First in the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Explored, where we discuss “salvation” with a fundamentalist Protestant.
First in the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Explored, where we discuss “salvation” with a fundamentalist Protestant.
Why is it that so many – probably most – Catholics have accepted the new Luminous Mysteries uncritically?
And is Father Albert right to say that these new “mysteries of light” put Our Lady aside?
The new Vatican document ‘Male And Female He Created Them’ is coming under fire from the LGBT+ lobby, who, predictably, claim that it will encourage hatred and bigotry… Click here to read more…
In fact, the document is calling for the usual “dialogue” (yawn) so if the LGBT+ folks can prove their case, who will Pope Francis be to judge?
Share your thoughts…
On the plane ride back from his trip to Romania, Pope Francis told reporters that since “there is already Christian unity,” there is no need for the faithful to “wait for the theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.” Some progressive Catholics have considered this to be evidence that the pope may be open to granting full Eucharistic communion to non-Catholics. If that is indeed what Francis meant — what else could he have meant? — then he is forcing the Church to address a series of rather difficult and uncomfortable questions.
Not least among them: What is the Eucharist? Is it a tool to be used to facilitate a “Christian unity” that the pope insists “already” exists? Or is it an expression of full communion with the Catholic Church? If the Church reverses herself and contradicts her unbroken Magisterium on the admission of schismatics and dissenters to the sacraments, what happens to her dogmatic integrity on other settled questions of faith and morals? Is the entire canon perpetually subject to the modish preferences of the current and future occupants of the Petrine chair? Most astounding, why is she unwilling to “wait for the theologians to come to agreement” before making a change of such gravity?
Theology, in St. Anselm’s classic formula, is fides quaerens intellectum — faith seeking understanding. If the pope’s goal is to formulate a discipline wherein faith is joined to right reason, there is nothing to fear in allowing rightly disposed “theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.” If his goal is to unshackle the Church from her bimillennial moorings, that is another project altogether, one that might not be aided by waiting for a consensus of theological opinion. Click here to read the rest of this [worrying] report…
The author of the above National Review report is manifestly correct in pointing out that: Popes throughout the centuries were undivided in their opinion on the subject. Particularly before the Second Vatican Council, popes were stark in their indiscriminate opposition to intercommunion, considering it a profanation and an abject evil to be avoided. Pope Pius IX put it rather precisely in his encyclical Amantissimus (1862), where he proclaimed that “whoever eats of the Lamb and is not a member of the Church has profaned.” Such precision is of little import to the “innovators” that Pope Pius XII warned the faithful about. Give the “innovators” of the post-conciliar Church enough time and they will wiggle their way out of even the Church’s most unambiguous statements of antiquity [emphasis added].
It’s getting to the stage where we are all going to have to check with our priests/bishops every time the Pope is quoted in the media, to ask if we are going to see this or that change (in this case inter-communion) in our own local churches, as we did when we learned that he had ordered a change to the words of the Our Father. Outrageous.
We must obviously re-double our prayers and use all the means available to us to bring about the spirit of faith that would lead to the Consecration of Russia – see www.fatima.org – and thus an end to this scandalous papacy.
That’s what we – the humble laity – can do. What about the clergy, the bishops, though. Aren’t ANY of the UK bishops and priests remotely concerned, do any of them have a sense of duty that might lead them to DO something about this pope? Interesting that the National Review report concludes with a quote from Pope St Pius X – To echo the lament of Pope Pius X, “Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!” Yet, modern priests have embraced novelty. Why is that? By speaking out to warn against this Pope’s errors, priests may, of course, lose their position, their parish, their office – but they won’t lose their heads, as did our great martyrs of old. Come on, there must SURELY be someone in the ordained class who will speak out to warn the faithful about this dreadful pontiff. Or am I about to wake up in the “real world” again? And what, if anything, in practical terms, can we do if inter-communion is introduced in our parish?
Saint Paul the Apostle teaches that we cannot claim to be followers of Christ if we do not live to the highest standards of Christian Charity…
If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
So, what, if anything, is the “problem” with Christian charity? As one reader said to me recently, if we lived up to St Paul’s teaching, we would never say a single negative word about another person, outside of the duties of a parent, teacher or priest who may, of necessity, have to do so. But, surely, it’s impossible to live up to that very high standard?
It got me thinking about my own parents (RIP) who, notwithstanding the fact that they had their faults like everyone else, were the only people I have ever known who genuinely kept the rule of charity at the forefront of their lives – I do not recall either of them ever gossiping or bad-mouthing anyone in our extended family or among neighbours, acquaintances, work colleagues or friends. Never. Which got me wondering … what on earth did they chat about when out of earshot of the rest of the family? 😀 I have to admit upfront that while some relatives and friends have told me that I look like my mother, others think I look like my father, nobody has suggested that I share their charitable disposition(s). If only. Indeed, Just writing this piece is testing my charity and reminding me of just how greatly I am absent this virtue.
I’ve been involved in a couple of interesting conversations recently, on the subject of how to be charitable, the danger of defamation in talking about others, and a few issues have been highlighted – notably the “problem” with practising authentic Christian charity when there are divisions at home, work, or in our parishes. It has been my misfortune to witness some such divisions at church which have festered for many years. Two separate issues here are compounding the problem of living in true charity with others.
Firstly, personal weakness; the fact is, no matter how difficult, no matter how much we dislike it, if we wish to truly follow Christ then we have no option but to show respect towards our neighbour; to, as Our Lord put it, “do good to those who persecute [us]”. That’s a “problem” only when we fight it. If – as great saints like St Therese of Lisieux taught – we embrace the need to see Christ in everyone we meet, and do all in our power to actively show charity, (respect, generosity, however we think of it) which is very different from emotional “love” (to which we are not at all obliged) then it ceases to be a problem and, if we are to believe the great saints, becomes a wonderful spiritual adventure.
Secondly, those with responsibility for the souls of others – parents, teachers, priests – who fail to do their duty in correcting bad behaviour, are contributing to the “problem” of charity, so to speak. Writing about “schism” in the Winter 2004 edition of The Fatima Crusader, Father Nicholas Gruner (RIP) provides insight into the role played by clergy in the avoidance of parish divisions:
“A superior can also be guilty of schism by giving an order, or appearance of an order to the faithful in his charge, which by the very nature of the order, causes the faithful to fight among themselves. An example would be telling one half of the congregation to do one thing and telling the second half to do the opposite… Schism is terrible because it brings disorder, unhappiness and quarrelling amongst the members of the Church who should be at peace. That peace is to reflect the peace of the Church in Heaven. That peace is to be a sign to those inside and outside the Church of its divine mission: “See how they love one another” is what Christ wills for His Church, to be one piece of evidence to non-Catholics that the Catholic Church is the one true Church. Peace within the Catholic Church is also meant to be a comfort and joy to all Catholics. [see ‘Schism and the Common Good’, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 57, pp. 24ff and Issue 59, pp. 35ff]
So, what do you think? IS Christian charity a “problem” – or do we, by refusing to seriously apply the teaching of Christ and the exhortations of St Paul – make it a problem? Share your thoughts, your ideas, and any suggestions you may have to help us all move forward in true charity in our everyday lives.
“For, if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even the publicans do this?” (Matt 5:46)
Fr Stephen Dunn celebrates 25 years of Christ’s priesthood on Friday 28th June 2019.
It was on Wed 28th June 1994 at 7pm in Holy Cross, Govanhill that Cardinal Thomas Winning ordained him to the priesthood.
This year at 7pm on Fri 28th June, Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr Stephen, again in Holy Cross, Dixon Ave, is offering a Thanksgiving Mass of the Father’s gift of Christ’s priesthood to him, with a sung Tridentine Mass.
Fr Stephen would love you to join him in this Celebration.
This notice will remain at the top of the page until after Fr Dunn’s silver jubilee Mass. Please, therefore, check the sidebar to find the newest post – the current post, just published is here …
Aboard the papal flight from Romania — Pope Francis has criticized traditionalist Catholics who seek to “safeguard the ashes” of the past, saying the global church’s centuries of tradition are not akin to a container for preserved objects but instead like roots to be drawn on for future growth.
In a press conference aboard the papal flight back to Rome after his three-day visit to Romania, he singled out Catholic “fundamentalists,” who he said have a nostalgia for “returning to the ashes.”
Ed: reflect for a moment on the fact that here, Pope Francis is, yet again, rubbishing Catholic Tradition. Unsurprisingly, he departs from the teachings of the truly great popes, including saints and martyrs, the Fathers of the Church who went before him. Here’s a couple of examples…
St. Irenaeus of Lyons “Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?”
Pope Stephen I, to St. Cyrpian of Carthage “Let there be no innovation; keep to what has been handed down.”
“Tradition is the guarantee of the future and not the container of the ashes,” said Francis. “Tradition is like roots [of a tree], which give us nutrition to grow,” he explained. “You will not become like the roots. You will flower, grow, give fruit. And the seeds become roots for other people.”
Ed: what a load of… Talk about never saying two words when twenty will suffice.
“The tradition of the church is always in movement,” he said. “The tradition does not safeguard the ashes.”
Ed: by “ashes” we take it that he means the teaching of the Church, God’s revelation of dogma and the moral law…
St. Augustine “The customs of God’s people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God.”
The report continues…
Francis did not specify in his remarks whom he had in mind while speaking of Catholic traditionalists. But the pontiff has come under criticism during his six-year papacy from a vocal minority of Catholics, including some cardinals, who have expressed concern that he has not been clear in enunciating some of the church’s teachings.
Ed: don’t you just love the understatement? “Expressed concern”? We’ve got Catholics questioning whether or not he really IS a pope! Priceless. He’s widely considered the first Protestant Pope! It’s a tad more than a bit of concern. Trust me on this.
Francis spoke about the church’s tradition after being asked about his relationship with retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Ed: remember him? [pictured right]. He who asked us to pray that he “would not flee for fear of the wolves” and then did a runner?
Francis repeated his frequent characterization that having Benedict live in retirement at the Vatican is for him like having a grandfather at home. Francis said that going to speak with his predecessor always gives him strength.
Ed: hardly surprising – they’re both modernists. Only difference, Benedict at least looked the part, Francis… well…
“I feel the nutrition coming up through the roots, and it helps me go forward,” said Francis.
Ed: Oh, please…
St. Vincent of Lerins “I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.”
The report continues…
Among other issues he spoke about in the half-hour press conference, the pope also made an impassioned plea for Catholics to pray for the future of the European Union, which he said has “aged” and is in danger of being “overcome by pessimism.”
Ed: it’s in danger of falling apart, and all because it was a very bad idea in the first place…
In his first remarks about the 28-member block since European parliamentary elections last week resulted in gains for populist parties across the continent, the pope lamented the appearance of what he called “new borders” across the EU and said the organization “has lost the goal of working together.”
Ed: er…no… we just want to control our own borders and find new ways of working together.
“Europe is not being attacked by cannons or bombs in this moment but by ideologies, ideologies that are not European, that come either from outside or that stem from small groups,” he said.
Ed: by “small groups” he means, presumably the nation states like the UK who wish to make our own decisions, even our own laws! Cheek of us!
After referring to the tragedy of the two World Wars, he pleaded: “Please, let’s not return to this. Let’s learn from history. Let’s not fall in the same hole.”
“I would say to believers, ‘Pray for Europe … for unity, that the Lord will give us this grace,’ ” the pope added later.
Francis had been in Romania May 31-June 2 for a visit that focused both on encouraging the country’s minority Catholic population and reaching out to the 16-million-member Romanian Orthodox Church.
Asked about his May 31 meeting with Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel, Francis called him “a man of great heart, and a great scholar.”
“He is also a man of prayer,” said the pope. “It is easy to get close to Daniel because I felt that he was a brother.”
Ed: well, yeah, he’s sure to be a “brother” – he’s a non-Catholic religious leader, for goodness sake! It’s only those pesky “traditional Catholics” who are not brothers or sisters, remember?
Francis said that ecumenical relations between Catholics and Orthodox are built by walking together, and by jointly serving those in need. “There is already Christian unity,” he said. “Let’s not wait for the theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.”
Ed: Excuse me? Is this a call to even more liturgical
“The Eucharist is celebrated everyday with prayer, with remembrance of the blood of our martyrs, with the works of charity, and also wanting each other to be well,” he added.
Ed: “our martyrs”? Are there schismatic “martyrs” in Heaven?
Francis also addressed the prayer service he and Daniel hosted together, in which the two leaders both recited the Our Father prayer in each other’s presence, but separately — the pope going first in Latin, followed by the patriarch in Romanian.
Ed: Latin? Latin, Holy Father… Latin? You serious? You are in our [vernacular] prayers… Worry not; you may still save your soul if you repent asap… Latin? Whatever next!
Some right-wing Orthodox consider it inappropriate for believers to pray with Catholics. The pope revealed that while the patriarch said the prayer in Romanian, Francis had said it again quietly in Italian. He said that from what he could see, “the majority” of the crowd gathered for the event at Bucharest’s new Orthodox Cathedral had prayed both times.
Ed: well, there you go. Not a wasted trip after all… Some folk said the Our Father twice! WOW!
“The people went beyond us leaders,” said Francis. “We leaders must have diplomatic balance, to ensure that we are going forward together. There are diplomatic rules that are good to safeguard, so as not to ruin the thing. But the people pray together.”
Ed: I’m running out of sarcasm. Help!
Making his first reference in the press conference to Catholic “fundamentalists,” the pontiff said that even some Catholics are “closed” on the issue of praying with Orthodox, thinking them schismatics.
Ed: and you – of all the popes in history – are here to tell us we’re wrong?
“There are Catholic groups who are a bit fundamentalist,” said the pope. “We must tolerate it, praying for them, so that the Lord and the Holy Spirit soften their hearts a bit.”
Ed: shucks thanks, Papa Francis. I now know why the blogger who emailed me this article wrote only one word in his message – “unbelievable”! Let me add with bells and ribbons on!
Comments invited – needn’t be terribly polite – just printable 😀