Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Superior Culture Versus Reactionaries

The prevailing argument of the religious experts for why the young candidates for priesthood and  religious life are increasingly more conservative and even traditional has been to psychologize it and place it under the rubric of revolution: that the young tend to rebel against the status quo.  For the following ten (eleven)reasons I reject this as the essential explanation for the present phenomenon.

1.  Truth versus error.  The liberal movement was heretical: openness to and tolerance of every form of doctrinal error as seen in the general disregard for the ordinary magisterium of the Church and culminating in rebellion against such essential Catholic realities as the all male priesthood, the male nature of Christ and the Fatherhood of God.  We just happen to believe everything taught by the Church.

2.  The true liberty of obedience versus licentiousness and disobedience.  The liberal movement prided itself on disobedience to the Church and to the law of God culminating in rampant homosexuality and every form of licentiousness among the clergy and the ravishing of the youth.  We base ourselves on the infallible nature of the Church's moral teachings which have their origin in the immutable law of God.

3.  Superior worth, superior culture and beauty.  Better a few diamonds than much coal.  Precious, superior art.  In architecture and music and language and furnishings and vessels and apparels the Tradition upholds those forms and styles that are deemed the humanly best by the Church: made of the finest materials and with the highest art forms born of Christian culture: e.g. gold rather than clay, natural fiber, gold, silver, silk, linen rather than polyester, marble and wood rather than plastic.  When young men begin to give their fiancees a bag of cement instead of precious diamond rings only then will we be justified in not giving the best quality materials for the service of the Lord.  What we found in the attic happens to be materially more valuable than the whole house and everything in it!  "...No man after drinking old wine immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'"  Lk. 5:39

Gregorian chant and polyphony are as grand an artistic and cultural achievement in the Church and the world as are the Gothic cathedrals and paintings of the masters.  Cf. Sacrosactum Concilium, 50  "Gregorian chang, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place, other things being equal.  Its melodies, contained in the 'typical' editions, should be used, to the extent that this is possible."  I do not know of any cathedral or diocesan seminary in the world in which this norm of the Second Vatican Council has yet been implemented.  OUR REACTION IS MERE LOYALTY TO THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL!  Seemingly, the only secular bishop in the world who knows or cares happens to be Pope Benedict XVI and thank God that there is an army of young people throughout the world who are heeding his call!

4.  Tradition: Honor thy fathers.  It is the heirloom idea: it is disrespectful to destroy or discard the things most cherished by our fathers, and foolish, given their materially precious nature.

5.  Intellectual superiority: classics.  To love and to learn and to teach and to use and promote the classics in the classical languages (Greek and Latin), the founts of Western thought, as most excellently appropriated by the Church, is intelligent.  e.g.  Septuaginta, Vulgata, Summa Theologiae, Missale Romanum (1962).  Even the 1983 Code of Canon Law requires that every candidate for the priesthood have a very good knowledge of Latin (Can. 249), which norm is roundly ignored even today by most of our seminaries and the bishops who sponsor them.  If they require the seminarians to take a token number of credits they never encourage the use of Latin liturgically or otherwise.

6.  The true versus corrupt rennaissance.  Just as the Italian Rennaissance produced good and bad fruit so the corruption of the Vatican II aftermath (as noted above) needs to be purified.  Conversion is essential to the Gospel and to every true disciple.  We all must confess to almighty God that we have sinned and repeatedly strive to conform ourselves to Christ as presented to us by His Church.  The liberal has psychologized away and is proud of his errors and sins or denies that they are even sins.  The believer humbly confesses his sins and the universal need for conversion.

7.  Primacy of God.  Ad orientem, ancient language (known to the Son of God while on earth), the language of the Fathers.  Traditional Catholicism accents the primacy of God: e.g. the liturgy ad orientem faces Christ the Rising Sun.  The ancient languages (in all of the ancient rites) used in the liturgy, the traditional apparel (Roman vestments, Cassock, biretta, etc.) are more supernatural syles because they transcend our local and temporal fashions.

8.  Linguistic superiority.  If you know well and frequently use the language at the origin of your mother tongue, you will become a better master of your one tongue, a better orator!

9.  Priesthood.  By it's very nature the Catholic priesthood elicits Tradition: the all male priesthood, discipline of celibacy, hierarchical obedience, the solemn duty of private and public prayer all incorporate most of the points mentioned above.  If you want to be a priest and are not traditional you have an erroneous idea of the priesthood and therefore are clearly not yet a fit candidate.  The liberals use "tolerance" and kindness as the litmus test for priestly candidates whereas the true test is orthodoxy and fidelity, piety and, yes,  morality.

10.  Mission.  Only those who know what it means to be Catholic and what it means to be a priest can be convicted enough to sense the urgency to save souls!  The salvation of souls is the purpose of it all.  The liberals ceased to believe in salvation and in souls because they have embraced a materialistic distortion of the Gospel which leaves little room for God and the supernatural.  Is it any wonder that those enthusiastic about the Gospel actually believe in God, that God is real and that heaven and hell are real and that you need to " out your salvation with fear and trembling!"  Phil. 2:12

At least for these reasons it is objectively a scandal (not a reactionary dilusion) that an order like the Benedictines should continue to reject and deny that they are rejecting thier great Catholic and monastic patrimony in not embracing the Reform of the Reform.  Ecclesia Semper Reformanda, but not simply for the sake of change; conversion, rather, for the sake of holiness, that all may believe and that the orders might attract young and Catholically healthy new members.  It is no accident that those orders which have lost their Catholic traditional identity are dying out and the vigorous orders are those that love the Church!

One more concluding point.

11.  Love versus hatred.  The liberals are "self-hating Catholics", they hate the Church, we love Her as she always is: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.  Welcome to the true new age of Benedict!...XVI!

The difference between the waco seventies reformers and the new breed of priests and religious is that between Martin Luther's revolt and the reformation of Saint Charles Borromeo!  It is the same difference as that between a Hans Kung and a Joseph Ratzinger!  Deo gratias!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pope Benedict's Travels

Did you know that Wikipedia has a decent presentation listing all of the Pope's travels to date and a brief outline of the major events of each journey? Check it out!

For further depth, Wikipedia also has a decent overview of the Pope's life and papacy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Child is Christ

If you receive a child because you love God, you thereby receive Christ, the Son of God, and you receive the heavenly Father who sent Him.

"He took a little child, and set him in their midst, and taking him into his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever receives one such little child for my sake, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."  Mark 9:35-36 (Gospel of 25th Sunday Ordinary Time [B])

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Intellectual Integrity Requires Constant Conversion Says the Pope

In his 2 September address to the yearly Summer school course of former students Papa Ratzinger speaks of the occupational hazard of the theologian: intellectual custom--routine--which is often the death of honest thought. Human thought in order to stay alive and truly humane must be in constant reference to the Truth and never content with itself. It must be personal and involved with the Word--God--Christ. You have to have a personal, constant and ongoing relationship with Christ. The honest man is constantly readjusting. The standard must be Christ, against which to measure everything--every idea and system of thought. All truth must conform to the Truth--to Him. It must agree with Him or else it is useless.

It is precisely the Sacramental life that saves us from stagnation--from the illusion of self-sufficiency. This side of eternity we can never fully rest. Everyone in this life is a work in progress. Even the Son of God Himself was constantly in dialogue with the Father to insure that He never did His own thing or thought on His own, always in complete conformity with the Other! Truth is never isolated! It is communio personarum because God is three in one. It is relational. There must be a relationship for truth. The point is that the Truth never changes but, given our human limitations and imperfections our relationship to It/Him does change and must change as long as we live to belong ever more to Him.

You never "possess" the Truth. It possesses you! It makes constant demands on you. It enlightens you. It changes you. Therefore those who are honest are constantly converting in the quest for perfect Vision/Wisdom. Yesterday's dialogue will not do for today. Every day, indeed, every moment, needs it's sufficient "bread"--Word--because the Truth is a Person not a thing. The only proper stance before It/Him therefore is relationship.

Here is the relevant passage.

"No one can say: I have the truth — this is the objection raised — and, rightly so, no one can have the truth. It is the truth that possesses us, it is a living thing! We do not possess it but are held by it. Only if we allow ourselves to be guided and moved by the truth, do we remain in it. Only if we are, with it and in it, pilgrims of truth, then it is in us and for us. I think that we need to learn anew about “not-having-the-truth”. Just as no one can say: I have children — they are not our possession, they are a gift, and as a gift from God, they are given to us as a responsibility — so we cannot say: I have the truth, but the truth came to us and impels us. We must learn to be moved and led by it. And then it will shine again: if the truth itself leads us and penetrates us.

"Dear friends, let us ask the Lord to give us this gift. St James tells us today in the Reading: you must not limit yourselves to hearing the Word, you must put it into practice. This is a warning about the intellectualization of the faith and of theology. It is one of my fears at this time, when I read so many intellectual things: they become an intellectual game in which “we pass each other the ball”, in which everything is an intellectual sphere that does not penetrate and form our lives, and, thus, does not lead us to the truth. I think that these words of St James are directed to us theologians: do not just listen, do not just intellectualize — be doers, let yourself be formed by the truth, let yourself be led by it!"

Thanks to Father Bob Connor for posting the article on his blog The Truth Will Make You Free. See also his recent post on character formation pedagogy in elite private schools.

Also...the Pope's Address in Lebanon on unity versus uniformity.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Palestinian Priest Says Israel is Pushing Christians Out of Holy Land

At a symposium in Germany last week Father Firas Aridah, pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Jifna, West Bank (Palestine) called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine declaring that Israel continues to unjustly displace Palestinian Christians from their homes causing many of them to leave the Holy Land which has been their beloved home for centuries. The Israeli occupation over the past few decades has been continually, radically, and systematically dechristianizing the Holy Land.

During my Summer stay in Palestine I was living in the Bir Zeit Parish which is the immediate neighbor of Father Aridah's Parish. We had frequent contact. He is a fine Catholic parish priest working in a vibrant Christian Palestinian community in the heart of West Bank--Palestinian Territory.

The article is posted on the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Website.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Republican Platform

If the Republican Party were shooting straight it's platform would say something like:

Contraception is a sin!

Homosexuality is a sin!

Abortion is a sin!

Christ's enemies (and ours) are bolder in flaunting their evil designs and justifying their perversions than we are in condemning them! Shame on us! The nation should be filled with billboards declaring these immortal moral truths. Lust in all its forms is to be condemned and never justified. These are non-sectarian natural truths which should be taught in our schools and no hint of contradicting them should be tolerated. To teach otherwise is sectarian teaching and therefore a violation of the First Amendment of our Constitution which forbids the government from teaching religious ideology. These forms of immorality have always been part of the religion of gnosticism which is the religion of our public schools. And they have always and everywhere been condemned by true religion which our government has no authority to contradict! (The Catholic Church always gets it straight because She is the only Institution on earth founded by Jesus Christ and infallible in Her moral and doctrinal teaching).

In addition to being sins it is important in the present psychologized moral climate to clarify that they are sins against nature. Since they are against nature any attempt to legitimize them is especially perverse. To say that they are natural (that what is against nature is natural) is a denial of reality at it's base, a distortion of truth and an implicit denial of God, the Author of nature and Source of all true science. Male and female and human life and life's sacred origin in the marital embrace are natural realities which cannot be altered or denied without grave harm to all persons involved including great moral distortion and confusion.

Furthermore, any inclination towards grave sin is itself a disordered lust. Homosexual lust is at least as sinful as lust for fornication or adulterous lust or incestuous lust (cf. 1Cor. 5:1-8, the first reading from today's Mass).

It is not morally helpful and unnecessarily confuses the issue to say that "they are born that way" or "that is the way they are." Concupiscence (inclination toward sin) is part of the fallen condition of the entire human family, a consequence of original sin. We are all "born that way" and "are that way", viz. inclined to myriad forms of sin and lust and we must all control are disordered passions so as not to sin, even in the heart.

A thousand unsolicited temptations do not constitute one sin. On the other hand: "he who lusts after a woman (or a man) in his heart has already sinned with her (or him) in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28) Sin is a decision, those who refuse are never guilty of it. But all those bent on it in their perverse decision (lust) are already in sin and in dire need of repentance and absolution.

May God bless America and bring us back to moral clarity with the necessary help of true religion against the prevalent gnosticism which has so confused us and even silenced our preachers.

Homosexuality is a sin! Contraception is a sin! Abortion is a sin!

Say it!
Preach it!
Teach it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bill Clinton's Six Digit Preaching for "the Poor"

Did you know that the ex-president's speech last night, which has drawn so much attention, typically earns him an average of $200,000! No wonder he was so excited!...even getting teary eyed at times for the country's poor and little children. What about the poor children which his platform murders by abortion?

The traditional elephant in the democratic convention is the unborn child. So much rhetoric about every body having a chance no matter what their status! What about the tiny baby in the womb! What about his status!

They have other big elephants too, the contraception elephant and the sodomy elephant are in the democratic convention living room also, with absolutely no acknowledgment. Their elephants are various, a veritable herd!

Perhaps we should add to them Clinton's abuse of power--abuse of subordinates--to the herd, for which he was impeached by the House. Interestingly there was very little talk about family values! Let us not mention Hillary's occult leanings. And poor Chelsea, didn't she look scary last night! Her best bet might be to turn republican. Pray for Chelsea that she not follow in the footsteps of her monster parents.

"God" was an afterthought in their platform statement. No wonder! Rather than an elephant He (the Almighty) is becoming the only One not invited to the party! Read Saint Paul's letter to the Romans Chapter 1:18-32 for enlightenment on that. In ancient Greece and Rome homosexuality, was widespread and politically promoted, as were abortion and infanticide!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


You should too!

Just another great billboard/bumper sticker idea.






Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cardinal Burke on the New Evangelization

Here is an excellent address by Cardinal Burke (which he has presented in various versions) assessing the Church and the Papacy's approach to Canon Law during the years since the Second Vatican Council and the need for an attitude of legal integrity and continuity for spreading the Gospel. It is an excellent survey of the Church's attitude towards her own disciplinary teaching vis-a-vis the world over the last three papacies including that of Benedict XVI. I have to say that it is among the top best lectures I've ever attended.

The Elephant in the Convention Living Room

Having watched the entire Thursday evening of the Republican Convention what struck me as most odd is that no one mentioned (and very few even alluded to) any of the following politically taboo words: "contraception", "abortion", "'gay' marriage". There was plenty of rhetoric about family and family values but with the typical political non-confrontational silence on the greatest attacks on the family which are our atheistic (neo-gnostic) education system (thumbs up to Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney for promoting school choice) and legal divorce (which necessitates both contraception and abortion because legal divorce is legalized adultery, fornication and now, sodomy. The contraception and the abortions are cheap attempts to cover up the consequences of the bi-partisan divorce culture). No one dares to bring up the contraception issue because they know that "everyone is using it." That is the elephant even in the GOP living room (or should we say bed room!) of which we are all in denial. We like our immorality too much to give it up! Woe to anyone who should condemn it! There is complicity on all sides!

Those who do not wink to the immorality are not welcome. That is probably one reason Rick Sanctorum was not there!

The Indispensable Moral Influence of the Catholic Priest

In Our Christian Heritage Cardinal Gibbons describes the iconic moral power of the Catholic priest to illustrate Christianity's unique positive influence upon morals.

'"Unlike all Pagan religions, [Christianity] made moral teaching a main feature of its clergy, moral discipline the leading object of its services, moral dispositions the necessary condition of the due performance of its rights.' The one great aim of our Christian ceremonial worship, of our Sacraments and Sacrifice, our preaching and priesthood, is the development of personal holiness.

"The moral power exercised by a good priest in his parish is incalculable. The priest is always a mysterious being in the eyes of the world. Like his Divine Master, he 'is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.' (Luke II, 34) Various opinions are formed of him. Some say of him as was said of our Saviour: 'He is a good man. And others say: no, but he seduceth the people.' (John VII, 12) He is loved most by those who know him best. Hated or despised he may be by many that are strangers to him and to his sacred character; but he has been too prominent a factor in the civilization of mankind and the advancement of morality ever to be ignored.

"The life of a missionary priest is never written, nor can it be...There is no memoir of his private daily life of usefulness and of his sacred and confidential relations with his flock. All this his hidden with Christ in God, and is registered only by His recording angel.

'"The civilizing and moralizing influence of the clergyman in his parish,' says Mr. Lecky, 'the simple, unostentatious, unselfish zeal with which he educates the ignorant, guides the erring, comforts the sorrowing, braves the horrors of pestilence, and sheds a hollowing influence over the dying hour, the countless ways in which, in his little sphere, he allays evil passions and softens manners, and elevates and purifies those around him; all these things, though very evident to the detailed observer, do not stand out in the same vivid prominence in historical records, and are continually forgotten by historians.' (European Morals, I, 152)

"The priest is Christ's unarmed officer of the law. He is more potent in repressing vice than a band of constables. His only weapon is his voice; his only badge of authority his sacred office. Like the fabled Neptune putting Eolus to flight and calming the troubled waves, the priest quiets many a domestic storm, subduing the winds of passion, reconciling the jarring elements of strife, healing dissensions, preventing divorce, and arresting bloodshed.

"He is the daily depository of his parishioners' cares and trials, anxieties and fears, afflictions and temptations, and even of their sins. They come to him for counsel in doubt, for spiritual and even temporal aid. If he cannot suppress, he has at least the consolation of mitigating the moral evil around him.

"We must not overlook the strong inducements that the Christian teacher holds out to his disciples for the practice of virtue in the pressing motives he offers for its due fulfilment. In this respect Christianity has a great advantage over all systems of religion. The Stoic was incited to a moral life by a sentiment of duty; the Epicurean, by pleasure and self-interest; the Mohammedan, by the hope of sensual delight; the Jew, by servile fear; but the Christian is drawn chiefly by filial love...He is far, indeed, from excluding other motives...But his predominant motive for the practice of piety is love for his Heavenly Father, and love is the strongest of all moral forces." (338-341)
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