Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wooden ships and iron men

Happy Trafalgar Day. We didn't fight in the Napoleonic wars, but I'm always happy to toast a French military defeat.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wooo, getting some cold cuts baby

The good guys won this time.
An additional point concerns Cardinal Burke, this exemplary servant of the Church. He has been nothing if not humble, accepting all humiliations patiently. The way he has been treated by Francis is embarrassing for the pope, not for him. Consider how different John Paul II and Benedict XVI were with outright dissenters, such as the anti-African German cardinal Walter Kasper, and many others of a similar vein, who were never humiliated and threatened of demotion and exile, despite their position -- quite the opposite. This was not because these popes were "soft", but because they fought for the unity of the Church. 

Francis, on the other hand, played with fire and brought the Church to the brink of the precipice, her most serious division in five centuries, in order to implement what even his nominee Cardinal Pell called "the secular agenda"; not even in a Synod whose members were chosen by him and steered by Cardinal Baldisseri under his command was he able to achieve even 2/3 of the votes on the issues close to his heart, even after they had been considerably watered down. Compare and contrast this to both Vatican I and Vatican II where not even the most controversial issues reached this level of disagreement from the clear will of the Pope -- and even when there was a much smaller proportion of "non placet" votes (even fewer than 10%), the texts were changed to achieve agreements as close to unanimity as possible. 
If it wasn't already painfully clear, the problem is Francis. He's never outright said so, but anyone with eyes in his head can see that he wanted the change in pastoral discipline. The heretic Kasper was a convenient front man, but the Synod was Francis's baby. Francis has enough political sense to not publicly break with the other bishops, but everyone can see the price Burke paid for heroically defending the orthodox faith.

So what's a Catholic to do when we have a disastrous pope like Francis? Choose your blogs carefully indeed. I'm not as tough a critic as Mundabor, but it's amusing (in a painful sense) to see the mental gymnastics the New Advent and Patheos type bloggers put themselves through to assure us it's business as usual. I'm sorry, but it's not. The buck stops with the pope. He very nearly caused the Church to blow up, but the Holy Spirit intervened at the last second to prevent a major compromise in doctrine.

A Catholic's faith should be in Jesus, not the pope. The pope is not an omnipotent tyrant who can change doctrine at will. If you are an orthodox Catholic you have a duty to rebuke your superiors when they say or do wrong. Like St. Thomas More said in another stormy debate over marriage, silence means consent. I haven't watched Voris as much lately, but maybe this will move him to break his self-imposed silence about Pope Francis. Ideally we shouldn't criticize the pope because there'd be no need to. But as any barely historically literate ankle-biter can tell you, we've had plenty of bad popes in history. God has inflicted another bad pope upon us. We should take that as a well earned rebuke. The Holy Spirit does not choose the pope but he has a way of making sure we get the popes we deserve.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'll be damned if they get the better of us again without a fight

Many thanks to the good men and women at Rorate Caeli for keeping the Kasperite heretics' feet to the fire.

You don't have to take their word for it though. Even non-Trad mainstream conservative sources like the National Catholic Register and Father Z are acknowledging that the fix may be in.

I wasn't even alive during the 1960s, but it seems like Vatican II all over again. The progressives bum rushed the poor bewildered Trads before they could even get their boots on back then. It looks as though the liberals and heretics are about to do so again. Thanks to the internet, they can no longer do so in secret at least.

If nothing else, this debacle should teach lay Catholics to stop being so docile. There's a long ingrained reluctance to ever criticize clerics about anything, ever. That can be a good thing when we're presenting a united front against the world. But we've taken it to ridiculous extremes. One of the problems is that the average Catholic knows so little about the faith. Sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous though. Catholics trust their priests and bishops to be orthodox at the very least, but we can't take this for granted anymore. We haven't been able to take it for granted for decades.

We have a duty to know our faith well enough to recognize the wolves in sheep's clothing our Lord warned us about. And very often those wolves will be wearing Roman collars. Some people have thrown up their hands in despair saying that even if we're aware of what the heretics are up to, there's nothing we can do to stop them. Maybe not from a worldly perspective. We can always pray. Prayer is even more important when we can't take direct action. Pray that the good and orthodox bishops may have the courage to say no to the Kasperite heretics and even Pope Francis if necessary. And pray that God have mercy on our souls, because it's a sign that he's very angry with us when he allows his Church to fall into the hands of worldly heretics like Kasper.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The crisis of the Church is a crisis of bishops indeed

We should keep praying of course, but I admit it's a bit discouraging that the leaks are telling us that the fix is in:
A 6,000-word document, made available in the original Italian, and excellent English, French, German, Spanish translations immediately on early Monday Morning "summarizing" the views of the first week of the Synod that had ended on Friday evening, with details published on Saturday morning? So in one full day, Sunday (or in 2 days, 48 hours, if all hours of Saturday are included, with no time for meals or sleep), the rapporteur and his secretaries gathered the views of all the Fathers, identified and separated those portions that had more widespread support and thus represented a truly Synodical opinion, wrote, and translated this 6,000-word report? Has the Vatican suddenly become the most efficient bureaucracy in the history of the universe?

Or was it all simply prepared and translated beforehand, to create "facts on the ground" that could not be reversed and created pressure on the Synod Fathers during this second week
Ideally, it should be the bishops who guide, cajole, and when necessary kick lay people in the ass to keep them away from rank heresy. In the 21st century Catholic Church, it's usually the other way around.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Readings for Sunday 10/12/14

Far be it from me to criticize a modern innovation of Holy Mother Church, but I think she made a big mistake going from the one year cycle of readings to the current three year cycle. It's much easier to memorize the letter and spirit of Scripture when we hear the same reading once a year as opposed to once every three years. There's something to be said for quantity being its own quality, but I've got a hunch the average Catholic doesn't know Scripture any better, and probably a good deal less, than his great-grandfather did.

Isaiah tells us of God's promise to destroy death and wipe away every tear. The Lord of Hosts will provide us with the best food and choicest wines on his holy mountain. St. Paul reminds us that in this life we will experience both plenty and want. Whatever our circumstances, our strength is in the Lord in whom we can do all things and God will provide us with what we need through Christ Jesus (what we need won't always be what we want however.) Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast, where the invited guests spit on the king's hospitality. The king orders his men to invite whomever they meet in the streets. On the night of the wedding, one guest is without a wedding garment and he is cast into the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Isaiah and Paul remind us to be confident in God. Whatever hardships we experience in this life are as nothing compared to what awaits us in the next. Many are called, but few are chosen. God desires that all men be saved, but not all men will be saved because we choose to turn away from God. Jesus came to gather the House of Israel. The Jews were the invited guests in the parable, but many of them turned away from God's invitation to enter the New Covenant. The men whom the king's men recruit from the streets are the gentiles, for as Paul tells us later on, in Christ there is no more Jew or Gentile, slave or free. The wedding garment is righteousness. We cannot enter into the wedding feast if we are not clothed in holiness and virtue. We may honor God with our lips, but if we have not put on the new man and cast off the old, we too will be hurled into the outer darkness.

I'm a weak man, and I can't put on righteousness through my own willpower alone. We need God's grace. We need to be strengthened through regular reception of the sacraments. If we trust not in ourselves but in the grace of God and the love of Christ, then we can do all things through him who strengthens us.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The New Evangelization done right

Earlier this week we had a good meeting. Our speaker was Fr. Matthew Spencer, OSJ, rector of the Oblates' seminary in Loomis, CA. The topic was the prevalence of evil and the resurgence in occult practices over the last few decades. When true religion is on the decline, superstition will increase (though dimwitted heathens often conflate the two.) We laugh at things like ouija boards, tarot cards, seances, etc. The danger is that we open ourselves up to the demonic when we take them seriously. If you are intentionally trying to make contact with the other side, whatever or whoever speaks to you is of demonic origin, period. Don't do it.

The real work came after the talk ended. We always hold them at the Kilt Pub on Arden in Sacramento. Afterward, as is our wont, a bunch of us were drinking and smoking. A man bummed me for a smoke. He overheard some of our conversation and he was fascinated. Brad was a good man. He's of the typical American Christian type: God exists, Jesus died for our sins, but otherwise don't let it affect your life too much beyond trying to be a generic good person. Our leader got him interested in our monthly lectures and he expressed interest in attending next month. God works in mysterious ways indeed.

The New Evangelization is primarily aimed at fallen away Catholics who were cheated out of a good formation in the faith. But we still have to reach out to the godless heathens and the Protestants as well. The bars and clubs are where many of them are at. There's more to life than getting drunk and hooking up with bar skanks pal. Let's get out there and do some good work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On this day, the Mohammedans got Lepantowned

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, or what used to be known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory. The Collect for OLV in the Roman Missal is the prayer that we say after completing the rosary:
O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that, meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord.
The Gospel reading is that of Ember Wednesday during Advent, i.e. the Biblical account of the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38.  Interestingly, the Novus Ordo Gospel reading is Luke 10:38-42:
Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”
Pope St. Pius V asked Christendom to pray the rosary and ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to grant victory to Don Juan's fleet. His hagiography states that he was in the middle of a meeting with the curia on the day of battle when he stopped in mid-sentence and went to look out the window. He smiled and told the cardinals that their meeting was adjourned because they had to go thank God for the great victory he had given them. A few days later, Rome received official word of the Christian victory against the Turks.

A lot of times when Christians say, "I'll pray for you," what they really mean is, "I can't do anything actually useful like giving you money or food, or finding you a job, so I'll just say this to make myself feel better." Us American Catholics are as prone to this as our separated brethren. Pope Leo XIII called us out on it in one of his encyclicals. Prayer just doesn't feel like it's good enough. Don't just kneel there, do something!

And yet our Blessed Lord himself said that contemplation was the better way. The rosary did as much to win Lepanto for Don Juan as any orders he gave during the heat of battle. Faith means fidelity and trust in the promises of God, in the goodness of God. We must labor but it's God who grants the increase. Whatever good you do, God granted you the grace to do it.

Scripture is pretty clear that one of the ways God punishes us is to send us wicked, dissolute rulers. Pray for their conversion of course, but pray that we ourselves keep the faith in the midst of assaults by Mohammedans on our bodies and assaults by the hierarchy on our faith, and assaults by the devil on our souls.