Friday, November 29, 2019

The Cassock Fine: Clergy Reform 101

Saint Claret reformed and promoted the clergy in holiness.

One of the essential elements of The Council of Trent was the reform of the clergy; and the enforcement of clerical attire was an integral part of that.

Recently, I came across a passage in Saint Anthony Mary Claret's Autobiography in which he indicates how he reformed the clergy in Cuba during his seven years there in the middle of the 19th century (1850-1857). Among other measures, he mandated the cassock for all of the clergy and imposed a stiff fine for any violators.

"I made...the Canons and the pastors alike, and the other priests...always wear the cassock, mandating it by decree, with the penalty of ten duros ($330)* for those who should fail. Only one failed. And I bound him to wearing mufti and made him pay the fine; and, since he was caught in a house with a reputation for women, I removed his faculties and put him in seclusion."

"Tanto a los Canónigos como a los párrocos y demás sacerdotes...[l]es hice vestir siempre hábitos talares, mandándolo por edicto, con la pena de diez duros al que faltase. Sólo faltó uno. Yo le hice comparecer vestido de seglar y le hice pagar la multa, y como fue cogido en una casa sospechosa de muejeres, le recogí las licencias y le metí en reclusión."
Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía, Barcelona: Claret, 1985, 280.

*The "duro" coin of Spain is a five peseta coin which. One peseta in 1850 Spain would be equivalent to 6 euro today. That would be 30 euro per duro. Ten duros = 300 euro, around $330 USA today. Seems fair, though I would suggest a fine today of $500 per infraction, according to the Claret reform.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Caution in Criticizing the Pope

Principem populi tui non maledices. Acts 23:5

Saint Thomas says that normally a subordinate should not correct his superior. He can do it only when he must do it, only when necessary, and then, only with the greatest deference.

Detraction is the sin of unnecessarily exposing the sins of another.

Calumny is spreading lies about another.

Those sins, committed against one's superior, would be aggravated by being a sin also against piety, the proper respect due to one's superior.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Prayer to the Immaculate Conception for Purity

Per tuam immaculatam Conceptionem, O Maria, redde purum corpus meum et sanctam animam meam.
O Mary, by your immaculate Conception, restore my body pure and my soul holy. #326* (Plinthos translation)

O Virgin Mother, who were never touched by any stain of original or actual sin, I give you the purity of my heart. Cf. #322

Cor Mariae dulcissimum, sis mihi salus. Bonaventure
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation. #352

O Heart most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart. #353.

Fiat, Domine, cor meum immaculatum, ut non confundar.
Let my heart, O Lord, be made immaculate, that I may not be ashamed. #662

Munda cor et corpus meum, sancta Maria.
Holy Mary, clean my heart and body. #663 (Plinthos translation)

Ure igne Sancti Spiritus renes nostros et cor nostrum, Domine; ut tibi casto corpore serviamus et mundo corde placeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen
Lord, burn our reins and our hearts with the fire of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may serve Thee with chaste bodies and pure minds. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. #664

Da, quaesuus, omnipotens aeterne Deus, ut per integerrimam virginitatem purissimae Virginis Mariae, puritatem mentis et corporis consequamur. Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty and everlasting God, that we may attain to purity of mind and body through the inviolate virginity of the most pure Virgin Mary. Amen. #665

Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentia et castitatis.
Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me. Vesting Prayers

Benedicta sit sancta et immaculata Conceptio tua, Sanctissima Virgo Maria!
Mary most holy, blessed be your holy and immaculate Conception! (Plinthos, ejaculation and translation)

*Reference numbers, The Raccolta (1944).

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Byzantine Patriarch Call for New Pope Viganò

The Amazon Synod confronts us with three options:

Option 1: Cardinals and bishops will remain passive. At this turning point, when the Amazon Synod is taking place, this is a crime and betrayal!

Option 2: The orthodox cardinals will choose a rightful Pope in an extraordinary election and he will declare the heretic Bergoglio an invalid Pope.

Option 3: If cardinals remain passive, a team of rightful and orthodox bishops must take over their duty to give a rightful Pope to the Church.

Question: What means will Bergoglio use in order to inconspicuously transform the Catholic Church into the anti-Church of the New Age?

Response: He has a plan to create extreme chaos right at this time. He wants to do so by abolishing celibacy and allowing marriages of priests.

Question: Is it possible to prevent his plan to abolish celibacy?

Response: It is possible only if a rightful Pope is elected as soon as possible. This will cause a great stir in the Church and completely change the spiritual atmosphere.

Question: Who does the Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate propose should be the Pope?

Response: We are convinced that it is the will of God that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò should be elected and proclaimed Pope.

+ Elijah
Patriarch of the Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate

+ Methodius OSBMr + Timothy OSBMr
Secretary Bishops

Friday, November 15, 2019

Philosophy is Necessarily Christian --Pieper

"'Christian philosophy' is not a more or less abstruse brand of philosophical activity corresponding to the special ('religious') interests of individuals. It is the only possible form of philosophy--if it is true that the Logos of God became man in Christ, and if by 'philosophy' we understand what the great forefathers of European philosophizing (Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle) meant by it. The thinkers of the Middle Ages perceived that a 'Christian philosophy' depended upon the conjunction of fides and ratio. This was the task they set themselves, and into this task they poured their full intellectual resources. This task is continuous and never-ending. Anyone who addresses himself today to this same task cannot afford to ignore the demanding and multiform paradigm of medieval philosophy. But in answer to the questions posed he cannot take the medieval view; he will have to find his own answer."
Josef Pieper, Scholasticism, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964, 162.

Philosophy is the slave of the Deposit of Faith and the Deposit of Faith is the slave of Philosophy, both being bound to the Truth. Rupture of that mutual servitude causes the pathologies peculiar to faith without reason and reason without faith.
Cf. Joseph Ratzinger: The Dialectics of Secularization, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2006, 77-80.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Why I have no Pocket-Phone

1. Simplicity and romance. "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." The land-line works perfectly well. It pained me, in 1996, to get rid of my analogue phone, with the beauty of its real bell.

2. Charity and poverty. In a rare emergency, I can afford my fellow man the opportunity for an act of mercy; simultaneously, I should wish to edify him with a spirit of poverty and the vulnerability of decidedly not having an ubiquitous pocket-phone.

3. Convenience. An unbecoming convenience would be a contradiction. Beauty, simplicity and willful poverty are great goods which should be manfully defended, not to mention piety, modesty and study. Any purported convenience threatening those goods would be quite inconvenient.

4. Liberty and life. And what about the distraction and impropriety,  bordering on idolatry, of spontaneous and obsessive screen-gazing? Audio podcasts may be very effective tools for spreading the word of truth; but, for that, pocket-phones are entirely unnecessary; all you need is any upload-able recording device and access to a computer. The video-sphere, however, is largely vampent, alienating man, even if just for a moment, from the infinite marvel of the circumstance--the persons, places and things--with which he finds himself. It is an insidious lure and a false escape.

5. Exclusive fidelity. My only constant companion, as per my solemn ordination promise, is the Breviary (1962); and a Rosary, a silver pocket crucifix, a Spanish pocket knife, a clean handkerchief and a dry book of matches.

6. Living deliberately. I don't have a pocket-phone because I don't want one. And I don't want one because I don't need one. What I don't need, I don't want.


“GOOD MORNING," said the little prince.

"Good morning," said the merchant.

   This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst.

You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need of anything to drink.

   "Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince.

   "Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week."

   "And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?"

   "Anything you like..."

   "As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Five Pachamama Frauds

Diversity, Political, Idolatry, Tolerance, Inculturation

Por P. Andrés Esteban López Ruiz. Dominus Est. 5 de noviembre de 2019

A la luz de la Divina Revelación, contenida en la Palabra de Dios, en la Tradición de la Iglesia y en el Magisterio el hecho es muy sencillo: fabricar ídolos para darles culto es un pecado gravísimo. Postrarse delante de los ídolos es idolatría. Hacerles ofrendas, sacrificios, llevarlos en andas, entronizarlos, coronarlos, quemarles incienso, todo esto es culto idolátrico y es gravemente inmoral. Llevarlos a los altares y templos consagrados para venerarlos es profanación.

I. Teología india «unificada» que anula la «diversidad»

La Pachamama es un engaño. Se trata de una diosa que pertenece a la cultura y religión inca del Perú. En la Amazonía hay cerca de 400 pueblos indígenas distintos, la mayoría de ellos no tiene ni la misma cultura, ni la misma religión que aquellas tribus del Perú que conservasen elementos incas incluyendo la Pachamama. Presentar a la Pachamama como el icono indígena amazónico es violentar la «diversidad» de las culturas indígenas amazónicas e imponer una teología india unificada extrínsecamente con intereses políticos e ideológicos. Este intento, sin embargo, es más amplio, no se reduce a la Amazonía sino que abarca todo el continente llegando hasta México. ¿Qué tiene que ver un indígena tzotzil, maya, o purépecha, con los incas o con la Pachamama? Nada. El engaño, entonces, es tan grave que pretende imponer una teología india latinoamericana unificada que anula la riqueza de la diversidad de los pueblos indígenas originarios de toda América Latina.

II. Preside una agenda política unificada en América Latina

La Pachamama es un engaño político. Se impone a los pueblos indígenas y al imaginario colectivo de la comunidad latinoamericana como representativa de una unificación india desde el poder político. ¿Por qué el Presidente de México ha hecho un ritual a la Pachamama, divinidad peruana, para pedirle permiso de construir el tren maya en el sureste de México?

Hugo Chavez, Nicolás Maduro, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Evo Morales, Daniel Ortega, son sólo algunos jefes de estado que han participado en actos de culto a la madre tierra y que promueven esta ideología india unificada.

No se trata, entonces, sólo de un hecho religioso peruano, se trata de un hecho político y de una agenda política. Esta agenda política incluye la promoción de un pensamiento panteísta fabricado en dónde la idea de la Pachamama recapitula la cultura latinoamericana en ruptura con la herencia hispánica incluyendo la religión católica.

Curiosamente este panteísmo es ajeno a la mayor parte de las culturas indígenas y proviene de otras tradiciones filosóficas, tanto occidentales como orientales, sin descartar algunas fuentes esotéricas. Pero no se trata sólo de una cosmovisión panteísta sino de un proyecto político que excluye de hecho el concepto cristiano de un Dios trascendente a la creación y pone por encima de la dignidad de la persona una presunta dignidad de la tierra. Estamos experimentando un intento de giro cultural copernicano: superar el antropocentrismo de la modernidad, diluyendo la persona a la tierra. Por eso es que encontramos declaraciones en donde se atribuyen derechos a la tierra que limitan los derechos humanos.

III. La Pachamama es un ídolo

La Pachamama es un engaño religioso para los cristianos. La Pachamama es una diosa inca. Las imágenes que se hacen de ellas merecen una valoración moral desde la teología muy precisa: son ídolos. El hecho de que un teólogo, un pastor o un fiel, o un grupo significativo de creyentes, pastores o fieles, no puedan tener la capacidad mínima para emitir un juicio en el que reconozcan que se trata de un ídolo es todavía más preocupante que el hecho mismo.

Podemos decir que se trata de un nuevo eclipse de la conciencia, ya no en el ámbito del derecho a la vida, sino en el ámbito del primero y más importante de los mandamientos, del derecho de Dios. Con el agravante de que no es la conciencia de un pueblo la que se oscurece, sino que pareciera oscurecerse la conciencia de la Iglesia.

A la luz de la Divina Revelación, contenida en la Palabra de Dios, en la Tradición de la Iglesia y en el Magisterio el hecho es muy sencillo: fabricar ídolos para darles culto es un pecado gravísimo. Postrarse delante de los ídolos es idolatría. Hacerles ofrendas, sacrificios, llevarlos en andas, entronizarlos, coronarlos, quemarles incienso, todo esto es culto idolátrico y es gravemente inmoral. Llevarlos a los altares y templos consagrados para venerarlos es profanación.

IV. El engaño de la tolerancia

Por lo tanto, la sensibilidad de los fieles justamente queda vulnerada cuando ve a los ídolos recibiendo culto en los templos católicos. Se trata de un hecho profundamente indignante que exige el más amplio rechazo. No es una falta de respeto o tolerancia a las personas que profesan religiones distintas. Se respetan las creencias de todos, sin embargo, estamos frente a la imposición de una tolerancia a un culto idolátrico en los templos y en los ambientes católicos que se profanan con los ídolos. Esto no es aceptable. Tolerarlo es ser cómplices. Por eso la idoloclasia (destrucción de los ídolos) que hemos visto es expresión del más noble sentido de la fe y lejos de merecer reprobación merece reconocimiento.

V. El engaño de la inculturación

La Pachamama no es inculturación. El principio de la inculturación es el anuncio del Evangelio que es capaz de ser asumido por todos los pueblos y todas las culturas. La dinámica misma de la evangelización establece un proceso gradual de transformación de la cultura en la que la Palabra de Dios entra en el corazón de las culturas conservando los bienes convergentes, purificando las contraposiciones y divergencias, fomentando la progresión de las expresiones siempre nuevas de la fe y renovándolo todo.

De modo que sin tomar en cuenta el criterio de contraposición no se puede hablar de inculturación. Es claro que la evangelización implica una contraposición con los aspectos gravemente inmorales de las culturas y desde luego, en este caso exige la renuncia a la idolatría.

El modelo de inculturación que tenemos en América Latina es Santa María de Guadalupe, quien recuperó los mejores elementos de las culturas prehispánicas, los llenó de Evangelio, exigió la ruptura con las conductas inmorales y acabó con las tinieblas de la idolatría

Santa María de Guadalupe, estrella de la nueva Evangelización, debe presidir la Evangelización en América y sólo en ella se puede establecer un proyecto de teología india unificada, pues ella ha sido el instrumento de Dios para alcanzar a nuestros pueblos. A ella invocamos con afecto filial y confianza para que disipe estas tinieblas y restablezca la paz y la serenidad en la Iglesia.

Saint Leo the Great

In the year 452, Pope Saint Leo the Great saved Rome, convincing Attila the Hun to withdraw from Italy.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Reasonableness of Resurrection --Dawson

"...[I]f mind is the key to reality and the cosmic process has a spiritual significance, then we should expect that the most permanent things in the world would be not atoms or elements, but persons, and there would be nothing shocking to the reason in the belief that the goal of the cosmic process was to be found in an order which restored and preserved that which was spiritually valuable in the present world..."

"The Future Life" in Christopher Dawson, Religion and World History, New York: Image, 1975, 344.

...I believe in the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Vade retro Satana! Say it!

Blessing a Saint Benedict cross/medal yesterday, I noticed that the blessing included a prayer for those who will pray the prayer of the medal. It says... "...exoro, ut omnes diabolicas insidias et fraudes expellas ab eo, qui Nomen sanctum tuum his litteris et characteribus a te designatis devote invocaverit, et eum ad salutis portum perducere digneris, qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

"...I pray that you expel all diabolic snares and deceits from him who will devoutly invoke your holy Name with these words and symbols designated by you, and deign to lead him to the port of health/salvation, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen."

Devotees of the medal of Saint Benedict should often recite the prayers which are inscribed on the medal. It has three prayers: 1) one of the Holy Cross, 2) an exorcism and 3) a prayer for a happy death:

1) Crux Santa sit mihi lux, non draco sit mihi dux. (May the Holy Cross be the light for me, may not the dragon be the leader for me.)

2) Vade retro Satana, numquam suade mihi vana; sunt mala quae libas, ipse venena bibas. (Go back Satan, never lure me with vanities; what you proffer are evil, drink the poison yourself.)

3) Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur. (May we be protected by its [the cross of the Holy Father Benedict's] presence at our death.)

Pray those prayers often, in Latin. They are very easy to memorize, and they are written on the medal itself! I have had them memorized for years but never recited them devotionally, until yesterday. They are intended to be prayed frequently; as I have shown, one of the blessings of the person wearing the medal depends on his praying of the ejaculations on it.
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