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A Clarification About “Attacking” Bishops

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The word “attack” in the title to my previous post “Why Those Who Publically Attack Bishops Are Wrong,” is not a synonym for “criticize.” I take this opportunity to clarify my meaning here in a separate post where it won’t get lost in the comments. I also intend here to deal with certain other issues raised in the comments.

I thought it would be clear from the section on “Fraternal Correction” that I was (more…)

Why Those Who Publicly Attack Bishops Are Wrong

Monday, March 31st, 2014

There is reason to be ambivalent about Michael Voris’ resolution not to publically criticize the Holy Father.  Mark Shea has shown good example for having been quick and firm in his commendation of Voris.  I certainly could have been more gracious in the matter, especially considering that Voris (more…)

Further Update on Fisher More

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Per the request of a reader I am updating this blog concerning the Fisher More College situation.

There are a series of updates on the situation from the College itself, including a rebuttal of Taylor Marshall by the President of the College, Michael King.  I provide the link in the interests of fairness, but I also deem it necessary to point out again, why I originally posted on the matter and included a link to Taylor Marshall’s allegations.

I pointed out that the list of speakers at the College since Taylor Marshall’s departure confirm problematic situation as Dr. Marshall narrates it. The invitation,for example, to a suspended priest to speak at the college says pretty much all you need to know.

This is really not about he said, she said. It is about whether it is reasonable to presume that the bishop had grounds to decide as he did. It is, in fact, his competence, and not anyone else’s to decide whether the college should be able to operate a chapel and how so. But if his decision seems to be harsh, we might ask if it seems he had grounds for his decision. It seems that he did, and we might further presume that he has far more information about the situation than we are aware of.

Michael King’s own words, from his rebuttal, are apropos in this matter:

As with all personnel matters, I will not comment publicly on any of the circumstances surrounding Dr. Marshall’s employment and departure. This policy serves to protect current or former employees, none of whom we wish to see personally harmed by statements that would be necessary to explain and justify our actions. It also serves as a guardian of our own souls, particularly when the devil besets us with the temptation to respond to an injustice by committing one of our own.

I believe that for similar reasons the Most Reverend Michael Olsen of Fort Worth chose to communicate privately with President King, and not to publicize his decision.  In fact, his office has made clear:

“It was a private letter and someone leaked it, and it is what it is,” said Pat Svacina, director of communications for the Diocese of Fort Worth. “Bishop Olson has nothing to add to what has been out there,” Svacina said.

It is unfortunate that Michael King and Rorate Caeli chose to fight this out in the public forum.


Filed under: Catholicism, Church, News, Religion Tagged: Bishop Michael Olsen, Diocese of Forth Worth, Fisher More College, Rorate Caeli, Taylor Marshall, Traditionalism, Traditionalists
From MaryVictrix.com

Peace for the Afflicted

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The Church never abandons her children, especially those who suffer.  Dawn Eden, through her book My Peace I Give Youcontinues to be an instrument of Christ for the healing of those who have suffered sexual abuse.

Anthony Esolen, a writer I greatly admire, has written an essay in defense of the innocence of children inspired by reading Dawn’s book.   And The Catholic Herald picked up on her work, occasioned by her recent speaking engagements in the UK.

Her she is speaking on the healing of memory, a subject, which I believe is terribly important:

Filed under: Catholicism, Chivalry, Church, Pro-Life, Religion, Spiritual Warfare, Women Tagged: Aberdeen, Dawn Eden, My Peace I Give You, Sexual abuse
From MaryVictrix.com

Accounting for Differences in Papal Unity

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

I direct your attention to two rather provocative essays.  The first is by Sam Rocha: “Francis’s Radical Realism: Performance v. Ideology,” which attempts to interpret Pope Francis’ statement in Evangelii Gaudium “realities are more important than ideas.”  It is a challenging read and a controversial one, but no less than the statement of Pope Francis.

As a Franciscan and a Scotist any attempt within Catholic orthodoxy to give adequate accounting for the concrete and personal is of interest to me.  I also find it interesting that in the essay the concrete is set against ideology, not philosophy or theology per se, but the subordination of realities and especially persons to ideas.  I do believe that this is exactly what is happening today, especially on the fringes, where progressivist dogmas and appeals to supossed doctrinal purity seem to narrow the gospel to obsessions over only part of the message.  This sectarian reduction of the gospel ends by instrumentalizing persons.

The second piece is by C.C. Pecknold: “On Monastic Papacies,” and reminds of the post that I wrote comparing the Benedictine and Franciscan papacies.  Pecknold writes:

Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are not divided by philosophical outlooks, as helpful as they may find them. They enjoy a deeper unity, not only as they share in the same Petrine ministry, but as they are conformed to Christ. Like those sainted monks who stand at the ancient and medieval roots of western civilization, they not only keep open the trails between the cloister and the city, but they descend and ascend alike on the same ladder of Christ whose sacrifice manifests God’s love and mercy on a Roman cross.

With the ascendency of the mendicants, the Church was presented with a new kind of monasticism, which from the point of view of the old monks was no monasticism at all. The mendicants, especially the Franciscans, had a hard time finding the equilibrium neccessary to be effective as the reform movement their orders were meant to be.  It was a potentially powerful and at the same time dangerous postconciliar movement (post Lateran IV) that needed to find it’s way.  It shed many of the monastic customs, most notably stability, in the interests of evangelical dynamism.  Unfortunately, like a good number of postconciliarists of our day, many of its adherents were utopian a caused a great deal of trouble.

In the end, however, today as then, both the monks and mendicants are necessary, the Bendictines and Franciscans.  Pope Benedict has argued for centers of liturgical renewal where the liturgy could be preserved and developed prayerfully (without imposing a top down solution on the whole Church)—the option of the old monasticism.  Francis for his part is encouraging the Church to reach to the frontiers in a bold new effort at evangelization—the new mendicant option.  Both are necessary.  Neither contradicts the other.  Together they provide balance.

Pope Emeritus Benedict has again recently attempted to dismiss the media hype about opposition between the two papacies.  I think both Rocha and Pecknold have the right spirit.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Benedct XVI, Benedictine, C.C. Pecknold, Franciscan, Mendicants, Monasticism, Pope Francis, Sam Rocha
From MaryVictrix.com

Teaching from Lost Teaching Moments

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya. I don’t think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, “Bravo.”

–Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Michael Sam’s coming out

I have received a number of frustrated and angry emails about this.  Though I think it should be fairly obvious that the Cardinal is not condoning homosexual behavior, His Eminence clearly fell into the trap set for him.

Without a doubt, no matter what any person with same sex attraction actually believes about his or her sexual orientation and the acts that might proceed from that attraction, letting other people know about it involves the risk of public embarrassment and rejection.  The answer that society at large presents us is that there is nothing wrong with either the attraction or the acts and that rather than be embarrassed by one’s homosexuality, gay people and the rest of us should celebrate it.  Unfortunately the Cardinal’s remarks only reinforce this idea, even if he is otherwise clear that same sex attraction is disordered and homosexual acts sinful.

Courage, the approved Catholic apostolate that provides a spiritual support system to me (more…)

Religious Liberty

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Worth Watching.

H/T New Advent

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion, Uncategorized, Video Tagged: Religious Liberty
From MaryVictrix.com

What the Fisher More Situation Teaches Us

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

The current situation with Fisher More College is the new handle on the radical traditionalist axe.  As though an indisputable fact, it is being compared with the restrictions placed on the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  The story goes that whatever the problems might have been in these institutions there simply can be no legitimate reasons, or motivations of pastoral charity, that would justify a moratorium on the use of the old Missal.  But I believe a more apt comparison is to be drawn between the way in which the two situations have been used for propaganda purposes by these traditionalists.

In both cases there has been a leaking of documentation to Internet blogger/journalists, whose credentials show them to be, not just advocates for the full implementation of Summorum Pontificum, but also mouthpieces for the extreme side of traditionalism (end of the reform of the reform, the horror of Pope Francis, the impossibility of a hermeneutic of continuity, etc.).  Likewise, in both cases there has been a great deal of prejudicial conjecture, placing the worst possible interpretation on the decisions made by the Church.  In the case of the FI, the problem has been fire-bombed with conspiracy theory and the wholesale destruction of reputations.  It needs to be clear that is has been the traditionalist sources that have made a public spectacle of these ecclesiastical problems.  If any reputations have been damaged on either side, it has been due to the fact that they chose to fight this problem out in the public square. (more…)

Church Militant TV Weighs In

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Following up on my previous posts concerning Church Militant TV, I want to point out several important developments.

First, Louie Verrecchio has fired back at Michael Voris regarding his manifesto that CMTV will not publicly criticize the Holy Father.  It is interesting.  I completely disagree with Verrecchio’s rad trad Protestantism but I think he making the same point that I do in my previous posts.

Next, take a look at the comment section beginning here with a the discussion that has ensued between Terry Carrol, Executive Producer of CMTV, Christine Niles, who seems to have some loose association with CMTV, and myself (look for commenters Christine Niles, person111, and Terry Carrol).

I have been saying for a long time that this is the postconciliar moment, and that Bishop Fellay’s agenda to change the terms of the discussion regarding Vatican II has largely succeeded.  Now CMTV is scrambling at the edge of the brink and trying to walk the edge.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, Religion Tagged: Bishop Fellay, Church Militant TV, Michael Voris, Pope Francis, Society of St. Pius X, Terry Carroll, Traditionalism, Traditionalists
From MaryVictrix.com

More on Patrick Archbold and Michael Voris

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Michael Voris has interviewed Pat Archbold about his piece that I commented on here.  I have to say that Archbold is completely genuine and motivated by love for the Church.  He is clearly moved by deep concern.

Both Archbold and Voris admit that the proposal for Pope Francis to regularize the SSPX without an agreement might be naive, but they believe that there is a greater good to be achieved that is worth the risk, because the marginalization of traditionalists, perceived or real, may end very badly and be irreversible.

It seems to me that a more reasonable path and one that has more promise of success is for men like Archbold and Voris to convince as many traditionalists as possible that the only way forward is to follow the path laid out very charitably and in a fatherly way by Archbishop di Noia in Advent of 2012, when the dialogue was in its last agony.

There is no reason to be pessimistic, but neither is healthy realism to be avoided.  Archbold and Voris characterize the post-dialogue statements of the SSPX with words like “strident, “hypercritical,” “disrespectful” and “rude.”  In fact, Bishop Fellay has called Vatican II the council of the Masons, Modernists and Jews.  He has said that the validity (more…)

Enchantment vs. Magic in Tolkien’s Myth

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The following is a reply to David Llewellyn Dodds who has been very generously commenting on my previous Tolkien post.  This reply fits here and if you are interested you can follow the flow of thought.

In Letter 155 Tolkien takes the traditional distinction between magia (wisdom) and goeteia (sorcery) and for the purposes of his tale distinguishes between magia that has actual effect (machine, technology) and geoteia that is artistic (enchantment).  Both forms can be used for good or ill depending on intention.  Tolkien is more suspicious of the machine, though he in no way discounts that art can be used to deceive.

It is interesting that in his essay “On Fairy Stories” he explicitly correlates the idea of “enchantment” with the creation of a secondary world, or sub-creation.  (more…)

Conspiracy Corner: Pope Benedict Not a Subscriber

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

From the pen of Andrea Torneilli:

On 16 February, the author of this article sent the Pope Emeritus a letter with some specific questions regarding these interpretations. A response came two days later. “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Ratzinger wrote in his letter of reply. The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd.” Those closest to Ratzinger had been aware of the possibility of his resignation for a long time and he himself confirmed it in a book-length interview with the German journalist Peter Seewald (“Light of the World”, 2010): “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” . . .

In the letter he sent to us, the Pope Emeritus answered some questions regarding his decision to keep his papal name and continue dressing in white. “I continue to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for purely practical reasons. At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available. In any case, I wear the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the Pope wears it. This is another case of completely unfounded speculations being made,” he wrote.

Next stop on our conspiracy tour:  ”Pope Emeritus Benedict kidnapped and replaced by an impostor,” or “Lets see the letter.  It was forged and Pope Emeritus Benedict has been silenced.”  Watch for it.

This is one against “The Wedge.”

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, Religion Tagged: Abdication, Andrea Tornielli, Pope Benedict, The Wedge
From MaryVictrix.com

More Evidence of the “Wedge”

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Pat Archbold of Creative Minority Report has published another “open letter” to the Holy Father, like the one he published about my community.  This time it is an appeal to regularize the SSPX without requiring from them any agreement whatsoever.  His post was up on The National Catholic Register website, but the editors there removed it.  (In my estimation, a wise choice.)  He has now posted it on his own blog.

Archbold argues that the generosity extended by Pope Francis recently to a group of charismatic Protestants ought also to be extended to a group of Catholics who hold no doctrinal errors.  I do not understand this logic, since while Pope Francis encouraged unity he did not invite these Protestants into full communion or suggest that they enjoyed it.

Archbold also invokes the exemplary generosity Benedict XVI toward the SSPX, suggesting that Pope Francis ought to follow the example of his predecessor. Unfortunately, the dialogue with the Holy See broke down while Pope Benedict still reigned, and by all evidence (contrary to the claims of Bishop Fellay) precisely because the SSPX refused to sign the doctrinal preamble, which Archbold believes is now superfluous.

What is most problematic with Archbold’s piece is what he does not say, or perhaps does not remember, which I would guess is the reason why he is “still in shock” that The Register pulled his post.  To be fair, he is genuinely concerned that traditionalist Catholics are on the fence, both because he believes they are being marginalized and because their leaders are becoming more and more strident and disrespectful.  And he thinks that the situation is so bad that the SSPX and some of their sympathizers are almost beyond recall. So what he does not say is exactly the reason why regularization without an agreement would be disastrous.  The SSPX is wholly committed, heart and soul to resisting and declaring the “errors” of Vatican II and the “evils” of the Novus Ordo.

Here is Bishop Fellay around the time that the dialogue with the Holy See came to an end:

We have many enemies, many enemies.  But look . . and that is very interesting.  Who during that time was the most opposed that the Church will recognize the Society? The enemies of the Church:  the Jews, the Masons and the Modernists.  The most opposed that the Society would be recognized as Catholic:  the enemies of the Church.  Interesting, isn’t it?  More than that, what was the point?  What did they say to Rome?  They said:  “You must oblige these people to accept Vatican II.”  That’s also very interesting, isn’t it?  People, who are outside the Church, who clearly during centuries are enemies of the Church, say to Rome, if you want to accept these people, you must oblige them to accept the Council. Isn’t that interesting?  Oh, it is!  I think it is fantastic, because it shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s.  They see—the enemies of the Church—their benefit in the Council.  Very interesting!  So, I may say, that is the kind of argument we are going to use with Rome, trying to make them reflect, trying to make them reflect.

Then on October 12 of last year:

The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse. . .

What Gospel does he have? Which Bible does he have to say such things. It’s horrible. What has this to do with the Gospel? With the Catholic Faith? That’s pure Modernism, my dear brethren.We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.

And finally as recently as November of last year:

The new pope arrives with different positions, attacking almost everything. Everyone understood: Benedict XVI is forgotten! It was useless to say: “But no! This is the same combat, Benedict and Francis, the same combat!” Obviously, the attitude is not the same at all. The approach, the definition of the problems that affect the Church is not the same! This idea of introducing reforms that are even more extensive than anything that has been done thus far. In any case, you don’t get the impression that they will just be cosmetic, these reforms of Pope Francis!

Pope Francis is not going to regularize the SSPX without an agreement for the same reason Pope Benedict would not do it before he ended his pontificate.  What Pat Archbold and others need to understand is that this “wedge” even if unintentional and even if the result of genuine desperation is not helping the traditionalist cause.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Benedict XVI, Bishop Fellay, Creative Minority Report, National Catholic Register, Pat Archbold, Pope Francis, Second Vatican Council, Society of St. Pius X, Traditionalism
From MaryVictrix.com

The Reform of the Reform Fights Back

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

David Armstrong has an excellent post refuting the “death of the reform of the reform” proclamation by Peter Kwasniewski, which I have discussed here.

And thanks be to God, Bishop Peter Elliott has posted a refutation of this premature announcement on New Liturgical Movement.

These voices of sanity are greatly appreciated.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion Tagged: Liturgy, Reform of the Reform, Second Vatican Council, Traditionalism
From MaryVictrix.com

In the Eye of the Vortex

Monday, February 24th, 2014

More evidence of the wedge being driven between the Benedictine and Franciscan pontificates can be seen in the recent disclaimer/clarification of Michael Voris in which he refuses to publically criticize Pope Francis.  In itself this is only a small example of the difficulty, but it is also another instance of a mounting problem manifesting itself at various levels: doctrinal, liturgical, pastoral.  Voris knows he is on the cutting edge of the problem.

You might legitimately why I think his refusal to publically criticize Pope Francis is a problem.  I don’t.  But Voris does find himself to be part of the wedge between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, and in my estimation he has not really got himself out of it.  Let me explain. (more…)