Via Pertinacious Papist – hardly a traditionalist source – a video of a group of followers of the deceased “Bishop” Tony Palmer meeting with Pope Francis within days of the Synod wrapping up. All of these individuals represent various protestant sects.
I will forewarn those who do not like critical assessments of the actions of the current Pope, they may not be comfortable with this post. I internally debated for a long time just posting the video without comment in order not to offend, but I fear that the video is so difficult to watch that the vast majority of readers would not get much of the content, so I decided to provide an assessment of the content. I apologize in advance to the extent that this post troubles anyone.
As I said, the video below is painful to watch, for several reasons, not least of which is the slow manner of speech and the constant interrupts for the translator (and you can argue about how accurate the translation is until the cows come home, I can tell some of the key words, it’s not that far off). Pope Francis says, more or less, all Christians are essentially equal due to our common baptism – even if some protestant sects hold very different views regarding the role of baptism in the economy of salvation (justification by faith alone argues implicitly that baptism is not necessary for salvation, contrary to Our Blessed Lord’s plain revelation, yes I understand there may be exceedingly rare exceptions but water baptism is the normal vehicle for inclusion in the Body of Christ – some protestants argue it is not necessary)- and that pointing out the vast doctrinal differences between the various sects and Churches and the fact that one may risk damnation by absorbing protestant errors, errors denounced constantly for 4 centuries, is doing the work of the devil. I am not opining, I am simply repeating what Pope Francis says in the video below:
Pope Francis’ declaration regarding an invisible community of baptized believers is diametrically at odds with the statements of Pope Pius XII: Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as
they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond.”
Pope Francis says doctrinal differences between the Church and all the separated groups are for theologians to figure out: meanwhile, the great project of ecumenism must move forward. What does that say for his appreciation of the impact the false doctrines of the sects, decried and opposed for centuries by the Church and Her many Saints, has on the salvation of souls? Did not Saint Peter say we had to accept the Faith whole and entire, or that we were not within the Church?
I could add more by reminding how at odds Pope Francis’ statements appear to be with the constant belief and practice of the Faith, and how he is at least tacitly attacking the lives of too many great Saints to list by making such a declaration. Just off the top of my head: Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Augustine, Saint Hilary of Poitiers, Saint Jerome, Saint Teresa of Jesus, Saint Peter Canisius, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori……all Doctors of the Church……..Saint Vincent of Lerins, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Justin Martyr, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier, Pope Saint Pius X…….I could go on for a very long time.
I could also add how Pope Francis frequently only has invective and criticism for Catholics, especially the most faithful Catholics, but seems to have nothing but praise and understanding for protestants, and especially the more pentecostal types of protestants. I know some fear Pope Francis may cause a huge boost in membership for the Society of Saint Pius X, but I fear far more the great windfall this pontificate may mean for the more conservative sects.
Many great popes, like Pope Leo XIII, have proven without a doubt that protestant bodies are not churches but are sects. Their ecclesiastical bodies are so deficient in so many regards they are not part of the Church of Christ – their ordinations are not valid, they do not confect the Blessed Sacrament if they make the attempt, they have no valid apostolic succession, they are full of errors that lead souls dangerously astray from the Church Christ founded – again, this could be a very extensive list. There was something of a kerfuffle when, after they agreed to ordain women “priests” and tolerated the US Episcopal embrace of sodomite simulation of marriage, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was not seated with the Orthodox and other recognized (if schismatic) Churches at the 2011 Assisi ecumenical confab held by Pope Benedict, but was instead seated with the numerous evangelical-type sects. So even Pope Benedict, who certainly held to post-conciliar views of ecumenism, recognized that simple baptism does not mean an ecclesiastical body makes a Church.
Here are some direct quotes for those who cannot make out the audio (I had little difficulty, I just found it very boring and upsetting):
We are sinning against the will of Christ, because we are looking only at the differences. But we all have the same baptism, and baptism is more important than the differences. We all believe in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. We all have within the Holy Spirit who prays, “now” for us, the spirit who prays in us. [So then having the Blessed Sacrament, or not, makes no difference? What of John 6? What of Matt 16:18-20?]
And everyone must know that there is also a father of lies, the father of all divisions, the “anti-Father,” the devil who gets in and divides, divides… Tony talked about this a lot, about this going forward and walking, walking together in what unites us. And that the Lord Jesus with his power may help us so that what divides us may not divide us too much. [And I will believe the sincerity of the protestants towards the ecumenical project when they stop calumniating the Church founded by Jesus Christ and stop going all out to steal away tens of millions from the bosom of the Church]
I don’t know, it’s crazy… Having a treasure and preferring to use imitations of the treasure. The imitations are the differences, what matters is the treasure. [Some might say……many Saints did say……that it is exactly protestantism that is the imitation, while the Church is the treasure.]
There is so much more I could point out. But I don’t like being in this position any more than some of those who may read this. This is a tragedy of incomprehensible proportions.
I post this because it is highly relevant to the ongoing revolution in the Church and to address errors put forth by the most influential person in the Church. I also post this because it highlights the question that has been foremost in my mind for at least a year: Is Pope Francis glad that I became Catholic? Would he prefer or recommend – if I still were not – that I not become Catholic? Did I make a mistake in becoming Catholic?
Good post: The Paramagisterium November 18, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, religious, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
I really like the way the author of this post at catholicism.org has conceptualized the way in which formal Doctrine has been attacked and undermined since Vatican II: the paramagisterium. That’s a brilliant word summing up a sometimes difficult to explain phenomenon, the manner in which prelates and even popes may weaken Doctrine while never formally changing it, something that has afflicted the Church to a huge degree in the past several decades. Paramagisterium also describes not only what many in the Church hierarchy seek, but how they go about achieving it, often in concert with forces outside the Church, many of which are openly hostile to orthodox Christianity.
First, I’ll quote a section describing the author’s definition of “paramagisterium” (I add emphasis and comments):
One undeniable hallmark of Catholic dogma has always been its clarity. The Church, as a good teacher, does not guide her children in halting speech. She is not vague or ambiguous. Indeed, to teach infallibly and thus bind the faithful under pain of grievous sin would absolutely require clarity. Since it is manifestly contrary to reason for a teacher to demand assent of the intellect to something ambiguous or vague, how can Christ’s faithful be bound in conscience to believe something ephemeral or given to a multiplicity of contrary interpretations? [Ahem, Guadium Et Spes, cough, Nostra Aetate, hack, Dignitatis Humanae, choke. These documents are so often either unclear, self-contradictory, or apparently at odds with the prior Magisterium that we are now told it takes post-doctoral studies in systematic theology to begin to understand them]
The infallible magisterium of the Catholic Church is limited in its exercise, clearly recognizable when invoked, and serious in its expression. But these marks of Catholicity are all but lost in our day when a “paramagisterium” operates seemingly to supplant the authentic magisterium of the Church.
These thoughts came to mind upon hearing the news that Libreria Editrice Vaticana has published the book, Interviste e conversazioni con i giornalisti (“Interviews and Conversations with Journalists”), a collection of interviews with Pope Francis.
The author then outlines what the paramagisterium is and how it works by focusing on one very clear doctrinal belief of the Church – capital punishment – and how the constant belief and practice of 2000 years has been steadily attacked and eroded over the past 50 years or so:
For purposes of illustration, I would like now to consider a concrete subject upon which the paramagisterium has spoken frequently and loudly, even to the point of confusing some very good Catholics — especially champions for the pro-life cause. I speak of capital punishment.
Writing for Crisis Magazine some time ago, Christopher A. Ferrara asked the question “Can the Church Ban Capital Punishment?” He replied in the negative for very weighty reasons. In brief, the entire tradition of the Church advanced and defended the right of the State to administer the death penalty, not only as a means to protect the citizenry from a repeat offense, but also for reasons of justice, deterrence, expiation, and even the spiritual welfare of the guilty, whose frightful sentence could lead to his conversion, as it did over the years for many of the condemned. [I have argued the same on this blog. While there may be valid prudential reasons to oppose the use of the death penalty in a given state at a given point in time (which reasons are of course arguable, see below), one cannot say that the Church is categorically opposed to the death penalty, that the Church teaches that its use is immoral, or that, God forbid, Church Doctrine has been “changed” by the less than careful statements by some recent pontiffs on this subject.]
Ferrara quotes the Catechism of the Council of Trent:
Again, this prohibition [of killing] does not apply to the civil magistrate, to whom is entrusted the power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which he punishes the guilty and protects the innocent. The use of the civil sword, when wielded by the hand of justice, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the commandment is the preservation and sanctity of human life, and to the attainment of this end, the punishments inflicted by the civil magistrate, who is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend, giving security to life by repressing outrage and violence.
…….What a lot of Catholics probably do not know is that Vatican City State and the other Papal States themselves formerly used the death penalty.
In the nineteenth century, there existed in Rome the archconfraternity of San Giovanni Decollato (“Saint John Beheaded”), whose members did penance for those we now call death-row inmates. For them, part of being Christian also meant looking out for the spiritual welfare of the condemned. The Papal States were quite interested in man’s supernatural end, too. For this reason, execution days in Rome were days of prayer and penance. Saint Vincent Pallotti used to work with the archconfraternity of San Giovanni Decollato, and never complained that the popes, one of whom was Blessed Pio Nono, were “violating human dignity.”
There are some who oppose capital punishment purely for prudential reasons, and in the present context. They believe that the modern state is so evil, so given to usurp rights that are not its own, and so callous towards human life in general (e.g., abortion), that it ought not to wield the sword. This position is not at variance with Church teaching, but it is certainly debatable. [Being based on prudential arguments, of course it’s debatable.]
Granted, the State does not have to resort to capital punishment. The question is may it do so. And the answer is yes.
But there is a new body of teaching today, part of the paramagisterium, which has it that the death penalty is an intrinsic violation of the dignity of the human person. We hear it from bishops, priests, and pious lay faithful engaged in the pro-life movement. The logical question presents itself: If this is so, why did Christ’s infallible Church, for the entirety of her history, teach and act otherwise until the late twentieth century? This cannot be justified as a legitimate “development of doctrine,” because these individuals negate capital punishment in principle and based upon fundamental anthropological truths that the Church has either not known or overlooked until the ascendancy of personalist philosophy in the twentieth century. [And personalism of a certain sort, not necessarily that of Dietrich von Hildebrand, but that of Karol Wojtyla – rather a different view of personalism]
Capital punishment is but one issue upon which we see confusion generated by the paramagisterium. Others would include evolution (no, it’s not a teaching of the Church!), Christ’s Social Kingship, Limbo, Biblical inerrancy, and, of course, sex. Lastly, the very nature of the Church herself, her necessity and divine constitution are constantly assailed by the paramagisterium. [Dang right. And don’t forget the manner in which NFP is promoted, often as a moral obligation!, in that list, nor ecumenism/interreligious dialogue]
Certainly this paramagisterium has been immensely aided by the press carefully picking and choosing which papal statements or quotes from bishops it will publicize. But at the same time, it must be noted that statements by recent pontiffs often serve as
virtually the sole “doctrinal” support for Catholic acceptance of things like the evolution of species, even if those statements were often lacking in clarity (as stated above) and non-binding on conscience themselves. They are often just enough to muddy the waters or convince well meaning people that the popular “modern” sentiment is acceptable from the point of view of the Church.
Cardinal Koch: Fall of Communism “not all positive” because revival of Greek Catholicism has hampered ecumenism November 18, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, Holy suffering, sadness, secularism, self-serving, the return.
You have got to be kidding me. On the surface, Koch’s statement might seem relatively innocuous (even if counter to the sensus fidei of most Catholics who understand the destruction of the Soviet Empire as a good thing), but given the history of horrible persecution, suffering, and abuse the “Uniate” and Orthodox Churches suffered under communism, it seems incredible to lament the passing of the old communist regime:
“The changes in 1989 were not advantageous for ecumenical relations,” Koch told Vatican Radio. “The Eastern Catholic churches banned by Stalin re-emerged, especially in Ukraine and Romania, and from the Orthodox came the old accusation about Uniate churches and proselytism.” [It was so much easier under the old regime, he seems to say! “We could just dial up the Kremlin and demand a bishop show up at our Council and they would be there and say whatever we wanted! No back-tracking, no mussing around, things are much more difficult today, it’s almost like these Orthodox and Uniate guys believe in all this Jesus stuff! That makes ecumenism so much harder!”]
“Uniate” refers to eastern churches with Orthodox-style liturgies that recognize the pope as their spiritual leader.
Pope Francis will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul late this month. The Orthodox spiritual head supports more cooperation with Rome, but cannot ignore the wary Russians, who make up two-thirds of the world’s 300 million Orthodox.
Koch, who spoke a week after the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall, and on the same day as Czechs marked the start of their democratic revolution, noted that talks on closer ties between Catholic and Orthodox theologians were suspended between 2000 and 2006 because of tensions between the two sides. [One major concern the Orthodox have – Lord knows the preponderance of fault is on their side – is on the tendency towards liberal worldliness they perceive in the Church today. Relations improved under Benedict because they saw the Church as heading in a better, more traditional direction. I bet the brakes are hot now.]
“There are always setbacks, but I’m convinced we can make more progress,” the Swiss-born cardinal said. [Always ill-defined…..”progress”. Oh yay]
Persecution of Christians in the Middle East has brought Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants there together, he said, but the Ukraine crisis has heightened tensions among churches.
“We’ve repeatedly heard major complaints from the Russian Orthodox,” he said. “This is unfortunate because churches are supposed to be a factor for unity and reconciliation.”
Metropolitan Hilarion, the number two man in the Moscow Patriarchate, used his guest presentation to a Vatican synod on the family last month to accuse the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from Orthodoxy. [What a joke. The Orthodox persecute the living crud out of the Ukrainian Catholics and Catholics of all stripes every chance they get. They constantly proselytize Catholics while getting the government to try to prevent the Catholics from evangelizing Orthodox. They almost behave as if they do not have the courage of their convictions, if one looks at the degree to which they rely on the state to run interference for them.]
Folks, Catholic/Orthodox relations have been incredibly complex and difficult for over 1500 years. Forgive me if I am dubious that the likes of men as Cardinal Kurt Koch or his hangers on are of a mettle to overcome this very thorny problem. The Orthodox Churches are very screwed up, mixing in equal parts nationalism with religious fervor and, maybe even more, anti-Catholicism. If there is one force that binds the many, constantly warring Orthodox Churches together it is their anti-Catholicism. I used to dream about “progress” in Catholic-Orthodox relations several years ago, when my knowledge of Church history was much weaker, now I pretty much just leave it in the hands of God and pray for the conversion of individual souls. I don’t see a reunion happening by human agency at all, it could only occur through a huge movement of Grace, a basically miraculous event.
What I do fear, and what has already occurred several times in the past, is that Greek Catholics will be thrown under the bus and made to suffer for some perceived or promised ecumenical “gain.” The only gains the other side will permit are those which profit them and they would like nothing more than to see that little island of Catholicism in their Orthodox sea crushed. So pray for the Church in Ukraine, it is under heavy pressure and will probably need our support. For one thing many of our bishops really don’t care for the Greek Catholics because they do not use the Novus Ordo and are thus suspect of having a different religious identity.
h/t reader CH
Great story about chaplain of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles November 18, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
I don’t know how much pub this story has gotten in orthodox Catholic circles but it’s a good one. A priest recently assigned as chaplain for the great order of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles in Missouri spends his time off walking around town in cassock and saturno, evangelizing souls he meets. What great witness:
Most afternoons, the Rev. Lawrence Carney can be found walking around St. Joseph. Dressed in black, carrying a crucifix and rosary, he can be hard to miss.
“The name of St. Joseph being one of the three of the Holy Family, a nun and I thought this would be a good town to allow me to walk around and pray,” the Rev. Carney says. “I think God has lots of ideas in mind for this idea of walking around and being a visible sign of the church, as kind of a missionary.”
The Rev. Carney moved to St. Joseph from Wichita, Kan., in January, where he had served as a pastor with the Diocese of Wichita.
“I was invited by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles to be their chaplain,” the Rev. Carney says. “From there, I asked if I could live in a city and pray the rosary around the town and meet people along the way. If they wanted to talk about God, I would help them.” [The prayers of holy nuns are so vital to the success of priestly apostolates. The collapse in women’s religious life has wounded the Church more than we can know in this life. I know one very holy priest who believes very strongly that every good priest requires what he calls “a little girl” or two praying in a convent somewhere for his sanctity and the success of his apostolate. I think he’s right.]
The Rev. Carney spends part of his day with the nuns of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Mo., saying Mass and praying. Afterward, he returns to St. Joseph to walk, pray and attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, where he is staying.…..
…….While he walks in St. Joseph, the Rev. Carney prays the rosary and talks to people he meets.
“A lot of time, people want me to pray for them, for their general intentions, sicknesses or conversion. And then I teach them how to pray,” he says. “They ask about God and Jesus and Mary.” [Wonderful evangelization right there]
He doesn’t have a set route, but he enjoys visiting the soup kitchen and listening to people. While he walks, he carries a crucifix in his right hand and a rosary in his left, an act he calls “fishing.”
“One guy came up to me and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m fishing. The crucifix is my hook, my rosary is my line. Allow me to put the rosary around your neck.’ He allowed me, and I said, ‘You’ve just been caught by Jesus,’” the Rev. Carney says. [Corny, but cool]
Later, he saw the man again while walking.
“A month later, I walked by, and there was like 20 kids and they all wanted to ask me, talk about questions of God. This young man just runs out of his house and says, ‘Father Carney, I want a rosary.’ I gave him a rosary. I blessed it and taught him how to pray it,” he says…….
……He wears a sacramental black robe, called a cassock, which represents the tunic the priests wore in the Old Testament. He also wears an Italian hat called a saturno, which means “half a Saturn.” It helps keep the sun out of his eyes and protect his face from sun damage.
“We stick to tradition. This hat was required by all clerics who lived in Rome. It was against the law not to wear one until several decades ago. It’s very fitting to the priesthood because it’s what we used to wear all the time,” he says.
There is quite a bit more at the link. I think it fair to say that the coverage is quite positive.
So this is what comes of giving visible witness to our Faith through the wearing of clerical garb in public. I am always so pleased to see priests dressed as priests in public. Of course, I strongly favor the cassock and other traditional wear as being most well ordered and most evocative of our Faith. This priest’s experience seems to stress that being identifiable as a priest in public stirs people’s minds and imaginations and may have an impact beyond quantifying. I really endorse this kind of witness.
The walking is also brilliant, you can’t evangelize very well from a car, but on foot, the interactions are much more personal. I really pray bishops give priests time in their schedules to perform these kinds of ad hoc apostolates, they may not have an immediately visible return but they could have enormous impact over time. I’d say this kind of mission is of more benefit to souls than the myriad meetings priests seem to spend half or more of their time sitting in. Or even less edifying activities. I knew one priest who, from his constant talking about different TV shows including many daytime ones, obviously spent a great deal of time watching the tube.
May God support and protect Father Carney.
More data on the collapse of the Church in Latin America November 18, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, demographics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, horror, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD.
Probably most of my readers, if not all, read Rorate Caeli, but there was some very disheartening material posted there recently regarding the continuing collapse of the Church in Latin America. As Rorate notes, this collapse cannot be blamed on ongoing secularization nearly to the degree that it can be in the “advanced” nations of North American and Europe. The Church in Latin American was, in 1970, quite strong, cohesive, and going through (perhaps concluding is a better word) a period of great renewal that started well before the Council. But ever since the mid-70s the Church in Latin America has been in free-fall on a scale that outpaces even the collapse of the Faith in some Western European countries. There hasn’t been a period since the protestant revolt when so many have fallen away so fast in a given region.
Another difference between the secularization of countries like Canada, France, Germany, Spain, etc., and the Latin American countries, is that, for the most part, in the former countries people have tended to fall out of religious practice entirely, they have become atheist or agnostic. In the Latin American countries, religious practice remains very strong, but a huge portion of the Church has found the “product,” if you will, so lacking in the post-conciliar environment that they have sought spiritual sustenance even in the separated and heretical sects. And as the data shows, they have done so in great numbers, tens of millions, over the past 4 decades:
I have to look no farther than my own backyard to see witness of this phenomenon. In my home zip code, the population is something like 70% Hispanic, many recent immigrants. There is only one Catholic parish to serve both this and several other zip codes containing tens of thousands of Hispanic families, while one literally cannot drive a block without finding some Hispanic-oriented evangelical sect, many small, but some quite large, serving tens of thousands of former Catholics. It breaks my heart to have to see this every day. And my observation over the past year-plus is that this trend is accelerating dramatically, with new evangelical sects popping up almost weekly.
Even more devastating is the deep anti-Catholicism many of these former Catholic souls have imbibed. There is a little restaurant I frequent on occasion, and the owners are recent Hispanic immigrants who are now evangelical. They were quite warm to me when they saw me reading my Bible in their restaurant, but when they found I was still Catholic they became less so. Even more, there is anti-Catholic propaganda in their restaurant, not obvious, but there. I have tried to engage with the owners but due to my poor Spanish speaking skills (especially when it comes to technical topics – I read much better than I speak) and their self-assured hostility, I have made precious little progress. When souls make a conscious choice to reject the Faith they were raised in, it is very rare for them to return. Please pray for these and millions of other souls falling away from the Church like snowflakes.
It is easy for the scale of this tragedy to get lost in the cold reality of numbers. Each one of these souls falling away from the Church is an incalculable loss both to the souls themselves and to the Mystical Body of Christ. What we are witnessing is a tragedy that is beyond human reckoning, but with widespread erroneous understandings of notions like “ecumenism” and “universal salvation” even at the highest levels of the Church, there is little sense of crisis in response to data like this. To the extent many in the Church are concerned about this ongoing hemorrhaging of souls, the concern is only worldly: what will this mean for Church income, what will this mean for parish closures, how will we run a Church without priests? There is little or no sense of urgency in dealing with this crisis: quite the opposite, so many in the Church and especially the hierarchy seem to be doing all they can to exacerbate the crisis?
These souls are falling away, by and large, because they felt spiritually starved. I know a good number of former Catholics who left for the exact same reason. All the changes being discussed – Communion for adulterers, the gifts of sodomites, institutionalizing the travesty of US-style annulment mills, etc., etc. – none of this will attract souls back to the Faith. The opposite is actually true, and I’ve seen comments all over the web to confirm this: souls already outside the Church or leading sinful/heretical lives will only feel confirmed in their errors by all these destructive novelties, and, even more, they feel that a Church that can be so wrong on so much for so long has nothing to offer them.
That is the true tale of the Church in Latin America over the past four decades: a Church without substance feeding worldly pablum to starving souls who then depart en masse. This is so contrary to how the Church conducted Herself for centuries it is simply staggering. The last five decades have proven, without doubt in my mind, that this “openness” to the world is destructive of the Faith and the good of souls. The case of the Church in Latin America is a very strong argument that the collapse in the Faith is not something that just happened to the Church, but is a result of the deliberate direction the Church has taken.
Model for true ecumenism – Saint Josephat November 14, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, Saints, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
In the traditional liturgical calendar, today is the feast of the great Saint Josaphat, the man who understood true ecumenism as union with the Catholic Faith and saw to it that countless numbers of souls were returned to Her bosom. I write his biography as contained in the Roman Martyrology, I wish I had more time:
Josaphat Kuncewicz was born of noble Catholic parents at Vladimir in Volhynia. When a child, as he was listening to his mother telling him about the Passion of Christ, a dart issued from the image of Jesus crucified and sounded him in the heart. Set on fire with the love of God, he began to devote himself with such zeal to prayer and other works of piety, that he was the admiration and the model of his older companions. At the age of twenty he became a monk under the Rule of Saint Basil, and made wonderful progress in evangelical perfection. He went barefoot even in the severe winter of that country; he never ate meat, drank wine only when obliged by obedience, and wore a rough hair-shirt until his death. The flower of his chastity, which he had vowed in early youth to the Virgin Mother of God he preserved unspotted. He soon became so renowned for virtue and learning, that in spite of his youth he was made superior of the monastery of Byten; soon afterwards he became archimandrite of Vilna; and lastly, much against his will, but to the great joy of Catholics, he was chosen archbishop of Polotsk.
In this dignity he relaxed nothing of his former manner of life; and had nothing so much at heart as the divine service and the salvation of the sheep entrusted to him. He energetically defended Catholic faith and unity, and labored to the utmost of his power to bring back schismatics and heretics to communion with he See of blessed Peter. The Sovereign Pontiff and the plenitude of his power he never ceased to defend, both by preaching and by writings full of piety and learning, against he most shameless calumnies and errors of the wicked. He vindicated episcopal rights, and restored ecclesiastical possessions which had been seized by laymen. Incredible was the number of heretics he won back to the bosom of mother Church; and the words of the Popes bear witness how greatly he promoted the union of the Greek and Latin churches. His revenues were entirely expended in restoring the beauty of God’s house, in building dwellings for consecrated virgins, and in other pious works. So bountiful was he to the poor, that, on one occasion, having nothing wherewith to supply the needs of a certain widow, he ordered his Omophorion, or episcopal pallium, to be pawned. [How many bishops today possess such charity? Heck, any of us? Would I pawn my most sacred possession to help someone in need?]
The great progress made by the Catholic Faith so stirred up the hatred of wicked men against the soldier of Christ, that they determined to put him to death. he knew what was threatening him; and foretold it when preaching to the people. As he was making his pastoral visitation at Vitebsk, the murderers broke into his house, striking and wounding all whom they found. Josaphat meekly went to meet them, and accosted them kindly, saying: “My little children, why do you strike my servants? If you have any complaint against me, here I am.” Hereupon they rushed on him, overwhelmed him with blows, pierced him with their spears, and at length dispatched him with an axe and threw his body into the river. This took place on the twelfth of November, 1623, in the forty-third year of his age. His body, surrounded with a miraculous light, was rescued from the waters. The martyr’s blood won a blessing first of all for his murderers; for, being condemned to death, they nearly all abjured their schism and repented of their crime. As the death of this great bishop was followed by many miracles, Pope Urban VIII granted him the honors of beatification. On the third of the Kalends of July, 1867, when celebrating the centenary of the princes of the apostles, Pius IX in the Vatican basilica, in the presence of the College of Cardinals, and of about five hundred patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops of every rite, assembled from all parts of the world, solemnly enrolled among the Saints this great defender of the Church’s unity, who was the first Oriental to be thus honored. Pope Leo XIII extended his Mass and Office to the universal Church.
The sad tale is that Saint Josaphat’s enormously successful efforts to bring Ruthenian Orthodox into the Church, which by the time of his death had resulted in many hundreds of thousands returning to unity, were later squandered by political machinations and a substantial share fell back to Orthodoxy. As Dom Prosper Gueranger notes, this repression of the “uniate” Greek Catholics by Polish Latin Catholics hastened – or may have directly caused – the later collapse of the Polish-Lithuanian Empire and the subjugation of all its territories to Orthodox Russia and protestant Prussia. Oh how short sighted men are! Such a glorious reunion, purchased at the price of a martyr’s blood, wasted due to worldly ambitions and short sighted prejudice.
Thankfully several million did remain in union with the See of Peter and they persist today, greatly increased, as Greek Catholics in western Ukraine, parts of Romania and Poland, and scattered about in other locales. Saint Josaphat was a model of true ecumenism, not the false variety bandied about today, and should be a model for all future efforts are union with schismatic Churches.
The Dark Side of Martin Luther November 14, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, damnable blasphemy, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, horror, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, unadulterated evil.
There is a long post at Shameless Popery regarding Luther and his rather substantial dark side. It is a very long post and a bit difficult to excerpt, but for weekend reading I think you would be most edified to read the whole thing. A quote a bit from the intro and conclusion, do go read the whole thing, as Pope Leo XIII and many good priests have argued, protestantism loosed errors on the world that have caused the downfall of Christendom and led directly to the anti-Christian, liberal, amoral culture in which we are awash today. He also provides powerful argumentation that the mass murder machine known as National Socialism and the German embrace of the same was deeply rooted in Luther’s hatred of the Jews and his penchant for absolute obedience to state authority (but forget the Church authority!) almost to the point of religious reverence (another Nazi characteristic, deification of government leaders):
There’s a popular Luther narrative that plays out a little like Star Wars. A humble son of the Church rises up to overthrow the Dark Side, the Evil Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, all while cominfg to see his true identity. We love an underdog story, so it’s easy to root for Luther. And this narrative is an important one, both for Protestants (to show why the Reformation was “necessary”) and atheists (to show why Catholicism/Christianity/fundamentalism/religion is dangerous and evil).
But no matter how attractive it may be, this Luther narrative is a fundamentally false one. It relies on two sets of falsehoods: (1) distortions and exaggerations of the evils done on the Catholic side; and (2) a whitewashing of the real history of Luther and the early Protestants. I’ve addressed (1) before, and I’d like to address (2) head-on today.
The real-life Luther was a man passionately convicted of his own rightness, so convinced that he thought anyone who disagreed with him was either ignorant, stupid, or evil. It was this overconfidence that I would suggest is the root behind some of the shockingly evil things he advocated. I’m going to lay them out here, letting them speak for themselves, before considering the implications of these facts…….
[Follows an analysis of some of Luther’s most egregious evils, calling for the most violent and repressive measures against those who took him at his word and started interpreting Scripture privately, which soon led to cultural chaos and armed uprisings in much of Germany. Very worth a read. Mind, this post only discusses Luther’s more publicly deplorable acts, and skips the many private vices of the man]
……I mentioned before that Luther was so passionately convinced of his own rightness that he thought his opponents must necessarily be ignorant, stupid, or evil. This is the spirit consistently animating Luther’s writings. When he’s writing to someone who agrees with him, or who he thinks will agree with him, we get Dr. Jekyll. When he realizes that the other person actuallythinks he’s wrong, Mr. Hyde appears. We see it from the first with his writings to the papacy, sweetly promising to obey whatever the pope should decide, and then denouncing him as the Antichrist when the pope doesn’t decide in his favor.
We see that play out time and again in the above passages: he’s convinced that the Christian rulers who disagree with him secretly know the truth about the “Gospel,” but just refuse to acknowledge it. He’s gentle to the peasants until he realizes that they’re not listening to them; then he calls for their mass slaughter. Likewise, he defends the Jews, when he thinks that they’re open to hearing his version of the Gospel; when he fails, he calls for their destruction, as well.
This has all the marks of the sin of pride, the sin said to have caused the fall of Lucifer. And none of us, regardless of Church affiliation, are immune from these temptations. It’s so easy to fall into a mindset where your political or religious opponents are idiots or monsters. Let Luther’s life be a cautionary tale in that regard.
[I regard the below as really key, and as a former protestant I attest to its veracity]
When Catholics point out that several of Luther’s early writings sound pretty Catholic, the standard Protestant response (and a quite reasonable one, I might add), is that Luther wasn’t completely reformed yet. Even after he went into schism, he spent another quarter-century slowly divesting himself of his Catholic beliefs. But what’s remarkable is that, as Luther became less and less Catholic, he became less and less Christian. [Dang right]
Compare the before-and-after you see above to see what I mean. There are countless other examples that point in the same direction, too. For example, Hosanna Lutheran Church notes that Luther’s language in Against the Papacy at Rome Founded by the Devil, written in 1545 (a year before his death), was “the most vehement and vulgar Luther ever wrote. To accompany it Luther commissioned a series of political cartoons by Lucas Cranach defaming the pope and Rome.”
The man praised for taking a bold stand for freedom of conscience was positively bloodthirsty towards those whose consciences disagreed with his own. And he became crueler and more bloodthirsty, the longer he spent away from the Church. [Well like all protestant revolutionaries, “private interpretation” quickly came to mean “MY interpretation.” And anyone who opposed Luther’s, or Zwingli’s, or especially Calvin’s interpretation was a damnable heretic and must be put to death. Within three years of Luther posting his false “theses” protestantism had already splintered into myriad groups, mutually antagonistic and all claiming to be right, only joined together in confederations of convenience by hatred of the Church founded by Jesus Christ]
One advantage of the TLM: readings that don’t appear in the NO November 13, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, Tradition.
One of the advantages partisans of the NO purport it to hold over the TLM is the greatly increased number of Biblical verses that are used in the Novus Ordo’s three year cycle of readings as opposed to the perennial calendar of the Traditional Mass. But the reformers of the Mass were extremely selective in the verses they chose, deliberately some which had been in use for well over a thousand years because they were either insufficiently ecumenical or said things the reformers did not like.
One of the most famous of these is the exclusion of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, wherein Saint Paul reminds us that receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord unworthily is sinful sacrilege. The exclusion of that reading also undermines belief in the Real Presence, because it was exactly that condemnation of illicit reception that forms a powerful argument in favor of the Real Presence (even if the Gospels, and especially John 6, were certainly enough support for this belief that can be traced back to the earliest Fathers. Unfortunately, the Novus Ordo excludes or relegates to early weekdays (Mon, Tues) much of John 6).
Another reading missing at least in part from the Novus Ordo selections is 1 Pet IV:13-19 (taken from the Feast of Pope Saint Martin I, according to the Missale Romanum of 1945):
Dearly beloved, if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed; for that which is of the honor, glory, and power of God, and that which is his Spirit, resteth upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men’s things. But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in His Name. For the time is that judgment should begin at the house of God, and if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the Gospel of God? And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God, commend their souls in good deeds to the faithful Creator.
Now why might these verses included in such an ancient Mass be excluded from the Novus Ordo? Could it have anything to do with the fact that it speaks of the damnation of those outside the Church, a most conveniently unecumenical thought by Saint Peter? Bible verses that mention suffering and travail are quite frequently excluded, as were the many Collects and other Propers of the Mass containing such elements also either edited or replaced entirely.
The following is the the Novus Ordo Mass, but I think it merits inclusion, anyway, this is the Gospel from yesterday (Saint Luke XIV:26-33):
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: if any man come to Me, and hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, having a mind to build a tower, doth not first sit down and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it; lest, after he hath laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, all that see it begin to mock hi, saying: This man began to build and was not able to finish?………So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth cannot be My disciple.
Now Pope Saint Martin was horribly persecuted not by pagans but by fellow Catholics, or, rather, Monothelite heretics. He died a martyr’s death. Thus the Church’s inclusion of this Gospel is so obvious and yet is also a clear warning, if we are to call ourselves Catholic and live the Faith truly we must count the cost beforehand, even to the point of death. Very few katholycs do so today. Once again, we see also a reading that stresses the suffering Christians must expect in this life. That is quite different from the happy clappy never suffer a moment ethos that reigns in most parishes today.
I note in passing that the Feast of Pope Saint Martin I was reduced to an optional memorial in the liturgical calendar of the Novus Ordo and the readings were completely changed and utterly nonsensical from the point of view of the life of the great Pope and Martyr.
It can also be argued that the three year cycle undermines key Catholic beliefs because some critical readings are heard only once every three years (if at all), opposed to every year. Thus, opposite to decades ago when many Catholics knew certain part of the Gospels by heart from hearing them every year at Mass, today most Catholics know even less of the Bible, and what they know is often disconnected from the flow of liturgical seasons, as the three year cycle in the Novus Ordo completely divorced the readings from the liturgical year.
17th century priests understood errors of protestantism and rationalism would lead… November 10, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, history, paganism, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
…..inexorably, inevitably, to the nightmare culture in which we are subsumed today. The following was from the Oratorian Massillon (1662-1742) and was written around 1710. Over 300 years ago, the certainty that moral collapse would eventually occur was apparent to those Catholics who understood the errors of protestantism and the rationalist “enlightenment” even in nascent form. As relayed by Dom Charles Poulet in A History of the Catholic Church, Fr. Massillon followed the logic of rebellious protestant and rationalist thought to arrive at our present and most decadent conclusion:
If we must wholly perish, then is obedience to the laws but an insensate servitude; rulers and magistrates are but the phantoms which popular imbecility has raised up; justice is an unwarrantable infringement upon the liberty of men – an imposition, a usurpation; the law of marriage is a vain scruple; modesty a prejudice; honor and probity are such stuff as dreams are made of; and incests, murders, parricides are but the legitimate sports of man’s irresponsible nature. Here is the issue to which the vaunted philosophy of unbelievers must inevitably lead. here is that social felicity, that sway of reason, that emancipation from error, of which they eternally prat as the fruit of their doctrines. Accept their maxims, and the whole world falls back into a frightful chaos; and all the relations of life are confounded; and all ideas of vice and virtue are reversed; and the most inviolable laws of society vanish; and all moral discipline perishes; and the government of states and nations has no longer any cement to uphold it; and the human race is not more than an assemblage of reckless barbarians, shameless, remorseless, brutal, denaturalized, with no other law than force, no other check than passion, no other bond that irreligion, no other God than self. Such a world impiety would make. Such would be this world were belief in God and immortality to die out of the human heart.
The endarkenment project was one intended to drive religion – especially the Catholic religion – as much as possible from the public space. It succeeded, in the most influential countries of the world, most formerly Catholic, to a depressing degree. From there, other evil “isms” burst out upon the world, to persecute and hobble the Catholic Faith even more: materialism, communism, the militant new sexular paganism which pretends to be atheistic but is in reality profoundly religious…..the list goes on.
And so where we are today in a post- and anti-Christian society that grows increasingly darker every day, where all manner of perversion is not just tolerated but even extolled, and where the practice of virtue is alien to probably 90+% of the population, wasn’t a complete accident. Far from it, a considerable and growing portion of the populace has been working towards it for centuries.
Just as they do in every other area of life, the “liberals” or leftists always tell us “just give us this, and we will go no further,” and that “there will be NO bad consequences of giving up/changing/obliterating this cherished and ancient bit of morality,” and both always turn out to be false. The intent of the left to arrive at a godless (but not irreligious society, the far left is the most dogmatically and fervently religious group in our culture today) was always there; it was the desired end point. But as with so much on the left, the desired end result is not so much the end of power elites and structural injustice in society, it is, as Orwell argued, simply to insure that they are on top and that society is structured to their preferred ends.
And if a few billions have to get hurt in the process, if the entire civilization has to fall down, so be it. The course of the last several centuries has proven over and over that the morality the Church has always advocated isn’t just some arbitrary set of rules, they are guidelines of behavior to insure maximum human happiness and satisfaction in this life (and the next) for the greatest number of people. Each rejection of those moral doctrines has only caused more misery and suffering both now and in the past. The more disconnected the culture and each of us individually become from the Truth Christ has revealed, the more we all suffer. As an addict, I have direct experience of this.
One would think 2000 years of patient counsel and the example of innumerable Saints would make all this obvious, but it isn’t. Fallen man being what it is, we are all so willing to believe the bright, shining lies of the devil and our own fallen natures. Or at least, the vast majority of us do. And so satan and his eager acolytes on earth – whether conscious of their role or not – have no difficulty at all selling man on the most destructive, pernicious, and evil errors imaginable, and not only that, but convincing man that they are good, beneficial, and wholesome.
The creation of Christendom was a miracle of Grace. Its dissolution has been something else entirely, and we must all be constantly vigilant that we do not fall into the rampant errors and disastrous ideologies that so surround and encompass the very intellectual air we breathe.
Having said all that, I will note the ecumenical implications of the above. Neither the world, nor those in heretical sects, have much of value to share with the Church, which value would approach nil if the Church would only open the great, but tightly sealed treasure chest of her own patrimony. Protestantism was the major first step towards all we see around us today, from sodo-marriage to abortion to religious indifference. Pretending otherwise and that there is some great “value” in these sects is just disordered at a start. Having spent my first 30 odd years in the sects, my sensus fidei tells me the whole ecumenical movement is a dangerous illusion and an exercise in futility.
Most readers are likely aware that the past decade or two have seen the worst persecution of Christians we have seen in a century or so. However, while due to proximity and other reasons Christians tend to bear the brunt of muslim depredations, muslims are equal opportunity persecutors. I have mentioned on this blog that I used to belong to a defense analysis group online that included a broad cross-section of military/diplomatic/economic professionals deep in “the business” (the defense biz), as well as some exceedingly well informed outsiders. And then I just kind of hung along. Anyway, one of the professionals that belonged to our group (which included high ranking staff and flag officers (including a former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy), senior defense analysts at the premier consultancy firms, people with many years experience developing and applying military hardware, etc) was an active duty major general in the Royal Thai Army. There was no one quite like Suphi. She had fought the Vietnamese at Mon Mok Moon (an attempted invasion of Thailand by Vietnam crushed by the Royal Thai Army and almost unknown in the West), conducted counter-insurgency against the Vietnamese and Chinese backed communist insurgency in Thailand (she had a special method of “interrogating” communist cadres, she would take them up in her personal helicopter and throw them out), and, around 2003, started informing us of the growing muslim insurgency, backed by Malaysia, against the southern Thai provinces.
This activity soon got so intense she would drop off the site for extended periods. Then she ultimately relayed that because of the coups that began in Thailand in 2006 and the role the Army (or she?) played in those coups, she could no longer participate at all. That’s about the time I finally dropped off, as well.
But prior to doing so Suphi had described for the benefit of others how Thailand defeated the communist insurgency of the 70s and 80s. They did this not by bombing their own country to smithereens, as we did to our ally South Vietnam, nor by flooding the countryside with hundreds of thousands of troops and thereby totally disrupting rural life so essential to the stability of any country. No, they did it by giving some basic training to villagers, winning them over to the country’s/government’s side decisively, arming them, and leaving a radio to call for help to stop large groups of insurgents the villagers could not handle. This method was exceedingly successful, and after 20 years of patient effort the communist insurgency – conducted mostly by Chinese and Vietnamese outsiders – was crushed.
She said similar steps were being taken to fight the muslim insurgents in the South, but that the left wing government that occasionally came to power constantly opposed this. The most recent coup in Thailand unseated a certain destructive political movement again, and I must admit I smiled when I read this:
Thailand has a separatist problem. A Muslim separatist problem, to be more specific, in three southern provinces. As straitstimes.com reports, “Violence in Thailand’s Muslim-majority south has left thousands dead – the majority civilians – since 2004 across the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, which were annexed more than a century ago by Thailand. In response to a recent slew of shootings and bomb attacks on civilian “soft” targets, Thailand has vowed to protect locals while it seeks a firm date for a fresh round of peace talks with the publicity-shy but ruthless rebels.” But the strategy they’ve chosen is an unusual one for a government that took power in a military coup . . .[Suphi described how these terrorists work. First of all, almost all of them are high as a kite on speedballs when they do their attacks. She described hitting one with 7 rounds from her .45 Smith and Wesson Desert Eagle and still not taking a doped up terrorist down. He was eventually cut down by a Ma Deuce. Secondly, they have sanctuaries in Malaysia and the Malaysians do absolutely nothing to stop them, and probably help the insurgents quite a bit, least of all by letting armaments get to them.]
So to uphold the new prime minister’s promise to bring both sides to the negotiating table, he’s trying to create a balance of power. To do that…
Some 2,700 Heckler & Koch HK33 assault rifles have been distributed over the past two months to volunteers in the region, according to a spokesman for the Internal Operations Security Command (ISOC). [Yeah, well, these people cannot be negotiated with. They aren’t interested in “dialogue.”]
Yes, an authoritarian government is putting thousands of rifles in the hands of volunteers who have come under attack, part of an insurgency that has killed more than 6000 people in the last decade. As one internal security official put it,
“They need weapons for self-defence… they can’t fight with just wooden sticks,” ISOC spokesman Colonel Banphot Phunphien told AFP.
All of which has caused pearls to be clutched and hands to be wrung among Thailand’s peace activist community, who have apparently learned to appropriate talking points from America’s disarmament community. As bbc.com relates,
Guns have been distributed to Muslim and Buddhist villagers before this, but some fell into the hands of the insurgents themselves or resulted in incidents where volunteers opened fire on unarmed civilians. [Sure, and guns were stolen from villagers during the communist insurgency, but the vast majority weren’t, and the forming of armed groups of loyal Thai citizens played a decisive role in blocking the previous insurgency]
Right(s) groups have condemned the distribution of guns saying it would only increase violence in the region. [And the government removed from office by the military – possibly at the behest of the Thai king – had made this policy so inconsistent as to be ineffective. Perhaps it will be more so now.]
I’m not saying this is the only way to defeat an insurgency, but it’s a proven and effective way. The British won the insurgency against them in Malaya during the 50s by police tactics which included arming loyal citizens.
Thailand is one of the least Christian countries in the world. It was never successfully penetrated by missionaries of any stripe. The vast majority of the populace is semi-Buddhist but mostly addicted to pleasure. Thais are a happy people, a business-like people, and an incredibly well-mannered people, but they are not religious. It will be interesting to see how they stand up to this insurgency, even more fanatical than the communist one.