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Modernists attempt to re-write Scripture and early Church history to their own benefit. Is there a similarity in some recent papal statements? March 10, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, the struggle for the Church.
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This is going to be a somewhat provocative post. I don’t mean it to necessarily be so, but imagine it will appear that way to some.

I have seen that a goodly number of people seem to struggle with understanding how modernism works.  The key thing to keep in mind, as Pope Saint Pius X said, is not to take them at their word, but to understand that modernists use orthodox sounding language but assign to it a radical new meaning.  A key point of that is their complete redefinition of the experience of the early Church and the life of Jesus Christ.  To modernists, Christ was just a man who happened to start a church.  He worked no miracles, didn’t say many of the great sayings attributed to Him, and was just one of many itinerant preachers wandering about Palestine early in the Roman occupation, calling for religious change to atone for Israel’s worldly downfall.  Cardinal Kasper’s beliefs on Christ and the early Church, thoroughly faulty and refuted, are emblematic of the type.  It is important to bear in mind the enormous influence he wields at the highest levels of the Church.

Modernists firmly believe that religious belief, even the most sacred Dogmas, must be changed – in practice – to suit the varying times in which men live.  This was another point St. Pius X stressed – to a modernist, all truth is utterly relative, there is no unchanging Dogma, and it is in fact cruel and repressive for the Church to insist on unchanging dogmatic formulas, because that represses the true “religious spirit” of the men of a given time.  While the Dogmas of the Faith may have worked well, and been the emblematic representation of the beliefs that appealed to religious people of ancient times (that is, it was not eternal Truth that formed those Dogmas, but the beliefs and preferences of men alive at that time), they are far out of date today, and must be “reformed,” meaning, abolished.  Thus, modernist pretensions regarding Scripture and the early Church, that there were no miracles, that beliefs changed constantly and “evolved,” that Scripture was recorded very, very late (and contains no actual prophecies) are actually just a form of tautology, a way of using distorted “evidence” to prove a conclusion already arrived at.

I say all the above as way of very brief background to the following statements from Pope Francis, as relayed by Eliot Bougis.  People often seem to think that Pope Francis’ statements are contradictory or that he veers from a seeming embrace of a traditional view to one that is much more progressive, even radical, from one event to the next.  I won’t judge Pope Francis’ comments below, but simply allow you to determine how they correlate with the above:

“The [Second Vatican] council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “But after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit in the council told us to do?” … The answer, he said, is “no.”

Catholics seemed willing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the council’s opening in 1962, he said, but they want to do so by “building a monument” rather than by changing anything.

At the same time, Pope Francis said, “there are voices saying we should go back. This is called being hard-headed, this is called wanting to domesticate the Holy Spirit, this is called becoming ‘foolish and slow of heart’”. [link]

I should add, it is a common modernist pretension to claim that their novelties are above reproach, as they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.  But the Novus Ordo is very distant from anything stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, its prime doctrinal support, and later works that support the work of the liturgical tornado of the 60s are not clear dogmatic texts.  Much of what eventually occurred to the Liturgy has no doctrinal support at all, so appealing to obedience based on some whim of the Holy Spirit in this case is pretty weak tea.

Next:

“Let us thank the Lord for what he has done in his Church in these 50 years of liturgical reform. It was truly a courageous gesture for the Church to draw near to the people of God so that they are able to understand well what they are doing. This is important for us, to follow the Mass in this way. It is not possible to go backwards. We must always go forward. Always forward (applause)! And those who go backward are mistaken…” [link]

Whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s worldEvangelii Gaudium, 24 November 2013

And finally, Cardinal Kasper’s interpretation, which sort of ties everything together:

[According to Cardinal Kasper, Pope Francis] “wants to initiate a new beginning for the church,” Kasper said, but not by destroying tradition. Rather, “Pope Francis stands in a great tradition, reaching back to the earliest beginnings.”

“He does not represent a liberal position, but a radical position, understood in the original sense of the word as going back to the roots, the radix.” By reaching back through time, he is, in fact, “constructing a bridge to the future.”

Obviously Cardinal Kasper’s comments are highly self-motivated, but they do provide a certain perspective.  Cardinal Kasper, as the link above indicates, operates from a point of view regarding the Gospel and the Sacred Tradition from the earliest Church that is not only highly antagonistic to the understanding that has prevailed for 2000 years, he openly endorses beliefs that are repeatedly condemned heresies.  But for Cardinal Kasper, the only “condemned heresy” is to reject modernist re-interpretation of Scripture, and constant “evolution” of Dogma according to the whims of fallen man (who is not fallen in Kasper’s world, but exalted and essentially a self-made “god” unto himself).  Cardinal Kasper claims to be going back to the earliest Church belief, but what he is actually doing is arguing over doctrinal points settled 1600 years ago or more by referring to a time in the Church’s history before Dogmas were clearly settled, published, recorded, and comprehended by the Church at large.  He believes doing so gives him room to maneuver, and it provides an avenue to escape from clear definitions by appealing to a completely fabricated “earlier, more pristine” Christianity.  He continues to do so, even as his incredibly weak arguments have been absolutely shredded by more orthodox sources, such as his claim that the early Church debated whether to allow those divorced and remarried to receive the Blessed Sacrament.  His entire platform is basically an appeal to ignorance, to fabricate arguments from a Church he hopes no one remembers.

I don’t want to belabor the point.  You guys are smart and can decide for yourselves what significance, if any, the statements above have.  Some may dismiss them out of hand, in preference for other, more comforting quotes.  Others may not.  But I’ll close with one final thought – regarding moving forward at all costs, is the implication that the Church should not have returned to orthodoxy from Arianism, not opposed the claimed “promptings of the Spirit” of protestants, etc?

A priests conversion: traditional practice of Faith causes him to “get it” now March 10, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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My wife is a big fan of Fr. Richard Heilman of Madison, WI.  He is a regular diocesan priest who oversees several parishes but who has found the great beauty and rewards from the traditional practice of the Faith, and especially the Traditional Latin Mass.  He relates in a recent post how his experience of tradition has made him a much better priest and has fired his external apostolate, reaching out to random souls encountered in the world and bringing them back to the Sacraments.  Note, this return – nascent though it may be – is not through watering down doctrine or appeals to a sentimental “mercy,” but through sharing the beauty of Catholic belief, a rigorous understanding of Doctrine, and clear calls to return/conversion.  Some excerpts below:

Two days ago, I was standing in someone’s kitchen with a couple of guys, and I got talking about how Confession is so amazing and, with that simple prayer of absolution, we get “do-overs;” we are made a brand new person. They both admitted they had not gone in decades and, two minutes later, we were stepping into the next room to celebrate that Sacrament. They both emerged with HUGE smiles on their faces and, I believe, a new incentive to get back into their faith. I’ve been doing stuff like this a lot lately.

Something is happening in the Church and in the world today. And, I know something is happening with me. I can’t recall many times (any?) in my priesthood that I would unabashedly – with great confidence and joy – invite people on the street to these amazing sacraments. Instead, I guess we priests felt that, “if you build it, they will come.” But, build what? [Funny he would use that phrase.  I used that for a long time trying to encourage local priests to offer more Confession.  And, at one parish where (it had nothing to do with me) Confession times were doubled or quadrupled, probably 10x or more as many people started availing themselves of the Sacrament weekly, it certainly seemed to work. But with regard to flippant, Laugh-in style liturgies with faces popping in and out every 5 seconds…….doesn’t work.]

I had spent a great portion of my priesthood buying into the notion that, if we create all kinds of trendy “programs” and socials, while we kept our liturgy as cheery and entertaining as possible, people would hear about how “cool” and “fun” and “with the times” we were, and come running. We may have “held our own” with numbers in the pew, but I also noticed the average age was continuing to rise, and – where were all the men? I could see that, while this trendy approach had short-term results, the future was looking unsustainable. [I’d say that’s about as generous assessment as can be given.  It drove men away in particular, and Mass attendance generally.  Overall, “numbers” were in a steady decline across the board for decades, and still are]

It didn’t make sense. I was led to believe that “hip” and “trendy” appealed to the youth. And, we believed men didn’t go for all that ceremonial stuff – “Johnny Six-pack” likes it “real” like the rest of the world.

And now, in retrospect, I ask myself, “Why wasn’t I going into the streets to invite people to that?” And, “Why, all of a sudden, am I doing that now?” I believe it is because we now have something REALLY real to offer them……. [Sounds like before, the priesthood was an academic exercise, one that may not have been entirely convincing, but now, the priesthood is an affair of the heart, it is a passion.  That’s what the TLM and the return to Tradition can do.  God bless the priest’s who take the plunge]

……we were shocked and appalled to discover that, up to that point, we were receiving information through a liberal/modernist/progressive (pick one) filter. Essential facts were being left out or twisted to perpetuate this modern liberal agenda. There was an emphasis on what they wanted us to know, and a de-emphasis of things they did not want us to know. [He started learning about Tradition and the TLM over the internet, was captivated, and it completely changed the course of his priesthood. Now he’s so on fire he propagandizes for the Faith wherever he goes, even strangers on the street (which……I’m sure he uses some tact)]

The fortunate and hopeful reality of our times is that “truth” is like a poison for the whole liberal movement. Many, especially the young who are more Internet savvy, are not buying what the liberals are selling any longer……..

……..Young people, especially, are coming in droves. We came to understand that while we were trying to “keep it real,” we were failing to offer something that “rang true” to them. They seem to want something the world can never give them – a Holy Father who demands reverence, a Savior who requires careful worship, and a Spirit who must be obeyed. They are looking for true, deep, intellectually robust spirituality, and they weren’t finding it until now. [I think this is generally true, except that the “keeping it real” was just seemed like a never ending attempt to keep the late 60s/early 70s alive no matter how passe’ and ridiculous it appeared to those who came along later.  Even attempts to be very “relevant” with things like youth Masses are at least 20 years out of date, because the people running them (not the priests) are trying to revive cultural touchstones from their own youth back in the 80s or whenever.  Even on a natural level they were always doomed to failure. But none of that is the real reason all these worldly attempts failed, they failed because they are not what the Mass is about and do not render proper worship, honor, and glory to God!  That worship was established 1500+ years ago (at least) and gradually, imperceptibly shaped by great Saints and Fathers over centuries.  It was a work of God, not a work of human hands, and when men arrogated to themselves to mess not only with the Mass, the Source and Summit of our Faith, but with all the timeless beliefs and practices, failure was foreordained.  We have been messing with things way beyond us, things we think we understand but really don’t, things that were not meant to be manipulated and massaged according to the whims of the world and this or that generation’s touchstones.  People sense that, often unconsciously, and they are turned off.  The liturgical revolution and all the other ones unleashed on the Church were all grounded in a massive hubris so huge it blinds its perpetrators to the destruction it has wrought. It is a miracle when a priest like Fr. Heiland sees through the charade.]

Why do I find myself more freely inviting people on the streets to this? As Bishop Schneider puts it, “the renewal of the Church cannot be brought about without a profound review of our devotion to the Eucharist, which produces a new momentum and fervor in our sacramental practice.” We’ve come to understand that when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated with due reverence, honor and beauty, it opens our hearts to receive the magnificent power and majesty of God…..

Exactly.  And when we open our hearts to that great power, we suddenly find ourselves capable of all kinds of things we never imagined being capable of before.  Proselytizing souls, giving up bad habits, throwing ourselves into the study of the Faith, practicing virtue…….all these things flow from our closeness to that Source and Summit.  It’s not impossible for people to develop that kind of passionate faith outside the TLM and outwardly traditional communities (whatever that means to whoever says it), but it is much more difficult.  And most people don’t make the connection at all, they are blinded by the human show and miss the reality of the Mass.  And that is a prime reason why so few Catholics accept the moral Doctrine of the Faith, because they don’t have that deep love for Jesus Christ, and it just seems like a bunch of pointless rules created by long dead and irrelevant men.

That’s the great shame of all this, is the souls lost to the Church, and  quite likely lost to God forever. I pray God is very merciful to them and to all of us who have been led by blind guides and whited sepulchers. There are so few true leaders in the Church today, even the prelates we trumpet as so wonderfully orthodox would have been strictly middling a century ago.  So we’re all lost to one degree or another, surrounded by a culture that hates us and awash in utter filth.

We do need mercy. It’s just not the kind of “mercy” being tossed around like a sharp edged sword of late.

So, ladies……do you think a “world run by women” would be much better? March 10, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, rank stupidity, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, silliness, Society.
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I came across the following rather pathetically desperate-to-please op-ed in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend.  It is crafted, as something so silly more or less would have to be, by a sheltered academic with some rather obvious pathology at work (aka please, please have sex with me!).  In it he explains to us all why the world will inevitably come to be ruled by women, and why that will be the bestest thing ever.  He makes some rather enormous errors at the start, failing to recognize the marked degree of feminization/emasculization abroad in the culture today, and ignoring the extremely checkered history of female-dominated societies/sub-cultures in the past.

Nevertheless, this is one article I’d enjoy hearing from the ladies on:

Research has found that women are superior to men in most ways that will count in the future, and it isn’t just a matter of culture or upbringing—although both play their roles. It is also biology and the aspects of thought and feeling shaped by biology. It is because of chromosomes, genes, hormones and brain circuits. [See how we have transitioned from “women’s equality” to “women are superior” among the extreme end of the feminist movement, including the sycophant males who attach themselves to it]

And no, by this I don’t mean what was meant by patronizing men who proclaimed the superiority of women in the benighted past—that women are lofty, spiritual creatures who must be left out of the bustle and fray of competitive life, business, politics and war, so that they can instill character in the next generation. I mean something like the opposite of that. [More assumptions: child-rearing is a distinctly second class occupation (best left to low-paid others), and the constant leftist belief in the awful past and the golden, progressive future.  Buddy, I’ve seen the future, and it is anything but golden.]

…….There is every reason to think that a future national hierarchy staffed and led by women who no longer have to imitate men, dealing with other nations similarly transformed, would be less likely to go to war. But that’s not all. Sex scandals, financial corruption and violence are all overwhelmingly male[Oh BS.  This screed is, among other things, obviously just some prep-work for a Hillary run in 2016. It contains nothing but the bald assertions of a self-loathing male, or one pretending to be so to pump his dear Hillary.  But Hilary is presently mired in one of the greatest finance-driven political scandals of the past decade.  Is that because she’s “too male?” If she is, she must be deficient and shouldn’t be elected]

We must give up the illusion of sameness between the sexes. The mammalian body plan is basically female. The reason males exist is that a gene on the Y chromosome derails the basic genetic plan. It causes testes to form, and they produce testosterone while suppressing female development. [Bald assertion again: women are basically superior]

Testosterone goes to the brain in late prenatal life and prepares the hypothalamus and amygdala for a lifetime of physical aggression and a kind of sexual drive that is detached from affection and throws caution to the winds. (I know, not all men, but way too many.) By contrast, almost all women, protected from that hormonal assault, have brains that take care of business without this kind of distracting and destructive delirium. [So I’ve never had the pleasure, but back when my wife worked, she most often worked in offices dominated in numbers by women.  And she hated it. The backstabbing, the politics, the general nastiness appalled her. I’ve never experienced anything remotely like that in all the male-dominated places I’ve worked, where, generally speaking, everybody gets along quite well.  And, I think it not unfair to say that perhaps women have “destructive deliriums” of their own]

Well it just sort of goes downhill from there.  He says some utterly unsupported things about our “hunter-gatherer” forebears and transitions from there to lionize left-wing Repubnik women senators and some assertion about women mayors being more willing to “alter the budget process and seek broad participation,” as if those are simply unalloyed goods everyone must recognize, rather than being the meaningless neutral statements they are.

Of course, nary a reference to Eve, the Fall, the Blessed Mother, and anything that would pass for a Christian, let alone a Catholic, understanding of the complimentary nature of the sexes and God’s fundamental division of labor in the human family.  Beliefs like that, to one so obviously striving to be in the vanguard of the proletarian revolution, belong to the “benighted past.”

But perhaps women were by and large happier in that terrible, awful, dreadful past?  And much more importantly, perhaps children were much, much better off, instead of being raised by teachers and day care workers?

That’s actually a closely guarded secret of the left – the vast majority of their sacred shibolleths inflict a terrible toll on children, from divorce to contraception to abortion to feminism to the destruction of marriage, it is children who have and will suffered the most for each of these disastrous “advances”  so cherished, so trumpeted by the Left.

I guess I’ve tipped my hand – this guy is nuts – and some future dominated by Amazon Women from the Moon would only serve to disastrously increase the world’s already monumental woes.  I have to say this so people with no sense of humor will not get the wrong idea.

Take it away, Kinky:

“Downfall” for the modernists? They are only re-grouping. March 10, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, priests, sanctity, secularism, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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A reader sent me a link to the video below, another of the very long running series of spoofs on the German film Downfall wherein Hitler has his most famous meltdown.  I do hope people see the entire movie, it is excellent, yes, but incredibly important in terms of understanding the ultimate banality and emptiness of every such political movement.

Nevertheless, I thought this effort quite good.  I laughed a number of times.

I’m far from certain the modernists have been “stopped,” derailed, or any thing of the kind,  but there’s always hope.  There were a few barbs in there I think quite accurate.  I think the loathing for “trads” was portrayed about right.

The thing about modernists is, they never stop, until they’re dead (and sometimes, not even then).  I do hope folks aren’t letting their guard down. I do not think they are, but don’t be surprised if the second session of the Synod goes right back to where the mid-term Relatio left off.

In fact, Fr. James Jackson FSSP of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Littleton, CO, read the preparatory “Lineamenta” document for the next session of the Synod, and he was not impressed, not one bit (I think it quite significant that Fr. Jackson was asked to prepare this document by Archbishop Aquila of Denver).  A few excerpts below:

2. The language of sin and redemption was missing from the documents.
Instead, we were treated to sentences like “The challenge for the Church is to assist couples in their emotive maturation and affective development.” This is an example of substituting sociology and psychology for the Word of God and the teaching of the Church, examples of which may be found throughout the document.
3. Many of the statements were too vague to understand. 
For example, “…a reflection capable of reframing the great questions about the meaning of human existence, can be responsive to humanity’s most profound expectations.” I do not know what this means. [No one does, save for PhDs and STLs of an uber-modernist bent.  They only know what it means, because they can twist such a vague statement to mean anything they want it to. And that is the point.] And there seems to be little in the document about our obligation to be responsive to the expectations of the Lord.
4. Throughout the document there is a sentimental notion of mercy which can be quite misleading. 
For example, “Jesus looked upon the women and men he met with love and tenderness…in proclaiming the demands of the Kingdom of God.” Except when He didn’t. The words He used to condemn the Pharisees were not words of tenderness. [Modernists turn Jesus into a caricature of their own creation to advance their own ends.  It has always been thus with those who reject the Faith – IOW, heretics.]
5. It seems that the writers of these documents went to great lengths to avoid talking about sin. 
For example, “…the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an incomplete manner…” If there is no sin, then there is no need of salvation. Which is why I suppose, that the sentence continues with “…recognizing that the grace of God works also in their lives by giving them the courage to do good, to care for one another and to be of service to the community in which they live and work.” There is no salvation in the “courage to do good etc.,” as the pagans do as much[But according to the modernist dictates of pretended universal salvation, the pagans are just as saved as Katholycs, and way more saved than those mean ol’ nasty trads, like Fr. Jackson. Faithful Catholics are the only ones who are doomed, doomed, DOOMED!]
8. In the same paragraph we read “…the crisis of faith has led to a crisis in marriage and the family…”
I could not find a definition of this crisis of faith, nor what the causes of it are, in this document. Unless this is clarified, there will be business as usual, with no indication of how we can assess progress.  [“Business as usual,” which may, after all, be the point.  But I think there are forces who desire to go well beyond current problems, and unleash an entirely new level of catastrophic doctrinal chaos]  The paragraph further states, “In the face of a strong faith, the imposition of certain cultural perspectives which weaken the family and marriage will cause no harm.” This too is undefined, and in my opinion, naive. [The Faith was generally incredibly strong in the 13th century, far stronger than today, and yet the Albigensian heresy posed an existential threat to the Church at that time.  Pretending that hostile cultural forces can pose no threat is indeed naive]
There are elements of secular Western culture which can utterly erode the foundations of faith, and make it almost impossible to practice. Pornography is one of these, and it tears apart the family and the vocation to marriage, yet is not even mentioned in the Relatio, nor are other elements such as the current confusion about gender, or strains of feminism which are utterly opposed to the Church.
9. Beginning with #33, a list of solutions is proposed.
“Proclamation…in espousing values,” “...a more positive approach to the richness of various religious experiences,” and denunciations of poverty stemming from “market logic.
I have no idea what these mean. [I do.  More modernism, more left wing agitprop issuing from elements of the Church, and more chaos.  Also, much more ecumenism, which has succeeded so brilliantly in strengthening Christendom already.  Not.]
Reading the Bible, increased catechesis, older couples lending a hand in formation are mentioned, and while these make sense, it seems to me that this has already been going on for some time. “Meaningful liturgies” are mentioned, but this is vague and sentimental.
10. The “trauma of family break-up” is mentioned, closely followed by a proposal to streamline the annulment process[Sheesh]
How such streamlining can possibly address the trauma is not discussed. We can streamline the process of annulment all we want, and the trauma to the children of divorce will remain. [Indeed, it will be multiplied by such “streamlining.”  Such will only encourage more divorce, and more children with shattered lives.  So merciful! I watched a dramatic presentation just yesterday that showed parents telling their young children of their pending breakup, and I will say the presentation was excellent in showing just the devastation divorce causes in children.  I will repeat until I die: I hate divorce.  In rare instances, such as unreformable child abuse, it is the lesser of a grave evil, but that is very rare, and not the reason the vast majority of divorces occur.]
11.Admittance of the divorced and remarried to the sacraments (bypassing the annulment process altogether) proposes in itself another question, namely, why not open the sacraments to anyone, for any reason, no matter what they have done or what their state of life is?
In short, I found the document vague, secular, naive and sentimental. It was discouraging to read.
There is a bit more at Rorate that is worth reading.  Gee, do you think Bishop Farrell might have a local FSSP priest provide a similar input?
What would the odds be on that?
I think the above shows that whatever “setback” the modernist elements may have felt at the first session of the Synod, they are only re-grouping to double their efforts at the next session.  And then we will have the post-synodal encyclical, which could say anything at this point.  So even though Pope Francis has promoted some orthodox leaders to positions of influence (while also removing others), the Synodal process, which he directs intimately, continues apace.  If one looks on developments of the past 2 years from a political standpoint, such relatively orthodox appointments are not only necessary, but can play a vital role in the success of ensuring sweeping change.