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Be Devoted to the Immaculate Heart May 26, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, manhood, Our Lady, persecution, priests, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A nice sermon from a priest this blog has admired and followed for years.  I’ve posted his name scores of times on here but since the sermon comes from Sensus Fidelium and the policy is to try to keep the priests anonymous should I follow along?

Nah, it’s the priest I admire most for the sufferings he has endured for the good of souls and the authentic practice of the Faith, Father Michael Rodriguez.  Steve can slap me for breaching etiquette:

I was sort of dozing when I listened to this last night so I’m not really able to give a good synopsis.  But if it’s Father R it’s certain to be gold.  I can say with certainty that he is the non-TLM-community priest I respect the most.  And, he’s been a good friend and supporter of this blog and its author.

Please pray for him.  Father’s situation remains very difficult and he has no formal assignment in El Paso.  He does however retain valid faculties and he does reach a number of souls through the internet and more direct means.  But his situation is always parlous.  As a priest who has suffered tremendously, and wholly unjustly, in my mind, for his defense of the Faith and Tradition, he is eminently worthy of your prayers.

Of course, all priests need our prayers desperately, including those who are not as faithful or even destructive in their own particular way(s).  It would be a failure in charity for us not to pray for them, even if they do many bad things, for they will face a judgment far more severe than ours, given the responsibility they have for souls.

Invoking Our Lady’s intercession for all priests, good and not so good, is a wonderful way to pray for them. It’s a bit late now, but the month of Mary is a great time to make special devotional prayers/Novenas for priests. Saint Joseph is also a great intercessor for priests, the efficacy of whose intercession I have been repeatedly amazed by.

Well I managed to cobble together a half-decent (?) after all, without a synopsis!  Maybe I’m finally getting this blogging thing after all, after 7 1/2 years and 7000 posts.

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Shall We Come to the Point in the Church Where the Faithful Are Legal Schismatics and the Obedient Manifest Heretics? May 26, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, reading, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From Mitre and Crook by Father Bryan Houghton (sadly long out of print), a fictional discussion between the hero of the story, Bishop Edmund Forester of England, who in the book returned to Tradition in 1977, and another fictional bishop who took him to task for going against the plain will of the then-Pope Paul VI and the “new orientation” of the Church after Vatican II.

The argument is framed around the following declaration the critic of good Bishop Forester made to try to prove why Forester was in the wrong:

“There is only one object of the Faith: the Church.  I am baptized into the Church, and it is she who gives me Faith.  On her authority I believe all other doctrines.  She can deal with them as she likes, since she is the only constant.  Christ revealed no doctrines but a praxis: His Kingdom the Church.”

With this, I think Houghton is trying to summarize the conservative Catholic but hostile to Tradition camp – the my Church right or wrong camp.  Logically speaking, there are giant holes in the above, least of all in that it subverts constant Truth to the will of fallen men – men who have been guided for 2000 years by the Holy Spirit, but a guidance which sad experience has shown they can all too easily reject.

Bishop Forester replies at length, portions of which I excerpt below – see if you will follow his train of logic to conclude that we may well be in a time where the faithful are generally at variance to the expressed will of the hierarchy, if not “legal schismatics,” whereas most of the so-called obedient have truck with heresy:

But surely it is evident that such an argument is tautological or a vicious circle? I am to know what God has revealed by the authority of the Church.  And how am I to know that the Church has such authority?  Because the Church says that God has revealed it.  It is patently nonsense.  [This actually is a subtle and complex argument, but, in a nutshell, keeping the principle of non-contradiction and knowing that solemnly defined Dogma can never change, you can safely exclude appeals to authority such as those above when they seek to change what cannot be changed.]

……You said: “Christ revealed no doctrines but a praxis: His Kingdom, His Church.” You thereby concede that there is at any rate one object of Faith logically prior to the Church: the authority of Christ. And once you admit that, allthe rest follows.  Is His authority divine? Is He God Incarnate, the Second Person of the Trinity, born of the Virgin Mary, etc?  Indeed, one of those things which follows from your prior faith in the divine authority of Christ is the authority of the Church.  It does not work the other way around: you do not believe that Christ receives His authority from the Church.  The Church is the guardian of God’s revelation but not its source.  She herself is one of the objects of Faith: I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Therein, it seems to me, lies the crux of the present crisis. I mean the crisis between honest Catholics……I am not referring to the heretics who have lost the Faith although the Church no longer excludes them……..Faced with the same crisis, we react in diametrically opposite ways.  Your immediate reaction, along with the overwhelming majority of the institutional Church, is to save the Church and the Faith will have to look after itself.  Mine, along with some laymen [and a handful of priests], is to save the Faith and the Church will have to look after herself. We cannot both be right. Indeed, each day the gulf between us is growing wider.  if we pursue our ways indefinitely we shall come to the point when the faithful are legal schismatics and the obedient factual heretics………[What do you make of that?]

……..At this moment of time it is patently untrue to say that in defending the Church one is automatically defending the Faith and this for two reasons: a) the Faith is ambiguously formulated; b) heretics are no longer excluded from the Church.  The fact is that the Faith is exclusive whereas the Church has become inclusive.  She has changed Our Lord’s lapidary sentence, “He who is not with Me is against Me” into the coward’s whine “He is my friend who bullies me.” [Think how much more boldly error is proclaimed in the highest levels of authority even than it was in the time of Paul VI.  We’re well beyond ambiguity and well into full-throated proclamation of error.]

……The fact is, and we know it, that in our own dioceses it is not we who have defended the Faith; it has been left to pathetic little groups of laity, helped or hindered by a stray priest, to do so.  

It is a very different matter when it comes to enforcing the New Outlook.  Have you ever promoted a priest who has stuck to the Immemorial Mass? Of course not……..What has been your attitude to priests who mumble that Vatican II failed to face the facts and that the post-conciliar legislation has been disastrous; who refuse to be brainwashed by attending compulsory study-days, who jeer at the Bishop’s Collegiality, the National Conference of Priests and the new structures generally; who will not give Communion standing and in the hand; who administer Extreme Unction as of yore; who still say the Breviary, the Rosary and make their meditation, who…….?  Have you reserved key positions in your administration for such men of probity and principle? No more than I have.  We have looked after the Church all right but not after the Faith.

The crowning example is Archbishop Lefebvre.  He has been attacked from all sides, yet nobody has dared impugn his Faith and accuse him of being unorthodox.  In fact, if only he would utter the tiniest, wee little heresy, authority could indulge in charity and all would be forgiven.  The trouble is that the old devil won’t, so there is nothing to forgive.  Thus, he gets suspended and threatened with excommunication on a trumped up charge of disobeying ecclesiastical law.

……..Up to and including the Council, Catholics were bound to believe in all defined doctrines and to obey the commands of the Church’s Magisterium.  Now, apparently, [quoting Paul VI] we are expected to submit to “an outlook.” We must all look in the same direction as the reigning Pontiff: “Company, eyes left!”…….Paul VI is absolutely right – the new look in the Church is due precisely to the substitution of a human outlook for Divine Revelation.  [Paul IV proclaimed that] Vatican II has no less authority than Nicaea and in many respects is more important.”  Exactly.  Nicaea merely defined the Divinity of Christ, whereas Vatican II has given rise to an “orientation,” an “outlook.”  As a matter of fact, Lefebvre is defending the decrees of all Councils, from Nicaea to Vatican II inclusive: he is defending decrees as against “orientations.

————End Quote————-

Well, what do you make of that?  Any thoughts? Do you think we are headed – or already well at – a time when the faithful are at least opposed to much of what the institutional Church does, and where the “Catholics” with ecclesiastical approbation are often practical heretics?  Or you think that’s been the case for 50 years?

Does not this point up the ultimate divide between the loosely defined “conservative” and “traditional” camps?  At least how they define each other, if not themselves?