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Canonization not solely about personal sanctity…… November 11, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, disconcerting, episcopate, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, martyrdom, Papa, Saints, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, true leadership.
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I have been witnessing some back and forth argument over the upcoming canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II over the past few months.  In general, most of what I’ve witnessed is some rather moderate expressions of doubt about the prudence of these canonizations, and then denunciations of these doubts that are generally quite a bit more vociferous.  One of the arguments I’ve most seen bandied about  – from fully orthodox Catholics, mind – is that Pope JPII, say, was a man of great holiness, and who are we to doubt that he could be in Heaven?  And if he’s not in Heaven, what chance do we have?  So, shouldn’t we just shut up and focus on our own sanctification?

If such came from a priest, one might detect a whiff of clericalism in such a comment, but that is not my primary concern.  My primary concern with the argument above is that it reduces the decree of canonization into a one-dimensional declaration of personal sanctity on the part of the canonized.  But that is not all a canonization is.  In fact, in might not even be the primary claim of a canonization.  No, while canonizations do certainly assure us – dogmatically – that a given soul is in Heaven, they also have another hugely important component, quite possibly the most important of all, and that is a formal attestation by the Church to the entire world that the person in question is worthy of emulation in respect to faith and morals. Historically, that emulation really extended to the entire life of the Saint.

That was why the Church had long instituted the role of “devil’s advocate” in canonization proceedings. The “devil’s advocate” was to bring up all the negative aspects of a given individual’s life, to put a note of caution in the exuberance that often attends deliberations on canonization.  In particular, if a soul under consideration for canonization had ever given great public scandal to the faithful – and, unfortunately, Pope John Paul II definitely did that repeatedly* – the devil’s advocate role was to bring that to the fore.  Numerous, very holy people have had their canonizations derailed for issues of far less substance than some of those causing concern with the planned canonization of John XXIII and JPII. This was done primarily out of concern for the scandal that could be caused, as well as grave concerns that attesting to the sanctity of these individuals, dogmatically!!, would allow certain wayward souls to claim that the scandals were not in fact scandals, but were actually wonderful examples of ecumenism or religious liberty, and thus deserve to be promoted and spread.

This is a key distinction, and one I have not seen noted very widely.  None of the above is to say that JPII is not in Heaven right now – he may well be.  Same for John XXIII.  But as I hope the above illustrates, a decree of canonization is so much more than a mere attestation to personal salvation for those concerned, it has huge implications for the entire Church and is meant to enliven the practice of the Faith of all in the Church.  Historically, those who had engaged in immoral acts (including scandals) would have had to do great work to overcome those prior acts, given testimony to heroic sanctity over a long period of time, and even publicly recanted in order to even be considered for canonization.  But since Pope John Paul II did away with the office of devil’s advocate in these proceedings, even the gravest scandals are no longer an impediment to being raised to the altars.

It is very reductive, perhaps even dangerously so, to limit decrees of canonization to matters strictly of personal sanctity/salvation.  Continued long, such practice could gravely weaken the Cult of Saints upon which so much of our Faith depends.  I have not been surprised that such arguments have been made, but I have been surprised by some of the quarters from which they have come. But this is a very ticklish issue.  Pope John Paul II, in particular, is wildly popular. There have been calls for his canonization since his death.  I don’t want to be perceived as attacking Pope John Paul II particularly, I am simply using him as an example of a broader phenomenon (like the recent canonization of over 800 souls murdered/martyred by muslim marauders earlier this year – were all those people in the state of Grace when they died, or even confessing Catholics?) that I fear will gradually water down and undermine the entire, glorious, heroic, interceding Cult of Saints.

I pray for the reinstitution of the devil’s advocate in canonization proceedings, immediately.  And I expect a hot response for this post, but I pray people understand this is about catechesis, and not my personal sentiments towards those about to be canonized.

* – Kissing the koran, Assisi I and II, numerous apologies for alleged Catholic sins of the past – the list actually goes on quite a long time.

It’s amazing what a little Catholicism can do…. November 11, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, true leadership.
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……I saw this story at Tancred’s about the Mayor of Fontgombault in France refusing to perform weddings between people of the same sex.  Fontgombault is also, of course, the location of a famous and traditional Benedictine Abbey.  Coincidence?  I think not. Even if the mayor himself is not a faithful Catholic, we can be assured that the presence of all those who are, and especially the Benedictines, pour such torrents of Grace into the area that there is a carryover effect into so much of what goes on in the vicinity:

In France the mayor wrote a letter to the citizens of his town in which he told them: “I can not believe in gay marriage. Should I be forced, I am resigning.” The community is Fontgombault. There is a world-famous Benedictine abbey, which maintains the traditional rite of the Catholic Church and is bound to tradition.

In late spring, the socialist parliamentary majority decided for the legalization of “gay marriage” despite massive resistance from a broad civil rights movement. Since then, the mayors of France are under pressure. If a gay couple wants to get married, they have to make a fundamental decision. To break any resistance, the government of President Hollande has issued corresponding penalties for the same. Should a mayor refuse to honor a sodomite couple, it threatens him not only impeachment and a fine of 75,000 euros but even five years in prison[I’m sure we’ll have similar in this country before long. And thus, how “liberalism” works.  Yes, we have so very many liberties, until our government decides to take some away, or prescribe others that are gravely offensive to the moral order.  Then, opposition is crushed, must be crushed, with ruthless efficiency.  Socialism may be a more extreme, or “pure” form of liberalism than what we currently have in the (though we are well on our way…….), but the same basic principles are in operation here.  BTW, did you know that three other people have come forward to claim they have been anally raped in fruitless LEO searches for drugs?]

Jacques Tissier, the Catholic mayor of Fontgombault has made his decision. He wants to withdraw: “There is a natural law that stands above the laws of man.” The decision of the mayor is shared by the entire council. Municipal Government and council want to resign, should the community be forced to have to perform a “marriage” of two homosexuals. A similar decision has been taken by the entire council on this last 24th of October.

Since the legislature has expressly denied the mayors of the freedom of conscience, there are only two options: either to be dismissed and face a fine or go to jail………

…..Tissier, has been the mayor of Fontgombault since 1977, hit the headlines in 2010. After the earthquake in Haiti, he asked the council to pray the Our Father and a Hail Mary with him before the meeting for the victims of the earthquake. In the country where for over 100 years, the secularism is the official state doctrine, it was an outrageous affront. [God bless him. Sounds like being near Fontgombault has done some good!  We should applaud and pray for those willing to suffer for the Faith like this!  There will be many more martyrs soon!]

Church opponents and proponents of “gay marriage” already called to the fact that gay couples are moving especially to Fontgombault and there are to force the mayor and the council to resign by the requirement of “marriage”.  [That is how the enemies of the Faith work.  They do all they can to crush the faithful, to make them suffer and pay for their faith, both to try to break them and as a warning to others.  That is why popes spoke of enemies of the Faith for so long, especially during the period of 1780-1940 when liberalism was so strongly opposed by popes. But now, the Church just wants to be everyone’s friends, the Church has no enemies.  Her enemies surely appreciate how She has laid down her arms and destroyed her defenses.]

Gird your loins and get prayed up.  Rough times ahead for all, I fear.

Blessed Pope Pius IX on liberal Catholicism November 11, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, Papa, scandals, secularism, Society, the enemy, Tradition, true leadership.
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I promised last week that I would start posting portions of formal, doctrinal condemnations by Popes from Pius VI to Benedict XV regarding liberalism in general and religious liberty in particular.  Before I get into that – which I may do later today – I wanted to include this denunciation of liberal Catholicism from Blessed Pius IX.  The below are not doctrinal statements in the form of encyclicals, but they certainly correspond with those doctrinal statements Pius IX made. They are from letters or briefs communicated to bishops and/or faithful lay Catholics in Quimper (Brittany, France) and Milan, both from 1873:

…..the enemies of the Church would doubtless have less success if a great number among those who carry the name of Catholic did not extend to them a friendly hand. Yes, alas! There are those who seem to want to walk in agreement with our enemies, and do their best to establish an alliance between the light and the 393px-PioIXadarkness, and accord between justice and iniquity, by means of those doctrines that are called “liberal Catholic,” which, resting on the most pernicious principles, flatter the secular power when it invades spiritual things and impel minds to respect, or at least to tolerance, of the most iniquitous laws, absolutely as if it were not written that no one can serve two masters. Now these are assuredly more dangerous and more deadly than declared enemies….In this way, they divide the minds, tear up unity, and weaken the forces that must be reunited in order to turn them all together against the enemy…

….the so-called Catholic liberalism, which, counting a great number of adherents among upright men themselves, and seeming to deviate less from the truth, is more dangerous for the others; [the others being open, avowed enemies of the Church or heresiarchs]  more easily deceives those who do not keep themselves on their guard; and, destroying the Catholic spirit imperceptibly and in a hidden manner, diminishes the forces of the Catholics and increases those of the enemy.

————End Quote———–

Again, the above was written in 1873 – 140 years ago.  Does that make it passe’?  Does that mean it can be dismissed out of hand?  The Church condemned liberalism in toto, and often quite vehemently, for at least a period of 150 years.  The condemnations were numerous, one could say, constant.  But today, we are told that these condemnations are passe’, or have to be passe’, due to pius ixsome ethereal change in “modern man” which is never quantified, but constantly referred to.

The very condemnations of modernism under Popes Leo XIII and St. Pius X made plain that modernism, as the synthesis of all heresies, was merely an attempt to somehow make Catholicism “acceptable” or “functional” from a liberal perspective, but – and this is the key fact that underlies all – with the liberalism completely dominating the “Catholicism.”  That is the essence of modernism, it is the rump of Catholicism left over after the Faith has been denuded of all that is offensive to the liberal mindset.  This is error the popes from Pius VI to Pius XII condemned.

But it’s not merely an error. It is the destruction of the Faith.  Being a bit coy, I’ll say, the Church has made a sort of flirtation – generally informally, non-doctrinally – with liberalism over the past 50 years.  Some of the ideas of liberalism/modernism have found their way into the practice of the Faith.  And to the extent those frequently-condemned errors have been proclaimed acceptable, or in practice accepted and acted upon, they have caused mass calamity in the Church.  Ideas regarding religious liberty which stem from enlightenment opposition to the close Church-state relations of the Counter-Reformation, have led to novamissawidespread religious indifferentism.  That same indifferentism spills out in a thousand different directions, from denial of the reality of hell as a populated place to the collapse of the Church’s evangelizing efforts to pathetically low Mass attendance and material support for the Church……etc.  I could go on for thousands of words.

We must pray. We must pray with incredible fervor, greater fervor than we have ever attempted, for souls to understand the dangers liberalism poses to the Faith, at all levels of the Church. We must pray that our popes and cardinals and bishops, once again, heed the condemnations of their predecessors.  We must pray that the great mass of souls comprising the laity develop at least an awareness that the liberal ideas the suffuse this culture are highly dangerous and often antagonistic to the Faith (if not entirely so). And we must mortify ourselves to give physical emphasis to the prayers, and for our own conversion. We must pray that we do not fall into these errors, we who exist in a culture totally subsumed in them.  And we must fight, by bringing to new generations generally totally ignorant of almost anything of substance related to the Church, especially her history, those great acts of warning and condemnations of error so many popes and prelates made for generation after generation against the rise of liberalism.

One way to do that, is to make more souls aware of the great book by Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany, Liberalism is a Sin.  It is online and available for free.  Check it out. Read it.  Take your time. Pray about what it says. Examine your conscience (as I examine mine) with relation to the errors denounced in this book.  See if they have not found some way into your thinking.  And share it with others.

Dominus vobiscum!

 

 

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Michael Voris – the United States not a Christian nation November 11, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, error, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the enemy, Voris.
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Michael Voris has a new Vortex out that examines the extent to which the United States is a “Christian nation.”  This is a rather nebulous and problematic term, meaning radically different things to different people.  First the video, then some quibbles I have with it:

Overall, an important video, but one that I must confess I disagree with in detail if not in general.

I don’t know if Michael has read Christopher Ferrara’s Liberty: The God that Failed, or if this video is in some way a response to Ferrara’s book.  I would say, based not only on that book but a number of other histories written from an orthodox Catholic perspective, and even some that aren’t, that I would disagree with some of the claims made in the video above.

First, while one cannot say that ALL or even most of the Founding Fathers of the US – that is, those who took part in the crafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – were purely enlightenment deists, men with often a profoundly hostile attitude towards orthodox Christianity, the most important ones most definitely were.  Thomas Jefferson was the prime author of the Declaration of Independence, and his views regarding Christianity would be considered radical even today.  Likewise, James Madison was the prime architect of the Constitution, and he, too, held at best a distant, aloof view of God and Christianity.  So did many other crafters of the Constitution.  Good Heaven’s, George Washington was such a freemason he wore masonic garb and “baptized” the US Capitol building with a masonic “baptism” when laying the cornerstone!  Hamilton, Adams, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin – all these men were essentially enlightenment deists and thus had an inveterate hostility towards orthodox Christianity and especially the Catholic Church.

Later on, Michael cites Alexis de Toqueville as a source of faithful Catholic criticism of the construct of the United States as it was in the 1820s.  This is pretty surprising, as de Toqueville was an out and out Jacobin who played a key role in the final destruction of the Bourbon Monarcy in the revolution of 1830 in France. He was definitely on the revolutionary side – and his Democracy in America was written with an eye towards providing guidance on how to build a very long lasting libertine government based on enlightenment principles without the influence of the Catholic Church.  He saw America as a model of that construct, and thus admired portions, critiqued others, all with the idea of taking the best and leaving the worst so France could build the ultimate enlightenment society.  That de Toqueville did not have the inveterate hostility towards Christianity, as most Jacobins, does not mean he was thus a stalwart Catholic – especially at that time.

Rule “by the people, of the people, and for the people” is a philosophical and theological error that was denounced by popes dozens of times from the late 18th through the mid-20th century.  “Democracy,” as it has been crafted in the US and now around the world, tends to set up the “will of the people” as an idol, a replacement for government founded directly upon Jesus Christ openly and avowedly.  The “rights of man” have, in practice, meant the crushing of the Rights of God. That is not to say democracy as such is always and everywhere irreconcilable with the Catholic Faith – but it does mean that the democracies we now have, all of which derive directly from enlightenment belief that was built around an immense hostility to the Catholic Faith are extremely problematic, at best.

The conclusion of the video is the best part.  Orestes Brownson was a great Catholic apologist, but on his death bed he lamented that he had failed to proclaim Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus more vigorously.

19th century American Catholicism underwent a great struggle, a struggle for the heart and soul of the Church, with people lined up on both sides from the highest to the lowest levels. The split was over whether to proclaim ALL the Faith and demand the United States be built upon an avowedly Catholic confessional state, or whether to acquiesce to the predominant Protestant population and take advantage of the “religious liberty” the enlightenment ethos of this nation offered, as a way to just sort of exist without making too many waves.  I think we know how that struggle turned out.  Even more, the operational characteristics of the US Church then spread around the world in the latter half of the 20th century, to the extent that even Catholic confessional states like Italy and Spain were encouraged, even directed, from the highest levels of the Church, to cease being so!  And so they complied.

This gets to the root of the entire crisis afflicting the Church.  Liberalism, and the Church’s response to it, is the defining socio-political-ecclesial conflict of the last 250 years.

Pray that the warnings and condemnations of 8+ popes be heeded!