Saturday, July 31, 2010
The priest sex scandal is a symptom of the post-Vatican II decay of traditional Catholic teaching, practice and decorum. Re-establishing personal decorum at the Vatican is a recognition that respect for the sacred is important in overcoming this decay.
I remember visiting the Vatican in the early 90s and being scandalized by the behavior of tourists and Romans in St. Peter's Basilica. Hopefully the new dress code enforcement is a step in the right direction for preserving the holy places at the Vatican as sacred places set aside for worship and prayer.
Granted the enforcement of a dress code is a small step, and perhaps is an indication of just how low society in general has descended if it isn't realized by the average person the inappropriate nature of wearing shorts in the House of God and the Throne Room of the King of Kings. However, it is a sign that there are persons willing to make changes to safeguard the sacred, and that is certainly better than what has been the standard fair from too many Church leaders ever since the close of the Second Vatican Council.
How hypocritical are they who accuse the Vatican of being hypocritical for enforcing the Church's traditional notion of decorum and civility? Indeed, those who would wear tank tops or shorts into the House of God are just as responsible for the current crisis in the Church as are our poor leaders. It's time that these people, who make it their job to desecrate our churches weekly, to take their share of the responsibility for the great desecration in the post-Vatican II Church.
Friday, July 30, 2010
*Fascinating interview with Martin Mosebach.
*Important study of the 1950s "reform" of the Latin liturgies for Holy Week.
*"Springtime" of Vatican II update: Majority of Catholics in California support public recognition of the gay lifestyle. The bishops of California have been delivering their message loud and clear, it would appear.
*Traditional Anglicans in Canada decide the swim the Tiber.
*Fired Catholic Professor is reinstated by the University of Illinois ending a fire storm of protests over the University's violation of Dr. Howell's First Amendment rights.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Whether or not Caravaggio's work appeals to one's artistic taste, it can not be argued that he represented a fundamental turning point in Western sacred art. Under the inspiration of Ignatian spirituality and the Tridentine reforms, Caravaggio enabled spectators to experience not just the realism of their Catholic faith, but also the emotion of the same. Charged with dramatic contrast between light and dark, and stark realism, a realism that reflected his own turbulent life, Caravaggio's work became food for meditation, both for noble and commoner alike.
This documentary captures very well these important facets in a very entertaining manner. In fact, I plan on using this documentary for my homeschool sacred art class. Thanks to New Catholic for sharing this documentary.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This study demonstrates clearly that the Holy Week innovations of the 1950s were "the head of the battering-ram" (to use the words of one of the very same modernists who initiated the changes) that breached the august fortress of the Latin liturgy, leading ultimately to its destruction in the years immediately following the Second Vatican Council. Going through each of the innovations, one easily discerns that the changes reflected more the theological errors espoused by the movers of the 20th century liturgical movement than a return to a more ancient form of the liturgy. Often the innovators replaced the ancient rites with novel constructions of their own for no other purpose than the ancient rites simply were not to the innovators' modernist tastes.
Accounts of the institution of the Eucharist were suppressed, random changes made that neither reflect ancient practice or explicate Christian symbolism, and the introduction in so many places of the versum populum orientation of the priest foreshadows the sacrilegious treatment of the Eucharist and the abolition of the sacrificial nature of the Mass and the priesthood at the center of the post Vatican II deformations. The ecumenical heresies of the innovators are seen clearly in their elimination of prayers that point out the truth that the Church has enemies. Attempts to introduce concelebration are apparent in the changes made to the Holy Thursday liturgy.
For those of you who follow this blog, you are already well acquainted with the position that the whole of the 20th century liturgical reform needs to be rejected if we are to re-discover authentic Catholic liturgy and worship. Indeed, all the liturgical innovations and writings of 20th century liturgists need to be held suspect. All the usual suspects were present on the commission that was responsible for the liturgical changes in the 1950s, Bugnini, Bea, Braga and Montini (lest it be forgotten that he was actively involved in the liturgical movement prior to VCII). These were the disciples of Beauduin, Guardini, and Michel, the men whose work succeeded through the course of the 20th century to change the ancient, majestic, nurturing, and nourishing, most holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a modernist Borborite liturgy, a liturgy that is tearing apart the very fabric of modern Catholicism.
Understanding the battle that must be waged is necessary. We can not settle for a "new" liturgical movement that fails to address the errors that reside at heart of the 20th century liturgical movement. We can not pretend that there was any good inherent in the modernist liturgical movement that left us the novus ordo missae. This new liturgical movement must embody a full and complete restoration, otherwise it will simply come full circle to the destructive elements that are currently ravaging Holy Mother Church.
Friday, July 23, 2010
*UK gearing up for pope's visit by monitoring internet for threats from the ever so peaceful followers of that religion of peace, Islam. Yes, that good old religion of peace.
*...Speaking of another group of peaceful people...
*Traditionalist, Dr. John Rao on the pro-life movement: danger of compartmentalizing, need for a holistic approach that address the whole of the anti-life, anti-tradition, anti-rational culture.
*Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill defends Pope Benedict XVI, blasts Protestants. Good for him!
*The Belgian asylum just keeps pumping out the nonsense. Meanwhile the Holy Father tries to take it down to their intellectual level.
*Another sex scandal rocks the Roman diocese. And we are supposed to think Fr. Amorth is wrong about Satanism in the Vatican? That certainly isn't a stretch given the doings on right under the nose of the pope.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Professor Howell didn’t mean to insult homosexuals; he was just stating the Catholic position,” said Mike Hamoy, a senior chemistry major who took Howell’s class in fall 2009. “I’ve had multiple professors who have mocked how much Catholic families reproduce or who have implied to the class that God is a joke. Why aren’t these professors fired for their open insults?”
This is a great question because it reveals the obvious. The answer, of course, and I'm certain that Mr. Hamoy fully realizes it, is that we live in a post-Christian society that openly persecutes those who profess Christianity in general, and especially those who are authentically Catholic.
For now, Dr. Howell's story has inspired a ground swell of support for him, even from unexpected corners. However, as society continues to spiral ever deeper into Godless secularism and post-Christian paganism (the cornerstones of Stalinist Russia and Nazism, respectively) there's good reason to believe that these present persecutions, limited to the realm ideas and free speech exclusion, are capable of escalating into actual physical persecution of individuals. As this drama unfolds, it becomes more and more expedient for us to live full, authentic Catholic lives marked by prayer and reparation.
Interesting is Bishop Fellay's words about at least one bishop who will leave the Church if the pope should offer the Traditional Latin Mass publicly.
No matter what one may think of the SSPX or Bishop Fellay, I'm relatively sure of one thing: the bishop is no liar. I don't think there is any reason to doubt Bishop Fellay's account, bearing in mind, of course, that all or at least some of it is second hand. There have been rumors in the past that the Holy Father privately offers the Traditional Latin Mass, and I think that him doing so, given his obvious love for the Old Mass, is reasonably credible.
Unfortunately, I think it equally credible that many bishops would go into schism over the pope publicly offering the Traditional Latin Mass. For this reason, this pope in particular, probably never will offer the Old Mass publicly. He is simply too concerned, to a fault, I'm sadly forced to conclude, to avoid public divisions in the Church. In the mean time, the silent apostasy in the rank and file of both laity and prelates alike continues unabated.
Friday, July 16, 2010
*Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland rekindles the troubles.
*Anglican general synod's acceptance of women bishops may drive traditionalist Anglicans to defect to Rome.
*University of Illinois to review sacking of professor under treat of impending law suit.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The number of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago is estimated at 2.3 million. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is estimated at 4.3 million. Let’s compare the number of ordinations of the Archdioceses of Chicago and Los Angeles combined with the number of ordinations this year for the SSPX and traditionalists groups enjoying full canonical recognition with the Holy See combined.
This year the Archdiocese of Los Angeles ordained 6 diocesan priests and 4 religious priests for a total of 10 priestly ordinations in 2010. In May 2010, the Archdiocese of Chicago ordained 12 priests. So, from among 6.7 million Catholics, we have a total of 22 men ordained priests.
Now let us go on to the traditionalists groups. The SSPX ordained 8 men to the priesthood in North America, 9 priests at Econe, and 3 priests at Zaitzkofen. (That makes 20 priests from just the SSPX alone!) The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter ordained 9 men in the North America, and another 5 men in Wigratzbad, Germany. The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest ordained 3 priests, and the Institute of the Good Shepherd ordained one man to the priesthood on July 10th. Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery at Clear Creek, Oklahoma, ordained one priest last October. That brings this year’s ordinations to 39 among traditionalist groups. (I may have missed one or two from traditionalists groups that do not post news or do not post news in English, such as the Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdotal y Santa Maria Reina, the Benedictine Abbey of Le Barroux, the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault, etc.)
The mainstream Catholic Church produced 22 priestly ordinations from a sampled population of 6.7 million Catholics. Traditionalist groups produced 39 priestly ordinations from, by the most liberal of estimates, a comparable population.
Even if we accept the most liberal of estimates, traditional Catholics communities accounted for almost twice as many ordinations as there were from a comparable sampling of mainstream Catholic populations. These numbers don’t take into consideration the vast marketing resources for the promotion of priestly vocations at the disposal of these two archdioceses. These marketing resources are simply out of reach for most traditional Catholic groups.
However, what traditional Catholic communities have is far more powerful than all the money and marketing resources at the disposal of these archdioceses. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, said: “Vocations to the priesthood and to other ministries and services flourish within the people of God wherever there are those in whom Christ can be seen through his Word, in the sacraments and especially in the Eucharist” (Message for the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 29th April 2007).
At the heart of traditional Catholicism is the Tradition Latin Mass, in which the focus of all human endeavor is toward the Eucharist, unimpeded by nothing save individual failings. This unimpeded vision toward the Eucharist is characteristic of the Traditional Latin Mass, and accounts for the flourishing of priestly vocations in so many Traditional Latin Mass communities.
If it is true that vocations to the priesthood flourish wherever Christ can be seen in the Eucharist, it is equally true that vocations do not flourish wherever Christ has been obscured. The manner of the novus ordo Missae, which more often than not places man in the spotlight, both as the innovator and as the center of attention, has obscured Christ for the vast majority of the Catholic laity since the post-Vatican II reforms. The priest is turned toward the people as an entertainer, and the sanctuary is full of lay “ministers” dancing to the tune of Pelegianism and power politics. While the Traditional Latin Mass is moved by God and is at His service, the new Mass is the hands of man, and is at the service of man. Even those who long for a more “traditional” and conservative style of Mass still belie this spirit of Pelegianism and power politics when they say it is up to them and their efforts to “change the way in which the Mass is offered”. While their intentions look innocent and even commendable, such intentions take for granted that man, and not God, is the principle actor at the Mass.
As long as the attention of those at Mass are focused on the human, and not on Christ, who is both the Sacrifice and the Priest, vocations will not flourish. A priest in New York city was showcased on an NPR program. He explained how vibrant was the Hispanic ministry program he had fashioned at his inner city parish. He bragged that over 10,000 people attended his charismatic, Pentecostal style liturgies. Yet he lamented the fact there was no priest to take his place when he should retire. Why, if over 10,000 people attend his liturgies every week, can he not in the course of his ministry at this parish find just one priestly vocation? The answer ought to be obvious. Vocations do not flourish where Christ is obscured.
For over forty years those attached to the Traditional Latin Mass have worried about the survival of their communities. For many who loved the Traditional Latin Mass, there simply was no priest to offer them the Mass or the sacraments. When St. Eugenius of Carthage and his Catholic priests were banished to their deaths in the desert by the Arians in the fifth century, the people bewailed: “Who will baptize our children? Who will impart to us the benefit of penance, and discharge us from the bonds of sin by the favor of reconciliation and pardon? Who will bury us with solemn supplications at our death? By who will the Divine Sacrifice be made?” But even in those confused days, God triumphed over the error of heresy.
“You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7. 16, 20). One of the fruits of the Traditional Latin Mass is a flourishing of vocations. This flourishing of vocations is an indication of two important things. First, it indicates the superior vision of Christ in the Traditional Latin Mass. Second, it indicates, joyfully, that these present confusing days are drawing to a close, and God will soon triumph.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
*Danneels allowed a pro-pedophilia group to operate in his archdiocese.
*Photos from a ritual killing of infants found during Belgian Church raid. It's like a Malachi Martin novel unraveling before our very eyes.
*And, yes, the Vatican is set to tinker with the rules about handling child sexual abuse by clergy, but our leaders are still shunning the Thomistic approach (which, of course, is to hand over the guilty priest or bishop to the secular authority that would summarily execute the pervert).
(Special thanks to Christopher Gillibrand at Catholic Church Conservation.)
Monday, July 5, 2010
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, ordained five men to the priesthood for the Preistly Fraternity of St. Peter on July 3rd.
Here's the question and answer:
Does this include not singing the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus or Agnus Dei at a Missa cantata?
No, I think that the congregation should feel free to join the choir in singing these parts of the Mass during a sung Mass. There's certainly nothing wrong with singing.
There are, however, times when the congregation will not be able sing the various Mass parts, and this ought to be acceptable as well. For example, there are some very complex Mass arrangements that are very beautiful and valuable treasures of the Church. It's a shame, and even an injustice to the laity, that these beautiful pieces should continue to collect dust because of some crazy interpretation of "active participation." One also participates in sacred music by receptively listening and allowing that sacred music to shape internal prayer and meditation. If the sublimity and beauty of our Catholic heritage should be limited by my singing voice, then all of it is lost!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
As you are reading this article keep in mind two important facts. First, a substantial portion of the teenagers interviewed for this study were Catholic. Second, at no time in the history of the Church have there been so many programs for youth, from LifeTeen to Youth Ministry programs on the parish and diocesan levels, from World Youth Day to Youth Masses (with rock music) in countless parishes in countless countries around the globe. Never before has there been such an outreach to young people, and arguably never before have so many young Catholics been involved.
Yet most of the same young people seem to lack even a basic understanding of Catholic tenets, and instead espouse a relativism expressed by the new religious slogan, "whatever".
Please pay particular attention to these words:
All this means is that teenagers have been listening carefully. They have been observing their parents in the larger culture with diligence and insight. They understand just how little their parents really believe and just how much many of their churches and Christian institutions have accommodated themselves to the dominant culture.
Nothing describes better the overall error of the post-Vatican II era than an accommodation to the dominant secular culture at the expense of the perennial teachings of Our Blessed Lord.
However, make no mistake about it. Catholic teenagers are listening and learning from both their parents and their priests. They are especially learning from those parents whose Catholicism is only a mindless and rote exercise that assuages their consciences on Sunday mornings but does little to form their lives during the week. Catholic teenagers are also learning from the juvenilism of their pastors and adult youth "ministers", who attempt and ultimately fail to pass off religion as "hip", "with it", and fun.
Young people know a disingenuous adult when they see one, and they realize the mockery these adults make of our Catholic religion, when these involved teenagers pay attention at all to what little is left of our Catholic religion at these youth rock Masses and youth ministry sleep overs. What is the use of involvement in an exercise that makes fools of priests and other adults, and makes a mockery of our august religion?
The key to making a remedy of this situation is for parents and the Church to return to Tradition. First, Catholic parents must be Catholic. They must not only strive to live moral lives, but also foster prayer in the family by praying a daily rosary, making a morning offering, praying before going to bed, praying before meals, and above all by learning their faith and passing it on to their children. However, this can not be done, in fact nothing for young people will be fruitful, until both parents and churchmen realize one very important fact from Tradition: youth is NOT a good thing!
As Romano Amerio wrote in Iota Unum:
From ancient times down to our own, youth has been regarded by philosophy, ethics, art and common sense as a time of natural and moral imperfections, that is, incompleteness. St. Augustine goes so far as to call the desire to return to childhood stupidity and folly. (193)
Indeed, "the flower of youth involves the danger of temptation." It is the responsibility of the parent to above all guide and rule the child through childhood with the goal that the child grows up. The parent hasn't been granted the paternal dignity in order to provide good things for their children or to make their lives comfortable or to make sure their children get into a good college. Parents have been granted the paternal dignity by God to accomplish the maturity of their children and thereby contribute to their salvation. The goal of the parent is to get their kids to grow up.
Parents can't do this if they aren't grown up, themselves. Likewise, parents can't do this without the aid of the Church, and this requires churchmen to be grown up, themselves. When priests and adult "youth" ministers spend their time acting like children in the hopes that such behavior will be attractive to young people, they not only appear to be fools, but as St. Augustine sums up, they are fools. This is the underlying reason for all of the religious problems and inarticulateness highlighted in the above article that so plagues America's teenagers. Because youth has been raised as some kind of ideal, a cult of Hebe, so to speak, by youth ministry programs, World Youth Day, LifeTeen and youth rock Masses, instead of being described for what youth actually is, namely an obstacle that should be overcome, teenagers are left adrift and are an easy prey to those vices that have been lifted up as virtues by the cult of Hebe, such as a detachment from the past, undisciplined intuition and uncritical acceptance.
Because young people are profoundly wounded by this juvenilism, when they reach adulthood unformed, uninformed, and immature, life's hardships and important critical decisions are either avoided by indulgence in distraction (something not lacking in our technologically hedonistic modern world), or are met with irrational emotionalism. This mass of kid-a-dolts, who are more worried about Dances With the Stars than political debate, are unable to realize the essential meaninglessness of slogans such as "Change You Can Believe In", let alone consideration of the ultimate questions of human existence. The relativism of "whatever" eventually evolves into the callous and intellectually empty "I don't care" of the kid-a-dolt.
Young Catholics are being profoundly harmed by a juvenilism among parents and churchmen that leave them unformed and unfit for mature adult lives. If modern churchmen don't stop the cult of Hebe in our Catholic churches, and return to Tradition, then most future mainstream Catholics will be little more than listless kid-a-dolts.
*20 new priests for the Society of St. Pius X in 2010.
*The Fall of the Belgian Church.
*With disregard for due process and the privacy of abuse victims, is the Church in Belgium being pilloried? Are the humanist and atheistic European authorities setting a dangerous precedent? Perhaps the dangerous precedent was set by sicko liberals among the Church's priests and bishops!
*Pope considers police action in Belgium "deplorable". Most of us consider child sexual abuse by priests and the ensuing cover up by liberal bishops "deplorable". Most of us consider the fact that only one person has lost his job over this "deplorable". Just saying.
*Historical treasure discovered at Niedermünster Abbey. It's amazing what one finds when the filth of the VCII era is swept aside.
*Pope considers St. John Vianney too old fashioned. Huh?
*Pope puts Archbishop Renato Fisichella in charge of something else. Huh? Not much expected from the new Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
*If we teach this guy how to offer the Traditional Latin Mass, shave off his beard, and dress him up in a white cassock, do you think we can make him the next pope? Yeah, I know... but still, in comparison to our present leadership... sigh.
*Saint Robert Byrd, pray for us?? West Virginia bishop canonizes deceased pro-abortion politician.
*Ethnic parishes in Cleveland are taking the brunt of the "springtime" of Vatican II.
*Kasper the Friendly Eccumenist retires and is replaced.