Sunday, July 31, 2011

How is the Church Holy?

In the Apostle's Creed we Catholics say that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

How is the Church Holy?

First, Her founder Jesus Christ is holy.

Second, Her doctrines are holy.

Third, Her worship is holy.

Fourth, Her children who follow Her guidance become holy.

Finally, She is holy in the numerous saints of the ages who have been supremely faithful to Her teachings.

So what about the example of Catholics who are not holy?

Note the qualifications in the points above: it is those who follow the example of the Church's divine Founder, accept the Church's doctrines, adore God in Her acts of worship, and live according to Her directives who are holy.

If you are Baptized you are a Catholic, but not every Baptized person lives and acts as he ought. Those who do, however, become holy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bias Part II

About this post, Suekillam commented, “nope! you're wrong! the oslo killer professes to be a christian. like most other christians he hates all others that are not like him. It is a fatal flaw of all christians. The buddhist way is to love all and chant for them”

Here Suekillam demonstrates a taste for inflammatory remarks – something she would no doubt fault Christians for, but which she permits herself (and presumably her fellow Buddhists). Hating others not like them, Suekillam says, is the fatal flaw of “all” Christians. The use of “all” allows for no exception. And yet I do not hate others who are not like me. Accusation disproved.

As for the point that the Oslo killer professed himself to be a Christian: indeed, evil people throughout history have tried to pass themselves off as Christians so that the credulous will pay attention to them. That’s because Christianity is a good thing, and if a bad person wants to be listened to, he has to mix in something good or positive so that people will be fooled by him. A spoon full of sugar helps the arsenic go down.

One might ask why the Suekillams of the world are so eager to take at face value what a mass murderer has to say when the statement reflects badly on Christians. Might it be prejudice? Bigotry? Even hate? Do the Suekillams hate Christians? We don’t know what is inside a person’s head unless she tells us, of course. At the same time, based on the author's remarks, I think a case can be made for the objective presence of an unjust bias against Christians.

Now let’s move beyond Suekillam’s accusation and address her two assertions.

First, I have been on the receiving end of venomous remarks from Buddhists. I wrote about one experience in this post; the arrogance and condescension of the Buddhist I was conversing with was palpable. The chap did claim he was being charitable by trying to rouse people from their Christian bourgeoisie apathy, but that claim was not credible: he was too fond of distorting the historical record and sneering to believe he was trying to be genuinely helpful. He was also a lapsed Catholic turned Buddhist; the likelier scenario is that he’d simply turned against what he’d given up. But loving he was not.

Second, we do not have to try to guess what the Norway killer meant when he called himself a Christian – he told us at tedious length what he meant. He published his bizarre monologues, and after reading them nobody knew what in the world the guy was talking about. What we can say for certain, however, is that his notion of Christianity is warped beyond recognition.

* Wrote the murderer, "As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus." Right.

* He is promoting a secular Christian society, one that readily embraces Christian atheists and Christian agnostics. I'm not making that up.

* He does not view his ideal world as a religious organization. Instead, he advocates a Christian “culturalist” military order. At best he's a nationalist; more likely, a wannabe fascist.

* He calls on the "European Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu community” to assist in his campaign against Islam. Perhaps there's a Buddhist war chant he can co-opt.

* He said he is "not an excessively religious man," modestly adding that he is "first and foremost a man of logic" and "economically liberal." In short, he is progressive and secular, not religious.

* He's a Charles Darwin groupie.

So to a reasonable person it would appear clear that the Oslo killer is not a Christian. Rather, he is a nationalist product of a leftist secular society who detests Islam, values some but not all Christian cultural influences, and has little use for religion beyond a few select societal effects. As the killer is not a religious man, ipso facto he cannot be a Christian. Rather, he’s just a homicidal monster trying to blend in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More Media Bias: the Oslo Killer

As near as I can make out, the media's efforts to associate the Oslo killer with right-wing Christians started with news stories that the killer wrote on right wing Christian email discussion lists. That seems to be the only item I've seen so far that could be used by a biased media to smear Christians.

In any event, the man is a product of living in a secular society.

As the name Timothy McVeigh has been coming up again, note that McVeigh was not a Christian. He had been raised Catholic, but he renounced Catholicism and became an agnostic. He went on the record as saying that "Science is my religion." Like the Oslo killer, McVeigh was also a product of a modern secular mindset.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New SSPX Chapel in Kentucky


In Walton, KY the Society of St. Pius X has a new chapel. Under the patronage of Our Lady of the Assumption, the new 11,000 square foot neo-Gothic church with its privileged altar will be the spiritual home to about 150 souls.

What is Assumption’s mission? "To offer sacraments, to teach, preach, and give retreats," said the pastor, Fr. Adam Purdy. He said "people look for Mass as a sign of faith. A Mass celebrated in the old rite is more sacred, deeper, and rich."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hymn to Ethelreda

Ethelreda [+ AD 660] was queen to Egfrid, King of the East Angles. The Venerable Bede records that “Although she lived with (Egfird) for twelve years, she preserved the glory of her virginity…the miraculous preservation of her body from corruption in the tomb is evidence that she had remained untainted by bodily intercourse.”

After a year in the convent of Abbess Ebba, at Coludesbyrig (Coldingham), she was made Abbess in the district of Ely. There she built a convent, where for seven years she was “the virgin mother of many virgins vowed to God and displayed the pattern of a heavenly life in word and deed.” Ethelreda wore only woolen garments, washed in cold water, ate one meal a day, and was constant in prayer. In the presence of her community she prophesied the plague that was to cause not only her own death, but the number of those at the convent who would also die. Sixteen years after Ethelreda’s burial the successor abbess decided to move her predecessor’s remains to the crypt church; when the coffin was opened, it was discovered to be “free from decay as if she had died and been buried that very day.”

Other wonders were attributed to Ethelereda, and Bede thought it fitting to insert into his History an elegiac hymn in praise of virginity in honor of this queen and bride of Christ.

Hymn to Ethelreda
All-guiding Trinity, guide my design.
Battles were Virgil’s theme; let peace be mine,
Chanting in lieu of Helen’s wantonness
Divine compassion, to redeem and bless,
Entering a virgin’s womb, God’s gate to earth.
Fair maid, who gav’st the whole world’s Parent birth,
God gave thee grace. And by that grace empowered
How many virgin blossoms since have flowered!
In fiery torment stood chaste Agatha
Joyful to death; so stood Eulalia.
Kindled with love, Thecla with virgin breast
Laughed at wild beasts; so was Euphemia blest.
More strong than steel, Agnes disdained its thrust;
Nor did Cecilia’s strength betray her trust.
Our age at length in triumphs such as these
Partakes through ETHELREDA’S victories.
Queenly by birth, an earthly crown she wore
Right nobly; but a heavenly pleased her more.
Scorning the marriage bed, a virgin wife
Twelve years she reigned, then sought a cloistered life.
Unspotted to her heavenly spouse she came,
Virgin in soul, her virgin robe and frame,
When sixteen winters they had lain entombed,
Xrist willed it, still fresh and unconsumed.
Yea, from their touch Eve’s Tempter flees dismayed,
Zealous for evil, vanquished by a maid.

Ah bride of Christ, bright fame on earth is thine.
More bright in Heaven thy bridal torches shine.
Exultant hymns proclaim in glad accord:
No power henceforth may part thee from thy Lord.

The gloss reads, “The following version reproduces the alphabetic acrostic with which Bede adorns his does not attempt to imitate his elaborate device of repetitive half-lines, which makes the hymn remarkable for ingenuity than for any claim to poetic excellence.”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daring Proposal -- for the 50th Anniversary of V2

The Italian philosopher Enrico Maria Radaelli, a disciple of the author of Iota unum, Romano Amerio, proposes that on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council the pope should be asked respectfully to perform the “only act that could reconcile the teaching and doctrine given by the Church before and after that disastrous assembly. This unique, heroic and very humble act would be to bring close to the supernatural fire of dogma those doctrines that are regarded as wrong by Traditionalist Catholics, and also those doctrines that are opposed to them: what must burn will burn, and what must shine brightly will shine. We have more than three years ahead of us from now until 2015. We must use them as well as possible.” For in order to rebuild the Church, he adds, “the ecumenical council, Vatican II, must be read through the lens of Tradition with the blazing boldness of dogma.” That is why he hopes that “this anniversary might be for the highest Throne the best occasion to restore the divine munus docendi (the magisterial commission) in its fullness.”

What Professor Radaelli demands is in keeping with the profound hopes of the Society of St. Pius X. It is necessary that this council be judged in the light of dogma, this council that claimed to be simply pastoral but very quickly presented itself as a dogmatically pastoral council, demanding in fact the obedience due to dogmas. For, in reality, Vatican II conveys dogmas that do not speak their name. Dogmas that are not defined but expect to be followed with docility.

- Fr. Alain Lorans

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Over 300 Austrian Priests Join "Call to Disobedience"


Looks like I got out of Austria just in time -- lightning might be striking there soon...

From the article:

The Call to Disobedience document cites "the Roman refusal of a long-overdue Church reform and the inaction of bishops." Priests who support the document pledge:

* to pray for Church reform at every liturgy, since "in the presence of God there is freedom of speech"

COMMENT: If your speech offends God, He will not remain present.

* not to deny the Holy Eucharist to "believers of good will," including non-Catholic Christians and those who have remarried outside the Church

COMMENT: How can someone be a believer of good will when he denies the Catholic Faith and laws?

* to avoid offering Mass more than once on Sundays and holy days and to avoid making use of visiting priests--instead holding a "self-designed" Liturgy of the Word

COMMENT: Absent a priest, there is no Mass. There is no substitute. When there is a shortage of priests, those that remain must offer Mass more than once a day.

* to describe such a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion as a "priestless Eucharistic celebration"; "thus we fulfill the Sunday obligation in a time of priest shortage"

COMMENT: We do not fulfill the Sunday obligation with a cheap substitute. If one cannot legitimately make it to a real Mass -- e.g. great distance, illness -- then he is excused from the obligation.

* to "ignore" canonical norms that restrict the preaching of the homily to clergy

COMMENT: Let's "ignore" homilies preached by anyone except clergy.

* to oppose parish mergers, insisting instead that each parish have its own individual leader, "whether man or woman"

COMMENT: Parish mergers are caused by a shortage of priests. The proper remedy for this is to nurture priestly vocations, not promote shabby substitutes.

* to "use every opportunity to speak out openly in favor of the admission of the married and of women to the priesthood"

COMMENT: You and the rest of the Protestants. Choose now who you will serve; as for me and my household, we serve the Lord.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Franciscan Sisters in Atlanta

Two Franciscan Sisters from the Convent of Christ the King in Kansas City, MO are visiting the Atlanta chapel of the SSPX this week. This Sisters are helping with the chapel's summer girls' camp this week.

Sister Francis Marie and Sister Marie Louise

Say a prayer for a successful camp this week!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Secretariat of State Refuses to Follow Papal Directive

Source: Vatican Insider - La Stampa

The wishes of Pope Benedict XVI are being thwarted by some of his own subordinates, observed Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX.

Bp. Fellay said that "when the Pope wants to do good he is hindered, prevented." His Excellency cited the example of a German Trappist monastery that sought papal permission to return to the liturgy and rules that were in force before Vatican II. The Pope signed a letter giving his permission, but the letter was deliberately withheld by an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State. "We know exactly who" sidetracked the letter, the SSPX leader said.

Eventually a friendly prelate hand-delivered the papal permission to the Trappist monastery, Bp. Fellay reported. But the fact remains, he said, that "to bring the news of the Pope's decision they bypassed the Secretariat of State."