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A Troika of Awesome Sermons on Fatherhood June 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, episcopate, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, mortification, priests, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’m not going to try to give a synopsis of each of the three sermons below, I’m only going to say they are from a fantastic and much missed (by me, and others) priest, and on a topic of absolutely vital importance: spiritual and natural fatherhood.  I would agree with the priest that the root crisis in the Church and world today is a total collapse of all forms of fatherhood – the pious and virtuous father in the home, the holy priest who sacrifices himself for his flock in the knowledge that he will be judged severely for every soul that falls away or into sin, and fatherhood stemming from exalted episcopal offices in the Church, by which the souls of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions are affected.

As anyone with eyes to see knows, fatherhood as an institution in every sense in recent decades has been in practically terminal decline.  The manifest problems stemming from failures by fathers in the home are too well known to review, but the enervation of spiritual fatherhood in the Church is perhaps less well known, or at least less recognized, and is even more poisonous to souls and the good of Christendom (what’s left of it) than the divorce rate, fornication, abortion, abandoned children, leviathan state, and other evidences of bad fathers in the home.

These three videos should be watched in order as each builds on the preceding one.  They give an awesome catechesis on all aspects of fatherhood – and the spiritual aspects of familial fatherhood should never be underestimated, as the father is the head of the domestic church! – as well as a powerful exhortation to amend our lives, as few if any fathers in this age, be they spiritual or familial, are performing their sacred and vital office with as much dedication and virtue as they should be.

I don’t know if synopses encourage people to watch videos I post more or not, and while there is a fairly significant time investment in watching or listening to these three, they are absolutely worth the time!  Listen while you do some household chores.  Listen while you drive. These are a must for men but also extremely valuable for women.  I pray you will take the time to listen to all of them, as I have.  There is catechetical wisdom contained in these sermons that is virtually impossible to find elsewhere and of inestimable value.

And yes Father gives me a shiny nickel for each view he gets, so I was really motivated to give a heavy sales pitch*.

Oh, Father does touch on one thing in the first video I thought I’d explore a bit in this post.  He leads off discussing the subject of mission, or being sent, and how only those commissioned by the Church in apostolates really have the right – and solemn duty – to perform various duties related to souls.  Fathers of families get their mission to raise children up in the Faith to be holy souls by the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Of course priests get their mission from the Sacrament of Holy Orders and their incardination in various dioceses or religious orders.

Protestants, however, do not have valid holy orders, nor do they possess valid sacraments.  Related to the post from Tuesday discussing Dave Eubank and his “mission” serving souls in extremely dangerous situations in Iraq, this is a point I wanted to address but did not get to.  But in reality, for all the good Eubank is doing, and it seems to be substantial, he has no proper mission in an ecclesiastical sense.  No protestant does.  Not even High Anglicans/Anglo-Catholics in pseudo-orders have such valid missions. That is something only the Church can give.

But mission is also something that is presently completely misunderstood, and even misrepresented to the point of abuse, in the Church today.  So many priests are horribly abusing their mission in preaching error and kow-towing to (almost always) Leftist politico-religious shibboleths.  Familial fathers have their own grave problems.  Anyway I thought this an interesting point and the concept of mission, as discussed by father, plays and absolutely vital role in all forms of fatherhood.

*-I am, of course, joking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————End Quote————-

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

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

Is There a PR Campaign Against Traditionalists…….. May 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, mortification, scandals, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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…….or is there a resurgence in stereotypical “bad Trad” behavior in parishes that offer the TLM?

Dear reader SB, who I value so much in real life as a great sounding board to bounce ideas off, since SB has been around the TLM since ’91 (two decades more than me), sent me a link to this post at Unam Sanctam Catholicam some time ago.  I had been meaning to get to it, but then a few days ago another reader, MFG, sent me links to two other similar postings (here and here).  MFG wondered if this was perhaps part of some campaign to either give TLMers a bad name or to put them in a box, the suspicion being that perhaps this effort had something to do with the looming SSPX “reconciliation.”

Now, about these posts and the posters.  Of the three, I have total respect for Unam Sanctam Catholicam and know he’s a straight shooter duly reporting what he’s been told.  I also know there is no “agenda” there save perhaps for genuine concern about the health of TLM communities and the continued availability of the ancient Mass.  We all know Father Z and you can draw your own conclusions.  As for the final link above, it’s from the progressive-modernist Commonweal and I would treat any report by them with great skepticism.

Tying all this together for me personally was two sermons given by our pastor lately basically also imploring the faithful not to be “bad trads” by making others feel bad or engaging in much, if any, fraternal correction save in obvious or dire situations.

I won’t get into any of the particular posts but I’ll just share my own experience and my take on this sudden rash of posts seeming to say very much the same thing.  But before I do that I should share a bit about me.  Perhaps you’ve noticed but I really don’t give two shakes what anybody thinks about me.  That’s not entirely true – I’m extremely concerned what my wife, children, and other family and close friends think of me – but generally I’m not out to get people’s approval.  If they like me, fine, if they think I’m an asshole, bully for you and move on along.  I’ve also got a fairly thick skin and don’t mind sharing my opinion (obviously) nor hearing those of others, especially from those I have learned through experience to respect.  I’m generally reserved in real life but if people ask my opinion or I get drawn into a conversation then I don’t mind sharing it.  Having said that, save for close friends and family directly seeking counsel, I virtually never “correct” anyone in their behavior even if I have an issue with it.  However, I’m also perfectly willing to hear correction or exhortations to do better from others and I gladly received just such an exhortation as recently as last week.  Much depends on the source and how it is conveyed, of course.

That being said, the report I take the most seriously is the one from Unam Sanctam Catholicam (USC).  As I said, I trust the source implicitly but I’ve got to say I have rarely heard or seen any evidence of the type of behavior he’s describing – the typical trads complaining because the maniple is tied wrong or the Latin pronunciation is inexact.  I’ll take USCs word for it that he heard that from certain priests but I’m a bit skeptical that the priests were really receiving hyper-critical comments with any regularity.  There could also be a phenomenon at work where a priest going out on a limb expects a lot of praise and adulation from those he’s taking a risk for – and offering the TLM in most dioceses is hardly career enhancing and often career-threatening, so I certainly understand the expectation of praise from the faithful – which might cause even occasional negative comments to be blown out of proportion.  Now really I don’t know anything about the situation or the priests involved so I really shouldn’t comment but I’ll simply state this kind of hyper-critical behavior is, in my experience, quite rare.  It’s also so stereotypical of the “bad trad” behavior that was repeated uncritically in the conservativish Catholic press for a quarter century or more that it sort of sets off alarm bells in the back of my mind.  That’s all I’ll say about that.

Moving onto the subject of the local sermons, an exhortation to be very careful when applying fraternal correction, I thought the priest might have gone a bit far in some of his examples/verbiage but the overall point was certainly fine and well-taken.  I am certain this sermon was a reaction to reports/complaints the priest has received.  Now whether those episodes of correction that led to complaints were really malicious or simply misplaced zeal – or even people trying to assuage their own consciences that they are doing right, finding strength in number or whatever – I tend to imagine it is the latter far more than the former.

I also realize not everyone is like me.  Whereas I might hear someone extolling me to lead my family more in communal prayer as a well-meaning concern for my soul and the souls of my family, some people find this kind of talk threatening or as some kind of rebuke.  Perhaps it’s just my jerky nature but when someone goes to pieces because another person extolled the virtues of homeschooling to them (assuming decent tact and decorum) and they’re not homeschooling, well, toughen up buttercup.  That’s no reason to have a 30 minute crying jag in Father’s office.  Again, much would depend on the nature of the relationship between the people involved and what exactly was said, but I’m extremely skeptical that there is much in the way of malicious put-downs or hyper-critical correction going on – at least in the limited TLM communities I’ve been exposed to.

More often than not it’s probably just someone a little bit too on fire for a certain subject that comes on a bit strong.  I don’t see that as “bad Trad” behavior at all.  It’s probably just an error of judgment or a mild personality defect.

Really though outside relatively close personal relationships or directly-sought counsel we lay people probably don’t need to be doing a great deal of direct correcting of each other.  If you see something amiss repeatedly with someone who should no better, probably the best course of action is to quietly bring it to the attention of the competent priest and let them deal with it.  In my experience, they will generally follow through (and do a better job than we would), though it may not happen instantly as we would like.  (or am I being squishy here?  Is the crisis in the Faith so dire the times demand broad sweeping intervention into other’s business?)

At the same time I also think priests and laity should not be so delicate as to get upset about perceived correction (which may be simply a misinterpreted general exhortation).  The priests related by USC, especially, I think did not have the right reasons for offering the TLM.  Certainly there is a pastoral side to making the TLM available, but the real reason for offering ANY Mass is to render worthy honor and glory to God.  The Mass is the ONLY efficacious Sacrifice that is pleasing to God.  Since the TLM is so demonstrably superior in both form and effect every priest should be eager to offer the TLM at every possible alternative, and should not get discouraged if the faithful are not as appreciative and uncritical as he would like.  That’s probably expecting too much from frail human nature but nevertheless I think priests who stop offering the TLM because the laity are not docile enough or appreciative enough for his taste is, I think, pretty weak tea.

As to whether this is an anti-TLM PR campaign I think probably not, it’s probably just coincidence, but you know the old Hardy Boy’s formula: once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is CONSPIRACY!!  I think in this internet age, however, where people are hard up for content and want to attract attention, that formula probably needs some modification.

What do you think, or what is your experience?  Is there still a problem of mean ‘ol judgy trads wagging their fingers in innocent faces and driving people away from the TLM?  The way our local parish is growing, I’d have to say their failing if their intent is to keep people away.  Is there a problem with maybe a bit too zealous, perhaps a bit brittle and damaged trads getting too much into other’s business?  I still think my answer would be generally no (SB says she used to see this as a big problem, but not so much anymore).

Or perhaps are Trads and Trad priests maybe so set in their ways and so sure of being right they can’t take correction even when it’s well placed and deserved?

May 23, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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A few photos I took from the May Crowning held this past weekend at the local FSSP parish.

I like the biretta worn during the sermon:

I also like this other crown they put on the statue that is always on the Mary altar:

I’m sure there will be many more on the Mater Dei Facebook page.  Or the website.

But these are the ones I took, for whatever that’s worth.  I wanted to thank the folks who helped bring this beautiful Procession and crowning about, I saw just a little bit of the tremendous amount of work that went into pulling this off and it was substantial, as it has been in years past, as well.  Thank you ladies and gents for making this year’s May Crowning such a success.

 

Upcoming Processions for the Anniversary Year of Fatima May 15, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Our Lady, Restoration, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I really really meant to get this post out last week, but due to the death in the family and travel, I was unable to do so.

Because of that, the first of 6 Marian processions to be held at Mater Dei parish in Irving on the 13th of the month from May to October has already passed.  Sorry about that.  The turnout was great.  I’d say close to 300 people.  While certainly intended for regular parishioners, everyone is welcome to attend these processions and, of course, to avail themselves of the Sacraments at Mater Dei at any time.

The details for the remainder are below:

Yes it is also important to note that the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue will be at Mater Dei on June 22nd, as shown above.

The other announcement concerns a diocesan Eucharistic Procession for Corpus Christi being held June 17:

Yes I know the Feast of Corpus Christi is June 15.  I did not schedule the event.

FYI, there is a Mass before the procession at 5:00 pm at Most Holy Trinity parish on Oak Lawn but given that parish’s reputation…….well, you are forewarned.  I have had recent experience of Novus Ordo Masses due to the death in the family and all I can say is that it was a travesty.  Instant canonization.  I stood up and addressed the 200 odd souls present, imploring them to pray for the deceased (not at Mass, at the non-standard Rosary and wake the night before).  Several thanked me for that afterward.

The priest refused to distribute the Blessed Sacrament, so I did not receive.  So typical of San Antonio, the choir director and some lay liturgical coordinator (both female) – I have no idea what their formal role or title is- just dominated events, with the priest sitting back as a dude who steps in to just sort of confect the Sacrament and then get out of the way.  He did give a sermon, but it was far more entirely to assuage the feelings of the bereaved, with nothing about praying for the deceased.  The entire ethos conveyed seemed to be that this life is the only source of our trials and sufferings, and that essentially everyone (except actual Catholics, mean and nasty as they are, believing all those harsh old things) goes to Heaven instantly upon death, where its sunshine and lollipops forever.

I could say a great deal more but won’t.  And this was one of the, reputedly, less heterodox parishes in SA.

What Everyone Should Have in their Bedroom…….. May 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, blogfoolery, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Our Lady, silliness, Tradition.
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………a five foot statue of Our Lady of Fatima!

What, you mean you don’t have one?

I’m being facetious, it’s not even ours, but I made the bier for Mater Dei‘s various Marian processions and the parish got this new statue, so I need to modify the bier to accommodate.  Still, I like it enough that they’re going to have a hard time getting it back………

Blessed Miguel Pro, the Cristiada, and the Synagogue of Satan May 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, martyrdom, mortification, priests, Saints, sanctity, secularism, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Great sermon from Padre Not Tony Romo, on the life and suffering of Blessed Miguel Pro.  He then ties in his own apostolate trying to re-establish the authentic practice of the Faith in Latin America generally and once so devout Mexico in particular.

As is widely known, Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ, was one of many Catholic priest-martyrs of the Cristiada in Mexico, which developed after a masonic-inspired cabal of Christ-hating pseudo-revolutionaries gained control of that tortured nation’s governance.  I did not know, as Father relates, that Blessed Miguel Pro levitated during his final Mass before his capture and martyrdom, nor that his face was transfigured as on Mount Tabor.  Very interesting.

I like how Father notes the false Catholics of our time (and all times), those who, when confronted with a contradiction between the Truth of Jesus Christ and the ways of the world, choose the world over Jesus Christ.  Father does not say this, but the greatest reason for the crisis in the human element of the Church is that the vast majority of priests and prelates today are of just that type of Catholic, those who choose the world over Jesus Christ in the constant belief and practice of the Faith.  In fact, there was an entire ecumenical council that was captured, or hijacked, by this same spirit.  Or, at least, many think, and so it seems.

Many of those who choose the world over Christ lambaste those who still cling to Christ and His Truth as extremists, fanatics. Amazingly, guns are no longer needed to persecute the Faith out of Catholics, Catholics have largely voluntarily lost their faith under the bad example of so many priests and prelates, the errors taught since 1965, and the practice of all manner of immodesty, unchastity, and personal filthiness.  That is to say, the reason men like Plutarco Calles used violence was to force Catholics of the time to lose their faith through exposure to evils like pronographic sexual education in the state schools that replaced parochial schools.  Today, people happily partake of far worse of their own volition.

Good sermon:

I have had the privilege of meeting this priest and I follow his apostolate with some closeness.  I continue to be impressed with his devotion to the many souls in his care and efforts to restore the Catholic Faith in Mexico, which never really

Sorry if this is too many sermons for one day!

Two Complimentary Views of the Crisis in the Church May 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, cultural marxism, episcopate, General Catholic, Good St. Joseph, Grace, history, Latin Mass, paganism, priests, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
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I originally thought to frame this post as two contrasting views, but that wouldnt’ be right.  Yes the Church is in dire straits, possibly enduring the worst crisis in her long history, as Michael Matt notes in the first video, but that might only make the likelihood of God working a miraculous turnaround even greater, as the priest notes in the second video.

Both are very much worth your time and consideration, especially, in the first, for the heartfelt eulogy Mr. Matt delivers for his departed friend and co-worker in the devastated vineyard, John Vennari.  I think there is worth in fleshing out something Matt alludes to, as well: he repeatedly defends Vennari, and himself, for their “strident” beliefs in noting they were simply elucidating the Doctrine of the Faith as it has always been believed and practiced.  The other side, the progressive-modernist side, does not get this; because they elevate, heck, exalt, their own opinion above that of the solemnly defined Doctrine of the Faith to such a marked extent, they assume everyone else must do this as well.  Thus they smear Catholics with “extemism” in defending what has always been the de fide mind of the Church, but which so many, including probably most bishops, now dismiss as mere opinion.

It’s a good video:

Also worth watching is this video on on the great corollary notion, the historical fact of God working improbable, even impossible turnarounds, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat time and time again.  Now most of the examples below are examples of personal conversion or healing, rather than the societal/ecclesiastical restoration, which we desperately need today, but there are certainly plenty of the latter I can think of.  The Counter-Reformation, what might better be called the Great Catholic Counter-revolution, is probably the most obvious.  There were a dozen different periods between 1520 and 1660 when the entire Catholic Faith faced seeming extinction in the face of the protestant onslaught.

And, of course, it was Athanasius contra mundum in 320 or so.  Then there was Joan of Arc saving France from English domination and, through that and the folly of Henry VIII, the ascendance of false protestantism over Christianity in the 16th century.  The very foundation of our Faith is based in a miraculous recovery from the darkest of events, when it seemed the Savior of the world had been put to death and crushed beneath a tyrannical people’s hatred.

But there is some really interesting catechesis from ~13:00 – 17:30 when the priest discusses the role of the occult on both the Allied and Axis side in WWII and the ascendance of the post-Christian ultra-rationalist cult of scientific materialism since.  We are plainly as a culture and Church experiencing God’s wrath for our lack of faith and deviance from not only devotion to Him but to the very truth itself.

The sermon also includes an illuminating study of the horrid pantheistic neo-pagan cult ceremony that marked the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel in Switzerland.  That was a literal flipping of the bird towards God.  And yes there was a Catholic priest, in addition to a protestant pseudo-cleric, a rabbi, and an imam there to bless it all.  But Father sees much greater meaning in a performance that many just saw as strange, offensive, and gross.  It was a veritable recapping in ghoulish song and perverse dance of the descent of Christendom from its former glory through communistic materialism to the sexual revolution and now into neo-pagan violence, decadence, and self-degradation.  I forgot they had a huge picture of Bahomet on the screen and ultimately ended in Gaia-worship.  How sick.  That part of the sermon from roughly 18:30 – 27:00.  “The highway for hell has been opened for easy travel.”  Indeed.

Father, however, prophecies that we are poised for a great reversal from God.  Historically, however, we have to comprehend that several of these historical reversals entailed destruction on a national or even societal scale in order to clear away all the evil and set a path for restoration.  The fallen pagan order must cease to exist in order for the Reign of Christ to return.

I don’t want to steal all of Father’s thunder but it’s very well worth listening to.

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.
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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.
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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!