2018: The Year of Formal Schism?

THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.

Comments invited… 

Confronting The “Gay” Priest Problem…

From The Catholic Thing

Recently, a priest who was prominent in the pastoral care of those with sex addictions received his fifteen minutes of fame when he revealed to his congregation at a Sunday Mass and to the National Catholic Reporter that he was “gay.” According to news reports, his self-congratulation was met with thunderous applause. In a television interview, he proclaimed there is “nothing wrong with being gay.”

The game plan of a gay priest “coming out” was quite predictable and is politically effective. In revealing his homosexuality, the Midwestern priest was careful to assemble a string of ambiguous assertions that cannot be immediately assailed on grounds of orthodoxy, but when bundled together are morally subversive. Here is the template:
Claim that sexual transparency is a matter of personal integrity.

Remind the public that you are a Catholic priest in good standing.
Proudly proclaim that you are “gay.”

Cultivate the adulation of your congregation by claiming victim status and the freedom that comes from such an honest revelation.

As a pre-emptive strike against disciplinary actions by ecclesiastical authorities claim that your self-revelation is truly courageous.

Feign humility and presume you have become a necessary role model for others.
Remind us that you and all gays (and members of the alphabet soup of sexual perversion) are created in the image of God (implying our sinful neglect).

Commit to celibacy (i.e., not to marry), but carefully avoid the term “Christian chastity.”
Each of these assertions, standing alone, would likely withstand ecclesiastical censure. But when woven together, the gay agenda promoting the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle within the Church comes into a clear focus.

The priest’s bishop also responded according to a predictable contemporary ecclesiastical template: “We support [the priest] in his own personal journey and telling his story of coming to understand and live with his sexual orientation. As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion.”

The bishop probably succeeded in preventing a media firestorm. He also effectively allowed the priest to rise in stature as a gay freedom fighter. The studied moral ambiguity of the clerical gay activist proved to be an effective political buzz saw. The full and beautiful teachings of Christ on human sexuality, however, were further undermined.

Faithful and orthodox Catholics are at a political disadvantage in our gay-friendly culture. We realize that same-sex inclinations – as with all seriously sinful inclinations – cause great suffering and, unrestrained, can become a true slavery that endangers others including adolescents and even young children. But our opposition to the gay agenda is often crudely characterized as hateful and unreasonable. So a brief sketch of natural law in Catholic sexual morality may be helpful. Click here to read the rest of this article by Rev Jerry J. Pokorsky

Comment:

The standards for entry to seminaries would at one time have automatically excluded candidates such as the above priest, and ought still to do so today.  The strict criteria for acceptance of candidates in Catholic seminaries must be restored as a matter of the utmost urgency – yesterday is almost too late… Yes?  No?

Pater Noster: Lord’s Prayer, Not Pope’s…

Somebody forgot to say this prayer!

 

From the Editor, Catholic Truth…

When the news broke of Pope Francis’ criticism of the “Our Father”, I dismissed it as a blog topic, certain that nobody in their right mind would give it a second thought, let alone take it seriously enough to change this ancient prayer. I forgot about the Scottish Bishops.  Alerted to the incredible news that the Bishop of Paisley, (John-wasn’t-Martin-Luther-a great-guy-Keenan), and  former Bishop of Galloway, (the notorious Maurice-I’m-proud-of-my-part-in-creating-the-awful-liturgical-texts-for-new-Mass-Taylor), are sympathetic to the possibility of changing the Lord’s Prayer to suit Pope Francis’ latest shocking whim,  and might thus seek to influence the rest of the Bishops, I decided to launch this thread.  Me? I’ll say this latest “new” prayer, like, never. What about you?  Click here to check out the “cautious welcome” given to the Pope’s proposal to change the Pater Noster by these two outright modernists,  and then read the excellent commentary from the Fatima Center (Canada) website below. 

From the Fatima Center Staff: And Lead Us Not Into Stupidity…

How obtuse and inattentive have been the custodians of the Faith these past two thousand years! We and our ancestors have apparently been permitted, even enjoined, to recite the Our Father in an inaccurate and misleading way. Resonating through the corridors of time, from the first century until our own, are the words, “lead us not into temptation.” (ne nos inducas in tentationem — in the Latin Vulgate)
At last, however, in this year of Our Lord 2017, we have a Pope who is prepared to lead us out of the traditional Lord’s Prayer and into a new and improved version that will save us from the misunderstanding we have presumably labored under through the millenia.

Just what is this misunderstanding that requires correction? It is, according to Pope Francis, the idea that God tempts us to sin. “A father doesn’t do that,” the Pope said in a recent television interview. “He helps you get up right away. What induces into temptation is Satan.”

Did we not know this already? Does it require the Pope’s critique of an ancient translation to enlighten us in the matter? All authorities agree that the traditional translation from the New Testament Greek is accurate, and it has never posed a problem — until now.

But does it really pose a problem at all?

We have all prayed the Our Father countless times and repeated the words “lead us not into temptation” with the clear knowledge that we are asking Our Lord to save us from falling into sin. We have prayed these words with the understanding that we are asking for the grace to help us resist the lies of satan, and the attractions of the world and the flesh that are laid before us and that tempt us to forget we have an immortal soul and an eternal destiny.

Have any of us actually thought that God wants us to sin? That Our Lord is trying to induce us to transgress His laws and harm our souls so that He may damn us? How absurd! Yet, Francis is admittedly worried that such may be the case. How ought we to respond to the Pope’s desire to change the words of the Our Father?

We are forced, by common sense, to doubt the genuine nature of Francis’ expressed concerns. It cannot be that a Vicar of Christ, a highly educated Jesuit, really believes that the words of the Our Father have been misinterpreted for two thousand years and that a corrective is needed at this particular time. To take the Pope’s words at face value we must impugn either his intelligence or our own. Francis is not a stupid man, and Catholics are not so doctrinally benighted as he seemingly fears.

So what is this new commotion regarding possible changes to the Our Father really about?

Many things were changed following Vatican II: liturgy, discipline, customs, catechesis, prayers. Many of these changes appeared to be gratuitous, others gravely troubling. But the overall import of the changes was to unsettle the Catholic mind and heart. Once we accepted that anything and everything was subject to change, we were more likely to accept with acquiescence whatever novelties authority proposed. We simply got used to having the ground shift beneath our feet with such frequency that we no longer minded the large and little earthquakes that shook the Church.

All of these changes were merely cosmetic, we were told: an updating of language and discipline to keep pace with the times. Nothing of substance was being lost, we were re-assured time and again. But imagine someone cut off from the Church, say from 1960 until the present. Would he recognize as Catholic anything that he might see going on today in his parish? Would he not be dumbfounded by the words of the post-conciliar popes? Would he not regard Pope Francis as incomprehensible and outrageous? Would he not, like Mary Magdalene at the tomb, say in pain and confusion, “What have they done with my Church?”

What would he make of the vernacular Mass, the changed words of the Consecration, lay men and women distributing the Blessed Sacrament, people receiving Holy Communion in their hands or drinking the Precious Blood from the Chalice? What would he make of the typical Novus Ordo funeral Mass, which is now a falsely jolly ceremony of canonization? What would he make of Amoris Laetitia? Of the pedophile scandals among the clergy? What would he think of a notorious homosexual prelate being placed in charge of the papal residence and serving as the papal representative to the corrupt Vatican bank? What would he make of Pope Benedict’s resignation? We could go on. But we all know how vast and deep have been the so-called reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council. The Church is hardly recognizable from what it was a half-century ago and from what it has been throughout the ages.

And there is no end in sight for the “updating” that is deemed so necessary to keep the Church relevant to the modern world. Now, we are told that the Our Father may need to be updated, too. France has taken the lead and its bishops have already changed the phrase the Pope finds theologically troubling. “Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (do not let us give in to temptation) has already been adopted. So, the Pope can rest easy that at least the Catholics of France, or the diminishing remains of them, will not be misled.

As for the rest of us, we are apparently still in need of further instruction and the habits of a lifetime may have to be broken, for our own good, presumably. But does any of this nonsense about the words of the Our Father have to do with genuine pastoral concern? Is the Holy Father really worried that spiritual harm will befall us unless he intervenes to change the custom that has persisted for two millennia? It may be doubted, to put it politely.

Even the most mild and conciliatory of Catholic commentators are clearing their collective throats about this latest of the Pope’s initiatives. “Pope Francis has made a habit of throwing things into confusion, and this is one of them. It just makes you wonder, where does it stop, what’s up for grabs. It’s cumulative unease.” So says Philip Lawler, editor of Catholic World News and a compliant apologist for any number of post-conciliar novelties. Perhaps, if Mr. Lawler and others had not allowed their unease to accumulate but had addressed it immediately, we would not be faced with the present absurdity, which even they feel compelled to address, albeit in their restrained and ineffectual way.

The Protestant world, however, is not so restrained. According to a report in the New York Times, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the Pope’s remarks. “This is the Lord’s Prayer. It is not, and has never been, the Pope’s prayer…”

But Southern Baptists probably fall within the spectrum of those fundamentalists for whom the Pope has repeatedly expressed his disdain, so he is unlikely to be deterred by his otherwise keen ecumenical sensitivities. Still, Mohler’s remarks are refreshing in their frankness when set beside the timid reservations of Lawler’s “cumulative unease.”
During her final years, Sister Lucy said that we must take the initiative in prayer and penance and not look to those in authority to lead us in these things. Those who have seen the full Third Secret, such as Cardinal Ciappi, have told us that apostasy in the Church will begin “at the top.” Has it not begun? All we can do is follow Sister Lucy’s advice. And when we pray, let us pray the words of Our Lord, “lead us not into temptation.”  Source – Fatima Center Staff

Comment:

Well – will YOU ever say the new Our Father?  Even if you are attending the new Mass, praying the new rosary, reading the new catechism, accepting the new morality, supporting the new canonisations, new everything.  Will you draw the line at this outrageous change?  Or do you agree that Christians have been idiots for two thousand years and didn’t understand the meaning of this simple prayer  – thus, now we need to grow up and get with the papal programme, which appears to be to leave nothing, absolutely nothing unchanged. Let’s hear it… 

Is The Priesthood “Un-Attractive”?

QUALITIES OF A HOLY PRIEST – From the writings of Saint John Eudes on The Priest, His Dignity And Obligations…

He is an angel purifying, illuminating and perfecting the souls that God has entrusted to him. He is a seraph sent by God to teach men the science of salvation which is concerned only with knowing and loving Almighty God and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.
The priest is an archangel and a prince of the heavenly militia, waging constant war against the devil who strives to drag countless souls into the depths of hell.

He is the real father of the children of God, with a heart filled with love which is truly paternal. That love urges him to work unceasingly to nourish his flock with the bread of the sacred word and of the sacraments, to clothe the faithful with Christ and the Holy Ghost, to enrich them with celestial blessings and to secure for them everypossible assistance in the salvation of their souls. Above all else, the priest is the.father, the advocate, the protector and defender of the poor, widows, orphans and strangers. He is the refuge of the afflicted, of the desolate and the discouraged. He Is happy to visit and console the sorrowful, to bring them what assistance he can, taking upon himself their burdens and defending them against their oppressors.

He is a captain in the mighty army of God, always ready to battle for the glory of God and the defense of Holy Mother Church. He is ever prepared to lay siege to the world, the flesh and the devil. For him the conquest of kingdoms means only the salvation of souls for each soul is a kingdom more precious than all the empires of the world.

The priest is a prince of the realm of God, one of the kings of Christ’s empire, the Church. He is appointed to rule by the maxims and laws of the gospel as many kings and queens as there are Christians committed to his care. His duty is to make them worthy to possess in eternity the very kingdom of the Sovereign Monarch of the world.

The priest is an evangelist and an apostle whose chief work is to preach publicly and privately, by word and example, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to continue and perpetuate the functions that the apostles were commissioned to perform, and to practise the virtues that they practised….

It is obvious that the priest is favored with far more graces than any other human being except the Blessed Virgin Mary. It follows, then, that no one on earth is held to a greater perfection and sanctity of life than the priest… Learn to hate intemperance in eating and drinking. Avoid every occasion in which sinful excesses may be committed. This vice is low and bestial and most definitely contrary to the sanctity and dignity of the priest, who should be an angel among men.

Abhor impurity. Avoid with the most scrupulous exactitude the places, persons or things which might constitute the slightest peril or suggest even the smallest shadow of that abominable vice. What could be more necessary and becoming to the life of the priest consecrated to God. the priest whose life is spent in the church near the altar, whose time is spent performing angelic functions amidst divine mysteries, what is more necessary and becoming than purity of mind and body? What can be more terrible than an impure priest? He is a monster, a Judas, an antichrist.

Consider the words of St. Paul: if any man has not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5, 8). Lest, therefore, you be condemned by God as apostates, learn to rule and govern your household that it may be a shining example of virtue, modesty, charity and piety for all Christian families to behold and imitate.

Comment: 

Articles on the crisis in the Church/shortage of priests, written from the modernist perspective, tend to present the priesthood as “un-attractive”. Always, as well as insisting on more lay involvement, power etc., they refer to the need to encourage more men to become priests, with the rider that the priesthood needs to be made more attractive. 

That’s never spelt out.  So, reading the vision of St John Eudes, a priest himself, on the qualities and duties of a Catholic priest, made me wonder if the description above would be “attractive” to young men considering the priesthood today.  Personally, I think it would,  certainly for those with a traditional Catholic formation and spirituality, but I think those demanding a “more attractive” priesthood, really mean an easier life for priests, less demanding.  Or,  am I being cynical again?  

2018 Marks 100 Years of Catholic Schools in Scotland But… What’s The Point?

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…  24 November, 2017…  

Challenge those who attack Catholic schools, Archbishop says

Archbishop Tartaglia said celebrations of the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland should include a robust defence of Catholic schools
The Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia is encouraging Catholics to get involved in upcoming celebrations to mark 100 years of state Catholic education in Scotland—and to challenge those who attack Catholic schools.

In a letter to headteachers and members of clergy from across Scotland, the archbishop described the centenary as an ‘opportunity to rejoice’ over the successes of Scotland’s Catholic schools and education. “2018 serves as an ­opportunity to rejoice in the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils who have attended Catholic schools in the last 100 years,” he said. “It is a chance to mark publicly the ways in which Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but good for Scotland.”

Negative voices

He spoke of the ‘positive contribution of Catholic schools’ to society in Scotland, which he described as being ‘well documented.’

“The continuing support of the Scottish Government and all of the main political parties is encouraging for the future of denominational schools,” he said. “However, while this is a time to reflect and thank God for 100 years of serving our local communities, we cannot be complacent that there is universal support for Catholic schools.

“We need to ensure that we continue to challenge the negative voices which exert pressure in the media and in the political arena, suggesting that there is no place for Faith schools in the public provision of education in a modern Scotland.

“What better way to do this than by marking this centenary as a celebration of the distinctive nature of our schools and by telling the story of the people and communities who have benefited from Catholic education in Scotland.”

Archbishop Tartaglia invited parishes, families, schools and communities across the country to ‘consider the ways that they can add to this story,’ as he revealed that a planning group has been set up to look at ­possible activities and coordinate events for the anniversary celebrations.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has authorised the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) to ‘propose plans’ to be used in the centenary year that mark the education partnership between Church and state.

Contribution

In his letter, the Archbishop asked that headteachers and priests let parish councils, parent and pupil councils, pastoral planning teams and associated schools’ groups know about the SCES planning group.

“I encourage you to begin a discussion of how your local parish community can support and contribute to the events of this year,” he said, adding that SCES is welcoming submissions of archive material of local school history, stories and photographs of parishioners.

SCES have revealed a number of national events will take place across all of Scotland’s eight dioceses in 2018, while other celebrations will be organised at a diocesan and local level.

The launch of the centenary celebrations will take place in February next year, when a specially commissioned icon of ‘Jesus Our Teacher,’ created to mark the 100th anniversary, will begin its tour across the country, starting in Galloway Diocese.

Glasgow Archdiocese will mark Catholic Education Week, which runs from January 28 to February 2, with a high schools’ Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, while a Catholic Education Week dinner will take place at the city’s Central Hotel on February 2.

On March 3 a Catholic education open forum will take place in Argyll and the Isles Diocese and in April a ‘Leadership of Catholic Schools Conference’ will take place in Salamanca.

The Caritas Award ceremony will be on June 7 next year in Glasgow, a highlight in the year for Catholic schools, and a school pilgrimage along the St Andrew’s Way will take place from June 14-15.

Parents will have the opportunity to come together in August for the National Parent Gathering in Paisley and a planned pilgrimage to Rome led by Archbishop Tartaglia is on the cards for October 15-19. Open to all associated with Catholic Education in Scotland, prices cost £850 per person.

Also in October, the European Catholic Committee (CEEC) will visit Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will also mark the centenary.

For the first time, a second Catholic Education Week will be held in November, including a National Teachers’ Mass in Glasgow and a spiritual retreat for teachers.   [Emphases added]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer

Comment:

Not a whisper in the above report about the reason why Catholic schools were built in the first place; not a hint of why the 1918 Education Act was necessary. The generic language used to describe Catholic education masks the fact that Catholic schools were built for the key purpose of teaching the Catholic religion, imparting the Catholic Faith, across the subjects of the curriculum – and have manifestly failed to do so since the introduction of content-free programmes of religious (non) education, and other novelties which have polluted Catholicism.   Informed Catholic parents in Scotland have now taken this “rule of thumb” (interweaving the Faith into all subjects) into home-schooling, given that the Catholic schools see their mission as excelling in “the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils” (see above, paragraph 2) and not, as originally, to see to it that students’ world-view is rooted in their Catholic Faith.  Even the image used in the Scottish Catholic Observer report has a pupil studying a Bible – not a Catechism.  Below, some  examples of the kind of material available to Catholic schools by using a sound Catechism – such as the excellent Baltimore series…

Hence, Catholic schools, like non-denominational schools, are now committed to catering for secular values – despite protestations to the contrary. Hence, as we have reported in our newsletter, we find “safe spaces” in Scottish Catholic schools for “LGBT pupils” with gender-neutral pupils, uniforms and language soon to follow, as the instances of such in England indicate.  Click here to read a previous post on this subject. 

 

Teachers who have taught in both sectors, say they see little difference between Catholic and non-denominational schools these days.  So, is the centenary of state Catholic schools in Scotland really anything to celebrate? Should we not, rather, be mourning the passing of true and traditional Catholic education?

Is The Christian Institute Anti-Catholic?

From the website of The Christian Institute…

In 1523 London could number its citizens by the thousands, its crimes by the hundreds and its places of worship by the scores.

Men and women wandered past the religious institutions which held them in superstition and fear. They had no knowledge of the word of God which was withheld from them in Latin by the Church.

Just 15 years later, the Bible was being distributed in English to churches across the land. God’s word would be freely accessible to every man, woman and child who could read or be read to.

This revolutionary change was the focus of our third Autumn Lecture last night, brought to us by Brian Edwards, author and former president of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).

Edwards explained that the English Bible we read today can largely be credited to the work of one man, used by God – William Tyndale.

Reformation minded

Tyndale was probably born in Gloucestershire in 1491. By 1506, he was studying at Magdalen College, Oxford, before being ordained into the priesthood of the Church of England.

Concerned with the theology of his Oxford colleagues, he is thought to have transferred to Cambridge around 1519. Here he was among a score of upcoming reformers who were discussing the ideas of the Reformation and the work of a certain German monk by the name of Martin Luther.

In 1521, he crossed swords with a local friar who, following a heated debate, exclaimed: ‘we’d be better off without God’s law than the law of the Pope’.

Tyndale replied: “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you!”
Thus began Tyndale’s life’s work – translating the Bible into the language of the common people.

Exile

This at a time when it was forbidden for a person to read the Bible in English without a priest’s permission and people were burned at the stake for teaching others the Lord’s Prayer in English.

Tyndale fled England. In 1524 he travelled to Hamburg and then to Cologne, and by 1525 he was starting to print the New Testament in English, before copies were smuggled back to England on German merchant ships.

Amidst barrels of grain were thousands of English New Testaments, available for the price of a load of hay.

Lasting influence

Skilled in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and several other languages, the accuracy of Tyndale’s rendering has been commended by experts.

But he aimed to communicate the Gospel, not just translate, and in the foreword to his New Testament, he urged readers to repent and trust in Christ for themselves.

Medieval historian Ian Mortimer describes Tyndale as, “the only writer in the English language more influential than Shakespeare”. Many of his phrases remain in language today and he introduced new terms including “scapegoat” and “Exodus”.

By 1530, his translation of the Pentateuch had arrived in England. But King Henry declared that Tyndale’s books should be burned and punishment doled out to owners. Tyndale was a hunted man, constantly on the lookout for King Henry’s agents.

Martyred

Early in the summer of 1535, Tyndale was betrayed by his friend Henry Phillips who invited him to lunch and then ambushed him. He was imprisoned outside Brussels for a year, accused of heresy.

In September 1536, William Tyndale, England’s greatest Bible translator was chained to a stake, partially strangled and then burned.

His final words are said to have been: ‘Lord, open the King of England’s eyes’.

God’s word for all

Tyndale’s prayer was answered in that a short time later the Great Bible – based on the work of Tyndale – was presented to Henry VIII and approved for distribution to churches across England.

Brian Edwards concluded: “Tyndale’s legacy is in the pages of every English Bible you ever pick up”.   Source – Christian Institute

Comment:

The above article from the Christian Institute website is classic Protestant Propaganda.  Click here to read an academic rebuttal of the Protestant view of the Bible, which was butchered, literally, by the Protestant revolutionaries in the Middle Ages. Far from upholding the Scriptures as the Word of God, the “reformers” removed those books which, a cynic might say, were too Catholic for them – notably, books which contain the roots of Catholic doctrines (e.g. Purgatory – Maccabees).   See short (2 minutes) video clip below..

Share your thoughts on the blatant propaganda published by the Christian Institute, which is an organisation respected for its work in addressing political correctness in the moral sphere. It has led the fight against the Named Person Scheme in Scotland. Thus,  Catholics, myself included, have supported its work – but this might prove to be  a game-changer.  Or perhaps you disagree?  Speak your mind! 

Honouring The Infant of Prague…

Comment:

From time to time, we enjoy a devotional thread, but customarily these have marked Feasts of Our Lady or other major Holy Days.  I can’t recall ever launching a thread on the devotion to the Infant of Prague, so let’s change that. 

I’ve heard stories of prayers answered, from friends who are devotees of the Infant of Prague – what about you?

If, until now, you’ve not had any devotion to the Infant of Prague, is that likely to change now?  Share your thoughts…