Tag Archives: Slider

Traditional Religious Orders on the Rebound

With the loss of so many vocations over the past fifty years, we’ve seen a general (and often severe) contraction of religious orders across the board. Every once in a while, however, you come across an account of a religious order that is actually growing, sometimes explosively so.

The Discalced Carmelites, however, are on the rebound.

Since 2000, the Carmelites have been faced with the sort of challenge many religious orders pine for: a boom in vocations. In that year, the nuns moved into the monastery at Elysburg, Pennsylvania from their original home in Nebraska, which they soon outgrew. They were thus granted permission to take over another declining Carmelite monastery, the Carmel of St. Joseph and St. Anne, in Philadelphia — and filled that one with vocations as well. So finally, with the community having overflowed its lodgings twice, the Carmelites received permission last summer from His Excellency Ronald Gainer, bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, to expand operations again, this time constructing a new monastery from the ground up.

According to their superior, Mother Stella, “I think the young women are drawn to beauty in the liturgy. They know that if God exists, if God is on our altars, if God is within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then He needs to be worshiped as He deserves: with beauty and reverence,” she said of what she thinks draws young women to the Carmelites in particular. “They see that we have that here in our monastery, and they want to be a part of that. They also want something that is authentic, that goes back to the time of our holy mother, St. Teresa.”

Read the entire article here:
https://www.lifesitenews.co…

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:

Building a “New Church”…Cardinal Sarah’s Perspective

Shortly after the catastrophic fire which nearly destroyed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris, Robert Cardinal Sarah delivered an address at Église Saint François-Xavier in Paris, on May 25, 2019. Consider what Cdl. Sarah has to say in the following excerpt.

It is a sad fact: today the Church seems to be engulfed in flames on all sides. We see her ravaged by a conflagration much more destructive than the one that razed the cathedral of Notre-Dame. What is this fire? We must have the courage to name it, because “to name things wrongly is to add to the misfortune of the world.”

This blaze, this conflagration raging in particular through the Church in Europe, is a case of intellectual, doctrinal, and moral confusion. It is our cowardly refusal to proclaim the truth about God and man and to defend and transmit the moral and ethical values of the Christian tradition. It is our loss of faith and the spirit of faith, a losing sight of the objectivity of faith and thus a loss of the knowledge of God.

… some people look at the Catholic Church and say: this Church has served its purpose, let us change it, let us make a new Church after our own image. They think: the Church is no longer credible, we no longer hear her voice in the media. She is too marred by the scandals of pedophilia and homosexuality amidst the clergy. Too many of her clergy are wicked. It is necessary to change her, reinvent her.

Priestly celibacy is too difficult for our times: Make it optional! The Gospel’s moral teaching is too demanding: Make it easier! Dilute it with relativism and laxity. In the future, worry more about social questions.

Catholic doctrine doesn’t suit the media? Change it! Adapt it to the mentalities and moral perversities of our time. Let us adopt the new globalist ethic promoted by the UN and gender ideology!

Let us make the Church a human and horizontal society, let her speak a media-friendly language, make her popular! My friends, such a Church interests no one. My dear friends, the world has no use for a Church that offers nothing more than a reflection of its own image!

The Church is only of interest because she allows us to encounter Jesus. She is only legitimate because she passes on Revelation to us. When the Church becomes overburdened with human structures, it obstructs the light of God shining out in her and through her. The Church should be like a cathedral. Everything in Her should sing to the glory of God. She must unceasingly direct our gaze toward him, like the spire of Notre-Dame pointed toward heaven.

My dear friends, we must rebuild the cathedral. We must rebuild it exactly as it was before. We do not need to invent a new Church. We have to let ourselves be converted so that the Church can shine once more, so that the Church can be once more a cathedral that sings God’s glory and leads men to him.

The entire article can be found here:

https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2019/06/21/cardinal-sarah-we-must-rebuild-the-cathedral-we-do-not-need-to-invent-a-new-church/

 

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.

Eight Pages Well Worth Reading!

Confused about some of the perplexing pronouncements being issued from press conferences in aircraft or even papal documents?  You’re not alone!

There has been quite a bit of “churn” over the past few years, and the tempo seems to be increasing daily.  What has the Catholic Church always taught about things like divorce, homosexuality, the legitimacy of other religions, or even the death penalty?  If you’re attempting to follow the news coming from Rome (whether through official press releases, established news organizations, or the blogosphere), it’s small wonder if you reach the troubling conclusion that doctrine is “up for grabs” and subject to modernization.

Well, it isn’t.  If you want some reassurance on that point, read on.

It’s only eight pages, but if the last few years have left you feeling confused or uncertain about the true teachings of the Church, you owe it to yourself to read   Declaration of the Truths Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time.”

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

 

A Prayer for Our Bishops

The semi-annual USCCB meeting of American bishops concluded recently.  The news from their conference could have been more encouraging, certainly.  You may be annoyed with the USCCB, bishops in general, and perhaps even your bishop in particular.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we should neglect praying for them.

Pedro de la Cruz composed the following beautiful prayer for CatholicPrayerCards.org:

Most Glorious God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we pray for our Bishop, N.

May he and all of the bishops, in union with the Holy Father, remain steadfast in defending the Catholic Church from the moral errors of our day.  Help them speak boldly against all who have tried to corrupt the Church and those who have spread the contagion of the world amongst your flock.  

Give them strength to oppose, with great vigor, the terrible abuses which have wounded and scandalized the faithful.  May our apostolic shepherds proclaim, with a unified and prophetic voice, the truth about the dignity of each human life, the sanctity of sacramental marriage, the blessing o life-giving conjugal love, and all issues that the Church has championed throughout the centuries.

Strengthen them to preach with fiery conviction against all forms of abuse, corruption, and perversion.  May they lead your Church to healing and reform through transparency and fidelity.  With unwavering courage, may they imitate Christ, and lay down their lives for their sheep.  Keep them faithful to the end, like so many holy saints and martyrs of the Church, who have shepherded the people of God with crosier in hand.

O Mary, Virgin Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, hold all bishops close to your Immaculate Heart!

Amen.  


You can order prayer cards with this prayer from CatholicPrayerCards.org.  (As you might guess, they have a wide selection of other prayer cards as well!)

Ask for Card # 357NEW  Contact them at:

orders@CatholicPrayerCards.org

1-888-244-2788

Accusations of Heresy: One Perspective

Catholics, still reeling from the conflagration which devastated her beloved Notre Dame Cathedral, was rocked a few days later by the publication of an open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church which accused Pope Francis of heresy, and requested that the bishops “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation of a heretical pope.”

You can read the letter in its entirety at this link: https://www.documentcloud.o… It’s twenty pages, but twenty pages well worth reading regardless of your inclination to agree or disagree with its contents.

The Accusers.

Whether it’s a former papal nuncio (like Abp. Viganò), prominent on-line laymen (Michael Voris at Church Militant, et. al.), or the signers of this letter, there’s a natural tendency these days to immediately respond with an ad hominem hip shot branding the dissidents as judgemental/Pharisee-like/rigid/haters with an axe to grind.

Still and all, the signers are indeed on very thin ice. I’m not sure what the job market looks like for unemployed theologians these days, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that, as the saying goes in Hollywood, “you’ll never work in this town again!” Not only have they pulled the tail of the massive tiger that is the Pope and his loyal cardinals, they pretty much yanked it completely off! In much the same way as the signers of the Declaration of Independence put a figurative British noose around each and every of their own necks, so the signers of this letter have destroyed their standing among all those in the powerful Church hierarchy who have a vested interest in this papal agenda.

Descriptions you might see in other online articles branding these signers as petty and vengeful reactionaries are, I think, completely unjustified (as were those characterizations of Viganò’s motives months earlier). Right or wrong, it took guts to do what they did, and they believed enough in their message to be willing to take the consequences on the chin. So my recommendation for those trying to get to the bottom of this tragic turn of events is to not consider any base motivations, but rather concentrate on the message itself and the circumstances which brought it about.

Leadership Failures.

Why has it gotten to the point where regular lay people have to concern themselves with the terrifying question of whether Peter’s Successor is or is not promulgating teachings contrary to Church doctrine so egregious as to perhaps approach even the level of material (let alone formal) heresy? For that matter, why do we laity have to be subjected to the confusing and often false teachings of so-called “celebrity priests” who continually put forward ideas which stand in stark contrast to thousands of years of Judeo-Christian teachings or the progressive bishops seemingly more interested in educating us about the mortal dangers of plastics in the ocean rather than sins in our souls?

It comes down to bad leadership on the part of our priests and hierarchy. Even if it turns out that each and every one of the specifications in the open letter were simple misunderstandings and in no way heretical, each and every one of them represent a leadership failure when it comes to clearly teaching and restating the timeless dogmas of our Faith. And, in the case of throwing faithful Chinese Catholics under the bus by kowtowing to the brutal Communist overlords in Beijing, the leadership failure took on the additional aspect of burning a pinch of incense to Caesar (or Mao, in this instance).

More Leadership Failures: Amoris Laetitia and “Weaponized Ambiguity.”

This document was a disaster from the git-go. And before anyone says, “It’s perfectly clear and it’s fine. You’re seeing stuff that isn’t there when you try and read between the lines,” let me ask you why it’s now permissible to define adultery by zip code? Liberal bishops in Germany are saying “come one, come all!” When it comes to divorced & civilly remarried Catholics receiving the Eucharist, citing AL, while next door is (still) Catholic Poland, things are as they were before this document came out. Which is the true and authentic interpretation of Christ’s own words in the Gospel concerning marriage? For two thousand years, Catholics knew the answer. Now, it’s suddenly up for grabs.

This vagueness seems intentional in order to allow for the desired intent to surface without actually having to pull the trigger yourself. And yes, orthodox Catholics got upset by this. It’s no wonder that the “H-Word” started getting whispered for the first time when AL came out.

Francis is not considered to be a leading theologian, even by his supporters. And that’s fine; being a world-class theologian has never been a prerequisite for being pope, nor should it be. Having said that, it’s worth comparing the appeal to situational ethics to be found in AL with those writings of a man considered to be a rather accomplished theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pope Francis seemed to downplay moral absolutes in AL, saying that a negative moral precept such as the one prohibiting adultery is good as a general principle, but “in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations” (par. 304)

Aquinas is a little more direct and uncompromising when he says that some human acts, “have deformity inseparably attached to them, such as fornication, adultery, and others of this sort, which can in no way be done morally.” (Quaestiones Quodlibetales, 9, q. 7, a. 2) This idea is backed up by Pope JPII in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor when he confirms “the absolute validity of negative moral precepts which oblige without exception.” (VS 76)

Call me a rigid traditionalist, but I’m going with the Big Ox on this one.

“If you adjust the lighting just so, squint through your left eye and stand on one leg, what the Pope’s writing seems OK.”

Authentic teachings on faith, doctrine and morals coming from the Chair of Peter shouldn’t be this difficult to interpret. It confuses the laity. It confuses more than a few respectable theologians and cardinals. Didn’t somebody in the New Testament say something along the lines of “Let your ‘yes’ be yes, and your ‘no’ be no?”

If Francis wanted a liberalization of the rules (with its inevitable clash with the words of God Himself), why didn’t he just come out and say so? Instead, he throws together AL and waits to see how various groups of bishops will interpret it. He refused to answer the Dubia, which remains a set of honest questions posed by honest men, and instead kept mum until a bunch of South American bishops came up with the liberal/heterodox interpretation he wanted. Then he declared that those guys’ interpretation of AL was the correct and “magisterial” one.

Since when do we define doctrine and promulgate Church teaching by playing this kind of game? “I’m thinking of a number between one and twenty. Can you guess what it is? If so, you win a prize!”

Yet More Leadership Failures: The Sex Abuse Crisis and the Lavender Mafia.

We’ve seen the train wreck caused by our hierarchy’s handling of the clerical sex abuse crisis. If they weren’t participating directly, they were facilitating cover ups. And if they weren’t facilitating cover ups, they were trying to simply pretend the problem didn’t exist. Once they were called on the carpet, they solemnly assured us that the problem was fixed in 2002. Well, it wasn’t.

Theodore McCarrick. Cdl. Cupich “not going down that rabbit hole.” Cdl. Wuerl “not some massive, massive crisis.” The USCCB attempting to deal with the problem last October, only to suddenly be issued a perplexing “cease & desist” command by Francis, assuring them that everything (everything!) would be fixed at the Feb ’19 “Abuse Summit.” Cupich stepping forward mere seconds after the Vatican’s dictat had been announced, and assuming the role as papal cheerleader, almost as if he had advance knowledge of what was coming from Rome.

As had been predicted by many cynics (myself among them), the much ballyhooed February “summit” completely sidestepped the underlying problem of rampant homosexuality in far too many seminaries, rectories, and chanceries throughout the Church. The discussions focused on the abuse of minors, particularly those young enough to be considered victims of pedophilia, rather than identifying very significant numbers of post-pubescent males as victims of pederasty (which has definite homosexual implications).

To his credit, Pope Francis finally acted to oust McCarrick, and Canon law has been modified to raise the age of consent (which means that a much broader group of victims can be rightly identified as vulnerable minors). And, the pontiff has given occasional lip service to the incompatibility of homosexuality with the priesthood.

And yet, the Lavender Mafia continues to rein supreme within the hierarchy. Remember the fun-filled gay cocaine party at Cdl. Francesco Coccopalmerio’s digs over at his Vatican apartment? The party was so swingin’ hot that the police had to be called in to break it up. Guess who’s still a cardinal in good standing with the Holy Father?

“Yeah, but what about those other two Popes? They did it too!”

This isn’t an overly compelling argument. Failing to address this problem of clerical sex predation decades earlier remains just that: a failure (and one epic in its tragic consequences), regardless of who was at the helm. JP2 and B16 both let us down here as well. Francis, however, is the one currently leading the Church, and his continued promotion of men sympathetic to the whole homosexualist agenda is troubling and destructive.

Bottom Line: Confirmed Heretic or Just a Really Bad Pope?

I am not a sedevacantist. Neither am I in the jury pool for judging a sitting pope’s heresy trial (Spoiler Alert: NOBODY on earth is qualified to do that. The only man capable of judging a pope is a subsequent pope. That may indeed happen at some point in the future, but there’s nothing to be done about it at present. Might as well accept that fact.)

I am, however, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and as such, I am expected to be discerning. Discerning whether or not a cleric (be he priest, pope or cardinal) is talking nonsense is NOT a matter of judging them, but of remaining true to the authentic teachings of the Church which have existed for upwards of two thousand years.

Can we as good Catholics be critical of our priests, theologians, prelates, and even our pope? You bet! (Spoiler Alert #2: I checked GoogleTranslate, and as it turns out, the term “ex cathedra” does not translate as “from an Italian airliner at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.”) Not everything a pope says must be taken as binding on belief. In a time where the average Catholic is woefully under-catechized or mal-catechized, that subtle distinction is often lost.

Is it a sin to call the pope out when he is engaging in teaching or enacting policies which are dangerous to the Faith? No. (Spoiler Alert #3: The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, NOT the mystical body of the pope—this one or any other!) We are to remain faithful to Christ even when our shepherds are not.

 So…do I declare Pope Francis to be a heretic? I do not. It’s not in my lane. Do I consider him a bad and ineffective pope who is doing more harm than good for the Faith? Yes, definitely, much to my sorrow and consternation. Should the bishops finally come to recognize the gravity of the crisis of faith which is escalating across the Catholic Church and formally address the Holy Father and correcting him where’s he demonstrably wrong? Yes, oh yes. Do I wish that he’d repent of his heterodox teachings, cease sowing confusion and ambiguity, and return to the authentic principles which have animated the Catholic Church since her founding by Christ Himself? With all my heart.

 Our Best Response? PRAY!

Whether you consider Francis the Number One Nicest Guy In The World Today, or something considerably less, we as Catholics have an obligation to pray for him. In fact, the graver your concerns, the more earnest your prayers should be.

 

« Older Entries