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Osteen getting down to brass tacks – forget God, do good for your own selfish reasons January 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, paganism, secularism, self-serving, silliness, Society.
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I wondered how long it would be before the openly humanist, do what feels good and makes you rich “church” of  Houston protestant carnival barker Joel Osteen would abandon all pretence of a third person, transcendent God and focus entirely on the god of you.  He’s 90% there, already.  Well, his wife seems ready to take the plunge, declaring that we should do what makes us happy, since nothing pleases God more than our own happiness, in spite of any selfishness or sin that might happen along the way:

“Do good for your own self. Do good because ‘god’ wants you to be happy.”

Yes, as she develops the statement there is a teeny tiny nugget of some orthodox Christianity in there, but it’s very tiny, and the main thrust is capable of enormous misunderstanding and abuse.

That is how these guys operate, they mix in a tiny bit of god-talk with a whole bunch of hedonistic do what feels good humanism and a lot of glitzy show with skin deep “theology,” and yet look at the crowds they attract.  Ten thousand at a time, several times a Sunday.

Always remember Saint Paul. Osteen and his ilk are the kind of preacher adored by those with itching ears.

So how do you like this wildly protestant, “charismatic” Mass held at the Dallas Cathedral? January 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Liturgy, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, the return.
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Every Pentecost, there is a “Mass of the Spirit” or something to that effect held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Catedral Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe in Dallas. I know, because when I first converted years back, I went to one.  Even then, I found the outpouring of emotion, the “cries of the ‘Spirit,'” and frenzied emotion, the frenetic motion, and all the rest not just unconvincing, but even dishonest.  I have to say, though, the event appears to have gone quite downhill, because I did not witness quite the extremes presented in the video below, from Pentecost 2014:

Sheesh.  First of all, figure out how to hold your phone!

I guess one good thing is that you get your daily exercise and your Mass in all in one fell swoop.

Interesting is the “ad orientem” posture of the priest.  But I am certain he did not conduct all the Mass in that posture.

As for the bad…..so many things……..just one thought that jumps out at me…….oh, so you can host this travesty at the Cathedral, but not a TLM.  I see.  As Dismas would say: “different religion.”

I am having a hard time making out the priest’s long prayer after the bumping and jumping, but I can say that what I can glean is not redolent of deep, traditional Catholic piety, but would be more at home in a protestant megachurch like Watermark or Lakepointe than in a Catholic parish prior to 1965.

Now, the charismatic movement is dominated by Hispanics, at least in this region.  When I went to that one charismatic Mass at the Cathedral, at least 90% of the attendance was Hispanic.  And this kind of thing is very prevalent south of the border.  Which makes me wonder…….does this obvious aping of protestantism help groom those many souls who have already formally departed the Church for formal membership in a protestant sect, or does it help staunch the flow?  My experience and much anecdotal data says it is much more the former than the latter.  These kinds of things only help to convince folks that the Church was very much wrong on many things spiritual for a very long time.  If the Church could be wrong in Her worship, piety, and belief, what could She possibly be right on?

Or so the thinking goes.

Commenter MM left me this video in a comment.  He says he’s already contacted the Cathedral, Bishop Farrell, the Rector, and others for some explanation of this liturgical travesty, but has received no response after two months of waiting. And of course, he won’t, save for the most dismissive of one, because this kind of thing has been going on for  years.  Most every Mass of the regular Cathedral priests/community (and not a diocesan event, like an ordination) contains at least some abuses or problems.

Was there a “great, silent majority” of Catholics opposed to the conciliar “reforms?” January 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, paganism, Papa, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society.
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My good friend SB lent me a copy of his book A Bitter Trial, which contains the famous British author Evelyn Waugh’s reaction to the developments of Vatican II.  This book is very interesting and has much I would like to pull from it, because it has great relevance today.  For one thing, it is a time capsule, if you will, of the opinions and fears of at least some concerned Catholics at the time of the Council.  I can say, a good number of faithful souls had strong concerns and misgivings even before the Council began, because the progressive party had waged an open war in the press advocating for their revolution in the Church dating back to the pronouncement of the Council in 1958, and growing more and more extreme and shrill as the event neared.  Secondly, the book reveals the hierarchy reassuring these concerned souls that nothing of any substance would change, and indeed, could not change.  Whether these statements from the hierarchy were something the individual bishops believed, or just double-talk, is known only to God, but I have my suspicions.  Thirdly, the book raises serious questions about the dominant opinions in the Church, especially regarding the changes made to the Mass, that this was something the laity had been clamoring for.  The book plainly shows up that at least a very sizable minority wanted no such changes, and quite possibly the large majority were opposed.

Waugh voiced his first public opposition to the trend that was obvious even from the Council’s earliest days – that the progressive faction would very nearly have it all their way – within weeks of the start of the Council’s first session in a long article published in the Spectator in early November 1962.  That article is long and involved, and I shall not quote from it, but I shall quote from two letter’s Waugh received in response to that article, one from Cardinal Heenan, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and Primate of England and Wales, and another from Bishop Dwyer of Leeds.  First, Cardinal Heenan’s letter with my comments and emphasis:

Venerablis Frater – as we say in the Council – I was delighted to see your article.  There is nothing in there with which I don’t agree. But what a pity that the voice of the faithful was not heard sooner. The enthusiasts who write in The Tablet and Catholic Herald are so easily mistaken for the intelligent and alive Catholics.

The real difficulty (I think) is that Continentals are twisting themselves inside out to make us look as like as possible to the protestants. How I wish we could persuade them (a large majority, I fear) that to be at home with our Mass and ceremonies is far more important than being right according to the books of liturgical antiquities….. [Apparently, +Heenan had fallen for the arguments that the Mass as then offered differed wildly from the earliest Christian practice, many of which claims from modernist/progressives at the Council having since been shown to be false, or at least dramatic exaggerations.  Also, it was a formal error, decried by Pope Pius XII, to assert that somehow the “earliest” Christian practice was magically also the “holiest,” or “truest” (the error being antiquariansim). The right response was to reject both the claims of the modernists and to assert the validity and sanctity of the Mass.  One thing is for certain, the “product” that resulted from the Council was even more distant from ancient practice than was the TLM.  I have no argument with his claim that the Germanic minority at the Council sought to protestantize the Church as much as possible, and were sadly quite successful in this]

In my Cathedral, by the way, nobody will be looking in anybody else’s face………..The High Altar is off center and there will be no people behind it.  The road will be clear for priests to bring the Blessed Sacrament at the Communion of the Mass……..[Waugh’s response, after the event: “He went back on all this.”]

——–End Quote——–

The other response to Waugh came from Bishop Dwyer, as already mentioned:

Optime! Optime!, as we conciliar Latinists say.  But why oh why didn’t you write it twelve months ago in the Catholic press so that the inarticulate faithful could be encouraged to roar in support against the articulate few who want to dragoon every unfortunate congregation into a PSA service?  I did my best in the Council with an amendment to keep the damage to the pre-offertory part of the Mass and on Sunday’s only.  This a concession for the poor priests behind the Iron Curtain who are allowed neither to preach or teach but can still say Mass.  Thus with the vernacular in the Mass of Catechumens they will be able to put some Christian doctrine to the people.  [Meh. If the intervention was limited to allow Mass in the vernacular in only those situations of oppression it would have been one thing, but I don’t know if that was the case or not.  Having said that, the way the modernist-progressives operate is such that they will take any foot in the door like that and extend it into a gaping maw.  The rare extraordinary situation soon becomes the norm, as in the case of the “extraordinary” minister of Holy Communion.  But really, was this the best Dwyer could do? I know nothing of him, he may be a Saint, but what about screaming on the floor of the Vatican that what was being discussed simply could not happen? What about trying to organize a response from the laity yourself, good bishop, rather than waiting on them to do so?  What about any of 500 other things that could have been done?  This reminds me of people saying that the only possible response to Obama or some law they don’t like is to vote.  B as in B!  Is that all the left does?!?  Not by a looong shot.]  I’m pretty confident we shan’t have to suffer too much change. [Whatever +Dwyers virtues, predicting the future was not one of them] As for the Sacraments – the thought of some cleric pouring out his soul in the vernacular whilst administering Extreme Unction adds a formerly unknown terror to death! [Yes, but all that came to pass, and “extreme unction” as witnessed by most Catholics is a strange group experience repeated even every week or so, for even the most mild of maladies]

———–End Quote———-

Several things jump out at me: it seems that at least two bishops were of the opinion that by the time the Council even began, many important matters were already more or less decided, and at best all that was left was a rear-guard action to protect as much as possible. They lament that the laity, of all groups in the Church, did not express their dismay at the direction of the Council sooner, as in well before it even began.  Did these prelates really expect some substantial portion of the laity to rise up in opposition to the direction their leaders seemed bent on pursuing, after 100 years or more of ultra-montanism and a long notion that the laity were best seen but not heard?  Was such to be the salvation of orthodoxy and Tradition at the Council?  If so, what a forlorn hope.

In my somewhat extensive reading on the Council, I have gotten the notion that once the prepared schemata were thrown out (a judgment made directly by Pope John XXIII), the more orthodox bishops were thrown on their heels and basically made little or no effective response for the remainder of the first, and decisive, session.  By the time a response did start to form well into the second session, it was already much too late, and those orthodox bishops (the “international” fathers) were in damage-limiting mode, at best. But with both conciliar pontiffs firmly backing the progressive faction, there wasn’t much they could do.  Was there really much hope, then, that even mass opposition by the laity – as unlikely as that was – would have resulted in any real changes?

I do think the progressive meme since the Council that the laity were bored with the Mass, didn’t understand it or get anything out of it, and were clamoring for radical change, has always been false. But I have long been uncertain how much true opposition existed to the changes as they actually occurred. I do know by the time the NO was finally unleashed, at least some folks were just glad the changes were “over” (even though, as every good revolutionary knows, the revolution can never end, there must always be more changes, and there have been, as we experienced with the most recent English translation in 2011).  As far as the broader changes, I am really uncertain what percentage of Catholics eagerly accepted them, what percentage was blithely indifferent, and what percentage was strongly (if silently) opposed.

But having read this book, I am now more convinced that it makes no difference. Given how much elite opinion inside and outside the Church was weighted in favor of major changes at the Council, and how much expectation had been built up that there would be major changes, I cannot really imagine any realistic response from the laity that would have substantially affected the course the Council eventually took.  We can fabricate fantasies of a mass uprising that, given the dominant conditioning to be unquestioningly loyal and obedient to the hierarchy in all cases no matter what, would never have happened, but even then, before the internet, could such have even been organized on an international scale?  Unlikely.

Eh.  Maybe boring to you, but interesting to me.  We shall likely not know in this life the whys or wherefores of how the devastation in the Church was permitted to come about.  But I think it is interesting to note that there was opposition, that there were faithful souls who were broken-hearted over the changes that were unleashed, and that these souls, while perhaps a minority, were not an inconsiderable number.  Many of those most upset by the post-conciliar changes were some of the best, most devoted Catholics around, people of high education and aesthetic understanding.  That fact eventually resulted in the “Agatha Christie” indult permitting the TLM (it was actually supposed to be the balderdized 1965 mishmash Mass, but it was the TLM that wound up being offered in every case) in certain places in England and Wales. Fortunately for those souls, Paul VI was a big fan of Agatha Christie………

Conversation with long-time FI confirms “traditionalist” impression of unfair persecution and ascendance of a narrow cabal January 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, horror, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, shocking, Tradition, Virtue.
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I have been sitting on this post for some time. I thought it best to put some chronological distance between the event and my publicly revealing it, to make IDing the speaker more difficult.  I have to be very careful what I say, and how I say it, for should the priest in question be identified his already difficult and tenuous situation would instantly become much worse.  I should also say that the “traditionalist” in the lede is just a catch-all for the concerns many pious Catholics – and others – have over the treatment the FIs have received under the apostolic intervention.

Some time back I had a chance encounter with a priest of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. I did not know he was an FI when we were first introduced. When I found out that he was, my first reaction was to exclaim how I had been praying for his order, and to extend my profound sadness and regret at their ongoing sufferings.  I then began to flood him with questions.

Before I begin, I should note that I am going from memory and that we covered a lot of ground very quickly.  We were not able to talk for very long. If there are any errors in the below or details that don’t entirely bear out, they are due to faults in my recollection.  I do recall all the comments being very clear and sensical and really clarifying matters for me.

This priest speaks English fluently.  He has been in the FI for a long time.  He was very glad at the direction Fr. Manelli and the former leadership of the order, prior to the apostolic intervention, were taking them. He very much loved being bi-ritual but plainly preferred not only the TLM but also the pre-conciliar Breviary and all those myriad aspects of piety – especially for religious – that were once common but which were abandoned or mutilated after the Council.  Again, I have to be very careful not to identify this priest in any depth, so I cannot say his country of origin nor where he served in the FI apostolate, but I can say he had a position of some influence (which is now gone) and was well-placed to witness the sad events which have riven that afflicted order since ~July 2013.

This priest confirmed that at every turn, those conducting the intervention have been fundamentally hostile towards the TLM and the traditional practice of the Faith.  There appears to be a marked bias against that ancient practice, which manifests itself in many ways. The concern over that infamous “drift” seems paramount in most all considerations, with mere attraction for the TLM being taken in many cases as an indication of a disordered outlook. In addition, there was no real investigation of any kind, just a survey sent out to the various branches of the order which in normal circumstances would simply be the starting point for an investigation, but in this case – with the outcome seemingly predetermined – it wound up being virtually the sum total of the investigative efforts.  The priest described the activities of Fr. Volpi and the new administration as blundering, simplistic, devoid of nuance, and, again, seemingly fundamentally hostile to a large portion of the order’s members.  He indicated that at every possible turn the investigators/new leadership made mistaken assumptions and followed the advice of a truly tiny group of disaffected members – he said, as has been noted elsewhere, that the number of the disaffected was 5 or 6 – to arrive at very bad conclusions.  Those conclusions have led to enormous suffering among the vast majority of the membership to the extent that many now either simply want to leave or try to form a new religious order elsewhere under the same charism, influences, and outlook as the order enjoyed prior to the intervention.  But when some tried to do so, the reaction was savage (another one of those blundering assumptions by the new leadership of bad faith on the part of the vast majority of FIs) and resulted both in suspension a divinis for some priests, and a ban on incardination in dioceses for at least 3 years.

When queried what was the ultimate driver for this intervention, the priest was very clear: it wasn’t really the increasing desire of more and more members to be a TLM-focused order – which this priest maintained was certainly the case, more and more FIs were clearly embracing the traditional practice of the Faith, and finding in that practice so much that they loved and found so edifying – as it was the publication by the Franciscans of the Immaculate of Msgr. Brunero Gherardini’s book strongly questioning aspects of the Council with respect to the preceding Magisterium, and some symposia held by the FIs that also critically examined some aspects of the documents of Vatican II.  Those efforts were held to be tantamount to heresy and a schismatic act by that very small group (the 5 or 6 mentioned above), and while the investigation begun under Pope Benedict made very little headway, once he abdicated it shifted into high gear and was concluded in a few scant months. I must say, that has been my own supposition as well, that while drifting more and more towards the TLM probably played some part in the vicious treatment this order has received, it was the questioning of Vatican II as a super-dogma that simply would not be countenanced.  Critical examination of Vatican II in the light of the preceding Magisterium, unlike every other Council in the history of the Church (for which one can find many critical histories and analyses), is something the progressive faction in the Church simply cannot allow, for the implications of such are too great for their project of re-making the Church in their own image (let me stress, everything from “I must say” above is my own opinion, and not that of the priest in question.  He offered no real opinion on those examinations of VII).

Essentially, the “outside” view that many pious souls have regarding the reasons for the intervention against the FIs, the very small number of complainants who led to its initiation (and who are now ascendant within the order), and the punishment that is being meted out (and the reasons for that punishment) was confirmed essentially in toto by this insider.  Still, this holy priest appeared to bear no grudge (though he was plainly devastated by what has occurred) and simply asked for prayers, many, many prayers for himself and for this afflicted order.  There is enormous suffering ongoing, already entire classes of seminarians have departed (since the seminary has been shut down and they can make no progress towards ordination), and new vocations are a tiny fraction of what they were previously.  But the priest believed that this trial is ordained by God to offer up many sufferings for the sins of the world and the Church, and that the future of the order is in His all-knowing hands. Still, it is very difficult – I would say, much, much more difficult – when one’s persecutors are within the Church, rather than some external source. It is gut-wrenching to be held in contempt by the Church one has given all to. Right now, this priest is enduring this situation as best he can.

Please do keep the FIs in your prayers!  They need them desperately.  And please pray for this priest.  His pain and confusion were palpable.  It is a grace to be counted worthy to bear such sufferings for our Blessed Lord, but the human aspects of such trials are difficult to endure.  These men (and the ladies of the FSI, too, I fear) have an enormous cross to bear. They need and deserve all the spiritual support they can get.