Life in a small town

Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 3)

So here is the unexpected part three – due to the length of part 2, I decided to make it three parts and just include the DECLARATION OF TRUTHS in this post. I really don’t expect anything in this post to be popular or politically correct, in fact some of the stated truths would have many in my family stone me in the public square or perhaps burn me at the stake. Anyway, Truth is what it is despite the dictates of fashion and of the thought police of our social media jungle.

I  will now restate here the recent 40 point Declaration of Dogmatic Truths which Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and a number of others have published in light of the current confusion of this pontificate and lack of clear direction and instruction from the Vatican. The Roman Catholic Church of the Living God must continue to be the bulwark of “Truth”, no matter what the pressures of fashion and the opinions of the world.

We are not the United Nations, and the U.N., the captains of fashion, industry, philanthropy, New Age Environmentalism, and Gender Ideology do not dictate the direction of Church doctrine and teaching, or at least they should not and it should be transparently clear that they do not.  The Church should not be “waiting tables” at the behest of worldly agendas and fashionable priorities like environmentalism, social justice, ecumenicism and heterodox religious inclusivity.

These Truths, the 2000 year old Magisterium of the Church, are part of what defines what it is to be Roman Catholic. I do not know what any person may be, good, bad, or indifferent, but absent belief in these 40 points of dogmatic Truth, whatever a person may be they are not Catholic, no matter what their private and public qualifications and position or state in life may be. This list of Truths is intended to address certain errors spreading in the church in our day. This 40 point Declaration of Dogmatic Truths has been published by the 5 Bishops named below on May 31, 2019.

“The Church of the Living God—The Pillar and Bulwark of Truth” (1 Tim 3:15)

May 31, 2019
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Cardinal Janis Pujats Archbishop emeritus of Riga
Tomash Peta Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Jan Pawel Lenga Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda
Athanasius Schneider Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Bishop Athanasius Schneider initiated and was one of the main contributors in the editing process of this Declaration.

DECLARATION OF TRUTHS:

1. Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FAITH

The right meaning of the expressions “living tradition,” “living Magisterium,” “hermeneutic of continuity,” and “development of doctrine” includes the truth that whatever new insights may be expressed regarding the deposit of faith cannot be contrary to what the Church has always proposed in the same dogma, in the same sense, and in the same meaning (see First Vatican Council, Dei Filius, sess. 3, c. 4: “in eodem dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia”).

2. “The meaning of dogmatic formulas remains ever true and constant in the Church, even when it is expressed with greater clarity or more developed. The faithful therefore must shun the opinion, first, that dogmatic formulas (or some category of them) cannot signify truth in a determinate way, but can only offer changeable approximations to it, which to a certain extent distort or alter it; secondly, that these formulas signify the truth only in an indeterminate way, this truth being like a goal that is constantly being sought by means of such approximations. Those who hold such an opinion do not avoid dogmatic relativism and they corrupt the concept of the Church’s infallibility relative to the truth to be taught or held in a determinate way” (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae in defense of the Catholic doctrine on the Church against certain errors of the present day),

THE CREED

3. “The Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ is not of this world whose form is passing, and its proper growth cannot be confounded with the progress of civilization, of science, or of human technology, but it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the unfathomable riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope in eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the love of God, and an ever more generous bestowal of grace and holiness among men. The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. This solicitude can never mean that the Church conforms herself to the things of this world, or that she lessens the ardor of her expectation of her Lord and of the eternal Kingdom” (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia [Credo of the People of God], 27). The opinion is, therefore, erroneous that says that God is glorified principally by the very fact of progress in the temporal and earthly condition of the human race.

4. After the institution of the new and everlasting covenant in Jesus Christ, no one may be saved by obedience to the law of Moses alone without faith in Christ as true God and the only Savior of humankind (see Rom 3:28; Gal 2:16).

5. Muslims and others who lack faith in Jesus Christ, God and man, even monotheists, cannot give to God the same adoration as Christians do, that is to say, the supernatural worship in Spirit and in truth (see Jn 4:24; Eph 2:8) of those who have received the Spirit of filial adoption (see Rom 8:15).

6. Spiritualities and religions that promote any kind of idolatry or pantheism cannot be considered either as “seeds” or as “fruits” of the divine Word, since they are deceptions that preclude the evangelization and eternal salvation of their adherents, as it is taught by Holy Scripture: “the god of this world has made blind the minds of those who have not faith, so that the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not be shining on them” (2 Cor 4:4).

7. True ecumenism intends that non-Catholics should enter that unity which the Catholic Church already indestructibly possesses in virtue of the prayer of Christ, always heard by His Father, “that they may be one” (Jn 17:11), and which she professes in the Symbol of Faith, “I believe in one Church.” Ecumenism, therefore, may not legitimately have for its goal the establishment of a Church that does not yet exist.

8. Hell exists, and those who are condemned to hell for any unrepented mortal sin are eternally punished there by divine justice (see Mt 25:46). Not only fallen angels but also human souls are damned eternally (see 2 Thess 1:9; 2 Pet 3:7). Eternally damned human beings will not be annihilated, since their souls are immortal, according to the infallible teaching of the Church (see Fifth Lateran Council, sess. 8).

9. The religion born of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God and the only Savior of humankind, is the only religion positively willed by God. The opinion is, therefore, wrong that says that just as God positively wills the diversity of the male and female sexes and the diversity of nations, so in the same way He also wills the diversity of religions.

10. “Our [Christian] religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven” (Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 53).

11. The gift of free will with which God the Creator endowed the human person grants man the natural right to choose only the good and the true. No human person has, therefore, a natural right to offend God in choosing the moral evil of sin, the religious error of idolatry, blasphemy, or a false religion.

THE LAW OF GOD

12. A justified person has sufficient strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, since all of the commandments of God are possible for the justified. God’s grace, when it justifies the sinner, does of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin (see Council of Trent, sess. 6, Decree on Justification, c. 11; c. 13).

13. “The faithful are obliged to acknowledge and respect the specific moral precepts declared and taught by the Church in the name of God, the Creator and Lord. Love of God and of one’s neighbor cannot be separated from the observance of the commandments of the covenant renewed in the blood of Jesus Christ and in the gift of the Spirit” (John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 76). According to the teaching of the same encyclical, the opinion of those is wrong who “believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behavior contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law.” Thus, “these theories cannot claim to be grounded in the Catholic moral tradition” (ibid.).

14. All of the commandments of God are equally just and merciful. The opinion is, therefore, wrong that says that a person is able, by obeying a divine prohibition—for example, the sixth commandment, not to commit adultery—to sin against God by this act of obedience, or to morally harm himself, or to sin against another.

15. “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God, which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 62). There are moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law which include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid certain kinds of action, inasmuch as these kinds of action are always gravely unlawful on account of their object. Hence, the opinion is wrong that says that a good intention or a good consequence is or can ever be sufficient to justify the commission of such kinds of action (see Council of Trent, sess. 6, Decree on Justification, c. 15; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17; Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 80).

16. A woman who has conceived a child within her womb is forbidden by natural and divine law to kill this human life within her, by herself or by others, whether directly or indirectly (see John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 62).

17. Procedures which cause conception to happen outside of the womb “are morally unacceptable, since they separate procreation from the fully human context of the conjugal act” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 14).

18. No human being may ever be morally justified in killing himself or causing himself to be put to death by others, even if the intention intention is to escape suffering. “Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s Tradition, and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 65).

19. Marriage is by divine ordinance and natural law an indissoluble union of one man and one woman (see Gen 2:24; Mk 10:7–9; Eph 5:31–32). “By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 48).

20. By natural and divine law no human being may voluntarily and without sin exercise his sexual powers outside of a valid marriage. It is, therefore, contrary to Holy Scripture and Tradition to affirm that conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God, although one or both persons is sacramentally married to another person (see 1 Cor 7:11; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 84).

21. Natural and divine law prohibits “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 14).

22. Anyone, husband or wife, who has obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom he or she is validly married, and has contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of his legitimate spouse, and who lives in a marital way with the civil partner, and who chooses to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of the act and with full consent of the will to that act, is in a state of mortal sin and therefore cannot receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity. Therefore, these Christians, unless they are living as “brother and sister,” cannot receive Holy Communion (see John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 84).

23. Two persons of the same sex sin gravely when they seek venereal pleasure from each other (see Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Rom 1:24–28; 1 Cor 6:9–10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7). Homosexual acts “under no circumstances can be approved” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357). Hence, the opinion is contrary to natural law and divine revelation that says that, as God the Creator has given to some humans a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the opposite sex, so also He has given to others a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the same sex, and that God intends that the latter disposition be acted on in some circumstances.

24. Human law, or any human power whatsoever, cannot give to two persons of the same sex the right to marry one another or declare two such persons to be married, since this is contrary to natural and divine law. “In the Creator’s plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, June 3, 2003, 3).

25. Unions that have the name of marriage without the reality of it, being contrary to natural and divine law, are not capable of receiving the blessing of the Church.

26. The civil power may not establish civil or legal unions between two persons of the same sex that plainly imitate the union of marriage, even if such unions do not receive the name of marriage, since such unions would encourage grave sin for the individuals who are in them and would be a cause of grave scandal for others (see Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, June 3, 2003, 11).

27. The male and female sexes, man and woman, are biological realities created by the wise will of God (see Gen. 1:27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 369). It is, therefore, a rebellion against natural and divine law and a grave sin that a man attempt to become a woman by mutilating himself, or even by simply simply declaring himself to be such, or that a woman may in like manner attempt to become a man, or to hold that the civil authority has the duty or the right to act as if such things were or may be possible and legitimate (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2297).

28. In accordance with Holy Scripture and the constant tradition of the ordinary and universal Magisterium, the Church did not err in teaching that the civil power may lawfully exercise capital punishment on malefactors where this is truly necessary to preserve the existence or just order of societies (see Gen 9:6; Jn 19:11; Rom 13:1–7; Innocent III, Professio fidei Waldensibus praescripta; Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. III, 5, n. 4; Pius XII, Address to Catholic Jurists, December 5, 1954).

29. All authority on earth as well as in heaven belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore, civil societies and all other associations of men are subject to His kingship so that “the duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2105; see Pius XI, Encyclical Quas Primas, 18–19; 32).

THE SACRAMENTS

30. In the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, a wonderful change takes place, namely of the whole substance of bread into the body of Christ and the whole substance of wine into His blood, a change which the Catholic Church very fittingly calls transubstantiation (see Fourth Lateran Council, c. 1; Council of Trent, sess. 13, c. 4). “Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine” (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia [Credo of the People of God], 25).

31. The formulations by which the Council of Trent expressed the Church’s faith in the Holy Eucharist are suitable for men of all times and places, since they are a “perennially valid teaching of the Church” (John Paul II, Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 15).

32. In the Holy Mass, a true and proper sacrifice is offered to the Blessed Trinity, and this sacrifice is propitiatory both for men living on earth and for the souls in Purgatory. The opinion is, therefore, wrong that says that the sacrifice of the Mass consists simply in the fact that the people make a spiritual sacrifice of prayers and praises, as well as the opinion that the Mass may or should be defined only as Christ giving Himself to the faithful as their spiritual food (see Council of Trent, sess. 22, c. 2).

33. “The Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the sacrament of Orders and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the Cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real, and substantial presence” (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia [Credo of the People of God], 24).

34. “The unbloody immolation at the words of consecration, when Christ is made present upon the altar in the state of a victim, is performed by the priest and by him alone, as the representative of Christ and not as the representative of the faithful. (…) The faithful offer the sacrifice by the hands of the priest from the fact that the minister at the altar, in offering a sacrifice in the name of all His members, represents Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body. The conclusion, however, that the people offer the sacrifice with the priest himself is not based on the fact that, being members of the Church no less than the priest himself, they perform a visible liturgical rite; for this is the privilege only of the minister who has been divinely appointed to this office. Rather it is based on the fact that the people unite their hearts in praise, impetration, expiation, and thanksgiving with the prayers or intention of the priest, even of the High Priest Himself, so that in the one and same offering of the victim and according to a visible sacerdotal rite, they may be presented to God the Father” (Pius XII, Encyclical Mediator Dei, 92).

35. The sacrament of Penance is the only ordinary means by which grave sins committed after baptism may be remitted, and by divine law all such sins must be confessed by number and by species (see Council of Trent, sess. 14, can. 7).

36. By divine law the confessor may not violate the seal of the sacrament of Penance for any reason whatsoever; no ecclesiastical authority has the power to dispense him from the seal of the sacrament and the civil power is wholly incompetent to oblige him to do so (see Code of Canon Law 1983, can. 1388 § 1; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1467).

37. By virtue of the will of Christ and the unchangeable Tradition of the Church, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may not be given to those who are in a public state of objectively grave sin, and sacramental absolution may not be given to those who express their unwillingness to conform to divine law, even if their unwillingness pertains only to a single grave matter (see Council of Trent, sess. 14, c. 4; Pope John Paul II, Message to the Major Penitentiary Cardinal William W. Baum, on March 22, 1996).

38. According to the constant Tradition of the Church, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may not be given to those who deny any truth of the Catholic faith by formally professing their adherence to a heretical or to an officially schismatic Christian community (see Code of Canon Law 1983, can. 915; 1364).

39. The law by which priests are bound to observe perfect continence in celibacy stems from the example of Jesus Christ and belongs to immemorial and apostolic tradition according to the constant witness of the Fathers of the Church and of the Roman Pontiffs. For this reason, this law should not be abolished in the Roman Church through the innovation of an optional priestly celibacy, either at the regional or the universal level. The perennial valid witness of the Church states that the law of priestly continence “does not command new precepts; these precepts should be observed, because they have been neglected on the part of some through ignorance and sloth. These precepts, nevertheless, go back to the Apostles and were established by the Fathers, as it is written, ‘Stand firm, then, brothers and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter’ (2 Thess 2:15). There are in fact many who, ignoring the statutes of our forefathers, have violated the chastity of the Church by their presumption and have followed the will of the people, not fearing the judgment of God” (Pope Siricius, Decretal Cum in unum in the year 386).

40. By the will of Christ and the divine constitution of the Church, only baptized men (viri) may receive the sacrament of Orders, whether in the episcopacy, the priesthood, or the diaconate (see John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 4). Furthermore, the assertion is wrong that says that only an Ecumenical Council can define this matter, because the teaching authority of an Ecumenical Council is not more extensive than that of the Roman Pontiff (see Fifth Lateran Council, sess. 11; First Vatican Council, sess. 4, c. 3, n. 8).

May 31, 2019
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Cardinal Janis Pujats Archbishop emeritus of Riga
Tomash Peta Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Jan Pawel Lenga Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda
Athanasius Schneider Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
1 Bishop Athanasius Schneider initiated and was one of the main contributors in the editing process of this Declaration.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

That’s the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.

Cheers

Joe

Freedom of Worship does not actually mean that all worship is equal or the same.

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Life in a small town

Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 2)

It is a truth, learned from life experience, and years at sea, that safe and accurate navigation requires a reliable point(s) of reference outside of oneself by which to judge one’s distance and progress towards or away from some objective, some destination, goal, or even in some cases some risk or danger. To navigate everything with only reference to oneself leaves one dangerously muddled and hopelessly lost.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

To me these days, what seems to be significantly lacking outside of the Catechism is a clear unequivocal statement of the dogma and principles which the Church Militant, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Christ’s Church, and Christ’s Mystical Body in this world, stands for and teaches in this world for over 2000 years now. Fortunately Bishops Schneider, Cardinal Burke and several others have taken a giant stride to blow away the bureaucratic smoke and mirrors which are being employed to obscure what is going on rather than to promote transparency and clarity of thought in our church’s current dealings with worldly matters.

This goal, of posting a clear re-statement of doctrine and dogma , that is our Roman Catholic “articles of faith”, resulted in a much longer post than usual, in fact this post ended up more than twice as long as many of my average pontifications, so I decided to split it into two with the prologue in this post and the 40 points in part 3, the next post, the distilled wisdom of the 40 Doctrinal, or Dogmatic Truths, our Roman Catholic “articles of faith”, which the Roman Catholic Magisterium has developed and preserved over the course of 2000 years of study, discussion and debate by some of the brightest folks in human history.

First I want to reference St. Peter Julian Eymard to illustrate that there is nothing new under the sun. The current crop of apostates are simply re-inventing a wheel which has appeared in various forms and costumes over the last two millennia, and which apostasies and heresies really got rolling with the Reformation beginning in 1517 when a German monk, Martin Luther, decided to “do it his way”, as retold in Frank Sinatra’s popular song.

The next big push was  the French Revolution, a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, elite French political dissidents, military leaders, philosophers, and academics used their nation’s citizens to raze and redesign their country’s political and religious landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy, the feudal system, and the Catholic Church.

As with all revolutions, it failed to achieve its goals and degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath with the various factions murdering each other with great abandon. The French Revolution played a critical role in shaping modern secular nations by showing the international political world the power inherent in “Love of Self”.

Sermon on the Mount -Carl Bloch 1890

But, back to Peter Julian Eymard. He was born in La Mure d’Isère in southeastern France, Peter Julian’s faith journey drew him from being a priest in the Diocese of Grenoble in 1834, to joining the Marists in 1839, to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856. So, a few pointed words from St. Peter Julian Eymard :

CHRISTUS imperat. Christ commands. No king has command over the whole universe; one earthly king has another equal to him in power. But God the Father has said to Jesus Christ: “I will give Thee all the nations for Thy inheritance.” And Our Lord told His lieutenants when He sent them throughout the world: “All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go and teach ye all nations, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you.

He issued His commands from the Cenacle. The Eucharistic tabernacle, which is a prolongation or replica of the Cenacle, is the headquarters of the King of kings. All those who fight the good fight receive their orders from there. In the presence of the Eucharistic Jesus all men are subjects, all must obey, from the pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, down to the least of the faithful.

CHRISTUS ab omni malo plebem suam defendat. May Christ defend His people from all evil. The Eucharist is the divine lightning-rod that wards off the thunderbolts of divine justice. As a tender and devoted mother presses her child to her bosom, puts her arms around it, and shields it with her body to save it from the wrath of an angry father, so Jesus multiplies His presence everywhere, covers the world and envelops it with His merciful presence.

Divine Justice does not know then where to strike; it dares not. And what a protection against the devil! The blood of Jesus which purples our lips makes us a terror to Satan; we are sprinkled with the blood of the true Lamb, and the exterminating angel will not enter. The Eucharist protects the sinner until time for repentance is given him. Ah! Were it not for the Eucharist, for this perpetual Calvary, how often would not the wrath of God have come down upon us!

And how unhappy are the nations that no longer possess the Eucharist! What darkness! What a confusion in the minds! What a chill in the hearts! Satan alone rules supreme, and with him all the evil passions. As for us, the Eucharist delivers us from all evil. Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat; ab omni malo plebem suam defendat!”
—St. Peter Julian Eymard

from the book by: Bishop Athanasius Schneider,  ‘Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age ‘ . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

So, something to think about. In every century, sin and a focus on worldly priorities has been painfully real in the life of the Church. St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of The Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, to name just a few, all faced corruption and serious division and even heresy in the church of their time. It is easy to give in to despair, and to speak so strongly of human failings that people may forget Jesus Christ and His immense and self-sacrificing love, as his death on the cross and his gift of the Eucharist make evident. We lose our Christocentric focus and both leaders and the led turn inward to focus on the self and the troubles of the mundane.

Holy Scripture says. “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin. He that hath no guard on his speech shall meet with evils.” (Prv 10, 19 – 13,3). This seems especially apropos of our current visible situation in the Episcopate across the world. Lots of words, lots of long winded position papers and working papers and summary documents in the flavour and nature of “BS baffles brains” with which I became so familiar when working in the secular bureaucracy.  Lots of words, and does anyone ever read all these words in context?  I quote again from “Christus Vincit”:

On a global scale, the deepest crisis in the Church is the weakening of the supernatural. This is manifested in an inversion of order, so that nature, temporal affairs, and man, gain supremacy over Christ, over the supernatural, over prayer, over grace, and so on. This is our problem. As Jesus Christ said, “Without Me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). The whole crisis in the Church, as seen after the Council, was manifest in an incredible inflation of frenetic human activity to fill the void or the vacuum of prayer and adoration, to fill the void created through the abandonment of the supernatural. Which is a void that can never be filled…”

and

“… efforts to fill this void have been tried, for example, in continual Church meetings and gatherings at different levels and in different forms—continuous synods. This is oftentimes busy work with a very pious mask. It is a waste of money; it is a waste of time that could be used for prayer and for direct evangelization — under the pretext of a so-called “synodality.” There is only one parallel in the history of the Church to such excessive episcopal meetings, and that is the fourth century, precisely when the Arian heresy was dominant and reigning. They would gather together and hold meetings, and in those times St. Gregory of Nazianzus said: “I am resolved to avoid every meeting of bishops, for I have never seen any synod end well, nor assuage rather than aggravate disorders” (Ep. 130 ad Procopium). Nowadays St. Gregory would be called a pessimist and would probably be disciplined for his uncooperative spirit.”

and

I will tell you a story. Once I participated in a meeting for the Asian bishops in Manila. They prepared a very long document, and so I said, “We have to shorten this document by half and, even then, no one will read it.” And the bishops were laughing. In my private conversations with several bishops, they acknowledged honestly that up to now they actually did not read the documents produced at these meetings, even though they received them. … One of these meetings lasted one week and produced a document, which, at least in our region, no one has read.

Later we got the financial report for this meeting. The meeting cost $250,000 from church funds. Imagine! Basically, it was $250,000 thrown to the wind. … The continuous meetings and assemblies of bishops: they are spending so much money, it’s incredible. If we would reduce drastically the frequency of these meetings, we could give millions of dollars every year to the poor around the world. To me, this is a sin that churchmen are committing today.

Even setting to the side for a moment the problems with these excessive meetings, which are ultimately a manifestation of Pelagianism and undermine the supernatural—to say nothing of the problem of the almost continuous stream of doctrinally ambiguous documents they produce—I believe it is sinful to spend so much money, which we could give to the poor in our world. 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

Indeed, “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin”.

Peter Julian and the many other Saints throughout the history of our church, knew that the Eucharist was key to helping Catholics live out their baptism and preach by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ. In our day, this desert journey since Vatican II, the loss of the sacred, loss of faith, and loss of belief in the Real Presence and even the loss of understanding of the true purpose of the Holy Mass is a immense tragedy, perhaps even one of the worst crisis in the history of our church.

Onward to the next part, the 40 points of clarity …

Cheers

Joe

Freedom of Worship does not actually mean that all worship is equal or the same.

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Life in a small town

Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 1)

Self Centered … that is to say “Centered on Self”, as in the “Anthropocentric”  thing, the preoccupation of all modern humanity but also pretty prevalent throughout history as well. I am thinking that anything smacking of the “Anthropocentric”  thing pretty much guarantees to be taking away from God. And absent God it is pretty easy to fall into the “Anthropocentric”  thing.

I have come to believe that being “self” centered always comes at the expense of being God centered.  That is to say, anything with even a taste of Anthropocentrism necessarily takes away something from God. So, I am thinking about a church that is “self centered” and about how that focus would manifest itself in the real experience of “church”?

I have written about this before, here,  and here, and other places, in relation to understanding the behaviour of a Catholic congregation as soon as the Mass is ended and the preponderance of evidence is for a significant loss of faith in the Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy eucharist.

If one truly believes in the Real Presence then our particular church and tabernacle cannot be anything other than GOD’s residence in this world … a small part of heaven rendered sacred, become the Holy of Holies of our earthly Temple by the Real Presence. And if we believed, would we act in this manner, this sudden devolution into social gathering or card party, like a picnic or BBQ  with everyone exchanging news and views and talking louder and louder and uproarious laughter and so on.

Would we act like this if we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of an audience with Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, found ourselves suddenly on the floor of the house of parliament in session with His Royal Highness King Justin the 1st presiding? I somehow really doubt that we would, we would be overawed and respectful.

How can we act so differently in front of the Absolute Lord and Creator of the entire Universe, who is so far above these worldly notables as to render them no more than sand fleas on some grand beach somewhere warm. Unless of course that we do not actually believe that He is really there … and that is not Catholic … we are not Catholic … if we reject one of the primary tenets of Catholic dogma.

And this  is the result of 50 years of Novus Ordo, with its emphasis on “fellowship” and a gathering around the table for a “family meal” … and with this “Mass” as theatre in the round and the priest as “Master of ceremonies” , the Toast Master if you will … and 50 years on we have completely de-sacralized the holiest sacrifice, the re-presentation of our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary.

That, the re-presentation of our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary,  is what the Holy Mass is supposed to be, not a fellowship gathering. That heresy, that sacrilege, came in with Luther and especially with Calvin. The Lord was out of the centre, shuffled off to the side so as not to interfere with fellowship, for a long time even the tabernacle was moved off to the side on some specious argument that in Rome it was done this way and it was all “In the Spirit of Vatican II”.

And then the sacred language of our faith was utterly replaced by the vernacular and most of the Collects ceased to be about supplication and begging for forgiveness for our sins, ceased to be about being unworthy and begging for mercy, and changed, morphed, into asking God to bless us for our good intentions … no mention of guilt or sin any more … going on 50 years and there is a reason that no one goes to confession now … and no one believes in the Real Presence.

The whole focus of the Mass changed from one of supplication and offering prayers asking for forgiveness with the priest at the front, all of us together facing God in the Holy of Holies and what have we now? Everything that rendered the Mass sacred, conducted in a reverential way as an offering to God has been rendered a mundane Sunday brunch with pancakes and sausage afterwards.

I believe that it’s because Catholics no longer feel they are guilty of anything. They seem to feel that they “deserve” heaven for eternity because they are “nice”, “tolerant”, “good” people. We have ceased to be Roman Catholics and become Roman Protestants, like every other of the 900 or so Protestant denominations … just a breath and a step away from one world “christian” church, a loose association of social clubs for people who like to feel superior and like to go to meet their friends every Sunday. It’s really all about “fellowship”, isn’t it, really all about us.

The modernist understanding of “anthropocentric” involves a big category error, perhaps THE big error, a huge trap, which virtually all modernist secular authorities fall into, along with their acolytes and believers, namely most of our polite western population and perhaps most of the rest of the world. This ERROR is founded on the presumption that there is no god, that god is just a silly superstition and that Anthropocentrism is a model of reality.

But the Truth is RADICALLY different. Is it not wondrously strange how just removing god from the picture turns a really bad thing into a good thing? Man as the centre and meaning of all things, as the pinnacle of meaning and the purpose of the universe? It was not always so universal a belief. Even the Wickedpedia, in the midst of gushing about man at the centre still acknowledged Maimonides.

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“Maimonides, a scholar of the Torah who lived in the 12th century AD, was noted for being decidedly anti-anthropocentric. Maimonides called man “a mere ‘drop of the bucket'” and “not ‘the axle of the world'”.[16] He also claimed that anthropocentric thinking is what causes humans to think that evil things exist in nature.[17] According to Rabbi Norman Lamm, Maimonides “thus deflate[d] man’s extravagant notions of his own importance and urge[d] us to abandon these illusions.”[16]

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In Canada, the CBC is, for all intents and purposes, the headquarters and agency responsible for all secular humanist socialist propaganda in this fine country, the pablum for the masses as they “speak for Canada”. And in keeping with their mandate, in the 1985 CBC series “A Planet For the Taking”, Dr. David Suzuki , whose doctorate, incidentally, is in genetics, not divinity, explored the Old Testament roots (superstitions) of anthropocentrism and how it shaped our view of non-human animals. Some Christian Protestant proponents of anthropocentrism base their belief on the Bible, such as the verse 1:26 in the Book of Genesis:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The use of the word “dominion” in the translation of the Genesis verse is controversial. Many Biblical scholars, especially Roman Catholic and other non-Protestant Christians, consider this to be a flawed translation of a word meaning “stewardship”, which would indicate that mankind should take care of the earth and its various forms of life.

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But these secular modernist views are only viable within a framework which denies the existence of GOD … the acceptance of the idea of “no god” is a prerequisite to the modernist worldview. And we find that in these days, even our church is moving to a man centered worldview, an Anthropocentric view of reality. The signposts seem clear, our church is moving in a direction which leads to prioritizing the things and concerns of “this world” over the things of eternity.

We are now seeing many signposts on the road towards a secular relativist church.  From Bishop Schneider’s book: ” … (in the) words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, which he wrote in 1948 and which are strikingly relevant and significant for the current situation:

“[Satan] will set up a Counter-church, which will be the ape of the Church. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content….

The False Prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church. Christ’s Church will be one, and the False Prophet will create the other. The false Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association, a world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all divine content; it will be the mystical body of the Antichrist. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the False Prophet. Satan will recruit him from our bishops.”

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

And also, quoting again from “Christus Vincit” by Bishop Athanasius Schneider:  “Cardinal Robert Sarah, in his recent book Le soir approche et déjà le jour baisse [The Day is Now Far Spent], speaks about the shattering reality and mystery of Judas in the ranks of the clergy.

The first chapter of his book is entitled, “Alas, Judas Iscariot,” where we read the following words: “The mystery of betrayal oozes from the walls of the Church…. We experience the mystery of iniquity, the mystery of betrayal, the mystery of Judas…. The evil of an efficacious activism has infiltrated everywhere…. We seek to imitate the organization of large companies. We forget that only prayer is the blood that can irrigate the heart of the Church….

The one who does not pray anymore has already betrayed. Already he is ready for all the compromises with the world. He is walking on the path of Judas.” However, even in midst of so many clerical Judases inside the Church today, we have to maintain always a supernatural vision of the victory of Christ, who will triumph through the suffering of His Bride, who will triumph through the suffering of the pure and little ones in all ranks of the members of the Church: children, youth, families, religious, priests, bishops, and cardinals.

When they remain faithful to Christ, when they keep unblemished the Catholic faith, when they live in chastity and humility, they are the pure and little ones in the Church. The following words of St. Paul, which aptly apply to individual souls, apply in much the same way to the Church, and to the Church of our days in particular: “If we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17).

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

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So I guess that is plenty for this post, perhaps too much. Next post is reserved for the clearest statement of Catholic Dogma, in a mere 40 points, that I have ever read, and most certainly clearer than anything of recent memory originating from the Vatican.  See you there if you are still interested …

Cheers

Joe

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Life in a small town

The Real Presence, Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity …

*Image: Christ the King (a.k.a. The Almighty or God the Father)by Jan van Eyck, c. 1425 [St. Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium]. This is the Deisis (representation of Christ in majesty), central panel in the inner section of the Ghent Altarpiece

So here is some more thinking and observation from Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” (which book has largely informed this post). He is talking about “interfaith” meetings held in Kazakhstan.

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“During an interreligious meeting in Kazakhstan, in which I participated, we spoke about the most holy realities of each religion. An Imam said that, for Muslims, the holiest thing is the book of the Koran in Arabic letters, and he stressed this by saying it would be an act of sacrilege were someone to dare to touch the Arabic Koran with unwashed hands.

Hearing this statement, I suddenly thought about scenes of the reception of Holy Communion in the hand, lacking almost any clear sacral sign and surely without washing hands immediately before. Such scenes do occur in the vast majority of the Catholic churches all around the world.

I then imagined a hypothetical scene. If one day this Imam were to visit a Catholic Church, and Holy Communion was being distributed in the hand to faithful who are approaching the altar in a quickly moving queue, he would ask: “What is this little piece of white bread?”

The Catholic would answer him: “It is Christ.” The Muslim would say: “This is surely only a sign or a symbol of Christ.” The Catholic would answer him: “No, it is not a symbol or a sacred object. The Lord Jesus Christ is really present there.”

The Muslim will continue to say: “That can’t be. Christ must be only spiritually or symbolically present.” The Catholic will answer: “No, Christ is really, truly present with the substance of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.”

The Muslim will respond: “Then this little piece of bread must be, according to your faith, your God and the Holy of Holies for you.” The Catholic would answer: “Yes, what looks like a little piece of bread is really our living God personally in His human Body and Blood, and not an object like your Koran.”

Finally, the Muslim would say: “The fact that you treat your God and the Holy of Holies in such a banal manner tells me that you don’t believe He is really present there. I am unable to agree with you that you really believe what you are saying.”

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

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In this speculative vignette we have a summary of what I see as the complete demystification and desacralization of our western Roman Catholic Mass, now, since Vatican II, almost exclusively celebrated in the modernist “Novus Ordo” form. We Roman Protestants have willfully abandoned belief in the Divine Presence. We have abandoned Divine Worship in favour of a “social gathering of fellowship”. We and our priests have mostly abandoned the sacraments and the grace flowing from Christ through these manifestations of his love for us in the world.

We have witnessed a steady fifty year march to desanctify the Holy of Holies in keeping with the Modernist direction moving to syncretism, the belief that all religions are the same and are all about us rather than a unique gift of Truth handed down from our Creator. Somewhere along this downward trail we have joined our Protestant brethren and have ceased to believe in the Divine Presence, and even in the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

We are steadily moving towards a “One World Religion” to go with our UN mandated “One World Government”. Did anyone notice just when the Vatican started answering to George Soros and the United Nations? Anyone? Did anyone notice just when the “Vicar of Christ” started teaching more about worldly social values and conservation and nature and global warming and started ignoring the eternal Truths of Jesus Christ and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as handed down from the Apostles these last two thousand years or so? Anyone?

As Robert Cardinal Sarah writes, “The Day is Now Far Spent”. We are rather like Malcolm Crowe in “The Sixth Sense” (1999 movie) wandering along through all these confusing and troubling events around us and all the time we are the dead … short days ago we lived, loved, and were loved, and now we lie in the green fields of the Lord, facing eternity, unprepared and unrepentant. It is not too late to wake up, not too late …

But God does not give up: Now Watch Him Work.

Cheers

Joe

Domine, quo vadis?

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Life in a small town

So What Now … My Church and My Nation … Wither goest thou?

Serendipity … random chance in action? Via The Lepanto Institute  I found a new and interesting  blog-site yesterday here.

The Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571

By way of an intro here are a few gems from the blog in which he quotes from books I have read and also from an author and a book I have never heard of before …

First, a couple of writers with whom I am very familiar, C. S. Lewis, and T. S. Eliot :

C.S. Lewis

“Perhaps I am asking impossibilities. Perhaps, in the nature of things, analytical understanding must always be a basilisk which kills what it sees and only sees by killing. But if the scientists themselves cannot arrest this process before it reaches the common Reason and kills that too, then someone else must arrest it.”C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, 1945.

and

T.S. Eliot

“The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.”T. S. Eliot, Thoughts After Lambeth, 1931.

and then a new writer (for me) who I have never heard of but looks very promising :

Padre Julio Meinvielle, 1905-1973

“The error of the Progressives resides in rejecting the necessity of working for the implantation of a Christian social order. In doing so they are obliged to accept the lay city, Liberal, Socialist, Communist. The root of their error and their deviation from Christian progress lies in seeking the alliance of the Church with modernity.”Fr. Julio Meinvielle (1905-1973) From the Kabala to Progressivism.

So, my disquiet with the current situation in our church, and my equally strong misgivings with the state of society and our culture of death, dismemberment and disregard for responsibilities both personal and national (witness Boy Justin’s NATO Summit efforts so far this week and this term) here in the frozen north, that is Canada and the direction Canada seems to be heading. What is one to do? Aided by my reading of many other’s comments in various blogs and so on, my thoughts are moving in a definite direction.

The Angelus, JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET (Museo_de_Orsay, 1857-1859)

Rhetorically speaking, is it OK to make like a medieval peasant, to choose the “Benedict Option” as some have advocated, and either not know or not care who is the current National Leader, and who is Pope, to not worry about the directions of church and state, but to remain faithfully and cheerfully ignorant of the day-to-day pronouncements that come  down from our betters in Ottawa, and Edmonton, and from the Vatican?

Must a Catholic read and understand all the latest encyclicals and exhortations and synodal papers and all the latest progressive malice and pronouncements vomiting forth from the mealy mouths of our political and bureaucratic masters in their tower of power somewhere isolated from the realities of day to day citizens, one of whom recently committed suicide on the steps of the legislature?

Or can we just keep re-reading the Scriptures and the Catechism and the Fathers and the Doctors (and maybe the occasional private revelation) until such time as God sorts this all out? I don’t think that average Catholic lay people are obliged to follow any of this stuff. Priests do this, and then they teach appropriately, or at least are supposed to.

But lay people are not obliged unless, of course, they are teachers, and so on. Catholic lay people have vocations to live in the world. Their obligations are few: obey the 10 Commandments, follow the commandments of the Church, obey the laws that they are taught pertain to them, stick to the demands of their state in life, perform works of mercy, etc.

This is really not that difficult. People are not obliged to go chasing after the latest news in prurient curiosity. As a matter of fact, that might wind up being a sin called curiositas, especially if it endangers one’s faith and distracts from one’s state in life through which the will of God is made manifest in our lives.

It is just because our church is Christ’s church that I disagree with any “serious considerations” of heading away from our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church towards one of the  Orthodox confessions or some conservative Evangelical congregation, or even some new age Pentecostal “feelings over objective Truth emotional consolation” because all those options also clearly lack the indefectability promised by Christ as in : “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”. This specious tack, of abandoning the church in her hour of crisis, smacks of “taking my toys and going home” when the going gets tough and real sacrifice and pain and love is required to hold to the Truth in the storm.

Albert J. Knock

This is rather like the “force of character” which Albert J. Knock was alluding to when he wrote: “The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.”  Running to another pasture is not the mark of a member of the Remnant.

I think it possible that a belief in the Indefectability of the Church is challenged by a Pope who seemingly formally teaches error, promotes the sycophantic heterodox and abets pedophiles, and is generally distastefully left  or progressive or modernist leaning. It’s the fact that the Pope is fairly clearly formally teaching error or at least is allowing the teaching of error that has really challenged my own Faith for the last few months, or even years, since shortly after Jorge Mario Bergoglio was crowned “Francis”.

But, there is no where else to go, as St. Peter confessed…except into the pit of our passions and emotions where Truth is most definitely not.  So we must suffer this cross where God has put us and push on with the history of the Papacy in mind and our Faith in Jesus Christ in the forefront. Okay. There it is. The age-old teaching, “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”

It was not the Second Vatican Council that dropped that teaching; it was others speaking in the ubiquitous and very suspicious “spirit of that council”.  I have written many times before about “The Spirit of Vatican II” as towards the end of this post . “By the “Spirit of Vatican II” is meant the teaching and intentions of the Second Vatican Council but interpreted in a way that is not limited to a literal reading of its documents, or even going so far as  interpreting in a way that contradicts the “letter” of the Council.”

One needs only look at Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” (which book has largely informed this post) to find the most well-known and disastrous statements, “In The Spirit of Vatican II” about “Humanae Vitae” (a famous council document) which were the Winnipeg Statement (Canada), the Königsteiner Erklärung (Germany), and the Maria Troster Erklärung (Austria).

I think those bishops and bishops’ conferences whose predecessors issued these fatal statements fifty years ago “In the Spirit of Vatican II” have to publicly retract these ‘Statements” and make reparation for these egregious misinterpretations of the council’s intentions which led to so much grief. Head in the sand ignoring of the evil will not make it go away nor will it be forgotten in eternity. I hope that it will some day be acknowledged and atoned for.

The more I look back at things that were introduced under the “In The Spirit of Vatican II” umbrella, looking back on my own youthful rejection of the church because of these massive progressive changes, this apparent denial of Truth, the more I begin to believe that “In The Spirit of Vatican II” was coined as a code phrase, a way for the Modernists and liberal secular progressives in the corpus of the church to say, “We couldn’t get the Pope to agree, but this is our REAL purpose. We couldn’t get the Pope to agree, but we’re going to do it anyway. So there.” I think I must have read something like this in someone’s blog post somewhere.

But I made my own choice back then, and I am responsible for that choice, and the subsequent wasted years. And, like me, the faithful left in droves because they rightly or wrongly felt that they didn’t leave the church, the church left them. And now, 50 years on, we have a Modernist in the chair of Peter … now the Pope agrees … Quo Vadis my church?

Looking back on that teenager who thought he knew what was going on and was so sure he was right in his opinion that he wasted 20 years, and God never gave up on him … I promise … Never Again! So what recourse do we laity have if any Pope were to espouse heresy?

Female priests, listened to proponents of that 15 years ago in Deanery meetings, denial of the Divinity of Christ, denial of Christ’s Body in the Eucharist, see it every week in Mass as the line hurries forward to grab the host and run. Do we merely fast and pray and turn the other cheek smug in the knowledge that God’s Will be done…or, as I recently read somewhere, is it St. Michael butt-kicking pro-active time? Apologies for the blunt truth, but I don’t know how to sugar coat it, or, from another angle, is this just my self-righteous pride talking?

John of the Cross writes about the dark night of suffering and abandonment … does everyone seeking spiritual growth and union with God have a dark night of suffering when all seems lost and there is temptation to despair? I rather think that there is no way forward that does not involve gong through some sort of spiritual dark night. And we lay people are much more free to choose our path, unconstrained as we are by vows and rules of obedience, so we have to choose carefully.

First, I figure that lay people have more options than Bishops and especially priests who operate under vows of obedience. These are, so far, hypothetical, all these alleged heresies. The Church is indefectible, always remember this, much worse has occurred in history and may well occur again. When those times arrive, make sure your soul is clean and you are doing penance. Get to confession often … at least monthly … we all really need confession.

From scripture, carved on a slab of wood hanging on my kitchen wall: “But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
-Joshua 24:15 (Douay-Rheims)

And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
-John 6:69 (DR)

Cheers

Joe

Domine, quo vadis?

My Lord, wither goest thou?

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Life in a small town

Canadian Elections and Paul: Romans 1-28 …

Oh well, I guess we will just keep swimming, eh?

So, I have waited a few days to let the emotions settle before commenting on our recent election results and the likely outcomes. I have been predicting exactly this election result for a couple of months now.

To say that we frozen chosen out here on the western plains are bitterly disappointed would be an understatement, and there is a apparently deep groundswell of resentment for being cast as the “Bad Boys” in all the election rhetoric heard through various Canadian MSM media outlets.

As well we note a large sense of being abused, and taken advantage of by all the “low information voters” in those assorted little “People’s Republics” east of the Manitoba border who universally depend on spending other people’s money for all the government benefits they enjoy and for which they reward the commies by re-electing them like nodding donkeys. The scam is called “transfer payments” and the purpose is to fund all the government controlled benefits in “have not” provinces out of the levy extracted from the defined “have” provinces … of which there apparently is only 1, namely Alberta.

Yves-François Blanchet

Unless, of course, the donkeys are French, and then they are voting for a party which has as it’s foundational platform the breaking up of Canada as a nation and the creation of the “New” country of Quebec. And now the French-fry’s in Quebec city are demanding even more, under the guise of some climate change carbon footprint scam.

I was born and grew up there (Montreal), a proud offspring of the “Quiet Revolution of Jean Lesage and all his descendants. Our family eventualy migrated to Ontario as part of the Anglo “Refugee” tide of the late 60’s. It is sad that the Quebeckers can’t truly be called “French Surrender Monkeys” because they have never had to surrender anything since the Plains of Abraham, the Anglos have been in servile support of “The Frogs” from tit to tit for well over a century no matter what the flavor of PC political BS which our various governments offer up in their ass-covering dances on the media.

The truth experienced from the inside is that the Quebeckers in their self proclaimed  “Maitre Chez Nous” program revealed that at heart they are the worst bigots in the history of Canada. The popular term of the day amongst Anglos was “Franco-Nazis. A more accurate depiction would be difficult to imagine.

The Ideology of the Bloc Quebecois is comprised of equal parts of Quebec nationalism, Quebec autonomism, Quebec sovereigntism, Regionalism, Republicanism, Environmentalism, and Social democracy. A better encapsulation of the philosophy of “Me First! And screw everybody else every way you can!” would be difficult to find in our political landscape these days.

Interestingly enough, there is a beautiful silver lining to the campaign by the Bloc, and by their provincial counterpart the Parti-Quebecois because of all the fallout back in the nineties surrounding the famous “Quebec Referendum”. We lucky few in the West now have a constitutional path to separation thanks to the desperation of the Federal Liberals.

Jean Chrétien, 1995 Prime Minister of Canada

Back in the day, under Papa Doc Trudeau (Justin’s dad?) of unlamented Petro-Can (70’s and 80’s) fame …  and our famous “National Energy Program” (early 80’s). So in the 90’s the Canadian Supreme Court, at the behest of the Federal Liberals under Jean Chretian, (who inherited the prime minister’s office from Papa Doc Trudeau), set the ground rules for how a province can legitimately file for divorce from Canada. Read about the famous “Quebec Referendum” here.

At the time of course they only imagined Quebec leaving … “the times they are a’changing”.  The Quebec Referendum failed by a fraction of a percent and the lines were exclusively drawn along language lines. The West today has absolutely no language lines to divide us and there is a unifying universal feeling that we are just being “badly screwed over” by the East. “Rapine, Pillage, and Plunder” comes to mind.

The East just doesn’t get it … and they don’t want to because to consider how the West feels about them forces the East to acknowledge what a huge part of their normal lives depend on everything flowing out of the west into the eastern coffers.  How will a universally hated Federal Liberal government appeal to the alienated West?

How will Eastern Canada deal with the visceral antipathy felt here in the West towards Quebec and Ontario? Nobody here cares spit about the Maritimes, because everybody in the Maritimes with even a little get up and go is already here in  Alberta, working for a living., not suckin’ off the Federal Government tit like their friends and relations “back home”. Do any of you Easterners have a rational answer to that question?  Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

The BBC recently reported “With 34 seats, Alberta takes up only about 10% of Canada’s parliament, the House of Commons. But economically, the oil-producing province contributes 17% to the country’s GDP. Then there are the equalization payments, the money that “have not” provinces receive from the federal government. Alberta contributes billions a year to the federal tax pool because of its strong economy, but has not received a payment since 1965.

That remained true even when Alberta was hit with its worst financial crisis in decades. Between 2014-16, an overabundance of supply caused the worldwide price of oil to plummet, which led to the loss of more than 100,000 jobs in the province and a full-on recession.

Peter Downing

That has left many Albertans feeling anxious and ignored, says Peter Downing, former soldier, ex-RCMP officer and creator of right-wing agitprop, and he has a new mission — the champion of Alberta separatism.

Since 2016, the economic recovery has been fragile, especially as several pipeline projects hang in limbo thanks to opposition from Eastern jurisdictions. That has left many Albertans believing that there is nothing for them in being part of Canada except to keep on getting screwed.

“We’ve always been okay to help other parts of the country when they’ve been in need,” Downing says “But when we’ve been in need, we’ve been nothing but kicked all the way around.”

Western separatism has a long history in Albertan politics, and it has seen a resurgence in popularity — not that that translates into political power — in the years since Justin Trudeau was elected, and as the energy-rich province faces difficulty getting resources to market and pipelines built.

While there’s already an independence party, Downing, who has started Wexit Alberta, is hoping to bring together the disparate elements, the frustration, and combine them to create a functioning party apparatus. Downing, who has done his time as a creator of inflammatory right-wing political advertising, has been on a speaking tour of Alberta, discussing Wexit — as in Brexit, not We-Exit — and its quest for party status.

So, yea, I am a little twisted right now about being screwed yet again for the umpteenth time by Eastern Canada and our sick “First Past The Post” electoral system that consistently sees communists running the show with only 30% of the popular vote.

Right now in the wake of yet another screwin’ by the East I have to work hard to keep reminding myself that we still have much to be grateful for here in Alberta, a quick glance at world news reinforces this, for example: would I rather be doing business in Lebanon, or Venezuela? So here, to share my quest for peace, is an iconic image from my Bing Desktop slideshow:

Sunrise in Alberta, October 2019, just keep swimming, Joe …

The other fact that makes this all bearable is the reality that this world doesn’t matter. This world only matters to the Policy makers, the “movers and shakers”, the Atheist killers, in Eastern Canada. What really matters is Eternity.

I am reading an excellent new book these days (when am I not reading, right?). It is named “Christus Vincit,  by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, based on 3 interviews with Diane Montagna, who I have posted about here.  In this absorbing interview, Bishop Athanasius Schneider offers a candid, incisive examination of controversies raging in the Church and the most pressing issues of our times, providing clarity and hope for beleaguered Catholics. Here is a brief quote from the introduction:

*****

In his inaugural encyclical E Supremi, St. Pius X remarked that so serious was the gathering storm of error at the beginning of the twentieth century that he would not be surprised to hear that the Antichrist was already on this earth. The same pope would go on to describe Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies and the herald of the end time.

The Church Fathers do not fail to give us a spiritual interpretation of the famous words of Our Lord: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Mt 24: 29).

The tribulation, St. Augustine tells us, will precede the great falling away. “These things shall be ‘after the tribulation of those days,’ not because they shall happen when the whole persecution is overpast, but because the tribulation shall be first, that the falling away may come after” (Ep. 199, 39).

The “Sun,” Christ, will be obscured in the hearts of men, and the “Moon,” the Church, will no longer win men’s hearts by her beauty. “In that ungoverned fury of wicked persecutors, the Church shall not be seen.” The “stars,” members of the Church who seemed reliable touchstones of orthodoxy, will fall from the true faith and the moral life. “Many, who seemed to be shining in God’s grace, shall give way to their persecutors, and shall fall, and even the stoutest believers shall be shaken,” St. Augustine tells us.

And yet, like the fall of the rebel angels from heaven, it is a sign of the coming triumph of Christ (Lk 10: 18). Whether Our Lord’s words do refer to our days or not, their resonances in the experience of Bishop Athanasius Schneider and so many others are undeniable, and his insights into the apocalyptic challenges facing Christ’s flock in these days count as essential reading for those truly alive to the signs of the times.

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius; Montagna, Diane. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age (Kindle Locations 75-89). Angelico Press.

*****

St. Paul always has something useful and incisive to say and his words ring true just as much today as they did way back then.

Paul:  Romans 1-28
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life a was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul Corrects Peter

5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,  that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

*****

Saint Teresa of Avila by Peter_Paul_Rubens

St. Teresa of Avila, the celebrated Carmelite nun, mystic and Doctor of the Church wrote a little prayer in the 16th century. It’s called St. Teresa’s Bookmark because, according to tradition this great saint carried it around in her prayer book, where it was found after her death in 1582.

So, if the events of today are driving you crazy, this prayer below, known as St. Teresa’s Bookmark, can help you calm down. When you wake up at 2 O’clock in the morning is your stomach all tied up in knots with worries? Is your mind racing like a hamster in a cage going around and around on a wheel?

Give yourself a break! Take a deep breath. St. Teresa’s Bookmark can give you some much needed peace and perspective on things!

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing;
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.

this world does not matter, all that matters is eternity. and in the same vein, here is a parting poem:

Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me
Through the consuming vastness of the sea.

Thy winds, O God, so strong,
So slight my sail.
How could I curb and bit them on the long
And saltry trail,
Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath
Of all the tempests that beset my path?

Thy world, O God, so fierce,
And I so frail.
Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce
My fragile mail,
Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,
Sweet silences abound, and all is peace.

Winfred Ernest Garrison, 1874 – 1969

Cheers

Joe

Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.

 

 

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Life in a small town

The Real Presence of our Lord and Redeemer in this world … the Arian Crisis rises again.

It appears to me that our modernist roman church is experiencing a “Paradigm Shift”.  We are witnessing, perhaps, the resurrection of Arianism, in modern vestments. Remember, nothing new under the sun … Arianism was a new Paradigm,  Pelagianism was a new Paradigm,  Jansenism was a new Paradigm, Albigensianism (Cathar) was a new Paradigm, Islam was a new Paradigm, the Reformation was a new Paradigm, Modernism was a new Paradigm. and each in its day was sincerely believed by its founders.

Our revisiting of the Arian crisis is slipping by in stealth mode as a new model world religion. It has become a simple question of Faith. I have come to the conclusion that “The Real Presence” is an article of Faith, not to be proved, because I lack the intellectual horsepower to come up with any “Proof” which would satisfy the demands of Progressive Modernism and it’s followers. It is a mystery. So I am not going to try to prove it. It is really quite simple and enormous at the same time. We either believe what Jesus taught us, … all of it, … or we don’t, and that pretty  much sums up one’s entire vision of reality and the direction of our lives.

This has been The – Prime – Question, the most important choice any human ever makes,  as long as there have been human beings made in the image and likeness of GOD living on the planet. We either choose to believe and trust GOD, or we choose not to and go looking for our own answers, and those answers have given us the world we live in and experience every day, and how has that turned out so far?

I have touched on the idea of the Real Presence lightly in some previous posts, in the context of the behaviour of nominal Catholics when in the Presence and in church in general, this is the problem of “Smorgasbord Catholics”. I have also touched on it in the context of Apostasy, in that the belief in the Real Presence is a cardinal tenet of the Catholic faith.  I suppose that looking at our current religious reality through the lens of Apostasy easily leads one to the view that there are few “Catholics” left in the West, and perhaps only slightly more “Christians”.

So what is Apostasy? Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of tenets of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. Apostasy has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, the beliefs of Christianity, sometimes excused as “going with the flow” and “not rocking the boat”.

For current examples of apostasy we need look no further than our local parish and ask the question about how folks “feel” about the Real Presence of Christ, Body Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. Another example would be the belief in the need for a regular approach (monthly?) to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for forgiveness of sins lest we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while being not in a state of grace occasioned by not having attended confession and therefore having mortal sins on our soul.

So, first, to believe in the Real Presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and secondly, to eat and drink this Body and Blood worthily, that is without sin upon you and in a state of grace. 1 Corinthians 23-32 is in every bible of every Christian denomination. Christian Truth is either all true, or none of it is for any sect. It is either all true, or is just another long running con game practiced by various gangs throughout history.

If that vision of Christianity is the actual truth then the World’s claim that Christianity is evil is true … it is all just “relative” … “I’m OK, your OK” and whatever you feel is good is good as long as it is what you want. And we are just as evil as the world. Many of us who have made a commitment to follow Christ and have drunk deeply from his redemptive hand have trouble receiving all the goodness of God because we always know who we still really are.

So, this is where my head is right now, I am thinking about just what is it that makes us “Catholic”, or not? And I am going to restate some truths, some cultural truths, or precepts that are at least 4 millennia old in the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely my Worldview, which from where I sit seems to be a view which make sense of ALL the events in our world, leaving none to be fixed at the expense of other people.

While some of these personal tenets of belief seem modern, this Tradition is as old as any on earth. These truths are the basic Judeo-Christian precepts related to reality and the existence and operations of evil in the world that Jesus and the early Hebrews, prophets and so on, going back all the way to Abraham, taught:

  • We are all living in a fallen world (nature and humanity are in a fallen state).
  • Evil began when Satan, originally an angel who was created by God for good, wanted to take God’s place (the very thing with which he tempted Eve—“you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5).
  • Satan is God’s enemy but not equal to God.
  • Satan took one-third of the angels with him in his rebellion. There are not two equal forces in the universe, but rather a King, and a rebel … this is a civil war, not a battle between equals. Where we find ourselves is living in that part of the universe controlled by the rebels and their followers, “the world”.
  • We are involved in a spiritual war between Good and evil—a war not for or against people but against the spiritual powers that humans choose to serve for Good or ill.
  • We are always serving one or the other—good or evil;  nothing is static and there is no neutral demilitarized zone.
  • Unable to affect God, Satan seeks to recruit and infect human beings, whom God loves, by using humankind with their weak free will for his rebellion.
  • Humans are made in God’s image and are special to God. The demons, the rebels, prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls and prey upon souls through their desires and appetites.
  • Though designed to be good, humans are given free will, which allows the possibility that human beings will choose, of their own free will, to do evil.
  • The laws by which all of creation was made prevail, both physical laws and human ones, and breaking them incurs consequences. Bad choices have bad results and “your sins have kept good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25).
  • Nature also groans and is affected by evil in part due to the sins of man.
  • There is far more good than evil in the world and far more chance that we will live today rather than die. This tends to obscure the consequences of bad choices.
  • God works so that evil tends to destroy itself—falling into the pit it digs for others.
  • Evil is irrational. Evil “rationalizes” evil conduct in the interest of self love and concupiscence. In reality, it makes no more sense to be offended by Scriptural and Moral Truth than to be offended by gravity or the nuclear processes at work in the sun.
  • There are authorities (in heaven and on earth), and the moral condition of those authorities influences those under their authority.
  • There is an ultimate divine justice in eternity. We are not made for this world, our citizenship is in heaven for eternity unless we choose to reject and repudiate our citizenship through self love.

All of these precepts are covered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but are also drawn from history and the Judeo-Christian Tradition. There is a Divine Plan and we are a part of it, “wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.” (I think that last bit is the Apostle Paul the Evangelist)

*Image: Blind Leading the Blind by James B. Janknegt, 2016 [private collection]

The Real Presence is Truth. We, each and every one of us are faced with a choice. GOD doesn’t “send” anyone anywhere. We choose our path in life. The “easy way out” isn’t. Unless one doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ, unless our choice is to believe that Jesus Christ is the “son of God” only in the same way that we are all sons and daughters of God.

This would be a rebirth of the oldest heresy, the zombie heresy which keeps coming back from the dead century after century. That is the Arian heresy and looking at what is going on around us in the world and in the church these days it becomes a much more focused vision when looked at through the Arian lens. the blind leading the blind is bad enough but what about the blind leading the faithful who can see?

We, as a church and as a faith, have been in crisis many times in history. The examples are legion … but let us only look just now at the one prime example of a time of great error namely the Arian crisis. In a very real way the apostasy we are witnessing today has it’s roots in the Arian crisis … which has never really gone away … Real Presence or just a memorial to a good man?

I will get to that time of ERROR and CONFUSION in a moment but first  we need to clarify an often misunderstood but important term. “indefectible” is a term so misunderstood that it is often cited by non Catholic Christian sects as “proof” that the Catholic  church is guilty of telling whoppers and as proof that it is NOT the True church founded by Jesus Christ.  We cannot let the confusion of our present days distract us from the words of Jesus Christ Himself.  We have it on his authority that the Catholic Church is “indefectible”.

The “indefectibility” of the Church means that the hierarchy and the faithful, and thus, the sacramental and social life of the Church, will always remain intact somewhere. The indefectibility of the Roman Catholic Church is the church teaching that it will endure to the end of the world and never become corrupt in faith, authority, morals, or sacraments.

  • “In the process of testing such formulations, the Church has moved cautiously, but with confidence in the promise of Christ that it will persevere and be maintained in the truth (cf. Mt 16.18; Jn 16.13). This is what is meant by the indefectibility of the Church . . . “
  • “The apostolic tradition in the Church cannot undergo any essential corruption because of the permanent assistance of the Holy Spirit which guarantees its indefectibility.”
  • “This is the meaning of indefectibility, a term which does not speak of the Church’s lack of defects but confesses that, despite all its many weaknesses and failures, Christ is faithful to his promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [the Catholic Church].”
  • “By this term is signified, not merely that the Church will persist to the end of time, but further, that it will preserve unimpaired its essential characteristics. The Church can never undergo any constitutional change which will make it, as a social organism, something different from what it was originally. It can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men. The gift of indefectibility is expressly promised to the Church by Christ, in the words in which He declares that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Some of the scriptural verses the Catholic Church uses to support “indefectibility” are:

  • Daniel 7:13-14, “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”
  • Matthew 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
  • Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  • Luke 1:33, “and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”
  • 1 Timothy 3:15, “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness.”

So our current smoke and turmoil is nothing new. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on this petty pace … I have to keep it ever before me … the Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia. As Hilaire Belloc famously said: “The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine—but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.” -Hilaire Belloc.

Oh me of little faith.  A prayer … O Jesus Christ, Son of the eternal Father, our Lord, true King of all things! “What didst Thou leave in the world for Thy descendants to inherit from Thee? What didst Thou ever have, my Lord, save trials, pains, and insults?” Indeed You had only a beam of wood to rest upon while drinking Your bitter cup of horror. Those of us, then, who desire to be Your true children, and not to renounce their inheritance, must never flee from suffering.

We know that “indefectibility” cannot mean everywhere, otherwise the fall of north Africa to the Moslems, or the schism of half of Europe during the Protestant revolt, would never have been possible. We know that it cannot be nowhere, as if the Church would disappear into an invisible ideal to be rediscovered later—as Protestants often believe happened to the Church from about 300 to 1500 AD.

The reason so many people are renewing their study of the Arian crisis is that there were indeed times during that terrible trial when very few bishops and priests were really Catholic, as compared with a vast number on the heretical side.

Quoted from Church Militant:  “In 2014, the outspoken prelate, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, remarked in an interview with Church Militant that the Catholic Church was in Her fourth great crisis. He identified the present crisis as “relativism reigning inside the Church,” exhibiting itself through “doctrinal, moral and tremendous liturgical anarchy.”

So many faithful Catholics are scandalized at the action and inaction of members of the Church’s hierarchy. It’s easy to say the Church weathered the storms of crisis before, and She will survive this one just as Her Spouse promised in the Gospel: “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”

There is, however, a confusion that has set upon the Mystical Body of Christ. In fact, confusion is one of the hallmarks of the Church’s various crises. The fourth century saw the rise of the pervasive heresy of Arianism — a vicious denial of Jesus Christ as God. Right now it seems common sense: “Of course Jesus is God! How could any Christian say otherwise?” But from the end of the apostolic age in the early second century and into the fourth century, it was a doctrine the Church enunciated to clear up the confusion of the time.

Athanasius made a famous quip about “You have the buildings, but we have the faith,” because most of the physical churches were in the hands of Arians or semi-Arians.”

So, it comes down to Faith … The Real Presence of our Lord and Redeemer in this world is a Truth which one either chooses to believe or chooses to disregard and the choice is made manifest in the realities of our daily lives and the society in which we find ourselves.

Cheers

Joe

The path less traveled …

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The Inner Struggle

Nothing good to say?

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274

St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers’ (S. Thomas, Summa theologiae, II-II, quaest. 3, art. 2, ad 2).

To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. […] Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.

Or, in a more modern vein “all that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.”

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals

The history of the Church teaches us that “truth is not necessarily found with the majority,” but rather in the “minority which has truly lived and witnessed to the faith,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals, said today in Rome.

Speaking at the symposium ‘Catholic Church: Where are you heading?,’ Cardinal Brandmüller said “when Catholics en masse consider it legitimate to remarry after divorce or use contraception … this is not a mass witness to the faith, but a mass departure from it.

Food for thought then … when is it bad to refrain from attesting to the Truth?

Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Rome, April 7, 2018 Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews

Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Rome, April 7, 2018, Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in Rome, April 7, 2018, quoting an encyclical from 1890, said: “Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: “Have confidence; I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33). […] The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power” (Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890).

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII taught: “All the evils which poison men and nations and trouble so many hearts have a single cause and a single source: ignorance of the truth—and at times even more than ignorance, a contempt for truth and a reckless rejection of it. […]

Anyone who consciously and wantonly attacks known truth, who arms himself with falsehood in his speech, his writings, or his conduct in order to attract and win over less learned men and to shape the inexperienced and impressionable minds of the young to his own way of thinking, takes advantage of the inexperience and innocence of others and engages in an altogether despicable business.”

Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman’s 1859 essay On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine. emphasized the laity’s role in matters of doctrine, and sought to distinguish what is a true sensus fidei (sense of the faith) of believers and what is not.

“In the history of the people of God, it has often been not the majority but rather a minority which has truly lived and witnessed to the faith,” he said. “The experience of the Church shows that sometimes the truth of the faith has been conserved not by the efforts of theologians or the teaching of the majority of bishops but in the hearts of believers.”

Cheers

Joe

Church Militant …

Having a majority does not automatically confer “truth” and “good” and “just” upon any particular sociopolitical direction of a society or group. Can we still tell the difference between right and wrong, or is our moral compass broken irreparably?

 

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