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Fr. Albert on Admonishing the Sinner August 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Restoration, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Some interesting thoughts below.  Fr. Albert, a traditional Dominican in Belgium working with The Fatima Center declares admonishing the sinner is a moral duty and failing to do so can be sinful on our part, but then states that the situations wherein we have a positive duty to act are quite rare.  I haven’t a great deal of time to flesh this out today, but this is one of those matters that is very dear to many Catholic hearts and one that does cause quite a bit of division.  See what you make of it:

Do you feel Father Albert “wimps out” towards the end in stating that these admonishments may cause more harm than good and thus the situations where they are required are quite rare?  Or is this necessary prudence.

This matter comes up with some regularity at the local Fraternity parish, where we have had instances of people evidencing great hurt at being corrected by other lay people, and the priests have basically cautioned against such admonishments, asking matters like fraternal correction over immodest dress or how to raise and educate children be left to the priests (with some room for action if the matter is dire or pressing).  Some people very much agree with this stance, while others feel that doing so could lead to rapidly falling standards since priests won’t often have time to make such one-on-one corrections.

I covered this topic in a post a few months ago, so I don’t want to retread that ground all over again, but one thought that has occurred to me in the intervening months is that one’s approach to this matter depends very much on how one views their local traditional community as a whole, and how newcomers and those who err publicly fit into it.  Some hold the view that pretty much everyone who is bothering to come to a traditional Catholic parish is already extremely dedicated, generally trying hard to do their best, and should be given a lot of latitude to “come up to standard” with things like dress or homeschooling or using NFP or whatever hot-button topic.  These same people view the community as quite resilient and able to stand some problematic public displays in the interest of being accommodating and helping the community grow.

Then there are souls who are very concerned about standards, who well know the threats to the traditional practice of the Faith both inside and outside the Church, and who feel that those souls who are failing in certain, quite public, ways pose a threat to the integrity of the community.  They may even have direct experience of communities softening standards and inevitably sliding into mediocrity or worse, total collapse to the culture.  Many of these folks have been traumatized, in a sense, by experiences in Novus Ordo world or the culture generally, and place a high premium on protecting the integrity of the community/parish.  These people are also naturally zealous for the Faith and see its defense as a primary duty, recognizing rightly that a reverent, faithful Catholic parish is an incredibly precious thing, maybe even a vulnerable thing, and very much worthy of protection.

The thing is, neither of these outlooks is wrong.  Thus the tension that exists in many traditional parishes over how to handle matters like fraternal correction.  My natural disposition is much more towards the latter, and I will admit to being a bit suspect of the motives of those who have been in traditional communities a long time and  yet seem to take a certain joy in being non-conformist in various regards, without going into specifics.  I am also one who tries to take correction in the best light, instead of getting instantly offended and hurt and storming out of the place – not that I have not at times disagreed with someone’s well-meaning recommendations.

But, I also don’t want to see rigid communal standards emerge that exclude all but the most zealous, the most rigorous.  Those types of situations have a long history and almost universally end in extremes of opinion and action and communities dividing into hostile camps that eventually disintegrate.  There have been several attempts at utopian Catholic enclaves in the past 200 years and they have all ended badly.

I think prudence is the key.  If you see a lady in a short skirt and stilletos, but wearing a veil, and you’ve never seen her before, maybe cut her a break.  Don’t say anything.  But pray for that person.  If they keep coming and you get to know them a bit, perhaps that relationship will be a grounds to make a very charitable comment some weeks or months down the road if the person does not self-correct.  You and I may think homeschooling is practically the only way to raise a child in this moral sewer but you don’t have to unload that opinion on every soul you encounter.  Prying questions into one’s background and purity tests are not a good way to make an acquaintance.  The examples could go on endlessly, but I assume you get the point.

I would close by saying, if you fall more to one side or the other – the welcoming souls willing to look the other way at times, or the militant defenders of the sanctity of the community – also try to have some charity for those who feel differently from yourself.  If someone thinks it’s better to be more accommodating and less rigorous, that doesn’t make them a bad Catholic.  And those with strong personalities who feel standards should be enforced at all times and who do not shy away from correcting others, they are not necessarily the stereotypical bad rad-trad.

Yes this is another “can’t we all get along” post.  But maybe that’s not such a bad thing, for a group that is already surrounded on all sides and hopelessly outnumbered.  I’ve been reading about some of the failed Crusades to stop the spread of islam of late, and it is heart-breaking the degree to which Catholic division and in-fighting aided the spread of the demonic religion of Mohammad.  Different groups of Catholics refused to aid one another in the Fall of Acre in 1289.

Related.  End trad-Cath circular firing squads!

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Comments

1. The Lord's Blog - August 7, 2017

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog and commented:
Admonishing the sinner…………………

2. A Mom - August 8, 2017

Unless I am mistaken, one of the requirements where Fraternal Correction is concerned is that the behavior being addressed is a grave sin. The issues you mention in the post seem to conflate sin with the general culture and unwritten standards of a trad community, so I think this is an important discussion to have. I apologize in advance if I have misunderstood your post.

Modesty aside (and even here ignorance can affect culpability if I’m not mistaken), what mortal sins are we correcting?
Is it a mortal sin to use NFP?
Is it a mortal sin for a woman to wear pants?
Is it a mortal sin for a woman to pray without a head covering?
Is it a mortal sin if a family does not homeschool?
As you wrote, the examples could go on endlessly, but doesn’t the intention behind the action play a part in answering the question? (“But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man.”) None of us as laymen have the authority to judge that, which I’m guessing is one reason why it is said that these situations are rare and best left to the priests.

Maybe it would be helpful to look at it another way.
Can one be reverent and faithful while using NFP?
Can one be a reverent and faithful woman while wearing pants?
Can one be a reverent and faithful woman without a head covering?
Can one be reverent and faithful without homeschooling? etc.

Can one have a reverent and faithful trad community if our focus is more on growing in holiness – the interior life – and less on the externals? Can the members of a community meet all the external trad “standards” and still be lacking in reverence and faithfulness?

I know you didn’t mean it this way, but the comment about non-conformists brought to my mind those polygamous Mormon women with the matching prairie dresses and poofy braids. Yikes.

Again, I apologize if I have misunderstood you. God bless you.

A Mom - August 8, 2017

I should add that there is certainly nothing wrong with matching prairie dresses and poofy braids in and of themselves. I guess it wasn’t the best way to make my point about forced conformity, but hopefully you understand what I was trying to say.

Barbara Hvilivitzky - August 8, 2017

Yes, Yes, Yes to this comment. I was going to say similar things. Our FSSP pastor has told us all to butt out. He is the pastor, he has the authority, he will decide what behaviour etc. needs correction, and he will do the correcting. That says it all.

Tim - August 10, 2017

Problem is that most of them don’t do it in trad circles, in the Novus Ordo, they simply don’t believe it.

Tim - August 10, 2017

“Is it a mortal sin to use NFP?”
Please answer this…..how is the intent of NFP different than a device, phamaceutical product or onanism?

It isn’t, it is have your sex and ditch the parenthood possibility.
You are simply employing your God given intellect to try an end around on God’s primary purpose for marital relations.

“Is it a mortal sin to use NFP?”…..the answer is a “no brainer”.

Pants on women?….a lot of ignorance in this category. Women who profess to be orthodox Catholics should know better….especially at Church or social situations. This problem also stems from weak fathers and husbands….not surprising in this culture of estrogen.

Veils??…..again….ignorance galore….most trad women don’t even know why they do it.

Homeschool?…..no not necessarily, they children can be sent to a traditional school….SSPX for example. I heard a sermon from an FSSP priest stating that for a serious Catholic it would be a mortal sin to send them to public schools(not the same thing as “not homeschooling”)

Externals show the internals to the world. If I show up to Mass in a t-shirt and shorts instead of a shirt and tie would you think I had internal reverence for God and The Mass? Internals and externals are tied to each other, just as body and soul….we all know what happens when the latter two separate.

Mormons can’t even be considered Christian…..they are polytheistic.

Tim - August 10, 2017

As an addendum, I’ve been on both “sides of the fence”. I was a Novus Ordite who got talked into going to a Latin Mass by my wife. The first Latin Mass was on July 30, 2000 and it was hot and humid, so I did what I normally did for Mass in the summer and wore shorts and a Barney Rubble T-shirt. BOY, was I out of place in this parish, I self corrected immediately as that’s the last time I dressed for Mass in that fashion! After joining that FSSP parish I was corrected by a couple on the behavior of my toddlers in Mass. I not only “get offended”, I developed a deep respect for them. People are just too darn sensitive these days. I don’t advocate hitting people in the head with a sledgehammer, but we must do our duty. One priest told me you will have better outcome using a sprinkling can rather than a fire hose……that does not , however, mean we are to be pusillanimous about it.

Tantumblogo - August 10, 2017

I think you make an assumption that I was referring only to mortally sinful acts. Not the case, and I did not state that I was. Correction can be applied in matters that are not mortally sinful, and may take the place form of friendly advice.

Regarding NFP, which seems to have attracted the most attention, it’s use CAN be sinful, even mortally, but to say it is always and everywhere so would be wrong. It depends entirely on the disposition, intent, and ends of the user. There are situations where it is permissible, for instance, if the mother is gravely ill and pregnancy might endanger her health, or extreme poverty. However, for the most part, Tim is right, NFP is used as replacement birth control and often taught as such. That is why some very good people I know have left the Couple to Couple League because they felt its coverage of NFP crossed over to NFP and even could represent, at times, a contraceptive mentality. I have heard major NFP apologists on EWTN radio state that NFP can be licitly used in an entire marriage for the sole purpose of preventing the birth of any children, and for more or less reasons of preference. That is not licit.

Not sure how a post that was intended to spark conciliation turned into so much controversy.

Tim - August 11, 2017

Couple of questions that I can’t seem to get an answer to:

Who defines extreme poverty and what are the objective parameters? When do we just trust in God?

If one’s wife is gravely ill and pregnancy would be a direct threat to her health, what Catholic husband would demand sex from her? Does he love her or does he love “it”? Our crosses are not meant to be pleasant.

https://www.amazon.com/Case-Concerning-Catholic-Contraception-Position/dp/1495200574/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502467172&sr=1-1&keywords=case+concerning+catholic+contraception

“Not sure how a post that was intended to spark conciliation turned into so much controversy. “…..

I think fallen human nature, Satan’s efforts to divide and conquer and good old fashioned pride are in play.

Having been in all 4 corners of the North American trad scene(SSPX, FSSP, ICK, Diosean) I am all for ending trad circular firing squads…..we seem to forget that the real enemy(besides Satan) is modernism. We need to fight it tooth and nail.

With all due respect to Fr. Rodriguez, the originator of “ending trad catholic circular firing squads” was Michael Matt.

Keep fighting the good fight Tantum!!

Tantumblogo - August 12, 2017

Father and Matt have had a number of discussions. They are on the same page. I’m sure the idea predates Fr. Rodriguez’ “conversion,” however.

I don’t disagree regarding NFP. I think there are tremendous temptations to self-justify its use. I think it should be avoided in virtually all cases. For instance, with all we’ve had this year, my wife and I could probably convince ourselves that we could practice NFP, but the thought never even crossed our minds. Whatever the Lord chooses to bring, we will strive to accept.

A Mom - August 11, 2017

Oh, then I have misunderstood you after all. My apologies for the confusion. I thought your post was about Fraternal Correction; it seems you are referring to something else but calling it Fraternal Correction.

“Not sure how a post that was intended to spark conciliation turned into so much controversy.” I agree, and though my intent was merely to try to help clarify things I truly regret commenting at all. I am ashamed to be in any way associated with this thread of scandalously hateful comments. God forgive me, and God bless you.

Tim - August 11, 2017

There’s no “hateful” comments in this thread. It’s just a spirited debate between fellow Catholics with strong convictions. I have no animosity or hatred for anyone here and I know Tantum does not. Don’t fall for the SJW approach to disagreements. Just because people disagree, even strongly, does not imply hate.

Tantumblogo - August 12, 2017

Shame on me for not reading to the end of your comment. You got the thrust of my point, though I think fraternal correction does not have to be limited, in practice, to matters regarding mortal sin. I think it is exceedingly bad practice to look at someone else’s behavior – especially on the matters your described – and assign to that a sin reaching to the level of eternal damnation. None of us can peer into other’s souls and know their motivations or intent behind things we might find sinful, and which might even be objectively sinful, but whether or not they rise to the level of mortal sin is really only for God and their confessor to know. We are not talking about direct physical transgressions of the 5th or 6th Commandments in these questions where the degree of culpability is obvious.

Tim - August 12, 2017

“Not sure how a post that was intended to spark conciliation turned into so much controversy.”

After rereading this I think you gave the reason yourself and may not have realized it. Not surprising with as much as you have on your plate!

“but this is one of those matters that is very dear to many Catholic hearts and one that does cause quite a bit of division. See what you make of it:”

No big deal, just something that caught my eye that I didn’t take notice of initially.

Tantumblogo - August 12, 2017

Nope you’re right, what I think in my mind when writing something under less than ideal circumstances and what I actually commit to “paper” are not always the same thing. Then there are people’s interpretations of what I write, which often take off on tangents from either things I wrote that I didn’t take terribly seriously, OR are so focused on their own concerns that they read something into what I wrote that wasn’t there.

Richard Malcolm - August 12, 2017

A Mom,

Great post. Great distinctions.

Tantumblogo - August 12, 2017

No I don’t think you misunderstood. I think external signs can often be a sign of interior turmoil or even serious deviations from the right practice of the Faith, and as such they can be acted on. They can also be acted upon due to the potential for scandal in the community. But overall yes rigidly enforced conformity on matters of moral indifference, even moral uncertainty, or personal preference can be poisonous on many fronts, not least of all for those doing the enforcing, because that insistence on rigidity and focus on the doings of others can be a shield against examination of the enforcer’s faults.

Having said that, I’ve also seen communities gravely injured if not collapse over their refusal/inability to maintain some kind of standard, especially with a flood of newcomers. So I think there needs to be some kind of balance.

But just to contradict myself one more time and reduce my opinion to meaningless mush I have also seen situations where there is inordinate emphasis placed on some of the items you listed evolve into ever more strict purity tests, with things like rejection of evolution, extolling of distributism as the only acceptable Catholic economic system, and acceptance of geocentrism were required to be a “true Catholic.” And it can go on from there – councils start getting rejected, Saints declared heretics, etc.

Richard Malcolm - August 14, 2017

Or even extremes on just the clothing issue – I have had related to me instances of rough treatment for wearing a hat instead of a veil. Which would have knocked out probably 80% of American women at Mass for at least 4-5 generations before the Council.

I don’t think this sort of thing happens THAT often – but clearly it does happen.

Tim - August 14, 2017

In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council solemnly proclaimed:

“Firmly we believe and we confess simply that the true God […] by His own omnipotent power at once from the beginning of time created each creature from nothing, spiritual and corporal […]” (DZ 428)

The Provincial Council of Cologne (1860) made the following pronouncement one year after the appearance of Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species” (1859):

“Our first parents were formed immediately by God. Therefore we declare that the opinion of those who do not fear to assert that this human being, man as regards his body, emerged finally from the spontaneous continuous change of imperfect nature to the more perfect, is clearly opposed to Sacred Scripture and to the Faith.”

Nine years later, the First Vatican Council (1869-1870), quoting the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), taught the following:

“This sole true God ‘immediately from the beginning of time fashioned each creature out of nothing, spiritual and corporeal’ […]” (DZ 1783)

The accompanying anathema reads as follows:

“If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God from nothing […] let him be anathema.” (DZ 1805)

Tim - August 14, 2017

Tim - August 14, 2017

3. Baseballmomof8 - August 8, 2017

I felt it was somewhat weak. Clearly we don’t run around correcting all sinners, but we DO have an obligation to correct those who are placed in our lives by God. Clearly, the correction must be motivated by love for the soul, and for a desire that he not be damned. Actually, in this day and age we have MORE of an obligation to correct, not less. I think he misses the mark there. The active sodomite, the fornicating friend, the Catholic living in a non-sacramental marriage. We all have people in our close circle who fit these descriptions, and we are obliged to, with great love, correct them. What they do with it is up to them.

4. Sobieski - August 8, 2017

I think the modesty police, for example, should listen to Fr. Ripperger’s talks on the subject. I find him to usually be very balanced, which is not surprising since he is a Thomist. He discusses the “Catholic Amish.” Another priest lays out the Vatican standard from early last century for modest dress, but that is often not good enough for them. We deal with one such person in our community who runs around confronting people every so often.

I agree about modesty and that the vice prevalent today is usually to be deficient with respect to the mean of virtue, but the hyper-choleric approach usually backfires, ticks people off or runs them away. I agree that egregious stuff needs to be addressed appropriately, but there needs to be some prudence and understanding.

My wife was basically traumatized when she was a kid with jumpers and veils and going to hell. Now, she has a hard time wearing a veil, for example, even though wearing one is the ideal and would be good for our daughters to see. People running around with no authority over others or trying to make them conform to a standard outside the mean (whether of excess or defect) could be engaging in a greater vice by trying to police others.

5. c matt - August 8, 2017

Tend to agree with the Polish King, The likelihood of alienation is pretty high if correction is not done well. A lot depends upon how well you know the person being corrected and the relationship you have with them as Tantum mentions. Unless it is something egregious and presents a rather immediate danger, I would not be inclined to correct someone I do not know. Internet excepted.

6. TF - August 8, 2017

This reminds me of an essay I read a few years ago, which I wish I had printed out, since I cannot find it. “A Defense of Dragons” I think it was called. The dragons in question were the old ladies who would pounce on any slacker who didn’t conform to societal standards like not eating while walking, or not helping someone in need on his day off. It was amusing and made me wish these dragons were still allowed to roam the streets and byways of our society today.

In our milquetoast culture any criticism is seen as a mortal offense. There’s no deference to tradition or the elderly. Sorry for going off on a tangent. I’m actually hoping somebody can point me to that essay.

TF - August 8, 2017

In case it was not clear the standard I alluded to is you must help someone in need in your professional capacity even on your day off. There was a very amusing story in this regard.

7. dthy - August 8, 2017

In most cases, the more indirect approach is the best, that is, to post information about dress codes in the bulletin, pamphlets in the back of church, etc. An occasional mention of the subject in the homily would also be nice. The FSSP parish is good about those things, and in general, almost everyone is extremely respectful towards Our Lord in the Eucharist and one another. The problem is that in most parishes, the problem is not addressed at all, and abuses are rampant. But in which case we have to realize that when we are at Mass we are at Calvary in our own age. So what went on at Calvary? Christ was mocked and made fun of. Soldiers made a game of it by casting lots for His garments. (Considering that when witnessing those there for social reasons, carrying on unnecessary conversation in the presence of others who would like to pray.) If we try to stand with Mary and her companions at the foot of the Cross, then we can better appreciate what they experienced, how they felt, and can offer our frustrations over this in union with them in reparation for our own sins, and we can also pray for those who so blatantly offend Our Lord. And yes, fraternal correction is important and necessary when the opportunity to do so is one on one and in private, but that is not usually the case in these situations that occur at Mass.

tg - August 11, 2017

Thanks for giving me something to aim for next time I am annoyed at Mass with people talking. I will try to think about Mary and John and the other women at the cross.

8. Margaret Costello - August 8, 2017

Can you post “the defense of dragons” when you find it? I too think people are too emo and uber sensitive about being admonished. We need to grow spines and be open to possible correction.

And to answer questions above, yes, it’s mortal sin to use NFP for non-grave reasons and have a “children are a burden and to be avoided” contraceptive mentality. And yes, women wearing pants can be a mortal sin if her wearing them leads a man to lust after her since she is showing her buttocks and crouch. Would you ever in a million years consider the Blessed Mother wearing pants? Aren’t we Catholic women supposed to mirror her? I’m not sure that not wearing a head covering constitutes a mortal sin, but it does offend the angels and why would we want to do that? In a time of rampant decay and decline, I think having specific standards that are readily available, understood and followed by Catholic communities is a MUST. Our great grandmothers would never have worn men’s clothes i.e. pants and shown the outline of their butts and crouches for the world to see. They would have dressed modestly, worn head coverings, seen children as a gift and probably have practiced continence and not NFP if grave reasons made it not possible to expand their family. They would have homeschooled seeing the filth in the culture, putting their children’s souls before their own comfort. They wouldn’t have thought twice about doing so…and wouldn’t have bothered to consider whether it was a mortal sin or not. They just would have known it was right and done it. But they did so probably because their priests and leaders pounded it into their heads and upheld the standards along with why the standards were there in the first place.

Education is key and social policing important to keep people out of the spiritual gutter. Enough of the special snowflake spineless sensitive emo stuff. We are Catholics. If someone haggles us about something take it as an act of love…use our intellect and the highest standards of sanctity as our goal…and use it as an opportunity to grow in humility, holiness and detachment:+) Raised the standard HIGH but educate people as to why it’s there…give it some legs and wisdom to stand on…and people won’t get so jumpy when corrected:+) God bless~

DM - August 8, 2017

Thank you Margaret. You spoke my thoughts exactly. This fear of ‘offending’ or ‘alienating’ or ‘driving people away’ at some point is just an excuse to let things slide and avoid confrontation, an attitude I think would have been absent from Catholic parishes entirely until the mid 20th century. Issues like NFP or homeschooling that often aren’t externally apparent to others or causing scandal in a parish, unless publicly known, are completely different than a blatantly external issue like modesty. If a woman is immodestly dressed and causes even one person present to sin by lustful thoughts, then the situation has already gone too far. It needs to be corrected that day, as charitably as possible, but immediately. Not weeks or months later after getting to know the person or whatever the reason may be.

With all due respect, the priests mentioned who told people to not correct others and to leave it to the pastor to do the correction are dead wrong. The reason being, is that this NEVER HAPPENS, or almost never. I have seen this exact situation far too many times in too many parishes, and yes including multiple FSSP parishes, to buy the excuse that the pastor will take care of it, or will work itself out over time. The priests are often too busy to deal with things like that individually anyway, or will forget, or just deliberately avoid it, or make one weak attempt and then abandon it, and the issue will drag on.

If someone is arrogant enough to wear ‘what they please’ and not care about scandalizing others, then someone needs to provide the correction. If the priest isn’t going to do his job, then at the very least he should not be telling people to “butt out” who are only trying to fix the situation. I won’t claim to know the best way to address someone in this situation, I’m just saying it needs to be addressed, and not left for the pastor to supposedly deal with later or most likely never.

So yes, in my opinion I’m going to go with Fr. Albert here ‘wimps out’.

Margaret Costello - August 9, 2017

A few thoughts come to mind with your post…1) the emphasis on not “offending” which really translates into putting emo first in everything. That’s not Catholic. We Catholics are to be led by the intellect, not our emo. Not easy in this emo addicted age but with God’s grace and the wisdom of the saints, we can get there:+)

2) Entirely agree with the idea of the pastor dealing with things as WRONG. You are right. It’s an excuse and to be honest, it’s not right. Ann Barnhardt recently commented on the idea of social policing and how the fact that it’s now MIA is one of the primary causes of our society delving into chaos. Social policing begins first with the Self, then the immediate family, then friends, then fellow Catholics/neighbors etc. It was those Dragons of the past that saved countless souls by keeping the standards in front of people. And as Hilary White once wrote, we have not only dropped the bar in standards, we’ve buried it. But the standards need to be coupled with the reasons and wisdom as to why they exist behind it. The past few generations were just blindly told to “do this” without the reason and promptly stopped because they assumed it was just a will to power thing. We might be the most educated culture in history when it comes to reading, math etc. but we are dumber than hair when it comes to wisdom and reason.

3) The Amish have written rules for each of their communities/districts that include everything from dress, behavior, courting, roles of men and women etc. We Catholics had that but in an unwritten way and it’s time to bring it back.

I would like to add to my posts that homeschooling shouldn’t be forced on people who aren’t able to financially swing it,…that and I spelled that awful word “crotch” wrong:+)

We’ve got a lot of brainwashing to undo. I think that where the patience and understanding needs to come in. But once people are educated and formed, the rules need to be policed at the lowest and closest level possible. It’s what has kept Christian culture sane and alive these past 2K years and is a major cause of it’s current destruction.

God bless~

9. Margaret Costello - August 8, 2017

After seeing the video I agree with you that Father does kind of talk out of both sides…saying that in general it’s important to correct but that somehow our society today it wouldn’t be prudent to do so. So no help there.

Father lists three conditions for admonishing people and I think the one that causes the most confusion is the “it has to produce good fruit” one. What does that mean? How do you know in advance that someone will take the correction well? And if that’s the case, why do parents bother to correct their kids? They don’t bother to consider “will my child be ‘open’ to this” they just do it because it needs to be said for their well-being, for the truth to be told and reminded to them. I recall my parents admonishing me and setting strict guidelines when I was in college. At first I balked and rejected them. But a few months later, their wisdom and truth had sunk in and I saw that they were right.

Truth is a medicine that might not take hold at first. Thus the condition that will “do good and produce fruit” for someone needs to be fleshed out and understood better. Most people don’t swallow the hard truths well at first. They throw hissy fits and throw you out, even when you approach them in kindness and love. But at least they have been given a dose of spiritual medicine and in God’s way and time, it will do it’s job.

I think our day and time needs to learn how to admonish people in mortal sin the right way…keep on dosing out the medicine of truth and enforcing it with our words and actions…just like they did for two millenia. Our generation will have to endure the worst of the fight back since we are dealing with emo immature addicted toddlers for adults but at least will be picking up our weapons and fighting for souls again. The past few generations have laid down their weapons and allowed the children to run amok. It’s time to rein in the children in adult bodies and do what their parents and grandparents were supposed to do. I’m hoping we get some serious Heaven bonus points for putting up with the emo nuclear coming our way LOL :+) God bless~

Numbskull - August 9, 2017

Well when you have divorced single moms trying to keep up with their teenage daughters in the dress department, what do you expect? rubber bisquits?

10. Gary - August 9, 2017

As a convert of 42 years I can say how sad I am of the Novus Ordo Mass and the uncorrected dress code you see year after year. If you’re paying attention you will notice the weddings and funerals are called short skirt contests, and highest heels, by some ladies. It’s sad but what’s sadder is that I’ve only heard a couple of reminders from the Dallas bishops over these years ( read from the pulpit on Sunday) about modesty in dress. The bishop and pastors don’t want to rock the boat ($$$), I’m sorry but I see no other explanation. Correction should start with the leaders and a dress code should be in writing.
I hope someday there will be a traditional Mass in the Dallas area each Sunday. 😀⛪️

11. Camper - August 9, 2017

I’ve tried to correct people before when they badly needed to be corrected because a child uncorrected was ruining mass for me, and one of those times, I was physically assaulted in the process at a Novus Ordo mass. Another time, a church official later started almost screaming at me because I quietly corrected a boy who was being very distracting during Mass. We have an extremely decadent culture and there has to be some leeway for ordinary parishioners to make a charitable correction.

12. skeinster - August 9, 2017

A couple of thoughts:

I have been asked not “does it produce good fruit?” but “does it make the situation worse?” in regard to some issues of fraternal dorrection in my life. But- this is only in situations where the issue has been clearly explained and my views and concerns are well known.

And, in one sense, I think priests are wary of parishioners harping on Trad externals, even very good ones, because there is a fair amount of magical thinking re: the EF. A bit of conviction that if we tick off all the boxes we can, all will be well. And we know that life does not work like that and many can suffer deep disillusionment and even loss of faith when their efforts seems to have failed.
I’m not talking about everyone, fo course, but we need to recognize that the TLM is not a panacea.

There is also the virtue of benevolence, which requires us to put the best possible spin on the actions of others within our knowlege of the situation.
It’s a vexed question, as Tantum says

13. The Poet - August 10, 2017

When did disobeying a lawful superior, your pastor, become a right?

And if disobeying a lawful superior is acceptable, than why not join the SSPX?

The pastor has authority in his parish.

From where do you derive your authority to disobey your pastor?

Pride – straight from hell, non-serviam

Tim - August 10, 2017

You sir are a supreme jack ass. Spare us your cute little attack on the SSPX. Without them there would be no Traditional Mass today. Archbishop Lefebvre was obeying God before men in 1988. He did God’s will to save the True Mass and Traditional priesthood. Fr Hesse descibed episcopal consecrations as the most manifest example of Christ’s promise that the gates of hell would no prevail.

Where does Francis derive his authority to disobey God?

Pride – straight from hell, non-servium.

Camper - August 10, 2017

Come on, he isn’t being a jerk, and I’m SSPX. Go easy on him. I’m not so crazy about abolishing the circular firing squad as Tantum writes, but please let me say I think you went over the edge here. Anybody reading this blog probably goes to a traditional Mass, and we should have charity towards each other. I really think that those in good standing with Rome are making a critical mistake, but I think St. Francis said that we should even show good manners to criminals.

Tim - August 11, 2017

With all due respect, he us being a jerk as you describe. I am tired of that dead horse being beaten and will call out whomever does it.
I have extensive experience with SSPX, FSSP, ICK and diosean Latin Mass communities. They are all composed of fallible human beings. They all have nut job parishioners who are at war with the others. I will attend any of them as “paradise ” does not exist on this earth. I am currently SSPX since they are who are local.
I was FSSP for years until the diocese betrayed us and ran them out of town. Poet’s snide comment about the SSPX and insinuating that Tantum is prideful and disobedient earned him the rebuke. I guess we can agree to disagree. God bless.

Tim - August 11, 2017

Clarification: all have their SHARE of nut job parishioners. Most are good, holy people.

Camper - August 13, 2017

Hey Tim. Maybe you were right. I hope you would use a cleaner word to criticize him in the future, but I guess I might not have been thinking clearly when I criticized you here. Good for you.

Tim - August 13, 2017

Hi Camper,
Agreed, my choice of words could have been better.

Tantumblogo - August 10, 2017

On what do you make the massive assumption that I disobey my pastor in matters he has spiritual authority over me? That I have been corrected but not always agreed with the correction? Did I ever say that I was corrected by my pastor?

If you are assuming I or my family assist at a SSPX parish, you are wrong. Never been to one. But I think this kind of attack against the SSPX, whatever their faults, is supremely unproductive, as other comments illustrate.

I do so enjoy when people can divine the inner state of my soul from a blog post – and a mild and conciliatory one, at that.

Tim - August 11, 2017

I also enjoy(to a point) when people seem to “know” the souls of clergy and faithful of other trad groups with whom they have ZERO experience. I’ve had the unusual situation of having been involved with all the major groups in the USA and I can tell you that the circular firing squad is exactly what the modernists want. If you’ve never had more than passing involvement with any one in particular then it is best to keep one’s misconceptions to ones self. There’s a lot of “fake news” in Catholic media as well. Go live it first, then if you have a major issue with one or the other take your problem up with their clergy and leadership instead of parroting the old hat nonsense that has been around for years…..when you do that you are furthering the modernist’s ends.

End the circular firing squads!

Keep fighting the good fight Tantum!

Tim - August 11, 2017

Good advice for us trads @2:15 mark…….

Tim - August 11, 2017

Please, Poet, listen to a canon lawyer on the SSPX:

14. TF - August 10, 2017

I’m sure The Poet did not intend to imply that absolute obedience of lawful superiors is required by the moral law. He certainly would disobey his or her pastor if he ordered The Poet to desecrate the Blessed Sacrament, e.g., by receiving Communion in the hand. Therefore The Poet can certainly entertain the idea that the subject at hand may (or may not) be one where disobedience is morally permitted.

That said, I didn’t see anyone say outright that this is such a matter, though I might have missed it. To disagree with the pastor isn’t equivalent to disobedience.

P.S. I have not located the Defense of Dragons essay yet.

15. tg - August 11, 2017

I tend to agree with the priest. I wish he would have said how many times do we correct. With my grown children, I corrected them once. I think nagging does not help. When I reverted back to the Catholic faith, it was thru God’s grace. No one in my family ever corrected me. But I bet I was being prayed for by my sister and relatives in heaven or purgatory. I do correct people I know when they use God’s name in vain. Back when I was working, I would tell my friend to do something about her top because she was flashing me. I was able to do it because we are friends. If you make it like a joke, you can get your point across. One time I told a co-worker that if she didn’t come to work half naked, she wouldn’t be cold.

Some of the comments caused me to chuckle. I consider myself a traditional Catholic even though I have to go to NO Mass. (No FSSP in my area.) Many a times I was tempted to tell people to “shut up” when they are talking before Mass. I also wish I had the nerve to tell women not to wear shorts to Mass. I quit going to the Saturday vigil Mass in the summer because that’s normally when you see shorts worn by both women and men.

I agree that if pants are real tight on a woman and causes lust being a sin but most of these women don’t know they are doing anything wrong. People are desensitized about pants. I never used to look at any ones’s crotch till I started reading traditional blogs and there were discussions about women wearing pants. ( It did cause me to wear only long tops when I do wear pants and make sure my crotch and bottom is covered even though I never wore tight pants. Too uncomfortable.) However, maybe men should wear scooter skirts because they are showing their crotch too. I see a lot of older women wearing pants and I don’t see anything sexy about it. The pants are loose and probably less cumbersome than a long skirt.


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