Priestly Formation: Back to the Future?

Comment:

Clearly, the ongoing flood of scandals involving seminarians and priests calls into question the type of formation taking place (or not taking place) in contemporary seminaries.  The above “A Day in the Life of a Seminarian” offers a glimpse into the training of priests in a “traditional” Catholic seminary.  But note –  prior to Vatican II, the word “traditional” was not used to describe – as now  – a specific group of Catholics.  ALL Catholics were taught to hold fast to both Tradition and Sacred Scripture, which bear equal weight within the Church.

We are reliably informed, as if it’s not obvious, that these days the sort of disciplined seminary life shown in the above video is not the norm in diocesan seminaries.  They seem to be run more like a hostel for young single men, who may come and go as they please, eat out with friends (male and female) and generally live as an independent, single man. 

Surely then, one key ingredient in the ending of the current scandal-ridden priesthood is a return to the sort of disciplined, spiritual, rigorously academic and thoroughly Catholic formation which the students in the above video are enjoying. 

Critics will argue that such a restrictive regime won’t attract modern young men – what do you think?  

IVF: Legal Gender Selection Looming?

From the Mail Online…

Britain is a global leader in assisted reproduction. Four decades ago, it was a British team that pioneered in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, resulting in the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in July 1978.

Some six million births worldwide later, we continue to be at the forefront of reproductive science.  Source – Mail Online


Comment: 

The Mail Online report goes on to bemoan the fact that this supposed great “new knowledge” can be “harnessed for negative purposes” – citing the scandal of UK doctors caught by undercover reporters illegally providing gender selection. 

However, what’s the bet that what the Mail Online today thinks is “negative” and is rightly illegal,  tomorrow will be advertised as a wonderful advancement which must be allowed in law? 

After all, if couples are permitted to design their own babies in a test-tube, why not allow them to go the whole hog and choose a boy or a girl … or even a “they” from among the 72 or so genders now on offer… 

Gimme strength; that’s my opinion!  What’s yours?  And what about your priest?  Bishop?  They need to preach against this sort of attack on the natural order, to inform Catholics who are as ignorant about the (im)morality of these contemporary scientific “advancements” as everyone else.  

For the record, here is Catholic teaching in a short video presentation…

 

October: Month of the Holy Rosary – How to Meditate on the Mysteries…

 

Comment:

Share your tips on how to pray the Rosary well.  And any stories you wish to share about the power of the Rosary are most welcome!

Let’s remember, too, to pray for the repose of the soul of Father Nicholas Gruner, in this  month of the Rosary.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace. Amen. 

SSPX Puzzling Response to Abuse Crisis

From The Remnant

On September 15, an article quietly appeared on the Society of St. Pius X website which acknowledged, for the first time, what some are calling the Scandal of the Century—new and devastating revelations of the full extent of the clerical sex crisis which has been rocking the Church for decades.

Though this article commented in depth on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, oddly enough it makes no mention of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s bombshell 11-page testimony which in many ways stole the thunder of the Pennsylvania report, and I can’t figure out why they omitted this.

On the Vatican’s reaction to the revelations in Pennsylvania, the Society report quotes Greg Burke’s defense of Francis, claiming that, “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side.”

To my knowledge, the author of this Society brief is among only a handful who still take the affidavits and assurances of the Vatican’s damage control agent, Greg Burke, at all seriously.

The Society report is useful since it collates the reactions of others to this biggest crisis since the promulgation of the New Mass. For example, it mentions that “in the US, over 140 theologians, educators and lay directors called for all the American bishops to resign” in an open letter of provocation. But then it also highlights Pope Francis’ (the “Sovereign Pontiff”) words in his Letter to the People of God:

“In his letter, the successor of Peter considered that one of the sources of these ‘ecclesial wounds’ is a ‘peculiar way of understanding the Church’s authority.’ ‘Clericalism’, he accused, ‘supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today,’ such as ‘the thirst for power and possessions’ and spiritual corruption.’” (Whether or not the SSPX concurs with this papal diversionary tactic is not obvious to the reader.)
The report moves on into the general reaction to the Pope’s letter, citing the issues raised by journalist Aldo Maria Valli, LifeSiteNews, unavox.it, and Carlos Esteban, a Spanish journalist. But the report does not here add any of its own critique, which I find frustrating since the Society should be in a position to hold a hard line on this. Confusion and ambiguity are tools of the Vatican. Let’s not do that.

In the final section, entitled: The Hypocrisy of the World and the Statistical Reality, the Society report states: “The fact that men invested with the priestly dignity could have committed such acts is indeed a shame.” And then moves on to suggest that much of this is the work of anti-Catholic media:

“The media attacks the Church furiously while pretending to forget that these cases, as scandalous as they may be, are only a tiny minority compared to the abuse committed by adults on children in schools, sports activities, or stepfamilies, not to mention the shady circles of fashion, the show business and the media.”

The report then lists stats which appear to show a higher number of abuse cases in families and among peers than those which originate from priests and religious. No doubt, this may be the case. But what is the Society report getting at?

To my thinking, for even just one Catholic priest to abuse a child or engage in homosexual acts is infinitely worse than for a hundred pagans who don’t know better to do something similar. And the fact that so many dioceses have lost lawsuits and had to pay out millions of dollars is itself proof that this problem cannot be dismissed as mostly the concoction of Catholic-bashing media.  Click here to read entire Remnant article…

Comment:

Since the SSPX holds claim to being the “lifeboat” sent by God to see us through this horrendous time of crisis and scandal, surely the Society Superiors, bishops and priests should be right at the forefront of exposing and correcting everything to do with this crisis? Providing the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments is crucially important, of course, but nobody, absolutely nobody can remain silent – or appear to makes excuses for – any aspect of this crisis, least of all the homosexual activities of priests, including the sexual abuse of children and young people.  I’m afraid my own first thoughts on reading the above Remnant report was not just “too little, too late” but “not remotely enough, and FAR too late.”

Or am I over-stating the case?  Is the Society right to have maintained silence, and remain non-confrontational in the face of the increasing horror at the questions being raised about Pope Francis’ response(s)  to abuse cases – what he knew, what actions he took/did not take, denials, etc.  Surely Catholics have a right to expect a tad more in the way of leadership from the Society, if it really is a Heaven-sent “lifeboat”?   Surely, certainly for anyone wielding moral authority,  it is itself a form of abuse to fail to call to account all concerned – and that publicly.   Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)  

Pope Francis: is it spiritual blindness or sheer idiocy that prevents him from seeing the need to ACT… NOW?! 

Comment invited…    

Can We Read Our Way To Heaven? 



Our blogger, Elizabeth posted the following request a short while ago…

Just wondering if we could perhaps start another topic on what our bloggers are reading at the moment? Spiritual reading that is. I could start off by saying that I am loving Cardinal Sarah’s book on Silence. It is beautifully written, perceptive, and does bring home the need for quiet in this clamorous world of ours.

So… share with us the answer to Elizabeth’s question:  what are you reading at the present time?  Or maybe you think things are so bad in the Church right now, that we must all be busy ‘about our Father’s business?’ Let’s hear it…

Edinburgh Social Services Accuse SSPX of being Sect – Parents fighting to prevent children being taken into care… 

Saints Margaret & Leonard, SSPX chapel, Edinburgh...

The following email from an Edinburgh reader arrived in my inbox this morning, and after due consultation, I have been granted permission to publish it: the names of the parents have been withheld. 

Email from Edward (not his real name)

Can I ask you all to pray for [names withheld] who attend the SSPX chapel in Edinburgh? They have a meeting tomorrow with the Social Services who are trying to take their children into care. Apparently when one of the children walked into a tree and grazed herself someone reported them to the Social Services who accused [the child’s father] of causing the cut.

They are now bringing the SSPX into the case claiming that [the parents] belong to a sect which is not recognised by the Catholic Church and “which holds many contentious points of view, including anti-Semitism and holocaust denial, among many other things.” The Social Work Manager claims that the children are “being exposed to controversial views preached at the church.”

[The father] has often complained to St. Mary’s school in Leith about certain things being taught in the school which were contrary to Catholic teaching and is obviously regarded as a troublemaker. I suspect that it is the school who have contacted the Social Services.

Please pray that all will go well for them tomorrow. Ends

In a subsequent email, “Edward” disclosed the fact that the Archbishop has shown himself to have “no problem with the SSPX” and so those involved in trying to help the parents are confident that he will agree to help the family by explaining that the Society is not a sect, and that anyone regularly attending the chapel will affirm that the allegations of anti-Semitism, holocaust-denial and the like in preaching at the chapel, are totally without foundation.  

Note: the dual purpose of this thread…

1)    to seek prayers for this family, for all the spiritual sustenance necessary to withstand this intrusive attack on their family life, with the attendant anxiety and worry.  

2)   to highlight the dangers for parents of pupils in the Catholic education system, if they seek to question any materials or content which they consider is contrary to Catholic  teaching. No “dialogue”, no “parental involvement” allowed here…

On the contrary, “Liberal tyranny” is alive and well and working hard here in Scotland, for all the world to see.  From the sinister Government Named Person Scheme, a spy in every home, for every child, before and after birth, until the child’s 18th birthday, to the equally sinister persecution by pseudo-experts of parents who dare to insist on an authentic Catholic education for the children they have chosen to send to a Catholic school.  At least, in this case, it seems that the Archbishop is seeking to be fair and there has been  a move to put the family in touch with a Canon Lawyer, so we must give all credit to the archdiocese on this occasion. Let’s pray that they are minded to help this family to achieve justice. 

Finally…

Pray for this family – and share your thoughts on the sheer audacity of that person or persons who think nothing of lying, blatantly, in order to undermine parental rights, Catholic family life, and the reputation of the priestly Society of Saint Pius X.