Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Moving Beyond

So according to rumours Cardinal Burke is off to become Cardinal-Patron of the Order of Malta. It is hardly surprising considering his opposition to the new orthodoxies. If anyone has presented himself as the 'loyal opposition' it is Burke. Magister points out that he unlike many other Curial Cardinals has maintained his integrity and that is what I have heard from Rome. He is a Nathanael, 'an Israelite without guile'. Others might jockey for position, like renaissance princes, playing the Machiavellian games that are as much part of the Roman scene today as they were five hundred or a thousand years ago.

Ratzinger might well have appointed his enemies to key positions, so long as they could hold an intellectual position together but things are different now, broken corpses are now on display in the city squares. It is not necessary for the Prince to say anything, or even to know his policies, it is actions that are important and being part of his party. It is not the law but the style of interpreting it that matters. The signs of the times are more important than spoken words, the nuance than what is actually said. The straight bat of Burke was hardly going to survive for long in that environment.
Machiavelli, some clerics bedside reading, calls for examples to made, for occasional acts of cruelty, for signs of the Princes ruthless power.

What seems to be being said is that the age of dogma and doctrine is dead, everything is pastoral, focus groups replace creeds, there is more concern with how we are conceived by public opinion than any teaching. Contemporary theologians, Kung or Martini are obvious examples, have like those American religious 'moved beyond' Jesus, the Church, archaic formulas, archaic documents, statements or examples of dead men. What we are now concerned with is the 'lived experience'. In the New Pentecost, the age of the Spirit, that has superseded the age of the articulated Incarnate Word, it is the experience of women and men. The pneumatic, blow where it will Spirit is all that matters. Traddies might understand the 'Spirit of Vatican II' as wild and irrational, 'do what you like' but it is far from that. In is about synchreticisn, dialogue, moderation, compromise, ambiguity, recognition of ignorance, the preference for the via negativa, the rejection of the via positiva. Christ and the Apostles might be unambiguous about judgement, heaven and hell, about Him being the only Way, Truth and Life, about the necessity of Baptism and the Eucharist, about objective realities but in fact 'we have moved beyond' all of that. That is no longer the default position of the Catholic Church.

In that sense Burke and I suppose Ratzinger are the unwelcome voices of the past, increasingly it appears there is no place for them or the followers. Like the old Pope in isolation they await their demise!


August said...

It is extremely hard to imagine that we all receive Christ in the sacraments and yet from most of my fellow Catholics springs forth rivers of incipient drivel.

August said...

Oh, just to be clear, I don't mean you. I mean this other sort, who appear to be consolidating their power.

dan said...

And I await Pope Francis, and the modernists demise! How long, oh Lord, how long!

JC Fej said...

Mater Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis!

Tim said...

I used to think I was a confused Catholic. Now I'm not so sure. I am just reading Open Letter to Confused Catholics by that most despised of men (in some's eyes) Archbishop Lefebvre. I believe he wrote this in 1986, when many of the VII changes had become established. That is, nothing is established, everything changes. He saw this as the Lutherisation (if there is such a word) of the church and his arguments for this position are quite strong. As I see it, following a brief lull, it is all happening afresh.
I had hoped the Catholic Church would return to holiness before I died. I doubt now that it will. I fear it will get a lot worse.

Mark W said...

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." MT 16:18, D-RB

One wonders, what would it look like if the gates of hell actually DID prevail against it? How much worse could it be?

"But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?" LK 18:8, D-RB

Annie said...

Depressed? Much?

Lepanto said...

I am surprised that the good Cardinal lasted this long. The personal appointment by the Pope of Cardinal Daneels to the Synod on the Family is an even more worrying symptom of what we can expect in the coming months/years.
Our Lady of Akita's prophecy that 'cardinal will oppose cardinal and bishop will oppose bishop' appears to be about to come true, if good men stand their ground.

Supertradmum said...

I am not depressed as this is the age of saints---This pope cannot change doctrine and will not...

I trust in Christ's promise to be with the Church until He returns.

This is my faith, my hope, and we shall see many martyrs. This is the age of martyrs and the remnant. Why are people sad? Get holy, be the strong ones, evangelize, do what God calls you to do.

Faith leads to hope, not despair. Despair is from the evil one.

These crises will separate the real Catholics from the false ones.

The false one will support the evil.

The real Catholics will shine like stars in the darkness.

thetimman said...

A simply excellent piece. Thanks. I love Cardinal Burke, and I am grateful that he was my Ordinary.

Clarity always helps. We must stand firm and pray.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes we say that, its an easy mantra.

High Church Anglican Divines repeated it during the Reformation. Despite what the King and the Bishops and the clergy were doing and saying.

What does it mean 'Truth remains true' even if the contrary is taught.

philipjohnson said...

The default position of the catholic church is the same as it has always been -but these modernising heretics in power at the moment are dragging it through the mud.They are the aged ,dying bunch of the vatican 11 hippy brigade.This is their last attempt at liberalising the church.May it fail soon!Our lady will crush the snake. God bless you father.Philip Johnson.

Joao said...

Pope Francis is proving Arb. Lefebvre right.

There is no via media anymore.

Lynda said...

It is just another consequence of the evil pervading the Holy See. It is all of a piece. The Deposit of Faith, the Natural Law is constantly being attacked whilst many are in a deadly state of denial. Silence in the face of objective evil can be interpreted reasonably as acquiescence. We may not be silent in the face of grave public evil threatening many souls. Blessed Michael defend us in the hour of battle . . .

Liam Ronan said...

"Super flumina Babylonis illic sedimus et flevimus,
cum recordaremur Sion."

NBW said...

So Cardinal Burke is being sent away to rot in Malta and Cardinal Dolan is allowed to remain?
Kaspar and his ilk are still allowed to reign?
I know” "the gates of hell will not prevail" but this papacy seems to getting pretty close.

Tereze Avila said...

This is the beginning of the Calvary for the True Church...Francis is an anti-pope, like it or not...

gemoftheocean said...

Well, our Lady seems to be taking her sweet time with it...along with the Son. Wish they'd put on some speed.
Some people need to get with the program.

A house divided, can not stand. - Lincoln

GOR said...

As we say on this side of the pond, Father: “I hear you.”

It is at times like these that I find solace in history, not so much in the golden ages (if they were even so golden), but in the darker times when it was really dark.

Calvary was dark - all hope seemingly destroyed and the ‘world’ winning. The Ascension was dark - in a way - as feelings of being orphaned must surely have been felt. Much worse would follow with the martyrdom of the Apostles and thousands of others in the infant Church.

History would repeat itself with persecutions, schisms and heresies waylaying the advancement of the Church - internally and externally – down to our present day.

What to make of it all? Who can fathom it?

As I near the end of this earthly life, with many of my contemporaries already dead, it becomes clearer to me that my first – and last objective – is to save my own soul. I can’t change the world. I can only pray for it to be changed. Though I find myself praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory more and more – figuring, pace St. Therese, that I may soon be joining them.

But only He can change the world and only He can save me. Popes, Cardinals, bishops will come and go, as will persecutions, abominations and heresies.

Only He remains and in Him I put my trust. Otherwise I would despair.

TLM said...

Yes indeed Terez, this is the beginning of Calvary for the Church. We most definitely see the persecution starting almost more now from the INSIDE than the OUTSIDE of the Church. I am afraid it will get worse before it gets better. As the Blessed Mother has said....'The Storm Must Come'.....hang on to your Rosaries!!

Mark Lambert said...

I would like to offer a counterpoint if I may.
This all sounds very reasonable, except for the presence of Cardinal Pell. How does this fit in with this schema? Pell is one of Francis' big 8, yet he is very orthodox and doesn't mince his words.

Look, I know it is tempting to see doom and gloom everywhere but there is an alternative scenario. Pope Francis is asking us to evangelise.

Us- those of us who are orthodox and desperately love the Church. We who were so comfortable and lazy under Pope Benedict. Francis is attempting to wake us up and get us to take the fight out to the front lines- to the culture that we are faced with today (I know you are already doing this Fr. Ray and thank God for you).

For the rest of us though, it can be tempting to spend much time pontificating. The reality is getting on one's high horse will evangelise no one, it can only serve to put people off (he says from a seated position and no where near any horses at all). God came to us in our sin and united Himself with us. We turn away from Him in our sin, but He loves us just the same and calls to us. Reaching out in this way does not mean Pope Francis is relaxing the rules, it is more about keeping our mouths shut and respecting that it takes time to convert. We have to meet people where they are and give them the message of hope and repentance.

I chatted with Cardinal Pell at Buckfast the weekend before last, and he told me Francis _is_ orthodox. He told me not to worry about the gossip and rumours, he told me to be a builder. I heard him and I trust him.

I am also gutted about Cardinal Burke, but who knows what is actually behind this?

If an important part of any Pope's job is to challenge the faithful to think again, Pope Francis is certainly doing his job as challenged I am!

Pelerin said...

The name of Bella Dodd was mentioned in a comment on another blog regarding the worrying situation in today's Church.

As I had never heard of this lady I googled her and was very surprised at what I saw. It appears that she was once a high ranking official in the American Communist Party. She testified before the US House Un-American Activities committee that in the 1930s the Communist Party had infiltrated 1100 men into seminaries to be ordained to destroy the Church from within.

Twelve years before Vatican II she is quoted as saying said that 'right now they are in the highest places in the Church.'

I remember hearing this some years back but dismissed it at the time as yet another conspiracy theory. Perhaps we are now reaping the result of this infiltration today and although the 'original' priests would presumably today be no longer alive, their influence seems to have spread worldwide.

Liam Ronan said...

Just some thoughts of mine:

Matthew 24: 11-12

“Many false prophets will arise, and many will be deceived by them; and the charity of most men will grow cold, as they see wickedness abound everywhere; but that man will be saved who endures to the last.”

‘Mercy’, which the Bishop of Rome so often invokes while overlooking every sin and abuse (“Who am I to judge”) is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church* as the fruit of the theological virtue of ‘Charity’, a virtue which, among other things demands “fraternal correction”. (*Ref. 1829)

“Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God. (Ref. 1822)

Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love." (Ref.1824)

"If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing."103

Charity is superior to all the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity." (Ref. 1826)

Back to Matthew’s Gospel cited above:

“…the charity of most men will grow cold, as they see wickedness abound everywhere…”

There is a false ‘Mercy’ being offered to Mankind at present, a ‘Mercy’ which is not the true fruit of the Theological Virtue of Charity, but rather a ‘Mercy’ which does not appear to originate from a love of God and his commandments above all things and which eschews fraternal correction.

Charity indeed has grown cold as wickedness abounds. Pray the rosary, beware of false ‘Mercy’ no matter who is peddling it, and endeavour to endure to the last.
Remember me in your prayers.

Lynda said...

Mark Lambert, those adhering to the Faith and the Natural Law under Benedict were neither comfortable nor lazy. They were persecuted for adhering to the truth and evangelising in accordance with the unchanging Deposit of Faith. Under Francis, the persecution from those opposed to the Deposit of Faith, within the visible Church, has multiplied. The Pope has said and done countless things which are against the unchangeable Deposit of Faith and the Natural Moral Law. We have a duty to speak out against evil to save souls, our own and others, particularly those in our direct care. The Faith does not, cannot, change. One ought not to follow the pope in anything which is not in conformity with the Sacred Deposit of Faith or the Natural Moral Law - to do so is to gravely sin (assuming knowledge and intent).

Lynda said...

Pelerin, it was done by taking over most seminaries and Church universities.

Sean North said...

Mark Lambert:

With all due respect, Cardinal Pell's.views on Scripture are materially heretical.

Liam Ronan said...

@Mark Lambert,

You said:

"Pope Francis is asking us to evangelise."

Jesus began His public life with these words:

"Repent and believe in the Gospel" Mark 1:15

Now since 'evangelize' means to convert one Christ and to (in this instance) His One True Church, what precisely has the Bishop of Rome declared that one must repent of and believe in in order to be converted (a thing he professes even atheists need not do)?

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Burke out, Daneels in, what is going on ?

Just joking, I know perfectly well what is going on and you, Dear Father Blake, have expressed it so very well. God bless and bless you.

Maybe you will be the next one ?

Lynda said...

Well said, Liam. You are speaking the truth. Speaking the truth, as given to us by Our Lord, through His Teaching, His Church, His creation of our rational nature - makes one hated, as Our Lord God is hated by many. It is easy to get the "respect of men" by abandoning God and His Commandments and adopting the immoral and Godless ways of the world, the apostates, the heretics, etc. Thank you. Let us support each other in being faithful to the unchanging Truth. God bless and protect you. Your sister in Christ, Lynda

David Scott Pringle said...

St. Matthew seems to sum up the situation, look at the fruit these actions bring:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
St.Matthew 7:15-20

JMSTJSS said...

Some one asked when will Our Lady step in. She explained the exact moment she will act 400 years ago in approved apparitions as Our Lady of Good Success when she described this most wicked time to Servant of God Mother Mariana de Jesus de Torres in the Conceptionist Convent in Quito Equador.

Ruari said...

Liam - "‘Mercy’, which the Bishop of Rome so often invokes while overlooking every sin and abuse (“Who am I to judge”)"

Why do people always miss out the rest of it: "If someone is seeking God with a sincere heart..."

Basic theology, which I learned in my early teens. If someone is seeking God with a sincere heart, they are doing so through the Gift of Grace and will want to - importantly - change. For the better. Sin no more.

Does what HH Pope Francis actually said not fit some narrative or other? Is it inconvenient for a particular perspective?

As was pointed out above, Abp Lefebvre wrote about 'Lutherisation' - he did so during the reign of HH St John Paul II. Are we sure that those who seem to be promoting themselves as repositories of Faith, as experts in the field and apparently more knowledgeable than the Pope, are not the ones indulging in Lutherisation?

Patrick Langan said...

What to do? hold fast to orthodoxy and pray pray and keep praying, what was holy and sacred in the past is still holy and sacred now!!!!!

Patrick Langan said...

What to do? hold fast to orthodoxy and pray pray and keep praying, what was holy and sacred in the past is still holy and sacred now!!!!!

Liam Ronan said...

Francis may have qualified his notorious "Who am I to judge?" musing with the diaphanous and toothless..."If someone is seeking God with a sincere heart...", but Christ said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me." John 14:6.
So much for an evangelical teaching moment for the world.
Francis wont even attempt to persuade atheists to convert.
C'mon Ruari.

Scelata said...

I like this picture of His Eminence walking with Fr Phillips, thanks for posting it.
The more I read of Cdl Burke's words, the stronger I feel myself growing in my Catholic faith.
What a blessing he is to the Church, eve if some don't realize it yet.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)