The Council of Trent is still completely relevant today October 28, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, reading, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD, Tradition.
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I am reading a book on the history of the Church written in the late 20s by a Father Poulet and translated into English in the 30s by a Dr. Raemers. I already pulled one set of quotes out of the book regarding protestantism and the immorality of both private interpretation and justification by faith alone. The fact that I pulled these quoted out does not mean that I am not a sinner – as one commenter ludicrously tried to claim – but that was not the point. The point is, how much good can come from a theology that is rooted so deeply in error and can be shown to have given rise to other errors and even highly destructive behaviors within even months of its promulgation and acceptance by confused souls? The answer is, not much. This latter consideration used to weigh heavily on the Church’s approach to separated sects, but under the misguided ecumenical movement of today, these considerations of basic facts of theological derangement are ignored in the pursuit of earthly goals.
But on a broader level, there is much wisdom in this basic history book (intended for college students and adults) that extends far beyond the errors of protestants. As some excerpts from the canons of the Council of Trent show, they have great relevance for Catholics today, which only makes sense, as Trent was a Council for all time, and not just for one particular moment of mid-20th century humanist exuberance. See if you agree with me as I quote from pp. 91-93 of Church History by Dom Charles Poulet of Solesmes:
“The teaching mission of the Church,” says the Council of Trent, at the head of its dogmatic decrees,”is to keep intact those two sources of our faith, Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition. In virtue of this authority which it has received from Christ, the Council reiterates the ancient canon of the Scriptures, declares the Latin translation known as the Vulgate to be the only normal and authentic text, and, finally, watches over its spread and interpretation. Again, in matters pertaining to faith and morals no one may interpret the Scriptures against the authoritative interpretation of the Church or against the unanimous consent of the Fathers.” [And what would the Fathers have to say about admitting those in manifest states of adultery/concubinage to the Blessed Sacrament, or to be married by high Church officials without Confession and any sign of contrition on their part, or at least the termination of their concubinage prior to marriage, let alone the enormous scandal of purported "gifts" offered the Church by unrepentant sodomites. They would be staggered at the audacity of the error, and broken-hearted to learn its high source]
…….The Council also defined the divine institution, nature, minister and effects of the Sacraments, as well as the dispositions required to receive them. It concerned itself especially with the Eucharist and the Mass, which had been so distorted by protestants. The Council defined both the reality of the Real Presence and its integrity. “If anyone denies that in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist are truly, really, and substantially contained the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and hence the whole Person of Jesus Christ, but maintains that they are there only as a sign or figure, or virtually; let him be anathema.” In respect to the mode of this Presence, and in reply to the objection of John Calvin that if Christ were here on earth, He would no longer be in Heaven, the Council defined: “There is no contradiction between the two facts that Our Savior continues to exist in Heaven and at the right hand of His Father, according to His natural manner of being (juxta modum existendi naturalem), and that nevertheless He is present to us in several other places by His Substance and in a sacramental manner (sacramentaliter prasens sua substantia nobis adsit). This second mode of being is one which we can but imperfectly describe in words, although our reason, enlightened by faith, can understand how such a mode of being is possible with God.” Finally, in opposition to the Lutheran theory of impanation, or consubstantiation, the Council affirmed the Doctrine of Transubstantiation: “If anyone says that in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist there remains the substance of bread and wine, together with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and denies that marvelous and unique change of the whole substance of bread into the Body, and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, a change which leaves only the appearances of bread and wine, and which the Catholic Church very appropriately terms transubstantiation: let him be anathema.“
A few points on that second paragraph quoted. First, was that really the best Calvin could come up with, that Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Himself, could not be both in Heaven and on earth?!? Really?!? Because that’s just so infantile and silly it is ludicrous. No wonder Saint John’s Apocalypse was also under scrutiny by the protestant revolutionaries (again, I do not call them reformers, nor do I capitalize protestants, because I think it has been an enormous mistake by faithful sons of the Church to give even that much credit to these rebels against the Faith. They did not reform, but deform, and they are not Churches proper, and thus do not deserve to be capitalized. I know that violates rules of spelling, but I care not) for exclusion from the Canon of Scripture, since it makes plain that Christ’s Sacrifice is always ongoing before the Father in Heaven and that the prayers and sacrifices of the faithful on earth (especially the Mass) are also offered in that same mystical rite so beyond our limited comprehension.
Once again, too, we see strong denunciations of the modern error in the Church, so distressingly widespread, of lowering the Blessed Sacrament to just a sign or symbol. I must say, that has to be a driving belief behind the most recent attempts to destroy the Church’s Moral Doctrine, because no one to me could possibly believe in the Real Presence and yet be pushing so hard to see it constantly received sacrilegiously! We could also add those numerous pro-abort politicians, Supreme Court justices, and others, who like to pretend at faithfulness and receive the Blessed Sacrament (on their occasional appearances at Mass), albeit with great sacrilege again.
Truth is divisive. Truth is clarifying. It is not uniting. It is not indifferent. It is not worldly. It is highly dubious that Truth is “ecumenical.” Truth cuts through, it separates, it casts out. Truth is not subtle shades of grey, contradictory, or requiring of a PhD to understand.
God willing, if we are deserving, we may soon return to a more sane understanding of the Truth that Christ has revealed through His Church. Or it could be that the local priest is correct, and that we are deep into the Passion of the Church, which will mirror the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He said we are in the time when Peter denied Christ. Perhaps that is true. If so, we have a very long night and day of suffering and misery ahead of us.
God have mercy on us.
When Pope Francis spoke on corruption, just who did he condemn? October 28, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society, SOD, Spiritual Warfare.
I know many may not be comfortable with this post. I am sorry that I feel there is some necessity in putting this out. I know many others have already covered Pope Francis’ amazing comments on corruption from last Thursday, but none of that coverage has mentioned the part of this address I found most……..I don’t know, revealing, disconcerting, damning? You be the judge (just not of ……..you know).
Now, for the few who may not know, Pope Francis had an address on Thursday in which he, among other things, stated his opposition to both the death penalty and life imprisonment:
“All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”
The pope noted that the Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code.
Just for clarity’s sake I would like to reiterate that the constant Doctrine of the Faith regarding the death penalty has been that the state has the right of the sword. It is a prudential matter to determine whether, or when, to apply that power. Pope Francis may not like that fact, he may think that the death penalty’s day has passed, but he cannot declare the Church in formal opposition to the use of the death penalty, because She has never been so opposed and is not now. For many centuries the Church cooperated in the use of the death penalty by the civil authority for those who committed crimes against the Church. While many may find this cooperation abhorrent today, for me, it was just another indication of how much more seriously the Church, and the souls within Her, took at that time their considerations of the eternal life and their recognition that this life on earth is not the be all and end all of our existence. For those many long centuries, the taking of a human life, even in the name of the defense of the Faith, was seen as far preferable than running the risk of exposing many souls to pernicious, destroying error. But, as a local priest might say, compared to them, we are pygmies in the Faith, and those men giants.
I will also note in passing that Pope Francis’ declaration regarding the Vatican is pointless. When is the last time a murder took place in that uniform community of celibate males? How about an armed robbery, a rape, or a terror attack? So it is not such a great work of magnanimity, it is more another post-conciliar PR move.
Moving on, the comments that many found most perplexing in this somewhat meandering address were the following:
The corrupt one does not perceive his own corruption. It is a little like what happens with bad breath: someone who has it hardly ever realizes it; other people notice and have to tell him,” the pope said. “Corruption is an evil greater than sin. More than forgiveness, this evil needs to be cured.“
Far be it from me to question the theological formation of the reigning pontiff, but this statement is simply amazing on so many levels. There is no evil greater than sin, because all evil stems from sin. So it’s a non sequitur at the top. But often overlooked in dyspepsia about the first part is what is said in the second part: what is being said there? How does this correlate with all the calls to mercy we’ve heard? So, apparently, there are some things we can be judgmental about, especially those that interest sociaslist-leaning (Peronist) elites from Argentina? Who are we to judge the “corruption” of another? Note there was also a bit of nationalism in this part of the address, where the “corruption” was ascribed, at least to some degree, to being a particular fault of “Anglo-type” capitalism.
But for me, the most incredible part of the address is this, below:
The pope spoke scathingly about the mentality of the typical corrupt person, whom he described as conceited, unable to accept criticism, and prompt to insult and even persecute those who disagree with him.
And as the Pope readily noted, corrupt people are notoriously difficult to convince of their corruption. What they need is to be cured, or, as a Catholic might say…….converted.
I believe this was much the point of Father Ray Blake’s excellent post, which conclusion I excerpt below:
The impression that is given is that Justice in the Church is itself corrupted, indeed, that it is actually about settling scores and has nothing to do with truthfulness which was once considered a Christian virtue. Rather than being consoled by accounts of these investigations I become increasingly alarmed, it seems as if some religious orders or diocese that seem to produce fruit and are orthodox are subject to investigation whilst others which are barren and often highly unorthodox carry on in their own sweet way, especially if the have powerful or wealthy friends at court. The problem is that Justice appears to used as a robber baron or some New World dictator might use it, as a means of intimidation and threat, not to bring the Salvific Light of Christ to bear on dark and hidden corners. It is as if some are above the Law and others crushed by it.
In other words, physician, heal thyself. It is more than slightly ironic that in this most “merciful” and “humble” of pontificates, both are amazingly lacking, especially if one happens to fall on the wrong side of the ecclesiastical spectrum. Far from a populist pontificate, it seems far more aristocratic and elitist, much more in the mold of the Renaissance Borgias than the early Church Fathers.
And yet, of course, the Pope remains capable of saying some good things, but I will note the below, which a commenter mentioned and which is being much ballyhooed in some quarters, seems passing strange with respect to the documents just released by the Synod on the family:
In an audience with members of an international Marian movement, Pope Francis warned that the sacrament of marriage has been reduced to a mere association, and urged participants to be witnesses in a secular world.
“The family is being hit, the family is being struck and the family is being bastardized,” the Pope told those in attendance at the Oct. 25 audience.
He warned against the common view in society that “you can call everything family, right?”
“What is being proposed is not marriage, it’s an association. But it’s not marriage! It’s necessary to say these things very clearly and we have to say it!” Pope Francis stressed.
He lamented that there are so many “new forms” of unions which are “totally destructive and limiting the greatness of the love of marriage.”
That’s all very true. And it’s nice to hear. But to quote my father: “a hundred ‘attaboy’s’ are wiped out by one ‘aw shit!'” Maybe not fair, but certainly human nature. I will note these comments are very much opposed to the spin that came out of the Synod, to Cardinal Kasper’s claims of having the fervent support of the Pope in the Synodal attacks on the family, and in Pope Francis’ refusal to clarify his stance with respect to the Synod in any public statement.
Modernists thrive on confusion. Pope Francis, I think, does enjoy adulation and attention. He was with a group of fairly orthodox Catholics. You do the math.
Perhaps I am being unfairly critical. Perhaps I am not giving the utmost benefit of the doubt. But criticism of a Holy Pontiff is most certainly permitted to the faithful, especially when we are confronted with such a bewildering array of statements, PR events, doctrinal proposals put forth in the Pope’s name, reactions, calls for clarifications, virtual defenestrations of the more orthodox members of the Curia, vibrant religious orders shut down, an apparently growing movement to sack any faithful/orthodox bishop who has even a slight scandal in his diocese, etc., etc.
Again, you do the math. Maybe the Pope’s statements on the family above fill you with great hope, but then I would ask, do the documents produced by the Synod, especially the mid-term “Relatio” which speaks in the Pope’s own voice, correspond with these statements above? Does the principle of non-contradiction still apply? And what of the Synod fathers rejecting the most egregious statements of the Relatio, and excluding them from the final report, and then the Pope reinserts them on his own authority?
So please forgive me if in my sinfulness and hardness of heart I am not overly relieved to see the Pope denounce attacks on the family. I appreciate this defense, given in nicely strong terms, but I must ask if recent actions do not correspond with this bit of rhetoric? Could these words be the start of some great conversion? Again, forgive me if I am skeptical. Just today there were some more than slightly discomfiting words from the Holy Father regarding evolution and the “big bang” theory:
Reading Genesis we imagine that God is ‘a wizard with a magic wand’ capable of doing all things, he said. ‘But it is not so. He created life and let each creature develop according to the natural laws which he had given each one.
God is not capable of doing all things? What?!? How counter to Scripture and Tradition can you get?!? You mean God is bound by our pathetic human theories, theories that have been proven wrong time and time again in the history of the religion of science? Coupled with the second half of the statement – taken in context – these are almost the views of an “enlightenment” deist.
So I do not think it will do to get into a “tit for tat” game with Pope Francis’ many off the cuff (or are they?) remarks. For one, the tally may not bode well for Pope Francis’ Catholicity, and then there is the matter that one crazy statement does more damage than a hundred orthodox ones do good. Again, maybe not fair, but that is human nature.
Pope Leo XIII on the duty of Catholic parents to educate their children in the Faith…. October 28, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, error, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Papa, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
…….and otherwise. I read the following a while back and have been meaning to post this material for some time. From the excellent biography of Pope Leo XIII by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly DD, an exhortation by this most underrated of popes to parents to be most careful guides in the formation of their children, especially in the Faith but also in many other regards. Excerpts from pp. 234-239 (this may be broken up into more than one post):
We should have too much to say on this subject of defective education, on which depend the direction and welfare of the present and the coming generation. We need not lose time in proving the obligation and the importance for parents to educate their children well; the voice of nature, the precepts of religion, and the sense of all mankind agree in affirming and inculcating this duty.
Still, to confess the truth, who is it that does not perceive and deplore the neglect and falling-off in the discharge of this duty which are evident in many Catholic families at this time, and that does not thence draw sad auguries for our future? Unwise and lazy parents do not know how to estimate the nobleness of the mission entrusted to them. They generally measure according to the calculations of a low and selfish interest the blessing of having children; they do not at all think of the great debt which they contract toward God, from the first day they become parents, to increase in their offspring and to continue the number of His true adorers; of that which they contract toward themselves to prepare and transmit an honored inheritance of good example and virtues; of the debt contracted toward society to rear for it members laborious, moral, and edifying.
It is true that in our day another maxim is current bearing on this same subject – namely, “To the state belongs the training of youth.” Does this maxim avail to excuse the lamentable negligence of parents in our time?
[Key.....] The duty of education, inculcated by natural reason, is so essential to the parental character and the authority that they cannot decline its performance. The state authority, by its place in the order of things, is not called upon to discharge this great parental duty, but to help the natural educators in their work, and to watch and protect the interior discipline and good direction of the family. [And this is a time honored tenet of the Faith, seemingly forgotten among so many even entrusted with the highest of offices in the Church, that it is to the parent that the duty of education of children falls, and not the state. This was once so thoroughly understood within Christendom that it went without saying, but as leftism has penetrated the culture more and more deeply, constantly arrogating to the state functions that belong by right of religion and the natural law to the family, more and more have forgotten this core truth. This is a great defense of homeschooling, and for not just state tolerance of it, but state endorsement and promotion of it! But bureaucrats care only for their security and the constantly increasing inflow of money, so they oppose homeschooling as a threat.]
What are, in reality, the relations by which man is placed from his birth, as one of the beings in the order of creation? He comes into the world as God’s creature, Who has brought him into existence; he is the child of those who have given him temporal life; he is ordained first toward religion and then toward his family; his first duties are subjection and service to God, and dependence on his parents. The family is neither the creation nor the emanation of civil society (or the state); the power of parents is not a concession of human law. The relations and duties which obtain between parents and children are anterior and superior to all human aggregation. [That is to say, government at any and all levels. And yet now the state is grown so supreme that it would dictate to people by false and oppressive laws the very definition of what a family is, pretending that sodomites and any youth they - I know not how - have suzerainty over are somehow equivalent to the family as it has always been understood! And then we have the entire matter of divorce and remarriage......]
Man is indeed born sociable; but belonging, before all, to the domestic and religious society, he only comes into the society of the state through the family and already prepared by the teaching of religion and under the guidance of parental authority. Therefore it is that as in the matter of education only an auxiliary part can be attributed to the state authority, so is it evident that the charge of educating remains as a burden they cannot decline on the conscience of the parents, who for that work are the representatives of God the creator, and are invested with His authority. [Authority over children does not go God-state-parents-child, but God-parents-child.]
If in our days all parents understood their duties in this light, and if, conceiving an adequate notion of the work they are commissioned to do, they instructed their children in time on the elevated duties and relations which every human being has to fulfil both in the domestic and the religious society, assuredly the state would be much the better for it. For no one can doubt that children who are submissive to parental authority and devoted to their family, that men who have the fear of God and who are obedient to their religion, cannot fail to be also honored citizens and serviceable to their fellow-men……..
…...You must distinguish between education, and instruction, between the moral training and molding of the heart and the simple cultivating of the intellect. Instruction, as such, ordinarily consists in filling the minds of the young with a furniture of knowledge that can help them, according to their years, to turn to a useful account their intellectual and bodily powers.
The moral training, on the contrary, should be a foundation for the development and the application of the great principles of morality and religion as bearing on men’s conduct within the family and in the social sphere.
Scientific instruction will give you learned and clever young men and women; religious education will give you, on the contrary, honest and virtuous citizens. [Indeed, it should. But religious education in the Church today, such as it is, is almost always so dominated by the conceits of progressivism and modernism that religious education within the Church (almost all schools, colleges, CCD programs, etc) is actually more detrimental to souls than avowedly secular education. There is something singularly poisonous about religious education in the Church today, which most often results in souls invincibly convinced of the most pernicious and destructive errors. Outside traditional parishes (sorry to beat that drum, I do not mean to bash your non-traditional parish, this is simply my experience) religious education is in utter collapse. All parents should undertake the dominant role in the religious formation of their children, but especially those where the danger of destructive instruction is high] Instruction, separated from education properly so called, serves rather to fill young hearts with vanity than to discipline them aright. It is quite otherwise with a right education; such a training, underthe guidance of religion…….knows how to implant and to cultivate virtue in the most illiterate souls without the aid of much scientific polishing or instruction. [And the implantation of virtue in souls is infinitely more important than any "scientific" or secular education, frankly]
Then, again, and to speak of the truth, do parents pay attention to the nature, the solidity of the instruction given to their children? Do they see to it that it is sound, useful, well-ordered, and fit to prepare and help an education such as is fit for Christian children and members of a Catholic community; that those who give such instruction have the necessary gifts of religious conviction, of virtue, of learning, such as may win them the respect and obedience of their pupils; [And I think of the Catholic school teachers who wear ludicrously immodest clothing not just to school, but to Mass. And they think they are so daring.] that, above all, the study of religion, so essential to the education and the virtuous life of young people, should hold the foremost place among all other studies, should have a proper and adequate development, and be carried on under the direction of the Church, the depository and teacher of religious doctrines? [And here is where Catholic education has fallen down in the past 5 decades. Pupils are no longer taught by nuns at least outwardly devoted to the practice of virtue and religious orthodoxy, but lay people of varying degrees of faithfulness, education, and outlook. There are some very good lay teachers of religion, no doubt, but there are also many very, very bad ones. Most embrace at least some heresy. The vast majority reject Church Doctrine on multiple points. Many lead scandalous lives. And yet they are given charge of Catholic children day, after day, after day, telling them things like the Church does not have women priests because "the pope is a male chauvinist pig." Garbage in, garbage out.]
You see, therefore, that in this respect alone there cannot be (in a secular school) [or a secularized Catholic school] a sufficient guarantee for a right and complete education, nor any reliief for parents of the great burden on their conscience.
Sorry for the long post. I will break this into two parts and complete Pope Leo XIIIs – still Cardinal Pecci when he wrote this – exhortation on the right education of Catholic children.
I pray you find this useful and edifying. As far as I am concerned, and relative to our own times, Pope Leo XIII’s words are nothing but a brilliant and forceful endorsement of homeschooling and the return to traditional Catholic education.
If I might make one more personal comment: oh that our popes and prelates spoke like this again! How edifying, how much encouragement such words give!
Francis versus the Church, or Francis versus Jesus Christ? October 20, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, SOD, the return.
The writer at That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill (a sublime bit of Scripture, but I’m not so sure as a blog name) has two excellent posts up on the aftermath of the Synod and Pope Francis. I will quote extensively from one, you can go read the other.
First, is it really in the “God of surprises” to contradict Himself and change eternal Truth? How can we reconcile this belief with the idea that one is “a loyal son of the Church?” The post below starts out with an excerpt from Pope Francis’ “media via,” or “middle way” approach in his closing speech to the Synod, in which the Holy Father posits a path between the “extremes” of adherence to the Faith handed down to us and rank apostasy:
“And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:
One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve.
From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.”
In his speech at the close of the Synod it is true that Francis talked of other temptations, but it is noteworthy that ‘traditionalists’ were first in the line of fire. So I guess that before the ‘liberals and progressives’ (Cardinals Kasper, Madriaga, Schoenborn etc) are punished, we can assume Cardinals Mueller and Napier as well as the already demoted Burke will be first for the chop. [It is the actions that speak much more loudly than words. Pope Francis may proclaim the need for a "middle way" in the Church, but his actions show that he sees the middle far, far more to the modernist/progressive side than any of his predecessors. The modernists are promoted and given influential sinecures, while the more faithful prelates are railroaded out of office and banished to the hinterlands. So the "middle way" seems a farce, a rhetorical tool at most, a hypocrisy at worst.]
…… It is only in the reign of Francis that to hold fast to the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church, to defend with one’s speech the Church’s teaching, as Cardinal Burke has done, on the Sacrament of Marriage and the institution of the family, that it has been posited, by the Pope himself, that to do so is a ‘temptation’. The Church, in her teachings and her law has never been ‘flexible’ with sin. It has always shown leniency to repentant sinners. [Repentant being the key word, meaning recognizing one's actions as evil, having true contrition for them (meaning willing to remove oneself from the occasion of sin and do one's utmost to avoid that sin in future), and having a firm purpose of amendment. Remaining in your adulterous situation with your third "spouse" indicates none of the above. I know those situations are very difficult, there are probably a few souls who have been divorced and remarried w/o annulment who now have happy relationships, possibly even with children, and who would like to be faithful Catholics. But they remain in sin, and by endorsing their sin, permitting the Blessed Sacrament to be blasphemed, would be only to further encourage more such terrible situations. We must also recognize, at the same time, that many divorces are made simply for convenience or due to a great deal of flippancy. The basic problem with the Pope's position, however, is that it is no charity to permit people to add sin upon sin, that no matter what he says or what disastrous "pastoral" approach is adopted, the sin will remain, and these souls will be judged accordingly. It is truly frightening to contemplate how far von Balthasar's destructive errors regarding Hell: Population Zero have reached into the minds of even great prelates.]
In his condemnation of the ‘temptation’ to uphold marriage, the moral law, and the sanctity of marriage, presumably Pope Francis is also rather annoyed with Jesus Christ Who said, “Anyone who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery” and Who said to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”……. [And that is the point of this equally important post. This second post notes that it is not Francis versus the Church, by which secularists mean the "rigid hierarchy," but it is Francis versus Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom espoused for all eternity to His Church. And then we get back to all the false mercy which just happens to accord perfectly with what the world - or the self-anointed elites - demand from the Church. I do not think anyone, even a Pope, can trust themselves to be truly unbiased or uninfluenced by this utterly dominant worldly view, unless they know without doubt they are clinging with all their might to the Doctrine of the Faith. Anything else carries the greatest danger, if not the moral certainty, or worldly self-seeking.]
Clearly, once Francis has purged the episcopate and Roman Curia of liberals, progressives and traditionalists, he will be there, all alone, because he alone can embody the Holy Faith of Christ! Nobody else gets it but him!
And that’s a pretty funny point, which I think is true in the sense that I have increasingly felt over the past year or more that Pope Francis seems to think nobody quite understands the Church like he does, that all of the rest of us – perhaps excluding Kardinal Kasper – are deficient to various degrees in our understanding and practice of the Faith.
So often Pope Francis’ rhetoric is very negative. He has castigated almost every variation in the practice of the Faith imaginable. He very rarely seems positive and uplifting when describing the efforts of millions of pious souls. He seems much more comfortable with those outside the Church, than within. He seems to think, especially, that those of us who adhere to the traditional practice of the Faith are the worst enemies the “Church” – or his reductive vision of the same – has. It is interesting to contemplate how that mentality has seeped into those now leading the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Or maybe it was there all along.
I do bear in mind that I think the rhetoric in Pope Francis’ closing address regarding the errors of progressives/modernists was pretty much just that – he criticized faithful Catholics, and probably felt obliged to throw those pious souls a bone by criticizing the other side. But as I said above, actions speak much louder than words, and Pope Francis’ actions have all been of one kind – advancing and aiding the most egregious modernists, and punishing and inhibiting the more faithful - in proportion to their faithfulness! And that says a lot.
It reminds me of our own leftist President’s dictum to reward his friends and punish his enemies.
I want to maintain that in spite of the criticism and the increasing clarity of my comments I do have a strong filial love for Pope Francis. He remains my father in the Faith. He is the Pope. I find much of what he does and believes disconcerting and destructive, I pray he changes many of his beliefs and practices, but I am in union with him as the Vicar of Christ. God permitted him to be elected Pope, probably to remind us all how short we fall in our practice of the Faith. I am a Catholic, he is my father, and I love and pray for him, even if I disagree with him. But that does not mean I am blind to reality, or have to behave as a sycophant and pretend everything he does or says is just wonderful and the very embodiment of Catholicity.
That kind of hyper-montanism, on even the most trivial of prudential issues, is how we have gotten into this mess. God could be chastising the Church and bishops for turning the Holy See into a cult of personality over the past 120 years or so.
Now I’m just spitballing. I’ll stop.
Helpful tips for our times…….. October 20, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, manhood, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, sickness, silliness, Society.
…….I thought at least the male readers might find this useful:
Maybe it’s just better to wear pants.
This is more romantic:
Whatever the motivation, we’ve got to keep up the fight. The Synod, whatever it was – minor setback, major defeat, or pre-planned retrenchment after the introduction of soul-destroying novelties – will be back next year. We’ll see much more that is disturbing and upsetting between now and then. So keep ‘em girt, strap on your armor, or whatever you need to do to be ready to fight.
So my daughter did this cartoon….. October 17, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, fun, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, silliness, SOD.
……more or less spontaneously. I sort of put the idea in her head but she took off and did it on her own. When she started it on Monday, it made a great deal of sense. But I kind of wonder now if it were not the other way around, with a small pope hiding behind a large Cardinal.
I do wish she would use better paper. My oldest daughter is a very talented artist but she so frequently just uses whatever crummy scrap of paper she finds, even though we’ve bought her all these really nice art supplies with heavy bond paper and the like.
It probably comes out better here, I keep my office notoriously dark ———>>>>>>> 0683_001
So another awesome thing about my kids. Yesterday in religion class, of all things, the teacher started touting evolution. My 13 yo was apparently the only kid that fought back. And she apparently didn’t do so just a little bit. I’m afraid there’s going to be a bit of a row about this at the co-op. That sort of thing is not acceptable.
Pope Leo XIII speaks to the Synod and all of us October 15, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, Papa, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
In the 1860s, the same revolution which had overtaken France in the preceding century, bringing nothing but misery and destruction in its wake, was being unleashed upon Italy. Having been subject to the feverish revolutionary sentiment of Napoleon’s conquering army for over a decade, many in Italy had embraced the worst aspects of left wing thought. Secret masonic societies proliferated, all with the single-minded goal of uniting Italy, then a group of separate states, into one anti-Catholic republic that would crush the papacy and be done with the Church forever. In 1860, the state of Piedmont, under the republican influence of the Comte di Cavour, invaded the Papal States, under the direct sovereignty of the Pope, conquering large swaths of territory and subjecting them to a radical republican government. As we have seen so often – such as Mexico, where masons were also instrumental in the continual revolutions against the Church – the revolutionaries even went so far as to tell the Church how many priests a certain region could have. They said one priest could serve 20,000 souls!
In response to this and any other atrocities, the bishops of the former Papal States region of Umbria, led by the Cardinal Archbishop of Perugia, sent a letter to Blessed Pope Pius IX, cataloging many of the errors of the republicans and the struggle the Church was then facing. I was struck by how much the language of these bishops was in complete contrast to that which emanated from the Second Vatican Council only a century later. The two – faithful bishops of Umbria, and Vatican II fathers – had rather different things to say about certain topics such as “religious liberty.” A few select quotes on the matter from this excellent biography of Pope Leo XIII, who, in my mind, surely must be a Saint:
They are offered [the peoples of the conquered regions of the Papal States] , as the basis of reconciliation, [with the revolutionary powers] to accept the condemned and fatal system of the separation of Church and state, which, being equivalent to divorcing the state from the Church, would force Catholic society to free itself from all religious influence…..
The tendency of this last intrigue is patent enough. It is calculated that the clergy of Italy, violating their own duties, and separating themselves from their lawful pastors, and from you principally; Most Holy Father, who are their Supreme Chief and Ruler, should abase themselves to legitimize and sanction the acts accomplished by the revolution, and thereby become the advocate and accomplice of the total spoliation and destruction of the sacred sovereignty of the Church, which they are now planning so noisily…….
……..And when the overbearing might of the world, in order to supplant it, presumes to enter the sanctuary and to impose on men a fictitious and deceptive morality, it is time that it should hear us repeat: “We must obey God rather than men.” [to impose on men a fictitious and deceptive morality......."We must obey God rather than men".......are you listening, Synod?]
…….We therefore sovereignly deplore both the pretension of our modern politicians, who endeavor to subject to their bondage all ecclesiastical offices, and the blindness of those priests, [and bishops] who, forgetful of their august calling, and dazzled by the false promises of the world, have strayed away from the sheepfold of Christ.
……It is a grievous error against Catholic Doctrine to pretend that the Church is subject of any earthly power and bound by the same economy and relations which regulate civil society. The Church is not a human institution, nor is it a portion of the political edifice, although it is destined to promote the welfare of the men among whom it lives. It affirms that from God come directly its own being, its constitution, and the necessary faculties for attaining its own sublime destiny, which is one different from that of the state and altogether of a supernatural order. Divinely ordered, with a hierarchy of its own, it is by its nature independent of the state.
Perhaps some key takeaways: the order of most liberal states is antithetical to that envisioned in Christendom throughout most of its history and highly disordered from the right morality. In addition, We Must Obey God Rather Than Men, no matter how fallen people and the culture may become, nor how tempting it may be. I am somewhat heartened to see that it appears there are still many leaders in the Church who recognize this, even if their understanding of that obedience may be less than ideal at times. They still seem to get the basic concept, which is a far cry from Kasper and his ilk, who make no pretense that they are undermining and attacking the directly conveyed Law of God.
Cardinal Burke asks for prayers for Synod October 2, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
When Cardinal Burke speaks, thoughtful Catholics should listen. I received the following in an e-mail. I think the original article was in the Washington Post. There is a lot of blah blah blah in the article, but there is an important point conveyed first:
Cardinal Burke has asked for the Chaplet of the Holy Face of Jesus to be prayed by the faithful for the synod that is meeting in October. Please take the time to pray. Also please keep him in your daily prayers, he is a wonderful and very holy Cardinal. Being in his presence is an experience you never forget. Please pass this prayer request on to others
I find the prayer Cardinal Burke has asked for to be very significant. There is a Confraternity to the Holy Face here in Dallas centered on the generous nuns of our blessed Carmel. I would like to think this request will find many happy collaborators here.
Now, on to the article. When rhetoric reaches this point, you know tensions are high. Words such as those we see below, from men like Cardinal Burke, who normally speak in such a measured and careful manner, indicate major storm clouds. Well, duh, you may say, this is an F5+ tornado and it’s been bearing down on us for months, but I think it significant, nonetheless:
Kasper has said that the pope supports his efforts to find ways to fully reintegrate divorced and remarried Catholics into church life. The proposals have become a prime focus of the upcoming Vatican meeting, called a synod, which will convene on Sunday for two weeks to consider changes in family life in the modern world.
“I find it amazing that the cardinal claims to speak for the pope,” said Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, speaking from Rome. “The pope doesn’t have laryngitis. The pope is not mute. He can speak for himself. If this is what he wants, he will say so.”
“But for me as a cardinal to say that what I am saying are the words of Pope Francis? That to me is outrageous,” said Burke, who is reportedly set to be sidelined by Francis to a largely ceremonial post as patron of the Knights of Malta, a global church society based in Rome.
Burke also said whatever Francis thinks about a more lenient approach on Communion for remarried Catholics, the pope can’t change current church teaching because he and all bishops “are held to obedience to the truth” about marriage, and that cannot change. [Well, that is certainly the orthodox understanding. But men like Arius, Pelagius, Nestorius, Luther, and Calvin did not share that view, did they?]
Burke’s comments were echoed by others on the call and represent the latest effort by church conservatives to try to head off any possibility that the bishops and cardinals meeting at the Oct. 5-19 synod would open the door to changing any Catholic teaching, especially on marriage……..
Follows some driven about Kasper.
…….Opponents, including Burke, say that you can’t separate the discipline from the doctrine without undermining Christianity’s moral truths. They’ve become increasingly vocal and organized in lobbying against the reformers. [So, hopefully the forces of Truth won't be caught with their pants down as they were in '62. Allow me to rephrase: I fervently pray the forces of orthodoxy are fully organized and prepared before this Synod begins.]
And now some comments from Cardinal Kasper, who has become increasingly low and debased in his PR offensive prior to the Synod:
In an interview this week, Kasper expressed confidence that bishops at the back-to-back synods would ultimately back some change, and he hit back at critics like Burke, saying they are engaged in political maneuverings. He said they are afraid that any changes would lead to a “domino effect.” [Does this man have any shame? Who instigated the political maneuverings? Which faction in the Church has used nothing but naked power and behind the scenes maneuvers to crush opposition for the past 50 years?]
“This is all linked to ideology, an ideological understanding of the gospel that the gospel is like a penal code,” Kasper, who is retired from a curial job but lives in Rome, told America magazine. [As usual, a progressive projects his own behavior and ideas on others. If there be an ideology at work, it is the deadly and condemned error of modernist liberalism, and you are its prime public promoter, Cardinal Kasper]
Critics of change in church policies are displaying “a theological fundamentalism which is not Catholic.” [Hmmm.....now isn't that interesting. There is Kasper using the term fundamentalism in the last week of September, and a few days later, we have it used again by a well-connected Opus Dei priest. Coincidence?]
“If fear is at work,” he said, “fear is always a bad counselor. The church should not act out of fear. The church should be the people of hope.” [Really, and I could have sworn Saint Paul said "to work out our salvation with fear and trembling." I guess he was a bad counselor.]
Well, there you go, clear as day, the public representatives of the forces of Truth and darkness arrayed against each other.
Who wins may come down to our prayers. Untold, naturally irreparable damage can be done short of “changing” Doctrine – is that not what has occurred in the past 50 years? Did Vatican II formally repudiate any Doctrine? No. It just added contradictory interpretations, subtle shades of grey, and the left’s favorite term, nuance. And look what has happened.
Please consider, in your charity, answering Cardinal Burke’s call to prayer. It would not hurt to start now.
The Chaplet of the Holy Face is below for your convenience:
The Chaplet of the Holy Face is composed of a medal and 39 beads, 6 of them being large ones, 33 being small ones, with a medal of the Holy Face.
The chaplet of the Holy Face honours the 5 senses of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and entreats God for the triumph of His Church. It is recommended that the faithful pray the Chaplet of the Holy Face to obtain from God, by means of the Holy Face of the Lord Jesus, the downfall of His enemies.
The 33 small beads represent the 33 years of the mortal life of Our Divine Lord Jesus on earth. The first 30 beads call to mind the 30 years of His hidden life. These are divided into 5 groups, with the intention of honouring the 5 senses of touch, hearing, sight, smell, and the taste of Jesus. These senses have their seat, principally, in the Holy Face and render reparative homage for all the sufferings which Our Lord Jesus endured in His Face, through each of these senses.
The last 3 small beads remind us of the 3 years of public life of Our Saviour, and have as their object, to honour all the wounds of His Adorable Face.
Begin as follows:
Make the sign of the Cross, with the Cross, and say:
“O God, incline unto my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.”
Then say 1 Glory Be….
Before each group of beads, there is a large bead. On this bead, reflect on the sense of Jesus, or the wounds of His Face, and say 1 Glory Be… and the following prayer invocation:
“My Jesus, mercy.”
On every small bead, say:
“Arise, O Lord, and let Thy enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee fly before Thy Face!”
At the end, say:
The Glory Be… 7 times, in honour of the last 7 Words that Jesus spoke on the Cross, and the 7 dolors of the Immaculate Virgin.
Upon completing the Chaplet, say on the medal:
“O God, our Protector,
look down upon us
and cast Thine eyes
upon the Face of Thy Christ!”
Does tyranny reign in the Church? October 1, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return.
I read this brief quote below the other night, and felt very strongly that it very succinctly but accurately defined so much of what is going wrong in the Church today. The Church has been on a long, slow slide ever since the French Revolution. There have been ups and downs since then, but the overall trend has been very negative. Western Civilization took a disastrous turn towards the end of the 18th century, and while the Church fought that turn steadfastly for a century and a half, for the past half century the Church has more and more mirrored the disordered, destructive, fallen culture of which it is both a part, and ordained to stand aloof from. As authoritarianism under the guise of a false liberty has spread in the culture, so has it in the Church. See what you think:
When the Faith is fully lived, Truth and freedom to profess the Truth are the right of every man. When the Faith goes down, authority, bereft of the Truth it exists to sustain, alone is left. And this authority then becomes an absolute; authority without substance; authority without purpose; authority for its own sake. Gradually freedom is replaced, under this regime, with tyranny.
Liberals make great hay out of their supposed open-mindedness and tolerance. That is, until they meet any opposition, and then they become the most totalitarian, heavy handed authoritarians the world has ever seen. This has been a constant feature of the political-cultural left since it came into being 200+ years ago. There are too many examples to list: the bloodbaths of the French Revolution, all for the “good” of the people, the rivers of blood and rigidly enforced conformity of the Paris Commune, the revolts of 1848, all the communist states, all the fascist states…….all of them use such high-minded and flowery language regarding rights, freedoms, the “good” of the people, all the while they impose repressive regimes that would shock the most authoritarian monarch of the “bad old” Middle Ages.
As I mentioned above, this mentality, long resisted, has crept more and more into the Church in the past century or so. Initially it was fought and suppressed, but it came roaring back not just to fight for authority in the Church, but to come to dominate that authority through co-option. The example quoted above had to do with an early example of such egregious abuse of authority, abuses which would have outraged Catholics throughout most of the history of the Church. That specific example had to do with the actions of an archbishop, and later cardinal, whose liberal bona fides were clearly proven when he stealthily sided with Planned Barrenhood to help legalize contraception in Massachusetts in the early 1960s. While there are many debatable matters in that specific case, what is not debatable is that the accused had their rights trampled and there was abuse of canon law, the virtue of justice, and even reason throughout that sad imbroglio.
And we see the same ongoing today. Religious orders are crushed on the flimsiest grounds of suspicion, with no ability to argue their case or right of appeal to the usual juridical structures in the Church. Authority not grounded in the Truth of Jesus Christ and the firmest faith will always tend towards absolutism and will crush the rights of opposing minorities. I am afraid we will likely see much more of this before things even begin to approve. It will take a couple more generations to purge the reigning left wing orthodoxy from the Church – if we are that lucky.
Great minds think alike? I just posted a little excerpt from Pope Leo XIII, whose comments are as relevant to the upcoming Synod as any I’ve seen from any prelate in the Church in the past 2 years. Lo and behold, I stroll over to FideCogitActio, and I find he’s also posted from a different encyclical by Pope Leo material which is also highly relevant to doctrinal issues being forced in the Church today. It does not redound to my charity, but I cannot help thinking that this sudden “crisis” regarding adultery, re-marriage, divorce, non-annulment, and all the rest, matters which have been addressed repeatedly in the past 50 years at the highest level, and which are the result of failures to proclaim many truths believed by the Church, is simply the work of a narrow and self-interested cabal – just as it was in Pope Leo’s day. As Ecclesiasticus says, there is nothing new under the sun (emphasis in original, I and comments):
“The Church … has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. … ‘There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition’ (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos). [Exactly. And the Church has suffered horrible wounds, historically, for that defense of Doctrine, because it was the defense of Divine Truth. But today, it seems fewer and fewer are concerned about things like divinely revealed Truth, and only care about getting along, palling around, cocktail soirees at 5-star resorts, endless ecumenical confabs, and all the other attractions the world holds out for those who will only turn their backs on Jesus Christ.]
“The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. … [As I said in the previous post, this is not complex stuff. It is only (OK, primarily) since the ill-wind of aggiornamento started blowing that doctrine suddenly became so convoluted, nuanced, and difficult to comprehend. Luther, Arius, and other arch-heretics also loved nuance and shades of grey.]
“Wherefore, from the very earliest times the fathers and doctors of the Church have been accustomed to follow and, with one accord to defend this rule. Origen writes: ‘As often as the heretics allege the possession of the canonical scriptures, to which all Christians give unanimous assent, they seem to say: “Behold the word of truth is in the houses.” But we should believe them not and abandon not the primary and ecclesiastical tradition. We should believe not otherwise than has been handed down by the tradition of the Church of God’ (Vetus Interpretatio Commentariorum in Matt. n. 46).”
I could not agree more. I post this as yet another reminder that timeless truths are being called into question, or swept under the rug in the name of “pastoral” sensitivity – but is it sensitive to admit individuals in a manifest state of public mortal sin to receive the Blessed Sacrament? This question can only be answered two ways, and it all comes down to the same narrow, exclusive claims the Church has always made, because it is the Truth: that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, that He revealed how we are to live, that we will be judged according to our lives, and that we will face an eternity of either Heaven or hell. I simply cannot comprehend how anyone can doubt, call into question, or seek to evade any of the Truths always held by the Church unless they reject one of those four core truths listed above. And I think anyone who is a thinking, praying Catholic knows that the excuses peddled for shucking Doctrine for the sake of pastoral expediency are just that, excuses, and they will not result in any great flood of souls into the Church, but will only result in more falling away, less respect for the Church and Her beliefs, less of that cherished “relevancy,” and more and more ruin.
Maybe this is getting tiresome. I don’t say the above just to complain, but in the fervent hope that someone, somewhere is listening. I know my many good readers listen, but, we laity don’t have a great deal of say. And I feel it necessary to counter all the error emanating from some very high places. I have heard it said, that it takes 15 words to utter some heresy, and 15,000 words to refute it. Well, there you go.
The core point is, there is a religion being pushed that is not that which was held by great popes like Leo XIII, and Blessed Pius IX, and Saint Pius X, and Gregory XVI, and so many others. I will not shut my big trap or pounding fingers until that false, erroneous religion is defeated.