Search This Blog

Friday, March 30, 2012

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

I have been in a discussion with a friend of mine, recently.  He's an atheist and he relies on the scientific method and the empirical world for almost all of his proofs.  Recently in our discussion, he put forth this idea:

You could literally call energy whatever you want, it will have the same quantitative measurable value. Just like we label ourselves Homo sapien, when it's just arbitrarily what we've named it. The only way to tell the difference is in some quantifiable way, like DNA. We found that many of our labels were wrong after we began sorting through the cache of life's genetic history, and we found that many times our perceptions even in science were quantifiably wrong. But that's the beauty of science, because it is progressive and self correcting the more that is learned, not dogmatic even in the face of evidence.
What my friend doesn't understand is that this is a way to show the development of Christian doctrine.  He is just using terms which are different.  If you were to exchange the science for theology, it still works.  The problem with his view is that he refuses to see that God can enter into the equation, because there is no empirical proof for God, even though there is recorded history of God speaking directly to man on more than one occasion.

I would also challenge him on this.  There is no way to empirically prove George Washington, but will he accept him as the first President of the United States?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  There is no scientific way to prove Washington lived...just like there is no way to prove that God lives.  Except that God does live and so did Washington.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Hello All,

Things are going to be a little spotty for the next month or so.  I work in the Ag industry and spring is a very busy time for us, with spraying, planting and early season maintenance.  I would like to ask a couple of things from you and then I have a message  to pass along.

1.  Please pray for the safety of the farmers, their employees and those who work in support of them, especially those who, like me, are in the fields every day making sure that the ground is fit for planting.

2.  Please pray the Rogation prayers from the Old Calendar.  I know that many of you don't follow the old liturgical calendar, but please seek out those prayers and please pray the Rogation prayers.  Rogation days were meant for asking God's mercy with regard to the crops of the land.

The first Rogation, the Greater Litanies, has been compared to the ancient Roman religious festival of the Robigalia a ritual involving prayer and sacrifice for crops held on April 25.  The second set of Rogation days, the Lesser Litanies or Rogations, introduced about AD 470 by Bishop Mamertus of Vienne and eventually adopted elsewhere, are the three days (Rogation Monday, Rogation Tuesday and Rogation Wednesday) immediately before Ascension Thursday in the Christian liturgical calendar. The term, most frequently encountered in Roman Catholic and Anglican circles, is rarely used today.  The word "Rogation" comes from the Latin verb rogare, meaning "to ask," and was applied to this time of the liturgical year because the Gospel reading for the previous Sunday included the passage "Ask and ye shall receive" (Gospel of John 16:24).

 The faithful typically observed the Rogation days by fasting in preparation to celebrate the Ascension, and farmers often had their crops blessed by a priest at this time, which always occurs during the spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Violet vestments are worn at the rogation litany and its associated Mass, regardless of what colour was worn at the ordinary liturgies of the day. A common feature of Rogation days in former times was the ceremony of "beating the bounds", in which a procession of parishioners, led by the minister, churchwarden, and choirboys, would proceed around the boundary of their parish and pray for its protection in the forthcoming year. This was also known as 'Gang-day'.

I do know that it's a little early, but everything is early this year.  Thanks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Conversation with a Priest Friend of Mine...

I was parusing the blogs and came across this quote from an anonymous seminarian, "Once priests learn the older form, they never say the Ordinary Form the same way again."

I posted the following response to that quote with this in the combox.  It is part of a conversation I had with a priest friend of mine recently it goes:

I know several priests who now that they have learned to celebrate the Mass in the older form loathe the "looseness" of the newer form.

As one of those priests said to me recently, "I tolerate the Ordinary Form, the same way a brother tolerates his little brother hanging out in his room on a Saturday night, while he's trying to play records with his girlfriend.  It's necessary to be nice, but my patience is waning."

He went on to say, "If wouldn't be crucified by my Ordinary and my peers, I would just abandon the Ordinary Form altogether.  The faithful will adapt.  I am weak of constitution on this matter, and I like wearing a collar."

He's a very good friend of mine, and I serve his TLM whenever I can.  I don't think that the good Father's words are lost on this crowd.

God's honest truth.  I think that the time is short for the OF as the normative rite, especially if a Midwestern priest is having this kind of conversation....Bring us the TLM, we love it.

Don Bux and the SSPX

 Over at NLM, there was a letter translated from Fr. Nicola Bux.  It regards the relations between the SSPX and Rome.  I will post the letter then I will comment.

To His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and to the Priests of the Society of Saint Pius X

Your Excellency,
Most dear Brothers,

Christian brotherhood is stronger than flesh and blood because it offers us, thanks to the divine Eucharist, a foretaste of heaven.

Christ invited us to experience communion, this is what our "I" is made of. Communion means loving one's neighbor a priori, because we have the one Savior in common with him. Based on this fact, communion is ready for every sacrifice in the name of unity; and this unity must be visible, as the last petition addressed by Our Lord to his Father teaches us - "ut unum sint, ut credat mundus" -, because this is the decisive testimony of Christ's friends.

It is undeniable that numerous facts of Vatican II and of the period that followed it, related to the human dimension of this event, have represented true calamities and have caused intense pain to many great Churchmen. But God does not allow His Holy Church to reach self-destruction.

We cannot consider the severity of the human factor without having confidence in the divine factor, that is to say, in Providence, who guides history and, in particular, the history of the Church, while respecting human freedom.

The Church is at once a divine institution, divinely protected, and a product of men. Her divine aspect does not deny her human one - personality and freedom - and does not necessarily hinder it; her human aspect, while remaining whole and even compromising, never denies her divine one.

For reasons of Faith, but also due to the confirmations, albeit slow ones, that we are able observe at the historical level, we believe that God has prepared and continues to prepare, throughout these years, men who are worthy of rectifying the errors and the ommissions we all deplore. Holy works already exist, and will appear in still greater numbers, that are isolated ones from the others but that a divine strategy links at a distance and whose actions add up to a well-ordered design, as it miraculously happened at the time of the painful Lutheran rebellion.

These divine interventions seem to grow in proportion to the complexity of the facts. The future will make it clear, as we are convinced, and it seems dawn is almost at hand.

During some moments, the uncertain dawn struggles with darkness, which fades slowly, but when it appears we know that the sun is there, and that it will invariably pursue its course in the heavens.

With Saint Catherine of Siena, we wish to say: "Come to Rome in complete safety," next to the house of the common Father who was given to us as the visible and perpetual principle and foundation of Catholic unity.

Come take part in this blessed future in which we can already foresee dawn, despite the persistant darkness. Your refusal would increase darkness, not light. And yet the sparks of light we can already admire are numerous, beginning with those of the great liturgical restoration effected by the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum". It stirs up, throughout the whole world, a large movement of adherence from all those who wish to increase the worship of God, particularly the young.

How to ignore the other concrete gestures, full of meaning, of the Holy Father, such as the lifting of the excommunications of the bishops ordained by Abp. Lefebvre, the opening of a public debate on the interpretation of Vatican II in light of Tradition, and, for this purpose, the renewal of the Ecclesia Dei Commission?

Perplexities certainly remain, points to be deepened or detailed, as those regarding ecumenism and interreligious dialogue (which has been, for that matter, already the object of an important clarification given by the declaration Dominus Iesus, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of August 6, 2000), or regarding the way in which religious liberty is to be understood.

Also on these matters, your canonically assured presence within the Church will help bring more light.

How not to think of the contribution you could give to the welfare of the whole Church, thanks to your pastoral and doctrinal resources, your capabilities and your sensibility?

This is the appropriate moment, the favorable time to come. Timete Dominum transeuntem: let not the occasion of grace the Lord offers you pass by, let it not pass by your side without recognizing it.

Will the Lord grant another one? Will not we all one day appear before His Court and answer not only for the evil we have done, but above all for the good we might have accomplished but did not?

The Holy Father's heart trembles: he awaits you anxiously because he loves you, because the Church needs you for a common profession of faith before a world that is each day more secularized and that seems to turn its back to its Creator and Savior hopelessly.

In the full ecclesial communion with the great family that is the Catholic Church, your voice will no longer be stifled, your contribution will be neither ignorable nor ignored, but will be able to bring forth, with that of so many others, abundant fruits which would otherwise go to waste.

The Immaculate teaches us that too many graces are lost because they are not asked for; we are convinced that, by answering the offer of the Holy Father favorably, the Society of Saint Pius X will become an instrument to enkindle new rays from the fingers of our Heavenly Mother.

On this day dedicated to him, may Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patron of the Universal Church, inspire and sustain your resolutions: "Come to Rome in all safety".

Rome, March 19, 2012.
Feast of Saint Joseph

d. Nicola Bux
 My commentary:

"In the full ecclesial communion with the great family that is the Catholic Church, your voice will no longer be stifled, your contribution will be neither ignorable nor ignored, but will be able to bring forth, with that of so many others, abundant fruits which would otherwise go to waste."

I cannot in good conscience ask for the SSPX to abandon their concerns.  I cannot in good conscience ask the SSPX to deviate from their positioning.  I cannot in good conscience ask the SSPX to be anything other than what they are, but what they are is Catholic.  They are not a Protestant sect.  They are not an Orthodox Church.  They are not a pagan cult.  The SSPX is Catholic. 

Insofar as the SSPX is Catholic, I do think that a couple of things can be made manifest fairly quickly and I think that it speaks directly to Fr. Bux.  The SSPX should not have to abandon their concern for Holy Mother Church.  The SSPX should not have to compromise their positioning at all.  The SSPX should not have to undergo the persecution they are currently enduring.  The SSPX teaches nothing which is doctrinally contrary to the Catholic faith.  The SSPX teaches nothing dogmatically which is contrary to the Catholic faith.  The SSPX is concerned with certain disciplinary issues which have presented themselves over the last 40 years or so.  There is nothing wrong in that.  As Fr. Bux says, their voice need not be stifled.  Their contribution not ignored or ignorable.  And as Fr. Bux says, they will be able to bring forth abundant fruits.

The SSPX, whether we like it or not, has been the flashpoint for the legitimate traditional movement in the Church since the 1970s.  Their actions, deemed to be disruptive by bishops and popes has done nothing but bear fruit for the Church at large.  It is directly because of the SSPX that the restrictions at EVERY SINGLE level were relaxed; in 1984, in 1988, in 2007 and in 2011.  The SSPX is behind it all.  Yet, the Holy See won't recognize the SSPX as being "in full communion."

Granted, the Holy See has done much in concession, they lifted the excommunications, they have said that in times of need one may assist at an SSPX Mass, that there is no schism, but a schismatic act, only.  But the Holy See pulls up short, in full reconciliation, why?  I think that it is for two reasons;

1.  I think that the liberal faction of bishops will revolt.  While my gut tells me to go ahead and let them, my reasonable mind says otherwise.  That is not a good thing and it has to be taken slowly.  Because the liberal faction has wielded so much power since the waning days of Pius XII, it is hard to unseat it, but Benedict is trying.  As they age out, the air of legitimacy is growing stronger and stronger.

2.  I think that the Holy See doesn't want to have egg on their face.  If the Holy See simply reconciles with the SSPX, then it will shine a "not so good light" on Blessed John Paul II.  And right now, that just can't happen.  There are too many people who want to see him canonized.  This would be a stumbling block and that just can't happen.  So, even though the SSPX is the flashpoint for change, in a traditional way, they can't be reconciled, unless it is through their complete submission, leveling credence to the actions of Bl. John Paul II.  We know that these issues really don't weigh in at all, because the issue isn't doctrinal, but disciplinary, but in the eyes of the faithful at large, it will create a dubium and that is too much to bear.

The four bishops can't be undone.  They are bishops.  They are valid bishops.  Do I agree with every position they espouse?  No.  But then again, I didn't agree with Weakland or with Mahoney much either.  By and large though, the SSPX could be reconciled today and there would be no major changes to the Church.  The Novus Ordo would continue.  The TLM would continue.  The SSPX would not have to change anything, save a little prudence when it comes to certain forms of critique on Vatican Council II, but there are many mainstream priests today who are preaching the same things the SSPX preach.  Like I said, there is nothing dogmatically and doctrinally stopping them from full reconciliation.  It is merely disciplinary.  If it is merely disciplinary, then reconcile.  No stipulations, no conditions.  The SSPX desperately wants to be considered as part of the mainstream Church again and in my humble opinion, they should be.

I daresay that if the Holy See were to just reconcile with the SSPX and vice versa, then the real discussion can take place.  As it stands now, there is a sense of apprehension which does nothing but stall the talking, because of a mutual trepidation.

The Church needs the SSPX, it always has, since the inception of the Fraternity.  The SSPX has always needed the Church.  It is time to lay down the pridefulness and it is time to just start recognizing the truth of the matter; without the SSPX, the Church would be in a much worse place.  And without the Church, the SSPX would be just another Protestant sect.  Thank God they are not.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Archbishop Schnurr Makes Waves...

Arcbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, formerly a priest of the Diocese of Sioux City in Iowa has recently made waves by allowing exorcism prayers to be said in front of a local abortion mill.

You can read about it at Battle of the Core of the World.

It takes a lot of courage for the Archbishop to stand up and do something of this magnitude.  Please pray for him.  Please pray for his archdiocese.  He is cleaning up a monumental mess left by his two most recent predecessors.  This is something that would have been unheard of as little as 5 years ago.

A native son of Iowa is doing good work.

Notre Dame Again! Ugh...

Ok, look.  I get it.  I get it probably better than most.  My grandfather was a "domer."  My uncle is a "domer."  My cousin Meghan went to St. Mary's.  My nephew has three choices as to where he can go for college, Notre Dame is one of them.  My family is as attached to Notre Dame as any family can be.  They are attached to the football team (I've literally seen my brother dive over the coffee table into a somersault when they won the National Title in 1988), that's one thing.  But other members of my family comport Notre Dame to be the quintessential Catholic college in the United States.  No Way!  No How!

This comes from Gary Gutting, Endowed Chair of Philosophy.  HE IS AN ENDOWED CHAIR!  He must accept and affirm Ex Corde Ecclesiae, yet he writes the following:

…haven’t the members of the Catholic Church recognized their bishops as having full and sole authority to determine the teachings of the Church?  By no means.  There was, perhaps, a time when the vast majority of Catholics accepted the bishops as having an absolute right to define theological and ethical doctrines.  Those days, if they ever existed, are long gone.  Most Catholics — meaning, to be more precise, people who were raised Catholic or converted as adults and continue to take church teachings and practices seriously — now reserve the right to reject doctrines insisted on by their bishops and to interpret in their own way the doctrines that they do accept.  This is above all true in matters of sexual morality, especially birth control, where the majority of Catholics have concluded that the teachings of the bishops do not apply to them.  Such “reservations” are an essential constraint on the authority of the bishops.
The bishops and the minority of Catholics who support their full authority have tried to marginalize Catholics who do not accept the bishops as absolute arbiters of doctrine.  They speak of “cafeteria Catholics” or merely “cultural Catholics,” and imply that the only “real Catholics” are those who accept their teachings entirely.  But this marginalization begs the question I’m raising about the proper source of the judgment that the bishops have divine authority.  Since, as I’ve argued, members of the church are themselves this source, it is not for the bishops but for the faithful to decide the nature and extent of episcopal authority.  The bishops truly are, as they so often say, “servants of the servants of the Lord.”
It may be objected that, regardless of what individual Catholics think, the bishops in fact exercise effective control over the church.  This is true in many respects, but only to the extent that members of the church accept their authority.  Stalin’s alleged query about papal authority (“How many divisions does the Pope have?”) expresses more than just cynical realpolitik.  The authority of the Catholic bishops is enforceable morally but not militarily or politically.  It resides entirely in the fact that people freely accept it.
The mistake of the Obama administration — and of almost everyone debating its decision — was to accept the bishops’ claim that their position on birth control expresses an authoritative “teaching of the church.”  (Of course, the administration may be right in thinking that the bishops need placating because they can cause them considerable political trouble.)  The bishops’ claim to authority in this matter has been undermined because Catholics have decisively rejected it. The immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church.  Pope Paul VI meant his 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” to settle the issue in the manner of the famous tag, “Roma locuta est, causa finita est.”  In fact the issue has been settled by the voice of the Catholic people.

So, I'm going to respond to Dr. Gutting:

"...haven’t the members of the Catholic Church recognized their bishops as having full and sole authority to determine the teachings of the Church?"  The Church has, yes.  The membership, whether they vocalize it or not have.  Those who do not accept the Church's teaching on a Magisterial level have committed a mortal sin.  So, for those who contracept or support contraception are in a state of mortal sin and should seek forgiveness through confession.  The Church has taught from the beginning that human life is sacred and something which cannot be taken advantage of, under any circumstance.  Sure, members of the Church have fallen short, but then again, that is the problem of evil isn't it.  The members will always fall short.  That doesn't mean, though that the Church should stop teaching it and simply acquiesce.  When was the last time that the inmates running the asylum was a good idea?

Dr. Gutting goes on to say that Catholics reserve the right to reject doctrines.  That isn't exactly the case.  Being Catholic is an all or nothing proposition.  Either one is Catholic or one is not Catholic.  There is no such thing as partially Catholic.  That idea of religion is a Protestant one.  When one becomes Catholic, one must assent his will to the Church, even if he does not fully understand it.  The understanding comes with time and learning.

I wonder if Dr. Gutting feels the same way about his courses.  What if his students reserve the right to reject his teaching methods?  Will he still pass them, or will he fail them?  It's an interesting position he puts himself in.  Almost Cartesian, insofar as he is painting himself into a corner.  Dr. Gutting's reaction and urgent need to simply be an anarchist with regard to the Church is not at all supportive of his position as an authentic teacher of philosophy.

The bishops and those Catholics who do not support the mandate, are not marginalizing anyone.  If anyone is marginalized, it is the Catholic who holds firm to the teaching of the Church.  So much so, that if he were to speak out, he would be maligned and marginalized himself.  Case in point, Rick Santorum.  So, please don't try to flip the script.  That is merely a deflection.  To say that the faithful Catholic who abides by the teaching of Holy Mother Church is marginalizing the Catholic who is in a state of mortal sin is absurd.  The sad fact is that the Catholic who contracepts does what he does to himself.  There is no need for a faithful Catholic doesn't need to marginalize anyone, he does that just fine on his own.

It is true that regardless of what any individual Catholic thinks, the bishops do exercise control.  They teach on a regular basis.  They have done so in this instance and they are showing that they do have the ability to hold a Catholic line, even if unpopular.  The real problem is that over the last 40 years, the bishops have not stood together as one body.  They have been fractured and that, more than anything has been a detriment to their teaching authority.  Authentic Catholic teaching is authoritative from a reasonable and rational point of view, but when the bishops cannot agree among themselves, the problem becomes one of dissent and it fosters it among the faithful.  If the bishops held the line on every issue the way they are on this, then there would be a lot less "trouble" in the Church today.

Bottom line, the mistake of the Obama administration is to think that pregnancy and procreation is a disease.  Women's health is a misnomer.  How is participating in something completely natural and biologically expected a disease?  It is not.  The sad fact is that the Obama administration is lowering the rational aspect of sexual relations to that of a non-rational instictive animal.  Essentially what the Obama administration is saying is that there is no difference between two people engaging in the sex act as there is between two apes, or two lions or two ruminates.  That is incorrect.  There is a difference.  The human person can reason.  There is a psychological and emotional bond which forms between two persons who engage in the sex act.  It isn't merely a biological response to a want which cannot be controlled.  If that were the case, then there would be no need for societal norms regarding sexual promiscuity.

Dr. Gutting is following a set of premises which are flawed.  In fact, the issue has not been settled by the Catholic voice.  The Catholic voice does not come from the mob, but  rather it comes from the Church.  It is the faithful who hear the voice and assent their will.  Not the other way around.  His premise is flawed and because of that, his position fails.

Being Catholic is not about believing part of the faith.  Being Catholic means accepting all of it.  There are parts of the faith which are not easy and they are a challenge, but that is because of human sinfulness.  If one looks beyond himself and sees the objective truth of the matter at hand, then he will see that the reasoning is perfectly rational and not that hard to accept.  True religious freedom is not found in spite of the Church, but rather it is found in the Church.  Mankind is freed from the bonds of sin and can most properly be a Christian when he accepts all of the tenants of the Church.

Dr. Gutting and several of his colleagues at Notre Dame should just take a step back and evaluate why they are at a Catholic University.  Notre Dame should take a step back and evaluate why they allow a professor to teach at a Catholic University in a manner which is not in keeping with Ex Corde Ecclesiae.  If Dr. Gutting, any other professor or faculty member cannot abide by the Vatican document on university education, then he should be summarily dismissed.  The Catholic university system is not a haven for teaching dissent and "free thought," but rather it is a place where Catholic principles can and should be applied.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae no.32 states:

A Catholic University, as any University, is immersed in human society; as an extension of its service to the Church, and always within its proper competence, it is called on to become an ever more effective instrument of cultural progress for individuals as well as for society. Included among its research activities, therefore, will be a study of serious contemporary problems in areas such as the dignity of human life, the promotion of justice for all, the quality of personal and family life, the protection of nature, the search for peace and political stability, a more just sharing in the world's resources, and a new economic and political order that will better serve the human community at a national and international level. University research will seek to discover the roots and causes of the serious problems of our time, paying special attention to their ethical and religious dimensions.
If need be, a Catholic University must have the courage to speak uncomfortable truths which do not please public opinion, but which are necessary to safeguard the authentic good of society.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae art 4 §3 goes on to say further:

In ways appropriate to the different academic disciplines, all Catholic teachers are to be faithful to, and all other teachers are to respect, Catholic doctrine and morals in their research and teaching. In particular, Catholic theologians, aware that they fulfill a mandate received from the Church, are to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church as the authentic interpreter of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

Truth isn't a subjective thought, but truth is expressed in the will of Holy Mother Church.  This is at direct odds with Dr. Gutting, an endowed chair at a Catholic university.  Where is the disconnect, Notre Dame?

Monday, March 19, 2012

She's a Heathen No Longer

Over the weekend, I was honored to become the Godfather to Irina Daniele Chamberlin.  There are times in one's life when pride is justified and this is one of them.  I am not proud of myself, but rather I am proud of her and I am proud of her parents for giving her the chance to live the entirety of her life as a Catholic.

Her life is in front of her 100%.  I was charged with two things upon becoming Irina's godfather.  First, I was her advocate.  I stood up for her and affirmed that she would make a good Christian/Catholic.  Secondly, I pledged to help raise her in the Faith of Jesus Christ.  The first was a momentary affirmation, but one not to be taken lightly.  I had to weigh the importance of her parents spiritual life as Catholics and be willing to affirm that that they would bring the baby up as a Catholic, teaching her along the way that Catholicism is the one, true Faith.  The second is a life long responsibility.  I am to share in the education and the upbringing of the child from a Catholic point of view.  That is not a charge I take lightly.  It is a great responsibility and one in which I am very happy to oblige.

As I said, her life is in front of her 100%.  She has the chance to grow and become a fruitful Catholic.  It isn't hard, but it is a commitment.  She will know that great freedom comes through baptism and that while I cannot make her decisions for her, I can and I will influence her as much as possible over the years, to be the best Catholic she can be.

Some will say that she should have the ability to choose for herself what she wants.  I will argue the opposite.  Why should I support her in choosing something which is erroneous.  Why would I help her to protest the Truth?  If Christ gave us the Church, why would I support her in choosing ANYTHING which is other than that which Christ gave us?  I cannot, in good conscience do that and I won't.  So, the freedom doesn't come in allowing her to choose for herself what she wants, but rather it comes from educating her about the Truth.  Interestingly enough, the only persons who argue that she should be able to choose for herself what she wants are those who do not believe in the Church.

Freedom of conscience does not mean freedom of thought.  Freedom of conscience means that one will freely choose the Truth.  If Christ says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life..." then it would stand to reason that following the Church He founded would be the way, the truth, and the life.  Freedom is not found in rejecting Catholicism, but rather freedom is found in embracing it.  For living one's life as a Catholic is the embodiment of living one's life as a Christian.  True freedom is found in being Catholic, not in practicing whatever one chooses for oneself.

When I look at baby Irina, I see hope.  I see hope for the future and I see hope for the present.  I see hope for the present, because it give me and it gives her parents another chance to teach the Truth of Holy Mother Church.  I see hope for the future, because her journey through life as a Catholic is kick started by virtue of her participation in the Sacraments.

My pledge is that Irina will have my support.  My pledge is that Richard and Jessica will have my support.  My pledge is that their other children will have my support.  Congratulations to the Chamberlin's.  Congratulations to Richard and Jessica.  Congratulations to Damien, Rhian, Ethan, Anakin, Marian, and Irina.  You are all part of the Church of Jesus Christ.  You all have the opportunity to be the future of Holy Mother Church.  You are all Catholic, not merely in name, but also in word and deed.  May God keep you all very close to Him.

On a closing note, young Anakin made his First Holy Communion yesterday as well.  For Anakin, I will say this prayer:

Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te.
In saecula saeculorum.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Time is Now

I was parusing the blogs yesterday and came across a not so subtle letter written in 1967; from a priest to his Holy Father, Pope Paul VI.  1967!  Think about it, this letter was written before the abuses could take hold and look at what we got.  I think that Rev. Gommar DePauw, JCD got it right.  Read on:

Your Holiness:

I still vividly remember that December 1, 1965 evening when Your Holiness personally blessed me and my work with the traditionalist Catholics who selected me to be their spokesman ….

I equally remember how Your Holiness literally begged me to urge the Catholics I was to lead in their fight for “TRUTH and TRADITION,” not to lose faith in the Church. And Your Holiness justified that request by stating: “Once the dust stirred up by the recent Ecumenical Council will have settled down, the Church will come out of all this with renewed strength and vigor.”

May I humbly submit that during this past year and a half I have labored as hard as any human individual could to do precisely what Your Holiness asked me to do: to keep the faith in our Church alive among those Catholics who had justifiedly become alarmed to the point of publicly asking themselves and others: “What, in the name of God, is happening to our Catholic Church?!” And may I add that one of the principal aspects of my efforts to keep that faith in our Church alive has consistently been the stressing of belief in the divine foundation of the Roman Papacy and respectful loyalty to its present incumbent, Your Holiness, Paul VI.

Already then, December 1, 1965, Your Holiness asked me to realize that our Church was going through “one of the gravest crises in her history.” If such a description of our Church’s condition was true then, how much more can the same be said of our Church today! To say that it has gone from bad to worse would be the understatement of the century.

Today's condition of the Catholic Church is beyond the point of doctrinal heresy, factual schism, and even apostasy. It is in a state of chaos and utter collapse resulting from the systematic destruction of first our liturgical and other traditions, and now our very beliefs and morals ….

In open violation of all past and present liturgical directives, the Roman Catholic Liturgy, once the envy of all other religions, has for all practical purposes been destroyed. And it gives us very little personal satisfaction to know that all those responsible for this destruction were in advance irrevocably anathematized by the still valid solemn decree of the Council of Trent: “If anyone says that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only, let him be cursed.”(Canons of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, n. 9.)

Coercive changes have subrogated our traditional practices with the “litniks”of our Church Establishment daily intensifying their attempts to subjugate the “people of God” to becoming “Protestant” Catholics.

Our churches are no longer Catholic in appearance, atmosphere, or aim. Tables looking like butcher blocks or ironing boards have replaced our altars in perfect harmony with the 16th century Protestant Reformation directives bent on destroying the belief in the dogma of Transubstantiation and the sacrificial nature of the Mass and replacing it with a symbolical trans-signification-communal meal.

Our Holy Mass has disappeared an in its place our people are offered a holy mess of vernacularized vacuum stripped of the surety, serenity, uniformity, and dignity of our traditional Latin liturgy.

Hymns associated with the anti-Catholic rebellions of Luther, Calvin and Wesley have unceremoniously uprooted our cherished Catholic hymns to our God and the Blessed Mother, while our uniquely Catholic Gregorian and polyphonic music has been discarded for sounds and instruments sometimes borrowed from the decadent milieu of young human animals.

Communion rails are ripped out and Holy Communion is refused to the “people of God” unless they stand (not kneel) to receive Him at the mention of Whose name all knees should bend, if one is still to trust the text of the “unrevised” New Testament we were given at one time in our Catholic institutions.

The Most Blessed Sacrament, to be reserved in “the central place of honor” according to the legitimate liturgical directives, is relegated to an obscure shoe box-type niche, playing much less than second fiddle to the throne-type chair of the presiding clerical Buddha set up in dead center of a religious flavored discotheque-barn, from which the traditional statues and Stations of the Cross have been shipped to the nearest auction gallery or antiques shop.

A steadily increasing number of once unsuspecting Catholics are suddenly realizing that, as we predicted more than two years ago, they are gradually, first with subtle and then with increasing bold changes in the liturgy, being ushered into a humanistic rite of a universal brotherhood meal expressive of the existentialist pantheistic concepts of an illuminated “one-world-religion” preparing the way for a Communist controlled “one-world-government.”

The aggiornamento changed dogmatic and moral precepts

But, not only our liturgical traditions have been destroyed. The very beliefs and morals of our Catholic heritage are now up for grabs in our so-called “Church of the Aggiornamento.” Steadily, day in and day out since Vatican II, silt has subversively been shunted in to the minds of the Roman Catholics in America.

Our “Catholic” universities, seminaries, and colleges are bluntly rejecting the religious character that justifies their existence, and their teachers of the “new theology” are calling into question, if not outright rejecting, every tenet of our doctrinal heritage ….

Sunday after Sunday our traditional dogmas and moral precepts are denigrated with pseudo-modern preachments of Socialism or worse emanating from our pulpits occupied by “new breed” clergymen, whose pathological obsession with sex has brought them to the low point of not only advocating the end of clerical celibacy, but even of condoning Fornication, homosexuality, trial marriages, artificial birth control, divorce, and abortion.

Our Church Establishment's press and radio and television presentations are totally captured by the same heretical forces. And our once respected nuns not only have become nonentity “nones” with absurdity of demeanor and dress, but are sabotaging the religious instruction of our youngsters and children by replacing our traditional catechisms with brain-washing religion (?) books subtly poisoning the minds of our coming generations into gradual acceptance of first a unitarian, then a pantheistic, and finally an atheistic philosophy of life.

While some of our American Cardinals and Bishops are way in front of these apostatic hordes of religious rioters, the rest of our Hierarchy are burying their heads in the sand, rocking their consciences to sleep with the proverbial “Everything will be O.K.!” or trying to compensate for the trust and respect they no longer command among their own Catholic people by hob-nobbing with those outside-the-fold merely to produce nothing but a superficial inter-faith harmony built on the swift sand of doctrinal compromise and false hopes.

Your Holiness, we traditionalist Catholics see the evil visibly extant and reject any portion of that evil!

Rejection of the Conciliar Church

Your Holiness …. taking a closer look at the “Conciliar” church forced upon us in the name of Vatican II, and simply judging the tree by its fruits, we are tempted to agree with one of your own immediate collaborators in Rome who has been quoted as characterizing the recent Vatican Council as “a sinister farce acted out by a number of good-for-nothings, some of whom, despite the gold crosses on their chests, don't even believe in the Holy Trinity or the Virgin.”

Your Holiness, we were, we are, and we intend to remain members of the CATHOLIC Church, and we refuse to become absorbed into any new CONCILIAR church! WE CONDEMN AND REJECT THE CONCILIAR CHURCH!

In spite of all the gigantic and expensive promotional techniques used to “sell” it, the “Conciliar” church fails to fascinate the public, and refuses to spiritually refresh the individual. Instead it is repugnant to the point of rejection so tragically evident in the all-time low of our conversion rate and religious vocations, and the pathetic trek of our most loyal and devout Catholics transferring the almost snuffed out candle of traditional Catholic beliefs and practices from our desecrated churches to the underground sanctuary of their hearts and homes.

Responsibility of Paul VI

Your Holiness, if no IMMEDIATE ACTION is taken by YOU, the public reality of the Catholic religion will phase out very soon. Already the memory of a “real” Mass is fading away from the minds of our younger generation, while their elders are growing indifferent or bitter over a Church which, if all her former beliefs and practices were so irrelevant as to be replaced so quickly and drastically, they prefer to forget as the biggest hoax ever on record.

Your Holiness, take one last, hard look at the dying embers of your Church and ours! And decide, bluntly and honestly, whether you wish to be a POPE, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the one true Church, or to perpetuate your current image of the BISHOP of Rome, the first among equals, with a place of HONOR but without authority within the ranks of a so-called “college” of Bishops …..

We of the C.T.M. still refuse to join the increasing number of Catholics all over the world who accuse you of being part of the team out to destroy the Church we once knew, and of being less interested in remaining the Supreme Pontiff of Christ's one true Church than in becoming the Chief-Chaplain of a new one-world religion in the service of a one-world government.

We of the C.T.M. still have pent up in the reserve of our hearts the enthusiastic loyalty we, traditionalist Catholics, exclusively set apart for our Supreme Pontiff. And we would like nothing better than to forget the past four years and shower our loyalty on a Paul VI turned into a new Saint Pius X who had the courage to face the reality of enemies within our own ranks and the integrity to condemn them. The first four years of your pontificate, Your Holiness, have been disappointing to the most loyal of your sons and daughters. But, late as it is, you still have the opportunity to once more be capable instead of culpable.

Practical suggestions

May we, the traditionalist Catholics whose unworthy spokesman I am, help Your Holiness out of the impasse your enemies cornered you into, by humbly submitting to you the following requests:

Vatican II must be annulled.

Publicly announce via all available international public media that you are again exercising the prerogatives of the Supreme Pontiff of Christ's One True Church, and that the interregnum of Vatican II is over ….

[The Vatican II turned out to be a horrible mistake.] Maybe it was precisely the fear of this horrendous possibility that caused the Holy Ghost to have Pope John declare from the very start that Vatican II, unlike all previous Ecumenical Councils, was not a DOCTRINAL Council but simply a PASTORAL one, thus leaving the door open for any future Pope to eradicate it from the records.

Your Holiness, when honest people commit a blunder they admit it and try to undo it as quickly as possible. Vatican II has so far produced nothing but confusion and disunity among the people of God's Church. It takes humility and courage to admit that even a Pope, outside the realm of his infallible ex cathedra definitions, can commit a blunder. But it is this kind of humility that endears a truly great leader to his subjects. Even so, you know better than all of us together that to lose face is nothing compared to losing souls.

Rescind that falsely interpreted and abused “Collegiality” decree IMMEDIATELY and PERMANENTLY. The burden of the Papacy cannot be shared and was never intended to be. To Peter and to him alone were given the keys of the Kingdom. Peter and Peter ALONE was appointed to strengthen the faith of “his brethren,” the first bishops who governed the primitive Church not just WITH but UNDER Peter. Stop wearing that Bishop's mitre and place the papal tiara back on your anointed head where it was placed the day you accepted to serve as Christ's Vicar and Supreme Pontiff. You accepted the job; you have tasted the privileges – now, taste the responsibilities; they are the two sides of the same coin. Give us another opportunity to let the world know once again that: “HABEMUS PAPAM!” We have a Pope!

Stop accepting decisions made by your alleged “advisors.” Stand on your own two feet! These advisors have led you and the Church into the abyss of their anti-Christ activity. They have forced you into a world position of being apparently at ease in such impossible situations as your praying at the pantheistic monstrosity of the United Nations’ “meditation room,” your denying to the favorite visionary child of Fatima the favor granted to publicly known, unrepentant examples of degraded womanhood, your hobnobbing and exchanging symbols of religious authority with leaders of what still are heretical or schismatic sects, and above all, your lending respectability to the leaders of international Communism, which is still out to destroy our Church and all other religious bodies for that matter.

Stop listening to the politically attuned and diabolical-oriented “advisors” who have infiltrated the highest echelons of our Church, exactly as Our Lady foretold in her last message of Fatima which has been unjustifiedly withheld from our Catholic people for seven years now ….

Listen instead to the genuine Roman Catholic, the traditionalist “man and woman in the pew” who want their Pope to act like a Pope; the same Catholic who continues to kneel when receiving his living God in Holy Communion; who still prays the Rosary to his Mother in Heaven; who still genuflects at the words “And the Word was made flesh by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: and was made man”; who still reads the Last Gospel of St. John in his or her worn-out missal; who still says the Leonine prayers after Mass for the conversion of Russia; who still abstains from meat on Fridays; who still goes to church on Sundays instead of Saturdays; in one word, the traditionalist Catholics who refuse to turn their backs on the Son of God for any son of man, despite the red or purple he proudly preens ….

Your Holiness! In the name of Jesus Christ, your and our Lord and Saviour, have the courage to disperse the false shepherds and listen to your own conscience! Prove once again to friend and foe alike that the gates of Hell did indeed not prevail. Stir the embers of a dying Church and, with gallant despair, make her once more a House of Refuge in lieu of a house of refuse. Bind instead of grind the gnawing wounds of Christ's Mystical Body ….

Your Holiness! If we do not receive a satisfactory answer from Your Holiness or at least are given an opportunity to discuss our requests and proposals with Your Holiness personally - within the next month, we shall consider our requests denied and our proposals rejected, and draw the sad and tragic conclusion that Our Mother the Church has temporarily abandoned the best ones of her children.

I pray to God and to His blessed Mother whose Assumption we commemorate today – and millions all over the world are joining me in this prayer – that such a dark and tragic day will never come. But, if we have no other choice, we will jealously protect the small but still burning candle of our traditional Catholic Faith, and patiently carry on our spiritual “Resistance” movement without the hoped-for papal approval ….

Holy Father! Do no reject the best and most loyal ones of your sons and daughters! But, even if Paul VI would close his soul and heart to us – Quod Deus avertat! – we will not reject the Papacy!

Abandoned by you, we would sorrowfully pray and wait for the day a new successor of St. Peter would open his arms again to those of his children whose only crime it was to live up to the admonition of your patron saint: “Even if an angel from Heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be cursed.” (Gal 1: 8), or of those other early Church leaders who taught us: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5: 29) ….

Prayerfully expecting Your Holiness' fatherly reply to this final anguished cry of today's “Suffering Church,” I beg to remain.

Your loyal and devoted son in Jesus Christ,

Fr. Gommar A. DePauw

In 1967, Fr. DePauw saw that there were going to be problems.  They had already started to manifest themselves.  He mentions factual heresy, apostasy, and the like.  He talks about the destruction of the structure of the Mass through hymnody and various liturgical actions (the vernacular as de facto normative) which are reminiscent of Luther and Protestantism (something I bang the drum on mightily).  He recognized the real issues of collegiality and conciliar thought.  Fr. DePauw saw the seeds of indifference.  Fr. DePauw saw the disunity.  It wasn't just a theory of hermeneutics to him.  It was a reality!  And despite the theories which cannot or will not be applied with regard to the hermeneutics of today, there is a concrete answer.  To objectively and authentically look at Vatican Council II and reapply them in light of tradition and not progression.

Some things have been acknowledged yet are largely ignored, such as the doctrinal status of Vatican Council II.  The problems with collegiality and the inherent issues with ecuemism.

In 1967, Fr. DePauw knew that the third secret of Fatima had to be made manifest.  Yet it took until the 21st century for it to be revealed (and some dispute that it was really revealed). 

What are we fighting so very hard today, as traddy Catholics?  We fight factual heresy and aspotasy, disguised as "religious freedom."  We fight for the music of the Mass to be restored (vis a vis Gregorian Chant).  We fight for Latin (vis a vis the actual normative language).  Fr. DePauw made it clear that there was not a small number of Catholics who clung to tradition?  What happened to them?  Were they suppressed so completely that they could not survive?  Were they dismissed as being antiquarian?  We will never know.  But it has fallen upon the new generation to pick up the torch of Fr. DePauw and those traditional Catholics and to continue to bang the drum.  To continue to ask the Holy Father, whoever he might be to listen to his conscience.  To open the doors which Vatican Council II closed.  To make straight the path and forge ahead.  This isn't the time to be abject.  This is the time to be active.  The Church is clamoring for a change.  The Church is looking hard, very hard for the leadership to come forward and to authentically interpret Vatican Council II.  The faithful who comprise the Church want to see authentic catechesis, ecumenism, and evangelization.  The faithful who comprise the Church want to see authentic liturgical actions.  The faithful who comprise the Church want their leaders to be strong of character and apply their well formed conscience as enlightened by Holy Mother Church.

The time of the 1960s has passed.  The time of social upheaval has proven to be a sham.  Those who hold strongest to it are those who are out of touch with reality.  They think that abortion and contraception are acceptable.  They think that divorce and unnatural marriage are acceptable.  They are trying to re-imagine the world in their own image and they have tried to do the same with the Church.  The Church is an institution, but the Church isn't bound by man, it is bound by Christ, who is her head.  The Church is to be a guide and her leadership who is charged with the same must lead.  This isn't a time for religious freedom and freedom of conscience.  No.  This is a time for authentically understanding that true freedom comes from within the Church.  That while we must tolerate the heresy and the heretic, we must constantly be catechizing.  That while we must tolerate the other Church, we must constantly be working to resolve the ecumenical issue and reassert the primacy of Peter.  That while we must tolerate the non-Christian, we must constantly be working to convert them to Christianity.

The Vatican Council II age of the Church has done nothing to educate the faithful, but rather the Vatican Council II age and her leadership has put the Church under a bushel basket and it is time to forgo the bad theology and the bad philosophy and return to an authentic understanding of just what the Church is and does.  We can't turn back the clock.  That is not what is being asked.  What is being asked is that the authentic aspirations of the Church be applied.

If Vatican Council II was not dogmatic, but rather a mode by which we are to dialogue with the modern world, then we must talk and act like Catholics.  Dialogue does not mean that the Church acquiesce, but rather that the Church provide that Guiding Light which counsels and makes straight said path.

There have been troubled times in the past, and Councils have been called to deal with those troubles.  There was no trouble in the 1960s, yet a Council was called.  The Church must discern why it was called and what was the purpose.  Was it to enter into a dialogue with the modern world?  Was it to reform the Church?  Was it to bring about a theological springtime?  The Church was in a good place in the 1960s.  Lots of vocations, lots of people assisting at Holy Mass.  Lots of people living Catholic lives and lots of people converting.  What was the motive?

That is what Fr. DePauw was asking of Pope Paul VI.  That is what we should be asking of our bishops and our Holy Father.  All the hypotheticals and theories will not mean anything until there is action behind them.  Nostalgia is great, but it isn't authentic.  We, as Catholics, must authentically meet Christ on the road and we must recognize Him Who Is before He disappears leaving us only fish on a beach.  The Church teaches us and Christ teaches us.  The time is now.  The time is now.

Monday, March 12, 2012

An Interesting Interview....

Michael Voris interviews Louie Verrecchio.

I think that it is interesting and I think that it is worth our time to watch.  Please indulge my whim and watch.

A special thanks to my friend, Heather for passing this on to me.

Roman Forum: An interview with Louie Verrecchio


Sometimes in our lives we are faced with very difficult decisions.  Sometimes we are face with looking at things from a perspective which is not our own.  I do this every so often and last week I had to do it in a way which made me very sad on one level and gave me a moment of clarity on another.

Being Catholic sometimes means that we have to practice charity.  Sometimes it means that we have to understand our own faults.  We have to be able to take a step back and objectively look at our lives and try to figure out what it means to live in this world.

Being Catholic is an all or nothing proposition.  Either we believe in all that Holy Mother Church brings to us or we don't.  If we don't, we can't call ourselves Catholic.  We should want to make others Catholic and expose them to the the Truth.  We should want them to embrace what we know.  We should want them to bask in the light of Christ to the extent that we do, as baptized, confirmed and communicating members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Sometimes it won't work.  And that is when we must do what Christ commanded us and to shake the dust from our feet and move on.  Sound harsh?  It is.  But sometimes it is clear that people can't be changed.  That doesn't mean that we stop praying for them and that doesn't mean that we don't circle around and try again, but it does mean that for a time, once in a while, we have to step back and remove ourselves from the equation.

Religious tolerance is just that, tolerance.  We tolerate the imperfection of the sinful, fallen person.  We acknowledge the attempt for sanctification, but we don't stop trying to convert them.  Sometimes, we just can't do it all at once.

I think that God, the Father has a plan for each of us, it is realized in the Church and through Christ.  But the sad fact is that because we are sinful and we are fallen, we won't always see it.  When we look at Protestants, we should see a reason for catechizing.  We should see a reason to better know the Catholic Faith.  We should have a strong desire to bring that Faith to them and to help them fully understand the truth.  We don't do this by allowing them to freely practice their belief, but rather we do that by sharing, commenting and ultimately, converting them from the error of Protestantism to the truth of Catholicism.

Protestants are Protestant for two reasons.  1)  They don't know any different, or 2)  They refuse to know, understand and accept the Catholic Truth.  This is engrained in them from the start.  To perpetuate the error is not freedom.  To perpetuate the error is to do disservice to our separated brethren.

When we speak of religious freedom, we are engaging in double speak.  On the one hand, we do recognize the importance of the ability to freely practice religion.  But on the other hand, there is only one religion which will gain us heaven and the beatific vision.  It is found the Church of Jesus Christ.  It is found in the Catholic Church.  By believing and accepting ALL that the Church teaches gains us true religious freedom.  And that is the great double speak.  Because we have parameters, because we have Faith in Christ Jesus, we come to know His Truth.  That isn't found in heresy, it can't be.  That is what Protestantism is, but rather it is found in the truth of His Church.  That is what Catholicism is.  And true freedom is joining ourselves to Christ is the most intimate way possible.

Sometimes we have to take a step back.  Sometimes we have to see what is right in front of us.  Sometimes being open to the Truth means that we must stand firm and bring the Truth to the world.  We shouldn't be ashamed or recalcitrant, but rather we should find freedom in submitting to God, the Father.  He has made covenants with mankind and Has fulfilled them all.  His greatest covenant was the Passion, Death and Resurrection.  That is the covenant which seal, and completes all others.  That is the message.  That is the end.  And that end,'s found in one place, the Church of Jesus Christ.  The Catholic Church.

May God keep you close.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Priest Has a Say

Fr. John Hollowell.  It is clear that he gets it.  It is sad that Planned Parenthood doesn't.  It's worth the watch.  His point is spot on.

I wonder what Cecile Richards thinks?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Request...

I just got this email from a good friend of mine.  Please join in this prayer:

Hi Everyone!

I want to thank everyone for all your prayers and support.  Tomorrow is my mom's surgery (double mastectomy); tomorrow we will also find out if any cancer has spread into the lymph nodes.

I would like to invite you to pray with my family and I especially tomorrow and tonight, too.   I pray that my mom's spirit may be calm; of course, we pray for good news tomorrow regarding the lymph nodes and we pray for the surgery itself and her recovery.  Tonight my mom is going to mass at her parish (in Ft Wayne, IN) at 7pm (6pm our time).  Her parish priest will be anointing her after the mass and then after than many of my mom's (and dad's) friends will remain to pray over her and for her and then remain at the church to pray a rosary.  So if you would like to join in and offer a rosary or any form of prayer during that time frame of 6-7:30pm that would be beautiful collective intercession for me mom.

I will send an update next week or so letting you all know how she is doing and what the course of treatment will be and anything else we might find out.

Again, thank you so much for all your prayers and support.  Blessings to you and your family as you continue to journey through Lent.  May this be a time for you to discover more and more what is truly most important and for you to become more and more your authentic self, the person God created you to be.


 He has some prayer warriors for friends.  So do I.  I would like to count the readers of this blog as part of that.  Please pray for Judy that tomorrow comes peacefully and that the surgery goes as expected.  Thank all of you for taking a small moment out of your day.