Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Freedom from "the Chains of Relativism" Especially Important for Youth Today

Academy of Sciences Induction, Paris, Nov. 7, 1992

...It is important...today that man does not allow himself to be hampered by exterior chains such as relativism, the search for power and profit at any cost, drugs, disordered relationships, confusion in regard to matrimony and the non-recognition of the human person in all phases of his or her existence from conception to its natural end, which suggests that there can be periods when the human being would not really exist...

...In today's world it is more than ever urgent to invite our contemporaries to a renewed attention to...respect for each human being and the quest for the common good... In effect, the development of subjectivism, which makes each one tend to consider himself as the only point of reference and to hold that what he thinks has the character of truth, exhorts us to form consciences on fundamental values that cannot be mocked without putting man and society itself in danger, and upon the objective criteria of a decision that presupposes an act of reason.... ...[I]t is necessary, in private and public life, to have the courage to say the truth and to follow it, to be free with respect to the surrounding world that often tends to impose its viewpoint and the behaviour to adopt.

True freedom consists in proceeding along the way of truth according to one's vocation, knowing that each person must render an account of his own life to his Creator and Saviour.

It is important that we know how to propose [this path] to youth, reminding them that true development is not at whatever cost, and inviting them not to be content to follow every trend presented to them. Hence, they will be able to discern with courage and tenacity the way of freedom and happiness, which presupposes fulfilling a certain number of requirements made with effort, sacrifice and the necessary renunciation so as to act well...

...What gladdens man's heart is the recognition of being a son or daughter of God; it is a beautiful and good life under the gaze of God, as are also the victories obtained over evil and against deceit. By permitting each person to discover that life has a sense and that he or she is responsible for it, we open the way to a maturation of the person and to a reconciled humanity that seeks the common good...

...We must have the courage to remind our contemporaries what man is and what humanity is...

Cf. "Freedom Law, and the Good", Paris, November 7, 1992, in Values in a Time of Upheaval, Joseph Ratzinger, New York: Crossroads, 2006, 45-72.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Term "Fundamentalism" Confuses Religious Contents

Image result for marxist islam
[Regarding Islam] I should like...to look critically at one of the catchwords in the present debate, which is often offered as a general key to understanding today's course of events: "fundamentalism". If we begin by ascertaining briefly the basis of the contemporary renaissance of the Islamic world, two causes strike us at once. First, there is the economic, and thereby also the political and military, strengthening of the Islamic countries through the importance that oil has attained in international politics. But whereas the economic advance in the West has led in general to a dilution of religious substance, in the Islamic world, the new economic strength is linked to a new religious self-awareness; it is of course true that religion, culture and politics stand together in Islam in an inseparable unity. This new religious self-awareness and the attitudes resulting from it are often termed "fundamentalism" in the West today. In my view, this is the inappropriate transfer of a concept from American Protestantism into a wholly different world, and this does not help us truly to understand what is going on. Fundamentalism, according to the word's original meaning, is a tendency that arose in  Protestant America in the nineteenth century as a protest against evolutionism and biblical criticism. It attempted to supply a firm Christian foundation against both of these through the defense of the absolute inerrancy of Scripture. There doubtless exist analogies to this attitude in other spiritual worlds too, but one falls victim to a false simplification if one changes analogies into an identification. This catchword has been made into an all-too-simple key that permits us to divide the world into two halves, a good half and a bad half. The series of supposed fundamentalisms has in the meantime passed from the Protestant over the Catholic to the Islamic and the Marxist fundamentalisms. The differences in content go utterly unheeded; one is a fundamentalist if one has firm convictions, for this is viewed as something that provokes conflicts and is opposed to progress. In contrast, the "good" is the doubt that takes up the battle against old certainties--that is, every modern undogmatic or antidogmatic movement.

But one cannot truly give an explanation of the world while bypassing the contents so simply, merely using a formal division into categories. In my view, one ought to abandon completely talk of Islamic fundamentalism, because it does more to conceal very different processes under a simplifying label that to shed light on them. It seems to me that one must make a distinction between the starting point of the new Islamic awakening and then the different forms that this takes. As for the starting point, it seems to me very significant that the first indications of the turning point in Iran were attacks on American movies. The Western way of life with its moral permissiveness was felt to be an attack on their own identity and on the dignity of their own way of life. At the height of its power, the Christian world had evoked a sense of underdevelopment and of doubt in the Islamic way, at least in the educated circles of the Islamic world; but now contempt grows at the sight of how morality and religion are relegated to the merely private sphere, at the sight of a public life that is shaped in such a way that only religious and moral agnosticism counts as acceptable. The power with which this way of life was officially forced upon them, above all through American cultural exportation, so that it should appear to be the only normal thing, was experienced more and more as an attack on the depths of their own being. The reason why it was the atheistic Soviet Union but rather the religiously tolerant America, which has indeed a strongly religious character, that was seen and combatted as the personification of evil is connected with this collision between a morally agnostic culture and a structure of life in which, nation, culture, morality and religion appear as an indivisible totality.

The concrete forms taken by this new self-awareness are varied. An obsession with the letter of religious traditions is often bound to a political and military fanaticism in which religion is seen directly as a path to earthly power. The Islamic tradition itself could easily suggest this instrumentalization of the religious energies for the political field. In connection with the phenomenon of Palestinian opposition, a revolutionary interpretation of Islam has developed that comes very close to Christian theologies of liberation and has facilitated the coalescence of Western European, Marxist-inspired terrorism and Islamic terrorism. What is superficially called Islamic fundamentalism found no difficulty in associating itself with socialist ideas of liberation: Islam is presented as the true bearer of the struggle of oppressed peoples for freedom. It is along this line that R. Baraudy, for example, found his way from Marxism to Islam, in which he sees the bearer of revolutionary forces against the dominant capitalism. In contrast, as deeply religious a ruler as King Hassan of Morocco has recently expressed his profound anxiety about the future of Islam: one understanding of Islam  that sees its essence in devotion to God struggles with a political-revolutionary interpretation in which the religious element becomes part of a cultural chauvinism and is thereby ultimately subordinated to the political. The confrontation with this many-faceted phenomenon should not be taken too lightly. The Islam that is sure of itself has to a large extent a greater fascination for the Third World than a Christianity that is in a state of inner decay.

Turning Point for Europe?, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1994, 166-170. (Plinthos emphasis)

Priests Must Determine the Role of Religion in the World Today, Which is Essential

When one looks back at the history of our century, it is very easy to discern three great turning points that have affected initially and immediately the structure of life in Europe, but all three have also affected and continue to affect the history of the world as a whole. First, we must mention the transformation of the external and internal map of Europe that resulted from the First World War. It brought with it the collapse of the monarchies in central Europe, the end of the Czarist Russia and the restructuring of the whole of Europe in keeping with the nationalist principle--which, of course, on closer inspection proved externally impracticable and inherently insufficient as the foundation of a new order of peace. The Second World War was followed by the partition of Europe and of the world into two mutually opposed power blocs: the Marxist and the liberal capitalist. Now, at the end of the century, we have experienced the internal disintegration of Marxist ideology together with the structure of power it had created. The special characteristic of this third turning point is that it took place without a war and almost without any bloodshed, simply through the internal collapse of a system and its intellectual foundations, that is, through the powers of the spirit and not through military or political force. Herein lie both the hope and the special responsibility of this event, and we are still very far from meeting the challenge it poses.

Liberalism and Marxism were in agreement in refusing religion both the right and the capacity to shape public affairs and the common future of mankind. In the maturation process of the second half of this century, religion has been discovered anew as an ineradicable force both of individual and of social living. It has become clear that one cannot plan and shape the future of mankind while prescinding from religion. This process gives comfort to faith, but faith will not fail to recognize at the same time the dangers inherent in it, for the temptation is obvious on all sides to take in religion as an instrument to serve political ideas. In this situation it is an absolute obligation for the theologian and for the pastor of the Church to enter the dispute about the correct understanding of the present time and about the path into the future, in order both to clarify faith's own proper sphere and at the same time to fulfill his own share of responsibility at this hour.

From the preface to the publication (German edition 1991) of Turning Point for Europe: The Church and Modernity in the Europe of Upheavals, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1994, 7-8. (Emphasis by Plinthos).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum Tenth Anniversary Pilgrimage and Conference: 14 to 17 September 2017, Rome



Thursday, 14 September

9am-6pm: Congress 
   “The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI: A Renewed Youth for the Church”: Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Largo Angelicum, Rome (With full simultaneous translations)

   9:00 Registration (30 Euros, lunch included)

9:30 Greetings by Fr. Vincenzo M. Nuara, OP, Moderator of Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum and Chaplain of Giovani e Tradizione

10:00 Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei: Summorum Pontificum 10 years on: Review and Perspectives

10:30 His Eminence Gerhard Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei: Dogma and Liturgy (11:15 Break)

11:30 Fr. Marino Neri, Secretary of Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum: Presentation of the Acts of the Fourth Colloquium on Summorum Pontificum from 2015

11:45 Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau, Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault: Fruits of the Grace of Summorum Pontificum for Monastic and Priestly Life

12:30 Martin Mosebach, writer and essayist: Holy Routine: on the Mystery of Repetition (13:30 Lunch)

15:30 His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments: Silence and the Primacy of God in the Sacred Liturgy

16:15 Monsignor Markus Graulich, Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. From the Indult to a Universal Law of the Church: a Canonical Reading of SP (16:45 Break)

17:15 Ettore Gotti Tedeschi (former President of IOR): The “Economy” of Sacred Liturgy (18:00 Conclusion)

6:30pm: Vespers for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrated by His Excellency, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household: Basilica di San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio (Piazza Venezia)

Friday, September 15

4pm: Via Crucis (Colosseum area) led by the Institute of the Good Shepherd

7pm: Solemn High Mass celebrated by Mons. Gilles Wach, Superior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest: Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

Saturday, September 16

9am: Eucharistic Adoration celebrated by Fr. Jean-Cyrille Sow (FSSP), new parish priest of the Trinità dei Pellegrini: Chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Vallicella, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II)

9:45am: Solemn procession through the streets of Rome, guided by The Most Reverend Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

11am: Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica of St. Peter’s, celebrated by His Eminence Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, choir directed by Maestro Aurelio Porfiri

1pm: Buffet for the clergy (registration required) presided over by His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke and offered by Paix Liturgique and the FIUV (International Una Voce Federation)

Sunday, September 17

11am: Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite celebrated by Rev. Fr. Dominique-Marie de Saint-Laumer, General Prior of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer: Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Presence of God

There are two kinds of persons; those who seek their happiness in God, and those who look for it in themselves.

The first have the Spirit of the Lord within, the second are dwelling alone.

John Hardon, SJ, The Catholic Catechism, New York: Image, 1981, 187.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Critical Praise of The Tridentine Breviary, Blessed John Henry Newman

Tract No. 75 (Ad Clerum)

On the Roman Breviary as Embodying the Substance of the Devotional Services of the Church Catholic

And evermore,
As faith grows rare,
Unlock her heart, and offer all its store,
In holier love and humbler vows,
As suits a lost returning spouse. 

{1} THERE is so much of excellence and beauty in the services of the Breviary, that were it skilfully set before the Protestant by Roman controversialists as the book of devotions received in their communion, it would undoubtedly raise a prejudice in their favour, if he were ignorant of the circumstances of the case, and but ordinarily candid and unprejudiced. To meet this danger is one principal object of the following pages; in which, whatever is good and true in those Devotions will be claimed, and on reasonable grounds, for the Church Catholic in opposition to the Roman Church, whose only real claim above other Churches is that of having, on the one hand, preserved the Service with less of mutilation or abridgment, and, on the other, having adopted into it certain additions and novelties, ascertainable to be such in history, as well as being corruptions doctrinally. In a word, it will be attempted to wrest a weapon out of our adversaries’ hands; who have in this, as in many other instances, appropriated to themselves a treasure which was ours as much as theirs; and then, on our attempting to recover it, accuse us of borrowing what we have but lost through inadvertence. The publication then of the selections, which it is proposed presently to give from these Services, is, as it were, an act of re-appropriation. Were, however, the Breviary ever so much the property of the Romanists, by retaining it in its ancient Latin form, they have defrauded the Church of that benefit which, in the vernacular tongue, it might have afforded to the people at large. {2}

Another reason for the selections which are to follow, lies in the circumstance, that our own daily Service is confessedly formed upon the Breviary; so that an inspection of the latter will be found materially to illustrate and explain our own Prayer-Book.

It may suggest, moreover, character and matter for our private devotions, over and above what our Reformers have thought fit to adopt into our public Services; a use of it which will be but carrying out and completing what they have begun.

And there is a further benefit which, it is hoped, will result from an acquaintance with the Breviary Services, viz. that the adaptation and arrangement of the Psalms therein made, will impress many persons with a truer sense of the excellence and profitableness of those inspired compositions than it is the fashion of this age to entertain.

Lastly, if it can be shown, as was above intimated, that the corruptions, whatever they be, are of a late date, another fact will have been ascertained, in addition to those which are ordinarily insisted on, discriminating and separating off the Roman from the primitive Church.

With these views a sketch shall first be given of the history of the Breviary; then the selections from it shall follow.

On the history of the Breviary [Note 1]

The word Breviarium first occurs in the work of an author of the eleventh century, and is used to denote a compendium or systematic arrangement of the devotional offices of the Church. Till that time they were contained in several independent volumes according to the nature of each. Such, for instance, were the Psalteria, Homilaria, Hymnaria, and the like, to be used in the service in due course. But at this memorable era, and under the auspices of the Pontiff who makes it memorable, Gregory VII., an order was drawn up, for the use of the Roman Church, containing in one all these different collections, introducing the separate members of each in its proper place, and harmonizing them together by the use of rubrics. Indeed, some have been {3} led to conclude that in its first origin the word Breviary was appropriated to a mere collection of rubrics, not to the offices connected by them. But even taking it in its present sense, it will be obvious to any one who inspects the Breviary how well it answers to its name. Yet even thus digested, it occupies four thick volumes of duodecimo size.

Gregory VII. did but restore and harmonize these offices; which seem to have existed more or less the same in their constituent parts, though not in order and system, from Apostolic times. In their present shape they are appointed for seven distinct seasons in the twenty-four hours, and consist of prayers, praises, and thanksgivings of various forms; and, as regards both contents and hours, are the continuation of a system of worship observed by the Apostles and their converts. As to contents, the Breviary Services consist of the Psalms; of Hymns, and Canticles; of Lessons and Texts from inspired and ecclesiastical authors; of Antiphons, Verses and Responses, and Sentences; and of Collects. And analogous to this seems to have been the usage of the Corinthian Christians, whom St. Paul blames for refusing to agree in some common order of worship; when they came together, every one of them saying a Psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation [Note 2]. On the other hand, the Catholic seasons of devotions are certainly derived from Apostolic usage. The Jewish observance of the third, sixth, and ninth hours for prayer, was continued by the inspired founders of the Christian Church. What Daniel had practised, even when the decree was signed forbidding it, "kneeling on his knees three times a day, and praying, and giving thanks unto his GOD," St. Peter and the other Apostles were solicitous in preserving. It was when "they were all with one accord in one place," at "the third hour of the day," that the HOLY GHOST came down upon them at Pentecost. It was at the sixth hour, that St. Peter, "went up upon the house-top to pray," and saw the vision revealing to him the admission of the Gentiles into the Church. And it was at the ninth hour that "Peter and John went up together unto the temple." being "the hour of prayer." But though these were the more remarkable seasons {4} of devotion, there certainly were others besides them, in that first age of the Church. After our SAVIOUR'S departure, the Apostles, we are informed, "all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren:" and with this accords the repeated exhortation to pray together without ceasing, which occurs in St. Paul's Epistles. It will be observed that he insists in one passage on prayer to the abridgment of sleep [Note 3]; and one recorded passage of his life exemplifies his precept. "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto GOD, and the prisoners heard them." Surely it is more natural to suppose that this act of worship came in course, according to their wont, and was only not omitted because of their imprisonment, somewhat after Daniel's pattern, than that they should have gone aside to bear this sort of indirect testimony to the Gospel.

Such was the Apostolic worship as far as Scripture happens to have preserved it; that it was as systematic, and as apportioned to particular times of the day, as in the aftertimes of peace and prosperity, is not to be supposed; yet it seems to have been, under ordinary circumstances, as ample and extended, as then. If St. Paul thought a prison and a prison's inmates no impediment to vocal prayer, we may believe it was no common difficulty which ever kept him from it.

In subsequent times the Hours of prayer were gradually developed from the three, or (with midnight) the four seasons, above enumerated, to seven, viz. by the addition of Prime (the first-hour), Vespers, (the evening), and Compline (bed-time); according to the words of the Psalm, "Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments." Other pious and instructive reasons existed, or have since been perceived, for this number. It was a memorial of the seven days of creation; it was an honour done to the seven petitions given us by our LORD in His prayer; it was a mode of pleading for the influence of that Spirit who is revealed to us as sevenfold; on the other hand, it was a preservative against those seven evil spirits, which, are apt to return to the exorcised soul more {5} wicked than he who has been driven out of it; and it was a fit remedy of those seven successive falls, which the Scripture says happen to "the just man" daily.

And, as the particular number of their Services admitted of various pious meanings, so did each in its turn suggest separate events in our SAVIOUR'S history. He was born, and He rose again at midnight. At Prime, (or 7 A.M. according to our reckoning,) He was brought before Pilate. At the third, (or 9 A.M.) He was devoted to crucifixion by the Jews, and scourged. At the sixth, (or noon,) He was crucified. At the ninth, (or 3 P.M.) He expired. At Vespers, He was taken down from the cross; at which hour He had the day before eat the Passover, washed His Apostles' feet, and consecrated the Eucharist. At Completorium, or Compline, He endured the agony in the garden.

These separate Hours, however, require a more distinct notice. The night Service was intended for the end of the night, when it was still dark, but drawing towards day; and, considering that the hour for rest was placed soon after sunset, it did not infringe upon the time necessary for repose. Supposing the time of sleep to extend from 8 or 9 P.M. to 3 or 4 in the morning, the worshipper might then rise without inconvenience to perform the service which was called variously by the name of Nocturns, or Matins, as we still differently describe the hours in which it took place, as night or morning. It consists, when full, of three parts or Nocturns, each made up of Psalms and Lessons; and it ended in a Service, supposed to be used shortly before sunrise, and called Lauds or Praises. This termination of the Nocturn Service is sometimes considered distinct from it, so as to make eight instead of seven Hours in the day; as if in accordance with the text, "Give a portion to seven, and also to eight." Accordingly it is sometimes called by the name of Matins, instead of the Nocturns; and sometimes both together are so called.

This subdivision of the night service has the effect of dividing the course of worship into two distinct parts, of similar structure with each other; the three Nocturns, Lauds, and Prime, corresponding respectively to the three day hours (of the 3d, 6th, and 9th) Vespers and Compline. Of these the three day hours are made up of Psalms, Hymns, and Sentences. These are the {6} simplest of the Services, and differ very little from each other through the year. Lauds answer to Vespers, the sun being about to rise or about to set in the one or the other respectively. Each contains five Psalms, a Text, Hymn, Evangelical Canticle, Collect, and Commemoration of Saints. These hours are the most ornate of the Services, and are considered to answer to the morning and evening sacrifices of the Jews.

Prime and Compline were introduced at the same time (the fifth century), and are placed respectively at the beginning of day and the beginning of night. In each there is a Confession, four Psalms, a Hymn, Text, and Sentences.

The ecclesiastical day is considered to begin with the evening or Vesper service; according to the Jewish reckoning, as alluded to in the text, "In the evening, and morning, and at noon-day, will I pray, and that instantly." The ancient Vespers are regarded by some to be the most solemn hour of the day. They were sometimes called the Officium Lucernarum [Note 4]. Prayers were in some places offered while the lamps were lighting; and this rite was called lumen offerre [Note 5]. The Mozarabic service supplies an instance of this, in which the Office ran as follows:

"Kyrie eleyson, Christe eleyson, Kyrie eleyson. Pater noster, etc. In nomine Domini Jesu Christi, lumen cum pace. R. Amen. Hoc est lumen oblatum. R. Deo gratias."

On Festivals, the appropriate Services, beginning on the evening of the preceding day, are continued over the evening of the day itself; so that there are in such cases two Vespers, called the First and the Second, of which the First are the more solemn.

This is the stated succession of the sacred offices through the day, but the observance of the precise hours has not been generally insisted on at any time, but has varied with local usages or individual convenience. Thus the Matin and Laud Services may be celebrated on the preceding evening, as is done (for instance) in the Sistine Chapel at Rome during Passion week, {7} the celebrated Miserere being one of the Psalms in Lauds. Prime may be used just before or after sunrise; the Third soon after and soon after, the Sixth; the Ninth, near dinner; Vespers and Compline, after dinner. Or Prime, the Third, Sixth, and Ninth may come together two or three hours after sunrise. Noon, which in most ages has been the hour for the meal of the day, is made to divide the Services; there is a rule, for instance, against Compline coming before dinner.

Such is the present order and use of the Breviary Services, as derived more or less directly from Apostolic practice. Impressed with their antiquity, our Reformers did not venture to write a Prayer-Book of their own, but availed themselves of what was ready to their hands: in consequence, our Daily Service is a compound of portions of this primitive ritual, Matins being made up of the Catholic Matins, Lauds, and Prime, and Even-song of Vespers and Compline. The reason why these changes were brought about will be seen in the following sketch of the history of the Breviary from the time of Gregory VII.

The word has been already explained to mean something between a directory and an harmony of offices; but it is to be feared there was another, and not so satisfactory reason for the use of it. It implied an abridgment or curtailment of Services, and so in particular of the Scripture readings, whether Psalms, or Lessons, at least in practice. Of course there is no reason why the Church might not, in the use of her discretion, limit as well as select the portions of the inspired volume, which were to be introduced into her devotions; but there were serious reasons why she should not defraud her children of "their portion of meat in due season;" and it would seem, as if the eleventh or at least the twelfth century, a time fertile in other false steps in religion, must be charged also, as far as concerns Rome and its more intimate dependencies, with a partial removal of the light of the written Word from the Sanctuary. Whatsoever benefit attended the adjustment of the offices in other respects, so far as the reading of Scripture was omitted, it as productive of evil, at least in prospect. An impulse was given, however slight in itself, which was followed up in the Centuries which succeeded, and in all those churches which either then, or in the course of time, adopted the usage of Rome. {8}

Even now that usage is not universally received in the Latin Communion, and it was in no sense enjoined on the whole Communion till after the Council of Trent; but from the influence of the papal see and of the monastic orders, it seems to have affected other countries from a much earlier date. This influence would naturally be increased by the circumstance that the old Roman Breviary had long before Gregory's time been received in various parts of Europe: in England, since the time of Gregory the Great, who, after the pattern of Leo, and Gelasius before him, had been a Reformer of it; in Basle, since the ninth century; in France and Germany by means of Pepin and Charlemagne; while Gregory VII. himself effected its reception in Spain. Other Breviaries however still were in use, as they are at this day. The Ambrosian Breviary used in the Church of Milan, derives its name from the great St. Ambrose; and in the ninth century Charles the Bald, while sanctioning the use of the Roman, speaks also of the usage of Jerusalem, of Constantinople, of Gaul, of Italy, and Toledo.

In Gregory's Breviary there are no symptoms of a neglect of Scripture. It contains the offices for festival-days, Sundays, and week-days; Matins on festivals having nine Psalms and nine Lessons, and on Sundays eighteen Psalms and nine Lessons, as at present. The course of the Scripture Lessons was the same as it had been before his time; as it is preserved in a manuscript of the thirteenth century. It will be found to agree in great measure both with the order of the present Breviary and with our own. From Advent to Christmas were read portions of the prophet Isaiah; from the Octave of the Epiphany to Septuagesima, St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans; from Septuagesima to the third Sunday in Lent, the book of Genesis, the i., xii. and xxvii. on the Sundays to which they are allotted in our own offices; on the fourth in Lent to Wednesday in Passion week, Jeremiah; from Easter to the third Sunday after, the Apocalypse; from the third to the fifth, St. James; from the Octave of the Ascension to Pentecost, the Acts; after the Octave of Trinity to the last Sunday in July, the books of Kings; in August, Proverbs; in September, Job, Tobit, Judith, and Esther; in October, Maccabees; and in November, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other Prophets. {9}

Well would it have been if this laudable usage, received from the first ages, and confirmed by Pope Gregory VII., had been observed, according to his design, in the Roman Church; but his own successors were the first to depart from it. The example was set in the Pope's chapel of curtailing the sacred Services, and by the end of the twelfth century it had been followed in all the churches in Rome, except that of St. John Lateran. The Fratres Minores (Minorists or Franciscans) adopted the new usage, and their Breviaries were in consequence remarkable for the title "secundum consuetudinem Romanæ Curiæ," contrary to the usage of such countries as conformed to the Roman Ritual, which were guided by the custom of the churches in the city. Haymo, the chief of this order, had the sanction of Gregory X., in the middle of the thirteenth century, to correct and complete a change, which, as having begun in irregularity, was little likely to have fallen of itself into an orderly system; and his arrangements, which were conducted on the pattern of the Franciscan devotions, nearly correspond with the Breviary, as it at present stands.

Haymo's edition, which was introduced into the Roman Church by Nicholas III. A.D. 1278, is memorable for another and still more serious fault. Graver and sounder matter being excluded, apocryphal legends of Saints were used to stimulate and occupy the popular mind; and a way was made for the use of those Invocations to the Virgin and other Saints, which heretofore were unknown in public worship. The addresses to the Blessed Mary in the Breviary, as it is at present constituted, are such as the following: the Ave Mary, before commencing every office through the day and at the end of Compline; at the end of Lauds and Vespers, an Antiphon invocatory of the Virgin; the Officium B. Mariæ, on the Sabbath or Saturday, and sundry other offices, containing Hymns and Antiphons in her honour. These portions of the Breviary carry with them their own plain condemnation, in the judgment of an English Christian; no commendation of the general structure and matter of the Breviary itself will have any tendency to reconcile him to them; and it has been the strong feeling that this is really the case, that has led the writer of these pages fearlessly and securely to admit the real excellences, and to dwell upon the antiquity, of the Roman {10} Ritual. He has felt that, since the Romanists required an unqualified assent to the whole of the Breviary, and that there were passages which no Anglican ever could admit, praise the true Catholic portion of it as much as he might, he did not in the slightest degree approximate to a recommendation of Romanism. But to return;—these Invocations and Services to the Blessed Virgin have been above enumerated, with a view of observing that, on the very face of them, they do not enter into the structure of the Breviary; they are really, as they are placed, additions, and might easily have been added at some future period, as (e.g.) was the case with our own Thanksgiving, or the Prayer for the Parliament. This remark seems to apply to all the intrinsically-exceptionable Addresses in the Breviary; for as to the Confession at Prime and Compline, in which is introduced the name of the Blessed Virgin and other Saints, this practice stands on a different ground. It is not a simple gratuitous Invocation made to them, but it is an address to ALMIGHTY GOD in His heavenly court, as surrounded by His Saints and Angels, answering to St. Paul's charge to Timothy, "before GOD and the LORD JESUS CHRIST and the elect Angels," and to Daniel and St. John's address to the Angels who were sent to them. The same may even be said of the Invocation "Holy Mary and all Saints," [Note 6] etc. in the Prime Service, which Gavanti describes as being of very great antiquity. These usages certainly now do but sanction and encourage that direct worship of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, which is the great practical offence of the Latin Church, and so are a serious evil; but it is worth pointing out, that, as on the one hand they have more claim to be considered an integral part of the service, so on the other, more can be said towards their justification than for those addresses which are now especially under our consideration.

This is what occurs to observe on the first sight of these Invocations; but we are not left to draw a conjectural judgment about them. Their history is actually known, and their recent introduction into the Church Services is distinctly confessed by Roman ritualists. {11}

The Ave Mary, for instance, is made up of the Angel's salutation, "Hail, thou," etc. Elizabeth's "Blessed art thou among women," etc. and the words, "Holy Mary, Mother of GOD, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death." The last clause "now and," etc. was confessedly added by the Franciscans in the beginning of the sixteenth century; and the words preceding it, "Holy Mary," etc. which Gavanti, after Baronius, wishes to attribute to the Council of' Ephesus (A.D. 431), are acknowledged by the later critics, Grancolas and Merari, to have had no place in any form of prayer till the year 1508. Even the Scripture portion of the Ave Mary, which, as Merari observes, is an Antiphon rather than Prayer, and which occurs as such in the lesser office of the Blessed Virgin, and in St. Gregory's Sacramentary in the Mass Service for the fourth Sunday in Advent, is not mentioned by any devotional writer, nor by Councils, nor Fathers, up to the eleventh century, though they do enjoin the universal and daily use of the Creed and LORD'S Prayer, which are in the present Breviary used with it. It first occurs among forms of prayer prescribed for the people in the statutes of Otho, Bishop of Paris, A.D. 1195, who was followed, after the interval of a hundred years, by the regulations of Councils at Oxford and elsewhere. Another space of at least fifty years intervenes before the introduction of rosaries and crowns in honour of the Virgin. As to the Roman Breviary, it did not contain any part of the Ave Mary, till the promulgation of it by Pope Pius V., after the Tridentine Council, A.D. 1550.

The four Antiphons to the Blessed Virgin, used at the termination of the offices, are known respectively by their first words: the Alma Redemptoris, the Ave Regina, the Regina cœli, and the Salve Regina. Gavanti and Merari plainly tell us that they are not to be found in ancient authors. The Alma Redemptoris is the composition of Hermannus Contractus, who died A.D. 1054. The author of the Ave Regina is unknown, as is that of the Regina cœli. The Salve Regina is to be attributed either to Hermannus, or to Peter of Compostella. Gavanti would ascribe the last words "O clemens, O pia, O dulcis," etc. to St. Bernard, but Merari corrects him, the work in which they are contained being supposititious. These Antiphons seem to have {12} been used by the Franciscans after Compline from the thirteenth century: but are found in no Breviary before A.D. 1520.

The Saturday or Sabbath office of the Blessed Virgin was introduced, according to Baronius, by the monks of the Western church, about A.D. 1056.

The Officium Parvum B. V. M. was instituted by the celebrated Peter Damiani at the same date. It is said indeed to have been the restoration of a practice three hundred years old, and observed by John Damascene; which it may well have been: but there is nothing to show the identity of the Service itself with the ancient one, and that is the only point on which evidence would be important. Thirty years after its introduction by Damiani, it was made part of the daily worship by decree of Urban II.

The Breviary then, as it is now received, is pretty nearly what the Services became in practice in Rome, and among the Franciscans by the middle of the thirteenth century; the two chief points of difference between it and the ancient Catholic Devotions, being on the one hand its diminished allowance of Scripture reading, on the other its adoption of uncertain legends, and of Hymns and Prayers to the Virgin. However, the more grievous of these changes were not finally made in the Breviary itself, till the Pontificate of Pius V., after the Tridentine Council; at which time also it was imposed in its new form upon all the Churches in communion with Rome, except such as had used some other Ritual for above two hundred years. Not even at the present day, however, is this Roman novelty, as it may be called, in universal reception; the Paris Breviary, as corrected by the Archbishop of that city, A.D. 1735, differs from it considerably in detail, though still disfigured by the Invocations.

Before concluding this account of the Roman Breviary, it is necessary to notice one attempt which was made in the first part of the sixteenth century to restore it to a more primitive form. In the year 1536, Quignonius, Cardinal of Santa Crux, compiled a Breviary under the sanction of Clement VII., and published it under his successor, Paul III. This Ritual, the use of which was permitted, but not formally enjoined by the Holy See, was extensively adopted for forty years, when it was superseded by {13} the Franciscan Breviary, as the now authorized one may be called, in consequence of a Bull of Pius V. The Cardinal's Breviary was drawn up on principles far more agreeable to those on which the Reformation was conducted, and apparently with the same mixture of right and wrong in the execution. With a desire of promoting the knowledge of Scripture, it showed somewhat of a rude dealing with received usages, and but a deficient sense of what is improperly called the imaginative part of religion. His object was to adapt the Devotions of the Church for private reading, rather than chanting in choir, and so to encourage something higher than that almost theatrical style of worship, which, when reverence is away, will prevail, alternately with a slovenly and hurried performance, in the performance of Church Music. Accordingly he left out the Versicles, Responses, and Texts, which, however suitable in Church, yet in private took more time, as he says, to find out in the existing formularies than to read when found. He speaks in his preface expressly of the "perplexus ordo," on which the offices were framed. But his great reform was as regards the reading of Scripture. He complains that, whereas it was the ancient rule that the Psalms should be read through weekly and the Bible yearly, both practices had been omitted. The Ferial or week-day service had been superseded by the service for feast-days, as being shorter: and for that reason every day, even through Lent, was turned into a festival. To obviate the temptation which led to this irregularity, he made the Ferial service about the length of that of the old feast day; and he found space in these contracted limits for the reading of the Psalms, and the whole Bible, except part of the Apocalypse, in the week and the year respectively, by omitting the popular legends of the Saints which had been substituted for them. He observes, that these compositions had been sometimes introduced without any public authority, or sanction of the Popes, merely at the will of individuals. Those which he retained, he selected from authors of weight, whether of the Greek or Latin Church. Besides, he omitted the Officium Parvum B. M. V., on the ground that there were sufficient services in her honour independently of it. In all his reforms he professes to be returning to the practice of antiquity; and he {14} made use of the assistance of men versed "in Latin and Greek, in divinity, and the jus pontificium."

This Breviary was published in Rome, A.D. 1536, under the sanction, as has been said, of Paul III. However, it was not of a nature to please the divines of an age which had been brought up in the practice of the depraved Catholicism then prevalent; and its real faults, as they would appear to be, even enabled them to oppose it with justice. The Doctors of the Sorbonne proceeded to censure it as running counter in its structure to antiquity and the Fathers; and though they seem at length to have got over their objections to it, and various editions at Venice, Antwerp, Lyons, and Paris, showed that it was not displeasing to numbers in the Roman Communion, it was at length superseded by the Bull of Pius V. establishing the Franciscan Breviary, which had more or less grown into use in the course of the preceding three hundred years.

This account of Cardinal Quignonius's Breviary, and the circumstances under which it was compiled, will remind the English reader of the introductory remarks concerning the Service of the Church, prefixed to our Ritual; which he may read more profitably than heretofore, after the above illustrations of their meaning. For this reason they shall be here cited

"There was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so sure established, which in continuance of time hath not been corrupted; as, among other things, it may plainly appear by the Common Prayers, in the Church, commonly called Divine Service. The first original and ground whereof, if a man would search out by the Ancient Fathers, he shall find that the same was not ordained but of a good purpose, and for a great advancement of godliness. For they so ordered the matter, that all the whole Bible, (or the greatest part thereof,) should be read over once every year; intending thereby that the Clergy, and especially such as were Ministers in the Congregation, should (by often reading and meditating on GOD'S Word) be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able to exhort others by wholesome doctrine, not to confute them that were adversaries to the truth; and further, that the people (by daily hearing of Holy Scripture read in the Church,) might continually {15} profit more and more in the knowledge of GOD, and be the more inflamed with the love of His true religion.

"But these many years past, this godly and decent order of the ancient Fathers hath been so altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncertain Stories and Legends, with multitude of Responds, Verses, vain Repetitions, Commemorations, and Synodals; that commonly when any book of the Bible was begun, after three or four chapters were read out, all the rest were unread. And in this sort the book of Isaiah was begun in Advent, and the book of Genesis in Septuagesima; but they were only begun, and never read through. After like sort were other books of Holy Scripture used. And furthermore, not-withstanding that the ancient Fathers have divided the Psalms into seven portions, whereof every one was called a Nocturn, now of late time a few of them have been daily said, and the rest utterly omitted. Moreover, the number and hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the service, was the cause, that, to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times there was more business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.

"These inconveniences therefore considered, here is set forth such an Order, whereby the same shall be redressed. And for a readiness in this matter, here is drawn out a Calendar for that purpose, which is plain and easy to be understood; wherein (so much as may be) the reading of holy Scripture is so set forth, that all things shall be done in order, without breaking one piece from another. For this cause be cut off Anthems, Responds, Invitatories, and such like things as did break the continual course of the reading of the Scripture."

It remains but to enumerate the selections from the Breviary which follow. First has been drawn out, an Analysis of the Weekly Service, as well for Sunday as other days. This is followed by an ordinary Sunday Service at length, as it runs when unaffected by the occurrence of special feast or season, in order to ground the reader, who chooses to pursue the subject, in the course of daily worship as a whole. With the same object a Week-day Service has also been drawn out. Two portions {16} of extraordinary Services are then added, one from the Service for the Transfiguration, the other for the Festival of St. Lawrence, with a view of supplying specimens of a more elevated and impressive character. Next follows a design for a Service for March 21st, the day on which Bishop Ken was taken from the Church below, and another for a Service of thanksgiving and commemoration for the anniversaries of the days of death of friends or relations. These have been added, to suggest to individual Christians a means of carrying out in private the principle and spirit of those inestimable forms of devotion which are contained in our authorized Prayer-Book. The series is closed with an abstract of the Services for every day in Advent, fitting on to sections 2 and 3, which contain respectively the types of the Sunday and Week-day Service. Except by means of some such extended portion, it is impossible for the reader to understand the general structure, and appreciate the harmony of the Breviary.

Lastly, the writer of these pages feels he shall have to ask indulgence for such chance mistakes, in the detail of the following Services, as are sure to occur when an intricate system is drawn out and set in order, with no other knowledge of it than is supplied by the necessarily insufficient directions of a Rubric.

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1. The authorities used in this account are Gavanti's Thesaurus Rituum, cum notis Merari; Zaccaria's Bibliotheca Ritualis; and Mr. Palmer's Origines Liturgicæ.
2. 1 Cor. xiv. 26.
3. Eph. vi. 18.

4. Vid. Socr. Hist. 22. Vide also Lyra Apostolica, xv.

5. This ceremony must not be confused with the Lucernarium, or prayers at lighting the lamps; which took place before the evening.

6. It is observable that the words "Holy Mary" do not occur in the ancient Monastic Breviaries. The Confession at Prime and Compline does not occur in the Paris Breviary, 1735.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Credentials for Preaching: Humani Generis Redemptionem, 15 June 1917, Pope Benedict XV

Bishop mandate

Footnote to Humani generis redemptionem (on the preaching of the word of God), Enchiridion delle Encicliche, 4, Bologna: Dehoniano, 1999, 497.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Church is Intolerant in Principle...

"Ecce convivium pingue!" Doctor Evangelicus

Saint Anthony, "Hammer of Heretics," Doctor of the Church, Works and Chant

 "Behold 'the feast of fat things.'"

From Sermon 070, Holy Thursday Sermon, 6,  Saint Anthony of Padua.

6. The Lord of hosts shall make unto all people, in this mountain, a feast of fat things: a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees. [Is 25.6] This comes from Isaiah 25; Matthew 26 says of this banquet: Whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke and gave to his disciples and said: Take ye and eat. This is my body. And, taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. This is my blood of the new Testament; [Mt 26.26-28] confirming it. Note that Christ did four things today: he washed the Apostles’ feet, he gave them his body and blood, he spoke a long and precious discourse, and he prayed to the Father for them and for all who would believe in him. Behold the ‘feast of fat things’! Sermons in English

6. --- Faciet Dominus exercituum omnibus populis in monte hoc convivium pinguium, convivium vindemiae, pinguium medullatorum, vindemiae defecatae (Is 25, 6). Haec auctoritas Isaia XXV. De quo convivio dicit Matthaeus XXVI: Cenantibus, inquit, eis, accepit Iesus panem; et benedixit ac fregit, deditque discipulis suis et ait: Accipite et comedite: Hoc est corpus meum. Et accipiens calicem, gratias egit, et dedit illis, dicens: Bibite ex hoc omnes: Hic est sanguis meus novi testamenti (Mt 26, 26-28), subaudi, confirmatio. Nota quod, Christus hodie quattuor fecit: apostolorum pedes lavit, eis corpus et sanguinem suum tradidit, sermonem pretiosum et longum fecit, pro eis et pro omnibus in se credentibus ad Patrem oravit. Ecce convivium pingue. Sermons in Latin

N.B., Si quaeris miracula is a traditional hymn to Saint Anthony. The video is excellent, with an explanation of the 13th century origin of the chant.

« Si quaeris miracula
mors, error, calamitas,
demon, lepra fugiunt,
aegri surgunt sani.
Cedunt mare, vincula,
membra resque perditas
petunt et accipiunt
juvenes et cani.
Pereunt pericula,
cessat et necessitas,
narrent hi qui sentiunt,
dicant Paduani.
Cedunt mare, vincula…
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto…
Cedunt mare, vincula… »
« Se miracoli tu brami,
fugge error, calamità,
lebbra, morte, spiriti infami
e qualunque infermità.
Cede il mare e le catene
trova ognun ciò che smarrì
han conforto nelle pene
vecchi e giovani ogni dì.
I perigli avrai lontani,
la miseria sparirà;
ben lo sanno i Padovani,
preghi ognun e proverà!
Cede il mare e le catene…
Gloria al Padre e al Figlio e allo Spirito Santo…
Cede il mare e le catene… »
(Responsorio tradizionale)

This rendition by the Milanese professor is my favorite. Mellifluous!

Si quæris miracula, Gregorian Chant for the Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua

« Si quaeris miracula
mors, error, calamitas,
demon, lepra fugiunt,
aegri surgunt sani.
Cedunt mare, vincula,
membra resque perditas
petunt et accipiunt
juvenes et cani.
Pereunt pericula,
cessat et necessitas,
narrent hi qui sentiunt,
dicant Paduani.
Cedunt mare, vincula…
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto…
Cedunt mare, vincula… »
« Se miracoli tu brami,
fugge error, calamità,
lebbra, morte, spiriti infami
e qualunque infermità.
Cede il mare e le catene
trova ognun ciò che smarrì
han conforto nelle pene
vecchi e giovani ogni dì.
I perigli avrai lontani,
la miseria sparirà;
ben lo sanno i Padovani,
preghi ognun e proverà!
Cede il mare e le catene…
Gloria al Padre e al Figlio e allo Spirito Santo…
Cede il mare e le catene… »
(Responsorio tradizionale)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Latest Findings in Gender Ideology: Gender Ideology Harms Children

Gender Ideology Harms Children

Updated May 2017 
The American College of Pediatricians urges healthcare professionals, educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.
1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of male and female, respectively – not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. The exceedingly rare disorders of sex development (DSDs), including but not limited to testicular feminization and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm, and are rightly recognized as disorders of human design. Individuals with DSDs (also referred to as “intersex”) do not constitute a third sex.1
2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a child’s subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as “feeling like the opposite sex” or “somewhere in between” do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women.2,3,4
3. A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V).5 The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved.2,4,5
4. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous. Reversible or not, puberty- blocking hormones induce a state of disease – the absence of puberty – and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.6
5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.5
6. Pre-pubertal children diagnosed with gender dysphoria may be given puberty blockers as young as eleven, and will require cross-sex hormones in later adolescence to continue impersonating the opposite sex. These children will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via articifial reproductive technology. In addition, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.7,8,9,10,11
7. Rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ – affirming countries.12 What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?
8. Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.
Michelle A. Cretella, M.D.
President of the American College of Pediatricians
Quentin Van Meter, M.D.
Vice President of the American College of Pediatricians
Pediatric Endocrinologist
Paul McHugh, M.D.
University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Originally published March 2016
Updated August 2016
Updated January 2017
CLARIFICATIONS in response to FAQs regarding points 3 & 5:
Regarding Point 3: “Where does the APA or DSM-V indicate that Gender Dysphoria is a mental disorder?”
The APA (American Psychiatric Association) is the author of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition(DSM-V). The APA states that those distressed and impaired by their GD meet the definition of a disorder. The College is unaware of any medical literature that documents a gender dysphoric child seeking puberty blocking hormones who is not significantly distressed by the thought of passing through the normal and healthful process of puberty.
From the DSM-V fact sheet:
“The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.”
“This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”
Regarding Point 5:  “Where does the DSM-V list rates of resolution for Gender Dysphoria?”
On page 455 of the DSM-V under “Gender Dysphoria without a disorder of sex development” it states: Rates of persistence of gender dysphoria from childhood into adolescence or adulthood vary. In natal males, persistence has ranged from 2.2% to 30%. In natal females, persistence has ranged from 12% to 50%.”  Simple math allows one to calculate that for natal boys: resolution occurs in as many as 100% – 2.2% = 97.8% (approx. 98% of gender-confused boys)  Similarly, for natal girls: resolution occurs in as many as 100% – 12% = 88% gender-confused girls
The bottom line is this:  Our opponents advocate a new scientifically baseless standard of care for children with a psychological condition (GD) that would otherwise resolve after puberty for the vast majority of patients concerned.  Specifically, they advise:  affirmation of children’s thoughts which are contrary to physical reality; the chemical castration of these children prior to puberty with GnRH agonists (puberty blockers which cause infertility, stunted growth, low bone density, and an unknown impact upon their brain development), and, finally, the permanent sterilization of these children prior to age 18 via cross-sex hormones. There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young GD children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. If a boy who questions whether or not he is a boy (who is meant to grow into a man) is treated as a girl, then has his natural pubertal progression to manhood suppressed, have we not set in motion an inevitable outcome? All of his same sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friends develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psychosocially isolated and alone. He will be left with the psychological impression that something is wrong. He will be less able to identify with his same sex peers and being male, and thus be more likely to self identify as “non-male” or female. Moreover, neuroscience reveals that the pre-frontal cortex of the brain which is responsible for judgment and risk assessment is not mature until the mid-twenties. Never has it been more scientifically clear that children and adolescents are incapable of making informed decisions regarding permanent, irreversible and life-altering medical interventions. For this reason, the College maintains it is abusive to promote this ideology, first and foremost for the well-being of the gender dysphoric children themselves, and secondly, for all of their non-gender-discordant peers, many of whom will subsequently question their own gender identity, and face violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety.
For more information, please visit this page on the College website concerning sexuality and gender issues.
A PDF version of this page can be downloaded here: Gender Ideology Harms Children
1. Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Development, “Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood.” Intersex Society of North America, March 25, 2006. Accessed 3/20/16 from http://www.dsdguidelines.org/files/clinical.pdf.
2. Zucker, Kenneth J. and Bradley Susan J. “Gender Identity and Psychosexual Disorders.” FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. Vol. III, No. 4, Fall 2005 (598-617).
3. Whitehead, Neil W. “Is Transsexuality biologically determined?” Triple Helix (UK), Autumn 2000, p6-8. accessed 3/20/16 from http://www.mygenes.co.nz/transsexuality.htm; see also Whitehead, Neil W. “Twin Studies of Transsexuals [Reveals Discordance]” accessed 3/20/16 from http://www.mygenes.co.nz/transs_stats.htm.
4. Jeffreys, Sheila. Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism. Routledge, New York, 2014 (pp.1-35).
5. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013 (451-459). See page 455 re: rates of persistence of gender dysphoria.
6. Hembree, WC, et al. Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94:3132-3154.
7. Olson-Kennedy, J and Forcier, M. “Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents.” UpToDate November 4, 2015. Accessed 3.20.16 from www.uptodate.com.
8. Moore, E., Wisniewski, & Dobs, A. “Endocrine treatment of transsexual people: A review of treatment regimens, outcomes, and adverse effects.” The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88(9), pp3467-3473.
9. FDA Drug Safety Communication issued for Testosterone products accessed 3.20.16: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm161874.htm.
10. World Health Organization Classification of Estrogen as a Class I Carcinogen: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/ageing/cocs_hrt_statement.pdf.
11. Eyler AE, Pang SC, Clark A. LGBT assisted reproduction: current practice and future possibilities. LGBT Health 2014;1(3):151-156.
12. Dhejne, C, et.al. “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden.” PLoS ONE, 2011; 6(2). Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Accessed 3.20.16 from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885.
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