Monday, 18 January

23:47

Wife of Remnant Founder Dies: Marilyn Matt, RIP [The Remnant Newspaper - The Remnant Newspaper - Remnant Articles]

Dear Remnant Family: I am so very grateful to the many thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who were praying for my dear mother this week after she’d been stricken quite...

See more at http://remnantnewspaper.com

23:11

FSCC nuns divided over recent Packers Cardinals game [The Badger Catholic]



Sister Martha and her six sisters are all die-hard Cardinals fans, wearing Big Red shirts underneath their habits to show support.

But the organization the sisters belong to, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, is based out of Wisconsin. On a Skype call, four sisters in Manitowoc said they have faith in another team.

"I’ve just loved the Packers all my life," said Sister Mariella Erdmann, "and I just think we’re going to win on Sunday. I think if we have a pass rush on the quarterback we’ll be okay."
continue at AZ12News

Well, not much more to say about to say about the game.  Except maybe this:
Oh those crazy Germans!  What a great play.  I ripped my sweatshirt off and threw it across the bar.  People were scared.  Deal with it, that's a once in a lifetime play(two Hail Marys on the same drive to tie in the playoffs).  But it only made the coinciding blown play that much more devastating.

Seriously though, it looks like Aaron Rodgers will likely have as many Super Bowl victories as his predecessor Brett Favre.  He's 32 years old..... and we know what Ted Thompson thinks of veteran players.  JS has a good breakdown of the Fitzgerald catch.  A series of unfortunate events in the playoffs leave us to wonder what could have been.   The pool of playmakers running thin, are the Packers now trending downward for a time?  Or do we just need to learn how to hit the curveball?


23:00

A Community of Thought and Expression [Siris]

Moreover classical authors, adopted as subjects of study on the ground of their literary merits, become a bond of mental union among all liberally educated men, by supplying to their memories a common store of thoughts, images, turns of expression, histories, arguments, and modes of treating all subjects of human thought and interest, from the most trivial to the most solemn. These common intellectual possessions of educated men make them feel themselves members of a common human family; not bound together by ties of origin, or territorial abode, or material desires, but by a common mind; a family which has a community of thought and expression, not the result of extraneous accidents, but of the very internal constitution of human nature.

William Whewell, Of a Liberal Education in General, p. 11.

22:59

Turkish Army Bombards Christian Village in Northern Iraq -- Christians Fleeing [The Eponymous Flower]

 (Damascus/Ankara) On the night of January 17th, the Turkish air force bombed the Sharanish in Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. The Christians have been on the run since then. They had to flee in the middle of the night  in freezing temperatures 25 kilometers to the city of Zaxo because of the Turkish bombing. 
The news was announced by the Chaldean Patriarchate, which sharply condemned the Turkish military attack. The destructive attack on the Christian village was "unjustifiable".

Turkey is   officially fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria,   but in reality   especially against the Kurdish Workers' Party PKK.  Critics accuse Turkey of taking the fight against the jihadists as a  "pretext" to perform an illegal campaign against the Kurdish people in the neighboring countries.
The Chaldean Patriarchate is now demanding  autonomous Kurdish government of northern Iraq to take "reasonable measures to protect the citizens."  Louis Raphael I Sako, the Patriarch of Babylon and head of the Chaldean Church united with Rome, comes from Zaxo.

The difficult fate of Christians in the Middle East

As the papal news service Fides reported that the Christian village had been destroyed in the 1980s by the Iraqi army. Then, too, in the course of an anti-Kurdish military operation. The Christians returned and built the place up again. The reason for the return was the increasing persecution of Christians in Baghdad and Mosul.
Since 2014, several dozen Christian families living on the Nineveh plains fled there  before the conquest of the Islamic State had fled (IS). But even in Saharanish they are not sure.
Last fall the Christian villages in the area became an ​​involuntary battleground between the Kurdish army and other Kurdish organizations. Now it is the Turkish army which has expelled  the Christians  from Saharanish.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Wikicommons / towers of the Mor Gabriel monastery in south Turkey, 130 northwest of Zaxo
Trans; Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com
AMDG


21:42

OUR LADY AND THE WINE OF CANA Sermon for the Second Sunday after Epiphany [RORATE CÆLI]

Sermon for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
St. Mary's Norwalk
January 17, 2016

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
The Wedding Feast of Cana
“At a certain point the wine ran out, and Jesus’ mother told him, ‘They have no more wine.’ Jesus replied, ‘Woman, how does this concern of yours involve me?  My hour has not yet come’.  His mother instructed those waiting on table, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” (John 2: 3-5)


The changing of water into wine, always the gospel for this Sunday, the third sign of the Epiphany:  the adoration of Christ by the Wise Men, the Baptism of Christ, and the changing of water into wine.  This is the first miracle of Jesus and the first of the seven signs in the gospel of John, the signs that point to who Jesus is, the signs that show forth his glory, in a hidden way, for his glory is only shown forth finally on the cross.  This is a most homely miracle: no healing here, no miraculous feeding, no casting out of demons. It surely pales before the raising of Lazarus, the final sign before the glorification of the Passion and Resurrection. But it is such a wonderful miracle. It is purely gratuitous; it is overflowing with extra.  The water changed into wine gives pleasure to the wedding guests; the choice wine was saved for last.  And so much of it!  Six jars of twenty-five gallons apiece.

But that is not the heart of this gospel.  The heart of this gospel is the manifestation of Christ to his disciples.  But close to this heart, beating simultaneously with it, is the meaning of Mary’s role in our redemption.  The heart of this gospel is Jesus Christ; but the wedding feast at Cana is where the biblical foundations of devotion to Mary are found, those foundations that end as they must, as all devotions must, at the foot of the Cross.  One of the fundamental differences between Catholicism and Protestantism is the role of Mary in faith and piety.  Devotion to Mary is one of the constants of the Catholic faith, and it is this devotion that is the evidence of a living faith in Christ.  The rejection in Protestantism of Mary’s role in Christian faith has had the result of a widespread loss of understanding of who Jesus is. For without Mary, the reality of Jesus Christ is compromised.

They have no more wine.  Woman, how does this concern of yours involve me?  My hour has not yet come.  Does not this exchange between Jesus and his mother give us pause?  His address to her:  Woman. Not Mother: Woman.  We can rush to point out that this was a polite form of address in Semitic culture. The problem here is the translation.  There is no way to say this in English as it would have been said in Aramaic.  But the meaning of the gospel does not ultimately depend on language and culture. The conversation between Jesus and his mother—and please note that John the Evangelist never calls Mary by her name: he always refers to her as the mother of Jesus—this conversation is important to Christian faith because of what it says about Mary and the therefore about Jesus, for Mary always points to Jesus.

Where do we begin in understanding this conversation?  We begin with the Revelation of St. John, where the Woman—that is the term used—is that mysterious, symbolic figure who is a key figure in the drama of salvation.  She is the Woman who gives birth to the male child and enters into conflict with the dragon serpent.  The imagery here forces us back to the third chapter of Genesis, to the Fall, where enmity is place between the serpent and the woman, between the serpent’s seed and her seed. In Revelation the Woman in birth pangs brings forth a male child who is the Messiah and is taken up into heaven.  The great dragon, identified as the ancient serpent of Genesis by Revelation, frustrated by the child’s ascension, turn against the Woman and her offspring.  Tradition understands this Woman as the people of God, the new Israel.  Tradition understands this Woman as the Church who continues on earth after the Ascension, persecuted but protecting her children.  But the Tradition of the Church identifies this woman, the Woman, also as Mary, the mother of Jesus, the mother of the Messiah.  For it is Mary who is the symbol of the Church in the deepest sense, Mary who is the mother of the Church, but above all, Mary who is the new Eve, who by her Yes overturns the bondage and death of Eve’s No.

This is the context is which we must understand the conversation between Mary and Jesus at the wedding feast at Cana.  It is Mary, the mother of the Messiah, the new Eve, who utters the words:  they have no wine.  This is not only a fact; it is a request to perform a sign that will show the glory of God in the Savior of the world.  But before Jesus performs this sign, he must make clear his refusal of Mary’s intervention—how does this concern of yours involve me?  She cannot have any role in his ministry. His signs must reflect the absolute sovereignty of his Father, not any human or family agency.  What he must do, he must do alone, he who was born not by blood, not be carnal desire, nor by man’s willing it, but by God.  But it is the new Eve who makes this request. It is the handmaid of the Lord who makes this request. And so just as Eve’s request of Adam brought sin into the world, so Mary’s request is the occasion of Jesus’ epiphany to his disciples, the first manifestation of his glory.  And this request is granted:  the water is changed into wine.  But Mary’s ministry, her role in the redemption, must wait, must wait until the glorification of her Son, the final manifestation, the final epiphany. It is only at the final battle between the Son and the serpent that is waged on the Cross:  it is only the hour of passion, death, and resurrection and ascension.  Here is Mary’s fundamental role, her ministry. It is as the Woman: Woman, behold your Son!  Here is the final struggle of the Woman with the serpent. It is here that she is entrusted with offspring whom she must protect in the continuing struggle between Satan and the followers of the Messiah. Here at the foot of the cross is Mary, mother of the Church.  Here Mary is our mother, our protector, we who are the offspring of the Church, we who have been born again at the font by water and the Holy Spirit. Here is our Lady of Perpetual Help, here is our succour, our light, our sweetness and our hope, here is the Mother of all Christians, enveloping us in her mantle, the mantle that warmed the hillside of Tepeyac so that roses bloomed in the winter.


So many words, too many words, all of this, so much breathing out into the void! But how else to say this which must be said?  Much better to go to Chartres to see who Mary is in the stone of the vaulting that soars to heaven and in the windows filled with the deep blue and blood red glass that speak so eloquently of beauty, of the Woman, and the glory of her Son. Much better to go to Torcello to see the Byzantine mosaic in the apse of the cathedral and see in that severe gold and blue the steely courage of the Theotokos, the bearer of God.  Much better to go to my grandmother’s parish church in Campagna to see the heartbreaking statue of the Madonna Addolorata, our Lady of Sorrows, her heart pierced by swords, lovingly dressed in her liturgical outfits, her fragile porcelain face marked by tears, and here understand the deep suffering love that is Mary’s love for her Son and for the Church. Much better to join in singing the solemn tone of the Salve Regina, for it is the act of singing this hymn that the deepest understanding takes place, that water into wine makes sense, that my life in Christ makes sense—that Love makes sense.

21:00

20:48

Ein Pontifikat mit zwei Gesichtern? [Beiboot Petri]

A. Gagliarducci verortet in seiner wöchentlichen Kolumne "Monday in the Vatican"  das Pontifikat von Papst Franziskus zwischen Reformen und Diplomatie.
Hier geht´s zum Original: klicken

               
        "PAPST FRANZISKUS, EIN DOPPELGESICHTIGES REGIEREN?"
"Die Rede, die Papst Franziskus vor den beim Hl. Stuhl akkreditierten Diplomaten gehalten hat, markiert vielleicht eine definitive Änderung der Gangart. Die Rede war durch einen stark diplomatischen Ductus charakterisiert und lieferte eine Art Agenda. Wie Beobachter notierten, sieht diese Agenda, die der Papst allen Regierungen zugänglich machte, eine stärkere Rolle für das Staatssekretariat vor.
Schritt für Schritt hat das Staatssekretariat seine Position der Führung und Koordination der Kurie zurückgewonnen, die es unter Franziskus zu verlieren schien.


Diese Veränderung ist zweifelsohne ein Verdienst von Staatssekretär Kardinal Parolin, der von einem diplomatischen Hintergrund herkommt, der aber auch einen gewissen Instinkt für einfache pastorale Handlungen besitzt.
Während des vergangenen Jahres war der Regierungsstil des Papstes durch eine Reihe von Initiativen des Staatssekretariates gekennzeichnet.
Das Staatssekretariat spielte so die Rolle einer Art Regulators der Situationen, die durch die Wünsche des Papstes nach Reformen hervorgerufen worden waren.
Während dieses Jahres multiplizierte sich die Zahl der Briefe des Papstes an Parolin ebenso wie die nach den Audienzen des Kardinals beim Papst beglaubigten Reskripte.
Diese Dokumente werden schnell verfaßt und sofort umgesetzt, sie sind das schnellste Mittel für die Durchsetzung von Reformen.

Geht man diese Dokumente durch, kann man unter anderem sehen, daß sie die Kontrolle des Staatssekretariates über das dem Hl. Stuhl gehörende Kinderkrankenhaus Bambino Gesù verstärken, das eine Kommission gründete, die die medizinischen Dienste des Vaticans, die religiösen Gemeinschaften gehören, kontrollieren, sie bestätigen den status quo der Kurienämter, während die Reform weitergeht.
Sie betonen, daß das Staatssekretariat die Kontrolle über die vom Presseamt des Hl. Stuhls veröffentlichten Informationen behalten soll, bis die Kompetenz - nach seiner Fertigstellung - dem Kommunikationssekretariat übergeben werden kann.

Diese "Manöver" füllten einige der durch die Reformen des Papstes hervorgerufene Lücken. So sind z.B. bisher weder das Wirtschaftssekretariat, der Wirtschaftsrat, noch das Kommunikationssekretariat in Pastor Bonus, die apostolische Konstitution, die immer noch die Funktionen und Kompetenzen der kurialen Dikasterien regelt, aufgenommen worden. "Pastor Bonus" wird solange der kanonische Referenztext bleiben, bis eine neue Apostolische Konstitution erstellt wurde.

Zusätzlich zu diesen Regierungsaktivitäten ist es bemerkenswert, daß das Staatssekretariat mehr diplomatischen Einfluss ausübt als zuvor. Kardinal Parolins Diplomatie ist die der großen Ära der Vaticandiplomaten. Unter Kardinal Agostino Casaroli ausgebildet, hat der aktuelle Staatssekretär seine diplomatischen Fähigkeiten als "Außenminister" des Hl. Stuhls während der Administration Kardinal Sodanos verfeinert. Diese "diplomatische Schule" ist stark was Dialog und Mediation betrifft. Aber sie unterscheidet auch zwischen pastoralen und diplomatischen Initiativen.

Das war nicht der modus operandi von Papst Benedikt XVI. Der Papa emeritus hatte den diplomatischen modus geändert und gründete ihn auf die Wahrung der Wahrheit. Diesen Übergang kann man nicht nur im Thema seiner ersten Botschaft zum Weltfriedenstag (Friede in Wahrheit) sehen, sondern auch in den diplomatischen Interventionen seines Staatssekretärs, Kardinal Tarcisio Bertone.


Ein Beispiel für das Denken Benedikts XVI findet man in seiner Predigt, die er bei der Messe zur Ordination von 5 neuen Bischöfen hielt. Unter diesen neuen Bischöfen war der jetzige Kardinal Pietro Parolin, damals neuernannter Nuntius in Venezuela. Die Messe fand am 12. September 2009 statt.
Benedikt XVI unterstrich, daß die erste Haupttugend eines Priesters als Diener Jesu Christi darin besteht, "sich von der Wahrheit formen zu lassen, die Christus uns zeigt.  Auf diese Weise werden wir wirklich vernünftige Leute, die auf der Basis des Ganzen urteilen und keine Details verändern. Lassen wir uns nicht durch das leiten, was wir durch das kleine Fenster unserer persönlichen Schlauheit sehen, sondern schauen wir lieber durch das große Fenster, das Christus für uns auf die Welt und die Menschen geöffnet hat, auf die ganze Wahrheit und so erkennen, was wirklich zählt im Leben."

Diese Art des Zugangs wurde von der "Vatican-Gang" ununterbrochen kritisiert, besonders als Benedikt XVI nach der Regensburger Rede im Kreuzfeuer stand - zwischen den Katholiken, die die revolutionäre Bedeutung der Wahrheit für das Betreiben von Diplomatie nicht verstanden hatten und den höchst empfindlichen Muslimen. Beide Parteien waren enttäuscht.
Aber nach der Regensburger Rede kam aus der Islamischen Welt ein Impuls für einen soliden Christlich-Islamischen Dialog, der auch jetzt noch andauert.

Einmal gewählt, traf sich Papst Franziskus am 22. März 2013 mit dem beim Hl.Stuhl akkreditierten Diplomatischen Corps, Kardinal T. Bertone war noch Staatssekretär und die Rede des Papstes enthält ein erhellendes Detail. Die Rede war typisch für Papst Franziskus, mehrheitlich pastoral, aber ein Satz verbindet ihn mit der diplomatischen Position Benedikts XVI.
"Franziskus von Assisi" sagte Papst Franziskus, "sagt uns, wir sollen daran arbeiten, Frieden herzustellen. Aber es gibt keinen wahren Frieden ohne Wahrheit! Es kann keinen wahren Frieden geben, bei dem jeder seine eigenen Kriterien hat, wenn jeder immer ausschließlich seine eigenen Rechte beanspruchen kann, ohne sich um das Wohl der anderen - jedes einzelnen - zu kümmern, auf der Basis der Natur, die alle menschlichen Wesen auf dieser Erde vereint."

Dann wurde Kardinal Bertone durch Kardinal Parolin ersetzt. Parolin ist Berufsdiplomat. Geduldig arbeitend hat er rund um Franziskus genau den institutionellen Rahmen geschaffen, den Franziskus loswerden zu wollen schien.

Die päpstliche Neujahrsansprache von 2014 war voller Inputs des Staatssekretariates. Aber der Anfangsteil, in dem breit über getrennte Familien, die Rolle der Alten in der Gesellschaft und den Weltjugendtag in Rio gesprochen wurde, war sicher ein Hinweis auf den pastoralen Stil von Franziskus,
2015 hatte die Rede sogar einen noch diplomatischeren Tonfall und enthielt weitgestreute Analysen des aktuellen geopolitischen Zustands der Welt. Am Ende war diese letzte Rede wahrscheinlich eine völlig diplomatische und stellte eine Art Hausaufgabe für die beim Hl. Stuhl akkreditierten Botschafter dar.

Dennoch hat der Papst seine pastorale Sicht auf diplomatische Themen nicht umgangen. In seiner Rede ist seine Diplomatie die Diplomatie des Gebetes und der Öffnung der Hl. Pforte.
Nicht zufällig betonte er vor den Botschaftern seine Entscheidung, die erste Tür des  Hl. Jahres in der Republik Zentralafrika zu öffnen. Papst Franziskus´ Diplomatie ist auch eine Diplomatie der Barmherzigkeit und in der Rede hat er auch klar ausgesprochen, daß Barmherzigkeit sein Leitprinzip in der Diplomatie ist. (....)

Die Rede zeigte aber auch eine klare Auflistung seiner Prioritäten. Die Top-Priorität ist die Migration. Eines der kommenden "Super-Dicasterien" wird jetzt "für Gerechtigkeit, Frieden und Migration" betitelt und nicht wie zuvor geplant "Gerechtigkeit, Frieden und Mildtätigkeit".

Sicher, die Beschäftigung mit Themen der Migration ist das erste Ziel päpstlicher Diplomatie geworden. Die Rationale hinter dieser Wahl ist die Theorie, daß man durch die Hilfe für die Migranten den Import von Gewalt und Terrorismus verhindern könnte und daß mehr Barmherzigkeit die Lösung sowohl für die Migrationsproblematik als auch den Menschenhandel sein kann (darauf beharrte Papst Franziskus als eine seiner Hauptaktivitäten zu Beginn seiner Rede).

In seiner Rede stellte der Papst das Staatssekretariat zur Förderung und Unterstützung von Friedensprozessen zur Verfügung. Das Staatssekretariat wird mitspielen.
In diesen Jahren hat Kardinal Parolin zunächst ein Büros für Mediation innerhalb des Staatsekretariates errichtet, dann ein Büro zur Beurteilung, inwieweit Parteien, die im Krieg sind, humanitäre Bemühungen zulassen.
Die humanitären Bemühungen des Hl. Stuhls werden auch durch die aktive Teilnahme an den Vorbereitungsgesprächen für den Humanitären Weltgipfel demonstriert, die UN-gesponsorte Initiative, die Papst Franziskus in seiner Rede an die Botschafter erwähnte.

Am Ende verändert sich Papst Franziskus. Er bleibt der Erzbischof von Buenos Aires, wenn er an ökumenischen Treffen teilnimmt, zu Volksbewegungen, oder aus dem Stegreif spricht - abseits des Skripts - indem er die Gemütslage der Menschen liest. Aber er ist Papst, wenn es um Entscheidungen geht,
Papst Franziskus liebt es, Entscheidungen selbst zu treffen. Aber er kannte die Kurie früher auch nicht und so vertraute er den Männern der Kurie nicht. Das ist der Grund, weshalb er sich mit Beratern von außerhalb der Kurie umgab. Die Periode des vaticanischen Outsourcens war ein Ergebnis seines Papstverständnisses - wie auch die Einrichtung des Kardinalsrates.

Heutzutage vertraut Papst Franziskus einigen Kurienmitgliedern mehr als zuvor. Er versteht jetzt die Existenz des sogenannten "verborgenen Vaticans" der aus Liebe und zum Wohl des Hl. Stuhls arbeitet und er erkennt dessen Bemühungen sehr an. Der Papst ist sich auch der Notwendigkeit einer Kontinuität mit seinem Vorgänger bewußt geworden und hat deshalb die Interpretation seines Pontifikates als eines Bruches mit der Vergangenheit dekonstruiert.

Papst Franziskus hat auch einige leichte Änderungen in seinem öffentlichen Auftreten gemacht, als ob er jetzt verstanden habe, daß er als Papst gesehen werden muß. Deshalb benutzt er jetzt den Fischer-Ring (eines der päsptlichen Insignien), wenn er an bestimmten päpstlichen Zelebrationen oder offiziellen Ereignissen teilnimmt, während er weiterhin seinen Bischofsring bei den Generalaudienzen und weniger offiziellen Treffen trägt. Eine der Hauptveränderungen ist, daß er während des letzten weihnachtlichen Urbi et Orbi-Segens von der Loggia der Petersbasilika aus die Stola trug.

Das war das erste mal. Er trug nicht die Mozzetta, aber die Stola als einen Schritt vorwärts zu einer verbesserten Institutionalisierung (nach seiner Wahl trug er weder die Stola noch die Mozzetta).
Diese Signale bedeuten vielleicht, daß Papst Franziskus sich seiner Rolle bewußter geworden ist. Ein anderes Zeichen dafür ist, daß der Papst den Entwurf zur postsynodalen Exhortation bereits dreimal durchgesehen hat und immer noch korrigiert. Die Exhortation soll - vielleicht - am 19. März veröffentlicht werden.

Sie wird auf dem Schlußdokument basieren und wir werden sehen können, ob der Papst einen starken Standpunkt eingenommen hat (was zu einer Art Humanae-Vitae-Effekt für die Synode führen würde) oder ob er die Wahrheit bestätigt hat, sie aber verwässert um einiger pastoraler Praktiken willen, oder ob er aus dem Dokument einen "fetus abortivus" - eine Fehlgeburt (Worte eines Kardinals) gemacht hat - das heißt ein kurzes knappes Dokument, das nicht viel an der Lehre ändert und sich nicht allzu sehr in die offenen Diskussionen einmischt.

Niemand kann die Zukunft vorhersehen, aber im Augenblick ändert der Papst offenbar seinen Regierungsstil. Er scheint sich immer mehr auf das Staatssekretariat zu verlassen, das sein Vertrauen gewonnen und seine frühere herausragende Stellung wiedergewonnen hat. Wahrscheinlich hat der Papst noch einige Überraschungen für weniger offizielle Augenblicke bereit, besonders bei internationalen Reisen. Er hat z.B. in Bolivien ein als Hammer-und-Sichel, das marxistische Emblem, geformtes Kruzifix entgegen genommen aber auch den Orden de Espinal - geschaffen vom Bolivianischen Parlament in Erinnerung an Fr. Luis Espinal S.J.
Father Espinal war ein sozial engagierter Priester- und Held der Befreiungstheologie- der in Bolivien ermordet worden war, während seiner Südamerika-Reise erwies er dem Priester an dem Platz die Ehre, an dem er ermordet worden war. Vielleicht wird er auch anderen die Ehre erweisen. die wegen ihre Beziehung zur Befreiungstheologie kompromittiert waren.

Das ist ein Aspekt seiner Geringschätzung des institutionellen Charakters des Papsttums, aber auch Teil seiner starken Verbindung zu lateinamerikanischen Themen. Aber auch wenn manche der improvisierten päpstlichen Gesten Polemiken auslösen werden, wird die päpstliche Diplomatie die Reihen schließen und die diplomatischen und pastoralen Aspekte der Reise strikt voneinander trennen.

Am Ende hat dieses Pontifikat zwei Gesichter: da ist der institutionelle Aspekt, den der Staatssekretär verkörpert und das ist die nicht-institutionelle Rolle, die Papst Franziskus spielt.

Quelle: Monday in the Vatican, A.Gagliarducci

p.s. es mag wohl sein, daß Papst Franziskus bis jetzt gebraucht hat, um seine Rolle, die Bedeutung der Institutiion und der Kontinuität zu verstehen, ein Zeichen für schnelle Auffassungsgabe ist das sicher nicht.

Noch eine Bemerkung in eigener Sache: habe den Beitrag leider versehentlich viel zu früh freigeschaltet, als er noch wie "Kraut & Rüben" war- und ich noch mitten in den Korrekturen. Wer ihn da schon gelesen oder erlitten hat: es tut mir leid! Tschuldigung......





19:42

Oh the Humanity! [The TOF Spot]

The forces of demography, we find, preponderantly favor the devout: rather than a bright idyll of rational humanism, secularism creates a culture of almost mystical triviality, and Homo secularis turns out to be a creature so devoid of any sense of purpose that he can scarcely be stirred to reproduce.
-- David B. Hart

It's old news now, or maybe it was always old news, but Playboy claims it will not run nudie pix any more. It was done in by its own success. The Revolution had so commodified women's bodies that what the skin mag sold can now be gotten for free in every corner of the Internet. Why pay for the cow when the milk is free? as guys used to ask in a different context.

Oh, of course, there were the articles and the short stories and the interviews and profiles, but no matter how many claimed that they bought the magazine for those reasons, that was not the cause of its circulation figures; for why should the circulation have plummeted so drastically, given that the articles, short stories, interviews and profiles were still available.

Hefner described the "Playboy Man" in his first issue:
‘If you’re a man between the ages of 18 and 80, Playboy is meant for you. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph, and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex …’
Oh, yeah. The guys who read playboy asked the girls up to their rooms to talk about Nietzsche and Picasso. But these, like jazz, are now as passe as that phonograph. Or maybe that really was the demographic: those '50s swingers who paved the way for the '60s with their perpetual adolescence, their faux sophistication, and their mid-life crises. Once that generation was off the stage, the whole scene became old-fashioned overnight. Mood music? Really? 

Hefner was selling a product and women, along with the cars and electronics whose ads filled his pages, were simply another commodity.  

Now, the interviews and stories and such that it ran really were quite good; better than the sniggering cartoons and photo-arrays that carried them. And even the girlie pix were a cut above the norm for that sort of thing. There was some attempt at composition, and the women were shown as clean-cut all-American girls-next-door, assuming the girl next door was a bit slutty. This was the era of Gigi, Lili, Lolita, and Daddy Long Legs. Not to mention Heinlein's Door into Summer. So it was clearly an epoch of older men in love with girls and so the initial audience.

(TOF was misfortunate, girl-next-door-wise: next door to him was a field overgrown with weeds and an elderly couple of Protestant missionaries who seized and kept whatever baseballs were hit into their yard. The nearest girl to TOF's age in the neighborhood was on the next block, and she was his first cousin.)

Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, writes in valediction:
On some level, the image of manhood and sexuality that Hefner was selling was always contradictory. You don’t get to be a cultured and refined modern man without exercising judgment and self restraint, but the sexual revolution that Hefner helped kickstart encouraged men and women to abandon the very inhibitions that helped make sex so alluring in the first place.
And so no wonder that the libertine ultimately ends with a magazine without nekkid wimmin in it. 

19:32

New Arch. Minn. St. Paul initiative aims to make Catholic men ‘watchmen’ [The Badger Catholic]

For years, Chad Crow has attended the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ annual conference for men. And the father of four, who is a parishioner at Transfiguration in Oakdale, said that he and other men who attend the conference typically get a lot out of it.

The difficulty, he said, is that they didn’t find a lot of support for men’s spirituality once they left the conference center and returned to their homes, jobs and parishes.

“It’s like we were all dressed up but had nowhere to go,” he said, noting that while there were many programs that effectively catered to women’s spiritual needs, it was difficult to find suitable equivalents for men.

But Crow and other Catholic men in the archdiocese can expect that to change in the near future as the archdiocese prepares to launch a bold new approach to ministry for adult men.

It’s called the Catholic Watchmen movement, and it aims to equip men to live their faith deeply, lead their families and carry out the new evangelization in an increasingly secular world.
continue at The Catholic Spirit

HT Ray

19:30

How Rod Dreher Escaped the Dark Wood [Catholic Answers]

I first started reading Rod Dreher about a dozen years ago, maybe a bit earlier. He was working at the Dallas Morning News, and many of his online stories were about the priestly abuse scandal, which...

19:18

Starting Monday Off Right: Saint Prisca, Executed for Being an Openly Pious Catholic Edition [Barnhardt]

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

St. Peter baptizing Saint Prisca at Rome, Domenico Cresti (Il Passignano), Church of St. Prisca

St. Peter baptizing Saint Prisca at Rome, Domenico Cresti (Il Passignano), Church of St. Prisca, Aventine Hill

Prisca, who is also known as Priscilla, was a child martyr of the early Roman Church. Born to Christian parents of a noble family, Prisca was raised during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius. While Claudius did not persecute Christians with the same fervor as other Roman emperors, Christians still did not practice their faith openly. In fact, Prisca’s parents went to great lengths to conceal their faith, and thus they were not suspected of being Christians.

Prisca, however, did not feel the need to take precaution. The young girl openly professed her dedication to Christ, and eventually, she was reported to the emperor….

After Bergoglio’s latest raging fit against Catholics who show any actual… CATHOLIC PIETY, going so far as to accuse Catholics who show Catholic piety of IDOLATRY AND DIVINATION, which are sins against the FIRST COMMANDMENT, when reading the martyrology of St. Prisca, a Roman girl who refused to HIDE HER CATHOLICISM, I couldn’t help but think, “Is it going to get to the point that Bergoglio actually tells the New World Order gestapos to come after us specifically? Is he going to hand them a list of fraternities, institutes, societies, monasteries and convents to arrest and ‘disappear’?”

As is textbook-typical of diabolical narcissists, Bergoglio “hates his own”, holds believing Catholics in utter contempt, and rages against them for not worshipping him and lending sufficient support to his Glorious Revolution.

Saint Prisca, pray for us.

And this is what I have to say to Bergoglio:

19:05

More lobby stuff ... [Abbey Roads]

Hotel Lobby, Edward Hopper 1943

Varsity Theater Lobby, Gabriel Mark Lipper

Algonquin Round Table, Natalie Ascencios


18:44

Guest Op-Ed: The Need to Close One’s Ears to the Rehashed Messages of the Pope [RORATE CÆLI]

Last year, when we interviewed Raymond Cardinal Burke (see here) he confirmed Catholics can no longer look towards Rome -- towards Pope Francis -- for guidance on critical issues. The good Cardinal said, instead, to turn to the catechism and tradition.  

With that sage advice in mind, we bring you this guest Op-Ed, written by the highly-esteemed John Rao who, among numerous other things, was Rorate Caeli's first-ever credentialed Conclave correspondent in 2013:

A Not So Surprising Surprise of the Holy Spirit:

The Need to Close One’s Ears to the Rehashed Messages of the Pope

Today we were treated to yet another of Pope Francis’ unending warnings against closure to the divine surprises of the Holy Spirit. These warnings are themselves no surprise whatsoever. They are nothing other than a tiresome rehash of arguments that have repeatedly been offered by the idolaters of change since the time of the Abbé de Lamennais (1782-1854). In particular, they are a rehash of arguments popularized in Latin America after the Second World War by a number of men with close ties to the school of Personalism represented by people like Emmanuel Mounier (1905-1950).

Mounier and Company were propagandists for the need for Catholics to abandon their ties to fixed doctrines and practices and open themselves up instead to the “living” and “vibrant” influences of the powerful cultural forces and movements demonstrating such astonishing vigor in the secular and generally non-Christian world; i.e., to abandon the effort to transform all things in Christ and seek to transform Christianity by reference to all things fallen instead.

This form of Personalism deeply admired—and still admires---strength and the strong man. It is in awe of willfulness and the need to submit to it as though it were an expression of the wishes of the Holy Spirit While not racist in character, it nevertheless was very much impressed by Fascism, which it thought that its own intellectual strong men could guide to a happy goal (hence the need for base communities to train unenlightened Catholics). The school set to up in Uriage in Vichy France to prepare officials for leadership in the New Order such men saw coming into being in the wake of the Nazi victory in 1940 was a main center for spreading the kind of thought Pope Francis repeats regularly.

Shaking with rage over his latest statements, convinced that the one not so surprising surprise of the Holy Spirit in our day is the need to shut our  ears tightly to the nonsense coming out of Rome today, and yet having no time at the moment to write a new article on this subject, I beg readers of Rorate to find a piece that I wrote some ago for the Latin Mass Magazine on this subject -- The Bad Seed: The Liberal-Fascist Embrace, which can be found in toto by clicking here -- to understand where the tyrannical Pope’s usurpation of the authority of the Holy Spirit comes from. I cite one small segment of that article below. The names mentioned are leaders and teachers at Uriage; the citations themselves---which, once again, can be found in the article in question---come from a number of valuable works on the Personalist menace, including some from Personalists themselves.

Transformation of the world, according to the doctrine taught at Uriage, was dependent upon the creation of “persons” as opposed to “individuals.” Allow me briefly to remind readers of my last article that “persons” were defined as men who responded to the call of “natural values” which pressed them to surpass in community life their narrow individual desires. One knew that he was dealing with a community dedicated to a natural value constructing true persons whenever he saw that it possessed a discernible “mystique,” and that it led to creative, self-sacrificing activity. One day, the “convergence” of all such mystiques would result in the establishment of a community of communities producing, in effect, Super-persons, “the greatest transformation to which humanity has ever submitted.” The nightmare of the twentieth century was actually “the bloody birth of a true collective being of men,” mysterious indeed, but providential and eminently Catholic (Ibid., p. 178).

Catholicism’s role in this “convergence” was that of giving witness to the supernatural significance of every natural value, reflected in the mystiques of the active communities of self-sacrificing persons it saw around it, and helping each of them to come to its own innate perfection. It must not sit in judgment of them, because Catholicism itself could not fully know what it really was until everything natural had matured and converged. Catholicism was part of a multifaceted pilgrimage to God, linked together by intuition and action, whose destination was unclear. What was important at the moment was encouraging deeply willed commitment to self-sacrifice of all sorts.

Hence Uriage’s stunning ecumenism, testified to in a myriad of ways. Beginning with Segonzac’s ability “to form friendly relations, on the spiritual plane, with Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Moslems, agnostics,” since he “preferred (rooted) people…in their own setting, in their own culture” (Ibid., p. 83), it passed through the Uriage Charter’s proclamation that “believers and non-believers are, in France, sufficiently impregnated with Christianity that the better among them could meet, beyond revelations and dogmas, at the level of the community of persons, in the same quest for truth, justice and love” (Ibid., p. 59) and arrived, in Mounier, at full-fledged Teilhardian rapture over the strange growth of the “perfect personal community,” where “Love alone would be the bound, and no constraint, no vital or economic interest, no extrinsic institution” (John Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Catholic Left: 1930-1950, Toronto, 1981, p. 85):

Surely [development] is slow and long when only average men are working at it. But then heroes, geniuses, a saint come along: a Saint Paul, a Joan of Arc, a Catherine of Siena, a Saint Bernard, or a Lenin, a Hitler and a Mussolini, or a Gandhi, and suddenly everything picks up speed...[H]uman irrationality, the human will, or simply, for the Christian, the Holy Spirit suddenly provides elements which men lacking imagination would never have foreseen (Ibid., p. 90).

May the democrat, may the communist, may the fascist push the positive aspirations which inspire their enthusiasm to the limit and plenitude.

As John Hellman explains, “Mounier’s belief that there was an element of truth in all strong beliefs coincided with Teilhard’s vision of the inevitable spiritualization of humanity” (Ibid., p. 128).

Let it be emphasized that the message taught at Uriage was not a rational one. Its ultimate justification was intuition and strength of will leading to creative action. Any appeal to logic, either in support or criticism of strongly willed commitment to natural values was dismissed as either belaboring the given, or dangerous, decadent, individualist scholastic pedantry. Better to bury the temptations of a sickly rationalism through the development of the obvious virtue of “manliness,” again, defined in completely anti-intellectual ways: the ability to leap onto a moving streetcar; to ride a bicycle up the steep hill to the Ecole like Jacques Chevalier; to look others “straight in the eye” and “shake hands firmly”; to endure the sweat-filled regimen labelled décrassage devised for students under the inspiration of General Georges Hébert; to sing enthusiastically around the evening fire in the Great Hall; to know how to “take a woman”; and, always, to feel pride in “work well done.” Such manliness was said to have deep spiritual meaning, aspects of which were elaborated in lectures like de Lubac’s Ordre viril, ordre chrétien (Virile Order, Christian Order), and Chenu’s book, Pour être heureux, travaillons ensemble (For Happiness, Let Us Work Together).

Finally, let us note that Uriage’s teaching was unabashedly elitist, the particular mystique of the Ecole being that of developing the natural value of leadership. “The select youth of Uriage” were said to be “the first cell of a new world introduced into a worn-out one” (Hellman, KMV, p. 65), “entrusted with the mission of bringing together the elite from all of the groups that ought to participate in the common task of reconstruction in the same spirit of collaboration” (Ibid., p. 63). Since they were destined to reveal the eternal supernatural significance of the natural values witnessed to by the mystique of all virile communities, Uriage students were actually priestly figures as well. Each class was consecrated and given a great man’s name as talisman. Segonzac especially “took upon himself a certain sacerdotal role, even regarding the wives and children of his instructors” (Ibid., p. 90). This entailed also a “separation between the leaders, the lesser leaders, the lesser-lesser leaders, the almost leaders and the not-at-all leaders” irritating some of the interns. “The central team,” as one of them indicated, “were gods” (Ibid., p. 75).

Fascism was seen by the Uriage gods as a “monstrous prefiguration” of the new personalist humanity waiting to be born. It clearly revealed the presence of strong will, virile manliness, self-sacrifice to the community and even, in the context of the war effort, a commitment to the construction of that European-wide order which the leadership thought to be crucial to a more successful unleashing of the creation of spiritualized personalities. Pétain’s so-called National Revolution was appreciated both because of its anti-liberal bourgeois character and its freedom from the gross “materialist” aspects of Nazism, racism in particular. Nevertheless, the deportation of French youth to forced labor camps, the increasing control by Germany of internal Vichy affairs and the outright takeover of the Unoccupied Zone in the latter part of 1942 moved the leadership of the Ecole closer to the growing Resistance Movement. This tendency was matured by December of that year when Uriage’s enemies at court managed to have it expelled from the Château Bayard.

But Uriage never did anything haphazardly. Building upon the sense of being a modern version of a band of crusading knights, the exiled Ecole leadership created in 1943 a chivalric Order whose inner circle was bound by special vows of a character that Fr. Maydieu compared spiritually to those of marriage. Members of the Order were to sally forth to show the various elements of the Resistance how to perfect their mystiques in the Uriage manner. Thus, high-level emissaries were sent to contact de Gaulle, and “flying squadrons” into the countryside to guide the maquis so that their deficient mystiques could be “transcended spiritually” and “converge” in the construction of the better world of the personalist-Teilhardian faith.

The enthusiasm with which this labor was undertaken was genuine, especially with respect to the Marxist aspects of the Resistance Movement (Marxism, like Fascism, being another “monstrous prefiguration” of a happier future). Here, the Order’s activity was paralleled by the efforts of priests and bishops trying to understand the “mystique” of workers in labor camps and ordinary French factories, training for the latter purpose being offered under the patronage of the supra-diocesan Mission de France. Uriage teachers were themselves involved in these priestly activities – Fr. Dillard, for example, canonizing the Soviets he encountered in the labor camps, and insisting that all workers were born to their task with specific virtues denied to other people. An Uriage-like openness was everywhere in the air. After all, there were “riches in modern disbelief, in atheist Marxism, for example, which are presently lacking to the fullness of the Christian conscience” (Emile Poulat, Les prêtres-ouvrières: Naissance et fin, Cerf, 1999, p. 408). Enlightened spirits had “to share the faith in and the mystique of the Revolution and the Great Day (that of the total Christ)” (Ibid., p. 386), as did one priest who asked to die “turned towards Russia, mother of the proletariat, as towards that mysterious homeland where the Man of the future is being forged” (Ibid., p. 244).

The sons of Uriage retained their wartime sense of being a priestly nation, a people set apart, chosen to judge which mystiques were and were not acceptable on the pathway to “convergence.” Objects of contempt offered themselves aplenty. Soviet apparatchiks did not seem to understand that Marxism was meant to be spiritually transcended. A Stalinist mystique, therefore, had to be jettisoned. American culture was even more hopeless. “The Americans,” Beuve-Mery complained, “could prevent us from carrying out the obligatory revolution, and their materialism does not even have the tragic grandeur of the materialism of the totalitarians” (Ibid., p. 213). Jews were dangerous due to their potential spirit of revenge (Ibid., p. 197). Perhaps most of all, however, traditional Catholicism, which, from Uriage days, had feared the “insistence on bringing together men with different ‘mystiques’ while affecting a ‘manly’ irritation with clericalism, dogma and the orthodox” (Ibid., p. 88), needed to be tossed onto the rubbish heap of contempt.

Mounier is particularly instructive with respect to this growing dismissal of the Church. His vision had always logically involved the possibility of shelving whole realms of Christian scripture, theology and spirituality, should they clash with the “emerging convergence.” By the last years of the war, “there was little place for sin, redemption and resurrection in the debate; the central acts of the Christian drama were set aside” (Hellman, Mounier, p. 255). Nietzsche’s critique of slavish Christianity now seemed to him to be unanswerable, and he “came to think that Roman Catholicism was an integral part of almost all he hated. Then, when he searched his soul, he discovered that the aspects of himself which he appreciated least were his ‘Catholic’ traits” (Ibid., p. 190). Doing what one willed was the unum necessarium. Everything rational from the Greek tradition used to support Christianity and dampen the will was execrated as well. If there was anything valuable in the Greco-Christian heritage it had to come from personalists rebuilding it from scratch; those appealing to the Catholic name and Catholic practice in his day required diagnosis and psychiatric help:

Mounier now flatly denounced old-fashioned Christianity and Christians. Christianity, he wrote, was “conservative, defensive, sulky, afraid of the future.” Whether it “collapses in a struggle or sinks slowly in a coma of self-complacency,” it was doomed. “Christians,” he castigated in even stronger terms in a rhapsodic style worthy of his new master (Nietzsche): “These crooked beings who go forward in life only sidelong with downcast eyes, these ungainly souls, these weighers-up of virtues, these dominical victims, these pious cowards, these lymphatic heroes, these colourless virgins, these vessels of ennui, these bags of syllogisms, these shadows of shadows…” (Ibid., p. 191).

Metaphysical speculation, Mounier declared, was a characteristic of “lifeless schizoid personalities.”…Mounier even referred to intelligence and spirituality as “bodily diseases” and attributed the indecisiveness of many Christians to their ignorance of “how to jump a ditch or strike a blow.” ... “Modern psychiatry,” Mounier wrote, had shed light on the morbid taste for the “spiritual,” for “higher things,” for the ideal and for effusions of the soul…. Thus, many forms of religious devotion were the result of psychosis, self-deception or vanity. Prayer was often a sign of psychological illness and weakness (Ibid., pp. 192-193).

18:34

For the Confused... [That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill]

Just a few of the items found in the home of a traditional Catholic...
If, like me, you are confused by Pope Francis's words today on the Church, ecclesiastical tradition,  'obstinacy' to new(ness) and its relation to 'divination', please find below an explanation of what the Catechism teaches on such matters. Not that we need a Catechism anymore, for Truth itself, in the person of the Pope, has spoken...

In fact, let's burn those Catechisms with all its references to ancient beliefs and texts. They will serve as excellent and ecologically sound paper and wood burning stoves in honour of Mother Earth...Laudato Si! What wood is there around? Oh, let's burn our Crucifixes. After all, we've always put them up in veneration of Our Lord's saving Passion and to ward off the Evil one. Does not the very fact we have always done it serve to tell us we should abandon such a practice when but a word from our beloved Supreme Pontiff or his Successors would assure us of the great wisdom in doing so, despite what every one of his venerable and illustrious predecessors have said and done. Just wondering, does the god of surprises stop threatening a surprise should the next Pope be Cardinal Raymond Burke? Now that would be a turn up...

Idolatry

2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."44 Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."47

Point of Commentary 1. Just to be clear on this. It is perfectly possible for the flock of Jesus Christ to pay so much reverence to the Pope that, in theory, should a bad Pope lead them astray, they could follow a Pope into error and suffer the loss of their immortal souls, should he teach heresy or error, something which a Pope is perfectly capable of doing. This is an unfortunate fact of which the current Pope seldom reminds the Faithful. For example, a Pope could suggest that God may or will, within his own pontificate or in the future, reveal something new which He had not revealed which could contradict that which has been revealed already according to His good pleasure.

It so happens that the sin of idolatry could lead a Catholic into Hell, should he obstinately follow a Pope's teaching, should, for example, a Pope ever teach the doctrine that reception of Holy Communion while remaining unrepentant in mortal sin is just dandy with the Lord God of Hosts.


Divination and magic

2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.

Point of Commentary 2. Just to be clear on this. It is perfectly possible for the flock of Jesus Christ to pay so much reverence to the Pope that, in theory, should a bad Pope lead them astray, they could follow a Pope into error and suffer the loss of their immortal souls, should he teach heresy or error, something which a Pope is perfectly capable of doing. This is an unfortunate fact of which the current Pope seldom reminds the Faithful. For example, a Pope could suggest that God may or will, within his own pontificate or in the future, reveal something new which He had not revealed which could contradict that which has been revealed already according to His good pleasure.

It so happens that the sin of divination (claiming some kind of power to know the future) could lead a Pope and his unfortunate followers into Hell, should a Pope ever obstinately believe and follow his own error - while claiming no source but his own esoteric "insight" - that God will  reveal something new that contradicts what God has hitherto revealed, thus communicating to the entire flock that God is not God and that ultimately, God is not, but rather that he is, in consequence, God. That might sound overly dramatic and simplistic, but hey, that's essentially what you're saying, if your telling the People of God to 'forget' what Christ and His Church has taught and believed, always and everywhere and believe something else instead. Don't blame me, or any other Catholic commentator, for drawing the only conclusion there is to draw when simple logic is applied in the process of examining the words of His Holiness Pope Francis.

To conclude, again I must ask why, if traditional customs in the Church are such an encumbrance to 'newness' of life in Christ, then why must Catholics maintain the very traditional custom of venerating, in any way, what a Pope says or giving it even a second's thought? Could we not just instead believe an individual Pope is mad, should we so choose, or an apostate or an infidel, according to what he says? His Holiness can only conduct such sifting and picking of those traditions that can stay (because they please him personally) and those that can go (because they displease him personally) by appealing to an Authority over the Church given by the Son of God to him, his predecessors and his successors, which is going on 2,000 years old, but I very much doubt His Holiness, even in his admirable humility, will ever tell us not to listen to him because listening to the Pope is what we did 'before the Second Vatican Council or before March 2013'.



With all that said, for 60 years, a multitude of Priests, Bishops and even Popes have been refusing to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. For these men, how can they refuse when people ask for it. After all, "We can't embrace change because it's different to what we have always done!" simply won't wash now...

18:22

Schönborn's Leftist Wormtongue, Fr. Paul Zulehner, Recommends Self-Censoring of the Hemorrhaging in Church Membership [The Eponymous Flower]

Cardinal Schönborn Effect: Between 2002 and 2015 approximately 220,000 Catholics have left the Conciliar Church  [graphic: Kreuz-net]

The wave of departures continue unabated

The Schönborn-Church with its devotion to the political left deals mainly  with the business of Muslim immigration. Repulsive example is the convert and Caritas CEO Fr. Michael Landau, who was implanted by  Fr. Helmut Schüller into the troupe of Schönborn apparatchiks.
In return, the Conciliar Church under Schönborn has massively neglected  taking care of the Catholics, rather he's offended them by his political agitation (for example, in the period just before the local elections in Vienna, holding a press photo-op with the socialist mayor of Vienna Michael Häupl).

Mass Departures Under Schönborn 


Since Schönborn took over the Vienna Archdiocese, approximately 300,000 Catholics from the church-tax church have departed: in 2015 there were, according to official Church statistics (presented on 12 January 2016) 16,103 people leaving, in 2014 15,897 Catholics have turned their backs on Schönborn, while in the previous year (2013) it was 15,889.
The house sycophants of Kathpress have downplayed that with the strengthening wave of continued exits, "the number of Catholics in Austria [had] remained broadly stable" - "only" 56,365 departures?

The Nazi Church-tax Revenues Are Still Rising

In 2015 the Church had revenues from the church-tax in the amount of 435 million EUR,  8 million EUR more than the year before. As long as the money (the Church-tax) is in order  then the Church-tax apparatchiks are satisfied. Even in Vienna the revenues from the Church tax have risen despite the loss 1.2 million euros because of departures.

Proselytizing the nadir

The factor that is  primarily  responsible for the defections, is the current Church policy of conciliar emasculation which also leads to a decline of proselytizing.
The protestations of Schönborn's spokesman Michael Prüller, that a focal point in Vienna must be missionary, are empty words: The re-entry numbers are negligible, as are activities also. In addition, the Conciliar Church has no missionary efforts among the heretics. [At least not in Austria]
In fact, the missionary must begin with the Vienna clergy and church officials: A replacement of at least half of the functionaries would be necessary,  in Schönborn's immediate circle, a complete overhaul would be a perfect asset for the Church.

Schönborn's leftist wormtongues and
the instructions for self-delusion

Of particular usefulness is the statement by the religion sociologist Paul Zulehner (one those mainly responsible  for departures), one should expect the numbers leaving to be small. His "very pragmatic Tip", which he has given to the left at Cologne Domradio in July 2015:
  • "We now figure we are 100 percent different from when we came from a time when religion was fate. In the future, we should rather turn the tables and say we expect from zero percent up, and could then say, oh, it's interesting, in many European countries so many people are very committed Christians. It's almost a miracle that people dial in to the freedom of the gospel. We need to 'benchmark,' as it were,  change, and  not from the top down but from the bottom up. Then we would also stop this whining about the departures. "

"Underground Catholics"

Already in 2009, Erich Leitenberger, the former spokesman of the Archdiocese of Vienna, tried to gloss over the numbers of departures by pointing out "that the official number is yet difficult to estimate since the group of 'underground Catholics' should be added" - well that did not change the continuing progressive Development.

The Haze of Mercy in the Decaying of Faith 

The Church is  "reaping" the undiminished  fruits of failing faith and is even more so unwilling under the current  Pope   to rethink, stressing the need to reflect the beliefs: The haze of mercy currently existent in Rome  does not help against the decay of faith.

AMDG

18:13

When Christ's Church Becomes a Social Hall [LES FEMMES - THE TRUTH]

St. John the Baptist, Front Royal, VA
My husband and I decided to attend Mass this past weekend at the parish up the road, St. John the Baptist in Front Royal. I like to go to Confession there because both priests give encouraging direction during the sacrament that always makes me reflect more deeply on my own spiritual condition. And they are obviously in demand because both lines are continuous during the entire hour and sometimes beyond. Long lines aren't the result of long confessions either. When I got in line there were about eight people in front of me and I waited about 20 minutes. I estimate the priests hear between 50 and 75 Confessions on Saturday afternoon. The parish also offers the sacrament every day after the morning Mass as well as the "Welcome Home" program of evening Confessions on Wednesdays. What a blessing for those parishioners!


Since the vigil Mass was only an hour after the end of Confessions we used the time to take a walk and pray our rosary then returned. Half an hour before Mass started the church was already filling up. And where were most parishioners? In the front pews. Not only that, there was total silence...no chatting, no greeting of friends except an occasional smile and hand wave, complete silence.

The Mass was reverent, the music was traditional instead of banal pop songs from the Gather hymnal, and the homily was thought provoking and challenging. But what especially makes us want to return often, is the reverence of the congregation and the clear awareness that, yes, Jesus is there in the tabernacle. The posture and disposition of the congregation make it clear. Aside from a few baby noises throughout the Mass the church, which was relatively full, was silent except for the responses and hymns.

And after Mass, praised be to God, the reverence continued. Some people stayed to pray. Those who left exited silently.

Sadly, that is not the way at many churches. After Sunday Mass, the "worship space" often becomes the "parish gymnasium." People laugh and talk, not in whispers, but in loud cheerleading voices. Some call to their friends across the church. Even many of those who should be models for others: the organist, the choir, the ushers engage in what I can only call "church hall socializing." It is irreverent and a serious impediment to anyone who wants to stay and pray. I remember Fr. Groschel's advice to tell talkers to "Shut up!" but I'm too much my mother's daughter. She would not approve. And so, when we are at a church where socializing in the church after Mass is the norm, we leave quickly apologizing to Jesus on the way out for the lack of reverence offered Him as King of Kings.

One of the most distressing things about the socializing to me, as a mother and grandmother, is the bad example to the young people. Bad behavior is contagious. A few Sundays ago I noticed the altar boys after Mass chatting in the sanctuary as they cleared the credence table and snuffed the candles. Are they just imitating the behavior of their elders? And really, do any of those chatting and laughing have any sense of the reverence Our Savior deserves? Aren't they showing the attitude of the moneylenders in the Temple? They may not be turning the church into a "den of thieves," but they are certainly turning it into a den of socializers. Please, I want to say, take your conversations outside or to the hall. I have done that, but only rarely.

One last thought: while we were at St. John the Baptist, we ran into another couple from our own parish who said they no longer go there for Sunday Mass. "Isn't it wonderful here!" they said. Yes it is. And it is certainly clear by their actions that all those people kneeling and praying after Mass at St. John the Baptist believe in the Real Presence before them in the tabernacle. I'm not so sure about those laughing and talking with their backs to Jesus while they celebrate their own fellowship.

Let us all pray for increased reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Nothing illustrates belief in the Real Presence more than that. "O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine."

18:11

Tweet zum Tage [Beiboot Petri]

Man kann's nicht of genug wiederholen - auch in diesen Zeiten ist es wahr!

18:04

Will the first-ever Orthodox council occur this year? We'll know soon. [CatholicCulture.org - Commentary on Catholic News and World Affairs]

Since the Great Schism, the Roman Catholic Church has held 13 ecumenical councils; the Orthodox churches have held: none. That failure to arrange a worldwide gathering, for nearly a millennium, is a major failure for Orthodoxy. It is an indication that the Orthodox world has been troubled by nationalism and caesaropapism. Or to put it differently, it is a powerful argument that the Orthodox Church is not universal. In his book The Russian Church and the Papacy, the great Russian theologian Vladimir Soloviev cites the failure to convene an Orthodox council as one of the signs that the Church of Rome is the one true Church.

17:18

8 Tips on How to Pray Every Day [Taylor Marshall]

In our Catholic New Year’s Goals webinar, we covered many tips on how to elevate your daily spiritual life.

(You can watch the replay here.)

The single best thing that you can do is to commit to a schedule of daily mental prayer. Here are tips in no particular order:

  1. Find a place in your home where you pray. Designate a space.
  2. Find a time in the day when you pray. The prophets and the saints usually got up early to pray. Set your alarm clock earlier (go to bed earlier) and wake up to be with Christ in the morning.
  3. Create a morning ritual that includes prayer. I recommend that it include Scriptural reading, also. The Bible is how God usually talks to you. “God never talks to me,” people often say. My response is, “Are you reading the Bible?” God talks to you in Scripture.
  4. Use a timer on your phone. Start at 5 minutes and work up to 30 minutes daily.
  5. Mental prayer is using your mind (“mental”) to speak to God. Tell him everything. Speak with your heart. Ask Him questions about your life. Ask Him theology questions? Ask Him to do more than you expect. Don’t be afraid to ask for insanely crazy requests. He likes to answer those best because they prove that we didn’t accomplish it.
  6. Keep a New Testament or spiritual reading book nearby. If you’re mind loses track and wanders. Use this book to read a few sentences to focus again on Christ or spiritual thoughts.
  7. Use your daily time to fill yourself with positivity. The people that I know that pray 30-60 minutes every day are very positive thinkers. Why? Because they spend time with God and learn that all things are possible through Christ. Faith and prayer build confidence and a “get it done” attitude. The most pessimistic (and lazy) people are the people who do not pray or do not spend time alone in silence. “Be still and know that I am God.”
  8. Make daily prayer your identity. Repeatedly tell yourself: “I am a person who talks to the Trinity every day. That is who I am and I always do it.” Become what you are.
Question: We can evangelize every soul on earth if we pray and fill ourselves every day with Christ’s resurrected power. How do you best plan your goal of daily mental prayer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

(You can watch Catholic New Years Goals Webinar replay here.)

The post 8 Tips on How to Pray Every Day appeared first on Taylor Marshall.

17:08

1.18.16 [Just Thomism]

-Science is the world so far as it is willing to submit to our questioning, our standards of evidence, our demands for consistency, predictability, behavior according to a model, etc..

-Is there  anything rational about an event that couldn’t be entered into evidence? About a business relationship that couldn’t be put in a contract?

-Is everything visible tangible? Leaving off outlier cases, the answer is either (obviously) yes since the same things we see are things that could be touched or (obviously) no since it’s not as if blind men can’t feel or the anaesthetized go blind. All modes of knowledge are like this. From within the mode, nothing is left out, and everything can be reduced to an explanation in that mode (the visible can be wholly reduced to a tangible shape, like a wave.) So far as this goes, any mode of knowledge is the only or the best means we have of attaining reality.

-Tradition is hear-say: we heard from someone who heard from someone who heard, etc.

 


17:00

May 2016 • Major Choral Event In Dallas! [Corpus Christi Watershed news]

May 2016 • Major Choral Event In Dallas!

17:00

My Speech at Walk for Life Northwest 2016 [Creative Minority Report]

*subhead*Surprise!*subhead*
It was very cold and very wet, but it was worth it. This weekend I spoke alongside Walter Hoye at the Walk for Life Northwest. He and his wife are amazing witnesses for life. I am so privileged that I got to meet them.

 The organizers likely wanted me to speak about biotechnology. I threw them a curve ball instead. Here is the video.


Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly

16:57

Institute of Christ the King Pilgrimage to Lourdes [LMS Chairman]

Update: more info is posted below. Canon Montjean is open to the possibility of the coach picking people up en route, so it may not be necessary to get to New Brighton.

The Institute of Christ the King, based in the Church of SS Peter & Paul and St Philomena in the Wirral, is organising an English contribution to a Lourdes Pilgrimage which will be visited by Cardinal Burke.


I recently read in the Catholic press that the number of pilgrims to Lourdes has plumeted in the last few years. I don't know why, but it is time for Traditional Catholics to take up the slack.

  • The Institute of Christ the King organises an annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th April, in presence of 
His Eminence, Cardinal Burke and all the Seminarians and Sisters of the ICKSP.
I would like to organize the travel and acommodations from New Brighton, but I need a first estimate of the number of pilgrims.
Approx. cost (flight from Manchester, coach Toulouse to Lourdes, accommodation and meals included except Insurance is £500)
If you are any interested, please contact me before 25th January at 0797 212 8097 or chn.montjean@icrsp.org !

More info:

PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES
from the North West of England

with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

in presence of His Eminence CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE

22ndAPRIL to 26th APRIL 2016
Total cost: £450


Friday 22th April
7am: Coach from New Brighton (CH45 9LT) to Heathrow Airport
1.55pm: Flight to Toulouse (BRITISH AIRWAYS) + coach to Lourdes
Saturday 23rdand Sunday 24th April
Pilgrimage with the ICKSP.
Tuesday 26thApril
12noon: Coach to Toulouse Airport
5.40pm: Return flight to London Heathrow + coach to New Brighton
Costs breakdown:
Flights British Airways: £200 (£30 deposit before 29th January)
Return Coach transfer from Wallasey to Heathrow: £50
Return Coach transfer from Toulouse to Lourdes:  £50
Hotel full board for 4 nights (including breakfast, lunch and dinner): £150
Single room supplement: £70
These costs does not include travel Insurances.
A copy of a valid Passport must be provided with your deposit.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE CANON MONTJEAN: chn.montjean@icrsp.org or 0797 212 8097.


PREBOOKING: £30 DEPOSIT BEFORE 29th JANUARY 2016

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

16:25

5,000+ brave frigid temps at March for Life Chicago [The Badger Catholic]



Both from a nice photo set from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Sun Times: Pastor asks anti-abortion activists to take fight to black community

Yahoo News: Thousands brave cold to attend Chicago anti-abortion march

LifeSite: March for Life Chicago 2016: Thousands converge this Sunday to proclaim sanctity of human life



And the award for the best sign:

15:41

The Dominican Order as a reflection of the Trinity [Laodicea]

These three great saints, Dominic, Thomas Aquinas, and Catherine of Siena are, within the same Order, like a reflection of the three divine Persons: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit of love. Their union remains mysterious for us only because it is so intimate and so sublime (Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange)


15:25

On Intercessory Prayer []

In the history of the Church, one sees several ways to pray for other people. One way, a common way in America and Europe, are prayer groups or prayer chains. I have prayer chains on email. When I need help praying for someone, I email several friends in two continents, to pray for a person, who is dying, or seriously ill, or considering an abortion and so on. Many of these prayers have been answered.

Another efficacious way to interceded in prayer, especially for serious matters, is to have Masses said for a person. I do this when I have the money for the stipends.. Mass is the most perfect type of prayer, and the Mass is the most efficacious form of intercession. I believe the TLM is the highest form of intercessory prayer.

Another way is by saying a few prayer for someone, or a rosary, or better yet, a novena.

The next manner of intercessory prayer involves entering into long days, weeks, months, even years for specific people. I do this and I am sure many readers do this type of prayer as well. This type of intercession is not merely three Hail Marys and three Our Fathers and so on. It is intense, focused prayer for another person.

In addition, adding to the efficaciousness of this type of focused prayer would be the offering up of pain and sacrifices for that person. For example, fasting and mortification may be added to this intense prayer.

On top of this, there are some people who are victim souls, a rare vocation and not to be demanded of God. God takes the initiative for victim souls to live a life of intercession.

Some obvious examples are Marthe Robin and Padre Pio, whose lives were offered up for the conversion of others. A good article may be found below.

https://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/MROBIN.HTM

I recall a section of the Diary of St. Faustina which I read many years ago. Faustina was experiencing physical illness and pain. She beg God to take this suffering away. After a few days, Faustina asked God for the pain back again, stating that she wanted the suffering to aid in her intercessory prayers.

A commentator below notes that Faustina purposefully took on prayer and suffering.

St. Faustina also believed that you can in fact compel God to grant a grace by sacrifice and prayer. On one occasion St. Faustina’s sister, who had many needs came to asking her for her help. St. Faustina spent two weeks in sacrifice and prayer for her sister and at the end of two weeks, she had received everything she needed without exception. St. Faustina said that she had compelled Jesus not only to help her sister but also to change her completely. St. Faustina said, “When I reflect on all this, I see that it was truly a miracle. Now I can see how much power intercessory prayer has before God”. (Diary 202) http://www.divinemercy.org/index.php/elements-of-divine-mercy/3-o-clock-prayer/110-st-faustinas-life-of-intercessory-prayer.html

God wants us to compel Him to be merciful by offering constant prayer and sacrifices for others. He wants us to pray like Abraham and Moses, arguing with God; for as long as our hearts are right, our lips can be bold. Indeed, St. Faustina thought if your own soul is in grace, there is nothing that you cannot pray to the Lord for.

Too often we beg God to end illness, or sufferings of many types, when instead of healing, God is asking one to use the discomforts of life for intercessory prayer. Yes, God desires to heal some people, but not all.

The most common way to be purged of sin is through illness and suffering. Such trials prepare us for death. Today, I was thinking of this passage from Scripture.

In Esther 2, one reads that it took a long time for the women chosen to be considered the bride of the King, after he deposed Vashti, to become presentable.

12 Now when every virgin’s turn came to go in to the king, after all had been done for setting them off to advantage, it was the twelfth month: so that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices.

Not only were the women cleansed of bacteria or dirt, they were made healthy and beautiful. So, too, in illness and suffering, God purges a soul of sin and the tendencies towards sin, removes the predominant fault, and prepares the soul to become a bride of Christ.

Suffering for one’s own sins and faults is the number one reason for trials, even illness. But, illness and pain can be for intercession. After Esther was cleaned, she went into the King who chose her for his queen. Then, she was asked by God and her uncle Mardochai to intercede for her people. She fasted and prayed. She faced death.

God answered her prayers. He will answer our prayers, if like Faustina and Esther, we add sacrifices, or the trials of life (without complaining) to those prayers.

14:00

The Balance Scale: Nineteen to One [New Liturgical Movement]

In an article here at NLM, Gregory DiPippo beautifully summed up the fundamental difference between the original Liturgical Movement and its increasingly revolutionary successor prior to, during, and after the Second Vatican Council:
Before World War I, the major figures in the Liturgical Movement believed that instilling true devotion to the liturgy, and curing the neglect thereof, was principally a matter of education. The liturgy was seen as an inexhaustible treasure-trove for the spiritual life, and the goal of men such as Dom Guéranger and Fr. Romano Guardini was to raise both the clergy and the laity up to a greater appreciation of it. In the period between the wars, the attitude shifted towards the idea that if the run of the clergy and faithful were uninterested in the liturgy, the problem lay not with them, but with the liturgy. The cure for this neglect would then become, not to educate the faithful up to the level of the liturgy, but to alter the liturgy to suit the needs of “modern” man.
DiPippo goes on to ask the logical questions that no progressive or liberal or modernist could ever answer without undermining his own position:
Since all of the architects of the post-Conciliar reforms were formed as churchmen in the aftermath of the two World Wars, the question should also be asked: how much of their era’s way of looking at the world, how many of their attitudes and ideas, are as perennially valuable as those of, say, Saints Augustine, Benedict, and Gregory the Great? If they could ask the question “how much longer must we live according to the ideas of the preceding centuries?”, and answer “no longer, starting from today”; can we not also ask “how much longer must we live according to the ideas of the preceding century?” (These questions are pertinent not only to the liturgy, of course, but to all of the aspects in which the Church struggles through the aftermath of the post-Conciliar reforms.)
These questions could sound like an endorsement of perpetual revolt: each generation has to throw off that which came before. But he’s not saying that at all. Rather, he’s saying that there are two views: the one that chucked out tradition, arbitrarily mixing archaic and modernist elements (the decadent liturgical movement), and the one that honored and respected tradition in its slow development over time (the original liturgical movement). The former specializes in throwing the past overboard, or tinkering with it ad libitum and injecting modernity into it — Fr. Gelineau’s concept of the liturgy as “a permanent workshop”[1] — while the latter wishes to hold firm to the received treasures and to live them with the understanding that comes from love.[2] It is the essential difference between the revolutionary and the counter-revolutionary: one tears down and reconstructs on a new plan, the other maintains a sound identity by preserving, repairing, and enriching.

One might think of it this way. Let us say you have a balance scale for the history of the Church, and you want to determine what is heavier, weightier, worthier. In one dish is more than nineteen centuries of tradition (and with it, reverence for the given forms of worship); in the other dish, not even one century of theory-based experimentation (and with it, a notable lack of reverence for given forms). Which way will the balance tilt? Which way will you tilt? For each of us is, in a way, the balance scale, and how we tilt amounts to a small gain or loss in the renewal of the Church.

Consider a different use of this metaphor. Some practices are extremely widespread, and others are rare. Say you are weighing precious metals and common metals. The weight of the common, since there is far more of it, may greatly exceed the weight of the precious, but you would be foolish not to take the precious over the common, the gold over the lead. Here, it is not weight that counts, but quality. Take the one piece of gold over the nineteen pieces of lead.

The traditional Catholic joins his lot with nineteen and a half centuries of organic development rather than half a century of inorganic innovation. He searches for the precious handmade works of great anonymous masters and values them above the lackluster assembly-line products of committee barons. He knows how to use — and how to be — a reliable balance scale.

NOTES

[1] See here for the full quotation.
[2] See my article "Carrying Forward the Noble Work of the Liturgical Movement" for more on the contrast.

13:24

I confess: I am a "rebel" and an "idolater" and I am "obstinate," but I'll never be a Papolater! [Vox Cantoris]

Once again, Francis has managed to lecture and insult faithful Catholics. It is really quite possible that he is losing his mind or he is suffering from some form of dementia; at least, that would be a charitable thought and one in which we could pity him for his mocking of those who hold fast to the Truth. 

On the other hand, as I've said before, he is "setting us up."

No Pope has behaved in the manner of this man.

Cardinals, Bishops - when will you rise up?




Pope Francis: obstinate Christians are rebels and idolaters

(Vatican Radio) Christians who stop at “it’s always been done that way” have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels will never arrive at the fullness of the truth. That was the message of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning at the chapel in the Casa Santa Marta.
In the first reading, Saul was rejected by God as King of Israel because he disobeyed, preferring to listen to the people rather than the will of God. The people, after a victory in battle, wanted to offer a sacrifice of the best animals to God, because, he said, “it’s always been done that way.” But God, this time, did not want that. The prophet Samuel rebuked Saul: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord?” Jesus teaches us the same thing in the Gospel, the Pope explained. When the doctors of the law criticized Him because His disciples did not fast “as had always been done,” Jesus responded with these examples from daily life: “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
“What does this mean? That He changes the law? No! That the law is at the service of man, who is at the service of God – and so man ought to have an open heart. ‘It’s always been done this way’ is a closed heart, and Jesus tells us, ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit and He will lead you into the fullness of truth.’ If you have a heart closed to the newness of the Spirit, you will never reach the full truth. And your Christian life will be a half-and-half life, a patched life, mended with new things, but on a structure that is not open to the voice of the Lord—a closed heart, so that you are not able to change others.”
This, the Pope emphasized, was the sin of Saul, for which he was rejected. “It is the sin of so many Christians who cling to what has always been done and who do not allow others to change. And they end up with half a life, [a life that is] patched, mended, meaningless.” The sin, he said, “is a closed heart,” that “does not hear the voice of the Lord, that is not open to the newness of the Lord, to the Spirit that always surprises us.” This rebellion, says Samuel, is “the sin of divination,” and obstinacy is the sin of idolatry:
“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,' this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”
Pope Francis noted that in Jesus’ time, good Israelites were in the habit of fasting. “But there is another reality,” he said. “There is the Holy Spirit who leads us into the full truth. And for this reason he needs an open heart, a heart that will not stubbornly remain in the sin of idolatry of oneself,” imagining that my own opinion is more important than the surprise of the Holy Spirit.
“This is the message the Church gives us today. This is what Jesus says so forcefully: ‘New wine in new wineskins.’ Habits must be renewed in the newness of the Spirit, in the surprises of God. May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.”
(from Vatican Radio)

12:57

Those who resist change are obstinate rebels and idolaters and are guilty of "divination"! [RORATE CÆLI]

Thus says Pope Francis in his latest screed from Casa Santa Marta. 

From News.Va (with our emphases).

Pope Francis: obstinate Christians are rebels and idolaters
2016-01-18 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Christians who stop at “it’s always been done that way” have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels will never arrive at the fullness of the truth. That was the message of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning at the chapel in the Casa Santa Marta.

In the first reading, Saul was rejected by God as King of Israel because he disobeyed, preferring to listen to the people rather than the will of God. The people, after a victory in battle, wanted to offer a sacrifice of the best animals to God, because, he said, “it’s always been done that way.” But God, this time, did not want that. The prophet Samuel rebuked Saul: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord?” Jesus teaches us the same thing in the Gospel, the Pope explained. When the doctors of the law criticized Him because His disciples did not fast “as had always been done,” Jesus responded with these examples from daily life: “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

“What does this mean? That He changes the law? No! That the law is at the service of man, who is at the service of God – and so man ought to have an open heart. ‘It’s always been done this way’ is a closed heart, and Jesus tells us, ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit and He will lead you into the fullness of truth.’ If you have a heart closed to the newness of the Spirit, you will never reach the full truth. And your Christian life will be a half-and-half life, a patched life, mended with new things, but on a structure that is not open to the voice of the Lord—a closed heart, so that you are not able to change others.”

This, the Pope emphasized, was the sin of Saul, for which he was rejected. “It is the sin of so many Christians who cling to what has always been done and who do not allow others to change. And they end up with half a life, [a life that is] patched, mended, meaningless.” The sin, he said, “is a closed heart,” that “does not hear the voice of the Lord, that is not open to the newness of the Lord, to the Spirit that always surprises us.” This rebellion, says Samuel, is “the sin of divination,” and obstinacy is the sin of idolatry:

“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,' this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”

Pope Francis noted that in Jesus’ time, good Israelites were in the habit of fasting. “But there is another reality,” he said. “There is the Holy Spirit who leads us into the full truth. And for this reason he needs an open heart, a heart that will not stubbornly remain in the sin of idolatry of oneself,” imagining that my own opinion is more important than the surprise of the Holy Spirit.

“This is the message the Church gives us today. This is what Jesus says so forcefully: ‘New wine in new wineskins.’ Habits must be renewed in the newness of the Spirit, in the surprises of God. May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.”

12:43

Martin Luther was an evil devil; any Catholic Prelate that says otherwise is a liar. [Vox Cantoris]

The title says my thought for the day.

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/01/should-any-catholic-praise-luther-cross.html

And just to annoy my special friend; here is Luther again, in Hell.

Egbert II van Heemskerck d. 1710

12:03

Interest in the Past [Laudator Temporis Acti]

Ernest Renan (1823-1892), Recollections of My Youth, tr. C.B. Pitman (London: Chapman and Hall, 1883), p. 228:

For the day is not, we may be sure, very far distant when man will cease to attach much interest to his past. I am very much afraid that our minute contributions to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, which are intended to assist to an accurate comprehension of history, will crumble to dust before they have been read.

On voit poindre, en effet, un âge où l'homme n'attachera plus beaucoup d'intérêt à son passé. Je crains fort que nos écrits de précision de l'Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, destinés à donner quelque exactitude à l'histoire, ne pourrissent avant d'avoir été lus.

12:00

The Leafless Trees My Fancy Please [Siris]

Winter: A Dirge
By Robert Burns


The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,
The joyless winter-day,
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Pow’r Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want (O, do Thou grant
This one request of mine!)
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.

Of course, this is not what winter weather is generally like in Central Texas; but it is what literary winter is like everywhere.

11:49

Confirmation [Laudator Temporis Acti]

Aratus, Phaenomena 1142-1144 (tr. A.W. Mair):

Good rule it is to look for sign confirming sign. When two point the same way, forecast with hope; when three, with confidence.

                                      καλὸν δ᾿ ἐπὶ σήματι σῆμα
σκέπτεσθαι· μᾶλλον δὲ δυοῖν εἰς ταὐτὸν ἰόντων
ἐλπωρὴ τελέθοι, τριτάτῳ δέ κε θαρσήσειας.

11:38

Wie will das deutsche Episkopat die muslimischen Einwanderer missionieren? [Mathias von Gersdorff]

„Saint Paul prêchant à Athènes“ von Etienne Achille Réveil - Museum of painting and sculpture (book). Lizenziert unter Gemeinfrei über Wikimedia Commons  In den letzten Tagen sorgte ein Vortrag des Kölner Erzbischofs, Kardinal Rainer Woelki, für erhebliche Irritation. Laut der „Aachener Zeitung“ warf sich der Kardinal mächtig für eine möglichst liberale Asylpolitik ins Zeug: „Diese Mauern

11:06

The Solid Rock of Brotherhood [Dominicana]

Today we take a national holiday to recall a man who demanded from his country the riches of freedom and the security of justice. Freedom is an easy thing to celebrate, but we talk about freedom so often that it can become trivialized. So today it is good to take a moment and reflect upon […]

11:06

Labial Courtesies, Hideous to English Eyes [Laudator Temporis Acti]

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), History of a Six Weeks' Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland (London: T. Hookham, 1817), pp. 67-68:

We took our places in the diligence-par-eau for Cologne, and the next morning (September 4th) departed. This conveyance appeared much more like a mercantile English affair than any we had before seen; it was shaped like a steam-boat, with a cabin and a high deck. Most of our companions chose to remain in the cabin; this was fortunate for us, since nothing could be more horribly disgusting than the lower order of smoking, drinking Germans who travelled with us; they swaggered and talked, and what was hideous to English eyes, kissed one another...
Thomas Hood (1799-1845), Up the Rhine, new ed. (London: E. Moxon, Son, & Co., 1869), p. 150:
The bell now rang, forewarning the passengers and their friends that it was time to separate; whereupon, to the infinite surprise of my aunt, two remarkably corpulent old gentlemen tumbled into each other's arms, and exchanged such salutes as are only current in England amongst females, or between parties of opposite sexes. To our notions there is something repulsive in this kissing amongst men; but when two weather-beaten veterans, "bearded like the pard," or like Blücher, indulge in these labial courtesies, there is also something ludicrous in the picture.

11:00

On Praying the Rosary for Unity [Vultus Christi]

Pope_Leo_XIIIHoly Mary, Mother of Unity
Pope Leo XIII requested that the Rosary be prayed specifically for the intention of reconciliation and reunion. Here is the relevant section from his Encyclical of September 20 1896, Fidentem Piumque Animum:

The Power of Prayer
That earnest desire, which We have learnt from the Divine Heart of Jesus, of fostering the work of reconciliation among those who are separated from Us daily urges Us more pressingly to action; and we are convinced that this most excellent Re-union cannot be better prepared and strengthened than by the power of prayer. The example of Christ is before us, for in order that His disciples might be one in faith and charity, he poured forth prayer and supplication to His Father.

The Patroness and Most Excellent Custodian of Unity
And concerning the efficacious prayer of His most holy Mother for the same end, there is a striking testimony in the Acts of the Apostles. Therein is described the first assembly of the Disciples, expecting with earnest hope and prayer the promised fullness of the Holy Spirit. And the presence of Mary united with them in prayer is specially indicated: All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus (Acts 1:14). Wherefore as the nascent church rightly joined itself in prayer with her as the patroness and most excellent custodian of Unity, so in these times is it most opportune to do the same all over the Catholic World.

Nothing More Acceptable to Mary
Let then the zeal for this prayer (of the Rosary) everywhere be re-kindled, particularly for the end of Holy Unity. Nothing will be more agreeable and acceptable to Mary; for, as she is most closely united with Christ she especially wishes and desires that they who have received the same Baptism with Him may be united with Him and with one another in the same faith and perfect charity. So may the sublime mysteries of this same faith by means of the Rosary devotion be more deeply impressed in men’s minds, with the happy result that “we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise”.

10:04

The Chair of Unity Octave ... [Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment]

... is the name it started off with at the start of the twentieth century, when it was begun by a community of American Anglican Papalist Franciscans. Originally, this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity linked the Feast of the Cathedra of S Peter on January 18 with that of the Conversion of S Paul on the 25th. Autobiographically speaking, as a 75 year-old, I now feel conned. When I was an

10:01

Socratic Dialogues Without Socrates [Sancrucensis]

“TNET is a bit like a Socratic dialog . . . once you’ve cut out all of Socrates’s lines,” someone recently remarked on TNET. That gave me the idea of removing Socrates’s lines from a random section of the Gorgias. Here is the result:

Gor. Well, Socrates, I suppose that if the pupil does chance not to know them, he will have to learn of me these things as well.

Gor. Certainly.

Gor. Yes.

Gor. Yes.

Gor. Certainly.

Gor. To be sure.

Gor. Yes.

Gor. That is clearly the inference.

Gor. Certainly not.

Gor. Yes.

Gor. Clearly not.

Gor. Yes, it was.

Gor. True.

Gor. Yes.

Polus. And do even you, Socrates, seriously believe what you are now saying about rhetoric? What! because Gorgias was ashamed to deny that the rhetorician knew the just and the honourable and the good, and admitted that to any one who came to him ignorant of them he could teach them, and then out of this admission there arose a contradiction-the thing which you dearly love, and to which not he, but you, brought the argument by your captious questions-[do you seriously believe that there is any truth in all this?] For will any one ever acknowledge that he does not know, or cannot teach, the nature of justice? The truth is, that there is great want of manners in bringing the argument to such a pass.

Pol. What condition?

Pol. What! do you mean that I may not use as many words as I please?

Pol. Yes.

Pol. To be sure.

Pol. I will ask; and do you answer me, Socrates, the same question which Gorgias, as you suppose, is unable to answer: What is rhetoric?

Pol. Yes.

Pol. Then what, in your opinion, is rhetoric?

Pol. What thing?

Pol. Does rhetoric seem to you to be an experience?

Pol. An experience in what?

Pol. And if able to gratify others, must not rhetoric be a fine thing?

Pol. Did I not hear you say that rhetoric was a sort of experience?

Pol. I will.

Pol. What sort of an art is cookery?

Pol. What then?

 


09:04

Volto Santo in Rom [et nunc]

Erzbischof Gänswein mit dem Volto Santo di Manopello
am 17. Januar 2016 in Rom
(San Pietro (Petersdom), Santo Spirito in Sassia)

Erzbischof Gänswein mit dem Solto Santo. - Foto Paul Badde

08:46

Chair of Unity Octave [Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment]

Antiphon  That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. V  I say unto thee that thou art Peter R  And upon this rock I will build my Church. Collect  O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst to thine apostles Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: regard not our sins but the faith of thy

08:32

Wobbly lobby confirmed by Cardinal. The reform of the Curia. [Catholic Sacristan]

The Honduran Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, coordinates the Council of Nine cardinals that advises Pope Francis on the reform of the Roman Curia. Cardinal Maradiaga, responding to a reporter's inquiry, acknowledged that subject for which many "fringe" bloggers have previously been dismissed for using hyperbole to describe it. A few prominent voices in the blogosphere have been accused of and therefore ridiculed for disseminating conspiracy theories about a formerly nonexistent cabal of wobbly lobbyists who have taken up residence in the Vatican. Isn't it funny, as in 'strange', how some conspiracies may seem wildly fantastical but are, in fact, true?

The respected National Catholic Register has published an article by Edward Pentin, journalist par excellence, which reads in part:
The Pope acknowledged the presence of a homosexual network of priests at the Vatican during a private conversation with leaders of a Latin American confederation of religious in June 2013. In the context of saying he found reform of the Roman Curia difficult, the Pope said: "The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there … We need to see what we can do."
He alluded to it again a month later, telling reporters on the plane back from Rio de Janeiro that “you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one is not good.”
A homosexual lobby was also suspected to have been influential on both Synods on the Family when controversial passages relating to homosexuals made their way into the interim report during the 2014 meeting despite being hardly discussed, and external lobby groups sought to pressure the participants.
There was also a common perception that the Communion for remarried divorcees issue, which dominated both synods, was a “Trojan horse” to allow Church recognition of same-sex relationships and other extra-marital unions.
—Edward Pentin, NCR: source/link

Cardinal Rodriguez: Homosexual Lobby Exists in the Vatican. Honduran cardinal also rules out the Pope ever supporting same-sex 'marriage', saying the "natural law cannot be reformed".
"(N)ot all lobbies are good. This one is not good.”



So then, a senior cardinal of the Holy Roman Church has made it clear that there are individuals who have attempted to co-opt or corrupt the Church's message, i.e., the Church's call to conversion in Christ and the call to newness of life.
[SIDEBAR] It may be prudent to recall Synod pressers during which time disproportionate attention was given by official Synod media representatives to certain subjects that were not as important to discussions as some in the Synod and Synod media corp would like us to believe. Were it not for timely and substantive briefs (Tweets, etc.) by faithful Synod Fathers countering the highly biased press releases issued by Synod media representatives, perceptions about the content of the discussions taking place would likely have been skewed to such a degree that correction of the misrepresentations of Synod discussions would have been nearly useless after the fact.
Undoubtedly, in light of Cardinal Maradiaga's revelations, some in the blogosphere will call for swift and decisive action to be taken to purify the Curia of those who are unwilling to faithfully serve Christ and His Church. Not a bad idea, really. However, we all know that the Vatican moves slowly, often with good reason, before changes are enacted. For many, however, reform cannot come quickly enough to a bureaucracy long plagued with liabilities created by corrupt agendas that cling like barnacles to the hull of the Barque of Peter. The Church must take appropriate time to discern how best to eliminate corruption without crushing souls. May God's mercy and justice, for the good of all souls, permit an expedient resolution to matters regarding the reform of the Curia and Church governance.

“(Y)ou must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay (same-sex-attracted or SSA) and the fact of someone forming a lobby".

As the Cardinal alluded to in the media scrum, there is an important difference between the pastoral care of a same-sex-attracted individual or individuals who, on the one hand, are faithful to the Magisterium and, on the other, dealing with a network that seeks to undermine the Church. In the case of the former, the dignity of the person or persons requires absolute respect and mercy. In the case of the latter, the sooner such pernicious networks can be dismantled the better.

Some members of the priesthood may be right to be worried about their jobs.

In all likelihood, individuals belonging to the network identified by Cardinal Maradiaga and who continue to actively promote dissent from Church teaching will be excused from service as soon as 1) all or most of the obstinate have been identified and 2) replacements can be found who behave in a manner consistent with that of a truly faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. It's not enough to pull up weeds by the stems. The entire root must be pulled out and dealt with in order to prevent the weed from growing back and choking out plants that bear good fruit.

The alchemy of turning silence, which is golden, into lead.

Thus far the response from the drive-by media regarding Cardinal Maradiaga's controversial comments has been rather muted. Are liberal media pundits merely taking a little extra time to sharpen the lead of their pencils before challenging Cardinal Maradiaga's exposé? Are the media speculating about Pope Francis' next move and pondering how to best shape the narrative to fit their version of the 'Francis Effect'?

The restorative actions to enhance the reform of the Curia to be taken by the Holy Father under the advisement of the Council of Nine will probably be seen as precedent setting and will therefore gradually extend to all dioceses.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

07:00

Angels and Confirmation Bias [RSS]

Question:

Suppose someone suddenly gets sick, pulls off the road, and witnesses a three-car pile-up that he would have been involved in otherwise.  Would he betray confirmation bias if he concluded that his guardian angel had assisted him?

Reply:

It is not unusual to pull off the road because of sudden illness, it is not unusual for three-car collisions to take place, and there would be nothing at all surprising in both occurrences happening together.  So such an incident would not constitute proof of angelic intervention.

On the other hand, if one already has good reason to believe in guardian angels on other grounds, there is no fallacy in believing that this may have been an instance of angelic intervention.

So if you were thinking you had proof of angelic intervention, think more clearly.  But if you thought you couldn’t believe in it, you can stop worrying.

 

06:00

Those Ridiculous Stories [Tea at Trianon]

Anna Gibson brilliantly continues to take on the new claims of Evelyn Farr about Marie-Antoinette and Fersen. The words exchanged have to be seen in the context of the situation in which the Queen found herself. To quote:
Claims #3-4: '‘I love you madly" is something you don't say to a good friend and implies a physical relationship

The letter of January 4th, 1792 includes this phrase, which was later covered with ink: "I am going to close, but not without telling you, my dear and very tender friend, that I love you madly and never, ever could I exist moment without adoring you." (Or in French: Je vais finire, non pas sans vous dire mon bien cher et tendre ami que je vous aime a la folie et que jamais jamais je ne peu être un moment sans vous adorer.)

The phrase was covered with ink sometime after it was written. There is still debate about who, exactly, redacted these phrases; there is currently still work being done by researchers at the French archives regarding the blotted out phrases in Marie Antoinette's letters, and I do hope that they will be able to date the 'redacted' ink which may help in coming closer to discovering who actually covered them. Given the difference in copper concentration between the ink used to write the letters and the ink used to cover it, it is unlikely that Marie Antoinette herself covered the phrase.

To continue: Telegraph quotes Farr as saying: "‘I love you madly’ is a very strong phrase – you don’t say that to a good friend. It’s really telling; it implies a physical relationship. They were lovers."

There are actually two claims being made here: one, that "I love you madly" would not have been used for a good friend but only to a lover; two, that it implies a physical relationship existed between those two people.

In French, what Marie Antoinette wrote to Fersen was that she loved him 'à la folie.' This exact phrase (loving someone à la folie) was used by the queen several years earlier, when talking about her love for her son Louis-Charles, in a letter to the duchesse de 'Polignac dated December 1789: "The Chou d'amour is charming, and I love him madly." Madame Elisabeth, her sister-in-law, used that same phrase in letters describing the sister of Mirabeau's love for her brother: "I pity his unfortunate sister, who is very pious and loved him madly."

From these examples, we see that loving someone "madly" was not a phrasing which existed solely for lovers in the 18th century. And if "I love you madly" must imply physical relationship, then from these two examples--well, you get the idea.

Critically, the claim that "I love you madly" is for lovers only and that it implies a physical relationship does not hold up when you compare it to other contemporary letters from that time period. The claim also wavers when you take into consideration Marie Antoinette's personal style of writing.  "I love you madly" does not differ very much from phrases Marie Antoinette regularly wrote to people she genuinely adored.

The intensity with which Marie Antoinette wrote to people she considered her cherished companions cannot be overstated.  Her letters to these few--people she knew from childhood, people she brought into her intimate 'Trianon' circle, and those who remained loyal to her during the Revolution--are contain such gushing phrases as "I kiss you tenderly," "It would be a great pleasure for me to kiss you," "My feelings for you are tender and grow every day," "my tender heart," "my dear heart," "I kiss you with all my heart," "I embrace you with all my soul," "I will never cease to love you," "I kiss you hard," and other flourishes that would easily be considered romantic today. Marie Antoinette wrote to Yolande de Polignac saying that "nothing but death could make me stop loving you."

Could lovers have used the phrase? Of course. But in the context of Marie Antoinette and Fersen, it's not some outlier phrasing that is totally incongruous with Marie Antoinette's normal style. It shows that she considered him an intimate, loved companion who wasn't just loyal to her but was, by all her accounts, fighting for her life and the life of her family. If there was any point where Marie Antoinette was going to use her trademark tender, romantic phrases, the years where Fersen was an almost sole outside devotee when she was living in a country that was increasingly hostile to her is definitely that point.

And remember: "I love you madly" was not hidden by the queen. It was written plainly in her letter to Fersen, as were her romantic phrases in letters to her other cherished loved ones.

If this was a phrase reserved for lovers, it is extremely unlikely that Marie Antoinette would ever risk everything (her security, the future of her children, the stability of the monarchy, her reputation to the European powers, to name a few things) by so casually revealing something that was considered treasonous. So what does the phrase mean? The answer is genuinely simple: Marie Antoinette wrote passionately, romantically, gushingly to people she considered intimate friends. Before and after the revolution. And she knew how to use that flattering language to keep people on her side, when she needed to do so, and she definitely needed to bring Fersen back around after his recent criticisms and fears, which I will get more into below.

The role that Fersen played in the last years of Marie Antoinette's life was an intense one, that in all likelihood bonded them emotionally in a way that is difficult to imagine today. He was, in the queen's estimation, working to save their lives. He was one of the few people who was willing to take an active role in saving the royal family and the crown, beyond vague promises by foreign rulers or the dangerous behavior of the emigrated Artois and Provence elsewhere in Europe or the royal family's distrust of moderates who claimed to be working in their favor. Is it any wonder that Marie Antoinette wrote to him as she did other intimates like Polignac, so favored that she had to flee France? In my estimation, no.

As with the use of gossip as evidence, using this phrase and similar phrases as evidence that the two were physical lovers does not stand up to an extrapolating critical view. Marie Antoinette wrote this way--many women of that time period wrote this way.

If "I love you madly" proves that Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen were physical lovers, then it stands to reason that "Nothing but death can make me stop loving you" should be used as proof that Marie Antoinette and Yolande de Polignac were also physical lovers. Yet once again, I doubt historians would claim that because the Queen wrote romantically to Polignac, they were lovers, physical or otherwise, due to the context of Marie Antoinette's personality and the general romantic writing style of her contemporaries.

The context of January 4th, 1792 

The context of the letter of January 1792 is important.

This was, politically speaking, a very tense time for Europe, France, and of course Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. For the last several months, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI had been embarking on course of action that none of their allies--Fersen included--had really approved. That course of action was to play both sides: ally themselves with Barnave and other constitutionals, all the while keeping up their correspondence with Fersen, Craufurd, Breteuil, and various European monarchs. In September of 1791, Louis XVI had also accepted the Constitution and the royal couple decided to outwardly support the Constitution, not just to appease the rumblings in the government but to, as Louis XVI put it, show the people that the Constitution could not work by following it to the letter.

Abroad, this had the effect of sending the emigres, the king's brothers and European monarchs into a war-minded frenzy. The king's brothers were stirring the pot by spear-heading the raising of emigre-based armies with the intention of sending those armies into France to take back control over the country.

On December 14th, 1791, Louis XVI--without consulting or notifying Fersen and the others in contact with the queen--addressed the Assembly and declared that any European powers which did not disband emigre-based troops by January 15th, 1792 would be considered enemies of France. Furthermore, he declared that the wrote to Leopold II and informed him that he was fully prepared to declare war on Austria if those troops were not disbanded.

Eight days later, Fersen wrote Marie Antoinette a lengthy letter which contained what the queen later referred to as 'scoldings.' In this letter, Fersen admonished the queen for not being openly affectionate towards people he was trying to get on their side. M. de Toulangeon was "hurt by the coldness with which his good intentions were received," which Fersen followed up with: "Do you not think that, without too highly distinguishing them, it would be well to show persons of good-feeling and good-will certain marks of kindness?" He wrote in a similar way regarding the queen's unease about attempting to win over the Duke of Brunswick: "[He] is a man of intelligence, talents, and a great ambition. Do you not think it is important to win him?"

Yet the 'scoldings' in this letter did not stop there. Fersen then wrote that he was astounded and grieved by the king's unsupported decision, and that he now saw only "embarrassment for you, additional dangers, and the bad effect that this will have in Europe." Fersen went on to suggest that Marie Antoinette should not have acted without consulting Fersen and Breteuil, and that by doing so she invited disastrous consequences.

He also questioned the queen's confidence in him, particularly in light of his own gushing devotion: "I have the vanity to think that my past conduct ought to take you from the possibility of doubting mine; it ought, rather, to convince you of their purity, and of the zeal, attachment, and devotion I have consecrated to your service. My sole desire is to serve you; my sweetest recompense, the only one to which I aspire, is the glory of succeeding in that--I want no other. I should be but too much rewarded if I could know you were happy and think that I had been happy enough to have contributed to it." 

Is it any wonder that Marie Antoinette, who had excelled at charming people from an early age, knew how to reassure Fersen--who, by the tone of this letter and those leading up to it, was becoming increasingly critical of her and wary of her decisions? Fersen himself said it best: "Do you not think that it would be well to show persons of good-feeling and good-will certain marks of kindness?" Fersen wanted reassurance that the queen trusted him, that she accepted his devotion, and that she considered his confidence worthy of respect. And she did just that, as she had throughout the last year to this years-long friend who she saw as fighting for the salvation of her family and, from her view, for her country. (Read more.)

05:30

The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity (II): the Fourth Century [Eastern Christian Books]

When we were last met to discuss the very informative and important collection of essays recently published as The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity, I noted some of the historiographical problems which the editor, Geoffrey Dunn, treats in his introduction.

There he also notes that the book is designed to look at papal relations with: (i) his own church; (ii) other bishops; and (iii) civil authorities.

Today, let us cast a glance at some of the insights of the first section, devoted to the fourth century and consisting of three chapters.

In the first chapter, "The Pax Constantiniana and the Roman Episcopate," Glen Thompson reviews the data--which is conflicted in some cases--over the move from private worship in the pre-toleration period to more public worship and the concomitant construction of basilicas and other churches for such worship. Not surprisingly he notes that the rate of attendance and zeal for participation both decline after the legalization of Christianity. Additionally, he notes that while there is some evidence for monarchic episcopate in and for Rome in the fourth century, one should not assume that it was a highly developed, consolidated, centralized structure governing all Christian life in the city--that would assume far too many facts not in evidence.

In Marianne Saghy's "The Bishop of Rome and the Martyrs," we find documentation of the relationship that was forged, especially by Damasus, between Roman martyrs and Roman bishops. The most powerful example of this is of course the cult of devotion to Peter and Paul, who form the only church that could claim a dual apostolic foundation.

Though Saghy confines herself to the fourth century, it must be noted that in time, of course, the memory of this dual apostolic foundation would fade considerably in the Roman ecclesial imaginary--so much so that more than a quarter-century ago now, William R. Farmer and Roch Kereszty would publish an important aide-mémoirePeter and Paul in the Church of Rome: The Ecumenical Potential of a Forgotten Perspective.

Christian Hornung's chapter, "Siricius and the Rise of the Papacy" rounds out this first section of The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity. She makes a convincing case, by means of analyzing the decretals and letters of Siricius (384-98), that his marks the first papal episcopate, the first papacy insofar as he clearly sees his office as one with the power to legislate for the whole Church. Responding to a letter from a Spanish bishop, Siricius uses the occasion to assert that he is heir to St. Peter; that his response is not just a pastoral letter from a brother bishop but a legal text in the mode of Roman imperial legislation; and that his response is not confined merely to the one Spanish case, but is to be taken as having universal authority in the whole Church.

Siricius comes up again in the next chapter, Alberto Ferreiro's "Pope Siricius and Himerius of Tarragona (385): Provincial Papal Intervention in the Fourth Century." This chapter looks at the same decretal and papacy as Hornung's chapter did, but widens the context and introduces important additional considerations, not least by noting that Siricius's intervention in the Spanish case was part of a series of interventions outside of the Italian peninsula. Siricius had, before the Spanish case, already been intervening in the affairs of the North African church.

Next up: the fifth century.

To be continued. 

05:00

Secrets of the Battle of Towton [Tea at Trianon]

From English Historical Fiction Writers:

We know, for example, that some of the earliest handguns found in England were fired during this battle. The gun fragments found had a barrel diameter of around 2cm and gunpowder tracings were found inside, a lead bullet with an iron core was also discovered. Although the availability of a gun at a time when arrows and hand-to-hand weaponry were the norm might sound like it would confer easy victory on the holders, the opposite was unfortunately more likely - early guns had the nasty habit of blowing up on firing so were of little real use. (Read more.)

03:54

A Reflection on a Sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King Refuting Atheistic Materialism [Community in Mission]

MLK-blog.17Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we commemorate this weekend, is best known as a civil rights leader who worked to end racial injustice. But Dr. King had other things to say as he preached each Sunday, first in his own assembly and later as he moved about.

Among his recorded sermons is one in which Dr. King addresses the problem of unbelief, of materialism and atheism. His reflections are well worth pondering today because the issues he addresses are more widespread now than when he made these remarks in 1957. A transcript of the full sermon is available here: The Man Who Was a Fool.

In this sermon, Dr. King commented on Jesus’ parable of the wealthy man who had a huge harvest and, instead of sharing, just built bigger barns to hold the excess. The Lord called him a fool for thinking that his material wealth could supply his needs and give him security. Dr. King also addressed the problem of unbelief in this sermon, and pointed out its foolishness.

Following are excerpts from this sermon, with Dr. King’s words shown in black, bold, italics and my comments in plain red text. After discussing several reason why the man was a fool, Dr. King said,

Jesus [also] called the rich man a fool because he failed to realize his dependence on God. He talked as though he unfolded the seasons and provided the fertility of the soil, controlled the rising and the setting of the sun, and regulated the natural processes that produce the rain and the dew. He had an unconscious feeling that he was the Creator, not a creature.

Having discovered the inner realities of many processes, the materialistic atheist fails to ask the more fundamental questions such as “Where does the cosmos ultimately come from?” and “What is the ultimate destiny of all things?” Having found some answers, they mistake these answers for the ultimate answers. They are not.

There is no problem with a scientist saying that these sorts of questions lay beyond science, that science is only focused on material and efficient causality. That is fine; each discipline has its area of focus. But the modern error of scientism is in its claims that science alone explains all reality. It does not.

The usual response of those who ascribe to scientism (not all scientists do) to questions that science cannot answer is to dismiss them or to say that one day science will find an answer. When we, who are obviously creatures and contingent beings, dismiss a Creator, we are displaying a form of madness or of hardness of heart. Such a dismissal is neither rational nor reasonable.

This man-centered foolishness has had a long and oftentimes disastrous reign in the history of mankind. Sometimes it is theoretically expressed in the doctrine of materialism, which contends that reality may be explained in terms of matter in motion, that life is “a physiological process with a physiological meaning,” that man is a transient accident of protons and electrons traveling blind, that thought is a temporary product of gray matter, and that the events of history are an interaction of matter and motion operating by the principle of necessity.

Dr. King describes here the problem of modern reductionism, in which things are reduced to matter alone and attributed entirely to material causes. Thus even concepts such as justice, meaning, and beauty must somehow be explained materially in terms of their cause. The human soul that knows immaterial things does mediate its thoughts through the brain and central nervous system, but it does not follow that the medium is the cause. For it does not pertain to matter to be the cause of what is immaterial or spiritual.

Having no place for God or for eternal ideas, materialism is opposed to both theism and idealism. This materialistic philosophy leads inevitably into a dead-end street in an intellectually senseless world. To believe that human personality is the result of the fortuitous interplay of atoms and electrons is as absurd as to believe that a monkey by hitting typewriter keys at random will eventually produce a Shakespearean play. Sheer magic!

Many atheists think they have solved this conundrum, but I think that they “solve” it with a set of assumptions so outlandish and unproven that it requires far more “faith” to accept them than to believe in an intelligent designer and creator.

The statistical possibility that things could come together “by chance” to form complex life—let alone intelligent life—and not just once but at least twice (for reproduction’s sake) is minuscule! (As Dr. King says, “Sheer magic!”) Those who demand we accept this explanation are far more credulous than are believers, who observe creation and its intricately design and conclude (reasonably) that there is an intelligent creator.

It is much more sensible to say with Sir James Jeans, the physicist, that “the universe seems to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine,” or with Arthur Balfour, the philosopher, that “we now know too much about matter to be materialists.” Materialism is a weak flame that is blown out by the breath of mature thinking. Exactly! The universe shouts design and intelligence.

Another attempt to make God irrelevant is found in non-theistic humanism, a philosophy that deifies man by affirming that humanity is God. Man is the measure of all things. Many modern men who have embraced this philosophy contend, as did Rousseau, that human nature is essentially good. Evil is to be found only in institutions, and if poverty and ignorance were to be removed everything would be all right. The twentieth century opened with such a glowing optimism. Men believed that civilization was evolving toward an earthly paradise.

The Catholic Faith defines this error as utopianism and pseudo-messianism.

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism (Catechism of the Catholic Church #675-676).

We all know what a bloodbath the 20th century became. So much for man being his own measure!

Herbert Spencer skillfully molded the Darwinian theory of evolution into the heady idea of automatic progress. Men became convinced that there is a sociological law of progress which is as valid as the physical law of gravitation. Possessed of this spirit of optimism, modern man broke into the storehouse of nature and emerged with many scientific insights and technological developments that completely revolutionized the earth. The achievements of science have been marvelous, tangible and concrete. …

[But] Man’s aspirations no longer turned Godward and heavenward. Rather, man’s thoughts were confined to man and earth. And man offered a strange parody on the Lord’s Prayer:

“Our brethren which art upon the earth, Hallowed be our name. Our kingdom come. Our will be done on earth, for there is no heaven.”

Those who formerly turned to God to find solutions for their problems turned to science and technology, convinced that they now possessed the instruments needed to usher in the new society.

Scripture says, Claiming to be wise they became fools and their senseless minds were darkened (Rom 1:22).

Then came the explosion of this myth. It climaxed in the horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and in the fierce fury of fifty-megaton bombs. Now we have come to see that science can give us only physical power, which, if not controlled by spiritual power, will lead inevitably to cosmic doom.

Atheists are forever noting how many lives were lost in the name of religion. Frankly, those numbers are not even close to those claimed in the bloodbath ushered in by atheistic materialists.

The words of Alfred the Great are still true: “Power is never a good unless he be good that has it.” We need something more spiritually sustaining and morally controlling than science. It is an instrument that, under the power of God’s spirit, may lead man to greater heights of physical security, but apart from God’s spirit, science is a deadly weapon that will lead only to deeper chaos. Make it plain, Dr. King!

Why fool ourselves about automatic progress and the ability of man to save himself? We must lift up our minds and eyes unto the hills from whence comes our true help. Then, and only then, will the advances of modern science be a blessing rather than a curse. Without dependence on God our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest night. Unless his spirit pervades our lives, we find only what G.K. Chesterton called “cures that don’t cure, blessings that don’t bless, and solutions that don’t solve.” “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Note that Dr. King has called upon two Catholic intellectuals (St. Alfred the Great and G.K. Chesterton) to be his witnesses.

Unfortunately, the rich man [in the parable] did not realize this. He, like many men of the twentieth century, became so involved in big affairs and small trivialities that he forgot God. He gave the finite infinite significance and elevated a preliminary concern to ultimate standing. After the rich man had accumulated his vast resources of wealth—at the moment when his stocks were accruing the greatest interest and his palatial home was the talk of the town—he came to that experience which is the irreducible common denominator of all men, death.

At every funeral I say to the mourners, “You are going to die.” And then I tell them that we must get ready, not with more things but with more God.

The fact that he died at this particular time adds verve and drama to the story, but the essential truth of the parable would have remained the same had he lived to be as old as Methuselah. Even if he had not died physically, he was already dead spiritually. The cessation of breathing was a belated announcement of an earlier death. He died when he failed to keep a line of distinction between the means by which he lived and the ends for which he lived and when he failed to recognize his dependence on others and on God.

May it not be that the “certain rich man” is Western civilization? Rich in goods and material resources, our standards of success are almost inextricably bound to the lust for acquisition.

The means by which we live are marvelous indeed. And yet something is missing. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.

An Oriental writer has portrayed our dilemma in candid terms:

“You call your thousand material devices ‘labor-saving machinery,’ yet you are forever ‘busy.’ With the multiplying of your machinery you grow increasingly fatigued, anxious, nervous, dissatisfied. Whatever you have, you want more; and wherever you are you want to go somewhere else. You have a machine to dig the raw material for you, a machine to manufacture [it], a machine to transport [it], a machine to sweep and dust, one to carry messages, one to write, one to talk, one to sing, one to play at the theater, one to vote, one to sew, and a hundred others to do a hundred other things for you, and still you are the most nervously busy man in the world. Your devices are neither time-saving nor soul-saving machinery. They are so many sharp spurs which urge you on to invent more machinery and to do more business.” So true!

…The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided man. Like the rich man of old, we have foolishly minimized the internal of our lives and maximized the external. We have absorbed life in livelihood.

We have maximized the minimum and minimized the maximum.

We will not find peace in our generation until we learn anew that “a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses,” but in those inner treasuries of the spirit which “no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts.” Our hope for creative living lies in our ability to re-establish the spiritual ends of our lives in personal character and social justice. Without this spiritual and moral reawakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments. Our generation cannot escape the question of our Lord: What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world of externals—airplanes, electric lights, automobiles, and color television—and lose the internal—his own soul? Amen!

The post A Reflection on a Sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King Refuting Atheistic Materialism appeared first on Community in Mission.

02:40

Dry Ice Kinda Sounds Like Hell. Seriously. Like Hell. [Creative Minority Report]

If Hell is exactly as bad as you fear it might be, it would sound something like the way dry ice sounds when it interacts with steel. And it's pretty horrible. In fact, if Hell doesn't have dry ice they should bring it in just for ambience purposes like the way football games pipe in cheering noise.



HT Liveleak

*subhead*yikes.*subhead*

02:31

All the Light We Cannot See [Korrektiv]

I’m about halfway through this book and decided to read a bit more about the author, Anthony Doerr. Have any of you read this yet? I’m quite enjoying it so far. And look what I came across in this interview:

My goal might be only to shine a feeble light on some neglected corner of the world, or history, but ultimately my goal is to help us all appreciate the grandeur of this incredibly old and marvelous situation we’ve lucked into it, and that’s a political motivation. It’s the hope that through art we can be awakened; we can be shown the world with new eyes. I’m more interested in what Percy Walker called “the search” in The Moviegoer, that quest for authenticity that his protagonist Binx goes on.“The search,” Binx says, “is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life… To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is despair.” That’s what fiction writing does for me; it helps me feel like I’m onto something, even if I’m fumbling after it, even if I know I can never really grab hold of it.
I’m fumbling with ideas here that I can’t fully articulate, but that, I think, is the real responsibility for a literary writer; to strive toward complexity, toward questions, and away from certainty, away from stereotype.

I’m going to assume “Percy Walker” was a transcription error…

02:23

Vesture of Our Humanity [Siris]

Language may be considered as the outward vesture of Thought; Thought, as a body which is contained within this clothing; and we may attend especially to the one or to the other; to the body or to the garment. But further; Language includes within its folds, not merely Thought, the result of the Reason operating purely and simply; but, as we have already intimated, Thought excited, unfolded, and swayed by the various Feelings which belong to man. Language is a necessary help of the Mind, when engaged in reasoning; but Language is far more commonly and generally used in expressing the sentiments which arise out of the Desires, Affections, Emotions, and Occupations of men, in their habitual intercourse, than in obtaining and enunciating the propositions which the pure Reason contemplates. It is much more familiar, as an implement in our daily outward life, than as an instrument in our occasional internal ratiocinations. The body of which Language is the clothing, is not the Reason merely, but the whole Nature of Man; and hence, this vesture of our humanity draws to it men's attention far more generally and more strongly, than it could do, if it were merely connected with the most recondite and central portions of man's being, his Reason.

William Whewell, Of a Liberal Education in General; and with Particular Reference to the Leading Studies of the University of Cambridge, Part I: Principles and Recent History, pp. 8-9.

02:01

Chair Of St. Peter Jan 18 [Traditional Catholic Priest]

Chair of Peter I. The annual Feast of the Chair of Peter (Cathedra Petri) at Rome II. The Chair itself I. THE ANNUAL FEAST OF CATHEDRA PETRI AT ROME From the earliest times the Church at Rome celebrated on 18 January the memory of the day when the Apostle held his first service with the …

The post Chair Of St. Peter Jan 18 appeared first on Traditional Catholic Priest.

01:25

Recent debate: Shea vs. Ferrara [Musings of a Pertinacious Papist]

This would have been fun to witness:


The Argument of the Month (AOTM) Club promises to have the audio of the debate available at their site soon (check the 'Media' link on the previously linked site). They have a before-the-fact "preview" of the debate on the above website, and there's also this pre-debate discussion between Ferrara and Michael Matt. My hunch is that it would have been pretty predictable; yet it would have been fun.

01:20

Some Thoughts on the Recent Tridentine Mass Dustup [Opus Publicum]

Traditional Catholics have been weeping and gnashing their teeth since the appearance of Msgr. Charles Pope’s National Catholic Register blog post, “An Urgent Warning About the Future of the Traditional Latin Mass.” I confess I don’t know why. Though Pope relies largely on anecdotal evidence and some odd comparisons to the tragic decline of Catholic schools, his main point about the need for traditionalists to engage in more evangelization is sound. Joseph Shaw, the former head of the Latin Mass Society, disagrees. Writing over at Rorate Caeli, Shaw takes umbrage with Pope’s analysis, pointing out that the numbers don’t lie: the number of traditional Masses around the world is growing; traditional Catholic communities foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life; and traditional Catholics can’t be blamed for the fact their non-traditional brethren of the past two generations or so have been grossly under-catechized and are thus not in a position to truly experience – or have “fruitful participation” in – the Tridentine Mass. I don’t disagree necessarily with Shaw’s first two observations; the last comes a bit too close to cheap blame-shifting for my tastes. I always thought one of the central “points” of the traditional Catholic movement was to correct the catechetical problems introduced by bishops and priests over the past 50 years and that promoting the Tridentine Mass came hand-in-hand with delivering orthodoxy Catholicism. Why does Shaw seem to be disavowing this element of the traditionalist apostolate?

Though clear numbers are hard to come by, no one should doubt for a moment that part of the reason why traditional Latin Mass communities have grown over the past decade is due to the banality of contemporary Roman liturgical life. There are many Catholics who attend the Tridentine Mass for primarily aesthetic reasons and I would not be the least surprised if the growth of “aesthetic traditionalists” has started to slow down in recent years, especially with more priests now offering more reverent forms of the Novus Ordo Missae. Also, it is far from clear that the presence of the Tridentine Mass in a parish means the presence of unsullied Catholic doctrine. In my own hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the sole diocesan parish which offers the Tridentine Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (a second parish offers it on Monday mornings) is run by two priests affiliated with the Acton Institute (which includes its founder, Fr. Robert Sirico) and houses a number of faithful who endorse Acton’s full-throated dissent from the Church’s social magisterium. That old-time religion of free markets may not be preached from the pulpit each Sunday, but no one who attends can deny the ethos of doctrinal exceptionalism which permeates the parish.

And that’s just one example. Many others can be called forth, which is no doubt one reason why the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has been virulent in warning traditional Catholics against compromising the Faith in exchange for a pretty liturgical service. (For the record, I am far from being in perfect agreement with the SSPX on this matter, particularly as it concerns other traditionalist groups such as the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King.) To the Society’s credit, it has never seen its mission as being about “the Mass only”; retaining the ancient Roman liturgy is just one part of a much larger project to keep Catholicism alive in the midst of one of the greatest trials to ever face the Church. Many Catholics who attend SSPX chapels do so not just out of fidelity to the old Mass, but because they know they will receive clear instruction in the Faith and proper spiritual direction in the Confessional. Even if some Catholics show up to Society chapels for the Mass alone, it is often not long before they find their eyes opened to a much larger doctrinal, spiritual, and theological reality which has been kept from them for their whole lives.

Returning to Msgr. Pope’s piece and some of the fallout from it, it strikes me as queer that any traditional Catholic should want to distance himself from evangelization as a means to growing and spreading the Tridentine Mass. While Shaw is right that traditional Catholics “didn’t start the fire,” they above all should be dedicated to putting out the blaze. “If you offer it, they will come” are not the words of the Holy Ghost; there is still the Christ-given imperative to “go forth and preach.” That’s not easy work, as Pope notes, but it is necessary work. Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI gave the flock of the Latin Church a wonderful gift when he promulgated Summorum Pontificum in 2007, but it is a gift that will only reveal its full value if the faithful take up to challenge to make it known to all around them. There should be nothing controversial about that.


Filed under: Liturgy, Roman Catholic Church, Uncategorized

01:01

St. Prisca Jan 18 [Traditional Catholic Priest]

St. Prisca She was a martyr of the Roman Church, whose dates are unknown. The name Prisca or Priscilla is often mentioned by early authorities of the history of the Church of Rome. The wife of Aquila, the pupil of St. Paul, bore this name. The grave of a martyr Prisca was venerated in the …

The post St. Prisca Jan 18 appeared first on Traditional Catholic Priest.

01:00

Die katholische Lehre wird genau erklärt [et nunc]


Drittes Stadium:
Schließlich bleibt noch das dritte Stadium der Lehre, der die dritte Klasse von Zeugnissen entspricht: Das Stadium, in der die Lehre mit Genauigkeit erklärt wird, wo man, um die Worte des Vinzenz von Lerins zu verwenden, klarer versteht, was bis hierhin ein dunkler Gegenstand für den Glauben war und wo die nachfolgende Generation froh war, mit der ganzen erforderlichen Unterscheidung klar erkannt zu haben, was die vorhergehende Generation ohne tieferes Verständnis verehrte. Dieses Stadium beginnt für die meisten Lehren zu der Zeit, als die Kirche durch Konstantin den äußeren Frieden erhalten hatte.

Seit damals erzielte die Theologie in der Durchdringung der geoffenbarten Wahrheiten große Fortschritte, und das machte sich vor allem im Laufe des 4. und 5. Jhs. bei Gelegenheit der damals auftretenden Irrtümer bemerkbar. In dieser Epoche erforschten Athanasius, Hilarius, Basilius und Gregor von Nazianz in ihren Schriften die innergöttlichen Hervorgänge in erschöpfender Weise. Die Theologie dieser Lehre erhält ihre Vollendung bei Augustinus in dessen 15 Büchern De trinitate. Denn endlich hat man das Prinzip klar formuliert, das den Schlüssel zum Verständnis dieses so tiefen Geheimnisses bietet, soweit es unsere sterbliche Verfassung zulässt: In Gott ist dort alles völlig gleich, wo der Gegensatz der Relation nicht greift. In dieser Zeit wird auf die Lehre der Sakramente, der Gnade, der Erbsünde, der neuen Heilsordnung des Evangeliums im Verhältnis zum alten Bund helles Licht geworfen; diese Klarstellungen erfolgen in den Kontroversen von Augustinus mit den Donatisten, den Pelagianern, den Manichäern. In dieser Zeit verkündet das Konzil von Ephesus seine Definitionen über die hypostatische Union, und Leo der Große richtet an Flavian jenen großartigen Brief, worin das ganze Dogma der Inkarnation so deutlich, in so genauen Begriffen und Ausdrucksweisen erklärt wird.

(Aus: Louis Billot. Tradition und Modernismus. 2. Kap.
Die Ursache der scheinbaren Widersprüche in den Zeugnissen der Tradition)

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The Remnant Newspaper - The Remnant Newspaper - Remnant Articles XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Sacred Page XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Sensible Bond XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The TOF Spot XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Theological Flint XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
totaliter aliter XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Traditional Catholic Priest XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Transalpine Redemptorists at home XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Unam Sanctam Catholicam XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Unequally Yoked XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Voice of the Family XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Vox Cantoris XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Vultus Christi XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Whispers in the Loggia XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Zippy Catholic XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
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January 2016
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December 2015
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November 2015
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October 2015
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September 2015
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August 2015
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July 2015
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June 2015
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May 2015
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April 2015
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March 2015
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February 2015
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January 2015
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December 2014
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November 2014
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October 2014
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September 2014
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
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August 2014
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July 2014
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June 2014
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May 2014
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April 2014
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March 2014
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February 2014
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January 2014
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20212223242526
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December 2013
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November 2013
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October 2013
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August 2013
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July 2013
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June 2013
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May 2013
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April 2013
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March 2013
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February 2013
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January 2013
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December 2012
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November 2012
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October 2012
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September 2012
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June 2012
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May 2012
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March 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
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February 2012
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December 2011
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November 2011
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July 2011
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18192021222324
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April 2011
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18192021222324
25262728293001
March 2011
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14151617181920
21222324252627
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November 2010
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15161718192021
22232425262728
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August 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
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16171819202122
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30310102030405
June 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
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January 2010
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04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
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December 2009
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November 2009
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02030405060708
09101112131415
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30010203040506