Material for the long break: two good sermons December 19, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, paganism, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I won’t be blogging much for the next two weeks plus – we’re going to Clear Creek for a bit – so I thought I’d leave you with some good sermons. Both are actually very good. The first deals with the counter-natural evil of contraception. You may be thinking you already know all you need to regarding contraception, but I think the approach the priest takes might bring up some points you have not considered. He relates how Our Lord prophesied during the Way of the Cross that a time would come when women counted themselves blessed to be barren. He also discusses aspects of the 1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut decision by the Supreme Court which not just legalized, but normalized (in the minds of many) contraception. Since then, it’s all been downhill on the cultural front. Is it meaningful that this decision was reached in the same year that the most recent ecumenical council concluded? At the least, there was certainly something in the cultural water in the 1960s:
Another aspect of Griswold vs. Connecticut is the role played by Catholics – laymen, priests, and prelates – in minimizing Church opposition to both this decision and the general liberalization of contraception and abortion in the 1960s. Those people have an enormous amount of blood on their hands, and much to answer for.
Another really good sermon, having to do with the beginnings of the Reconquista in Spain (the 774 year long war to liberate Spain from the yoke of islam) and the key role Our Lady played in preserving the Faith on the Iberian peninsula (at least, it seems, until now – Spain is one of the most thoroughly secularized countries in the world. It is amazing how the Faith has collapsed there since 1975):
What Obi Wan Kenobi had to say about the liturgical reform December 19, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Good friend and blog reader SB gave me A Bitter Trial a while back, and I just got around to reading it. This book relates the correspondence Catholic convert and famous author Evelyn Waugh had with John Cardinal Heenan, primate of England, regarding the liturgical revolution instituted after Vatican II, and how much pain it caused both men. Waugh, Heenan and others were responsible for the unique “Agatha Christie” exemption, allowing the continued offering of the TLM in England for some years after the Council.
Many know that Alec Guinness, one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, was a Catholic convert, too. In fact, A Bitter Trial notes that Englishmen were converting to the Church at the rate of 12,000 per year in the 1930s and 40s, but after the post-conciliar changes, the rate of conversions collapsed along with everything else. Many non-Catholics in the early 20th Century saw the Church for what she was – the last bastion of Truth in a culture that seemed determined to commit suicide. But that bastion evaporated with the changes of the 1960s.
Guinness was another of this group of English artists less than impressed with the liturgical renewal. In fact, he thought it stank:
Much water has flowed under the Tiber’s bridges, carrying away splendor and mystery from Rome, since the Pontificate of Pius XII…….the banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek from the Liturgy…….handshaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies……..
While dismayed by the liturgical revolution, Guinness did hold out hope, provided souls came to worship God and not the pagan idols of modernism:
But so long as the God who is worshiped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the Idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests, and miniskirted nuns
Pretty smart commentary. Guinness was no fool. And I do him no favors calling him Obi Wan. He despised the role (but loved the money – he got a percentage). For me, he will always be Colonel Nicholson, fanatically building a bridge to be used against his own army to show up his Japanese oppressors:
Or Prince Faisal:
No better combination than Guinness and Lean. Ever watch Smiley?
Hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them onto you December 18, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, blogfoolery, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, scandals, secularism, silliness, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition.
I am ripping this video off from Fr. Blake lock, stock, and barrel. He deserves a complimentary hit.
It’s a video of photos of old churches, old liturgies, old Sacraments, old devotions from all over the world. The pre-conciliar world, that is:
I already what know what Dismas is going to say. Should I even make a comparison?
No, it’s not quite a fair comparison. The worst of post-conciliar abuses against what was standard faire before.
Still, after seeing the latter, this is me:
This s— ain’t fair! And I was getting short!
I’m not even original in this regard. Great gag, Mr. Bougis.
Now for some soothing music
Speaking of getting short – almost time for my glorious annual Christmas break. I will blog sporadically at best from tomorrow 12/19 through the Epiphany. I’ll try to jump on and soothe your jones from time to time if I possibly can.
Saint Vincent of Lerins on unworthy shepherds December 17, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Grace, Saints, sanctity, SOD, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Many of us wonder: how could it be that God could allow the Church to slip into such crisis? How could the Church be afflicted with so many unworthy
shepherds? How could so many souls be allowed to fall into error as a result? Unfortunately, fallen human nature being what it is, the Church has often been afflicted with heresy, error, and men in positions of great power and influence in the Church that embrace both. While today’s crisis might be the greatest the Church has ever endured due to its enormous depth and breadth from top to bottom, from region to region, it is certainly not the first. St. Vincent of Lerins, via FideCogitActio, knew such men. He also knew why God allowed the Church to be afflicted with such unfaithful and inconstant shepherds:
“How is it … that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics? … The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines— ‘That the Lord your God may try you;’ he says. And assuredly it is a great trial when one whom you believe to be a prophet, a disciple of prophets, a doctor and defender of the truth, whom you have folded to your breast with the utmost veneration and love, … secretly and furtively brings in noxious errors, which you can neither quickly detect, being held by the prestige of former authority, nor lightly think it right to condemn, being prevented by affection for your old master. … [Or even your current “master,” or ecclesiastical superior]
“Therefore, as soon as the corruption of each mischievous error begins to break forth, and to defend itself by filching certain passages of Scripture, and expounding them fraudulently and deceitfully, immediately, the opinions of the ancients in the interpretation of the Canon are to be collected, whereby the novelty, and consequently the profaneness, whatever it may be, that arises, may both without any doubt be exposed, and without any tergiversation be condemned. … But whatsoever a teacher holds, other than all, or contrary to all, be he holy and learned, be he a bishop, be he a Confessor, be he a martyr, let that be regarded as a private fancy of his own, and be separated from the authority of common, public, general persuasion, lest, after the sacrilegious custom of heretics and schismatics, rejecting the ancient truth of the universal Creed, we follow, at the utmost peril of our eternal salvation, the newly devised error of one man.” [Or even hundreds or thousands of men]
Great, great advice. We are certainly being tried. And I know many if not all of you are doing your very best to remain faithful and practice this Faith of ours to your utmost during these most difficult times. Pray that God may keep us faithful and that we may not fall into error. I certainly pray that for all of you. As St. Vincent of Lerins says, sometimes errors can be very subtle (and very attractive), and sometimes people we love or have a natural affection towards (or their office) can tempt us to be led astray. Cling fast to the Faith! It is not easy today, because this crisis has been going on so long we are about two full generations into it. That means the vast majority of us probably weren’t real well formed in the Faith (at some point) and may have absorbed – willingly or no – some bad ideas that have the potential to ruin us.
Please find the best confessor you can and really scour your life, in comparison to the Doctrine of the Faith and the writings of the Saints, for any errors you may hold. Through some examination of conscience I called to mind not so much an error, but a sin from my days waaaaaay before being Catholic that I need to confess.
May God strengthen all of us in this time of terrific trial. May we always remain faithful to His Church and in accord with His will for us in our state of life.
Father Carota writes post praising SSPX December 17, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
The Society of Saint Pius X has, since their inception, been a very controversial element in the Church. Lately, in response to papal antics and fear they may inspire souls to embrace the Society (although, some informal surveys on my part indicate this is not happening to any real degree), rhetoric against the Society has really ramped up in certain other segments of traditional Catholics. Some FSSP priests have been more open in their criticism, as have a few other priests and some notable individuals. These folks argue that the Society is well and truly outside the Church, “protestant” (although to me, they reject no Doctrine but there was a schismatic act, so if anything, they are more like the Orthodox), and one of the worst threats facing Catholics. The SSPX is even worse than the devil, or at least, a satanic black mass.
I have made no bones that I really like Fr. Peter Carota. Like Father Rodriguez, he is a diocesan priest who really doesn’t have a dog in the fight (there being a long history between the FSSP and SSPX, much of it quite acrimonious). Fr. Carota had quite a different take on the SSPX (emphasis in original, I add comments):
Each one of us traditional Catholics have his own story of how he rediscovered thePRECIOUS BURIED TREASURE of TRUE CATHOLIC WORSHIP OF GOD. As Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” [Matthew 13:44]. [Indeed. It is the pearl of great price.]
Thanks to the Society of St. Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict, in 2007 we ignorant Catholics were able to find these GREAT BURIED TREASURES:
- The Tridentine Latin Mass,
- The other Sacraments in Latin from the 1962 Missal,
- The magnificient vestments,
- Stone Altars with Altar stones,
- Church Architecture that gives glory to God, not man.
- Exorcisms and Sacred Blessings.
- Inspiring Religious Art.
- Gregorian Chant and Scholas.
- Dignifiied Sacred Vessels that are worthy of the Body and Blood of Jesus.
- Catholicism that pleases God, not man.
[I do think Fr. Carota is right. Without the Society, there would be no TLM in the Church today. Of course, it is impossible to prove a negative scenario like this, but much evidence indicates without the concerted pressure they exerted over decades, the TLM would have remained pretend abrogated for a very long time, if not forever. It is little coincidence that TLMs, or entire indult communities/parishes, are stood up in dioceses where the SSPX has a presence. I have said before, that to predict where a Fraternity apostolate will be erected, all one has to do is look to see where the Society has a presence. It’s almost like clockwork. There are exceptions, of course, but not too many]
It all began when Pope Benedict wanted to regularize the Society so that they could have canonical status within the Church’s canonical structure. The Society asked for two things:
- The lifting of the Excommunication against the 4 bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.
- That every priest in the Catholic Church would be free to offer the Tridentine Latin Mass according to the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal.
From these meetings, Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication and issued the Motu Proprio; “Summorum Pontificum” that now allows priests to offer the Latin Mass without permission of his bishop. [Sadly those negotiations did not come to full fruition under Pope Benedict. But they are not over, there are still contacts between the Society and the Vatican. I pray for their restoration to completely regular canonical status.]
From this day forward, thousands and thousands of Catholics, including bishops and priests, are rediscovering the great buried treasure that the Society of Pope St. Pius X had carefully guarded over these years. [Again, I don’t find this an over-the-top or incorrect statement. Certainly, after 1988, there have been other “guardians” of the TLM, but for a long time, in perhaps the most critical years, there was not much beyond the Society to prevent the TLM from being consigned to the ash heap of history] They did this during the time in the Church when so much of the Sacred was literally destroyed, sold or thrown out by those in the Church who were to be its guardian, not its desecrator.
Each day, more and more Catholics and non-Catholics are continuing to discovering the previous jewels and gold contained in the traditional treasure box.
As you, who read this, already know, once you discover what is contained in the “Treasure Box”, you can never ever go back to the trite and benign way of worshiping God……. [I’m not sure benign is the word I would use. But I agree with the sentiment. It is very, very difficult to return to a Novus Ordo environment after one becomes accustomed to the TLM. Of course, in some very difficult cases, souls have had to make that adjustment for want of any other alternative.]
……..Just read the Acts of the Apostles, the writings of the Apostolic and Church Fathers, the lives of the saints, (especially the martyrs), and you will see at what price these saints paid so that we can quote the Bible and offer the Holy Sacraments.
So why should we now be so cowardly and un-manly as to be afraid of practicing, sharing and protecting the Catholic truth that tradition contains? [Indeed]
Thank God, the Holy Spirit, Pope Benedict and the Society that our eyes have been opened and again given us access to these divine treasures. Thank God once truth has been discovered, there is no turning back.
A post that encapsulates many of my own views. I had a long apologia for my own views appended to the bottom of this post, but I’ll just say that while there are certainly serious problems with the Society and their current status, I am thankful to them for preserving the TLM and aspects of the traditional practice of the Faith during a very dark period. It is really impossible to say what would have happened with the TLM without the presence of the SSPX during those really dark years from 1970-1988, but I do think the preponderance of the evidence indicates the TLM would be a relic of the past without them. That is not to excuse certain acts or ongoing problems, but it does reflect a personal debt of gratitude I have.
The SSPX has been a particular target of late, for several reasons. That has caused some painful situations for me, and cost me dear, for my refusal to attack the SSPX any time I mention them. Even still, I feel no desire to do so, while I acknowledge their difficulties and pray for some miracle with regard to their canonical status and a return to sanity in the Church. My refusal has angered and/or disappointed some who have been fairly close to me, but I’ll just say it now: I will not attack the SSPX in harsh terms. Not now, not ever. I will point out difficulties with their status and things like jurisdiction, but I won’t call them protestant, completely outside the Church, or anything else. I will also point out that there are serious problems everywhere in this diabolically disorientated Church at present, including in the indult communities. My spiritual director believes my position is a reasonable one: it is no sin to talk about groups or events without absolutely castigating them. And it is no sin to say a kind word about those whose situations are less than ideal.
I thank Fr. Carota for this post.
Reminder: Ember Days and O Antiphons start tomorrow December 16, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
The winter Ember Days start tomorrow. Wednesday and Saturday are days of partial fast and abstinence, Friday is a day of partial fast and total abstinence. By partial abstinence, you can have one full meal and two snacks. Advent is a season of preparation for the great feast of Christmas, and historically involved varying degrees of penance. That has really gone out the window since the Council (along with pretty much every other penitential act), which is unfortunate, because the penance practiced in a season like Advent prior to a great celebratory season mirrors our lives as a time of suffering and trial prior to the joy we expect (and pray, and pray, and beg) to enjoy in Heaven.
You can see, then, how the diminished focus on penance ties in with the extremely destructive concept of universal salvation which is so present in the Church today. By assuming All Dogs Go To Heaven, why practice penance? Heck, why do anything? Why bother going to Church?
In saner times, all of our lives, and the entire flow of the liturgical year, was created to serve as constant reminders of our state in this life of woe, to reinforce that this is not our final end, and to build expectation and desire for our eternal home before the Beatific Vision of God in Heaven. But all that great expectation is lost today, people turn this life into their version of “paradise” (how many people would be happy enough to live here in this life forever, eschewing ever seeing God?), and forget about our true destiny and home.
Also, for those who pray the Breviary, or do other prayers related to the Breviary and/or follow a cycle, the O Antiphons start tomorrow. I do love the O Antiphons:
The seven “O Antiphons” (also called the “Greater Antiphons” or “Major Antiphons”) are prayers that come from the Breviary’s Vespers during the Octave before Christmas Eve, a time which is called the “Golden Nights.”
Each Antiphon begins with “O” and addresses Jesus with a unique title which comes from the prophecies of Isaias and Micheas (Micah), and whose initials, when read backwards, form an acrostic for the Latin “Ero Cras” which means “Tomorrow I come.” Those titles for Christ are:
Each of the next seven days, until December 23, there is a different O Antiphon starting with Sapientia, Adonai, etc. Each represents a different aspect of Christ. I really enjoy them. They are very ancient, very beautiful hymns.
Sign a petition to support the establishment of a TLM December 16, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, priests, sadness, secularism, Tradition, Virtue.
My wife found a petition from a group of souls in Staten Island desiring the TLM, who feel their reasonable requests to have this Mass offered there have been blocked for various reasons, most having to do with an antipathy from local pastors with that form of the Mass. This is certainly a situation many Catholics drawn to the traditional Mass and traditional practice of the Faith have experienced. Staten Island is a long way from Manhattan. It seems there is at present no TLM on Staten Island. .
I present this as an act of charity to the group, knowing that some readers would be happy to support those who desire the TLM wherever they may be. Explanation of the need for the petition below:
The mass in the Extraordinary Form is being greatly suppressed out here in Staten Island. As per Summorum Pontificum, written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, all faithful Catholics who wish to worship in this manner have the right to do so. We should not be marginalized or have to travel to attend a Mass we should have closer to our homes. Many priests out here have refused to have this Mass said, despite the fact that it is being requested. Some priests are saying that they do not know how to say the Mass, and need help, but are not reaching out to get that help. Some priests wish to say the Mass, but do not want to upset the parish administrators if they are “against” the Mass.
And the actual text of the petition that will be presented, I guess, to the Archdiocese of New York:
His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and His Excellency Bishop O’Hara
Your Eminence and Your Excellency,
We the undersigned, practicing Catholics of the Diocese of New York, and supporters of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass from elsewhere, in keeping with Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, respectfully request to have the Mass of Saint John XXIII (also called the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, the Vetus Ordo, or the Old Mass) offered at the Basilica of St. Peter or at another nearby parish on Staten Island. We request that Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite be offered on Sundays, feast days, and week days. We would also like to request establishment of a personal parish or the appointment of a chaplain for the extraordinary form of the Mass, as permitted under Summorum Pontificum. Our ultimate goal is the celebration of a High Mass (Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis) on all Sundays and holy days, and by our signatures we commit to assisting at such celebrations on a regular basis, should they be offered.
That is a pretty large request. Not just daily TLM, but a personal parish, which pretty much means the Fraternity or Institute coming in and administering a parish. They might be better off starting their request for one TLM each Sunday. I know it is their right to ask for what they are, but given the threat the TLM has been under in Manhattan already, a request like this, asking for the moon, if you will, may not be well received.
I wish them well, however. I’ll sign the petition. Thankfully the capitalized the m in Mass in the actual petition, the explanation, originally, did not have it capitalized.
It will be interesting to see if there is any positive response. If so…….start a petition in your diocese?
Saint Bonaventure on the Visitation December 15, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, Our Lady, Tradition, Virtue.
While the liturgical Feast of the Visitation does not occur during the season of Advent, it is most assuredly an event that figures in with the anticipation of the Savior and our salvation which Advent heralds. Thus, Dom Prosper Gueranger included this study of the Visitation by Saint Bonaveture in his volume from The Liturgical Year covering Advent. I found it very edifying, I pray you do, too:
After this, Our Lady, pondering the words spoken unto her by the angel concerning her cousin Elizabeth, resolved to visit her, that she might congratulate with her and render her service. She, therefore, together with Joseph her spouse, set out from Nazareth for the house of Elizabeth, which might perhaps be fourteen or fifteen miles distant from Jerusalem. Neither the roughness nor the length of the journey discouraged her; but she walked with haste, forasmuch as she wished to be little seen in public. She was not like other mothers, burthened by her Child, nor was it to be thought that the Lord Jesus would be a burthen to His Mother. See, therefore, how the Queen of Heaven and earth takes this journey alone, with none but her spouse Joseph; not riding, but walking; neither is she escorted by troops of soldiers and barons, nor attended by handmaids and fine ladies. Her train is poverty, humility, modesty, and the beauty of all virtues. The Lord Himself, too, is with her; and He verily hath a numerous and honorable suite, but it is not that of the world, vain and pompous.
Now, when she had entered the house of Elizabeth, she greeted her saying: “Hail! my sister Elizabeth!” But she, exulting, and full of joy, and inflamed by the Holy Spirit, rises and most tenderly embraces Mary, exclaiming for joy: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And whence is this to me, that there should come unto me the Mother of my Lord!” For as soon as the Virgin had greeted Elizabeth, John, in his mother’s womb, was filled with the Holy Ghost, as was likewise the mother. Nor was it that the mother was filled and then her child, but contrariwise, the child was filled first, and he communicated the Spirit unto the mother. The babe effected nought in Elizabeth’s soul, but he merited that the Holy Ghost should do a work in her soul, because the grace of the Divine Spirit had descended into him with greater abundance, and he was the first to receive the grace. And as Elizabeth had perceived the coming of Mary, so did john perceive the coming of Jesus. Therefore was it that he leaped for joy, and she prophesied. See the virtue of Our Lady’s words, when by their utterance the Holy Ghost was conferred; for so replenished was Mary with Him, that, by her merits, He filled others also with Himself. Upon this, Mary made answer unto Elizabeth, saying: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”
So it is by Our Lady’s very words that immense Grace was and is transferred, that caused John the prophet to stir for the first time and to fulfill his role as he who makes straight the way of the Lord.
Dom Gueranger also writes thus in the entry for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception:
….Mary therefore existed, in the divine decree, before creation began. This is the reason of the Church’s having, from the earliest ages, interpreted this sublime passage of the sacred volume of Jesus and of Mary unitedly, and ordering it and analogous passages of the Scriptures to be read in the assembly of the faithful on the solemnities or feast of the Mother of God. [that foregoing is in reference to the Epistle for the Immaculate Conception, Wisdom VIII] But if Mary be thus prominent in the divine and eternal plan; if, in the sense in which these mysterious texts are understood by the Church, she was, with Jesus, before every creature; could God permit her to be subjected to the original sin, which was to fall on all the children of Adam? She is, it is true, to be a child of Adam like her Divine Son Himself, and to be born at the time fixed; but that torrent, which sweeps all mankind along, shall be turned away from her by God’s Grace; it shall not come near to her; and she shall transmit to her Son, who is also the Son of God, the human nature in its original perfection, created, as the apostle says, in holiness and justice.
I bring this up, because both Scripture and the most ancient Tradition point to the Blessed Mother as the woman referred to throughout Scripture, and especially in Genesis, she who will crush the serpent while he snips at her heel. A local priest in a sermon yesterday noted that protestants try to say that the Hebrew text for Genesis makes reference to a male as being the one who will crush the serpent (meaning the Christ), and not a female. But the original Hebrew was written in an androgynous manner – it was only much latter that sexes were assigned to nouns used in Hebrew. So, this claim falls apart, and since the original Scripture is unclear, we have to turn to Tradition, which predates Scripture in so many cases, anyway.
Thus occurred to me this point during the sermon, which I am surely a long time getting to: on this as on so many other points, the Catholic position on various doctrines rejected by protestants is not unsupported by Scripture, it is not some wild claim completely devoid of any Scriptural support, what has happened is that the protestants have rejected the Catholic interpretation for their own. This goes to show, yet again, that “private interpretation” of Scripture, the so-called bedrock of protestantism, is just MY opinion on Scripture, and rejecting YOURS or the Church’s or whatever. Luther himself made this clear when he castigated in violent terms and persecuted to the utmost of his ability those who disagreed with HIS interpretation of Scripture. We can see, then, in private interpretation of Scripture a clear trend towards the doctrinal chaos we see today, and also towards many other errors: indifferentism, self-serving alterations to universal beliefs held for millenia, democratization of the church (Calvinism/presbyterianism, where leaders are elected based on what the people want to hear taught at a particular moment), and all the rest.
Private interpretation has always been a lie, a fabulous selling point to dupe people into rejecting the “hard” bits of Scripture or Tradition they do not favor, and twisting words to tickle their own ears and create a church and a God of their own making.
And, incredibly, there have been many influential voices in the Church for the past 50 years or so (like Yves Congar) telling us the protestants got it right. Even today, such opinions are quite numerous.
More reasons to reject the Reformation: Patristic Scriptural Exegesis December 12, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
I am totally out of time, but reader skeinster sent me this great link earlier in the week and I have been meaning to get to it. Do read the below, but also go to Shameless Popery and read the rest, especially the grounds of argument used by the early Church Fathers to form the Canon of Scripture:
Catholic beliefs are often rejected by “Bible-only” Protestants on the grounds that they are “extra-Scriptural Traditions.” This accusation typically misses the mark: on teachings like the priesthood, or the Eucharist, or regenerative baptism, it’s not that the Church is deriving these views from a source other than Scripture. It’s that she sees support for each of these doctrines within Scripture itself.
Protestants might disagree with those Biblical interpretations, but that’s still what we’re dealing with: Biblical interpretations, not doctrines derived from other sources. So even if you were committed to sola Scriptura, you could still arrive at virtually everything that the Church teaches, so long as you read the Bible through the eyes of the early Church.
This reframes the debate in an important way: it’s no longer primarily a question of whether we base doctrines off of Scripture and Tradition or Scripture alone. Rather, the question is primarily about whether we will base doctrines off of your interpretation of Scripture or the interpretation of Scripture held by the early Christians (and indeed, by the Church, and by an unbroken chain of two thousand years’ worth of Christians).
This also exposes a divide within modern Protestantism between two different kinds of “sola Scriptura,” one that many Catholics (and not a few Protestants) are ignorant of. This distinction is sometimes termed “Tradition 0” v. “Tradition 1.” Whereas “Tradition 0” gives no weight to Tradition, “Tradition 1” will side with the traditional interpretation of Scripture much of the time. The Calvinist scholar Alistar McGrath describes “Tradition 0” as a danger result of the Radical Reformation:
During the sixteenth century, the option of totally rejecting tradition was vigorously defended by representatives of the radical Reformation. For radicals such as Thomas Müntzer and Caspar Schwenkfeld, every individual had the right to interpret Scripture as he pleased, subject to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For Sebastian Franck, the Bible “is a book sealed with seven seals which none can open unless he has the key of David, which is the illumination of the Spirit.” The way was thus opened for individualism, with the private judgment of the individual raised above the corporate judgment of the church. Thus the radicals rejected the practice of infant baptism (to which the magisterial Reformation remained committed) as non-scriptural. (There is no explicit reference to the practice in the New Testament.) Similarly, doctrines such as the Trinity and the divinity of Christ were rejected as resting upon inadequate scriptural foundations. What we might therefore term “Tradition 0″ rejects tradition, and in effect places the private judgment of the individual or congregation in the present above the corporate traditional judgment of the Christian church concerning the interpretation of Scripture.
So Tradition has no real regard for the early Christians, and its adherents are comfortable trusting in their own modern, individual interpretations, and rejecting all of Christian history, if need be. That this approach is a disaster should be self-evident, given that it almost immediately resulted in prominent Protestants denying the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ. Instead, McGrath argues for “Tradition 1,” the position that he ascribes to Luther, Calvin, and most of the better-known Reformers:
As has been noted, the magisterial Reformation was theologically conservative. It retained most traditional doctrines of the church – such as the divinity of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity – on account of the reformers’ conviction that these traditional interpretations of Scripture were correct. Equally, many traditional practices (such as infant baptism) were retained, on account of the reformers’ belief that they were consistent with Scripture. The magisterial Reformation was painfully aware of the threat of individualism, and attempted to avoid this threat by placing emphasis upon the church’s traditional interpretation of Scripture, where this traditional interpretation was regarded as correct. Doctrinal criticism was directed against those areas in which Catholic theology or practice appeared to have gone far beyond, or to have contradicted, Scripture. As most of these developments took place in the Middle Ages, it is not surprising that the reformers spoke of the period 1200-1500 as an “era of decay” or a “period of corruption” which they had a mission to reform. Equally, it is unsurprising that we find the reformers appealing to the early church fathers as generally reliable interpreters of Scripture.
According to McGrath – and the Reformers – Tradition 1 Protestantism is all about restoring the Church to the faith of the Church Fathers (on at least most issues: they leave the door open to ignore the Church Fathers as suits them, as the bolded parts of McGrath’s description suggest).
It’s to these Protestants that St. Edmund Campion addresses the sixth of his Ten Reasons. Whereas Campion’s fifth reason (which we examined Friday) shows the impossibility of Tradition 0 Protestantism, his sixth reason shows that Tradition 1 Protestantism leads to one of two conclusions: the Catholic Church, or special pleading (that ends up being indistinguishable from the disastrous Tradition 0).
Now go to Shameless Popery and read St. Edmund Campion’s rebuttal of these protestant errors. Just a taste:
There are two reasons that a Tradition 1 Protestant could justify ignoring and contradicting the consensus of the Church Fathers. The first of these is that the Fathers’ beliefs are derived from extra-Scriptural Tradition. Campion begins his argument by establishing that the Church Fathers are deeply devoted to Sacred Scripture, and that, while they’re not “Bible only” Christians, their beliefs are based overwhelming off of Scripture:
If ever any men took to heart and made their special care, as men of our religion have made it and should make it their special care, to observe the rule, Search the Scriptures (John 5:39), the holy Fathers easily come out first and take the palm for the matter of this observance. By their labour and at their expense Bibles have been transcribed and carried among so many nations and tongues: by the perils they have run and the tortures they have endured the Sacred Volumes have been snatched from the flames and devastation spread by enemies: by their labours and vigils they have been explained in every detail. Night and day they drank in Holy Writ, from all pulpits they gave forth Holy Writ, with Holy Writ they enriched immense volumes, with most faithful commentaries they unfolded the sense of Holy Writ, with Holy Writ they seasoned alike their abstinence and their meals, finally, occupied about Holy Writ they arrived at decrepit old age.
A little Advent greatness December 11, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Christendom, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Tradition, Virtue.
Just a brief post – two different versions of the Rorate, one in plain chant unaccompanied, the other with organ:
Do you have a preference?
This is such a beautiful hymn, and so meaningful. This is the time of year when we wait with great expectation for the arrival of Our Savior, the One who is to come to take away the sins of the world and bring salvation to the world.
Drop down dew you heavens from above, and let the clouds rain the just one
We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing,
and we all do fade as a leaf:
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away;
thou hast hid thy face from us:
and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Behold, O Lord, the affliction of thy people
and send forth Him who is to come
send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth from Petra of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion
that He may take away the yoke of our captivity
Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen;
that ye may know me and believe me:
I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Savior:
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people,
my salvation shall not tarry:
why wilt thou waste away in sadness?
why hath sorrow seized thee?
Fear not, for I will save thee:
for I am the Lord thy God,
the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.
Did I see some people saying they had Rorate Masses, or heard Rorate Caeli, in their non-TLM parishes? I could see the hymn…..but is there an option for a Rorate Mass in the Novus Ordo?