Are you an Ultramontanist? July 22, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return, Tradition.
The good Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a post asking a most pertinent question in the present environment in the Church – are you an ultramontanist? This does not mean you accept the Dogma of papal infallibility. That is not what the ultramontanism run amok in the present context means. I will let Boniface explain:
There is a lot of talk these days about a kind of pervasive Ultramontanism in the Neo-Catholic world; not Ultramontanism in the classical sense, for understood classically, Ultramontanism, like the term “Integralism“, was just a phrase denoting Catholicism affirming the infallibility of the pope.In current parlance, we are not talking about fidelity to the Holy Father, but rather a kind of crass, undiscriminating Ultramontanism that is best characterized by the embarrassing spectacle of Neo-Catholic apologists tripping all over themselves to affirm every single prudential decision of the pope as not only good, but the best possible decision. In the judgment of the modern Ultramontanists, every utterance of the pope, no matter how banal or off the cuff, is treated as a profound insight; every administrative act or symbolic gesture he makes are examples of brilliant leadership; every prudential judgment and non-authoritative teaching treated as infallible truth. [thus the incredible claims that some would accept a papal claim that black is actually white, or 2+2=5]No matter what they might say, there is a very easy test to see if the person you are talking with actually subscribes to the kind of crass Ultramontanism I have described above. Ask them to:First, cite one prudential action of the pope which you disagree with. [Kissing the koran]Second, cite one action or statement of the pope that you agree with, though you admit that good Catholics can be in disagreement about. [Pope Benedict's quoting of the Emperor Michael II Paleologos against the cruelties of islam was actually an act of charity, not a controversial interfaith blunder. But you can believe it was a blunder if you want. Heretic.]If you or your interlocutor cannot do either of these two things, they are Ultramontanists, no matter what they might say to the contrary.
I think it’s a pretty good test. And I feel very strongly that unchecked ultra-ultramontanism is seriously unbalancing the Church. But it is a favorite pastime of many prominent American Catholics, including most of the top Catholic bloggers. The danger we have seen is when obedience and fealty to the papacy as an institution and understanding of the narrow limits of papal infallibility morphs into ultra-ultramontanism, we tend to see very wild swings in emphasis, and even belief and practice, from one papacy to the next. And that only exacerbates the already existing crisis in the Church, spreads confusion and scandal, and leads more souls to fall away – or at least increases the risk of some falling away.
And the even larger problem is that, in spite of all the canonizations, recent popes have taken a number of prudential actions, and even some actions or more import than mere prudence, that are very difficult to reconcile with Tradition and in fact represent great novelties in the life of the Church. Those novelties have tended entirely in one direction, towards progressivism/modernism/indifferentism. And thus we have the crisis. So it is not a far reach to say that ultra-ultramontanism is playing a big role in precipitating the crisis in the Faith, and preventing effective action to promote the timeless Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in opposition to the crisis.
And then we have TFG. That’s the problem taken to a whole different level.
UPDATE: There is also a reverse corollary, regarding sede vacantism. One could just sort of flip the questions around.
I saw on VideoSancto that some months ago, Fr. Cassian Folsom OSB of the Benedictines of Norcia gave a retreat at The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA. Now, these are the Slaves that are in full regular canonical unity and whose bishop has offered Mass at their chapel (TLM only, ever) several times. But, they are, of course, descended from Fr. Leonard Feeney’s group – in fact, they are one of several offshoots of Feeney’s original group. While there are branches of the original St. Benedict Center who are either still under some ecclesiastical penalty or who have not fully regularized, this group is not one of those. In fact, the Slaves of the ‘official’ St. Benedict Center take part regularly in diocesan events like the 40 Days of Life.
I will post two of the videos from that series of talks at the bottom of the post. But I think it needs to be noted that Fr. Folsom is not a traddy. He’s certainly orthodox, his order is sort of walking the line the Franciscans of the Immaculate trod, having both the Novus Ordo very reverently in Latin, but also the TLM with some regularity (goodness, I pray they are small enough to avoid attention for the duration of this pontificate). But I don’t think Fr. Folsom is an “extremist” on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus or any other matter. He’s a good, orthodox, traditional leaning priest, and his order is the same.
So I take it as kind of an endorsement of the Slaves that Fr. Folsom would preach a retreat there. Under different circumstances, I would not have any surprise at this, but I have noted that many traditional Catholics most definitely retain an animus against this order, even though it has been fully regularized. There seems to be an assumption that if there was some error in the past, it somehow must remain. I have been surprised – shocked might be the better term – at how strongly opinions run against what seem to me very good nuns, brothers, and priests. This is an order that throughout the crisis has never once offered the Novus Ordo. But that does not appear to win them much support. I have seen that even though they do a great deal of good work, a good number of traditional priests, within the Fraternity and elsewhere, strongly counsel young men and women to avoid this order. I really don’t know why that is.
Now, I will admit to some bias. I have had the pleasure of meeting several of the nuns of this order and I like them a great deal. I have never heard any error or extravagant opinion pass their lips. I even tried deliberately to pry on the matter of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and while they certainly support this Dogma, there was a recognition of the broader understanding of this Dogma that most solid traditionalists hold (baptism by blood and desire). I cannot say I was even close to exhaustive in examining this matter, but there was certainly no obvious error.
So what gives? There are so few traditional orders for women, and yet this one is frequently treated like a pariah. Is there some real evidence of remaining error, or is it just lingering suspicion, or? And if the latter, how is that charitable?
I would appreciate some input on the questions as posed. I do not want a re-hashing of the whole Feeney affair, nor do I want blanket statements that “they’re just bad,” or things to that effect. How are they bad? What do they believe that is wrong? Etc.
I’m sure you guys will help me out, and some – some – heat in the comments will be tolerated so long as it remains on topic.
Video on St. John Cassian and prayer:
Video on Lectio Divina:
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I have read some more in Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. Feser argues early on in the book that modern secular materialist atheism exists almost exclusively in opposition to traditional religion, and in essence, Catholicism. Catholicism was of course the main opponent of the first secularists of the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called “enlightenment” thinkers, who sought to curb religious “extremism” through the growth of a competing, agnostic secular state. I think Feser argues quite convincingly that this new sexular paganism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries both acts and sees itself as an essential opposite to Christianity in general, the Church in particular, and all the morality that flows naturally from the right practice of the Faith. What secular leftists fail to admit today is that their philosophy has evolved into a competing and implacably hostile religion of its own. Some very good points below, I hope you appreciate them as I did:
…….the “religious” characteristics of secularism……-its bigotry and its superstition – stem from a third and deeper respect in which secularism can only properly be understood in religious terms, namely that the content of secularism as a philosophy and a sensibility is entirely parasitic on religion. It is not just that secularists happen to reject and oppose religion; it is that there is nothing more to their creed than rejecting and opposing religion. This point might seem obviously true, even banal, but it is not. For secularists often regard themselves as promoting a positive intellectual and moral vision of the world, not merely a critique of religion. They claim to have something new to put in its place. Hence they not only reject faith; they endorse reason and science. They not only reject traditional morality, especially in the area of sex;’ they affirm the value of free choice. They not only reject ecclesiastical authority; they promote democracy and tolerance. And so on. But look more closely and you’ll find that this “positive vision” is really nothing more than a restatement of the negative one. As I have said already……the mainstream Western religious tradition itself very firmly rests on and embraces reason and science [Key point. Reason has repeatedly been used to prove the existence of God, the Christian God. Science can also support an enormous amount of Christian belief. But there must also always been room for Faith. So Christianity cannot be entirely explained/justified by science and reason. But that does not make it any less true.] ……..So what, pray tell, is distinctively “secularist” about reason, science, free choice, toleration, and the like? Nothing at all, as it happens. The fact is that secularists are “for” reason and science only to the extent that they don’t lead to religious conclusions; they celebrate free choice only insofar as one chooses against traditional or religiously oriented morality; and they are for democracy and toleration only to the extent that these might lead to a less religiously oriented social and political order. Again, the animus against religion is not merely a feature of the secularist mindset; it is the only feature. [And this is certainly true of many of the leading lights of secularist thought, both today and historically. Darwin admitted to having quite an agenda behind The Origin of Species.]
…….anyone who reads very deeply in the work of contemporary analytic philosophers will find that one of their main obsessions, perhaps the main obsession, is the project of “naturalizing” this or that phenomenon – the mind, knowledge, ethics, and so forth – or showing, in other words, that it can be entirely accounted for in terms of “natural” properties and processes of the sort compatible with (their conception of) “natural science.” ……..what this ultimately means is just accounting for it [whatever phenomenon is under examination] in terms that make no reference to God, the soul, or any other immaterial reality. Those “tough-minded” secularist philosophers who like to pretend, to themselves and others, that hey are well beyond giving religion any thought whatsoever in their day-to-day work, thus reveal by the substance of that work that they are in fact and at bottom interested in little else. In particular, their mania for “naturalizing” every philosophically problematic phenomenon they can get their hands on evinces a desire to rationalize their atheism, however indirectly…….. [And I think many of us have seen this in the way that modern science and philosophy tries to explain away every single possible aspect of the human psyche, the universe, Creation, etc, in purely naturalistic terms, even to the point of giving truly ludicrous explanation of such, at times. All this is founded on a fundamental error that rejects the understanding of the classical philosophers, who proved the existence of God, for a near-communist/materialist attempt to understand man/Creation/the universe.]
……..when we consider: (a) the fact that secularism is little more than an animus against religion, without any positive content; [I would guess most readers have experienced utterly unreasoning hatred of religion among those who consider themselves "the smart set" (b) the fact that its adherents are often committed to ideas as superstitious and/or mad as any that the most corrupt forms of religion exhibit (ideas which, though not essential to secularism, per se and thus not accepted among all secularists, nevertheless usually tend to follow upon the rejection of religion as as substitute for religion; [Belief in UFOs, "paranormal phenomenon," astrology, bizarre superstitions, conspiracy theories, global warming, are rife on the left. Even more, the adoption of certain acts as pseudo-sacramentals, like veganism or recycling to "save the planet," animal rights activism, etc, all involve certain required beliefs, expiatory acts, "angels" and "demons," etc.] and (c) the fact that they also typically manifest toward religion and religious believers exactly the sort of ignorance, intolerance, and dogmatism they attribute to religion itself; when we add all these factors together, it is surely plausible to regard secularism as something that is…..a religion.
QED, if you ask me!
I guess I’ve been beating this drum a great deal lately, but part of why I am doing so is that occasionally some of these posts break out of the Catholic blogosphere and into the secular world. Or, more frequently, I will reach a fair number of Catholics who have never considered progressivism/secularism as a religion in a to-the-death competition with Christianity.
I do think secularism has evolved into a religion or something essentially indistinguishable from same. And I believe more and more firmly, as the evidence piles up, that the sexular pagan religion we are faced with today will brook no competitors, save, possibly, for islam, of which it is terrified. At present, sexular paganism has a tacit alliance with islam, ordered to further reduce the influence of Christianity, which, I think, confirms that sexular paganism is not so much a positive belief set, but a negative one. It seeks the death of Christianity and would rather wear a burqa than admit of Jesus Christ. And does not this tell us of the demonic element behind this new materialist religion?
I had some blurbs about how this new religion has evolved from the error of the endarkenment philosophes, the error being their idea (or fervent wish) that religion could be reduced to a small, benign and almost inconsequential box. They were wrong, man is an inherently religious beast and government must fundamentally choose which kind of religion it will support – islam, Catholicism, sexular paganism, or what have you. Our government was founded on the latter, and so we are seeing the inevitable result.
Ok, this post is too long, so just pray for Faith and courage to stay strong as the pressure intensifies!
In an incredible move, but not a terribly surprising one considering his track record, Obama late yesterday signed an executive order banning “discrimination” in hiring the adherents of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah from all recipients of federal contracts. This includes many entities of the Church, which now face either seeing their federal contract pulled (which may not be a bad thing), or committing grave sin by employing people who openly reject the Doctrine of the Faith through their actions.
There are many aspects to all this. First, the report, which curiously hasn’t been covered much on the more orthodox blogs, I guess because we just expect this now?
President Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – ignoring the pleas of Christian and other faith leaders to include an exemption for religious organizations.
“Thanks to your passion and advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of your cause, our government – the government of the people, by the people and for the people – will become just a little bit fairer,” the president told a gathering in the White House.
The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. Christianity Today reports the order could impact religious non-profits such as World Vision, World Relief and Catholic Charities.
“If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith – then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told me.
…..this administration believes gay rights trump everyone else’s rights – including religious rights.
Indeed. But even more, this administration, and the far left from which it sprang, is so lost in atheistic materialism that they cannot even envision how religion could mean much of anything to anyone. At most, it’s something some do on Sunday for largely [I used the wrong word before, I was trying to convey....] <selfish, preening, egotistical> reasons. We see the endemic hostility of the modern American left to not just religion but even basic decency in this decision.
As I said, there are many aspects to this. It is stunning that Obama would make this move even after his administration just getting pummeled at the Supreme Court this year, with overreaching socialist law after egregious abuse overturned. Obamacare was dealt a potentially shattering blow just today from a federal appeal’s court. He just doesn’t seem to care. He’s going to throw everything he can at the wall and see what sticks, because he is a red diaper doper baby and an openly avowed enemy of Christianity.
And this guy was elected, twice.
On another level, there is the increasing dependence among many organs of the Church on federal funding. Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, CCHD, the whole panoply of alphabet soup agencies – all receive the vast, vast majority of their funding from the federal government. That condition has been most deliberate and has led to all manner of problems. For one, we have seen the many scandals in which CRS is supporting Planned Barrenhood in distributing contreceptives in third world nations, and even has struck some alliances with pro-abort groups. It is a metaphysical certitude that there are at present numerous “LGBT” types at CRS, Catholic Charities, et. al., and that their presence is very open and some very high level people know this.
So all of this has some feeling of a bit of a charade. The Church lost a great deal of its fundamental independence from the government when it decided, in this country at least, to rely on the state as the source of most of the funds for its “charity.” Charity at the point of a government gun has never been a virtue, but decades ago, back when the USCCB was called the National Catholic WELFARE Conference (and deeply aligned with left wing policy prescriptions even then) and Pope Pius XI was deciding whether such a conference should be permitted to exist, the bishops collectively made the decision that it was much easier and much more reliable to obtain funding for “charity” from the government than it was from the pewsitters. But it was during the 60s that most major national-level Catholic organizations, started up in the wake of Vatican II, were founded on the principle of being entirely dependent on government funding (Catholic Charities and CRS are both over 90% dependent on federal funding). He who pays the piper calls the tune, and it was likely only ever a matter of time before something like this, and the HHS mandate, came down the pike.
It’s called unintended consequences. But eminently foreseeable at least for the past two decades. As at least half the population and one major party became irreversibly wedded to the culture of death, the bishop’s stratagem of depending on state funding for many activities became increasingly high risk, and increasingly prone to moral nightmares like this. Which is all to say, if you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, you may live to regret it:
And I didn’t even mention how aligning the Church with a government that rejects the entire concept of the Social Reign of Christ the King must be disordered! But the bishops didn’t even buy into that in the 1930s, which is why Pius XI sat in judgment of the NCWC.
Unfortunately, after much pleading and promises to change, he decided to let it live. And thus when America emerged as hegemon after WWII, and the influence of the US bishops was at its peak, that entire model of episcopal conferences was unleashed on the Church.
But that would be a whole ‘nuther 1000 word post, so I’ll demure for now.
Pertinacious Papist has compiled a list of changes that were not formally called for in Vatican II that have been inflicted on the Church nonetheless. It’s a pretty comprehensive list, even if some items are debatable as far as what that most unspecific and bewildering of Councils specified. BTW, this list is actually a compilation of items Michael Voris has brought up of late, so the ultimate credit is due to him.
The list is below. I’ll add a few comments as it goes:
- Communion in the hand [Definitely not supported by VII, and only implemented by Paul VI in a moment of weakness under threat of schism from the Dutch]
- Altar girls [Pope Saint JPII]
- Priests facing the people [Not called for by VII at all. Counter to some other conciliar statements. How it came about was a master-work of nefarious creation of "demand" by subtly changing wording in subsequent non-conciliar documents on the Liturgy. But Bugnini was an expert at subterfuge]
- Gregorian chant insisted upon by V2 [Pride of place, hah]
- Eucharistic ministers [An utter novelty in the history of the Church, but flow naturally from Communion in hand]
- Protestant music in Mass [Shoot Dan Schutte]
- Use of Latin in Mass insisted on by V2 [And a document of the highest doctrinal import by Pope St. John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia]
- Movement of tabernacles from center of altars [Hidden in closets. Diabolical move towards protestantism and totally unjustified]
- Smashing of Catholic art and architecture [ditto]
- Near disavowal of confession [double ditto]
- Near total absence of the promotion of devotional life
- Parish youth ministries neglecting and/or rejecting Catholic doctrine [and pushing watered down "I'm ok you're ok" feel good demi-protestant claptrap]
- Parish adult religious education neglecting Catholic doctrine [or directly attacking it!]
- Destruction of Catholic education in parishes
- Catholics leading the way on gay marriage approval [And how about the many parishes with sodomite friendly ministries?]
- Refusal to enforce Canon 915 – to pro-aborts
- Orthodox seminarians being carefully monitored, or not ordained or delayed [How about the vast majority forced out under great duress]
- “Gay Masses” in many dioceses with the bishops’ knowledge
- CCHD financial support for pro-abortion and pro-contraception groups [VII did call for bishop's conferences, even if several pre-conciliar popes derided the idea, especially as construed in the US. Leo XIII's Testem Benevolentiea Nostrae was an explicit rebuke of the US bishops in 1899]
- CRS giving donations to Obama campaign
- Homosexual or homosexual-friendly clergy
- Enormous resistance to the Traditional Latin Mass by bishops and priests [VII said nothing of abolishing the Mass. It said nothing of creating a totally novel Novus Ordo. Such would never, ever have passed. How many bishops then turned around and dutifully implemented the Novus Ordo, or even more, abrogated the Mass and saw to the destruction of so many churches, is a testament to truly disordered ultramontanism. If there had been harder pushback, none of these developments may have occurred]
- Non-stop emphasis on “earthly” matters like immigration and gun-control
- Failure to preach against contraception
There were two great failures at Vatican II, both, it must be said, carefully construed and insisted upon by the popes who oversaw the Council. The first was the failure to condemn communism, which was the #1 request of the bishops of the Council. That request was that the Council would come out with a statement formally condemning communism, but John XXIII desperately wanted an “ecumenical” council with Orthodox involvement, so he agreed in advance there would be no conciliar condemnation, nor even pointed discussion, of communism.
The second, of course, was contraception. Rather than clearly condemn what had always been sinful, since the time of the first Apostles, the Council hid behind the fig leaf of pending “papal commissions” – commissions which said contraceptive use was A-OK! Even so, at that time, at least, the vast majority of bishops viewed contraception as not just sinful but just plain evil.
Even with the fall of the Former Soviet Union, communism still lurks about. Our own president, I think, would be very happy going down that road. And contraception is the foundation of current-day American life. These are subsidiary errors to godlessness and bad theology, but they are probably two of the most destructive errors afflicting the world today. The Church would be in a much stronger position against those errors had the Council decried them. But that did not suit the dominant progressive purpose.
What else would you add to the list, in addition to the failure to condemn communism? Another error that has come about, but not necessarily from the Council, is mass disbelief in hell within the Church. Universal salvation. Fornication. Catholic pseudo-divorce in abusive annulments. Porn. Priest boy abuse. Disordered ecumenism. Religious indifferentism. Collegiality. Undermining doctrinal authority. Modernism.
Cardinal Brandmuller shreds error that priestly celibacy “established” in 10th century July 21, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, the return.
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Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, eminent historian and great friend of the TLM, has responded to a very famous claim made recently from a most notable personage in the Church, that the discipline of priestly celibacy was “established” in the 10th century. As I already noted, that is an extremely misleading statement, celibacy for clerics was a feature of the Church from day one, was endorsed by Christ in the Gospels, spoken of by St. Paul, and required to hold a bishopric from very early on. It only became the universal discipline in the West somewhat later, for various reasons, and was instituted as a formal discipline for all clergy, even if throughout history fallen men serving in the priesthood have fallen to temptation.
Cardinal Brandmuller makes some very good points on all of the above, plus more:
……In particular, it must be emphasized in the first place that celibacy by no means dates back to a law invented 900 years after the death of Christ. It is instead the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke that report the words of Jesus in this regard.
Matthew writes (19:29): “And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”
What Mark writes (10:29) is very similar: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold.”
Luke (18:29ff.) is even more precise: “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” [These are impressive verses in support of priestly celibacy. I would say, however, that Saint Matthew XIX:11-12 is even better: "Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven. He that can take it, let him take it."
Jesus does not address these words to the masses, but rather to those whom he sends out to spread his Gospel and proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God. [The same applies to Matt XIX:11-12, too]
In order to fulfill this mission it is necessary to free oneself from any earthly and human attachment. And seeing that this separation signifies the loss of what is taken for granted, Jesus promises a “recompense” that is more than appropriate.
……Attention must also be called to the stirring appeal for celibacy or conjugal abstinence made by the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 7:29ff.): ” I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none.” And again: “The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.” It is clear that Paul is addressing these words in the first place to bishops and priests. And he himself would have adhered to this ideal…….
….The original form of celibacy therefore allowed the priest or bishop to continue his family life, but not his conjugal life. For this reason as well the preference was to ordain men who had reached an advanced age. [And this was vitally necessary in the early Church, where most people in the Church were not born into Christianity, but converted as adults. They thus often had wives, children, etc. But for those called to the priesthood, even very early on, it became essentially mandatory that they be chaste, even if married. As time went on and more and more Catholics were born into the Faith, there grew a larger pool of men who were raised in the Catholic ethic and who would choose the Kingdom of God for life, eschewing a spouse and devoting themselves totally to God.]
The fact that all of this can be traced back to ancient and sacred apostolic traditions is testified to by the works of ecclesiastical writers like Clement of Alexandria and the north African Tertullian, who lived in the 2nd-3rd century after Christ. Another witness of the high consideration bestowed on abstinence among Christians is a series of edifying tales of the apostles, the apocryphal ‘Acts of the Apostles’ composed in the 2nd century and widely read.
In the 3rd century the literary documentation on the abstinence of the clergy multiplied and became increasingly explicit, especially in the East. For example, here is a passage from the Syrian ‘Didascalia’: “The bishop, before he is ordained, must be put to the test to establish if he is chaste and has raised his children in the fear of God.” The great theologian Origen of Alexandria (3rd century) also recognized the celibacy of abstinence as binding; a celibacy that he explains and explores theologically in various works. And obviously there are other documents that could be brought forward in support, something that obviously is not possible here…….
…... [Now some good history.....] It was the Council of Elvira in 305-306 that put this practice of apostolic origin into the form of a law. With canon 33, the Council prohibited bishops, priests, deacons, and all other clergy from having conjugal relations with their wives, and likewise prohibited them from having children. At the time it was therefore thought that conjugal abstinence was compatible with family life. Thus even the sainted pope Leo I, called Leo the Great, wrote around 450 that ordained men did not have to repudiate their wives. They were to remain together with them, but as if “they did not have them,” as Paul writes in the first letter to the Corinthians (7:29). [But it was also recognized that this situation posed a temptation that was disordered as a normative, or disciplinary, basis. That is to say, having married priests led to all kinds of problems, unchastity being only one of them. The tendency to fail to focus exclusively on the needs of the flock and be available all the time was even more significant]
With the passing of time there was an increasing tendency to ordain only celibate men. The codification would come in the Middle Ages, an era in which it was taken for granted that the priest and bishop would be celibate. It was another matter that the canonical discipline was not always followed to the letter, but this should not come as a surprise. And, as is in the nature of things, the observance of celibacy has seen highs and lows over the course of the centuries.
There is, for example, the famous and fiery dispute in the 11th century, at the time of what is called the Gregorian reform. [And which was probably alluded to by that famous personage, failing to get the date quite right.] At that juncture one witnessed a split that was so stark – especially in the German and French churches – as to lead the German prelates who were contrary to celibacy to forcibly expel from his diocese the bishop Altmann of Passau. In France, the pope’s emissaries who were charged with insisting on the discipline of celibacy were threatened with death, and at a synod held in Paris the sainted abbot Walter of Pontoise was beaten by bishops opposed to celibacy and was thrown in prison. In spite of this the reform succeeded and a renewed religious springtime took place.
It is interesting to note that the contestation of the precept of celibacy has always coincided with signs of decadence in the Church, while in times of renewed faith and cultural blossoming one has noted a strengthened observance of celibacy.
And that is precisely right. The Church in the period ~850-~1050 was decadent and weak. The popes were largely political creatures dominated by secular interests of the Roman elite, and were more often than not profoundly immoral men. Most of the very worst popes in history come from this period. The entire Church, however, was at a low ebb during this time, and it was only in a few islands like Cluny that the orthodox Faith really held on. We should keep that in mind as events move forward in our own time.
Of course, we certainly seem to be at one of the lowest ebbs in the history of the Church today. Top to bottom, prince to peasant, adherence to the Faith is weak. People’s “god” is most often their loins, and their doctrine is self-serving sexular liberalism. So it perhaps should not be such a surprise that under these conditions, the errors and abuses of the past should resurface again today. The only question is whether the conditions exist today – as they have not for the past 17 centuries or so – for these abuses or even errors to be reinstated as formal discipline or “pastoral” applications of doctrine that have the effect of obliterating said doctrine. That is the thought that tortures many pious souls at present.
Pray for Cardinals Brandmuller, Burke, Cipriani, etc! Pray for them to be strong and decisive at the upcoming Synod on the family!
I mentioned in a post a month or two back that I had met an old school Republican party delegate, who shocked me when he told me he thought the masquerade known as same-sex marriage was just A-OK by him. I relayed in this post how this guy sends me a lot mailings that amount to bated-breath Republican propaganda. I ignore much of it. But he put together some data on demonrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis aka Abortion Barbie’s funding sources, and I thought, for the record, it would not a bad thing to share. I guess much of this was cobbled together from a recent Dallas Snoring News article. It might be useful to scratch a few folks or organizations off your list, if you had any doubt:
* Actress Jennifer Garner………………$ 25,000
* Actor Matt Damon………………………$ 5,000
* Marlo Thomas……………………………$ 5,000
* Carrie Fisher……………………………..$ 500
* Tom Hanks……………………………….$ 500 [I too bought the fantasy peddled in the 90s, when he was at his peak, that Tom Hanks was a nice, normal guy. There is no normal in Hollywood. They are as alien to you and me as creatures from Mars]
* Abgail Disney,Walts grand daughter $ 5,000
* Houston Trial Lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn…………….$ 738,000 includes $100,000 of air travel costs. We all know why trial lawyers want Democrats in office
* Willie Nelson……………………………..$ 250,000 and he also performed at a Wendy Fund Raiser [Oh Willie, all that pot has rotted your brain. You're blinded to the totalitarian tendencies of progressivism and its nature as an outlook built on blood. You never cease to disappoint me. This is not the Depression, Willie, and this is not your grandfathers demonrat party. Funny thing, an area priest knew Willie growing up in Abbot, and he's a screaming lib, too. Something in the water, there?]
* Battleground Texas……………………$ 1,000,000 I am guessing Battle Ground got this money from the Natl Dem Party fund [This is the Obama-sourced group trying to turn Texas dem, permanently]
* Service Employees Union…………..$ 250,000
* Assoc of State,county,employees $ 100,000
* Intnl brotherhood of Elec workers…$ 50,000
* Planned Parenthood President……$ 101,000 which includes $12,000 for website development.
* Emily’s List: supporter of abortion…$ 75,000
I’m sure those last two have given a lot more than that, or will. Most demonrat politicians thrive on illegal, under the table donations, as Obama did in his elections, taking money from foreign sources, the traitor.
In reality, I hope the dems and especially the pro-aborts go all-in and donate all the money they have to support Davis, because it will all be wasted. It’s money that could be used for even more evil purposes, at least in this case, it won’t do as much real damage.
The “bishops” of the Church of England demurred, for now, from endorsing fake same-sex “marriage,” but they did satisfy their dominant leftist wing by approving women bishops. This is sure to send the relatively orthodox African and Asian portions of the Church into a tizzy, and rightly so. I predict they will approve some kind of recognition of sodomite marriage by 2016. I also predict at least half of the present Anglican Church in Africa will enter the Ordinariate or otherwise reconcile with Rome by 2025.
You should know the vote wasn’t even close. Over 90% of “bishops” voted in favor of this utter and unbiblical novelty.
And the death throes of the Church of England, founded in lust and greed, continue:
Women may become bishops in the Church of England because of an historic vote by General Synod July 14……..
The first woman bishop could be appointed by the end of the year. The Church of England now joins 20 other provinces or extra-provincial dioceses that allow for women bishops.
Before the vote, the Most. Rev. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, asked synod members to greet the result “with restraint and sensitivity,” but a flurry of cheers arose nonetheless. [God or Mammon......they made their choice]
The Most Rev.Justin Welby, “Archbishop of Canterbury,” commented, “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years with the ordination of women as priests. I am delighted with today’s result. Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases, disagreeing. [Oh what tripe. The conservativish opposition gets absolutely flattened, their objections ignored]
“The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds. Very few institutions achieve this, but if we manage this we will be living our more fully the call of Jesus Christ to love one another. As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote, I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow.” [I added emphasis here. Read that again. He is basically saying he knows this will be a bridge many conservative Anglicans simply will not be able to cross, and he is predicting that it is most unlikely they won't manage to placate those conservatives. Which is why I was gratified to read the next part.......]
……...Following the Church of England’s decision to allow women bishops, the head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham invited those who are “considering their future” to learn more about the Ordinariate……[Dang right. We have our own grave problems but just click your heels together three times saying "There is no place like Rome," and you'll feel much better]
For a little bit of true idiocy, check out this nonsense from The Daily Beast (what an unfortunate name, no wonder they are diabolically liberal):
The Church of England has agreed that women can become bishops for the first time in its 1,500-year history. [HAH! Wrong, less than 500 year history!]
[Now check out this blatant propagandizing in a supposed "news" piece....]Not everyone was celebrating, however. The conservative and evangelical wings of the church had succeeded in stymieing a 2012 attempt to open the most senior church posts to women. That unexpected rejection of gender equality within the church won negative headlines and widespread disapproval in Britain. [Yes, women can go to hell just as easily as men, especially when they demand roles for which God never intended them]
The idiot “compromise” approved by Welby to get this further travesty approved was that those with objections to having women bishops wound’ t have to have them. So you’ll have part of the CofE with its women bishops, and part without. And all the sexularists clucked their tongues in approval.
UPDATE: Fixed format problem from evil blogspot.
For a final banality, here is the statement of the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales on this massive cave to sexular paganism:
The Catholic Church remains fully committed to its dialogue with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. For the Catholic Church, the goal of ecumenical dialogue continues to be full visible ecclesial communion.
Such full ecclesial communion embraces full communion in the episcopal office. The decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate therefore sadly places a further obstacle on the path to this unity between us. Nevertheless we are committed to continuing our ecumenical dialogue, seeking deeper mutual understanding and practical cooperation wherever possible……
…..At this difficult moment we affirm again the significant ecumenical progress which has been made in the decades since the Second Vatican Council and the development of firm and lasting friendships between our communities. We rejoice in these bonds of affection and will do all we can to strengthen them and seek together to witness to the Gospel in our society.
What?!? WHAT PROGRESS! Aside from lovely 3 week meetings in posh Swiss mountain resorts, or high tone London clubs, what have you ever accomplished?!? Anglicanism has increased in distance from Catholicism 100 fold in the past 40 years, at least as far as official belief and practice (and not pervasive modernism) is concerned. The modern ecumenical movement is founded upon lies, lies that have the stench of indifferentism and death about them.
So when the CoE commits yet another sacrilege by ordaining women bishops, all the episcopal conference of England and Wales (one of the most liberal in the world) can think about is their precious but pointless ecumenical confabs?!? No wonder they loathe and undermine the Ordinariate so much, anything that might forestall the non-stop gravy train of liberal privilege is to be strangled in the crib.
I guess the final travesty is the degree to which the progressives in the Church, including at the highest levels, seem determined to follow the Anglican model into irrelevance and destruction.
Lord have mercy on us.
Rainbow flag proudly waves on Vatican website? July 17, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society, scandals, asshatery, disaster, horror, episcopate, error, sexual depravity, secularism, the return, shocking, paganism.
To say we are seeing a sea change in opinion on this issue of “normalizing” sodomy and many others would be a vast understatement. Here is the photo (h/t Eponymous Fowler):
This is an image I never thought to see on a Vatican webpage. Even one associated with the increasingly problematic Vatican Information Bureau.
Wow. Not quite the abomination of desolation, but getting disturbingly close.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean the Vatican/Church has now embraced sodomy. But at the very least it shows someone with disastrously bad judgment.
Oh yeah, and then there’s this, I guess:
That’s actually from 3 years ago. Bishop of Saltillo.
I friend and reader of this blog, Terry Carroll (I don’t think he’ll mind if I use his full name), gave my family a remarkable gift of a rather large number of very good books recently. I have dived into a couple of them already, and want to share an excerpt from the preface of one of them with you today, Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. BTW, the publisher of this book, St. Augustine’s Press, seems to carry a good number of rather philosophically oriented but highly orthodox books from some very heavy hitters: Aquinas, Suarez, etc . You might add them to your list of safe and reputable publishers.
The below may not contain any great revelations, I don’t know, but I think it deftly describes the rapidly growing new pagan religion of atheism, which is something of a cult of science and leftist thinking turned into a religion of creeds, dogmas, heretics, devils (us!), and all the rest. All of which only demonstrates the fact that man is an endemically religious creation, and absent Christianity will create all manner of disordered, even evil pagan religions to replace the God so many men desperately want to kill. Begin quote (my emphasis and comments)
….The successes of the movement to recognize “same-sex” marriage have been nothing if not sudden. Just over a decade ago (this book was written in 2008) the very idea would have been laughed off as crackpot or extreme; now it is those who oppose it who are frequently labeled crackpots and extremists. But equally sudden has been the rise of ostentatious unbelief as as the de rigueur position of the smart set. Mainstream progressives and non-conformists of earlier generations would have found it necessary to profess belief in at least a “social gospel” and to hide their doubts about the metaphysical claims of religion behind a haze of pseudo-theological psychobabble. Yet atheist chic is now, out of the blue as it were, the stuff of best-sellers, celebrity endorsements, and suburban reading groups. It is as if the urbane cocktail hour secularist liberalism of the twentieth century has, by way of the slow but sure inebriation produced by an unbroken series of social and judicial triumphs, now become in the twenty-first century fall down sloppy drunk and lost all inhibition, by turns blaspheming, whoring, and otherwise offending against all sane and decent sensibilities as the mood strikes it. [What a great sentence. If the rest of the book is like this, I'm really going to enjoy reading it. But the metamorphosis of atheism from a sort of slinking and even embarrassing phenomenon of the elite into the out-n-proud, boastful religion of today is due to the increasing impact of the modernist errors outlined by Pope St. Pius X, who predicted exactly this result should modernism be accepted en masse. It is also the inevitable result of mass acceptance of endarkenment anti-Catholic beliefs, which had the direct goal of destroying the political and cultural influence of the Church and setting up a neo-Roman pagan, anti-Church state and culture. Welcome to the future that was designed for you 300 years ago. Modernism is only one of the later, and most finally destructive, aspects of endarkenment beliefs.]
The confluence of these developments is no accident, though not for the reasons liberal secularists suppose. To their minds (or what is left of them), sexual libertinism and contempt for religion, as public, mass phenomena (rather than as the private eccentricities of a decadent elite, which of course have always been with us) constitute the final victory of reason, twin fruits of the modern scientific worldview whose full consequences are only now becoming widely perceived over four centuries after its birth. [I would argue again, this understanding of science as the fruit of only a pagan, "rational" mindset, is completely false, and another poison fruit of the endarkenment philosphes. There have been many, many great scientists and thinkers of all stripes who were very pious souls at the same time. Most of these were Catholic, some were in the sects, but they all had a deep faith. It was the philosphes who started the propaganda campaign that identified science with their militant anti-Catholic paganism, and smeared Christians as benighted, ignorant idiots who opposed science. Darwin latched onto that and sent it much further down the road. The distinction that has been drawn between science and faith is a false one, and even more, science has today become a religion of its own, or a large part of the new sexularist pagan "atheist" religion. Thus we have millions of people who treat as abject heretics those - even great scientists! - who doubt anthropocentric global warming, even though not even a handful of those millions are scientifically literate themselves, and most of them couldn't even be bothered to begin to understand the "science" behind the global warming jihad.] But in reality they are (to paraphrase Aquinas paraphrasing Aristotle) two very great errors that have followed gradually but inevitably, not upon any actual finding of modern science, but upon what might at first glance seem at most a relatively “small error” of a philosophical nature committed by the founders of modern science and modern philosophy. [I haven't gotten to that revelation, yet, but I suspect it has to do with what I discussed above, the deliberate attempt to turn faith into an irrational exercise of emotion and not one grounded in reason. In reality, it is the "rationalists" who are profoundly emotional and closed to reasoned debate]
….it is a certain kind of moral and religious traditionalist, and not the secular liberal, who is the true upholder of reason….
…..But the most important thing to know about the belief that God exists is not that most citizens happen (for now, anyway) to share it, that it tends to uphold public morality, and so forth. The most important thing to know about it is that it is true, and demonstrably so. [And Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and many other have proven this so, from first principles] Similarly, the most important thing to know about “same-sex marriage” is not that it has been lawlessly imposed by certain courts even though a majority of citizens happen (again, for now anyway) to oppose it. [And here, 6 years later, most now support it, at least tacitly. That is a preference cascade of unbelievable quickness and consequences] The most important thing to know about it is that the very idea is a metaphysical absurdity and a moral abomination, and (again) demonstrably so. It is no more up to the courts or “the people” to “define” marriage than it is up to them to “define” whether the Pythagorean Theorem is true of right triangles, or whether water has the chemical structure H2O. In each case, what is at issue is a matter of objective fact that it is the business of reason to discover rather than democratic procedure to stipulate.
And yet, the entire structure and philosophical order the informs the modern secular libertine state is one that admits no core Truth, no unbending Laws of God, but only the constantly varying will of the people as informed (or deformed) by interests with the ability to sway vast swaths of the population. Thus, we really don’t have democracy, but an oligarchy pretending to be a democracy. But that’s a whole different issue.
I think the point is this, and I’ve tried to make it several different ways at different times over the past year or two: where we are at today, as a culture, became more or less inevitable as soon as the endarkenment theories of Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, and all the rest were accepted en masse. They are views that when acted upon lead invariably to anti-religious, and especially anti-Catholic, bias, as history shows. Now, you can either pursue these novel endarkenment ideas in a very radical manner, and wind up with the French Revolution, or you can pursue them in a much more conservative manner, and have an American Revolution. But both tend over time not to liberty for individual souls, but with the steady growth of the state into an all-encompassing leviathan that must and will crush all competitors in its path, especially religion, because only religion can compete for men’s allegiance in a way similar to what the leviathan demands.
Again, the leviathan can come about quickly and violently, as in a communist revolution, or slowly and steathily, as in creeping socialism of greater and greater scope around the world, but with the direction this country has taken for the last century, it appears the leviathan will come about eventually in every liberal democratic state no matter what, because the totalitarian pagan state was the ideal upon which the endarkenment philosophy was founded. And wherever the state expands, the Church contracts, because you cannot serve both God and Mammon.
We are simply witnessing what happened in Canada and most all of Europe decades ago now in this country. And look at the state of the Church in those places.
Sorry to be a downer, but I think this thing has to break before it can be fixed. So maybe this immigration isn’t a bad thing, if it hastens that eventual result.