Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Synod Catastrophe

Catholic faithful--and other followers of Vatican happenings--will be well aware of the mad happenings coming out of the current Synod on the Family.  I won't go into depth with details, but suffice it to say that a devious minority of those in attendance are advocating a change in Catholic doctrine regarding the indissolubility of marriage, reception of the Holy Eucharist by those in obstinate moral sin, and homosexual acts.  They have said again and again that they want no change in doctrine, just how the Church approaches these subjects.  Don't believe their lies!  This devious minority--guided by their own pride and the machinations of Satan himself--want what cannot happen:  a change in Catholic doctrine.  These few cardinals and bishops must be stopped.  We, the faithful, must pray unceasingly that the Holy Ghost will guide the cardinals, bishops, and especially the Holy Father to stand up for truth, justice, and traditional Catholic doctrine.  Which brings me to my next thought:  the Holy Father.

Where is His Holiness during this debacle?  Why has he not spoken out against this work of Satan?  Faithful (and I mean truly faithful) Catholics are fearful and confused by the proceedings of the Synod.  We feel lost, directionless.  Where is the Supreme Pontiff?  Instead of direction from the Vicar of Christ on Earth, we have Raymond Cardinal Burke standing up for the truth.  Now I have been a fan of Cardinal Burke for years, even before he was raised to the cardinalate.  Indeed I have no greater respect and admiration for any cleric in the Church than I do for His Eminence, but why is the Church and the world getting more spiritual direction and comfort from a cardinal than we are from the Pope himself?  His Eminence himself has stated in an interview that it's long overdue for some serious leadership from His Holiness on these issues.  Let's hope Pope Francis wakes up and starts fulfilling the job he was elected to do:  lead one billion Catholics in the ways of the Truth, representing the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity on Earth.  So far--in my estimation--the Holy Father has failed in his sacred duty.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Our Christian Brethren in Iraq

Watch our displaced brethren in Iraq describe their fates under the Muslim-led ISIL. More than once someone points out that this would not be happening if America had not invaded Iraq. I cannot help but remember how I supported the Iraq War over ten years ago. I've known it for a long time now, but how wrong I was.

Now's the time for some real leadership from US President Obama and Pope Francis.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pope Francis' Tips for Happiness

The Holy Father recently gave yet another interview in which he stated his top ten secrets for happiness (see the English article here).  I've posted an excerpt below with my comments in red:

"1. "Live and let live." Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, "Move forward and let others do the same." (Shall we let others live in sin without so much as a warning about their eternal salvation?)
2. "Be giving of yourself to others." People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because "if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid." (So all those saints who retreated into the desert to praise God alone were putrid water?  One can be giving of oneself and still be withdrawn.)

3. "Proceed calmly" in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist -- gaucho Don Segundo Sombra -- looks back on how he lived his life.

"He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool" of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water -- to have "the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life."

4. "A healthy sense of leisure." The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said. (I agree with him here.)

"Consumerism has brought us anxiety" and stress, causing people to lose a "healthy culture of leisure." Their time is "swallowed up" so people can't share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it "complicated, but you must do it," he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime "doesn't let you communicate" with each other, the pope said.

5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because "Sunday is for family," he said. (What happened to setting aside Sunday for the praise of the Almighty God of the Universe?)

6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. "We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs" and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said. (I'm not sure one causes the other, but yes there is some truth to the old adage "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop.")

"It's not enough to give them food," he said. "Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home" from one's own labor.

7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation "is one of the biggest challenges we have," he said. "I think a question that we're not asking ourselves is: 'Isn't humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'" (I do tend to be somewhat liberal when it comes to environmental issues, but I think the bigger question is "Isn't humanity committing suicide through widespread use of contraception and abortion?")

8. Stop being negative. "Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, 'I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,'" the pope said. "Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy." (Hmm, I don't think one has to talk badly about others to be a negative Nancy, but okay.)

9. Don't proselytize; respect others' beliefs. "We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you,' No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing," the pope said. (Wow...all I can say is...wow.  He's the Supreme Pontiff, right?  The holder of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth, right?  The Vicar of Christ, right?   Wow.)

10. Work for peace. "We are living in a time of many wars," he said, and "the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive" and dynamic. (I would add pray for peace to this one.)"

I find it horribly disturbing that the Holy Father lists a top ten secrets to happiness and not once mentions God.  How can man be happy without God?  St. Augustine said Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te--Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.  It seems that His Holiness forgot this quote. 

What the Holy Father has given us is a bunch of touchy-feely drivel rather than theological eloquence or sound moral guidance, yet again showing how much of an embarrassment his pontificate has become.  I fear a highschooler could have done better.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

World War I - 100 Years Ago


On July 28, 1914 Austrian troops invaded Serbia in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  The war would last four years, leaving millions dead and the face of the earth changed both politically and culturally.  The Russian Empire ceased to exist.  The German Empire ceased to exist.  The Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist.  America asserted her power in a punitive manner, crippling the German economy and humiliating the German people.  Would that the great monarchies of 1914 had the foresight to predict what a terrible effect the war would have on the political landscape of the world, not to mention the loss of lives.  Perhaps one day we shall see the great empires resurrected like the phoenix from its own ashes.  One hundred years without these great monarchies is far too long.  One day.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Woe to He Who Harms the Lord's Anointed

 

Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP (28) was murdered yesterday during an apparent burglary at his parish rectory.  Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP (56) was critically injured during that same burglary.  It has been reported that Fr. Terra was able to give Fr. Walker Extreme Unction and the Apostolic pardon before he died.

Requiescat in Pace Fr. Walker.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Archbishop Sample Pontifical Mass Homily

His Excellency Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland, Oregon recently celebrated a Pontifical High Mass at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon. Below is his homily from that Mass. I especially liked his comment at about 1:40: "Not in the life of the Church past, but even in the life of the Church today...." I think the Holy Father could do well to listen to His Excellency's homily.



Monday, February 17, 2014

The Immemorial Mass: "Just a fashion"?

Rorate Caeli reports that the Holy Father recently stated that he cannot understand why young people turn to the Traditional Latin Mass and that he sees the TLM as  "...a kind of fashion. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion."  When I first read this statement I thought to myself:  "Once again this man scares the hell out of me.  What condescension!  What arrogance towards his own people!  Is it just a matter of time before he rescinds Summorum Pontificum?"  Once I had settled down a bit I thought that maybe his lack of attention towards us traditionalists is a good thing.  If he ignores us, maybe he'll just leave us alone to worship as we choose.  That way Summorum Pontificum will remain untouched and the law of the Church.  Fr. Z says not to necessarily believe this recent report as this information is third hand, but if the Holy Father really said these things he ignores stalwart, faithful Catholics at his own peril while ministering to nominal, lukewarm Catholics.  Fr. Z also said that he wouldn't be surprised if the Holy Father abdicates when he turns 80, and even expects that he will do so.  While I think this would cause disruption and a continued bad precedent if he does so, it would mean only three more years of him as pope.  That thought doesn't sadden me.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Vladimir Putin


Vladimir Putin has been in the news a lot recently mostly due to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi., but he has garnered a lot of attention the last year or so on his own merits.  He's been called a dictator, a tyrant, and Satan just to name a few.  He's also been referred to as a Tsar by his detractors.  Which leads me to my point:  Would that he declared himself Tsar!  Now some monarchists would be up in arms at this statement, claiming that only the Romanov successors have the legitimate right to the Russian throne, but I am a much more pragmatic monarchist.  If currently non-reigning royal families are unwilling or unable to re-instate dead monarchies, I have no problem with non-royals who might have the political will, popularity, and pure power to declare themselves as legitimate royals by right of conquest.  Is it possible that Putin will declare himself Tsar?  Napoleon did it.  Is it likely?  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lefebvrianism

Below is from a post by Fr. John Hunwicke's blog.  He has some very good points, especially regarding the relevance of Vatican II in 2014.

"The biography of Archbishop Lefebvre by H E Bishop Tissier de Mallerais seems to me (who have no training in History) to be a finely detailed and balanced account of someone whom the author loved and respected, but with regard to whom he was determined to find out the truth. So one can find in this book a very 'conflicted' person. Sometimes he seems to be leaning over backwards to show proper deference to the Vicar of Christ; on other occasions, he seems almost sedevacantist (ET p 549 "the See of Peter and posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs ..."; et cf ex gr pp 487, 506, 508). I do not see this inconsistency as unforgivable. The Archbishop was reacting to an ecclesial situation which has little parallel in the more recent history of the Church and accordingly has few guidelines provided for it in Canon Law and the Manualists. And the p 549 I cite in my parenthesis follows closely upon the Assisi Event; one can understand why the vision of the Antichrist, sitting where he ought not, should have been particularly in Lefebvre's mind. But he remained firmly and resolutely opposed to the seductions of sedevacantism at a time when a lesser man might have sought its easy and 'logical' solution.

However, the result remains that there is an incoherence of Ecclesiology at the heart of Lefebvre's construct. A real pope's actual wishes are disregarded; a situation not easily balanced by the Society's fierce loyalty to popes and bishops whose voices are muted by death. Conciliarism was defeated finally by making it a canonical offence to appeal from a living Pope to a hypothetical Council; appealing from a living Pope to his predecessors is not without its awkwardness.

But perhaps we should attempt a broader canvas. The history of earlier centuries does provide examples of behaviour, not much less uncanonical than Lefebvre's, which was subsequently validated by History. The Avignon exile and the Great Schism of the West afford a veritable laboratory of confused crises in which tidy solutions were beyond the grasp of good men and eventually order was restored by untidy expedients. These were not neat solutions; but perhaps a possibility for untidiness is sometimes the only sort of solution available to Christians in via. One thinks also of what happened in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War; what has happened in China during the last two decades. There is every reason to feel that the ecclesiological problems in the position of SSPX would disappear as SSPX lived in the fullest communion with the Petrine See.

Three final factors which in my view point towards the propriety of a generous approach to the SSPX, and a gracious receptivity on the part of the Society, and towards a cessation of any tendency to persecute institutes or individuals in the Catholic Church for a crime of Cryptolefebvrianism.

Many wonder what good the Ecumenical Movement has done. It hasn't even had the result of preventing ecclesial bodies from introducing new divisive measures, such as women's ordination. But this very ineffectiveness surely points to the one great big message we could and should all learn from the Ecumenical Movement: that the longer a division lasts, the more deep-rooted becomes the habit of separation and, in practical and human terms, the more unlikely it becomes that a reconciliation can ever happen.

Secondly: Summorum pontificum confirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. The Vetus Ordo had not been lawfully prohibited. Much persecution of devout priests and layfolk that took place during those decades is therefore now seen to have been vis sine lege. For this so long to have been so true with regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which lies at the heart of the Church's life, argues a profound illness deep within the Latin Church. And the Big Lie was reinforced by multitudes of Little Lies ... that the Council mandated reordered Sanctuaries ... that the Council mandated exclusive use of the vernacular ... The de facto situation created by the Big Lie and the Little Lies combined ought not to be regarded as normative. Its questionable parentage must give it a degree of provisionality, even (perhaps especially) to those who find it comfortable to live with. The onslaught upon the Franciscans of the Immaculate suggests that there are those, high in the Church's administration, who have still internalised neither the juridical findings of Summorum pontificum nor its pastoral call for harmony.

Thirdly: Conciliar hermeneutics have moved on. I do not only refer to the teaching of Benedict XVI about 'Continuity' and 'Rupture' (although I think this is important and I was disappointed that spokesmen of the SSPX were more concerned to evade this discussion than to grab it and run with it). I mean also the much greater willingness among many to take a longer view of the Council. The more distant an object is down the lines of perspective, the smaller it appears to the eye (do you even know when the Council of Vienne was?). Benedict XVI echoed Newman's celebrated remarks about what unpleasant events councils have generally been and how harmful; and theologians are much less nervous now about admitting the existence even of textual problems within Vatican II itself. Arguably, Councils are best kept up the sleeve of the Sovereign Pontiff. Our present Holy Father had not been long on the Throne of S Peter when he commented on the facile optimism of Vatican II and opined that we are not so naive today (does this make him a Cryptolefebvrian?). At the heart of this question is a really very obvious and simple truth: the Council earnestly and laudably desired to engage with the mundus hodiernus, the mundus huius temporis, and with nostra aetas; but we are not now still in the mundus or aetas of the 1960s. The Council of Vienne, like Vatican II a largely practical Council, happened 700 years ago, but it took much less time than that for it to recede so far as to disappear off the Church's horizons; and it is a long time since anybody was required to eat humble pie with regard to its Conciliar documents, the "Spirit of Vienne", and "the entire post-Viennian Magisterium". Time itself possesses a quasi-Magisterial status, and I think enough time has elapsed since Vatican II to enable us to ... No: I will most certainly not say 'to renounce it'. After all, when Philip IV collected money for a crusade within six years and then simply embezzled that money together with the wealth he had looted from the Templars, I do not know that the Holy See thought it appropriate to annul the proceedings of Vienne. No; it is time simply to move on from the 1960s to the mundus hodiernus and the nostra aetas of 2014. When an elderly ball has been kicked around for long enough, sensible schoolboys leave it to settle quietly into the nutrients at the bottom of the ditch, unobserved except by the water voles, and agree to move on together to newer games. Whatever was of permanent value in Vienne ... and Vatican II ... has merged and disappeared gradually into what one might call the Church's general background noise (dogmatic decrees and anathemas of dogmatic councils are, of course, a different matter). What was unhelpful in the Conciliar texts or their consequences ... and when the Templars were led out to be burned, they probably thought that was unhelpful ... Time has purged away; or will purge.

Why cannot Roman dicasteries, and the SSPX, be content with that? Could each of them not name new questions of today which are much more pressing than the Suppression of the Templars, whether President Hollande should lead a new crusade to liberate the Holy Land, or even whether in the Latin Church the Pipe Organ should be held in high esteem (Sacrosanctum Concilium 120)?"