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Via the estimable Fr. Peter Carota. Pope Leo XIII (can a lay person start a cause of canonization?!?, because I sure think he needs one!), in response to a waking vision he had of the Church suffering mightily under the oppression of satan and internal dissent and strife, instituted not only the well-known prayer to St. Michael the Arcangel (which the good pope caused to be recited after every Mass), but also the following short form of exorcism against satan and his rebellious angels. Fr. Peter Carota prays this every day. In these times when the Church, and so many souls, are under such awful attack from satan and all his minions – human and demonic – perhaps we should consider offering this prayer from time to time, especially when we feel especially tempted or under duress of any form:
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Most glorious Prince of the Celestial Host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the conflict which we have to sustain against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph. 6.12). Come to the rescue of men whom God has created to His image and likeness, and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. It is thou whom Holy Church venerates as her guardian and protector; thou whom the Lord has charged to conduct redeemed souls into Heaven. Pray, therefore, the God of Peace to subdue Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive nor do injury to the Church. Present our prayers to the most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us. Seize the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit, that he may no more seduce the nations (Apoc. 20.2-3).
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, [and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry]*, we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil.
*Lay people omit this text
As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish away: as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord! Flee, bands of enemies.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Offspring of David has conquered.
V. May Thy mercy descend upon us.
R. As great as our hope in Thee.
(The crosses (+) below indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made by that person.)
We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, Satanic powers, infernal invaders, wicked legions, assemblies, and sects. In the name and by the virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ +. May you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb +.
Cease by your audacity, cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church, to torment God’s elect, and to sift them as wheat +. This is the command made to you by the Most High God +, with Whom in your haughty insolence you still pretend to be equal +. The God Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2.4). God the Father commands you +. God the Son commands you +. God the Holy Ghost commands you +. Christ, the Eternal Word of God made Flesh, commands you +. He Who to save our race, outdone through your malice, humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death (Phil. 2.8). He Who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He dwells with Her all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matt. 28.20). The hidden virtue of the Cross requires it of you, as does the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith +. The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you +. She who by Her humility and from the first moment of Her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head. The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles commands you +. The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you +.
Thus, cursed dragon, and you, wicked legions, we adjure you by the living God +, by the true God +, by the holy God +, by the God Who so loved the world, as to give up His only-begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting (St. John 3.16). Cease deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal perdition. Cease harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Retreat, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man’s salvation. Cede the place to Christ in Whom you have found none of your works. Cede the place to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God. Tremble and flee at the evocation of the Holy and terrible name of Jesus; this Name which causes hell to tremble; this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of Heaven are humbly submissive; this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly, repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Hosts.
Let us pray.
God of Heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose reign there shall be no end. We humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we supplicate Thee to deliver us from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies, and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to protect us by Thy power and to preserve us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
V. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.
V. That Thou would crush down all enemies of Thy Church,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.
(Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
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.
Cardinal Brandmuller shreds error that priestly celibacy “established” in 10th century July 21, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, scandals, foolishness, sadness, Papa, episcopate, error, sexual depravity, Bible, secularism, catachesis, the return, Christendom, history.
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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!
Pope Francis: I don’t know what to say July 14, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, priests, sadness, scandals, self-serving, shocking, the return.
……I was supposed to not talk about Pope Francis anymore, at least until some news developed. I don’t know if the recent scandals are really “new” information, or not. To some degree I think yes, but it mostly just confirms what I think informed Catholics already know. One thing that certainly seems confirmed, is thatPope Francis is extremely clever about how he gets his message out in the Church, yet frequently keeping plausible deniability.
None of my family is Catholic. Shall I, then, just give up evangelizing them and praying for their conversion? I almost find refreshing the statement that we’ll never overcome our doctrinal differences, because I think that is almost entirely true. The ecumenism that tries to paper over vast doctrinal differences -that is, the ecumenism that has been practiced for the past 50 years – is a total falsehood. Statements like the 1999 joint statement on justification between the Church and the Lutherans (or really, just one of many Lutheran branches, each believing different things) don’t satisfy anyone and are just exercises in indifference and lack of clarity.
But I don’t think the fact that this false ecumenism is pointless (which I have always said) means we should just say to heck with it and try to g0 along to get along. That makes a mockery of so much of what Our Blessed Lord said, it is difficult to know even where to begin. For one thing, Matt XXVIII:19, all of John VI, and so much more.
It is profoundly demoralizing for people fighting in the trenches to see their general suddenly seem to wave the white flag. What, on earth, did so many Saints struggle and die for, if 100, 200, or 500 years later a Pope can make a travesty of their efforts? How can people holding what the Church has always believed to be such wildly disordered understandings of the Faith even “find Jesus?” And how on earth can the head of any organization, religious or no, say such a thing to the very groups who are absolutely destroying his own in his home region? It is just such a sign of surrender.
I cannot imagine how so many priests must feel right now. Stabbed in the back, I am certain, is the least of it. It is not fun to be called a potential pedophile, even if a certain number of priests are (as are all men, but priests at much lower rates than the general population, I think). This matter of claiming there is little or no justification for celibacy is more troubling, since there is ample support in Scripture and celibacy was a strong characteristic of the priesthood from the beginning. Our Lord said those who could take it, should take it, and St. Paul more than once indicated that celibacy for the Lord was a most wondrous thing. He also indicated widowed women should strive not to remarry, especially if they were of a certain age. Celibacy only became the universal discipline in the west a thousand or so years ago, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t very common in the priesthood and, certainly, among religious priests.
I don’t know. Pat Archbold has a post juxtaposing statements from previous popes (egad, sorry, fixed error) with those of Pope Francis. And that is where the trouble really begins, because how are simple lay people to understand what to believe when we see today’s Pope say things seemingly completely at odds with the Tradition? So many people have fallen into the error of just saying and doing whatever the current Pope does, no matter how wildly one pope swings to another. But those who have studied the Faith a bit deeper and see the enormous contrast in word, deed, style, emphasis, you name it between this pope and so many of his predecessors are left in a very troubling place. Unfortunately, few of those of us who have studied are theologians capable of really fine distinctions. I have to wonder, though, what kind of Church proclaiming to be the repository of Truth would have constant recourse to double-speak (apparently, canonizations are infallible, except when they’re not), hair’s breadth distinction and seeming contradictions?
But the question that really troubles is, where does all this lead? Pope Francis has shown he is a man with a plan to rebuild the Church in his image. He wants to “make a mess.” He has taken some shockingly violent actions against a religious order. He appointed an extremely outspoken and seemingly highly radical cardinal to lead his advisory body. There are big plans for this upcoming Synod.
I guess the question is, what happens if the actions begin to match the rhetoric? What happens when the mess starts to get made, in earnest?
I cannot counsel anything but to pray. I probably shouldn’t post this, I know some won’t like it, but it’s just too much. Lord, protect Your Church! Have mercy on us poor, weak, confused souls!
Another day, another revelation of mounting bias against “conservatives” at the Vatican June 25, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Christendom, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Spiritual Warfare, the return.
Rorate has another major post – it helps to have people associated with your blog from overseas and/or are fluent in several languages! – on the growing perception that there is a mounting campaign against conservatives in the Church. This report comes from a “Vaticanista” who I don’t think is exactly a raving traddy. The author, Marco Tossati, shares his increasing surmise that there is an “open season” on conservative-type Catholics. He mentions several examples, all of which have been covered on this blog in depth – the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the sacking of the South African priest in NY for daring to state uncomfortable truths, the sense that Pope Francis has little use for the TLM.
Rorate expands on the Italian report, stating that much of the persecution or bias may be due to perceptions among the Curial court that the persecution is something Pope Francis wants. They could be wrong in this, or they may be right, and we have to bear in mind that even after Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI the vast majority of the institutional apparatus of the Church remains firmly in the hands of “spirit of Vatican II” type progressives. So they are perhaps constitutionally inclined to oppose or even injure those they see as conservative, or, even worse, traditional. Finding in Pope Francis their hoped for paramour (the comparisons to the adulation given by much of the media-government complex in the US to Obama is eerie), these progressives in the Curia are thus seeking to “give the master what he wants” in the form of some old time persecution. They may thus be going well beyond their master’s intent, and since Pope Francis’ administration of the Church is apparently the most single-handedly authoritarian in decades (Rorate says over a century), the temptation to gain favor from the one man in whom almost all power has been consolidated by engaging in some figurative crucifixions may be intense.
That makes as much sense as any explanation I’ve read for what is going on in the Church over the past year or so. We certainly saw many progressives/modernists fairly bursting with excitement over the election of “one of their own.” It could simply be they feel that now, after decades of being blocked from exercising their full desires in one way or another, they have their chance. There may be a lot of old scores to settle, and as little as we would like to believe such low behavior could exist among high figures in the Church, any reading of history should inform us such belief would be unfounded. Hothouse environments tend to breed a great deal of hatred.
But as I read through all this coverage and explanation, I had one nagging thought in the back of my mind, and that was, at this point, how much does this knowledge benefit us? There is always a defense to be made for continual argument of a point long proven – there are always new people coming along unfamiliar with the argument, unknowledgeable of the situation, and the additional coverage can serve to inform them. I grant that point fully.
For me, however, I think I am about to reach, or have already reached, a point of saturation – I know what this pontificate is, I know for the most part what it hopes to achieve and what it hopes to curtail, and save for truly major new events its time to hunker down in prayer and mortification in the hopes of a Grace-inspired change, rather than continually dedicating my time to mulling over again and again the ways in which this pontificate has consternated, frightened, or disconcerted me.
I don’t mean to imply that I am nonplussed at Rorate’s coverage. One of the main purposes of that blog is to bring to light to English-speaking readers many items from overseas. I don’t have a problem with that. I guess what I’m saying is, I am tiring of covering the, uh…….idiosyncrasies…….of this pontificate and feeling somehow in “opposition” to the Pope. Like many, at this point I really don’t want to know much of anything about Pope Francis because it doesn’t do me any spiritual good. In fact, its frequently the opposite. And I guess that is the purpose of this post, to let others I know who feel the same way that they are not alone.
It’s a profoundly sad thing, really, to be a Catholic who feels alienated from Christ’s Vicar on earth. Maybe alienated is too strong a word, but disconcerted,disaffacted…….these certainly I feel.
I don’t have much point beyond that. I have prayed much more intensely for this pontificate than I did for Pope Benedict’s, which is how we humans tend to be – it takes a crisis to get us motivated.
So, unless and until major news breaks on the upcoming Extraordinary Synod of the Family, I hope to avoid Pope Francis as much as possible. I just don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything by discussing him at this point.
Does that mean I am becoming apathetic or jaded? I hope not.
I do think there is a great deal of good that can come out of this pontificate (or any) no matter how it develops. If we suffer due to actions taken on high, but offer those sufferings up, it could be a source of great spiritual fruit, not just individually, but collectively.
Soul-tearing existential post concluded. No this does not mean I’m quitting blogging!
Rorate Caeli has a very long post regarding the ongoing agony of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. It seems on June 10, a secret meeting occurred between Pope Francis, the new leadership of the FIs (including the small cabal that forced the ouster of the order’s founder and longtime leadership), and some friars, seminarians, novices, etc. The meeting enjoyed tight security and was totally unknown until it was leaked by the new FI leadership to a reliable reporter at La Stampa.
The meeting is notable for several reasons. One is the fact that meeting was apparently held to stem the flood of requests to be released from vows among members of the now hemorrhaging order. It appears nearly 1/8 of all members/seminarians have asked to be released from their vows. The meeting also featured a question and answer session in which it was made clear that Pope Francis has not had the wool pulled over his eyes by an overly zealous Congregation for Religious (I know….but the new name is ridiculous) or by Fr. Vicenzo Volpi, but is intimately aware of, and very likely directing, the course of events surrounding the FIs.
There was also apparently an unexpected and potentially embarrassing question from the young friars present: he asked the Holy Father why yet another secret meeting, without much of the order’s formerly most influential members, was being held again. It seems Pope Francis was rather taken aback by this question.
From the original report in La Stampa, again courtesy Rorate:
The meeting was held on Tuesday 10 June in the chapel of the Santa Marta Residence in the Vatican, despite the fact the Pope had been feeling under the weather and cancelled some appointments the previous day. For an hour and a half, Francis entertained around sixty Franciscans of the Immaculate………Around forty seminarists, novitiates, and theology and philosophy students were present, along with their teachers and the pontifical commissioner, father Fidenzio Volpi.
The Franciscan Friars sang the Ave Maria di Fatima and renewed in the hands of the Pope their vows of total consecration to the Immaculate. Questions were then put to Francis on the most contested themes regarding the internal operations of the institution. Pope Bergoglio proved to be well informed on all issues, following the matter closely, and several times showed his appreciation for father Volpi, quelling rumours that the actions of the government of the commissioner and his collaborators were undertaken without the Pope’s knowledge. [This article reads more like a press release. In my admittedly jaded opinion, this article is an effort in damage control. Rorate noted several unusual circumstances concerning its seemingly miraculous appearance in La Stampa. At this point, though, I think it is clear the actions of Fr. Volpi can be said to be at odds with the desires of Pope F]
Following the assignment of commissioners and restrictions applied to the use of the old missal, which, as opposed to what happens under motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, in the case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate it can be used without prior authorisation from superiors, there were defections in the friars and the seminarians. Of 400 members in the world, around 40 have requested to be released from their vows, and around half of these are seminarists and therefor still students who had only made temporary vows. [Forty, in less than a year. This order is bleeding out on the ground. Mission accomplished?]
On the motu proprio, Pope Francis said he did not want to deviate from the line of Benedict XVI, and reiterated that the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate remained free to celebrate the old mass, [wait for it......] even if for the moment, in light of the controversies surrounding the exclusive right to use that missal – an element that did not constitute part of the founding charisma of the institution – they required “a discernment” with the superior and with the bishop if it concerned celebrations in parish churches, sanctuaries and teaching houses. [The vast vast VAST majority of requests to offer the TLM publicly have been met with stone cold silence. So, yes, you can have your Mass if you want it, "Tridentine," but keep it to yourself, please.] The Pope explained that there must be freedom, both for those who wish to celebrate with the old rite, and those who wish to celebrate with the new rite, without the rite becoming an ideological banner………[There hasn't been even a shred of proof put forward to substantiate that the TLM had become an ideological banner, or that there was persecution of NO adherents.]
……Francis also said that he had wanted the closure of the theological institute within the Franciscans of the Immaculate (STIM), so that the seminarists would study in the pontifical theology faculties of Rome. He then explained that the Church guarantees orthodoxy through the Pope. [The idea that the pontifical universities to which the FIs have been sent are of guaranteed orthodoxy is a joke. Some are better than others, but many are hideously modernist and full of heresy and abuse. The former theological institute of the FIs, by contrast, was thoroughly orthodox]
There is much more at Rorate. Some had held 0ut pious hope that this draconian intervention against the FIs (male and female) was largely occurring behind Pope Francis’ back. That view now appears untenable. The pope seems intimately aware of the situation involving the FIs, and seems willing to exercise an exceedingly heavy hand against them, while he tells progressive religious that falling into outright heresy can sometimes just be a matter of a little accident, easily to be forgiven. The only real heresy, it appears, is to be a mafioso, a torturer, or someone with a certain drift.
Oh, there was also this interesting matter: Pope Francis is alleged to have misquoted St. Ignatius Loyola to say: ” if the Pope says that black is white then we should believe that it is white.” IF TRUE, it is a pretty amazing thing for a pope to claim the authority to demand such, and that at least religious should be obedient even to the point of redefining reality according to what a pope says (which gets back to my fear of a creeping, near-totalitarian ultramontanism). Such a statement seems very difficult to reconcile with a deeply humble character.
It is one thing for a Saint to make such a claim. It is something entirely different for a pope to make that claim regarding himself, as what he expects from others! As far as is known, no other pope in the past 400+ years since the statement has made has ever repeated the claim regarding themselves or their office. Amazing. As Boney noted:
We are perfectly entitled to believe that black is indeed black and that white is indeed white and that anyone who says any differently is deceiving you, since he can see and knows that black is black and that white is, indeed, white. So if a Pope tells you that the Resurrection of Christ was a physical, historical reality white is indeed white, but if a Pope tells you that the Resurrection of Christ was not a physical, historical reality, white is still white, not black.
Some of the main instigators of this tragedy below:
Continue to pray for the FIs! At this point, the future of this once thriving and pious order is dependent on the Divine Mercy. May God be pleased to make His own intervention!
Hey, guess what? Latin Mass appeals to youth! June 19, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, sadness, sanctity, secularism, Tradition, Virtue.
I think in this case the author is being a bit more general, not referring to just the TLM, but Latin NO as well. I also hate the phrase “smells and bells,” since it makes it seems lovers of a reverent Traditional Mass are really only drawn to a few externals.
Nevertheless, it is nice to see, for the 985th time, that the burning desire in many souls for reverent Latin Masses is not just a fad, not just the dying embers of a memory 50 years old, but a real, growing love in the hearts of many young people. Popes and potentates can delude themselves TLMers are a dying, unimportant breed, all the evidence says contrary (I add emphasis and comments):
Millennials are leaving religion in droves, recent surveys find. Churches are roiled and it appears some will do anything to stop the exodus. [I think this is where that whole "whore of Babylon" meme should really come in. Don't you agree, Watermark?]
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Archdiocese of New York recently hosted millennial Mass-goers for pizzas and drinks at a Midtown dance club. “We’re definitely people who live in our culture,” the archdiocese’s director of young-adult outreach told the Journal, “but I guess as long as it’s not too crazy, we’re OK with it.” [What constitutes too crazy? Rock n' roll ok, beer ok, but heroin not? How about pills? How about some grass to chill you out when the god-talkers harsh your mellow? Remember, this is the Archdiocese crushing the TLM, which draws many youth on its own very well without gimmicks or frivolity]
Drinks and dancing after Mass might not be crazy, but it’s silly to think it will fill the pews.
One church on the near north side of Chicago isn’t fazed by the holy hubbub. When it comes to millennials, yours truly included, St. John Cantius Catholic Church bucks the trend. The struggling old church was once slated to be closed by the archdiocese, but pastor Frank Phillips had an idea to save it: celebrate the Mass in Latin.
“That’s actually when people started coming to the parish,” Fr. Phillipssaid in a church video. “Today, there are so many adaptations [to the Mass] that one wonders sometimes — because I hear this from parishioners — ‘Did I attend Mass? Or did I attend the Johnny Carson show?’”
At a recent meeting of Juventutem, a network of Catholic youth who love the smells and bells, [whatevs, dude. It's about much more than that] it was standing-room-only in Cantius’s basement. “I’m not a child,” one 24-year-old in skinny jeans told me with craft beer in hand, “and that’s how a lot of these ‘young adult Masses’ treat me.” [Especially Lifeteen "Mass," as I shudder.]
If there’s one thing hipsters don’t like, it’s not being taken seriously. [Then don't call yourself a hipster] When Pope Francis received bishops from the Czech Republic in February, one archbishop reported that the pope said he “cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to” the traditional Mass. “I find that it is rather a kind of fad. And if it is a fad,” Francis said, “it is a matter that does not need that much attention.” [Then kindly leave us alone? Starting with releasing the FIs and not horsing around with the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei? More and more rumors point to that being the only really substantial change that will occur in the Curia, that PCED will get moved, either to the Congregation for Religious, in which case, yikes, or the Congregation for Divine Worship, which might be OK for a while]
That might come as a surprise to a growing number of millennials who worship in Latin every Sunday. Before Pope Benedict XVI allowed for wider use of the traditional Mass in 2007, only a little over 200 Latin Masses were celebrated in the United States. Today, that number has doubled. And it’s not just an American thing. “440 flock to the main Sunday Latin mass,” The Economist wrote of a London church. “But it is not a fogeys’ hangout: the congregation is young and international.”
Some might think this Mass movement is reactionary. But millennials are unfamiliar with 1960s church politics — they weren’t even born yet. The “spirit of Vatican II” means nothing to them. They’re offended by their church’s attempts to look cool. Church is cool, they say, when it is true.
Well that’s a good point. But churches only try to become cool out of desperation, only after they’ve lost the plot. We’ve lost the plot quite a bit in the Church, and thus we’ve gotten what we’ve see around us today. Rorate has a post on a priest gleefully telling his congregation, in a sermon, how he rudely and coarsely insulted a Pope-Saint. That same post has the same parish offering a stupid balloon Mass. Those parishes in Ireland are dying. They aren’t Catholic anymore.
Do your best to find a parish that is Catholic and cling to it in the wild winds that are about to blow. We’ll all desperately need a firm anchor in the times ahead.
I will tell you one thing I tire of, though I don’t really blame the author above for falling into this tendency. That is this really novel notion of separating people into generations, as if they are really different from each other. Please. The idea that someone born in 1990 is radically different from someone born in 1970 or 1940 is just dumb and insulting. Sure, there are differences between young people and old people, between every person in the world, but while this generation-defining may be convenient it only serves the process of balkanization those who seek to divide society into infinite groups of endlessly warring parties – the better to make government more powerful and more socialist – are trying to achieve. “Millenial” Catholics and baby-boomer Catholics and “Generation X” Catholics are just Catholics. They are just people. These labels are sort of easy cliches for the intellectually lazy. And I think they do serve, ultimately, a noxious purpose.
Pope Francis on how to avoid addiction June 11, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, disconcerting, error, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, self-serving, silliness, Society.
Pope Francis over the weekend had an outdoor audience with 60,000 members of Italian Catholic Action sports teams. In the course of that event, he made a few comments on the great benefits he – a huge soccer fan – sees in sports:
“The path of education, the path of sports, and the path of employment, in other words, that there be jobs available at an early age. If we have these three paths, I assure you there will not be any addictions, no drugs, no alcohol. Why? Because school carries you forward, sport carries you forward, and work carries you forward.”
“It’s beautiful when a parish has a sports team, and if there isn’t a team in the parish, something is missing. If there’s no sports team, something is missing.”
Huh. I must have been doing it wrong. When my alcoholism and addiction to drugs manifested itself, I was a college educated full-time employed engineer playing tons of hockey at nights. In fact, the beer-infused hockey team culture played at least a small role of going over into full bore addiction.
There have been millions of college educated, permanently employed addicts. There are probably at least hundreds of thousands of such right now in this country. Some may or may not play sports. In general, playing sports tends to have a pretty trivial aspect on people’s lives. Me, being the compulsive type, couldn’t just play hockey a night or two a week. I had to be the best. And being the best required at least 6-8 beers to cool down afterwards. I got blitzed with Brent Severyn!
Regarding the second paragraph, maybe it’s an Italian thing, but Pope Francis sounds to me like he likes soccer way too much. As for the causes of addiction, I’d say his opinions are rather novel and quite a bit different from what they teach you in NA.
Francis might ought to contemplate whether socialism might not be the cause of the sky-high youth unemployment rates of countries like France, Italy, Spain, and his own native Argentina. Socialists love unions, who provide votes, and unions favor older workers and try to freeze out younger workers as a threat to the highest possible wages.
Does the fact that I became a full-on addict while an educated employed sports player make me disobedient or a heretic?
First off, Rorate has two nice posts containing some Catholic perspectives on two great events which occurred 70 years ago today, the Allied landings in Normandy and the liberation of Rome from German occupation.
There was great fear that the Germans would continue their scorched earth policy of resistance in Italy even into Rome itself. There was also great concern that the National Socialists would engage in the same looting of everything valuable they could get their hands on, as they had done in so many other locales, from the churches and other treasures of Rome. That neither happened can be attributed to Grace, military necessity, and a few men of conscience in the German ranks who prevented – perhaps out of concern for their own necks – Rome being turned into a charnal house of ruin in street to street fighting.
The first post is a speech from Pope Benedict XVI against the idea that Christianity is a call to total pacifism. The Church has always understood that there are just wars, and that the state holds the power of the sword. Many modernists in the Church try to put forth the idea that military force is always unjustifiable, that if we just appease aggressors and act really, really nice, all the bad people will be mollified and the world will be a place of rainbows and unicorns. This is a deadly error. Pacifism and appeasement tend to encourage aggressors, as history so sadly indicates. That is not to say that the endless wars this country has engaged in since Kennedy very deliberately created a large standing army (against Eisenhower’s counsel) have been just or appropriate. It is simply to say that demanding total pacifism is not a Catholic belief, and never has been.
The second contains Venerable Pope Pius XII’s speech upon the liberation of Rome. For this Catholic, the speech reminds what a pope should sound like, and the kind of leadership he should give.
I found a couple of pictures relevant to this post, taken in Normandy in summer 1944:
Yeah, I don’t like this post anymore. Bad post, bad! I meant it to be funny but it didn’t come out that way. Just best to delete it.