“American Catholicism has a long history of cowardice and complicity” in the face of the liberal culture August 27, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
Brother Andre Marie from Catholicism.org sent out a letter the other day, portions of which I thought merited sharing with readers. It’s a very good summation of the abrogation of duty that has marked the Church in this country since its inception. Happy for years just to be relatively free to practice our Faith with relatively little government interference (until recently), the Church in these United States has long failed in its primary duties to proclaim the Truth revealed by Jesus Christ through His Church and especially the notion of the Church as the unique institution created by Our Blessed Lord for the salvation of souls. America has been permeated with endarkenment ideals since its founding, and perhaps the key ideal absorbed from the 18th century philosphes is that of religious indifference. Regarding all religions as basically equal is a particularly American quality, and it is one that, through Dignitatis Humanae and other portions of Vatican II came to become dominant within the entire Church.
I’m getting ahead of myself, however, below find some insightful analysis on the historical failure in duty of the Church in this country:
By and large, American Catholicism has a long history of cowardice and complicity in the face of the dominant, non-Catholic culture around us. It is a tradition going all the way back to our first Bishop John Carroll (Yes, there are notable and edifying exceptions). As long as public morals in our democratic republic were more generally on the side of the natural law and vague “Judeo-Christian values,” this cowardice and complicity did not look as obviously terrible as it in fact was. Now that the never-ending protestant revolution and its related cultural revolutions have brought us Bruce “Call me Caitlyn” Jenner, gender-neutral “marriage,” and the constant discovery of previously unheard of “fundamental human rights,” this cowardice and complicity looks really bad.
While the name of this sickly Catholicism is legion, one of its faces is seen in the obsequious way Catholic prelates deal with evil politicians, and in the sickly reaction of some of them to the Obergefell decision. But it goes back to a sort of Norman Rockwell approach to religion that makes up part of the national air we breathe: the indifferentist Catholicism of the “good old days” before Vatican II…….
…….American freedom is not enough. Democratic tolerance of our religion is insufficient. The faith, hope, and charity of the Catholic Church in America will be put to the test. Only then will they become what they ought to be. We may not content ourselves with practicing our faith because it is permitted by society. We must no longer rely on the love of this world, or the protection of laws, or the civility of our countrymen. We need to do what is right, because it is God’s Will – period; a point we seem to have missed of late.
When the nanny state turns on us, it will be payback time for the sloth of American Catholics. WE have failed to convert the nation, and failed (on the whole) even to challenge our countrymen with the Faith. From the beginning, we have sucked from the breast of American prosperity (now quickly vanishing), and basked in the liberties of our nation – but for what? Has it been to achieve our fundamental purpose in life; sanctity, God’s glory, and the salvation of souls? Or have we been merely content to have “equal rights” for truth and error? We will be hoist on that petard; for, when we oppose “equal rights” for all manner of unnatural perversion, blasphemy, and sacrilege, the formerly tolerant system will turn on us because we are now against equality. [I think this is the paragraph that is really the key. Catholics today and going forward are going to have to pay the price for the historic failings of American Catholics to take advantage of their past comfortable position to declare ALL the Truth Christ has revealed – including the vital truth regarding the need to be visibly, actively Catholic to insure salvation – to the dominant protestant libertine culture. There have been very few major voices in the Catholic Church in this country, going back decades, who have forcefully preached the necessity of being Catholic for salvation. Yes, yes, I understand there are narrow exceptions, but those exceptions have in practice been presented as the rule, a sort of prototype “fundamental option” that has declared for centuries that pretty much everyone of even remotely good will is saved, and certainly that conversion to the Church Jesus Christ established was not even normally necessary for salvation. The Church in this country (and, with its mighty influence, other countries as well) has by and large embraced the false doctrine of “tolerance” and, as Brother Andre points out, is going to be most painfully hoisted on this petard of its own making. It will not be fun, but it will be cleansing, if we accept the nascent persecution as God’s will and preach the Gospel in season and out.]
Some will accuse me of being too negative. They will say I am dwelling on evil and not on God’s goodness and mercy. True, the Religion is fundamentally an affirmation, not a denial. Denial comes in the face of sin and error, and it can only be proper if ti is based on what we affirm – namely, truth and virtue. But, if we do not oppose sin and evil, then we are weak or defective in our affirmations – i.e., in the actual content and practice of our divinely revealed Religion; then, too, our love of God is lackluster at best.
To those who would sissify us in our resistance, we say, with holy Job, “The life of man upon earth is a warfare” (Job vii:1); with Saint Jude: “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude i:3); and with the gentle Good Shepherd, “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth; I came not to send peace, but the sword” (Matt x:34).
And to those in whom bitter zeal (Jas iii:14) might be inclined to turn Catholic militancy into something rancorous, proud, or self-serving, we need to recall that sanctity is evinced by the living of seemingly contrary virtues…….The saint is zealous and meek, prudent and bold, fearless in the defense of God’s glory and humble concerning his own glory, and so on. ‘Tis not easy. But it is God’s will.
Sursum corda! Obergefell, my brothers and sisters, calls us to become saints!
I’m out of time! I hope you found this edifying, sorry if some of my points were not fully developed, I’m already very late for Mass!
Rome names square after Luther; Vatican says great! August 26, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, different religion, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, pr stunts, secularism, self-serving, silliness, Society, the return.
The Vatican has given its backing to a central Rome square being named after Martin Luther, a church reformer excommunicated by the pope nearly 500 years ago……..
……..Luther was excommunicated in 1521 and was never allowed to return to the Catholic Church, but now the Vatican’s views have changed. [As much as I’d like to, I really don’t think I can rebut this statement]
Next month a hilltop square in Rome is due to be named Piazza Martin Lutero, in memory of Luther’s achievements. The site chosen is the Oppian Hill, a park area that overlooks the Colosseum.
The move has been six years in a making, following a request made by the Seventh-day Adventists, a Protestant denomination, Italian daily La Repubblica said. The original plan was to inaugurate the square in time for the 500th anniversary of Luther’s historic trip to Rome in 2010. City officials were not able to discuss the process behind naming the square or the reason for the holdup.
Despite Luther being thrown out of the Catholic Church during his lifetime, the Vatican reacted positively to news of the square’s upcoming inauguration. “It’s a decision taken by Rome city hall which is favorable to Catholics in that it’s in line with the path of dialogue started with the ecumenical council,” said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, referring to a gathering of churchmen to rule on faith matters.
The move contrasts sharply from views held by Luther around the time of his visit to Rome, when it was said he repeated the saying, “If there is a hell, Rome is built over it.”…… [also: “Rome is a satanic city,” “Rome is the seat of the antichrist,” and “The Pope is the devil’s servant.”]
…….within Italy there are very few Protestants; just 435,000 Italian citizens identify as Protestant, according to research published in 2012 by the Center for Studies on New Religions. Catholicism continues to be the dominant religion, with 97.9 percent of Italy’s 60 million residents having been baptized Catholic as of 2009.
Which makes one wonder if this was really an innocent decision made by Roman city authorities, of if there might even have been Vatican pressure applied to induce them to rule favorably. Given that the officials sat on the request for 6 years, and then, a couple of years into Francis’ reign, there is suddenly a change, I have to wonder if there is not a connection.
But with only a handful of Italian protestants, it seems incredible than a major Roman piazza would be renamed in Luther’s honor. What an affront to the millions of Catholics killed at protestant hands, and the great sufferings of so many Saints to win souls back to the Faith!
This different religion thing is getting out of hand, is it not?
I’m sure most readers are aware that the radical pro-perversion organization New Ways Ministry – condemned repeatedly by the Vatican and CDF under John Paul II and Pope Benedict, including the forced laicization of one of its founders and numerous interventions against another – has long been a beacon of heresy and support for immorality under the guise of a false charity. Given that, it is damning with faint praise when they issue a giddy report on Archbishop Blaise Cupich’s recent homily endorsing the progressive faction at the upcoming Synod. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by that, Cupich has revealed himself to be a thoroughly progressive man and one frequently at odds with the constant belief and practice of the Faith.
What I find particularly egregious and disturbing in this most recent episode is the abuse of Scripture these characters always deploy to make their erroneous points (I am not linking to a bad site, you can find it if you want):
Preaching on Ephesians 5, a troubling text [Why is that “troubing?” It wasn’t troubling for the first 1900+ years of Christianity, why is it suddenly troubling now? What they really mean is, this is a text we find inconvenient and thus reject.] given its exhortation that “wives be submissive to your husbands,” Cupich said the text is actually quite subversive because it exhorts that husbands to be subordinate to their wives as well. This mutual submission between spouses is a teaching the early Church “would have found quite astonishing, if not revolutionary.” [Based on what evidence, other than the self-serving opinion of a dedicated revolutionary?] The archbishop explained:
“Christ was doing something utterly new in the human family, changing how people understand their relationships with each other as family. With the upcoming synod, it is clear that the Holy Father is calling the Church to examine our categories of expression about what we believe and be open to new avenues and creativity when it comes to accompanying families. All of this has much to say to us in Chicago, that we not settle for solutions that no longer work, expressions that no longer inspire and ways of working that stifle creativity and collaboration.”
Mind what he’s saying: traditional family arrangements of husband, wife, and children “no longer work” and “no longer inspire” but “stifle creativity and collaboration.” The Church can’t possibly call people to adhere to the family as always understood because, having not taught people to live according to this constant belief for decades, most bishops are now collectively throwing up their hands and declaring it an impossible standard to meet.
But notice the rhetorical sleight of hand: even if we take at face value all of Cupich’s claims, he works in a subtle reverse of logic upon which his entire point depends. OK, let’s say Christ was doing something “utterly new with the human family, etc.” in the early Church, that “new paradigm” became the accepted standard for all Christendom (treating women with more respect, making husband-wife relations more equal, whatever) and was the bedrock of Catholic moral teaching for 1900+ years. But note, this is because it was the implementation of something that was divinely revealed! What he is proposing now is the opposite, to allow the culture to dictate to the Church what is an acceptable arrangement for the family, and for the Church to bend to this new, incredibly compromised standard. It is the exact opposite of what happened in the early Church, where revelation worked a revolution on society (again, granting him his point) – what he proposes is to have society work a revolution on revelation! Do you see how he is twisting his rhetoric there most cleverly, if diabolically?
Also note, this was not just any homily, this was a significant salvo being fired in service of the progressive faction that seeks to destroy the entire moral edifice of the Faith:
Cupich was preaching in Holy Name Cathedral the at Mass for Investment of the Pallium. where Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganó presented the Chicago archbishop with the pallium, a small woolen stole worn metropolitan archbishops to signify their unity with the papacy. This pallium Mass was the first in a new model of investiture instituted by Pope Francis whereby archbishops receive the vestment in their local archdiocese rather than in Rome, reported Michael O’Loughlin of Crux. This is part of Pope Francis’ attempts to decentralize church power and affirm local communities’ participation. [Only overturning centuries of tradition in the process, but to make a modernist omelette, some eggs will be broken]
Much of the homily centered around the papacy however, presenting messages of Pope Francis by citing both Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si. In my view, what Cupich was really doing was calling the archdiocese to be a truly catholic church that is “home for all” where all are welcome. [This is a radically new interpretation of “Catholic,” which never in the history of the Church meant “every living soul,” but those who submit to the Doctrine of the Faith.] Citing Pope John XXIII, the archbishop told those at Mass:
“He called the entire Church to a fresh appreciation of the ancient teaching of the medicine of mercy in an era when many in the Church preferred the narrow path of severity and condemnation. [B as in B, S as in S. Even in the late 50s standards of doctrinal integrity had severely eroded. The “severe condemnatory” Catholic priest was always infinitely more a figment of progressive fever dreams than reality] .It is the pope’s ministry that draws us out of a narrow provincial view that reduces our experience of Church to just what is happening in my parish, my diocese, my country. [A hilarious claim regarding this most provincial of pontiffs] . . .[The pope in his travels] introduces us to our brothers and sisters in places we never visited, reminding us of what it means to be Catholic, a Church whose universality must be reflected in every particular Church.” [This is a most revolutionary sermon. It’s not a homily, it’s a sermon, departing far from merely explicating on the Scripture readings. This is a declaration of a progressive-modernist viewpoint. Note what he is saying, that JPII’s and Benedict’s massive and novel travels did not “introduce us” to others, it was only when the great progressive paragon came on the scene that the Church came to be enlightened. EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, he appears to be setting up a dichotomy between “particular Churches” and the Church, whether that means sects or local dioceses or both, I’m uncertain.]
Cupich’s words are worth noting not only for the message given to the congregation gathered, including twenty bishops, but for their broader significance given this church leader’s rising significance. He was Pope Francis’ first major episcopal appointment in the United States, coming with a largely positive record on LGBT issues that was further confirmed when he said last yearon CBS’ “Face the Nation” program that all families deserve legal protection
Yet, Cupich’s remarks are forward looking because he is expected to be appointed a special delegate to the Synod and his weight as a voice in the American Church will only grow…….
…..As for the October synod, Pope Francis is hoping for a miracle, and his appointments are raising the stakes that something positive for LGBT families might just happen.[Only at the cost of a vast number of souls, all true families, and the moral doctrine of the Church. To a progressive, that’s nothing for another great advance in the great liberation of mankind from God] Judging from Cupich’s words, he is open to the Spirit’s guidance and to new ways of accompanying families. [Once again, progressives pit the Holy Ghost against Himself, positively contradicting what He has revealed through Sacred Scripture. What a farce.] He commented on the Risen Christ “always doing something new” before quoting Evangelii Gaudium:
“Jesus can always break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him, and he constantly amazes us with his divine creativity.[So Cupich, too, sees no problem with Christ contradicting Himself, of even Sacred Dogmas having to change in the service of “mercy” and “creativity,” which are nothing but euphemisms for revolutionary doctrinal change. Thus, he is a MODERNIST, one who believes there are no constant Truths but only the most ephemeral, temporary, personal ones] . .[to the point that] new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs, and words with new meaning for today’s world.”
Two words sum this guy up: different religion.
If Archbishop Cupich, whose depraved radicalism becomes more apparent every day, is indeed appointed to the Ordinary Synod by direct intervention of Pope Francis, it will be a very telling moment, will it not. It would reveal even more clearly where this pope’s sympathies lie, and the course he desires the Sin-nod to take. Of course, such has already been made quite plain by the appointment of such soulless characters as Daneels and Bonny. In truth, the real miracle will be if the perennial Doctrine of the Faith is not completely shredded at this Synod.
I don’t think it any exaggeration to state that this Synod and the encyclical which will follow represent the greatest threat to the doctrinal integrity of the Church since Vatican II. We must conclude that after the accumulated evidence of 50 years of ruin directly attributable to the implementation of the “spirit of the Council” that the men driving this new push towards revolution simply want to see the Church destroyed or at least turned into a completely ineffectual NGO. Please pray and do penance in the weeks leading up to the Synod most fervently. Pray especially for true shepherds among priests and bishops to emerge not only to oppose this nightmare but also to properly catechize souls in the real Doctrine of the Faith.
How many times has this occurred in the past? How many times has a major Church leader, even a Pope, appeared on bended knee before some sect or group of schismatics, beating his breast over the ostensible past sins of the Church, only to have the other side refuse to acknowledge their own sins? This is one of the aspects of post-conciliar “ecumenism” that most frustrates pious souls, the fact that it always seems to be the Church apologizing, even groveling, with very little reciprocity from the other side, whoever that may be.
Readers will likely recall that Pope Francis issued a fulsome apology to the tiny Waldensian sect in Turin earlier this year. After carefully considering the matter for months, and even convoking a synod to deliberate the matter, the Waldensians have their response, and it looks a lot to me like an upturned middle phalanx (my emphasis and comments):
Pope Francis had reached out his hand to Turin’s Waldensians during his visit last June. He made controversial gestures to emphasize his intention and asked the Waldensians’ forgiveness from injustice done by Catholics. Now the Waldensians have given the pope a response. A specially convened Waldensian Synod, which meets until Friday in Turin, rejected the outstretched hand of the Pope and declared themselves unable to grant forgiveness.Vatican Insider talks about an amazing “coldness” toward the Pope…….………The relationship between Waldensians and Catholics is one of deep conflict. On both sides there were atrocities mainly during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Even in the mid-19th century the Waldensians sought the life of St. John Bosco.
Pope Francis made the unilateral first step towards reconciliation and asked the Waldensian forgiveness for the injustice committed by Catholics. The Pope had said: “On behalf of the Catholic Church, I ask you for forgiveness for the unchristian and even inhuman attitudes and actions, which we have done to you throughout history. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us! ” [My point of view is a bit different: if the Church is the Church, and truly necessary for salvation, sects and other religions who lure souls away to a much greater likelihood of eternal damnation must be opposed vigorously. If the secular power sees in these sects grave threats to souls and to the social order, it is within their remit to act as prudence and justice dictate. IOW, what is PF apologizing for, but the zeal of former generations for the good of souls?]
The Moderator of the Waldensian Table, Pastor Eugenio Bernardini, responded: “The Pope has overcome a wall that was built eight centuries ago when our church was accused of heresy and excommunicated by the Roman church.” The pope did not argue. [And for good reason, since this sect holds numerous heretical beliefs and has placed itself outside Communion with the Church. Would that we had such clarity today!]
To underline his readiness, the Pope kissed a Waldensian Bible which was presented to him by Waldensian pastors. It was a gesture that caused some criticism on the Catholic side………
……..The outstretched hand of the Pope sparked heated discussions within the Waldensian community. Finally, a Waldensian synod was specially convened to respond to the Pope on his request for forgiveness. The Synod will meet until Friday in Torre Pellice for Turin. The answer is now clear and is negative. “We’re moving, but we can not forgive.” The decision of the Waldensian Synod can be summarized with these words.
In an official letter to the Pope the Synod declared: “Dear Brother in Christ Jesus, the Synod of the Evangelical Waldensian Church accepts with deep respect and not without emotion, your apology expressed on behalf of your church asking for forgiveness for what you have indeed even described as ‘unchristian, even inhuman attitudes and actions’ that have been taken in the past against our mothers and fathers,” But then this is followed by a big “but” of the Waldensians. This new situation does not allow us, to step in the place of those who testified with their blood or the other Protestants suffering for their faith, and to forgive you. ” [So who has the greater zeal? Who is willing to offend men for the sake of their beliefs in this sordid exchange? It garners the applause of the world (and, I would think, its master) when popes apologize for alleged past sins of the Church. But does it work any good for souls?]
This message, rejecting the outstretched hand of the Pope, was decided on Monday by the 180 people gathered at the Waldensian Synod.
……this formalist position can not hide the fact that the Waldensians in reality do not want to approach the Catholic Church. Because this could have been expressed differently, despite the question of direct forgiveness. [and Kenneth Copeland and other shyster TV evangelists don’t want to convert, either, but they will accept the outstretched hand of the Pope most eagerly, since they know the Pope’s outreach will lead to many Catholics falling into their sects and filling their already rich coffers.The Waldensian Synod for their part couldn’t find a word of apology for the wrongs committed by Waldensians against the Catholic Church and the Catholics [of course note. And the Orthodox and Lutherans and others have generally made any apology they’ve offered far more contingent and less self-effacing than have their Catholic counterparts, who obviously, wholeheartedly disavow the behavior of their forefathers – many of them spiritual giants – who proceeded them.]
As a convert to the Faith, the truths of which I have become utterly convinced as an adult after much study, it is heart-rending for me to see these kinds of apologies. Having been outside the Church for most of my life, I can understand well the effect such words have on those sects receiving the apologia. They tell the sect: you were right all along, look at even their leader coming to you now admitting their folly, you’re in exactly the right place. How many souls have been prevented from finding the Truth of Jesus Christ in its wholeness and entirety by the misguided actions of ecumaniacs over the past several decades? Is this factor even considered when pontiffs and others make these kinds of statements? Do they not know they will be judged not just for the souls they lost, but also for the souls they prevented from responding to the call of Grace to enter the Church by their actions?
Ecumenism is the apotheosis of the progressive obsession with “equality” applied to ecclesiastical matters. It is “unfair” and “cruel” for some men to have the Truth and others not, for some to be saved and for others not, therefore, we should drive the Church down to the lowest common denominator in the interest of worldly “fairness.” And if a few billion souls have to fry in hell forever in the process, well, an omelette doesn’t get made without breaking a few billion eggs, does it? Whenever you hear someone denigrating traditional/Catholic “elitism,” keep this in mind.
Refuting the embarrassing USCCB puff-piece on Cuba August 21, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church.
Reader FM sent me a link to an article by the Catholic News Service – the official PR arm of the USCCB – on the ongoing normalization of relations between the United States and Cuber, which an earlier democrat called “that imprisoned island.” Incredibly, the article repeatedly tries to claim that the Cuban economy is so pitiful, and the Church is so repressed, not because of a vicious, repressive communist kleptocracy (the Castros are reputedly worth hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars), but because of the 55 year old US economic embargo.
The U.S. trade embargo against Cuba turns 55 in October, and its effects are clear in the dilapidated buildings, scant food supply of Cuban stores and infrastructure around the island…….[No nuance. No mention of communism. To the leftist who wrote this article, apparently completely ignorant of history, Cuba’s disastrous economic condition is due solely to the US economic boycott]
………”Certainly the conference (of bishops) in the United States, in conjunction with the Cuban bishops’ conference, for many years, has favored that kind of action, the lifting of the embargo,” Coll said. Such a move can bring about greater dialogue, commerce and contact with the Cuban people, their government, and foster human rights, freedom and democracy, just as it did in the similar landscape of Eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall fell, he said. [This is a total rewrite of history. What “fostered human rights, freedom, and democracy” after the Berlin Wall fell? Why DID the wall fall? BECAUSE THE COMMUNIST STATES HAD ALREADY IMPLODED!!! Sheesh how blindly ideological do you have to be! The proper comparison is not the Eastern Europe, which had already thrown off the shackles of repression before relations were normalized, but with CHINA, and Vietnam fro that matter, where relations have been normalized with brutal authoritarian communist regimes, and that normalization has only helped further entrench those anti-Catholic governments in power. The exact same will happen in Cuba, and the USCCB is rooting for it.]
“The more they were able to rely on commerce and engage in dialogue with the West, the more possible it became for their own societies to be able to open up to human rights advances and eventually to a move toward democracy rather than pulling away from the West,” Coll said. [Once again, this is inverting history. The opening to the West prior to late 1989 was trivial and nascent, it did not involve full trade or completely normal relations until AFTER the Eastern European regimes had fallen or were in the process of imploding. The communist regime in Cuba shows no sign of doing either]
……Even St. John Paul II, an ardent opponent of communism, favored lifting the sanctions.
“Embargoes,” he said while addressing a group of young people during his visit to Cuba in 1998, “are always deplorable because they hurt the most needy.” [Then why don’t you address how the Cuban regime embargoes the vast amount of wealth and aid they receive from other nations into their own pockets and maintaining themselves in power? The Soviets poured billions into Cuba over 30 years but that did not help the populace at all, virtually all of it went to maintaining the regime in power. And mind you, while the US has had an embargo, Cuba has been free to trade with every European, South American, and North American nation. The US is not so all powerful as to have condemned Cuba to grinding poverty single-handedly. No, the communist regime has done that. The average Cuban today is must poorer than he was before the revolution, while the party elite live like kings.]
Any benefits that come from the historic thaw have the potential to affect more than just relations between Cuba and the U.S., Coll said.
“Cuba is a key that unlocks many other doors within Latin America,” said Coll. “You can think about the situation in Venezuela, for example … that’s related very much to what’s happening in Cuba.” [If you mean Venezuela is imitating Cuba’s disastrous descent into communism through leftist demagoguery, you’re absolutely right. I don’t see how suddenly pretending Cuba is a wonderful, enlightened place is going to do anything to help Venezuela.]
Success with Cuba can lead to success addressing issues such as religious freedom, violence and poverty in other neighboring nations. And that’s very much an interest of Pope Francis but it’s also not an interest that began with him, Coll said.
“Sometimes in the press, and elsewhere, there’s a desire to talk about how Francis is a revolutionary and so different from other popes, but on Cuba policy and on many other issues, including even economic policy, I would argue that Francis is very much in the tradition of Benedict XVI, John Paul II, going back to Leo XIII, so this is a chain … it really is a pretty unbroken chain,” Coll said.
Please. Leo XIII would have had nothing to do with Cuba so long as it remained communist and so nakedly anti-Catholic. JPII went to Cuba and condemned the regime to its face. Benedict XVI repeated the condemnation, though in a muted manner. Is that what we’ll see from Pope Francis? Or will he continue his theme of the people rising up to throw off the shackles of capitalist oppression?
Next post will examine just how socialist/communist regimes work, and how they must be opposed.
Meanwhile, the USCCB seems to have little concern for how this regime has all but destroyed the Faith in Cuba and continues to violently repress the few remaining Catholics. It’s all our fault, somehow.
As FM said, what an absolute joke.
Pope Francis falsely accused and grievously insulted President of Paraguay during SA trip+Peronism! August 21, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
Has anyone else seen this? Reported by Sandro Magister, when in Paraguay, Pope Francis – on the thinnest of grounds – accused the government of having kidnapped citizens and held them forcibly. The government of Paraguay is conservative. This was after he had praised the leftist governments of Bolivia and Ecuador to the skies. Pope Francis appears to have assumed the worst about Paraguay being a “right wing dictatorship” and using ugly, inhumane methods against its citizens, but he got one small fact wrong: the citizens were actually kidnapped by a Marxist group that has received support from leftist elements in the Church, and which has been waging a low-level guerrilla war against the government for years. Oops:
But it can be added that Francis is also beginning to weigh the disadvantages of an excessively nonchalant communicative orality.
When for example he insists on the necessity of subjecting his own words to a correct “hermeneutic” – as he did in the press conference on the return flight to Rome from his latest journey – Francis may have had in mind the colossal gaffe into which he fell on July 11 in Asunción, speaking off-the-cuff to representatives of civil society and to the highest public authorities of Paraguay.
There, at a certain point, he said:
“Before ending, I’d like to make reference to two things. In doing this, as there are political authorities present here, including the President of the Republic, I wish to say this fraternally. Someone told me: ‘Look, Mr so-and-so was kidnapped by the Army, please do something to help!’. I do not know if this is true, or if it is not true, if it is right, or if it is not right, but one of the methods used by dictatorial ideologies of the last century, which I referred to earlier, was to separate the people, either by exile or imprisonment, or in the case of concentration camps, Nazis and Stalinists excluded them by death. For there to be a true culture of the people, a political culture, a culture of the common good, there must be quick and clear judicial proceedings. No other kind of strategy is required. Clear, concise judgments. That would help all of us. I do not know whether or not this exists here, and I say it with the greatest respect. I was told this as I came here, I was given this information here. I was asked to make a request about someone I do not know. I did not manage to grasp the surname of the person involved.” [One imagines that Pope Francis was probably here used as a puppet by the very left-wing group that did the kidnapping to embarrass and undermine the government]
The name that Francis had not “grasped” was that of Edelio Murinigo, an official abducted more than a year ago not by the regular army of Paraguay – as the pope had understood – but by a self-proclaimed “Ejército del pueblo paraguayo,” a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group active in the country since 2008.
And yet, in spite of his stated and emphasized ignorance in the case, Francis was not afraid to use the paltry and confused information gathered shortly beforehand to “fraternally” accuse the blameless president of Paraguay of nothing less than a crime compared to the worst misdeeds of the Nazis and Stalinists. [Indeed. A diplomatic gaffe of the highest order, and one that was completely unnecessary. Even had the accusation been true, bringing this subject to the fore at that setting would have been a grave mistake. The Pope who could not bring himself to condemn a blasphemous, politicized crucifix falsely accused another government of murderous acts. This despite the fact that leftist regimes (including the Nazis and Stalinists) have killed far more citizens than any ostensible “right wing” governments]
Another interesting article from Magister here. Consider it a proposition for weekend reading. This second article looks at the upcoming presidential election in Argentina and Francis’ clear alignment with the socialist-Peronist Kirchner camp. An excerpt from this later article:
But the true political “manifesto” of pope Bergoglio was the lengthy speech he gave in Santa Cruz, Bolivia to the anti-globalization “popular movements” of Latin America and the rest of the world, which he gathered around him for a second time less than a year after the previous meeting in Rome, in both cases with a seat in the front for the “cocalero” president of Bolivia, Evo Morales……[Saying, in effect, I’ve got your six, bro!]
Rereading these two speeches, it is striking how their “distinguishing mark” – to borrow the words of Marco Olivetti – is “populism, identification with a good ‘people,’” precisely what characterizes in Argentina the socialistic Peronism of the Kirchner era, during which the recipients of state funds tripled and now total 15.3 million, 36 percent of the population.
The “people” in which Pope Francis sees the avant-garde of a worldwide revolution against the transnational empire of money is the one that he himself describes as made up of “waste-collectors, recyclers, peddlers, seamstresses or tailors, artisans, fishermen, farmworkers, builders, miners.” To them belongs – he says – the future of humanity. Thanks to a process of their rise to power that “overflows the logical procedures of formal democracy.”
In the judgment of James V. Schall, former professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University in Washington, the speech in Santa Cruz is “pure Bergoglio,” with a political vision “closer to Joachim of Fiore than to Augustine of Hippo”. [Ouch. Given that Joachimite ideas were condemned by the Church (though Joachim himself was not) and thoroughly refuted by Aquinas, that’s not a positive comparison. Joachimites believed in a “new age” of the Holy Ghost in which the Church would fall away, or no longer be necessary, and Catholics, heretics, and pagans would unite in a new, worldly, invisible Church of “good works.” Doctrine was not important, even works were not so important as intent, the desire to “do good.” Sound familiar? Actually I’m narrowing Joachimite belief a bit for effect, but you get the picture]
But also from Cristina Kirchner’s party and from the Bergoglian circles there have come gestures of calculated support for these perspectives of the pope.
Last March, Argentine minster of culture Teresa Parodi organized in the immense and jam-packed Teatro Cervantes, in downtown Buenos Aires, a Foro Internacional por la Emancipación y la Igualdad that lined up the worldwide “stars” of the anti-capitalist opposition. [“International Forum for Emancipation and Equality]
And on the afternoon of March 13 there came to the microphone one after another the Brazilian Leonardo Boff, the liberation theologian who converted to the religion of mother earth, the Italian Gianni Vattimo, philosopher of “weak thought,” and the Argentine Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, archbishop chancellor of the pontifical academies of sciences and of social sciences and a key advisor of pope Bergoglio. [And whom we have seen veer very hard left under this pontificate, while behaving in an indecorous and unworthy manner, ascribing, without ANY justification, the most hateful motives to critics of Laudato Si and the embrace of abortionists and population control freaks by the Vatican]
To great applause and with a satisfied Sánchez Sorondo beside him, Vattimo made the case for a new communist and “papist” International, with Francis as its undisputed leader, the only one capable of leading a political, cultural, and religious revolution against the excessive power of money, in the “civil war” underway in the world that – he said – is disguised as a fight against terrorism but is in reality the class conflict of the 21st century against the multitude of all the opponents of capitalism. [Wow. Is this what Francis believes?]
Seeing is believing. Vattimo’s harangue, in Spanish, is between the 15 and 51-minute mark of the video of this session of the forum, followed by remarks from Sánchez Sorondo and Boff:
For fluent Spanish speakers, the video is here.
Just unbelievable. It truly is 1963 all over again, but the second time as farce. All these dried up old men trying to pretend they are the vanguard of something new. I don’t know why, I just have a feeling whatever it is they are trying to achieve is going to end in embarrassing failure. These guys are not the vibrant actors they were 30-40 years ago. They’re very tired old men, acting out a fantasy. Oh, incredible damage will be done, no doubt, but I have a growing suspicion that they simply won’t be able to get away with what they got away with in the late 60s – early 80s period.
We shall see. Stay vigilant and pray pray pray.
How a disordered generation of modernist priests worked a revolution in the clergy….. August 18, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
……or, at least one episode in that process. I almost said a “wicked generation,” but I chickened out. Do you think the term wicked too strong? Wicked, to me, implies willful maliciousness. Were many of those young priests of the 60s who wanted to work a revolution in the Church knowledgeable that their revolution would be catastrophic for souls, or were they simply imbued with the spirit of the times, something that caused them to accept a lot of destructive ideas? Many of those priests are winding down their careers after seeing the Church implode on their watch…….do they have any regrets? From my experience…..not too much. And to what degree did their demonstrated propensity for immoral lives (priest sex abuse scandal, sodomy, 40% left the priesthood, etc.)
Another factor to consider in the below is how many good and holy priests were drummed out of their vocation by these revolutionary forces, who almost always had episcopal backing? If Vatican II was a coup of a small modernist minority against the majority, why did so many bishops then quite willingly, even forcefully implement the revolutionary program, rather than impose it? Also something to keep in mind in the below, if Baltimore is at all representative, there actually was quite a bit of resistance to the massive novelties imposed after Vatican II, but consistent episcopal policy led to those resisters being ostracized, marginalized, and drummed out of active ministry if not out of the priesthood altogether.
A lot of questions. I found this little episode quite revealing but also quite saddening. Such a fever came over so many souls at that time!
On February 9, 1969, parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church in Baltimore picketed their own church, carrying homemade signs declaring: “We want Monsignor Manns, Send Martel far way,” and collecting signatures to petition Cardinal Shehan to halt the forced resignation of Manns, who was their pastor. [Baltimore, once the primatial see for the entire United States, fell into disorder earlier and further than most dioceses. Some see in this a lingering effect of Cardinal Gibbon’s Americanism.] A week earlier, the cardinal sent Monsignor Manns a personal letter explaining the reasons why he was requesting his resignation, including the monsignor’s clash with his associate Father Martel, and the cardinal gave him ten days to respond. The Friday night before the Sunday morning protest, Monsignor Manns informed the women of the sodality about his imminent removal, and they asked him what they could do for him. A handful of women then quickly organized the small protest. At the early Sunday morning Masses at 6:00 and 7:00AM, Monsignor Manns informed the congregation that he was being replaced. After Mass, members of the sodality collected signatures in support of their pastor. [At what other time in Church history have the most faithful souls felt compelled to protest their own parishes due to injustices worked against them or faithful priests? There were some episodes in the early Church to be sure, but this has been a constant feature of the Church since Vatican II]
The situation escalated after the 7:00 AM Mass when Father Martel approached Mrs. LeVeta Sakievich and attempted to seize her petition. When she refused, he pushed her to the ground, after which she was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries. Later, she pressed assault charges against Father Martel. [Just wow] Cardinal Shehan was informed about the unfolding situation, and he telephoned the monsignor. He instructed Monsignor Manns to stop the protests, and that any encouragement of the protests would be an “act of rebellion” under canon law. He also dispatched Auxiliary Bishop T. Austin Murphy to St. Anthony’s to ensure that the picketing and collection of signatures had ended. The women agreed to stop their protest, but they had already collected several hundred signatures in support of their pastor. [It’s difficult to tell from this distance of time the merits of the case. This raises the question that has vexed so many Catholics since this time: how to respond to episcopal authority seemingly complicit in the destruction of the Church and behavior damaging to souls, when ordered under obedience by that same authority to acquiesce. I don’t know if obedience was merited in this case but I do think, rather strongly, that the revolutionaries have always used the mantra of obedience to quell orthodox reaction, to a degree that has hurt both the Church and souls. There is precedent in Church history for faithful who have refused authority’s demands for obedience for the good of souls and the maintenance of orthodox belief]
Five days later, Monsignor Manns met with the cardinal……By the end of the week, Monsignor Manns submitted his resignation, and it was made effective immediately, with the requirement that the beloved priest leave his former parish by March 1. [I wonder, what was the threat against him if he did not resign? Involuntary sacking and the diocese seeking a forced laicization, denial of whatever stipend he received from the Archdiocese, etc? IOW, the usual threats?]
The official press release of the archdiocese, as published in The Catholic Review, read:
“[I]t became painfully clear that the monsignor found it impossible to carry out the Archdiocesan policy in keeping with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in the areas of liturgical renewal in the parish, lay responsibility and the proper role of associate pastors in the parish. [The revolution will brook no dissent] Monsignor Manns has served the Archdiocese well in various capacities for over forty years. It is regrettable that his resignation was attended by so much distasteful publicity.”
Even Monsignor Manns’ detractors agreed that he was an effective administrator. In his twelve years as pastor of St. Anthony’s Church, he built a new rectory and convent, remodeled and built an addition to the elementary school, and increased the parish membership from 7,500 to 12,000. The parish boasted twelve Masses every Sunday. Today, the parish school is closed, and the school building is up for sale. The parish has merged with a neighboring parish, and only two Sunday masses are scheduled, which are reduced to only one Sunday Mass during the summer months. [So typical]
Father Martel has left active ministry. [If one were to count the instances in which bishops have sided with progressive priests who later left the priesthood or were drummed out by even higher authority…….well, the number would be pretty high]
………A Catholic revolution in the priesthood was afoot in the 1960s even without the impetus of the council. [Very true. But the Council ramped up the “dissent” by an order of magnitude and gave it a patina of ecclesiastical approval]
The forced removal of older and more traditional priests was much more pervasive than the single case of Monsignor Manns.……The following year, the senate drew up a list of a dozen pastors who did not accept all the implications of the Second Vatican Council, in particular liturgical changes and lay involvement. [Meaning trashing the Mass, EMHCs, lay people lectors, and Ms. So and So advising divorce at the family ministry?] According the The Premier See, Cardinal Shehan requested that these pastors resign based on the senate’s recommendation. When the senate agreed to make seventy the mandatory age for retirement and sixty-five the optional age, twenty percent of pastors in Baltimore were forced to retire between 1967 and 1969, representing a titanic shift in the leadership of the archdiocese……..The old priests were out — especially those who expressed reservations about the changes occurring — and the young and more progressive priests were in. [It’s a delicious irony that now the young priests are the orthodox ones and the older ones are those bitterly clinging to their power. Most young priests have to hide their orthodoxy so long as these aging hippies remain]
……..One year prior, fifty-five archdiocesan priests from Baltimore signed the Statement of Dissent composed by Father Charles Curran, and the list of priests was printed in The Baltimore Sun. Without informing the cardinal, these priests publicly voiced their opposition to Humanae Vitae, yet none of them were forced to resign from their positions. Reflecting on this disparity, the 1960s marked a new era for the Catholic Church. Priests have always run afoul of the hierarchy, but perhaps for the first time, priests who upheld the traditional teachings of Catholicism were running into opposition from above and forced from their positions whereas priests who openly challenged church teachings were tolerated.
And thus the revolution is efficiently described. Yes there were many portents and trends in this direction prior to 1962, but it was only after Vatican II that these trends became so dominant and overpowering. Nothing describes the cataclysm that afflicted the Church during those tumultuous years more than this fact: modernist-progressives could literally get away with murder, or at least raping 11 year old boys, while those adhering to what the Church had always believed were persona non grata. That’s a very effective policy to radically make over any body, but especially one so dependent on the public maintenance of a constant line of belief and practice like the Church.
Another interesting perspective on the same subject: fighting revolutionary ideals takes constant vigilance and enormous effort. Somewhere during the course of the 20th century, many leaders in the Church opted out of the fight. Those modernists forced underground by St. Pius X were clearly surfacing even by the late 1920s in places like Germany, and around the world by the mid-40s. By the time of the decisive moment, the orthodox elements were woefully out-manned, out-gunned, and out-maneuvered.
I’m trying to cap posts at
1500 1600 words, so I’ll end there.
Fr. Carota on living in the present moment August 18, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Papa, persecution, priests, sanctity, scandals, Society, SOD, the return, Tradition, Virtue.
Super post from Fr. Carota: don’t let your legitimate worries and concerns get the best of you and ruin your relationship with God and His Church (all as in original I add only comments):
Every one of us has a list of serious concerns right now, (or what we call problems). Having problems is simply part of being human. Believe it or not, everyone, no matter how it may appear, has problems, concerns and cares.
So there is IMMEDIATE HELP to help us deal with our problems.
- First, turn to God right now in prayer and trust, with blind faith, so that He will help us right now with our problems. It may not be instantaneous, but He will show us a way to get through what we are now experiencing.
- Then, put these problems in perspective, so that you stop worrying and have PEACE right now. That is what this article is about.
So the first thing to do is write down a list of everything that you are worried about right now, (use the list below as suggestions to get you personal list started).
I am worried right now about;
- Our pope, cardinals, bishops, religious, priests,
- Our Church,
- Our country,
- Our president,
- My family,
- My marriage,
- Our children, grandchildren and godchildren……..
- My Temptations,
- My vices…..[More suggestions at Fr. Carota’s blog – you get the point]
Now take time to go over this list and write down exactly what it is that you are concerned about this problem. Then put your worries in order, according to how serious or urgent the problem is.
Then go over this list, starting with the worst problem, with these criteria.
- Am I absolutely sure this problem will happen? When?
- Do I have the resources, knowledge and intelligence to handle this problem?
- Is there a solution I have forgotten about?
- Who can I get to help me with this problem?
- Am I making my problem bigger than it really is?
- When will I begin, (not procrastinate), to deal with my problem?
- Is this problem something I have no influence over and need to let go of?
- When I worry about this problem, do I pray to God, Mary, the Angels, saints for help?
- Does fear keep me from confronting my problems?
- Are my fears realistic?
- Have I overblown the problem?
Now you need to come up with a Godly attitude about the situation, or problem, you are so worried about. Here is an example. Say you are worried about your husband who has left you. A Godly attitude will tell you to do all you can to be reconciled, but keeping in mind that you only can control your own actions, not his.
The other very very important ATTITUDE to have is reminding ourselves that we only have this moment right now. We have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER WHAT COULD HAPPEN THE NEXT MOMENT. Yes, we have control in the sense that we can make wise decisions right now on how we will live the next moment, but in all truth, we only have this moment. We could die right now. The people causing the problem could die, move, change their mind, repent, at any time too…….
Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34.
The passage that comes right before this shows how to avoid problems and to receive from God what we need.
Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.
If we are seeking to serve Christ the King first in our life, then all else will eventually fall in place for our good………
……….Please keep your list of problems and concerns. A week, a month, a year later, review it again. You will be very surprised that most of what you were concerned about never came to anything and that somehow or other you pass through the rest, (hopefully with prayer for God’s help, good decisions and actions and the help of good people).
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know, that in the end, God is incharge and will take care of us and bring good out of all our sufferings and problems. We are truly in HIs loving hands……..
………Above all, pray for those who are going through difficult situations and problems.
I note from the above that I do worry and get excited about things that I have no worldly or natural control over. I worry about the upcoming Synod, about Pope Francis, the Kasperite gambit, the modernist revolution, etc. I have precious little way, aside from prayer and penance, to influence any of those things. I try to make people aware of what’s going on and, I think more importantly, to help reassure souls that action X is wrong and why matter Z is scandalous. But that’s a very long way from solving what tends to concern me.
Some folks may not like this post. They may think it overly minimizes righteous indignation at the state of the Church and the ongoing scandals we are surrounded with. That’s not my intent, nor do I think it is Father Carota’s, either. I would hope that anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I am not some on-the-payroll apologist or Pollyanna. The point is that while we all get scandalized by things, don’t let yourself get scandalized out of the Faith! That does happen, and we may have even more abundant reasons in the future to be tempted to do just that. Certainly be concerned and involved but use that as something that draws you closer to our Lord and a more perfect practice of virtue, not as an excuse to give up, become a rage-aholic, or God forbid, leave the Church for the sects or somewhere else.
In Narcotics Anonymous, there is a saying, which I will paraphrase as: don’t mess yourself to get revenge. Sometimes when recovering addicts get really hurt by someone they are tempted to use again. They go back into active addiction to hurt the one who hurt them back, but the one who really pays the price for such folly is the addict. Likewise, many of us feel hurt and wounded by the leadership of the Church of late. You get the point.
Turn it to something else. Keep that fire of zeal that scandal can inspire but direct it towards becoming a Saint.
h/t reader Skeinster
There is a great deal of breathless coverage in the media over the normalization of relations between the despotic, authoritarian regime and the communist government of Cuba. Progressives are beside themselves with glee that one of their favorite countries in the world, which is coincidentally one of the few remaining one-party ruled communist states, is now going to be open for travel and trade. The Vatican played a significant role in this process under Pope Francis, and Pope Francis is set to visit Cuba shortly. Even Raul Castro himself has proclaimed that Pope Francis is his kind of guy.
Overlooked in all this giddy display is the plight of Cuba’s Catholics, who remain as ostracized, persecuted, and maligned by the communist party as ever. They, and all those who oppose the Castroite regime, will be the ones who pay the largest price for this normalization in relations, which will have the primary effect of providing the money needed to keep the current regime in power for many years into the future, just as we’ve seen occur with normalization of relations with China and Vietnam (my emphasis and comments):
Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday culminates a diplomatic accomplishment for the Obama administration and Pope Francis. But the ceremony has some irony, not all that unlikePresident George W. Bush’s 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech.
The island’s dissidents weren’t invited, and the pontiff who helped usher in the new relations might have been expected to side with Cuba’s persecuted faithful. But when asked about Cuba’s spotty record, Francis demurred. “I would say that in many countries of the world, human rights are not respected,” he said during a July in-flight news conference. “Religious liberty is not a reality in the entire world; there are many countries that do not allow it.” [But should the Church reward regimes founded on hatred of the Church and the most vile persecution of Catholics? Should the Church be involved in diplomatic shenanigans that have the effect of helping to keep that regime in power? In a different time, the Church had leaders that would have said unequivocally NO, we do not support this regime, we oppose it, and we support the poor suffering Catholics who groan under its heavy yoke]
……..But some in Castro’s Cuba aren’t buying it. “It is a mockery for Raul Castro tell the pope that he may return to the bosom of the church and pray again,” Berta Soler told Spanish radio. Soler is the leader of the Ladies in White, a Catholic opposition movement made up of relatives of jailed human rights activists who attend Mass and silently take to the streets while wearing white.
Soler’s skepticism might have something to do with Castro’s security goons, who continue to harass and detain the Ladies and other dissidents. Just days before Kerry’s visit, the government rounded up about 50 of Soler’s Ladies. The detentions are only “further proof of the Cuban government’s intolerance towards people who think differently,” Soler told the PanAm Post.
But Castro’s crackdown seems to be more about religious freedom than the ballot box. “Many times, we haven’t been able to get to church,” Soler told the National Review at this year’s Oslo Freedom Forum. “The few who actually do make it to church have been detained for over five hours. They have been beaten.” This might be why Soler is more than a little frustrated with her spiritual shepherd. “The European Union, the USA, Pope Francis — they have turned their backs on us,” she said. [It’s “ostpolitik” all over again. Recall how Cardinal Mindseintzy and other heroic Catholics were thrown under the bus in the service of Paul VI’s ill-advised and ultimately destructive detente with communist regimes in Eastern Europe. It took a much different Pope to call those regimes out for their barbarity and inhuman behavior, a policy that many feel contributed directly to their sudden demise. Now several Eastern European states boast the most visibly Catholic governments in the world (which may be far from ideal, yet, but the turnaround has been amazing). Thus the fruit of cooperation with Grace and standing, at least in one area, in defense of the Faith. Apparently Cuba’s long-suffering Catholics won’t get the benefit of the fruits of stalwart promotion of the Faith and calling a spade a spade]
………Pope Francis should at least say something about the lack of freedom in Cuba, and in so doing, minister to Cuba’s dwindling faithful. That Univision survey found that only 27% of Cubans are Catholic, and only a fraction attends Mass regularly. [Of course, because Catholics have been savagely mistreated for decades. They have also endured a lifetime of Church-bashing communist propaganda.]
As for Raul Castro, he vows to attend “all” the pope’s planned Masses in Cuba. But because papal diplomacy hasn’t worked out too well for Cubans, Francis could exercise some spiritual leadership and deny Castro communion at Mass in the same way Castro denies freedom for the people of Cuba.
Excuse my cynicism, but barring a totally unexpected miracle, that’s not going to happen. I hope Pope Francis might decry Cuba’s persecution of the Church but I tend to doubt that will happen, either. If his South American trip is any indication, Pope Francis will shower lauds on the government and speak endlessly, if vaguely, about the plight of the poor. The irony is, nothing enriches a narrow connected elite more, nor mires more people in grinding poverty, than socialism. Papal support for socialism – excoriated by so many previous pontiffs! – is the apotheosis of preferring image and rhetoric to reality, is it not?
Highly interesting post from Rorate containing a never-before published memo from the late traditional Catholic publisher Neil McCaffrey on the phenomenon of “neo-Catholic” papal cheerleaders in the post-conciliar period. The memo identifies a number of weaknesses in the hyper-montanist viewpoint, which frequently seems to ascribe to the reigning Pontiff not just a narrow infallibility in faith and morals taught Ex Cathedra to the entire Church, but a form of impeccability, an idea that the Pope can do no wrong even in the smallest of prudential matters – or at the very least, can never be criticized for even the most questionable prudential judgments.
What is conveyed below is not the idea that Catholics should engage in willy-nilly opposition to the Pope on any matter that crosses their mind, but with several decades now of far less than stellar Popes, and where the good of souls is in question, it can be seen that refusal to countenance any criticism of the Holy Father is a major factor in the ongoing crisis in the Church, as born out by reams upon reams of real-world data on the status of the Church.
I actually think the memo below misses several key points, which may not have been as visible when written in 1976 as they are now, but it’s an interesting analysis, nonetheless. I pick out some highlights, go to Rorate Caeli to read the rest (my emphasis and comments):
1. Scripture makes no bones about the weaknesses of the Apostles and especially of Peter; which in any case were well known to the early Christians, whose faith survived the knowledge. Catholic history, from the age of the Fathers on down, provides us with the model. It was only in the 19th century that some Catholics found it necessary to refine the policies of the Holy Spirit. [Sort of a jab at Vatican I? There were very good reasons for defining papal infallibility at Vatican I, since the Doctrine of the Faith was so under attack throughout Europe at the time. And, it made sense in another way, that the Church had been blessed with an unusually strong group of Popes from Pius VI on through St. Pius X. This probably helped build confidence in the idea that a Pope would never do anything nutty, since no one had a memory of a Pope doing so. But what it did, perhaps inadvertently, overlook, was a future time when the Church might be afflicted with a bad Pope, or a whole string of them. Such had certainly occurred in the past. But the Dogma of infallibility has had the effect of many Catholics putting the Pope on such a pedestal that he is above criticism, and perhaps rightfully so to some degree, but as the Church, through her leadership, has veered severely off course in the past several decades, the limitations of this idolization have become increasingly apparent]
2. The papacy is given primacy from the earliest years, yet there is little evidence of papolatry until we get to the last century. The papolaters of our day would have been regarded with astonishment by the Fathers, by Dante, by St. Catherine, by Bellarmine, by Suarez, by just about anyone you can name. [I’m not expert, but my limited reading would tend to confirm this supposition]
3. We can see papolatry in perspective when we put it beside its kin; and we can do that with a flying visit to Moscow or Peking. There too we are allowed to criticize underlings. Pravda does it every day. But the Leader, never. [Good point. Is it possible to view papolatry as an ecclesiastical mirror of the (particularly) 20th century tendency towards the deified, strong man, infallible Supreme Leader of disordered nationalism? That is, people formed by nations to worship the national leader transferred the same kind of obeisance to the spiritual leader? Just a wild thought]
4. Those orthodox Catholics who feel most comfortable with the spirit of Vatican II are least comfortable with its encouragement of free speech. John [XXIII] and Paul [VI] told us to relax and speak our minds. Perhaps they meant us to make an exception about speaking of themselves, but in fact they didn’t say so. So their admirers hasten to protect the Popes from themselves. (It seems, then, that popes can make mistakes; but only a privileged few are allowed to notice them.) [There’s been a great deal of this mentality from some quarters lately. Privately, they might hold opinions of Pope Francis that would surprise, even shock, many souls, but publicly they will admit of no criticism, because they hold only a very narrow cohort, including themselves, naturally, faithful enough to hold such thoughts]
5…… I have never heard a good argument for the new liturgy or for the new laxity in discipline. [But, buh…….the opening of Scripture! Language of the people! LOL] Even the papal cheerleaders can’t muster an argument, for the excellent reason that there is no argument that would commend itself to the orthodox. All the arguments, such as they are, come from the infidels. The papal cheerleaders can only repeat their incantation: obedience, obedience, obedience. [That was the mantra by which faithful reaction to the revolution in its early days was effectively beat down?] By which, ironically, they don’t really mean obedience. They mean something else. They mean: shut up. [Exactly. Nah nah I can’t hear you! Don’t tell me inconvenient truths!] Is it necessary, in this circle, to spell out the distinction between obedience and calling black white? (By way of underscoring the bankruptcy of papal policy, have you remarked that nobody ever talks these days about devotion to the Mass? There are no more courses on the Mass, no more books, no more private studies so that we might assist more knowledgeably and devoutly. [Well, there are today, but most are either re-prints of pre-conciliar sources or firmly traditional in character] In fact, if you so much as call it the Mass, you are a reactionary. There is a message here for the apologists of the new liturgy. But they don’t want to hear it. That would be “disloyal”. As long as we polish up the reputation of the present Pope, it would seem, we can forget about what happens to the Mass.)……..
7. We heard a lot of talk Sunday about the importance of faith when authority misbehaves, all of it sound. I think faith involves a corresponding devotion to truth, even unpalatable truth. What does a Catholic have to fear from truth? Shrinking from the truth is an indecent posture for a Catholic. Granted, tender souls need not concern themselves with high policy, and with the blunders of those in authority. That does not exonerate the mature Catholic. Moreover, if nobody concerns himself with these blunders, nobody will criticize them; and evil will flourish, unopposed. [Exactly. And it is not for me to decide who is mature, and who is not. It is up to the soul themselves to determine what ideas their faith can countenance, and if they screw up, my “culpability” is minor, at worst, because I wasn’t writing for them, anyway. I have heard far too much talk of “oh, don’t criticize the Pope, you’ll scandalize someone and they’ll lose faith!” Well, if a stupid blog post is going to cause someone to fall away from the Faith, they must have been within a hair’s breadth of doing so, anyway. I’d say a far more substantial moral “threat,” is to think what we write or present on the internet is so all-powerful and so garsh-darned important that scads of souls hang on our every word and will fall away in their thousands if we make the slightest slip. Ego much?]
Not only that, but the papal cheerleaders are naive if they suppose they can silence criticism. All they succeed in doing is suppressing it among the orthodox. [Ding ding ding!] So the only criticism the Pope hears….is from the enemies of the papacy. When we reflect that this Pope is obsessed with public opinion (‘‘human respect,” the spiritual writers used to call it), it becomes double folly to choke off constructive criticism from the loyal orthodox.
OK, I’ve certainly got a point of view. And I worry about that point of view from time to time. I have some concern that I might hold some latent protestantism that causes me to not have sufficient respect or deference towards authority. But then I read things like the above and see that my beliefs line up with some very reputable and devout souls. I tend to think they are right, and that maybe coming from the outside into the Church as an adult provides a greater perspective.
I have long believed that “papolatry” or “hyper-montanism” is one of the key factors that has allowed the revolution in the Church to occur. The fact that the revolution, or major portions of it, seem to have had the support of the recent pontiffs, to varying degrees, has chilled the Catholic response for exactly the reasons highlighted above. And I have great sympathy for those who cannot bring themselves to criticize the Pope. I think they are wrong, but I understand their motivations.
But after some possibly illusive, hopeful years under Benedict, we see that the revolution is not done. In fact, it is never done, until it has either totally destroyed whatever it afflicts, or is definitively opposed and broken. And since the papacy has either allowed or encouraged so much of the revolution to occur, it seems that restoration can not occur by just castigating bishops and priests. The Faith will never be restored until we have pious Popes who restore the Faith.
Pointing out problems with the past and current popes is one way to help make that restoration occur, and I’d argue, an indispensable one.