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Maryvictrix

The Nameless Darkness and the FI

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

From the usual suspect:

If, as Tosatti clearly implies it is, this information is true (which would not be shocking considering the evolution of current events), the situation of the former Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is even more suffocating than before, on a level never before seen in the Church in recent centuries (for instance, there certainly was no blacklist of dioceses incardinating as secular priests the former Jesuits after the suppression of the order in the 18th century, and in similar cases). These poor priest-friars will simply remain with no way out, other than completely abandoning the priesthood, if even the bishops willing to welcome those who want to leave the modified order are blacklisted by the highest levels in the Vatican. (Of course, if true, the bishops can still incardinate them, but are aware that they may suffer consequences) [emphasis mine].

Of course, it don’t matter one jot whether any of this is true because the medium by which it is delivered is the Internet.  In the brave new virtual world, it is perfectly acceptable to publish whatever comes into ones head, or to repeat whatever has bubbled over from another’s into the digital world.

The narrative is just assumed to be true and New Catholic, whoever he is, without any way of holding him accountable, will just say:  “don’t shoot the messanger.”

Yet, riding the wave of the cutting edge “reporting” of Rorate Caeli, even a “real” journalist fails to do even the least amount of due diligence before tweeting the following:

via @RorateCaeli: Papal blacklist4 bishops who shelter refugees from heretical order condemned for being nonheretics? http://t.co/HZ5ZplrUZk

— Sam Schulman ? (@Sam_Schulman) September 18, 2014

 

This is from someone who writes for The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal and The Spectator.  But he is just “repeating” what he read on Rorate Caeli.  Now, of course, New Catholic will deny he called the FI under commission a heretical order, but that is clearly what he meant.  Why else would a friar otherwise have no way out but to abandon the priesthood?

But be sure, no one will take responsibility for spreading the lie that the friars who support the Apostolic Commission are heretics, nor will anyone take responsibility for having sowed the seed of dissension and despair by suggesting that friars confronted with the duty to obey the Church in difficult circumstances will have no choice but to leave the priesthood.

The “facts” “reported” by blogs and Twitter accounts are not all the facts, my Catholic friends.  Rather, these are the “facts” that are fit to print because they fit the tint.  And this is precisely the problem that many of us have had with our Institute’s past association with groups like Rorate Caeli.

And many traditionalists wonder why their cause is not more popular today among those who have to make policy decisions.

The Internet is more often the near occasion of mortal sin (objectively speaking) than many care to admit.

Behold, brethren, the Internet beast.  We thank God for the free exchange of information, and well we should.  But here gossip becomes fact, and such a “fact” becomes a tweetable factoid, a virtual torpedo of falsehood that will continue to damage the reputation of decent people as it ripples across the blogosphere.

This kind of dissension and division within the Church, which is the fruit of falsehood and gossip is satanic.  Tossati blames this on those around the Holy Father, but I know for a fact, that many of these rumors originate elsewhere. Romanità knows no ideological boundaries.

This is a plague upon the Church and the Internet is its delivery system.  The Catholic blogosphere needs a purge.  We need to stop the rumor-mongering and vicious gossip.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father Tagged: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, New Catholic, Rorate Caeli, Sam Schulman
From MaryVictrix.com

The FI Internet Problem Illustrated

Friday, September 5th, 2014

More unsubstantiated gossip from an anonymous source, released by a pseudonymous blogger who skirts all accountability.

There is no way to verify the accuracy of the account of what is going on within the FSI. The source has to be someone within the community, who is not exactly an objective observer (nor one who is cooperating with the Church for that matter), which makes a real confirmation of the facts all the more crucial.  That confirmation ought to be done before something is released to the public as though it were fact.  There are many lives affected by this Internet spectacle.

The blogger further claims that the prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, and the secretary, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo (to whom he refers as the “Duo) have “thoroughly destroyed” the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  Really?  This man simply does not know what he is talking about, because he is only interested in one side of the story—the one that serves the purpose of his blog.

So the question for him and those like him is whether Pope Francis wishes to obliterate the sisters, which according tot he omniscient blogger, was the will of the Holy Father for the friars.

The gravest irresponsibility in all this is that the blogger and all those who have concocted and published their theories from the bits and pieces on the Internet do not know what they do not know.  They have no way of assessing how much, or how little of the pertinent information they have or its relative value.

The behavior is irresponsible and all the more because so much is done without the slightest accountability.

But then again, they don’t care about any of this because this “reporting” is all about their own agenda.  They have made no real investment in our Institute or any real knowledge about the issues involved.  Ours is a symbolic cause for them and we friars and sisters are their canon fodder.

This is why I say I am ambivalent about the Internet and the excuse it provides for intellectual, cultural, moral and religious voyeurism.

It is a disgrace.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Culture, Holy Father, Religion
From MaryVictrix.com

Christianity, Islam and the Future

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The atrocities perpetrated by ISIS (or IS, ISIL) on Christians and other religious minorities of Iraq is both an unspeakable tragedy and an opportunity to do some soul searching. Outrage and apprehension are the order of the day. We are really good at the ineffectual intellectualization of the problem, and on the other hand, we also excel at expressing the crusading spirit from the comfort of our padded chairs and the safety of Internet. But we have been short on effective action.

The big question being asked right now is why is it that ostensibly peaceful Muslims are so silent about the persecution of their Arab brothers and sisters. But an equally large question is why is it that the West is so impotent in the face of all the genocide, which it alone is capable of stopping. What else has to happen? How many more babies need to be cut in half, journalists beheaded, or women sold into slavery (etc.)?

Dialogue?

In this context “dialogue” is frequently juxtaposed with “crusade,” as mutually exclusive answers. (more…)

Dear Father . . .

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Father,

I read your blog and know that you comment on the SSPX and related matters. What do you make of this: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/08/sspx-priest-celebrates-mass-in-saint.html  This does seem to change things. They were given permission to offer mass. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQfiaY-6bRQ Thank you for your time. The SSPX confirms that permission was in fact given: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/sspx-mass-st-peters-basilica-video-4715.

I can only speculate what it all means.  I am not inclined to think that it means anything juridical is in the works.  However, I would hazard to say that it indicates that Pope Francis has no ill will or nefarious plan for undoing the provisions which favor those attached to the TLM.  Which is what I have always been saying.

And for this reason the confusion of Damien Thompson as to why then Pope Francis would have placed restrictions on our Institute, might best be explained by considering that perhaps the narrative some traditionalists have spread about my Institute are wrong.

Filed under: Church, Holy Father, Liturgy, News, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Damien Thompson, Pope Francis, Society of St. Pius X
From MaryVictrix.com

Of Rabble Rousers, Crystal Gazers and the Internet

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Steve Kellmeyer ruffles some feathers  here and here.

I am not sure how far he is to be taken literally in terms of the faithful’s right to lodge their concerns to their pastors.  On the other hand, he makes a simple and valid point that most of us have come to give way too much importance to the way we think the Church ought to be instead of fostering the unity of the Church by not habitually and publicly contradicting our pastors and undermining their authority.  Catholic orthodoxy/traditionalism has pretty effectively aped the rabble rousing progressives and felt banner wavers of the 60’s and 70’s.

The internet and social media, now a part of the fabric of our lives, seems to carry with it the assumption that somehow all of our opinions are important all the time.  The digital age also validates the idea that we can say anything we want and then slough off responsibility for having said it.

The internet is a quicksand of cultural exibitionism and voyeurism.  We Catholics have been suckered into it in the name of all that is holy.

In the comments on the post at the second link, Steve makes the observation that the real reason why the postconcilar crisis occurred was because the preconciliar Church was actually quite weak.  One of Steve’s objectors say this appears to be post hoc ergo propter hoc, but the same can be said of the opposite argument—the more frequent one—that the preconciliar Church was strong and that the Council simply wrecked everything.  

A more complex answer is probably the a more accurate one: there were preconciliar weaknesses, as well as the unrealistic optimism of the 60’s concurring with the sexual revolution, and the consequent disastrous implementation of the Council under the influence of ideologues who were able to throw off the fetters.  These created a perfect storm.

A theology professor of mine made the astute remark that within the Church, the simple answers sound the best, but are usually wrong.  A theological example of this is the doctrine of the hypostatic union.  Nestorianism is simple and easy to understand: two persons, two natures, one indwells in the other.  The Council of Ephesus is far more complex and difficult to understand: two distinct natures (one fully divine, the other fully human), but only one divine person, with no human person whatsoever.  

Ephesus was right.  Nestorius was wrong.  The truth is not always simple.

Historical narratives are probably even more susceptible to such oversimplification, because they describe the particular and concrete, which are quasi-infinite.  A historical cause and effect creates a ripple, which multiplies causes and effects exponentially.

Furthermore, we do not even know what we do not know.  This is also a endemic problem on the Internet.  Bloggers treat a few facts that they cobbled together like these were a compendium on the nature of everything.

Simple answers are appealing and convincing, especially in the wonderful world of search engines, viral causes and comboxes.  We effectively sell our Catholic pontifications in sound bites, tweets, instagrams and blog posts, because that is the way contraception, abortion, same sex marriage and gender relativism has been foisted so successfully on the public.

Today evangelical genius consists in the ice bucket challenge.

I would suggest that we try to resolve our difficulties by having recourse to the living magisterium, but that would be too ultramontane.

There is one simple idea in the Church, a mystical one, which resolves all the complexities and anomalies.  

But what do I know? Never mind.

 

 

 

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion, Spirituality
From MaryVictrix.com

At weddings, funerals, first Communions . . .

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

At weddings, funerals, first Communions and Confirmations, many priests will try to give some guidance on who may present themselves for Holy Communion. A while back, I made a passing remark that I found to be surprisingly effective. After explaining that it is practising Catholics, living in accord with the teaching of the Church and attending Sunday Mass every week who go to Communion, I added that there are always plenty of people who, for various reasons, cannot receive Communion and so there is no need to be embarrassed about remaining in the bench. My hunch was correct: at those public occasions, if you do not explain that there are required dispositions for Holy Communion, people will come up simply to be polite, in case it might be rude not to. Such is the result of our failing to educate the faithful on the proper dispositions for Holy Communion.

Filed under: Catholicism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized Tagged: Eucharist, Holy Communion, Mass, Sacrilege
From MaryVictrix.com

Homily for the Memorial of St. Pius X

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Pius X, one of the great popes of the 20th century. He was born in 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, and he grew up in poverty. His father was the village postman and little Giuseppe walked six kilometers to school everyday. This poverty characterized his whole life, and it was not just a matter of physical poverty. St. Pius X was a man who was truly poor in spirit. Our Lord said: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Throughout his life as simple priest and Franciscan tertiary, then as bishop of Mantua, later as cardinal archbishop of Milan and finally as supreme pontiff of the universal Church, Giuseppe Sarto, remained a simple man and a lover of poverty. His last will and testament gives witness to this with the words: “I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor.”

Thus, this great man was single minded throughout his life and placed himself at the dispositions of Christ and His Church, without consideration for himself. This was his poverty in spirit. His whole life was to serve Christ and the Church. (more…)

Keven O’Brien on Chivalry

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Stand up for yourselves.  Don’t settle for loser boyfriends who can’t bring themselves to pop the question because they’re either too busy “discerning” or they’re secretly gay or hooked on porn.  Don’t settle for girlfriends who manipulate or tease you or who can’t be trusted or who won’t be there when you need them.  Don’t settle for turning your vocation into an avocation, for jobs that simply fill space and make your life comfortable but that don’t give you the chance to do what God has made you to do.  Don’t settle for an education that doesn’t force you to grapple with the deepest elements of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.  Don’t settle for a Mass that’s contrived, filled with bad music and insipid preaching.  Don’t settle for a parish that’s more anti-Christian than Christian.  Don’t settle for the safety of living in Mom’s basement. And don’t let anyone mess with your shows. When you find what you love, defend it, fight for it, die for it – and (most challenging of all) live for it. *** The greatest writer of the 20th Century, my patron in heaven, put it much better than I ever could (my emphasis) 

In every romance there must be the twin elements of loving and fighting. In every romance there must be the three characters: there must be the Princess, who is a thing to be loved; there must be the Dragon, who is a thing to be fought; and there must be St. George, who is a thing that both loves and fights. There have been many symptoms of cynicism and decay in our modern civilization. But of all the signs of modern feebleness, of lack of grasp on morals as they actually must be, there has been none quite so silly or so dangerous as this: that the philosophers of today have started to divide loving from fighting and to put them into opposite camps. [But] the two things imply each other; they implied each other in the old romance and in the old religion, which were the two permanent things of humanity. You cannot love a thing without wanting to fight for it. You cannot fight without something to fight for. To love a thing without wishing to fight for it is not love at all; it is lust. It may be an airy, philosophical, and disinterested lust… but it is lust, because it is wholly self-indulgent and invites no attack. On the other hand, fighting for a thing without loving it is not even fighting; it can only be called a kind of horse-play that is occasionally fatal. Wherever human nature is human and unspoilt by any special sophistry,there exists this natural kinship between war and wooing, and that natural kinship is called romance. It comes upon a man especially in the great hour of youth; and every man who has ever been young at all has felt, if only for a moment, this ultimate and poetic paradox. He knows that loving the world is the same thing as fighting the world. – G. K. Chesterton

Filed under: Chivalry, Manliness, Marian Chivalry, Men, Religion, Spirituality, Women, Youth Tagged: G.K. Chesterton, Kevin O’brien
From MaryVictrix.com

Nazarenes

Friday, August 8th, 2014

NazarenesThe end of Christianity in Iraq

 

Filed under: Church, News, Photos, Uncategorized Tagged: Christians, Iraq, Nazarenes
From MaryVictrix.com

Christianity in Iraq

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The following is a report from earlier this year

For more information see this post from The Anchoress.

Pray for the Christians and all the persecuted peoples of Iraq.

Do not dare to forget the Church of Martyrs.

Filed under: Catholicism, Heroes, News, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Chaldean Catholics, Genocide, Iraq
From MaryVictrix.com

The Disparaged Virtue of Prudence

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

I have spoken about this before, in different contexts.

Fr. Z speaks of it here in the context of the question whether one may attend the civil wedding of a Catholic.

An excellent post that I hope will not be disparaged by those who insist that every problem be solved with hard and fast rules.

Read and learn.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion Tagged: Canon Law, Matrimony, Prudence, Weddings
From MaryVictrix.com

Now on SpiritualDirection.com

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Dan Burke from SpiritualDirection.com has invited me to write a series on “Mysticism and Magisterium.”  The first installment is up:  “Thinking with the Church.”

It is currently linked to on New Advent, and has been noted by Mark Shea and Terry Nelson.

I am grateful for this opportunity.  Thanks to Dan and Liz over at SpiritualDirection.com.

I will get back to my own series on the same subject.  I have not forgotten.  No, really.

Filed under: Catholicism, Holy Father, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Dan Burke, Mysticism and Magisterium, Spiritual Direction
From MaryVictrix.com

Tolkien and Kevin O’brien on Chivalric Love

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Read the whole thing. It is well worth it.

They speak of “shipwrecks” and “guiding stars.”  Men tend to look at women as guiding stars and women tend to think they can turn the men they love into knights in shining armor.  In reality, both men and women are “companions in shipwreck.”  Kevin points out that Tolkien’s view is both brutally realistic and at the same time wholly fair and charitable.

Here is Tolkien and Kevin (in bold):

Its centre was not God, but imaginary Deities, Love and the Lady. It still tends to make the Lady a kind of guiding star or divinity – of the old-fashioned ‘his divinity’ = the woman he loves – the object or reason of noble conduct. This is, of course, false and at best make-believe. The woman is another fallen human-being with a soul in peril. But combined and harmonized with religion (as long ago it was, producing much of that beautiful devotion to Our Lady that has been God’s way of refining so much our gross manly natures and emotions, and also of warming and colouring our hard, bitter, religion) it can be very noble. Then it produces what I suppose is still felt, among those who retain even vestigiary Christianity, to be the highest ideal of love between man and woman. Yet I still think it has dangers. It is not wholly true, and it is not perfectly ‘theocentric’. It takes, or at any rate has in the past taken, the young man’s eye off women as they are, as companions in shipwreck not guiding stars. (One result is for observation of the actual to make the young man turn cynical.) To forget their desires, needs and temptations. It inculcates exaggerated notions of ‘true love’, as a fire from without, a permanent exaltation, unrelated to age, childbearing, and plain life, and unrelated to will and purpose. (One result of that is to make young folk look for a ‘love’ that will keep them always nice and warm in a cold world, without any effort of theirs; and the incurably romantic go on looking even in the squalor of the divorce courts).

This is one of the most stunning and beautiful paragraphs Tolkien ever wrote.  In it, he manages to criticize the romantic notion of “The Lady” in a way that is so fair and comprehensive that one marvels at the wisdom and perspective of this man.  The chivalric tradition of “The Lady” and the romantic quest she moves us to, can both inspire a man to a nobility of love, and also fool him and hurt him (and others) badly.  For we poets tend to forget that women are “companions in shipwreck and not guiding stars“.  This can lead to cynicism on the one hand (there’s nothing more ugly and angry than a disappointed lover, whose ideals have proven to be bubbles that have popped) or to “the squalor of the divorce courts” on the other.  “My wife is not My Lady!  My Lady calls to me from afar!  My Lady is hot and sexy and understands me!  My wife is dumpy and crabby and knows me too well to adore me like her knight in shining armor that I long to be!  But my secretary understands me – or my dental hygenist does – or that young thing over there does!  Oh, stars!  Oh, fate!  Why do I have a wife and not My Lady!” (picks up phone, dials 1-800-DIVORCE).

I should add that what is said here can be applied to priests and their relationship with the Church.  Priest’s imaginations can be preoccupied with ladies other than their real bride, whether these fantasies are of an idealized Church, or a substitute for the Church.  Which reminds me of Pope Francis’ statement to priests:

If you don’t want Mary as a mother, she will become your mother-in-law.

Now that is something to think about.

Filed under: Blessed Virgin Mary, Chivalry, Church, Husbands, Marian Chivalry, Marriage, Tolkien, Wives Tagged: Courtly, Kevin O’brien, Love, Romance
From MaryVictrix.com

Tolkien on Modernity, Part I

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Recently it was announced that an old reel-to-reel audio recording of a talk by J.R.R. Tolkien will be restored and released after having been kept from the public for many years. In 1958 Tolkien gave a speech at a dinner given in his honor in Rotterdam, which was attended by about two hundred enthusiasts of his mythology. The entire event was recorded and then forgotten about. Subsequently, the recording was found and then hoarded like part of Smaug’s treasure. Now it has been rescued from the clutches of the dragon and all are about to share in the fortune. It is a wonderful find, especially since it promises to reveal a few new insights about The Lord of the Rings.

It has long been known that a recording was made, but it was lost until 1993 when a collector named René van Rossenberg discovered it in a basement. Only now has he agreed to partner with several Tolkien fan sites to restore and release the recording.

What is extraordinary about the tape is that it contains (more…)

In Defense of XXXXXXXXXXXXXX the Latin Mass

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

That should be “In Defense of Pope Benedict and the Latin Mass.”

The Week has recently published a hit peace on the new Mass and Vatican II by Michael Brendan Dougherty. Ostensibly it is praise of Pope Benedict and his support of the Traditional Latin Mass–well deserved praise, I must say, the Pope Emeritus’ promulgation of Summorum Pontificum.

But then there is this:

Benedict’s intervention was not perfect. His intellectual attempt to save the Council and the new Mass from criticism with a “hermeneutic of continuity” was a noble failure. If the council intended continuity, why did it throw every aspect of Catholic worship up for possible revision in its documents? Why was the council swiftly followed by the worst spasm of iconoclasm in the history of the church — a tearing down of altars, images, statues — and a hasty revision to nearly every part of Catholic life?

Interesting rhetorical questions, which Dougherty does not answer.  But the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is a nice spinning lure that always hooks the fish.

It just illustrates how Benedict XVI is so often used and abused in order to push one agenda or another.  Calling Pope Benedict’s hermeneutic of continuity a “noble failure” and brushing it off with a wave of the hand also illustrates why I am not a traditionalist.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Benedict XVI, Extraordinary Form, Ordinary Form, Summorum Pontificum, Traditional Latin Mass
From MaryVictrix.com