FSSP Priest Interview Reveals Divisions within Fraternity April 25, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, Revolution, sadness, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
I got sent a link to the following post this morning by reader TT. It’s an interview of the rather small German province of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the organization of priests dedicated to the traditional Mass that was founded by some who “broke away” from the SSPX at the time of the illicit consecrations of 4 bishops in 1988.
This interview is already being picked up as fodder for the endless (and tiresome) SSPX/FSSP debates that have been raging for almost 30 years. For those who already feel the FSSP is hopelessly compromised, the interview is being taken as proof of the correctness of that view. For those with internal knowledge of the Fraternity, as it is typically called, however, this interview only reiterates the divisions already well known within this society of priests.
I’ll add comments to the post I copy below, because I think there are some important things to clarify/note, but I’d like to make one point clear at the outset: every grouping of more than a few individuals is going to have disparity of belief. Once you get into the hundreds, like the FSSP, there is going to be a whole range of belief. Given that, generally speaking, both acceptance of a more stridently traditional outlook (or a certain, sometimes severe, hostility to Vatican II) and friendliness/sympathy for the SSPX varies inversely with the age of the priest and their closeness to the original point of division in 1988. That is to say, older priests in the Fraternity, especially those who were present in 1988 and made the decision to leave the SSPX, generally tend to be more accommodating towards the post-conciliar ethos and hostile towards the SSPX. Younger priests are generally more hardcore “traditional” and more friendly towards the Society.
This is not a universal rule and there is infinite nuance, even within individual priests!, but that’s probably the broad norm. I would also add that there is, as I understand it, a certain division of belief between priests of the Fraternity in the Americas, and those in Europe, with those again in Europe tending towards being the less ardently traditional, or the more accommodating. Having said that, I concur with a commenter at 1Peter5 that this is far from an inspiring interview. While I think the interview is being presented in a fairly negative light by Maike Hickson at 1Peter5, I think I can also say these are some of the most unhelpful comments I’ve seen from an FSSP priest in print, perhaps less for what they say (esp. on reflection) but for the sense they seem to convey of accommodation, of being (to quote some commentary I’ve seen) “modernist lap dogs who will do anything so long as they can continue to offer the ‘old Mass'”. Then again, I find myself defending the priest quite consistently below – I think that while he exhibits an attitude far different from what I’d like to see expressed, it’s not entirely surprising given his past.
So keep that in mind as you read the below, which many of you perhaps already have:
The usually cautious and reserved Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has now given its current opinion concerning the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and on its possible formal re-integration into the structures of the Catholic Church. Father Bernhard Gerstle – the head of the German district of the FSSP – just gave a 24 April interview to the German Bishops’ official website Katholisch.dein which he explains many of the positions and opinions of his priestly fraternity. (Father Gerstle is the same priest who, in 2016, made a politely critical statement about the papal document Amoris Laetitia.) [An important note of clarification. Fr. Gerstle may be the head of the German district of the Fraternity, but I think it a great leap to derive from that that he is speaking for the mind of the entire Fraternity. Words of Fr. John Berg, former Superior of the entire order, in Latin Mass Magazine from 2015 (which I haven’t to hand) were far different and conveyed a far more traditionally Catholic understanding.]
Father Gerstle explains, first of all, that he himself split off from the SSPX because of the “illicit episcopal consecrations” in 1988 which, in his eyes, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger tried to forestall. (Interestingly, and just in the recent past, there have been voices saying that Cardinal Ratzinger, as pope, later removed the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops because he realized that he had contributed to the intensification of that earlier conflict. Worth noting is that, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who has served as an official Vatican liaison to the SSPX, recently called this act of excommunication an “injustice.”) [This little aside causes me to wonder whether the author is not trying to inculcate a bit of doubt, even resentment, towards Fr. Gerstle. Sure “some voices” may say that, but lots of others say that the excommunications were wholly right and just. Obviously Fr. Gerstle is going to have a bias since he left the SSPX over this matter. I am curious as to why Hickson chose to introduce this seeming rebuttal right here.] In Gerstle’s eyes, the 1988 breach happened due to a “lack of trust toward Rome.” He also claims that many more priests within the SSPX had disapproved of the episcopal consecrations, “but did not make the final step.” Thus, there were “only a few priests and seminarians who left the Society of St. Pius X at the time [in 1988].” Gerstle explicitly says that the foundation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter happened “essentially due to Cardinal Ratzinger, [who was] then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” [For those of us who weren’t involved, I don’t think it is easy to comprehend the depth of feeling on both sides involved in the 1988 consecrations. This was an event so trying and so radicalizing I don’t think many today fully realize the effect these events had on the participants. As one who was directly involved and experienced that heart-rending time, I don’t find Fr. Gerstle’s comments out of place. There are many involved who share his views, and of course, many who don’t, but it’s not like he’s breaching some radical new concept no one’s ever said before, even those who are very attached to the traditional practice of the Faith.]
Father Gerstle further distances himself from those smaller groups within the SSPX – whom he calls “hardliners” – who “reject the Second Vatican Council to a large extent, for example with regard to religious freedom or as to the decree on ecumenism.” Some of them, he says, also doubt the validity of the new liturgy. Gerstle makes it clear, moreover, where the Fraternity of St. Peter stands with regard to the Second Vatican Council: [No, he gives his own opinion. Unless he directly stated he was speaking as the voice of the entire Fraternity as a matter of policy – which if he did, we can be certain Hickson would be trumpeting this from the rooftops – then he’s giving his opinion, which Hickson is taking to mean it is the policy of the Fraternity because of his position, but I can say from direct experience there are many Fraternity priests who do not conform to the views expressed in this para or the one below. As to the divisions within the SSPX, these are well known and I find pointing them out wholly unremarkable.]
The Fraternity of St. Peter, however, has accepted to study without prejudice the conciliar texts and has come to the conclusion that there is no breach with any previous magisterial statements.However, some texts are formulated in such a way that they can give way to misinterpretations. But, in the meantime, Rome has already made here concordant clarifications which the Society of St. Pius X should now also recognize. [Emphasis added] [I would say the situation now remains as it has been, vague, uncertain, and unclear. Some tradition-friendly individuals in the Curia have made clarifications, they have expressed their opinions, but that is far from saying there has been a wholesale clarification of the problematic aspects of Vatican II. Rome appears willing to say almost anything to get the SSPX regularized. But whether these stands hold after that occurs is anyone’s guess, but there remains a huge monolith of progressive-modernist opinion in the clergy and hierarchy that VII is perfect, the best expression of the Faith ever conceived, and that the Church was literally re-born in 1965. That remains an extremely dangerous ideology that has not been washed away by a few conciliatory comments from folks at the Ecclesia Dei commission.]
Additionally, Father Gerstle insists that for the FSSP, the new 1983 Code of Canon Law is the standard. In his eyes, the SSPX has here some more reservations. For the FSSP, explains Gerstle “there is not a pre- and a post-conciliar Church.” “There is only the one Church which goes back to Christ,” he adds. Gerstle also insists that the FSSP does not “wish to polarize or even to promote splits,” but that they wish to instill in their own parishes “an ecclesial attitude.” Certain (unnamed, unspecified) abuses in the Church should only be criticized in a “differentiated and moderate way.” [We are only getting very partial and bifurcated comments. I don’t read German so I can’t go to the original and Google translate is too unreliable in such fine points. Having said that, I find these comments disappointing and far too conciliatory towards the post-conciliar construct. Then again, we do not know what pressures the Fraternity is under right now, but I understand they are considerable and the dangers great from those who would like to do to the ED communities what has been done to the FI’s.]
Father Gerstle also distances himself from the concept “traditionalist” when he says: “This notion I do not like at all to hear. We are not traditionalists, but simply Catholic.” As Catholics, he says, “we appreciate tradition,” but without “completely blocking organic adaptations and changes.” [This one I have no problem with. Some of the most informed readers of this blog eschew the term traditional, and say that what we practice is simply the Catholic Faith as it has always been believed, understood, and lived. There is nothing remarkable about “organic changes” either. VII was wholly inorganic.]
The worthy celebration of the traditional liturgy, together with a loyal teaching of the Catholic Faith, is at the center of the work of the FSSP, according to Gerstle. “Salvation of souls” and “eternal life” are their Fraternity’s own concern. Unfortunately, adds the German priest, “the Four Last Things have been widely neglected in the Church, with the effect of a belittling and attenuation of sin and of a loss of the practice of sacramental confession.” [I would hope this is uncontroversial. In fact, one could take from this a tacit rebuke of the post-conciliar construct, where the Mass is typically deplorable and the “teaching” counterfeit.]
Father Gerstle sees that “one cannot simply introduce everywhere again the old liturgy and, so to speak, impose it upon people.” “Both rites thus [with the help of the “reform of the reform”] should enrich each other,” explains the priest. Certain elements of the new liturgy could be “enriching for the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.” [He’s just parroting PBXVI here, but I am personally extremely leery of any “enrichment” flowing from the NO to the TLM. I think there is virtually nothing in the NO that would “improve” the TLM.]
Moreover, Father Gerstle also explains that, in the German district, there are growing numbers of faithful who are interested in the traditional Tridentine Mass. Some of the FSSP Masses have “100 to 180 faithful” in attendance. He admits, however, that the FSSP has not too many vocations. “All in all we have a good number of incomers [16 new priests in 2016 and currently some 100 seminarians altogether], but it is not so that we are under pressure due to high numbers of vocations.” [The Fraternity is generally doing better in North America, where there is a certain pressure to grow the seminary. As for Mass attendance, the local FSSP parish is now attracting 1200+ on a typical Sunday. That is unusual, but the growth is consistent throughout, and I pray all the other tradition-oriented groups are experiencing the same or better.]
At the end of this interview, Gerstle explains that the SSPX faces a dilemma: either Bishop Fellay chooses unity with Rome and will have a split within his own organization, or he will choose unity within the SSPX and will not have unity with Rome. The German priest explains, as follows:
I think that the current Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, will have to decide between unity with Rome and unity within the Society of St. Piux X. The realists within the leadership will then hopefully realize that there is no alternative to a reconciliation with Rome.
I find the first part of this analysis to be insightful, but I think anyone who has followed the situation even as casually as I have has reached about the same conclusion. I also think the second part is right, though I continue to have doubts as to whether now, with Francis in charge, is the right time. The man has a demonstrated track record of deliberately targeting tradition-embracing groups for destruction. But may God’s will be done.
As for the interview, this is absolutely not what I would prefer to see from a leading Fraternity priest. But I’m not sure it confirms the fatal weakness of the Fraternity, either. Does having a regular canonical status involve some compromise? Absolutely*. And folks in the SSPX had better be FULLY cognizant of that fact when they sign their “deal” with Rome.
Well I don’t post for a week then you get a novella. Lucky you. Sorry folks, posting is going to be infrequent for the foreseeable future. I had a very unusual situation for first 76 months of this blog’s history but that period is definitively order. I probably would not have posted today if this matter hadn’t hit so close to home. We’ve had a nightmare bronchitis/pneumonia go through our family that takes weeks to get over. I’m still fighting it but am back at work but also playing lots of catchup. Hope to get another post out tomorrow but who knows.
*-but so far, only of a limited and generally unobtrusive (or undamaging) sort. The “gravitational pull” of an unreconciled SSPX probably plays a role in the limited nature of the compromises forced on the FSSP – which is why I fear regularization for the entire restoration of the Faith. But ultimately God is in charge and we have to want what is best for the salvation of souls, which everyone (not really, but lots) tells me is regularization. So it must be it.
Great sermon below. I have a vague sense of posting this some years ago when I first heard it, but I can’t find it now. Most likely, it will be new to you.
I really like how the priest points out the constant errors and failed declarations of modern science, which Dr. Edward Feser proved quite convincingly has evolved into a false religion of its own in his great book The Last Superstition. Not only that, but Descartes, Bacon, and others, filled with rationalist hubris, deliberately contrived “science” as something which would always war against religion, since they posited, and managed to convince great scads of people with, the notion that “science” would, and could, only be concerned with the material, what could be weighed, measured, and/or directly observed. In doing so, they set science on a radically different course from what it had held since ancient times, where theology was always regarded as the highest, or sacred, science. Not only was this a radically different course, but one that would inevitably become hostile, and develop a cultus of its own that would demand acceptance of claims on faith from the vast, vast majority of people, including the scientists themselves.
Thus, while no one has ever come close to observing the “big bang,” it is held as a dogma today. Evidence in support of the evolution of species is almost entirely inferential and open to argument, but argument is not permitted, lest one be called a science denier, or in a more ancient parlance, a heretic. The almost constant failures of science, such as those described below, are conveniently forgotten, while evidence from thousands regarding religious events like the apparitions at Fatima are derided as mass hysteria or a pious hoax.
But the evidence, even in this proud, skeptical scientific age, for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are overwhelming, as this priest notes below. The vast preponderance of the evidence confirms that Christ lived, that He was crucified, that He was buried, and then rose again in spectacularly mysterious circumstances. The Shroud of Turin continues to this day to be scientifically inexplicable, as no known technology today could have created the image of the Shroud, let alone that of 2000 years ago. There is much, much more besides, in this excellent sermon which I believe dates (or is a repeat) from 2012 or 13:
Of course the tragedy of the Church today is that, to a degree never before seen in her history, the vast majority of self-described Catholics, whether lay, priest, or episcopate, doubt much or all of the Gospel account of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Most, no matter how scientifically illiterate, accept the claims of science as a matter of faith, but have severe doubts as to whether Christ instituted the Eucharist in a literal sense, commands obedience to the Doctrine He has given us, fed the 5000, was resurrected, or even lived. I have heard or read “priests in good standing” in Holy Mother Church express their disbelief on all of those realities, and many more besides. I could easily segue to another subject, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole today.
The Church has weathered innumerable crises in her long history, but never before has she been so afflicted with such an enormous lack of faith, and lack of belief in core matters of Doctrine, as she is today. It is a crisis of limitless proportions and shows little sign of abating, let alone resolving. But God has worked miraculous recoveries in the past. May He have the mercy on us to do so again.
Saint John Eudes on the Admirable Heart of Mary April 10, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, thanksgiving, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
From one of the relatively few of the great mass of writings of the great Saint John Eudes that have been translated into English and survived to the present day (many were lost in the French Revolution against God), comes this excerpt of The Admirable Heart of of Mary. We are in Holy Week, a very appropriate time for pondering on the wonders of our Immaculate Mother. Saint John Eudes had enormous devotion to Our Lady and in some respects may be said to have pushed knowledge of Our Lady and veneration of her Immaculate Heart to new heights. I can say with certainty that the ecumaniacal faction at Vatican II, which went to such pains to limit conciliar statements on the glory of the Blessed Mother, would find some of his statements quite objectionable. But that says far more about them, than it does this holy man.
From pp. 4-5,7, an exegesis centering on a passage from the Apocalypse (and the amazingly efficacious apparition at Guadalupe) that reveals the wondrous nature of the Holy Mother of God and her admirable heart:
Among the divinely inspired passages of Sacred Scripture I select one from the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, which is a compendium of all the great things that can be said or thought of our marvelous Queen: “A great sign appeared in Heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars” (Apoc xii:1).
What is this great sign? Who is this miraculous woman? Saint Epiphanius, Saint Augustine, Saint Bernard, and many other holy doctors agree that the woman is Mary, Queen among women, the Sovereign of angels and men, the Virgin of virgins. She is the woman who bore in her chaste womb the perfect man, the God-man. “A woman shall compass a man” (Jer xxxi:22).
Mary appears in Heaven because she comes from Heaven, because she is Heaven’s masterpiece, the Empress of Heaven, its joy and its glory, in whom everything is heavenly. Even when her body dwelt on earth, her thoughts and affections were all rapt in Heaven.
She is clothed with the eternal sun of the Godhead and with all the perfections of the divine essence, which surround, fill, and penetrate her to such an extent that she has become transformed, as it were, into the power, goodness, and holiness of God.
She has the moon under her feet to show that the entire world is beneath her. None is above her, save only God, and she holds absolute sway over all created things.
She is crowned with twelves stars that represent the virtues which shine so brightly in her soul. The mysteries of her life are as many stars more luminous by far than the brightest lights of the sky. The privileges and prerogatives God has granted to her, the least of which is greater than anything shining in the firmament of Heaven, as well as the glory of the saints of Paradise and of earth, are her crown and her glory in a much fuller sense than the Philippians could be said to be the crown and joy of Saint Paul (Phil iv:1).
But why does the Holy Ghost call Mary “a great sign?” It is simply to tell us that everything in her is wonderful, and that the marvels that fill her being should be proclaimed to the entire world, so that she may become an object of the admiration of the inhabitants of Heaven as well as for mankind on earth, and so that she may be the sweet delight of angels and men.
This is likewise the reason why the Holy Ghost inspires the faithful throughout the world to sing in her praise: Mater admirabilis. “O Mother Most Admirable.” Moreover, according to the testimony of several trustworthy authors, a holy Jesuit who once asked the Mother of God to reveal to him which of the many titles in her Litany was most pleasing to her received this same answer: Mater admirabilis.
Mary is truly admirable in all her perfections and in all her virtues. But what is most admirable in her is her virginal heart. The heart of the Mother of God is a world of marvels, an abyss of wonders, the source and principal of all the virtues which we admire in our glorious Queen: “All the glory of the king’s daughter is within.” It was through the humility, purity, and love of her most holy heart that she merited to become the Mother of God and to receive the graces and privileges with which God enriched her on earth. These same sublime virtues of her Immaculate Heart have rendered her worthy of the glory and happiness that surround her in Heaven, and of the great marvels that God has wrought in and through her.
Do not be surprised if I say that the virginal heart of the Mother of Fair Love is an admirable heart indeed. Mary is admirable in her divine maternity because as Saint Bernadine of Siena says, “to be Mother of God is the miracle of miracles,” miraculum miraculorum. But the august heart of Mary is also truly admirable, for it is the principle of her divine maternity and of the wonderful mysteries this privilege implies………
Now a prayer composed by the Saint for the blessing of Our Lady on his work, but which I thought many would find worth making their own:
O most holy Mary, Thy divine Son, Jesus, hath created thy heart, and He alone knows the great treasures He has hidden therein. He it was who lit the fire burning in this furnace, and none but He can measure the heights reached by the flames which leap from its abyss. He alone can measure the vast perfections with which He has enriched the masterpiece of His all-powerful goodness, or count the innumerable graces He has poured into this ocean of grace: “He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw here, and numbered her, and measured her” (Eccl i:9).
And now I beseech thee, O most Blessed Virgin Mary, through thy heart and for the honor of that very heart to offer me to thy beloved Son and pray that He may annihilate my personality and set Himself in the place of my nothingness, so that not my voice but His may be heard. May Jesus Christ be the author of all my works, and I but the instrument of His surpassing love for thee and of the zeal with which He watches over the honor of thy most worthy heart. May He inspire the thoughts He wishes to see expressed by me and the very words I should use. May His blessing rest in fullest measure on all who do the same, and may He transform so that hearts may be purified, enlightened, and inflamed with the sacred fire of His love. In a word, may they become worthy to live according to God’s heart and to be numbered among the children of the maternal heart of God’s own Mother.
What to Make of the Francis’ SSPX Marriage Imbroglio? April 6, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, cultural marxism, different religion, disaster, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, horror, persecution, Revolution, scandals, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
I chose the word imbroglio, because gambit felt a bit critical, and indult seemed off the mark, too.
For those who do not know, Francis, Bishop of Rome, extended another “indulgence,” or a faculty with no formal juridical structure, to the SSPX, this time concerning marriage. Readers will know that since Advent 2015 the SSPX has had faculties to hear Confession granted from Francis himself. Originally intended for the Year of Mercy, those faculties have been extended indefinitely. A few days ago, Francis, through the CDF and Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, granted permission to local ordinaries to grant faculties for the Sacrament of Marriage, as well, under some rather odd circumstances. The “normal” means of doing this would be to have a Novus Ordo priest perform the actual marriage sacrament, or to oversee it somehow?, with the nuptial Mass following according to the ancient Rite and conducted by a Society priest. But in addition – since this would surely be a huge burden to already overtaxed (or so we are told) diocesan priests – there is also a caveat allowing faculties to simply be granted without the involvement of local clergy.
That’s admittedly a rough summation of a fairly complex initiative but you can read all the details at the Rorate link. The point of this post is not to haggle over details of this initiative, or whatever it is, and to talk aboutits implications.
I have seen two general reactions to this, and they have followed in line with sentiments folks hold towards SSPX regularization overall. Some, like Rorate, are convinced that both this latest indulgence by Francis, and the overall process of regularization that now seems coming close to fruition, are unalloyed goods and something every faithful soul should be really excited about. I would like to present some text confirming this optimistic view, but Rorate seems to have shifted much of their focus to Twitter and while I’ve seen tweets confirming their excitement at this development, such as this: “This is clearly a final step towards full regularization that will go away when the papers are signed. It’s a good thing.”
Others, like Michael Matt below, are far more skeptical. In fact, in my very narrow experience, it seems a lot of folks who have had a long time association with the Society of St. Pius X are among the most skeptical of both this latest grant of faculties and the overall process of regularization. The Remnant video:
“They are wrecking the Church, they are enabling heretics everywhere……They are raping our kids, physically and spiritually, and then they have the audacity, to demand obedience. Oh so pious. To demand OBEDIENCE, and to hold the threat of schism over the heads of little old ladies to prevent them from in any way standing in opposition to their diabolical agenda.” Great rant.
Former Catholics are now the second largest “denomination” in the country. 70% of those baptized in Catholics in the US have fallen away. 80% of even those remaining American Catholics never go to Mass (and I bet it’s at least slightly higher than that). Even the vast majority of “practicing Catholics” are heretics of one form or another. Almost all of them support the use of contraception, and a large majority do not believe in the Real Presence, the very core, the essence, of our Faith. And these statistics from the US are much better than one would find in Europe and other locales, the Church’s ancient home.
Matt brings up a key point and one that I have gradually, over the years, come to accept, not as a metaphysical certitude but as being supported by the preponderance of the evidence: that “full communion” is a term much bandied about by those who have wrought the destruction of the Church in this world while demanding obedience from all to go along with a project they can easily see is causing nothing but devastation for souls. I am not sure what meaning that term means when bishops “in full communion” can declare, with the full backing of the pope, that adulterers can freely receive the Blessed Sacrament, re-crucifying our Blessed Lord over and over and over again in a horrid sacrilege. Given what is going on in the Church and world, as evidence by those statistics above and what we see and read every day, the arguments over the canonical regularity of the SSPX seem like a tempest in a teacup. Even worse, these same Church leaders who constantly appeal to obedience while snarling at and denigrating all those who strive to practice the Faith as it has always been practiced are the very ones who have placed the Church in the direst straits of her 2000 year history!
Not that the canonical status of the SSPX is a hill I’m prepared to die on, nor something I’m overly concerned about. I know there are fervent partisans on both sides, and I’ve always struggled to stay out of those endless squabbles where partisans stack up enormous piles of books and quotes from Fathers, Doctors, and Saints to support their favored side. It just seems to me, practically speaking, all this concern over and focus on the canonical status of the SSPX is just not a huge issue, compared to all else that is going on. The Church has fallen into the worst crisis of her history and the ostensible imperfect canonical status of the 0.05% of the Church (nominally speaking) associated with the SSPX just doesn’t concern me that much.
I do continue to be very ambivalent regarding this apparently unstoppable ongoing process of regularization. I’ve been catechized to believe that this must and has to be a very good thing, but something – my own lack of faith, the temptations of satan, worldly experience, natural cynicism, something – keeps shouting in my interior spaces that this is a grave, grave danger, not just to the SSPX but to all the Ecclesia Dei communities and the entire human aspect of the Church. It is also an opportunity, yes, but given how easily communities like the Franciscans of the Immaculate have been completely crushed by the modernist powers, it seems like the opportunity is far outweighed by the dangers.
If regularization comes to pass part of me will be happy and I’ll pray like mad – as I already have been – that everything will turn out for the best. In the grand, grand scheme of things I know it will, that the Church will be restored and Christ’s reign recognized by all, but I cannot get over my concern for the millions of souls who will continue to fall into hell so long as the Church persists in this disastrous crisis. Whether SSPX regularization will ultimately be a massive turning point in the restoration of the Faith, or simply another grim milestone in the chronicle of the Church’s long demise prior to the parousia, I do not know. None of us does. So I’ll just keep hoping and praying that God will have mercy on His Church and raise up the leadership and laity we so desperately need, and not that which we and the world deserve.
If you want an even more detailed critical take on this initiative, sent in by reader D, read this. I am concerned that it seems like the leadership of the SSPX is giving evidence of an attitude of appeasement towards the overwhelmingly modernist hierarchy in the Church and not rocking the boat, which bodes ill, I think, for their role in the Church after regularization, but we shall see.
Formerly Christian Europe Is Dying April 5, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, cultural marxism, demographics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
In 24 of 42 European countries, deaths by nominal Christians far exceeded births, with only a handful of mostly formerly Catholic countries having more births than deaths:
Playing a large role in this is the mass abandonment by Europe’s young people of Christianity. Their birth rates are exceedingly low but most of those proclaiming no religion in Europe are relatively young and die in small numbers:
Of course, the cohort with by far the highest birth rate in Europe is the muslims. While still a relatively small minority in much of Europe, their numbers are increasing rapidly through a their higher birth rates and the mass immigration supported by European elites desperate to replace their aging and declining native populations.
As I’ve said before, enjoy your new muslim overlords, Europe. Of course, the US is likely only a few decades behind in this trend of a dying native population being replaced by an unassimilated influx of third world immigrants, and increasing percentage of which have been – prior to Donald Trump – muslim.
We shall see whether Trump can do anything to arrest and even reverse that trend, or not.
Now, I’ve got to preface this post somewhat. The survey that reports a huge spike in millennials reporting they are somewhere on the perverse spectrum was commissioned by the lead sodomy-advocacy group “GLAAD.” So, it is likely the results are skewed anywhere from slightly to severely. Having said that, however, even if the survey is over-reporting reality by 300%, that would still mean that over twice as many millennials are self-identifying as inclined to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah (if not active, ongoing participants in same) than any previous population survey.
And as the pro-sodomy lobby gains more and more power and influence, as the perverse sexular pagan Left sinks its tentacles more and more into the mind, heart, and soul of our yutes, each generation is worse than the one before. My generation was somewhere between tolerant/ambivalent and moderately supportive of this sinful lifestyle. The millennials seem given to full-throated support. Some say the generation after them is somehow more conservative, but I doubt that, it would run counter to the prevailing trend of the past century or more, where each succeeding generation is more tolerant/supportive of immorality than the preceding one.
Twenty percent of millennials say they’re LGBTQ, and 12 percent are either transgender or gender-nonconforming, according to a new Harris Poll survey conducted for the activist group GLAAD.
And millennials also reported numerous gender identities: Three percent said they were agender; 3 percent, gender fluid; 2 percent, transgender; 2 percent, unsure or questioning; 1 percent bigender; and 1 percent genderqueer.
“This could be attribute to increasingly accepting environments, wherein for many people, family rejection is less frequent, job security is less at risk, and overall safety is less of a concern when coming out,” said their study, explaining the unprecedented findings.
Though pollsters agree that more Americans—and more millennials, especially– are identifying as LGBT, they disagree about the numbers. When it came to the percent of LGBTQ adults under 35, the Harris Poll’s findings were nearly three times higher than a Gallup survey released in January.
Yeah I didn’t even mention that 12% say they are somehow unsure of their gender. That’s such an enormous explosion from the teeny, tiny percentage of previous population groups it staggers the imagination. These kids are being propagandized to the extent they are embracing self-loathing and flirting with permanent self-mutilation. That’s a direct effect in being exposed to porn and self-abuse from a very young age. In addition to these kids being so fully indoctrinated in the victimhood hierarchy and the immense benefits, advantages, and immunities that flow from being a perceived member of a supposed victim group, but really an incredibly privileged group, that young people are embracing perverse, alien identities in order to garner some of those wonderful perks.
Even the secular conservative New Yorker Ace notes that a trend like this will quickly be the end of us should this persist much longer:
while some of that could just be virtue signaling — straights claiming to be gay in solidarity with gays, …… — and some could be GLAAD using the broadest possible definition of “gay” to plump the numbers, I wouldn’t completely discount it.
I’ve heard some horrifying stories from parents who say their kids are growing up in an environment where there is positive social and institutional pressure to be gay or experiment with being gay, as if being straight means there’s something defective in you. To not have any interest in sex with the same sex means that you’re a hater, so many kids are in fact trying a little bit of sexual and gender experimentation. [Very true. As is the reverse of the coin, being able to identify as supposedly gay or especially transgender puts one in the vanguard of a vital social justice movement both conveying purpose to an otherwise empty existence, and providing greatly coveted (if wholly unearned) moral authority and all manner of privileges, such as being able to never be questioned on a wide array of topics because of supposed “victim status.” It’s a moral authority card many kids find too irresistible to avoid]
Based on anecdotal data: Kids today are being coached and even “groomed” to be gay by cultural forces and intentional institutional programming.
This will all work out well, I’m sure. I’m sure that none of the psychological strains of forcing yourself to conform to a sexual preference you actually don’t share that gays often report will definitely not be evident in a generation of 97% straight kids taught that they’re probably gay and should at least experiment with gay relationships for a while to make sure.
Or else they’re perverts in revolt against the laws of nature and morality.
No bad consequences at all, I’m sure.
Dudes, I would never say my generation has covered itself in glory. It’s been shameful. But this……holy cow this is so beyond wheels off I don’t even know how to describe it.
The Revelations of Fatima Hold the Key to Our Salvation April 5, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, Restoration, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
UPDATE: See, when I type a post in Word instead of on the blog itself, sometimes I forget to put a title on the post. Fixed.
From Fatima: The Great Sign, an excerpt that conveys the twin lessons stemming from Our Lady’s sharing a vision of hell with the three saintly children Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco: the reality of eternal damnation and the paramount need for all faithful souls to constantly practice prayer and penance. This post would probably have been better placed towards the start of Lent, but that’s not how it worked out. Nevertheless, the lessons below are not just for Lent, but for our entire lives. Prayer and penance are the primary means by which we can escape the snare of the devil in this evil fallen culture and cooperate with Grace to obtain the only end that matters: spending eternity with God.
The excerpt starts after the three children have seen the vision of hell. Little Jacinta was most affected by this terrifying revelation:
The vision of hell had the greatest impact on little Jacinta. She became obsessed with the sight of those red, raging flames and the terrifying sight and sound of millions of screaming demons and lost souls. “Oh hell!” “Oh hell!” she would wail, wringing her hands impotently. “Mother of God have pity on those who do not amend their lives.” “If men only knew what awaits them in eternity, they would do everything in their power to change their lives.” [But we do know. We have the Scripture and Tradition, and few men who refuse to listen to those would not even be moved by a direct personal revelation] Frequently she would call to her brother saying: “Francisco, are you praying with me? We must pray very much to save souls from hell. So many go there. So many.” At other times she would ask Lucia: “Why doesn’t Our Lady show hell to sinners? If only they saw it, they would never commit sins again.” On one occasion she said to Lucia: “Look, I am going to Heaven soon, but you are to stay here. If Our Lady lets you, tell everyone what Hell is like so that they won’t sin anymore and not go there.”
In the light of these and other heroic penances practiced by the children, it is not difficult to see why Our Lady requested that the revelation of hell be kept a secret. Had it been divulged, no one would have believed it. In the parable of Dives and Lazarus, Our Lord stated that even if someone returned from the dead to warn of hell, no one would pay any attention……..
……The three children undertook the most severe penances for the salvation of sinners. They wore a rope tightly around their waists; they have their lunches to the poor, or even to their sheep; they didn’t drink during the furnace-like heat of August 1917 – an almost unendurable penance as anyone who has stayed in Fatima during that month will appreciate. Later, Jacinta even wanted to drink water from a pond frequented by cattle. However imprudent this would be, the thought of hell dominated every consideration of hygiene, discomfort or pain………
……….To the necessity of penance for sinners must also be joined that of prayer. Our Lady constantly reminded the children to pray a great deal and they readily responded by spending long hours on their knees under a blistering sun, reciting the Rosary and the angel’s prayer over and over again. Recently, Lucia, who is now a Carmelite nun in Coimbra [and of course since deceased], stressed the imperative need of prayer to counter the flood of evil today. In a letter to a nephew (who is a Salesian priest) she wrote: “It is sad that so many are allowing themselves to be dominated by the diabolical wave that is sweeping the world and they are so blind that they cannot see their error. Their principal mistake is that they have abandoned prayer…….What I recommend to you above all is that you get close to the tabernacle and pray. In fervent prayer you receive the light, strength and grace that you need to sustain you……In prayer, you will find more science, more light, more strength, more grace and virtue than you could ever achieve by reading many books or by great studies………Never consider the time wasted that you spend in prayer. You will discover that in prayer, God communicates to you the light, strength and grace you need to do all He expects of you………
We all need to intensify our life of intimate union with God and this we can only attain through prayer…..Let time be lacking for everything else, but never for prayer…….The principal cause of evil in the world and the falling away of so many consecrated souls is the lack of union with God in prayer. If we are not careful and attentive in obtaining the strength from God, we will fail because our times are very bad and we are weak. Only God’s strength can sustain us.
Immediately after the vision of hell and Our Lady’s appeal for devotion to her Immaculate Heart, she outlined the future facing mankind if her requests were accepted, and alternatively if they were rejected…….
Sadly, they have, by and large, been rejected. The world, and in particular the former Christendom, have spun out of control and seem headed towards and inevitable crash.
As for our personal conduct, however, I don’t think anything else needs to be said. Prayer and penance are vital. Only God’s strength can sustain us. Hell or Heaven, it’s entirely our choice. May God have mercy on us all.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga – Model of Christian Youth April 4, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
A little excerpt from Saint Aloysius Gonzaga: Patron of Christian Youth by Fr. Maurice Meschler, SJ, which concerns the first great flowering of sanctity in the youth of 10 (pp. 34-5), when he made the decision to consecrate his purity to Our Lady for his entire life. While this Saint certainly enjoyed the benefit of particular Graces and his example, while an incredible case of sanctity, is one that is vital for young people of all times to strive to emulate, especially in this fallen age. Not all may be called to his very nearly perfect practice of chastity and purity, but all will benefit from attempting to conduct their lives in accord with his example, especially the young who face so many temptations, and who lack the experience of life that many wiser, older, sadder souls have obtained – much to their pain:
About this time a book on the Rosary, by Fr. Caspar Loarte, SJ, fell into the hands of Aloysius. It so increased his love and devotion to Our Lady, tha this heart overflowed with consolation when he reflected upon the mysteries of her life, and he was seized with an ardent longing to do something that would please her and give her great honor, that he might thus win her love and favor. One day, as he was kneeling in rapt devotion before the picture, he was inspired with the thought of consecrating his virginity to Our Lady, as the most acceptable gift that he could offer her. Acting quickly on this inspiration, with a heart filled with love and joy, he solemnly consecrated himself to her by a vow of perpetual chastity. Mary accepted the offering of his innocent heart, and in return, as he afterwards acknowledged to his confessor, obtained for him from God the extraordinary Grace of never experiencing throughout his entire life the slightest breath of a temptation against the virtue of holy purity.
This is a most unusual favor, seldom granted even to the Saints, and the more wonderful, seeing that Aloysius’ life was passed in the higher circles and at princely courts, where there are so many dangers and temptations. it is true that he had had from his earliest childhood a natural aversion to the very shadow of anything impure, and even to any intercourse whatever with persons of the opposite sex; but this gives us all the more reason to wonder that, after taking his vow….he redoubled his precautions and had recourse to all kinds of means in order to guard his purity against the slightest shadow of danger. It might be thought that he, who enjoyed such privileges, would have contented himself with the ordinary care prescribed to all Christians; on the contrary, he it is who most exceeds most, even of the Saints, in precautionary measures such as flight from the very slightest occasion of sin, and mortification of the flesh. He, who was preserved by a special grace of God from any temptation of this kind, went on his way through life as though he had been threatened on all sides by special dangers.
From this time he accustomed himself to never raise his eyes, either in company or when going through the streets. He not only avoided all intercourse with women more scrupulously than ever, but he withdrew from all games and amusements, although his father would have wished him to take part in them. He now began to inflict all kinds of austerities upon his innocent flesh. Aloysius’ vocation was that he should be a striking and a bright example for youth, in the preservation of angelic purity. What was unnecessary for himself, was to be done by him for the sake of those who were to follow him – for the general welfare of Christian youth.
The young are not proof agaisnt danger as he was, and yet they often rush thoughtlessly into it; the fire of concupiscence burns within them, and they willfully add fuel to it; they are not so blameless as Aloysius, and yet they will not hear of mortification, vigilance, and seclusion. The picture of this holy youth is a warning, an earnest admonishment to the world of frivolous, self-indulgent young people, bent upon the enjoyment of sensual pleasures.
Raising children in the moral sewer of the fatally corrupted culture with which we are confronted is especially challenging. In centuries past, there were cultural/societal norms in many places and times that helped keep many temptations to concupiscence in check. Parents then did not have to deal with the mass availability of pornography and other destructive forces brought directly into the home. They did not have to tell their children to avert their eyes from scandalously pernicious advertisements or scantily clad individuals. There was no mass media bringing temptations to lust, perversion, self-abuse, and destructive behaviors of every kind into the home, the car, the school, etc., on a constant basis. There were certainly temptations in those days, to be sure, but these past several decades have seen the attack on innocence rise to levels never seen before in history.
It can be a difficult line to walk, shielding children from dangerously seductive immoral influences, while at the same time not keeping them under practical lock and key. There are certainly reasonable and prudent steps that can be taken: homeschooling, having a good internet filter/reporting system installed on ALL computers, not just the one(s) you think your kids access, not subscribing to cable or satellite TV systems, monitoring children’s friends and social engagements, carefully choosing what music kids are exposed to, etc. All these things are good and reasonable. Even more, parents should guard against perceptions of hypocrisy in frequently allowing for themselves what they deny their children.
One might think in this age it is not possible to go too far in efforts to preserve their innocence, but even here there can be danger. Tightening the apron strings too much can lead to its own form of rebellion. I have seen this happen several times, and have heard numerous cautionary tales from priests, of parents who placed such a tight hold on their children they eventually rebelled and slipped through their fingers. In fallen creatures, protection can unintentionally turn to severity, good intentions can morph into forced submission to the parents’ will in all matters.
An absolutely vital step for parents to take is to engage in family prayer, especially prayer of the Rosary. While preserving children’s innocence is absolutely vital, the preservation will not be successful unless buttressed with a vibrant interior life. Parents must set the example here, demonstrating to children the great value of prayer and the concrete benefits such devotion provides in the formation of a devout, pious soul.
I could go on forever. It’s an exceedingly difficult high wire act to perform, raising kids in this age. And sometimes, even with practically ideal family life, kids still fall away. But if they have been given the gift of a strong interior/devotional life, odds are for most that fall will be temporary, and, God willing, the kids will return to leading a morally upright life and the practice of the Faith.
Mass Media Catching On: Leftism Is a Religion April 3, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, cultural marxism, different religion, error, General Catholic, horror, paganism, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, unadulterated evil.
They still don’t seem to understand, or – especially, given that this is the very secular-leaning “conservative” Weekly Standard – want to understand, that not only has leftism “transformed” into a religion, it was always deliberately conceived as a false counterfeit of true religion in order to oppose, subvert, replace, and ultimately destroy (if possible) Catholicism.
I’ve had this confirmed for me in many ways of late, not the least of which is reading William Thomas Walsh’s massive biography of His Catholic Majesty Philip II of Spain. Walsh, too (writing in the 20s and 30s), assessed the protestant revolt as being the first mass outbreak of leftism, and understood that leftism initially took on the trappings of religion, even the Christian religion, the better to sell itself and achieve maximum impact against its principal target, the Church. In addition, just as it is almost impossible to separate the modern Left from modern Judaism, the Jewish impact on the protestant revolt may have been much larger than is generally recognized. More on that, perhaps, later today.
All of which makes this report from the Weekly Standard at least slightly ironic? Nevertheless, it is quite gratifying to see (especially coming from a Catholic journalist) that some of the things I’ve realized for years are starting to become more widely recognized:
One of the more prescient essays in recent years is Jody Bottum’s “The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas,” which I’m proud to say was published in THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The essay posits that religious ideas are transforming politics as we know it, only instead of the hand-wringing about the Moral Majority or the George W. Bush administration’s supposed attempts to impose theocracy, it’s the left that is, ahem, “culturally appropriating” religious ideas to suit their own attempts to seize power. [They’ve been doing so for 500 years. But the religious nature of the Left has become blatantly obvious of late.]
Take ethnicity, which has become a matter of original sin. Unlike the Judeo-Christian belief, however, this sin does not apply to all of humanity. “So profound is the sin, in fact, that not even its proponents escape. The more they are aware of white privilege, the more they see it everywhere, even in themselves,” writes Bottum. He quotes an essay of University of Texas professor Robert Jensen, who wrote: “There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased.” [Jensen has been a literal nut embarrassing the University of Texas for a quarter century or more. This Jensen creature is the only guy I ever met who talked himself into becoming a sodomite in order to better conform to his political ideology. I am not much exaggerating. He is nuts.]
Even Andrew Sullivan recently reached this conclusion, when he recently examined “intersectionality,” the left-wing buzzword du jour, which he accurately describes as “neo-Marxist theory that argues that social oppression does not simply apply to single categories of identity — such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. — but to all of them in an interlocking system of hierarchy and power.” Sullivan further observes that intersectionality “is operating, in Orwell’s words, as a ‘smelly little orthodoxy,’ and it manifests itself, it seems to me, almost as a religion. It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained — and through which all speech must be filtered. Its version of original sin is the power of some identity groups over others. To overcome this sin, you need first to confess, i.e., ‘check your privilege,’ and subsequently live your life and order your thoughts in a way that keeps this sin at bay.”…….. [In fact, this emergence of obviously religious leftism has come as a result of the steady retreat of Christianity and the growing influence of the Left on society. This is how the Left behaves when it comes very close to power, dropping the trappings of supposed reasoned argument and appeals to false intellectualism for much more nakedly dogmatic, emotionally-laden claims.]
……….The University of Regina is asking its male students to own up to their toxic masculinity, and they’re setting up a confessional booth—similar to those in Catholic churches—where guys can confess their sins of “hypermasculinity.”………[How does one express a firm purpose of amendment against masculinity? I’m sure you can imagine the life-shattering behaviors that could result.]
……….Certainly, the religious right has had its excesses. [Such as? Are you going to quote me Fred Phelps? But are they even genuinely religious, or “right?” Authentic Christianity has rarely been seen by most in this country, unfortunately. Very few Americans below about 70 would even have a recollection what it might have looked like in odd corners of this country, dominated by Catholicism “before the fall” of 1962-5] But if you think that’s bad, just imagine the consequences of a political system dominated by a religious left that doesn’t believe in redemption.
Oh, we don’t have to imagine, the world has seen it over and over and over. The Soviet Union, China 1949-present, Cambodia, Vietnam, Allendeist Chile, all the East European satellites of the FSU, Nazi Germany, revolutionary Spain, revolutionary France, etc., etc. Everywhere leftism as religion comes to power it leaves putrid mounts of dead bodies in its wake.
Of course, the religion of leftism has become the predominant belief set of those who claim the name Catholic over the last several decades, infecting especially the hierarchy and then trickling down from there to infect millions of souls. But a detailed analysis of that is beyond the scope of this post, and has already been done to death not only here but on hundreds of other venues.
A friend and frequent reader of this blog gave me a great quote last week – virtually everyone in the US is born a first degree mason, and a first degree wiccan, etc. That’s because this country has come to hold, culturally, politically, socially, such extraordinarily liberal and libertine ideas, and we are all so inculcated in the “normality” of these ideas from such an early age, that almost all of us emerge, even from earliest childhood, as little proto-liberals and proto-libertines, unless we are extremely fortunate and have parents who form us in opposition to the dominant cultural zeitgeist. I thought that was a really good and pithy saying, and I thank TE for sharing it.
Fits in well with the content of this post, anyway.
Tonight there will be a premiere party at the campus of the University of Dallas of a new TV show directed by prioress Sister Jane Dominic Laurel and featuring nuns of the recently stood up Irving offshoot of the Dominicans of Nashville. The show is called “Praying as a Family. I don’t know anything about the program itself, all I know is that late last week an email made the rounds inviting people to attend this premiere party at the UD campus.
Details below. I do know Sister Jane Dominic has been giving some talks for women and girls at the UD campus and that those talks have been well received. I suspect the show will be faithful but probably not explicitly traditional, which I expect most readers to understand. The party is at 6:30.
Anyway, if you’re in the area and looking to have some fun tonight, here you go: