The Inner Struggle

A Crisis of Manhood …

The only thing for which you will not be envied, is the lowest place; therefore, the lowest place place  is the only one where there is no vanity and affliction of spirit.” (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Saint Therese of Lisieux, 1873 – 1897).

One of the great stumbling blocks to receiving God’s mercy is to live in the past. I am coming to believe that is what Jesus means when he states, in the Gospel of St. Luke, “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

We focus too much on our dark side, our ugliness, our past sins, and not enough on GOD who is the Light of Light. We need to have confidence in the consuming furnace of GOD’s Love and GOD’s mercy for us.

As I remarked in a previous post, I have finally understood that it is impossible for a proud man to give himself humility … it is impossible for an impoverished man to give himself wealth … it is impossible for a sick man to give himself health.

Therefore, to be humble, genuinely humble, I have to apply myself first of all to humility of heart and continue to deepen the sincere recognition of my nothingness, my weakness.

I can take full credit for all my sins and wrongdoing, evil is a natural part of mankind for all time. But anything good is GOD’s doing, a gratuitous gift. I cannot take credit for doing what GOD wants me to do and instructs me to do and expects me to do.. That is just following the Manufacturer’s Instructions.

An important part of that recognition is a sincere acceptance of responsibility for my thoughts, words, and deeds. Isn’t it funny how accepting responsibility shows up as the foundation of every attempt to know oneself.

I must acknowledge and accept my faults and my failings without trying to assign any other case or cause for them than my own miserable failings. There are no reasonable excuses for bad talk, or bad behaviour, or bad thinking. My bad is just that … my bad.

I cannot slough off responsibility for myself and my conduct by blaming others, or the situation I find myself in, or the actions or faults of others now or in the past. I am responsible and I am to blame for that evil which I do, or think, or say.

Regarding responsibility as a part of humility, we are not immune here in “Nice” Canada to the popular western phenomena manifested as part of the religion of narcissism.

Here in polite Canada, a country of “tolerance” and “non-judgement”, we have witnessed one of the greatest injustices, even tragedies, of the 20th century, namely the development of the cult of “repression” amongst Psychologists, Psychiatrists.

And the cult continues to this day, alive and well, even amongst those who have become practitioners known as “mental health” counselors, sometimes known as a Registered Clinical Counselors.

The cult of “repressed emotions” arose in concert with the development of psychoanalysis, which grew out of the theories of Sigmund Freud.

A more current phenomenon related to important aspects of Freud’s “repressed emotions” theory has been the “modern”  Western teaching of contempt for men in our popular culture, known as Misandry.

A very lucid analysis of the impact of this “feminist” religious dogma can be had in “Spreading Misandry” (2001) and “Legalizing Misandry” (2006) by Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young.

They have since come out with a third book which unfortunately I have not read, maybe I will get to it this year … just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

It is also interesting, and amusing,  that Paul Nathanson doesn’t get a mention in most search engines. It is affirming for one, like myself, who believes in a “feminist left bias” in our culture, and our media, to find again that anti male, anti conservative, bias in action in the “Wikipedia” search engine which I mentioned in another previous post. Katherine K. Young must have broken through the filters because she is a female PhD.

Anyway, the widespread  acceptance of Misandry in Canadian society is one of the defining factors in the breakdown of the family in this country and, I suspect, other major western nations as well.

Another factor identified in the breakdown of the family is the decline in marriage. One cause of this decline is the truth that women tend to marry up and men tend to marry down.

This is not a value judgement but rather simply an acknowledgement that women tend to marry men who make more money and/or have a higher education than they do and men tend to marry women who make less money and have less education than they do.

So one of the unintended consequences of the great leveling of the employment playing field in the name of gender equality, the big push to equalize how men and women are treated is that fewer women and men than ever before in history are finding suitable mates, and along with this trend we see a general devaluation of men and the scapegoating of men as the reason for every women’s failure to achieve self actualization.

Men are being relegated to the back rows as “punishment” for all the imagined sins of their forefathers, the “Dead White Males” of the repressive Patriarchy and are being effectively removed from the central role once culturally accepted in our society.

We see this especially in church, just look at who shows up in the pews. Where are the “Alter Boys”? Where are the male lectors, the male cantors? it is widespread and serious. Unless the Church, including all  bishops, priests and lay men begin to take notice and make the evangelization of Catholic men a priority, the Catholic Church in the West will continue to decay, as more and more men abandon the Church.

We are seeing an acceleration of decline, the slippery slope is getting steeper. As the scandal of homosexual religious swells at the heart of the failure of the clerical bureaucracy, the exodus of Catholic men from the faith is likely to continue and to grow, as men become increasingly casual about Catholicism, or any other denomination, as just another domain of politically correct male deviance, a domain of evil, a domain of Anti-Christ.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, before he stepped down, called for a “Year of Faith” that seeks to awaken humanity at a critical moment in history: “In vast areas of the earth the faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel,” the then Pope Benedict warned, “We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today … The renewal of faith must, then, be a priority for the entire Church in our time.”

We need much more than a “Year of Faith”. Having stepped down, it seems that he recognized the impossibility of human intervention and turned the arresting of the decline over to Mary Immaculate and Divine Intervention at the behest of the prayers of the remaining faithful … the Remnant. Pray, and keep on praying … do not stop praying …

“1AND he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint, 2Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man. 3And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying: Avenge me of my adversary. 4And he would not for a long time. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man, 5Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me. 6And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? 8I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? (Luke 18: 1-8)

Cheers

Joe

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

A New Paradigm … Final … the horse is dead … we wait and pray.

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari, the 93 year old atheist philosopher. Pope Allegedly Says Hell Doesn’t Exist in Latest Scalfari ‘Interview’ Nonagenarian atheist philosopher also claims Pope is honoured to be called a revolutionary.

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari, the 93 year old atheist philosopher, leading to more controversial comments that the Vatican has had to insist are not “faithful” to the Pope’s words.

In his fifth meeting with the atheist philosopher, Scalfari — who neither records interviews nor takes notes — said the Pope allegedly told him again that hell does not exist and that he is honored to be called a “revolutionary.”

The Pope’s purported comments were published Thursday in La Repubblica, the left-leaning Italian newspaper Scalfari co-founded and which the Pope has said is his favorite newspaper.

Hell does not exist – what exists is the disappearance of sinful souls,” the Pope allegedly said. “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and go among the ranks of the souls who contemplate him. But those who do not repent, and therefore cannot be forgiven, disappear.” (Wasn’t disappearing what happened to those who disagreed with the government in Argentina under Peron?)

Headlines were quick to spread around the world saying Pope Francis believes hell does not exist, a belief which would break with 2,000 years of Church teaching.

Saint Vincent of Lerins

Saint Vincent of Lerins, who died c. 445, was a Gallic monk and author of early Christian writings.

Vatican statements intended to clarify things smell very strongly of damage control and cover up … quick, scrape the poop off the rug before anyone notices … I have seen this first hand back in the day as a government hack when I wrote briefing notes to spin the latest cluster for my departmental masters. I have a strong feeling that the ducks are taking over the Vatican. My personal bias here is that Scalfari probably got it right, or close enough. But even if he did not,  the damage is done. Again. And again. And again.

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Seriously. I borrow from David Warren here:I know at first hand how the media work, (David also knows) and I know that Bergoglio came to Rome (from Argentina of all places) with a reputation as an adept media manipulator, fond of playing the crowd. He is no babe in the woods. He must know as I do that if a journalist seriously misrepresents what you say, you don’t give him another opportunity. Moreover, you publicly correct him in a way not only unambiguous, but sharp enough to get everyone’s attention — at speed, I should think, if you have millions of Catholics hanging on your words. Instead he lets the outrage stand.”

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This is going on and on … this is not an accident … and I cannot see a good end for my following this. I think that this will be my last post on this topic and these sorts of things. Let things go, into God’s hands, according to God’s plan, for me, prayer and fasting and penitence. It is Lent after all.

Fr. Hunwicke, over at his blog  quotes from an address by Pope Francis last year, a line which Pope Francis quoted from Saint Vincent of Lerins, writing in the 5th century – a contemporary of Pope St. Leo The Great.

The phrase referred to in Pope Francis’ address …  is the Latin eodem sensu eademque sententia“.

While my Latin has declined precipitously in the decades since I was a Tridentine rite alter boy, we are now graced, courtesy of Google Translate, with the ability to whip off translations willy-nilly as required by circumstances. To paraphrase an old joke from 60 years ago, Latin may well have killed the Romans but it failed to kill Google Translate.

 Pope St. Leo The Great

Pope St. Leo The Great was Pope from 29 September 440 to his death in 461

So we learn that  this Latin snippet, in English, expresses the belief that, or understanding that, something, or some teaching, or some doctrine, is used in the same sense and the same meaning”To quote Father Hunwicke over at his blog  (above):

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Eodem sensu eademque sententia: because the teaching of the Church cannot and does not change. Derived by St. Vincent of Lerins from the text of Saint Paul, it was used by Blessed Pius IX, incorporated in the decree on the papal ministry at Vatican I, and contained in the anti-modernist oath.

Very significantly, it was used by Pope Saint John XXIII in the programmatic speech he gave at the start of the Council … What the Council taught, so he laid down, was to be in the same sense, the same meaning, as the teaching of the preceding Magisterium.

Pope Saint John Paul the Great

Pope Saint John Paul the Great

Pope Saint John Paul the Great in Veritatis Splendor made clear that it applied to questions of morality as much as to those of dogma. used this same sanctified phrase in his 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia about the Hermeneutic of Continuity. I have recently repeated a series of mine on this phrase which you could find via the search engine on this blog.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Eodem sensu eademque sententia”.  If this phrase means anything at all, it must mean that the teaching of Familiaris consortio (1981; paragraph 84) and of Caritatis sacramentum (2007; paragraph 29), that divorced people who, having gone through a civil form of marriage, are in an unrepented sexual relationship with a new “spouse”, should not approach the Sacraments, cannot already … in less than a decade! … have metamorphosed or “developed” into its exact and polar opposite“.

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So, what else is in play here? Where do all these tooings and froings leave the authority of the Chair of Peter? I have some more to add but I will first quote from a commenter over at Father Hunwicke’s blog namely:

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Thank you. Well, Father, I’ve referenced it a bit differently to the same end in that in Catholicism today we have far too many who look at a cow and then turn, look you straight in the face, pull a Bible from their pocket, place their right hand on it and swear it is a motorcycle.  With handlebars.  But then that is why we mortals have only maybe a half a dozen original stories ever told, one of them being the Emperor’s New Clothes.

You have nailed it here.  Jesus either said something or He didn’t.

He (Jesus) made life a lot easier in many ways. He softened many unnecessarily hardened teachings. But when He took on the issue of marriage I think His eyes narrowed, he scanned left and right like we are told in our self-defense pistol classes, He tightened His gut and He tensed every muscle for a fight.

And He ENDED the “Mosaic Compromise” right there and then.  Fact is, even Mercy has a limit, and that limit is found on the Original Intent of God Himself. The Pope can’t have more “mercy” than the Son of the Living God.

One Man. One Woman. One Time.

“For I hate divorce” says the Lord.  As that’s the case, I really don’t give a Rat’s Backside for what the Pope thinks about it.  {Says the man who got in a raucous fight this very eve with his precious and wonderful wife of 30 years.}

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Well said, Brother … to paraphrase Shakespeare,Something is rotten in the state of Vatican City

That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This holy see has always maintained this, …

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith:

“The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [55] , cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion [56] .

What is more, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession: “The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled.” [57]

Then there is the definition of the council of Florence: “The Roman pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church.” [58] To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received. …

BUT

… For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter NOT so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

This would seem to overrule any notions of a “New Paradigm”, regardless of the perambulations of the Vatican Secretary of State in his “dialogue” with the secular media and other interested parties. So on the face of it, we seem to find in 21st century Rome two old heresies, the Heresy of Arianism, regarding the nature of Jesus Christ, and the Heresy of Pelagius, regarding the nature of man. With respect to amending doctrine, if  Jesus Christ were not God, but only a prophet, then indeed his “prophecies” might reasonably be amended in light of “new evidence”.

With respect to a “New Paradigm” and the perfection of man, given a perfect man, then a “New Paradigm” might not be an unreasonable possibility upon reconsidering past thought. Two old heresies flowering again amongst the night soil of the Roman Curia, like mushrooms in a dark sewer.

Now, Pelagius was a monk from Britain, whose reputation and theology came into prominence after he went to Rome sometime in the 380’s A.D. The historic Pelagian theological controversy involved the nature of man and the doctrine of original sin.

Pelagianism views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam’s sin, original sin, total depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation.

Pelagianism is overwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431). Pelagianism is not Catholic, nor is it even Christian.

Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc by Emil Otto (‘E.O.’) HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

In addition, there appears to be a second heresy operational amongst the curia in Rome. The second heresy is that of Arianism. From the book “The Great Heresies” by Hilaire Belloc, :

“Arianism was the first of the great heresies. There had been from the foundation of the Church at Pentecost A.D. 29[1] to 33 a mass of heretical movements filling the first three centuries.

They had turned, nearly all of them, upon the nature of Christ. The effect of our Lord’s predication, and Personality, and miracles, but most of all His resurrection, had been to move every one who had any faith at all in the wonder presented, to a conception of divine power running through the whole affair.

Now the central tradition of the Church here, as in every other case of disputed doctrine, was strong and clear from the beginning. Our Lord was undoubtedly a man. He had been born as men are born, He died as men die. He lived as a man and had been known as a man by a group of close companions and a very large number of men and women who had followed Him, and heard Him and witnessed His actions.

But — said the Church — He was also God. God had come down to earth and become Incarnate as a Man. He was not merely a man influenced by the Divinity, nor was He a manifestation of the Divinity under the appearance of a man. He was at the same time fully God and fully Man.

On that the central tradition of the Church never wavered. It is taken for granted from the beginning by those who have authority to speak. But a mystery is necessarily, because it is a mystery, incomprehensible; therefore man, being a reasonable being, is perpetually attempting to rationalize it.

So it was with this mystery. One set would say Christ was only a man, though a man endowed with special powers. Another set, at the opposite extreme, would say He was a manifestation of the Divine. His human nature was a thing of illusion. They played the changes between those two extremes indefinitely. Well, the Arian heresy was, as it were, the summing up and conclusion of all these movements on the unorthodox side_that is, of all those movements which did not accept the full mystery of two natures.

Since it is very difficult to rationalize the union of the Infinite with the finite, since there is an apparent contradiction between the two terms, this final form into which the confusion of heresies settled down was a declaration that our Lord was as much of the Divine Essence as it was possible for a creature to be, but that He was none the less a creature. He was not the Infinite and Omnipotent God who must be of His nature one and indivisible, and could not (so they said) be at the same time a limited human moving and having his being in the temporal sphere.

Arianism was willing to grant our Lord every kind of honour and majesty short of the full nature of the Godhead. He was created (or, if people did not like the word “created” then “he came forth”) from the Godhead before all other effects thereof. Through Him the world was created. He was granted (one might say paradoxically) all the divine attributes — except divinity.”

Essentially this movement sprang from exactly the same source as any other rationalistic movement from the beginning to our own time. It sprang from the desire to visualize clearly and simply something which is beyond the grasp of human vision and comprehension.

Therefore, although it began by giving to our Lord every possible honour and glory short of the actual Godhead, it would inevitably have led in the long run into mere Unitarianism and the treating of our Lord at last as a prophet and, however exalted, no more than a prophet (as does Islam) .

Arianism is not Christian by definition since absent the divinity of Christ there is no such thing as Christianity. It is impossible to have it both ways. On the one hand, you have  Bishops and Priests who disagree with the “New Paradigm” theory of doctrinal changes, and there are numerous examples, or on the other hand you have Bishops and Priests who do subscribe to the “New Paradigm” theory of changes to established magisterial teachings.

Those who espouse the “New Paradigm” theory are neither Catholic nor Christian by any reasonable definition of the terms and concepts. They are heretics.

quod erat demonstrandum

So, end of the subject, perhaps forever – we will let things unfold and draw our own conclusions. Let those with an IQ higher than room temperature also draw their own conclusions?

Cheers

Joe

Ad Aeternitatem …

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The Inner Struggle

What is Truth? Persona Christi …

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

Thinking a lot about Jesus Christ these days.  Not so much upset about the politics and the economy as I once was.

All these happenings … they all seem so unimportant these days … a distraction … do they spark Joy? Does this (whatever I am doing, or saying, or reading) bring me closer to God?

“No one at Calvary was consulting a book.”

(And no one at Bethlehem, either. There were no missals yet.)

And Jesus ordained His apostles Priests, and charged them with passing on the truth and teaching the whole world … Any belief outside of what Christ taught is little more than human pride … pride healing the wounds of our self love, our self worship.

Sincerely believing our delusion d0esn’t make it any less delusional. We think we know but we actually don’t even know what we don’t know. Our sincerity may render us less culpable but sincerity confers no veracity on error. When discovering a different collection of “truth” than that with which we are familiar we must choose whether to reject it arbitrarily because it is unfamiliar, or we can choose to investigate the truth with “good will”.

The angels brought to the shepherds near Bethlehem a message of “peace to men of good will“.  Our will is “good” when it is upright, docile, and resolute. Our will is upright when it is sincerely and entirely oriented toward good; our will is docile when it is always ready to follow every indication of God’s will; our will is resolute when it is prompt to adhere to the will of God, even though difficulties and obstacles arise, and sacrifices are required.

The Lord is continually urging us to generosity and abnegation in all the circumstances of our daily life, even in the smallest events. Only rarely in history is God’s will announced with great fanfare by heavenly hosts. Most often it comes to us quietly, in the silence, from unexpected sources and new discoveries, perhaps even new discoveries about things we feel we are very familiar with. And sometimes it is difficult because habit and the world resist change of any sort but especially change of cherished thoughts and certain beliefs.

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6“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! (Mathew 18 – 6-7).

Christ either rose from the dead and everything He taught is the absolute unchangeable truth, or He did not and we are the biggest fools in history, we Christians. So what will it be? True believers of Truth, or the biggest fools in history? Christ gave us the first priests and the sacraments of his church. After the resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples:

19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 19 – 23).

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What Christ is talking about in this passage is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession. And, in another passage we find according to the Gospel of John, the Pharisees, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, brought a woman charged with adultery before him. Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law.

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Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people crowded around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. When Jesus found himself alone with the woman, he asked her who were her accusers. She replied, “No man, lord.” Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” Forgiven … by Christ …

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23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  Priests of Christ … in persona Christi… Forgiven … by Christ …

Forgiveness from a priest of Jesus Christ is necessary … In Persona Christi … if you (the priest “in persona Christi”) do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. We cannot “bestow grace on ourselves; it must be given and offered” and we cannot forgive our own sins, they must be forgiven by Christ … In Persona Christi …

it is uncomfortable to consider the Truth of this statement … to have to choose Christ’s instructions, Christ’s teachings, OR to choose our own pride, that is healing the wounds of our own self love.

To choose, as my mother did, to die “unshriven” … to refuse the last rites and the visit of the priest, because in her pride she refused to “confess her sins to some man” and God knew she was sorry for them, seems a little like treating sin and heaven like a lottery ticket – maybe she was right, but we are talking eternity here … we simply can’t know. Do we pass through the gates of death while spinning the lottery wheel of eternity?

Likewise, only God knows where we are at this moment of death; no human creature knows. Who but God knows whether we reach perfect contrition at the moment of death or even when the moment of death is. Is a decision of such moment a reasonable opportunity for gambling?

We don’t know and certainly there is no man alive or dead who could say with ANY degree of reliability what is or is not required for forgiveness and even more importantly whether we will be forgiven or if those who have gone before are forgiven. Is this something we want to just leave up to chance?

Can we be perfectly sorry for our sins many, many times before our death? Who knows but that one might be conscious enough of our dying and asked God’s forgiveness with perfect contrition and sorrow? What are the odds that WE are that fortunate perfect soul who expresses and realizes perfect contrition for our sins and hence receives God’s own absolution and forgiveness without the intervention of a priest?

I don’t know. No one knows. This is why we continue to pray for the souls of the deceased since they are our friends and loved ones? Go to Mass often and offer the Sacrament of the Mass for those souls. Commit the souls of our loved ones to the Virgin Mother Mary and ask for her deliverance.

Take advantage of all possibilities (sacramental and otherwise) to gain a Plenary Indulgence for the departed souls. And with all this, trust those souls to the merciful arms of the Sacred Heart.

We simply don’t know how God blesses us and the departed souls. So, to me, it would appear that it is a better bet to trust Christ’s own instructions and seek out a priest in the confessional when one is confessing one’s sins and seeking absolution and forgiveness.

In Roman Catholicism, the priest acts in the person of Christ in pronouncing the words that comprise part of a sacramental rite, in the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Baptism, Last Rites, and so on.

For example, in the Mass, the Words of Institution, by which the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine becomes the Precious Blood. The priest and bishop act in the person of Christ the head in their leadership of the Church.

Pope Pius XII (1947)

Pope Pius XII (1947)

Pope Pius XII (1947)1:

40. Only to the apostles, and thenceforth to those on whom their successors have imposed hands, is granted the power of the priesthood, in virtue of which they represent the person of Jesus Christ before their people, acting at the same time as representatives of their people before God….(the unbroken lineage from Peter over 2000 years down to us today)

68. The august sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the cross.

“It is one and the same victim; the same person now offers it by the ministry of His priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different.”

Ecumenical Council Vatican II 1965

Ecumenical Council Vatican II 1965

69. The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ’s very person.

Bishops of Vatican Council II (1964)2:

28. … Priests, although they do not possess the highest degree of the priesthood, and although they are dependent on the bishops in the exercise of their power, nevertheless they are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity.

By the power of the sacrament of Orders, in the image of Christ the eternal high Priest, they are consecrated to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful and to celebrate divine worship, so that they are true priests of the New Testament.

Pope Paul VI (1967)

Pope Paul VI (1967)

Partakers of the function of Christ the sole Mediator, on their level of ministry, they announce the divine word to all. They exercise their sacred function especially in the Eucharistic worship or the celebration of the Mass by which acting in the person of Christ…

29. At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed “not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service”.

Pope Paul VI (1967)3:

29. … acting in the person of Christ, the priest unites himself most intimately with the offering, and places on the altar his entire life, which bears the marks of the holocaust.

Pope John Paul II (1980)

Pope John Paul II (1980)

Pope John Paul II (1980)4:

8. The priest offers the holy Sacrifice in persona Christi… Awareness of this reality throws a certain light on the character and significance of the priest celebrant who, by confecting the holy Sacrifice and acting “in persona Christi,” is sacramentally (and ineffably) brought into that most profound sacredness, and made part of it, spiritually linking with it in turn all those participating in the eucharistic assembly.

Typical Version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997)5:

875: … No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered. This fact presupposes ministers of grace, authorized and empowered by Christ.

From him, bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty (“the sacred power”) to act in persona Christi Capitis; deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy, word, and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate.

The ministry in which Christ’s emissaries do and give by God’s grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers, is called a “sacrament” by the Church’s tradition. Indeed, the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI (2007)

6: Celebrating the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday with the priests of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said that priests should prepare themselves thoroughly to celebrate Mass and administer the sacraments, remembering that they act in the person of Christ.

7 as modified by Benedict XVI (2009)8: Can. 1008 By divine institution, some of the Christian faithful are marked with an indelible character and constituted as sacred ministers by the sacrament of holy orders. They are thus consecrated and deputed so that, each according to his own grade, they may serve the People of God by a new and specific title. Can. 1009 §1. The orders are the episcopate, the presbyterate, and the diaconate.

§2. They are conferred by the imposition of hands and the consecratory prayer which the liturgical books prescribe for the individual grades. §3. Those who are constituted in the order of the episcopate or the presbyterate receive the mission and capacity to act in the person of Christ the Head, whereas deacons are empowered to serve the People of God in the ministries of the liturgy, the word and charity.

The change in Canon Law introduced by Ominum in Mentum resolved a discrepancy between the applicability of in persona Christi Capitis (“in the person of Christ the Head”) to deacons as well as priests and bishops. With the new Motu Proprio, in persona Christi Capitis applies only to priests and bishops, and thenceforth to those on whom their successors have imposed hands, is granted the power of the priesthood.

*****

So, any questions? Anyone? Anyone? Are we living in the best possible world, are all out humanist dreams realized and have we indeed reached the heights of virtual godhood as the secular humanist progressives would have us believe. Can we really learn everything we need to know about Jesus Christ from an article in National Geographic entitled “The Real Historical Christ”?

Is this world, this society, this culture of death actually the world of our fondest dreams or is missing out on the holy sacrament of Reconciliation and the sacrament of the Eucharist as taught by the scriptural Jesus Christ just possibly the greatest tragedy of the last 500 years? Christ gathers together and builds up … everything. Satan scatters apart and diminishes … everything.

*****

42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8 – 42-47).

*****

Your call I guess … would you be the one to throw the first stone? I sure wouldn’t.

Cheers

Joe

Christ didn’t say “Go and try to be good.” He said “Go and sin no more.”

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Amoris Laetitia and the spread of a moral heresy …

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

So, it is Sunday morning again, and as usual on Sunday mornings my thoughts turn to our one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Like all organizations or institutions involving human beings, our church has not been without it’s share of serious controversies and problems over the last two thousand years.

It is noteworthy, however, that it is the ONLY institution in existence today which has actually survived ALL of these controversies and problems over the course of the last two millennia and continues to this day – and so do the problems and controversies. It’s as if this unique institution enjoys Divine protection because it is not actually a human institution.

Anyway …

This is a “Catholic” post. This article references or is lifted mostly from Fr. Z’s blog. It is something of interest to Catholics especially but also to non-Catholics who may be interested in the shenanigans  currently eventuating in the Roman Catholic curia and the senior reaches of the Catholic Church administration. I post the whole thing here in its entirety because of the importance of the information and one can visit the original at Fr. Z’s Blog.

For those with a taste for history it should be noted that this modern “Liberal Progressive” vs “Conservative Traditionalist” civil war within the Roman Catholic Church has been ongoing at least since Vatican II in the 60’s and was most evidenced in Canada by the notorious “Winnipeg Declaration” or the “Winnipeg Statement of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops.

The Winnipeg Statement was the Canadian Bishops statement on the encyclical Humanae vitae from a Plenary Assembly held at Saint Boniface in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Published on September 27, 1968, it is the Canadian Bishop’s controversial document about Pope Paul VI‘s July 1968 encyclical on human life and the regulation of birth.[1]

A case might be made that subsequently the Canadian Catholic Church was in de-facto schism from Rome to the extent that even things as basically Catholic as the Canadian Liturgy and the Canadian Missal was not approved by Rome, that is, they had no imprimatur and that the Canadian Bishops basically thumbed their noses at Rome at that time and for several decades thereafter.

A very interesting take on this period can be found at Mark Mallett’s blog site “https://www.markmallett.com/blog/2016/01/29/a-tale-of-five-popes-and-a-great-ship/

Anyway, on with Fr. Aidan Nichols …

Aidan Nichols

Picture taken in Cambridge at Palmsunday 2014, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40226603

Fr Aidan Nichols, OP, (OP – Order of Preachers – Dominicans – Their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the “Domini canes”, or “Hounds of the Lord”) is without doubt the most considerable living theologian of the English-speaking Catholic World.

And he is as prolific a theological writer as Joseph Ratzinger (on whose theology he wrote a still normative guide, long before the election of Benedict XVI).

Now Fr Aidan has delivered a characteristic lecture on the crisis which has been precipitated by Amoris laetitia.

I can’t find the full text on the internet (yet), but the Catholic Herald gives a report. And Fr Zed reproduces the Catholic Herald report. I urge everybody (Catholics at least) to read it; and to take it very seriously.

*****

When Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP, has an opinion, it’s a good idea to pay attention.

Fr. Nichols is concerned about what is happening because of Amoris laetitia.

From the Catholic Herald:

Leading theologian: change canon law to correct papal errors

Fr Aidan Nichols, a prolific author who has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the Angelicum in Rome, said that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia had led to an “extremely grave” situation.

Fr Nichols proposed that, given the Pope’s statements on issues including marriage and the moral law, the Church may need “a procedure for calling to order a pope who teaches error”.

The Dominican theologian said that this procedure might be less “conflictual” if it took place during a future pontificate, rather as Pope Honorius was only condemned for error after he had ceased to occupy the chair of Peter.

[Honoris (+638), desiring to avoid the notion that Christ had two wills in conflict with each other, strayed towards the heresy of Monothelitism, the error that Christ has but one will. Constantinople III condemned him in 680. That said, later it has been concluded that the Pope didn’t formally teach error.]

Fr Nichols was speaking at the annual conference in Cuddesdon of an ecumenical society, the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, to a largely non-Catholic audience.  [Oh dear.]

He said the judicial process would “dissuade popes from any tendency to doctrinal waywardness or simple negligence”, and would answer some “ecumenical anxieties” of Anglicans, Orthodox and others who fear that the pope has carte blanche to impose any teaching.

“Indeed, it may be that the present crisis of the Roman magisterium is providentially intended to call attention to the limits of primacy in this regard.”[…]He has not publicly commented on Amoris Laetitia until now, but was a signatory to a leaked letter from 45 priests and theologians to the College of Cardinals. The letter asked the cardinals to request a clarification from the Pope to rule out heretical and erroneous interpretations of the exhortation.

In his paper Fr Nichols mentioned some of the same concerns as the letter: he noted, for instance, that Amoris Laetitia could seem to imply that the monastic life was not a higher state than marriage – a view condemned as heretical by the Council of Trent.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

The exhortation has also been interpreted as arguing that the divorced and remarried can receive Communion without endeavouring to live “as brother and sister”.

This contradicts the perennial teaching of the Church, reaffirmed by Popes St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  [Yes, it does.  AL is objectively ambiguous on this point, open to bad interpretation.]

Fr Nichols said that this interpretation, which Pope Francis has reportedly approved, would introduce into the Church “a previously unheard-of state of life. Put bluntly, this state of life is one of tolerated concubinage.” [Did you get that?  “TOLERATED CONCUBINAGE”.   Card. Kasper referred to “tolerated, but not accepted”.]

Cardinal Kasper

Cardinal Kasper

But Fr Nichols said the way in which Amoris Laetitia argued for “tolerated concubinage” (without using the phrase) was potentially even more harmful.

He quoted the exhortation’s description of a conscience which “recognizes that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the demands of the Gospel” but sees “with a certain moral security…what for now is the most generous response.”

Fr Nichols said this seemed to say “that actions condemned by the law of Christ can sometimes be morally right or even, indeed, requested by God.”  [Which undermines everything we believe about Christ.]

This would contradict the Church’s teaching that some acts are always morally wrong, Fr Nichols said. He also drew attention to the statement – presumably referring to attempts to live continently – that someone “may know full well the rule yet…be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin”.

Fr Nichols noted that the Council of Trent had solemnly condemned the idea that “the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace.” Amoris Laetitia seemed to say that it is not always possible or even advisable to follow the moral law. [AL is open to bad interpretations.  And those who wanted their heterodoxy and heteropraxis confirmed have indeed chosen the bad interpretation.]

If such general statements about moral acts were correct, Fr Nichols said, “then no area of Christian morality can remain unscathed.” He said that it would be preferable to think that the Pope had been merely “negligent” in his language, rather than actively teaching error. But this seemed doubtful, given the reports that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had suggested corrections to Amoris Laetitia, and was ignored.  [Nichols seems to have built a case.]

4 Cardinals

His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), and His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has publicly discussed making a formal correction of the Pope. However, Fr Nichols said that neither the Western nor Eastern Codes of Canon Law contain a procedure “for enquiry into the case of a pope believed to have taught doctrinal error, much less is there provision for a trial.”

Fr Nichols observed that the tradition of canon law is that “the first see is judged by no-one.” But he said that the First Vatican Council had restricted the doctrine of papal infallibility, so that “it is not the position of the Roman Catholic Church that a pope is incapable of leading people astray by false teaching as a public doctor.  [Yes, Pope’s can teach error.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t guarantee the veracity of everything they teach.]

“He may be the supreme appeal judge of Christendom… but that does not make him immune to perpetrating doctrinal howlers. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly given the piety that has surrounded the figures of the popes since the pontificate of Pius IX, this fact appears to be unknown to many who ought to know better.” [Like certain gnostic papalatrous writers at CRUX, whom I shall not name]

Given the limits on papal infallibility, canon law might be able to accommodate a formal procedure for inquiring into whether a pope had taught error. Fr Nichols said that bishops’ conferences had been slow to support Pope Francis, probably because they were divided among themselves; but he said that the Pope’s “programme would not have got as far as it has were it not the case that theological liberals, generally of the closet variety, have in the fairly recent past been appointed to high positions both in the world episcopate and in the ranks of the Roman Curia.[To our horror.]

Fr Nichols said that there was “a danger of possible schism”, but that it was unlikely and not as immediate a danger as “the spread of a moral heresy”.  The view which Amoris Laetitia apparently contains would, if it passed without correction, “increasingly be regarded as at the very least an acceptable theological opinion, and that will do more damage than can easily be repaired.

He concluded that the law of the Church will live on, because of those who “give the law life by faithfulness in love”. Yes, friends, there is now a danger of the spread of moral heresy.  You hear it and read it more and more often now. We need saints to rise up in our day.

We also need lay people, the rank and file, to put their noses collectively into books like the Catechism of the Catholic Church and get informed. Friends, get together with your friends and form “Base Communities of Resistance” against the “danger of moral heresy”.

*****

The more vigorously the primacy was displayed, the more the question came up about the extent and and limits of [papal] authority, which of course, as such, had never been considered.

After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council.

Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West.

In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith. … The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.”

Joseph Ratzinger
in The Spirit of the Liturgy

AND …

Raymond Card. Burke

Raymond Card. Burke

We as Catholics have not properly combated (the culture) because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time. This is a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention…

What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity…

Charity means speaking the truth. I have encountered it (not speaking the truth) many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ‘politically correct.’ But we cannot be silent any longer.” 

Raymond Card. Burke

 

As always Catholics, Pray, Pray, Pray …

Cheers

Joe

As just another weary foot soldier in the battle of eternity, we are not promised victory in this life. This is the Long Defeat. This life is Boot Camp. We are simply called to remain faithful. Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Semper Fidelis

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