Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Vatican II Pope

[1] Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. [2] By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God: [3] And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world. [4] You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

[5] They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them. [6] We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

 -- 1 John 4:1-6
"A Vatican II Pope" is the title of the editorial in America magazine introducing the pope's interview. In case you don't know America is a magazine of the Jesuits. It is nearly incomprehensible to me that the Jesuits have become the most liberal of all the major religious orders in the Church.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

In the days after the resignation of Ratzinger and before the election of Bergoglio I wrote...
Our last two popes both participated actively in the council and tried to steer the interpretation of the  council afterwards. What will be the relationship of the next pope to the council?

This will be one of the key questions that the next pope will need to answer early on in his papacy. And he will need to continually re-address this issue throughout his papacy, just as Benedict had to.
Well, Pope Francis has certainly "continually re-addressed" Vatican II since the very moment of his election.

The America magazine editorial says:
"[Francis] has been putting [the council’s basic message] into action by word and deed ever since his election."
In other words the documents of Vatican II are not important. What is important is "the council’s basic message" which is "the spirit of Vatican II".

Pope Benedict said:
"The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts."
Pope Francis said:
"The council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit, but after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit in the council told us to do?" .... "There are voices saying we should go back. This is called being hard-headed, this is called wanting to domesticate the Holy Spirit, this is called becoming 'foolish and slow of heart.'"
I have my doubts as to the nature of the "spirit" of Vatican II. I'm convinced that it has very little if anything to do with the Holy Spirit.

Despite what others may say, Francis is driving a wedge through the Church. He is drawing a line between the pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II Church.

If I have to choose, then there is no doubt that I choose the Church of Jesus Christ and the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church and the Saints and the Angels and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pray for the Pope and the Holy Catholic Church.

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Related blog articles:

Peter, do you love me?

Peter, do you love me?
 -- from The Gospel according to St. John 21:15-17
As Catholics, we answer to only one authority and that is Jesus Christ. The pope is called to be the vicar of Christ on earth. One he ceases to perform that function he is still the pope, but he loses his authority over the Catholic faithful.

These are terrible times. I see how faithful and orthodox Catholics like Michael Voris and Father Frank Pavone are struggling to defend this pope. We should not be put into this torturous situation.

This is a cross that the whole Catholic Church must bear. We must carry this man on our backs with our prayers.

I do not hold out much hope and I shudder to think of what is yet to come. At some point all orthodox Catholics will have to raise their voices in opposition to this pope if he continues along his current path, which despite all of our prayers I fear he will.

Michael Voris did an excellent job today of gently criticizing the pope's interview, while still maintaining his loyalty to the Chair of Peter. God bless him for that.

This is a no win situation for him and all Catholics -- especially those who think they have something to gain. They don't realize that they have everything to lose in the eyes of God. They risk losing their souls by being "led into temptation".
"God forbid that the voice of Peter ever be silent in that See, where, living and presiding perpetually, he presents the truth of the faith to those in search of it. A lengthier forbearance in such matters is not safe, because it is almost just as much of a crime to close one’s eyes in such cases, as it is to preach such offenses to religion. Therefore, such a wound must be cut away, a wound by which not one member is hurt, but the entire body of the church is damaged. And with the aid of divine piety, We must take care that, with the dissensions removed, the Catholic faith be preserved inviolate, and that those whose faith has been proved may be fortified by our authority once those who defend perverse teachings have been recalled from error."
God forbid! These are the words of Pope Pius VI were written in 1786 in response to the heretical teachings of some Italian bishops. (From the Papal Bull "Auctorem Fidei". english latin)

Who are you to judge? Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam. [Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mt 16:18]

Peter, do you love me? 

Feed my sheep.

In this beautiful gregorian chant one can hear Peter pleading and begging with Christ in a proto-operatic style, "Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee." One can feel him falling to his knees and the tears streaming down his face.

St. Peter, ora pro nobis.

God have mercy on our souls.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A retrospective on Benedict XVI

[11] There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance with them that shall be in the latter end. [12] I Ecclesiastes was king over Israel in Jerusalem, [13] And I proposed in my mind to seek and search out wisely concerning all things that are done under the sun. This painful occupation hath God given to the children of men, to be exercised therein. [14] I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold all is vanity, and vexation of spirit. [15] The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite.
 -- Ecclesiastes 1:11-15
I was re-reading my posts from the time that Benedict announced his retirement until now. In this short time, the Church has changed; the world has changed.

Before the election of Francis, my prayer was "for a new Pope that is as un-cool as Benedict. Who sees his mission not in making the Church popular with growing numbers, but in protecting and preserving the souls of the few that truly believe in the teachings of the Church."

Instead we have the uber-cool Francis. (My motto is "don't be cool, be Catholic", which is obviously not the motto of Francis.)

My opinion of Benedict has changed because Francis is the "fruit" of Vatican II, which Benedict/Ratzinger was so deeply involved in. At the Council he was the chief peritus (theological adviser) of the highly influential Archbishop of Cologne, Joseph Frings.
At the council, Ratzinger was much sought after as a rising theological star. He worked closely with senior Jesuits, including Karl Rahner, Alois Grillmeier, and Otto Semmelroth, all of whom kept in steady communication with the German bishops. The German Cardinals Josef Frings of Cologne and Julius Döpfner of Munich and Freising, strongly supported by theologian-bishops such as the future Cardinal Hermann Volk, exercised a powerful influence, generally opposing the schemas drawn up by the preparatory commission under the guidance of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Father Sebastian Tromp, S.J.

Late in the first session Ratzinger was named a theological adviser to Cardinal Frings, a position he held until the end of the council. Many of his biographers suspect that he drafted Frings' speech of November 8, 1963, vehemently attacking the procedures of the Holy Office. In combination with other events, this speech undoubtedly influenced Paul VI to restructure the Holy Office and give it a new name, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
I now think of Benedict as arrogant, because he thought that he could control the interpretation of the council documents. Francis proves that this is not the case. On the one hand. the council documents are open to widely diverging interpretations; on the other hand, it seems obvious now that they were written that way for the purpose of gradually implementing changes which most of the bishops at the time of the council could not foresee.

This was how Ratzinger and others were able to manufacture a revolution in the Church which was disguised as a minor reform -- not even that. It was described as merely re-stating the timeless teachings of the Catholic Church in a manner that would make it more comprehensible to "modern" man. (As if this were some new species that did not exist in the prior history of the Church.)

Notice the mention above of Ratzinger's role in the abolition of the Holy Office. This was once known as the Inquisition and after the council became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And guess who was put in charge of the CDF under John Paul II? That's right it was Ratzinger himself.

The reason that it was necessary to abolish the Holy Office was that it was the source of discipline in the Church prior to VC II. For example it blacklisted books by theologians which contained heretical materials.
On 7 December 1965, Pope Paul VI issued the Motu Proprio "Integrae servandae" that re-constituted the Holy Office as the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."[42] The Index was not listed as being a part of the newly constituted Congregation's competence, leading to questioning whether it still was. This question was put to Cardinal Ottaviani—Pro-Prefect of the Congregation—who responded in the negative.[43] The Cardinal also indicated in his response that there was going to be a change in the Index soon.

A Notification of 14 June 1966 from the Congregation, which was published on the 15 June 1966 issue of the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano,[44] announced that, while the Index maintained its moral force, in that it taught Christians to beware, as required by the natural law itself, of those writings that could endanger faith and morality, it no longer had the force of ecclesiastical positive law with the associated penalties
The reason you don't see any ex-communications of pro-abortion politicians is because there is no Holy Office. The CDF is not the Holy Office. It speaks, but the bishops do not listen. This was the intent of Ratzinger and his fellow revolutionaries.

Let's put an end once and for all to any sort of naive view of the post VC II Church. The current state of the Church is not an accident -- it happened by design. And one of the architects was the theologian Joseph Ratzinger.

It's all a matter of degrees.

Ratzinger preferred to turn the temperature of the water up gradually, so that the frogs would not jump out. And then let the water simmer.

While Francis simply sets the burners to "high" in order to quickly achieve a "messy" state of full boiling -- betting that the frogs will be caught off guard and will never have a chance to jump out of the proverbial pot.

If the Holy Office had never been abolished, then priests like Bergoglio would never have had a chance to become bishops, much less archbishops, much less cardinals, much less a pope.

Remember that it was the cardinals appointed by John Paul II and Benedict which elected Bergoglio....

Friday, September 20, 2013

The damage is done

[8] But the tongue no man can tame, an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison. [9] By it we bless God and the Father: and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God. [10] Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
 -- Epistle Of Saint James Ch. 3:8-10
Today, the headline from LifeSiteNews is "Pope condemns abortion in strongest pro-life comments to date".
The comments come one day after the release of an in-depth interview in which the Pope had explained that despite criticism he has avoided speaking about moral issues like abortion and gay “marriage” in his papacy, instead focusing on preaching about the love of Christ.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” Pope Francis had said in remarks that were widely interpreted as a call for Church leaders to downplay the Church’s moral teachings on controversial issues.

"I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that," the Pope had explained. "But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

In response to that interview the United State’s largest abortion advocacy organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America, even posted an image thanking the pope for his comments on their Facebook and Twiter pages. But NARAL’s celebrations were cut short by today’s blunt remarks by the Pope, in which he urged doctors to respect life "from the first instant of conception."
Too little, too late. The damage is done.

His previous statements are out there in the public and on the internet. They will be repeated ad infinitum and any statements he now makes regarding the immorality of abortion will simply be ignored.

Here is how "religion editor" Laura Goodstein of the New York Times described the pope's original statements in an article titled "Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control".
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.
This is the story that will be repeated over and over again.

Surely the pope should have known this when he issued his statement. No doubt that the Jesuit magazines that published the interviewer were counting on this.

While the mass media likes to portray the Church as being "obsessed" with sexual issues, it is actually the other way around. The mass media is totally obsessed with sex and only pays any attention to the Church when she expresses her God given teachings on this subject.

Devils who come in disguise

"Lead us not into temptation"
Believe me, sisters, the soldiers of Christ--namely, those who experience contemplation and practise prayer--are always ready for the hour of conflict. They are never very much afraid of their open enemies, for they know who they are and are sure that their strength can never prevail against the strength which they themselves have been given by the Lord: they will always be victorious and gain great riches, so they will never turn their backs on the battle.

Those whom they fear, and fear rightly, and from whom they always beg the Lord to deliver them, are enemies who are treacherous, devils who transform themselves and come and visit them in the disguise of angels of light. The soul fails to recognize them until they have done it a great deal of harm; they suck our life-blood and put an end to our virtues and we go on yielding to temptation without knowing it. From these enemies let us pray the Lord often, in the Paternoster, to deliver us: may He not allow us to run into temptations which deceive us; may their poison be detected; and may light and truth not be hidden from us. How rightly does our good Master teach us to pray for this and pray for it in our name!

-- from "The Way of Perfection" by St. Teresa of Avila -- Ch. 38

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The pope we deserve?

But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.
 -- Gospel according to St. John 19:34
I recall Michael Voris saying that we should pray that God gives us the pope we need and not the pope we deserve.

After six months, it seems that God has given us the pope we deserve.

In case there was even the slightest bit of doubt left, the current resident of the Vatican... I mean the current wearer of the papal tiara.. I mean the... well whatever. The cardinal that was elected and pronounced Pope. You know the guy...

Here is the latest papal news as reported by LifeSiteNews which is very faithful to the Catholic Church...
In comments rocking the Catholic world today, Pope Francis’ has recommended that the Church pull back from her perceived emphasis on “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.”

The comments appear in a lengthy interview with La Civilta Catholica in partnership with America magazine, which was published just before noon today in most Jesuit publications around the world.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” Pope Francis said.

“This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that,” he added. “But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

In the interview the Pope says that the Church’s preaching must begin first with the “proclamation of salvation.” “Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence,” he said.
Folks, it doesn't get much worse than this. One of the few bright spots about Pope Francis was that he seemed to be very pro-life. Yeah, well... apparently not so much.

The life issues are central because they are the point of the spear that the anti-Catholic forces are thrusting into the side of the Church.

Previous popes understood this well... even Paul VI!

A pope who is not doing everything possible to protect the Church from this attack is going to be wildly popular with the mass media. They have already declared him to be the "people's pope". Indeed, his goal seems to be the pope of non-Catholics and Catholics alike. Which of course is impossible without redefining what it means to be pope.

However, a redefinition of this sort would be the same as abolishing the papacy.

Is the Pope Catholic?

...not such an easy question any more.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Too medieval

"Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ."
 -- Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Colossians 2:8
Michael Voris is opening a discussion on the "Planned Self-Destruct[ion]" of the Catholic Church.

His "too medieval" refrain reminded me of a quote the other day by Nancy Pelosi.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has laughed off a starkly worded letter from Priests for Life Founder Fr. Frank Pavone, challenging the self-professed Catholic congresswoman to discard her strongly pro-abortion views.

In an interview with Think Progress, Pelosi said she thought Fr. Pavone was being "hysterical," saying, "The arrogance of it all! It’s like something ancient, medieval." She also said that while she understands what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion, "my faith isn't about what their position is."
If you ask me, Nancy Pelosi has the inside scoop on what's really going on in the Catholic Church halls of power -- and not just in the American Church. How is it that the US bishops never challenge her bold and public anti-Catholic statements?

You can stop holding your breath.... Pelosi, Biden, Cuomo, etc. are not going to be ex-communicated, denied Communion, or even publicly denounced by the bishops. In fact they are more likely to be nominated for sainthood along with Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, Dorothy Day and Ted Kennedy. Why not? Who are we to judge?

When there is no leadership, when there is no truth coming from the bishops, then we are forced to search for the truth wherever we can find it. Therefore we turn to lay leadership like "His Excellency" Michael Voris. This is not a jab at Michael it is just the sad state of affairs that our lack of official Church leadership has led us to. God bless Michael Voris for speaking out. And the fact that so many are listening is further proof of the absence of truth coming from the bishops.

It will be very interesting to see where Michael Voris goes with this. He certainly has made it clear that all of this self-destruction could not happen without the cooperation of bishops, archbishops and cardinals. And why stop there?

Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to be the Pope of the Catholic Church in the traditional sense. This decline of the papacy began symbolically with the renunciation of the tiara by Pope Paul VI. I noticed that ex-Pope Benedict XVI took the added step of removing the tiara from the papal coat of arms and Pope Francis followed his example. The papacy has been in a steady decline since Vatican II.

Why not just get rid of the Pope altogether? Wouldn't that help the whole ecumenical movement which seems to be the strongest motivation of the Vatican II architects?

Why not just get rid of the whole Catholic Church? Wouldn't be better to have a sort of United Nations of Christianity? Why stop there? Why not include all religions? And what about the non-believers? Shouldn't they be included too?

But doesn't that sound like humanism? Well if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

Welcome to the new Roman branch of the world-wide humanist "church".

God have mercy on us. May God have mercy on our souls.

We are re-living the stations of the Cross. The Crucifixion lies ahead, and then.... will God allow us to be witnesses to the new Resurrection?

God is merciful.... God is also just!

The post Vatican II Church is like a tree that has been separated from its roots.

Every day I walk past a tree that was uprooted by an enormous storm. It is leaning and being propped up by the branches of neighboring trees. I kept expecting it to come crashing down to the ground one day. Instead it is slowly decaying. There are insects and fungus that are destroying the wood from the inside and out. A few pieces have fallen off, but it is still standing.

One day the disintegration will be complete and it will cease to exist.

Oh God, please don't let this be the fate of your Holy Church!

Our Lady of Fatima.... pray for us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus.... have mercy on us.

Pray the Rosary! Ask God for forgiveness and mercy. Offer up every small misfortune as penance for yourself and especially for "those souls most in need of Thy Mercy".

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ashamed of being Catholic

[1] And the people seeing that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, gathering together against Aaron, said: Arise, make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has befallen him. [2] And Aaron said to them: Take the golden earrings from the ears of your wives, and your sons and daughters, and bring them to me. [3] And the people did what he had commanded, bringing the earrings to Aaron. [4] And when he had received them, he fashioned them by founders' work, and made of them a molten calf. And they said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. [5] And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation by a crier' s voice, saying: Tomorrow is the solemnity of the Lord.
 -- Book of Exodus 32:1-5
This comment from Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana of Toamasina in Madagascar says it all.
Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana: “Oh, yes.  But its director here is not a Catholic.  Yes, that’s what the [whole] problem is. Yes; it’s precisely that mentality – of bishops in Europe – that it’s necessary to change.  At times I wonder if most of them [i.e., bishops in Europe and North America] are not ashamed of being Catholic, ashamed of wanting to help Catholics.  The problem, I think, comes from the Church itself.  They say we’re in a ‘new era’ an era of ‘openness’ [to other sects, and religions, and views.  And so it’s appropriate for “Catholic” organizations to be run by non-Catholics.  On the other hand, you won’t see that on their side.]   It’s as if a Catholic parish were to be run by a Protestant pastor!  [Laughing]  I’m exaggerating, of course, but that’s really what it’s like at CRS.  They’re people of good will [at CRS] but…”
He was responding to questions regarding the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) operations in Madagascar.

How did we get here where North American and European bishops are "ashamed of being Catholic"?

These are the fruits of the changes to the Catholic Church made in Vatican II. The Church has changed from being proud of her special God given mission to being ashamed of being different and set apart.

Under the guise of "ecumenism" changes were made to the Church to make her appear to the outside world more like just another Christian denomination.

Not only has this caused the destruction of the Church's identity, but it did not even achieve the stated goal of ecumenism. Even as the Church transformed herself to become more protestant-like, the protestants were transforming themselves to be more secular-like.

I have been wondering recently what the 60s would have been like if the Church would have retained her true identity. Would the culture in the US and the world have been radicalized the way it was? At least the Church would have put up a good fight, and with the help of God, the Blessed Virgin, the angels and all the saints many Catholics would have been saved from the moral, political and religious corruption that swept the world.

If we would have marked ourselves as God wanted -- as Catholics and therefore a people of God that is set apart -- then He would have given us the grace of passover -- to be passed over while the plagues raged and infected the rest of society. But instead many in the Church leadership from priests, to bishops decided to worship the gold calf.

Until the Church returns to the true worship of God, it will continue to wander aimlessly through the desert.