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Historical-Critical Method condemned by Pope St. Pius X – still operative? February 21, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, Papa.
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The historical-critical method of Bible study was created by German protestants (they keep giving us sooo much!) working under the aegis of Otto von Bismarck during the persecution of the Church in Germany called the Kulturkampf.  von Bismarck desired to undermine the Authority of Scripture in order to oppose the temporal rights of the Church, and enlisted modernist protestant academics to pursue this goal.  From the historical-critical method derived such novelties as claiming that the Gospel of Mark was written historically first – this was important, because this claim was made to undermine the belief that the Gospel of Matthew – which establishes Christ’s Church in Chapter 16, when Christ gave the Keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter – came first.  It is claimed by the historical-critical academics – or, at least it was at one time, support for the thesis that St. Mark’s Gospel came first has waned – that all the synoptic Gospels are derivatives of St. Mark’s so-called “proto-gospel.”  There are many problems with the historical-critical method, some of which are outlined here by Msgr. Charles Pope.  Certainly, the historical-critical method has been used to try to undermine many core beliefs of the Church, and has even go so far as to “de-mystify” Christ, by claiming that the many miracles attributed to Him were merely allegorical, or tall tales told to convince the ignorant, wide-eyed pagans of the Roman Empire that Christ truly was Divine. 

There is no question that the historical-critical method is modernist – in fact, it is one of the core tenets of modernism. Modernist Catholics belief in the Divinity of Christ is a very fuzzy one, and entirely immanentist – meaning, Christ is “Divine” only insofar as we believe Him to be, and only so far as He represented, as it were, the “perfect man,” or perfect embodiment of the cultural zeitgeist (note the German term), or the needs and wants of the people of Israel at that particular moment in history, and thus, He is essentially human and not truly God and was not capable of actual miracles.  Obviously, this is an incredibly problematic view for a Catholic.  In fact, many of the most “progressive” exegetes are now rejecting many of the earlier, scientific “proofs” ostensibly established by the historical-critical method which discounted much of the history of Christ and the early Church as fantasy or allegory, and are now finding that what the Church always proclaimed was true, is, in fact, true.

As the historical-critical method is the essence of that modernism which is applied to religion, it was roundly condemned by Pope St. Pius X.  In Pascendi Gregis Dominici, the seminal encyclical condemning modernism as a heresy, Pope St. Pius X condemned the historical-critical method specifically:

We believe, then, that We have set forth with sufficient clarity the historical method of the modernists.  The philosopher leads the way, and then in due order come internal and textual criticism.  Since it is characteristic of the first cause to communicate its virtue to secondary causes, it is quite clear that the criticism We are concerned with is an agnostic, immanentist, and evolutionist criticism.  Anybody who embraces and employs it, makes profession thereby of the errors contained in it, and places himself in opposition to the Catholic Faith.

If you read all of Msgr. Pope’s post at the link above, you’ll find that both the Catechism written by Schoenborn and even Pope Benedict XVI seem to embrace, at least to some extent, the historical-critical method.  And there are probably areas where it may be used innocuously.  But that’s not the point.  While Papa Ratzinger may have numerous problems with the historical-critical method, he has always stated that it is an approach that should be used with regard to Scripture study.

How do we reconcile this?  Was there ever a magisterial statement that contradicted Pascendi Gregis Dominici?  Or was it just swept under the rug, like the very magisterial, but completely ignored, Veterum Sapientia?   If so, is the encyclical still operative, but just ignored?  Does the Catechism’s indirect but seeming tacit embrace of the historical-critical method “wipe out” the authority of Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical, written “all of” 100 years ago?  Does an interview of the Pope in a book, or even a book written by the Pope himself as a private theologian (please……..stop), somehow “counter-act” the previous encyclical?

Anybody know or care?

The Secret of Peace of Heart and Progress February 21, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, North Deanery, religious, The Imitation of Christ, Tradition, Virtue.
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From The Imitation of Christ, Book III Chapter 25:

In everything atend to thyself, what thou art doing and what thou art saying; and direct thy whole intention to this, that thou mayst please Me alone, and neither desire nor seek anything outside of Me.

And as for the sayings and doings of others, judge of nothing rashly, neither busy thyself with things not committed to thy care, and thus may it be brought about that thou shalt be little or seldom disturbed. 

But never to feel any trouble, nor to suffer any grief of heart or pain of body, is not the state of this present life, but of everlasting rest.

Think not, therefore, that thou hast found true peace if thou feel no burden; nor that then all is well if thou hast no adversary, nor that thou hast attained to perfection if all things be done according to thy inclination[In fact, if you feel very pleased, that every thing is going just as you like, or you find even that, oh my, all that the Church believes just happens to perfectly align with what I believe and like, be very wary, for you may be creating a religion in your own image and likeness.  Always examine your conscience and question  your motives]

Neither do thou then conceive a great opinion of thyself, nor imagine thy self to be especially beloved, if thou experience great devotion and sweetness; for it is not in such things as these that a true lover of virtue is known, nor doth the progress and perfection of a man consist in these things.  [Spiritual ecstasies or transports are a gift, not the result of any goodness of our own]

In offering thyself with thy whole heart to the will of God, not seeking the things that are thine, either in little or great, either in time or eternity, so that with the same equal contenance thou mayst continue giving thanks, both in prosperity and adversity, weighing all things with an equal balance.

If thou come to be so valiant and long-suffering in hope, that when interior comfort is withdrawn thou canst prepare thy heart to suffer still more, and dost not justify thyself, as if thou oughtst not to suffer such great things.  But acknowledgest My Justice in all My appointments and praisest my Holy Name, then it is that thou walkest in the true and right way of peace and mayst hope, without any doubt, to see My Face again with great joy (Job 33:26).

And if thou arrive at an entire contempt of thyself know then that thou shalt enjoy an abundance of peace, as much as is possible in this state of banishment. 

Thus, Lent.

Take the VeneremurCernui Lenten Challenge! February 21, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, North Deanery, Virtue.
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I have a spectacular challenge for all my listeners. I was actually inspired to make this challenge at Mass today, when the priest, in giving a quite good sermon (not homily, for he did more than expound slightly on the Gospel), instructed the faithful NOT to party their brains out prior to the beginning of Lent, tomorrow.  He decried the entire Mardi Gras scene in New Orleans, Rio, Galveston, and too many other locales, where people go on incredible binges of food, drink, sex, and who knows what else prior to Ash Wednesday. He pointed out, quite rightly, that most of those people have no religious conviction, they’re just looking for an excuse to party.  For most of them, there will be no great fasting and abstinence once Lent begins properly (and, in the Traditional Mass and communities, the fasting and abstention should really already have been underway at least somewhat since Septuagesima Sunday two weeks ago). 

Anyway, I got to thinking about what people could give up for Lent.  And I was inspired to remember what good Fr. W has always said, that the TV is a veritable sewer of morality into our homes.  Many of us would be gravely offended if someone came into our homes, and dressed, behaved, or said things that are constantly presented to us on TV.  And yet, we think nothing of if when it comes from that darnable box. 

So here’s the challenge – give up TV for Lent.  All TV.  Some readers may have cable, others satellite, some may still have a regular old antenna, but it doesn’t matter – give it up.  Turn off the TV.  At least the outside signal coming in. Watching old movies of a religious nature or with traditional morality might be OK, but turn off the signal coming in, over which you have no control what is broadcast.  Or if you think you can’t live without TV, don’t watch secular channels – watch only things like EWTN.  Even if you watch ESPN or the Hitler History Channel, or other networks whose main programming is not necessarily problematic, you still have the commercials to deal with.  Maybe Tivo would solve some of that offensiveness, but the problem with TV goes far beyond the immorality that comes through it, it’s also a serious drain on time, time that could be spent during Lent on improving your closeness to Our Lord and general piety!  Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen states in Divine Intimacy that in order to live a truly interior life, we should shut out as many outside sources of entertainment as possible, because these things cloud our minds, keep us pre-occupied with earthly matters, and take away our focus from God.  A great challenge, but also a great promise of tremendous advance in the interior life!

So…..who is up for dumping the TV during Lent!  I know for many folks, this will be a tremendous sacrifice, but that  makes it all the more pleasing to Our Lord, and all the more beneficial for your sanctification!  Giving up something significant for Lent will have tremendous spiritual benefits.  And, I think you might find many general benefits, as well, if you do without TV.

I pledge to give up all my rocket movies.  We don’t have any feed to our TVs, but we do have tons of DVDs, mostly kids movies and religious, but I do have a collection of specialist space exploration videos that are way too precious to me, and even though I don’t watch them that much, for Lent I won’t watch them at all.  I’ll be in solidarity with you.   

So who’s up for ditching TV for Lent?  It will be really, really good for your soul, if you do it joyfully and with a willing spirit of mortification!

Good article by Fr. Rodriguez at Remnant newspaper February 21, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, persecution, priests, Virtue.
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It’s actually very good, but pretty long, so I’ll only excerpt a bit – part of his 10 point plan to fight the Obama contraception/sterilization/abortorama mandate and also convert and save many souls:

(5)  Munus regendi:  the lay faithful.  U.S. Bishops, please exercise your munus regendi by applying the truths of the Catholic religion, outside of which there is no salvation [true, and very troubling] to the lay faithful.  With paternal solicitude, and always bearing in mind the salvation of souls, take the necessary measures to correct and discipline the lay faithful who are obstinate in supporting politicians and public officials who condone or promote abortion, homosexual unions, contraception, or direct sterilization.

(6)  Munus regendi:  the presbyterate.  U.S. Bishops, please exercise your munus regendi by applying the truths of the Catholic religion, outside of which there is no salvation, to your presbyterates.  Out of fidelity to Jesus Christ and His Church, and for the good of souls, insist that every single priest make it a pastoral priority to teach on the intrinsic evil of abortion, homosexual acts, contraception, and direct sterilization.  Be vigilant, as is proper to your office, and provide, as needed, the appropriate encouragement, formation, correction, or disciplinary action with respect to your priests.  Every single Catholic bishop and priest should teach what the Roman Catholic Church teaches.  No excuses, no exceptions, abundant joy, overflowing charity!

(7) Foster true participation of the laity in the life of the Church.  Apostolorum Successores, 110 (b), touches on the importance of participation in politics by the lay faithful, particularly in “addressing fundamental moral principles which do not admit of exception, derogation or compromise” and included in this list are “abortion, euthanasia, and the promotion and protection of the family based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.”  Thus, well-aware of our country’s dire need for authentic Catholic politicians, every U.S. Bishop should make it a concern to foster these “vocations.”  It is morally irresponsible to neglect the formation, encouragement, and support of true Catholic statesmen, while demanding that the faithful go out and vote when the only alternative available to them is settling for “the lesser of two evils.”

(8)  Restore Catholic Marriage and the Family.  Apostolorum Successores, 202, states, “As the one primarily responsible for the pastoral care of the family, which is the foundation and original cell of society and of the Church, the Bishop should establish this apostolate as a clear priority within the diocesan pastoral program.”  In order to carry out this apostolate in a manner that is truly faithful to the perennial teachings of Holy Mother Church, I urge the U.S. Bishops to read and study our Holy Father, Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical on Christian Marriage, Casti Connubii (December 31, 1930).  God willing, the core of each diocese’s pastoral program to restore Catholic Marriage and the Family will consist of promoting the following truths:  chastity before and within marriage, the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children, St. Joseph as the role model for all Catholic fathers, the Blessed Virgin Mary as the role model for all Catholic mothers, the Divine Child as the role model for all Catholic children, modest dress, especially for Catholic women………


(10)  Munus sanctificandi:  the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  I chose to save the most important one for last.  In order to crush the diabolic HHS mandate, and every other evil that is afflicting the Church and society, Bishops must exercise their munus sanctificandi (office of sanctifying) and work tirelessly to restore the Mass of All Ages.  Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP [YAY!], preached very wisely in 2003, “What we do in the Liturgy determines what goes on out in the world.  The most divine thing we can participate in this side of heaven is the Sacred Liturgy.  During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the floodgates of heaven open up and all the graces come pouring down off the altar, through the congregation, out across to all creation.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most important thing in the universe.  When things are properly done, the Liturgy raises earth up towards the level of heaven and it reorders and fixes the damage done by Adam and his descendants.” [I think this is key, enormous.  I will likely make folks mad, but I think the Church has lost an enormous, incalculable amount of Grace with the transition from the 1962 to the 1969 Missals.  And without Grace, belief is impossible]

Lex orandi, lex credendi:  the Church believes as she prays.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1124)  If the majority of Catholics no longer believe as the Church believes, e.g. that abortion, contraception, and homosexual activity are intrinsically evil and thus forbidden, this is necessarily a consequence of Catholics no longer worshipping God as the Church has always worshipped God. 

Pray for your bishop with all your heart, mind, and soul, that he will lead your local Church with heroic virtue, and will be catalogued with the great Saints of the Church.  We have a desperate need for many Saints, as in the days of the protestant revolt, which gave us St. Philip Neri, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis de Sales, St. Peter Canisius, St. Ignatius of Loyala, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. John of Avila, and many, many more!