I must stress that what is reported below is not yet substantiated. It comes from a source of unknown quality to me, a Catholic newspaper in Malaysia (but it was picked up by the German language site kath.net). I didn’t think Malaysia had much of a Catholic population, but whatevs. However, if true, it would be most disconcerting, to say the least. Abolishing the Pontifical Councils for the Laity and the Family and replacing them with a Congregation for “Pastoral Health Care” headed by arch-progressive Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, Francis’ most eager collaborator? Removing Muller at the CDF and appointing Schoenborn in his stead? Will we soon be treated to the theological orthodoxy of balloon Masses?
The report via Eponymous Flower might be speculation, but if true, it would constitute a significant advance in the entrenchment of like-minded souls in the hierarchy and the institutionalization of Francis’ progressive agenda. Perhaps something to pray over, or against:
Accordjng to a report by the Malaysian Catholic weekly “Herald” Pope Francis plans personnel changes within the Curia. This suggests that the former prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (68) will occupy the See if Mainz long since vacated by Cardinal Karl Lehmann. In return, the Viennese Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (71) is to switch to the Vatican and take over there, the management of the CDF, the Journal reported over the weekend, citing “well-informed Vatican sources” on its website. [Schoenborn, if he was ever much good when he was involved in the drafting of the 1990s catechism, has certainly drifted left in the past decade or so. He has persecuted faithful priests and shown himself very friendly to the sodomite agenda. His views are not nearly so orthodox as those of Muller’s, which weren’t just perfect to begin with. Muller and Francis have butted heads on many issues, with Muller directly rebuking several of Francis’ more outrageous claims in the past (there are so many, I know). I would not be surprised if Muller is moved out, and soon. Whether he will be replaced by Schoenborn or someone even worse remains to be seen]There were indications that the pope also plans the appointment of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko (71), Polish cardinal and President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop of Krakow. He would assume the office of the 77-year-old Stanislaw Dziwisz, who has already reached the age limit for resignation.The paper refers to a decree by the Pope, according to which the Council for the Laity and for the Family will be merged on 1 September into a new office. Its statutes were published by the Vatican in early June. According to “Herald” it will be incorporated into an office of pastoral health care. [Could a more worldly and really inappropriate name be chosen? So we’ll be treated to “pastoral health care reform?”] The new formation will receive the status of a congregation with the decision making power. As head of the new Congregation, the Honduran Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (73) has been selected, a close confidant of the pope and head of the Cardinal Council for a reform of the Curia.
Many folks have been expressing a great deal of excitement that Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, made an exhortation calling for the Novus Ordo to be offered Ad Orientem. I agree with Rorate Caeli in finding this excitement badly misplaced. That is to say, his words, while nice and comforting to conservative/traditional ears, perhaps, are meaningless in any real, effective sense. Nothing will change, as they did not change after Cardinal Arinze many times called for Latin in the Mass and Communion received on the tongue. The fundamental issue, as Rorate notes, is that modernists/progressives do not respond to exhortations, even pronouncements of solemn law barely move a few to stop blocking the open offering of the TLM as per Summorum Pontificum.
As for exhortations and blandishments, they just laugh them off and continue secularizing and de-sacralizing the Mass:
Cardinal Sarah in a speech to the Sacra Liturgia conference in London yesterday invited priests to start celebrating (the New Mass of Paul VI) facing the liturgical east (versus Deum), that is, facing the altar.His words, by way of the Catholic Herald:“It is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction – eastwards or at least towards the apse – to the Lord who comes.” … “I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible.”He said that “prudence” and catechesis would be necessary, but told pastors to have “confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people”.“Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’.”
There have been enthusiastic reactions to these words…unseen since the Prefect of Divine Worship was Cardinal Arinze in the early 2000s…and Cardinal Cañizares!
In the end, it is not for a lack of good words from the Prefects of Divine Worship that the liturgical situation worldwide has remained a mess (we emphasize “worldwide” — it is not because there are interesting celebrations, usually imitating the Traditional Mass, in very specific parishes in Britain, the occasional American haven, or one or other place that the global situation has improved at all).In the end, especially in our age of over-centralization of liturgical decisions, only liturgical Law really matters. A Cardinalatial suggestion will remain a mere unheard suggestion. In the end, the only act that made a difference was the act of law called “Summorum Pontificum”.
I used to get all excited when an Arinze or a Burke would call for some more orthodox liturgical practice, but even distant observation revealed that nothing ever changed as a result of these. Even more, over time, I became increasingly convinced, to the point today of absolute metaphysical certitude, that the Novus Ordo is fundamentally disordered and cannot be fixed by even major changes. The whole thing has to be abandoned, eventually, and a total return made to the Mass of Ages. Or, I could put it another, more gentle way: to fix the Novus Ordo completely would be to so change it that it would be indistinguishable from the TLM. So why not just stick with what God, through revelation and the long effort of Saints and holy souls, gave us?
Isn’t this straight up Calvinism? June 29, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, Revolution, scandals, secularism, the struggle for the Church.
“What is reconciliation? Taking one from this side, taking another one for that side and uniting them: no, that’s part of it but it’s not it … True reconciliation means that God in Christ took on our sins and He became the sinner for us. When we go to confession, for example, it isn’t that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: ‘This is your sin, and I will sin again’. [if said/thought in the context of sacramental confession, such thinking would render the confession invalid and leave one in a perilous state. This reeks of protestant/Calvinist self-serving error to me] And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us. “
I’m genuinely asking, because this kind of Christology is deep and fraught with a minefield of easy-to-make errors, but I thought it was Calvin’s novelty to tremendously exaggerate – to the point of heresy – St. Paul’s statements regarding Christ’s taking on our sins and blow them up to Christ literally becoming sinner in some kind of corrupting transference. I thought the Catholic understanding was that St. Paul was speaking figuratively in II Corinthians, and that the Catholic understanding was that Christ took on our sins, to expiate them, but did not become the sinner for us. Francis seems to be taking the much more literal, Calvinist interpretation, which I thought had been condemned.
It should be noted that this claim of Jesus becoming a replacement sinner for us is very widespread among the protestant evangelical/televangelist community of which Francis is so fond.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church – not the most ideal source, I know – seems to reject the idea of Christ literally becoming a sinner in favor of a more figurative understanding:
603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.405 But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”406 Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son”.407
The context was a meandering homily (is there any other kind) at the Santa Martha June 15 2016.
Coupled with the following statement regarding the Lutheran take on justification (and the role of the arch-heretic Luther as a whole), it seems like a a wide acceptance of protestantism at work:
“I believe that the intentions of Luther were not wrong. He was a reformer. Perhaps some methods were not right, but at that time, when we read the story by [Ludwig von] Pastor – a German Lutherans who converted and became a Catholic – we see that the Church was not exactly a worthwhile model: it was corruption, worldliness, attachment to money and power. Therefore, he protested. He was intelligent and took a step forward and justified why he did it. Today we are unified as Protestants and Catholics on the doctrine of justification in agreement, and on this very important point, he was not wrong. He made a medicine for the Church, then he consolidated this medicine to a discipline, to make it a way, a belief. And then Zwingli, Calvin had these principles behind them: ‘ cuius regio eius religio.’
That’s completely contrary to what the Church has solemnly proclaimed for centuries, that Luther was a heretic, a man so riven by sin and scruples that he completely mangled the conception of justification in order to try to justify his inability to refrain from grave sin. That is entirely how he arrived at “justification by faith alone.” The non-binding 1999 Joint Declaration is an abomination and stands in clear contradiction to 2000 years of Catholic Doctrine on the subject, and is painfully at odds with the Council of Trent. It’s crafting was some of the best evidence yet of the kinds of evil the ecumenical movement is capable of.
Pope Francis will take part in a protestant event starting the year of “celebrations” over the 500th anniversary of Luther’s revolt against Christendom. Virtually everything wrong, evil, and cancerous about Western Civilization – in its battered remains – can be laid at Luther’s feet.
As for Francis lamenting the perceived corruption of the 16th century Church – physician, heal thyself.
What do you make of this? It’s a bit all over the map, but I found the connection between the British vote to leave the EU, and major evils like social upheaval and wanton avarice rather tenuous, at best.
Via Bishop Farrell’s personal blog (emphasis in original, my comments):
“The gods of disorder and upheaval enjoyed a busy night.” This headline in The New Yorker Today online referring to the Brexit election caught my attention. Sometimes it seems like forces of turbulence and upheaval are prowling our world sowing fear and disorder among us. The Middle East is aflame, Europe is awash with hundreds of thousands of displaced persons seeking refuge [displaced persons? Please. It’s a veritable invasion by primarily military age men, from places where there is no ongoing warfare or anything else. Talk about motivation by greed, what is 2 million men abandoning their jobs and families to get rich off the backs of European taxpayers called?] , the European Union is threatened, Christianity is under attack, terrorism is increasing and even the weather has become hostile. Who or what is the maleficent force behind this plague on our planet? [The weather is doing what the weather has always done. In point of face, we happen to be blessed to live in a relatively temperate period, not an ice age or a period of far above average heat. It has been far hotter on average, globally, many times in the past, than it is at present, in spite of the warmist propaganda. And how on earth is the European Union being “threatened” somehow an indication of upheaval?!? Is Bishop Farrell unaware that EU technocrats just today floated a plan to completely destroy the remaining shards of national law and identity and impose an overarching European army, government, courts, etc, abolishing all national entities?!? Talk about being tone deaf.]
In the words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The ancient Romans and Greeks would indeed have attributed such times of tribulation to angry gods. Today, we know the real culprit is human greed, avarice and covetousness. Yes, just like all those things mentioned in the Ten Commandments. [In other words, sin? Does sin not displease God? Is it not, in fact, the very worst thing in the Universe? How can Bishop Farrell be so sure some of the evils afflicting us are not chastisements from God for a sick and failing Church, unworthy leaders, and mass sin and apostasy?!?]
You will recall that Scripture identifies the Original Sin as our desire to be like gods (Gen. 3:5). Stop and reflect for a moment. Each of the occurrences that I have mentioned finds its ultimate cause in human greed or avarice often manifested in a desire for power……..[I find it odd that the Brexit vote is being tied into blandishments against sin]
…….Ideas, individuals, programs, projects, political parties, proposals even laws of the land are demonized, regardless of their merit, so that they may be targeted for destruction with greed, avarice and power often the underlying justification. [Who exactly is doing the demonizing here? This post by Bishop Farrell is directly in response to the Brexit vote? And yet he is strongly linking that vote with only wanton, selfish concerns, instead of very reasonable concerns regarding national sovereignty, national identity, unconstrained illegal muslim immigration, and an unelected and repressive technocracy installing a more and more oppressive regime of tyranny at every turn? St. Luke iv:23 comes to mind]
The anti-venoms for disorder and upheaval caused by greed and avarice are the common good, love, compassion, consideration and mercy toward others…..
Those are all, certainly, wonderful things, but impossible for humans to reliably maintain in practice absent the Grace of God. That is because Original Sin and our own actual sins have so disfigured our souls and poisoned our intellects that, absent God’s Grace, man is, in general, incapable of not acting sinfully, selfishly.
Why is the focus so horizontal, so much on the plane of the natural and the human, instead of the supernatural and Divine? I would argue that “the anti-venoms for disorder and upheaval” are prayer, penance, and the Sacraments. It is by them that we receive the Grace of God that makes truly effective love, compassion, consideration, and mercy possible.
Love and even compassion can become disordered when disconnected from the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church, and living in accord with the moral order they established. Far better than counseling human emotions would be a cry to turn towards God in the ways He has shown are most pleasing to Him. I would argue that in point of fact, the world and certainly our nation are cursed by God, for the evils we have enshrined in law as supposed “goods.” The very evils Bishop Farrell identifies, islamic invasion, cultural and moral collapse, and even a badly confused and failing Church are all signs not of God’s blessing, but of His curse.
But, alas, declaring such might be too radical, too against the ingrained interests of the dominant culture, for some people to countenance. And so, it falls to lowly bloggers, instead of esteemed bishops, to make these “extreme” points.
Fisk concluded. And I didn’t even mention Bishop Farrell claiming people can walk into a gun show and come out with a fully automatic weapon without a background check or even showing ID! What I want to know is, where the heck is this gun show?!? Somalia? Cuz it sure ain’t in the US. Obtaining a fully automatic weapon is a minefield of regulations and a good way to commit a felony. Was the gun made before ’86? Was it made in the US or in a foreign country? If the latter it has to have been made prior to ’68. So we’re talking about 50 year old guns, in many cases. The only way to obtain a post-1986 automatic weapon is to be an FFL (gun dealer) and get a letter from local law enforcement requesting a demo for that particular type of firearm. If the FFL allows his license to expire, he must give up the gun, and it must be destroyed. ALL automatic weapons must be registered with the ATF and a $200 tax paid. So, Farrell was just quoting some totally unfounded ignorant anti-gun propaganda in his post. That’s because most anti-gun nuts are completely ignorant of the difference between an automatic and semi-automatic weapon.
I haven’t time to write now, so a link to Steve Skojec’s piece at One Peter Five. Once again, Francis turns Scripture and Tradition on its head, literally inverting good and evil, in what has become a nonstop full-frontal attack on the entire doctrinal edifice of the Church, the entire moral order, and even the natural law. Incredible. The key quotes, from his in-flight press conference when traveling from Armenia back to Rome:
The problem is a person that has a condition, that has good will and who seeks God, who are we to judge…….
……One can condemn, but not for theological reasons, but for reasons of political behavior [so Francis finds political behavior more offensive than actual sin. Gotcha]
…….I think that the Church must not only ask forgiveness – like that “Marxist Cardinal” said (laughs) – must not only ask forgiveness to the gay person who is offended. But she must ask forgiveness to the poor too, to women who are exploited, to children who are exploited for labor. She must ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons. The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times – when I say the Church, I mean Christians!……
………..I remember from my childhood the culture in Buenos Aires, the closed Catholic culture. I go over there, eh! A divorced family couldn’t enter the house, and I’m speaking of 80 years ago. The culture has changed, thanks be to God. Christians must ask forgiveness for many things, not just these. Forgiveness, not just apologies. Forgive, Lord.
Skojec has a lot of good analysis. I hope to update this or write another post tomorrow.
At this point, I’m at a loss. Virtually everything this man thinks is a sin, really isn’t, and that which he thinks isn’t, actually is. That’s what I mean by turning the entire moral order on its head. Sodomites now occupy the commanding heights of virtue while pious souls must beg their forgiveness?!?
And that’s not all. On the same flight, Francis also declared that Lutheran Doctrine on Justification is correct and the Church shares it, which is also incredibly problematic, to say the least, in spite of the disastrous 1999 “joint declaration” that said the same.
You get the impression things are spinning out of control. Maybe I need to go back and update the post below, reaching a different conclusion. Sheesh. It just never freaking ends with this guy! And EVEN STILL the apologists are out there finding
“gold” fool’s gold in this giant pile of manure. Oh, he didn’t mean that, and look at this other thing he said, and SQUIRREL!
These apologists are greasing the skids to hell for far, far more souls than even the most spittle-flecked trad or sede vacantist. And yet we’re the bad guys, for pointing out the plain truth. What a crock.
Saint Francis de Sales on Popes and Error June 23, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, Papa, reading, Saints, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
I am staking out no position by excerpting the below from St. Francis de Sales The Catholic Controversy (pp. 225-6). I read this yesterday, it is interesting, it is topical, and I think it is at least somewhat helpful. This is not an endorsement of any claim with regard to the status of the pontificate today or its present occupant. This is in fact a very high-level overview of an immensely complex and nuanced subject, so please bear that in mind. Those for and against claims of sede vacante can stack up piles of quotes from Saints and Doctors on both sides of the issue, and a combox on a blog is not a place where such issues can or will be resolved. Nonetheless, I’ll be watching comments closely, or at least more closely than usual [my comments]:
[W]e do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII, or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church must either deprive him of, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See, and must say as St. Peter did, let another take his bishopric (Acts i). When he errs in his private opinion he must be instructed, advised, convinced; as happened with John XXII………But when he is clothed in pontifical garments, I mean when he teaches the whole Church as shepherd, in general matters of faith and morals, then there is nothing but doctrine and truth. [Until now? Amoris Laetitia and Evangelii Gaudium are magisterial documents, and many judge them to contain error. But not every word or phrase from even a magisterial document is magisterial. Are footnotes? These are issues beyond me. It will likely take a future pope, in a better age, to make these determinations. At least, that is my belief. The wheat will have to be separated from the chaff, and necessary distinctions made, I am certain of that. Whether that means Francis is pope or not, who am I to judge?]
….So everything the pope says is not canon law or of legal obligation; he must mean to define and lay down the law for the sheep, and he must keep the due order and form. Thus we say that we must appeal to him not as to a learned man, for in this he is ordinarily surpassed by some others, but as to the general head and pastor of the Church. And as such we must honor, follow, and firmly embrace his doctrine [when it is wholesome, I presume. At the very least, what the pope proposes as Doctrine cannot contradict what was held in the past, right? And thus the problem.] , for then he carries on his breast…….doctrine and truth. And again, we must not think that in everything and everywhere his judgment on a matter of faith in questions necessary to the whole Church, for in particular cases which depend on human face he can err, there is no doubt, though it is not for us to control him in these cases save with all reverence, submission, and discretion. Theologians have said, in a word, that he can err in questions of fact, not in questions of right, that he can err extra cathedram, outside the Chair of Peter, that is, as a private person, by writings and bad example. [So at some point Amoris Laetitia, or some of it, must be declared private, non-binding, or?]
But he cannot err when he is in cathedra, that is, when he intends to make an instruction and decree for the guidance of the whole Church, when he means to confirm his brethren as supreme pastor and to conduct them into the pastures of the Faith. For then it is not so much man who determines, resolves, and defines as it is the Blessed Holy Spirit by man, which spirit, according to the promise made by Our Lord to the Apostles, teaches all truth to the Church…….
Well, that had been quite safely the case for 2000 years, but now it is certainly open to question. I don’t see anyone in a position of authority in the Church today willing to hold the current pope to account…….thus my belief it will be quite some time before the crisis of this pontificate is dealt with, probably long after I’m dead. In the meantime, doctrine will suffer, millions will fall away, and hell shall be filled by so many lost snowflakes.
Well, at least there’s some good TV these days, so we have that going for us………
We Have the Pope We Deserve – And There Are No Easy Outs June 20, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, manhood, mortification, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
I could not agree more with this post by Rorate. Francis is a chastisement the Church has, tragically, horribly, but also richly deserved through apostasy, open acceptance (and practice) of a whole panoply of sins, and a general failure of all the virtues. Francis didn’t just fall from the sky. He was elected by a Church hierarchy that sprang from a Church laity that is largely given over to worldliness, comfort, ease, and sloth. The Church has been slouching towards Gomorrah for over 100 years, and the hierarchy simply began to reflect that fact more and more as the 20th century ground on.
I’m out of time for the day, but I doubly agree with Rorate below – a tiny slice of the Church excepted (which, I pray, includes all the readers of this blog) – Francis is a punishment quite richly earned, and one from which such false “panaceas” as sede vacantism or similar intellectual pretenses provide no real escape (I add emphasis and comments).
……Many conservative, traditional-minded Catholics are so weary of the weekly, frequently even daily, shocks provided by this Pontificate that they look for easy ways out. Perhaps the Pope is not the Pope. Maybe Benedict XVI is still the Pope. Maybe Benedict XVI never truly resigned: even his Secretary and current Prefect of the Papal Household, Abp. Georg Gänswein, provided some leeway for this theory by implying the existence of a bizarre papal diarchy…….. [I’ve engaged in a bit of speculation from time to time regarding wiggle room for some future, orthodox pontiff to “deal with” Francis, but that was really idle speculation and probably not the most helpful thing I could have done. The thing is, we can allow ourselves to fall into pretty dangerous places if we get too twisted off on the idea of the pope being not valid, or whatever. I advise great caution and humility, and will try to practice same better myself.]
…….We deserve Francis. What is missing in many souls is a typically Christian attitude: resignation. It was not the Holy Spirit who chose Francis, that is not how conclaves work. But God has certainly allowed it, and he has allowed it to continue, and he will allow it until He deigns it necessary to end his Vicar’s time here on earth, as He does to each one of us.Other than resignation, missing from many spirits is the notion of collective justice — and collective punishment. We have sinned, we have grievously sinned. So many Catholics have been for long immensely unfaithful to the Apostolic tradition they have received, to the pure doctrine that was passed on: is it surprising that from this soil arise unfaithful hierarchs? What is surprising is not that we have Francis as Pope, but that it took so many centuries for us to have a Pope like him. As it is known, the Popes who were considered “bad” and “appalling” in Catholic history never dared touch the deposit of the faith, or to mollify this deposit so it would fit into contemporary mores; they may have been personally immoral, and their example caused great scandal and grievous consequences, but their utterances on matters of faith, moral, sacraments did not themselves cause scandal (the examples of such were so rare as to be counted on a couple of fingers).We deserve Francis. King Josiah was the exception, and Judah was punished before and after him: was there not a single just man in Judah under King Amon? Was not Jeremiah alive and warning of dangers under King Zedekiah? Yet even the just were punished on this earth, collectively, by what God allowed to happen: irreverent kings, leaders who acted as if God did not exist. The just were subjected to upheaval on this earth, but it profited for their eventual eternal life: as Dante wrote in the Inferno, “O Supreme Wisdom, how great is the perfection / that you show in heaven, on earth, and in hell / and how justly you spread your virtue!“We deserve Francis. The Catholic faithful on earth in this moment in history deserve him — and deserve worse, so be prepared. [Two thoughts on this line: one, there is always a worse alternative, and, two, where sin abounds, Grace abounds the more] We will bear it because we must bear it, because this is what God has prepared for us. If you hope for something better, then the answer is prayer, and fasting, and almsgiving, the personal work of each one for one’s own final perseverance, and the teaching of the truth of the Gospel, especially to one’s children. [I think it important to note, also, pointing out errors when they arise, no matter from whence the arise, and doing our best to repudiate them] One day, a new Josiah will arise to sit on the cathedra of Peter in Rome. Yet even afterwards, new chastisements and exiles will remain part of Catholic life, in this Church founded by “the Just who died for the unjust” (I Pet 3:18).
I would add a bit more. Rather than gloom and doom, which is so easy to give into at times (I stand guilty as charged), we could perhaps rejoice that God has chosen us to live at this time and place, to suffer through this horrific period of the Church’s long history? This is indeed a very special kind of suffering to endure, and something we should perhaps reflect on as being a gift as well as a curse.
Liguori: All Those Who Assist Unworthy Men in Obtaining Priestly Vocation Guilty of Mortal Sin June 8, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, priests, Revolution, Saints, sanctity, scandals, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Occasional reader JB sent a link out yesterday to a LifeSiteNews post on a talk given by the president of Family Life International of New Zealand at the Roman Life Forum. The talk contained several very sad stories all too common in the Church today, including loved ones falling into the culture of death and the tangled, sinful lives of those given over to various perversions (the latter of which I will not cover, except to say it is yet a further bit of anecdotal evidence of the kind of cruel abuse so common in lesbian relationships).
The story on which I would like to focus, however, which begins at ~1:40 in the video below, regards an Anglican man with strong same-sex attraction tendencies who was admitted to the priesthood of Holy Mother Church. In fact, he went through seminary in the Diocese of Rome, about which he revealed some all too common tales:
The priest befriended Bayer and her husband Terry — both workers in the life-and-family movement — and felt comfortable opening up to them about the extent of the misery that plagued his life. He eventually began telling them of his experiences from his time in the seminary in Rome.
At one point, the priest related to them his memories of Friday night parties with other seminarians at exotic locations in Rome that ended in homosexual orgies. [This is not infrequent at all, in many dioceses around the world. Ever been sort of scandalized by your diocesan vocations director?]
“And it broke my heart. I used to think that we worship under the dome of Rome, that we come here [in Rome] to our home. But then to learn that in the seminary here…the devastation, the filth, and the stuff that went on is appalling,” Bayer related.
She said that the fact that this man made it into the seminary, despite his manifest problems, reveals the extent of the corruption at that time within Catholic seminaries. [It is only slightly better today, and worse in some places]
“How did he get in? How was he accepted, if there wasn’t already a cohort there ready and willing and available to help in that situation?” she said.
I would say, even more than “ready and willing…..to help,” he was brought in by that perverse cohort specifically because he was just like them! In other words, morally compromised, absent from the state of Grace, and easy to manipulate.
Which brings me to the point of this post. Saint Alphonsus has some very strong things to say about all those who help an unworthy man, without a true vocation, obtain a vocation to the priesthood or religious life:
In my Moral Theology I have given on this point a long dissertation to establish that those cannot be excused from mortal sin who without having been sufficiently tried by a holy life receive a Holy Order; since they raise themselves to this sublime state without a divine vocation; for one cannot regard those as having been called by God who have not yet succeeded in overcoming a bad habit, especially the habit of offending against chastity. And whenever among those one might be found who is disposed by repentance to receive the Sacrament of Penance, he would nevertheless not be in a condition to receive Holy Orders, for in his case there must be more holiness of life manifested during a long trial. [A most important point. St. Alphonsus is saying that a one time “repentance” from long acts of unchastity/perversion is not sufficient grounds to admit a man to Holy Orders. He must be proved by a long trial of adherence to virtue and rejection of vice. That is why Pope Benedict stated that men with a profound SSA inclination were unsuitable for the priesthood, as they hold a disordered attachment that will, in almost all cases, always be present and a source of deadly temptation.] Otherwise the candidate would not be exempt from mortal sin on account of the grave presumption that he wished to intrude into the holy ministry without a true vocation. Hence St. Anselm says: “Those who thus thrust themselves into Holy Orders and have in view only their own interests are robbers who arrogate to themselves the Grace of God; instead of benediction they would receive God’s malediction.” [Paging Dr. Luther, Dr. Martin Luther]
As Bishop Abelly remarks, they would expose themselves to the great danger of being lost forever: “Whoever deliberately and without troubling himself whether or not he had a vocation would thrust himself into the priesthood, would without doubt plainly expose himself to eternal perdition.” [This is not a mere sin to be confessed. In order to properly show contrition, the priest with the false vocation, like the man above, would have to seek laicization and leave the priesthood. Of course, the indelible mark would remain, as would the need to perform penance for the rest of their life for committing so grievous an offense against God] Soto holds the same opinion when he asserts, in speaking of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that positive sanctity in the candidate is of divine precept: “Assuredly,” he says, “this sanctity is not essential to the Sacrament, though it is altogether necessary by a divine precept………Now, the sanctity that should characterize the candidates to Holy Orders does not consist in the general disposition required for the reception of the other Sacraments, and sufficient in order that the Sacrament may not be impeded. For, in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, one receives not only Grace, but one is raised to a much more sublime state. Hence in the candidates there must be great purity of life and perfect virtue.” …….
……..If any one receive Holy Orders without having led the requisite good life, not only would he himself commit a mortal sin, but also the bishop who confers them upon him without having been morally certain, by sufficient proofs, of the good conduct of the candidate. [What a total contrast from the sentence, to the reality in the Church today. One thing is certain, there isn’t much in-depth peering into the past personal lives of men who present themselves as candidates for the priesthood, and there remain huge cadres of men of perverse inclination who seek out their own kind and do all they can to see them become priests. All of these bear an awful responsibility towards God.] The confessor also would be guilty of mortal sin, because he gives absolution to one who, addicted to a bad habit, wished to be ordained without having given evidence during a considerable time of a positively good life. Finally, parents also sin grievously because, though knowing the wicked conduct of their own son, they yet try to induce him to take Holy Orders in order that afterwards he may become the support of the family……
A great deal of blame to go around. That’s because ordaining a man to Holy Orders is such vitally serious business. It transforms a soul, leaves an indelible mark, and allows a man to stand in persona Christi, in the place of Christ. But when a man does so as a fraud, unworthily, the sacrilege that results is unimaginable.
I was gratified at the providence that resulted in my reading that bit of Liguori after seeing the video above. This ordaining of unworthy men, going back a century or so, has been at the root of the crisis in the Church, and the crisis shall not abate until the priesthood is cleansed and transformed. Unfortunately, so many actors still fight against the restoration of the priesthood, from the feminist female religious who dominate diocesan and seminary education programs to the deeply embedded sodomite cliques. Many bishops are willing to turn a blind eye either because they share the inclination – sexual or political – or because they feel an urgent need for more priests.
And so the offense against God will only continue to mount. How long He will continue to stay His arm, I do not know.
Via LifeSiteNews, Bishop Athanasius Schneider gives the twelve steps he believes Catholic parents/families must take to survive the rampant heresy and widespread abuse of a Church in grave crisis with their faith intact. See what you make of these, via reader skeinster, with my comments:
- See persecution as a grace from God for becoming purified and strengthened, not simply as something negative.
- Become rooted yourself in the Catholic faith through study of the Catechism. [I generally stay away from the 1990’s Catechism. I recommend the Catechism of the Council of Trent, or reading Ludwig Ott and/or Denziger. ]
- Protect your family’s integrity above all else. [Not sure if this is simply a reference to avoiding divorce, for example, or something more broad, as in, homeschooling etc.]
- Catechize your children as your first duty. [Agreed. Not the school. Not the priest. YOUR first duty. The problem today is, so few adults are catechized themselves, very few know where to start. And apparently not many are ready to read 300 books over 8 years on the Church as I have.]
- Pray with your children daily, such as litanies and the Rosary.
- Turn your home into a domestic church. [More on that below]
- In the absence of a priest and Sunday Mass, make spiritual communion. [Not as much a problem here in the US, yet, but widespread in Europe]
- Withdraw your family from a parish spreading error and attend a faithful parish, even if you have to travel far. [Could not agree more! I am very much in favor of this.]
- Withdraw your children from school if they are encountering immoral danger in sex-ed. [Or leftism generally]
- If you cannot withdraw your children, establish a coalition of parents to fight for that right. [Homeschooling is illegal in a number of countries, especially in Europe. Coming soon to the US?]
- Fight for parental rights using available democratic tools. [Are these effective at all anymore? I guess I’m kind of hypocritical,
- Be prepared for persecution in protecting your children (see first point).
A few words about that last item. This is a really tough one. What if the state’s response to homeschooling your children is to take them away? What if the state’s response to being “too Christian,” whatever that means, is also to take them away? Are your children served by being removed to foster homes or adopted out, where you will never see them again, at least as children? I pray God I never have to face that situation, where the choice comes down to inculcating my children in the Faith, and being able to have them at all. I pray for the families in Germany and Norway and other places who do have their children taken away, even little babies, because they observe Christian morality. I don’t think those days are too far off for this country.
Finally, a bit about turning one’s home into a domestic Church; this means more than “just” praying the Rosary, litanies, novenas, and the like. It means more than reading the Bible or homeschooling your kids, though all of the above are wonderful and necessary things. It also means, possibly with greater importance than any of the above, structuring your family life in a manner that emulates the Church, with the father the true material and spiritual head of the family, the wife deferring to that leadership willingly, and instilling discipline in the children. I see this last bit missing in quite a few even very devout traditional families. One of the most common failings is weak father figures (of which I fear I am guilty of to an extent)or men who try to shirk their duty, and mothers/wives trying, I’m certain unconsciously, to assume a bit too much of that leadership role, or perhaps undermining the father in subtle ways. Kids pick up on so much even non-verbal communication, they can sense when the parents aren’t performing their roles properly, and the long term consequences can be devastating.
It’s a very difficult balance to strike, for both fathers and mothers. Of course mothers have a leadership role, but it’s different from the father’s and should be ultimately subordinate to him, even if they think he may be wrong. Our modern society has taught girls for decades now that a woman should and even must do everything a man does, and that has caused a lot of tension in many families. Men have been taught to deal with this female assertion of authority by escapism. Or perhaps it’s just a reaction to that undermining.
Anyway, I’m not trying to pick on any particular group, I’m merely reporting what I’ve observed, which of course comes from a male perspective. But I know, from talking to priests, that the problems I outline above are real, and they are common. Even among some people trying very hard to be faithful.
Unfortunately, satan knows us even better than we know ourselves, and he knows just how to trick us. Pray for guidance from God in leading your family and in performing your proper role in the domestic Church! It is so vitally important.
I do appreciate Bishop Schneider’s helpful list. The whole article is worth reading, as he does expand on the items above. Unfortunately, such shepherds are exceedingly rare. Which, of course, is the primary cause of the crisis in the Church, and always has been, whether today or 1600 years ago.
Cardinal Caffara of Bologna made minor waves recently by declaring that, owing to the contradictory interpretations already being made of the document, Francis’ post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia is “objectively unclear.” He further states that whenever one happens upon a novel pronouncement of the Magisterium that is unclear in nature, a faithful soul has the duty to accept the Doctrine and practice as lived by the preceding Magisterium:
“Chapter 8 is, objectively, unclear,” said Cardinal Carlo Caffarra when speaking about Amoris Laetitia, since it causes “‘conflict of interpretations’ ignited even among bishops.” The comments were made last week in an interview the cardinal gave in Italian to the website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
Ambiguity in Chapter 8 of the Pope’s exhortation has been used by left-leaning priests, bishops, and theologians to provide arguments for the administration of Holy Communion to civilly divorced and remarried Catholics. Some cite as evidence of a change paragraph 305 with footnote 351, which, when read together, suggest that the Church can help those living in an “objective situation of sin” to “grow in the life of grace” through the “Church’s help,” which “can include the help of the sacraments.”
But Caffarra, who is the Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, said that where confusion arises in interpreting the text, one has to refer to the continuity of the Magisterium of the past as the principle guiding light.
“In matters of doctrine of faith and morals, the Magisterium cannot contradict itself,” he said.
Makes eminent sense to me. But given that we already have not just “mere” bishops, but high ranking cardinals, arguing passionately over not just the interpretation of Vatican II, but whether or not certain decrees of Vatican II are even binding on conscience, does the same line of reasoning put forth by Cardinal Caffara not apply?
And, of course, by declaring that the Magisterium cannot contradict itself, and assuming the notion of non-contradiction still applies in Church affairs, does this not also provide at least a tacit, if likely unintentional, support for the argument of many traditionally-minded Catholics that those portions of Vatican II that do certainly appear to contradict the prior Magisterium not only can be, but should be ignored? Cardinal Caffara may well say no, but doesn’t his argument here, with regard to Amoris Laetitia, also have implications for Vatican II? And if not, why not?
Is this not what many bewildered Catholics have not wondered for decades? I guess to make my point perfectly clear, if one can say that a papal exhortation can be “unclear” and give rise to destructive, heterodox interpretations, why can the same not be said about other recent acts of the Church hierarchy that are manifestly unclear and appear to contradict the prior Magisterium? At the very least, how on earth are lowly lay people to determine what is the authentic interpretation of each, when the very hierarchy that is supposed to tell us these things has lost its mind?
No wonder the Vatican II apologists have taken the Doctrine of the Faith, which used to be described as simple enough for anyone with even a basic education to observe, and turned it into this incredibly complex, nuanced, subtle, and seemingly self-contradictory ball of meaningless that it takes extensive post-licentiate work to even begin to understand?
Or perhaps total doctrinal confusion was the point all along? It makes a great environment to make the “doctrine” say whatever you want it to from one moment to the next, depending on what the vagaries of the world demand. Bug, feature, etc.