12 June 2021

What happened to the Church? A philosophical glimmer.

Over at the indispensable Fr. Z's blog, there is an excellent post which provides a name for a defining event in my life:  "moral injury."

REVISITED:  Moral Injury, traditional Catholics and burnt out priests

An excerpt:

...Warfighters sometimes will manifest moral injury after being in combat situations for only a short time.   A lot of traditional Catholics have been enduring the injury resulting from moral conflict – being forced to betray what you know is right – for unrelenting decades without an end in sight.

I don’t want to press this point beyond proposing that there could be an element of moral injury among those who have held “legitimate” aspirations regarding Tradition.  I want to avoid generalization as well...

Balm to my soul. But wait - it gets better.

One of the commenters, Amateur Scholastic, mentioned a post at Rorate Caeli blog, by John R. T. Lamont, the link to which Fr. Z supplied:

Tyranny and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church:  a Jesuit tragedy

Lamont sets forth a stumble in philosophy which took place in the first part of the 1600s, when St. Ignatius' thinking about obedience, formulated while he was mapping a plan for religious formation using his experiences in the military as the pattern, was amplified into The Way Things Are Done for all priests, by way of the Jesuits. Lamont crisply sets forth the rules for obedience which are almost reminiscent of Buddhism and other disciplines that require emptying of self up to and including agency and any kind of critical thinking. The ultimate effect was a kind of imposed idolatry, following slavishly any command of any superior, even if blatantly immoral.

St. Thomas Aquinas, in contrast, set forth obedience in the context of the use of discernment, checking superiors' directions against moral law.

(You do need to read the whole thing. Go ahead. I'll wait.)

John R. T. Lamont's reasoning is potentially a big answer to a question which perplexes me:  what exactly happened around 1789 to foment the French Revolution? Lamont's article points back to this philosophical bobble which seeded Counter-Reformation thinking and ended up, inevitably, turning Catholics into credulous children when it came to their faith, blindly trusting the fallible men in the hierarchy.

In 1971, as a new convert, the meek acceptance of the Catholics, whose faith, Church, and community were being ruined by self-important lying bullies, mystified me. I could get behind transubstantiation and the high-flown writing of St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, but the broken-hearted silence in the face of such insolence made no sense. 

John R. T. Lamont's thesis in the post linked above, shed some light for me. I recommend reading it.


03 February 2021

Which is the church in schism, again?

 Archbishop Vigano suspects that Pope Francis foresees an opportunity to accuse the traditional church of "schism" if it doesn't accept his absurd statements about the death penalty, civil unions, et-so-much-else-cetera.  (h/t 1P5)

I've got a surprise for both of them:  while they weren't looking, maybe Vatican II actually seeded the schism that's in progress now... what do you think?

The new church of today isn't the same as the one before 1960.  Nothing is the same:  the calendar, with its feasts and memorials, is so different that it's like two different communities.  The "mass" of the new church doesn't have any apparent link to the old one.  Seriously, folks.  Between the changes to the structure and the resolute erasure of all Latin, it's really just a very poor imitation of the Episcopal liturgy... which, ironically, is actually quite a lot nicer in most places, with far better music.

Now Pope Francis is proving the break with the past, by saying things and making changes that are simply not Roman Catholic.

If you're trying to defend him, and worrying about his behavior, you're acting like a codependent.  Because here is the absolute truth:  Pope Francis despises youPope Francis does not understand what it means to be a Roman Catholic. 

Codependents are at risk of trying to get along, to fix things, to do something to keep mom or dad from getting mad at them.  Unfortunately, the only healthy way to handle what's going on when mom is drunk all the time and won't sober up is to detach in love.

No hate.  No name calling.  Just take your wallet, and go.  No more money.  No more time.  No more fretting.

We Roman Catholics actually have the right to have a healthy Church, where the hierarchy genuinely cares about us and wants us to get to heaven. This will mean hearing often about sin, how to recognize it, confess it, and avoid it, and how to be the best people we can be. If your Catholic Church doesn't do that, is it part of the failing offshoot, with drastically declining numbers, endless scandals, and priests you cannot trust? There are Catholic churches which recognize the Pope but will not cave to modernism. You can look for one and go to Mass there, just the once. OK, maybe twice - it's quite a change. Be prepared for silence. The silence is there to help you pray.

When "Progressive" ideas retard in real life: animal shelters

 In an article on Areo, Nathan J. Winograd reviews a book by Katja Guenther, The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals.  Nathan refutes Katja's attempt to view the logistical and real-world challenges of managing the population of animals in shelters through the lens of critical race theory.

Like the attempt to declare the science of mathematics "racist," Nathan reports that Katja's conclusions appear to be drawn, in some cases, from her own generalizations about the differences of animal care performed by persons of different ethnicity or skin color.

Nathan recognizes that to implement Katja's race-based ideas would ultimately deprive animals of caring homes, and complicate the progress already made in rescuing animals and establishing successful no-kill shelters. His article is well-documented and well-written. Read the whole thing.

21 October 2020

Pope Francis and homosexual unions: my questions, as a convert in 1971.

Steve Skojec's report on 1P5.

Here's my question:

  • Was Vatican II held, then and subverted, to slow-walk a schism from the Roman Catholic Church into an entirely new, quasi-liturgical, social society just like the Episcopalians created starting in the 1930s, but definitely after 1960?

OK, another question:

  • Cui bono?  Who benefits when Pope Francis goes off the rails like this and says something which is completely against Scripture?

Third question:

Which church is in schism, again?  This one?

As a Catholic priestly fraternity, our role in the Church is to be a witness to what Catholic life was like before the disastrous changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th century. Without inventing anything on our own, we hope to contribute to the restoration of all things in Christ by sharing what we have received from the Church with the Church at large.

 Or this one?

 “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film, of his approach to pastoral care.

After those remarks, and in comments likely to spark controversy among Catholics, Pope Francis weighed in directly on the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples.

What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”  (reported by CNA)

 You know what?  It is perfectly okay to say, "This isn't Catholicism.  This isn't the true Church."  You have the right as a baptized Roman Catholic to discern, by reading Scripture, the writings of the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, and key Vatican documents prior to 1960, whether or not the organization which tells you it is Roman Catholic today really is, based on tradition, reason, and faith.  It is not enough to say "But the Pope..."  People said that in my parish as Vatican II was imposed upon us, like it or not.  It's a sin to follow the Pope when he acts, or allows others to act, against Scripture and tradition.  Exercise your right.  Learn, and pray, and discern.


16 October 2020

Fifty years a Catholic in 2021

 On April 10, 1971, I was received into the Church during the Easter vigil Mass as a new convert.  I was fifteen years old.

I read and prayed my way into the Church.  I'd "met" St. Therese of Lisieux in my mother's Manual of Prayers, and was pretty sure I wanted to be a Carmelite nun.  In order to do that, I had to be, you know, a Catholic, so I pursued getting conditional baptism.

The Church that I entered in good faith was beginning to change, but the depredations of Vatican II hadn't yet gotten traction in our parish.  Our Monsignor, a crusty old guy, likely fought them as long as he could.

Easter vigil 2021 will be the fiftieth anniversary of my reception into the Church.

 

Yesterday I read about the Pachamama coin minted by the Vatican.

 

Had the Catholics simply risen from the pews when the deformed liturgy and weird practices started in the 1970s, and filed out the door, taking their wallets with them, the whole thing would have ended in about six weeks.

But we didn't have the Internet.  We didn't know they were lying - the avid new priests, the nuns in pant suits, the bishops.  "The Pope said."  "Rome requires it."  Some of the innocent ones were really involved and accepting.  The experienced Catholics knew it was all wrong.

It's still wrong.

A church is in schism when it is no longer the same church.  It veers into theology and practices that are different from the original, with the intent of separating permanently.  You can tell when this happens because of the gaslighting and scorn about the church they're leaving.  You know what a cult does, right?  It keeps you away from your family.  Hard truth:  the bullies who tell you the SSPX is in schism are lying to you to keep you from finding out what you lost due to the "Vantifa" who went around jack-hammering altar rails and tossing altar Missals in the trash and tearing rosaries out of old ladies' hands.  They're still out there today, shaming and scolding people who kneel for communion, or women who wear veils, or anyone who reads Romans 1 and asks uncomfortable questions.

The "Catholic Church" of today - oh, sorry - "Catholic Community" - no longer resembles in any meaningful way the Church I entered fifty years ago.  There is no longer even a dotted-line correspondence between the two "forms" of the Latin rite Mass.  (I'm so old I can remember when there were only four Eucharistic prayers in the new form.)  The new church has a new calendar, a sprawling lectionary (except, you know, Romans 1:26-32), all new values, new vestments, vernacular language, new architecture, a new catechism, and is very progressive - meaning you never hear about hell or purgatory.  There is no dress code.  No rectory, where diocesan priests were watched over by fierce Irish widows abundantly aware of the temptations of the world and determined to stop them at the door.  Et cetera.

How are Catholics who continue to give money to, and attend, today's putative "church" not in schism from the original Roman Catholic Church, although they don't realize it?  It's fixable.  It's happened before.  The changes unfold, everyone just goes along... Just leave.  Go where you can be Catholic again.

Who still seriously thinks the SSPX is in schism?  Explain exactly how, please; show all your work and make no unnecessary assumptions.  Oh, and as you do so, remember:  I lived through it as a young woman.  There was a family on my street that attended the SSPX chapel.  There was another family that despised them.  Both sets of kids were my friends.  It was a terrible time.  I vividly remember reading in the newspaper about Cardinal Suenens et al imposing the sacrilege of communion in the hand, and the dismal scandal that followed.  (Pope Paul VI may certainly be a saint - that's between him and God - but I'm really puzzled about the choice as a model for progress in holiness.  I can do "dithering coward" all on my own.  I don't need an example.)

Jesus brought me into the Church.  Jesus has watched over me and preserved me to this moment, including sending angels a couple of times that I know of.  I report to Him, not to the men in nighties who flock around the altar with women in pant suits and sing banal songs to the waving hand of the cantor.

Because of the fallout from the brutally-imposed changes that took place in the Church in my diocese, I left off trying to be a Catholic after only about eight years.  I am at this point ineligible for any sacraments.  But I still mark the day, with sadness.  I mean, seriously, people ... modernismFatimaQuito.  (h/t with thanks to Steve Skojec, who has the fortitude and the writing chops to set forth these excellent resources at 1 Peter 5.)

It only took fifty years.

The Church was very dear to me.  I was only fifteen; it was a huge life choice to make.  Bait and switch.  Ha, ha, you idiot!  Today I cannot do anything novus ordo-ish.  It's a proximate occasion of sin for me.  I was told by my betters that we were to use our informed conscience; well, my conscience is informed, and I don't want anything to do with any of it.  It still hurts, though.  It always will.

If you want to know more about how it happened, read The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff.  Part 1 is a great "Cliff's Notes" about the bad philosophy used to break down our Church by infiltration through the universities.  Someday I'll do a post about that.  People really need to understand that this is not something new or weird.  It's planned, it's a mortal error, and it can be stopped.  Can Catholics figure this out in time?

13 October 2020

Jesus is asleep on a cushion. Let's wake him up! (Mark 4:36-40)

And sending away the multitude, they take him even as he was in the ship:  and there were other ships with him.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that the ship was filled.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, sleeping upon a pillow; and they awake him, and say to him, Master, doth it not concern thee that we perish?  And ising up, he rebuked the wind, and said to the sea:  Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased:  and there was made a great calm.  And he said to them:  Why are you fearful?  have you not faith yet?  And they feared exceedingly:  and they said one to another:  Who is this (thinkest thou) that both wind and sea obey him?

(I use the Douay-Rheims b/c it's out of copyright, like, since ever.  Please note that the American Bishops forbid quoting the NAB-RE at all, even a little bit.  "Read the Bible!" - but pay for it.)

This morning I'm led to say to all Catholics:  WAKE JESUS UP, PEOPLE!  We hesitate to do this.  "He'll scold us!  We'll be rebuked!!" 

So what?  WE ARE PERISHING!  The waves of modernism and stupid wayward bishops and confused priests are lapping up over the boat, and we can't bail fast enough.

We do have Jesus on a cushion in the back of the boat, don't we?  We tend to take comfort in daily life and we don't see him as real, walking with us.  We let him sleep - "You rest, we'll take care of it."

I'm a codependent.  I would never wake up someone who was sleeping unless I absolutely had to, preferably by pre-arrangement.  I've known people who have no compunction doing so... "hey, wake up!"  If I'd dared to do that, the rage would have been off the charts.  "How dare you?!"  One of my earliest memories is of being soundly rebuked for calling from my crib when I didn't really need anything.

So I imagine that the apostles felt like that.  They knew he'd rebuke them.  "Oh ye of little faith!"  They heard that a lot!  But this time they were about to drown, and he was asleep!

So they woke him up.  And he stood up in the boat and spoke a word to the sea and the wind...

... and there was a great calm.

And then he lit into them.  "Why are you fearful? have you not faith yet?" 

Did they even notice the rebuke?  They were utterly in awe.

Maybe we need to risk it.  If we wake him up, and he scolds, we should say:  "Jesus, we DO have faith.  We also know our limitations.  We are NOT YOU.  We are only the image and likeness of God, not God himself!  We are perishingWake up and save your church!  We have absolute faith that YOU can save YOUR CHURCH.  Wake up and DO IT!"

We can also pray to our Blessed Mother, on this anniversary of her appearance at Fatima, and ask her to give him a nudge, too.  "Mother, we remember what happened at Cana.  You pointed out the problem, but he said it wasn't time!  You put him on the spot anyway, and he came through!  Mother, help us!" (John 2:1-11)

We are showing faith when we do this.  We cannot fix it ourselves.  Sitting around and wringing our hands and talking about it and comforting ourselves with prayers, not quite sure if he really wants us to suffer, etc. is childish.  There are very serious opponents, who want us faithless and dead, installed at every level in the only organization that counts on this earth.

Stand up (or straighten up as you kneel) and wake him up!  Yell at him in prayer (even if it must be silently) and tell him we're perishing.

I'd rather have him scold me, than put up with the demons infesting the Church.  How about you?

14 July 2020

Bari Weiss resigns ... read her letter

Resignation Letter - Bari Weiss.

This is why I both fear writing for public consumption, yet am impelled to do so.

People in a Republic cannot vote intelligently if they do not have enough information.  That is why the presentation of certain information is being stifled today.  Those who shut down, silence, censor, and cancel have no good ideas.  There is nothing they can offer to persuade.  Their only useful alternative is intimidation and force, because no one who wanted a normal life would accede to their goals.

It happened to the Catholic Church in the 50s and 60s.  I lived through that. Once they had the Church, the rest looked easy.

Maybe not.  Maybe not this time.

Best wishes to Bari, with thanks for a very clear explanation.

05 May 2020

Today is the day

Today is the day when I start my work as a writer.

I just looked up the day in the Calendar:  St. Pope Pius V.  The fifth Pius, May the 5th, the fifth month.  St. Pope Pius V seems like a good one whose prayers to ask as I begin.  He had a long and busy reign and oversaw some momentous stuff.

"What do you write?"  I've identified as a writer for decades, even though I still was employed full-time at work which is all wrong for me, for reasons I've only very recently begun to understand.  I usually respond, "Christian metaphysics," as it seems to be an effective way to shut down the conversation instantly.  If the reply was, instead, "Wow, I thought I was the only one!" or something like that, perhaps a new friend.  We get cagey as we age.

However, the actual form and goal of the writing has been eluding me.  Last year I made good progress toward figuring it out; just the latest iteration of mindful discernment undertaken seriously in 2017.

I had the idea of memoir.  It is mine to tell, and some aspects might be of interest.  During the last few weeks on Twitter, the goal became clear:  to tell about my experience as a Roman Catholic.

With COVID-19 keeping folks indoors and people feeling restless, spats broke out, even among friends.  One topic generated plenty of threads and hurt feelings:  the SSPX.  Of all the rude questions to ask at a table of strangers at a Catholic wedding, "what's your take on the SSPX?" is a surefire way to wake up the group and distract entirely from bride, groom, toasts, food, everything.

The other topic, just this morning, was a thread of young people jumping in to say things like, "Yeah, I had no idea the TLM even existed, and when I found it - wow!"

For some time now, I've been impelled to commit my life to write full-time.  (By "some time now," I mean 45 years.)  I've never been closer.  :)

COVID-19 has affected some of our employers.  Mine is able to participate in "work sharing," and my team was chosen for it, and I got to choose one day a week when I will devote myself to actually starting to write.  For that one day, that's all I will do:  live the writer's life.  It will look like early morning study and scribbles, per usual, but also long walks, leisurely time in the garden, extensive reading, and - yes - writing.

Before now, I felt constrained from writing while still employed.  Since on this one day per week for a few weeks I will be forbidden to work at all, I feel psychologically free to take the day exclusively for the writing life.

While my memoir will cover all kinds of things, my experience with the Roman Catholic Church seems like it would be interesting, particular for those young persons just now realizing what the Vatican 2 implementation replaced.  I am a convert to the Church who read and studied and prayed her way to Catholicism starting with a close reading of A Manual of Prayers for the use of The Catholic Laity, prepared and enjoined by order of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore.  Published in New York by P. J. Kenedy & Sons, Printers to the Holy See.  The imprimatur was bestowed by Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, Apostolic Delegate, copyright 1888, assigned 1916 to John Murphy Company.  The New Edition from which I read was copyrighted in 1930 by John Murphy Company.

One of the distinctives of the new edition was the addition of devotions to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, "The Little Flower."  In addition to a prayer, there was a litany to her.  She had her spot on the Calendar on October 3.  She died in 1897, was beatified in 1923, and canonized in 1925.  She was 24 when she died.  It was extremely rare for any saint to be canonized with such speed in those days.  I was very new to Catholicism, but understood from the Litany that I could ask her to pray for me, so I did.  She promptly took me in hand, so to speak, and her sainthood is proven just by that fact, and by her dogged persistence in doing her bit to keep me close to the Beloved we share.

Based on what I see out there on the Internet, it is time for me to buckle down and begin the work I've yearned to do for so long:  tell the story of what it was like to enter one Church voluntarily, after much prayer and study, only to have that same Church brusquely tell me in so many ways that I was unwanted because of my love for God in the way it taught me not five years before.  Pope Francis would much rather Catholics like me slink away and never bother him again, but he slipped up (as he famously does) and said something to some priests and religious in Ecuador once which led me to discover Our Lady of Good Success, who accurately predicted in the 1600s what we are living through right this moment.  God's sense of humor is ever new.

What do you think?  Would a story like mine be interesting?