See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Argument of the Month Club hosting Christopher A. Ferrara Esq. January 12, 2010



The art of pious dissent?
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With Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Remnant contributor, Christopher A. Ferrara co-authored a book called "The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church."  The book makes for an intriguing, if not disturbing read, for anyone interested in the crises that emerged in the Church following Vatican II.  Very well written, well researched, and well documented, the book casts suspicion upon the Magisterium as well as the concilior Popes as regards changes to the liturgy initiated by Vatican II and the Mass of Paul VI. 

The last time I checked, Pope Benedict XVI has not only been supportive of Vatican Council II, he has stood in solidarity with his predecessors who promulgated it - specifically the Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI.   
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The AOTM announcement  of Ferrara's guest appearance reads:
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Author and pro-life attorney Christopher A. Ferrara (who worked on the Theresa Schiavo case) will argue that current condition of the Church arises from a failed experiment in liberalism that has never risen to the level of binding Catholic doctrine. Hence the title of his widely acclaimed study of changes in the Church after Vatican II: The Great Facade.
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Mr. Ferrara will address what the book calls “a regime of novelty in the Roman Catholic Church” since Vatican II and what he contends are its disastrous effects on virtually every aspect of the Church’s health and well-being. In one of his most controversial statements Mr. Ferrara declares that ”The Council’s much-vaunted ‘opening to the world’ was, in truth, a suppression of the Church’s immune system, resulting almost immediately in the many-faceted disease that now afflicts her.” He contends that the Church is quite capable of putting Vatican II and the changes that followed behind her, because neither the Council nor the Popes since the Council have imposed on the faithful any real change in what a Catholic must believe or do in order to be Catholic. He considers “getting over the Council” a matter of urgent priority for the Church.


To their credit the AOTM format allows for debate:
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More than a monologue, the presentation will involve Mr. Ferrara stating his case and then letting the moderator and the audience “have at him” (with Catholic decorum and good humor, of course!) in the manner of an appellate argument before judges. As Mr. Ferrara told us: “I love a hot bench.” This will indeed be a spirited evening in the tradition of the Argument of the Month.  

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It should be an interesting evening, a conspiracy theorist's dream perhaps.
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Links to Christopher Ferrara and some of his writings:
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Fatima Priest, the story of Fr. Gruner, a priest suspended by The Congregation for Clergy in 2001.
Excerpt:  "In short, Father Gruner and the apostolate were an annoyingly persistent reminder of the teaching of all the Popes before 1960 on the Social Kingship of Christ and the Queenship of Mary. But that teaching had been replaced by the "Spirit of Vatican II", by Ostpolitik and world ecumenism, by "dialogue", "human rights" and the "civilization of love." The new vocabulary could not be at home with the old. All the antiquated pre-conciliar talk of kings and queens, and every knee bending before the Lord, and Russia converting, and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart--all of it was hopelessly out of place in the new arrangements Vatican emissaries had forged with the powers of the world, and most especially the United Nations. It was necessary, then, that Father Gruner and the apostolate be silenced, but not in a way which would call any attention to the underlying questions." - FATIMA PRIEST  
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The Art of Pious Calumny, a rebuke to the former EWTN priest Fr. Francis Mary regarding a warning he made concerning Fr. Gruner.  Within Mr. Ferrara's article he makes a rather startling statement regarding Cardinal Ratzinger:

"As for the alleged opinion of Cardinal Ratzinger that the Consecration (of Russia) has been accomplished, we may ask: What authority does Cardinal Ratzinger have to bind the whole Church to believe that a consecration of Russia need not mention Russia? This is not a matter of Catholic doctrine but of fact. Our Lady requested the consecration of Russia, but the Pope consecrated the world rather than Russia in order to avoid offending the Russian Orthodox. Therefore, Russia has not been consecrated — any more than a new church has been consecrated (set aside and dedicated) for worship in a ceremony consecrating the whole diocese." - The Art of Pious Calumny
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At the time Cardinal Ratzinger was head of the CDF, and then of course he was elected Pope.
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The Secret Still Hidden, Ferrara's book which casts doubts upon the Holy See's affirmation that the secret of Fatima has been revealed in it's entirety.  Promotional video here.  A description of the book reads:
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  "This book is the first full-length examination of the grounds for rejecting Cardinal Bertone's version of the facts in the Third Secret controversy. The Cardinal's own statements, including his book and radio and television broadcasts in 2007, are shown to demonstrate beyond any doubt that a text of the Secret has been suppressed, evidently under an unjustifiable mental reservation that the text is not "authentic." - Source
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Noisy Gong Rhetoric - an excellent review of The Great Facade:
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"More disturbing than the myriad mischaracterizations and distortions is the authors’ lack of charity displayed on seemingly every page. With the exception of paying lip service to someone’s probable holiness, they have not a kind word for those with whom they disagree. Indeed, it is the snide tones in which they paint their arguments that makes this book particularly difficult to read. "That theological ‘surprises’ are alien to the perennial Catholic magisterium poses no difficulty for the neo-Catholic mentality" (p. 71), they write at one point, and at another, "We will nevertheless undertake a further demonstration of what is obvious to everyone but neo-Catholics" (p. 165). This sort of insult is common.
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The book also accuses those it ridicules of doing nothing in the face of the crisis. But how do they know? When prominent American Catholics meet with Roman prelates, how do the authors know nothing is said or done? How do they know whether many of us write our bishops, withhold donations, and even attend different parishes because of liturgical problems?" - Source
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I never fail to be surprised by the lack of charity and the lack of meekness and humility amongst traditionalists, who even within their own circles tend to separate into factions, always straining the gnat, as it were.

10 comments:

  1. Ter: Given how well-read in his work you are, I think you should be there! Go early, you know how hard Ray hits the trough, er, buffet.

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  2. IS he bringing Fr Gruner with him?

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  3. Larry - wouldn't that be cool though.

    Cathy - surprisingly I have read much of what he has written.

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  4. What is the rationale for not consecrating Russia?

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  5. Maria - I am not sure why Russia was not named specifically - it most likely had to do with Orthodox sensibilities. Nevertheless, The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has determined the requests of Our Lady were fulfilled:
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    "Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (“Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984”: “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984”: Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis." - Message of Fatima - Vatican website.
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    Go here for the full text:
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

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  6. Maria1:13 PM

    I read the full text. It was very helpful. Thank you so much, Terry.

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  8. Armchair theologians, I call them. I alway wonder how they can be so cocksure of themselves. That says quite a bit, in my estimation.

    Great post, Terry.

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  9. Thanks much Father - I was beginning to think I was way off base with this.

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  10. I am a bit reticent to comment..but I cannot help myself!
    I'm with frangelo.
    What has been my observation, over the years, is that well-meaning laity, many who have been deeply hurt by the craziness of the "spirit of Vatican II" are writing about things they do not understand.
    You can't just sit down and write about theological/spiritual/canonical matters without the proper (and sound) teaching, understanding, and study.
    I'm trying to be very generic here and not point any fingers.
    But there are some real fundamental issues here that we cannot just sweep under the rug; the saints were ALWAYS faithful to the legitimate authority in the Church, even when the Popes or bishops were corrupt. That is a divine prerogative; our Lord told his disciples, "Do what they say, but do not do what they do" (or something like that).
    And interpreting and making rash judgments about what Sr Lucia, Pope Benedict, or Pope John Paul II said, did, or meant is just not helpful here.
    A lawyer can be a great help; I would want C. Ferrara defending me if I was accused in court.
    But I really think that sometimes things just get "out of hand". I'll shut up now!
    Happy Epiphany, Terry!

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