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Wednesday 26 February 2014

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The Age of The Laity Is Not A Liberal Trend

It seems ironic to me that men in families, even fathers, continue the "blame-game" towards priests, laying all the evils of the Church at the feet of the clerical shepherds. There has been a demise of the Church Militant among men.

The lay shepherds truly must face the fact that they have been part of the weakening of the Church as well. The "blame game" needs to start in the home. 

Over and over, I have tried to encourage the laity to see that the call of the Holy Spirit in this age of the laity is a real call, not a liberal trend. God knew from all time the weaknesses, the sins of the clergy which would happen in these times, and led the Church to emphasize the role of the laity. There is a reason for this. Just as Pope Francis wants more emphasis on the local Church, so too, we must have a mindset of building up the local Church.

We may very well not have clergy in our parishes, or even in our dioceses. I wrote a long time ago that dioceses may disappear, totally.

We must rise to this challenge, and stop moaning and complaining about bad clerical shepherds.

There are just as many, if not more, bad lay shepherds.

We have witnessed the collapse of the protector lay shepherd.

That churches will close, that schools have compromised the Faith, that liberal Catholics have seized the centers of catechesis is not merely a problem of the clergy, but of the laity.

That men complain of too many women in chancery offices. Stop complaining and get the degrees necessary to work in these offices.  Decide to let your family live more simply in order for the wage-earner man to work in the Church.

The key to understanding the process of all these decisions may be located in one word, sacrifice.

A good man may have to decide to allow his family not to follow the American Dream, which is a false construct and not based on Catholic Thinking.

Yesterday, I was discussing family dynamics in this day and age with a holy priest. He noted that the main impetus pushing decisions of fathers in even so-called good Catholics families has been materialism, (or consumerism). Catholic dads have fallen into the trap of putting financial decisions, or decisions concerning status of the family, before those necessary decisions directly involved with developing a spiritual life of the family.

To clarify this point, and to show the faulty thinking of many Catholic dads, one can look at five areas of the corruption of Catholic thinking into complete materialistic thinking.

The first area of concern has to do with where some dads have chosen to live. My father moved into a neighborhood so that we could easily get to Catholic schools, both elementary and secondary. Having access to good Catholic schools may be a priority to some Catholics who would not consider how important the entire Catholic school community may thrive simply by people living in close proximity to one another.

This ideal may be connected to the fact that people do not move near one another for the sake of community.

We did this in the 1970s, by watching when houses came up for sale in a neighborhood and phoning those in the community to consider the houses. That many families would move into a neighborhood was called "banding", as in banding together.  Many community relationships were built up simply by people not having to travel any distances to see each other during the week.

Dads must consider not merely the status of living in suburbia, but the larger needs which the families will face in hard times. Living close to real Catholic families must become a priority again.  Status must bend to the needs of the domestic church.

A second area of concern is the choosing of jobs for a higher wage rather than considering family time as a necessity. The domestic church take time to build up, time which must be a priority as we all face the growth of persecution. The formation of children in the virtues has to be a priority of the father, not merely the mother.

I have spoken with a father in recent days whose jobs has odd, irregular hours. He cannot always be home at the same time. Without a set schedule, his children suffer from the lack of the family rosary and even attending Mass together on Sunday, as he must work on Sundays.

Sadly, this state will not be able to be rectified in the near future. The domestic church cannot grow in chaos. Sometimes, a dad may not have a choice regarding jobs, but if he does, family prayer time and the formation of virtues among children must take precedence over all other considerations. This may mean the dad allowing the family to live a lower standard of comfort.

A dad must choose not to waste free time with trivia, as the days of trivia are quickly passing.

This note leads to the third area of concern. One dad I have spoken with in the past three months told me that he was cutting out computer time, reading blogs and twittering in order to give more time for prayer and leading his family. I admire his decision. He said that he realized that his own spiritual growth had to be a priority if his family would be able to grow in virtue. The shepherd must be purified to lead the sheep to such.

The proverbial "couch potato" dad cannot be a true shepherd. Children do not automatically become saints.

Another area of concern has to do with the sad, sad ideal of American families which involves a gross type of independence, which keeps them from being open to other Catholic families.

I have written before about the fact that family relationships can become idolatrous-the Kingdom of God comes first, not extended non-religious families.  Those who choose to build the Kingdom sometimes must leave family members behind for a greater good. 

The last area of concern, which can stop real community building in a parish, and I see this particularly in TLM communities, is an snobbery concerning the poor. Too many trads fall into the horrible habit of judging those in their churches. I have seen this again and again. A middle class couple may judge someone who wears jean skirts, or needs a ride, or does not socialize by eating out at restaurants, as the persons cannot afford this. Instead of inviting and even paying for lunches, people are excluded from discussion groups after Mass attended by the middle class. I think part of the problem is the loss of the large families of the past, which gathered people in. Adults raised in small families have problems reaching out.

I am not sure of all the reasons why many of the TLM groups or other faithful Catholics,  are not forming into real communities, where people relate on a daily basis and help each other both spiritually and physically. 

But, unless this happens, many people will be swept away in the horrible times to come either out of fear, or from a lack of support.

Dads, how you lead your families to God when your local churches look like these photos?

See the other posts on community building and on men.....

The Growth of Evil and Not Following The Charisma of A Founder

In the city, the suburbs, in the country, I am seeing the permissive will of God unfolding to create a temporary state of victory of evil. Why this is being allowed by God can only mean a purification of the Church in a manner not seen before on the earth.

God is Love and Mercy. We are made in the image and likeness of God. Our faculties can be bent to move away from God by small decisions which cloud our discernment and will. One of the problems is that lay people are making decisions as if there is no change in the Church or in society, as if they were living in the 1950s.

This ostrich mentality must change or two things will happen. One, a person will not be ready physically for the challenges of a time of trial. Two, people will not be ready spiritually.

To pretend we are not on the cusp of one of the worst times of persecution. And, if you do not think people have their heads in the sand, just look at this. I am personally fed up with EWTN. More and more, the station has moved away from the cutting edge. prophetical tone set by Mother Angelica and become a Catholic main stream media, emphasizing trivia and not tackling the real issues of the day.

from Rorate:

*Update (0130 GMT): In an amazingly intolerant attitude, EWTN's National Catholic Register removed the post above minutes after it was posted by Patrick Archbold. This reminds us of the pure words of Benedict XVI exactly on this same affair, in a letter fully written by the Pope Emeritus personally:

Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.

In this case, not the Pope Emeritus, but poor Pat Archbold. EWTN's National Catholic Register and their intolerance justproved Benedict XVI right - one more time! It cannot be that Pentecostals have full presence in their paper, and their own Catholic brothers and sisters (whose priests are in an irregular situation, but are still priests, celebrating Catholic sacraments every single day) do not. How can unity ever be achieved thus? Curiously enough, we are pretty confident that Francis would be the first to reject this demeaning level of servility and sycophancy.

*Second Update (0230 GMT): Mr. Archbold's article can now be found in his own personal website, here.


Another good read

Five Year Old Clarifications In Case You Missed These

The Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, promulgated on 25 January 1983, reminded everyone that the Church, as a community which is at once spiritual and visible, and also hierarchically structured, requires juridical norms, "so that the exercise of the tasks divinely entrusted to her, especially the exercise of sacred power and of the administration of the sacraments, may be properly organized". The norms ought to reflect, on the one hand, the unity between theological doctrine and canonical legislation, and, on the other, the pastoral usefulness of the prescriptions whereby ecclesiastical ordinances are directed to the good of souls.
The more effectively to safeguard this necessary doctrinal unity and pastoral purpose, the Church's supreme authority, after careful deliberation, decides, from time to time, to make suitable changes or to introduce additions to the canonical norms. This is the reason that has led me to promulgate the present Letter, which concerns two issues.
First, in can. 1008 and can. 1009 of the Code of Canon Law, on the sacrament of Holy Orders, the essential distinction between the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood is reaffirmed, while the difference between the episcopate, the presbyterate and the diaconate is made clear. Inasmuch as my venerable Predecessor John Paul II, after consulting the Fathers of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordered that the text of n. 1581 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church be modified in order better to convey the teaching on deacons found in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council (n. 29), I have determined that the canonical norm concerning this subject should likewise be adjusted. Consequently, after hearing the view of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, I decree that the words of the aforementioned canons are to be modified as set forth below.
Since the sacraments are the same for the entire Church, the supreme authority of the Church alone is competent to approve or define what is required for their validity and to determine the rites to be observed in their celebration (cf. can. 841). All this is equally applicable to the form to be observed in the celebration of marriage, if at least one of the parties has been baptized in the Catholic Church (cf. cann. 11 and 1108).
The Code of Canon Law nonetheless prescribes that the faithful who have left the Church "by a formal act" are not bound by the ecclesiastical laws regarding the canonical form of marriage (cf.can. 1117), dispensation from the impediment of disparity of cult (cf. can. 1086) and the need for permission in the case of mixed marriages (cf. can. 1124). The underlying aim of this exception from the general norm of can. 11 was to ensure that marriages contracted by those members of the faithful would not be invalid due to defect of form or the impediment of disparity of cult.
Experience, however, has shown that this new law gave rise to numerous pastoral problems. First, in individual cases the definition and practical configuration of such a formal act of separation from the Church has proved difficult to establish, from both a theological and a canonical standpoint. In addition, many difficulties have surfaced both in pastoral activity and the practice of tribunals. Indeed, the new law appeared, at least indirectly, to facilitate and even in some way to encourage apostasy in places where the Catholic faithful are not numerous or where unjust marriage laws discriminate between citizens on the basis of religion. The new law also made difficult the return of baptized persons who greatly desired to contract a new canonical marriage following the failure of a preceding marriage. Finally, among other things, many of these marriages in effect became, as far as the Church is concerned, "clandestine" marriages.
In light of the above, and after carefully considering the views of the Fathers of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, as well as those of the Bishops' Conferences consulted with regard to the pastoral advantage of retaining or abrogating this exception from the general norm of can. 11, it appeared necessary to eliminate this norm which had been introduced into the corpus of canon law now in force.
Therefore I decree that in the same Code the following words are to be eliminated: "and has not left it by a formal act" (can. 1117); "and has not left it by means of a formal act" (can. 1086 § 1); "and has not left it by a formal act" (can. 1124).
Likewise, having heard the views of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and after inquiry among my venerable brethren, the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church in charge of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, I decree the following:
Art. 1. The text of can. 1008 of the Code of Canon Law is modified so that hereafter it will read:
"By divine institution, some of the Christian faithful are marked with an indelible character and constituted as sacred ministers by the sacrament of holy orders. They are thus consecrated and deputed so that, each according to his own grade, they may serve the People of God by a new and specific title";
Art 2. Henceforth can. 1009 of the Code of Canon Law will have three paragraphs. In the first and the second of these, the text of the canon presently in force are to be retained, whereas the new text of the third paragraph is to be worded so that can. 1009 § 3 will read:
"Those who are constituted in the order of the episcopate or the presbyterate receive the mission and capacity to act in the person of Christ the Head, whereas deacons are empowered to serve the People of God in the ministries of the liturgy, the word and charity".
Art. 3. The text of can. 1086 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law is modified as follows:
"A marriage between two persons, one of whom was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, and the other of whom is not baptized, is invalid".
Art. 4. The text of can. 1117 of the Code of Canon Law is modified as follows:
"The form prescribed above must be observed if at least one of the parties contracting the marriage was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1127 § 2".
Art. 5. The text of can. 1124 of the Code of Canon Law is modified as follows:
"Marriage between two baptized persons, one of whom was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism, and the other a member of a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church, cannot be celebrated without the express permission of the competent authority".
All that I have laid down in this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio, I now order to have the force of law, anything whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of particular mention, and I direct that it be published in the official gazette Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given in Rome, at St Peter's, on 26 October in the year 2009, the fifth of my Pontificate.


© Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Excellent-Must Reads on Gay Lifestyle

and more good stuff

I am not my sin. I am not my temptation to sin. By the blood of Jesus Christ, I have been liberated from this bondage. I will have all sorts of identities, to be sure, especially in our crazily over-psychoanalytic age. But at the very least, none of these identities should be essentially defined by my attraction to that which separates me from God.

A Personal Interpretation

When Pope Benedict went to Fatima in 2010, he said this, “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of May, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”

There are two groups of people who see this statement in two very different lights.

The first is mostly made up of those who believe in Medjugorje and think that the Church is entering into a time of triumphant success, with thousands of priests being ordained and millions converting, beginning a new age of the Catholic Monarchy.

A second group are those who believe that this statement has something to do with the specific third secret of Fatima.

I am in a group of one. My own idea has been this. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is completely pure. A triumph of her heart to me means the purification of the Church through suffering and trials. That the Church coming out of terrible persecutions would be purified and full of saints would a triumph of her Immaculate Heart.

A reminder...