Obervations of a Recent Convert from Lutheranism
"As traditionalists, our primary complaint, and our reason for our curmudgeonry, is that the prayers of the new mass have been gutted of Catholic-specific content. That’s the reason for our ire, and that’s the reason we fight the good fight." ...Nate Metzger
One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes features Jerry’s dentist, who has decided to convert to Judaism. Jerry suspects that his dentist has only converted so that he can use self-deprecating Jewish humor without being offensive. Concerned, Jerry visits a priest (a fact in the storyline that is ironically incidental for my purposes) and tells him what’s going on. “Hmm,” replies the priest after hearing about the offensive dentist. “And this offends you as a Jewish person?” “NO!” replies Jerry. “It offends me as a comedian!”
Press Release – March 16, 2014
Bishop Joseph FAN ZhongLiang, S.J., the underground Bishop of Shanghai appointed by Blessed Pope John Paul II, died today at 5:58 pm Shanghai surrounded by some of his faithful parishioners. He was 97 year old. The Cardinal Kung Foundation has learned that Bishop Fan suffered from a high fever several days before he died. He died at his home still under house arrest, a sentence that entailed strict surveillance by the government for most of the last two decades. The funeral arrangements for Bishop Fan has not been finalized, but will be limited for only two days as dictated by the government.
“We can see how many Euro-Atlantic countries are rejecting their roots, the Christian values that form the basis of Western civilization. They are reneging on moral principles and their traditional identity: national, cultural, religious and even sexual.”
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Even if Putin is puttin’ us on, would that be all bad? What the world rather desperately needs just now is a reminder of how God-fearing leaders used to talk, not long before our 'global village' decided to embrace universal Christophobia and raise moral depravity to the level of virtue.
Even if Putin is using pro-God, pro-morality sentiment merely as a rhetorical tool to put distance between his country and her rivals, there’s obviously good reason for it. He would not be doing this if it did not facilitate the advancement of Russia’s political agenda, whatever that might include.
And it is in this incontrovertible fact that God-fearing Christians at home and abroad can perhaps allow themselves some modicum of hope in an otherwise hopeless world, because what it means is that Mother Russia sees millions growing tired of the global Dictatorship of Relativism, millions hungering for a return to sanity, millions fed up with our Godless new world order in the making. What it means is that Putin is responding to a fatigue factor (with the agenda of the globalists) that has political firepower behind it.
"While Pope Francis has not altered any Catholic doctrines in his interviews and disquisitions, he is sowing seeds of confusion among the faithful, a high price to pay, even for “skyrocketing” poll numbers".…Patrick J. Buchanan
Yet Another Explosive Newspaper Interview
The Pope continues to give free-ranging, explosive interviews to Italian newspapers. The latest edition of this “magisterium” by newspaper is an interview with the editor of Corriere della Sera on March 5. As with all the other interviews, this one contains bombshells whose detonations the world media duly note while the diving bell constituency covers its ears. I will address six key statements from the interview:
First, confirming exactly what Antonio Socci was widely ridiculed for suggesting, Francis explicitly declares that the Church now has two Popes—a reigning Pope and a retired Pope: “The Pope emeritus is not a statue in a museum. It is an institution. We weren’t used to it. 60 or 70 years ago, ‘bishop emeritus’ didn’t exist. It came after the (Second Vatican) Council. Today, it is an institution. The same thing must happen for the Pope emeritus. Benedict is the first and perhaps there will be others.”
"I find that [the Latin Mass] is rather a kind of fashion. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention."...Pope Francis
Still More Insults for Traditionalists
Pope Francis has publicly insulted faithful traditional Catholics so many times that one wag at CNN has compiled what he calls “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults.” The insults keep coming.
On February 14, during an audience with Bishops of the Czech Republic, the Pope was informed of the growing numbers of young people who are attracted to the traditional Latin Mass. Instead of expressing approval of this development as a sign of true renewal in the Church, Francis dismissed the development, stating that “he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it [the Latin Mass].” With amazing condescension he added: “When I search more thoroughly, I find that it is rather a kind of fashion. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.”
It must be said that Francis appears to be guilty of the very fault of which he publicly accuses others: liturgical superficiality, and this to an astonishing degree. In all candor, it is Francis who has not “gone deep” at all but rather rendered the shallowest of judgments on a matter that could not be more profound. How is it possible for a Roman Pontiff to dismiss as “a kind of fashion” the Church’s received and approved rite of divine worship down through the centuries, going back at least to the time of Pope Damasus (r. 366-384), if not to the Apostles themselves, a work of the Holy Ghost that is nothing less than the liturgical foundation of Christian civilization?
“Let us make no mistake: Satan is right now shaking the Church to her very foundations over this divorce issue…”
Father Brian Harrison, O.S.
Part II, Continued from Yesterday
(Read Part I)
A Warning Come True
Immediately after Cardinal Jose Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope, the Rorate Caeli blog site presented a dire report by an Argentinian journalist, who wrote that as Archbishop of Buenos Aires the Cardinal was a “sworn enemy of the traditional Mass,” that he was “[f]was “loose in doctrine and liturgy,” and that “he has not fought against abortion and only very weakly against
Honesty compels one to admit that every element of this grim assessment has been borne out by the brutal dismantling of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate on the Pope’s direct order, and by his astonishing plenitude of disturbing statements and actions during the scant year he has been in office. These include the phrase that will be emblematic of his entire pontificate, which is now appearing on "Who am I to judge?" tee shirts marketed to gay-rights activists and assorted other radical liberals in order to taunt the Church.
Alarming Adulation by a Hostile World
In the case of Pope Francis the fallibility of Popes in matters not involving doctrinal definitions is remarkably evident. It does no good to deny this when the entire world is heaping praise upon him for his unheard-of pastoral novelties (e.g. the jailhouse foot-washing ceremony, including a Muslim woman), his numerous statements suggesting a revolutionary relaxation of Church discipline in the name of a false “mercy,” and his repeated public insults of traditional Catholics and the traditional liturgy, which he has cavalierly belittled as “just a kind of fashion” to which certain members of the faithful are “addicted.” As if to reward his behavior, Francis has been lauded as “Person of the Year” by the world’s most prominent left-liberal news magazine (Time), the world’s leading “gay” magazine (The Advocate), the world’s leading “rock culture” magazine (Rolling Stone) and the world’s leading “rock culture” video outlet (MTV). Even the trashy libertine quarterly GQ Magazine joined the adulation by naming Francis “Best Dressed Man of the Year,” using the occasion to mock the overdressed Pope Benedict. All of these tributes, and innumerable others of like kind, have been bestowed explicitly at the expense of Francis’s predecessor and the Church’s teaching on faith and morals. Any Catholic who still retains the sensus catholicus must view with alarm this unprecedented torrent of praise from the realm of Belial. Something is seriously amiss.
The Complete Series: All four parts of Christopher Ferrara's weeklong series, "The Francis Effect", appear in the following post. Those who commented on other sections of this aricle are encouraged to respost their comments on this final version of the article. This article will also appear in its entirety in the next print edition of The Remnant. MJM
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres... churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
Our Lady of Akita, October 13, 1973
On March 9, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, America’s foremost Catholic prelate, appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and commented as follows on the “coming out” of a “gay” college football star:
“No sense of judgment…. Bravo.” That is how a Prince of Church in the Year of Our Lord 2014 reacts to a celebrity’s announcement that he engages in unspeakable acts—“men with men, working that which is filthy (Romans 1:26)”—acts that cry out to heaven for vengeance, as Churchmen used to teach before the “opening to the world” at Vatican II. Here we see the vast ripple effect of the “who am I to judge?” mantra that Pope Francis launched into the collective consciousness of humanity by going out of his way to speak to reporters about homosexuals in the hierarchy at “a surprise news conference” they had not even requested. The “Francis effect” is disarming prelates and priests alike. It threatens to disarm us as well, unless we take a stand against what is happening.
Editor’s Note: As the tide of battle against authentic traditional Catholicism rises to pre-2007 heights throughout the world, spearheaded as usual by ugly calumnies leveled against the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, I was pleased to stumble upon the following Remnant article penned in the late 1990s by my friend and mentor, Michael Davies. The foremost lay pioneer of the traditionalist movement, Mr. Davies has been dead since September 2004, and yet since this is one of many Remnant articles never before posted online it becomes something of new release—a voice from the grave, if you will. So typical of Davies’ style, this study of the excommunicated Savonarola, while obviously not setting out to establish precedent for Archbishop Lefebvre (a man Mr. Davies vigorously defended throughout his entire career), nevertheless demonstrates the sensus catholicus required of all of us when attempting to unravel the complexities of legitimate resistance to rightful authority vs. insurrection, the difference between schism and mere disobedience, and the spirit vs. the letter of the law. Davies always sought to see both sides of difficult issues of Faith and ecclesial governance, which is why he managed to bring Catholics closer together in times of crisis rather than pushing them apart. Michael Davies did not go in for anathematizing Catholic brothers with whom he happened to disagree, which is why he accomplished so much good for souls. His is an example worthy to be emulated by all of us. May he rest in peace. MJM
In the closing decades of the fifteenth century and opening decades of the sixteenth, the ideals of the Christian faith had become so gravely compromised by the bad example given in high places, above all in Rome, that it provoked a violent reaction, and good Catholics who had no intention of breaking with the Church protested against the scandals of ecclesiastical life. In 1491, St. John Fisher, the Bishop of Rochester, the only English bishop willing to die rather than renounce communion with the Holy See, warned that if the Pope did not reform his court, God would reform it for him.
By far the most dramatic protest against papal corruption came from the Dominican, Jerome Savonarola (1452-1498), who has for centuries been the subject of lively controversy among Catholic scholars, and whose complete rehabilitation now appears to be a distinct possibility.
Video Broadcast Introduces Bishop Olson In His Own Words
On November 19, 2013 Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Michael Olson as Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth. As the Dallas Diocesan newspaper reports:
Bishop-elect Olson earned bachelors and masters degrees in philosophy in 1988 and 1989, respectively, from the Catholic University of America. He also has degrees (M.Div. and M.A.) in theological studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston…On May 6, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI granted him the Papal Honor of Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of “monsignor.” In March 2011 he successfully earned his doctorate in moral theology at the Academia Alfonsiana in Rome…He was a member of the formation faculty at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston and lectured at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology between 2001 and 2006. From July 2006 through June 2008 he served in the Diocese of Fort Worth as vicar general and as pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. Since July 1, 2008, he has been serving as the rector of Holy Trinity Seminary.
The Internet has told me that the Bishop of Fort Worth was justified in taking away the Mass of the Ages from these poor kids at Fisher More College ‘for the good of [their] souls’. He then said that they could have the Novus Ordo offered at their college, using diocesan priests.
If I’m understanding this right, the good bishop seems to be adopting the usual, post-2007 Catholic position concerning the nature of the two Masses. To wit, while it’s now ok to go the old way, please be advised that only trivial predilections (‘nostalgia’ and ‘addictive fashion’, depending on how old you are) are the officially accepted reasons for ‘preferring’ one over the other.
Alas, insofar as some among this college community might have held to the position that the Old Mass was in fact objectively better, and that (a fortiori) the documents of Vatican II contained deeply flawed, confusing, and sometimes even silly promulgations and ideas, then these same students and faculty were acting out of line. That is, since these Fisher More folks were celebrating the Old Mass as a way of ‘protesting’ the New Mass (and by extension, Vatican II), then a terrible WrongThink had crept into their little community, and it—The Old Mass!—had to be removed, to be replaced by something literally called ‘ordinary’.
Christ calls us to fast from the things of this world and to feed on the Bread of Life. Our entire religion is based on sacrifice, with the Sacrifice of Christ being the foundation and model for all we do. This same Sacrifice is reenacted during Holy Mass, of which the Eucharist is the fruit, therefore fasting before Communion is an essential part of our religion.
Fasting starves out the demon of impurity, as opposed to over eating, which fuels impurity of heart and mind, especially, our spiritual directors tell us, when this is done before bed. The Church under divine guidance has rightfully maintained the rule of fast through the ages for our preservation and so that we may worthily receive Christ in Communion.