Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Una, Sancta, Catholica et Apostolica Ecclesia Christi Est!


I like to watch a little of Joel Olsteen on television on Sunday mornings. His is a prosperity Gospel with a self-fulfillment in-this-life message, based in faith in the Person of Jesus Christ. We could call it the Gospel of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. God will take care of your physical and spiritual needs, He is omnipotent, all-loving and all good. He can and will see you through. Don't give up. Entrust yourself to Him. He never fails. Jesus Christ is He.

That is surely part of the Gospel message, but it neglects the centrality of the Cross and of the need for repentance and conversion, and for hope in life everlasting. In the end we will lose everything in this life, but God will, if we are faithful and live and die in his sanctifying grace, repentant and forgiven of our sins, we will be saved beyond death and given eternal glory with Him and all his angels and saints. But that partial emphasis of the Gospel is not my greatest criticism of Mr. Olsteen, because he seems to believe the entire Gospel message, although he chooses to emphasize the this-life prosperity slant. My real issue with Olsteen is the closing message of every show which is patently false in its direct contradiction to Mr. Olsteen's own principles and the testimony of Sacred Scripture itself, and sounds like anti-Catholic code language.

Joel Olsteen closes every preaching hour with the imperative to all to "Get into a bible based church..." The implication is that there are many churches that are sufficient for salvation, and that it is all the same; that the key to salvation is the bible guiding your church, doesn't matter which church. But the bible says it different. The bible says that the Church is one (Cf. Matthew 16:18) and that it is that one and only Church which is the only legitimate guarantor of the integrity of the faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

"The church of the living God [is] the pillar and ground of the truth." 1 Timothy 3:15

Credo in unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam, sanctorum communionem...

It is true that every man needs to get into the Church, not "a church, but "the Church." So says the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 14, 2019

15 Principles for True Plurality in the Unity of Faith


UNITY OF THE FAITH AND THEOLOGICAL PLURALISM*
INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION (1972)


THE DIMENSIONS OF THE PROBLEM

1. Unity and plurality in the expression of the Faith have their ultimate basis in the very mystery of Christ that, while being at the same time a mystery of universal fulfillment and reconciliation (Eph 2:11-22), goes beyond the possibilities of expression of any given age and thus eludes exhaustive systematization (Eph 3:8-10).

2. The unity-duality of the Old Testament and the New, as the fundamental historical expression of the Christian Faith, provides a concrete point of departure for the unity-plurality of this same Faith.

3. The dynamism of Christian faith, and its missionary character, requires an account of it in rational terms; faith is not a philosophy, but it does give a direction to man’s thinking.

4. The truth of the Faith is bound up with its onward movement through history, from Abraham on to Christ, and from Christ to the parousia. Consequently, orthodoxy is not consent to a system but a sharing in the onward movement of the Faith and so, in the Church’s own selfhood that subsists, identical, through all time, and the true subject of the Credo.

5. The fact that the truth of the Faith is lived in an onward movement involves its relation to the praxis and to the history of this Faith. Since Christian faith is founded on the incarnate Word, its historical and practical character distinguishes it in its essence from a form of historicity in which man alone would be the creator of his own direction.

6. The Church is the comprehensive subject giving unity both to New Testament theologies and to dogmas as they arise throughout history. It is founded on confession of faith in Jesus Christ dead and risen, which she proclaims and celebrates in the power of the Spirit.

7. The criterion that makes it possible to distinguish between true and false pluralism is the Faith of the Church expressed in the organic whole of her normative pronouncements: the fundamental criterion is Scripture as it relates to the confession of the believing and praying Church. Among dogmatic formulas, those of the earlier Councils have priority. The formulas that express a reflection of Christian thought are subordinate to those that express the facts of the Faith themselves.

8. Even if the present situation of the Church encourages pluralism, plurality discovers its limits in the fact that faith creates the communion of men in the truth, which has been made accessible in Christ. This makes inadmissible every conception of faith that would reduce it to a purely pragmatic cooperation, lacking any sense of community in the truth. This truth is not linked to any theological systematization, but it is expressed in the normative proclamations of the Faith. Faced with doctrinal statements that are gravely ambiguous, even perhaps incompatible with the Faith of the Church, the Church has the capacity to discern error and the duty to dispel it, even resorting to the formal rejection of heresy as the final remedy for safeguarding the Faith of the people of God.

9. Because the Christian Faith is universal and missionary, the events and words revealed by God must be each time rethought, reformulated, and lived anew within each human culture, if we wish them to inspire the prayer, the worship, and the daily life of the people of God. Thus, the Gospel of Christ leads each culture toward its. fullness and at the same time submits it to a creative criticism. Local Churches that, under the guidance of their shepherds, apply themselves to this difficult task of incarnating the Christian Faith must always maintain continuity and communion with the universal Church of the past and of the present. Thanks to their efforts they contribute as much to the deepening of the Christian life as to the progress of theological reflection in the universal Church, and guide the human race in all its diversity toward that unity wished by God.

PERMANENT NATURE OF DOCTRINAL FORMULATIONS

10. Dogmatic formulations must be considered as responses to precise questions, and it is in this sense that they remain always true. Their permanent interest depends on the lasting relevance of the questions with which they are concerned; at the same time it must not be forgotten that the successive questions that Christians ask themselves about the understanding of the divine word as well as already discovered solutions grow out of one another, so that today’s answers always presuppose in some way those of yesterday, although they cannot be reduced to them.

11. Dogmatic definitions ordinarily use a common language; while they may make use of apparently philosophical terminology, they do not thereby bind the Church to a particular philosophy but have in mind only the underlying realities of universal human experience, which the terms in question have enabled them to distinguish.

12. These definitions must never be considered apart from the particularly authentic expression of the divine word in the sacred Scriptures or separated from the entire Gospel message to each age. They also provide, for that message, norms for an ever more suitable interpretation of revelation. Yet this revelation remains always the same, not only in its substance but also in its fundamental statements.

PLURALISM AND UNITY IN MORALS

13. Pluralism in morals appears first of all in the application of general principles to concrete circumstances, and it is accentuated when contacts occur between cultures that were ignorant of one another or as a result of rapid changes in society.

A fundamental unity is manifested, however, in a common esteem for human dignity, carrying with it imperatives for the conduct of human life.

The conscience of every man expresses a certain number of fundamental demands (Rom 2:14), which have been recognized in our times by public expressions of the essential human rights.

14. The unity of Christian morality is based on unchanging principles, contained in the Scriptures, clarified by Tradition, presented to each generation by the Magisterium. Let us recall the principal emphases: the precepts and example of the Son of God revealing the heart of his Father; conformity to his death and his Resurrection; [and] life in the Spirit in the bosom of the Church, in faith, hope, and charity, so that we may be renewed according to the image of God.

15. The necessary unity of faith and communion does not hinder a diversity of vocations and of personal preferences in the manner of coming to terms with the mystery of Christ and of life.

Christian liberty (Gal 5:13), far from implying a limitless pluralism, demands a struggle toward totally objective truth no less than patience with less robust consciences (cf. Rom 14:15; 1 Cor 8).

Respect for the autonomy of human values and legitimate responsibilities in this area carries with it the possibility of a variety of analyses and options on temporal matters for Christians. This variety is compatible with total obedience and love (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 43).


* The text of the propositions approved by the plenary meeting held on 10-11 October 1972, the whole text was unanimously approved by all members present.

List of Members of the International Theological Commission
The First Five Years
Appointments of May 1, 1969; cf. DC 66 (1969), 495

President: His Emminence Cardinal Franjo Seper (Yugoslavia)

Rev. Barnabas Ahern, C.P. (United States)
Rev. Hans Urs von Balthasar (Switzerland)
Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Oratory (France)
Rev. Walter Burghardt, S.J. (United States)
Msgr. Carlo Colombo (Italy)
Rev. Yves Congar, O.P. (France)
Msgr. Philippe Delhaye (Belgium)
Rev. Johannes Feiner (Switzerland)
Rev. André Feuillet, P.S.S. (France)
Rev. Lucio Gera (Argentina)
Rev. Olegario Gonzalez de Cardedal (Spain)
Rev. Ignace Abdo Khalifé, S.J. (Lebanon)
Rve. Franz Lakner, S.J. (Austria)
Rev. Marie-Joseph Le Guillou, O.P. (France)
Rev. Joseph Lescrauwaet, M.S.C. (Holland)
Rev. Bernard Lonergan, S.J. (Japan)
Rev. Henri de Lubac, S.J. (France)
Rev. Andreas H. Maltha, O.P. (HOlland)
Msgr. Jorge Medina Estevez (Chile)
Rev. Peter Nemeshegyi, S.J. (Japan)
Msgr. Stanislaw Olejnik (Poland)
Msgr. Gérard Philips (Belgium)
Rev. Karl Rahner, S.J. (West Germany)
Rev. Joseph Ratzinger (West Germany)
Msgr. Roberto Mascarenhas Roxo (Brazil)
Rev. Tomislaw Sagi-Bunic, O.F.M. Cap. (Yugoslavia)
Msgr. Rudolf Schnackenburg (West Germany)
Rev. Heinz Schürmann (East Germany)
Msgr. Tharcisius Tshibangu (Zaire)
Rev. Cipriano Vagaggini, O.S.B. (Italy)

International Theological Commission: Texts and Documents 1969-1985, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989, 89-92, 327, 329.

Plinthos: the principles on morals are weak, e.g. no mention of the decalogue!

Cf. ITC, "The Interpretation of Dogma," 1989.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Masterful Assessment of Present State of Francis Papacy


A Failing Papacy
by R.R. Reno
February 2019

The current regime in Rome will damage the Catholic Church. Pope ­Francis combines laxity and ruthlessness. His style is casual and approachable; his church politics are cold and cunning. There are leading themes in this pontificate—­mercy, accompaniment, peripheries, and so forth—but no theological framework. He is a verbal semi-automatic weapon, squeezing off rounds of barbed remarks, spiritual aperçus, and earthy asides (­coprophagia!). This has created a confusing, even dysfunctional atmosphere that will become intolerable, if it hasn’t already.

Every pope sets a particular tone, a party line. Benedict made no secret of his desire for the Church to recover the dignity and transcendent orientation of the old ways of worship. But he was measured and never denounced or insulted those who prefer guitars and casual liturgies. St. John Paul II’s great intellectual project was to redeem the promise of mid-century Catholicism’s turn toward cooperation with secular humanism. He sought to fuse the modern turn to the subject and freedom with a full-spectrum affirmation of the doctrinal tradition. One can judge his project a success or a failure, but it is beyond dispute that his intention was to span the gap between today’s individual-­oriented ethos and Catholicism’s theocentrism.

Pope Francis, by contrast, is quick to denounce, widening gaps rather than closing them. More often than not, he targets the core Catholic faithful. He regularly attacks “mummified” Christians and “rosary counters.” On many occasions, Francis has singled out doctrinally orthodox priests for ridicule. The same holds for those who favor the Latin Mass, whom he derides as suffering from a “rigidity” born of “insecurity.” Early in his pontificate, his Christmas sermon to the curia recited a litany of condemnations.

Francis expresses little sympathy or support for regular Mass-goers and the men laboring in parish ministry. “Go to the peripheries!” That’s one of his signature exhortations. In practice, that has meant neglecting (if not attacking) bishops, priests, and laity who do the ordinary work of sustaining the Church’s institutions and traditions.

In November, Francis intervened to prevent the bishops in the United States from taking decisive action to address their failure to hold one another accountable. Meanwhile, it appears that the Vatican has come to an agreement with the Chinese government to regularize the underground Church in that country. The deal seems to allow communist bureaucrats to play an integral role in the selection of bishops.

The contrast is shocking. On the one hand, the pope slaps down men who have devoted their lives to the Church and proven their loyalty over decades of service. On the other hand, he is solicitous of the interests of commissars and accommodates them, even to the point of suspending one of the most important canonical principles of modern Catholicism, designed to protect the Church against secular control.

Any particular action by Francis and his team may be defensible. Some have devoted themselves to marshaling arguments of one sort or another to show that each move is principled and exemplary. But Francis seems ­uninterested in developing a coherent theological justification for his actions. He governs with gestures, slogans, and sentiments.

Pope Francis has also revised the Catechism in a way that suggests a fundamental change in the Church’s teaching. This was done in a peremptory fashion without discussion or explanation. It is as if Francis had meditated on St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, which guides one toward galvanizing discernments that come with commanding immediacy, rather than consulting moral theologians. This can’t help but create the impression that everything is up for grabs. Who knows what will come next?

“Time is greater than space.” Pope Francis put this forward as one of his guiding principles. It means that movements of the spirit matter more than official liturgies, authorized doctrines, and established structures. This principle is anti-institutional. It is a characteristic sentiment of ­Jesuits formed by the Spiritual Exercises who are old enough to take the Church’s institutions for granted.

I taught for a number of years at a Jesuit University. I’m familiar with a pastoral approach that treats disruption and rule-breaking as a spiritual tonic. Many Jesuits I knew were “liberal” in style and rhetoric. But I came to see that this was not always out of conviction. It was a tactic, a posture meant to enhance their evangelical effectiveness. Breaking rules and adopting heterodox views puts people at ease, they thought. It opens up space for the Holy Spirit, getting people onto the “ladder of love” that brings them into the Church.

This is not a crazy approach. In some circumstances, it works. As St. Paul said, “I have become all things to all people,” suggesting a mobile strategy for the proclamation of Christ crucified. This Jesuit adoption of multiple, even contradictory ecclesial masks helps us understand why Pope Francis can tack so quickly from “liberal” to “conservative” positions, suggesting a relaxation of the Church’s judgments about sexual morality (“Who am I to judge?”), while at the same time making striking statements about the unfitness of homosexual men for the priesthood. This approach coheres, moreover, with the Peronist tradition that seeks to transcend ideology in the service of the people. A true Peronist is left-wing—except when he is right-wing.

This does not work as a general strategy for the Church. The Francis mode of improvisation depends on the underlying stability of the tradition for its effectiveness. If the Church becomes the agent of her own disruption and rule-breaking becomes the rule, then Jesuit freelancing tactics lose their spiritual effectiveness. They become, instead, futile gestures in an atmosphere of disorder and confusion. This, I fear, is the effect of the Francis pontificate. He’s like the Baby Boomer who can’t understand why the kids aren’t inspired by his now clichéd and conventional unconventionality. “You shoulda been at Woodstock . . .”

Bishops, leaders of religious orders, and curial officials have institutional responsibilities. I’m not privy to their private conversations. But the disorder and anti-institutional bias of the ­Francis pontificate must be unsettling. The tendency of this pope is to undermine the Church’s most loyal servants. This is surely galling. His lack of interest in ­theology—in ideas generally—reduces his pontificate to the raw exercise of ecclesiastical power. This creates a dictatorial atmosphere that is unpleasant for those who run the Church’s institutions.

Like all Christians, Catholics believe in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We also believe in mother Church. This does not replace faith in Christ. It means we trust that, in her main outlines, the Church is not just a reliable witness to Christ, but also his real presence—the mystical Body of Christ. This is why Catholics often use the word “Church” as a synonym for God’s grace in Christ. A Catholic is loyal to the Church—her teaching, traditions, and liturgies, to be sure, but also her institutions, even the very stones of her buildings. (In Rome, the cobblestones are known as sampietrini, “little St. Peters.”) This loyalty can become exaggerated. The regalia of the Knights of Malta are not essential. But on this whole, the spirit of devotion to the Church’s long-standing traditions and outward forms is evangelical. It is an embodied form of faith in Christ. To cling tenaciously to “space” is a first-fruit of Jesus’s lordship over all things.

Pope Francis seems to regard the uncertainty and instability as desirable. His anti-institutionalism tends to disembody the Catholic faith. A “field hospital” church can pick up and leave. The Church of brick and stone makes a claim to permanence. It contests with the City of Man for territory. It bears witness to the certainty and stability of God’s covenant fulfilled in Christ.

Looking back, we can see that Jorge Bergoglio wrecked some of the institutions he was in charge of before he was seated on the chair of St. Peter. He sowed division at the Jesuit seminary during his term as rector. When he stepped down as head of the Argentine Jesuit province, conflict and bad feelings reigned.

To be sure, some things need to be broken. I’ve written about the sclerotic chancery culture in the United States. Long ago, Joseph Ratzinger warned that the Church in the West must discard self-important illusions, legacies of her role in Christendom, in order to restore salt to her witness. By some accounts, Bergoglio broke down some of the corrupt connections between the Church and elite interests in Argentina. We can all think of needed reforms.

But those occupying the offices of leadership in the Church must also build up, unify, and encourage the troops. This Francis seems unwilling to do. He’s like a supreme commander who prizes his bold commando platoons while deriding the common foot soldiers. This leads to disaster, for the everyday soldiers, the grunts, are the ones who take and hold territory.

The Son of God came in order to take territory. The sharp edge of conquest can be found in the witness of the martyrs, the holiness of the saints, and the courageous words of prophets. But the “rosary counters,” the regular Mass-goers, the priests who care about canonical norms, the bishops who oversee their dioceses—they occupy and secure the territory.

I have the impression that the majority of the cardinals and other churchmen in positions of responsibility are increasingly aware the Francis pontificate is a failure. This judgment need not indicate theological disagreement. Indeed, part of the concern stems from the growing realization that Francis has no theology. (“Reality is superior to the idea,” as he puts it.) Authority without principle and rule without law run on intuition and discernment, which means either tyranny (the authority of one man’s intuitions) or anarchy (the authority of everyone’s discernments). Either way, the Church loses her specific gravity, and the world and its principles invade and advance to take territory.

A sagacious pope would try to temper the uproar in the American Church by appointing a man of impeccable reputation to the seat in Washington made vacant by the departure of the discredited Cardinal Wuerl. Francis is expected to do the opposite. And his proxies are sure to denounce any criticism of his pick as stemming from a cabal of rich conservatives who want to hijack the Church for political purposes.

Meanwhile, for all its talk of the poor, this pontificate has a close and cozy relationship with the Davos elite that is without precedent. Again, I’m not privy to the thoughts of cardinals and Vatican prefects, but I can imagine that a far-seeing ecclesiastical eminence rightly suspects that this pontificate will cut deals with the secular West not unlike its power-sharing agreement with the communist government in China. Instead of claiming territory, the Francis pontificate is turning Catholicism into a chaplaincy for the elite interests in the emerging global world order. Those who know Jesuits will recognize this as their historical pattern, still very much the norm amid lots of chatter about social justice.

Cuban 50's Christmas Music for the last day of Christmas


Christus natus es de Maria Virgine
(Tempore Nativitatis)

Christus apparuit nobis, Venite adoremus.
(In Epiphaniæ Domini)

Christus Mariæ et Ioseph subditus fuit.
(In festo sanctæ Familiæ)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Healthy Modesty Boundaries


Chastity is a virtue which depends on the virtue of modesty. Everyone should get in the habit of avoiding the giving and receiving of temptations against the ninth and sixth commandments.

I recall that in a tour book for Israel there is a note on female decorum in Middle-Eastern society, for example, females should not go about unaccompanied. There are similar admonitions regarding modest attire.

It is interesting to note the norms on this in Saint Augustine's Rule for Sisters. In the present #MeToo world we do well to consider how "unwanted advances" may often be intentionally and unintentionally invited. What is more, Sodom necessarily requires a specific code of modesty. Remember that only one family was saved from Sodom, the family that left, and only those who left without looking back! "And [Lot's] wife looking behind her, was turned into a statue of salt." Genesis 19:26


Chapter X.

Let there be nothing remarkable in your habit and do not seek to please by your dress, but by the dispositions of your heart. Let not your veils be so thin as to show the head-dress beneath; nor shall your hair be uncovered so that it may be neither negligently dishevelled, nor artfully put up in a knot.
When you go abroad, walk together; when you come to your destination remain together. Whether you walk, stand still, sit, or make any movement, let nothing be done which may stir any one to concupiscence, but let all be conformable to holiness, that is, to the holiness of your vocation.

Chapter XI.

If you cast your eyes on any man, nevertheless fasten them on none. You are not indeed forbidden to see men when you go abroad; but to desire them, or to wish them to desire you, is a criminal fault; for it is not only by the touch, but by the mind and the eyes, that a woman is desired and desires. And do not say that your intention is modest if your eyes be immodest; for an immodest eye is the messenger of an immodest heart, and though the tongue keep silence, when hearts wantonly entertain each other with mutual glances, and concupiscence moves them to take pleasure in sinful desires, even if the body remain chaste, chastity none the less perishes in the heart. And she who fastens her eyes on a man, and likes him to return her look, must not imagine that her so doing will be unobserved. She is certainly seen and by those she little thinks on. But suppose that no one notice her conduct, how will she hide herself from Him Who looks on from on high from Whom nothing can be hid? Can we, I ask, think that He sees not our actions, because he sees them with patience proportioned to His wisdom and knowledge? Him, therefore, let the devout woman fear to displease, that she may not cherish the evil wish to please any man. Let her remember that God sees all, that she may not desire any man to cast sinful looks upon her; for the fear of Him is enjoined on us,, and for this very reason where it is written; He is an abomination to the Lord (Pr 11, 20), who fixes his eye on evil.

Chapter XII.

When, therefore, you are together in the Church or elsewhere in the presence of men, take a mutual care to preserve one another's chastity, for by this means God, Who dwells in you, will preserve you from yourselves. And should you perceive that any one of you is making free with her eyes in the way I speak of, admonish here at once, that those beginnings may not go any farther, but be then and there corrected. And if, after your admonition, you see her repeat the same, or perhaps another day, then she who shall have perceived ti, whoever she be, shall make her known as one already wounded, that she may be cured. But before this be done, the same fault ought to be brought to the notice of one or two others, that she may be convicted by the testimony of two or three (cf. Mt 18, 16) and corrected with suitable severity. And think not that by detecting this evil you are showing her any ill will; for , on the contrary, the fault would be were you by your silence to permit your sisters to perish, when by accusing them, you might lead to their amendment. For if your sister had a sore in her body which she wished to conceal for fear of an incision, would it not be cruelty to keep silence and kindness to make it known? How much more then ought you to manifest a spiritual ulcer, that it may not fester more dangerously at the heart?

Rules of the Institute of St. Augustine, for the Sisters

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Music for Octave of Epiphany

Solus cum sola non dicunt 'Ave'

That is my response to yesterday's news of a prominent Opus Dei priest's past sexual misconduct with an adult woman. It means that it is always dangerous for a man to be alone with a woman.

The entire Church needs to re-institute the age-old norm of not hearing confessions of women or children outside of a traditional confessional.

"Entre santa y santo pared de cal y canto." --Teresa of Avila
(Between a [male] saint and a [female] saint you need a very thick and impenetrable wall!)

Solus Cum Sola



Sunday, January 6, 2019

Pope Francis Anti-Clerical Letter to US Bishops, Ignoring Homosexual Problem and Chastity


The most striking thing about the January 1st Letter of Pope Francis to the Bishops of the United States is the misplaced "clericalism" theme which continues to expose the Holy Father's anti-clericalism. Though in the introduction he mentions a "culture of abuse" he goes on for eight pages on the evil of division and bureaucracy in the hierarchy while not once mentioning chastity, virginity, celibacy, truth, church discipline. He does not even allude to homosexuality, or to the homosexualism which is ignoring and perpetuating it, buttressed by the grave and scandalous error that homosexual activity is not the problem.

What needs to happen in the Church is simply the following and the enforcing of Canon 521! The problem in the Church in 2019 is the promotion and toleration of bad leaders: doctrinally unsound and of notoriously immoral lives, and the ignoring and denial of that problem, and the Holy Father too obstinately continues to exhibit and encourage that!

Expose and Depose the Homophiles Who are Running the Church, at Every Level! THE VIGANO PLAN

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Christmas Oratorio --Liszt


Happy Year of the Lord MMXIX!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Motu Proprio to Suppress Ecclesia Dei Commision


Marco Tosatti, Stilum curiae (Plinthos amended Google translation)

The Motu Proprio which sets the end of Ecclesia Dei as an independent Commission, and its integration as an Office in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is ready, signed by the Pontiff, and should have been published last Thursday. We are unaware of the reasons that the document has not yet been published.

It is a rather short legal text, in which it is said that since the pastoral emergency linked to the celebration of the Vetus Ordo, and which led to the creation of the Ecclesia Dei Commission thirty years ago, has come to an end, consequently the Commission in its current form no longer has any reason to exist.

We recall that the Motu Proprio of John Paul II, dated 2 July 1988, was born in reaction to the consecration of four bishops by Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre. Some of its powers and functions were modified by Benedict XVI in 2009. The document of John Paul II gave the Commission the right to "grant to anyone who asks for it the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition in force in 1962, and this according to the rules already proposed by the commission of cardinals 'established for that purpose' during December 1986 after having informed the diocesan bishop ".

The Commission was the point of arrival of those who appealed to it to obtain a review of the denials of bishops opposed to the celebration of the Mass according to the Vetus Ordo.

Moreover, following the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI (2007), the commission supervises the application of the Motu Proprio, studies the possible updates which the liturgical texts of 1962 might need: for example the presence of new saints in the calendar. Moreover, the Commission was the last resort for the faithful who asked for the celebration of Mass according to the extraordinary form and did not have a positive answer either from their parish priest or from their bishop.

It is now necessary to see how many, and which of these powers, can continue to be carried out by what will be the new "Office" Ecclesia Dei within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and whose last referent, evidently, will no longer be the responsible secretary, as before, but the prefect at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The initial statement, according to which the pastoral emergency would have ended, gives rise to some more than legitimate doubts. At a time which in the Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference voices of bishops and specialists are raised to deny legal validity to the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of Benedict XVI, and at a time which there are bishops who are directly or subtly hindering the celebration of Mass according to the Vetus Ordo, to say that there is no pastoral emergency appears perhaps a bit rash.
___

Plinthos: It seems to me that the Holy Father is among the vast majority of the bishops of the world who have secretly decided to oppose the traditional Mass by at least not promoting it among the secular clergy or in their parishes or their cathedrals. Their policy is to destroy it by isolating it. The message to all of their subjects is clearly: "stay away from tradition" They relegate it to the peripheries. Their attitude is that only those who are exclusively dedicated to it should do it, the rest of us should stay away. That is the present atmosphere, contrary to Summorum Pontificum. The traditional form of the Mass and those (especially clergy and seminarians) attached to it are treated as something bad for the world, an evil that we must still tolerate. But, I ask, together with Pope Benedict XVI, why should ordinary Catholics, Pope's included, need to neglect or reject their Catholic tradition in order to be Catholic?

A Pact Between Pope Francis and the Society of Saint Pius X for the Isolation of Tradition?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Beata viscera --Palestrina Merry Christmas!


Beata viscera Mariae Virginis,
quae portaverunt aeterni Patris Filium; Alleluia.

Someone please inform Google Doodle that it is Christmas!

Bishop Barron on Ben Shapiro

Here is a nice treat for this Christmas.
Merry Christmas as we usher in The Year of the Lord MMXIX!

N.B. 46.00 minute on "The rejudaizing of Catholicism is the key to evangelism."

However, Bishop Barron's position on the hypothetical salvation of those who do not believe in Christ, contradicts the Gospel and the constant teaching of the Catholic Church. Without faith in Jesus Christ there is no salvation. Here is the dogma:

"Souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision of God. (De fide.)" Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Rockford: Tan, 1976, 112.

"The 2nd General Council of Lyons (1274) and the Council of Florence (1438-45) declared: illorum animas, qui in actuali mortali peccato vel solo originali decedunt, mox in infernum descendere, poenis tamen disparibus puniendas (the souls of those who die in original sin as well as those who die in actual mortal sin go immediately into hell, but their punishment is very different). D 464, 693." Ibid.

"Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned." Mark 16:16.

The Longest Unbroken Dynasty in the World Today!

I just learned from German Radio (Cologne) yesterday that there is a Japanese Emperor. I had no idea! According to legend, his dynasty goes back to the years of the birth of Christ, 6 BC (Christ was born in 4 BC, BC meaning Before Christ and AD meaning anno Domini [the Year of the Lord], for the Gregorian calendar which is today recognized as the official calendar of the entire world has Christ the King as the reference point). The historical record of the Japanese dynasty can only be traced to the 5th century AD.

Upon reflection, I have to say that common opinion and Wikipedia are wrong regarding the claim that the Japanese monarchy is the oldest continual dynasty in the world. That of Christ is older for two reasons. It is older because the historical records of Christ's reign are indisputable from the time of his reign on the earth. That reign begins upon his conception in the year 4 BC, reestablishing the kingdom of David his father from David's city of Bethlehem and of the tribe of Judah whence he was born into the world. The Davidic dynasty, which is that of Christ, is traced historically to Saul in 1030 BC and interrupted with the death of Zedekiah in 587. But the second reason is more important because Christ is the Person of the Son of God and His kingdom is from heaven, His reign is eternal, "My kingdom is not of this world;" (John 18:36) the King of the Jews is the King of heaven and earth, the longest standing monarch, from His eternal throne in heaven. His Church also begins with His Incarnation in 4 BC and that dynastic institution of His, with the Vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff as His official delegate, has been carrying on the Kingdom of Christ on earth for two thousand years, "...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matt. 16:18

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Pope Francis Ignores Homosexualism Problem in Hierarchy

The Holy Father, in his end of the year address, addressing the "abuse" crisis of 2018, not once mentions homosexuality, homosexualism, homosexualism in the Church hierarchy (at the highest levels, implicating even the Pope Himself).

To focus on abuse of minors is simply a distraction and is to ignore the great scandal of 2018, the iconic and notorious McCarrick homosexualism and the homosexualism in the Church at every level: the consenting to and condoning and promoting of homosexuality in the Church and, by the Church, in the world itself.

Viganò is not divisive. He is speaking for all of the Catholic faithful who insist that our Pastors "...be outstanding in sound doctrine and uprightness of character." Canon 521. Any person in authority in the Church must vocally oppose homosexualism in all its forms and in no way consent to, condone or promote it.

The problem which came to light in 2018 is that the Church has pitched a tent in Sodom! Homophilia is alive and well in the Catholic Church, and all of "Uncle Teddy's" friends, including the Vicar of Christ Himself, are its chief promoters.

A homo-friendly church does not belong to Jesus Christ, but to the devil, and very often indeed "for thirty pieces of silver." It is the clergymen who sell their souls to political correctness in the fear of being labelled homophobe in Sodom that are the problem. Gaydom must be called out! The Holy Father's uncertain message regarding Sodom will not work. He promotes "LGBT" on the one hand, but then kinda sort of quietly regrets the fact of homosexual clergy, rarely even admitting that. You cannot serve two masters.

The great "scandal" of 2018 is the exposure of the real scandal in the episcopal college of loving the fleshpots of Egypt, episcopal gaydom, friends of Sodom, the McCarrick type and all who liked him as long as he was "legal.," including popes and other cardinals and many bishops and pastors. As I have said here repeatedly, watch out for what they don't say, the errors the enemies of the faith, within the Church leadership, are slow to correct. That is the prevalent heresy of our day, the hesitancy to condemn what needs to be condemned when and where and in whom it needs to be exposed and gotten out! Too much "tenerezza!" Cf. Luke 12:51.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Rorate Cæli, Palestrina

Advent Polyphony

Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant justum.
Aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem:
Ostende nobis Domine misericordiam tuam
Et salutare tuum da nobis:
Veni Domine et noli tardare.

Let the heavens drop dew from above,
and the clouds rain down justice.
May the earth open and generate a Savior:
Reveal to us, Lord, Your mercy,
and give Your salvation to us:
Come, Lord, and do not delay.

"I Need to Wake People Up!"


Inspirational short video on the vocation of the priest today.

How Choosing Evil is a Lack of Freedom

Archangel Gabriel, La Madeleine, Paris

Free will is perfect when it is ordered towards its proper end, which is the good. As long as the person with free will chooses the good he becomes more free. It is union with the good which makes him free. "If you abide in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32). Freedom comes from knowledge of the truth and knowledge of the truth comes from living in the word of Jesus Christ, living in relationship, in a personal relationship, with the truth, living in discipleship with Him. The Truth is a Person. "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." (John 14:16). Communion of Persons is the source of freedom. Love is the source of freedom. Divine union, in the Person of Christ, is the source of freedom.

When man uses his freedom to do what is wrong he harms his own freedom. He makes himself less free with every sin which he commits. There are three ways that freedom is harmed by evil: by willing it, by being capable of it, and by actually doing it. (Cf. Boethius, de consolatione, IV, 4a, 15, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Loeb Classical Library Harvard University Press, 1978, 340). That is why God, Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Conception, and all the Angels and the Saints in heaven, incapable as they are of doing evil, enjoy the greatest freedom. (Cf. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol. Ia, q. 62, a. 8, ad. 3). Their freedom is commensurate with the fullness of being of each in his perfect exercise of union with his proper end which is God, union in the Most Blessed Trinity. Each person lives and moves and has his being in perfect harmony with the love of his life, which is God, in union with God. And that is why those who are wicked are said to be dead.

All men, endowed as they are with free will, are ordered toward the good by nature. Therefore, the good man achieves his natural end and the wicked man does not, which means that the good man is powerful and the evil man is weak. The evil man, knowing what is good, is led by inordinate desire to do what is evil, being weak to will and to do the good. He is thus less a man than the good man. The more evil he wills, can do, and actually does, the less of a man he is, the less he truly lives and the less he shares in his own existence, because he thereby abandons his proper destiny, his proper nature, which is directed toward the good: "for those who leave aside the common end of all things that are, at the same time also leave off being." (de consolatione, IV, 2a, 100-101, Ibid., 325-326).

Cf. María Esther Gómez de Pedro, Libertad en Ratzinger: riesgo y tarea, Madrid: Encuentro, 2014, 101-102. Also James 1:14-15 on how concupiscence kills man.

P.S. "Amen, amen I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. But the slave does not abide in the house forever; the son abides there forever. If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:34-36                                             

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Truth, Moral Truth, Church Authority


"By holding on to the Creator, faith's praxis protects the creation against...a total manipulation of reality. ...Faith's praxis depends on faith's truth, in which man's truth is made visible and lifted up to a new level by God's truth. Hence, it is fundamentally opposed to a praxis that first wants to produce facts and so establish truth."
Joseph Ratzinger, "The Church's Teaching: Authority--Faith--Morals" (1974) in Principles of Christian Morality, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1986, 70.

"...[A] faulty concept of God leads to faulty moral behavior..." Ibid., 65.

"Contrary to appearances, the flight into pure orthopraxy, as well as the attempt to banish substantive morals from the realm of faith (with the teaching authority that is an integral part of the realm of faith), turn reason into a heresy... The first obligation of the teaching office is to continue the apostolic exhortation and to protect these fundamental decisions against reason's capitulation to the age, as well as against reason's capitulation in the face of almighty praxis. There must be a correspondence with basic insights of human reason, albeit these insights have been purified, deepened and broadened through contact with the way of faith...

"The whole Church:...the life and suffering of Christians, living out their faith in the midst of the times,...the reflections and questionings of the scholars,...[and] the watchful attention, listening and deciding undertaken by the teaching authority...is involved in the process of assimilating what is genuinely rational and rejecting what is only superficially reasonable." Ibid., 71-72.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christian/Christmas Hallelujah


Here is a Christian rendition of the very popular but ambiguous "Hallelujah" song.

Cloverton Lyrics

"A Hallelujah Christmas"
(originally by Leonard Cohen)

I've heard about this baby boy
Who's come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I'm singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God's only Son was born, oh Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You'll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Truth, Maturity, and Holiness: Response in Crisis

"Many capsizings in the faith and in consecrated life
are due to a crisis in philosophy." --John Paul II

"Our age...seems to be an age of great spiritual crisis: crisis of ideas, crisis of religious faith and, consequently, crisis of moral life."

It is an age which requires, 1) before all else, deep philosophical and theological convictions, 2) mature and well-balanced characters, and 3) a serious commitment to personal sanctification.

¿Cuál es la característica general del tiempo en que nos ha llamado a vivir la Providencia? Parece que se puede responder que es una gran crisis espiritual: de ideas, de la fe religiosa y, en consecuencia, de la vida moral.

Nosotros estamos llamados a vivir en esta época nuestra y a amarla para salvarla. ¿Cuáles son, pues, las exigencias que nos presenta?

1. Nuestro tiempo exige ante todo profundas convicciones filosóficas y teológicas.

Muchos naufragios en la fe y en la vida consagrada, pasados y recientes, y muchas situaciones actuales de angustia y perplejidad, tienen en su origen una crisis de naturaleza filosófica. Es necesario cuidar con extrema seriedad la propia formación cultural. El Concilio Vaticano II ha insistido en la necesidad de tener siempre a Santo Tomás de Aquino como maestro y doctor, porque sólo a la luz y sobre la base de la "filosofía perenne", se puede construir el edificio tan lógico y exigente de la doctrina cristiana, León XIII, de venerada memoria, en su célebre y siempre actual Encíclica Aeterni Patris, cuyo centenario celebramos este año, reafirmó e ilustró maravillosamente la validez del fundamento racional para la fe cristiana.

Por esto, nuestra primera preocupación hoy debe ser la de la verdad, tanto por necesidad interior nuestra, como para nuestro ministerio. ¡No podemos sembrar el error o dejar en la sombra de la duda! La fe cristiana de tipo hereditario y sociológico, se hace cada vez más personal, interior, exigente, y esto ciertamente es un bien, ¡pero nosotros debemos tener para poder dar! ¡Recordemos lo que San Pablo escribía a su discípulo Timoteo: "Guarda el depósito a ti confiado, evitando las vanidades impías y las contradicciones de la falsa ciencia que algunos profesan, extraviándose de la fe"! (1 Tim 6, 20).

Es una exhortación especialmente válida para nuestra época tan sedienta de certeza y claridad y tan íntimamente acechada y atormentada.

2. Nuestro tiempo exige personalidades maduras y equilibradas.

La confusión ideológica da origen a personalidades sicológicamente inmaduras y pobres; la misma pedagogía resulta incierta y a veces desviada. Precisamente por este motivo el mundo moderno anda en busca afanosa de modelos, y la mayoría de las veces queda desilusionado, confundido, humillado. Por esto, nosotros debemos ser personalidades maduras, que saben controlar la propia sensibilidad, que asumen las propias tareas de responsabilidad y guía, que tratan de realizarse en el lugar y en el trabajo donde se encuentran.

Nuestro tiempo exige serenidad y valentía para aceptar la realidad como es, sin críticas depresivas y sin utopías, para amarla y salvarla.

Esforzaos todos, por lo tanto, para alcanzar estos ideales de "madurez", mediante el amor al propio deber, la meditación, la lectura espiritual, el examen de conciencia, la recepción metódica del sacramento de la penitencia, la dirección espiritual. La Iglesia y la sociedad moderna necesitan personalidades maduras: ¡Debemos serlo con la ayuda de Dios!

3. Finalmente, nuestro tiempo exige un compromiso serio en la propia santificación.

¡Las necesidades espirituales del mundo actual son inmensas! Si miramos las selvas sin límites de los bloques de casas en las modernas metrópolis, invadidas por multitudes sin número, es para asustarse. ¿Cómo podremos llegar a todas estas personas y llevarles a Cristo?

Viene en nuestra ayuda la certeza de ser sólo instrumentos de la gracia: quien actúa en cada una de las almas es Dios mismo. con su amor y su misericordia.

Nuestro compromiso verdadero y constante debe ser el de la santificación personal, para convertirnos en instrumentos aptos y eficaces de la gracia. El deseo más verdadero y más sincero que puedo expresares es sólo éste: ¡Haceos santos y pronto santos!, mientras os repito las palabras de San Pablo a los Tesalonicenses: "El Dios de la paz os santifique cumplidamente, y que se conserve entero vuestro espíritu, vuestra alma y vuestro cuerpo sin mancha para la venid, de nuestro Señor Jesucristo" (1 Tes 5, 23).

Visita a la Parroquia Romana de San Pio V, Alocucion del Santo Padre Juan Pablo II a los Sacerdotes, Religiosos y Religiosas, Domingo 28 de octubre de 1979

Sunday, December 9, 2018

"McCarrick cronies either get promoted or remain protected."


The American Spectator
Sunday Report
GEORGE NEUMAYR
November 25, 2018

The winds of scandal whipping around the Church’s gay pederasty problem are not dissipating but picking up speed. This is foiling the devious plans of Pope Francis, who deliberately scheduled his “abuse summit” six months out in the hopes that few would care about it by then. News of that quickie gathering of bishops scheduled for next February commanded little respect from the laity before this week, but even less now that its primary American organizer has been announced — Blase Cupich, who owes his elevation in large part, according to Archbishop Carlo Viganò, to the very molester, Theodore McCarrick, whose scandal the summit will supposedly address.

It was McCarrick who whispered in the pope’s ear about appointing the relatively obscure Cupich to the immensely important archdiocese of Chicago. Overnight this appointment turned the nebbishy Cupich into the most powerful cardinal in America. In Baltimore at the fall bishops’ conference, Cupich was reveling in this status, playing with his cufflinks as he held court before awed staffers.

Cupich is of course the least credible American figure to address the abuse crisis. His resolve to purge the mini-McCarricks who populate the priesthood and hierarchy from the Church is nil. To the critical question — Should the Church continue to ordain homosexuals? — Cupich’s answer is a resounding yes. This, along with his left-wing politics, has turned him into a media darling. Notice that all of the media’s recent take-downs of derelict leadership steer clear of Chicago.

Cupich has famously vowed not to follow Viganò down his “rabbit hole” and says he will focus instead on the promotion of the pope’s enviro-socialist political program. At the Baltimore conference, Cupich was running interference for double-living prelates, urging his colleagues to see such misconduct as “consensual” and thus not worthy of strict regulation.

Cardinal Oswald Garcia of Mumbai, by the way, is also on the abuse summit’s organizing committee. He is the Cupich of India, so brainwashed by the pope’s moral relativism that he has taken to telling socially conservative Indians that they need to lighten up about LGBT rights. Garcia has also been known to censor out of his priests’ homilies any “offensive” references to the sinfulness of homosexual behavior.

Not a single McCarrick crony has been demoted under Pope Francis. Some of them, such as Paterson (New Jersey) Bishop Arthur Serratelli, preside over openly corrupt dioceses. A wispy protégé of McCarrick’s, Serratelli is known for, among other acts of astonishing corruption, making Fr. Hernan Arias, a credibly accused gay predator, his vocations director. Arias no longer holds that post, but he remains pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland despite the fact that he is under Vatican investigation for an allegation of sexual assault against a college student who was thinking about becoming a priest. Serratelli knew about this charge before he made Arias vocations director, according to a source close to the Paterson chancery.

Arias is so close to Serratelli that people in the know in the diocese refer to him as “Mrs. Serratelli” or the “First Lady,” said this source. “Serratelli, Arias, and Edgar Rivera (the current vocations director) go on vacation every year together to the Dominican Republic,” added this source.

The whereabouts of Arias are not known, even though on paper he remains St. Margaret’s pastor. Another corrupt Paterson priest on the run is Fr. Patrick Ryan, who (I’m told by well-placed Paterson sources) is under state investigation for embezzling money from St. James of the Marches parish to finance his gay lifestyle. “He has been ripping off the second collection for years, and with some of that money bought a house for his gay lover,” according to a chancery-connected source.

When I saw Serratelli in Baltimore, I asked him about the status of Ryan. Is he under investigation for embezzlement? Serratelli refused to answer. When I asked him about Ryan’s checkered background — sexual misconduct charges dogged him during a previous posting in Albany — Serratelli visibly winced and started babbling about how “lawyers had checked everything out.”

Why did Ryan leave Albany for Paterson? Speculation abounds. “He used to cruise parks up there,” says one priest. Another source suspects that Ryan got to Paterson on a “prisoner exchange” — a trade of deviant priests undertaken by former bishops of Paterson and Albany designed to keep inquiring cops at bay.

Staffers at Ryan’s parish decline to answer any questions about him. Parishioners have been told that he is on leave for “health reasons.” It is the same template Serratelli used to explain Arias’s disappearance from his post: “Due to the stress he has been experiencing, Father Arias has requested and received time away from his parish, St. Margaret of Scotland in Morristown, for health reasons.”

“Health reasons” is becoming as hackneyed a departing explanation for the Church’s nabbed deviants as “the need to spend more time with family” is for vanishing pols. Cupich claims that the upcoming abuse summit will put such a culture of evasion behind the Church. It is far more likely to cement official lies in place. High among those lies is that the abuse scandal revolves around “children,” Cupich’s carefully chosen word, even as case after almost every case involves male teenagers. The scandal is one of homosexual abuse, precisely the McCarrick problem that the beneficiaries of his sinister influence and dirty money have no interest in solving.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Our tainted nature's solitary boast"


The Virgin, William Wordsworth

Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied.
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Survivors of the Contraception/Abortion Open War on Babies

There is a Abortion Survivor's Network which features the story of a few of the millions of abortions which survived. But everyone who was born after Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and after Roe v. Wade (1973) was born during the open attack on babies. We are all contraception/abortion survivors!



TEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF "ABORTION SURVIVORS"

Editor's introduction.

For perfectly understandable, if regrettable, reasons, the depiction of the participants in the abortion debate in the popular press rarely moves beyond a set drama whose featured players are freedom-loving defenders of choice versus those Neanderthal right to lifers. How can it be otherwise when they don't know us, understand us, or empathize with us (or the unborn)?

But that doesn't excuse the rest of us from probing beyond the platitudes, from investigating abortion's incredible complexity. One area that can never be looked at carefully enough is what's called the "abortion survivor."

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life produces any number of wonderful resources, including a very useful web page and a thoughtful newsletter. In a recent edition, the Priests for Life newsletter dealt with the issue of abortion survivors to an extent and in a depth that I had not seen for a long, long time. In my judgment, this is must reading.

If you take the time to read the following lengthy excerpt, you will be richly rewarded. Following that, I will add just a few words in conclusion:

***************************

Priestly ministry in our day, especially to those born since Roe v. Wade, cannot ignore the phenomenon of "abortion survivors." What does growing up in a society that tells you, by law and by dominant cultural thinking, that your life was disposable and your birth was subject to the "choice" of someone else, do to one's psychological landscape?

How do the young view themselves and their peers in the light of the fact that "the word person... does not include the unborn"? (Roe v. Wade, at 158). Moreover, how does being an abortion survivor affect the way today's children and young adults hear the Gospel message of God's unconditional love?

Drs. Philip Ney and Marie Peeters Ney have done groundbreaking research in this area and have written specifically about the challenges of evangelizing abortion survivors.

They have identified 10 different types of abortion survivors:

1. Statistical survivors. These are people who survived in countries or cities where there is a statistically high probability that they would have been aborted. They come to know that the odds were definitely stacked against them. In some parts of Eastern Europe, the chances of being aborted are as high as 80%.

2. Wanted survivors. These are people whose parents carefully deliberated about whether or not to abort them. They may have calculated, consulted, and discussed the possibility.

3. Sibling survivors. These are people born into families where one or more of their siblings were aborted.

4. Threatened survivors. These are children whose parents have used abortion as a threat, even if they never considered it during the pregnancy: "You wretched, ungrateful child...I should have aborted you!"

5. Disabled survivors. These are people who, because of developmental defects or other circumstances, would usually be aborted. In fact, they often wonder whether their parents would have aborted them had they known about the defects.

6. Chance survivors. These are children who would have been aborted if the mother had been able to obtain the abortion. The abortion was prevented by a lack of money, time, permission, availability, etc.

7. Ambivalent survivors. These are children of parents who could not make up their minds about the abortion and delayed until it was too late. They are often caught up in their parents' continuing ambivalence, and can wonder whether they can still be terminated.

8. Twin survivors. These are people whose twin was aborted. Twins communicate, touch, and even caress each other in the womb. The loss of the twin by abortion is deeply felt and often causes the survivor to be suicidal.

9. Attempted murder survivors. These are people who survived an actual abortion attempt. Besides the physical harm that is often done, they suffer intense psychological struggles, nightmares, confused identities, and a fear of doctors.

10. Murdered survivors. These are children who survived an abortion for just a short period of time, and were subsequently killed by the abortion staff or left to die.

Abortion survivors, to put it simply, live on shaky ground. "If my mother could have aborted me, what is my life worth?" These individuals live with a sense of worthlessness and a feeling of impending doom. They suffer existential anxiety and survivor guilt.

They are "wanted" rather than "welcomed." When one is "wanted," he or she meets the needs or demands of another. When one is welcomed, on the other hand, his or her value is acknowledged despite others' reactions or attitudes. One abortion survivor wrote, "My parents always said they had wanted me. I often wonder what would have happened if they had not wanted me? I feel I must stay wanted. Being wanted means existing."

Another wrote, "I had no right to exist. I am still a child trying to find a place in this world...wandering around, carrying the weight of something on my shoulders. I had so many unanswered questions which I could not ask because nobody would answer and besides which I could not even formulate them. All my life I have been running, running away from death, no, from something worse than death."

***************************

"Something worse than death." Now those are sobering, soul-chilling words. Of all the forests felled and vats of ink emptied to chronicle the battle over abortion, only a few saplings and a couple of pints worth of ink have been expended to help us understand the reach of abortion. This omission is a tragedy of untold proportions: Abortion is not, and never has been, exclusively about a woman and her unborn child.

There are husbands and grandparents and siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles. Whether she likes it or not, a pregnant woman is enmeshed in a web of relationships, and there is a tremor felt throughout it when the life of a grandchild, brother or sister, cousin, niece or nephew is taken.

I did a Today's News & Views ( www.nrlc.org ) last month about some marvelously intricate surgery performed on an unborn child. The baby would otherwise have been born with an anomaly so severe that his chances of living long were very slim. But even as I--a pro-life veteran--wrote the story I was astonished how much more real, more personal, more human that child was to me just because I continually used the name the parents gave him even before he (and his mother) underwent the surgery: "Jack."

Likewise, when we put the child's fate in the larger context--especially its gigantic effect on surviving siblings--we see the loss of that baby through new eyes. It's impossible to ever again think about abortion in the same way. Thank you, Drs. Ney, and thank you, Fr. Pavone for this marvelous article.

Nature includes Metaphysical Nature, Moral Compass


Nature includes both biological reality and the reality of essence, what the thing is of its own weight and how it should behave according to its own way of being: its nature. The nature of a thing identifies the type of being it is, its specific way of being, with its given and necessary qualities which make it what it is.

The concept of physis as metaphysically understood is "...applied concretely in Romans 1:26, which speaks about φυσικὴ χρῇσις and παρά φύσιν χρῇσις, about 'natural' and 'unnatural' sexual relations, meaning here the normal sexual intercourse between a man and a woman as opposed to homosexual behavior. It is clear that here the 'nature' of man and the behavior prescribed by it is understood as genuine guidance for man. ...[T]his concept is found in a much weaker and very generalized form in I Corinthians 11:14 also, where again a "natural" matter--the difference between a man's head of hair and woman's--is taken as guidance concerning right ('natural') behavior.

"It is striking that in these two specific instances, Romans 1:26 and I Corinthians 11:14, the biological relevance to the metaphysical concept is very strong: a concrete biological fact offers guidance. In this regard there is clearly semantic unity with the first usage of the word [the biological referring to race of Romans 2:27 and Romans 11:21].

"...The text of Romans 2:14 reads: οταν γαρ εθνη τα μη νομον εχοντα φυσει τα του νομου ποιωσιν. [= "When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires"]. Physis suggests the law to the Gentiles. Those who according to their biological 'physis' are non-Jews and hence do not have the law by that title, are nevertheless inspired by physis, metaphysically understood, to follow the law. Nature is for them a law."

Joseph Ratzinger, "Gratia Praesupponit Naturam" (1962 essay) in Dogma and Preaching (1973), San Francisco: Ignatius, 2011, 156.

The Creator and his creation must be defended against "the theological denial of nature[;]...eschatological Marxism, which knows no 'nature' but only facts that must be changed in order to bring a disastrous world to salvation[;] ...[and] Sartre's existentialist nihilism [teaching that] man has no essence, only existence [and that] each individual creates his essence anew for himself[:] [w]hat he is, is decided only by what he makes... [They must also be defended against] naturalism that regards the distinction between nature and grace as the building up of a totally meaningless supernatural world that must be dismantled as an 'ideology' in favor of what alone is real... Under the pretext of dispensing with ideologies, man is left uncritically to himself and to the powers that be, which can suggest to him that they are reality and life. In the end, the naturalism that melts grace down into nature leads to the same result as the supranaturalism that disputes the existence of nature and, be denying creation, makes grace meaningless as well. The fanaticism of those homilists who mock nature, presumably for the sake of grace, is always frighteningly close to the cynicism of the atheists who mock God for the sake of his creation." Ibid., 144.

Ratzinger also points out that with the coming of Christianity "...the biological concept of nature becomes a theological concept in a new sense: nature is understood, not in terms of biology or rational metaphysics, but rather in terms of the concrete history that has taken and is taking place between God and man." Ibid. 156-157. All men have inherited the fallen nature of sin and death and need to be saved by the gift of God's grace in Christ and by faith. "'Christian humanism is a converted humanism.' ...It is essential to the spirit not to be self-satisfied, to bear within itself the arrow pointing beyond itself. ...[T]he Cross is not the 'crucifixion of man' at all, as Nietzsche thought, but rather his true healing, which saves him from the deceptive self-sufficiency in which he can only lose himself and miss out on the endless promise that lies within him for the sake of the bourgeois mush of his supposed naturalness. ...The humanity of God--this is indeed the true humanity of man, the grace that fulfills nature." Ibid., 160-161

Arabic Christmas Songs

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christ Called Himself the Truth, not the Custom

Ravenna, Archepiscopal Chapel

Dominus noster Christus veritatem se, non consuetudinem cognominavit.

Tertullian in Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (1970), 97 n16.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

"Sensitivity Training" = Homosexualist Brainwashing


"Sensitivity Training is designed to make individuals aware of their behavior toward others, who are different in race, color, gender, religion, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other categories protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act." Traliant

Plinthos
To include "sexual orientation" as a protected category of discrimination is unjust because public proclamation of sexual immorality is not a right but a wrong. The public exposure of one's deviant sexual preferences is itself obscene and vulgar, an offense against basic decency. Intolerable! To coerce bosses and employees to tolerate it amounts to tyranny. It would be like telling people it is wrong to object to public nudity.

It can never be a civil right to offend basic decency, because some things are shameful even to discuss. "Sensitivity training" of this type violates the civil right of every citizen to basic decency.

As a society we still censure public pornography. "Sexual orientation" disclosures should be treated the same as any other form of indecency. Hide your shameful immorality and perverse tendencies, and change your life! Convert and believe the Gospel.

You say you have a right to proclaim your homosexuality. Well, I have a duty to shut you up, because I have a right not to be affronted by your perversion and a duty to protect those under my care against such offensive propaganda and indecency.

In other words, what began as a moral claim (the decriminalization of every manner of fornication) has now become coercive force in all of the schools and all of the work places, everyone is forced to approve of every manner of fornication, except, of course, in the Catholic Church.

"Sensitivity training" is insensitive to basic modesty and chastity and the protection and defense of innocence, virginity.

On the contrary, God, Jesus Christ, and the Catholic faith, requires us to censure every form of sexual immorality in defense of purity. We cannot, we will not be silent in Sodom. Silence in Sodom makes you a Sodomite.

Homosexual Bishops and Sex Education in Parochial Schools
"Bullying"

Friday, November 30, 2018

"Thomist" Defined


Joseph Ratzinger recommends the study of Saint Thomas Aquinas as a necessary corrective to the present intellectual crisis. "Since Thomas can no longer be presupposed, he should now be discussed especially as a contrast to Bonaventure."
Joseph Ratzinger, Dogma and Preaching (first German ed., 1973), San Francisco: Ignatius, 2005, 143.

A philosopher who holds all of the theses listed below is called a Thomist.


THE 24 THOMISTIC THESES

A number of popes and church law direct that the method, doctrines, and principles of St. Thomas Aquinas be taught in schools and especially in seminaries. After a special statement on this matter by Pope Pius X (Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici June 29, 1914) a number of philosophy professors met, drew up a list of the principles and major tenets of St. Thomas, and submitted the list to the Sacred Congregation of Studies. On July 27, 1914, this Congregation declared that in their judgment this list contained the principles and major tenets of St. Thomas' philosophy, especially in metaphysics.

The Congregation itself, in 1916, declared that these were safe, directive norms. Though the list often does not give the exact wording of St. Thomas, it is sure that the ideas are St. Thomas'. Hence, if St. Thomas is the safe, approved teacher of philosophy for Catholics, his ideas must be safe and approved norms. A philosopher who intellectually accepts all of these theses is named a Thomist; and this meaning of the term Thomist is about the only definite meaning that can be assigned to it. The theses are given here for convenient reference.

"We admonish professors to bear well in mind that they cannot set aside St. Thomas, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave disadvantage". --Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914), Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907

These 24 propositions are a concise guide of the whole philosophy and can be divided as follows:

Ontology (Th. 1 – 7) ; Cosmology (Th. 8 – 12) ; Psychology (Th. 13 – 21) ; Theodicy (Th. 22 – 24)


ONTOLOGY

1 . Potency and Act divide being in such a way that whatever is, is either pure act, or of necessity it is composed of potency and act as primary and intrinsic principles.[1]

2. Since act is perfection, it is not limited except through a potency which itself is a capacity for perfection. Hence in any order in which an act is pure act, it will only exist, in that order, as a unique and unlimited act. But whenever it is finite and manifold, it has entered into a true composition with potency.[2]

3. Consequently, the one God, unique and simple, alone subsists in absolute being. All other things that participate in being have a nature whereby their being is restricted; they are constituted of essence and being, as really distinct principles.[3]

4. A thing is called a being because of being ("esse"). God and creature are not called beings univocally, nor wholly equivocally, but analogically, by an analogy both of attribution and of proportionality.[4]

5. In every creature there is also a real composition of the subsisting subject and of added secondary forms, i.e. accidental forms. Such composition cannot be understood unless being is really received in an essence distinct from it.[5]

6. Besides the absolute accidents there is also the relative accident, relation. Although by reason of its own character relation does not signify anything inhering in another, it nevertheless often has a cause in things, and hence a real entity distinct from the subject.[6]

7. A spiritual creature is wholly simple in its essence. Yet there is still a twofold composition in the spiritual creature, namely, that of the essence with being, and that of the substance with accidents.[7]

8. However, the corporeal creature is composed of act and potency even in its very essence. These act and potency in the order of essence are designated by the names form and matter respectively.[8]

COSMOLOGY

9. Neither the matter nor the form have being of themselves, nor are they produced or corrupted of themselves, nor are they included in any category otherwise than reductively, as substantial principles.[9]

10. Although extension in quantitative parts follows upon a corporeal nature, nevertheless it is not the same for a body to be a substance and for it to be quantified. For of itself substance is indivisible, not indeed as a point is indivisible, but as that which falls outside the order of dimensions is indivisible. But quantity, which gives the substance extension, really differs from the substance and is truly an accident.[10]

11. The principle of individuation, i.e., of numerical distinction of one individual from another with the same specific nature, is matter designated by quantity. Thus in pure spirits there cannot be more than individual in the same specific nature.[11]

12. By virtue of a body's quantity itself, the body is circumscriptively in a place, and in one place alone circumscriptively, no matter what power might be brought to bear.[12]

13. Bodies are divided into two groups; for some are living and others are devoid of life. In the case of the living things, in order that there be in the same subject an essentially moving part and an essentially moved part, the substantial form, which is designated by the name soul, requires an organic disposition, i.e. heterogeneous parts.[13]

PSYCHOLOGY

14. Souls in the vegetative and sensitive orders cannot subsist of themselves, nor are they produced of themselves. Rather, they are no more than principles whereby the living thing exists and lives; and since they are wholly dependent upon matter, they are incidentally corrupted through the corruption of the composite.[14]

15. On the other hand, the human soul subsists of itself. When it can be infused into a sufficiently disposed subject, it is created by God. By its very nature, it is incorruptible and immortal.[15]

16. This rational soul is united to the body in such a manner that it is the only substantial form of the body. By virtue of his soul a man is a man, an animal, a living thing, a body, a substance and a being. Therefore the soul gives man every essential degree of perfection; moreover, it gives the body a share in the act of being whereby it itself exists.[16]

17. From the human soul there naturally issue forth powers pertaining to two orders, the organic and the non-organic. The organic powers, among which are the senses, have the composite as their subject. The non-organic powers have the soul alone as their subject. Hence, the intellect is a power intrinsically independent of any bodily organ.[17]

18. Intellectuality necessarily follows upon immateriality, and furthermore, in such manner that the father the distance from matter, the higher the degree of intellectuality. Any being is the adequate object of understanding in general. But in the present state of union of soul and body, quiddities abstracted from the material conditions of individuality are the proper object of the human intellect.[18]

19. Therefore, we receive knowledge from sensible things. But since sensible things are not actually intelligible, in addition to the intellect, which formally understands, an active power must be acknowledged in the soul, which power abstracts intelligible likeness or species from sense images in the imagination.[19]

20. Through these intelligible likenesses or species we directly know universals, i.e. the natures of things. We attain to singulars by our senses, and also by our intellect, when it beholds the sense images. But we ascend to knowledge of spiritual things by analogy.[20]

21. The will does not precede the intellect but follows upon it. The will necessarily desires that which is presented to it as a good in every respect satisfying the appetite. But it freely chooses among the many goods that are presented to it as desirable according to a changeable judgment or evaluation. Consequently, the choice follows the final practical judgment. But the will is the cause of it being the final one.[21]

THEODICY

22. We do not perceive by an immediate intuition that God exists, nor do we prove it a priori. But we do prove it a posteriori, i.e., from the things that have been created, following an argument from the effects to the cause: namely, from things which are moved and cannot be the adequate source of their motion, to a first unmoved mover; from the production of the things in this world by causes subordinated to one another, to a first uncaused cause; from corruptible things which equally might be or not be, to an absolutely necessary being; from things which more or less are, live, and understand, according to degrees of being, living and understanding, to that which is maximally understanding, maximally living and maximally a being; finally, from the order of all things, to a separated intellect which has ordered and organized things, and directs them to their end.[22]

23. The metaphysical motion of the Divine Essence is correctly expressed by saying that it is identified with the exercised actuality of its won being, or that it is subsistent being itself. And this is the reason for its infinite and unlimited perfection.[23]

24. By reason of the very purity of His being, God is distinguished from all finite beings. Hence it follows, in the first place, that the world could only have come from God by creation; secondly, that not even by way of a miracle can any finite nature be given creative power, which of itself directly attains the very being of any being; and finally, that no created agent can in any way influence the being of any effect unless it has itself been moved by the first Cause.[24]

In 1917, publishing the Canon Law, Pope Benedict XV ordered the method, doctrines and principles of St Thomas to be followed (Code, can. 1366, § 2) and gave as reference the decree of the Sacred Congregation approving the 24 Thesis.

Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vl (1914), 383­86, is the source of the list of theses. It evaluates them as a good statement of the principles and major views of St. Thomas' philosophy. The same Acta, VII (1916), 157­58, refers to them as safe, directive norms.


[1] St Th. Ia. Q.77, a.1 ; Metaph. VII, 1 and IX, 1 and 9
[2] St Th. Ia. Q.7, a.1-2 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.43 ; I Sent. Dist.43, Q.2
[3] St Th. Ia. Q.50, a.2, ad 3 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.38,52,53,54 ; I Sent. Dist.19, Q.2, a.2 ; De Ent. et Ess. c.5 ; De Spir. Creat. a.1 ; De Verit. Q.27, a.1, ad 8
[4] St Th. Ia. Q.13, a.5 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.32,33,34 ; De Pot. Q.7, a.7
[5] St Th. Ia. Q.3, a.6 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.23 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.52 ; De Ent. et Ess. c.5
[6] St Th. Ia. Q.28, mainly a.1
[7] St Th. Ia. Q.50 and ff ; De Spirit. Creat. a.1
[8] St Th. De Spirit. Creat. a.1
[9] St Th. Ia. Q.45, a.4 ; De Pot. Q.3, a.5, ad 3 ;
[10] St Th. Cont. Gent. IV, c.65 ; I Sent. Dist. 37, Q.2, a.1, ad 3 ; II Sent. Dist. 30, Q.2, a.1
[11] St Th. Cont. Gent. II, c.92-93 ; Ia. Q.50, a.4 ; De Ent. et Ess. c.2
[12] St Th. IIIa. Q.75 ; IV Sent. Dist. 10, a.3
[13] St Th. Ia. Q.18, a.1-2 and Q.75, a.1 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.97 ; De Anima everywhere
[14] St Th. Ia. Q.75, a.3 and Q.90, a.2 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.80 and 82
[15] St Th. Ia. Q.75, a.2 and Q.90 and 118 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.83 and ff. ; De Pot. Q.3, a.2 ; De Anim. a.14
[16] St Th. Ia. Q.76 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.56, 68-71 ; De Anim. a.1 ; De Spirit. Creat. a.3
[17] St Th. Ia. Q.77-79 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.72 ; De Anim. a.12 and ff. ; De Spirit. Creat. a.11
[18] St Th. Ia. Q.14, a.1 and Q.74, a.7 and Q.89, a.1-2 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.59 and 72, and IV, c.2
[19] St Th. Ia. Q.79, a.3-4 and Q.85, a.6-7 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.76 and ff. ; De Spirit. Creat. a.10
[20] St Th. Ia. Q.85-88
[21] St Th. Ia. Q.82-83 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.72 and ff. ; De Verit. Q.22, a.5 ; De Malo Q.11
[22] St Th. Ia. Q.2 ; Cont. Gent. I, c.12 and 31 and III c.10-11 ; De Verit. Q.1 and 10 ; De Pot. Q.4 and 7
[23] St Th. Ia. Q.4 , a.2 and Q.13, a.11 ; I Sent. Dist. 8, Q.1
[24] St Th. Ia. Q.44-45 and 105 ; Cont. Gent. II, c.6-15 and III c.66-69 and IV c.44 ; De Pot. mainly Q.3, a.7
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