a perpetual line of successors in the Primacy over the Universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff' is the successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy; let him be anathema.


U.S. Troops in Poland? Great Idea!

Alternate post title:  War with Russia?  Fatima Chance.

22 April 2014

Cor Ad Cor Loquitur




I can't help it. One more:

We sat down outside the sagging wire fence that shut Mr. Shimerda’s plot off from the rest of the world. The tall red grass had never been cut there. It had died down in winter and come up again in the spring until it was as thick and shrubby as some tropical garden-grass. I found myself telling her everything: why I had decided to study law and to go into the law office of one of my mother’s relatives in New York City; about Gaston Cleric’s death from pneumonia last winter, and the difference it had made in my life. She wanted to know about my friends and my way of living, and my dearest hopes.

“Of course it means you are going away from us for good,” she said with a sigh. “But that don’t mean I’ll lose you. Look at my papa here; he’s been dead all these years, and yet he is more real to me than almost anybody else. He never goes out of my life. I talk to him and consult him all the time. The older I grow, the better I know him and the more I understand him.”

She asked me whether I had learned to like big cities. "I'd always be miserable in a city. I’d die of lonesomeness. I like to be where I know every stack and tree, and where all the ground is friendly. I want to live and die here. Father Kelly says everybody’s put into this world for something, and I know what I’ve got to do. I’m going to see that my little girl has a better chance than ever I had. I’m going to take care of that girl, Jim.”

I told her I knew she would. “Do you know, Ántonia, since I’ve been away, I think of you more often than of any one else in this part of the world. I’d have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister—anything that a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don’t realize it. You really are a part of me.”

She turned her bright, believing eyes to me, and the tears came up in them slowly. “How can it be like that, when you know so many people, and when I’ve disappointed you so? Ain’t it wonderful, Jim, how much people can mean to each other? I’m so glad we had each other when we were little. I can’t wait till my little girl’s old enough to tell her about all the things we used to do. You’ll always remember me when you think about old times, won’t you? And I guess everybody thinks about old times, even the happiest people.”

As we walked homeward across the fields, the sun dropped and lay like a great golden globe in the low west. While it hung there, the moon rose in the east, as big as a cartwheel, pale silver and streaked with rose color, thin as a bubble or a ghost-moon. For five, perhaps ten minutes, the two luminaries confronted each other across the level land, resting on opposite edges of the world. In that singular light every little tree and shock of wheat, every sunflower stalk and clump of snow-on-the-mountain, drew itself up high and pointed; the very clods and furrows in the fields seemed to stand up sharply. I felt the old pull of the earth, the solemn magic that comes out of those fields at nightfall. I wished I could be a little boy again, and that my way could end there.

We reached the edge of the field, where our ways parted. I took her hands and held them against my breast, feeling once more how strong and warm and good they were, those brown hands, and remembering how many kind things they had done for me. I held them now a long while, over my heart. About us it was growing darker and darker, and I had to look hard to see her face, which I meant always to carry with me; the closest, realest face, under all the shadows of women’s faces, at the very bottom of my memory.

“I’ll come back,” I said earnestly, through the soft, intrusive darkness.

“Perhaps you will”—I felt rather than saw her smile. “But even if you don’t, you’re here, like my father. So I won’t be lonesome.”

As I went back alone over that familiar road, I could almost believe that a boy and girl ran along beside me, as our shadows used to do, laughing and whispering to each other in the grass.


From Willa Sibert Cather: My Ántonia



Genesis 1: 27-30




The wheat harvest was over, and here and there along the horizon I could see black puffs of smoke from the steam thrashing-machines. The old pasture land was now being broken up into wheatfields and cornfields, the red grass was disappearing, and the whole face of the country was changing. There were wooden houses where the old sod dwellings used to be, and little orchards, and big red barns; all this meant happy children, contented women, and men who saw their lives coming to a fortunate issue. The windy springs and the blazing summers, one after another, had enriched and mellowed that flat tableland; all the human effort that had gone into it was coming back in long, sweeping lines of fertility. The changes seemed beautiful and harmonious to me; it was like watching the growth of a great man or of a great idea.

From Willa Sibert Cather: My Ántonia



21 April 2014

Thank You!

Today, Saint Louis Catholic received its 1,500,000th unique visitor since it began on February 15, 2007.  

I am grateful for everyone who visits here.  Hey, I'm surprised anyone visits here.  But there it is.  All of you are in my prayers. 

Thanks again, and may God bless you all.

Things to Ponder, Subito

Just in time to make no difference whatsoever, the media put out two stories today on the mishandling of the Legionaries of Christ/Marcial Maciel scandal specifically, and the priestly abuse of minors scandals generally, serving to tarnish the legacy of John Paul II.  

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that John Paul II is set to be canonized, along with John XXIII, next Sunday.

The historical, gradual, meticulous process of investigating the lives of the Servants of God whose causes for Sainthood are promoted has been replaced with the processo subito.  Gone is the Devil's Advocate, gone are formerly required miracles.  What remains is the bare exercise of the Petrine office.  Good enough for certainty, but good enough for prudence?

Oh well.  Just as no one is competent to judge a Pope except God, so I will not go anywhere near saying that the two Popes being canonized on Sunday aren't in heaven.  I'll go ahead and assume they are.  So, no letters, please.  And others have written about the many troubling aspects of these causes that are more substantive than procedural.

On to the next battle, and likely the next defeat.

But I will say that many decisions made upon spontaneous demand by an agitated crowd have turned out to be imprudent.

God's Messengers and God's Time

From The Liturgical Year:

"Let us suppose, for a moment, that we had been permitted to arrange the order of these two mysteries. We should have summoned the whole world, kings and people, to go and pay homage at the crib. We should have trumpeted to all nations the miracle of miracles, the resurrection of the Crucified, the victory over death, the restoration of mankind to immortality! But He who is ‘the power and wisdom of God,” Christ Jesus our Lord, has followed a very different plan. When born in Bethlehem He would have for His first worshippers a few simple minded shepherds, whose power to herald the great event was confined to their own village: and yet the birthday of this little Child is now the era of every civilized nation. For the first witnesses of His resurrection, He chose three weak women; and yet, the whole earth is now, at this very moment, celebrating the anniversary of this resurrection. There is in it a mysterious feeling of joy unlike that of any other day throughout the year: no one can resist it, not even the coldest heart. The infidel who scoffs at the believer, knows at least that this is Easter Sunday. Yea, in the very countries where paganism and idolatry are still rife, there are Christians whose voices unite with ours in singing the glorious Alleluia to our risen Jesus. Let us, then, cry out as Moses did, when the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, and were keeping their first Pasch: ‘Who, O Lord, is like unto Thee, among the strong?'"

20 April 2014

Christus Surrexit!

A very happy and blessed Easter to you all!


Christ's resurrection and manifestation to his disciples. (John 20)

[1] And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. [2] She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. [3] Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. [4] And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. [5] And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in.

[6] Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, [7] And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place. [8] Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. [9] For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. [10] The disciples therefore departed again to their home.

[11] But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, [12] And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. [13] They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him. [14] When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. [15] Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

[16] Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master). 

13 April 2014

Holy Week


O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolar meus.

All of you who pass by the way, wait and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow.


Holy Week Schedule at St. Francis de Sales Oratory:


Monday, April 14 - Holy Monday - 7:30am Confessions; 8am Low Mass
Tuesday, April 15 - Holy Tuesday - 7:30am Confessions; 8am Low Mass; 6pm Confessions; 6:30pm Low Mass
Wednesday, April 16 - Spy Wednesday - 7:30am Confessions; 8am Low Mass; 11:45am Confessions; 12:15pm Low Mass
Thursday, April 17 - Maundy Thursday - 5:30pm Confessions; 6:30pm High Mass  with 
Procession to the Repository with Adoration until Midnight.
Friday, April 18 - Good Friday - 8am Stations of the Cross/Confessions; 2pm Confessions; 3pm Liturgy of the Passion & Death of Our Lord
Saturday, April 19 - Holy Saturday - 8pm Confessions; 9pm Easter Vigil followed by the Blessing of Easter food (bread & eggs)
Sunday, April 20 - Easter Sunday - 8am Low Mass; 10am High Mass


Have a blessed Holy Week.  The blog reenters and completes its Lenten hiatus.  See you all next week, God willing, to celebrate the Resurrection of the Saviour of the World.




Various Guises and Proposals

Every child, he said, has the right to grow up in a family “with a father and a mother” capable of creating “a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.” The Pope also warned against the effort to push a “dictatorship of one form of thinking” on children comparing these to the “horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century.”

These totalitarian impulses, he said, “have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals.”


--From the remarks of the Holy Father last Friday

The Pope's strong condemnation of abortion has been the takeaway from this speech. Rightly so. And some have noted the Pope's linking of respect for life to an economic model that doesn't treat people as mere commodities to throw way when unusable. That leaves out communism, socialism and consumerism. Great.

I want to just focus on the the last link the Pope draws: the right of parents-- a mother and a father-- to educate their children, free from an educational ideology of totalitarian impulse. I should imagine that the Pope is indeed aware of "various guises and proposals" to brainwash children. Against the faith. Against the family. For the secular power.

The family is the basic and fundamental unit of society, having not only chronological but also ontological precedence. The unholy alliance of abortion, sodomy, easy divorce, contraception and collectivism depends for its success on the control of the education of children by the godless state.

That's about it. If Pope Francis were to speak these things consistently, he might find his popularity collapsing. Quite a thought on Palm Sunday, which leads to Good Friday.


Pascha Floridum

From The Liturgical Year:

This Sunday, besides its liturgical and popular appellation of Palm Sunday, has had several other names. Thus it was called Hosanna Sunday, in allusion to the acclamation wherewith the Jews greeted Jesus on His entry into Jerusalem. Our forefathers used also to call it Pascha Floridum, because the feast of the Pasch (or Easter), which is but eight days off, is to-day in bud, so to speak, and the faithful could begin from this Sunday to fulfil the precept of Easter Communion. It was in allusion to this name, that the Spaniards, having on the Palm Sunday of 1513, discovered the peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, called it Florida. We also find the name of Capililavium given to this Sunday, because, during those times when it was the custom to defer till Holy Saturday the baptism of infants born during the preceding months (where such a delay entailed no danger), the parents used, on this day, to wash the heads of these children, out of respect to the holy chrism wherewith they were to be anointed. Later on, this Sunday was, at least in some churches, called the Pasch of the competents, that is, of the catechumens, who were admitted to Baptism; they assembled to-day in the church, and received a special instruction on the symbol, which had been given to them in the previous scrutiny. In the Gothic Church of Spain, the symbol was not given till to-day. The Greeks call this Sunday Baïphoros, that is, Palm-bearing.

[...]

Let us now go over in our minds the other events which happened to our divine Lord on this day of His solemn entry into Jerusalem. St. Luke tells us that it was on His approach to the city, that Jesus wept over it, and spoke these touching words: ‘If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.’ [St. Luke xix. 42-44].

A few days ago, we were reading in the holy Gospel how Jesus wept over the tomb of Lazarus; to-day He sheds tears over Jerusalem. At Bethania His weeping was caused by the sight of bodily death, the consequence and punishment of sin; but this death is not irremediable: Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and he that believeth in Him shall live [St. John xi. 25]. Whereas, the state of the unfaithful Jerusalem is a figure of the death of the soul, and from this there is no resurrection, unless the soul, while time is given to her, return to the Author of life. Hence it is, that the tears shed by Jesus over Jerusalem are so bitter. Amidst the acclamations which greet His entry into the city of David, His heart is sad; for He sees that many of her inhabitants will not profit of the time of her visitation. Let us console the Heart of our Jesus, and be to Him a faithful Jerusalem.

The sacred historian tells us that Jesus, immediately upon His entrance into the city, went to the temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought there [St. Matt. xxi. 12]. This was the second time that He had shown His authority in His Father’s house, and no one had dared to resist Him. The chief priests and pharisees found fault with Him, and accused Him to His face, of causing confusion by His entry into the city; but our Lord confounded them by the reply He made. It is thus that in after ages, when it has pleased God to glorify His Son and the Church of His Son, the enemies of both have given vent to their rage; they protested against the triumph, but they could not stop it. But when God, in the unsearchable ways of His wisdom, allowed persecution and trial to follow these periods of triumph, then did these bitter enemies redouble their efforts to induce the very people, that had cried Hosanna to the Son of David, to clamour for His being delivered up and crucified. They succeeded in fomenting persecution, but not in destroying the kingdom of Christ and His Church. The kingdom seemed, at times, to be interrupted in its progress; but the time for another triumph came. Thus will it be to the end; and then, after all these changes from glory to humiliation, and from humiliation to glory, the kingdom of Jesus and of His bride will gain the last and eternal triumph over this world, which would not know the time of its visitation.





"Optima dies primus fugit"





12 April 2014

Institute of Christ the King Youth Choir Camp


The Institute is still accepting applications for its annual youth choir camp, under the direction of the great Nick Botkins. More info at the website.




Some Good News This Passiontide

The Holy Father has retained Msgr. Guido Marini as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies. Rorate has the story.

This is Simply Outrageous

And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night? And will he have patience in their regard? I say to you that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?

Luke 18: 7-8

How long can we expect this kind of utter nonsense in the ecumenical wonderland? From the Foreward to the "Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017":

Martin Luther’s struggle with God drove and defined his whole life. The question, How can I find a gracious God? plagued him constantly. He found the gracious God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. “True theology and the knowledge of God are in the crucified Christ.”

In 2017, Catholic and Lutheran Christians will most fittingly look back on events that occurred 500 years earlier by putting the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center. The gospel should be celebrated and communicated to the people of our time so that the world may believe that God gives Godself to human beings and calls us into communion with Godself and God’s church. Herein lies the basis for our joy in our common faith.

To this joy also belongs a discerning, self-critical look at ourselves, not only in our history, but also today. We Christians have certainly not always been faithful to the gospel; all too often we have conformed ourselves to the thought and behavioral patterns of the surrounding world. Repeatedly, we have stood in the way of the good news of the mercy of God.

Both as individuals and as a community of believers, we all constantly require repentance and reform—encouraged and led by the Holy Spirit. “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent,’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Thus reads the opening statement of Luther’s 95 Theses from 1517, which triggered the Reformation movement.

Although this thesis is anything but self-evident today, we Lutheran and Catholic Christians want to take it seriously by directing our critical glance first at ourselves and not at each other. We take as our guiding rule the doctrine of justification, which expresses the message of the gospel and therefore “constantly serves to orient all the teaching and practice of our churches to Christ” (Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification).

The true unity of the church can only exist as unity in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that the struggle for this truth in the sixteenth century led to the loss of unity in Western Christendom belongs to the dark pages of church history. In 2017, we must confess openly that we have been guilty before Christ of damaging the unity of the church. This commemorative year presents us with two challenges: the purification and healing of memories, and the restoration of Christian unity in accordance with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph 4:4–6).


You can read the rest if you have a bucket handy. I have two initial thoughts:

1) Luther was an arch-heresiarch who led millions of souls into error and thus endangered their souls. There is nothing to celebrate about him, and nothing to commemorate in any way apart from sorrow and righteous anger.

2) The language used throughout is PC gobbledygook. But the last paragraph is (if taken at face value) heretical. The unity of the Church consists and subsists entirely in the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. It always has and always will. Luther, or a million like him, rejecting the Church is their problem, unity-wise. The Church is One. It is one of the marks of her indefectibility.

In fact, there is only one Church of Christ. The Catholic Church. The visible, historical one, ruled by Christ through His Vicar on Earth. There is no such thing as a Lutheran Church, strictly speaking. It is a term to denote a particular set of heresies held in common among its adherents.

I mean, give me a break. Every Catholic on that Commission ought to be reassigned to Outer Mongolia, and the Vatican press office ought to be sacked en masse for actually publishing it.

Of, course, since I penned this post during my Lenten embargo, others have covered it pretty well before you read this. Chris Ferrara just eviscerates this thing here.


06 April 2014

For the Week




I wish you a blessed Passiontide. This is a time to remember our total dependence on God's mercy.


I'll hit the blog with a vengeance after Easter. God bless.

Passion Sunday




The Tract from today's Mass:

Many a time have they fought against me from my youth.
V. Let Israel now say: They have often attacked me from my youth.
V. But they could not prevail over me: the wicked have wrought upon my back.
V. They have lengthened their iniquity: the Lord who is just, will cut the necks of sinners.


From The Liturgical Year:

During the preceding four weeks, we have noticed how the malice of Jesus’ enemies has been gradually increasing. His very presence irritates them; and it is evident that any little circumstance will suffice to bring the deep and long-nurtured hatred to a head. The kind and gentle manners of Jesus are drawing to Him all hearts that are simple and upright; at the same time, the humble life He leads, and the stern purity of His doctrines, are perpetual sources of vexation and anger, both to the proud Jew that looks forward to the Messias being a mighty conqueror, and to the pharisee, who corrupts the Law of God, that he may make it the instrument of his own base passions. Still, Jesus goes on working miracles; His discourses are more than ever energetic; His prophecies foretell the fall of Jerusalem, and such a destruction of its famous temple, that not a stone is to be left on a stone. The doctors of the Law should, at least, reflect upon what they hear; they should examine these wonderful works, which render such strong testimony in favour of the Son of David; and they should consult these divine prophecies which, up to the present time, have been so literally fulfilled in His person. Alas! they themselves are about to carry them out to the very last iota. There is not a single outrage or suffering foretold by David and Isaias, as having to be put upon the Messias, which these blind men are not scheming to verify.

In them, therefore, was fulfilled that terrible saying: ‘He that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.' [St. Matt. xii. 32.] The Synagogue is nigh to a curse. Obstinate in her error, she refuses to see or to hear; she has deliberately perverted her judgment: she has extinguished within herself the light of the holy Spirit; she will go deeper and deeper into evil, and at length fall into the abyss. This same lamentable conduct is but too often witnessed nowadays in those sinners, who, by habitual resistance to the light, end by finding their happiness in sin. Neither should it surprise us, that we find in people of our own generation a resemblance to the murderers of our Jesus: the history of His Passion will reveal to us many sad secrets of the human heart and its perverse inclinations; for what happened in Jerusalem, happens also in every sinner’s heart. His heart, according to the saying of St. Paul, is a Calvary, where Jesus is crucified. There is the same ingratitude, the same blindness, the same wild madness, with this difference: that the sinner who is enlightened by faith, knows Him whom he crucifies; whereas the Jews, as the same apostle tells us, knew not the Lord of glory [1 Cor. ii. 8.] Whilst, therefore, we listen to the Gospel, which relates the history of the Passion, let us turn the indignation which we feel for the Jews against ourselves and our own sins; let us weep over the sufferings of our Victim, for our sins caused Him to suffer and die.

Everything around us urges us to mourn. The images of the saints, the very crucifix on our altar, are veiled from our sight. The Church is oppressed with grief. During the first four weeks of Lent, she compassionated her Jesus fasting in the desert; His coming sufferings and crucifixion and death are what now fill her with anguish. We read in to-day’s Gospel, that the Jews threaten to stone the Son of God as a blasphemer: but His hour is not yet come. He is obliged to flee and hide Himself. It is to express this deep humiliation, that the Church veils the cross. A God hiding Himself, that He may evade the anger of men - what a mystery! Is it weakness? Is it, that He fears death? No; we shall soon see Him going out to meet His enemies: but at present He hides Himself from them, because all that had been prophesied regarding Him has not been fulfilled. Besides, His death is not to be by stoning: He is to die upon a cross, the tree of malediction, which, from that time forward, is to be the tree of life. Let us humble ourselves, as we see the Creator of heaven and earth thus obliged to hide Himself from men, who are bent on His destruction! Let us go back, in thought, to the sad day of the first sin, when Adam and Eve bid themselves because a guilty conscience told them they were naked. Jesus has come to assure us of our being pardoned, and lo! He hides Himself, not because He is naked - He that is to the saints the garb of holiness and immortality - but because He made Himself weak, that He might make us strong. Our first parents sought to hide themselves from the sight of God; Jesus hides Himself from the eye of men. But it will not be thus for ever. The day will come when sinners, from whose anger He now flees, will pray to the mountains to fall on them and shield them from His gaze; but their prayer will not be granted, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with much power and majesty [St. Matt. xxiv. 30].

[...]

The fury of the Jews is evidently at its height, and Jesus is obliged to hide Himself from them. But He is to fall into their hands before many days are over; then will they triumph and put Him to death. They triumph, and Jesus is their victim: but how different is to be His lot from theirs! In obedience to the decrees of His heavenly Father, and out of love for men, he will deliver Himself into the hands of His enemies, and they will put Him to death; but He will rise victorious from the tomb, He will ascend into heaven, He will be throned on the right hand of His Father. His enemies, on the contrary, after having vented all their rage, will live on without remorse, until the terrible day come for their chastisement. That day is not far off, for observe the severity wherewith our Lord speaks to them: ‘You hear not the words of God, because you are not of God.’ Yet there was a time when they were of God, for the Lord gives His grace to all men; but they have rendered this grace useless; they are now in darkness, and the light they have rejected will not return.

You say that My Father is your God, and you have not known Him; but I know Him. Their obstinacy in refusing to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias, has led these men to ignore that very God, whom they boast of honouring; for if they knew the Father, they would not reject His Son. Moses, and the Psalms, and the Prophets, are all a dead letter to them; these sacred Books are soon to pass into the hands of the Gentiles, who will both read and understand them. If, continues Jesus, I should say that I know Him not, I should be like to you, a liar. This strong language is that of the angry Judge who is to come down, at the last day, to destroy sinners. Jerusalem has not known the time of her visitation: the Son of God has visited her, He is with her, and she dares to say to Him: Thou hast a devil! She says to the eternal Word, who proves Himself to be God by the most astonishing miracles, that Abraham and the prophets are greater than He! Strange blindness, that comes from pride and hardness of heart! The feast of the Pasch is at hand; these men are going to eat, and with much parade of religion, the flesh of the figurative lamb; they know full well that this lamb is a symbol, or a figure, which is to have its fulfilment. The true Lamb is to be sacrificed by their hands, and they will not know Him. He will shed His Blood for them, and it will not save them. How this reminds us of those sinners, for whom this Easter promises to be as fruitless as those of the past years! Let us redouble our prayers for them, and beseech our Lord to soften their hearts, lest trampling the Blood of Jesus under their feet, they should have it to cry vengeance against them before the throne of the heavenly Father.