Another excerpt from Dom Prosper Gueranger, and this one is most interesting. It is from the Greek Menaea for Pope St. Leo the Great, written, according to Dom Gueranger, many centuries before the Great Schism of 1054. The words from this hymn certainly do seem to establish a strong
belief in Papal primacy. They also highlight how the early Church viewed doctrinal orthodoxy/purity/correctness as one of the most vital characteristics of a bishop, especially the Sovereign Pontiff. No bonus points for saying Catholic things 99% of the time……they are demanded 100% of the time. See what you think below:
O happy Pontiff! Glorious Leo, thou hast been made companion of the faithful priests and martyrs; for thou was t most invincible in battle, and immovable as a tower and fortress of religion. Thou dist proclaim, with most prefect orthodoxy and wisdom, the unspeakable generation of Christ.
O ruler of orthodoxy, teacher of religion and holiness, light of the whole earth, divinely inspired glory of true believers, wise Leo! Thou enlightenest all men by thy teachings, O harp of the Holy Ghost!
Heir of the See of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, thou didst preside over the Church: thou hadst his spirit and wast inflamed with zeal for the Faith.
Resplendent with the knowledge of divine truths, thou didst scatter on all sides the brightness of orthodoxy, and dispel the darkness of heresy. Departing this life, thou, O blessed one! now dwellest in the light that knows no setting.
O inspired minister of God’s mysteries, thou didst admirably preach that Christ is the Only Son and Lord, begotten of the Father before all ages, born for us of the Virgin, and dwelling on earth like unto us.
Seated with glory upon the throne of the pontificate, thou didst stop the mouths of lions, and madest to shine upon they flock the light of the knowledge of God, by proclaiming the divine dogma of the adorable Trinity. Therefore hast thou been glorified as a holy Pontiff initiated in the Grace of God.
Thou, as a dazzling sun, didst rise in the West and wisely dispel the error of Eutyches, who mingled and confused the two natures, and that of Nestorius, who divided tehm as though they were tow Persons. Thou taughtest us to adore one Christ in two natures, inseparably, unchangeably, unconfusedly, united.
Inspired of God, thou didst appear to the people of God as another Moses, showing them the Commandments of religion written, as it were, on tables…….
It goes on for some time with such effusive praise. I’d say several of the bits highlighted above, if not conclusive, argue very strongly for an acceptance of the Papal primacy by the Greek Church, and on terms that are pretty close to what the Church believes. As such, it seems pretty damning evidence that, as Dom Gueranger claimed, it was not the Latin Church, but the Greek Church which changed its belief regarding the Primacy of the See of Peter.
“Presiding over the Church” could be a statement open to some interpretation, but it would seem difficult to conflate that with the mere “first among equals” approach the Eastern Orthodox have argued for the past 1000 years. Presiding seems to imply more than a mere “first in honors” position that would leave the Sovereign Pontiff an equal with the other ancient sees, at least, if not the thousands of bishops around the world. Presiding strongly implies governing, but, perhaps the translation is debatable.
What of the claim that he was inspired of God? Is that significant? I guess any Saint or holy bishop could be inspired of God, but again, there is a reference to such a universal teaching and governing office (that of Moses, the clear leader of the Jewish nation and religion) that this seems a pretty strong endorsement of Papal primacy. Moses was the leader of his Church, and claiming that Leo was “another Moses” suggests powerfully to me that he was viewed as the sole leader of the Universal Church, heir to the office Moses first undertook.
What say you?
Just who really are the Pharisees in the Church today? April 13, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
To borrow a phrase from our leftist friends, to be a Pharisee, one must have both an unyielding adherence to man-made tradition, and the power to enforce that adherence. As 1 Peter 5 notes below, after demonstrating the falsity of many of the all-too-convenient claims of faithful Catholics being Pharisaical, it’s not the faithful Catholics, by and large, wielding the power. It’s not the faithful Catholic pastors who get banished to the far peripheries of the diocese because they add a little Latin to their Novus Ordo Masses, or focus a bit “too much” on Confession. I’m out of time for the day, but some good thoughts along those lines below. Do read the whole thing:
Although it is common in today’s antinomian world to condemn anyone who supports a tradition or rule as “Pharisaical,” this clearly was not the point of Christ’s warning. Instead, he condemned only those who support traditions that lead people away from a relationship with God, i.e., those who “make void the word of God.”
So who today is advocating man-made traditions that deny people access to God’s grace? Who teaches as doctrine the precepts of men? Imagine the following scenarios, and see if any of them seem all-too-familiar:
- A parish offers the Sacrament of Confession for only a half-hour each Saturday, at an inconvenient time, and makes no announcements promoting Reconciliation. The defense is that “no one goes anymore” and the priests are too busy.
- Requests for more traditional hymns to be sung during Mass are turned down with the response that “the songs we sing now are the songs our parishioners have always enjoyed the most.”
- Communion is advocated for the divorced and remarried, with the argument that to withhold it would be to violate the Church’s great tradition of “welcoming.”
- When an effort is made to institute a new marriage preparation program that includes substantial Church teaching, the existing volunteers resist on the grounds that the current program is “how we have always done it.” [Or……not. When Armand Ochoa, former Bishop of El Paso, took over the Diocese of Fresno, one of his earliest acts was to obliterate the very strong marriage prep classes that had been developed in that diocese, insisting that they be reduced to a pale 4 hour shadow of their former depth. It’s all about will to power, and claims of “tradition” are just a convenient excuse to dismiss legitimate desires of the faithful by an ideologically entrenched bureaucracy]
- A priest who decides to withhold the Eucharist from a publicly same-sex couple is quickly removed and told that his actions show a “lack of pastoral sensitivity” and make the Church appear judgmental.
- A parishioner suggests to the pastor a door-to-door campaign to try to bring people into the Church, but is turned down on the grounds that “Catholics don’t do that.” Additionally he is told that “proselytization” isn’t in keeping with ecumenism.
In each case, people are being directed away from the truth found in Christ and His Church, away from healing and reconciliation, away from a lasting relationship with Christ – and the reasons given amount to no more than “that’s how we do it now.” In other words, these are our “traditions.” The New Pharisees of today downplay Catholic doctrine, minimize the importance of the Sacraments, ridicule traditional Catholic devotions, scoff at Catholic moral teachings, and diminish the uniqueness of the Catholic Church. The man-made traditions they’ve instituted over the last 40 years have become encrusted in the life of the average Catholic parish, even though, as I wrote recently, there is no evidence that any of these programs or practices actually draw people into Christ’s Church. The evidence, in fact, is overwhelming that it draws people away from Christ and his Church. In other words, “For the sake of their tradition, they have made void the word of God!”
I’m sure you could come up with your own list. Requests are made to mix in just a little more Latin in Sunday (or weekday) Masses, but you are told “the Church is moving in a different direction.” Or you are told in the Confessional that having 4 children “is enough,” and you can safely contracept. Or ask for a sermon on porn……that would make too many people uncomfortable. At all costs, the status quo must not be challenged, entrenched sin must not be confronted. And this, we are told, is “mercy.”
It’s been said many times by many other people, but the only unforgivable sin in so many quarters of the Church today seems to be to have an open attachment and preference for the Catholic Faith, the way it was always practiced and believed. It’s incredible, but far too true. And that is because orthodox Catholicism has almost always been inherently countercultural, and there is nothing most leaders in the Church today desire more than to be accepted by the prevailing cultural “elite.” Thus orthodox Catholics become not, as Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote nearly 50 years ago, a bishop’s or priest’s pride and boast, but thorns in the side to be dismissed as cranks unable to get with the new program.
That is also, of course, what occurs after an institution undergoes a revolution – adherents to the old paradigm represent the largest threat to the new order of things. That is why revolutions tend to deal so savagely with those die-hards of the ancien regime. When viewed through the lens of post-revolutionary consolidation, the actions of the large majority of Church leaders suddenly seem much more sensical- from their point of view. The only surprising aspect of this whole drama acted out over the past 50 years is the willful blindness of many, many otherwise quite faithful Catholics, who refuse to contemplate even the possibility that a revolution has occurred.
And if you want to endure calls of Pharisaism, of being a mean ol’ judgmental nasty “trad,” then challenge them on that point. Make sure you have your foxhole dug good and deep, however, for the return fire will be intense.
Ecumenism I can get behind: Pope Francis addresses Turkish 1915 genocide against Armenian Christians April 13, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, horror, martyrdom, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, unadulterated evil.
Whatever one may think of ecumenism/interreligious dialogue in general, probably my greatest problem with the way it has been conducted over the past 50 years is that it has been built on a web of distortions and even outright misrepresentations. We see this in many of the ongoing dialogues with the various sects and other religions, but it has been most marked of late with respect to islam. We are told how peaceful and wonderful islam is, the great spiritual fruit it provides to its followers, in spite of their explicit rejection of Jesus Christ as 2nd Person of the Trinity, the claim is even made that by some that muslims need not convert! Atrocities are glossed over as the Church constantly apologizes for the mote in its own eye, while ignoring the beam in its neighbor islam.
Well, Pope Francis interjected some badly needed honesty in this dialogue with islam when he accurately termed the Turkish mass pogroms against Armenian Christians, many Catholics, that took place a century ago a genocide, which it certainly was. Turkey, as a result, has recalled its ambassador to the Holy See. Boo-hoo:
Speaking at a Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to mark 100 years since the Armenian killings, the pope spoke of the massacres in the context of the contemporary persecution of Christians in the Muslim world—a subject that has become an increasingly prominent and urgent theme in Pope Francis’ public statements.
Armenians say that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed during World War I in today’s eastern Turkey, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire.
Many countries officially recognize the killings as genocide. But Turkey contests Armenian claims about the scale of losses; it argues that hundreds of thousands actually died in warfare and famine, and that many Turks were also killed by Armenians. Turkey argues that the question of genocide should be left to historians rather than politicians. [The historians have answered the question. It was a genocide, aided and abetted by Imperial German staff officers serving with the Ottoman Empire during WWI]
Pope Francis said Sunday that “it is necessary, and indeed a duty” to “recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forbears had to endure…Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”
A little more background:
The evidence is overwhelming that the Ottoman Turks systematically organized the deliberate deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians. Government documents, photos, testimony from survivors prove that Turkey wished to rid itself of its Christian minorities, largely because they believed that the Armenians and others were siding with Russia against Turkey in World War I. They also needed a convenient scapegoat for the losses suffered on the battlefield.
The greatest number of killings occurred on horrific death marches of hundreds of miles where the Turks drove women, children, and old people (most of the young men had already been massacred) into the Syrian desert. There was no food or water given to the victims along the way — again, by design.
Few recognized historians take Turkey’s side — that the deaths were regrettable but not part of an organized effort to kill all Armenians. And Turkey is fanatical about the subject. After Pope Francis identified the Armenian massacres as genocide, Turkey angrily recalled its ambassador to the Vatican.
In the service of geopolitical interests, the Obama administration in 2010 blocked an effort by the House of Representatives to label the Armenian pogroms a genocide. Turkey threatened dramatic sanctions against the US if the effort were approved.
The genocides (for there was more than one) conducted against Christians in what is now Turkey were remarkably successful. In 1914 about 15% of the population of Turkey was Christian, today that number is 0.1%. Many describe the campaigns against the highly educated and successful Greek Orthodox of the far western regions of Turkey of the early 1920s as something akin to a genocide, as the Greek Christian was driven from the land and many died. This despite the fact that there had been Christians in Turkey since the 1st century. Today, one of Christianity’s most ancient ancestral homes, places where St. Paul evangelized to great success, are now totally denuded of any Christian presence.
Post-conciliar ecumenism/inter-religious dialogue is primarily a worldly effort designed to achieve worldly aims. It is not about saving souls, or arriving at the “truth,” which has been revealed through the Church, anyways. It is about satisfying the demands of secular shibboleths and advancing a certain kumbayah notion of the world. As such, it has been surrounded by a bodyguard of lies since its inception. Lies about things like the Armenian genocide, but that’s just one example out of far too many to list. It’s not that I am demanding that past atrocities all be listed in detail, but what I am saying is that “dialogue” that fails to take into account the true nature of various sects and religions as well as their recent history (up to an including today) is a dialogue based on a fantasy and is really advocacy for a certain indifferentist end, and not a true spirit working in the Church and people of faith to arrive at some happy common ground. Could any work be blessed by God that finds lies and the ignoring of uncomfortable truths such an essential part of its modus operandi?
Everybody sing along – the Spirit of Vatican II song! April 9, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, episcopate, error, fun, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, silliness, the struggle for the Church.
Or as I think it might otherwise be called, Vatican II, beyotch!
I think I’ve made clear my affinity for the blog Unam Sanctam Catholicam clear many times in the past. Boniface, Noah, and the rest write awesome stuff. But my appreciation has zoomed to new heights with this song performed by Boniface, putting Vatican II in its rightful place:
Oh the picture and lyrics @~0:28 are just perfect. Hi, I’m Novus Ordo!
Does this song not just nail it? Who cares if the voice is a bit flat? Gram Parsons wasn’t much of a singer, either, but he wrote some awesome songs. Great pics at the end.
“modernist hypocrisy” indeed. Thanks for such a fun video, Boniface, no, it doesn’t make me depressed. Franky makes me depressed, not the song. Who knew you were so multi-talented? A real Renaissance man. We need to smile and laugh sometimes. This song does that for me.
If I have one regret in life, is that I laid down the guitar way too early. I can scratch out a couple of chords, and knowing my tendency to take things to the Nth degree maybe getting better playing would have been a dangerous thing, but I could have a lot of fun if I could play better. Kind of too late, now.
I think Boniface should write and record more music. What do you think?
Hey, at least I’m putting him in pretty good company:
Fr. Nicholson: Pope Francis ushering in an era of upheaval, could lead to a new rash of priest sex abuse (fixed) March 30, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, unity.
Yowzer. That’s a pretty hot take, but I think as he goes through the argument, he’s got a pretty good point. He ties in the doctrinal chaos and exaggerated expectations for massive change in the Church that existed in the late 50s and early 60s – when the priest boy rape became epidemic – with similar expectations today. He forecasts a similar explosion in sex abuse cases if the doctrinal chaos reigning over the past two years, and the concomitant build up in expectations for change in the Church’s immutable Dogmas, will lead to a similar epidemic.
I don’t agree with everything said below, and I’ve certainly disagreed with some of Fr. Nicholson’s takes in the past, but I think he makes an interesting point that is worthy of consideration. I’m glad he did note that while Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope will probably never be a Saint Benedict XVI did help re-establish some greater doctrinal certainty, at least in the Petrine office, they certainly didn’t fully restore the doctrinal integrity that has existed in happier days in the Church’s existence:
Sorry, coded the video wrong!
I do like his summation, that in these times faithful Catholics must unite to support and defend each other and the sacred deposit of the Faith handed onto us, whether that means helping out those being persecuted monetarily or through moral support, calling out doctrinal error, supporting faithful bishops and priests, and the like. That is certainly a key point with me. I do find a bit of irony in this, however, given the source, and what he has said in some other videos. But I’ll just scoot right past that and echo the call for all faithful Catholics of good will to desist from the circular firing squad, turn around, and direct our fire at the encroaching enemies of the Faith who surround us.
It’s always been something of a point of fascination to me, how a Church that was by so many measures robust and doctrinally cohesive in the 50s timeframe was at the same time so ripe for revolution. I do think those of us who did not live through it can never quite imagine what a tumultuous, even earth-shattering time the 60s was. Outside the Church or within, so many things, from TV to jet travel to new music to fashion to advertising to what name you, everything changed radically over that period. People became convinced that mankind really was entering some new technological golden age and that all the old rules, the societal compact, if you will, of all preceding times, could simply be chucked with abandon. That thinking, almost a virus in its effects, certainly penetrated the Church and caused largely unexpected upheaval. At the same time, we also know that by the mid-50s there were many modernists inside the Church who were stealthily, and as the decade went on, more and more openly working towards a revolution. By 1958 they were simply looking for an advantageous opportunity to strike, and Vatican II gave them that opportunity. I think the two events, an ambitious, united, and strongly networked modernist cabal, and a society expecting flying cars, all manner of wonder drugs (medicinal and otherwise) and round-trip tickets to Mars within a few years produced a perfect storm that struck a Church perhaps somewhat complacent and a bit full of itself. The result was a veritable French Revolution, which nobody really expected or saw coming, either, by the way.
As for our current revolution, times are different. We have direct evidence of the disaster that will follow in the wake of doctrinal uncertainty and expectations-building. But I don’t know if that will be enough to deter the aged modernists in their ambitions to show themselves right, lo after all these years, that the revolution of the 60s was an inevitable organic event that simply had to happen, and not a top-down betrayal by elites who foisted a hostile and competing construct on the 2000 year old institution Christ founded. I think the rampant perversion and gross immorality Fr. Nicholson laments answers that question irrefutably, but intellectual pride is, as the Angelic Doctor said, the most difficult form of pride to overcome. And few men in their 70s or 80s are very open to a total reversal from a lifetime of belief, no matter how destructive and contrary they can be shown to be.
As a final aside, and a recommendation to you, I picked up this video on Bones’ site. He has a post where you can sign your name to indicate your support for the nearly 500 English priests who reject the attempts to change sacred belief regarding marriage, divorce, the Blessed Sacrament…….you know what I mean. The whole modernist Kasperite gambit. I signed. You can find my name, Fredo Corleone, bottom of Lake Tahoe, NV.
More garbage from Kasper the modernist paramour March 30, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
Reading some more quotes below from Cardinal Kasper, which reveal in stark clarity precisely why he is viewed as the arch-heretic Kung’s prize pupil and also why he is the current paramour of the modernists, I am struck by the question – who with a Catholic heart could not read this man’s work (filth might be a better word) and not react with revulsion? Who would find in this stuff “serenity?” Via Vox Cantoris:
In 1967, this same German Kasper said:
“The God who is enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offence to man. One must deny him for man’s sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honour that belong by right to man…. We must resist this God, however, not only for man’s sake, but also for God’s sake. He is not the true God at all, but rather a wretched idol. For a God who is only alongside of and above history, who is not himself history, is a finite God. If we call such a being God, then for the sake of the Absolute we must become absolute atheists. Such a God springs from a rigid worldview; he is the guarantor of the status quo and the enemy of the new.”
Cardinal Kasper explicitly rejects a dozen defined Dogmas I can think of off the top of my head right now. This is nothing but modernist immanentism, “we create ‘god’ by our thoughts and loves and desires” horse hockey. We must deny a transcendent, omniscient all-powerful God because……no, not because He claims some dignity or honor that belongs to “man,” but because He claims dignity and honor that offends the monumental hubris of the modernist intellectual. The modernist is offended by this God because the modernist sees himself as god. It works this way: modernists do believe we humans somehow create God out of our spiritual needs, desires, loves, etc., and since no one understands those needs and loves as well as the highly trained modernist intellectual, those modernists embody ‘god’ better than anyone else. This is not ascribing base motives to ideological opponents, this is what these guys really believe!!! No wonder they fight with such passion and have no qualms using unscrupulous machinations, opponents of modernism offend against the dread god Kasper and must be crushed.
This man has to either hate or butcher everything that predates 1870. Tradition for him is nothing but an obstacle to be not just overcome, but obliterated.
Another quote, from a much more recent Kasper book:
In this same book that the Pope has praised, Kasper writes more carefully [the serene theology on the knees book]:
“On the basis of its metaphysical starting point, dogmatic theology has difficulty speaking of a compassionate God. It has to exclude the possibility that God suffers with his creatures in a passive sense; it can only speak of pity and mercy, in the active sense that God opposes the suffering of his creatures and provides them assistance. The question that remains is whether this satisfactorily corresponds to the biblical understanding of God, who suffers with his creatures, who as misericors has a heart with the poor and for the poor. Can a God who is conceived so apathetically be really sympathetic? Pastorally, this conception of God is a catastrophe. For a so abstractly conceived God appears to most people to be very distant from their personal situation.” [Walter Kasper, Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life, trans. William Madges (New York, 2014), p11]
Yes, this is much more careful, the code speak of the modernist warhorse after 40 years of political machinations. It’s still utter garbage from the top. Dogmatic theology has no difficulty “speaking” of a compassionate God – and see how he once again sets Tradition, or the preceding Magisterium, up as an obstacle to be overcome. In fact, in terms of a right understanding of such concepts as true mercy, justice, compassion, etc, the dogmatic beliefs of the Church form the most beautiful, transcendent, and cohesive whole the Church has ever seen. But since that traditional understanding poses a natural barrier to Kasper’s still pressing modernist sensibilities, it has to be construed as somehow wanting. That is to say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Church’s 2000 year conception of God, it is in fact the best conception human possible, the problem for Kasper lies in the fact that he and his cabal do not share it, an dare in fact violently opposed to it as being an obstacle to their revolutionary goals. It should be clear, then, why Kasper and those like him constantly speak of the Church’s belief and practice as being some terrible old decrepit thing that must finally be put down.
I would remind that Kasper has already been shown to have misquoted Church Councils, made up quotes from Church Fathers allegedly supporting his position, and completely butchered the plain meaning of others in order to pursue his ends. He has proposed false conundrums and used heavy-handed pressure tactics to influence prelates to support his side.
IOW, everything Pope Saint Pius X said about modernists and their reptelian nature is completely, 100% true.
That’s the argument Patrick Archbold lays out below, and I he’s got more than a slight point. While some people forecast that faithful Catholics might freak out or even “schism” over some outlandish pronouncement by the Synod, the progressive faction, including the German episcopate, sure seems schismatic by their novel, even heretical, beliefs and actions:
Ever since the announcement of the Synod on the Family and Cardinal Kasper’s infamous kickoff speech, people have been predicting that traditionalists might schism because, like Inspector Javert, they just can’t handle all that awesome mercy……..
……In all the speculation, whether you think it is a disaster or the awesomest thing since communion in the hand, there is one common thread. Everyone expects that the progressives will get what they want. The deck is stacked after all.
But what if that single presumption is wrong? What happens if, by the protection of the Holy Spirit, the Pope does what Popes are supposed to do and he says, “No!” What happens if the Pope says, “Sorry, Jesus was pretty unequivocal about this and you can’t separate the pastoral from the doctrinal, you can’t separate truth and mercy?” What happens then?
Well, to find that answer, we don’t have to look very far. We just need to look at the words of Cardinal Marx, the president of the German bishops’ conference, and a leading proponent of mercy-palooza:
……..“the synod cannot prescribe in detail what we have to do in Germany.”The German bishops want to publish their own pastoral letter on marriage and family after the synod, the article said.“We are not just a subsidiary of Rome,” Cardinal Marx said. “Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way. We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have to carry out marriage and family ministry here.”
I can’t translate German, but I am pretty good at translating Progressive. The closest translation is “You better do it, Rome, or we will.”
Remember, one of the reasons that Pope Francis even called a Synod on this topic was because the German Episcopate was threatening unilateral action on this front.
Smells like schism to me.
Well that’s pretty much the argument I’ve been making on this blog for at least a year and a half. While schism as a state does have a precise theological meaning, in practical terms those who reject Dogma are placing themselves outside the Church. The German bishops threatening to publicly and formally deviate from the Doctrine of the Faith and establish their own micro-Magisterium in competition with that established by Jesus Christ are plainly threatening a schismatic act, and to even make the threat is to reveal a seriously schismatic attitude. That is to say, we already have a schism in practical terms, in being, if you will, if not in formal definition. This is exactly the same situation that existed in the early 70s with the Dutch episcopate, who threatened schism over several matters, including, most infamously, Communion in the hand. It seems threats of schism have worked to the modernist’s advantage in the past.
As for whether faithful/orthodox/traditional Catholics – that is, those deserving of the name – will “go into schism,” I’ve always found such arguments leading and unfair. If the Synod makes some abominable claim that simply cannot be accepted (and I have no idea how, but, then again, the level of authority of a small subset of bishops, even one meeting under the aegis of the Holy Father, is highly questionable. However, the encylical that typically follows would be another matter entirely) it will not be faithful Catholics who are in schism. It will be those who accepted and promulgated the unacceptable. Some might try to argue otherwise, but if those who simply believe and practice what the Church has always believed just keep on doing that, and if there is no concrete action taken to “separate themselves from Rome,” then there would be no schism. We can oppose the error without changing a thing, without taking any concrete step from which the only consequence would be to seriously harm, if not destroy, our collective credibility as those remaining true, or truest, to the Church Christ founded.
I have no idea how this second session will play out. I am maintaining a watchful vigilance. Some people are arguing Pope Francis is distancing himself from the Kasperite cabal, while others indicate the Ordinary Synod is being “stacked” with progressives.
Tradition-supporting Italian Bishop stripped of power? March 30, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
Rorate has a post regarding Bishop Oliveri of Albenga-Imperia in Italy, a bishop known for his strong support for the Traditional Latin Mass and the traditional practice of the Faith. There have been some (relatively speaking) minor allegations regarding problems handling abuse and some other matters in the Diocese, so last year a coadjutor bishop was appointed. At the time, it was not clear what role the coadjutor would have. Rorate is reporting, based on recent revelations in the Italian press, that Bishop Oliveri will be replaced in all but name as the functional head of the Diocese, with Coadjutor Borghetti taking over all administrative and disciplinary functions:
What was predicted by Italian media in October last year, as reported by Rorate at the time, has taken place exactly as foretold: Msgr. Mario Oliveri, 71, the exceptionally Traditionalist-friendly Bishop of Albenga-Imperia, has been stripped of all powers and is now Ordinary of the diocese in name only.
The appointment of his Coadjutor Bishop, Guglielmo Borghetti, was announced on January 10, but the full extent of the powers given to him was not reported at that time. This has now been publicized thanks to a series of articles in the Italian media and blogosphere in the last few days. The full text of the bull appointing Msgr. Borghetti was read out to the Consultors of the Diocese on March 25, and published on the diocesan website (h/t Messa in Latino). The bull specifies that he is nominated Coadjutor Bishop “with special faculties” consisting of no less than the same jurisdiction that a diocesan bishop has according to Canon 381 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
The new Coadjutor Bishop himself confirmed to the Italian news agency ANSA that he now has full powers. ANSA also mentions that “the priests who attended his first celebration in the seminary have expressly said that for the Diocese of Albenga ‘begins a Copernican revolution.'”
It must be kept in mind that even when a Bishop receives a Coadjutor, the former does not necessarily lose his normal powers as ruling bishop until he steps down. The current situation in Albenga-Imperia is therefore exceptional, and can only be the result of the express will of Pope Francis.
As our readers will certainly realize, this humiliation of yet another Traditional-friendly Bishop stands in dramatic contrast to the Pope’s inaction over the crisis enveloping his scandalous appointment of Juan Barros as Bishop of Osorno in Chile, despite credible and multiple allegations linking him to the sexual abuse of minors.
All the supporting links are in Italian, so it is difficult to understand, specifically, how this assigning of roles to the coadjutor is more expansive and different qualitatively than such appointments normally are.
This matter may bring back unhappy memories for Dallas Catholics, who recall that in 2000, Joseph Galante was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Dallas in the wake of Bishop Grahman’s disastrous handling of several priest boy-rape cases, especially that of Rudy Kos, which at the time resulted in a historic civil judgment against the Diocese. Scandalously, in spite of the fact that his credibility had been shattered, Bishop Grahman refused to step down and turn over significant areas of diocesan administration to Bishop Galante. There followed a very public row that divided the clergy and laity and led to Bishop Galante’s eventual stormy departure in 2003.
I am not certain if Bishop Galante was given similar “special faculties” to more or less forcibly take over administration of the Diocese of Dallas, as apparently this Bishop Borghetti has. Certainly, it was expected that Bishop Grahman would retire within 18 months of Galante’s appointment, something Bishop Grahman steadfastly refused to do (which brings up rather significant questions regarding obedience, since Pope Saint John Paul II had very clearly conveyed his express desire that Bishop Grahman retire early and give up the reins to Galante- apparently, arch-liberals like Grahman are allowed to obey if they want and disobey when they feel like it – pretty rich coming from a man who demanded absolute unquestioning obedience from all this priests). So could Oliveri “pull a Grahman” and simply refuse to leave, refuse to give up an administrative role, and work with those priests loyal to him to maintain a power base? Unlikely, as it seems only modernists/progressives are allowed to get away with such disobedience. Those friendly to to Tradition generally have qualms of conscience that would prevent them from acting in a way so contrary to the express will of the Sovereign Pontiff. But double standards in treatment can tend to erode that tendency towards obedience, a trend that could have unfortunate consequences for the future of the Church.
As a final footnote, after the ambitious Bishop Galante finally got his diocese (Camden, NJ), he turned out to be at least as dogmatically liberal as Grahman. His administration of the Diocese of Camden was filled with church closures and unhappy laity. Galante revealed himself to be very strongly on the side of the hermeneutic of rupture, you could say. He was no fan of Tradition, and sought to sack priests who were too tradition-friendly. There was also a financial scandal. At least one good local priest indicated “we dodged a bullet” in not getting Galante as our bishop.
So perhaps all’s well that end’s well. But not for Bishop Oliveri.
What happened to all that talk of free discussion and debate? What about making messes and getting the smell of the sheep? Aren’t parish priests probably the closest of all to the rank odors of the rank and file?
I wrote yesterday of 500 priests – including some surprisingly liberal names – of England and Wales begging the Synod on the Family not to implement any disastrous novelties regarding marriage, divorce, the Blessed Sacrament, etc. They thus contributed to the ongoing debate exactly as the Holy Father has repeatedly indicated. Unfortunately for them, old liberal Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who has supported the Kasperite gambit nearly from the beginning, doesn’t think much of debate and seems to prefer closed door decisions handed down as directive to be obeyed unconditionally. Yes, I exaggerate, but only a little, Nichols is widely known as one of the most authoritarian clericalists in the entire English-speaking Church, an insider’s insider who loves to wield power. He basically directed the English priests to butt out, which is odd, concerning the lengths to which the episcopal conference of England and Wales went to seek out lay input they thought would be friendly to the Kasperite approach:
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has slapped down nearly 500 priests who signed a letter to the Catholic Herald expressing concern about the Synod on the Family this October, which is to debate sensitive questions of sexual morality. This is a significant blunder by the Cardinal that exposes both the inflexibility of his leadership style and – certainly in the case of some of the priests – lack of confidence in his stewardship of the Catholic Church in England Wales. Here’s today’s Catholic Herald report:
Priests should not conduct a debate about the October Family Synod through the press, Cardinal Nichols has said, following the publication of a letter signed by hundreds of priests, urging the synod to issue a ‘clear and firm proclamation’ upholding Church teaching on marriage….
…..In a statement, a spokesman for Cardinal Nichols said that the press was not the medium for conducting dialogue of this sort.
‘Every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. It is my understanding that this has been taken up in every diocese, and that channels of communication have been established,’ the statement said. [Perhaps the priests found those lines of communication unsatisfactory. Perhaps they did not want their views condensed, massaged, and even controverted by bureaucrats working in the various episcopal conferences and dicasteries. But their action was quite fitting with the rhetoric – the catechesis – the priests have been given by the highest source, was it not?]
Damian Thompson, who makes some valuable contributions but with whom I disagree strongly on occasion, has some explosive analysis. I would not dismiss his views, he knows the inner workings of the Church in Britain better than any other popular writer I know:
This is an unwise – but entirely characteristic – move by Cardinal Nichols. Here are some thoughts that spring to mind:
1. The Cardinal refers to ‘channels of communication’ that, in reality, are either blocked or permit only one-way traffic. I wouldn’t dream of calling a Prince of the Church a control freak, but if Nichols were a politician – a painfully on-message Labour junior minister from Merseyside, say – the cap would fit. The idea that the Bishops of England and Wales ‘welcome’ any views that don’t coincide with theirs is laughable. On this issue they’ve decided to align themselves with Pope Francis’s opinions on Communion for the divorced and homosexuality. The fact that these opinions are inchoate and elusive doesn’t trouble them because the same could be said of their own jargon-rich waffle. Cardinal Nichols is impressively fluent in ‘bishopese’; what distinguishes him from his colleagues is his quietly effective suppression of dissent. On this occasion, however, it hasn’t been so effective. Priests who normally play by the rules were so worried by the Anglican-style chaos of last October’s Synod on the Family (the first of two) that they felt they had no alternative but to speak openly.
2. What Cardinal Nichols did not say, though I suspect he’s aware of it, is that many priests were told by those ‘welcoming’ channels of communication not to sign the letter. As one signatory told the Herald, ‘there has been a certain amount of pressure not to sign the letter and indeed a degree of intimidation from some senior Churchmen’. Without this arm-twisting there would have been many more signatories. So the problem is bigger than it appears.
3. The Cardinal’s anger is directed not just at the priests but also at the press for publishing their letter. Obviously he doesn’t like me, and you wouldn’t expect him to, but he shows little interest in Catholic newspapers that, as it happens, bite their tongues and resist opportunities to criticise him out of loyalty to the Church. He is not rude to journalists but he can be aggressively patronising and it never occurs to him that devout Catholic writers might help him to spread his message. Whatever that is. The situation is doubly frustrating for the media because His Eminence appears to have taken a solemn vow not to say anything remotely memorable in public. At least you can’t accuse Pope Francis of that. To make matters even worse, Nichols employs an infuriatingly inept and ill-informed press office.
4. Finally, I have a nasty suspicion that any priest who was brave enough to sign that letter will find his card marked.
I am not surprised in the least that there was great pressure on priests not to sign the petition. I thank God for the strength of faith of those who did.
I may not agree with Thompson on some points (he makes no bones of his dislike for Michael Voris, for instance), but Damian Thompson is not just a media hound looking for a big story that will injure the Church. He is actually a pretty faithful Catholic, I would say, far more so than John Allen. So with his deep inside connections, and his relative faithfulness, when he says Pope Francis has been the driving source behind the attempts to radically alter the Church’s belief and practice regarding marriage, reception of the Blessed Sacrament, grave sin, and the rest, again, I don’t believe his comments can simply be dismissed out of hand.
To me, Thompson’s analysis makes far more sense, and has far more evidence in support, than do analyses that say that Pope Francis is really orthodox, he’s just badly misunderstood. I had a long addendum here, but I’ll leave it at that. I have found that this is a matter where souls either get it, or simply don’t, or won’t. And really, I pray I am wrong in my grave doubts regarding the direction of this pontificate – in fact, I pray every day that I am wrong. But the overwhelming weight of evidence – not episcopal appointments, not frequent orthodox statements (what else would we expect, a raving Marxist?) – but the Pope’s efforts at the Extraordinary Synod, in the pre-prepared midterm Relatio, in the inclusion of the rejected, incredibly problematic statements from that Relatio into the Synod’s final report, even though those statements failed to gain the approval even of the really picked audience that made up the Extraordinary Synod…….I simply cannot dismiss that.
Having said that, I never rule out the possibility of a great change in direction, and occasionally I see some hopeful signs. But the decisive point will be the second and final session of the Synod, and the encyclical that will surely follow. Those events will define this pontificate, for good or ill.
So many people who come into the Church, or even those who have been raised in it but develop a particular fire of devotion, often feel that there is something missing. Something big, but undefinable. They often find that the Church whose beliefs they read about in a good catechism or that they see in old pictures is not the Church they experience on a daily basis. Something very significant has changed.
I think that sense of absence, of loss, is conveyed very well in a recent post at the Ignatius Press website, as relayed by Pertinacious Papist. It’s a lament for a Church that no longer seems to quite exist, and for a past, we are told over and over again, we can never return to. I found it quite moving. Perhaps you will, as well:
Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars forced professional historians and casual readers alike to revise assessments of the Catholic religion in England in the years immediately preceding the Reformation:
If medieval religion was decadent, unpopular, or exhausted, the success of the Reformation hardly requires explanation. If, on the contrary, it was vigorous, adaptable, widely understood, and popular, then we have much yet to discover about the processes and the pace of reform.
In the almost six hundred pages following this observation, Duffy develops support for this thesis: that the Reformation in England was more of a revolution against a popular, widely-revered institution than an effort to reform something rife with problems and corruption. He can only build his case by reference to contemporary written accounts and a study of Church artistic works that somehow managed to survive state-sponsored efforts to obliterate the past. [And many of us feel that what happened in the mid-20th century was another revolution against the Church, from within]
The Tudor and Puritan road he guides his readers down is littered with burnt books, defaced statues, destroyed altar screens, and melted down church vessels. Destroy the artistic creations and traditions of an age, and when the last person who remembers it dies, a world dies also. This is where the road ends.
In our own time, those of us old enough to remember the Catholic Church as it was prior to Vatican II are also living with an obliterated past on a road marked ‘Dead End’. Inevitably, as the days move along, we are a vanishing breed on an all but forgotten journey. [Not forgotten. Some of us who were not even alive then are striving to remember and keep that Church alive]
These days much is made of the Catholicity of celebrated writers Chesterton, Tolkien, and Waugh. The latter two lived long enough to experience firsthand changes wrought by Vatican II, and both railed against them. (Details are at hand in the Ignatius Press edition of A Bitter Trial.) Tolkien and Waugh would never again feel at home in the Church. G. K.’s childhood memory of successful businessmen, bankers, and shop clerks falling to their knees as Cardinal Manning passed by along Kensington High Street seems to come from a world other than this one. G. K.’s old nemesis, George Bernard Shaw, might think the Church has become a bit more palatable, but what would G. K. himself think? Given his sense of humor, he might have somehow managed whereas Belloc—had he lived to see the day—would have blown a fuse.
Tolkien is said to have been dismayed by the exiling of Latin to what would become in our time a liturgical antique shop. Pope Francis the other day spoke approvingly of the vernacular replacing it. Pope Francis knows more languages than I do, but Tolkien, who understood Old English well enough to translate Beowulf, was irate. At times I myself am not even sure what to make of the English version, let alone the German or the Polish, which I do not grasp at all. From the current Psalm translations, O Lord, deliver us!
Complaints in this vein are now seen as coming from the make-believe world of annoying and tiresome fuddy-duddies. It has not taken long to obliterate a world where liturgical Latin could flourish. And there is no going back, except in memory. Eamon Duffy understands this. The last sentence of The Stripping of the Altars sounds a mournful note. [See my final comments below. I am not quite as hopeless as this, but I do fear the Church cannot go home again, and even a “restored” Faith of the future will be in many significant ways different from that of the past.]
I would argue that much the same was true of the farmer, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker of my time. You did not have to be a Jesuit to know what was going on in an age when—by the way—not everyone at Sunday Mass trooped forward to receive communion. (Barely a majority did.) Share that fact with someone today, and mention fasting from midnight; the smell of tuna fish sandwiches for breakfast in your classroom after ‘First Friday’ Masses, etc.
With respect to the past, we are all ‘cafeteria Catholics’. [Interesting, and disturbing point. I fear he is right. Even as Catholics striving to be faithful, it is very difficult to reformulate the Catholic existence of the past into our own lives in this present time, so cut off, even if only by 50 years!, from a Church that no longer exists]]
Tell someone you fondly remember Pope Pius XII from an age when pontiffs were not expected to smile like beauty queens. Attempt to explain why he is your favorite pope. Mention the Marian Year while you are at it. Describe his serious, ascetic demeanor. As likely as not, your listener will bring up the Nazis.
To adapt a line from the novelist L. P. Hartley, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
The one thing I will add, the one bit of disagreement I have with the notion of irreparable loss, is the fact that that past is still available in little pockets, here and there. I feel the author must not have access to the TLM, or even more, a traditional community. But I do recognize that even these pockets are unable to recreate in full that glorious past. People try, we hopefully all try, but we have to recognize that we are isolated geographically, historically, and culturally from the full vibrancy of the Church that was. Experiences vary from location to location and community to community, but being as isolated as we are, there are surely gaps. For one thing, we are at best islands in a hostile culture and, even more, a frequently hostile Church. We no longer have the whole Catholic culture surrounding us, as it used to be, though never very fully in this country. Unable to draw on past experience, what we are able to create is necessarily limited, though I pray not stunted and deformed. That is the greatest tragedy of the collapse of Christendom and the Church’s voluntary retreat from her historic role……something that was centuries in the making can be lost literally overnight, and it will take literally centuries to build it back up again……..if it can be. I fear you cannot go home again, and even if the Church does regain some semblance of her historic and God-given role, it will be necessarily be quite different from the Church that was. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, but, then again, it could. It all depends on who ultimately wins the struggle for the Church, and how complete their victory is.