Earlier this week, I made a serious error in judgment. I defended Catholicism on Facebook. Let me explain. A traditional Catholic friend had made a simply stated post about the suicide of the country music singer, Mindy McCready. As one who doesn't listen to modern music or watch reality television, I know absolutely nothing about Mindy McCready other than what the news reported. So, personally, I had no comment. It was of absolutely no surprise to me that another celebrity took their own life. It shouldn't be to anyone else's surprise either. I suppose my friend was simply commenting on the sadness of it all, the wasted life, and the consideration that two small children are without a mother. Whatever her motives, my friend mentioned she wished she had prayed harder for the country music star before she killed herself. That simple statement unleashed a chain of Catholic friends hoping to console their trad Catholic friend by offering her hope and education by reminding her that "the Church doesn't think that anymore" and "Christ is so merciful!" Whatever.
I admit, I should had left it alone, but I can't control my choleric nature sometimes. I NEEDED to defend the Church. Let me clarify that. I didn't particularly put in my two cents just to defend my friend. While that was part of it, certainly, my main motive was to defend Christ and His Church. The fact is simple--most Novus Ordo Catholics have no idea what the Catholic faith teaches. And they don't know it because no one, not their families nor their priests, have every explained it to them or defended it. Oh sure, they go to Mass every Sunday, but they can only tell you what Pope John Paul II said or what Pope Benedict XVI wrote about. Begin discussing the true doctrines and dogma of the Catholic faith and they take the same approach---the Church doesn't teach that anymore. What???
Since I have become a traditional Catholic, I have learned something about Novus Ordo Catholics. They feel sorry for us. They think we are stupid. They think they need to go around all the time and "correct" us. Every single time we say something, whether it is insignificant or not, they take it as an opportunity to chastise us for "leaving" the Church. And when we attempt to defend ourselves, defend our position, defend our reasons for being traditional Catholics, they criticize and condemn us. They even shun us.
I used to think it's not worth it. The debating and discussing with Novus Ordos Catholics seems to go no where sometimes, with no one willing to concede. But does that really matter? Eventually, if we keep telling the truth, defending Our Lord and His Church, something will make sense. A few Sunday's ago, our priest gave a sermon about the Master and Workers in the Vineyard. I thought about my own path to traditional Catholicism. I wasn't "hired" in the beginning of the day. In fact, it took me a long time to become even a Novus Ordo Catholic much less find tradition. So I have to believe that is true for so many others.
I also considered for a short while, that it wasn't my place to help Catholics find tradition. I believe that's a temptation from the devil. If we truly believe there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, then how could we not try to convert people, especially our Novus Ordo friends who may have lost or be in jeopardy of losing their faith? Is it really Catholic to have the attitude that "I have mine, you get yours on your own?"
It's hard today to be a traditional Catholic. Many times, our adversaries are our own fellow Catholics who think we have abandoned our faith and the Church. We risk, at any moment, losing our friends and, sometimes, our families. And since we are still human, these broken relationships can be very painful. I think that is why a lot of traditional Catholics just decide to remain silent about the faith or not to "make waves" when discussions, like the one about Mindy McCready's suicide, pop up.
I don't regret stepping into my friend's Facebook conversation. In fact, I saw it as my duty to defend my faith. The Baltimore Catechism says this regarding this matter:
326. Q. Are we obliged to make open profession of our faith?
A. We are obliged to make open profession of our faith as often as God's honor, our neighbor's spiritual good, or our own requires it. "Whosoever," says Christ, "shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven."
It is not necessary for us to proclaim in the streets that we are Catholics; neither need we tell our religion to impudent people that may ask us only to insult us; but when a real need of professing our faith presents itself, then we must profess it. You must keep up the practice of your religion even if by so doing you have to make an open profession of your faith and suffer for it.
Does this mean we have to go around telling everyone how Catholic we are? Absolutely not. Does this mean we have to constantly engage people in "teachable moments?" Of course not. But does this mean we have to clarify Church teaching, doctrine, and dogma when having conversation with Novus Ordo Catholics, Protestants, or non-religious? Yes, most especially with our Catholic friends. Even if that means they argue with us or stop inviting us to parties.
So be brave! You never know when some lapsed, indifferent, or confused Catholic is touched or motivated by our good examples. After all, the Master is always out calling for workers for His Vineyard.
St. Peter, ora pro nobis!
Our Lady of Good Success, ora pro nobis!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
1) Yes, a Pope can resign. In the entire 1,979 year history of the Catholic Church a Papal resignation has happened only 4 other times. In percentages, this means that 0.2% of the Vicars of Christ have ended their Papacy through resignation. But it's rarer than an appearance Halley's Comet.
2) Of the 4 Popes who have previously resigned, 3 had some very good reasons. Here's a brief synopsis:
~~~Pope Benedict IX resigned in 1045. He inherited the Papal Office and viewed it as his birth right. As such, he was a terrible Pope and a disgrace to his Office. He was a scandalous man, who used his authority as political power. He openly carried on with many women and when it was learned that he was about to marry, the Cardinals insisted on his resignation. Eventually, his successor, Pope Gregory VI paid him a large sum of money in exchange for his resignation.
~~~Pope Gregory VI, after bribing his predecessor, resigned in 1046. The events surrounding this fight for the Papal Tiara was quite scandalous. Benedict immediately recanted his resignation, accusing Pope Gregory of simony. Pope Gregory refused to abdicate his authority and King Henry III was forced to intervene. Eventually, Pope Gregory VI resigned and another Pope was chosen.
~~~Pope Gregory XII was chosen Pope during the Great Western Schism. He resigned his Office in 1415. Each Cardinal, during this difficult period, took an oath declaring that, if elected Pope, he would willing abdicate the Papal Office to end the Schism. Though Gregory XII was the true Pope, two others held claim to the same. Truthful to his oath and for the sake of the Church, Pope Gregory XII resigned to prevent further rupture.
3) The 4th Pope in the History of the Church to resign was Celestine V in 1294. Before he was Pope Celestine V, Pietro di Murrone became a monk at 17 and later a priest. There is no doubt he was a pious man. He spent his life in solitude and in constant prayer and penance. He spent his entire, long life as a hermit in the wilderness. As such, those who knew him, greatly admired his piety and his holiness. In a shock to his sensibilities, Pietro found his pious life interrupted, when the Cardinals found him on his mountain after having elected him Pope in 1294. The See of Peter had been sede vacante for 2 years. Reluctantly, Pietro accepted the Office and chose the name of Celestine V. But within 5 months, it was obvious that the old man, nearly 80, was unfit and ill equipped to hold the Office of the Papacy. He made a lot of poor choices in appointing Cardinals, which eventually laid the foundation for the Great Schism that was soon to follow. He could refuse no one, and granted favors to prelates without restraint. As such, the affairs of the running the Curia fell into disarray and corruption. After recognizing such, Pope Celestine V longed only to return to his hermit life rather than mend the problems he had created. He retreated into his private apartment and contemplated that his soul was in grave danger. When he thought of resigning under these circumstances, the Cardinals agreed, and a consultation of the Canon law ensued. It was then concluded, after 5 months, that, for the preservation of the Church, a pope could resign his Papal Office. Celestine V resigned in that same year. Interestingly enough, the Cardinal who helped to formulate the decree on Papal Resignation became the next Pope, Pope Boniface VIII. He promptly rescinded all decrees issued by Pope Celestine V, save one--the decree on Papal resignations. Celestine spent the rest of his life confined to a cell in a castle. It was there he died, in solitude, the following year.
4) After Celestine V resigned his office, the Catholic world was in shock. He was considered by most Cardinals and faithful alike to have been a very weak man. Most viewed him as a coward. It is to this Pope Celestine V than Dante's Inferno refers. Dante places the cowardly Pope Celestine V at the vestibule of Hell, where their punishment is the continued pursuit of self-interest, chased by wasps and hornets who constantly sting them, and where maggots drink their blood and their tears. (Canto III).
This miserable mode
Maintain the melancholy souls of those
Who lived without infamy or praise.
Commingled are they with that caitiff choir
of Angels, who have not rebellious been,
Nor faithful were to God, but were for self.
The heavens expelled them, not to be less fair;
Nor them the nethermore abyss receives,
For glory none the damned would have from them.
These have no longer any hope of death
And this blind life of theirs is so debased
They envious are of every other fate.
No fame of them the world permits to be;
Misericord and Justice both disdain them.
Let us not look at them, but speak and pass.
5) It is this Pope, the cowardly Pope, that apparently Pope Benedict has modeled his own resignation after. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI visited the tomb of Pope Celestine V. It was here atop the tomb of Celestine V that he left his pallium, The pallium is a woolen band worn around the neck of the Pope that symbolizes his pontifical office. In 2010, Pope Benedict found the time to pray in a cathedral near Rome where the relics of Pope Celestine V are located.
6) Since Pope Benedict XVI is a man who seems fascinated by dates and symbols, does his fascination and homage to Pope Celestine V indicate that his Pontificate is similar in more ways than just his resignation? How many of his personal friends did Pope Benedict XVI elevate to important offices? Archbishop Meuller? How many others? Does his homage to Pope Celestine indicate that the magnitude of the office of the Papacy is too much for him to bear?
7) Does the Popes "resignation" and his "retirement" indicate that he considers the role of the Papacy that akin to a CEO of a company? Is that how he views the Catholic Church, as a company run by a board of officials who make decisions regarding how many "offices" they have or how many "stores" they have? With all the church closings and restructuring, it might seem so. Does he also want to have some sort of say-so over who his "replacement" will be?
8) Why would a Pope, any Pope, resign his office during Lent, the Holiest Season of the year? If his health is really bad, why wouldn't he just do what all the other Popes in history have done and wait for his death?
9) Does he want to "retire" so he can write another book and show us his intellectual abilities?
10) Is there something about to happen or some news about to come out that might bring scandal upon the whole Catholic Church regarding more of his responsibility and knowledge of the pederasty and sodomy in the clergy?
While all of the above observations and questions are important, the biggest curiosity I have is why in the world the Catholic faithful are being so kind and gracious to this Pope under these circumstances. Michael Voris is even giving an excuse for this Pope--that he couldn't fight off the wolves in the Vatican. All the news media is reporting about the "Pope's humble resignation." And while Cardinal Dolan was saddened by the news, he issued a statement of admiration of this Pontiff and his humility. Some people are even suggesting that the Pope is so humble that he simply admitted his own unworthiness to be the Pope!
I find this all rather disconcerting but not surprising. We live in an age where modern Catholics love the Popes more than they love the Church. They love the Popes so much, that they hold onto every word they say as the Gospel Truth. They view every action of the Pope as the Divine Will of God. They are so blind to the PERSON in the Papacy that they can't grasp what the Papacy even is or what it's purpose is. It is a sad day for Catholics and for the Church.
The most profound statement regarding Pope Benedict's resignation came from Cardinal Dziwisz of Poland when he said "Wojytla (Pope John Paul II) stayed to the end because one does not come down from the cross." This is absolutely correct. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. He serves as the agent of Our Lord. He is chosen, not by mere men, but by the Holy Ghost. It is God himself who gives us our Pope to guard and protect the faith. Just as Christ did not come down from His Cross, the Supreme Pontiff cannot relinquish his responsibilities unless the life of the Church is at stake. To say that the Pontiff could no longer fight off the wolves is the ultimate act of betrayal and cowardice. If the Supreme Pontiff cannot fight off the wolves then how can we, the faithful, who depend on the Pontiff to guide us????
Our Lord suffered extreme humiliation, extreme pain, extreme agony, extreme abandonment, extreme loss of those He loved and yet HE STAYED! He stayed because without Him, we cannot ever hope to obtain salvation. Ever. What does this say about the Pope if he cannot stay and defend the Church against Satan?
As more news comes out regarding Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, the more questions I have. Although I do not personally hold the view of my sede vacantist friends, I am walking closer towards that line. These are indeed very dark times.
Regardless of this news, in March we will have a new Pope. What kind of Pope will he be and what will happen to the Barque of Peter?
Lent begins tomorrow. I intend to spend this time in prayer and penance that the Church is restored and the Holy Ghost chooses for us a Pope to lead us out of this modernist cesspool.
Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis!
St. Peter, ora pro nobis!
Thursday, February 7, 2013
This week the Clown of the Week Award goes to the German Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne. What, you say, did the good Cardinal do to deserve such an award? He issued a statement in response to the "controversy" surrounding two Catholic hospitals in Cologne who refused to dispense "emergency contraceptives" to a rape victim. What exactly was that statement? Read it and weep, good and faithful Catholics. "If, after a rape, a supplement is used with the intend of preventing fertilization, that is in my view justifiable." Congratulations Herr Meisner! You have just declared utter nonsense, and confounded and confused another generation of Catholics!
Since many of today's Catholics are being led around and spoon fed by these clowns, I think it's time for another primer on the absolute absurdity of such a statement. Good and faithful Catholics should be outraged every time one of these statements comes to light in the media. Why? Because many Catholics are blinded by obedience and will believe every single word they say without hesitation, thus finding themselves fast on the path to Perdition! Enough! Let's see if we can clarify, then.
1) If, after a rape.....Yes, rape is a horrible crime against a woman. Woman who are raped feel shame, quilt, anger, sadness, confusion, despair, remorse, disgust, and hatred. What makes the situation worse is that most women are raped by someone they know or are at least familiar with. After women are raped they feel so many emotions for months, perhaps even years, that it is sometimes difficult for them to even think straight. And that is precisely the problem. These women who have been raped and have come to a medical facility are not thinking straight at all. They are over-run with pure emotion. In such a state of raw emotion a woman couldn't possibly consider the idea that she might have fallen pregnant with a man whom she feels nothing but disgust. Difficult dilemma, yes?
2) ...a supplement is used with the intend of preventing fertilization.....This is called contraception. Period. Even the FDA, which is not noted for honesty or transparency regarding pharmaceuticals, identifies "the Pill" and the "emergency pill" as contraceptives, or methods where hormones are used to prevent ovulation or the fertilization of the egg. There are many natural supplements that have been around for millennia that women have to prevent fertilization---pomegranates, neem oil, Queen Anne's Lace seeds, rutin, smartweed, and apricot kernels. You see, contrary, to popular belief, ours is not the first society who desired not to have offspring. There were many people before who discovered certain herbs and flowers could bring on a menstrual cycle, prevent fertilization, or cause a miscarriage. Why not use one of these supplements instead of hormones which are known cancer agents?
3) ...in my view....It seems the good Cardinal's view is the same view as the "experts" and "scientists." But what about God's view? And the Church's view? You see, the Cardinal's view doesn't really matter does it? The only view that actually counts is God's and He left the Catholic Church solely responsible for teaching everyone what that view is. Sorry Herr Meisner.
4) ...justifiable. This one word, alone, is what qualifies Herr Meisner for the Clown of the Week Award. What exactly does this word mean? When a decision or action is justifiable, it must be proven that the action is just, right, or reasonable. Is preventing fertilization with a supplement in any case just, right, or reasonable? Not according to God! Not even in the case of rape. What is just about denying a child created by God his natural right to live? What is right about intentionally and willfully suppressing a woman's fertility so that she will not fall pregnant? What is reasonable about telling a woman that it is okay to take a "supplement" to prevent a child from being conceived or born?
What's the big deal, you say, about Cardinal Meisner anyway. Well, he is in a position of authority. Faithful Catholics see him as a representative of the visible Church. Those Catholics who are still attending Mass and who still listen to their priests and bishops will take what the Cardinal says and actually believe it is true. This is what makes his statement absolutely absurd and dangerous. And this is precisely why the Catholic Church is in the rotten state that it is in! The hierarchy is rotten and they are liars. And while they may or may not hold legitimate places of authority, one just cannot believe a word they say. Period. In these times, it's best not to listen to them at all or measure everything they declare with what the Church actually teaches.
Contraception and abortion, contrary to popular belief, are not new ideas. Any study of the use of contraception clearly indicates that both practices, contraception and abortion, were commonplace throughout antiquity. In fact, an exhaustive analysis of women's health, including contraception, was published in the 2nd Century by Soranus of Ephesus, a Greek gynecologist. His works were so important that they were read and referenced for over 1500 years. I mention this because it is important to note that these practices were part of the life and culture that Our Lord and His Apostles were teaching against. And since these practices were part of the general culture, Christians were in direct opposition to it. As such, this is not a new idea that just suddenly popped up in the 1960s with the invention of a birth control pill. On the contrary, ours is not the first culture in which men and women wanted to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh without any consequences.
From the beginning, Our Lord, His Apostles, and His Church have condemned the practice of contraception and abortion. One does not need a degree in theology to know what the Church teaches in regards to these matters. Neither are acceptable--both are intrinsically morally evil. Period. This concept is so simple that even the Protestants understand it. God, and God alone, is the author of life. He decides, in His ultimate Wisdom, when or if a child is to be created. This is very difficult for us to understand, especially when the circumstances involved are so difficult. But who are we to question Our Lord's Ways? After all, they are not ours.
Is rape a horrible situation? Yes. Most definitely. But sometimes Our Lord chooses this precise situation to bring a new human being into this world. Why? I do not know. It would be highly presumptuous of me to contemplate why the Lord would allow a child to be conceived in this way. A report that come out in Ireland last year highlighted the fact that most women in this situation keep their children. If a child conceived out of rape is so horrible, why do all these women keep their children? Perhaps this is a question Cardinal Meisner ought to investigate. The Cardinal might begin his research by reading the blog by Rebecca Kiessling, a woman who was conceived in rape and targeted for abortion. I am certain she would have to disagree with Cardinal Meisner that "emergency" contraception is ever justified. There are women there who have lovingly and courageously shared their stories in hopes that they can have an impact.
It is a really sad day for humanity the leaders of the Holy Catholic Church lose their faith and their marbles at the same time. For this reason, German Cardinal Joachim Meisner wins the Clown of the Week Award.
Our Lady of Good Success, Ora Pro Nobis!
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!