Yikes? I know Fr. Z and others are trying to caution, and rightly so,
that this is an unconfirmed story (parts are confirmed, see below), that even if true, this is a private conversation and not a doctrinal statement, and that we don’t know all the details. All Mostly true, but nonetheless, this story fits a pattern of established behavior and also seems to align with public sentiments expressed by Francis elsewhere, so that discounting it as totally implausible seems a bit rash:
Pope Francis called an Argentine woman married to a divorced man and reportedly told her that she could receive the sacrament of Communion, according to the woman’s husband, in an apparent contradiction of Catholic law. [It's not just Catholic Dogma, it's rather straight from Christ Himself]
Julio Sabetta, from San Lorenzo in the Pope’s home country, said his wife, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, spoke with Francis on Monday.
Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona wrote to the pontiff in September to ask for clarification on the Communion issue, according to her husband, who said his divorced status had prevented her from receiving the sacrament. [Yes, because since he is still married to his first spouse, she is committing adultery with a married man. Plus, this couple was only ever civilly married]
“She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong,” Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate. [Dear Lord, I hope not. What, Confession over the phone now? Was Pope Francis wearing a stole for the call? This part seems unlikely. But keep reading, there is more.]
A Vatican spokesman confirmed the telephone call but would not comment on the conversation’s content.
“It’s between the Pope and the woman,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.
Rosica said that any comments made by the Pope should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. “The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls.” [This from the same man that lauds a manifest heretic in disgraced, laicized Gregory Baum. We're making progress? None of this is a denial of the tenor or crux of the call. Rosica may not personally know, or he could, and is simply trying to defuse the matter. But none of the above is even a slight denial, in fact, it leads one to surmise that the conversation did take place and that the general gist of it is not being wildly misconstrued.]
Pope Francis and other top Vatican leaders have said the issue will be discussed at a gathering of bishops from around the world in October. The Pope was not pre-empting that debate, according to Rosica.
“To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect,” he said. “The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex.” [Yes yes, and that's the selling point of the whole Kasperite movement, isn't it? That these cases are just too darned complex to be governed by some statement from the Christ or 2000 years of Church practice?]
The most detailed coverage I’ve found is here.
Wow. More than wow………this is enough to make one catatonic and/or apoplectic. Or both at the same time.
A provocative thought from Bones:
Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter, someone is doing this undermining of the Magisterium and the Papacy on purpose. The question remains whether that person is one of the Pope’s enemies, or one of his friends, or the Pope himself.
Maybe. There are some odd bits to this report. The pretended Confession, already noted. And the Argentine divorced and remarried man reported that the Pope insisted on calling himself Father Bergoglio – almost a schizophrenic gesture, if true, as no pope can ever be a private priest again. But the scary part is the pope has plainly shown he has at least some sympathy for Cardinal Kasper’s novel approach on bigamists receiving the Blessed Sacrament, and we know he loves phone calls, so the key claim in this report is not like some bolt out of the blue. There is some possible corroboration in other recent events/statements.
I know some folks are just not going to accept this as remotely valid. Others are going to be certain it is. My advice for both is to pray like mad and gird your loins. If this report is true, which may be a big if, but if, it redounds on us all the more to pray for this pope and the entire Church and world. I have made this upcoming Synod on Marriage and the Family a very big part of my intentions for the Rosary and other prayers, I have been offering a perpetual Novena for the Pope and his sanctification, but I will redouble my efforts in both regards.
I had a funny in here regarding Michael Voris, but I took it out. I was just trying to laugh amidst our trials.
Before I leave for a much needed break during this holiest of weeks, I would feel negligent if I did not share this excellent article which summarizes the maneuvering ongoing at the highest levels of the Church regarding Cardinal Kasper’s seemingly highly dangerous push to radically redefine Catholic Dogma on marriage, divorce, bigamy, and reception of the Blessed Sacrament, while pretending to leave that same Dogma “in place.” The goal is change the practice while pretending to leave the Dogmas untouched. This is impossible. It pretends to separate belief from practice: in theological terms, orthodoxy (right belief), from orthopraxis (right action).
That this entire push is hinged on a silly proposition (the early Church permitted divorce! Wrong.) that has already been shown to be incredibly, demonstrably false, is all the more disconcerting.
The article was originally published in the German site Katholisches. Some of the translation is rough. The article is also very long, much of which is recapping events of the past 6 months or so. But the portion that discusses the February consistory, whence Cardinal Kasper’s erroneous proposition was first broached, then ridiculed, is very important. I am going to try to clean up some of the translation from Tancred, if he doesn’t mind:
Pope Francis, however, despite substantive silence, the one who has called the Synods of Bishops on the topic of family. With his consent, his new secretary of the Synod of Bishops, the present Cardinal Baldisseri, has directed a questionnaire to all the bishops of the world. Dealing with the questionnaire has made visible the determination progressive pressure groups who want to change the Catholic moral teaching. Even so, it did not lead to rethinking in Rome. The path continues. Instead, Pope Francis commissioned Cardinal Walter Kasper, with a lecture at the cardinal consistory in late February. Neutrality is different.[I think this is saying, this was not a neutral presentation. Kasper's talk was engineered as a showcase for his modernist novelties, without rebuttal] For a proper debate about balance and to signal that, the pope could have appointed two speakers of different perspectives. For the dutiful defense of Catholic teaching on marriage, he would have to employ an orthodox advocate for the Doctrine of the Faith. But nothing of the sort occurred. The Pope decided on Cardinal Kasper, whose unorthodox position on the issue has been known at least since the 90s. A position that was rejected by both Pope Benedict XVI., and previously Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Just as they have now been rejected by today’s Prefect, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Cardinal before the consistory. We may recognize in the papal decision in favoring Kasper, a unilateral advocacy, and in Cardinal Kasper if not the voice of the Pope, so at least a trial balloon, which was allowed to ascend, to test the reactions and resistances. [This is an interpretation. Is it correct? I tend to think it may well be, but it's difficult to say. It was very strange that Cardinal Kasper was given the opportunity to, more or less, evangelize the cardinals on his novelty, without presentation of any opposing view. It was also clear Pope Francis was communicating his strong support for Cardinal Kasper's views]
The partisanship engaged unambiguous underlining in effusive praise for Kasper, which Pope Francis on the morning after his speech to the cardinals formulated his response. The reaction to Kasper’s oratory, in whom there was a cunningly palatable formula, was quite energetic. Against the horse trading suggested by the German theologian (to pretend that everything remains the same, but in reality, everything would change), protest arose more loudly. The most vocal of the Cardinals in the discussion disagreed with Kasper.
With fanatical praise it was obvious the Pope wanted to rush to the rescue of the German Cardinal. The downright ecstatic, but not very believable assertion that the strategy formulated by Kasper – a strategy formulated precisely to get rid of the Church’s teaching on marriage – is at a crucial point “theology on his knees”, makes it hard to deny representing the Pope’s closeness to Kasper’s new course. [Many took that to be an endorsement, especially among the cardinals who were there]
……..I’ll condense a bit, you can read the original at the link above. The article then goes on to note the perplexing fact that the cardinals in attendance had absolute silence imposed on them regarding the discussions at the Synod, but then someone obviously close to Kasper and/or Pope Francis leaked the text. The article posits this was done to use the tactic of poisoning the well, which posits that he who gets his message out first, tends to dominate the debate. Was such intentional? Who knows, but it would be far from unprecedented from some of this crowd, including Kasper, to use procedural tricks they then, suddenly, exempt themselves from, to shape a debate to their own advantage.
However, forestalling this advantage, the Italian daily Il Foglio that was to publish Kasper’s talk, first (and very responsibly, I might add) engaged an “opposition” to provide a contrary viewpoint. Thus, Kasper’s text appeared side by side with the great Roberto de Mattei’s rebuttal. This apparently sent Kasper into a rage – if the article is correct. Picking back up:
Kasper foamed. Even days later, he gave his anger free reign in an interview with Vatican Radio. Apparently, in a modification of the original intent and as a countermeasure to the Foglio strike he now had published even in the Osservatore Romano, the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, the final copy of Kasper’s and the Preface to the speech, now currently under pressure.
The Osservatore Romano could be relied upon to offer strong praise from Pope Francis to Kasper, after numerous cardinals had taken their position against remarried divorcees. This praise opened the privilege to the German cardinal to be printed in L’Osservatore Romano, which would hardly have been possible without such consent of the Pope.
Kasper’s position should therefore be given visibility and authority within the Church. The confidentiality obligation was and is still obvious to all cardinals and their contributions to the discussion in the Consistory, with a single exception: Walter Kasper. Only for him did Pope Francis lift the obligation to secrecy. Why such a privilege when all the “opinions” are taken into account? The Pope hung a muzzle so that all the Cardinals who defended the Catholic doctrine on the sacrament of marriage, and allowed only the dissenting opinion the right to speak. This is a one-sided preference for a certain position and the disability of another equal.
The result was that not only the Osservatore Romano , but also other official Church media, especially the newspapers of some Episcopal Conferences felt obliged to reprint Kasper. In contrast to Il Foglio , however, they lacked any counter position. The only one that was granted the exclusive right to raise his voice in the daily newspaper of the Holy See was Kasper. All the other cardinals and their speeches in the consistory have been kept silent. [Perhaps I'm just too jaded, but I have a hard time not seeing in all this some orchestrated campaign to endorse Kasper's modernist gambit and keep opposing views from print as much as possible.]
. ———-End Quote————
Obviously a lot of inside baseball. But it has all the makings of a very debauched realpolitik power struggle being played out in public, with Church Dogma basically held hostage by a progressive agenda seeking to advance their radical vision for the Church – a vision which after being partially implemented wreaked utter devastation.
The article ends with discussion of the completely discredited 1977 study which pretended to suddenly discover, magically, like!, that the early Church was just fine and dandy with bigamists receiving the Blessed Sacrament. The article points out the very strange coincidence that this unmissed and almost entirely forgotten book from 1977 suddenly – also magically, like! – was republished late last year. Just in time for the consistory and upcoming Synod, just when Kasper was ready for his big push.
The political aspects of this are such that it is truly trying to the Faith, seeing just how much materialist will-to-power is on display. A great exhibition of leftism in action, but within the Church.
I should end with one clear note: what is really being debated here is not so much divorce or remarriage, but whether public sinners can be admitted to the Blessed Sacrament. No one is going to “undo” Christ’s very clear guidance to us: remarriage while your spouse is still alive constitutes bigamy and adultery (yes, we have American annulment factories, but that’s a whole different topic). So what is being debated is whether it’s OK for those who persist in an objective state of mortal sin and in a public manner be allowed to blaspheme the Blessed Sacrament. You probably should read the whole thing.
Atlanta bishop builds perfumed palace while Holy See removes high-living German prelate March 27, 2014Posted by tantamergo in asshatery, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
Scandal has apparently broken out in the Archdiocese of Atlanta over close to $5 million being spent on residences for the Archbishop, Wilton Gregory (former head of the USCCB) and a lavish home for the cathedral priests. The bishop’s new home is 6000 sq ft and $2.2 million, ostensibly for a single man living alone:
The Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead hopes to begin renovations next month on a newly acquired rectory for its parish priests at a cost, including purchase of the property, of $2.2 million.
The residence once housed Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who heads the Archdiocese of Atlanta, but he recently moved into a new, 6,196-square-foot home on Habersham Road in Buckhead. The archdiocese built that home at an additional cost of $2.2 million.
The money for these expenditures came from a $15 million bequest from Joseph Mitchell, nephew “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell. How that cash was used has touched off debate within the parish and archdiocese. [Was the money given specifically for that purpose?]
Some parishioners think Joseph Mitchell’s wealth should have been used for schools and the poor – that clergy leadership needed to follow the example of Pope Francis, who’s made international headlines with his admonitions to Catholics to live simpler, more frugal lives.
I would have no problem if $15 million were put into truly beautifying and restoring a wreckovated church, but spending 1/3 of that money on residences for a bishop and 3 priests is pretty ludicrous. I note that the exposes on unfaithful same-sex attracted priests noted their propensity for high living. There may be no connection here, but it bears mentioning.
How has Gregory justified this lavish expense for a bishop? He claims, contrary to reason, that having these very high tone digs will allow him to “smell of the sheep” better by having more backyard bbqs and what not:
Gregory also said he thinks the new home would have the pope’s blessing.
“He wants his bishops to engage with his people,” said Gregory, who was installed as archbishop in Atlanta in 2005. His new home, he said, allows for larger groups to visit; the grounds also are good for cookouts and other outdoor activities. In this way, said Gregory, he can follow the pope’s admonition to “smell like the flock” — to be close to parishioners.
Oh please. Oh please oh please oh please! Good luck getting even 5 minutes with the bishop in his office, let alone his home, unless you are donating in the 6 figures or have some overwhelming evidence of a grave scandal and are threatening to go to the press. Then you might get a few minutes in the office. Invitations to the bishop’s residence are almost exclusively reserved to a couple official functions a year – if there are any at all (most have none) – or are limited to the highest of high rollers of money or power who constitute perhaps the upper 0.01% of Catholics in a given diocese. It is an utter crock to think Gregory is going to suddenly invite 500 families from the barrio to invade his lavish, perfect home with their low manners and squealing kids. Give. me. a. break.
At least, that’s how it plays here. Our own bishop has a residence valued at $1.5 million or so in the ritziest part of town – I guess by comparison, he’s a model of episcopal restraint.
I think the whole “smell of the sheep” angle has been overplayed and overwrought, nevertheless, bishops who think the call to modest living doesn’t apply to them might want to check out what’s just happened in Germany, where Pope Francis cashiered another high-living prelate:
Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the bishop of Limburg, whose extravagant spending on renovations for his personal residence angered his congregation and ran afoul of the pontiff’s message of humility and modesty for the Roman Catholic Church.
The Holy See accepted the German bishop’s offer to resign, “given that it has come to a situation in the Limburg diocese that prevents Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from fruitfully carrying out his duties,” the Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday.
After mounting criticism over spiraling costs, the Limburg diocese confirmed in October that Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, 54, had poured at least 31 million euros, or about $43 million, into the renovation of his residence and church buildings. The costs had originally been estimated at €5.5 million.
I wonder what kind of renovations those churches received? Traditional or wreckovations? Well, it’s Germany, so……
It used to be, up until Vatican II, that bishops lived in their dioceses and rarely left. But with the proliferation of bureaucracies that VII promoted, bishops now rarely spend even half their time physically present in their dioceses. I know people who have worked at the chancery for years and saw Bishop Farrell, for instance, only a handful of times.
So why would a man who spends most of his time living in hotels need a mansion? Why would a single man, called to be the highest example of virtue for his priests and the laity need such luxury? It speaks to the profound disorder in the episcopate, where bishops seem to view themselves as CEOs of regional branches of McChurch, Incorporated, and not as shepherds of souls. Most bishops behave far more as administrators and accountants, whose highest priority is to stay out of the news, rather than being – or at least appearing – deeply concerned over the state of souls. Giving example of mortification for most bishops seems a sad joke.
It’s so much easier to play at politics, act the manager, and hope that universal salvation will do your job for you.
Again, I think the whole “smell of your sheep” angle is likely going to lead to a bunch of abuse in its own right – showy displays of concern that mean little, etc – but there is a profound derangement in episcopal life in the West, and maybe Pope Francis’ call to humility and simplicity will net some changed behaviors.
Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Benedict’s secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household, told the German ZDF television network that Pope Benedict had presented a 4 page critique of Pope Francis’ infamous interview with the atheist Eugenio Scalfari. Tancred at Eponymous Flower has the details from German site Katholisches:
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI wrote an extensive critical commentary on the controversial interview of Pope Francis in the Jesuit magazine Civiltà Cattolic a 19 September 2013.
This was disclosed by his personal secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop George Gänswein in the context of a broadcast on ZDF on the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. Four pages include the critical remarks to that controversial interview. Pope Francis explained himself at the time to the criticism that he is not taking a position on abortion and “gay marriage”: “We can not always deal with the issue of abortion, homosexual marriage, and birth control methods. That can not be.” Among the enthusiastic omissions regarding atheist Eugenio Scalfari about personal conscience as the autonomy of conscience, he stated affirmatively: “Listening to the conscience and obeying it actually means to choose a thing known in the face of good or evil. And from this decision it depends on whether our actions are good or evil.”
Another translated article from Katholisches looks at some recent material from Sandro Magister and posits that Pope Benedict is formulating some kind of opposition to Pope Francis. Tancred had this remarkable statement from Magister’s piece, but I’m not sure if the source is Magister or Benedict (I suspect the former):
“John Paul II did not ask for applause, nor did he ever look around in concern at how his decisions would be received. He acted on the basis of his faith and convictions, and he was also ready to take fire. The courage of the truth is to my eyes one of the main criteria of holiness.”
This situation is so bizarre I don’t know what to make of it. It’s better than digging up the bones of your predecessor and putting them on trial, I suppose, but it doesn’t do much to strengthen the Office of the Papacy.
Which is perhaps the point?
One more question – since a Pope has now seen fit to criticize a Pope, does that mean it’s OK for lowly lay Catholics to do so? Snark off.
I could almost have titled this post instead, “There is a great disturbance in the Force.” Because that is a pretty good analogy for what is going on.
Irrespective of concerns that some blogs or news sites may have a tendency towards hyperbole, just going with statements from the hierarchy of late is extremely troubling regarding defense and proclamation of the orthodox faith. To put it in blunt, political terms, it is as if there is recognition that there has been a sea change in opinion at the highest level of the Church from conservative to progressive, and ambitious men in positions of extreme import are falling all over themselves to correspond with the new ideological paradigm. To wit:
- We will never get over the “Who Am I to Judge” line famously spoken on a flight last summer
- Cardinal Dolan now says bravo to a self-reported same-sex attracted college football player
- An Italian archbishop now claims that it is time for the Church to “open up” to sodomite “diversity”
- A German bishop – and a young one, at that, declares that fornication is not a sin
- A “retired” cardinal that the Pope has repeatedly endorsed writes a book undermining Catholic Dogma on marriage and chastity. A speech based on this book is read to a preparatory group of bishops in the run up to the “Synod on marriage and the family.”
- Almost half the Germanic hierarchy is openly proclaiming heresy regarding matters related to marriage and sexuality
- The UN over a month ago released a violently anti-Catholic report that basically derided the Church as one of the most evil institutions on the planet for its opposition to sexual immorality. To date, there has been no formal Vatican response of any substance.
- There has been an increase in hostile rhetoric towards the traditional, or even orthodox, practice of the Faith from numerous elements in the hierarchy, starting with the highest level. The TLM is now derided as a “fashion.”
Those are just a few items that jumped to mind immediately. There are many more, and I glossed over some already.
I am at this point flummoxed as to where all this leads. In many respects, I fear this rhetoric and the upcoming Synod, because it all seems to point in a disastrous direction. While I remain supremely confident that no formal Doctrine/Dogma will be (or can be) changed at any Synod, I do fear “pastoral approaches” that, in a similar vein to some of the more problematically worded aspects of Vatican II, will have the effect of obliterating the doctrines in question.
I guess I’ve said much of this before, sorry to be a broken record, but even in the past few weeks it seems as if the abandonment of defense of Dogma – the supreme job of every bishop in the Church – has changed from a moderate stream into a violent torrent.
No, there is no panic button being pressed, but I have to ask, where is all this headed? And, even more, what is the appropriate response? Mario Palmaro, God rest his soul, called for Catholics to protest loudly and vigorously in defense of the true understanding/practice of the Faith. But many are uncomfortable doing so (aside from reading fretful bloggers), it seems. I see no kernel of support for a lay Catholic organization demanding defense of Dogma. I am not certain how one would even go about such.
Prayer is certainly vital and called for, but is it time for a more concrete response? If not now, when? Under what conditions? A priest related to me that if Catholic men were not willing to go to the barricades, so to speak, over the redefinition of marriage, there is nothing they would defend. Is there anything we will truly defend, collectively? Or do we wait for the few remaining bastions to be torn down and then try to pick up the pieces? And if we do engage in protest, what does that look like? Thousands flying to Rome and engaging in a march, or sending letters, or?
I don’t pretend to have firm answers to any of the above. Certainly, such a protest could be viewed as a chastisement of our episcopal authorities – but are there times when such is allowable, even appropriate? Could we even be successful?
Thoughtful suggestions welcome.
I guess the question I am really trying to ask is, do “we” (I wasn’t there) really suffer through the ringer of the 70s-80s again, and watch all the very small gains made in the past 25 years be pretty much wiped out, or do we stand athwart the tide of elite opinion and shout “no!,” as so many French Catholics have done of late?
And if so, what issue do we galvanize around? Is sodo-marriage that issue, or something else?
So the notorious Deacon Sandy, pastoral administrator of the priest-less Good Shepherd parish of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee (and a man apparently desperate to continue the disastrous legacy of his intellectually bankrupt and immoral lodestar, Rembert Weakland), is back, this time with an effort to publicly insult Pope Benedict for being a crass materialist.
Pope Benedict may have been many things, but implying he was a wannabe richy rich who just lusted after material gain is not one of them.
My problem, however, is not so much with Deacon Sandy’s stupid use of a projector screen, nor his little attempt to garner favor with his aging and tiny Katholyc audience (for Mass at Good Shepherd is much less a Sacrifice than it is a performance).
No, my problem is that Sandy is a passive-aggressive wimp who constantly tries to hide under pathetically thin excuses and special pleading every time he is caught out.
When he was caught out proclaiming how proud he was to abuse the Liturgy in all manner of ways, he tried to pretend that he was somehow misunderstood and that their parish intends to change their approach. Well, a month or so on, and no change.
The man claims they don’t have kneelers (but they do have big, plush comfy chairs, much more expensive that a plain bench) because they are a poor parish and don’t have the money. He didn’t include that his congregation – I am all but sure – feels it beneath themselves to kneel to their Lord and Savior in the flesh.
Now, he’s trying to claim that wasn’t a photo of Pope Benedict, but just a guy in white cassock and red shoes. It could be JPII, or Paul VI, or even Pius XII, I suppose, but the point is that he’s attacking what he sees as the materialism of the papacy. He’s wrong, the Pope wears red shoes because he is walking in the footsteps of martyrs, and signals his own willingness to be martyred for the Faith by wearing them. I have no way of knowing, but I doubt many of Deacon Sandy’s flock have a faith that would stand the test of a bad hangnail.
But the point is, he keeps getting caught, and keeps coming up with these bad, see-through excuses. This is how progressives have behaved in the Church for decades, undermining doctrine and authority, promoting heresy, abusing the Liturgy, bullying lay people under their authority, but then scurrying like roaches for corners when the light of publicity or a Church investigation is turned on them. “Oh, we’re faithful!,” “Oh, we’re misunderstood!” they cry.
What kind of person leeches off an institution he secretly despises? What kind of person constantly tries to weaken, undermine, or overturn that institution from within?
For locals, this Deacon Sandy is so much like disgraced “Father” John Stack it isn’t funny. Same boring, worldly, unchallenging homilies. Same tired old progressive liturgical shtick. Like so many progressive priests before him, Stack left the Church to marry, but still claims to be “Catholic”. He continues to minister to a steadily declining flock of almost entirely elderly Katholycs. He would have been laicized years ago if the Jesuits didn’t keep dragging their feet. If the school districts ever cut him off, he’ll be in real trouble.
Odds are, Archbishop Listecki will terminate this little
ego trip video apostolate at Good Shepherd. Or maybe we’ll see Deacon Sandy continue to flame out.
Glorious sermon on the TLM by Archbishop Sample March 10, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, manhood, Papa, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Archbishop Alexander Sample has long been known as one of the most orthodox and tradition-friendly bishops in the United States. Here he gives a sermon during a Pontifical High Mass offered as the crowning event of a 3-day conference on Gregorian Chant and the role of sacred music in the liturgy at a Brigittine Monastery in Oregon.
“Young people who experience this Liturgy are amazed.” Indeed! I was blown away repeatedly when I first experienced the TLM. I still get goosebumps – and have even had a transport or two – when I assist at Mass, at least on occasion. It is beyond doubt in my mind that the way forward for true liturgical reform is to re-adopt the TLM on a mass scale (heh), and, almost as importantly, to properly form souls in the true nature of the Mass as Holy Sacrifice and the highest form of worship it is humanly possible to offer to God. The reductive tendency inherit in the Novus Ordo towards community aspects and the numerous overt protestant characteristics which have been incorporated into it are a liturgical – and pastoral – blind alley.
“You’re looking at this beautiful Liturgy tonight with all of its beauty, all of its solemnity, all of its precision, and even its pageantry……..how did we get to some of the abuses that we have experienced since the Second Vatican Council?” Indeed……I think more and more liturgical experts, if they are orthodox and honest, are coming to understand that the Novus Ordo is inherently problematic, even disordered, to a degree that true liturgical reform must be based on the Mass of All Ages.
Archbishop Sample all but agrees with me @12:30-13:00, claiming that the TLM, esp. the Pontifical High Mass, with all its sublime, supernatural glory, should serve as the exemplar or touchstone for all future liturgical developments. Deo Gratias!
Archbishop Sample’s enormous love for the traditional Mass shines brightly through this entire sermon.
A rather pointed comment about the paramount need to have love as Catholic Christians attached to the TLM. That is an exceedingly valuable and powerful reminder of the basis for all Catholic life, which should be especially obvious among adherents to the Traditional Mass. In all the mountains of scandal we are exposed to on a constant basis, it is easy to become jaded or cynical. I have probably, far too many times, given witness to that sad propensity. Of course, true charity doesn’t mean accepting the world’s sick and twisted understanding of same, nor does it imply that we gloss over hard truths. But it’s a good Lenten reminder to me to never allow fervor for the Faith to become a mask for being uncharitable.
Pray for Archbishop Sample! Let us have more bishops like him! And pray for the restoration of the glorious order of the Brigittines, there is a brand-new Brigittine monastery in Tyler which could really use your support. The Brigittines were once a very large order, but it was severely wounded by the protestant revolution against the Church.
I will pray for Fr. Charles Vreeland, noted by Archbishop Sample at the beginning of the sermon.
Thanks to reader TC for the link.
Matthew VIII and ecumenism with Jews March 7, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
The Gospel for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday in the 1962 Missal (actually, mine is 1945, but the reading is the same) is from Chapter VIII of St. Matthew’s Gospel (verses 5-13). Towards the end, Our Blessed Lord says some things that would appear, to me, to contradict much of the modern “ecumenical” attitude in the Church, especially with regard to the Jews:
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this: Go, and he goeth; and to another: Come, and he cometh; and to my servant: Do this, and he doeth it.
And Jesus hearing this, marveled, and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
While this Gospel is normally taken as a glorious exegesis on faith, which it is of course is, this second half is also most significant. In it, Christ refers to the Gentiles being the prime recipients of the New Covenant, and prophesies the Jewish rejection of the same. There were certainly many Jewish converts to the early faith, and the Apostles were entirely Jewish in origin, but we also know from 2000 years of history that many Jews, and especially the Jewish religious establishment, rejected Christ’s Sacrifice, the life of Grace, and the entire New Covenant.
And, Our Blessed Lord seems to make clear that this rejection will result in their damnation. He refers specifically to the children of the present kingdom – the Old Covenant, the Jewish religious state, then under Roman domination, but formerly with their own kings – as being cast out for their refusal to accept Christ.
Unfortunately, the post-conciliar ecumenical movement, extending even to the very highest level of the Church in the form of the past several popes, routinely not just implies, but directly states, that the Old Covenant is somehow still operative and that Jews have their own “path to salvation” even while deliberately rejecting Christ – which many modern-day Jews make it a point to do. It is not true charity to leave people in error, to tell them their religious heritage, which they certainly hold dear, is somehow salvific. It reeks of universal salvation and indifferentism of a kind that would have shocked Catholics just a few decades ago.
Beyond this one quite, there are of course numerous portions of Sacred Scripture which would seem to directly contradict the underlying rationale for the entire ecumenical movement, especially that portion of the movement directed at non-Christians. This is just one small reference point. There are dozens of others.
But as we see abroad in the Church today, more and more, there are efforts to undermine if not obliterate Dogmas founded on an incredibly sure foundations of direct references from Scripture as well as 2000 years of Tradition. The Church in Germanic speaking countries is just about totally run amok, with bishops claiming fornication is no longer a sin, that contraception use is morally acceptable (in spite of direct statements claiming this use is mortally sinful going back to the very, very earliest Church – and before), and of course that maybe bigamy is OK, and go ahead and present for the Blessed Sacrament while you remain married to two people, at least in God’s eyes.
To the extent that the Holy Father seems to be at least toying with some of these notions, as well, it is certainly scandalous and profoundly unnerving to faithful Catholics. I don’t have a big point with this post, other than to relate that I was struck by this seeming condemnation in advance of the modern ecumenical movement by Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was always very direct and plain with regard to salvation: either you accept Him as Son of God, observe the commandments, and practice virtue in cooperation with Grace, or you will not be saved. You will suffer eternal torments in hell.
It is amazing that there are people in the Church – uneducated or educated to the point of imbecility, I know not – that appear to have utterly forgotten their Scripture. Or, they are simply so overwhelmingly influenced by the world and its errors that they have grown cold in the Faith.
Difficult times, to be certain. I can only advise more prayer and penance, for ourselves and our Holy Mother Church.
So, I shouldn’t have converted, then? – UPDATED February 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Lent, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, the return.
The other major story – or perhaps scandal – that broke over the weekend was Louis Verricchio’s revealing to the orthodox Catholic world, anyway, that Pope Francis had sent a greeting to an American evangelical protestant confab wherein he called some guy named Tony Palmer- who has gotten many, many Catholics to reject their faith and apostasize – his “brother bishop.”
It seems Tony Palmer has known the pope since his days in Argentina and that they are great buds. Palmer was due to speak at one of Kenneth Copeland’s protestant hootenannys and wanted Pope Francis to send a greeting to the evangelicals. Pope Francis, who has had a long history of eager cooperation with evangelicals, went so far, on video, as calling Palmer his “brother bishop” (see 1:20):
Verricchio has many videos from the confab at his site, if you want a flavor for that kind of false-emotion, overly produced, and highly staged event. I’ve been watching and observing evangelicals for over 30 years, and it’s always the same: the twisting of bits of Scripture to their own destruction, orchestrated events to fire emotions, and always money, money, money. You don’t love Jesus if you don’t keep me in $5000 suits.
So, one of these types – wearing a pretend Roman collar, no less – is a “brother bishop?” Speaking from the heart? So then why did I convert? Why should anyone convert? And when Pope Francis says @1:55 that Jesus Christ is “the only Lord,” how does he reconcile that with telling muslims they don’t need to convert and can be saved by their faith in “Allah?” You can include the Jews, who specifically repudiate Jesus Christ and frequently harbor a great animosity towards Christians and Christianity. But Pope Francis, echoing nebulous conciliar statements, claim they have their own path to salvation.
Yes, what happened to “let your yes mean yes and your no mean no?” Is this a different message for a different audience? When speaking to muslims, islam is fine, but when speaking to evangelicals, Jesus Christ is the Only Lord?! Que paso, Jorge?
From the standpoint of one who very deliberately, after much suffering, converted to the Faith, I have to say, all these excessive efforts at ecumenical outreach are very painful for me to see. It seems to trivialize all I went through for the sake of conversion (and I am far from alone), which painful process I have never once seen Pope Francis mention as being noble, or even worthy.
Instead, what we have seen repeatedly is that all these false sects, with their erroneous beliefs which actually lead people away from Christ, in so many cases, are saintly “brothers” who are just perfectly fine where they are at. Again, this is not limited to separated Christians, it seems to apply to EVERY religion out there. This is self-contradictory thinking, as I pointed out above, for by embracing evangelical protestants who love them some Jesus, Pope Francis is telling the same muslims he embraced a few months ago that they are, in fact, in thrall of an idolatrous false religion. This is the fundamental flaw in all ecumenism, aside from the massive indifferentism it perpetuates: any “advance” with one sect or group means a setback with another, because they believe contradictory things. That is one major reason why ecumenism, as such, is doomed to fail.
Unless, of course, we reduce our Faith to just a worldly feel-good society where the lowest religious common denominator predominates. That would result in Catholic churches inescapably being Good Shepherds, with 20 or 30 old women in attendance and no one else (essentially, like France). Which error Pope Francis again and again claims to oppose, but then we see this very “heartfelt” message. What are we to believe? It’s just confusion piled on confusion – the favorite tool of modernists.
Well, now we have more fodder for our Septuagesima and Lenten sufferings. Louis Verricchio also notes that Pope Francis appears to have a kind word, even a heart felt love, for everyone, save orthodox/traditional Catholics. There’s a phrase for that, but I’ll keep it to myself.
To give you an idea of what kind of creature Copeland, Palmer, and their fellow televangelists, see this report from an admittedly hostile secular pagan tabloid. Nonetheless, as Verricchio notes, how does Pope Francis square his denouncing of the rich and love of the poor, and his encouragement to pursue a simple, Christian lifestyle, with this man’s fabulous wealth? And almost every other major televangelist enjoys a similar lifestyle:
UPDATE: Just another thought, for those who may express scandal at this post. If I made a post where I referred to Anglican/evangelical orders as valid (there is massive question as to the lineage of this “Bishop” Tony Palmer, and whether he is even truly Anglican), and called Episcopal head Catherine Jefferts Schori a true bishop in Christ’s Church, would there not be scandal? Would I not rightly lose the attention of many readers? Even if I claimed differently, later, would my claim, if I had originally had doubts, at least be a grave sin against prudence?
I cannot judge the actions of a pope, but I can recognize scandal when I see it.
UPDATE II: So, I guess I should not have been surprised. Nevertheless, I have been dismayed at the outpouring of ecstatic, uncritical support for this little ecumenical gesture on the part of Pope Francis. A few mix in a word or two of caution regarding the doctrinal gulf between protestants, especially evangelical protestants, and Catholics. But even those are pretty muted. Most reactions have stated just how unreservedly pleased Our Blessed Lord must be at this turn of events, because apparently what Jesus craves more than anything is “unity.” Whatever that means. Of course, any unity that failed to proclaim Christ’s sovereign Reign and which would be founded at least in part on error would be totally false.
One common defense of the greeting I’ve seen is that we have to meet people on their terms, that Catholics must “try to at least find some common ground to bring us together and start a conversation must be the first step.”
Maybe. It certainly sounds good to worldly, secular ears today. But is that how the early Church dealt with heretics? Aren’t protestants heretics? How many great Saints and early Church Fathers can I quote that absolutely excoriated heretics in the most savage of terms, casting them literally and figuratively out of the Church and referring to them as children of satan – or even satans themselves. So un-ecumenical! But such was the faith that conquered an empire, and endured 2000+ years.
How did St. Paul react to the erroneous judaizers in Galatians and other letters? Did he tell them how awesome they were, but they just had one or two errors to tweak? NO! He completely obliterated them, knowing that one error mixed in with thousands of truths leads to the corruption of all. He even “withstood Peter to his face,” showing that the pope can, indeed, be wrong, even on matters of doctrine.
But my biggest problem with Francis’ comments is that they just obliterate Catholic efforts at evangelization. Now when Catholics try to convert protestants, what will they hear? “Even your pope thinks we’re fine, leave me alone!” How much harder will it be to promote the Church’s already moribund efforts at evangelization? Just as it has become harder to defend the Church’s Doctrine on marriage and abortion, since Pope Francis’ previous unfortunate comments. There have been full-blown heretic demonstrations at nominally Catholic colleges and schools, with the students claiming Pope Francis doesn’t “judge,” so let that “married” sodomite teach theology, or let that woman have an abortion.
And so it goes.
REPOST: The Church has been condeming abortion since its inception February 19, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, contraception, General Catholic, Grace, horror, Papa, self-serving, sexual depravity, true leadership, unadulterated evil.
REPOST. I wrote the post below just over a year ago. In it, I demonstrate that the Church has been vehemently opposed to abortion since its inception. One of the earliest non-Gospel documents in Church history lists both abortion and sodomy as horrific sins. However, at catechism class last night, the priest explained how the Didache also opposed contraception. That is the “you shall not….use potions” below, because many of those “potions” were meant to render women sterile for the purposes of fornication.
In spite of the fact that the Church has always been opposed to abortion, contraception, and all these other sins of concupiscence, in spite of the constant and repeated exhortations against these very sins, today, the vast majority of self-described Catholics have allowed themselves to be fooled by satan into thinking these sins really aren’t sins at all. As the priest said last night, they think when it comes to Dogma, God is saying “Let’s make a deal,” when God is really saying “This IS the deal.”
There have always been heretics in the Church. The word “heretic” derives from a Greek root meaning “I choose.” I choose not to obey. That is exactly what satan said those many years ago. For the first time in the history of the Church, not just the hierarchy has gone loopy, not just the priests, not just the people, but virtually everyone. That is how his modernist heresy is different from every other heresy that’s come before, because it is so universal. It’s everywhere. Even in sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines, those supposed bedrocks of the Faith, they are embracing contraception, divorce, and other sins against the Faith.
We are in a crisis unlike any the Church has ever experienced. But the Church will come through it, She always has. We simply must remain faithful. And pray.
BEGIN OLD POST. My fellow parishioner Taylor Marshall has a post up that reminds us that, like all Dogmatic beliefs, the Church’s vehement opposition to abortion has been the constant belief of the Church for 2000 years. In fact, one of the very earliest non-biblical documents of the earliest Church, the Didache, includes this condemnation of abortion (and certain other sins which have suddenly become culturally approved. I note that the Didache was written between AD 70 and 90, it’s one of the very earliest Church documents, and is believed to be a repository of the belief of the Apostles):
The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic or use potions. You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a new-born child. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. You shall not perjure yourself. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not speak evil. You shall not bear malice….
It is fascinating to me, that in this list, which obviously contains much from the Decalogue, there are a few specific additions to that most basic code of moral living God has given to us. The first is that one shall not seduce boys, which, in the context where this was written, was a command to men not to engage in homosexual acts. Then there are the comdenmnations of black magic, potions and spells – something that sadly is making a comeback in our pagan culture. Then there is the condemnation of abortion. In the same league as murder and all the other worst sins. Not a right. Not a choice. A grave immorality, the gravest of sins. Abortion and infanticide were both widely practiced in the Empire at this point. Rather like our own empire……
Similarly, Taylor Marshall’s post quotes Pope Sixtus V, in the first Papal Bull specifically condemning abortion (Effraenatam, 1588):
The Holy Father lists the dreadful means for procuring an abortion in his day. He describes the methods as “blows, poisons, medicines, potions, weights, burdens, work and labor imposed on a pregnant woman, and even other unknown and extremely researched means.” He also speaks of contraception as potions used to prevent conception.Here’s a quote against abortionists found in Effraenatam:“Noticing that frequently by various Apostolic Constitutions the audacity and daring of most profligate men, who know no restraint, of sinning with license against the commandment “do not kill” was repressed; We who are placed by the Lord in the supreme throne of justice, being counseled by a most just reason, are in part renewing old laws and in part extending them in order to restrain with just punishment the monstrous and atrocious brutality of those who have no fear to kill most cruelly fetuses still hiding in the maternal viscera. Who will not detest such an abhorrent and evil act, by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls?”
Taylor asks a most prescient question – why do we not see the same kind of language used to condemn abortionists today? Or do we? If you’re Randall Terry, this doesn’t apply! But for the rest of us, I think terms like “abhorrent and evil act” are most apropos and should be in general use regarding baby murderers. I also think we should spend much more time focusing on how much damage is done to the souls of the abortionists, and how much they risk eternal damnation if they do not repent and desist from their wanton blood lust.
But in today’s world and Church, such damning language, once a staple of Papal denouncements of immorality, are almost totally forbidden. In fact, making such pronouncements can quickly have one condemned more vociferously than the abortionists themselves. And that’s pretty messed up. Sometimes, it takes a hard slap across the face to shake people lost in sin from their demonic stupor. I, for one, would welcome much more of the harsh old language – even if directed at myself.
Slap me around and tell me what a prideful prig I am! Or whatever….you get the point.