jump to navigation

FSSP Priest Interview Reveals Divisions within Fraternity April 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, Revolution, sadness, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
16 comments

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.

Gentle Reminder: Switch from the Angelus to the Regina Caeli April 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Our Lady, priests, religious, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
comments closed

I remembered this year, to start praying the Regina Caeli, as opposed to the Angelus, on Easter day.  Sometimes in the past, it’s taken me a day or three to remember.  I’m sure most of you have not had this problem, but if any have, here is your reminder.

To beef out the post a bit, a few pictures from Good Friday:

It was nice having a religious priest present during Holy Week

I pray you are enjoying this glorious Octave.  I think next year I will take off less time before Easter and more time after.  I’ve taken off most of Holy Week for years, but I feel ready for a change.  I’d like to enjoy the great feast more, and not just go back to work the day after Easter. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of Christmas.  I wish I had the time to take off the entire week of Easter, but that’s not going to happen.  Oh for the days when working men had every great feast day off work, a true holy day holiday!

The Factual Case for Christ’s Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection April 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

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.

A Little Beautiful Catholic Culture: Saint Benedict Center Sings Byrd’s Ave Verum March 29, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, religious, Restoration, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

This is the Saint Benedict Center in New Hampshire, the one with the catholicism.org website.  Sensus Fidelium added the following description on  Youtube:

On October 22, 2016 the Brothers and Sisters from Saint Benedict Center, with some students and volunteers, went to The Arbors of Bedford, an Assisted Living Facility in New Hampshire, to sing and play for the residents. Here is our recording of William Byrd’s Ave Verum.

Great, and really well suited to this time of Lent!

Victory Attained: Our Lady of the Atonement San Antonio Made Part of Anglican Ordinariate – UPDATED March 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

With a hat tip to reader Camper for the link, Our Lady of the Atonement parish is, effective today, no longer a part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and is now a part of Anglican Ordinariate, as the parish clergy and laity had requested.  I don’t know what this means for Fr. Phillips reinstatement, or whether that has already occurred (I could find no news attesting to this because I am not on Facebook!, where everything seems to be these days.  See update below, Fr. Phillips is back at Atonement with faculties in the Ordinariate), but I am certain there is great rejoicing today (but in actuality, there are signs the people of Atonement have been aware of the decision for at least a few days) among those who have such a great devotion to this reverent Anglican Use (and sometime Novus Ordo Latin) parish:

Brilliant News!!! The Holy See has directed that theTexan parish of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio is, with effect from today, part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of S Peter, the American Ordinariate.

‘Atonement’ was the first (in 1983) of the parishes set up to perpetuate within the Roman Unity groups adhering to their Anglican Liturgy, Spirituality, and theological tradition. It was spectacularly successful, under its dynamic and charismatic Pastor Fr Christopher Phillips.

When the Ordinariates were set up, the position of parishes adhering to the ‘Anglican Use’, but operating as units within ordinary dioceses, became anomalous. After all, the Holy See had set up the Ordinariates specifically to include such communities.

The Archbishop of San Antonio was understandably anxious to keep such a vibrant parish and its academy within his own diocese and jurisdiction. But he is an honourable man. So he made it very clear that he would ensure the continuation at the Atonement of the provisions made by the Holy See for Anglicans who had entered the Catholic Church upon a certain understanding.

But that proposed arrangement misses the point. It treats the Anglican Use as merely something provided as a condescending kindness for ex-Anglicans or their descendants. This would mean that the Use could die out when the original ‘converts’ had died, unless new converts from Anglicanism had continued to trickle in so as to keep the arrangement on a life-support machine.

That is quite simply not how things can be allowed to be in a Church which takes Mission in any way seriously. A flourishing and orthodox Christian community will inevitably attract others, particularly those from the peripheries of the Church, where people may have a residual association with Catholicism but have grown disillusioned or alienated within the ‘mainstream’ or ‘diocesan’ Church.

It is a natural suspicion that Gerhard Cardinal Mueller has been involved in this wise decision, which is good news not only for the Atonement but for all members of the three Ordinariates. It demonstrates that the See of S Peter is as committed to Pope Benedict’s bold ecumenical experiment as ever it was. We were not ‘taken up’ just so that we could be ‘dropped’!

That’s certainly an ebullient opinion from Fr. Hunwicke, who I am certain is quite pleased.

This is about the best possible outcome for the vast majority of those associated with Atonement Parish and it’s school – this is very much what those souls wanted.  It also does lend some credence to notions I’ve heard bandied about that much of the furball that developed in recent months with the removal of Fr. Phillips and the allegations against Deacon Orr was ideologically motivated.  As I stated all along, that is most likely the case, though difficult to prove (as such things always tend to be in a Church dominated by secular modernists).

I’m very happy for the people of Atonement and the Archdiocese of San Antonio generally.  Whatever Phillips’ future status, they have one more reverent and relatively orthodox option for liturgy, catechesis, and formal schooling.  San Antonio is even more of a liturgical and catechetical wasteland than Dallas, which tells local readers something, anyway.  I don’t know whether it’s surprising or not that Rome made this decision, and so quickly, but it certainly appears to be the right and just one.

A Deo Gratias for Atonement parish and the good people of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  I don’t know if this move has any implications for the TLM at St. Pius X parish or the SSPX at St. Joseph chapel, but we’ll see.  For now it appears the good guys won one for once, to quote some of those in the comments.

UPDATE:  Via commenter RM, the following comes from Fr. Phillips’ Facebook page, announcing his return as “pastor emeritus” at Atonement:

This has been an historic day. Our Lady of the Atonement is now a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Fr. Moore and I are incardinated as priests of the Ordinariate………

…………I return to the parish as Pastor Emeritus to carry on my regular pastoral, liturgical, and sacramental ministry, and especially what I love the most — back to my place in the school with our wonderful students.
“I am delighted with this! As I told some of our people today, “I get to continue to do all the things I love, and poor Fr. Perkins has to do all the hard stuff!”
“As of today we return to being the parish family we have always been, but poised for even greater adventures. I am grateful for our years in the Archdiocese of San Antonio — it was the soil in which we grew and flourished. But I am now looking forward to new relationships in the Ordinariate, and to serving God under a new bishop, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Steven Lopes

Well it appears this ugly saga is behind Atonement, and good for them.  With more coming out now, including what I am told privately is a dismissal of the allegations against Deacon Orr that surfaced earlier this month, it seems almost certain that what transpired in the removal of Fr. Phillips was the playing out of an ugly ideological agenda trying to keep a vibrant parish and its unusually valuable property from “leaving” the control of the Archdiocese, and in the process breaking the parish of most everything that made it unique.   Of course, as the progressive modernists holding the reins of power in most dioceses are extremely adept at manipulating the system to their advantage, proving that is all but impossible, but the strange turn of events in public really speaks for itself.

A Little Peak at Why Texans Love Their State So Much March 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, family, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, history, Latin Mass, silliness, Society, Victory.
comments closed

I lived in Idaho for a year and worked at a place that, because it was such a craptastic nightmare of pollution and amazing danger, had to recruit across the entire nation to bring in a flood of new engineers to replace those who constantly left.  So I wound up being a new hire working with people from Arizona, California, Michigan, etc.

Now I was actually replacing a previous UT grad who just bled “Texas is Awesome” all over the place.  He DROVE 24 hours or so back home at least every 2 or 3 months.  He bragged Texas up one side and down the other.  After he left and they hired me, I was fairly homesick.  I, too, lamented having to leave Texas and especially Austin (OK, a, it was different then, and b, I was all of 22), and probably described how awesome it was.  And it drove my co-workers nuts.  They kept asking me, “what’s so great about it, what’s so great about it?”  I had a hard time describing it.

I think those who haven’t lived here for an appreciable length of time can comprehend the extent of the love affair many Texans – natives or transplants – have for this place.  As to the why…….it’s hard to explain.  Texas has its own, very dramatic, history. It was an independent nation.  It is huge.  The food is varied and awesome (Whataburger!).  The women are gorgeous, prettier than any other state I’ve been to, though some other southern states come close.  Cowboys, the oil industry, the ranching, Hispanics that have been in Texas longer than Mexico has been a nation, the huge wide open sky which some easterners used to tall trees and narrow vistas find oppressive.

It has the most varied geography of pretty much any state in the union including maybe even Alaska and California.  You can be in deep East Texas piney woods that look like Alabama, the Rocky Mountains, or flat unbroken scrub brush desert.  But the heart of it all, the prettiest, best part, to me, anyway, is the Hill Country.  I fell in love with the Hill Country in college and have adored it ever since.

The people are generally awesome, too, but we are getting too many and the urban areas have become more and more generic Top 10 market type places. So don’t think about moving here!  There’s snakes everywhere and black widows and you have to rinse the sand out of your coffee cup every morning and its hotter n’ blazes n……..

Seriously, Texas also has a deep Catholic heritage that the fading protestant majority has tried to minimize but which this video gives at least some recognition to.  It’s from the early 60s and is in good color.  You can see the fields of wild bluebonnets that are just about to start blooming, among the Indian Paintbrush and the Firewheel and Mexican Hat and others. There is even a brief shot of a TLM at an ancient mission in South Texas.  German immigrants, of which my wife is a pureblood descendant, get a mention.  Her father is one of the dwindling speakers of Texas German.

Texans I think will really enjoy this video, even though it is possibly a bit hokey and juvenile.  Outsiders will lament and gnash their teeth in great jealousy.  Clear streams with white limestone bottoms, oak and cedar trees, white rock cliffs and rolling coastal pastures, mountain laurels…….my wife and kids are going to Pipe Creek next week, and I have to stay and work. I know everything will be wonderfully in bloom. Waaaahhhhh!

Priest Explains the Problem of Amoris Laetitia and Francis in Detail March 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, Revolution, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership.
comments closed

While much of what the priest in the sermons below presents is somewhat old news to any who have been following developments in this pontificate with any closeness, it is still extremely handy to have it all gone over in detail and explained just exactly how pernicious, destructive, and even blasphemous Francis’ efforts to wholly remake (as in destroy) the moral edifice of the Church are.

It is also very edifying to know there are priests out there – I certainly won’t ID him, but non-SSPX, traditional priests – who are calling a spade a spade and demonstrating clearly that, given the choice between “the pope and Jesus Christ,” this priest, at least, intends to side firmly with Jesus Christ.

There is much good formation here.  Both sermons are well worth your time and constitute elements of a 6 part sermon that has all been uploaded to the Sensus Fidelium channel on Youtube.

Sermon one reviews the travesty that is Amoris Laetitia, and the clear “interpretations” Francis has given to bishops in Argentina, Malta, and other locales, which clearly demonstrate the revolutionary intent of this unprecedented encyclical.  There are many clear judgments and hard-hitting phrases that we most certainly need to be hearing from our priests:

The second sermon deals with the reaction to Amoris Laetitia in the form of the dubia submitted by 4 cardinals asking very pointed and clear questions of Francis.  As is already widely known, Francis has chosen to simply ignore this dubia.  One hopes eventually the cardinals will then take the issue to the next level, which is to publicly examine Francis’ works in the light of Tradition, but we shall have to see:

I disagree slightly with this excellent priest in one area, that is in referring to this as a “real Henry VIII moment in the Church.”  Elsewhere, he says more correctly, to my mind, that the Church has never, ever, in her entire recorded history had a pontiff make such direct, destructive attacks on the Doctrine of the Faith.

We are in a completely unprecedented situation.  This post-modernist crisis is the worst the Church has ever seen for the completeness of the embrace of error and the tiny scope of the remnant faithful, but Francis has taken it to an entirely new and different level.

But while Henry VIII was certainly a lout, a glutton, a destroyer of religion, and a persecutor of the Church, he was, after all, a layman.  He started the process of destruction of the Faith in one country and was rightly excommunicated for his crimes, but what we have in Francis is something entirely different.  Here it is an attack from within, from the highest office in the Church, the man given such enormous torrents of Grace to correspond faithfully to the tenets of his office and the Doctrine of the Faith that his heart must be as hard as diamond to be executing the plan he is so obviously carrying out.  Not only is the scope of destruction Francis can achieve infinitely larger than anything Henry VIII could have done, but after decades of neglect and collapse the forces of orthodoxy and resistance are so much smaller than they have been at probably any other time in the history of the Church.

To me, Francis’ destructive potential is greater than Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Zwinglii, and all the rest combined, because he presents himself as not only within the House of God but as its head!  Catholics will for decades to come be fighting off arguments from protestants, atheists, etc., based on the errors that Francis has introduced.  Even worse is the aid, comfort, and intellectual armament being conferred on those modernists within the Church.  Now we shall be forever quoting pope against pope in trying to defend the Faith.

And we haven’t even begun to see this play out.  Francis will be gone in a few years, more than likely, but what will follow in his wake?  Even if that next pope is not as radical as Francis, will he roll back any of the revolutionary changes already under way?  Or will he allow them to persist and continue to rot the Church from within, as the appeasement of the use of contraception did to the Church during the 70s, 80s, 90s, etc?

The only way forward for the Church, then, is for some future pope to deliberately refute the errors abounding today and anathematize the current resident of the Vatican Doma Sancta Martha.  We have got to pray that such a future pope, with enough backbone and love of Christ to do so, emerges.

On a lighter note, is not this priest a most effective, practiced speaker?  Few other priests use so much inflection, emotion, and vary their meter as much as this one does.

Lenten Mission at Mater Dei this week Open to All March 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Lent, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

Fr. James Buckley, FSSP will be hosting a Lenten mission at Mater Dei parish nightly March 6-10 from 7-8pm.  Everyone is invited,  you do not need to be a Mater Dei to attend.  I do not have a list of topics to be covered, but judging from Father’s sermons they will probably touch on the practice of penance and self-denial generally for souls who are awash in a hedonistic, self-serving culture.

Mater Dei parish is located at 2030 E. Hwy 356 (Irving Blvd) in Irving, TX.  There is no cost for attending.

Sorry for the tardiness of the notice, but you people are quick thinkers, able to improvise, overcome, and adapt to bad blogging.

Two good videos: another holy sermon, and a good Catholic apostolate to support March 2, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, reading, Restoration, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

First video – I know some of you are aware of Mediatrix Press, but they are producing a whole slew of extremely powerful, edifying titles from some of the greatest Doctors in the history of Holy Mother Church.  Ryan Grant’s project to translate so many of the works of St. Robert Bellarmine into English – which has never before been done – is a huge blessing in and of itself.  But they also have many other great titles, most of which are from long out of print and “forgotten” sources.  An overview of the company below:

I’ve gotten Mediatrix’s translation of Saint Bellarmine’s great treatise on the Antichrist.  It’s excellent.  I look forward to getting the Saint’s autobiography and his catechism.

You can also adopt a book, providing Patreon-type support to help bring books into print.  Check them out!  It is so important to support apostolates like this that do so much to help restore the great Tradition of our faith.  Faith comes by hearing, yes, but also by READING!  I more or less read my way into the Faith, or, more to the point, tradition.  The study of Church history is the process of becoming a Catholic.

At any rate, the other video is a good sermon by that priest so many admire – and rightly so – this time on the subject of being a friend of the cross.  He talks about the need to make holy communions, and to have a lot of intentions when we go to the rail to maximize the benefit of the grace we receive, he speaks of overcoming regret in a positive way, not moping on it or endlessly kicking ourselves over past failings, but using the pain of those failures as a source of motivation, and he speaks of how to pray to gain healing for past wounds – self-inflicted and otherwise.

I’m out of time to give a better description, but it’s a very good sermon.  If you’ve heard many of this priest’s sermons before, some of this may sound familiar, but I think it’s a new and expanded take on the topic (and I’m remembering the days when we had 50+ minute sermons at Mater Dei!  Not anymore, they’re generally much shorter).  Anyway, enjoy:

Start 90 Day Special Devotion for Fatima Apparition TODAY (02/13/17) February 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, mortification, Novenas, Restoration, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

This special Novena was put together by Fr. Richard Heilman of the Diocese of Madison, WI.  This is a 90 day Novena running from the start of Septuagesima to May 13, the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.  Fr. Heilman has set up a special website for this effort (Nineveh 90), but, unfortunately, it seems to be down right now, at least for me.  However, much of the same content has gone up on his blog.  I’ll let Father explain the purpose of this special 90 day effort of prayer and mortification, which runs through Septuagesima and Lent and on into Easter:

Nineveh 90 – the 90 days from February 13 to May 13 – is inspired by the excellent program – Exodus 90 – designed exclusively for men by Fr. Brian Doerr and others. I strongly encourage men to sign-up for Exodus 90 (sign-up HERE), and use it for our 90-day journey.

For our Nineveh 90 journey, which includes both men and women, we are embracing the great values of mortification, a support system, and the research in the behavioral sciences that says 90 days is about the time needed to change bad habits. We will also be using some of the tried and true supernatural elements. Namely, the Brown Scapular, 54 Day Rosary Novena, and the 33 Day Preparation for Marian Consecration.

THE NINEVEH 90 CHALLENGE BEGINS FEBRUARY 13

“Consecration Day” will be on May 13, the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.

Nineveh 90 – Ten Elements

  1. For these 90 days, resolve to let go of repetitive sin you struggle with (e.g., masturbation, over-eating, alcohol, etc.)
  2. Wear Brown Scapular (Scapular Medal allowed) – Akin to Sackcloth
  3. Daily Mass (This is more of an encouragement, as many cannot do this)
  4. Confession (at least once a month … immediately following grave sin)
  5. Support System: Create or join a “Nineveh 90 Squad” of 3-8 people. Meet 1-3 times per week (in person or online). Join together with an “Accountability Buddy.” Meet daily or, at least, 3 times a week.  [That’s……..really frequent.  I don’t have a problem with having some accountability but I think this might be a bit aggressive for busy families]
  6. Daily Prayer
    • Morning Offering
    • Angelus (6,Noon,6)
    • Rosary
    • Holy Hour (or at least 20 minutes)
    • Bedtime Prayers
  7. For 90 Days, Commit to …
    • Regular and intense exercise (this may be one of the greater challenges for many)
    • Seven hours of sleep is essential
    • No alcohol
    • No desserts & sweets
    • No eating between meals
    • No soda or sweetened drinks
    • No television or movies (news allowed)
    • Only music that lifts the soul to God
    • No televised sports (one per week allowed)
    • Limit recreational computer time (only use for personal needs and fulfillment. May be needed for Nineveh 90 too)
  8. 54 Day Rosary Novena (Basic Training in Holiness) – February 13 to April 7
  9. 33 Day Preparation for Consecration – April 10 (Monday of Holy Week) to May 12
  10. Marian Consecration – May 13, 2017. 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima

Prayer Intention for 54 Day Rosary Novena: Personal Holiness and for the Roman Catholic Church.

Sundays and Solemnities: may be a day of relaxed discipline, but not abandoned. (Sleep in an extra hour, cream in your coffee, a dessert, a beer, etc.)

Fasting: Wednesdays and Fridays (Water/Juice and bread only, if medically allowed, otherwise as is outlined by the USCCB)

Father Heilman claims 10,000!! have signed up to take part in this.  That’s some serious penance and prayer going on.  I didn’t officially sign up but plan on joining my wife in doing most all of the above.  Internet will be hard, along with the 2 days of old school fasting.  I will try one and see how it goes.  I’m soft, I know.  Actually in the past I’ve let myself do more “positive” penances – go and do a bunch of extra things, do good works, etc! – rather than “negative” ones in taking things away, though I’ve done my share of that, too, especially relative to the comfy chair Church of today.

Intentions behind this effort, apart from desperately needed personal sanctification, are the restoration of the Faith and the overcoming of the many threats which seem to be coming together in this most significant of years, 2017.  Join in these prayers and penances (many of which I know most of you already perform regularly, or would as part of Septuagesima and Lent) to offer up graces for the conversion of Church leadership and the reinstitution of sanity and piety at all levels of the Church.

I do know some may have concerns about continuing hard penances beyond Lent and into Easter.  I, too, have some trepidation over that, especially during the Octave itself, when every day is a literal continuation of the greatest, most glorious solemnity in the Church.  I think those who are troubled at the prospect of rigorous penance and self-denial during this holiest, most joyful season of the year could substitute more positive acts or switch over to more prayer and less penance.  This is perhaps something to review with your particular confessor/spiritual director as the time nears.  For now, all the activities listed above are eminently suited for Septuagesima and Lent and I highly encourage your partaking in them.

I may try to run the penance during Easter bit past Fr. Rodriguez to see what he counsels.  I’ll report back anything I learn.