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A doubting voice from Vatican II from a priest who was there December 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton has been described as quite possibly the greatest theologian the United States has ever produced, and was one of the leading voices of Catholic orthodoxy in the mid-20th century Church.  Msgr. Fenton participated at Vatican II as a peritus (expert) on the staff of Cardinal Ottaviani.  Prior to his experience at Vatican II, Msgr. Fenton had engaged in a lengthy theological debate with Fr. John Courtney Murray, SJ, on the matter of religious liberty.  Many non-biased theological experts feel that Msgr. Fenton soundly trounced Fr. Murray in these then well-publicized debates.  However, it was Fr. Murray’s opinions that were incorporated into the Second Vatican Council and formed some of that council’s most controversial aspects.  Many of Msgr. Fenton’s writings are hard to find, but there are some here on the vital and greatly misunderstood Dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (I do not recommend wandering around this site, generally).  In addition, an academic library has now put some of his many diaries online for research.  It is those diaries I will be quoting below.

Msgr. Fenton says some quite explosive things below.  I would not take his opinions too far, he was a great theologian in many minds but his are just the JCFentonopinion of one man and great as he was, those opinions are necessarily limited. As a theologian drawing upon and explaining the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church, Msgr. Fenton was certainly a far cut above the dreck we have generally been exposed to going on for many decades now, but his opinions regarding the Council are his own, and don’t carry any great weight.  Having said that, I found the appraisals of Vatican II given by a very solidly orthodox theologian quite a contrast to the frequently excessively exuberant praise directed at the “new pentecost” that occurred in the early 60s, and some of Msgr. Fenton’s concerns over the Council correspond quite closely to my own.  Take it for what you will, but I found some of the statements below quite remarkable:

  • “I had always thought that this council was dangerous. It was started for no sufficient reason. There was too much talk about what it was supposed to accomplish. Now I am afraid that real trouble is on the way.” (Oct. 13, 1962)
  • “I do not think that any little work on our part is going to bring good to the Church. We should, I believe, face the facts. Since the death of [Pope] St. Pius X the Church has been directed by weak and liberal popes, who have flooded the hierarchy with unworthyfenton_med-2 and stupid men. This present conciliar set-up makes this all the more apparent. [Fr.] Ed Hanahoe, the only intelligent and faithful member of [Cardinal] Bea’s secretariat has been left off the list of the periti. Such idiots as [Mgr. John S.] Quinn and the sneak [Fr. Frederick] McManus have been put on. [Fr. George] Tavard is there as an American, God help us. From surface appearance it would seem that the Lord Christ is abandoning His Church. The thoughts of many are being revealed. As one priest used to say, to excuse his own liberalism, which, in the bottom of his heart he knew was wrong, ‘for the last few decades the tendency in Rome has been to favor the liberals.’ That is the policy now. We can only do what we can to overt an ever more complete disloyalty to Christ.” (Oct. 19, 1962) [That Fr. McManus subsequently figured very prominently in what Pope Benedict called “the destruction of the Roman Rite.”  He was exceedingly liberal, God rest his soul, and spawned an entire generation of extremely liberal proteges who continue to inflict his liturgical novelties upon the Church.  I can best describe him in this way……the guy at “Pray Tell” blog just thinks the world of good ol’ Father “Fred.”]
  • “As far as I can see the Church is going to be very badly hurt by this council. The opposition between the liberals and the loyal Catholics has been brought out into the open. Yesterday a Dutch (Holland) bishop gave a nasty talk in which he claimed to be speaking for all of his countrymen…..(Oct. 27) [I’ve read the talk. I can’t recall the name of the bishop, but this was one of the first really blisteringly modernist interventions made at Vatican II, where the whole progressive-modernist agenda was laid out in one fell swoop.  Much of that agenda (most of it?) was implemented to one degree or another]
  • The sense or feeling of this gathering seems to be entirely liberal. I am anxious to get home. I am afraid that there is nothing at all that I can do here. Being in the council is, of course, the great experience of my life. But, at the same time, it has been a frightful disappointment. I never thought fentonthat the episcopate was so liberalThis is going to mark the end of the Catholic religion as we have known it. There will be vernacular Masses, and, worse still, there will be some wretched theology in the constitutions.” (Oct. 31, 1962) [Now, things may have looked a bit more bleak a few weeks into the Council, when the liberal forces were first breaking out into the open and before any real opposition had a chance to form.  It’s not clear if Msgr. Fenton held this view at the end of the Council.  But he sure did not think much of many of the participants. I just read a bit when he lamented that most bishops could not distinguish between theology and sociology.  That comment sums up much of the post-conciliar trend in theology right there.]

  • “…some other people believe what I have thought for several months, namely, that John XXIII is definitely a lefty. This nonsense to the effect that he is ‘deceived’ or ‘mal servite’ is disgraceful. He is the boss.” (Nov. 25, 1962) [I love this Msgr. Fenton, he talks like I do!  I agree that…..groan……Saint John XXIII was not deceived, and he was not going to cancel the Council he called between first and second session (his death, it is claimed by some, prevented him from doing so).  Cardinal Heenan tried to make that claim after the fact but I am highly dubious.]

  • “I am afraid that they are going to foist a lot of nonsense on the poor Catholic people.” (Mar. 6, 1963)
  • “The statement of the Council is not a theological text book. At the same time, however, a declaration by a council can cause confusion or finally can actually be harmful when even though there is no error about faith or morals in it, the statement passes over Truths which are, and which have long been generally been recognized as, assertions of Catholic doctrine.” (May 11, 1963)
  • “There is nothing erroneous in the material [in the schema for Dei Verbum, the dogmatic constitution on divine revelation] we have passed. But there is a great deal that is incomplete and misleading.” (June 4, 1964)
  • “M [Fr. John Courtney Murray] has just come in to see the triumph of his false doctrine [of religious liberty].” (Sept. 21, 1964)
  • “The part on ecumenism [in the text of the commission] is a joke. It reads like a 19th century text, or a second-rate article in a leftist magazine.” (Oct. 28, 1965)

There are some who say that after Pope Paul VI decided on the “ecumenical,” religious liberty issue in Murray’s favor in 1963, Msgr. Fenton resigned his position as peritus and requested assignment at an obscure parish in New England, and died a few years later of a broken heart.  Certainly the order of events is about right, even if Msgr. Fenton did travel to Rome several more times during the Council, but as to the cause of his death, that is known only to God.

I would not go bonkers off the rails due to Msgr. Fenton’s comments above, great man though he may have been.  For some, the above may be shocking and hurtful.  For others, it may confirm what they already believed.  It may be old news to still others.  Nevertheless, for a theologian of such stature to give such a contrary assessment of the Council progressives have tried to turn into an all-powerful “super-dogma” is, I think, important to know.

I should also point out that there are sites that contain even more excerpts from Msgr. Fenton’s diaries, and that most of these sites are sede vacantist in orientation.  So, if you go to find more, you might want to be careful in how you browse around.

Start Novena for Our Lady of Guadalupe tomorrow! December 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12.  Start Novena tomorrow, Wed. Dec 3 and finish on Dec. 11:

Our Lady of Guadalupe, according to THY message in Mexico I venerate THEE as the Virgin Mother of the true God for whom we live, the Creator of all the world, Maker of heaven and earth. In spirit I kneel before thy most holy image which thou didst miraculously imprint upon the cloak of the Indian Juan Diego, and with the faith of the countless numbers of pilgrims who visit thy shrine, I beg thy for this favor:

[Mention your request].

Remember, O Immaculate Virgin, the words thou hast spoken to thy devout client: “I am a merciful mother to thee and to all thy people who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. I listen to their lamentations and solace all their sorrows and sufferings.” I beg thee to be a merciful mother to me, because I sincerely love thee and trust in thee and invoke thy help. I entreat thee, our Lady of Guadalupe, to grant my request, if this should be the will of God, in order that I may bear witness to thy love, thy compassion, thy help and protection. Do not forsake me in my needs.

Recite “Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us” and Hail Mary three times.


Act of Consecration to Saint Joseph December 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Domestic Church, farm, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, Grace, manhood, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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It’s that time of year, when many of us start thinking about the great glory of the Holy Family, and how each member of that family is such a sublime virtue for our roles in our own families and the conduct of our entire lives. I hope to spend some time focusing on these different members of the Holy Family over the next few weeks, God willing, beginning with Saint Joseph.  I have long had a strong devotion to Saint Joseph and he is such a powerful intercessor.  I believe he has aided me tremendously in too many ways to list.

The following Act of Consecration comes from Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s Month of Saint Joseph. It is quite oriented towards the spirituality of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers that Saint Peter Julian Eymard founded, that is, it focuses on meekness, self-denial,  quiet contemplation and withdrawal from the world. This is not the only means of practicing a faithful Catholic life!  But it is an exceedingly good, if challenging, one:joseph-daily

I consecrate myself to you, good Saint Joseph, as my spiritual father; I choose you to rule my soul and teach me the interior life, the life hidden away with Jesus, Mary, and yourself.

I consecrate myself to you as my guide and model in all my duties so that I may learn to fulfill them with meekness and humility: with meekness toward my brethren, my neighbor, and all with whom I come in contact; with humility toward myself and simplicity before God.

I choose you, good Saint, as my counselor, my confidant, my protector in all my difficulties and trials.  I do ask to be spared crosses and sufferings, but only from self-love which might vitiate their value by making me vain over them.

images (2)I choose you as protector for our family.  Good Saint Joseph, be our family’s father as you were the father of the Holy Family at Nazareth……I do not ask for temporal goods or for exterior success, nor for the joy of seeing it great and powerful. I ask only that it serve with fidelity and devotedness its Divine King.

For myself, I shall honor and love and serve you with Mary, my mother; never shall I separate her name from yours in my love.

Gladly would I be like you, Saint Joseph, a poor carpenter, unknown and despised, food for the roots of the tree, the Master’s gardener who never leaves the garden, who knows nothing but his plants, who loves only his flowers and sees only their fruits, and dies in the corner of his hut in the arms of Jesus and Mary.  We do not know the place of your burial, so we cannot honor your remains.  You leave behind you only your mantle of poverty and humility.

O Jesus, give me Joseph for a father as you have given me Mary as a mother.  Fill me with devotion, confidence, and filial love.  Listen to my prayer, please.  I know that you will.  Already I feel more devout, more full of hope and confidence in good Saint Joseph, your foster father and my adopted father.

————–End Quote————-

I could use help with meekness.  I think blogging is a challenge to virtue at times, but especially meekness.  However, there is also great good in blogging.  Go-to-Joseph

I have noted there are some influential people – traditional priests, even – who are really sour on blogging.  They think it’s just terrible, a wasteland of disordered rants, misinformation, and blind hatreds. I don’t know which sites they read, but I try to avoid being too extremist, even if there are some places I avoid for just those reasons. I also get the sense some priests aren’t real comfortable with having blogging parishioners because it is a message they cannot control, and thus they fear might somehow cause a problem for them. In my experience, most bloggers are generally good people trying their best to put forth the Faith as they understand it, even if I do not agree with that understanding or have some problems with it. I rarely engage in internecine strife between blogs – one of the best ways to get traffic, if that were my interest – because I operate from the basic assumption of good will on the part of others.

I prefer to approach blogging as Fr. Peter Carota does, as a great way to aid the huge masses of people who don’t have regular (or any) access to a good faithful priest and catechesis or the orthodox practice of the Faith.  My experience blogging has shown me that there are many, many people with a great hunger for authentic representations of the Faith that come in a modern, easily digestible form.  There are still others who want to read about ongoing events  from a source they identify with. And I know that blogging has been enormously helpful in shaping the understanding of the Faith I have come to have today.  Writing about something forces one to focus one’s thoughts so that greater clarity (hopefully) results. Overall, I think my blogging has been helpful to others, and that’s why I do it, in spite of occasional negative comments.  It’s all part of it.

Good Saint Joseph, pray for us!


Prayer request December 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Virtue.
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My wife has a large family.  Most of her siblings have a good number of kids.  But one of her sisters has 18 children, and that family has some trials.  They are a really good family we just enjoyed visiting over the holiday.  They are a “Yours, Mine, and Ours” situation where a widow and widower came together and they’ve had some more children since.  It is never easy raising such a large family, but this family has some additional challenges and – I’m going out on a bit of a limb here, I was not asked to do this, and I fervently hope they do not mind – prayers would be appreciated. They are in the San Antonio area and finding a good confessor and spiritual direction has not been an easy task.  Even a parish known for its relative orthodoxy in the area……well, perhaps image is not everything. I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, the husband and wife are such good people, but the way has not always been easy for them.  I know this blog is blessed to have some very strong Catholic readers, people who have a solid prayer life.  And I know I tend to impose myself on you my good readers from time to time with prayer requests, but this one is dearer to my heart than most.  Would you, in your charity, pray for J and F and their family?  I don’t want to go into specifics but a general intention for their spiritual solace and unity would be enough.

Again, I don’t want to too closely identify this family but regular readers will know I’ve been reading Dom Poulet’s A History of the Catholic Church.  J may be interested to know that his family name and locations he is intimate with – Bardstown, Elizabethtown, etc., feature quite prominently in the portion of this book discussing the early history of the Church in this country.  The foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth may be a relative.

May God bless you for your prayers.  Sorry for imposing again, thank you.