NB: While I disagree with Dreher’s decision to leave the Catholic Church, I sure understand how he got to that point and I have to agree with a great deal of what he says about the squishy, formless pabulum Catholics have been fed for decades. Dreher, offering a salutary warning, also makes a connection between the destructive “spirit of Vatican II” and its potential replacement, a “spirit of Francis”.
Some years ago the theologian Fr. Jonathan Robinson wrote a commentary on the modern experience of the Sacred liturgy and entitled it, The Mass and Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backward. It is a compelling image of so much of what is wrong with the celebration of the Liturgy in many parishes today.
While Fr. Robinson certainly had the celebration of Mass “facing the people” in mind, his concerns are broader than that.
Indeed, we have the strange modern concept of the “closed circle” in so many modern conceptions of the Mass.Too often we are tediously self-referential and anthropocentric. So much of modern liturgy includes long lists of congratulatory references, both done by, but also expected of the celebrant.
The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is one rooted in what philosophers call natural law, but also illuminated by divine revelation. This means that the Church understands her teaching to be grounded in those truths that unaided human reason can affirm about the nature and purpose of human sexuality, but that what God has revealed in both Sacred Scripture and Tradition on the matter provides additional light.
Propers, Mass of the Fourth Sunday in Advent: Introit
I The Characteristics of Modernism
i)The Ends of Marriage 3.
ii)The Holy Mass
c)The Nature of Obscurantism
II The Consequences of Modernism
In the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, not far from St Peter’s Basilica, is preserved an image of the ‘Madonna of Ine’, the gift of an eighth century king of England who founded a Saxon hostel, ancestor of the English hospice in Rome which this year celebrates its 650th anniversary. The image is early testimony to an English Catholic tradition that was to flower in the Middle Ages in art, literature and music, marking the intellectual and geographical landscape of England with Cathedrals, Universities and Abbeys, and connecting it firmly to the traditions of the Western Church.
Another image in Rome, in the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury in the Via di Monserrato, depicts student priests being tortured and executed for their Catholic faith. No details are spared, but in case of doubt the image is annotated with names, dates, and method of execution. This is the other side of the English Catholic tradition; exclusion, persecution – and ultimately martyrdom.
Washington, 29. “The joy on their faces… that’s the thing that sticks in my mind the most”. Almost a year has passed since the establishment and inauguration (1 January and 12 February 2012) in the United States of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, which welcomes former Anglicans and is led by Mons. Jeffrey Neil Steenson. In various statements to Catholic News Agency, Steenson offered his impressions which emerged from a series of meetings he had with the faithful of the community who have decided to enter in full communion with the Catholic Church. The ordinariates, established in accord with the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus of Benedict XVI, allow Anglican faithful of every kind and from every walk of life “to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church”, while preserving the elements common to both Anglicanism and Catholicism.
Mons. Steenson — former Episcopalian Bishop of Rio Grande, who now holds the title of Monsignor — underlined the enthusiasm that is prevalent among the faithful of the communities which have decided to join the Ordinariate. He however observed that the decision does not represent a simple uniform change, but requires a “profound transforma
Yesterday on the blog we pondered that Mass attendance has held steady for Catholics at around 25% for at least a decade now and that there is a lot of coming and going in the number. So it is helpful to understand that things may be currently more stable than many of us presume.
That said, as a Catholic and a priest I remain quite stunned at the decline in Mass attendance during my overall lifetime. When I was a little child I remember jam packed Masses, get there early or stand. In those days of the early to mid sixties if you put up four walls Catholics would fill them. There were waiting lists for the parochial School, lots of Religious Sisters, and there was not just an associate pastor or curate, there was a first, second, third and fourth curate.
In Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died a horrible, painful, needless death. But rather than mourning her death, and demanding a full accounting of where the doctors went wrong, pundits are blaming the tragedy on teachings of the Catholic Church. We really don’t know, at this point, what caused her death. But one thing is quite clear already: it was not due to Catholic teaching, nor to Catholic influence on Ireland’s laws.
In Australia, there are angry demands for Catholic priests to break the confessional seal. This campaign is fueled by the notion that the seal has protected perpetrators of sexual abuse. There is zero evidence—zero—to support that notion. And there is ample evidence that the campaign against the Catholic Church is tinged by political motives.
Let’s examine each case rationally.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Fr. Perrone: Dissent almost always involves ‘below the belt issues’…
|Fr. Eduard Perrone during Benediction
at the outdoor Grotto
The conference for the 13th Call to Holiness has ended. Photos will be processed and up soon. Today, there is an orchestra Mass (Solemn High EF Mass) at 9:30am at Assumption Grotto for Pentecost. There will be a tour at the Detroit Institute of Arts led by Johnette Benkovic after the Mass and there may be openings yet.
In his June 12, 2011 pastor’s column, Fr. Perrone talks about truth, and dissent, referring to a Scriptural passage that captures it better than any commentary can.
PENTECOST is often said to be the birthday of the Church. It marked the day when the Holy Spirit was first received, having been sent by the Father and by Christ at the Father’s right. Our Lord had promised the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church as the One who assures that the Church remain in truth. The Church–the Catholic Church–has this guarantee of infallibility so that its authoritative decisions cannot err in faith or in moral truth. It is this very reliability, this certainty that the Church has–that its teachings are entirely without error–which gives us the confidence to put our wholehearted trust in them. And so, it is not because the Church’s doctrines seem ‘right’ or merely only ‘best’ that we adhere to them, but because they have the confirmation of divine authority behind them.
How utterly ironic it is then that there are those allegedly within the Church who invoke the Holy Spirit, petitioning Him to reverse what He had formerly revealed in the Catholic Church, as if He had erred in the past or possibly that He had made provisional teachings He meant to change in time. In either, there’s a clear case of blasphemy. If God can’t be trusted with telling unerring and permanent truth, then truth itself is–truth to tell–a lie. The contradiction is inescapable.
By the time you get this the 2011 Call to Holiness (CTH) Conference will have ended. The purpose of CTH from its inception has been to propagate the truth of Christ as the Church has received it: faithfully and entire. This initiative was necessitated by the organized efforts of said Catholics who wanted the Church to depart from truth and make it adopt beliefs and practices that are secular, sinful, and agreeable to the baser tendencies of fallen human nature. In short, the dissenters from Catholic truth (such as the American Catholic Council, Call to Action) want falsehood to be declared as if true. Can a more perverse proposal be made? Recall that original sin began with a deception and that Christ named Satan The Father of Lies. Such reflection however seems never to have been made by objectors to the Catholic faith, they who would prefer truth to conform to their wish and will. I’d like to offer some lines from Saint Peter’s Second Epistle (chapter 2) for meditation by anyone who may ever have harbored doubts about the veracity of Catholic teaching. I myself would never be so bold as to ascribe the following passage directly to our contemporary dissenters from Catholic teaching were it not God’s own word:
False teachers will secretly bring in destructive heresies…bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their lewdness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled…They will exploit you with false words. Those who indulge in lust and despise authority, bold and wilful, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct… they will be destroyed… They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation… They have eyes for adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. Accursed children!… For them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. Uttering loud boasts of foolishness, they entice with lewd passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. If, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become for them worse than the first. It would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the commandment given to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb: The dog returns to his vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.
Dissent from the Catholic faith has almost always involved the ‘below the belt’ issues, seeking the freedom to divorce, to use contraception, to have abortion, to engage in any and all sexual practices, to receive Communion without any conditions, to abolish priestly celibacy. It is to these specific ends (cf. the lewd things in Saint Peter’s Epistle above) that they want changes in Church structure and hierarchy. It’s not a power struggle against ecclesiastical authority pure and simple but wanting the controls so as to declare that what isn’t true be true. The Apostle foresees a terrible future for people who hold such opinions and who persuade others to adopt them.
Our Pentecost prayer would be adroitly aimed for the enlightenment of those who have been deceived and for the conversion of those who have wittingly disabused them.