Tag Archives: Featured

An Urgent Request for Prayer & Fasting

Hopefully, the readers at CatholicCyber-Militia.com (all two dozen of you!) have been paying attention to the fact that this October there is going to be another synod going on.   This time it’s the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon. (That’s the full title; normally it’s just shortened to the “Amazon Synod.”)

And, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that some of the proposals being put forth in the working document (Instrumentum Laboris) of the synod are quite controversial.  Some have called them dangerous…or worse.

The concern for the impact which the Amazon Synod might have on our Church is significant enough that two leading prelates have issued an urgent prayer request.  Raymond Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have requested a “Crusade of Prayer and Fasting to Implore God that Error and Heresy do not pervert the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon.”

plug-into-the-power-of-prayer-and-fastingCdl. Burke and Bp. Schneider lay down a detailed description of the prayer and fasting request, the reason for making the request, and provide an extensive summary of the grave concerns they have about the material in the working document.

An excerpt:

Various prelates and lay commentators, as well as lay institutions, have warned that the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris, issued by the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, to serve as the basis for discussion in the coming Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazon, have inserted serious theological errors and heresies into the document.  

We invite Catholic clergy and laity to participate in a crusade of prayer and fasting to implore our Lord and Savior, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, for the following intentions

  • That the theological errors and heresies inserted in the Instrumentum Laboris may not be approved during the synodal assembly; 
  • That particularly Pope Francis, in the exercise of the Petrine ministry, may confirm his brethren in the faith by an unambiguous rejection of the errors of the Instrumentum Laboris and that he may not consent to the abolition of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church by introducing the praxis of the ordination of married men, the so-called “viri probati”, to the Holy Priesthood. 

We propose a forty-day crusade of prayer and fasting to begin on September 17 and end on October 26, 2019, the day before the conclusion of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the PanAmazon. Anyone who first learns about the Crusade after the date of its beginning can naturally join the Crusade at any point.  

During the forty-day crusade of prayer and fasting, we propose to pray daily at least one decade of the Holy Rosary and to fast once a week for the above mentioned intentions. According to the tradition of the Church, fasting consists in eating only one full meal during the day, and additionally, one may eat up to two smaller meals. Fasting on bread and water is also recommended to those who are able to do so.  

It is our duty to make the faithful aware of some of the main errors that are being spread through the Instrumentum Laboris. By way of premise, it must be observed that the document is long and is marked by a language which is not clear in its meaning, especially in what regards the deposit of faith (depositum fidei). Among the principal errors, we especially note the following… 

The letter in its entirety can be found here:  Crusade of Prayer and Fasting to Implore God that Error and Heresy do not pervert the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon or at the following link:

http://www.ncregister.com/images/uploads/BurkeSchneider.pdf

The Amazon Flows Into the Tiber?? Cardinal Mueller analyzes the Amazon Synod’s working document

The upcoming Amazon Synod is going to be a big deal. That’s not just some hokey blogger going by the odd moniker “CCM” jabbering (though he is, most admittedly, prone to jabber). According to Katholische.de, the official website of the German Catholic Bishops, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, the ordinary of Germany’s Essen diocese, told reporters that the October Synod in Rome will lead to a “break” in the Church and that “nothing will be the same as it was.” Not all Germans are in agreement as to the benefits to be realized from the synod. As you might expect Gerhard Cardinal Mueller has a considerably different opinion.  

Cardinal Mueller’s analysis (from a Catholic News Agency article dated 16 July 2019) is divided into three parts, which we’ll promulgate over the next couple of weeks. The full text of Cdl. Mueller’s remarks can be found here:   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-cardinal-muellers-analysis-on-the-working-document-of-the-amazon-synod-78441  

Part One: Methodology and Ambivalence

On the Concept of Revelation as presented in the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller

  1. On the method of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL)

Nobody would question the goodwill of all those involved in the preparation and implementation of the synod for the Church in the Amazon, nor their intention of doing everything possible to promote the Catholic Faith among the inhabitants of this vast region and its fascinating landscape.

The Amazon region is to serve for the Church and for the world “as a pars pro toto, as a paradigm, as a hope for the whole world.” (IL 37) The very wording of these terms of reference suggest the notion of an “integral” development of all of humankind at home on the one Earth, for which the Church now declares herself responsible. This notion appears again and again in the text of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL). The document is divided into three parts: 1) The Voice of the Amazon; 2) Integral Ecology: The Cry of the Earth and of the Poor; 3) A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: Challenges and Hope. These three parts are put forward following a pattern also applied in Liberation theology: Seeing the situation – judging in light of the Gospels – acting to achieve better living conditions.

  1. Ambivalently defined terms and goals

As is so often the case when texts are produced as a team effort, by groups of people with a similar mindset contributing, there are many tiresome redundancies. If one were strictly to take out all the repetitions, the text could easily be cut down to half the length or less.

The main problem however is not quantitative, is not the excessive length. Rather, it is the fact that the key terms are not clearly defined and then excessively deployed: what is meant by a synodal path, by integral development, what is meant by a Samaritan, missionary, synodal, open Church? By a Church reaching out, the Church of the Poor, the Church of the Amazon, and other such terms? Is this Church something different from the People of God, or is she to be understood merely as the hierarchy of Pope and Bishops, or is she a part of it, or does she stand on the opposite side of the people? Is the term People of God to be understood sociologically or theologically? Or is she not, rather, the community of faithful, who, together with their shepherds, are on the pilgrimage unto eternal life? Is it the bishops who should hear the cry of the people, or is it God Who, just as He once did it with Moses during Israel’s slavery in Egypt, now tells the successors of the Apostles to lead the faithful out of sin and apart from the godlessness of secularist naturalism and immanentism unto his salvation in God’s Word and in the Sacraments of the Church?

 

 

Toxic Traddies, Take Note!

The traditional Latin Mass is really something special!

We “Traddies” know that.  We love our Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and we are pretty sure that–aside perhaps from Susan from the Parish Council or other folk of a hopelessly Modernist mindset–any Catholic would see the special value the Latin Mass has…if they only would experience it first-hand a few times.

And many “regular” Catholics are investigating the Latin Mass first-hand!  That’s great news.  At my parish, we have first-time visitors joining us each and every week.  This trend has picked up speed after the ignominious “Summer of Shame” broke last year, and as we slouch towards the imminent train wreck -called the “Amazon Synod” more and more Catholics will come to see the Traditional Latin Mass as an island of beauty and sanity in a world growing more dysfunctional by the minute.

When first-time visitors come to your traditional parish, how do you greet them?  Most of the time, visitors are made to feel welcome.  But there are other times…

Hank Igitur takes these “toxic Traddies” lurking in our midst to task in his latest video:

Blowgun Blowback on the Amazon Synod

In an earlier video, CCM contributor Hank Igitur offered a startlingly effective solution to the priest shortage in the Amazon Basin.  If the hierarchy adopted his revolutionary idea,** there might not even be a need to have the Amazon Synod in the first place!

Well, as you might imagine, there has been considerable feedback on this radical idea.  In this latest video, Hank recaps some of the more interesting comments he’s received!

**The radical idea:  send missionaries.  I know!  Crazy, right?

 

Recognize & Resist: A Strategy Worth Considering

Frustrated by the ambiguous pronouncements coming from Rome?  Worried that this never-ending parade of synods has the potential to play havoc with the true teachings of the Church?  Concerned that Pope Francis might be saying some stuff which simply doesn’t square with two thousand years of consistent Church teaching?

Yeah, us too.  Hank Igitur’s been reading a new book by Dr. Taylor Marshall which does a pretty decent job of putting this whole situation into a long-term historical perspective.  He offers a strategy for prayerfully (and charitably) dealing with this crisis.  Hank’s 100% onboard with this approach and he’s willing to explain it to you in (possibly tedious) detail!

Links Mentioned in this Video:

Infiltration-book-cover-

Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Catholic Church From Within by Dr. Taylor Marshall is available at Amazon.com or through Sophia Institute Press.  The book makes a pretty darn solid case that our present crisis doesn’t have its beginning with the election of Pope Francis, the suppression of the Latin Mass in the late ’60’s/early ’70’s, or even the Vatican II!  The crisis began well over a century earlier.  Fascinating stuff!

The document Hank mentions which can help you cut through some of the confusion when it comes to getting the real deal on Church doctrine is this:  Declaration of the Truths Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time.”  It’s only eight pages but it gives you an easy to read no-nonsense summary of authentic Church teaching, clearing up some points that might have become, umm, well–a tad murky let’s just say–over the past few years.

Read New ‘Declaration of Truths’ Affirms Key Church Teachings in the National Catholic Register.

How Could Our Church Leadership Let It Get This Bad?

Book cover showing the back of a Catholic Cardinal's hat while smoke swirls around it.

I’m reading Phillip Lawler’s new book, The Smoke of Satan:  How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful…And What Can be Done About It (Available at TAN Press ).  For those of us who have managed to pull our heads out of the sand and acknowledge that the Church is indeed facing a crisis of massive proportions, one of the questions we often find ourselves asking is this:  Why didn’t the Bishops and the Popes DO something?!?! 

Bishop after bishop assures us with wide-eyed breathless sincerity that “Gosh!  I had no idea that Father X or fellow Bishop Y or Cardinal Z was doing that!  I’m as shocked and disturbed as you are…” And far too often, the tangible evidence backs up their claims, no matter how implausible they seem.  Some of them, perhaps, really are clueless rubes that had no inkling that such evil was taking place under their noses or in the diocese next door.  If that’s the case, then they’re lousy leaders at the very least.  Others knew full well what was going on, and took “plausibly deniable” steps to suppress knowledge of the crimes.  Still others (Lord help us!) may have been active participants in the evil.

“See no evil.  Hear no evil…”

But there are also too many clerics and prelates who simply convinced themselves that nothing bad was actually happening.  They have been behaving like those “See no evil, hear no evil” monkeys we are all familiar with.

None of the above postulated explanations are very reassuring.  Regarding the third category of clergy, Mr. Lawler offers the following explanation in his book:

Two common human traits strengthen the tendency to avoid problems.  One is the normal desire to avoid unpleasant confrontations.  The role of a pastor is to unite, not to divide, and most priests are not aggressive personalities.  The other, closely related factor is the willingness to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  In combination, unfortunately, these two characteristics–healthy and even laudable in themselves–can produce a sort of cockeyed optimism or willful blindness, a stubborn refusal to recognize reality.  We want to see virtue in others, and sometimes we can only see if our eyes are shut tight.

Sexual Abuse, Doctrinal Dissent, and Denial–They’re all linked.

“OK,” you say, “so we have some real jerks in our parishes and dioceses.  Why didn’t the Pope do something?  Pope Francis seems weak in this regard, but what about Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Saint John Paul II?  And not just regarding criminal conduct, but what about all the heresy, disobedience, and doctrinal dissent?”  That latter part of the question is crucial.  Although it may not appear to be linked with the current lavender mafia/sex abuse crisis, believe me:  it is!

Mr. Lawler continues:

For the sovereign pontiff, pastor for the universal Church, there is another consideration that weighs against stern disciplinary measures.  The duty of the Roman pontiff is to preserve unity among the faithful.  If he cracks down on abuses–any sort of abuses–the pope, any pope, might risk dividing his flock.  If he demands that recalcitrant priests and theologians end their dissent from formal Church teaching, they may choose instead to leave the Church, bringing their followers with them.  Rather than risk schism, the pope may choose to accept an uneasy truce between Catholic factions that seem irreconcilable.  This, it seems clear, was the path chosen by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

This tendency, this reluctance to address a problem head-on has been with us for some time, as Mr. Lawler points out:

If Church readers are prone to overlooking current problems, they are equally likely to downplay past failures.  Despite the grave losses that Catholicism has suffered during the past fifty years–the thousands who have left the Church, the families that have broken apart, the priests and religious who have forsaken their vows, the parishes and schools that have been closed–bishops remain reluctant to calculate the total damages and identify the root causes of the disaster.

In the years following Vatican II, thousands of priests walked away from their duties to begin a new life in the secular world.  When they left, there was no formal announcement.  The rumor mills buzzed, but there was no explanation of their departure.  They simply disappeared…Wouldn’t a healthier institution have been more forthright, admitting that these young priests had deserted their ministry?…for those who embraced a false optimism or willful blindness, it seems pointless to dwell on painful memories.  Far better to speak confidently about the future!

Just be glad the USCCB isn’t running the FAA.

Imagine a series of disastrous airliner crashes, one after another, and now try to imagine the Federal Aviation Administration delicately avoiding any mention of the crashes or investigations into their causes, but instead blithely opining about how much air travel safety is improving, and how bright the future for the airline industry looks!  Pretty darn absurd.

But that’s the attitude what passes for Church leadership these days is taking.

 

 

« Older Entries