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More on Fr. Robert Crisp June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals.
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I reported several weeks ago about the resignation of Fr. Robert Crisp from Sacred Heart parish in Rowlett.  The Dallas Morning News ran an article yesterday morning concerning numerous other allegations that have dogged Fr. Crisp throughout his career.  These include an alleged affair with a parishioner, kissing and touching underage girls, and lots of allegations of the inappropriate contact that seems to have gotten Fr. Crisp in trouble in the first place at Sacred Heart.   The article states that Bishop Farrell is unlikely ever to assign Fr. Crisp to another parish.

I had heard these kinds of things about Fr. Crisp having problems at other parishes for a while.  I had heard especially about the problems in Duncanville at Holy Spirit.  The thing is, most all of these problems seem to have been quite a ways in the past, back in the 70’s and 80’s, so I was left wondering, is this really a pattern, or just a couple of bad incidents?.  I also knew that Fr. Crisp had taken a sabbatical or two before due to behavior issues with female parishioners, but I didn’t report on that due to confidentiality.  It now appears that there is more of a pattern, but that perhaps there was a long gap in behavior problems in the 1990-2010 period? 

I don’t know what all this means.  In the present environment, it would be hard to send Fr. Crisp to any parish with these allegations now out in the open.  I will pray for Fr. Crisp that he find some kind of peace and useful function within the Church, possibly in prayer and contemplation.  I pray that a good priest hasn’t fallen victim to any stories from the past which are very difficult to corroborate.   I am very thankful that so far there hasn’t been any revelation of outright abuse, just alot of weird and inappropriate, but consensual, behavior.  Most of all I pray that this Diocese may no longer have to suffer from these kinds of sexual issues among clergy again.

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What is your model of the Church? June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, silliness.
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So I’ve been taking this catechist training class.  One subject we’ve gone over in some depth this week is Vatican II and ecclesiology in general.  Last night, the pastor teaching the class covered Avery Cardinal Dulles’ six models of the Church – Church as Institution, Sacrament, Herald, Communion, Servant, and community of disciples.  The ‘models’ are interesting, representing different ways of seeing the Church and its missions, but I think they have a limited utility.  Nonetheless, the pastor pointed us to a quiz one can take to determine which model of the Church you belong to  (except the designer of the quiz only has 5 models, not 6). 

I came out as strongly biased towards a Church model that is institutional, sacramental, communion, and herald.  This makes sense to me, I see the Sacraments as absolutely necessary for salvation and to experience the Fullness of God’s Love, and I value those aspects of Authority in the Church which make clear what the Truth Christ has revealed is. 

You might want to try the quiz to see if any of these models make sense to you.  The quiz is here

My exact scores were:

Institution – 63%
Mystical Communion – 59%
Sacrament – 59%
Herald – 49%
Servant – 31%

My first TLM or EF Mass June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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This past Sunday my family and I satisfied our obligation at an Extraordinary Form High Mass at Mater Dei.  For those who don’t already know, Mater Dei is the only parish in the diocese that celebrates Extraordinary Form Mass.   It is administered by two priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), Fr. Thomas Longua and Fr. Wolfe. 

I had seen TLMs several times on EWTN, both High and Low Mass.  The form for High Mass was a bit different from what I remember on EWTN (these Masses have also been celebrated by FSSP priests).   At present, Mass at Mater Dei is celebrated in a general purpose room.  They haven’t completed modifications to the sanctuary they will eventually occupy at their new location, which used to be a baptist church near the Frito-Lay plant in Irving (a hint – don’t stop at the Chevron station just north of the plant when a south breeze is blowing, it’s almost unbearable).  So, the aesthetics are not what they will eventually be, but having said that, I found the EF Mass beautiful and reverent, with a great emphasis on our need for Christ’s salvific action to be saved.  There is much more emphasis on our unworthiness to receive Christ’s gift of salvation in the EF Mass – it’s not the beat down people who dislike the EF Mass have said, though.  It’s a  different emphasis – we are sinful, we are really unworthy to partake in the Great Sacrifice that Christ offers to God once and for all time, but the Triune God loves us so very much that he allows us to draw so utterly close to Him, to actually take Him into our bodies.  There is a constant awareness in the EF Mass that we men of crude substance are being allowed to join into this ethereal (but utterly real), supernatural Sacrifice. 

From the orientation of the priest (ad orientem) to the numerous prayers on behalf of the people, one cannot escape at an EF Mass the fact that we rely totally on Christ to approach the Father.  It’s a really different emphasis – far more the vertical aspect of the cross, than the horizontal.  Everything is focused on God, on re-presenting the only Sacrifice that is acceptable to Him.  I’ve only been once, so I’m probably having a hard time describing it, but there is definitely a heightened sense of the profound mystery of salvation at the EF Mass.  It all seemed more transcendent. 

Now, I have been to extremely reverently celebrated Novus Ordo Masses.  And, I would say that there is much to recommend in both the EF Mass and a very reverently celebrated Novus Ordo Mass.  However, the Novus Ordo is rarely so reverently celebrated, with times of silence for prayerful reflection (especially immediately after Consecration/before Communion – this is huge) and with the long form Eucharistic Prayer 1 which is most strongly based on our Catholic Tradition.  Even with a very reverently celebrated Novus Ordo, there is still a slightly less transcendent quality, slightly less of that quality of mystery that is so important when we, in great humility, approach Christ in the most August Sacrament.  It’s something I’m going to have to think on more as I assist at more EF Masses.

Practically, I did not get lost.  I did not “get into” the Mass as deeply as I would have liked because I did have to focus some attention on the different forms of prayers.  But, having picked up some Latin and trying to learn more, I could follow the prayers relatively well.  I don’t think anyone need be completely lost, there are  many handy red booklets with Latin/English translations side by side to help guide one through the Mass.

All in all, it was a very good experience.  We shall attend more EF Masses.  I don’t know if the EF Mass will become our Sunday norm, but it is something I definitely want to experience several more times.  I don’t think there is any question that more frequent celebration of the EF Mass will bring great graces to the Church, and help reinvigorate our Catholic identity.

OK – I will have to see this June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, foolishness.
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A non-Catholic post, but I will have to get this on DVD:

Space Battleship Yamato!

What?  I like Japanese movies!  Especially anything with Toshiro Mifune.  Seven Samurai is awesome.

Most Austrian priests refuse Church doctrine June 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals.
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A stunning and heartbreaking, if not totally surprising, survey of the beliefs of Austrian Roman Catholic clergy has revealed that most priests in Austria do not accept Church doctrine on one or more issues.  The ‘scientific’ survey found that, of 500 Austrians priests:

  • 79% think priests should be able to be married
  • 51% think the Church has done a poor job of handling sex abuse cases (no disagreement there)
  • 51% think women should be able to be ordained

This last one floors me.  This is a very well defined dogma in the Church.  If you want to quibble with married priests, at least you have historical precedent, if not much sense.  Our united eastern brethren in the Church, like the Syro-Malabars, who do allow for married clergy, have counseled the Church NOT to regularize a married priesthood because of the huge problems it causes.  But this issue of women’s ordination, this is nothing more than a succumbing to the will of the world and rejecting a well defined core doctrine.  It’s like this – the Church is the Bride of Christ.  The priest, in the Mass, takes on persona Christi, and must be able to perform the role as a man.   A woman cannot do this.  No matter what we on earth may think, what a bishop may do, what percentage of priest’s cave to worldly pressure, no graces will be conferred to a woman to allow her to celebrate Mass.  Any ‘Mass’ celebrated by a woman is null and void – the bread remains bread, the wine remains wine, and no graces are conferred.

Unfortunately, Austria has been a huge breeding ground of modernism/leftism and especially of women’s ordination.  It has even, apparently, infected Cardinal Schoenborn to some extent (balloon Mass, anyone?).  Expect to see more of this as time goes on, especially in Europe.  I think in the US, the Church may be turning a bit of a corner, but the modernist spirit is truly embedded in Europe.  Pray.

Patriarch Kirill decries change in protestant doctrine on homosexuality June 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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At a recent meeting between the leadership of the World Council of Churches in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill stated that ecumenical efforts between the Russian Orthodox Church and various protestant sects is becoming increasingly difficult due to recent changes in regard to how these sects view homosexuality, among other moral issues.   While couched in very diplomatic language, the Patriarch challenged the protestants to examine their doctrine with a light to how they could draw closer to Orthodox belief, which mirrors that of the Roman Catholic Church.

Buried in this diplomatic language is something of a warning.  The Orthodox Church, in particular the Russian Orthodox Church, has grown increasingly concerned over the seculariztion of Western and Russian society, and in particular the departure of many protestant sects from traditional Christian moral belief.  This is part of the reason relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church have warmed; Benedict XVI is highly respected among the Orthodox, and there is a sense that the two great sacramental Churches must join together in order to form a united threat against the cold, dead hand of secularism.  The Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church have remained committed to the Truth revealed by Christ, excepting some doctrinal issues on Authority.  Many of the protestant sects have not done so.  In fact, there seems to be a rapid snowballing of rejection of traditional doctrine and concommitant fracturing of the protestant community.  Pope Benedict, through Anglicanorum Coetibus, has created a path toward true ecumenism, the reuniting of the fractured Body of Christ into one whole.  I don’t think the Russian Church is looking for that, but I think they do see in Benedict a true partner and someone they can work with to try to foster a much closer relationship.  Whether the Catholic and Orthodox Churches can ever reunite is up to the working of the Holy Spirit, but I think the trend is going to be for these Churches to draw much closer.

This is something I pray for daily.  Many more prayers can only help.

Petition to get CHA and Sister Keehan to oppose abortion June 29, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, General Catholic.
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The folks at Catholic Vote Action have a petition up to encourage the Catholic Health Association and Sr. Carol Keehan, the head of CHA, to support the Protect Life Act, which would strip the Obamacare bill of its abortion funding provisions.  CHA and Sr. Keehan were instrumental in getting Obamacare passed into law.  Will CHA and Sr. Keehan use their considerable clout, which swayed several democrats to vote in favor of Obamacare in spite of its pro-abort provisions, to remove the abortion-funding provisions of Obamacare?  Sr. Keehan felt that it was more important to pass Obamacare, in spite of the fact that virtually all bishops and every pro-life group opposed the bill, because of the benefits it would bring in terms of social justice.  Will Sr. Keehan now take steps to help insure justice for the most vulnerable human beings of all?

You can do your part by signing the petition.  Would you, in your charity, consider doing so?

Dominus vobiscum,

A remarkable new book on Vatican II June 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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A new book, from a theologian with impeccable credentials and with forwards from a sitting bishop (Mario Oliveri, bishop of Albenga and Imperia in Italy AND Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, former secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and now Archbishop of Colombo), puts forward an interpretation of Vatican II that would have, in years past, been treated with as much contempt as anything coming out of SSPX.  That it is being published by a Pontifical Right organization (Franciscans of the Immaculate) is even more remarkable.  The book, The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much Needed Discussion clarifies much of the nature of the council and the documents it produced.  Those attracted to tradition will find much to like; progressives, not so much.  Some excerpts, with my comments following at times:

In all truth Modernism hid itself under the cloak of Vatican II’s hermeneutic…The new rite of Holy Mass practically silenced the nature of sacrifice making of it an occasion for gathering together the people of God…the eucharistic gathering was given the mere sense of sharing a meal together…After having said all of this about Vatican II, if someone were to ask me if, in the final analysis, the modernist corruption had hidden itself within the Council documents themselves, and if the Fathers themselves were more or less infected, I would have to respond both yes and no…But yes as well, because not a few pages of the conciliar documents reek of the writings and ideas of Modernism–this can be seen above all in Guadium et Spes….

Let me say immediately that not even a single dogmatic definition included in the intentions of LG or the other Vatican II documents. The Council–we do well not to forget this–could not have even proposed one since it had refused to follow along the lines traced out by other Councils…This means that none of its doctrines, unless ascribable to previous conciliar definitions, are infallible or unchangeable, nor are they even binding: he who denies them cannot, for this reason, be called a formal heretic…….It is licit, therefore, to recognize a dogmatic nature in Vatican II only where it re-proposes dogmas defined in previous Councils as the truth of Faith.

My comment – this is an incredibly important point.  As Pope Benedict XVI and many others have pointed out, there have been many, far too many people in the Church who view Vatican II as a complete utter break with the past – there was the Church before Vatican II, and the Church after it, and the two are almost totally unrelated, in their minds, except for the name.  Both this author and Benedict XVI have maintained that this is utterly false – that there can be no discord between the pre-VII and post-VII Church.  As Pope St. Pius X dogmatically defined, all innovations and renovations in Church doctrine must be in union with that doctrine already defined.  What this means, practically, is that if someone tries to tell you that we have to have a sloppy, irreverent liturgy, or bad music, or to water down Catholic doctrine, “because VII says so,” they are completely wrong.   These statements are very strong statements of support for Benedict XVI’s hermeneutic of continuity – Vatican II must be seen in the light of, and as an extension and addition to, all previous Church doctrine.

The Council, therefore, in spite of its basic arguments, became imprisoned by the distress of the ‘temporary’ and the tyranny of the ‘relative….

[A] reform is not necessarily a development; it could actually be its opposite….

the signing of insane agreements like that on ‘justification’ which leaves out the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae upon which Luther had founded his reform…frenzied ecumenism [even]…official declarations of the saving efficacy of non-Catholic professions of the Christian faith and even Judaism…How many times the very men, into whose hands Jesus had entrusted the sacred deposit of the Faith, solemnly and pompously said ‘no’ to this or that doctrine, like the Marian Coredemption, because otherwise it will prejudice ecumenical dialogue. It was as if to say, ‘There is no other truth or value besides ecumenical dialogue.’…

This is an enormous statement, as well. There is tremendous confusion within the Church on doctrine, what Catholics believe.  Because some of the documents of Vatican II were written in such an incredibly nebulous way, interpretations have been possible that make ecumenism seem to be the highest goal of Catholicism.  This is a fundamental error.  In addition, much of the ecumenism has been difficult to reconcile with established doctrine, with the Church seeming to compromise on core doctrinal issues like justification in order to reach some meaningless agreement with a protestant sect.  True ecumenism must lead to Rome, as Cardinal Levada recently stated

‘I would not even be ready to believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church were not to compel me to do so’…[quoting St. Augustine]…Tradition, in the last analysis, is the very life of the Church; its action upon the Church comes about through an iter or sacramental or institutional guaranteed by the Holy Spirit…..  Scripture is not, strictly speaking, the living Word of God; it is the witness and memorial of Gods Word. For this reason Scripture is sacred and venerable; yet it does not have the saving efficacy of the other instruments of salvation….Scripture is divinely inspired, Tradition is divinely assisted; both of them pass on the ‘Good News’ of the saving mystery…

Yet another critical issue.  Many of the changes, specifically to the liturgy, that occurred in the Church after Vatican II were made ostensibly to ‘get back to what the early Church was doing,’ or to get closer to some portion of Scripture.  We have been told that Communion in the hand, versus poplum, the Mass as a meal, etc., were practices of the early Church, and to be more ‘authentic’ Christians, we had adopt those practices.  First of all, making such changes seems a tacit admission that the protestant sects were correct in their critique and the Mass as it had evolved over centuries was somehow ‘inauthentic.’  Leaving that gaping chasm of an issue aside, these actions largely ignored the very substantial role that Tradition plays in the doctrine of the Church.  We as Catholics stand not only on Sacred Scripture, but on Sacred Tradition, as well, because many if not most of the practices of the Church were not formally written down and codified until hundreds of years after the death of Christ.  The Church has always taught that Sacred Tradition is instrumental in the organic development of doctrine, and yet after Vatican II many came to believe that hundreds of years of Tradition in the form of the Liturgy should be scrapped and the Mass completely reshaped.  There seems to have been a powerful assumption, shared by some council fathers but especially the periti, the experten, the young priests and theologians who took the documents produced by Vatican II and then turned those broad and often nebulous guidelines into a new Mass, that the Mass formulated at Trent was some kind of artificial construct, and that it needed great amendment to be both more representative of early Christian worship and especially more ecumenical.  I’m not saying the Novus Ordo is not a valid Mass, but…..the horrid decline in the Church that has occurred throughout Europe and North America in the meantime has often been associated with a less than inspiring Mass.

There is much more at the original site and here, on the anthropocentric philosophy behind so many of the council documents.  Go check it out

This had to have some high approval to get published.  This is a statement.

To order the book, follow the instructions below. 

You can get this important book written by Msgr. Bruno Gherardini by emailing cm.editrice@immacolata.ws

This is the Catholic publisher.  You simply email them and give your address, saying you want the book.  They will send it. The person manning that email address speaks fluent English but the printed  invoice that comes with the book is in Italian and furthermore lacks an  address (see below, however). They will send you the book and the invoice in euros, and you will end up checking the day’s exchange rate (just google exchange rate and fill in the blanks), and then sending a check (or money order you can get at the post office) for the appropriate amount to Italy, there being no mention of PayPal or Visa-readiness (however, when you email them, you might ask–popularity of this work may have changed the situation). The price is presently (May 2010) ten euros, plus 8,70 euros for shipping.  That’s how they write it, with a comma where we’d have a period, in English. At the exchange rate in effect in May,  2010, that came out to 23.00 and change, and that rounds up nicely to anything you’d care to donate for this effort on their part in support of truth. I gave thirty bucks and now that I think about it, I ought to be ashamed to be so stingy, since this book is another very important step in the right direction and so, of course, the forces of hell are against it.

The mailing address provided upon inquiry, since it is not printed on the invoice, is

CASA MARIANA EDITRICE
VIA PIANO DELLA CROCE, 6
83040  FRIGENTO  (AV)
ITALIA

Dear Lord June 28, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, scandals, Society.
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This post by its nature is graphic.  But, it’s also very important.  If sexually frank discussions make you squeemish, you may not want to proceed.  Perhaps say a prayer and invoke the protection of St. Michael before reading.

The ongoing scandal in Belgium over this heinous, satanic topic of priest sex abuse that just won’t go away has gotten worse.  Much worse.  There are many sites discussing the abuse itself – I won’t go into that.  But recent news has surfaced of an accompanying issue that is in every way as bad as the sex abuse.  A Belgian politician and Catholic activist by no other choice has written a story in the Brussels Journal describing the contents of children’s catechism material that is extremely graphic and shows images of child sex activity.  These materials were used by essentially all the Church in Belgium for decades for ‘formation’ (of what kind is open to debate) for decades.  Accompanying the pictures of baby girls masturbating, and two toddlers manually stimulating each other, was text including the following:

The textbook contained a drawing which showed a naked baby girl saying: “Stroking my pussy makes me feel groovy,” “I like to take my knickers off with friends,” “I want to be in the room when mum and dad have sex.” The drawing also shows a naked little boy and girl that are “playing doctor” and the little boy says: “Look, my willy is big.”

There is much more that I won’t go into.  The images in the book were of very young children – toddlers and younger.  The text accompanying this material made it plain that the objective lesson to be learned by the pre-teens “studying” this material was that “toddlers experience sexual lust.”  I think parents who have had children in this age range realize the utter ludicrousness of this statement. 

It is important to note that the preparation of and approval of this material for use in the Belgian Church was overseen by the recently retired admitted pedophile Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, of Bruges Belgium, who was a close associate of the also recently retired (and also disgraced) Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Archbishop of Brussels and Primate of Belgium.  This material came into use in 1984.  Complaints were received, culminating in protests by many hundreds of concerned parents outside the Cardinal’s palace in Brussels in 1997 and 1998.  The Cardinal refused to meet with the parents or hear their concerns. 

On Thursday, in response to hundreds, possibly thousands of complaints regarding sexual abuse and concommitant coverup in the Belgian Church, police investigators raided the palace of the Archbishop of Brussels and the Cathedral, going so far as to open tombs in the crypt in the search for materials indicating a coverup in the Belgian Church.  This is awful, on every level possible. 

One final thought – in my post on Friday regarding Dietrich von Hildebrand’s indictment of Church leadership in the wake of Vatican II, I reference his book The Devastated Vineyard.   The driving theme of that book is that the replacement of traditional Church doctrine with modernist, progressive ideals has devastated the Church.  It has led to a collapse of both Faith and Morals.  Cardinal Daneels is one of the more prominent progressives in Europe.  Many feel he was insulated from criticism due to his friendliness with the progressives in the media.  It is very hard not to see the connection between the prime Western progressive ideal of sexual libertinism and these kinds of horrific scandals in the Church.  In this most recent Belgian case, it is difficult not to conclude that the purpose of this disgusting, perverse, satanic material in a Catholic Catechism!! was not to groom more pedophiles.  The person who oversaw its publication and use is a pedophile – Occam’s razor would imply that this was an effort at furthering a vision of child sexuality that would enable pedophilia.

When the ancient Hebrews burned their sons and daughters as offerings to Baal (2 Kgs. 17:16-18), God’s Wrath was severe.  Israel very soon ceased to exist, except for Judah.

Dietrich von Hildebrand on Church leadership June 25, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, scandals.
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Dietrich von Hildebrand has been described by Pope Benedict XVI as the premier Catholic philosopher of the 20th Century.  Initially a huge supporter and enthused about the direction of the second Vatican Council, he later became severely disenchanted and felt that the results of the Council were badly hurting the Church.  I don’t have much time to write more commentary at present, but thanks to my main man Steve B, I can post the entire first chapter.  The chapter deals with Hildebrand’s great concern at the direction of the Church in the years immediately following the Council, and what he felt was a profound lack of ecclesial leadership from those charged most with supporting and defending the Faith, the various bishops of the world.  This is long for a blog post, but I think his words are most worth reading.  This is Chapter 1 of von Hildebrand’s work, The Devastated Vineyard, entitled The Lethargy of the Guardians:

ONE OF THE MOST horrifying and widespread diseases in the Church today is the lethargy of the guardians of the Faith of the Church. I am not thinking here of those bishops who are members of the “fifth column,” who wish to destroy the Church from within, or to transform it into something com­pletely different. I am thinking of the far more numerous bishops who have no such intentions, but who make no use whatever of their authority when it comes to intervening against heretical theologians or priests, or against blasphemous performances of public worship. They either close their eyes and try, ostrich-style, to ignore the grievous abuses as well as appeals to their duty to intervene, or they fear to be attacked by the press or the mass media and defamed as reactionary, narrow-minded, or medieval. They fear men more than God. The words of St. John Bosco apply to them: “The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good.”

 It is certainly true that the lethargy of those in positions of authority is a disease of our times which is widespread outside the Church. It is found among parents, college and university presidents, heads of numerous other organizations, judges, heads of state, and others. But the fact that this sickness has even penetrated the Church is a clear indication that the fight against the spirit of the world, has been re­placed with swimming along with the spirit of the times in the name of “aggiornamento.” One is forced to think of the hireling who abandons his flocks to the wolves when one reflects on the lethargy of so many bishops and superiors who, though still orthodox 4 themselves, do not have the cour­age to intervene against the most flagrant heresies and abu­ses of all kinds in their dioceses or in their orders.

But it is most especially infuriating when certain bishops, who themselves show this lethargy toward heretics, assume a rigorously authoritarian attitude toward those believers who are fighting for orthodoxy, and who are thus doing what the bishops ought to be doing themselves! I was once allowed to read a letter written by a man in high position in the Church, addressed to a group which had heroically taken up the cause of the true Faith, of the pure, true teaching of the Church and the Pope. This group had overcome the “coward­ice of good men” of which St. John Bosco spoke, and ought thus to have been the greatest joy of the bishops. The letter said: as good Catholics, you have to do only one thing: just be obedient to all the ordinances of your bishop.

This conception of a “good” Catholic is particularly sur­prising at a time in which the coming of age of the modern layman is continually being emphasized. But it is also com­pletely false for this reason: what is fitting at a time when no heresies occur in the Church without being immediately condemned by Rome, becomes inappropriate and

unconscion­able at a time when uncondemned heresies wreak havoc within the Church, infecting even certain bishops, who never­theless remain in office. Should the faithful at the time of the Arian heresy, for instance, in which the majority of the bishops were Arians, have limited themselves to being nice, and obedient to the ordinances of these bishops, instead of battling the heresy? Is not fidelity to the true teaching of the Church to be given priority over submission to the bishop? Is it not precisely by virtue of their obedience to the revealed truths which they received from the magisterium of the Church, that the faithful offer resistance? Are the faithful not supposed to be concerned when things are preached from the pulpit which are completely incompatible with the teach­ing of the Church? Or when theologians are kept on as tea­chers who claim that the Church must accept pluralism in philosophy and theology 5 or that there is no survival of the person after death, or who deny that promiscuity is a sin, or even tolerate public displays of immorality, thereby betraying a pitiful lack of understanding for the deeply Christian virtue of purity?

The drivel of the heretics, both priests and laymen, is tolerated; the bishops tacitly acquiesce to the poisoning of the faithful. 6 But they want to silence the faithful believers who take up the cause of orthodoxy, the very people who should by all rights be the joy of the bishops’ hearts, their consolation, a source of strength for overcoming their own lethargy. Instead, these people are regarded as disturbers of the peace. And should it happen that they get carried away in their zeal and express themselves in a tactless or exagger­ated manner, they are even suspended. This clearly shows the cowardice which is hidden behind the bishops’ failure to use their authority. For they have nothing to fear from the orthodox; the orthodox do not control the mass media or the press; they are not the representatives of public opinion. And because of their submission to ecclesiastical authority, the fighters for orthodoxy will never be as aggressive as the so-called progressives. If they are reprimanded or disciplined, their bishops run no risk of being attacked by the liberal press and being defamed as reactionary.

This failure of the bishops to make use of their God-given authority is perhaps, in practical consequences, the worst confusion in the Church today. For this failure not only does not arrest spiritual diseases, heresies, and the blatant as well as the insidious (and this is much worse) devastation of the vineyard of the Lord; it even gives free rein to these evils. The failure to use holy authority to protect the holy Faith leads necessarily to the disintegration of the Church.

Here, as with the appearance of all dangers, we have to say, “principiis obsta” (“stop the evil at its source”). The longer one allows an evil to develop, the more difficult it will be to root it out again. This is true for the upbringing of children, for the life of the state, and in a special way for the moral life of the individual. But it is true in a completely new way for the intervention of the ecclesiastical authorities for the good of the faithful. As Plato says, “when evils are far advanced, . . . it is never pleasant to eliminate them.” 7

Nothing is more erroneous than to imagine that many things ought to be allowed to rage and do their worst, and that one ought thus to wait patiently until they subside of their own accord. This theory may sometimes be correct with regard to youths going through puberty, but it is completely false in questions of the bonum commune (the common good). This false theory is especially dangerous when ap­plied to the bonum commune of the holy Church, involving blasphemies in public worship and heresies which, if not con­demned, go on poisoning countless souls. Here it is incorrect to apply the parable of the wheat and the tares.

NOTES

4.   By “orthodox” we mean the belief in the unfalsified, official teaching of the holy Church. which represents the authentic, revealed Truth, guar­anteed by the Holy Spirit. The expression “orthodox” in no way refers here to membership in the schismatic Eastern Church.

5.   By “pluralism” I mean the notion that one can have different opinions and views with regard to defined truths of faith, or that every philosophy has a place in the Church — ultimately an absolute relativism. Of course as long as no definition has been given concerning a pure question of faith, different opinions may also be advocated by orthodox Catholics. Thus, with regard to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, contradictory opinions were held by St. Thomas and Duns Scotus. But after the definition of 1854 this would no longer have been possible. Similarly, as we will see, there are philosophical theses only one of which can be true, but neither of which is in contradiction to the Revelation of Christ. But this kind of pluralism is clearly different from the pluralism advocated by Rahner and others.

6.   A shocking example of the activity of the “fifth column” in the Church are the religion books recently introduced in Austria: Glaube Gefragt (“ Faith Questioned”) and Christus Gel ragt (“Christ Questioned”). These books are consciously aimed at the destruction of the Faith in the souls of the young. This is also a crass example of the lethargy of the guardians.

7.   Plato, Laws, no. 660.