Friday, January 30, 2009
FLASHBACK 2007: Rumors were flying in the early part of that year (see here) concerning the pope's motu proprio liberalizing the celebration of the Tridentine mass. Early predictions placed this event "sometime just before or after Easter" of that year. The predicted motu proprio eventually came in July.
Most notable in the development of these negotiations is the recognition of Vatican II (in principle) by the SSPX. It is a common misconception that the SSPX has historically rejected the entire Second Vatican Council outright. Such is not the case. The problems the SSPX has with Vatican II are similar (if not identical) to problems other traditionalists have had with the Council. These are namely related to the issues of ecumenism and religious liberty of conscience. Most traditionalists have no problem with other areas of the Council, especially Nostra Aetate which further defined and corrected the Church's relationship with Judaism and the Jewish people. When we really pin traditionalists down on their specific problems with Vatican II, we find their major disagreement with the Council is over just a couple things. That being said, traditionalists don't always insist that Vatican II taught heresy, but rather the message conveyed in some of it's documents were vague and convoluted. Further definition was needed, but because it was lacking, Church modernists took the Council's interpretation to extremes, and therein lies the bulk of the problem.
What many mainstream Catholics fail to realize is that traditionalist organizations are reactionary in nature. They are the result of something else in the mainstream Church. In this case, extreme traditionalism is the reaction to modernism run amok. So long as the mainstream Church coddles modernistic interpretations of Vatican II, that go far beyond what the Council actually wrote, there will always be traditionalist organizations charging heresy. The problematic portions of Vatican II must be further defined, to eliminate doctrinal abuse, and it is perfectly within the Holy Father's ability and competence to do so. The following is from an interview on Corriere della Sera, hat tip to Rorate Caeli..
"[Card. Castrillón:] When I delivered the signed decree to Bishop Fellay, we knew nothing of the interview [between Bishop Williamson and the Swedish Television Station], it had been a few days before."
And at that moment?
"[Card. Castrillón:] Evidently, at that moment, the decree was already in the hands of the interested party. I would rather not enter into details, because they go beyond my competence."
"[Card. Castrillón:] Full communion will come. In our discussions, Bishop Fellay recognized the Second Vatican Council, he recognized it theologically. Only a few difficulties remain..."
Maybe on Nostra Aetate, the declaration which represented a turning point in the relationship with the Jews?
"[Card. Castrillón:] No, that is not a problem. It involves discussing aspects such as ecumenism, liberty of conscience..."
To His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos
Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems.
For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God. So I have only one comment, from the prophet Jonas, I, 12:
"Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you."
Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday. Most humbly I will offer a Mass for both of you.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
(LifeSiteNews.com) – A document of the US Catholic Bishops is partly to blame for the abandonment of pro-life teachings by voting Catholics and the election of the “most pro-abortion president” in US history, one of the Vatican’s highest officials said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Where do I begin with this? For starters, I guess I could say that Archbishop Burke, true to form, has hit the nail on the head again. The abysmal state of American politics, in relation to abortion, is largely the failure of the US Catholic Bishops. I'll just go through a list of the problems...
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.
The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of "other grave reasons," as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position...
read full story here
- Failure to teach Catholic voting doctrine simply and clearly, on the issue of Life, in a way the laity can easily understand.
- Failure to excommunicate pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians.
- Failure to enforce the "no communion" rule for ANYONE who supports abortion.
- Failure to clearly teach from the pulpit the grave sin of supporting pro-abortion laws and candidates.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT smells a Satanic sulfur in the air, and it's taking the form of Liberal news media reports that the SSPX is supposedly "anti-Semitic," and the pope has embraced "anti-Semitism," because of some comments made by one of it's bishops just before Pope Benedict XVI ordered the excommunication of all four bishops removed. It is typical of the Evil One to try to cast a shadow over anything good that happens within the Church, and those who promote this lie are doing his bidding, even if it is unwittingly. So let's examine the facts...
St Gilles in Brussels, where Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's father was held before he was condemned to die of "natural causes" at a Nazi death camp in 1944.
- The excommunications had nothing to do with the SSPX bishops' private views on various matters. They were specifically related to an act performed twenty years ago, in which Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops without Vatican approval. All the bishops involved were excommunicated. It has specifically been stated that the pope's demand for the excommunications to be removed had to do with an "act of mercy" on his part related to that specific event in Church history. It has nothing to do with anything else.
- Pope Benedict XVI was reportedly unaware of the interview when he ordered the excommunications removed, though theoretically it wouldn't have mattered even if he did know.
- A bishop is only an authority on matters related to religion. He is not an authority on secular history, nor does his office claim to be. So any statement made by a bishop (any bishop - even the pope) about a matter of secular history (like the Holocaust for example) is purely a matter of his own personal opinion. It does not in any way reflect the teachings of a particular religious order, the Church, nor the Catholic religion in general.
- SSPX Bishop Williamson, by his own statement, appears to doubt some historical reports concerning the Holocaust. This however, does not necessarily mean he doubts the Holocaust entirely, nor does it necessarily mean he's an anti-Semite. It is possible for somebody to doubt a particular aspect of the Holocaust without doubting the Holocaust itself. It is even possible to doubt the Holocaust entirely and still not be an anti-Semite. Doubting a historical fact doesn't necessarily make you a hate monger. It could just mean you're an idiot. You know, there are lot's of relatively "smart" people who doubt the 1969 moon landing and the entire Apollo space program of that era. Does that automatically mean they're anti-American? Of course not. It is possible that Bishop Williamson may be an anti-Semite. But it is also very possible he may not be. He could just be an idiot when it comes to historical matters, or he could be one of those fruitcakes who is prone to believe all sorts of conspiracy theories. Either of these cases may taint his image, but they don't automatically make him an anti-Semite. To make that leap is itself a form of bigotry, on the part of the media, which assumes that just because a person denies a certain established history, it automatically makes him a racist.
- The head of the SSPX, Bishop Fellay, has already distanced the SSPX from Bishop Williamson's controversial remarks. (See below the photo of his letter to the television station that filmed the interview.) Fellay, in a later interview said: "I deplore that a Bishop may have given the impression of involving the Fraternity with a view that is absolutely not ours." This was followed by an official SSPX censure of Bishop Williamson, in which Bishop Fellay banned him from speaking about secular politics or secular history. You can read more about this HERE. Furthermore, the Vatican has now called Bishop Williamson to task on his remarks. You can read the Vatican's response HERE.
- The timing and circumstances surrounding this "interview" with Bishop Williamson are extremely suspicious. It appears as if the whole scandal was planned and coordinated, by the media, to coincide with the removal of the SSPX excommunications. The interview was televised just hours after the decree was made public. Yet, media sources in Sweden claim they knew about Bishop Williamson's controversial opinions at least six months ago. Why not schedule an interview and televise it any time over the last six months? Or if that was impossible for some reason, why not televise the interview a week from now, or a month from now instead? Why televise the interview just hours after the excommunications were lifted? Was it just to get high ratings? If it was, then we are left with no choice but to conclude that the Swedish television station that filmed the interview, did so with the intention of creating a scandal, for the express purpose of boosting their television ratings.
- To make matters worse, the interview allegedly took place in Germany, which technically makes Bishop Williamson's controversial comments illegal, (if they were said there), since Germany does not have free speech protection laws when it comes to speech related to the Holocaust and the World War II era.
- Now that the excommunications have been removed, Bishop Williamson will have much to answer for, to the pope and fellow bishops, regarding his personal views on history and their effect on those who serve under him. He may even have to answer to German authorities. None of this, however, has anything to do with the removal of the excommunications for the reasons I cited above. They are completely unrelated events, but the news media is linking them together anyway, for the Satanic purpose of thwarting the Church's attempt to heal a schism.
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Less than ten years ago the conventional wisdom was that mainline Protestantism would eventually die out, Catholicism would continue to increase slowly, and Evangelicalism would become the future of "Reformed Christianity." Those predictions are turning out to be wrong. The mighty "born-again" Jesus Movement may very well become the proverbial "flash in the pan" in modern Christian history. In her book Fall of the Evangelical Nation, author Christine Wicker chronicles the rapid disintegration of the Evangelical foundations now underway. In essence, the movement is being assaulted not only by the vices that plague it, but also by the virtues it promotes. When young Evangelicals actually attain the kind of spiritual maturity that Evangelicalism promotes, a good majority of them simply move on to new and different expressions of faith. This is sometimes manifested in conversions to Catholicism, liberal Protestantism, home churches, or simply the "island church mentality" in which one simply considers one's self "Christian" but attends no church at all. In other words, the concept of a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" is taken to it's logical conclusion, which is religious individualism. Currently, the foundations of Evangelicalism are eroding. We haven't witnessed the impending collapse yet. It is coming though, and perhaps sooner than we may expect. Once the foundation is completely eroded away, the actual implosion of the movement could occur very rapidly.
We view this matter with great concern, as this exorbitance has caused severe damage to our religious mission. We apologize to the Holy Father and to all people of good will for the trouble it has caused.
It must remain clear that those comments do not reflect in any way the attitude of our community. That is why I have forbidden Bishop Williamson to issue any public opinion on any political or historical matter until further notice....
January 27, 2009
+ Bishop Bernard Fellay
read full notice here
(AP) - The Vatican said yesterday that comments by a recently rehabilitated bishop that no Jews were gassed during the Holocaust were "unacceptable" and violate church teaching.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reaffirmed in a front-page article that Pope Benedict XVI deplored all forms of anti-Semitism and that all Roman Catholics must do the same.
The article was issued amid an outcry from Jewish groups that Benedict last week lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop, Richard Williamson, who has denied that six million Jews were murdered during World War II.
The Vatican has stressed that removing the excommunication by no means implied it shared his views.
Williamson and three other bishops were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent....
read full story here
Monday, January 26, 2009
They cite the "plight" of liberal Catholics at he hands of this "arch-conservative" pope. In fact, Pope Ratzinger is actually a moderate by historical standards. In the 1950s Pope Pius XII's Holy Office suspected then Father Ratzinger of heresy for being "too liberal." Upon eventually becoming prefect of the same Holy Office some thirty years later, he was asked by a reporter what changed? Ratzinger responded that nothing had changed in him. He was the same theologian he had always been. What changed was the Church, which drastically moved so far to the left of him after Vatican II that some gave him the nickname "God's Rottweiler." The phenomenon of this moderate Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) being labeled an "arch-conservative" is laughable, and it just goes to show how far to the left these media pundits really are.
Aside from this, liberal media pundits make a critical mistake in their analysis of the situation. They assume that liberal Catholics are made of the same stuff as traditional and orthodox (i.e. "conservative") Catholics. They're not. They assume that because some traditional Catholics broke with the Church over the liberalizing effects of Vatican II, some liberal Catholics will do the same over the conserving efforts of Pope Benedict XVI. That's not going to happen.
There have already been liberal breaks with the Catholic Church. The "American Catholic Church" is one such example. What have they amounted to? not much! That's because the vast majority of liberals like being liberal Catholics. For some reason they pride themselves on staying within the Church as dissenters, and rarely ever commit to breaking away and starting something new, especially en masse. That kind of gusto died out nearly five-hundred years ago, in the Protestant Rebellion of John Calvin and Martin Luther. Modern liberal Catholics are weak by nature. They generally don't have a good understanding of the Catholic faith, and are far more prone to simply complain, or become lapsed Catholics, then to organize a meaningful schism.
The point here is that Pope Benedict XVI is free to move ahead with whatever reforms he wants, because for all of their screaming, idle threats and crying "foul," nothing significant will come of it. A few liberal Catholics will fall away, and even fewer still might threaten schism, but it won't amount to much more than complaining. I suppose there is the remote possibility that one or two liberal bishops might actually break with Rome, but if that happens they will soon find themselves excommunicated with most of their diocese working against them. The best liberal Catholics can hope for is a few liberal priests to coddle them through this. The truth is, modern liberal Catholicism is perhaps the biggest paper tiger there ever was. When push comes to shove, liberal Catholics will cave in almost every time. On those rare circumstances when they do stand up and fight, their efforts usually implode. I'm sure the Holy Father feels free to do as he pleases, and I'm sure he will, all in good time.
- Is the Second Vatican Council also responsible for the Church crisis, in your opinion?- [Fellay:] Not all comes from the Church. But it is true that we reject a part of the Council. Benedict XVI himself condemned those who claim the Spirit of Vatican II to demand an evolution of the Church in a break with its past.
- Ecumenism and religious liberty are at the center of the criticisms you make of Vatican II- [Fellay:] The quest for unity of all in the Mystical Body of the Church is our dearest desire. Nonetheless, the method that is used is not appropriate. Today, there is such a focus on the points which unite us to other Christian confessions that those which separate us are forgotten. We believe that those who have left the Catholic Church, that is, the Orthodox and the Protestants, should come back to it. We conceive ecumenism as a return to the unity of Truth.
Regarding religious liberty, it is necessary to distinguish two situations: the religious liberty of the person, and the relations between Church and State. Religious liberty implies liberty of conscience. We agree with the fact that there is not a right to force anyone to accept a religion. As for our reflection on the relations between Church and State, it is based on the principle of tolerance. It seems clear to us that there where there are multiple religions, the State should be watchful of their good coexistence and peace. Nevertheless, there is but one religion that is true, and the others are not. But we tolerate this situation for the good of all....
read full interview here
Saturday, January 24, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In a stunning act of reconciliation, Pope Benedict XVI has just ended a two decade saga between the Vatican and the "Society of Saint Pius X" (SSPX).
The SSPX is a traditional Catholic organization started by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970 in response to the new Missal of Pope Paul VI released in 1969. The Missal of Pope Paul VI (sometimes called the "Novus Ordo" or "Ordinary Form" of the mass) provided a new form of Catholic liturgy, which omitted many elements of historic Catholic tradition, changed various prayers, and generally reworked the Catholic mass in such a way to make many Catholics feel their tradition had been lost. While it is true the Missal of Pope Paul VI mirrors various elements of Protestant liturgies, it is also true the Missal retained enough Catholic character to remain valid. The Second Vatican Council (1961 - 1965) called for vernacular translations of the mass, and so it was this "Novus Ordo" that became the target for this experiment. The mass celebrated in the vernacular languages around the world today is the Missal of Pope Paul VI.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on the other hand, saw the potential dangers of this, and observed in the trends of his time the eminent downfall of the Catholic Church. His fears became reality within just a few decades, and were made manifest in the most heinous way, in everything from the liturgical abuse of "clown masses," to the administrative nightmare of the clergy sexual-abuse scandal. While the mainstream Church was undergoing a clerical shortage, the SSPX quickly grew to become the world's largest traditional Catholic community, and remains so to this day.
The SSPX has always pledged loyalty to the pope, regardless of it's disagreement with the Holy See. However, in 1988 an unfortunate turn of events led to what many have called a "schism." In 1988 Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops to continue his work and keep the SSPX alive, even though he did not have permission from the Holy Father to do this. Pope John Paul II responded by declaring automatic excommunications of Archbishop Lefebvre and the four priests he consecrated as bishops.
The excommunications of the SSPX bishops led to a scandal that engulfed the entire Catholic Church worldwide. Liberals within the Church were emboldened by the action, seeing it as a condemnation upon traditionalism in general, and a license to continue their so-called "reforms" with impunity. Traditionalists on the other hand were marginalized. Even those who left the SSPX, to join other traditionalist societies still on good terms with the Vatican, found themselves on the fringes of the Church, often denied access to the traditional liturgy, and looked down upon as "troublemakers."
In July of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) issued a motu proprio explaining that the traditional Catholic liturgy, still used by the SSPX and all traditionalist societies, was never banned by the Vatican, and in fact, any priest anywhere may celebrate it (if he is competent), and any Catholic anywhere may request it. What follows nearly two years later is this proclamation that the SSPX excommunications have been lifted, leaving the question open if those excommunications were legitimate to begin with.
It is a happy day for traditional Catholics around the world, and special congratulations are in order for members of the SSPX. The bishops of the SSPX are now back within the fold of the Church. The canonical status of the SSPX itself remains in question for the time being, but we can expect this issue to soon be resolved as well. Today, however, is a day for rejoicing!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
(Rorate Caeli) - All signs now seem to indicate that the removal, withdrawal, or annulment of the excommunications of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (+ 1991), Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer (+ 1991), and of the four Bishops consecrated by them for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) in Ecône, Switzerland, on June 30, 1988 is imminent. The Papal act on the matter has almost certainly been signed, and it will be made public shortly...THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So what does this mean? If it actually happens (and I do say "if") then it does signal the end of the schism, but it still does not mean full reconciliation. The Vatican and the SSPX still have some very pressing issues to hash out, particularly as they relate to the place and interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. However, the lifting of the excommunications places the SSPX bishops back in the fold of the Church, giving them greater access to the pope, and some moral authority within the worldwide Catholic Church. Certainly this does not mean full communion has been restored, but it does mean the impediments to full communion have been removed, and the two parties can now get to the real business of hashing out the details.
read full story here
If this comes to pass (and I still say "if"), then the next order of business we can expect would be some documents coming out of the CDF giving a new (and perhaps more "traditional") understanding of certain decrees from Vatican II. Such would be necessary to pave the way toward a permanent status of the SSPX within the Church, and to further Pope Benedict's "Reform of the Reform."
Addendum: The SSPX, unlike some other traditionalist groups, is NOT a sedevacatist organization. The SSPX officially acknowledges Pope Benedict XVI as the true and rightful pope of the Catholic Church. It also pledges "filial devotion and loyalty" to the Holy Father. This has always been the case. There is much debate as to whether the excommunications issued against Archbishop Lefebvre, and the four SSPX bishops, were legitimate to begin with. It is also widely known that Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) disagreed with these excommunications issued by the Congregation for Bishops in 1988.
UPDATE 1/22/2009: The Vatican has refused to comment on the news stories currently circulating about this issue. Had the stories been false, we would expect to see a Vatican rebuttal, but instead we get "no comment." Based on this I think it's fair to assume the excommunications have already been lifted, and we can expect an official announcement on it shortly.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Let's face it, had Roe v. Wade been the law of the land when Barack Obama was conceived, there is a good change he would have been aborted. His mother fit the perfect description of a candidate for abortion in the U.S.A.. But Roe v. Wade was not the law of the land when Obama was conceived, and abortion-on-demand wasn't even legal in Hawaii at the time. In addition, abortion still had a strong social stigma attached to it back in 1961. Thus Barack Obama was born, and now he is the President of the United States. It's something every 'pro-choice' American should consider carefully.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The pope who concluded the Second Vatican Council had the following to say about it. All Catholics should take note...
"In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document."What does this mean? It means that in spite of whatever you've heard, the Second Vatican Council may not be fully infallible -- not according to the pope, and not according to the bishops who participated. It was indeed an ecumenical council, and it was perfectly legitimate. However, the council can choose when, and when not, to exercise the chrism of infallibility. It just so happened that the bishops of Vatican II chose not to exercise it at all, and this is confirmed in the statement made by Pope Paul VI recorded above. It means that while the documents produced by Vatican II may contain some infallible statements, especially related to matters already defined by previous councils, they do not enjoy the exact same indisputable status as the documents produced by Vatican I and the Council of Trent.-- Pope Paul VIGeneral Audience, 12 January 1966
That being said, Vatican II should not be interpreted in a vacuum. Everything contained in the conciliar documents must be interpreted in the context of historic Church tradition, and with the understanding that they can in no way counter or reverse the fully infallible documents produced by Vatican I and the Council of Trent. It also means the conciliar documents can be debated to a certain degree by the bishops who hold to different opinions of them. Most importantly, it means they are subject to further definition and clarification by the Holy Father, who can most certainly make these judgements ex cathedra, and therefore infallibly.
So what does this mean for the average Catholic? It means the Church has not changed. Vatican II helped to clarify some pastoral issues that were already being debated in the Church, but it in no way changed the Church. The Catholic Church today is still under the exact same doctrines and teachings as it was before the Second Vatican Council. This is important, because many Catholic parishes today operate as if Vatican II changed everything, when in fact, it did not. If you want to know what the teachings of the Church are today, simply pull out a catechism from the 1950s, and there you will find all the teachings of the modern post-conciliar Church. It's the same today as it was yesterday. Sadly, that might be difficult to see with the quality of catechism publications provided in this post-conciliar world. That's why I keep a hardbound 1950's illustrated catechism in my home to teach my children. So to prevent confusion, it would be prudent for all Catholics to do likewise. You can acquire one such catechism here, though I'm sure there are many on the market if you know where to look.
(Rorate Caeli) - The Assembly of Rabbis of Italy has made known that, at least for this year, there will be no collaboration between the Jewish Communities of Italy and the Catholic institutions for the celebration of the Day of Judaism (January 17). It is the logical consequence of a particular moment which the inter-Confessional dialogue is living today, a moment in which the signs began to appear when the Pope, by liberalizing the Latin Mass, indicated in the Tridentine Mass the norm to follow. In that formulation, in the prayers of Good Friday, there is a prayer which asks for the conversion of the Jews to the "truth" of the Church and to faith in the salvific role of Jesus. In truth, that prayer, which, in its first wording defined the Jews as "perfidious", that is "outside the faith" and blind, had already been "changed" (but never abolished) by John XXIII. Benedict XVI expunged from it the most offensive terms, and reintroduced it.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: To which all I can say is THANK GOD! It's about time things start getting back to the way they should be. For 2,000 years Jewish rabbis have been disapproving of Catholicism in one way or another. It is only in this last 40 years of the post conciliar era of ecumenism that the Church has received a guarded and reserved hint of approval from the rabbis, and for what? Their approval comes only when Holy Mother Church has watered down the Catholic faith, and made the message of the gospel more ambiguous.
It is not, therefore, a matter of hypersensitivity: it is in the most banal sense about the respect owed to the other as a creature of God. If to that we add the most recent positions taken by the Pope regarding the worthiness of dialogue, defined as useless because in every case the superiority of the Christian faith is clear, it is evident that we march towards the cancellation of the past fifty years of the history of the Church. From this point of view, the interruption of the collaboration between Italian Jewry and the Church is the logical consequence of the ecclesiastical mindset expressed by its supreme authority...
read full story here
We should all take a lesson from the apostolic era. Rabbinical disapproval of Catholic Christianity goes all the way back the the foundations of the Church. Since when did Jesus Christ receive the approval of the rabbis? The lesson of history is simply this. If the Jewish rabbis disapprove of the Catholic Church, with her clear and undiluted teaching of the gospel message, then she must be doing something right!
The chief rabbi of Venice, joined by many rabbis with him, has just accused the pope of turning back the clock on ecumenism 50 years. Oh, if only we should be so lucky! Sadly, I'm afraid the good rabbi's words are an overstatement, and merely an attempt at political manipulation.
Some reading this may be stunned by my frankness here. Some may even be wondering if an anti-Semitic mindset is fueling it. As a man who has Jewish members in my extended family, I can assure you this is not the case. I've had conversations with my Jewish in-laws on these issues, and believe it or not, they too are worried about the ecumenical trends of modern times. They see them as just as much a threat to Judaism as they are to Christianity. Jews and Christians (particularly Catholics) SHOULD disagree and disapprove of various aspects of the other's religion. That's why we are separate religions in the first place. There is nothing stopping us from learning about each other's faiths, but we should stop short of trying to appease each other's demands. Judaism is Judaism. It's not going to change, and it's certainly not ever going to do anything to appease Christian concerns or desires. The same should go for Christianity. We shouldn't expect the Catholic Church to do anything to appease Jewish concerns or desires. Such expectations would be unrealistic and impractical.
So of course the issue is immediately raised by Christian ecumenists and Jewish apologists about the historic persecution of Jews by European powers. To which I can only respond that there is nothing in the New Testament, the Catechism, or the Code of Canon Law that instructs Christians to persecute Jews. In fact, these things instruct us to seek charitable justice for all people, and that would most certainly include Jewish people. That in itself is enough! Catholics can bring charitable justice to Jews (and others) just by being good Catholics. Only when Christians fail to uphold these values do we find injustice upon Jews and other people. So the secret to good relations with the Jews is to simply be good Catholics, and the same goes vice versa. Jews can have good relations with Christians simply by being good Jews, because in both cases, our religions call us to be charitable and just when dealing with each other. That's it! There doesn't need to be anymore, especially from the Catholic Church. Now Protestants, particularly Lutherans, have a bit more to apologize for, but that is their problem.
Now when we look to Europe today, we see the deplorable resurgence of anti-Semitism following the current violence involving the nation of Israel in the middle east. This anti-Semitism arises in spite of the Catholic Church's failed attempts at ecumenism with the Jewish leaders. Why? Because when one looks at the demographic makeup of Europe today, the overwhelming majority of Europeans no longer practice Christianity. Why would they listen to a religion they haven't practiced in a generation? This observation should also be a lesson to us, for it is in the abandonment of Christianity that we see a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. We've seen this before. A precursor to this kind of apostasy appeared in Germany during the 1930s - 40s, as the Nazi Party led the German people into a kind of neo-paganism of so-called "folk" religions in which the state became the supreme "god" over them all. Hitler hated the Catholics just as much as he did the Jews. He executed the faithful, and put priests in concentration camps, right alongside the Jews. This is just a matter of historical fact. So today we see a similar kind of apostasy but on a much larger scale, and the results are the same -- anti-Semitism coupled with anti-Catholicism.
Monday, January 12, 2009
(Newsmax) - Informed sources in Washington tell Newsmax that Israel indeed will launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities soon – possibly in just days as President George W. Bush prepares to leave office.RELATED STORIES:
The reason: The time clock has begun to run out. Iran is close to acquiring a nuclear device under the control of its radical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said in June that Iran would have a nuclear weapon in as little as six months.
That six-month period has passed....
read full story here
US Warships Move Into Position
World War III Before 2009
BIG ONE Is Coming Soon
This is important, because if the reforms to the liturgy are accepted as "valid" by the SSPX, it would signal the end of the virtual schism between Rome and the SSPX. In addition, it would also signal a new era of ecumenical relations with the Eastern Orthodox churches, who haven't taken Rome seriously since the Novus Ordo mass went into effect 38 years ago.
The following is a video from Bishop Bernard Fellay of the SSPX, in which he mentions the changes now underway in Rome.
The new mass, prepared for us in secret, will largely reflect the sights and sounds of the old Tridentine mass, except it will continue to be said almost exclusively in the vernacular. Latin will be reintroduced to the mainstream church, but only in small quantities, particularly during the consecration of the Eucharist.
Let the word go forth from this blog to the ends of the earth that our days of waiting in the wilderness are coming to an end. Let us prepare for this with prayer for the Holy Father, and for those in charge of the new liturgy. Let us also pray for our local bishops and priests, that they will receive these changes with charity and tranquility. Finally, let us begin to ask ourselves what we can do to help the Holy Father. His vision is to "upgrade" the Novus Ordo mass, so as to make it the best of both worlds - both contemporary and traditional. The English mass will continue to be celebrated in English - mostly - but we must ask ourselves how to restore the traditional elements of the mass, once lost in the chaos following the introduction of the Novus Ordo. To do this we must look to the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine) communities in the Church. There we will find our examples. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things the coming new liturgy will need....
- Choirs that can sing Gregorian Chant. Can you sing? If yes, we'll need you to get involved with your parish choir and get your choirmaster updated on the coming changes in the not-too-distant future.
- Alter servers that know when to ring the bells at the consecration, and can handle incense. What's that? Don't have bells and incense in your parish? Get some!
- The new liturgy may mandate certain changes be made to the alters and vestments. Parish councils should make financial preparations for this, as well as finding potential suppliers.
- The new liturgy may also mandate a central location for the tabernacle. Parish councils should make financial preparations for possible renovations.
- Priests should brush up on Latin pronunciation for the Eucharistic prayers, and perhaps start watching some training videos for the Tridentine mass, for the specific purpose of adding similar gestures and forms to the celebration of the coming reformed Novus Ordo liturgy.
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The above videos are extreme examples of just how bad it can get. History will not write well of the Catholic Church during this era, and most of it will center around the Church's failure (in the western rite) to uphold the sacred liturgical traditions passed down through the centuries. In most places around the western world, especially in the English-speaking nations, the Roman liturgy has become nothing short of a free-for-all for any type of innovation and invention imaginable. However, these extreme cases do not happen all by themselves. They are the product of a cascade of events, spanning years of liturgical abuse, which usually starts out quite subtle.
The United States is particularly prone to liturgical abuse. Why? It began in the most subtle way with our particular English translation of the Novus Ordo missal. Ours is probably one of the worst English translations in the world. The text of the liturgy is so paraphrased in the American English version, that it's virtually a commentary on the mass, rather then the mass itself. So poor is the American English translation, that the Vatican was prompted to call it "defective" and revoke permission for the American bishops to continue using it. So the American English translation of the mass is set to expire some time in 2010, soon to be replaced by a more accurate rendering of the original Novus Ordo liturgy.
The defunct American English translation in many ways emulates the Episcopalian liturgy of the Episcopal Church USA. Yes, that's right. When you see an Episcopalian liturgy, and compare it to the current American English translation of the Novus Ordo, the resemblances are striking. When the American bishops decided to go this way, they may have unwittingly sent a signal to the laity that we should imitate the Protestants in even our most sacred celebrations. So when the Protestants went "hippy" in their own services, many U.S. Catholics quickly followed suit. It wasn't long before all sorts of hippy, New Age and folk practices ended up a part of so many Catholic masses around the nation. While most parishes are not so extreme, a good number of them still engage in innovation and liturgical abuse, even if it's subtle. Sometimes it might be as simple as the priest adding words to the liturgy ad lib. His intentions may be sincere, but his actions are still inappropriate. Sometimes it amounts to nothing more than a simple abandonment of traditional Catholic customs. Maybe in your parish the tabernacle is off to the side, or maybe there are no alter rails for kneeling. Maybe in your parish, the priest never uses incense, or maybe the alter servers never use bells. Maybe your parish prefers contemporary pop music to traditional sacred chant. These subtle changes are exactly what Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) warned us about in the videos above. Liturgical innovation and abuse can start very small, in a seemingly harmless way, but it has a way of "one thing leading to another."
We Catholics must be diligent to rediscover and zealously protect our Catholic liturgical heritage. We must be charitable toward those who oppose us, but at the same time we must also be stubborn. It is not hard to request that some traditional practices be brought back into our sacred liturgy, and when appropriate, we should seek to help make that a reality in whatever way possible. Can you sing? Offer to start a Gregorian chant choir in your parish. Don't know how to chant? There are plenty of resources available to learn on the Internet. Do you think we should bring the bells back into the liturgy, and use more incense? Volunteer to become an alter server and make your desires known. Do you think the tabernacle should be at the front and center of the chapel? Get on the parish council and start lobbying for it. Don't like some of the things going on in the mass? Respectfully and charitably explain your concerns to the priest - on a regular basis if necessary.
Let's face it, the innovators and modernists have gone to a lot of trouble to bring about the liturgical abuse now common in English-speaking Catholic parishes. They spent the greater part of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, getting on our parish council boards, becoming "liturgical coordinators," and taking over the choirs. There aren't going to be any positive changes back toward historic tradition, if tradition-minded Catholics don't do anything about it. It's time we start taking our parishes back; one-by-one.
This is very commendable, because by not wanting to draw attention to one's self, the woman who veils demonstrates that she fully understands the purpose of what the veil is all about. A more recent email inspired me to post on this topic directly.
First and foremost, if you're a woman who fits the description above, know that you're not alone. Your desire to "not cause a scene" is commendable and demonstrates that you fully understand the purpose of the veil to begin with. That means of all people, you are probably the most ready to keep the custom.
Second, we often tend to associate the chapel veil with the pretty lace mantillas made popular in recent times by Traditional Catholics in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Many of the beautiful veils are white, or some other stunning color, which do grab attention, especially if nobody else is veiled. Certainly there is nothing wrong with wearing such a lovely prayer cloth, but at the same time, it is not necessary either.
Third, to properly veil, women must understand the reason behind the chapel veil, and this can be found in 1st Corinthians 11. To review let me just outline some highlights of this custom...
- The chapel veil (head covering for women) is a Christian custom that comes to us from the Scriptures (1st Corinthians 11). Saint Paul outlined a deep theological purpose for keeping the custom that transcends all local and cultural reasons. Therefore all Christian women are Scripturally encouraged, by Saint Paul himself, to keep the custom.
- The chapel veil was part of the code of canon law for centuries within the Catholic Church. Under this canon, women were compelled to wear a head covering whether they wanted to or not. The Church eventually decided that this custom had no place in canon law, and so it simply deleted that particular canon. The Church DID NOT remove or reverse the custom itself. It simply deleted the canon. This made it so women could not be disciplined for refusing to wear the veil. There is much debate as to whether this canon should have ever been part of the code to begin with. As the Biblical instruction should be enough.
- The chapel veil is a voluntary custom, but that doesn't mean it's optional. By this I mean Christian women cannot ever be compelled to keep the custom against their will, but at the same time this does not mean it's okay for women (or anyone for that matter) to "pick and choose" which apostolic customs to keep and which to ignore. The word "Catholic" means universal, complete and whole. To be Catholic is to accept ALL of the customs of Christianity, not picking and choosing customs, as if Christianity where a salad bar. The term "Cafeteria Catholic" is an oxymoron. If one approaches Christianity with a "cafeteria" (pick and choose) mentality, one cannot be "Catholic" by the very definition of the word. Catholic women should keep this in mind. Refusing to wear a veil (head covering) in no way harms one's status in the Church, because women can no longer be disciplined for refusing to veil, now that the code of canon law no longer requires it. However, it does reflect a mentality which "might" become potentially harmful to one's Catholic faith eventually. If one chooses to "pick and choose" on such a little thing as the chapel veil, it's not a far step from "picking and choosing" on other more important issues, such as artificial birth control, modest dress, gossip, complaining, mass attendance, regular confession, etc. etc. etc... Please don't misunderstand, the chapel veil in no way "protects" women from these other issues, it's just that refusing to keep one apostolic custom, "could perhaps" lead to ignoring other more important customs. Both men and women should consider this carefully.
- The exact same Biblical regulation that commands women to cover their heads during prayer, is equally compelling upon men as well. Don't think for one second that men are getting out of anything. The same Scripture that commands the chapel veil for women also commands that men keep their heads uncovered during prayer. That can sometimes be a burden to some men accustomed to wearing ball caps and hats all of the time. The custom remains in place for men, even when prayer is done outdoors in the hot sun. Men must remove their hats for prayer, even when the sun beats down on them, and even if their self conscience about their hair -- or lack thereof. The clergy teach us by example. A bishop always removes his mitre during various points of prayer in the mass. A priest always removes his biretta before mass, (if he has one), and always puts it back on at the end of mass, just before leaving.
- Christian veiling (head covering) is not the same as Muslim veiling (head covering) by any stretch of the imagination. Those who make such accusations are ignorant of both faiths. In Islam women are commanded to veil in the presence of men. In Christianity women are only commanded to veil in the presence of the Lord. Nowhere in the Bible can any command be found instructing women to veil in the presence of men. It's just not in there. Nor is there anything in the 2,000 years of Christian history and tradition in which women are instructed to veil in the presence of men. That's because the presence of men has absolutely NOTHING to do with a Christian woman's veil. The whole thing centers around God and God alone. Men have nothing to do with it. So Christian veiling and Muslim veiling have virtually nothing in common.
- Nothing about the Biblical instruction to veil commands women to call attention to themselves either. In today's western world, especially in English-speaking countries, the practice of the chapel veil has virtually disappeared from everyday Catholic life. Only in the traditionalist communities does one still see the practice alive and well. However, it doesn't have to be that way, and it shouldn't. Many modest women, who want to keep the custom, are self conscious about what might happen if they attempt it. This is truly a sad situation, but understandable.
Sit in the back of the Church, instead of the middle or front. Almost nobody will notice you there, and the only way you can draw attention is if people actually turn around to look at you. That is not likely to happen. So the back of the church is a good place to start.
The most simple way to keep the custom is with a hat. Below we have an example of a simple beret. It's cute and fashionable, but at the same time doesn't stand out much. In this case below, the beret actually matches this woman's outfit quite nicely. Many people would probably be unaware she is even keeping the apostolic custom of 1st Corinthians 11....
Another way to keep this custom is with a simple scarf or shawl. It doesn't have to be brightly colored or ornate. In fact, it's probably better if it's not. This can be worn around the neck or over the shoulders when entering the church, inconspicuously, as you seat yourself in the back of the church quietly, outside of most people's view. This young woman below gives us an example with a warm shawl she wore on a cold day. Thin light weight shawls could similarly be used on warm days...
Then, when upon kneeling for prayer, or when mass begins, the scarf or shawl can simply be lifted up over the head without anyone noticing...
After mass is over, while the priest is recessing back down the isle, the scarf or shawl can be dropped back down over the shoulders before everybody leaves. Thus the woman who does it this way can exit the chapel the same way she came in, with most people being completely unaware of her keeping the Biblical custom.
There is only one time when there would be an exception, and that is during communion. When for a brief time you would be at the front of the church instead of the back. However, when this happens, everyone's eyes are supposed to be downcast and contemplating the real presence of the Lord. If there are people in the pew staring at you, than SHAME ON THEM, not you. You didn't do anything to attract their attention, they are supposed to be contemplating the Lord. The only person who is supposed to look at you is the priest, or the Eucharistic minister, and those people are supposed to be knowledgeable of the veiling custom and not judgemental about it. Again, you've done nothing to attract attention to yourself.
In almost every case where woman have actually kept the custom, they report to me that they were surprised how little reaction they got all together. They were expecting more, either positive or negative, and what they got was nothing -- literally nothing. It's as if the vast majority of people there didn't care, and most of them didn't even notice. If you're shy, or self conscious about keeping the Biblical custom of veiling, you may want to keep this in mind. Chances are you're far more conscious of it than those around you.
There have been rare cases (very rare) when veiled women have been confronted by other women who disapprove of this practice. If by rare happenstance this happens to you, know that you've done absolutely nothing wrong, and the woman confronting you is acting in an uncharitable, and dare I say unchristian, sort of way. There are people like this. They're called feminists, and they've embraced a philosophy and mindset that opposes the church on so many levels. Often these very same women advocate artificial birth control, believe women should become priests, and think of the male Catholic hierarchy in a negative way. They'll sight all sorts of erroneous reasons why women should no longer veil. If you should find yourself in this rare and unlikely circumstance, here is the proper response...
- Then say: "You know, I would never try to force my own personal views on another parishioner."
- Then tell her: "And it's really none of your business how I choose to reverence the Lord."
- End with; "God bless you."
- Then walk away.
- Tell him: "You know, I would never try to force you to wear a hat during mass."
- Then say: "And it's really none of your business how I choose to reverence the Lord."
- End with: "God bless you."
- Then walk away.
- Are You Shy About Wearing The Chapel Veil?
- Christian Dignity of Women
- The Chapel Veil Campaign
- Overwhelming Support for the Chapel Veil!
- Feminist Bullies In The Catholic Church
- The Chapel Veil - Veiling or Head Covering - Fully Explained
- Wearing The Chapel Veil
- Wear Your Mantilla with Pride!
- Younger Nuns Are Getting Back Into The Habit
- Prayer Shawls - A Sign of Class, Beauty and Courage
- Does Veiling Bring Respect?
- Chapel Veil Retailers
Friday, January 9, 2009
(LifeSiteNews.com) – The Vatican envoy to the Netherlands has been called to a meeting to defend the Catholic teaching on sexuality and marriage by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister. At the request of homosexualist activist groups, Maxime Verhagen, a Christian Democrat, has demanded that the Papal Nuncio to the Netherlands, Monsignor François Bacqué, respond to accusations that the Church opposes “gay rights.”THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The Vatican is being far too nice by even agreeing to answer these charges. It's called RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! The irony of this whole thing is that these very same European government COWARDS wouldn't dare call Islamic clerics to defend their teachings against the infidels. The same goes for the homosexualists pressuring their governments into this. They wouldn't dare do the same against Muslims. The ONLY reason why they pick on Christians (Catholics in particular) is because they know we will respond with civility and they have nothing to fear from us. That's why they harass us.
Verhagen said, “The Netherlands is unpleasantly surprised by the opposition of Pope Benedict XVI to a UN declaration on human rights and homosexuality.”
Verhagen noted that although there were points of agreement with the Vatican statements, the “judgments of the Pope on homosexuality” are cause for concern “because they are unnecessarily offensive, as can be seen, and do not contribute” to a worthy debate.
The announcement is part of a declared campaign by homosexualist activist groups who are furious that the Church continues to resist the movement to legitimise homosexual partnerships. A leading homosexualist group in the Netherlands, the Dutch Foundation of Friends of the Gay Krant (SVGK), is calling for an international campaign against the Pope...
read full story here
Thursday, January 8, 2009
If half a century of history has proved anything, it is that peace is IMPOSSIBLE in the current demographic mix between Israelis and Islamic Arabs. There must be a radical change in the demographic makeup of the Middle East if there is ever to be even a hope for peace. This can only happen through the regional victory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord." - Zechariah 4:6
Catholics must work to radically expand missionary outreach to this troubled region of the world before it's too late. Pope Pius XII paved the way for us by establishing the Pontifical Mission to the Middle East. This outreach is designed to relieve the poverty and suffering of those in the region, while simultaneously further evangelizing missions to the Arab and Israeli people. 'The Catholic Knight' calls all of my readers to support this cause financially at least. If you want to do your part to bring peace to the middle east, and hopefully overt a nuclear catastrophe in the future, now is the time to act. Support the Pontifical Mission to the Middle East TODAY... CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
Please forward this urgent message to as many people as possible. Here's the link...
(WND) - A homeschooling movement is sweeping the nation – with 1.5 million children now learning at home, an increase of 75 percent since 1999.
The Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics reported homeschooling has risen by 36 percent in just the last five years.
"There's no reason to believe it would not keep going up," NCES statistician Gail Mulligan told USA Today.
A 2007 survey asked parents why they choose to homeschool and allowed them to provide several reasons. The following are the most popular responses:
- Concern about the school environment, including reasons such as safety, drugs or negative peer pressure – 88 percent
- A desire to provide religious or moral instruction – 83 percent
- A dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools – 73 percent
- Nontraditional approach to children's education – or "unschoolers" who consider typical curriculums and standardized testing as counterproductive to quality education – 65 percent
- Other reasons, such as family time, finances, travel and distance – 32 percent
- Child has special needs (other than physical or mental health problems) that schools cannot or will not meet – 21 percent
read full story here
- Child has a physical or mental health problem – 11 percent
Catholics Called To Abandon Public Schools
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Homosexualists Burn Image Of The Pope In 2007
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Another irony is the story nobody's talking about, and that constitutional measures like Proposition 8 have already been passed in numerous states all over America. The only thing different about Proposition 8 was that this time is was California and Hollywood lobbied against it. The passage of Proposition 8, demonstrated to the whole world that when the matter of gay-marriage is put before the people in a popular vote, it can't even pass in the most liberal states. So to lash out in a fit of rage against reality, homosexualists turn to hate crimes against the Church, and in doing so they become worse than everything they claim to stand against. Of course, one would expect to see disapproval of such hatred from representatives of the gay community, but instead we get deafening silence. I suppose this should come as no surprise from the city that only recently decided to condemn the Catholic Church in an official government proclamation....
(CNA).- Opponents of Proposition 8 are suspected to have vandalized Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco over the weekend, spray-painting on the church black swastikas and the words “Ratzinger” and “Niederauer,” the respective last names of the Pope and the Archbishop of San Francisco.
Most Holy Redeemer parish, located in the predominantly homosexual Castro District of San Francisco, has been billed as a “gay-friendly” church. It has previously participated in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and reportedly leased parish space to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of homosexuals who mockingly dress as nuns.
Responding to the vandalism, Most Holy Redeemer pastor Fr. Steve Meriweather told KCBS that his parishioners also oppose Proposition 8, a successful California ballot measure that overturned a 2008 state Supreme Court decision which imposed same-sex “marriage” on the state....
read full story here
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Rev. Jeff Fasching is a traditional Catholic priest.