Rorate is reporting that an Italian blogger who has reported on the persevention against the Franciscans of the Immaculate has been charged by Fr. Alfonso Bruno, the new head of the FI’s after the sacking of their founder and former leadership, with a formal case of defamation with the Italian authorities.
Below, Rorate’s summation of the situation. I’m not sure how confirmed all this is, but the case was reported by a major Italian daily. Certainly, newspapers of all stripes make errors and are at times given to sensationalism, but at present there is no reason to suspect fabrication, exaggeration, or subterfuge:
By the senior religious correspondent of Italian daily La Stampa, the startling news: those responsible for the intervention on the Franciscans of the Immaculate, after silencing their innocent victims inside the Church, now use the Police to intimidate journalists and bloggers — and their family members ! — in Italy.It is probably the most serious attempt by an ecclesial authority to make use of the police forces to limit the freedom of the press in Italy in living memory — the attempt is based on scraps of a couple of past posts, but the intent and likely result is obviously to intimidate the future activity of the media on covering some ecclesial activities. It is a shocking new chapter in the grotesque soap opera of the intervention in the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
So the web of persecution surrounding the Franciscans of the Immaculate spreads ever wider. You can read the actual report at Rorate. I’d like to approach this matter from a slightly skewed angle, if you will.
I’m sure my readers are aware that there is an American priest of the FIs who has been deeply involved in this tragic and very unsettling persevention. I used to read him regularly, before he began his jihad against his strawman caricature of traditional Catholics in late 2010. He is certainly very busy writing and blogging hither and yon “(and also “visiting” many FI monasteries, to make sure they understand the new order of things and the powers that now be). He has been striving to get his interpretation, which is that of the new leadership, of the “intervention” across in many venues.
But he seems frustrated. He seems to feel that somehow his “side is losing the PR battle.” And he seems quite exasperated with this. He feels the “facts” are inseparably on his side, and that his small group saved this formerly growing, stable, and vibrant order from themselves. Even at the cost of inflicting misery on many hundreds of his confrere’s and shattering that vibrancy, he seems quite invincibly convinced of his being in the right. What he cannot seem to understand is why he is having such a hard time selling his side of the story.
Well, the above, this kind of heavy handed repression is why! I mean, who sues family man bloggers, other than trolls and thugs? This is hardly the first time the nouveau leadership of the FIs has stooped to such tactics. It has in fact been part and parcel of the new regime since its installation. What have we seen in less than a year? We have seen the founder locked up under house arrest, surely the most dangerous octogenarian on the planet. We have seen the former leadership forced under pain of obedience to endure scattering to distant missionary apostolates very far from the center of events. That certainly appears to be an attempt to get them out of the way. We have seen ludicrous stories of malfeasance on the part of the former administration, and even some of their lay associates and family members, made up well after the fact. Stories that have never been even remotely supported by any substantive evidence and, after having served their purpose of disparaging the reputations of certain individuals, have been quietly dropped.
What else have we seen? We’ve seen the reputations of devout novices trashed because they asked uncomfortable questions of the nouveau leadership and the Pope, through completely fabricated and meaningless (but very revealing) claims that the individual in question “rejected Vatican II.” What would that even mean? We have seen the same intervention inflicted on the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, even though there was never even a hint of “division,” nor of any moral or doctrinal problem. Oh, but there was, maybe, a “drift.” Heavens to Betsy, let’s call out the legions of modernist female religious to set them straight. We have seen many dozens of priests denied the right to offer the TLM under Summorum Pontificum, a grave injustice that remains to this day. We have seen a formerly vibrant order shattered. We have seen a mass exodus of devoted souls from this order, which used to be one of the few growing religious orders in the entire Church.
These are not the typical behaviors of those who have the might of right on their side. These are not the normal behaviors of virtuous souls. Perhaps the arguments haven’t convinced people, because they are fundamentally unconvincing! Or maybe actions speak many times louder than words, and the actions speak of repression and a determination to inflict a certain vision on many unwitting and unwilling souls, no matter the cost- the same vision which has resulted in so much chaos, destruction, and dissolution in so many other religious orders. Already we have seen evidence that the seriousness with which the FIs used to take their vow of poverty has already slipped a great deal.
Now, there are potentially charitable explanations for some of the items above. But taken in totality, along with many other actions not mentioned, they stretch charitable interpretations beyond the breaking point. And behind them all, is the strange fact that this most obedient (as their meek submission over the past year has so eloquently demonstrated) and doctrinally orthodox of orders has been singled out for this (what for all the world appears to be) savage treatment, while so many other far more problematic, heretical, and destructive orders have been able to continue on their merry way making chaos and slowly (or very quickly) killing themselves and religious life – the heart of the Church – generally.
That is why you are having such a hard time convincing people. The actions are just too repressive, the double standard too massive to ignore.
And the more you use tactics like suing bloggers, the more unconvincing will you be.
Testimony of Iraqi Catholics: told By radical islamists to give them all their money and leave, or get a bullet in the brain July 28, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, paganism, persecution, sadness, secularism, sickness, Society, the enemy, unadulterated evil.
WARNING! EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGE AT THE END. ALLEGED ISIS ATROCITIES! ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR CHILDREN! ALSO NOT FOR THOSE WITH SENSITIVE CONSCIENCES!
This is the death cult religion so many in the hierarchy of the Church fall all over themselves extolling and praising. This is the so-called “religion of peace.” How long must we put up with this prevaricating charade? How long must we hear lies that bear the stench of death?
God bless that woman for her faith. She just gave a great testimony of it, and of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wow, what a calamity. There are simply not words. Rorate’s coverage has been quite good and thorough. I am heartened to see that some in France, at least, seem to be getting it.
This is a genocide. This is the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has seen in decades, at least since the nightmares in Rwanda and Burundi of 20 years ago. The barbarities that are being committed are simply beyond what decent, civilized people can imagine. At the following link – AND I CANNOT WARN YOU ENOUGH HOW GRAPHIC THE LIVELEAK VIDEO IS! – there is footage of human beings, perceived enemies of this new satanic death cult islamic “caliphate,” who have been chopped to pieces in slaughterhouses like animals. There is footage of even muslim “enemies” of extremist islam being mowed down by the dozen in ritualistic killings. That is how the radical muslim behaves towards all those who do not include “inshallah” in every cursed phrase they speak, who do not adhere to their stupid and evil wahhabism.
The link just above also provides powerful contextual evidence of the relation between this present genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria and that perpetrated against Armenians in Turkey after WWI. In fact, in both cases, the radical muslims insist that killing Christians is an “acceptable sacrifice” to ‘allah'” – which it may be, if “allah” is indeed satan, as many ancient Christians maintained.
But our first muslim president (in effect if not in fact) can not be bothered to reply. He has shown himself to be a bitter enemy of Christianity in general and the Church in particular throughout his presidency.
WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE COMING BELOW!
Oh Lord give us strength to pray and fast! Lift this terrible scourge from Your Church! We know we have been unfaithful, we know we have strayed so far! We know that right worship of You has been perverted and that heretical, sinful error abounds! We know sin abounds in what little remains of Christendom – may Your Grace abound more!
All you good Saints martyred by islam – pray for us! Pray for our Church! Pray especially for the souls suffering these nightmares! End the scourge of this evil, perverse religion around the world!
“The mohammadan is either at your neck or at your feet.” – Winston Churchill Say what you will about the man, he knew people. I wonder if he knew that the progressive left would eventually choose islam over Christianity (at least, by all available evidence)?
FINAL WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE NOW! IMAGE SUPPOSED TO BE OF BEHEADED CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ!
Dutch orchestra storms out from muslim proselytizing July 28, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Grace, persecution, secularism, Society.
Two quick stories on the “interreligious dialogue” front; first, a Dutch orchestra was giving a performance with Queen Beatrix in attendance. Some musselman had been invited to lead the orchestra, I guess. He proceeded to try to proselytize the audience, including the Queen. He had apparently been trying to reach the Queen for some time, and took his chance when he got it.
Note the outlandish error: claiming Christ, who constantly worked miracles that gave total proof of His Supernatural Reality, was subordinate to Mohammad, who never once performed a miracle, which even islam claims (a supposed “night flight” to Jerusalem, which no one saw, discounted). And then we have the difference in the conduct of their lives: Christ, constantly virtuous, the most virtuous Being ever on this planet, Who also never sinned, and Who willed to die for the salvation of mankind, against Mohammad, who spread his religion by violence, cruelty, and barbarity, whose life was incredibly sinful, and who didn’t suffer for anyone, but in fact caused others to suffer. He also repeatedly changed the beliefs of his false religion based on who he needed to please or entice from one moment to next, while Christians have a 2000 year record of constant belief going back to the Apostles and early Church Fathers.
The effrontery of this act is simply staggering (thanks to reader D for the link):
As D noted elsewhere, I don’t think these musicians are walking out because they had their Christian sensibilities offended. They are walking out because they had their secular sensibilities offended. But as islam grows stronger in Europe, we can expect the secularists to either remain silent in future events, or to willingly go along. The above event occurred in 2012, when Beatrix still reigned.
UPDATE: The article of the Malaysian prince converting was apparently fake. Pretty good fake, I rarely fall for such things.
And yet the interreligious crazy train rolls on along. Because……..oh, I don’t even want to bother right now.
I know there have been many reports of the depredations of the lunatic islamists currently ruling large parts of the Fertile Crescent. But here are two you might have missed. First, the muslims seized the 1700 year old Mar Mattai monastery outside Mosul on Sunday (naturally!) this week:
Jihadist militants have taken over a monastery in northern Iraq, one of the country’s best-known Christian landmarks, and expelled its resident monks, a cleric and residents said Monday.
Islamic State (IS) fighters stormed Mar (Saint) Behnam, a 4th century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church near the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh, on Sunday, the sources said.
“You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately,” a member of the Syriac clergy quoted the Sunni militants as telling the monastery’s residents.
He said the monks pleaded to be allowed to save some of the monastery’s relics but the fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with nothing but their clothes.
Christian residents from the area told AFP the monks walked several miles along a deserted road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh.
The Syriac cleric said five monks were expelled from Mar Behnam. Christian families in the area said there may have been up to nine people living at the monastery.
The incident was the latest move by the Islamic State, which last month declared a “caliphate” straddling large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria, to threaten a Christian presence in the region spanning close to two millennia.
That is to say, there were Christians there centuries before mohammad mounted his first goat. Or nine year old, for that matter.
In other news, the raging islamists, driven by Lord knows what kind of massive inferiority complex, blew up Jonah’s tomb this week, after previously ransacking it. And I thought muslims held the Old Testament prophets in esteem? Or is it just blood they worship?
This tomb contained not just the remains of Jonah the great prophet of Nineveh, but also many other priceless works of antiquity. But that does not please crazed Salafist Islam which has been exported around the world by Saudi oil money (and the Saudis and Gulf states basically funded ISIS into being, as well as most of the Syrian “opposition” movements, because this is part of a larger struggle between Persia/Shia and Saudi/Shiite islam). One almost wonders if it’s not time use their oil fields as an open air repository for our nuclear waste.
Just a quick compare and contrast – which great Prophet remained completely chaste and constantly counseled same? Which one counseled peace, benignity, and even suffering enormous insults and barbs without recourse to violence? Ok, now which one not only engaged throughout his adult life in unchaste, promiscuous acts, to the point of taking very young girls as “wives,” treated women like cattle, and counseled same? Which one founded a religion unique among all the non-primitive religions in directing the use of the most extreme violence against all non-believers? Which religion has been spread virtually entirely by that violence? Which one is opposed to reason and not only encourages, but seems to demand ignorance and backwardness?
I also have to ask why if these fighters are so brave and their cause so holy, why do they hide their face?
A little more. In 2003, there were 35,000 Catholics in Mosul. Now there are none. An unintended consequence, to be sure, but one that was foreseeable all the same. That dang war in Iraq unleashed chaos and extremism – just as Pope Saint John Paul II warned – that may never end. And ancient Christian communities are being destroyed as a result.
The muslim goal is that there be no Christians at all in their “sacred” ummah. This nation has done much to help bring that about:
The American Catholic Charities guy isn’t very impressive, but I was edified to see all those Chaldean Catholic women in veils. Such a shame to know that all of that, in northern Iraq, at least, is gone.
I know there are relatively benign and even some good aspects to islam. I know there are millions of relatively good muslims. I guess. But I’m having an increasingly hard time not seeing it as a profoundly erroneous religion that seems predisposed to great evil.
And yet so many leaders in the Church slather completely unjustified attention and accolades on islam. They are almost sycophants at time – good little dhimmis.
You remember the raging feminist professor who attacked pro-life students from Thomas Aquinas College at UC-Santa Barbara a few months ago? She pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charges. So, yay for justice? Money says she gets a slap on the wrist:
The pro-abortion feminist studies professor at University of California Santa Barbara who attacked a young pro-life activist, stole and destroyed her sign, and encouraged a group of students to violence, inciting an angry mob, has plead no contest to criminal charges.
The incident, which took place on March 4, saw two pro-life students Thrin and Joan Short, lead the peaceful pro-life outreach event with 11 friends, most of whom were students from Thomas Aquinas College.
They used signs displaying images of abortion victims to begin conversations with students before a confrontation by Professor of Feminist Studies, Mireille Miller-Young turned violent. The angry professor interrupted the students’ calm interaction with the activists by grabbing a pro-life sign out of the hands of one of them, carrying the sign off through the campus flanked by her students, and then assaulting Thrin Short while trying to hide from police, who were on their way, the group said.
Police officers later found the remains of the sign, which had been destroyed. UC Santa Barbara police are completing their report to be submitted for prosecution.
Now, Miller-Young has entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) to the criminal charges against her, which include grand theft, vandalism, and battery. The plea means that she will be convicted on the three misdemeanor charges. A sentencing hearing has been set for late August, 2014.
This being California, and a really radically left wing college campus (one of the most thoroughly leftist in the country), and she being a radical feminist, I bet the total penalty comes down to 10 hours community service and a fine of less than $100.
Duties at college will count for community service, so the change in her life will be minimal.
The university has been very defensive and has imposed no known sanction against the professor (of a made up subject). University officials have, for the most part, blamed the pro-lifers for the incident.
Peace and love, after all. Until you get in our f—in’ way…….
1914: The end of Western Civilization July 24, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, history, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
Rorate has linked to a very interesting video from CNS (I’m not sure what has happened, CNS now trots out some very good, even very tradition-friendly material, while CNA has suddenly swung hard left – ultra-ultramontanism?) regarding the effect WWI had on Europe. The claim made by the video by several historians is that WWI ended Western Civilization, and that we have been living in a sort of hedonistic, strange twilight denouement ever since. It’s not a claim I disagree with much.
This got me thinking though…..when did the “beginning of the end occur?” 1789? 1776? Or perhaps, was it 1517? Aye……..you could make a pretty powerful argument that what occurred starting in 1914 was a very predictable result of what occurred in 1517. For protestantism fed rationalism, which fed hostility to religion, and then on to the endarkenment, radical new forms of government sequestering Christianity to an increasingly secondary status, and on and on through the slow decay of decades until finally, inexorably, Europe arrived at 1914. It is a certainty Europe has never recovered from the disasters of the First World War, and probably never will – at least not in its present construction. Europe is one of many entities in the world that appears to desire final death and dissolution (witness the catastrophically low birth rates), to be replaced by something else, and some indeterminate point in the future.
Enough harangues from me, the video, which perhaps m any of you have already seen:
Several points that cross my mind:
- I think Rorate is right that the most significant remaining element of 2500 year old Western Civilization is the TLM, and with the TLM, complete re-birth is possible. There are some other elements remaining, as well, but primarily only observed by a limited few, often regarded as cranks or dismissed as hopelessly out of date. It is interesting to consider whether the death wish towards the TLM that overtook many very influential mid-century Church leaders was part of this general rejection of all things European, Western, traditional, etc. Think also on the cult of PC and the ludicrously exaggerated consideration expressed by Westerners towards “exotic” others – primitive jungle tribes have as valuable a “culture” as the West, or islam as a religion of “peace” equal to the Church, etc.
- It would not necessarily be the greatest argument, but one could argue that it was the Central Powers in WWI who were the main defenders of traditional European culture, rather than the Entente. Austria-Hungary was the most visibly Catholic government in Europe in 1914. All the Central Powers were monarchies. The war, in the minds of the Entente, came down to a struggle between stuffy, hidebound, reactionary monarchies and the new, liberal, “enlightened” (there’s that term, a coup of PR by the philosophes) democracies. The Central Powers of course saw the opposite – they saw themselves as the defenders of traditional European government, societal order, etc., and France and Britain as dangerous, radical nations determined to destroy European civilization. As the war dragged on, Kaiser Wilhelm II would fantasize about having all the prime ministers and other leaders of the Entente powers come and bend the knee before His Imperial Majesty, to prove the ultimate superiority of monarchism and traditional European values. Now, this argument has several fallacies – there was probably no more traditional or authoritarian country in Europe in 1914 than Russia, and she was an Entente power, and there were ardent Catholics fighting for every country involved – but it’s interesting to consider. From the standpoint of lovers of the Church and Western Civilization, there were no real “good guys” in WWI. Everyone lost.
- A final consideration is the fact that there is always something worse that can happen, and leftists/progressives/liberals have a knack for bringing that worse thing about. WWI was a “triumph for democracy” in the victorious nations (it had to be something great, instead of what it was, the ultimate futile and pointless European war), but that “triumph” unleashed the hell of WWII. The Entente Powers really did want to crush profound aspects of European culture and reshape the world according to their own liberal image. That was basically the main argument for the US entering the war – to “make the world safe for democracy.” So all the monarchies of the Central Powers were deliberately crushed, and the same rhetoric and ideals fueled the Russian Revolution. But the governments that rose from the ashes of WWI in Central Europe were either pathetically weak or even more monstrous constructs. Today, progressives seem determined to see Christianity reduced to irrelevance, but what will come in Christianity’s train? Something far worse, we can be assured.
But that makes no difference to us. We shall always remain, as we know that Jesus Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. He did not promise us worldly victory or power. He just promised that if we take up our cross and follow Him, we will have eternal life.
And that, is the point of it all.
After 1300 years, Islam has not been driven from Europe July 23, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, persecution, sadness, Saints, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition.
I titled the post in the somewhat provocative way that I did, in light of two recent and very good posts by Fr. Carota on the role Saints played in helping drive the scourge of islam – for that is how it was always seen by Catholics everywhere, at least until very recently – from Europe. Fr. Carota discusses Saint Lawrence Brindisi and the Crusade against islam in Hungary at the beginning of the 17th century in this post. Some excerpts of the role that great Saint played in helping stem the muslim tide in Hungary in 1601:
30 years later, [30 years after the magnificent victory won at Lepanto, in which Our Lady of Victory miraculously led Catholic forces to victory over a much larger Turkish fleet, and which was revealed via a prophecy to Pope St. Pius V hundreds of miles away] Pope Clement VIII asked St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin friar, to go to Germany to organize their princes into a crusade against the muslim attacks going on in Hungry. He was very successful and organized the crucial resistance needed to save Europe….[Brief mention of protestant treachery, common in all the later wars against islam, intervenes, I exclude. Sadly, there was also occasional Catholic treachery, as with the case of Louis XVI allying with the Turks against the Holy Roman Empire in 1683]
…..The Battle of Stuhlweissenburg Hungry took place on October 11, 1601. St. Lawrence led the battle on a horse carrying a large cross in front of the troops. Again on October 14th of that same month, these Catholic forces, with St. Lawrence leading, had to fight the muslims in another battle and won.
St. Lawrence, when leading the troops in front into battle, was miraculously saved from all injury and claimed that all the success came from God and Mary. The Catholic troops, numbering 18,000 men, way out numbered by 80,000 muslims. The Turks, after suffering the loss of 30,000 men, withdrew their army behind the Danube. [The muslims dominated the Balkans and Greece for over 3 centuries, from the late 1400s until the mid 1800s]
Whenever the crusades were led by holy people and all those envolved prayed and fasted, they had success. Whenever they were unjust or doing evil sins, they lost.
Great point. Christianity is presently being mauled by islam on so many fronts because the Church is so weak, lacking in piety, and divided right now.
Fr. Carota discusses, very briefly, a long arc of Crusades against islam in Europe from 1456 to the 1700s in this post. He notes how St. Juan de Capistrano led the Crusade against islam in 1456, helping keep the Ottomans out of much of modern Serbia and Hungary through much of the 15th century. Some great art accompanies, which I cheerfully (but gratefully) rip off. Father notes that the “final defeat” of the muslims in Europe did not occur until the Battle of Peterwardin Vojvodina in 1716. This battle did recover Belgrade, but it left much of southeastern Europe in muslim hands.
But good Father Carota, who I respect immensely and who made my week a few days ago (private), misses out on long struggles to overcome Ottoman rule in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, much of modern Romania, and other locales throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries. Greece, cradle of so much of Western Civilization, did not become independent – in part -until 1832, and did not recover Macedonia until 1913! In fact, the Balkan wars of 1913 were the culmination of nearly two centuries of efforts by Christians to overthrow muslim rule in southeastern Europe.
However, until this very day, islam still occupies a toehold in southeastern Europe in what is called Eastern Thrace and what was the most glorious city in Christendom for over a millenium (and the bulwark against the encroaching muslim), Constantinople. Greece seized much of East Thrace after WWI, but lost the territory in fighting against the new nation of Turkey.
Ever since the first wild eyed Mohammadans crossed the Strait of Gilbratar and conquered Spain, Islam has been in Europe. Note that many radical muslims still lament, and get extremely angry, whenever they think of the Crusader States in the Holy Land that existed from ~1096-1291. That was an intolerable affront to islam and “proof” of Christian militancy, even if all those lands were Christian for centuries before they were converted by islam’s usual method – the sword. In terms of overall victimhood, since that is such a popular way of viewing things these days, Christians have borne far more attacks, invasions, raids, piracy, and general cruelty from islam than the reverse – by a huge margin.
But today, for the first time ever, Europe is very willingly and happily allowing tens of millions of muslims into the heart of Europe as immigrants. This is being done because Europeans have so contracepted and aborted themselves into near sterility that there aren’t enough Europeans to keep the economies of those states going, absent mass scale immigration from the south. Muammar Gaddafi himself said that in 50 years, islam wouldn’t need to invade or attack Europe, Europe would be predominately muslim! That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. In 50 years, if present trends hold, Europe will be between 35-40% muslim. But of course, these populations are not evenly distributed, and even now, there are places in France, Britain, Germany, and other nations where western women dare not go without wearing the hijab. One might argue that substantial portions of these nations are muslim already.
What will happen when Europe, the heart of Christianity, is nearly half muslim? What is being done to strengthen the Church for this ultimate challenge? Who will man the ramparts? Who will be there to preach Jesus Christ to all these millions of lost souls?
Lord, send us new Saints in the mold of the ones of old! Your Church faces threats unlike any in history! Please help us! Send us new Saint Lawrence Brindisi’s, new Saint Juan Capistrans, to help us! Have mercy on us all! May we become those Saints!
I saw on VideoSancto that some months ago, Fr. Cassian Folsom OSB of the Benedictines of Norcia gave a retreat at The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA. Now, these are the Slaves that are in full regular canonical unity and whose bishop has offered Mass at their chapel (TLM only, ever) several times. But, they are, of course, descended from Fr. Leonard Feeney’s group – in fact, they are one of several offshoots of Feeney’s original group. While there are branches of the original St. Benedict Center who are either still under some ecclesiastical penalty or who have not fully regularized, this group is not one of those. In fact, the Slaves of the ‘official’ St. Benedict Center take part regularly in diocesan events like the 40 Days of Life.
I will post two of the videos from that series of talks at the bottom of the post. But I think it needs to be noted that Fr. Folsom is not a traddy. He’s certainly orthodox, his order is sort of walking the line the Franciscans of the Immaculate trod, having both the Novus Ordo very reverently in Latin, but also the TLM with some regularity (goodness, I pray they are small enough to avoid attention for the duration of this pontificate). But I don’t think Fr. Folsom is an “extremist” on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus or any other matter. He’s a good, orthodox, traditional leaning priest, and his order is the same.
So I take it as kind of an endorsement of the Slaves that Fr. Folsom would preach a retreat there. Under different circumstances, I would not have any surprise at this, but I have noted that many traditional Catholics most definitely retain an animus against this order, even though it has been fully regularized. There seems to be an assumption that if there was some error in the past, it somehow must remain. I have been surprised – shocked might be the better term – at how strongly opinions run against what seem to me very good nuns, brothers, and priests. This is an order that throughout the crisis has never once offered the Novus Ordo. But that does not appear to win them much support. I have seen that even though they do a great deal of good work, a good number of traditional priests, within the Fraternity and elsewhere, strongly counsel young men and women to avoid this order. I really don’t know why that is.
Now, I will admit to some bias. I have had the pleasure of meeting several of the nuns of this order and I like them a great deal. I have never heard any error or extravagant opinion pass their lips. I even tried deliberately to pry on the matter of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, and while they certainly support this Dogma, there was a recognition of the broader understanding of this Dogma that most solid traditionalists hold (baptism by blood and desire). I cannot say I was even close to exhaustive in examining this matter, but there was certainly no obvious error.
So what gives? There are so few traditional orders for women, and yet this one is frequently treated like a pariah. Is there some real evidence of remaining error, or is it just lingering suspicion, or? And if the latter, how is that charitable?
I would appreciate some input on the questions as posed. I do not want a re-hashing of the whole Feeney affair, nor do I want blanket statements that “they’re just bad,” or things to that effect. How are they bad? What do they believe that is wrong? Etc.
I’m sure you guys will help me out, and some – some – heat in the comments will be tolerated so long as it remains on topic.
Video on St. John Cassian and prayer:
Video on Lectio Divina:
I have read some more in Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. Feser argues early on in the book that modern secular materialist atheism exists almost exclusively in opposition to traditional religion, and in essence, Catholicism. Catholicism was of course the main opponent of the first secularists of the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called “enlightenment” thinkers, who sought to curb religious “extremism” through the growth of a competing, agnostic secular state. I think Feser argues quite convincingly that this new sexular paganism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries both acts and sees itself as an essential opposite to Christianity in general, the Church in particular, and all the morality that flows naturally from the right practice of the Faith. What secular leftists fail to admit today is that their philosophy has evolved into a competing and implacably hostile religion of its own. Some very good points below, I hope you appreciate them as I did:
…….the “religious” characteristics of secularism……-its bigotry and its superstition – stem from a third and deeper respect in which secularism can only properly be understood in religious terms, namely that the content of secularism as a philosophy and a sensibility is entirely parasitic on religion. It is not just that secularists happen to reject and oppose religion; it is that there is nothing more to their creed than rejecting and opposing religion. This point might seem obviously true, even banal, but it is not. For secularists often regard themselves as promoting a positive intellectual and moral vision of the world, not merely a critique of religion. They claim to have something new to put in its place. Hence they not only reject faith; they endorse reason and science. They not only reject traditional morality, especially in the area of sex;’ they affirm the value of free choice. They not only reject ecclesiastical authority; they promote democracy and tolerance. And so on. But look more closely and you’ll find that this “positive vision” is really nothing more than a restatement of the negative one. As I have said already……the mainstream Western religious tradition itself very firmly rests on and embraces reason and science [Key point. Reason has repeatedly been used to prove the existence of God, the Christian God. Science can also support an enormous amount of Christian belief. But there must also always been room for Faith. So Christianity cannot be entirely explained/justified by science and reason. But that does not make it any less true.] ……..So what, pray tell, is distinctively “secularist” about reason, science, free choice, toleration, and the like? Nothing at all, as it happens. The fact is that secularists are “for” reason and science only to the extent that they don’t lead to religious conclusions; they celebrate free choice only insofar as one chooses against traditional or religiously oriented morality; and they are for democracy and toleration only to the extent that these might lead to a less religiously oriented social and political order. Again, the animus against religion is not merely a feature of the secularist mindset; it is the only feature. [And this is certainly true of many of the leading lights of secularist thought, both today and historically. Darwin admitted to having quite an agenda behind The Origin of Species.]
…….anyone who reads very deeply in the work of contemporary analytic philosophers will find that one of their main obsessions, perhaps the main obsession, is the project of “naturalizing” this or that phenomenon – the mind, knowledge, ethics, and so forth – or showing, in other words, that it can be entirely accounted for in terms of “natural” properties and processes of the sort compatible with (their conception of) “natural science.” ……..what this ultimately means is just accounting for it [whatever phenomenon is under examination] in terms that make no reference to God, the soul, or any other immaterial reality. Those “tough-minded” secularist philosophers who like to pretend, to themselves and others, that hey are well beyond giving religion any thought whatsoever in their day-to-day work, thus reveal by the substance of that work that they are in fact and at bottom interested in little else. In particular, their mania for “naturalizing” every philosophically problematic phenomenon they can get their hands on evinces a desire to rationalize their atheism, however indirectly…….. [And I think many of us have seen this in the way that modern science and philosophy tries to explain away every single possible aspect of the human psyche, the universe, Creation, etc, in purely naturalistic terms, even to the point of giving truly ludicrous explanation of such, at times. All this is founded on a fundamental error that rejects the understanding of the classical philosophers, who proved the existence of God, for a near-communist/materialist attempt to understand man/Creation/the universe.]
……..when we consider: (a) the fact that secularism is little more than an animus against religion, without any positive content; [I would guess most readers have experienced utterly unreasoning hatred of religion among those who consider themselves “the smart set” (b) the fact that its adherents are often committed to ideas as superstitious and/or mad as any that the most corrupt forms of religion exhibit (ideas which, though not essential to secularism, per se and thus not accepted among all secularists, nevertheless usually tend to follow upon the rejection of religion as as substitute for religion; [Belief in UFOs, "paranormal phenomenon," astrology, bizarre superstitions, conspiracy theories, global warming, are rife on the left. Even more, the adoption of certain acts as pseudo-sacramentals, like veganism or recycling to "save the planet," animal rights activism, etc, all involve certain required beliefs, expiatory acts, "angels" and "demons," etc.] and (c) the fact that they also typically manifest toward religion and religious believers exactly the sort of ignorance, intolerance, and dogmatism they attribute to religion itself; when we add all these factors together, it is surely plausible to regard secularism as something that is…..a religion.
QED, if you ask me!
I guess I’ve been beating this drum a great deal lately, but part of why I am doing so is that occasionally some of these posts break out of the Catholic blogosphere and into the secular world. Or, more frequently, I will reach a fair number of Catholics who have never considered progressivism/secularism as a religion in a to-the-death competition with Christianity.
I do think secularism has evolved into a religion or something essentially indistinguishable from same. And I believe more and more firmly, as the evidence piles up, that the sexular pagan religion we are faced with today will brook no competitors, save, possibly, for islam, of which it is terrified. At present, sexular paganism has a tacit alliance with islam, ordered to further reduce the influence of Christianity, which, I think, confirms that sexular paganism is not so much a positive belief set, but a negative one. It seeks the death of Christianity and would rather wear a burqa than admit of Jesus Christ. And does not this tell us of the demonic element behind this new materialist religion?
I had some blurbs about how this new religion has evolved from the error of the endarkenment philosophes, the error being their idea (or fervent wish) that religion could be reduced to a small, benign and almost inconsequential box. They were wrong, man is an inherently religious beast and government must fundamentally choose which kind of religion it will support – islam, Catholicism, sexular paganism, or what have you. Our government was founded on the latter, and so we are seeing the inevitable result.
Ok, this post is too long, so just pray for Faith and courage to stay strong as the pressure intensifies!
In an incredible move, but not a terribly surprising one considering his track record, Obama late yesterday signed an executive order banning “discrimination” in hiring the adherents of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah from all recipients of federal contracts. This includes many entities of the Church, which now face either seeing their federal contract pulled (which may not be a bad thing), or committing grave sin by employing people who openly reject the Doctrine of the Faith through their actions.
There are many aspects to all this. First, the report, which curiously hasn’t been covered much on the more orthodox blogs, I guess because we just expect this now?
President Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – ignoring the pleas of Christian and other faith leaders to include an exemption for religious organizations.
“Thanks to your passion and advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of your cause, our government – the government of the people, by the people and for the people – will become just a little bit fairer,” the president told a gathering in the White House.
The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. Christianity Today reports the order could impact religious non-profits such as World Vision, World Relief and Catholic Charities.
“If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith – then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told me.
…..this administration believes gay rights trump everyone else’s rights – including religious rights.
Indeed. But even more, this administration, and the far left from which it sprang, is so lost in atheistic materialism that they cannot even envision how religion could mean much of anything to anyone. At most, it’s something some do on Sunday for largely [I used the wrong word before, I was trying to convey....] <selfish, preening, egotistical> reasons. We see the endemic hostility of the modern American left to not just religion but even basic decency in this decision.
As I said, there are many aspects to this. It is stunning that Obama would make this move even after his administration just getting pummeled at the Supreme Court this year, with overreaching socialist law after egregious abuse overturned. Obamacare was dealt a potentially shattering blow just today from a federal appeal’s court. He just doesn’t seem to care. He’s going to throw everything he can at the wall and see what sticks, because he is a red diaper doper baby and an openly avowed enemy of Christianity.
And this guy was elected, twice.
On another level, there is the increasing dependence among many organs of the Church on federal funding. Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, CCHD, the whole panoply of alphabet soup agencies – all receive the vast, vast majority of their funding from the federal government. That condition has been most deliberate and has led to all manner of problems. For one, we have seen the many scandals in which CRS is supporting Planned Barrenhood in distributing contreceptives in third world nations, and even has struck some alliances with pro-abort groups. It is a metaphysical certitude that there are at present numerous “LGBT” types at CRS, Catholic Charities, et. al., and that their presence is very open and some very high level people know this.
So all of this has some feeling of a bit of a charade. The Church lost a great deal of its fundamental independence from the government when it decided, in this country at least, to rely on the state as the source of most of the funds for its “charity.” Charity at the point of a government gun has never been a virtue, but decades ago, back when the USCCB was called the National Catholic WELFARE Conference (and deeply aligned with left wing policy prescriptions even then) and Pope Pius XI was deciding whether such a conference should be permitted to exist, the bishops collectively made the decision that it was much easier and much more reliable to obtain funding for “charity” from the government than it was from the pewsitters. But it was during the 60s that most major national-level Catholic organizations, started up in the wake of Vatican II, were founded on the principle of being entirely dependent on government funding (Catholic Charities and CRS are both over 90% dependent on federal funding). He who pays the piper calls the tune, and it was likely only ever a matter of time before something like this, and the HHS mandate, came down the pike.
It’s called unintended consequences. But eminently foreseeable at least for the past two decades. As at least half the population and one major party became irreversibly wedded to the culture of death, the bishop’s stratagem of depending on state funding for many activities became increasingly high risk, and increasingly prone to moral nightmares like this. Which is all to say, if you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, you may live to regret it:
And I didn’t even mention how aligning the Church with a government that rejects the entire concept of the Social Reign of Christ the King must be disordered! But the bishops didn’t even buy into that in the 1930s, which is why Pius XI sat in judgment of the NCWC.
Unfortunately, after much pleading and promises to change, he decided to let it live. And thus when America emerged as hegemon after WWII, and the influence of the US bishops was at its peak, that entire model of episcopal conferences was unleashed on the Church.
But that would be a whole ‘nuther 1000 word post, so I’ll demure for now.