I’ve been persuaded to visit one of the destinations listedhere to honour the great Saint Thérèse of Lisieux while her relics are in Scotland. It didn’t take too much arm-twisting; she was my favourite saint, during my childhood and I took her name at my Confirmation.
I wasn’t sure about posting a thread on the topic, however, given a previous discussion where a Catholic journalist pronounced herself protestantised because she lacks attraction to lots of Catholic practices, such as indulgences. I don’t think she mentions relics but it’s really a given that she would rank the veneration of relics alongside the rather “superstitious” practice of seeking indulgences – click here
Indeed, in a previous discussion, we had a very outspoken critic of the practice of venerating relics – one of those critics, long gone, who only paid us a visit now and then, for the apparent purpose of pulling us all to bits. Anyway, she strongly objected to the veneration of relics. I’ve tried, briefly, to locate that thread but without success. Maybe she’ll come on again to repeat her objections. Our luck can’t hold out forever 😀
In any event, faced with having to explain the purpose of such a tour, where the faithful essentially make a pilgrimage (long or short journey), in order to venerate the relics of a saint, what would you say – what IS the purpose of the veneration of relics – check herefor some interesting facts about this practice, including examples from Sacred Scripture.
Finally, are you pleased that the relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux are here in Scotland… right now? Will you travel to one of the destinations – see the itinerary here. If not, why not?
On this Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, share your favourite prayers, novenas, hymns, experiences etc. And perhaps reflect on the dedication of the nuns, brothers and priests of the Carmelite Order who pray and make sacrifices for the Church and the world. The short film below about one community of Carmelite nuns is a reminder that we are perhaps not grateful enough for the sacrifices made by our Religious.
Editor writes: The following comment came to me in an email a few days ago, and I thought it might provoke an interesting discussion on the question of whether Third Order membership risks distorting the lay vocation… Correspondent writes: I found [the following] on an SSPX [Facebook] site…
Education is a process. It [does not happen] overnight. So if you think you are educating people by provoking them, [no matter] how good your intentions may be, still you [make] them feel [angry, notwithstanding] your charitable intention with [what seems like an] uncharitable approach. How do you feel after posting things that provoke your neighbor? if you are happy, I think you are on your way to great punishment. We should not be happy [when we provoke others to anger] instead we [should] show some remorse or [pity for] those who do not see the crisis.
Instead of talking, have you gone in the streets to bring food for the hungry? Or have you dressed the naked? These things are much more important than you asking the approval of people and in the process your virtues are compromised. So live a normal life in accordance to one’s state. If you have kids better save them and discipline them instead of other kids you focus your attention to. If you are an employee focus your attention to your work and offer every work for God rather telling people about the crisis, which makes people flee from your sight and [you] lose the chance of showing them – instead -your good works. That is not the way.
Let God do his works in finding sinners, not you. You are to show your light in that area where you are, for people to see God through you, and find people whom He wants to give the grace. That is our work. Let the Church[man] do his job and you focus on your job and save your soul.
Yes, the Church is in a state of emergency but let the hierarchy do the job not you. God asks from you to pray for the Pope, for Him to solve this crisis. God is not asking you to tell the people about the crisis. He sent Mary to inform people, to [tell them to] offer prayers and sacrifices for the reparation of sins and that is what we should do. More often we are more concerned about informing people about the crisis and we have not even prayed and fasted for a month, or at least become a victim for others.
God’s way is consistent. St. Therese of the Child Jesus preached through offering every little thing for God and why can’t we do the same? It is better you take away your TV at home than you telling people about the crisis. See the difference?
In conclusion, the Church is in its stage where people knows about the Catholic Church, however they hate it. So if you start talking you will lose the chance. It would better if you recommend him or her to God and say your rosary every hour for them. Let your deep conversion transcend and illuminate your light for others to see God through that light.
Unfortunately, our correspondent was unable to copy the link to the above Facebook comment. If you click here, however, you will read the official SSPX Third Order page. While the sentiments expressed in the above Facebook comment do not accurately reflect the official position of the Society as set out in the above Third Order page, they are not uncommon among the Catholic laity today. How come, then, that the above commentator has formed his/her erroneous view about the lay vocation? Do you think Catholics who take on membership of Third Orders – whether SSPX, Franciscan, Dominican, whatever, risk misinterpreting their vocation as lay people – as the above Facebook commentator has misinterpreted it? Or maybe you think he/she has not misinterpreted the lay vocation, but has got it right. That we should forget about alerting other Catholics to the crisis in the Church, and the fact that Pope Francis is doing much damage, and just leave it all to God. Share your thoughts. Politely 😀
“The pedophile scandal in the Catholic Church is not a pedophile scandal. The vast majority of victims are post-pubescent teens and young men. The real problem in the Church that everyone sees and few will say out loud: gay priests.” (Matt Walsh, Twitter)
I’m taking some heat on Twitter today because I said that the real problem in the Catholic Church isn’t pedophilia but gay priests. As the statistics clearly show, the vast majority of predators in the clergy were homosexual and the vast majority were not pedophiles. The same study that reported those figures did try to absolve gay priests by claiming that their homosexuality had nothing to do with anything. But this is an assumption — I think a plainly absurd and unprovable assumption — that is not born out by their own statistics.
And the problem goes beyond sex abuse of minors. As Rod Dreher has been reporting, and liberal publications agree, homosexuality runs rampant in the modern priesthood. Sexual activity between priests, and between priests and seminarians, is not uncommon. I think it is rather difficult to separate these facts from the fact that teen boys were so often sexually victimized. Is it just a coincidence that gay priests exist in such large numbers, protected by gay cabals within the Church, and at the same time there happen to be a bunch of priests molesting pubescent boys? Are these two realities entirely separate from one another?
Take the case of the scummy Cardinal McCarrick. He has been accused of preying upon young boys. But most of the stories that have come out about him revolve around his sexual exploits with seminarians. Grown men, in other words. Yet we are told that the fact of his homosexuality is irrelevant. How could it be? If he were not a homosexual, he would not have molested boys. Who could dispute this? I’m not claiming that all homosexuals molest boys. I am claiming that only homosexuals molest boys. A non-homosexual, by definition, is not attracted to males.
I will be told that sex abuse is about “power” not sex, but of course this is ridiculous. It is about both. If all you seek is power over someone, there are other ways to achieve that aim without sexually assaulting them. If you choose sex as your means, then it would follow that you are sexually attracted to your victim.
80% of the victims in the Church have been males. Is it difficult to see how thousands of boys may have been spared this experience if there had not been so many homosexuals in the priesthood? Or are we going to pretend that even a heterosexual may attempt to get his thrills by molesting a 15 year old boy? If so, I have no idea what the words heterosexual and homosexual mean anymore.
I have been accused of focusing on this issue because it implicates gays while ignoring abuse perpetrated by heterosexuals. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I have written extensively about the epidemic of (mostly heterosexual) abuse in the public school system. There is very little public interest in this problem, and I have not been able to generate much through my own efforts, but not for lack of trying. As I have observed, it is probably not a great idea to have women in their 20’s teaching teenaged boys, just as it is not ideal to have men in their 20’s teaching teenaged girls. We may not always have much of a choice, but the problems inherent in such an arrangement are apparent.
In a similar way, it is not a good idea to have homosexual men living together in rectories and seminaries, and working closely with teen boys. This is not a homophobic theory I am positing. It is an observation I am making based on 50 years worth of data. It is nothing but moral cowardice to refuse to face the facts. Source – The Daily Wire
Given the above facts, the criteria already set out by the Vatican document Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders (S. C. Rel., 2 Feb., 1961) which contains the following warning, is worth noting: Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.
This prohibition on ordaining homosexuals is repeated in 2005 here so, there can be no possible justification for seminaries to continue accepting and ordaining homosexual men,: “… the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”. Source
Or, must we ignore the facts, and opt for political correctness to “move with the [ever-changing] – and ever-more sexually permissive – times”?
A young boy was beaten black and blue after catching two nuns in an embrace, an inquiry has heard. A witness said he was six or seven when one of the nuns went “mental” and lashed out at him in a boiler-room at a care institution in the 1960s.
He told Scotland’s child abuse inquiry the “vicious” assault left him bruised and with blood coming out of his ear and nose. The witness, who cannot be identified, was speaking of his experiences at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which closed in the 1980s. He said he moved to the orphanage, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, in the mid-1960s and was never given any love, affection or praise from the nuns and staff.
Physical abuse in the form of slaps and kicks was routine “for trivial stuff”, he told the hearing in Edinburgh. Read entire report by clicking here
Reading some of the horrendous allegations from former orphans at Smyllum Park is earth-shattering. If even some of these allegations are true then nobody in their right mind would seek to justify such abuse in any way whatsoever.
However, it would be mindless to presume guilt, not least because, if such apparently unbridled brutality were the norm at that institution, all sorts of grave questions arise, beginning with what sort of women were choosing to enter the Religious Life and why?
Anyone who has taken even a cursory glance at the Rule of any of the great Religious Orders knows that prior to the “reforms” of Vatican II which followed the Council at its close in 1965, they were renowned for their strictness. Not only the enclosed, contemplative Orders, but the active Orders, such as the Daughters of Charity, were bound by detailed rules throughout their daily lives. Permissions were required from Superiors for every little thing, and the idea that two Sisters could find a corner to engage in physical or sexual activity in a boiler room or anywhere else, just beggars belief. That’s not to say it didn’t happen. Obviously, I don’t know, and these allegations do date from the 1960’s when laxity in the Religious Orders as elsewhere, had taken a foothold.
That still leaves the question of the sort of women choosing Religious Life, and their motivation. Were our Religious Houses jam-packed with evil women who detested children and enjoyed inflicting pain and suffering such as that described by former orphans at Smyllum – or, again, assuming the truth of the allegations, is there another explanation, beyond the obvious diabolical activity at work in the souls of the guilty? And were there no postulants or novices who left before final vows in disgust to report this scandal to the Bishop, let alone the police? Surely not every nun was immersed in such evil and brutality. Those are the first questions that came to my mind on reading about the Smyllum scandal. What are the questions you’d want answered?