Saturday, October 13, 2018

The scribes and pharisees online and at 1P5 are claiming that B. Paul VI should not and will not be a saint tomorrow.


Not necessary for belief... not infallible ... calling into question the legitimacy of the Papacy of Pope Francis again?  Outright rejection of Vatican II?  All of it underlies the reasoning behind 1P5's latest article, "Why we need not (and should not) call Paul VI saint."  Even Janet Smith linked to the article by Kwazniewski.

This has been going on for years, outright rejection of recent canonizations - unheard of in the Church when I was growing up.  Now days those of us who do believe and accept - with joy - those whose heroic virtues are recognized and 'canonized' by the Pope are dismissed as ultramontanists and papalotars.


Most theologians and faithful Catholics certainly believe canonizations are legitimate.  Those very people who condemn Vatican II are doing in their own way what some of the post-conciliar 'reformers' did when updating the liturgical calendars, removing saints and their feast days and so on.  They are acting in the same protestant spirit of those who removed saints statues and altars from renovated churches, and downplayed devotion and prayers to the saints.


Tomorrow a great company of witnesses will be declared saints - canonized.  By the reigning Pontiff, Pope Francis. 

Believe it or not.

The exercise of infallibility comes only when the pope himself proclaims a person a saint. The proclamation is made in a Latin formula of which we offer an approximate translation:
"In honor of the Holy Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of Our Own, after long reflection, having invoked divine assistance many times and listened to the opinion of many of our Brothers in the Episcopate, We declare and define as Saint Blessed N. and inscribe his/her name in the list of the saints and establish that throughout the Church they be devoutly honored among the saints."
The 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the theological foundation for the infallibility of canonization: "The dogma that saints are to be venerated and invoked as set forth in the profession of faith of Trent (cf. Denz. 1867) has as its correlative the power to canonize. ... St. Thomas Aquinas says, 'Honor we show the saints is a certain profession of faith by which we believe in their glory, and it is to be piously believed that even in this the judgment of the Church is not able to err' (Quodl. 9:8:16).

"The pope cannot by solemn definition induce errors concerning faith and morals into the teaching of the universal Church. Should the Church hold up for universal veneration a man's life and habits that in reality led to [his] damnation, it would lead the faithful into error. It is now theologically certain that the solemn canonization of a saint is an infallible and irrevocable decision of the supreme pontiff. God speaks infallibly through his Church as it demonstrates and exemplifies its universal teaching in a particular person or judges that person's acts to be in accord with its teaching."

At the same time, it is important to note that while the decree of heroic virtues and the miracle form a necessary part of the process of canonization, they are not the specific object of the declaration of infallibility. - Source

Front row: Archbishop Óscar Romero, Sister Nazaria Ignacia de Santa Teresa de Jesús March Mesa and Father Vincenzo Romano; second row: Father Francesco Spinelli, Nunzio Sulprizio and Sister Maria Katharina Kasper (Photo illustration by Melissa Hartog/National Catholic Register; public domain)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Little Apostasies


Christ assures us that, nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.  Over the years I've noticed how there are those Catholics who actually reject Catholic teaching on this or that - sometimes it has to do with a discipline, such as celibate priesthood, and sometimes it has to do with dogma, as in the indissolubility of Christian marriage.  Or Humane vitae.  Or gender identity issues - God made them male and female.  Or objectively disordered inclinations ... You know where I'm going.

So over the years I believed people grow in faith, call it gradualism I guess.  They have trouble with a teaching, the Holy Spirit will clear it up, and they will grow in wisdom and grace, listening, pondering the Christian mystery in their hearts, open to the convincing power of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes they fall away, but I have witnessed them coming back.  I'm not speaking of falling into actual sin and avoiding the sacraments, I'm talking about those who find refuge in another denomination, while wishing the Church would adjust her teaching to their liking.  Sometimes the latter can and do return.  I tell myself they committed 'little apostasies' if you will, through human weakness, I tell myself.  Who am I to judge?  Yet it is always my hope and prayer they will be open to God's will and return, strengthened in the faith.

Honest apostasies.

Austen Ruse wrote a very sad essay on what he calls the honest apostasies of Melinda Selmys and Damon Linker.  I know who Melinda is, but not Damon.  It's sad to me precisely because their leaving the Church is revealed as an apostasy.  Mr. Ruse is correct, and that is difficult to admit.  Why?  Because online one picks and chooses their 'friends' and if you are familiar with a certain group, you're not supposed to like or agree with writers they feud with.  I don't belong to their groups or factions and seem to like a lot of divergent types online, so people friend and unfriend me all the time based upon that kind of thing.  Having said that, Austen Ruse did a great job with this particular essay.
It is not clear when Selmys and Linker stopped believing the claims of the Church. In the column announcing his exit, Linker intimates that he never truly believed her claims. He writes, “If I didn’t really believe in all of the theological precepts taught by the church, at least I wanted to…” He says this impulse to want to believe, not actual belief, “began to fade in the church scandals that broke less than two years after I entered the church.” It seems he did not believe from when he converted in 2000 and even this desire to believe began to fade 24 months later. 
Melinda Selmys has written much more extensively about her exit from the Church. And, as with Linker, it is abundantly clear, she no longer believes what the Church teaches. It seems, also, that she never fully believed. - The Honest Apostasy
Apostasy is serious stuff, and I think most of us recognize we are in the throes of widespread apostasy, and the 'truth' is obscured by 'alternative facts' if you will.  We know that.  I recently told someone online that I hadn't been scandalized by a monk I knew who had a Zen master.  (A Carthusian recently claimed those who tasted 'the Oriental mysticism' such as Zen could not understand the Christian mystery.)  What I meant by that was I have pretty much adapted to what otherwise could scandalize me, I've been able to take it in stride, if you will - except for the McCarrick scandal which initially caught me off guard.

Beware the contagion of the world's slow stain.

Truth be told, I have grown accustomed to little apostasies.  From a pastor I knew who incorporated the enneagram into his homilies and pastoral care, to those Catholics who consider homosexual acts/gay marriage to be normal.  It doesn't mean  it isn't difficult to accept the fact there is grave dissent within the Church, but it doesn't shake my faith.  That's a great grace and mercy I thank God for.  Yet it poses a certain danger as well, something the Pope just warned about in his daily homily:
Focusing on the Gospel episode where the demon returns after being cast out, the Pope said he very politely says he has returned when in fact he was thrown out. Finding the home “swept and adorned", he brings along with him several other spirits worse than him, and they enter and make it their residence, and the condition of that person becomes worse than before.

The Pope said he make us feel comfortable that we are Christians, Catholics who go to Mass and pray. We do have our defects, our sins, but everything seems to be in order. Acting like a polite person the demon goes about to find a weak point and knocks at the door, saying, "Excuse me? May I come in?" and rings the bell. The Pope said these demons are worse than the first ones, because you don't realize they are at home. They are the worldly spirit, the spirit of the world.
The Holy Father said he often asks himself whether it is better to have a clear sin or to live in the spirit of the world. - VN
Recently a friend online wrote something I was surprised to read from a Christian - gay or straight - he said he didn't believe Christ would return.  That's kind of huge.  It is a key part of the mystery of faith: "Christ will come again".  I was taken aback, wondering how he could say he was Christian.  I guess I had simply thought his acceptance of homosexual acts/gay marriage wasn't in conflict with his faith, but simply an error he embraced because he was in a liberal Protestant denomination.  I guess I thought of it as something which could be resolved before death through proper catechesis.  What I was doing was ignoring 'little apostasies' such as his, which add up to outright rejection of the 'mystery of faith':  "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!"  To judge the living and the dead, separating the goats from the sheep and all of that.  In my understanding, it's a serious loss of faith.

No salvation outside the Church.

One's ecclesiology can be off - to some extent - mistaking another denomination as a place of refuge (albeit for a time) but still somehow part of the Body of Christ; yet outright rejection of the mystery of faith is indeed apostasy.  I find it hard to believe people would reject Catholic teaching with 'full knowledge' so to speak.  That instead they fall away little by little without realizing they are in effect rejecting Christ when they dismiss Catholic teaching on 'little things' they insist they know more about.  It seems to me self-opinion and pride leads to the presumption they know more than those who teach them.  They seem to me unwilling to allow themselves to be taught - or corrected, thus failing to recognize their absolute dependence upon God's grace and mercy to accept his loving will for their lives.  Their dissent seems an echo of "I will not serve."

Some say they will stay and change the Church from within, but they can't.  Most will finally have to concede, or come clean in an 'honest apostasy' - some maybe do not, but their apostasy is observable in and through their actions and writings.  Locally, a man was once very active online and in the local Church promoting LGBTQ interests.  He was a known dissident, who seemed to me very sincere and even devout, to some extent.  He used to spar with me occasionally online about Catholic teaching and gay topics.  Years ago he pretty much dismissed me as clueless, telling me things were not as they used to be - young gay people didn't do this or that, bar culture no longer existed, and so on.  Neither were gay men as promiscuous as in 'my day' and they could be in stable, monogamous marriages, and so on.  As a gay activist, he campaigned as if he was a faithful Catholic who really believed the Church could and would change.  He became enamoured with New Age spirituality and 'queer' spirituality, so now I'm not sure he even identifies as a Catholic.  Although, truth be told, he was pretty much a Catholic in name only all along, since he clearly rejected Catholic teaching on sexuality.  That's no 'little apostasy'.

There are so many examples of this apostasy it almost seems like normal Catholicism.  Another man I know - one among many - left to become Episcopalian, forever in and out of the Catholic Church after his initial conversion, he maybe never knew, or missed, or worse, lost the 'mystery of faith'.

Mr. Ruse concludes his article sadly well:
Some of these dissidents are outside the institutional Church like Selmys and Linker, but many more are inside the institutional Church. They populate the rectories and the chanceries. They stay to “make change” as Melinda hoped she could do. In a Facebook exchange, another dissenter, Rebecca Bratten Weis, formerly of Franciscan University of Steubenville, told Melinda she is going to stay and fight, which is what all dissenters are tempted to do. Should Weiss be honest and leave, too? 
Linker says it was beauty that brought him into the Church. And Melinda wishes she had more power. But, here’s the thing. There is more beauty in an old woman faithfully saying her rosary by herself than all the stunning cathedrals in the world, and more power than in all the chanceries. - Crisis

Melinda Selmys is a sincere, loving person.  I have learned a great deal from her.  I pray for her.  I don't rejoice when anyone leaves the Church - I pray God's saving will be done.  I can only tend to my own little plot, deeply aware of my own need for grace and mercy.  I may find myself alone in this because I don't fit in, but I don't mind at all.   

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

So here's the deal about McCarrick.

It's being handled now.

They are talking, addressing, explaining, cautioning on how to interpret it, and so on.  The powers that be are in control and that's it.  I'm kind of over it, myself.  I actually feel sorry for McCarrick now.

I came across an article on how the Vatican is starting to address the case and was struck by the following commentary:
Obviously, many Catholics are outraged that church leaders who seem to have ready answers for how laypeople should live and behave have been so slow to figure out a way to stop sexual abuse by clergy and to hold bishops and cardinals accountable for their personal behavior and for the cover-up. - C. Wooden
I was outraged.

I've settled down now, but that point, how Church leaders are so quick to point out how laypeople are to live, who they can live with - or not - and what language they are to use when identifying themselves, while living a corrupt life themselves, is painful.

Now it will be handled officially and explained away - not without apologies of course, acknowledging "there were failures in the selection procedures implemented in his case", but we won't do that again, and so on.  They can argue among themselves as to who is the greatest all they want.  That's what they do.

He and I.

When I first returned to the sacraments, now decades ago, I sought God alone.  I used to search for places where I could be alone with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Few churches had adoration, except for one or two on Fridays, otherwise adoration chapels didn't exist.  So I prayed before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle - all alone in the church, sometimes in a closet where the tabernacle was reserved.  Always undisturbed.  At Mass I sat alone and remained alone afterwards in thanksgiving.  I had no interest in bishops or Church 'politics'.  I had no interest in parish activities.  I had no interest in clubs or socials - none.

Now I'm old, and no one is interested in what I do or say, I'm free to return to that early love.  And let the dead bury their dead.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Remembering my friends who are dead.

They are so many now.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller on why abusive priests should be secularized.

"If abuse is so great...the only solution, and the only justice for the victim, is that the perpetrator must be dismissed from the clerical state,” he said. “If you are a priest, a good shepherd, you cannot ruin the sheep." - Cardinal Gerhard Müller

I was impressed by what Cardinal Müller said recently in an interview on EWTN.  I mention it today after a story broke revealing the late Fr. John Harvey, Founder of Courage, encouraged bishops to resist the zero tolerance policy on abuse and reinstate abusive priests after rehab.  

Amid this summer’s wave of sexual abuse scandals, the Catholic apostolate Courage lauded its founder, Father John Harvey, who died in 2010, for his work with priests who “experienced same sex attractions and were striving to live chaste celibate lives.”
Yet while Courage proclaimed Harvey a “prudent spiritual director” and “a keen student of moral theology and psychology,” a review of his writings and public speeches raises new questions about how his approach to homosexuality - his belief that one could, in fact, change his or her sexual orientation - seems to have influenced his approach to treating abusive priests, advocating, at times, for their rehabilitation and return to ministry. - Crux

I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more on this. 

There's no accounting for grace, to be sure, and a man can change - and this is what Fr. Harvey seemed to base his conclusions upon. It is what vocation directors in dioceses, seminaries, and religious orders believe as well. 

Oh Canada!

If they have Thanksgiving in October, I wonder when they celebrate Christmas?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends!

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Holy crap! Barnhardt has finally lost it.

Mad Meg

Accusing Cardinal Tobin of having an affair with an Italian actor.

George Neumayr has discovered who Tobin’s “baby” is. It is the Italian actor Francesco Castiglione, who – get this – is LIVING IN TOBIN’S RECTORY...

Neumayr is the guy Bishop Morlino said to beware of.   No need to wonder why, with this salacious gossip.  Barnhardt's writing is vulgar and contemptuous, and indecen, she begins the article: 'The filthy faggot Cardinal of Newark, New Jersey.'

The very idea of Tobin having an affair with the Italian actor is laughable.  This is exactly the same level of calumny passing as investigative journalism on which Vigano probably based many of his own conclusions.

Aside from the disturbing scandal-ridden, so-called journalism, what I find troubling is that many people follow Neumayr online, and to my surprise, some very solid people link to him, friend him on FB, and share his stories.  I don't really know who he is and never read him unless someone sends me a link.  Barnhardt shows up on one news aggregate and so I'll sometimes click to read her outlandish commentary.  Again, I'm surprised she has people - even priests - who read and actually support her.  Former online 'friends' continue to do so as well and actually believe what she writes.

I won't link to these people of course, I'm just noting that much of the scandal is fed by this type of crack-pottery online.  As Ouellet wrote to Vigano, "I cannot understand how could you have allowed yourself to be convinced of this monstrous and unsubstantiated accusation."

Beware Neumayr and Barnhardt.

Ed. Note: I neglected to note Castiglione is reportedly a house guest at Tobin's residence while he studies at Seton Hall. Interpreting that to mean he is having an affair/sex with Tobin is a monstrous, unsubstantiated accusation.  It's wicked and slanderous gossip.  This is why bishop's and diocesan spokesmen refuse to talk to so-called journalists like Neumayr or Voris.

Our Lady of the Rosary

Queen of the most Holy Rosary, I love you and thank you!