30 November 2016

Feast of St. Andrew; Beginning of Novena to the Immaculate Conception

Happy Feast day of the brother of St. Peter! St. Andrew is not only the patron saint of Scotland, but also of Russia.  As my brother said to me, what better day to pray for the conversion of Russia as Mary desires?

This segues nicely into the Novena to the Immaculate Conception which begins today at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.  The full schedule is here, Mass tonight at 6:30pm.

Egypt Loves the New Sweeties of the White House

CNN's ratings might improve if they hired this guy. At least he is entertaining.

29 November 2016

"Will they never blush?"

I stumbled across an extremely well-measured and insightful take on the fracas of the possibly heretical exhortation Amoris Laetitia and the unanswered dubia of the four faithful Carndinals at the blog That the Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill. The title of this post comes from that piece. In what ought to embarrass any Catholic worthy of the name, Francis does not at once--ever?-- defend the faith, and he and his cohorts seem not to show embarrassment. Indeed, will they never blush?

I wanted to post just a few excerpts here. As the article is quite long, I really think it merits your full reading there to give these excerpts the proper context. I agree with the takes, but in the proper context. Just to give a taste, consider the following items:

The Church is the possession of Christ. It doesn't belong to itself. The Church is united to Jesus Christ. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. The whole Church, including Peter, belongs to Christ. He Who says 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life' (for Peter never says that Peter is the Way, the Truth and the Life, nor does the Lord say that of Peter) is always both the giver and the possessor of authority and it cannot be given by the Giver and yet stolen by the recipient. Christ's authority is never removed from Him, He himself never dispenses it only for it to be taken from Him. The power exercised by the Pope belongs to Christ. That which He gives, He also retains. Christ gives His authority to Peter as His Chief Shepherd on Earth but Christ never ceases to be the Chief Shepherd Himself. He delegates to Peter authority that, even when given, is never lost by the Giver Himself.

Thus we see that Peter is not the possessor of authority. How can he be if he is the recipient of authority - always the recipient. And he exercises papal power by virtue of being the recipient of power from on High. It is not self-generated. He cannot separate his authority from the will of Christ and exercise it divorced from Christ's will without some form of censure from Successors of the Apostles with care for souls. The authority given to Peter will until the Second Coming of Christ pass to another who comes to fill his Office, but it never passes from Christ to another to the effect that Christ's authority is diminished. He is all-powerful. Peter is not. He is the Word of God. Peter is not. He is God. Peter is not! The Supreme Authority in the Church is Jesus Christ, the Divine Head, in Whose name the Pope - we pray - speaks and acts. The authority placed within the hands of Peter is not Peter's own authority but Christ's authority and just as it is that Peter's authority over the Church is not Peter's own possession but Christ's, so it is that the Church founded upon Peter belongs not to Peter but to Christ. Christ will render an account from every Pope for how this donation of power has been exercised in his name.

Yes it is Christ who says, 'Tu es Petrus', not Peter who says, 'I am Peter' and he is Peter as long as he enjoys Communion with Christ in saying, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the World', but like any of us, he is just as easily Judas as long as he breaks faith with Christ or betrays him or hands Him over to the wicked. God regards the free will of the Pope to be as sacred a gift as that of our own. The Pope enjoys papal authority because it is conferred from above, but he himself is not from above. Peter is as bound to obedience to the Faith he receives as you or I. If he wantonly breaks faith with Christ, he is as much cast adrift from the Barque as you or me.


So when the Pope says such things as 'if the Pope says that black is white then we should believe that it is white' Catholics everywhere can say that if Christ and the Fathers of the Church, if the Magisterium in the service of the Truth and the Salvation of mankind says that white is indeed white and black is indeed black, we can say quite categorically that white is white and black is black. We do not have to believe a lie and be told that to believe a lie is some kind of disloyalty to the Pope. And if the Pope says that pastors exercise their pastoral duty best by rejecting a vision of life which is black and white, signifying a preference for 'shades of grey', we can say that there must be times when the distinction between black and white, or good and evil must be made absolutely clear for the good of souls. For this is in the service of Christ the Lord. And if the Pope says that certain people wish to see things in 'black and white' and uses that as a tenuous justification to refuse an answer to some very simple questions concerning faith and morals from his Cardinals, in the service of Christ, His Church and the Salvation of souls, we can say that this is an injustice to Christ and to the flock over which the Pope has been given authority to tend, to serve, to instruct, to teach and to confirm in the perennial Faith of the Church.

All this can be said and in this critical time even must be said by those who know that the Pope is the recipient of authority given to him for a unique and particular purpose in the service of the truth, in the service Christ and His Church. If a Pope places the souls in his paternal care at grave risk or peril by teaching error or attempting to build a faith at odds with Jesus Christ the Lord, then those who ask questions seeking clarification in line with the teachings of the Magisterium do so not with malice or ill-intent, but in fidelity to their Lord and to Peter, who was once resisted to his face, in person, by Paul. All this can and must be said because Peter does not act in isolation. He is the possessor of nothing in the Church. Nothing belongs to him, not even his Throne and most particularly the Faith of Christ does not belong to him. This belongs to the man or woman in the pew as much as it belongs to the Pope. I am as capable of changing Truth as the Pope is. That is, completely and utterly incapable.


No Catholic should have to imagine that he may one day have to choose between fidelity to his Conscience and fidelity to the Pope, or that these could ever be in any way contradictory. But if that day comes, choose Conscience, because the Pope is not God nor is he the Voice of Almighty God. Your Conscience, however, is. This will be in the service of Christ and of Peter. For there is but one Judge. Peter will not judge you on the Last Day and read your Conscience to you, to your eternal Salvation or to your condemnation. It is Jesus Christ Who will do that. May He, the Lord of all, preserve His Church from error and schism and make us faithful to Him, until the end, come what may even if what comes our way is Fr Antonio Spadaro implying, 'He's Pope so there!' or Cardinal Tobin saying, 'Suck it up, he's Pope so there!' or the head of the Greek Latin Church, Franciscan Fragiskos Papamanolis saying that to question the Pope's document is 'heresy' or 'schismatic' or 'apostasy' for no reason but 'He's Pope, so there!'

We will hear such things a lot. Such statements may be excitable exclamations of papal power, but such statements do not cover these men in much glory now nor do they give any hint as to whether these men will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away when the Chief Shepherd appears. It is easy indeed for a Pope to decide one day to remake the entire Church in his image and place Christ, His Teachings and throw what has preceded him into what he regards as the dustbin of history. Unfortunately for that Pope, and his entourage, it is intellectually and theologically-speaking impossible for him to do that while he or those who support him in this work of destruction claim that he does so with Christ's blessing. This would be a delusion of gigantic proportions and not a very convincing one at that. A Pope might change his mind, but a Pope cannot change God's mind. God can change the Pope, but the Pope cannot change God. New Popes, true Popes, false Popes may appear, but not, in reality, new Gods, true Gods or false Gods. There is but One True God. He is Eternal. [...]

28 November 2016

The Nightmare before Christmas

Fr. Brian Harrison has written a piece for The Remnant Newspaper taking on Francis' comments labeling "proselytism among Christians" as a grave sin.  Yes, he said that.  

Anyway, Fr. Harrison does such a good job, I thought I'd repost it here:  

From a recent (November 2016) off-the-cuff papal plane interview:

"Proselytism among Christians, therefore, in itself, is a grave sin,” said Pope Francis.

The journalist then asked, “Why?”

“Because it contradicts the very dynamic of how to become and to remain Christian,” he said. “The Church is not a soccer team that goes around seeking fans.”

It would be hard to conceive of a more superficial, more puerile, remark on relations with other Christian denominations. How much lower can the papacy sink - in terms of both cheap jibes that demean and dishonor the supreme office of Christ's Vicar on earth (lambasting an opposing position with a crude straw-man caricature that would discredit a junior high schooler) and outright heterodoxy?

The American left is currently urging the Electoral College to hand the White House to Hillary on the grounds that Trump is "manifestly unfit to be President". Dare we hope that the scarlet-clad Eminences of the Church's own Electoral College will soon declare Francis "manifestly unfit to be Pope"?

I mean . . . Trying to help non-Catholic Christians, by reasoned argument and apologetics, to recognize and embrace the fullness of revealed truth - and for Francis, that certainly qualifies as "proselytism" - is now to be condemned as sin? And indeed, grave sin? Even though Vatican Council II (to which the Holy Father professes his full adherence) clearly restates that all have a moral duty to seek, embrace and hold fast to this truth of the Catholic Church (cf. Dignitatis Humanae, #1)? Even though the Council (Lumen Gentium, #14) and the Catechism (#846) reaffirm the dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation", explaining it to mean that those who recognize the Catholic Church as embodying the true religion, yet refuse to enter or remain in her, cannot be saved?

I myself am a convert from Presbyterianism. Prompted by the aforesaid conciliar teaching, I became a Catholic in order to save my soul. The Catholic faith I have professed now for 42 years is the most precious gift I have received. And now the head of Christ's Catholic Church on earth, no less, is telling me that those Catholics who by personal conversation and written argument helped persuade me to abandon my Protestant heresies and embrace the fullness of revealed truth were thereby committing grave sin? And he's justifying this excoriation of convert-seeking with a vapid "explanation" that explains nothing ("Because it contradicts the very dynamic of how to become and to remain Christian”)? 

How many previous Successors of Peter must be rolling in their graves at such comments!  This, coming from a pope, is . . . outrageous. Mind-boggling. Unspeakable. Incredible. The stuff of nightmare. It is calling good evil, and by implication, evil good. Sorry, I can't find adequate words here, so will simply give up seeking them and sign off.

23 November 2016

The Day before Thanksgiving Public Service Announcement

Beginning tomorrow you will be able to watch It's a Wonderful Life on a coninuous loop through Christmas Day.  

You have been warned.

On the other hand, pumpkin spiced products are being shown the door. A decent exchange.

For your amusement, I want to link to an ancient post and an even more ancient link to another site with two somewhat beside-the-point economic and political takes on the Frank Capra classic. The late, lamented Reader X-- who won't read this site anymore-- used to make me laugh with his anti-Wonderful Life rant about how it infantilizes the faith. He, and the two takes linked above, sure do take that movie seriously. 

I enjoyed the surface misogyny of young George Bailey's interaction with Mary, who sure could have done better. I also enjoyed a druggist who couldn't read the word POISON on his bottle of, well, poison. Dancing for drinks in a rough bar, sitting next to an odd gentleman ordering a flaming rum punch (looking at you, JJR), firing gunshots indiscriminately into a crowd, screaming in horror that your wife might acually work at the Library-- who hasn't done this? And what's with Sam Wainwright and the hee-haw! thing?  Bizarre.

I sometimes look at the inner workings at the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan and think I'm looking at my own firm. Chilling vision, to be sure. Am I George or Uncle Billy? Maybe the bird.  Ah, yes, but my wife is Donna Reed, so there's that.

Anyway, it all comes together quite well for me, in what our Rector would call a gesamtkunstwerk. I enjoy the heck out of it.

But the real question still remains: How can a person set up a podcast and call himself "The Catholic Movie Guy" if he hasn't seen It's a Wonderful Life?

Answering Spadaro, Tobin, Cupich and Their Ilk: St. Edmund Campion

“In condemning us you condemn all your own ancestors - all the ancient priests, bishops and kings - all that was once the glory of England, the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter. For what have we taught, however you may qualify it with the odious name of treason, that they did not uniformly teach? To be condemned with these lights… by their degenerate descendants, is both gladness and glory to us. God lives; posterity will live; their judgement is not so liable to corruption as that of those who are now going to sentence us to death.”

--Saint Edmund Campion, at his sentencing, 1581

Cum autem tradent vos nolite cogitare quomodo aut quid loquamini dabitur enim vobis in illa hora quid loquamini. Non enim vos estis qui loquimini sed Spiritus Patris vestri qui loquitur in vobis.

Matthew 10:19-20

19 November 2016

Good Morning!

Too much, and not enough, going on to post constructively. The reign of Francismercy continues on a collision course with the truth and its consequences. The dubia of the four Cardinals sits, not really answered, as Banquo's Ghost while a new consistory of cardinals occurs. And don't I know that posting snide comments on the internet isn't really intellectual engagement?

Of course, for some reason we are not to notice or wonder about, the new cardinals must go and see the Pope Emeritus.  For his blessing? Approval? Personal whim? No matter. In all of the consistories of Pope Francis, Benedict has been present. Don't ask why. Such questions are idle.

Like I said, not enough and yet plenty. There is a rumor about today that the Apostolic letter to be issued by the Pope to mark the close of his Year of Francismercy will contain a present-- maybe a prelature-- to the SSPX.  Such rumors are always wrong, until the day they are right.  We shall see.

Watch and pray. Enjoy the beautiful Autumn weather. Until next week...

15 November 2016

Perhaps an Apology to Cardinal Burke Might Be in Order?

I believe His Eminence deserves an apology from those many pundits who faulted him for silence or weakness in the face of the promulgation of the Exhortation of Desolation, and the subsequent letter from the Pope to Argentine bishops confirming a sacrilegious interpretation of the same as it relates to unrepentant public adulterers receiving Holy Communion.

I believed then that the Cardinal's response was, though seemingly subdued, at least adequate in that it explained to dismayed faithful that such a document could not form part of the authentic magisterium. Wrong, said most. Weak, said all.

As it turns out, the Cardinal had taken steps commensurate with the level of threat as it became necessary. He was not idle. When other interpretations were possible of this shameful document, he gave them. When not, he acted with the mind of the Church.

We now know that he and the other three Cardinals responsible for the dubia had acted prudently. First, as St. Paul advised, they remonstrated privately. While Francis was silent and they were castigated for weakness, they waited.

Now they make the dubia public, and they are in a position of forcing an answer: either an official interpretation that precludes violence to the moral law, or an admission of guilt by guilty answer or guilty silence. Checkmate.

It is for Francis to declare himself Peter-- or Arius-- or Honorius.

This isn't the last we hear from these dubia.

In this faithless time, we can be grateful for Cardinal Burke and those other few willing to shepherd.

Maybe an apology is in order?

13 November 2016

Prayers for Christchurch

This poor city, wracked just a few years back by devastating earthquakes, was just hit again with an another massive earthquake and tsunami warnings are out. Christchurch is home to a small but thriving apostolate of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, a community of traditionalist Redemptorists.

May Our Lord and Lady aid the people there through this horrible event.

11 November 2016

Hi There

Just a quick update and thank you to everyone who prayed for me this week. I was sick but am much better now. Good news: I didn't have excruciatingly painful stomach flu. Bad news: I had an excruciatingly painful 8 mm gall stone blocking my cystic duct.

One gall badder- ectomy later, I feel much, much better. Will try to blog again by early next week.

09 November 2016

Praise God; Let Us Use This Time Well

Good morning, everyone! I am still feeling quite unwell, but wanted to write a brief post to mark the day. Call it a miracle, call it answered prayers, call it a four-year reprieve from a God that is so good to us who don't deserve it.  Anyway you slice it, though the country wins, the biggest winners are American Catholics. 

No matter what policy Trump is able to enact, or not-- no matter what opposition and world crises-- we have a four-year break from a government that specifically and overtly targets Catholics (or at least their faith) for extinction. Hillary Clinton will not name any Supreme Court justice. She will not issue a single executive order. She will not have the next four years to continue to destabilize a society that makes the free practice of our faith possible.

It takes a village? How do you homeschoolers feel right now?

Picking fights with a nuclear superpower?  Not so much now.

The high priestess of baby murder will not be there to spirit cook us for the next four years.

And of course Trump may very well succeed on his promised policies. If he were defeated, of course the chance for a policy that puts the nation state ahead of the globalist cabal would have no chance. Before you say he can't or won't succeed, consider the last two years.

And say what you will, Trump ran a brave campaign. His bravery was on display. If he lost, his business interests would have suffered-- you don't think Killary and her minions would have let his scorn and derision of her go unpunished? As it is his life has been and will be in danger. He needs our prayers.

How long have we prayed for deliverance from our enemies, and that our deserved chastisement be lessened or even pass?  We had best be grateful. We had best practice our faith and do good while we have the chance.

I thank Our Lord, and His Holy Mother, for this victory-- the result of so many rosaries, novenas, sacrifices and prayers. Let us not waste the time.

A Reflection for Today

Luke 17:11-19

11 And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off; 13 And lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, master, have mercy on us. 14 Whom when he saw, he said: Go, shew yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. 16 And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering, said, Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine? 18 There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger. 19 And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.

08 November 2016

Prayers for Today

And for the future of this guilty land. I'm sick as a dog but I'll vote (or "vote") somehow.

Mother of God, intercede for us.

07 November 2016

This Man is a Hero

The first thing President Trump should do in office is to pardon him. Listen to the whole thing, and tell me why it's OK to vote for the Harpy Queen of satan. Of course, if she slithers into the presidency, we are in the crosshairs for sure along with him.  Have a great Monday, everyone!

05 November 2016

Killary: the Candidate with Death in Her Wake

Another threat to Trump on eve of the election (note it takes a foreign news source to report it).

We must stop this satanic cabal. Feel free not to vote, but if you ever find out your vote actually did count...

04 November 2016

A Good Reminder, If We Lose

As of this writing, things are going very well indeed for Mr. Trump-- and for us, as Gavin McInnes rightly identifies the Trump cause as us. But Mr. McInnes also reminds us that we have already won, even if we lose (or get robbed, more likely). Here is how he thinks we ought to handle such a situation (language advisory). A good article to ponder this weekend.

Ferrara Nails the Lund Event: "Let's Pretend"

Another great piece by Chris Ferrara at Fatima Perspectives on the ecumenical abomination condoned by the Pope in Lund.  It ends powerfully:

The ecumenical escapade in Lund, like the “ecumenical venture” as a whole, is a fraud — a fraud not only upon the Catholic people, but upon Lutherans who so desperately need the helps that only the Catholic Church can provide.

Ecumenism is, in fact, a form of almost unbelievable spiritual cruelty, which ruthlessly determines to leave in darkness those who cannot see the light of the Gospel, refusing to tell them what Pius XI told the Protestants of his day with all the solicitude of a true spiritual father, a mere 34 years before Vatican II supposedly ushered in a “new ecumenical orientation” of the Church:

“Let them therefore return to their common Father, who, forgetting the insults previously heaped on the Apostolic See, will receive them in the most loving fashion. For if, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, ‘the Mother and mistress of all Christ’s faithful’?
 “Let them hear Lactantius crying out: ‘The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind.’”

May God deliver us — Catholics and Lutherans alike — from the scourge of ecumenism and restore the Church to the sanity and true mercy of her perennial approach to those lost in error. Let the ecumenical game of let’s pretend come to an end for the eternal welfare of souls. Let the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart that Our Lady promised at Fatima set right all that has gone wrong in our beloved Church over the past fifty years, and in the world as a consequence.

01 November 2016

Two More Bite the Dust

Very sad news for me personally.  Confirming what I had heard for some time, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School (and St. James the Greater) are proposed to be closed at the end of the school year. They would be merged together, along with St. Joan of Arc, on the SJA campus.

Before (and even after) my wife and I decided to homeschool, I served on the OLS school board. My last year on the Board was either 2003 or 2004. The enrollment was 511 students.  Today, according to the STL Today story, the enrollment is 139.  The drop is staggering in terms of numbers and brevity of time in which it occurred.  

There are similar stories all over-- in the city, the Archdiocese, and in Catholic dioceses throughout the world.

I have written before on the phenomenon, so only a brief lament do I offer here: on the one hand Catholics who contracept, seek worldly goals and are unwilling or unable to afford tuition; on the other hand, the Church destroying and abandoning her teachings, her liturgy, her discipline. 

Chicken and egg: who would pay exorbitant fees for a school that isn't really Catholic? But would making them Catholic still appeal? Are there Catholics still out there who want it?

No doctrine. Banal liturgy. No discipline. Religious orders decimated, ensuring high cost.  

At this point, we are staring at Norcia, post-earthquake.  Does it matter anymore why?  It's just gone.

Well, yes, it does matter, but getting that right will still mean a long, long and hard road to get back to the glory days. May I suggest that we keep praying those Rosaries? Its fifteen mysteries are the food of contemplation and an example to imitate.

Yes, fifteen mysteries.