General Discussion (6)

confusedIf there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.

Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here 

Will The New Bishop of Galloway “Embrace Change”?

mitreThe latest  press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office (SCMO) reports the news of Pope Francis’ appointment of the new Bishop of Galloway.  Below is a particularly interesting extract:

“Commenting on the appointment, Fr. William McFadden, Vicar General of the diocese, said: “On behalf of the priests of the diocese I welcome the appointment of Fr Nolan, and can assure him that the clergy of Galloway will support him in every way. We are aware of the demands that await him, particularly in the process of Embracing Change, but he can be sure that there is enormous goodwill and a real commitment to collaborative ministry awaiting him. I would also like to take the opportunity to express the gratitude of the priests of the diocese to Bishop Cunningham for his ministry as bishop, and to wish him well in his retirement.”  End of Extract

“Embracing Change” got me Googling and while – curiously – there appears to be no mention of this project on the Diocesan website, there is here

Fr McFadden is a former Rector of Scotus Seminary, which closed on his “liberal” watch.  He  has featured prominently in our newsletter over the years, and there is no question about his agenda.  So, it’s not surprising that his welcome to his new bishop is far from being unqualified. If the Bishop pursues Fr McFadden’s agenda, and “embraces change” he’ll be welcome in Galloway.   That’s how I read it.  Interesting times ahead in that neck of the woods.  Let’s hope and pray that the new Bishop is not of the same  “liberal” mindset as his Vicar-General.  That, frankly, would be the nail in the coffin of the Diocese of Galloway which has been in meltdown for years. It goes without saying that we wish the new Bishop every grace and blessing in his appointment to a diocese which a Galloway priest once told me was/is  the most sterile spiritual soil in Scotland, second only to the Diocese of Aberdeen for it’s impoverished Catholicity.

Comments invited 

Perspective: Vatican II in Retrospect…

VaticanII1962St. Pius X said at the beginning of the twentieth century that the main cause of the loss of souls was religious ignorance, ignorance of the truths of the faith. Sadly, this ignorance is everywhere in the Church today and it is getting worse as the decline in priests and sound Catechetics continues pace.

One of the principal errors to have arisen from this ignorance in our times is the belief, in thought if not by open declaration, that the pope is not just sometimes infallible but rather at all times impeccable.

Therefore, no matter what the pope says or does in the exercise of his ordinary magisterium it is incumbent upon all to blindly obey him. A similarly erroneous thought is held with regard to the bishops.

How far this mistaken belief is from the teaching of the Church, however, is exemplified by St. Paul in Galatians 2: 11-13, who recounts how he “withstood Peter to his face because he was to be blamed.”

 The above extract is taken from an article on Vatican II entitled: Fiddling While Rome Burns: Vatican II in Retrospect, by Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, and was originally published in the March/April 2014 edition of  The Angelus.   It is re-printed here by kind permission of the Editor.  Martin’s article is quite lengthy but bloggers are encouraged to take the necessary time to check it out before sharing your thoughts.  Comments invited.

Crisis: Would YOU Encourage A Young Person to be a Priest or Religious?

“Come, Follow Me.”

“GOOD MASTER, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?”  It was the eager question of one whom fortune had blessed with the Richyoungmanwealth of this world, but who realised that life eternal was a far more precious treasure.  He had come to the Divine Teacher, seeking what he must yet do to make secure the great prize for which he was striving.  He was young and wealthy, a ruler in the land, one whose life had been without stain or blemish.

“The Commandments? – All these I have kept from my youth,” he had said; “Good Master, what is yet wanting to me?”

Jesus looked on him with love, for such a soul was dear to His Sacred Heart. “ If thou wilt be perfect,” comes the answer, “go sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and come, follow Me.”

There was a painful pause: nature and grace were struggling for the mastery; the invitation had been given, the road to perfection pointed out. There was only one sacrifice needed to make him a true disciple, but it was a big one, too great for him who lately seemed so generous.  He hesitates, wavers, and then sadly turns away, with the words “Come, follow Me,” ringing in his ears, for love of his “great possessions” had wrapped itself round his heart – a Vocation had been offered and refused. “What a cloud of misgivings,” says Father Faber, “must hang over the memory of him whom Jesus invited to follow Him.  Is he looking now in heaven upon that Face from whose mild beauty he so sadly turned away on earth?”

Nearly two thousand years have passed since then, but unceasingly that same Voice has been whispering in the ears of many a lad and maiden, “One thing is yet wanting to you – come, follow Me.”  Some have heard that voice with joy and gladness of heart, and have risen up at the Master’s call; others have stop their ears, or turned away in fear from the side of Him Who beckoned to them, while not a few have stood and listened, wondering what it meant, asking themselves could such an invitation be for them, till Jesus of Nazareth passed by and they were left behind for ever.

To these, chiefly, is this simple explanation of a Vocation offered, in the hope that they may recognize the workings of grace within their souls, or be moved to beg that they may one day be sharers in this crowning gift of God’s eternal love.   Click here to read more from the writings of Fr Doyle SJ  on vocations…

Comment:

I’ve found myself in a number of conversations in recent years, where I’ve been asked whether or not, despite the crisis in the Church, I would encourage young people to try their vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  I’m always torn between saying that I would encourage them – although afraid that I may, thus, find myself an instrument of setting them on a road where they may  lose the Faith – or saying that I would discourage them  – and perhaps, therefore, be the cause of blocking God’s work in a soul. Quite a dilemma.

Some people think there’s no dilemma –  just suggest that they enter traditional seminaries and Orders. Then others again point out the possible danger of a certain extremism in those quarters.  So, what’s the answer. Would YOU encourage a boy who is thinking of the priesthood, to go ahead – and if so, details please! Or a young person who might feel called to the Religious Life; what would you suggest is the safest route for them to try their vocation, if you think they ought to do so.

Read Father Doyle’s short work and then share your thoughts on this important subject.  

Scottish Catholic Observer: No Future For Traditional Mass – Good Riddance!

In a disgraceful attack on the traditional Latin Mass in a recent edition of the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO), Hugh Dougherty reveals himself to be about as Catholic as John Knox.   Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, wasted no time in submitting a rebuttal, which has been rejected by the editor on spurious grounds.  

Interestingly, the Dougherty masterpiece has not been published on the SCO website. However, you can read it by clicking on the title Ghost dancing won’t do us any favours and then read Martin’s response below. Thanks to the internet, the editors of the so-called Catholic papers can’t get away any longer with their blatant censorship and skewing of the truth.  We’re on to them. Big time!

The Traditional Latin Mass is the Catholic “Mass of all time.”

By Martin Blackshaw

TLMwithsaintsIt has been my experience that when a Catholic writer goes out of his way to denigrate the ancient liturgy of the Church, the Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs, it is because he is either ignorant of the subject he ridicules or he is a nominal Catholic of these morally relativist times; for whom the traditional holy Mass and discipline of the Church have become anathema.

In Hugh Dougherty’s case, I would venture to suggest that there is a little of both impacting on his objectivity (November 7).

Given that his article against the ancient Mass was clearly personal and superficial rather than scholastic, it merits only a statement of the facts in response. Fact number one is that the new vernacular Mass he values as progress is, in reality, copied from the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century.

Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, its author, admitted as much in a March 19, 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano. He was even more candid in 1974, describing his new vernacular liturgy as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church,” a statement not so far removed from Martin Luther’s “destroy the Mass and you will have destroyed the Catholic Church”.

Professor Peter L. Berger, a Lutheran sociologist, acknowledged the truth of Bugnini’s declaration in these words: “If a thoroughly malicious sociologist bent on injuring the Catholic community as much as possible had been an adviser to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.”

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pius XII “a twentieth century Doctor of the Church”, expressed himself a little more forthrightly, saying: “Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better.”

In 1967, the Synod of Bishops in Rome, having been privy to a first-hand celebration by Bugnini of his experimental liturgy (called ‘the Missa Normativa’), overwhelmingly rejected it.

This rejection was followed up by two senior Roman Cardinals (Ottaviani and Bacci), who wrote to Pope Paul VI on behalf of many prelates and theologians describing the new liturgy as representing “in whole and in part, a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass.”

Cardinal Ratzinger more or less echoed this observation when he famously described the Bugnini product as “a banal on-the-spot fabrication.”

So now let us consider fact number two, ‘the fruits’ as the method given us by Our Lord for discerning good from evil. The New Mass has resulted in more liturgical abuses in its short 45-year life than all Latin Masses together from the early centuries of the Church right up to Vatican II.

To recount but a few of the more documented scandals of recent decades, I cite those infamous clown masses; balloon masses; coffee table masses; milk and cookie masses, rock masses and ‘liturgical dance’ masses, including one performance of a Salsa in the Sanctuary.

I feel certain that if Mr. Dougherty digs a little deeper into this unprecedented catalogue of sacrileges he may even stumble across some of those “Indian ghost dancers” he referenced so contemptuously as analogous to Traditional Catholics who remain faithful to the Mass of the ages.

At any rate, more telling even than the sacrileges committed in the name of the New Mass is the effect this liturgy has had on vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the devastation it has wrought on the souls of the faithful.

It is no exaggeration to state that in the 45 years or so since Bugnini’s experiment was imposed on the Church millions of Catholics worldwide have formally apostatised from the Faith. This has resulted everywhere in the closure of parish churches, seminaries and religious houses at a rate unparalleled in history.

In Scotland alone we have seen the closure of all five seminaries, many religious houses and countless churches as vocations and Mass attendance continue to decline apace, and these same depressing statistics apply to each and every country in the Western world.

Indeed, I read just last week that in the U.S. another 100 parish churches are to be closed or merged in New York, and that in France priestly numbers have deteriorated to the extent that each priest now has a dozen parishes on average to care for.

In contrast with this inevitable decline around the New Mass, the last 10 years have witnessed enormous growth within the Church of seminaries, religious houses and parishes flourishing around the ancient Mass, which brings me to fact number three.

Contrary to the prevailing myth, it is the young rather than the old who are migrating in increasing numbers back to the pre-Council Latin liturgy of the Church.

This verifiable phenomenon brings to nought Mr. Dougherty’s depiction of Latin Mass enthusiasts as a small clique of coffin dodgers re-living happy memories of their youth like an exclusive group of ageing steam train hobbyists.

In truth, it is the younger generation which is emerging today as a sign of contradiction to those old liberal Catholic hippies who robbed them of their sacred patrimony in the name of conciliar reform.

These young faithful are being drawn in ever increasing numbers to the ancient Mass not by curiosity or nostalgia, but by that sensus fidei, that gift of the Holy Spirit which has the dual operation of attracting souls to the sacred and supernatural while making repugnant to them the irreverent and the profane.

In conclusion, then, the future lies not, as Mr. Dougherty suggests, in further radicalising our holy religion to appease the rebellious of this hedonistic age. Rather, the future lies in a return to the Latin “Mass of all time” and in fidelity to the Faith handed down unaltered for nineteen centuries up to Vatican II.

St. Paul puts it this way: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, today; and the same forever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines, For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them…” (Hebrews 13: 8-10).

Comment:

No prizes for guessing why Ms Leydon, the editor of the SCO wanted to suppress the above response to the appalling Dougherty attack on the Mass which she unconscionably published. I’d love to see her trying to explain herself to the saints and martyrs who loved that same Mass and even died in defence of it – the same Mass which she most shockingly allowed to be described as of no more importance than the steam train, happily now consigned to history.  The fact is, it is her newspaper which will soon be consigned to history, along with the tired and ignorant views of the likes of Hugh Dougherty, who is (in all fairness) not alone in writing palpable nonsense in what passes for Scotland’s only national Catholic newspaper.  There can be no good fruits from this publication which, in almost equal measure, routinely denies and distorts the Catholic religion.  Indeed, there can be only one justifiable reason for reading it, and that is to expose the errors therein, preferably by addressing a letter or article for publication, to the editor. But that’s a hit and miss business, as we can see from Mr Blackshaw’s experience.  Anyway, your thoughts on the Dougherty article and Martin Blackshaw’s response  to it, should make for an interesting discussion.  Comments invited. 

Anglican Brings Court Action Against “Gay” Lecturer For Alleged Assault…

scalesofjusticeThe following article is taken from the Sunday Times, 9th November 2014  and is self-explanatory. David Skinner, who is bringing the court action, contacted me a few days ago seeking prayerful support as the court date (17th November) approaches.  One of our readers remarked to me, as recently as this morning, that there is a notable absence of Catholic lawyers taking a lead in the current dire state of affairs in Church and State, which makes the legal action of these Anglicans of particular interest.

Comments invited.

 Christians urge sacking of gay lecturer with ‘1,000 conquests’

A CHRISTIAN pressure group is campaigning to oust a high-profile university professor who boasted about his 1,000 sexual conquests.

Eric Anderson, 46, a Winchester University professor of sports studies, told a gathering of gay and lesbian students at Oxford that he liked sex with “16, 17, 18-year-old boys”.

He dismissed Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, as a “total bigot” and “liar” and said “the damage that’s caused by child molestation is socially constructed by the western world”.

The pressure group Because Children Matter wrote this weekend to Joy Carter, Winchester’s vice-chancellor, urging her to dismiss the professor.

It warned that the group will distribute thousands of leaflets with his comments to members of the university’s board, head teachers of secondary schools in its area, students and members of the public.

The university says it has reprimanded the professor for his remarks, but defended him as an “internationally renowned gay scholar”.

The clash over Anderson brings into the open bitter hostilities being waged away from public gaze between gay activists and opponents of same-sex marriage, which became legal in Britain in March.

Anderson, an American sociologist, has become a particular bête noire for traditionalists because he questions the right of the church to set the standards of sexual morality.

He has achieved a high media profile and been happy to speak about his private life: on one occasion he brought his infant twin boys into a BBC television studio for a live broadcast on same-sex marriage.

Anderson married his partner, Grant Tyler Peterson, in America before it was legal in Britain, and the couple invited a camera crew to follow them as they used a surrogate mother to became parents in 2012.

He made his controversial remarks about sex to Oxford University’s LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) Society in 2011.

Anderson reportedly prefaced the talk by reeling off an explicit list of sexual practices and warning: “If you’re offended by discussions . . . then you should probably leave.”

According to a report of the event in The Oxford Student newspaper, Anderson laughingly agreed that he was a “sexual predator” and added that he had had sex with “easily over a thousand people”.

He said: “I like sex with 16, 17, 18-year-old boys particularly, it’s getting harder for me to get them but I’m still finding them. I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand — that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them, of course, not a problem.”

The professor said he liked to travel on cruise ships because “it’s like sex tourism” and “I always screw the dancers”.

Winchester University said last week that Anderson’s comments were “not appropriate and he was reprimanded shortly after”. It came to his defence, however, as “an internationally renowned gay scholar who publishes widely on sexualities, masculinities, sport and relationships.”

It added: “The university will not tolerate any targeting of its members of staff on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

Anderson faces more scrutiny next week when he confronts David Skinner, 70, an opponent of gay marriage, who is bringing a court case against him for alleged assault at the end of a lecture the academic gave at Bournemouth University in 2012. Anderson denies assault and accuses Skinner of harassment.

The professor plans to turn the spotlight on to Skinner’s own opinions. In one document expected to be submitted to the court, he attacks Skinner for allegedly writing online that “ the gaystapo do not believe in human dignity” and “I am not alone in seeing a parallel here between the rise of homosexual power and that of Nazism before WWII”.

When asked last week if he wished to comment, Skinner said: “This is what happens when the West rejects the Bible. Nobody can live in a vacuum.”

The Sunday Times also asked Anderson if he disputed the accuracy of the opinions attributed to him. He said: “Statements I made during the course of that lecture were reported without context and it is these Mr Skinner and others are using to conduct a sustained campaign against me. I am a gay man engaged in academic research on sexualities.”

He added: “I believe that sex should only occur between consenting adults. In 2011, I signed a letter supporting academic research into paedophilia which I believe is essential in order to keep children safe.”   Source

Bishop Athanasius Schneider: The Synod on the Family & The New Pharisees…

Bishop SneiderIn fact the bishops who support Holy Communion for “divorced remarried” are the new Pharisees and Scribes because they neglect the commandment of God, contributing to the fact that out of the body and of the heart of the “divorced remarried” continue to “proceed adulteries” (Math 15: 19), because they want an exteriorly “clean” solution and to appear “clean” as well in the eyes of those who have power (the social media, public opinion). However when they eventually appear at the tribunal of Christ, they will surely hear to their dismay these words of Christ: “Why are you declaring my statutes and taking my covenant in your mouth? Seeing you hate instruction, and cast my words behind you, … when you have been partaker with adulterers” (Ps 50 (49): 16-18).  Read more

Comment

Is Bishop Schneider correct to be so outspoken in his criticism of the Synod bishops?  Isn’t he failing in “charity”?  Does he risk developing a “schismatic mindset”?  Is he likely to be “re-assigned” soon? Wouldn’t he be wiser to remain silent and simply pray at this time?  Comments invited.

SSPX Response To Bishop’s Attack…

BishopItalySSPXbanIn a notification dated 14 October, Mgr. Marcello Semeraro, which administers the Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano, decided to declare that the Society of St. Pius X is not “an institution of the Catholic Church” and that the faithful do not have to attend to not “break communion with the Church.” [Ed : Mgr Semeraro pictured]

 A lot of things we could ask Msgr. Semeraro, looking from his point of view.

We could ask if he knows that the Society of St. Pius X has been built with the approval of the Bishop of Fribourg in 1970; that the Holy See has granted the decree of praise in 1971; if you know that the house of the Society of Albano, with its semi-public oratory for amministrarvi the sacraments, was canonically erected by decree of his predecessor, Msgr. Raphael Macario February 22, 1974 (ref. 140/74).

We might also ask how do you reconcile its prohibitions with the pronouncements of the Holy See , who answered the Commission Ecclesia Dei on 18 January 2003 said that it is possible to satisfy the obligation of Sunday Mass “attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X “; or how do you think you can “break communion with the Church” going to Mass from the Society of St. Pius X, when the Holy See does not consider even more out of the communion of the Bishops of the same fraternity; or if you think that the alleged irregularities canonical equate to a rupture of communion.

We could even ask him why he, the bishop, to organize an ecumenical vigil in the Cathedral (18 January 2014) to pray with people who certainly are not “in communion with the Catholic Church” as an evangelical pastor and an Orthodox bishop (in which Orthodox 2009 gave the church of San Francesco in Genzano, built by our forefathers for Catholic worship), while the faithful can not pray with other Catholics at the Mass of the fraternity.

We might ask why the openness of the diocese is so broad as to include the “First Forum of Christian homosexual”, held in the House of Somascan Fathers on 26-28 March, but [closed to] those who remain tied to the tradition of the Catholic Church.

Do not expect a reply on these points that show very clearly the contradictions of Mons. Semeraro

The Fraternity founded his own ministry to the faithful on the need to combat the errors against the Roman Catholic faith that are widespread in the Church by the Bishops : the one just mentioned ecumenical indifference, so you can give credit to all religions as if they were all ways of salvation, breaking down to the fact the First Commandment of God, until the adoption of a liturgy that moves away from the expression of the dogmas of the Roman Church to become semi-Protestant and irreverent. Errors that are driving more and more, as we have seen in the last Synod, where, under the appearances of mercy, they discussed the possibility of amending the Sixth Commandment and give the facts indissolubility of Christian marriage. The state of grave necessity General due to the widespread distribution of errors against the faith on the part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, canonically founded the right and duty of every faithful priest to give the sacraments and an authentic Catholic education to anyone who requests it.

The Society of St. Pius X, following the example of its founder, will continue to broadcast in full the deposit of faith and morals Catholic Roman , openly siding against all the mistakes they want to deform it, without fear of threats or unfair canonical sanctions , as this deposit or Mgr. Semeraro, nor any other member of the church hierarchy will ever change that. In the words of St. Peter: “We must obey God rather than men.”

All those who wish to receive the sacraments as the Church has always managed, receive an authentic catechesis for their children, an adult education, spiritual direction and a comfort to the sick will always be welcome.

The Italian District of the Society of St. Pius X  - Source

Comment

“…We could even ask him why he, the bishop, to organize an ecumenical vigil in the Cathedral (18 January 2014) to pray with people who certainly are not “in communion with the Catholic Church” as an evangelical pastor and an Orthodox bishop (in which Orthodox 2009 gave the church of San Francesco in Genzano, built by our forefathers for Catholic worship), while the faithful can not pray with other Catholics at the Mass of the fraternity.

We might ask why the openness of the diocese is so broad as to include the “First Forum of Christian homosexual”, held in the House of Somascan Fathers on 26-28 March, but [closed to] those who remain tied to the tradition of the Catholic Church.”

Game, set and match to the SSPX … again.

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