Very interesting piece from The American Thinker regarding ongoing – and atrocious – teacher sex abuse scandals in the state of Missouri, especially the Kansas City area. While the vast majority of the populations of Kansas and Missouri are extremely conservative (in fact, Kansas is a hotbed of sede vacantism), the elites in the large cities are overwhelmingly leftist, as are the media.
Bishop Finn was not only conservative but also suspected of embracing Tradition (as his very close association with the Benedictines of Mary Queen of the Apostles revealed). For that, he had to be destroyed. He remains the only US bishop ever to face criminal prosecution for ostensible malfeasance in a priest sex abuse case, even though the priest in question committed crimes that pale in comparison to those enabled by left-leaning bishops in the US and elsewhere. Bishop Finn followed legal protocol and advice in his treatment of defrocked Fr. Shawn Ratigan, and removed him from service after he was found to have taken upskirt photos of underage girls. But Fr. Ratigan repeated his (comparitively minor) crime, and the KC media had all the material they needed to mount a relentless campaign of destruction.
For instance, did you know that the local newspaper, the Kansas City Star, published NINETY articles attacking Bishop Finn during this campaign? But Cardinal Mahoney, who had personal knowledge of actual boy-rape perpetrated repeatedly by certain priests, kept those priests in public apostolates, and he remained a cardinal in good standing throughout his tenure, and is still revered and feted around the country and world.
I hate leftism:
On April 15, Jackson County, Missouri, prosecutors charged James R. Green Jr., 52, with six counts of second-degree statutory sodomy. Green was a teacher and coach at a middle school in the suburban North Kansas City School District. Green’s victim was a sixteen-year-old boy. It appears likely that Green was abusing other boys over a period of at least twelve years in at least two different school districts, and Green’s crime is not the half of it…….
…….Without digging too hard, I discovered that Green was the sixth employee, all male, busted on sex charges with underage students in the last thirteen months in this one suburban school district. At least five of those employees were arrested. The reporting on the sixth was too sketchy to determine. Four of the interactions were heterosexual, two homosexual. In the same week Green was arrested, a campus supervisor at a high school in the North Kansas City District was charged with sending messages of a sexual nature to two female students, one fourteen and one fifteen. His was one of three cases at that same suburban school. In January 2017, the principal was arrested for having sex with students twenty years prior, and in August 2016 the band director was dismissed for sending sexual texts to students………
…….As troubling as these crimes were, what I found truly scandalous was that our local paper of record, the Kansas City Star, has not reported on this larger story. Typically, the paper has done brief one-offs on each crime and then moved on to something meatier, like, say, the latest imagined outrage by Gov. Brownback.
The reason for the silence is not hard to understand. The media and the teachers unions share an allegiance to the Democratic Party. The Star goes out of its way to protect the unions, and the unions have gone out of their way to protect the teachers, including the sexual predators………
………..[While steadfastly ignoring the far larger teacher-student rape scandal]the Star was dedicating its energies to Shawn Ratigan, a Catholic priest with the perverse habit of taking lurid photos of little girls unaware they were being photographed.
For the Star, the Ratigan scandal was tailor made. Unlike most accused priests, his pathology was heterosexual. Better still, the priest’s ultimate supervisor, Bishop Robert Finn, was described in media reports as a “theological conservative” with a record of challenging the Star’s agenda on life issues. [Yes. Don’t think that didn’t play a substantial role, especially when Finn several times publicly embarrassed the rag by refuting some of their pro-abort coverage]
The Star assigned its ace project reporter, Judy Thomas, to the Ratigan story. Locally, she had a reputation for seeking dirt on pro-life institutions, Catholic and evangelical. At the first whiff of the Ratigan scandal, the Star started to run above-the-fold headlines and soon called for the bishop’s resignation. “It’s painful to believe the most vulnerable in his flock weren’t protected,” thundered a Star editorialist. [Meanwhile, almost all the Star’s coverage of teacher sex abuse, which in some cases is even more systematic than it ever was in the Church, is buried deep in the paper if it is published at all]
After the photos were discovered, Ratigan attempted suicide. Bishop Finn consulted with his attorneys, and they assured him that what Ratigan had done may have been perverse, but it was not criminal. When Ratigan recovered, Finn assigned him to a home for aged nuns and imposed numerous restrictions. They did not work. Ratigan was caught taking photos at a family reunion.
The Star ran at least ninety articles on the Ratigan case, creating enough hysteria to get Ratigan a fifty-year prison sentence and get Finn, a saintly man, prosecuted for failure to report Ratigan to the police immediately. [And giving a hostile pope all the ammunition he needed to replace this good bishop years before the normal retirement age.]
Over the years, Catholic dioceses have dramatically altered their policies for identifying, reporting and removing alleged clerical predators, but, with cover from the media, public school districts have been largely insulated from any efforts to reform union practices.
Star editors went so far as to call Bishop Finn “repulsive,” but they have yet to mention the name of the man who runs the North Kansas City School District. As I have discovered, it is not just the national media that need to be watched. No, the local media are just as bad, maybe worse. [Which is why I dropped my subscription to the Dallas Morning News about 8 years ago.]
It was a hatchet job from beginning to end, deliberately construed to whip up enough public frenzy to get Finn not just charged, but convicted and then ultimately removed.
But Ace makes a great point. The media – all media, entertainment, infotainment, “news,” etc. – only has the influence on us we choose to allow it to have. If you are an expert in a certain field, or have a decent depth of knowledge, haven’t you noticed how often the media butchers related topics, and makes error after error? Sure we discount the media’s political bias, but what about their cultural bias or even their plain knowledge of the world? Why would you believe they would be any more right in any other field?
Thus, the alternative media. I am surprised, however, at the extent even people who should – who do! – know better still allow themselves to be moved on numerous issues by media opinion. I just had the case of a (not terribly close) family member opining that “gay marriage” was just fine by them, because “they are in love and that’s who they are and how can we ‘deny them happiness'”? Parroting almost word for word what the mass media says. Yet these same individuals see through the media lies regarding Trump. Discouraging.
Then again, they’re episcopalian, so go figure.
We are considering getting another dog. We have a black lab who is good at making an alert bark when a stranger approaches (and for no apparent reason in the middle of the night, which is always fun), but like most all labs, she is too fun-loving and people-loving to be a good guard dog.
The first idea was to get a German Shepherd, but so many of our kids have allergies and asthma I’m not sure that’s the best way.
My wife hates Dobermans and pit bulls. So those are out.
We can find no Belgian Malinois in our area. They are probably too long haired, anyway?
Any other breeds you can think of, then, that have short hair and make good guard dogs? We don’t want an attack dog, but one that is protective of property and kids and that will give a good alert and maybe defend the home if someone busted in it at night or something.
I don’t think Weimaraners are really guard dogs? Rhodesian Ridgeback? The dog would also need to be good with kids.
Pending some great idea from you smartuns we’ll probably default to the German Shepherd.
UPDATE: Well, that’s settled. Thank you for all your comments, but my wife grew up on a farm with German Shepherds and she’s always wanted one. We’ll just have to deal with the hair.
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As if we didn’t know this already, but it’s nice when the miscreant confesses to the crime:
A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington D.C. often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion.
Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street JournalMonday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion.
“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.
He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014 showing hurricane activity has increased from 1980 as an illustration of how federal agencies fudged climate data. Koonin said the NCA’s assessment was technically incorrect……..
……..Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added.
Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for instance, recently jumpstarted an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.
Yeah, but nothing will come of it. It never does. There is one set of rules for the cultural elite (that is, no rules), and one increasingly onerous and repressive set of rules for the rest of us, especially the lowest class, Christian conservatives.
So what do you think of Trump so far? He’s over 3 months in, that 100 day mark is about to pass, and he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, has he?
Mind you, I never thought he’d be a super-conservative, I hoped he might mean what he said about the wall, but so long as Hillary wasn’t elected and he nominated some solid judges, I was prepared to be satisfied.
Still, he’s given occasional glimpses of being capable of doing much, much more, but his administration seems to be sinking slowly into the swamp L’Enfant had our nation’s capital built upon. I don’t know if one man, even a spectacular man (which I’m far from sure Trump is), can overcome the entrenched interests of the always left-leaning, always self-serving deep state.
Even Reagan failed to achieve much in the way of reducing the size of the federal government. Most of his achievements were in the realm of foreign policy, or tax cuts (which gave us unprecedented deficits). The last president to significantly reduce the federal budget was Eisenhower. But that was a different country, wasn’t it?
I should add, for completeness sake (and because someone will invariably bring it up in the comments), that the Catholic bishops have by and large accepted the cult of climate change uncritically. Francis of Rome released an encyclical that indicated full-throated acceptance of this most dubious of theories, and the US bishops have certainly done the same. What a wound it will be to the Church when this theory is finally debunked, which it eventually will be. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for the USCCB to roll back some of its advocacy in this area in light of this report, they’ll pretend it doesn’t exist.
Thomas a’ Kempis, Gratitude for the Grace of God April 27, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, reading, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, The Imitation of Christ, Victory, Virtue.
From Book II Chapter 10 of The Imitation of Christ, a reflection on having proper gratitude for the Grace we receive from God:
Why seekest thou rest, since thou art born to labor?
Dispose thyself to patience rather than consolation, and to bear the cross rather than to rejoice.
For who is there among worldly people that would not willingly receive comfort and spiritual joy, if he could always have it?
For spiritual consolation exceeds all the delights of the world and the pleasures of the flesh. [Would you agree? It’s been a long time, but I have felt I experienced transports of joy associated with sublime spiritual moments. I would say this is a true statement.]
For all worldly delights are either vain or base; but spiritual delights alone are pleasant and honorable, springing from virtue, and infused by God into pure minds.
But those divine consolations no man can always enjoy when he will, because the time of temptation is not long absent.
But what very much opposes these heavenly visits is a false liberty of mind and a great confidence in one’s self.
God doth well in giving the grace of consolation, but man doth ill in not returning it all to God with thanksgiving.
And this is the reason why the gifts of grace cannot flow in us, because we are ungrateful to the giver, nor do we return all to the fountainhead.
For Grace will always be given to him that duly returns thanks, and what is wont to be given to the humble will be taken away from the proud.
I would not have any such consolation as would rob me of compunction, nor do I wish to have any such contemplation as leads to pride.
For all that is high is not holy; nor all that pleasant good; nor every desire pure; nor is everything that is dear to us pleasing to God.
I willingly accept of that Grace which always makes me more humble and fearful, and more ready to forsake myself.
He that has been taught by the gift of Grace, and been instructed by the scourge of its withdrawal, will not dare to attribute anything of good to himself, but rather acknowledge himself to be poor and naked.
Give to God what is His (Matt xxii:21), and take to thyself what is thine; that is, give tanks to God for His Grace; but as to thyself, be sensible that nothing is to be attributed to thee but sin and the punishment due to sin.
Put thyself always in the lowest place, and the highest shall be given thee, for the highest stand snot without the lowest (Lk xiv:10).
The Saints that are highest in the sight of God are the least in their own eyes; and the more glorious they are the more humble they are in themselves.
Being full of the truth and heavenly glory they are not desirous of vainglory.
They that are grounded and establishes in God can by no means be proud.
And they that attribute to God whatsoever good they have received seek not glory from one another, but that glory which is from God alone (Jn v:44); they desire above all things that God may be praised in themselves, and in all the saints, and to this they always tend.
Be grateful then for the least and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater things.
Let the least be to thee as something very great, and the most contemptible as a special favor. [Am I the only one that has a very hard time with this? Driving a longish commute in heavy traffic quickly reveals how little patience and charity I have.]
If thou considerest the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem to thee little which is given by so great a God.
Yea, though he give punishment and stripes, it ought to be acceptable; for whatever He suffers to befall us, He always does it for our salvation (Dan iii:28).
He that desires to retain the Grace of God let him be thankful for Grace when it is given, and patient when it is withdrawn; let him pray that it may return; let him be cautious and humble, lest he lost it.
It is painful when that very special grace, perhaps necessary early in conversion to help establish one in the Faith, is taken away. Or no longer merited. Many Saints experienced the same. The Little Flower had years of incredible closeness to God, and then had it all taken away the last several years of her life, when her physical sufferings became immense and she needed it the most! But that is the way of our Lord, he tempers our faith in the fires of suffering. Truly, His ways are not our ways, and thank God for that.
Two bits of data on the Left’s continued, and almost entirely successful, even unopposed, long march through the institutions. The Air Force of men like Jack Broughton, Ed Rasimus, Bill Lloyd, Dick Jonas, Robin Olds, and Chappie James is long, long gone. Even 20 years ago, most leadership in USAF were outwardly conservative and Christian, most often devout evangelicals. After a deliberate program of de-Christianization and secularization, which reached new heights during the Obama administration, the Air Force today, like all the services, is simply one more vehicle for the advance of the godless amoral secular leftist agenda. Unless one feels called to (and able to meet the stringent standards of) a top-tier special forces type career field, joining the US military today is a fool’s errand where anti-Chrisitan and amoral indoctrination reigns, where one is often judged less on the basis of merit but most often on whether you fall into one of the many favored categories (categories which happen to align, magically!, with the core elements of the leftist political coalition).
In other words, what we are seeing is a revolution in slow motion, where a previous ruling elite is replaced by another, hostile elite, all for the benefit of a particular political agenda.
First story up, a 26 year bird colonel flight surgeon at Lackland in San Antonio suddenly, in June 2016, got slapped with a career-ending reprimand not from his CO, but from someone very high up in his chain of command (the vice commander of Air Education and Training Command), over an incident that ostensibly occurred more than two y ears earlier. Sound fishy? It is:
First Liberty Institute has sent a letter to the Air Force demanding the reversal of punitive actions taken against Col Michael Madrid for expressing his religious beliefs about sexuality.
In 2014, one of then-LtCol Madrid’s subordinates — who was in the middle of being court-martialed — accused Col Madrid of
“engaging in demeaning and derogatory behavior toward [the subordinate] based on [the subordinate’s] sexual orientation” thus “creat[ing] a hostile work environment.” [the court martial concerned an enlisted member in Madrid’s section who developed an addiction to prescription pain killers. When caught and court martialed for being high on duty, he started making wild accusations, including this one, to try to get out of the court martial]
Besides the troubled circumstances of the initial complaint, it is also notable that it was a blanket complaint (and apparently a first complaint) covering the prior 15 months, not any specific incident.
As a result of the complaint, Col Madrid’s Group Commander at FE Warren AFB, Wyoming, Col Hans Ritschard, initiated a Commander Directed Investigation.
In March 2014, the two-week CDI determined the allegations were “unsubstantiated,” and Col Madrid’s commander agreed.
That should have been the end of the story.
More than a year later (June 2015), Col Madrid had been promoted to full Colonel and had moved to San Antonio to serve in Air Education and Training Command Headquarters. Somewhere in that time, MajGen John McCoy became an acting Vice Commander of AETC.
On 29 June 2016 — more than a year after moving to San Antonio and more than two years after the CDI was closed — MajGen McCoy issued Col Madrid a Letter of Admonishment for a statement he made during the CDI conducted at FE Warren. He reportedly also intended to establish a further punitive Unfavorable Information File (UIF) but never did so……..
……….how did MajGen McCoy even know about the CDI? By their very nature, CDIs are not supposed to be millstones around the necks of their subjects for the rest of their careers — particularly when the allegations are “unsubstantiated.” (In fact, it requires a very specific approval process — and a legal “need to know” — to even see a CDI.) And once he did know about it, for what reason was he motivated to review it? Col Madrid had already served at AETC HQ for more than a year, and two years had passed since the CDI had ended. Why now?
First Liberty has an idea:
Attorneys at First Liberty are concerned that the reason the case was dredged up once closed is because the Air Force is unduly focused on political correctness and targeting people with beliefs who don’t fit the progressive mold.
“We are concerned that Major General McCoy judged and punished Madrid – a decorated Air Force officer – because he became aware of Colonel Madrid’s traditional religious views,” Berry added. “If so, that not only harms the military, but it is illegal.”
So this is probably the 20th or 25th such case I’ve read concerning individuals in the Air Force being targeted for holding Christian beliefs in the past 2-3 years. I have done at least 10 posts on the subject in that period, all involving different cases, and I know there were 2-3 cases I stumbled on for everyone I posted.
This has all the appearance of being a newly exaltant political movement searching out and persecuting as many ideological adversaries as it can find. Again, such persecution was highly institutionalized during the Obamanation.
Second case, Obama apparatchiks still populating DoD have nominated the first open lesbian to be commandant of the Air Force Academy. This lesbian woman presently commands the 2nd BW at Barksdale (in spite having no previous experience with B-52s) after holding a very cushy position in the Pentagon where she got to hobnob with numerous Obama appointees. AFA provides the core of the Air Force’s officers and was, for a very long time, a hub of evangelical Christianity. That had its pluses and minuses, but it is being plainly remade into a secular pagan institution:
An open lesbian has been chosen to be the next commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, according to a USAF Academy report and other media.
Col. Kristin Goodwin has a “wife” and two children. She will take charge of the USAF Academy pending approval by the U.S. Senate. If approved, she likely will assume her new position in May. That is usually a formality, but conservative opposition to her appointment might make it less so.
Air Force Academy alumnus and former Navy Chaplain Gordon James (“Chaps”) Klingenschmitt, a conservative activist, is urging concerned citizens to call their U.S. senators to oppose Goodwin’s nomination to lead the USAF cadets.
Klingenschmitt, who heads the Pray in Jesus Name Project, told LifeSiteNews that Goodwin’s appointment under a Trump presidency is part of a “deep state problem of Obama’s appointments remaining in office while the Senate drags its feet to confirm Donald Trump’s appointments to replace them.”
“Obama’s bureaucrats in the Pentagon are still running the show,” Klingenschmitt said. “Obama is gone. Why does he still have this power?”…….
………According to the article, “Goodwin served in several high-level leadership positions, including vice commander of the 59th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri; commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; and senior military adviser to the secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon. … She’s also a veteran pilot who has flown B-2 Spirit, the EC-130h compass Call, the C-130 Hercules, and other aircraft.” [That is what one calls being picked and groomed. From C-130s to vice commander of the premiere bomb wing in the Air Force (flying B-2s, necessitating a type conversion), to about THE most politically advantageous role an officer can get (adviser to the civilian SECAF) – this is a wholly political move. People like her don’t happen, they are made. She may even wind up CoSUSAF at some point. I wouldn’t doubt it.]
Some folks are raving about this appointment, saying that (now) General Goodwin is a committed warrior and a stand-up leader who doesn’t inculcate her ideology on those under her command. That would make her different from some of her colleagues of similar proclivity – including a former commander at Lackland AFB who conducted witch hunts against hardcore Christians. There was another at Patrick AFB who was apparently similar, banning Bibles from public spaces.
I think it’s very sad. In secular coverage of this proposed change of command, support for Goodwin is overwhelming from those in and out of uniform (the comments at Air Force Times were especially disheartening). Trump or no Trump, more and more souls are, consciously or not, surrendering to the leftist sexular pagan zeitgeist that unnatural vices are fine, that it’s just a small accident of someone’s personality (after we were sold for decades that we MUST grant them rights for this CORE element of their being), that so long as they do a good and fair job what does it matter?
It matters because character matters. Because honor matters. Because this woman, who has chosen a totally sterile form of sexual expression, insisted on using artificial means to create two new lives she could pretend rounded our her pretended marriage. Those children are denied the father they have a right to experience and learn from. Because our principal enemies, the islamists, see from things like this a totally decadent and depraved society that deserves to die, and they are further emboldened in their efforts. And because this role is fundamentally different from other commands, it involves education as its principal mission, and more than education, the installation of virtues suitable for those who will command others in combat. This woman is wholly unsuited to be a role model because of the lifestyle she has chosen.
But mostly I oppose it because it is wrong. It will remain wrong even if I am the last person alive who knows it is so. It will remain wrong forever because Our Lord created us to be fruitful and not to cast our seed on barren ground or engage in filthy acts. You cannot support sodomy (or abortion, or many other things) without making a mockery of Christianity and God Himself.
Austria was, even after World War II, one of the most visibly Catholic countries in the world. But after decades of being steeped in (America-imposed) secular materialism, Austrians recently elected a man president who now argues that if opposition to islam continues to grow, the result will be that ALL women will have to wear “headscarves,” by which he means the hijab.
I can’t quite follow the logic, either, but he seems to be declaring that opposition to islamification only emboldens muslims and, if that occurs, all women will eventually wind up in the hijab. Of course, if opposition to islam does not increase, Austria will wind up in the same place, with total submission of the state and individuals to islam. Suleiman the Magnificent must be whooping for joy in hell, if such were possible.
About the video, this is Sargon again, and Sargon’s an atheist, and prone to blasphemy, as well. I would advise playing the video without sound until the 3:50 mark, knowing that the subtitles are quotes from muslim men in Austria regarding their feelings towards atheists:
Yes. Absolutely. These people do want to be conquered. They are like the late Greek and Roman elites who had totally, entirely given up on their own birthright, and so they got the barbarians.
We need to seriously start thinking about a strategic reserve where Christendom can be preserved. It won’t be Europe.
Just a quick reminder of what these young, aggressive, cocksure muslim men are willing to kill over (content warning, Mohammad, like almost all the enemies of Christ, was wholly given over to his prurient lusts):
Normal for muslim men, perhaps.
David Wood has still more – all muslims gain from the activities of their radical brethren, which is why virtually no muslims oppose the activities of the jihadis, just as essentially no muslims opposed the armies of the Grand Turk, nor the Berber hordes that repeatedly invaded Christian Spain, nor any of the other non-stop wars of aggression islam has waged against Christendom:
We have our own dhimmis in the Catholic Church. Many of these are priests, mostly of a certain age, but not always. I have been called a racist and islamophobe for pointing out – much more mildly than here – the deplorable beliefs that muslims hold. To these dhimmis – including a couple of local pastors I am thinking of – ANY criticism of islam or any other religion they hold in esteem (which is every one but their own) is absolutely forbidden and is met with accusations of racism or some other -ism. They’d fit in very, very well at an antifa riot, for the rhetoric is the same.
I know most of this post is old news for regular readers. Islam is a satanic counterfeit of Christianity, the veritable antithesis of all the goodness and light Christ brought to the world. The quote from the horrid president of Austria is notable, however. He was barely elected over a rival who was pilloried in the media as being a “far right” neo-nazi. All over the world, the elites are using the same tactics, the same words to gain their ends. Which ends, apparently, include complete and total surrender to islam, and probable eventual conversion.
Enjoy paying the jizya.
FSSP Priest Interview Reveals Divisions within Fraternity April 25, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, Revolution, sadness, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
I got sent a link to the following post this morning by reader TT. It’s an interview of the rather small German province of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the organization of priests dedicated to the traditional Mass that was founded by some who “broke away” from the SSPX at the time of the illicit consecrations of 4 bishops in 1988.
This interview is already being picked up as fodder for the endless (and tiresome) SSPX/FSSP debates that have been raging for almost 30 years. For those who already feel the FSSP is hopelessly compromised, the interview is being taken as proof of the correctness of that view. For those with internal knowledge of the Fraternity, as it is typically called, however, this interview only reiterates the divisions already well known within this society of priests.
I’ll add comments to the post I copy below, because I think there are some important things to clarify/note, but I’d like to make one point clear at the outset: every grouping of more than a few individuals is going to have disparity of belief. Once you get into the hundreds, like the FSSP, there is going to be a whole range of belief. Given that, generally speaking, both acceptance of a more stridently traditional outlook (or a certain, sometimes severe, hostility to Vatican II) and friendliness/sympathy for the SSPX varies inversely with the age of the priest and their closeness to the original point of division in 1988. That is to say, older priests in the Fraternity, especially those who were present in 1988 and made the decision to leave the SSPX, generally tend to be more accommodating towards the post-conciliar ethos and hostile towards the SSPX. Younger priests are generally more hardcore “traditional” and more friendly towards the Society.
This is not a universal rule and there is infinite nuance, even within individual priests!, but that’s probably the broad norm. I would also add that there is, as I understand it, a certain division of belief between priests of the Fraternity in the Americas, and those in Europe, with those again in Europe tending towards being the less ardently traditional, or the more accommodating. Having said that, I concur with a commenter at 1Peter5 that this is far from an inspiring interview. While I think the interview is being presented in a fairly negative light by Maike Hickson at 1Peter5, I think I can also say these are some of the most unhelpful comments I’ve seen from an FSSP priest in print, perhaps less for what they say (esp. on reflection) but for the sense they seem to convey of accommodation, of being (to quote some commentary I’ve seen) “modernist lap dogs who will do anything so long as they can continue to offer the ‘old Mass'”. Then again, I find myself defending the priest quite consistently below – I think that while he exhibits an attitude far different from what I’d like to see expressed, it’s not entirely surprising given his past.
So keep that in mind as you read the below, which many of you perhaps already have:
The usually cautious and reserved Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has now given its current opinion concerning the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and on its possible formal re-integration into the structures of the Catholic Church. Father Bernhard Gerstle – the head of the German district of the FSSP – just gave a 24 April interview to the German Bishops’ official website Katholisch.dein which he explains many of the positions and opinions of his priestly fraternity. (Father Gerstle is the same priest who, in 2016, made a politely critical statement about the papal document Amoris Laetitia.) [An important note of clarification. Fr. Gerstle may be the head of the German district of the Fraternity, but I think it a great leap to derive from that that he is speaking for the mind of the entire Fraternity. Words of Fr. John Berg, former Superior of the entire order, in Latin Mass Magazine from 2015 (which I haven’t to hand) were far different and conveyed a far more traditionally Catholic understanding.]
Father Gerstle explains, first of all, that he himself split off from the SSPX because of the “illicit episcopal consecrations” in 1988 which, in his eyes, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger tried to forestall. (Interestingly, and just in the recent past, there have been voices saying that Cardinal Ratzinger, as pope, later removed the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops because he realized that he had contributed to the intensification of that earlier conflict. Worth noting is that, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who has served as an official Vatican liaison to the SSPX, recently called this act of excommunication an “injustice.”) [This little aside causes me to wonder whether the author is not trying to inculcate a bit of doubt, even resentment, towards Fr. Gerstle. Sure “some voices” may say that, but lots of others say that the excommunications were wholly right and just. Obviously Fr. Gerstle is going to have a bias since he left the SSPX over this matter. I am curious as to why Hickson chose to introduce this seeming rebuttal right here.] In Gerstle’s eyes, the 1988 breach happened due to a “lack of trust toward Rome.” He also claims that many more priests within the SSPX had disapproved of the episcopal consecrations, “but did not make the final step.” Thus, there were “only a few priests and seminarians who left the Society of St. Pius X at the time [in 1988].” Gerstle explicitly says that the foundation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter happened “essentially due to Cardinal Ratzinger, [who was] then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” [For those of us who weren’t involved, I don’t think it is easy to comprehend the depth of feeling on both sides involved in the 1988 consecrations. This was an event so trying and so radicalizing I don’t think many today fully realize the effect these events had on the participants. As one who was directly involved and experienced that heart-rending time, I don’t find Fr. Gerstle’s comments out of place. There are many involved who share his views, and of course, many who don’t, but it’s not like he’s breaching some radical new concept no one’s ever said before, even those who are very attached to the traditional practice of the Faith.]
Father Gerstle further distances himself from those smaller groups within the SSPX – whom he calls “hardliners” – who “reject the Second Vatican Council to a large extent, for example with regard to religious freedom or as to the decree on ecumenism.” Some of them, he says, also doubt the validity of the new liturgy. Gerstle makes it clear, moreover, where the Fraternity of St. Peter stands with regard to the Second Vatican Council: [No, he gives his own opinion. Unless he directly stated he was speaking as the voice of the entire Fraternity as a matter of policy – which if he did, we can be certain Hickson would be trumpeting this from the rooftops – then he’s giving his opinion, which Hickson is taking to mean it is the policy of the Fraternity because of his position, but I can say from direct experience there are many Fraternity priests who do not conform to the views expressed in this para or the one below. As to the divisions within the SSPX, these are well known and I find pointing them out wholly unremarkable.]
The Fraternity of St. Peter, however, has accepted to study without prejudice the conciliar texts and has come to the conclusion that there is no breach with any previous magisterial statements.However, some texts are formulated in such a way that they can give way to misinterpretations. But, in the meantime, Rome has already made here concordant clarifications which the Society of St. Pius X should now also recognize. [Emphasis added] [I would say the situation now remains as it has been, vague, uncertain, and unclear. Some tradition-friendly individuals in the Curia have made clarifications, they have expressed their opinions, but that is far from saying there has been a wholesale clarification of the problematic aspects of Vatican II. Rome appears willing to say almost anything to get the SSPX regularized. But whether these stands hold after that occurs is anyone’s guess, but there remains a huge monolith of progressive-modernist opinion in the clergy and hierarchy that VII is perfect, the best expression of the Faith ever conceived, and that the Church was literally re-born in 1965. That remains an extremely dangerous ideology that has not been washed away by a few conciliatory comments from folks at the Ecclesia Dei commission.]
Additionally, Father Gerstle insists that for the FSSP, the new 1983 Code of Canon Law is the standard. In his eyes, the SSPX has here some more reservations. For the FSSP, explains Gerstle “there is not a pre- and a post-conciliar Church.” “There is only the one Church which goes back to Christ,” he adds. Gerstle also insists that the FSSP does not “wish to polarize or even to promote splits,” but that they wish to instill in their own parishes “an ecclesial attitude.” Certain (unnamed, unspecified) abuses in the Church should only be criticized in a “differentiated and moderate way.” [We are only getting very partial and bifurcated comments. I don’t read German so I can’t go to the original and Google translate is too unreliable in such fine points. Having said that, I find these comments disappointing and far too conciliatory towards the post-conciliar construct. Then again, we do not know what pressures the Fraternity is under right now, but I understand they are considerable and the dangers great from those who would like to do to the ED communities what has been done to the FI’s.]
Father Gerstle also distances himself from the concept “traditionalist” when he says: “This notion I do not like at all to hear. We are not traditionalists, but simply Catholic.” As Catholics, he says, “we appreciate tradition,” but without “completely blocking organic adaptations and changes.” [This one I have no problem with. Some of the most informed readers of this blog eschew the term traditional, and say that what we practice is simply the Catholic Faith as it has always been believed, understood, and lived. There is nothing remarkable about “organic changes” either. VII was wholly inorganic.]
The worthy celebration of the traditional liturgy, together with a loyal teaching of the Catholic Faith, is at the center of the work of the FSSP, according to Gerstle. “Salvation of souls” and “eternal life” are their Fraternity’s own concern. Unfortunately, adds the German priest, “the Four Last Things have been widely neglected in the Church, with the effect of a belittling and attenuation of sin and of a loss of the practice of sacramental confession.” [I would hope this is uncontroversial. In fact, one could take from this a tacit rebuke of the post-conciliar construct, where the Mass is typically deplorable and the “teaching” counterfeit.]
Father Gerstle sees that “one cannot simply introduce everywhere again the old liturgy and, so to speak, impose it upon people.” “Both rites thus [with the help of the “reform of the reform”] should enrich each other,” explains the priest. Certain elements of the new liturgy could be “enriching for the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.” [He’s just parroting PBXVI here, but I am personally extremely leery of any “enrichment” flowing from the NO to the TLM. I think there is virtually nothing in the NO that would “improve” the TLM.]
Moreover, Father Gerstle also explains that, in the German district, there are growing numbers of faithful who are interested in the traditional Tridentine Mass. Some of the FSSP Masses have “100 to 180 faithful” in attendance. He admits, however, that the FSSP has not too many vocations. “All in all we have a good number of incomers [16 new priests in 2016 and currently some 100 seminarians altogether], but it is not so that we are under pressure due to high numbers of vocations.” [The Fraternity is generally doing better in North America, where there is a certain pressure to grow the seminary. As for Mass attendance, the local FSSP parish is now attracting 1200+ on a typical Sunday. That is unusual, but the growth is consistent throughout, and I pray all the other tradition-oriented groups are experiencing the same or better.]
At the end of this interview, Gerstle explains that the SSPX faces a dilemma: either Bishop Fellay chooses unity with Rome and will have a split within his own organization, or he will choose unity within the SSPX and will not have unity with Rome. The German priest explains, as follows:
I think that the current Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, will have to decide between unity with Rome and unity within the Society of St. Piux X. The realists within the leadership will then hopefully realize that there is no alternative to a reconciliation with Rome.
I find the first part of this analysis to be insightful, but I think anyone who has followed the situation even as casually as I have has reached about the same conclusion. I also think the second part is right, though I continue to have doubts as to whether now, with Francis in charge, is the right time. The man has a demonstrated track record of deliberately targeting tradition-embracing groups for destruction. But may God’s will be done.
As for the interview, this is absolutely not what I would prefer to see from a leading Fraternity priest. But I’m not sure it confirms the fatal weakness of the Fraternity, either. Does having a regular canonical status involve some compromise? Absolutely*. And folks in the SSPX had better be FULLY cognizant of that fact when they sign their “deal” with Rome.
Well I don’t post for a week then you get a novella. Lucky you. Sorry folks, posting is going to be infrequent for the foreseeable future. I had a very unusual situation for first 76 months of this blog’s history but that period is definitively order. I probably would not have posted today if this matter hadn’t hit so close to home. We’ve had a nightmare bronchitis/pneumonia go through our family that takes weeks to get over. I’m still fighting it but am back at work but also playing lots of catchup. Hope to get another post out tomorrow but who knows.
*-but so far, only of a limited and generally unobtrusive (or undamaging) sort. The “gravitational pull” of an unreconciled SSPX probably plays a role in the limited nature of the compromises forced on the FSSP – which is why I fear regularization for the entire restoration of the Faith. But ultimately God is in charge and we have to want what is best for the salvation of souls, which everyone (not really, but lots) tells me is regularization. So it must be it.
Sick with No Time to Post, uh……Post April 18, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, family, sadness.
I’m snowed in at work as usual and I’m coming down with the same bronchitis that has ravaged my family. Even got the boy, who needs more prayers, not only is he sick but the anti-seizure meds are causing severe behavioral changes. He tried to cold cock my wife the other day. We’re giving him Vitamin B which is supposed to help (and it has) but he’s still not himself. We’ll have to see what we do, I think they’ve got him overdosed because he had a really bad seizure, but it’s the only one he’s ever had. We’ll figure it out.
Anyway, I’m ready to call it quits. These fit my mood today for some reason:
Been there, done that. But it was……ummmmm…….someplace just outside Nuevo Laredo, not Ciudad Acuña. I don’t recommend it. Good place to end your life, especially these days, let alone what it does to your soul ¿Sabes?
Gentle Reminder: Switch from the Angelus to the Regina Caeli April 17, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Our Lady, priests, religious, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
I remembered this year, to start praying the Regina Caeli, as opposed to the Angelus, on Easter day. Sometimes in the past, it’s taken me a day or three to remember. I’m sure most of you have not had this problem, but if any have, here is your reminder.
To beef out the post a bit, a few pictures from Good Friday:
I pray you are enjoying this glorious Octave. I think next year I will take off less time before Easter and more time after. I’ve taken off most of Holy Week for years, but I feel ready for a change. I’d like to enjoy the great feast more, and not just go back to work the day after Easter. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of Christmas. I wish I had the time to take off the entire week of Easter, but that’s not going to happen. Oh for the days when working men had every great feast day off work, a true holy day holiday!
Great sermon below. I have a vague sense of posting this some years ago when I first heard it, but I can’t find it now. Most likely, it will be new to you.
I really like how the priest points out the constant errors and failed declarations of modern science, which Dr. Edward Feser proved quite convincingly has evolved into a false religion of its own in his great book The Last Superstition. Not only that, but Descartes, Bacon, and others, filled with rationalist hubris, deliberately contrived “science” as something which would always war against religion, since they posited, and managed to convince great scads of people with, the notion that “science” would, and could, only be concerned with the material, what could be weighed, measured, and/or directly observed. In doing so, they set science on a radically different course from what it had held since ancient times, where theology was always regarded as the highest, or sacred, science. Not only was this a radically different course, but one that would inevitably become hostile, and develop a cultus of its own that would demand acceptance of claims on faith from the vast, vast majority of people, including the scientists themselves.
Thus, while no one has ever come close to observing the “big bang,” it is held as a dogma today. Evidence in support of the evolution of species is almost entirely inferential and open to argument, but argument is not permitted, lest one be called a science denier, or in a more ancient parlance, a heretic. The almost constant failures of science, such as those described below, are conveniently forgotten, while evidence from thousands regarding religious events like the apparitions at Fatima are derided as mass hysteria or a pious hoax.
But the evidence, even in this proud, skeptical scientific age, for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are overwhelming, as this priest notes below. The vast preponderance of the evidence confirms that Christ lived, that He was crucified, that He was buried, and then rose again in spectacularly mysterious circumstances. The Shroud of Turin continues to this day to be scientifically inexplicable, as no known technology today could have created the image of the Shroud, let alone that of 2000 years ago. There is much, much more besides, in this excellent sermon which I believe dates (or is a repeat) from 2012 or 13:
Of course the tragedy of the Church today is that, to a degree never before seen in her history, the vast majority of self-described Catholics, whether lay, priest, or episcopate, doubt much or all of the Gospel account of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Most, no matter how scientifically illiterate, accept the claims of science as a matter of faith, but have severe doubts as to whether Christ instituted the Eucharist in a literal sense, commands obedience to the Doctrine He has given us, fed the 5000, was resurrected, or even lived. I have heard or read “priests in good standing” in Holy Mother Church express their disbelief on all of those realities, and many more besides. I could easily segue to another subject, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole today.
The Church has weathered innumerable crises in her long history, but never before has she been so afflicted with such an enormous lack of faith, and lack of belief in core matters of Doctrine, as she is today. It is a crisis of limitless proportions and shows little sign of abating, let alone resolving. But God has worked miraculous recoveries in the past. May He have the mercy on us to do so again.