The Mass is The Mass – Right?

find fight follow / findfightfollowBelow is the article Why All Valid Masses Are Not Equal by Robert J. Siscoe, published on The Remnant website.  Some of the real jewels are to be found in the middle and at the end of the article, so don’t read the first paragraph and think you’ve “got it”.   Read the entire article  and, thereafter, comments invited…

Pictured, Cardinal Schönborn celebrates Youth Mass – click here or on the picture, to see for yourself…

Have you ever wondered how to respond to those who equate the efficacy of the Traditional Mass and the Novus Ordo by directing the argument to the level of validity? They rightly point out that any valid Mass is a renewal of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary, which was of infinite value, and then conclude that as long as a Mass is valid, it, too, is of infinite worth, and therefore equally efficacious for those who attend. They might concede that a scandalously celebrated Mass will have a negative effect on the subjective disposition of those present, which could perhaps lessen the amount of grace they receive, but they will insist (or at least imply) that neither liturgical abuses, nor an unworthy priest, nor watered down prayers or profane music, per se, will lessen the efficacy of the Mass or the fruit to be derived there from.

The answer to the above question (how is the Traditional Mass more efficacious than the Novus Ordo) is found in the distinction between the intrinsic and extrinsic value of the Mass. Before delving into this matter, let us recall the four ends of the Mass. The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X explains them as follows:

The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God for four ends: (1) To honour Him properly, and hence it is called Latreutical; (2) To thank Him for His favours, and hence it is called Eucharistical; (3) To appease Him, make Him due satisfaction for our sins, and to help the souls in Purgatory, and hence it is called Propitiatory; (4) To obtain all the graces necessary for us, and hence it is called Impetratory.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Value

When considering the efficacy of the Mass, we must distinguish between the intrinsic value and the extrinsic value. The intrinsic value refers to the efficacious power of the Sacrifice itself. Since the Mass is essentially identical to the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, which was of infinite worth, the intrinsic value of any Mass is itself infinite. In Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, we read:

“The intrinsic value of the Mass, that is, its peculiar dignity and efficacious power of itself (in actu primo), is infinite, on account of the infinite dignity of the Sacrificial Gift, and of the Primary Sacrificial Priest”. (1)

With respect to the Mass’s extrinsic value, we must make a distinction between the extrinsic value in relation to God to whom it is offered, and the extrinsic value in relation to man for whom it is offered. Since God is an infinite being, and therefore capable of receiving an infinite act, the adoration (latreutical) and thanksgiving (eucharistical) offered to God by virtue of the Sacrifice is itself infinite. (2) But since man is a finite creature who is incapable of receiving infinite effects, the effects of the Mass in relation to man – which are referred to as “the fruits of the Mass” – are limited.

In his magnificent book, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Fr. Nicholas Gihr wrote: “if we consider the Eucharistic Sacrifice in itself… as well as the inscrutable treasures therein enclosed… we perceive how the Holy Mass possesses a value absolutely infinite” and then a little further on added: 

“But the case is different when the Eucharistic Sacrifice is considered in its relation to man. From this point of view it aims at procuring our salvation and sanctification, and is, consequently, a means of grace, or rather a source of grace, bringing us the riches of heavenly blessings. (…) The fruits which the Sacrifice of the Mass obtains for us from God are only finite, that is, restricted to a certain number and determining measure… The Sacrifice of the Mass, therefore, with respect to man can have only a restricted efficacy, and in its fruits is capable of only limited application.” (3) 

The same author goes on to explain that the limited efficacy “does not lie in the essence or value of the Sacrifice, since it possesses infinite power for producing every effect”. Rather, “the final and decisive reason for the more or less plentiful application of the sacrificial graces is the will of Christ, in other words, is to be sought in the positive ordinance of God”. (4) He explains that, while the Mass itself is an infinite source of grace, when it comes to “the distribution of His gifts, God requires our cooperation”. (5)  

The Fruits of the Mass

The fruit that an individual derives from a particular Mass is not based solely on their personal piety and devotion, which is only one factor that determines the amount of grace they receive. There are other factors as well that have a bearing on the efficacy of a particular Mass, such as the holiness of the priest, the external glory given to God by the ritual, and even the general holiness of the Church in its members at a given time. These external factors affect the amount of grace a person receives, in such a way, that a person can derive more fruit from the devout hearing of one Mass, than from an equally devout hearing of a different Mass.

The Holiness of the Church

One factor determining the efficacy of the Mass is the general holiness of the Church in its members at a given time, including the bishops and reigning pope. Regarding this point, the old Catholic Encyclopedia says “the greatness and extent of this ecclesiastical service is dependent on the greater or less holiness of the reigning pope, the bishops, and the clergy throughout the world, and for this reason in times of ecclesiastical decay and laxity of morals (especially at the papal court and among the episcopate) the fruits of the Mass, resulting from the sacrificial activity of the Church, might under certain circumstances easily be very small”. (6)

Regarding this same point, Fr. Gihr wrote: “But since the holiness of the Church consists in the sanctity of her members, it is not always and invariably the same, but greater at one period than another; therefore, the Sacrifice of the Church is also at one time in a greater, at another in a less degree pleasing to God and beneficial to man”. (7)

Since this factor is based on the moral condition of the Church as a whole, it will have an equal effect on all Masses offered at a given time in history. The next several factors, however, are based on specific circumstances which have a direct effect on the efficacy of individual Masses.

 The Priest

 St. Thomas explained that the fruits to be derived from a particular Mass are based, in part, on the holiness of the priest celebrant who intercedes for the faithful, “and in this respect there is no doubt but that the Mass of the better priest is the more fruitful”. (8)

A Mass celebrated irreverently by an unworthy priest, or worse still, by one who violates the rubrics, will be less efficacious, and therefore produce fewer fruits than one celebrated by a holy priest who says Mass with devotion and follows the rubrics with precision. Hence, as Fr. Gihr observed, “the faithful are thus guided by sound instinct when they prefer to have Mass celebrated for their intentions by an upright and holy priest, rather than by an unworthy one…” (9) St. Bonaventure said “it is more profitable to hear the Mass of a good priest than of an indifferent one”.

Cardinal Bona (d. 1674) explained it this way:

“The more holy and pleasing to God a priest is, the more acceptable are his prayers and oblations; and the greater his devotion, the greater the benefit to be derived from his Mass. For just as other good works performed by a pious man gain merit in proportion to the zeal and devotion with which they are performed, so Holy Mass is more or less profitable both to the priest who says it and to the persons for whom it is said, according as it is celebrated with more or less fervor”.

The Ritual

Another factor determining the efficacy of a Mass is the degree of external glory given to God. In this respect, not all Rites are equal; neither does a low Mass have the same efficacy as a High Mass. On this point, Fr. Gihr wrote:

“The Church not only offers the Sacrifice, but she moreover unites with its offering various prayers and ceremonies. The sacrificial rites are carried out in the name of the Church and, therefore, powerfully move God to impart His favors and extend His bounty to the living and the dead. By reason of the variety of the formulas of the Mass, the impetratory efficacy of the Sacrifice can be increased… also the nature of the prayers of the Mass and even of its whole rite exerts accordingly an influence upon the measure and nature of the fruits of the Sacrifice. From what has been said there follow several interesting consequences. Among others, that, on the part of the Church, a High Mass solemnly celebrated has greater value and efficacy than merely a low Mass. (…) At a Solemn High Mass the external display is richer and more brilliant than at a low Mass; for at a solemn celebration the Church, in order to elevate the dignity of the Sacrifice, manifests greater pomp, and God is more glorified thereby. (…) This grander and more solemn celebration of the Sacrifice is more acceptable to God and, therefore, more calculated to prevail upon Him to grant us, in His mercy, the favors we implore – that is, to impart greater efficacy to the petitions and supplications of the Church.” (10)

Even the decora has an effect on the fruits of the Mass, insofar as it contributes or detracts from the glory of God. As Fr. Ripperger, FSSP explained in his article on this topic: “If we use objects that do not fit the majesty and the exalted nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can actually detract from the extrinsic merit. Ugly things please God less, and thus merit less”. (11)

The Novus Ordo Missae

If, as Fr. Gihr noted above, “the nature of the prayers of the Mass and even its whole rite” have an effect on the fruits of the Mass, it does not bode well for the Novus Ordo, which, to use the words of Cardinal Ottaviani, “represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent” and “has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants”. (12)

When we consider the liturgical shipwreck that is the Novus Ordo Missae, and the scandalous manner in which the Mass is often celebrated, is there any wonder why the Church is in the condition it is today?   Let us recall the strange and even ominous words used by Paul VI when he introduced the New Mass to the world in November of 1969. In words that no doubt caused anxiety for many, the Pope said:

“We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new Rite of the Mass. This new Rite will be introduced into our celebration of the holy Sacrifice starting from Sunday next which is the first of Advent… a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. … This change will affect the ceremonies of the Mass. We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance,  that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed… We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged to follow those of others. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect. … we must prepare ourselves. This novelty is no small thing. We should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior forms. … We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment”. (13)

Is it any surprise that a Mass described by the Pope who published it as “a many-sided inconvenience” and “nuisance”, which would cause “the feeling of annoyance”, “regret” and “bewilderment”, would have a greatly diminished extrinsic value, and therefore end in disaster for the Church? Almost 30 years later, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.” (14)

Many clear thinking people foresaw, from the outset, the disaster that would result from the Novus Ordo. In the Critical Study of the New Mass (later known as the Ottaviani Intervention), which was written by twelve Roman theologians and signed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, who presented the work to Paul VI, we read:

“To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries was both the sign and pledge of unity of worship, and to replace it with another which cannot but be a sign of division by virtue of the countless liberties implicitly authorized, and which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic religion is, we feel in conscience bound to proclaim, an incalculable error”.

They further observed that “it has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law”. Unfortunately, the “law” was never abrogated and the Church has paid the price, as Cardinal Ratzinger himself noted in 1997.

Conclusion

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X explained the difference between the Sacrifice of Calvary and the Sacrifice of the Mass as follows: “On the Cross Jesus Christ offered Himself by shedding His Blood and meriting for us; whereas on our altars He sacrifices Himself without the shedding of His Blood, and applies to us the fruits of His passion and death.” But as we have seen, the fruits of the Mass (the merits applied to us at Mass) are finite in their application, and contingent on many factors: the holiness of the priest, and the manner in which he says the Mass, will have an effect on the fruits of the Mass; the ritual and even the decora will have an effect on the amount of grace one receives, since the greater the solemnity, beauty and grandeur of the celebration, the greater will be the glory given to God, and consequently greater will be the graces He pours out on those who assist.

For this reason, it is worth the extra effort to attend the Traditional Mass, which Fr. Faber called “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven”, and to avoid, at all costs, the Novus Ordo Missae, which Cardinal Ratzinger himself referred to as “a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product”. (15)  Source

Footnotes:

1) Fundamental of Catholic Dogma, Ott, TAN, pg 414
2) Ibid
3) Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Becktold Printing and Book Mfg Co, 1902), pg 137-138
4) Ibid. p. 138-139
5) Ibid. p. 139
6) Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. X (1913) p. 19
7) Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Becktold Printing and Book Mfg Co, 1902), p. 144
8) Summa, St. Thomas, Pt III, Q 82, A.6
9) Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Becktold Printing and Book Mfg Co, 1902), p. 147
10) Ibid p. 144-145
11) The Merits of a Mass, Fr. Ripperger, Latin Mass Magazine,
12) Ottaviani Intervention
13) Paul VI, General Audience, November 26, 1969
14) Milestones, Ratzinger, 1997
15) The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, by (Msgr Gamber, Introduction to the French edition)

Who Are The Real Schismatics?

NUNSThe LCWR was given 5 years (starting in 2012) to implement a reform and thereby conform itself which Church doctrine and morals. What have been the results of this reform and how has the treatment of the LCWR differed from [that of]  the SSPX?

Once again, the LCWR is in the news for pretty much the same reason:

“Actions by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) at its latest annual assembly suggest that it may be closed to the possibility of reform, one writer on Catholic religious life has said.”[1]

This mega organization of female religious superiors was recently given this description by the Catholic News Agency:

“With some 1,500 members, the LCWR constitutes about 3% of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. However, the group says it represents 80% of American sisters since its members are leaders of their respective religious communities.”[2]

 So, what is the problem with the LCWR? After all, this organization was canonically-erected. And though it acts like the USCCB for female religious, nevertheless, “democratization” of the Church (or collegiality) is in vogue.

The “minor” problem is that this mega power of sisters acts as if it can pick and choose—as heretics are wont to do—what it wants to accept of Church doctrine and authority. This problem of the LCWR was no secret. Despite cries for bringing the dissenting sisters into conformity with Church teaching, they were winked at by the hierarchy. Finally in 2011, the Vatican ordered an Apostolic Visitation to be made by Archbishop Peter Sartain. Not surprisingly, several of the sisters immediately issued an open letter denouncing the visitation as a “witch hunt.”

Paradoxically, the New York Times simultaneously reported on the drastic decrease of priests and religious who were serving as chief executives in Catholic hospitals. For example in the 1960s, the presiding total was 770 in 796 of the nation’s ecclesiastically-run hospitals, whereas today, the figure is 8 out of 636 hospitals.[3] In retrospect, perhaps the literary denouncers should have considered the Visitation as more of a haunted house tour—with mere ghosts of sisters—than a witch hunt!

It is also interesting to note that even the Times drew the connection that the near “extinction” of sisters from hospitals was “accompanied” by the rise of feminism, the sexual revolution and changes wrought by Vatican II.

It is no surprise that the 2012 publication of the LCWR visitation report indicated serious dissent on various Church matters, not only in the doctrinal sphere on such topics as the divinity of Christ and the priesthood, but also in morality, such as on sex and gender matters.

Rather than calling the LCWR to task to immediately rectify these matters of dissent (even to sign on the dotted line), the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith granted Archbishop Sartain an “extension” of up to 5 years to lead a reform.

So how much of this reform has been accomplished within the past two years? Not much as can be witnessed by the recent statement of LCWR board members during its annual assembly just held in Nashville from August 12-16:

“The board members said they wanted to continue in conversation with Archbishop Sartain in order “that new ways may be created within the church [sic] for healthy discussion of differences.”[6]

 What is the implication of such a statement? That these religious have adopted the modernist tactic of “stay put and rock the boat from within”! In fact, this was confirmed by Cardinal Franc Rode in 2011, when he affirmed that there were some in religious life:

“who have chosen paths that have carried them away from communion with Christ in the Catholic Church, even though they have decided to physically “be” in the Church.”[4]

 Hence, it is clear that the LCWR is playing by the same modernist tune of “alter from within”.

Perhaps in the confusion of the post-conciliar crisis these sisters simply “can’t get” what the Catholic Church actually teaches. Such a naïve notion was debunked by Ann Carey, a noted author and contemporary expert on female religious (Sisters in Crisis and Sisters in Crisis Revisited), who just recently told CNA:

“These are educated women, and certainly they have the intellectual ability to understand the doctrinal teachings of the church… Rather than actually engaging some of the doctrinal issues involved, they tend to bring in speakers who reinforce their own views and even propose unproven theories such as ‘conscious evolution’ and ‘new cosmology’”[5]

 So there we have it—the LCWR leadership definitely knows what it is doing in dissenting with Catholic doctrines and morals, let alone Church authority.

The irony here is that the “kid-glove” treatment has been consistently applied to the blatantly dissenting and heterodox LCWR and others of this attitude during the post-conciliar era, while traditional groups such as the Society of St. Pius X, whose fidelity to the Catholic Faith is unquestionable, have received stricter treatment.

The case of the LCWR—to use their own words—is unfortunately another case of the post-conciliar double-standard: those who adhere to the “new ways” are “in” the Church, while those who stand fast with the “old ways” are to be regarded as if they are “out”.  Source

Footnotes
1 Quoted from the August 20, 2014 CNA article, “LCWR may not be open to reform, commentator worries”.
2 Ibid.
3 Cited from the August 20, 2011 article, “Nuns, a ‘Dying Breed,’ Fade From Leadership Roles at Catholic Hospitals”.
4 Cited from December 5, 2008 CNA article, “Renew religious life by returning to founding charisms, Cardinal Rode tells orders”.
5 CNA article of August 20th.
6 National Catholic Reporter piece of August 22, 2014, “LCWR: business as usual despite cloud of Vatican mandate”.

Comment

It’s almost beyond belief that there are still ignorant people out there who describe the SSPX as “schismatic” when no pope has ever said that – quite the reverse. Pope Benedict’s appointed representative said many times (5 times in one interview alone) that anyone who thinks the SSPX is in schism “does not understand the situation.”   In any case, maybe even those numpties who insist on accusing the Society of being in schism, even now as the crisis in the Church lurches from worse to catastrophic, will stop short and ask themselves why on earth the Vatican is tolerating these nuns, whose relationship with Catholic doctrine is about as solid as a bowl of ice-cream, while effectively persecuting the SSPX.  Despite the fact that even the Modernist Pope Francis has not pronounced the Society to be in schism, the continuing  irregular SSPX situation allows the less intelligent (or, at least , the less theologically literate) among us to continue to accuse them of schism. The basic question here then is… what the heck is going on?  Why are these (anything but) religious sisters being treated with kid gloves? 

Fatima: New Text Published…

SrLuciafacingright

In a recent blog post (found here), Antonio Socci, the author of The Fourth Secret of Fatima, notes the importance of a recently published official biography of Sr. Lucia from the Carmelites of Coimbra (the convent where the Portuguese nun lived and died), titledUm caminho sob o olhar de Maria(A Path Under the Gaze of Mary). This explosive new text contains several important writings of Sr. Lucia which were until now previously unpublished. Socci cites a portion of this text which appears to be hugely important in relation to my theory that the alleged “attachment” to the Third Secret is related to St John Paul II’s reputed address at Fulda, Germany in 1980. It concerns a vision which Sr. Lucia had which helped her to overcome her fear about whether or not she should write down the content of the Third Secret:

THE UNPUBLISHED PIECE Towards 16:00 hours on January 3rd, 1944, in the convent’s chapel, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to let her know His will: ‘I then feel that a friendly hand, affectionate and maternal, touches my shoulder.’ It is ‘the Mother of Heaven’ who says to her: ‘be at peace and write what they command you to, but not that which you were given to understand about its meaning,’ intending to allude to the meaning of the vision that the Virgin herself had revealed to her. Right after – says Sr. Lucia – ‘I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in. Hatred, ambition, cause detructive wars. Afterward I felt in the increased beating of my heart and in my spirit a quiet voice which said: ‘in time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. Heaven in eternity!’ This word, ‘Heaven,’ filled my heart with peace and happiness, so much so that, almost without realizing it, I continued to repeat for some time: Heaven, Heaven!’ That is how she was given the strength to write the Third Secret.     Source

Comment

This alleged new text is being discussed across the internet, and since the above blog article, sent to me by the author, is the best report I’ve seen to date, I thought it might be worth posting here.  Your thoughts welcome.

Catholic Truth Challenge: Come Debate With Us, Monsignor Loftus …

manreadingI’ve run out of superlatives to describe the awful column penned by Mgr Basil Loftus in the Catholic Times. To say it’s “awful” is akin to saying there’s a bit of unrest in Iraq these days.

The man doesn’t have a Catholic thought in his head and his utter hatred for the authentic Catholic religion is tangible in just about every sentence. He expects to be allowed to get away with his attacks on the Church but won’t tolerate any criticism of himself  –  click on the image in order to read some history of the Monsignor’s (some would say “almost violent”)  reaction to criticism.

Last week, he re-defined Natural Law, to permit (need you ask) artificial contraception, homosexuality, cohabitation, blah blah.  Of course, he didn’t say that he was re-defining Natural Law; he blamed the “Synod Agenda” for the forthcoming Synod on the Family. That’s his modus operandi:  oh, it’s not li’l ole me, saying this, it’s this obscure theologian, or that heretic or … the “Synod Agenda”. 

Anyway, this week he took a swipe at Father Thomas Ladner, the Austrian priest unjustly (and at any other period in Church history, incomprehensibly) punished for teaching the Faith. (See Challenging Young people to live the faith relevant to today’s everyday life, Catholic Times, 15 August, 2014)

In the Gospel according to Basil, the case of Fr Ladner “illustrates how much change was needed in the way the Church approaches religious education for children”  adding “this 36 year old young fogey – who affects an everyday style of clerical dress – shovel hat, cassock and exaggeratedly full Roman collar – which was never in vogue in Austria, where priests wear secular dress – has been suspended by his bishop from teaching religion to children.  Ladner’s ‘out of date terminology’ and an insistence on the starker aspects of the ‘four last things’ – death, judgement, Hell and Heaven – were judged by the diocese concerned to be ‘unsuitable’ for the age group of the children concerned.’ “

To justify this baloney, Loftus (he is on record with his disapproval of titles such as “Monsignor” so forgive me if I indulge him in this respect) cites Pope Paul VI’s “insistence on a ‘re-examination of methods of pedagogy in religious education’, arguing that “Only if religion is taught in the same fresh and inspired way that, for instance, mathematics is taught today, will it be seen to be relevant…”

The problem with this rigid application of contemporary pedagogy is that it ignores the experience of great saints and Doctors of the Church like St Thérèse of Lisieux, who said she had been so well taught about her Faith that by the time she was three years of age, she knew that she loved God and wanted to give her life to Him.

I know we have an almost inexhaustible list of the faithless who might vie for our vote in a “Heretic of the Year” competition, but Loftus really has to be in the lead. His writings have long been suspect but since the election of “Holy Father Francis” his attacks on the Faith have become increasingly bold and more imaginative. Today, he is trying to convince us all that “innovations” are a good thing in the Church: remember that cry of Pope Saint Pius X: “Far, far from our priests be the love of novelty”? Forget it.  Loftus exhorts us to “appreciate such new developments in doctrine as we now have in the fields of ecumenism, and to acknowledge the need to correct previous errors, such as those in Pius XI’s Syllabus of Errors, which have now been rectified by the innovations of Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Freedom.” He goes on: “Today, moral theology and doctrine are coming together in the wake of the acceptance of evolution and the rehabilitation of Teilhard de Chardin, as theologians look again at what has been taught about the nature and transmission of Original Sin, as well as re-examining the concepts of personal moral responsibility in actual sin.”

Loftus has left us. No question about it.  His hatred of all things traditional and truly Catholic breathes heavily throughout his every column in the Catholic Times, Scottish Catholic Observer and now, I’m told, the Universe. So much for the Catholic papers being a means of spreading the truth. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.

There’s sufficient here already to give a flavour of the extent of Loftus’s faithlessness, which expresses itself very nastily, as for example, when he refers to the sacred vestments as “the kind of diaphanous lace frippery usually seen only on the tea-tables of elderly spinsters…”  And this, under a large picture of priests offering the traditional Latin Mass –  for which, of course, Loftus manifests a particular and diabolical hatred. (see Getting rid of lace garb in the liturgy, Catholic Times: 12 February, 2012)

He’s also on record with his mockery of anything approaching childlike faith; devotions, including Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament are belittled in another article.  Here, we read: “In a real sense, too, our spiritual life has to move on from just the Baby Jesus, or indeed any other aspect of Jesus, to the realisation that Christ’s own life is oriented to the Father… [and then] at Pentecost, we have come of age…In Pantomime terms the Holy Spirit has usurped Christ’s role as principal boy in the Church.” (We are Kingdom people growing up in the Faith, Catholic times, 12 June, 2011).

Close to blasphemy you say?  You may be right.  Thing is, there’s no way to express our concerns about Loftus. Letters to the Editor (certainly the ones I’ve written and others that I’ve seen when readers kindly send me copies they’ve submitted) do not get published OR if they ARE published, there’s a rebuttal alongside from Loftus. This is highly unprofessional of the Editor, of course, but that’s the way they’ve decided to deal with anyone who dares to criticise this priest-columnist.  Don’t ask me how much he’s paid for his attacks on the Faith – I won’t speculate except to say it’s too much, far too much, and as he will find out at his Judgement, definitely not worth the consequences of undermining revealed doctrine, God’s natural moral law, and thus creating doubt in souls.

In the absence of any other means of making our concerns known to this priest, therefore, we’ve decided to challenge him to defend his writings in a public debate.  I, moi, will debate with him, and at least one other blogger has agreed to be supporting speaker.  All will be revealed in due course. If, that is, the Monsignor is up to the challenge.  Catholic Truth will host the event, so what do you think – will he? Won’t he?

And we  are willing to extend the challenge to any priest in the UK who would like to defend their decision to make the Catholic papers available for sale in their churches. They are selling poison, damaging the Faith of Catholics who are living at a time of great crisis in the Church and who trust their priests to give them bread, not stones.

So, Monsignor, you first. Will you take up our challenge?

Fathers – any of you willing to debate with us?

Defending the indefensible is tough, right enough  – no question about it. So let’s see if any of them will try.

Pope Francis: There is only one Korea (and one Church, Holy Father…)

PopeFrancisKoreaDaejeon, South Korea, Aug 15, 2014 / 04:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Addressing the division between North and South Korea, Pope Francis emphasized that the two are “one family,” calling for prayers of re-unification while stressing repentance and forgiveness. “There is only one Korea, but this family is divided,” the Pope said to a large gathering of young people from across the continent.

His off-the-cuff comments came during an Aug. 15 gathering with youth of Asia at Solmoe Shrine, birthplace of the first Korean-born priest, St. Andrew Kim Taegon, who was martyred in the 1800s. The gathering was part of his Aug. 13-18 visit to South Korea, which coincides with the Sixth Asian Youth Day. After giving prepared remarks in English, Pope Francis told the young people that he wanted to speak to them spontaneously and from the heart.

Encouraged by the eager applause of those present, he set aside his text and began speaking in Italian, with the help of a translator. The Pope encouraged those gathered at the event to pray for their “brothers and sisters in the north,” asking God to guide them to unity, and leaving aside a sense of winners and losers in order to embrace one Korean family. He then paused and invited those gathered spend a moment praying in silence for unity of North and South Korea. Despite the divisions, the pontiff said, “Korea is one family” that speaks the same language.

He pointed to the Biblical account of Joseph in the book of Genesis, observing that the brothers set out to seek food during a time of famine, but instead they find a brother, whom they had earlier sold into slavery. The brothers were linked to Joseph, the Pope observed, by a common language. “Your brothers and sisters in North Korea are speaking the same language, and that gives me hope for the future of the human family,” he said. Pope Francis then discussed the parable of the Prodigal Son, which a group of young people had re-enacted earlier during the gathering. He noted that the prodigal son made the difficult decision to come back and ask forgiveness for all that he had done. The father in the parable, he added, saw the son while he was still a long way off and ran to him, embracing him before he could even apologize. This is the celebration that God loves best of all, when we return home, the Pope said. Although we might make terrible mistakes in our lives, “God will always be waiting for us to return.”

Addressing the priests present, the Holy Father asked that they might be merciful to returning sinners, in imitation of God’s constant desire to embrace us despite our sins.  “We must never be afraid to return to God. And God will celebrate,” he said. “God is never tired of waiting for us. He is never tired of welcoming us back home again.”   Source

Comment

Pope Francis has caused immense scandal since he took office, primarily for his refusal to “sell” Catholicism.  He  attacks those with a remotely “traditional leaning” at just about every opportunity,  and  he recently apologised to Pentecostal Protestants for the refusal of Catholics to help them spread their false beliefs, accusing these bad Catholics of having given in to temptations from the Devil.  It’s beyond farcical.  Now we have him in Korea, unafraid to court controversy by insisting that there is only “one Korea” –  akin to a family divided.  Is he keeping the best wine until last? Will he, one of these fine days, tell the world that there is only one Church, as well as one Korea, and that Church is the Catholic Church? Will he recall that this one Church also has the same language, Latin, the language of the Universal Church, as he was quick to point out that north and south Korea share the same language – a key point of unity? 

Above all, will Pope Francis do his duty and exhort everyone to enter/remain in this one true Church? Will he ask himself whether now is the time to consecrate Russia, as Our Lady requested, in order to achieve world peace, or does he not connect the dots of north and south Korea… Iraq and the slaughter of Christians… the worsening crisis in the Middle East. Planting olive trees seems to have only made things worse over there, so no point in any more speeches or empty symbolism.  Obey your Mother, Holy Father. Or prepare for terrible consequences, both here and hereafter.  

Happy Feast of the Assumption!

As with all Feast Day threads, feel free to offer your favourite prayers, hymns, stories, whatever, to honour Our Lady on this most important Feast Day.

Note: if you would like to attend a Traditional Latin Mass to mark this Holy Day, there is Mass in the SSPX chapel in Renfrew Street, Glasgow at 6.30pm this evening. Or in the Society’s Edinburgh chapel at 12.30pm. All welcome. Scroll down this list for chapel addresses.