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Perverting the Resurrection

22. April, 2014Blog Post11 comments

Resurrection_of_Christ-Alonso_López_de_Herrera_-_It is Easter; a season wherein Catholics are moved to contemplate anew the glorious mystery of the Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord, its meaning and its impact.

In truth, if not for the reality of the Resurrection, our Faith would amount to little more than a pious fairytale; a work that springs forth from the hearts of man, about man, and for man, that although capable of igniting the flames of emotion; perhaps even leading to various random acts of kindness, ultimately changes nothing of the human condition.

It can be said, therefore, that the Resurrection serves as the foundation upon which all Catholic doctrine and our comprehension of the same in some way rests; i.e., a compromised concept of the Resurrection places in jeopardy one’s ability to faithfully accept and proclaim the reality of the Church, Holy Mass, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the sacraments, etc.

Not only does the Catholic who fails to embrace the reality of the Resurrection fail to know his faith; he fails to know Christ as His rising from the dead and all that it implies is, in the words of Monsignor Ronald Knox, “the climax of that series of miracles by which our Lord justified his claim to be the ambassador of a Divine revelation.”

Sure, pretty much every self-identified Catholic will say that he believes in the reality of the Resurrection, but in these dark days of crisis in the Church we must ever heed the warning of Pope St. Pius X concerning the modernists who “pervert the meaning and force of things and words.” (cf Pascendi Dominici Gregis)

When a faithful Catholic hears “Resurrection,” for example, he naturally envisions the Risen One who reigns victorious, Christ the King, to whom “all power in Heaven and on Earth has been given.”

This, however, is not necessarily what the modernists intend when invoking the Resurrection, as for them the ancient formulas of the Faith are “living, and should be, and should remain, adapted to the faith and to him who believes.” (ibid.)

With all of this said, let us now consider the example provided by Pope Francis relative to his view of the Resurrection, and how this impacts his ability to faithfully proclaim the fullness of the Faith, in this case, as it concerns the priesthood.

For further insight into the mind of the pope on this matter, we will also examine commentary offered by Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (head of the so-called “C-8” chosen by Pope Francis to advise him on the reform of the Roman Curia) as given in his now infamous speech at University of Dallas in October 2013.

As I stated then, these two men are undoubtedly of one mind, and the present discussion will most certainly demonstrate that this is indeed the case.

First, let us consider a homily offered by Pope Francis on September 10, 2013, as reported by Vatican Radio:

The Pope noted that “there are also the Christians who are embarrassed. They are embarrassed to “confess that Christ is risen.” Finally, said Pope Francis there is the group of Christians who “in their hearts do not believe in the Risen Lord and want to make theirs a more majestic resurrection than that of the real one.” These, he said are the “triumphalist” Christians. “They do not know the meaning of the word ‘triumph’ the Pope continued, so they just say “triumphalism”, because they have such an inferiority complex and want to do this …

A well-formed Catholic cannot but be stunned by these comments when considered in the light of tradition as expressed so beautifully by Pope Pius XI:

After his resurrection, when giving to his Apostles the mission of teaching and baptizing all nations, he took the opportunity to call himself king, confirming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaimed that all power was given him in heaven and on earth. These words can only be taken to indicate the greatness of his power, the infinite extent of his kingdom. (cf Quas Primas)

Setting aside the harsh reality of a Holy Father who repeatedly and publicly demeans his very own children, one must ask, how can he imagine that anyone, “triumphalist” or otherwise, might even begin to envision a Resurrection that is one drop more “majestic” than “the real” one?

The answer, I’m afraid, is both disturbing and simple; our Holy Father does not embrace the reality of the Resurrection as the Church understands it.

We see the impact of this failure in a particular way in his treatment of Holy Orders, which shouldn’t surprise us since the priest is configured to the Risen Christ; an impoverished view of the Resurrection therefore necessarily leading to an impoverished view of the priesthood.

For example, Pope Francis writes in Evangelii Gaudium:

The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general. It must be remembered that when we speak of sacramental power “we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness.”

In this case, Francis is quoting from the document Christifideles Laici of Pope John Paul II who wrote:

In her participation in the life and mission of the Church a woman cannot receive the Sacrament of Orders, and therefore, cannot fulfil the proper function of the ministerial priesthood Here we are in the area of function, not of dignity and holiness.

Read in context, John Paul II is saying that the inability of women to serve as priests should not be understood as a reflection of female holiness or dignity as compared to that of males; rather, this is a reflection of the “function” of the sexes as it relates to “the anthropological foundation for masculinity and femininity,” a concept that he introduced in the preceding article.

While it is true that ordination does not result in holiness, it does most certainly confer a degree of dignity that is derived, and uniquely so in the priest, from the dignity of the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ.

As a result of Pope Francis’ misappropriation of his predecessor’s words, readers are given the impression that the Sacrament of Holy Orders confers little more than permission to carry out certain ministerial duties. In fact, this very well may be precisely what the Holy Father believes and intends to teach. In any event, this isn’t the faith of the Church.

For greater insight, let us now look to the words of Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga:

The hierarchy has no purpose in itself and for itself, but only in reference and subordination to the community. The function of the hierarchy is redefined in reference to Jesus as Suffering Servant, not as “Pantocrator” (lord and emperor of this world); only from the perspective of someone crucified by the powers of this world it is possible to found, and to explain, the authority of the Church. The hierarchy is a ministry (diakonia = service) that requires lowering ourselves to the condition of servants. To take that place (the place of weakness and poverty) is her own, her very own responsibility.

If nothing else, we must be grateful for the Cardinal’s willingness to admit that what is desired is indeed a “redefinition” of the priesthood such that it is henceforth to be viewed “in reference to Jesus as Suffering Servant.”

In authentic Catholic thought, the priesthood can only be properly understood, expressed, and exercised in reference to Jesus Christ risen in glory, He who is most certainly Pantocrator no matter how much certain clerics may wish to pretend that He is not, thereby crowning Him with thorns all over again.

You see, for them, the priest is configured not to Christ the King, but rather to this figment of their modernist imaginations; a Jesus who is little more than an itinerant preacher who goes about doing good deeds, most especially those that are focused on the natural ends of the temporally poor, only to be crushed by the powers of this world.

It is this falsification of the Resurrection that leads Pope Francis to assert:

The ministerial priesthood is one means employed by Jesus for the service of his people, yet our great dignity derives from baptism, which is accessible to all. The configuration of the priest to Christ the head – namely, as the principal source of grace – does not imply an exaltation which would set him above others. (Evangelii Gaudium)

This, of course, is wholesale anticlericalism, the same of which Pope Pius XI said:

If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities.  (cf Quas Primas)

The connection couldn’t be plainer; those who fail to embrace the reality of Christ’s Kingship, inextricably linked to His glorious Resurrection, are destined to embrace anticlericalism in its stead.

Returning to Evangelii Gaudium:

In the Church, functions “do not favour the superiority of some vis-à-vis the others.” Indeed, a woman, Mary, is more important than the bishops.

Yes, and Blessed Jacinta of Fatima, just a child, is more important than the pope. So what? Does this mean that the sacred hierarchy is to the laity as a postman is to an electrician; a chef to a painter?

If so, how is one to understand the “hierarchical” nature of the Church?

Even when the function of ministerial priesthood is considered “hierarchical”, it must be remembered that “it is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ’s members”. Its key and axis is not power understood as domination, but the power to administer the sacrament of the Eucharist; this is the origin of its authority, which is always a service to God’s people.  (ibid.)

Note well: In the mind of Pope Francis, “hierarchy” and “power” when understood and exercised in ways other than the mere administration of a service must necessarily entail an unsavory form of “domination;” it is, therefore, to be avoided.

This attitude, however, is derived from an utterly earthbound concept of the Church’s hierarchical nature.

Oddly enough, the word “domination” itself is derived from the Latin “Dominus” which refers to the Lord, He in whom “all power in Heaven and on Earth” rests, as well as all goodness and kindness and mercy!

It is precisely the Holy Father’s unwillingness to embrace the “majestic” Resurrection of Christ the Most Benevolent King that gives rise to his twisted understanding of the Church’s hierarchical authority, even as it resides in the Successor of Peter as evidenced over the last year by his “regular Joe” comportment.

Once the Risen Lord is effectively stripped of His Kingly dignity, power and authority, as in the minds of modernist thinkers like Pope Francis, to whom is the priest thus configured?

According to Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga:

Jesus’ entire life was a priestly life, in the sense that He became a man, was poor, fought for justice, criticized the vices of power, identified Himself with the most oppressed and defended them, treated women without discrimination, clashed with the ones who had a different image of God and of religion, and was forced by His own faithfulness to be prosecuted and to die crucified outside the city. This original priesthood of Jesus is the one that has to be continued in history.

Thus is the priest, the bishop, and even the pope (who after all is just the Bishop of Rome anyway) rendered little more than a glorified Peace Corp worker.

More could be quoted from these documents in support of the present argument, but the modernist spirit is evident enough already in these words of Pope Francis and his chosen right hand man.

Sure, they invoke “Resurrection, hierarchy, and priesthood,” but make no mistake about it, the intent is not to express immutable Catholic doctrine; rather, it is to assert yet another Newchurch novelty.

Speaking of which, barring the Lord’s merciful intervention, we will encounter yet another example on April 27th as the Holy Father “perverts the meaning and force of things and words” by proclaiming John XXIII and John Paul II to be among the Church’s canonized saints.

Pope St. Pius X, ora pro nobis!

From Benedict the Abdicator to Francis the Calumnizer

18. April, 2014Blog Post27 comments

A Tale of Two PontiffsIn spite of the considerable weight that Pope Francis near-daily adds to the Cross that is born by faithful Catholics, we can at least be thankful for his plainspokenness in revealing the nefarious agenda of the ecclesial subversives who seek to remake the Church in their own image and likeness from within.

As I have stated in the past, no longer, apparently, do the revolutionaries feel compelled to move about in the shadows; rather, all indications are that they, and the Bishop of Rome who leads them, believe that the scales have been sufficiently tipped in their favor among the people-in-the-pews (that which they falsely portray as the sensus fidelium) that the time is nigh to complete the operation, begun in earnest in 1958, in the plain light of day.

As such, Pope Francis comfortably and without hesitation serves as both the “defendant” accused by a faithful remnant of mutiny against Christ the King, and “star witness for the prosecution” thanks to his habit of spilling the neo-modernist beans without ever being called to the stand.

In the present case, I wish to thank the Holy Father for putting so clearly on display the logical consequences that arise from treating the doctrine of the Faith, as the modernists do, as if it were a lump of clay to be molded according to the whims of progressive generations; that slippery slope that leads from secret movements inspired by quiet claims of good intentions to a day when the sculptors themselves will broadcast for all to hear, without any hint of shame, their sins against God and man.

This brings me to a homily delivered by Pope Francis on April 4, 2014, in which he said of an unnamed “prophet indeed”:

“Many thinkers in the Church were persecuted, as well … He was summoned in short order, his books were placed on the Index … Time has passed, and today he is Blessed. How is it, though, that he, who yesterday was a heretic, is today a Blessed of the Church? It is because yesterday, those who had power wanted to silence him because they did not like what he was saying. Today the Church, who, thanks be to God knows to repent, says, ‘No, this man is good!’ Moreover, he is on the way to sainthood: He is a Blessed.”

Of whom does Pope Francis speak?

Well, I suppose one would have to ask him to be entirely certain, and though I intend to offer my own educated guess as to whom he was speaking, the sad truth is, it doesn’t really matter.

Pay very close attention to what the Holy Father is saying!

He is shining a light on the sheer hubris of the revolutionary hierarchs vis-à-vis  their willingness to perpetrate calumny against the faithful churchmen of previous generations, all in an attempt to justify whatever novelties happen to delight their senses en route to a church of their own making.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the shameful descent that is coming into focus under Pope Francis.

Prior to Vatican II, censured theologians often publicly accepted the constraints placed upon their work by ecclesial authorities while continuing to develop their particular lines of thought behind the scenes; e.g., in theological institutes and journals, some with subversive intent, others in humility.

Moving ahead to time of Vatican II, certain theologians among those previously censured, like John Courtney Murray, were invited to serve as periti, or theological experts, to advise the Council Fathers.

In the case of Murray, he managed to succeed in having his novelties concerning religious liberty and Church-State relations enshrined in the conciliar text, and he did so by asserting, as do the majority of his defenders even today, that the position of those who had censured him relied upon an earlier teaching (articulated most clearly by Pope Leo XIII) that, although not incorrect in itself, was situated within an “historical problematic” such that changing circumstances had rendered acceptable that which was once deemed inconceivable.

Let’s fast-forward now to the man of whom Pope Francis spoke in his homily.

I suspect that he was speaking of the Founder of the “Rosminians,” or the Institute of Charity, Fr. Antonio Rosmini, a cleric whose writings were posthumously condemned by decree of the Holy Office, and confirmed by Pope Leo XIII, in 1887.

After years of pressure asserted on the Holy See by the Rosminians in order to promote the canonization cause of their Founder, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger overturned the condemnation in 2001, saying in part:

“This is so because the meaning of the propositions, as understood and condemned by the Decree, does not belong to the authentic position of Rosmini, but to conclusions that may possibly have been drawn from the reading of his works.”  

This action removed the obstacle from Rosmini’s cause, opening the way for him to be beatified six years later by the same former Cardinal Prefect of the CDF, Pope Benedict XVI.

If time permits, I will have more to say next week on the Rosmini situation relative to the scheduled canonizations of April 27th, but for now one notes already the progressively more negative view of the faithful Roman Pontiff Leo XIII being put forth by the post-conciliar regime.

As it relates to John Courtney Murray, Pope Leo XIII wasn’t necessarily incorrect; rather, he was simply addressing a particular situation that no long exists. Now, don’t get me wrong, this proposition is patently false, but such is the argument of Murray’s defenders.

In the case of Rosmini, we see Cardinal Ratzinger claiming that a regrettable mistake had been made in attributing to the condemned writings a meaning that isn’t really there.

In other words, Pope Leo XIII, he who once offered true teachings that were somehow time bound as it relates to religious liberty, had thus been downgraded by Cardinal Ratzinger to being just plain stupid.

You see, according the future Benedict the Abdicator, the poor Holy Father Leo XIII simply lacked the theological insight necessary to understand what Rosmini was actually saying!

If you’re disgusted already, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Now we come to Pope Francis, the Generalissimo of the revolution who sees no need whatsoever to pull any punches as it concerns his animosity for tradition and those who defend it.

According to his view, Leo XIII, who articulated the doctrine of the Faith so clearly, is not simply guilty of being stupid; rather, he is guilty of “persecuting” a “prophet” and future saint! The Church, therefore, must “repent” on his behalf!

It is not enough for Francis to assume good will on his predecessor’s part; no! For him, it is plain enough that his predecessor “had power” and “wanted to silence” the poor condemned prophet; not because the Pontiff felt duty bound to defend the doctrine of the Faith, but because he “did not like what he was saying.”

So, in the course of just fifty years according to the view of the neo-modernist Captains of Newchurch, the legacy of Pope Leo XIII has deteriorated considerably from that of a teacher in a previous age, to an idiot, to a persecutor of saints.

I can well imagine the neo-con army of wannabe Swiss Guards crying foul since Francis didn’t bother to name the “prophet” of whom he spoke, much less Pope Leo XIII, but in truth it matters little if in fact he was not speaking of Rosmini, in which case I would challenge them to suggest an alternative.

In any event, looking at this pathetic situation through Catholic eyes, one cannot fail to shudder at the awareness of just how far we have fallen when the Roman Pontiff does not hesitate to commit the sin of calumny against the faithful men who defended the Faith so well in previous generations, even in the context of a homily.

God help him, and God help us.

The Washing of Feet

17. April, 2014Blog Post16 comments

Washing Feet

On this Holy Thursday, I offer this examination of the “Maundy” in honor of, and in thanksgiving for, the great gift of the priesthood, and the Most Holy Eucharist thereby made present.

CNS: Shamefully misrepresenting tradition

16. April, 2014Blog Post43 comments

The Tradwriter responds to a recent video from Catholic News Service glorifying the Second Vatican Council’s treatment of Religious Liberty in the only way such a thing can be done; namely, by grossly misrepresenting Catholic tradition.

For further reference:

CNS Video:
Catholicism and the Challenge of Liberty

Louie Verrecchio presentation at Catholic Family News Conference:
John Courtney Murray – Broker of the Post-Conciliar Apostolic Cease Fire

Redefining the common good

15. April, 2014Blog Post22 comments

Even after studying and writing and speaking about the conciliar text for more than a decade, I still manage to find in them previously unrecognized subtleties that serve to undermine the Faith in remarkably profound ways; in the present case, in the Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae.

One of the distinguishing features of this document that I’ve noted in the past is the degree to which the Council’s focus has shifted away from man’s spiritual end toward what appears to be an overriding concern for matters merely temporal. Needless to say, the former is the Church’s primary concern, and her view of matters temporal is always cast in that light.

Keeping man’s spiritual ends in plain sight is necessary for defining the “common good.” The only good that is truly common to all is the destiny for which all were created; to live with God forever in eternity. Temporal affairs must be regulated in such way as to further, or at the very least not impede, man’s journey to that ultimate end and fulfillment.

In Dignitatis Humanae, the Council employs the phrase “common good” while subtly divorcing it from concern for man’s spiritual end.

Finally, government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons. Nor is there to be discrimination among citizens. DH 6

To urge concern for the “common good,” while also directing the State to remove “religious reasons” from consideration in its regulation of public affairs, is an egregious contradiction that is utterly incompatible with authentic Catholic thought as expressed so very clearly by the pre-conciliar popes. It is tantamount to redefining the common good.

This redefinition of the common good forms one of the building blocks upon which the Council constructed its unsustainable case for a so-called “right to religious freedom” regardless of one’s relationship to truth.

And we wonder why atheists, humanists and assorted other enemies of the Church so often invoke it this way…

Gratitude

15. April, 2014Blog Post2 comments

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude on a number of fronts:

First, thanks to all who registered and for taking the time to contribute with comments. That includes those who don’t have the same view that I, and most other regular commenters here, have.

That brings me to this: I really appreciate the civility on all sides as that makes this space so much more than just a place to do battle. I want this to be a place where Catholics can learn the Faith. Thanks for making that happen.

Last but not least, I want to say thanks to those of you who kindly sent a donation. A number of you expressed in private notes a recognition of how costly it is to have web design work done. True enough, but my hope is that all of us will realize great spiritual dividends in return. I’m especially hopeful that the Forum will grow into a good place for that to happen. (Please make use of it, and invite others to join in!)

On the matter of expenses, I’m investigating the possibility of placing suitable ads on the site to help sustain this effort. There will be some trial and error involved if and when I go that route. We’ll see how it goes. I just want to give you a heads up.

Thanks again to all!

The Fr. Ray Kelly Concert Tour

12. April, 2014Blog Post91 comments

Ray Kelly LiveIt is telling commentary on the deplorable state of the Church to witness so-called “conservative” Catholics gushing with admiration for Fr. Ray Kelly’s performance. One fairly well known commentator (who in charity I won’t name) even suggested that our liturgies need more of this sappy sentimentalism!

I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that the vast majority of Catholic have lost almost entirely, or never really had, a sense of the sacred.

So… just in case there are any such persons reading this blog, I’ll give a quick snapshot of what makes Father’s “gift” to the happy couple so regrettable.

Whether or not this took place before or after the Mass had ended isn’t the point; as though all bets are off unless we’re technically speaking of the liturgy proper. That some even feel compelled to split those hairs is a sign of their poor condition.

The Rites of Holy Mass and Holy Matrimony are, of course, sacred, but so too is the space in which they take place; the same that we occupy before and after the actual rite. In any event, one thing should be clear to all, the sanctuary isn’t Fr. Kelly’s or anyone’s personal stage. The altar isn’t his music stand. The assembly isn’t his audience.

It would be sacrilegious to have any kind of a performance in a Church before the Blessed Sacrament. Most people seem to know that even if just intuitively.

Now, even considering in charity that Fr. Kelly means well and is simply a product of a deplorable formation, consider the impact of his showmanship.

We live in an age wherein marriage is viewed as a purely human construct; a contract between two individuals who are motivated, be it by what one might reasonably call love all the way to what is more properly considered mutual lust, to validate their relationship in the eyes of others. “Marriage” as popularly conceived is all about us, in other words, so much so that the abominable concept of “gay marriage” is considered by many, including self-identified Catholics, as possible and even laudable.

Fr. Kelly’s little moment in the spotlight only managed to solidify that erroneous view. He turned the sacred mystery of sacramental union among spouses in Christ in the Rite of Holy Matrimony by grace into an earthbound stage act fueled by fleeting emotions.

The people in that wretched video are victims. They don’t know any better. Neither does Fr. Kelly in all likelihood. He is obviously a product of newchurch wherein practically every aspect of our faith has taken on a decidedly humanist slant at the hands of those who chose to make the comfort level of protestants a “pastoral priority.”

BTW – The Fr. Ray Kelly Concert Tour has been wowing audiences for years and was made possible in a large part thanks to the virtue, heroically exercised, of His Holiness Pope Paul VI who gifted to the world the Novus Ordo Missae. Remember that as his cause takes off like a rocket (or is that a scud missal) immediately following the proposed mockery canonizations on April 27th. (May God in His mercy forbid them!)

What’s it to you?

11. April, 2014Blog Post22 comments

A traditional (sorta) reaction to YouTube sensation Fr. Ray Kelly, Ireland’s singing priest…