Padre Pio’s Stigmata March 12, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, priests, religious, Saints, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
I was showing my non-Catholic (but interested) mom some photos of Padre Pio’s Stigmata over the weekend. I have of course seen a number of such photos before, but this time I found some really good ones that clearly show the original wound in addition to the patches of dried and wet blood, stains, etc.
I know secularists just can’t stand Catholic acceptance of these sorts of miracles. I have seen all manner of derogatory attempts to explain away this broadly accepted miraculous phenomenon, from saying Pio gave himself regular chemical burns, to self-induced puncture wounds (once every month or so for 50 years (600 wounds!), apparently, without ever damaging the metacarpal bones or tendons which would have rendered his fingers inoperative for life), etc. They always discount the fact that Padre Pio actually faced an immense amount of hostility and doubt from within the Church, and that he was forced to undergo numerous, invasive medical examinations of his wounds, which never found any natural or human explanation for them. They also ignore the fact that the wounds miraculously healed themselves, leaving no trace of scaring or other natural healing process.
Anyways, you may have seen some of these before, but I stumbled on some photos that were new to me, and here they are (you can click most to make them larger):
The next three really show the stigmata in close detail:
The wounds seem to clearly penetrate the third metacarpal bone. As such, his index and middle fingers should have been inoperative, given the fact that this wound plainly penetrates all the way through the hand, and is of sufficient diameter to damage a great deal of bone, tendon, and muscle. Anyone who has had a hand injury can attest to the fact that wounds such as these would make working the fingers affected completely impossible. And yet Padre Pio was visibly able – as witnessed by millions – to operate his fingers, clasp the Host and Chalice, etc, with no problem. This further speaks to the miraculous nature of the stigmata.
Belief in Padre Pio’s stigmata is certainly not dogmatic, but these miracles do give attestation, to this day, of Our Blessed Lord’s identity as True God, able to work enormous miracles in those who have sufficient faith and cooperation with Grace. The enormous number of miracles associated with the Catholic Christian religion (and the Orthodox) from its inception separate it from all the natural religions out there, including other major world religions. Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, in particular, have few if any unexplainable miracles to attest to their veracity/sanctity. Islam’s founder never performed one public miracle, as opposed to Christ’s constant miracles witnessed by hundreds of thousands.
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Thanks to my wife for sharing this with me. A Swedish Pentecostal pastor of a 3300 video board toting megachurch announced last Sunday he is joining the Catholic Church. God be praised, such conversions are rare:
The founder of a 3,300-member megachurch in one of Sweden’s largest cities announced yesterday [Sunday, March 9] his decision to leave his charismatic congregation and join the Roman Catholic Church.
Ulf Ekman, who introduced Sweden to the prosperity-emphasizing Word of Faith movement when he founded Word of Life Ministries and Word of Life Church, had stepped down from the pastorate at the Uppsala church last spring.
“I have come to realize that the movement I for the last 30 years have represented, despite successes and much good that has occurred on various mission fields, is part of the ongoing Protestant fragmentation of Christendom,” Ekman wrote in an op-ed for Swedish newspaper Daegens Nyheter.
Well that’s all very good to see. However, here is an interesting tidbit that might prove a bit controversial:
In a note on his ministry website, Ekman explains that he and his wife, Birgitta Ekman, have undergone a slow transformation over the past decade as they have come to know practicing Roman Catholics, including many charismatic Catholics.
As my Norwegian ancestors would say, Uff da! I am one of many who has grave problems with charismatic Catholicism. At the very beginning of my conversion, a religious priest tried to suck me into this movement, and I actually participated in several months of classes to sort of form into a charismatic. While there was some very good catechesis, no doubt, it was all fundamentally disordered by all this protestant aping “life of the spirit” stuff – I might say garbage – involving speaking in tongues, “resting in the Lord,” etc. Such practices are quite distant from traditional Catholic piety, and can even be seen as leading one in a disordered direction away from true sanctity.
In my experience, charismatic Catholics have some misunderstandings of mortification and cooperation with Grace, and some seem even to operate under a protestant “once saved, always saved” mentality.
This ties in with another piece I saw last night, which just about floored me, wherein an American protestant pastor opines that Lenten mortification are “spiritually dangerous.” This piece is a veritable dossier on protestant errors, so let us see a few of them:
The spiritual-minded experience fasting positively because it conforms to our default position about spiritual matters. Deep down, we are all born as Pharisees, believing that sin and salvation are a matter of discipline, something within our control. [This pastor admits that he tends to take things too far - fasting to the point of passing out in the past. Protestantism has a fundamental error, in that because something can be abused and done in a disordered way, it should never be done at all. That is what is being argued here. They overlook that it is our interior motivations that make an act virtuous or full of vice. If we fast for our own glory, or feel that if we just check some boxes on a list we are saved (the ultimate evangelical protestant belief - accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior ONCE and you are saved forever!), then our mortifications will merit us nothing, and could add to our sins. But if we do it in the hope that we are simply cooperating with Grace in establishing control over our bodily lusts, the better to love God and our fellow man, then these acts are incredibly efficacious of Grace. But protestants don't believe in such efficacy, as we will see below] The ascetic way of the penitential partakes of the natural religion of the natural man, not the revealed religion of the Gospel. [Here we see the constant protestant tendency to latch onto certain bits of Scripture while ignoring others, or radically misinterpreting certain passages. Here, we see the total neglect of "take up your cross and follow me," as well as the definitive exhortation in Mt XXV:31-46] Which is one reason why fasting is so widespread in most every world religion. [This guy is really taking a strong stand. He hates him some mortification. Once again, mortification done absent Grace will avail nothing supernatural. But with Grace, it is everything, and was the prime, one might even say entire, focus of early Christian spirituality.]
Back to Mark 7, where Jesus hit the nail on the head. [This is where Christ advises us not to fast as the Pharisees do, but even here this guy misses the point. Christ plainly commands us to fast - we are simply not to do so in a manner similar to the Pharisees, who did so for public show and with the thought that they could make themselves holy absent any work of God. This is Pelagianism, a condemned heresy, but most protestants are ignorant of both the heresy and its errors] We all desperately want to believe that sin is outside of us, something that goes into us and defiles us. [I would say that orthodox Catholics are quite aware that our sins come from within us] That it is a particular act, or behavior, or excess, that we can readily regulate and control should we choose. Though Jesus never sinned, he became sin on our behalf, and understood sin better than we do, and boy did he understand the sin of Phariseeism. [Which, I would argue, this protestant is actually promoting, through his rejection of Grace accompanying works as the means for personal interior conversion. Again, another major protestant error, in that following pure Calvinism - to which this guy surely adheres - we are faced with the idea that man is irretrievably evil and unable to perform any works that will merit Grace. This is the "total depravity" garbage, one of the worst errors ever posited, and directly counter to what all the Fathers of the Church believe. It is founded on a complete perversion of Scripture, and fundamentally illogical, because even the "faith alone" on which it is posited is a work. Faith is a work. It is a non sequitur to claim otherwise.]
…..Two problems present themselves with this view. First, it underestimates our sin. Remember, Jesus listed pride and deceit as two of the things that bubble up from within our hearts. As sinners, we can’t help taking pride in the things we do to give our salvation a little push, so engaging in such self-prescribed spiritual disciplines just gives us more sin — the sin of pride — to repent of. [As I said, total depravity and complete misunderstanding of Grace and how it works]
Second, and more fundamentally, is the uniqueness and purpose of Christ’s sufferings. Jesus didn’t die to purify his own soul, but ours. He fasted for forty days in the wilderness on our behalf, so we wouldn’t have to; not as a model, but as a substitute. His passion was not a discipline that made his heart pure in its love for his Father, it was the price to be paid for our sins, and he paid it in full.
And this is where the completely inverted image of Christianity that comes with hardline protestantism reveals itself. We are total dung. We can do nothing good. All we can do is proclaim a faith in Christ (one time!) and we are saved, because St. John wrote in Chapter 45 of his Gospel that God is contractually obligated to admit into Heaven every soul that makes a one time declaration of Faith.*
The problem with all this, aside from the self-serving “individual interpretation of Scripture” on which it is based, is that it fundamentally perverts right understanding and practice of the Faith. It literally inverts Christianity, taking away the fundamental vehicle of sanctification – cooperation with Grace which is demonstrated through our joyfully willed acts of mortification, propitiation, adoration, etc, and changes into a model where we just lay back and wait for that good Grace to just run all over us after we make a profession of Faith. It is counter to Scripture, such as the aforementioned Matthew 25:31-46 makes clear: our salvation is predicated on good works. And we will not have the wherewithal to perform external acts of good until we have permitted God to sufficiently quieten our fallen tendencies towards sin through mortification.
The guy ends his paean to error with the claim that Christ doesn’t want us to do good for ourselves, but for others! Really! That’s why He constantly counseled on the need to lead a sinless life and to follow the narrow, rocky way to salvation, not the broad protestant-built highway of self-will masquerading as virtue. Because that’s the deadly trap, in the protestant-calvinist way of thinking, with no mortification, it is incredibly easy, almost assured, that unmortified souls will mistake vice for virtue, or perform virtuous acts absent Grace which net them no supernatural gain at all.
The Catholic/Orthodox belief, firmly grounded in Scripture and built upon the incredible sanctity and wisdom of the early Fathers, posits that we must permit Christ to mold us into His image through cooperation with Grace, which entails constant mortification, in order to then have the virtue required to serve others in a truly Christ-like, selfless manner. That does not mean we wait to serve others until the process is complete, for it will never be complete, but it does mean we do our very best through mortification, prayer, partaking of the Sacraments, which actions will provide the very seedbed of virtue on which to base our acts of charity – our entire life of charity – towards others. It is impossible, according to too many Saints to list and even more so according to the experience of millions of pious souls, to practice truly selfless virtue towards others without mortification. It is the very basis of the interior life. This piece in the Federalist is really just a vile calvinist attack on a timeless, fundamental Christian practice.
In conclusion, I think what the author truly wanted to say is that protestant practice of mortification is a danger to protestantism, not to the souls in question.
It just goes to show how twisted off and erroneous one can become when there is not an Authority to provide settled understandings of Scripture and its meaning, which St. Peter – the First Pope – warned us about in his 2nd Catholic Epistle.
And this is what true ecumenism should involve, refuting in the strongest terms the soul-endangering heresies of protestantism, and calling them to conversion. I pray for that Swedish couple, that they develop a proper understanding of the Faith.
*Just in case you don’t know, there is no 45 Chapter of St. John’s Gospel.
….from God to us, and from us back to God. Two excerpts from Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Father Martin von Cochem:
Give thanks, therefore, O Christian, to this thy true friend, Who has labored for thee and laid up for thee so rich a store of treasures. Acknowledge His great charity towards thee in offering these treasures for thy acceptance,and bestowing them upon thee freely. See that thou hear Mass daily, if possible, in order to appropriate to thyself a large portion of these riches. Thou wouldst spare no pains and grudge no time if thou coudst acquire temporal riches as easily as thou canst acquire wealth for thy soul. Why, then, remain so careless in regard to the eternal treasures, and by thy indifference allow them to escape thy grasp? May God enlighten thy blindness, convert thy sloth into diligence, and inspire thee with true fervor; and when this happy change is effected thou wilt then hear Mass frequently and to thy soul’s profit……
……..”The prayers said at Mass,” Bishop Fornerus tells us, “offered in union with the Holy Sacrifice, have infinitely more value than any other prayers, however long, however fervent, more even than ecstatic contemplations, in virtue of the merits of Christ’s Passion, the power of which is manifested in Holy Mass by a superabundance of celestial gifts and graces. For as the head is the noblest portion of the body, no other member being comparable to it, so does the prayer offered by Christ, our Head, when He prays for us in Holy Mass surpass in dignity the prayers of all Christian people, who are His members.”
It is a beautiful commentary, but I also want to use it to make a point more salient to the present crisis in the Church.
That last paragraph is quite the profound commentary on the separated sects, which do not have the Mass. Prior to Vatican II, it was thought in the Church – with great clarity – that, lacking the Mass and most other avenues of Grace, protestants were in a dire position with regard to their personal salvation.
Which is a major reason why the “reform” of the Mass “had” to take the direction it did, so that it was less an impediment to worldly ecumenism, a movement whose intellectual roots were defined in the late 19th/early 20th century modernist camp.
For more on that, see Louis Verrecchio’s video below,
Quite an interesting video. I will say, it is so difficult not to be scandalized with some of the words coming from the Holy Father. Anglican fellow “saints?” Ouch. So, I would really like to ask the Pope, and I may send him a letter to this effect – you don’t think I should have converted, do you?
To Louis’ general point, it’s an interesting one. Ecumenism, along with religious “liberty” and collegiality are the three-headed hydra normally pointed to as being responsible for the revolution against the Church. So I agree with that. And I would tend to agree that ecumenism is probably the primary one, but it is closely aligned with this religious liberty blather.
But I’m not sure if ecumenism is the “central” or root error behind the crisis in the Church. I think the central, or root, cause, is intellectual pride manifesting as modernism/leftism. I am not applying that error to the Holy Father definitively or anything like that, but I think in general, that is the true root of modernist elements. Pride, and lack of true faith.
It’s interesting that Verrecchio’s argument is very similar to the argument of Fr. Leonard Feeney, that Americanist indifferentism cum ecumenism was responsible for the failing faith of the mid-20th century US Church, a faith that was about to be unleashed on the world via Vatican II. I know Feeney seems to have overly narrowly defined Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, but there is much of that same argument above. Not that I disagree with it, I think ecumenism is being used by progressive elements in the Church to try to dismantle her. And those elements seem to be running with wild abandon at present.
I am feeling increasingly disturbed over this upcoming Synod. It’s going to take the Holy Spirit’s direct intervention to prevent it from going off the rails, I fear.
Just a quick note, when I show a video of Louis Verrecchio that certainly does not mean I am “siding” with him against Michael Voris or anyone else. It just means I happen to think the video or post in question has some merit, or elicits interesting matter. And when I post a Vortex or another Voris video, it also doesn’t mean I’m taking his “side” over against anyone else’s in any internecine strife. It just means Voris has hit the matter square on, as he usually does. But if I don’t make this clarification someone will make a baseless insinuation or outright accusation.
Matthew VIII and ecumenism with Jews March 7, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
The Gospel for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday in the 1962 Missal (actually, mine is 1945, but the reading is the same) is from Chapter VIII of St. Matthew’s Gospel (verses 5-13). Towards the end, Our Blessed Lord says some things that would appear, to me, to contradict much of the modern “ecumenical” attitude in the Church, especially with regard to the Jews:
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this: Go, and he goeth; and to another: Come, and he cometh; and to my servant: Do this, and he doeth it.
And Jesus hearing this, marveled, and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
While this Gospel is normally taken as a glorious exegesis on faith, which it is of course is, this second half is also most significant. In it, Christ refers to the Gentiles being the prime recipients of the New Covenant, and prophesies the Jewish rejection of the same. There were certainly many Jewish converts to the early faith, and the Apostles were entirely Jewish in origin, but we also know from 2000 years of history that many Jews, and especially the Jewish religious establishment, rejected Christ’s Sacrifice, the life of Grace, and the entire New Covenant.
And, Our Blessed Lord seems to make clear that this rejection will result in their damnation. He refers specifically to the children of the present kingdom – the Old Covenant, the Jewish religious state, then under Roman domination, but formerly with their own kings – as being cast out for their refusal to accept Christ.
Unfortunately, the post-conciliar ecumenical movement, extending even to the very highest level of the Church in the form of the past several popes, routinely not just implies, but directly states, that the Old Covenant is somehow still operative and that Jews have their own “path to salvation” even while deliberately rejecting Christ – which many modern-day Jews make it a point to do. It is not true charity to leave people in error, to tell them their religious heritage, which they certainly hold dear, is somehow salvific. It reeks of universal salvation and indifferentism of a kind that would have shocked Catholics just a few decades ago.
Beyond this one quite, there are of course numerous portions of Sacred Scripture which would seem to directly contradict the underlying rationale for the entire ecumenical movement, especially that portion of the movement directed at non-Christians. This is just one small reference point. There are dozens of others.
But as we see abroad in the Church today, more and more, there are efforts to undermine if not obliterate Dogmas founded on an incredibly sure foundations of direct references from Scripture as well as 2000 years of Tradition. The Church in Germanic speaking countries is just about totally run amok, with bishops claiming fornication is no longer a sin, that contraception use is morally acceptable (in spite of direct statements claiming this use is mortally sinful going back to the very, very earliest Church – and before), and of course that maybe bigamy is OK, and go ahead and present for the Blessed Sacrament while you remain married to two people, at least in God’s eyes.
To the extent that the Holy Father seems to be at least toying with some of these notions, as well, it is certainly scandalous and profoundly unnerving to faithful Catholics. I don’t have a big point with this post, other than to relate that I was struck by this seeming condemnation in advance of the modern ecumenical movement by Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was always very direct and plain with regard to salvation: either you accept Him as Son of God, observe the commandments, and practice virtue in cooperation with Grace, or you will not be saved. You will suffer eternal torments in hell.
It is amazing that there are people in the Church – uneducated or educated to the point of imbecility, I know not – that appear to have utterly forgotten their Scripture. Or, they are simply so overwhelmingly influenced by the world and its errors that they have grown cold in the Faith.
Difficult times, to be certain. I can only advise more prayer and penance, for ourselves and our Holy Mother Church.
Cathedral of Cordoba’ to be stolen from Church and nationalized? February 26, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Art and Architecture, Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, persecution, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the enemy.
The much fought over Cathedral of Cordoba – first a church, then cathedral, then mosque, and, since the great victory in 1236 of San Fernando III, a cathedral again – is under threat of being stripped from the Church yet again, this time by the secularist, socialist government of Andalusia. The threat may be minor for now – or not – but the government has circulated a petition eagerly signed by tens of thousands of muslims, calling for the cathedral to be taken from the Church and handed over to the state, to serve secular and ecumenical interests:
(Madrid) attacks against the Catholic Church have many faces. A recent venture appears in the style of the French Revolution as a snappy “joke”. In the Spanish Andalusia Church opponents want to expropriate the famous Catholic cathedral of Cordoba and “nationalize” it. The southern Spanish city’s cathedral is unique for architectural reasons. It has had an eventful history. Before the diocesan church was established in 1236, it was used for several centuries an Islamic mosque, to be exact, the main mosque of the emirate and caliphate of Cordoba.
The Government of the Comunidad Autonoma de Analuciacan has legally examined whether there is a possibility of expropriation of the cathedral. The initiators of the expropriation action argue that the cathedral as a unique piece of architecture is a “World Heritage Site”. But as such, it can not be owned by a religious community, and certainly not the Catholic Church, but must have its ownership transferred to the public. [This isn't right, I don't think. Santiago de Compostella is a World Heritage Site but it is still operated, and I believe owned, by the Church. I don't know if this false assumption is being made by the article, or the Andalusian government. Or, I could be wrong.] Modern robber barons in the name of the State, have a lot of experience in which revolutionaries and their epigones of all ages. Andalusia has been governed by a Leftist majority since the return to democracy. The provincial government originates without exception since 1982 from the ranks of the Socialist Party (PSOE).
A few years ago the call came to convert the Cathedral in deference to the Muslims to a place of interfaith worship. A claim, which was rejected by the Catholic Church. Therefore, the new venture aims to profanation and conversion of the church into a museum.
In their anti-clerical urge Spanish secularists making themselves spokesmen for Islamic interests under the heading “multiculturalism”. The fact that the Cathedral was previously a mosque, will be brought largely into play, that a non-denominational solution had to be sought by the state for the church. A secular group initiated two weeks with an Internet petition, seeking the expropriation of the Cathedral. They will rob, nationalize and profane the Catholic Church. The Cathedral of Cordoba should be made into a museum and become a kind of second Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. [Except, the Turks are going to turn Sancte Sophia back into a mosque. Some time back, muslims and secular interests in Spain advocated for the Church/Archdiocese to voluntary relinquish the Cathedral for muslim services. The Archdiocese politely said no. But secularists rarely take no for an answer, at least for very long]
The petition was signed by 88,000 people. ”A strange alliance” as a spokesman for the Committee for the Protection of the cathedral said. It was initiated by the petition of the Spanish Left, and “free-thinkers”, but the majority of the signatures came from Muslims. Muslim groups and individuals have taken the ball and immediately mobilized for signing.
The petition has no legal relevance in itself. However, it was also signed by Maria Isabel Ambrosio, the competent Socialist government representative for the province of Cordoba. Ambrosio also that gave a legal opinion in order to seek ways in which the cathedral could be expropriated and nationalized. [And turned into an indifferentist, secularist multi-culti shrine]
Against the Socialist expropriation a resistance is planning to upset it. A few days ago they started collecting signatures for a petition on Internet. [Sign the petition! It's in Spanish, but just put in your first and last name and e-mail (correa electronica)] In it, the government of Andalusia is asked to take care of the real problems of the Andalusians, “instead of thinking about how to rob the Cathedral of Cordoba and expropriate.”
There is much more interesting history of the Cathedral at Eponymous Flower, go over and check it out.
As our culture becomes decreasingly Christian and increasingly sexular and pagan, we can expect more and more of these kinds of acts. I have read that in Europe the Church, once one of the dominant cultural players, receiving some deference even from Her enemies, is today largely discounted as an old relic. Or a relic of old people. Yet another fruit we have harvested of aggiornamento, listening and even accepting the “wisdom” of the world over the past 5 decades!
Tragic: Thousands of churches closing in France. I know why. February 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, unadulterated evil.
As reported by Gillibrand, thousands of Catholic parishes are closing in France and being subsequently sold off, due to lack of attendance. Since the Council, weekly Mass attendance in France has fallen by about 80-90%. Today, fewer than 3% of self-described Catholics assist at Mass. It is likely that in the next 10-20 years, the majority of those who assist at Mass every week in France will be traditional Catholics. That may actually be a good thing.
However, in the interim, it will be very sad as church after church, parish after parish, is shuttered and sold off or torn down:
How has this come to be? Everyone knows, some more consciously than others. It has something to do with that Good Shepherd parish, just as it has to do with this below, also from Gillibrand:
Teddy bear “Mass.” With female “deacon?” Not from France, but similar occurs there frequently. As, apparently, we have very nearly the same here in the US.
Yes, there are many factors bearing upon the collapse of the Church in the West, but the Liturgy is the focal point of the Faith, so the anti-liturgical revolution has done as much or more to precipitate the collapse than any other factor.
PS – Who ever thought there might come a day when there would be more practicing muslims in France than Catholics? Is that ecumenism, too?
So, I shouldn’t have converted, then? – UPDATED February 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Lent, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, the return.
The other major story – or perhaps scandal – that broke over the weekend was Louis Verricchio’s revealing to the orthodox Catholic world, anyway, that Pope Francis had sent a greeting to an American evangelical protestant confab wherein he called some guy named Tony Palmer- who has gotten many, many Catholics to reject their faith and apostasize – his “brother bishop.”
It seems Tony Palmer has known the pope since his days in Argentina and that they are great buds. Palmer was due to speak at one of Kenneth Copeland’s protestant hootenannys and wanted Pope Francis to send a greeting to the evangelicals. Pope Francis, who has had a long history of eager cooperation with evangelicals, went so far, on video, as calling Palmer his “brother bishop” (see 1:20):
Verricchio has many videos from the confab at his site, if you want a flavor for that kind of false-emotion, overly produced, and highly staged event. I’ve been watching and observing evangelicals for over 30 years, and it’s always the same: the twisting of bits of Scripture to their own destruction, orchestrated events to fire emotions, and always money, money, money. You don’t love Jesus if you don’t keep me in $5000 suits.
So, one of these types – wearing a pretend Roman collar, no less – is a “brother bishop?” Speaking from the heart? So then why did I convert? Why should anyone convert? And when Pope Francis says @1:55 that Jesus Christ is “the only Lord,” how does he reconcile that with telling muslims they don’t need to convert and can be saved by their faith in “Allah?” You can include the Jews, who specifically repudiate Jesus Christ and frequently harbor a great animosity towards Christians and Christianity. But Pope Francis, echoing nebulous conciliar statements, claim they have their own path to salvation.
Yes, what happened to “let your yes mean yes and your no mean no?” Is this a different message for a different audience? When speaking to muslims, islam is fine, but when speaking to evangelicals, Jesus Christ is the Only Lord?! Que paso, Jorge?
From the standpoint of one who very deliberately, after much suffering, converted to the Faith, I have to say, all these excessive efforts at ecumenical outreach are very painful for me to see. It seems to trivialize all I went through for the sake of conversion (and I am far from alone), which painful process I have never once seen Pope Francis mention as being noble, or even worthy.
Instead, what we have seen repeatedly is that all these false sects, with their erroneous beliefs which actually lead people away from Christ, in so many cases, are saintly “brothers” who are just perfectly fine where they are at. Again, this is not limited to separated Christians, it seems to apply to EVERY religion out there. This is self-contradictory thinking, as I pointed out above, for by embracing evangelical protestants who love them some Jesus, Pope Francis is telling the same muslims he embraced a few months ago that they are, in fact, in thrall of an idolatrous false religion. This is the fundamental flaw in all ecumenism, aside from the massive indifferentism it perpetuates: any “advance” with one sect or group means a setback with another, because they believe contradictory things. That is one major reason why ecumenism, as such, is doomed to fail.
Unless, of course, we reduce our Faith to just a worldly feel-good society where the lowest religious common denominator predominates. That would result in Catholic churches inescapably being Good Shepherds, with 20 or 30 old women in attendance and no one else (essentially, like France). Which error Pope Francis again and again claims to oppose, but then we see this very “heartfelt” message. What are we to believe? It’s just confusion piled on confusion – the favorite tool of modernists.
Well, now we have more fodder for our Septuagesima and Lenten sufferings. Louis Verricchio also notes that Pope Francis appears to have a kind word, even a heart felt love, for everyone, save orthodox/traditional Catholics. There’s a phrase for that, but I’ll keep it to myself.
To give you an idea of what kind of creature Copeland, Palmer, and their fellow televangelists, see this report from an admittedly hostile secular pagan tabloid. Nonetheless, as Verricchio notes, how does Pope Francis square his denouncing of the rich and love of the poor, and his encouragement to pursue a simple, Christian lifestyle, with this man’s fabulous wealth? And almost every other major televangelist enjoys a similar lifestyle:
UPDATE: Just another thought, for those who may express scandal at this post. If I made a post where I referred to Anglican/evangelical orders as valid (there is massive question as to the lineage of this “Bishop” Tony Palmer, and whether he is even truly Anglican), and called Episcopal head Catherine Jefferts Schori a true bishop in Christ’s Church, would there not be scandal? Would I not rightly lose the attention of many readers? Even if I claimed differently, later, would my claim, if I had originally had doubts, at least be a grave sin against prudence?
I cannot judge the actions of a pope, but I can recognize scandal when I see it.
UPDATE II: So, I guess I should not have been surprised. Nevertheless, I have been dismayed at the outpouring of ecstatic, uncritical support for this little ecumenical gesture on the part of Pope Francis. A few mix in a word or two of caution regarding the doctrinal gulf between protestants, especially evangelical protestants, and Catholics. But even those are pretty muted. Most reactions have stated just how unreservedly pleased Our Blessed Lord must be at this turn of events, because apparently what Jesus craves more than anything is “unity.” Whatever that means. Of course, any unity that failed to proclaim Christ’s sovereign Reign and which would be founded at least in part on error would be totally false.
One common defense of the greeting I’ve seen is that we have to meet people on their terms, that Catholics must “try to at least find some common ground to bring us together and start a conversation must be the first step.”
Maybe. It certainly sounds good to worldly, secular ears today. But is that how the early Church dealt with heretics? Aren’t protestants heretics? How many great Saints and early Church Fathers can I quote that absolutely excoriated heretics in the most savage of terms, casting them literally and figuratively out of the Church and referring to them as children of satan – or even satans themselves. So un-ecumenical! But such was the faith that conquered an empire, and endured 2000+ years.
How did St. Paul react to the erroneous judaizers in Galatians and other letters? Did he tell them how awesome they were, but they just had one or two errors to tweak? NO! He completely obliterated them, knowing that one error mixed in with thousands of truths leads to the corruption of all. He even “withstood Peter to his face,” showing that the pope can, indeed, be wrong, even on matters of doctrine.
But my biggest problem with Francis’ comments is that they just obliterate Catholic efforts at evangelization. Now when Catholics try to convert protestants, what will they hear? ”Even your pope thinks we’re fine, leave me alone!” How much harder will it be to promote the Church’s already moribund efforts at evangelization? Just as it has become harder to defend the Church’s Doctrine on marriage and abortion, since Pope Francis’ previous unfortunate comments. There have been full-blown heretic demonstrations at nominally Catholic colleges and schools, with the students claiming Pope Francis doesn’t “judge,” so let that “married” sodomite teach theology, or let that woman have an abortion.
And so it goes.
The Nativity Story Movie Blasphemous and Sacrilegious February 21, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Our Lady, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, the enemy.
We got that movie The Nativity Story some years back, when it came out on DVD. We watched it once, then trashed it. It was a very protestant-oriented movie. That, and it had no plot to speak of. It just ended abruptly with the flight into Egypt.
But the biggest problem, as the priest notes below, was the depiction of Our Blessed Mother as being afflicted with the pangs of labor. This is heresy. Labor pains were inflicted on women due to the stain of Original Sin caused by our first mother. But Our Lady was preserved from Original Sin. She, thus, had no labor pains. This may seem like a small thing, but that just shows how inured to blasphemy and sacrilege we’ve become. That’s why I say the movie is pretty protestant oriented, they treat Our Lady as just a lucky woman what happened to done birth her a Messiah.
Yes, that’s how protestants talk, I know, I used to be one.
Watch this, and see what you think. Please say 3 Ave’s for the priest:
You can hear all his sermons at www.romans10seventeen.org.
Lead a rally group in defense of marriage March 22? February 11, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, Ecumenism, family, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
TFP and other groups are planning on turning March 22 into a nationwide day of protest in defense of marriage. They are looking for people to be willing to gather a few or many friends and family, and then stand on a streetcorner for an hour and give witness to the sanctity of marriage. They would do this by hoisting some banners encouraging people to accept and adhere to the traditional definition of marriage for one hour on Saturday, March 22.
They claim if you sign up – free of charge – you will be sent a 10 foot banner that says “God’s Marriage = 1 Man and 1 Woman.” I suspect it will also feature some verbiage for Tradition, Family, and Propert and/or America Needs Fatima. I really like the idea. I really think public witness, visibly challenging this culture’s self-destructive assumptions, is something we need to do more and more of. Whether that is done with a TFP banner, or just getting some folks together on your own on that Saturday, is probably immaterial. It would be quite a sight to see a group standing on the corner of, say Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn (Dallasites will know what I mean), advocating for marriage (although, I hear the homosexuals are departing that neighborhood as it now has too many regular folks for their taste – apparently, “phobias” run both ways).
So here’s my proposal. I am sure I can drag my wife and kids out for this. However, it would be awesome to have some additional folks go. I was teasing about doing this in Oak Lawn – I don’t want to start a fight – but I would be good with someplace in Dallas or Irving. They also recommend making signs such as “honk for traditional marriage,” etc.
Anybody up for this? I think to be effective we’d need at least about 20 people or so. It’s Saturday, March 22. If you are local, either let me know in the comments, e-mail me if you have my super-secret batcave e-mail address, or talk to me in person.
If we do this, I don’t want to do it in a really “safe” location. I want to go where there will be lots of people including a fair assortment unlikely to be supportive of our views. If we are going to evangelize, that is the type we need to reach. So, maybe do this at Mockingbird and Inwood? Or somewhere like that?
If I get a positive response, I start to set up some details.
The great Gueranger on the concern we should have for souls February 11, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, martyrdom, reading, religious, Saints, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
When I posted yesterday about some blogs going missing, one I had foremost in mind was Ars Orandi. I have asked David Werling on Facebook what happened, but got no response. It just disappeared, taking years of great content with it.
Most of what Ars Orandi posted was excerpts from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s seminal The Liturgical Year. For each day of the year, be it a day dedicated to a particular Saint, a Feria, or some great feast, you could drop by and get extensive excerpts from Gueranger’s coverage of that same Saint or Feast in The Liturgical Year.
I thought that was one of the best content formats for a blog I had yet seen. In the spirit of keeping that alive, here is an excerpt from The Liturgical Year on the recently passed Feast of St. John Matha, one of the founders of the Trinitarian order dedicated to freeing captive Christians from Mohammaden hands. Given the way the world is going with increasingly violent persecution of Christians, we have need for such dedicated souls again!
Towards the end of the writings on St. John Matha, Gueranger discusses the enormous charity that is required to correct souls in danger of error, or entirely lost in error (from The Liturgical Year, Vol. 4 Septuagesima, p. 260):
St. John Matha………..teach us the secret of ardent charity. Is it possible that we can see a soul in danger of being lost and remain indifferent? have we forgotten the divine promise, told us by the apostle: “He that causeth a sinner to be converted form the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins?” (Jm V:20). Obtain for us, also, a tender compassion for such as are in bodily suffering and poverty, that so we may be generous in comforting them under these trials, which are but too often an occasion of their blaspheming Providence. Dear friend and liberator of slaves! pray, during this holy season, for those who groan under the captivity of sin and Satan; for those, especially, who, taken with the frenzy of earthly pleasures, feel not the weight of their chains, but sleep on peacefully through their slavery. Ransom them by thy prayers, convert them to the Lord their God, lead them back to the land of freedom. Pray for France which was they country, and save her from infidelity. [I wonder how broken-hearted Dom Prosper Gueranger would be to know the state of the Church in France today. Poor country, Catholics there were some of the most consistently opposed to Church Doctrine in recent worldwide poll] Protect the venerable remnants of they Order, that so it may labour for the present wants of the Christian world……
”He that causeth a sinner to be converted form the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins.” That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
Sadly, that kind of charity and zeal for souls is immensely lacking in our Church today. That diabolically pernicious error, “universal salvation,” has convinced millions that not only can they do as they please, they needn’t have the slightest care over their own sins or those of their brothers. We’re all saved anyways, right? So who cares if one is a fornicator, one a drunkard, another an adulterer, another a blasphemer, and yet another hasn’t assisted at Mass in years. It’s all good, because God is only a God of Love and He checked His Justice at the doorway to the 20th century.
Or perhaps, as St. John Matha and St. James both knew, universal salvation is a massive error driven, one fears, by rife indifference? Does it not matter that a great early Father, Origen, went from being one of the leading theologians of the 4th century to a condemned heretic over this matter? Does it also not matter that almost all justifications for universal salvation are hung solely on Origen’s error, and radical misquotes (if they are not made up out of whole cloth, as Dr. Ralph Martin shows) of other Fathers, who never said anything that could be construed as endorsing universal salvation?
Fortunately, I think this error is rapidly being exposed for what it is. But it is so widespread, we have a very long way to go. So do ask St. John Matha to pray that all Catholics will have true faith, zeal for souls, and courage!
One last note: how about St. John Matha as the model for the Church’s ecumenical efforts?