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Fr. Nicholson: Pope Francis ushering in an era of upheaval, could lead to a new rash of priest sex abuse (fixed) March 30, 2015

Posted 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.
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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, 2015

Posted 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.
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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.

 

If you’re looking for schism, look at the modernists, not Trads March 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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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.

———End Quote———

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, 2015

Posted 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.
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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. 

———–End Quote———–

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.

Cardinal Nichols attempts to silence faithful English priests March 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, episcopate, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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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.

 

A beautiful if bitter lament on the Church that was and is no more March 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, history, Holy suffering, paganism, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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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 A1zOCiGdxYL._SX425_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.

downloadIn 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]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 800px-Whitby_Abbey_ruins_18Old 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.]

Along the way he has argued that sixteenth century English Catholics—peasant farmer and local aristocrat alike—had a Iconoclasm_Clocher_Saint_Barthelemy_south_side_La_Rochellegeneral grasp of the Latin used in liturgical celebrations of their day.

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.

BeeldenstormWith 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.”

————-End Quote————-

 

 

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, Mary Queen Of Peace Catholic Church Ulysseshere 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.

dsc06577

Dallas theologian examines latest Scalfari “interview” scandal March 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, paganism, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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I’m certain virtually every reader has by now heard about or read the latest claims of the geriatric Italian militant atheist Eugenio Scalfari, reporting in the Italian daily La Repubblica ~10 days ago the results of a recent interview he conducted with the Pope.  As per his normal habit, Scalfari took no notes and used no recording device, so his reconstruction of events is based totally on memory.  Bear in mind, this man is 90 years old, and he has a severe ax to grind as a militant atheist.

Having said that, his reported comments have not been rebutted or rationalized in any way by the Vatican.  They have been allowed to stand as is, causing untold scandal and confusion.  As reported by Rorate and other sites, Scalfari reports the Pope as saying this:

What about those with no faith? The answer is that if one has loved others at least as much as himself, (possibly a little more than self) the Father will welcome him. Faith is of help but that is not the element of the one who judges – it’s life itself. Sin and repentance are part of life [and include]: remorse, a sense of guilt, a desire for redemption and the abandonment of egoism.

Those who have had the fortune of meeting Pope Francis, know that egoism is the most dangerous enemy of our species. Animals are egoistic because they are prey to their own instincts, the main one being their own survival. On the other hand, man is moved also by conviviality and so feels love for others, and for the survival of the species to which he belongs. If egoism overpowers and suffocates his love for others, it darkens the divine spark within him and he is self-condemned.

What happens to that lifeless soul? Will it be punished? How?

Francis’ answer is very clear: there is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul. All the others will participate in the bliss of living in the presence of the Father. The annihilated souls will not be part of that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is ended and this is the basis for the missionary work in the Church: to save the lost souls. And this is also the reason why Francis is a Jesuit to the core.

What to make of this?  That Scalfari is communicating the grossest errors and condemned heresies should be obvious.  What to make of the fact that the Vatican has, to date, made no correction or explanation?

As for the errors, Dallas-based theology Professor Christopher Malloy shares the following (Malloy is what you could call a Thomist):

First, “If one has loved others at least as much as himself… the Father will welcome him.” Well the statement is totally ambiguous. The condition of salvation is to die in grace. No one who dies without sanctifying grace in his soul is saved. Period. This grace entails, as its proper effect, a habitual orientation to love God out of charity for his own sake, and in consequence to love the self and the neighbor in God. Now, love is always oriented to a good……. In short, loving my neighbor “more” than myself or “at least as much” does not identify the proper condition of salvation. In fact, outstanding doctors of theology state that I have a duty to love myself more than my neighbor. That is right, more. They say the order of love is as follows: Love God first of all, your own soul next, your neighbor’s soul next, your neighbor’s body next, and your own body last. That would be the proper order of a loving mother for her children. And why self love in terms of spiritual goods first? Because I do not will my neighbor to have a good unless I appreciate, love, that good too. Moreover, unless I love God and love my loving God, I would not consider it a value to will for my neighbor. Hence, good love of neighbor requires good love of self. In sum, Unless I love my neighbor in God, and because of God, I cannot get into heaven.

Second, charity cannot exist without faith. So, if I am  not a believer, I cannot have the charity I need to have be saved. I must be converted to the one true God in faith in order to have charity so as to please him. Heb 11. [I would describe this, in my clumsy, amateur way, as the difference between natural love and supernatural love flowing from Grace.  Sure those with no faith in Jesus Christ can love, but their love is a natural love and not connected to sanctifying Grace.    Their love also has the propensity to be highly disordered and prurient, because it does not flow from a love of God]

……Fourth, “There is no punishment but only annihilation”. This is heresy. Everyone who dies without sanctifying grace goes straight to hell. And the soul cannot be punished in hell if it doesn’t exist. Whoever says the opposite states heresy. [Dang skippy.  I pray Scalfari completely butchered what the Pope said in that regard.  Otherwise, it would make the Pope’s many references to satan and demons farcical.]

Scalfari is leading people away from the truth of Catholic faith. It is lamentable that he carries on like this without being rebuked.

——–End Quote——–

I saved a bit there at the link.  Go check it out.

I, for one, am thrilled to find a blog from a traditional Thomist and co-parishioner who is a formally trained theologian.  That’ll be going in the blogroll.

If you want still another take, check out Pat Archbold’s column here.

Scandal in Chile? Mass protests against episcopal appointment March 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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Pope Francis named Juan Barros as Bishop of the Diocese of Osorno in Chile earlier this year.  Just this past weekend was the consecration Mass.  There has been scandal attached to this man for  years, with repeated and well-documented claims he covered up years of sexual abuse of three men, one of whom currently resides in the United States.  At the consecration Mass, it is reported that hundreds of protesters disrupted the proceedings:

Despite protests that ended with three people arrested, as well as a campaign asking the Vatican to revisit the decision, a Chilean bishop mentored by the country’s most notorious sex abuser priest took possession of his new diocese on Saturday.

The appointment by Pope Francis has led many observers to question the pontiff’s commitment to tackling the scandals of clerical sex abuse and hold those who stood by accountable for their inaction.

An estimated 4,000 people dressed in black as a sign of mourning gathered in front of the cathedral of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, to demand that Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, former military chaplain, not take possession.

A video of the event posted online shows the crowd throwing objects at the prelate, pushing him, and trying to stop him from entering St. Mathew’s Cathedral, despite strong security measures……

…….Requesting to remain unnamed because he has ties with the diocese, the person said that while Barros was celebrating the Mass, many kept screaming “Pedophile!” and “Get out!” The situation escalated to the point that the celebration had to be cut short, skipping the homily, Communion, and other parts of the liturgy.[Wow.  So was it valid?  That’s so totally unfortunate]

[The root of the protests]……Since Barros’s appointment was announced last January, it has been criticized by elements of the local community because of ties Barros had with the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a priest the Vatican condemned in 2011 to a life of “solitude and prayer” after being found guilty of sexually abusing several devoted followers during the 1980s and the 1990s.

Three of Karadima’s victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton, and José Andrés Murillo, have accused four Chilean prelates, including Barros, of covering up for Karadima and of being present while he abused them.

I am far from clear that the protesters are necessarily faithful Catholics.  They may be, in part, but they may also be secular opponents of the Church seeking to stir up mess.

Having said that, Vox Cantoris has followed the reports more than I have and he is clear that this episcopal appointment is disgraceful, and quite contrary to the rhetoric we hear about being close to the sheep and all that:

Only days after stripping the disgraced pervert Cardinal, Keith O’Brien of his title and power and sending him to retire quietly in a £200,000 cottage, Pope Francis; amidst the outrage of the people of the Diocese of Osorno in Chile has permitted another bishop to take his Cathedra – a man implicated in the scandal of sodomy and perversion and the abuse of three men from the time they were boys. Is this to be considered another “who am I to judge” episode as with Msgr. Ricca appointed to a high position within the Vatican Bank? If so, then the definition of scandal has been forgotten along with a real understanding of mercy for those victimized by the evil and perverted pederasts who performed abominable acts upon young boys of teenaged years…….

…….Since this appointment was announced in January, Chileans have been outraged. Crux further reports that “The Archbishop of Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, met with the Pope a few weeks ago and warned him that the Barros appointment was causing consternation in Chile, not only in the community of Osorno, but throughout the country. Pope Francis admitted to knowing the suffering of the victims of Karadima and the damage to the Chilean church. However — despite everything — the Pope, through the Nuncio in Chile, Ivo Scapolo, reconfirmed Barros without considering the facts and warnings of so many people, including priests and bishops. With pain we see that the faithful will have to accept and deal with Pope Francis’ decision. A pain and fear we know too well.”

Yet, Pope Francis still proceeded in spite of the warning. This is a scandal to the people of Osorno; it is a scandal and an insult to the three victims assaulted by a homosexual pederast priest whilst the then Fr. Juan Barros, watched. [And, it is claimed, did nothing to stop it]

……The Pope must be accountable for this; not just to Almighty God, but to the smelly sheep in the periphery.

As I stated in an interview with “From Rome” – Let us not, as Catholics, give an exaggerated status to any pope along the lines of what our protestant friends think – an infallibility without respect for the Gospel, which he does not possess. The First Vatican Council defined it very clearly.

All the talk of mercy, thumbs up photographs and the washing of feet and the daily media spin from the manipulators in the Vatican Press Office won’t fix this. The Pope himself is responsible for this and there is no spinning out of it.

It is a disgrace to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.

In their dictatorship of mercy and condemnation of the Law and those who try to live by it some appear to have forgotten who is in charge.

Sheesh, truly a mess. At the very least, the pronouncement sounds quite tone deaf.  Surely there were other candidates for the position?  Reading between the lines a bit, it seems the papal nuncio to Chile made this a hill he was willing to die on.  He really insisted upon this appointment.  I really have no idea why.

This Diocese, by the way, is tiny.  It has 35 priests!  Shoot, Clear Creek may have that many in a few years.  I have seen some contradictory reports that the bishop was either opposed by over half the priests in the Diocese, or supported by them, but it seems clear there is division among the priests there, too.

I guess the broader question is……given the scandals that have so afflicted the Church with regard to perverse, abusive priests, and given that we know there are still many of these priests (perverse, possibly not abusers of children) in circulation……..should not the Vatican err decisively on the side of caution and insure that no priest with even a hint of this kind of scandal is ever promoted to the episcopate?

Do you think this appointment represents a backing away from Pope Benedict’s very strong, unyielding stand against priest sex abusers?  It’s hard for me to discern at this point, it could be a one off anomaly, or I suppose this Barros could be innocent, but is not discretion the better part of valor?  Was this really a necessary appointment to make, given the wound and scandal it is causing?  Should we see more mass action of this kind by faithful Catholics to scandal in the Church?

I pray this is not a return to the really bad old days of episcopal appointments.

The best article I’ve ever read on revolution and reaction in the Church – The Paradigm Shift March 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, persecution, priests, reading, scandals, secularism, the struggle for the Church.
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I read the article over the weekend and found in it perhaps the best, most concise description of the revolution ongoing in the Church, and the reaction against that revolution, that I have read in a long time, maybe ever.  Via Latin Mass Magazine, a really valuable publication that doesn’t adhere to many sectarian shibboleths, an article entitled The Paradigm Shift by Father X, described as a “parish priest in the Eastern United States.”  And isn’t it revealing that an article like this has to be published under a pseudonym, surely for fear of reprisal, whereas Kasper and the other revolutionaries can act out in the clear light of day, knowing, as they do, that most of the levers of power in the Church are in their hands.

Find the article transcribed below with a few excisions for length and fairness.  I add emphasis and comments:

People who keep up with traditionalist blogs on the internet may have noticed that 2014 appeared to witness, to speak conservatively, a more negative attitude on the part of the mainstream clergy (and especially members of the hierarchy) toward the Traditional Latin Mass.  Traditional funerals are becoming more difficult to arrange, rules which appear to allow for refusing permissions are being interpreted in their strictest sense, and religious communities are experiencing harassment from the Novus Ordo establishment. [I haven’t experienced the first, the last two, certainly]

Why is this?  Perhaps bishops and priests who reluctantly made allowances for traditionalists under the papacy of Benedict XVI now feel a bit more supported in their efforts to limit (if not wholly eliminate) access of the faithful to the Traditional Mass.

During the reign of Pope Benedict a delicate balance held sway, a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” paradigm.  In other words Authority would simply allow themselves to presume that a number of people simply PREFERRED the old Mass and those requesting it would simply allow that fiction to exist.  Now, however, that delicate balance is being upset by the awareness on the part of the Novus Ordo establishment that there are people out there who want the Traditional Latin Mass not out of preference, but out of conviction.  These are people who love the “old” Mass because they think that it offers to God a worship BETTER than that of the Novus Ordo. [ding ding ding!]  And that conviction, the proverbial elephant in the sacristy, cannot be permitted…..And why?  Because we must “save the Council”; and those who choose the old Mass by conviction rather than by preference are saying in effect (at least in the minds of the Novus Ordo establishment), we reject the Council.  [I believe the TLM is greatly superior.  However, I don’t “reject” the Council, per se’, as I do have very grave reservations over some of its content.  I do, however, reject use of the Council as the all-trumping all-guiding declaration of independence from the Church Jesus Christ founded, which is the apparent intent of the modernist cabal]

……There are the words of Pope Benedict who, writing to Archbishop Lefebvre in 1986 with, and let this be noted, the authority of Saint John Paul II backing him up, said that criticism of the Council is not a reason for disciplinary action to be taken against the one criticizing.  But as we have been seeing, that notion, expressed by one Pope and authorized by another, is not longer held to by those who have replaced Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict.  Hence the shift in paradigm noted above.  Now the criticism of the council has become such a, well, “mortal sin that it justifies the destruction of young and growing communities, and young and growing vocations, and young and growing……..Catholics.

If in fact their attachment to the TLM is viewed, at the highest levels of Church Authority, as nothing more than a “fad” which “does not require much attention” despite its continued existence since priests first began to question the changes they (rightly) feared would ensure upon the issuance of Sacrosanctum Concilium over half a century ago, despite the lives of many, many priests (many now deceased) who went ‘independent’ rather than submit to celebrating the Mass of Paul VI, despite the continued attachment to that Mass in the face of the best efforts of Authority to crush and humiliate those who simply wished to worship as they always had, despite the rising up of the SSPX (WITHIN the Church, let it not be forgotten, u ntil it became a victim of political expediency which has not yet spent itself, as witness the recent virtual suppression of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate), despite the groups of  young people, to whom JPII was so devoted and for whom Pope Francis shows such deep affection, at Georgetown, at Fordham, at Catholic colleges almost without number virtually demanding the old Mass until even the unwilling authorities had, however reluctantly, to bow to them – ironically – in the name of that very diversity which they proudly claim whenever they choose to dissent from Church teaching or Church polity – if all this is simply evidence of a fad, then what, in God’s Holy Name, would conviction look like!?!?

And that, dear readers, is the problem.  The conviction that the Mass of the Ages is the best and most authentically offered worship in the Latin Rite within the immemorial tradition of that rite sticks in the craw of those who will only allow it as a preference.  And of course for the priest, this is the cross to which Authority would nail him. [Which is redolent of the experience of our priest friend in El Paso]  For if he offers the TLM as a preference, what would keep him from offering, at least some of the time, the Novus Ordo Missae?  A preference?  Nobody could be asked to accept such a lame argument.  And so Catholic traditionalists had better hold on – it’s going to be a bumpy papacy.  [Exactly, and perhaps more than that]

Mind you, I don’t want to set up Pope Francis as some sort of Novus Ordo uber alles type monster……….No, it is those who have been waiting for someone like Pope Francis to replace Pope Benedict, thus allowing them to, forgive the phrase, come out with their own conviction -these are the real enemy. [Very clever turn of phrase, and most apropos. A good historian 200 years from now will probably form a really strong argument connecting the infiltration of sodomy into the priesthood, and the advance of the liturgical revolution.  I see the strong connection, anyway.] Priests of Tradition are going to be put in a very difficult position when they are visited and interrogated as to just why they will not offer most Masses.  And to be sure, if they can quote Cardinal Ratzinger still, Cardinal Ratzinger will be quoted to them as saying in Summorum Pontificum that no priest can refuse to the New Mass out of a conviction?  [Can you see how this all can be set up, and surely will in many places?]

In a sense, we ought to be grateful to Francis for pushing the ecclesial envelope to the point where, finally, we shall have to stand up, not for some delicate and fragile political solution to an embarrassing problem within the Church, but for the truth.  For the TLM, denuded of the elements of the Catholic Faith which surround and support it, is doomed, doomed as a relic maintained, not as the living and breathing expression of the whole Catholic Faith and practice, but as a quaint expression of a former Catholic piety taken out of mothballs from time to time to exhort the oohs and aahs of the faithful before they return to the “real” Catholicism that has overtaken the Faith.  We cannot allow that to happen.

———–End Quote———-

Brilliant point at the end. I’ll add a little bit more: it is my growing conviction regular offering or assisting at the Traditional Latin Mass almost invariably draws one into a much broader “traditional” practice of the Faith.  This includes traditional devotions, beliefs strongly associated with the pre-concilar Magisterium, etc.  It also almost always causes one to become much more cognizant of the grave problems afflicting the Church, and the problems of the 1960s reform-cum-revolution.  One even begins to see such startling contrasts between pre- and post-conciliar piety and practice that a sense of “division” or, ahem, rupture, becomes almost inescapable.  I think you actually have to strive mightily to bury the huge contrasts in the psyche, to not allow such to become apparent.

If this is true of lay people, it is double, triply true of priests.  And so many priests who begin to offer the TLM perhaps out of a desire to learn a bit more about the Latin Liturgy, or perhaps to understand the Faith of our fathers a bit better, often begin to find they desire to make the TLM the predominate Mass they offer, and even, at times, the sole Mass they offer.  This process has been described to me by a goodly number of priests, most who I know who have offered the TLM outside an Ecclesia Dei community will say, even if only under strictest confidence, that if they were allowed, they would offer only the TLM – and really delve into a much stricter and more traditional piety and form of pastoral care.  I would say this process is quite commonplace.

So what do we do, when on the one hand, embrace of the TLM tends to lead to an embrace of all of Tradition and rejection of the Novus Ordo and the massive post-conciliar changes, and yet the entire presupposition for offering the TLM, at least according to the status quo in official Church documents on the subject, is that it is merely a matter of liturgical preference/taste?  That’s a recipe for a train wreck, and it is already negatively affecting the lives of a handful of priests I know, one who is quite well known but I will avoid mentioning for now.

This gets back very much to what the priest above is saying: the TLM becomes a focal point for reaction against the revolution conducted from within and against the Church.  I do not see how conflict can be avoided.  The Traditional Mass by itself, even without all the other traditional “trappings,” is a standing rebuke against all the many changes that have been imposed in the past 50+ years.  I do not think those committed to a church by man and for man can long allow it to stand.  And vice versa.  Conflict appears inevitable, which is what the priest is very much saying at the end.

Which yet once more returns to my recent bugaboo regarding infighting among faithful/traditional Catholics.  If we have to fight for our very rights to even offer adoration, thanksgiving, contrition, and supplication to God in the way that we feel is by far the most meaningful and efficacious, will we do better separately in our narrow little groups, or collectively as one (still small but) much larger movement?

You should really get a subscription to Latin Mass Magazine.  I have had one for  years and enjoy it tremendously.

 

Cardinal Kasper “explains” Pope Francis March 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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Uff da. I worked nearly an hour on this post and WordPress ate it totally and completely.  So here is a feeble reconstruction of the glorious original.

Obviously, Cardinal Kasper is not some disinterested party.  He has many reasons to portray Pope Francis in a light favorable to himself.  But, at the same time, it is hard not to the descriptions below pretty compelling.  Just because he’s a modernist doesn’t mean he’s wrong in everything he does.

Via Pertinacious Papist (the post is mostly Papist’s summary of Kasper’s original article, but it’s a quite accurate summation):

Walter Kasper, “How Pope Francis Sees the Church” (Commonweal, March 13, 2015).

Either way, it’s interesting: Kasper does state, however, that the Pope’s “pastoral” style is more than “good-natured folksiness” or “cheap populism.” Behind it stands an “entire theology,” he says. It’s deliberate.

What are its elements? The Church, as the people of God, “transcends every institutional expression.” It is rooted in God’s mercy. It eschews every form of clericalism (“Laypeople are … the vast majority of the people of God”). It recognizes the indispensable contribution of women. It recognizes the importance of young people and recognizes their difficulties. It puts a premium on the sensus fidei. It seeks “a magisterium that listens.” In terms of the Sacraments, the Church is viewed as “a merciful mother with an open heart for all,” seeking to reconcile those in irregular relationships. It regards as wrong an attitude that stays fixated on “hot potatoes.” It seeks to grow, not by proselytism but by attracting. “God is a God of the journey …” It wants to “touch Christ … in the poor.” Its “paradigm shift” takes as its model the Good Samaritan. The “guiding star of evangelization and of this kind of pastoral care is Mary, Jesus mother — and our mother.” It’s magna carta is Evangelii gaudium, in which Pope Francis writes:

… I would like to remind you that “pastoral care” is nothing other than the exercise of the church’s motherhood. She gives birth, breastfeeds, lets grow, corrects, nourishes, leads by the hand…. There is need therefore for a church that is capable of rediscovering the womb of mercy. Without mercy it is scarcely possible today to penetrate into a world of the “injured,” who need understanding, forgiveness, and love.

I would argue that the Church has been more clericalist, of a most brutal kind, over the past 2  years, than it was prior.  Certainly, the Franciscans of the Immaculate and a good number of bishops have experienced a certain form of clericalism.  And we have seen high Church prelates of a progressive bent basically tell the laity to shut up and take what’s good for them.

Nevertheless, in Pope Francis’ defense, Kasper is such a thoroughgoing modernist he is likely to interpret any behavior he views favorably in that light.  So almost anything Pope Francis does, Kasper will try to spin as serving his purpose.

But once again, the shoe seems to fit more often than not, above.

My biggest problem is with the whole feminized vision for the Church presented above. Many orthodox Catholic commentators have noted that the Church, perhaps biased towards the masculine for most of her history, has swerved suddenly and decisively towards the feminine in the past several decades.  Michael Voris and others have identified in that phenomenon a major reason for the collapse in so many Church statistics – since men are turned off by the feminized Church, and since children almost invariably follow the father’s religious example rather than the mother’s, the Church has seen an unprecedented exodus in the past 50 years.

I would also say the little quote above about a heavily feminized Church explains the whole ethos presented.  The feminine involves many virtues and many vices.  The feminine seeks compromise and inclusion, and dislikes division and clarity.  The feminine wants everyone to feel welcome and comfortable, and fears excluding anyone.  That is all quite well illustrated above, with a Church that “attracts” instead of propagandizing, a Church that doesn’t keep anyone out with some hard, unbending rules. Mothers give unconditional acceptance and a heavy dose of mercy, whereas fathers tend to be the disciplinarians and the maintainers of standards.  I note in passing that Pope Francis, like so many current day priests, speaks often of his mother, rarely of his father.

In many respects, a heavily feminized Church oriented towards the Blessed Mother would be a beautiful, attractive thing.  Some souls might well be drawn to such a merciful, non-judging Church (but I think many more would fall away).  But such an unremittingly merciful Church, centered, at least rhetorically, on the Blessed Mother, could be a great thing, except for one uncomfortable fact: we are judged by God the Father, the stern Judge of Sacred Scripture, and not the always merciful Blessed Mother.

Which brings up another point – more and more I see universal salvation as being THE error at the root of all modernist/leftist/progressive Katholycs. Understanding universal salvation suddenly makes things like Communion for adulterers or the whole indifferent ecumenical movement make sense.  If All Dogs Go To Heaven anyway, what does it matter? We should just let anyone come and enjoy Christ now as a prelude to their automatic assumption into Heaven at death (except for those mean ‘ol nasty trads and conservatives – they can rot in hell forever).  It also puts the “proselytism is solemn nonsense” into quite a clear context, don’t you think?”

So……will the sole universal women’s religious order of the futurechurch be the Most Merciful Mothers of Universal Salvation?

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