Monday, 12 November 2018

Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, 2018

H/T to Sunlit Uplands

Huw Edwards presents the Royal British Legion's annual Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall in London. In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and members of the royal family, Sir Tom Jones, Sheridan Smith, Sir Bryn Terfel, Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Kingdom Choir perform alongside the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Band of HM Royal Marines. 

On the eve of the centenary of the Armistice, the event is a tribute to the remarkable generation who contributed to the First World War.



Vatican Cancels US Bishops’ Vote on Sex Abuse Reform Measures

You literally can't make this stuff up! Francis has forbidden the USCCB from taking action until after they receive their marching orders directly from him. I thought he was all in favour of 'synodality'. Oh, wait! I guess that was last week. This week, he's back in Dictator Pope mode.

From Catholic News Agency

By Ed Condon

Baltimore, Md., Nov 12, 2018 / 07:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference has told the American bishops that they will not vote on two key proposals which had been expected to form the basis for the Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis.

The news came at the beginning of the U.S. bishops’ conference fall general assembly, meeting in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.

The instruction to delay consideration of a new code of conduct for bishops and the creation of a lay-led body to investigate bishops accused of misconduct came directly from the Holy See, DiNardo told a visibly surprised conference hall.

DiNardo said that the Holy See insisted that consideration of the new measures be delayed until the conclusion of a special meeting called by Pope Francis for February. That meeting, which will include the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences, will address the global sexual abuse crisis.

Apologizing for the last minute change to the conference’s schedule, he said had only been told of the decision by Rome late yesterday.

Ahead of the bishops’ meeting, two documents had been circulated: a draft Standards of Conduct for bishops and a proposal to create a new special investigative commission to handle accusations made against bishops.

These proposals had been considered to be the bishops’ best chance to produce a substantive result during the meeting, and signal to the American faithful that they were taking firm action in the face of a series of scandals which have rocked the Church in the United States over recent months.

Speaking before the conference session had even been called to order, DiNardo told the bishops he was clearly “disappointed” with Rome’s decision. The cardinal said that, despite the unexpected intervention by Rome, he was hopeful that the Vatican meeting would prove fruitful and that its deliberations would help improve the American bishops’ eventual measures.

While DiNardo was still speaking, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago intervened from the floor, expressing his support for the pope.

“It is clear the the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously,” Cupich said.

At the same time, he suggested that the work which had gone into preparing the two proposals should not go to waste.

Cupich suggested that if the conference could not take a binding vote, they should instead continue with their discussions and conclude with resolution ballot on the two measures. This, he said, would help best equip Cardinal DiNardo to present the thought of the American bishops during the February meeting, where he will represent the U.S. bishops’ conference.

“We need to be very clear with [DiNardo] where we stand, and be clear with our people where we stand,” Cupich said.

While acknowledging that the February meeting was important, he noted that responding to the abuse crisis “is something we cannot delay, there is an urgency here.”

Cupich went on to propose moving forward the American bishops’ next meeting, currently scheduled for June 2019. Instead, he suggested, the bishops should reconvene in March in order to act as soon as possible after the February session in Rome.

Strange Signs, the End Times and YOU

Fr Zed takes on the 'End Times' doomsayers, just as Mr Shaw did a few days ago, The Enduring Attraction of the End Times.

From Fr Z's Blog

What times we are seeing.
  • Benedict abdicated and lightning struck the dome of St. Peter’s.
  • A Jesuit is elected.  A Jesuit, who trashes the symbols of office and sows confusion.
  • Catholics vote for pro-abortion politicians.
  • Total eclipses draw an X over the the Madrid fault of these USA.
  • Conferences of bishops, on the basis of a footnote, openly advocate Communion for people the state of mortal sin.
  • Leading and visible prelates actively support and cover for sodomites.
  • Heavenly messages to Popes and Saints and also from the Mother of God point to the end of an era around our time now.
  • Flawless red heifers can now be bred in Israel, signaling the foundation of a Third Temple.
  • Demographic shifts suggest that a great Apostasy is taking place among the rank and file of those who hail from Christian backgrounds.
  • And… Holy Church remains Authoritative, Infallible, Indefectible and One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic.
At BeliefNet I read…
Fish in the Dead Sea and a Snake in the Wailing Wall: Signs of the End Times Appear in Jerusalem
Are the end times upon us? According to those keeping a close eye on the strange happenings in Israel, the answer might well be “yes.” Predictions about the end of the world seem to appear every time there is an unusual celestial phenomenon, such as a lunar eclipse or a comet’s arrival, but the eerie signs in Israel are both more common and more bizarre.
The first of the three strange occurrences was the birth of the first “red heifer in 2,000 years.” The calf in question was given an “extensive examination” to see if she was actually “blemish free” as is specified in the Bible. According to end times literature, the red calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world” and will be sacrificed prior to the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. Rabbinical experts have found that the calf is “without blemish” as defined by Scripture and thus is a “viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer.”
The birth of a calf seems commonplace, but the second oddity in Israel has baffled scientists across the world. The Dead Sea is known for its overwhelming salinity. The extraordinary abundance of salt in the water makes it both a popular tourist destination and an environment that is completely inhospitable to almost every form of life on the planet. The sinkholes around its edges, however, have inexplicably been filled with fish. Where the fish have come from is unknown, and they have been joined by the return of vegetation to the otherwise barren area. This fits the prophet Ezekiel’s claims that the Dead Sea and the area around it would flourish with life before the world came to an end. [Ezekiel 47:9 – Also, as levels of the Dead Sea drop, sinkholes are being discovered with fish! However, it seems that there are underground freshwater aquifers which reduce the salinity in those sinkholes, creating microclimates.   Still: there are death defying fish in the Dead Sea: 37% salinity.]
The final eerie happening in Israel is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the most skeptical. A snake crawled out of the stones of the Wailing Wall, one of Israel’s holiest sites. Worshipers, understandably, “panic[ed].” The snake was identified as a coin-marked snake, or leaden-colored racer, and it was not a small specimen either. [Hemorrhosis nummifer! As opposed to other slitheries such as Sphaleros jesuiticus.] Rough estimates place it at over three feet long. The appearance of the snake was not the first frightening incident to take place at the Wailing Wall this year, as a falling stone nearly crushed a women praying below in July 2018. That said, there is something more ominous about the unexpected appearance of the animal so often associated with evil in the Bible in a place that is meant to be filled with worship.   [Yeah… I sure know how that feels.   Hey.  I just had a thought: Is the Bronx Zoo Cobra Jewish?  He gets out and around.]
What precisely these signs mean, if anything, is up for debate, but there is no doubt that end of the world bloggers have just received more than enough material to keep them busy through the end of the year. [Maybe to the end of the day.] There are also a lot of people undoubtedly grabbing for their Bibles in order to refresh themselves on the signs of the end times, just in case more of them appear. [As is only right to do!]
How much attention we give to these matters and what they mean is itself a matter for debate.
Every generation of Christian has known itself to be in The End Times, because it is.  Since the Lord Ascended, we are in the End Times.
However, one of these days, the Times will be “Endier” than others.
One way or another, you are going before the Lord, the Just Judge, the King of Fearful Majesty.   You will be JUDGED.   Nothing can be hidden from Him.  Nothing left unrevealed.  Everything will be brought into the open.
If you die before the End, you will experience your Particular Judgment.  Every thought, deed, omission – everything – HEY BISHOPS! YOU READING THIS? – will be examined and weighed.  You state when you die will be confirmed for ETERNITY.   When the Lord comes, if we are still alive or not, the General Judgement will take place.   Every thought, word and deed will be revealed and it will be shown how they all worked together in God’s great plan, the economy of salvation.  Then Christ will take everything and submit it to the Father so that God may be all and all.  Then the unending reign of glory shall begin… with you or without you.  Definitively.  No changes of state.  No “backs”.   No.
GO TO CONFESSION.
Examine your consciences every day.
Make peace with your neighbors.
Perform works of mercy.
Pray.
Do penance.
The day will come and we don’t know when.
Pray God to spare you from a sudden and unprovided death, as we do in the Litany.

We Need Better Music for Mass

All I can say, is I agree with Mr Holdsworth 110%!

His introduction to the video:

It’s an amazing fact that we can carry on with the day to day affairs of our lives without giving a second thought to the immensity of our universe and the incomprehensible forces that explode and contract within it. The known universe is characterized by neutron stars, black holes, supernovas, rogue asteroids, and even within our own solar system, there are forces that produce a sense of terror and awe just to think about: like the fact that there is a cyclone on Jupiter bigger than our planet. Carl Sagan famously described our planet as a pale blue dot based on the photo of the same name taken from deep space which provides a sense of the scale of our own world which consumes all of our attention, but in the grand scheme appears to be floating helplessly in the vastness of space. As a Catholic Christian, I’m someone who believes that this immense, awe inspiring system of systems with forces that can produce existential dread in the most resolute members of our species was created by a mind - the source and ground of all being, who is the logos, who is God. But it doesn’t stop there. The one who spoke all that in to existence also invaded creation through the incarnation of Jesus Christ – a human person who said and did things that have an unmistakable confounding but simultaneously beautiful quality. He is the focal point at which the transcendent eternal source of everything that is became available to our senses. He is the moment at which heaven collides with that pale blue dot. And just before he was arrested and crucified, he gave us a formula and a format that would provide for the continual manifestation of this collision of heaven and earth. He gave us his body, blood, soul, and divinity; his incarnation, in the form of bread and wine consecrated on the alter of every mass celebrated every day throughout the world. And if you had never been to a Catholic Mass, with all of that context in mind, you might think, if that’s true, it must be an incredibly powerful and epic moment to witness and the Church expects us to believe that it is true, while simultaneously garnishing that moment with music like The King of Glory. Why do we do this? Think about what we’re asking people to believe and then consider how we present it to them and then we ask ourselves why people don’t believe and why the faith is in such dramatic decline in regions where this is common practice. And of course, this hasn’t always been the case. There have been profound periods where artistic and cultural expression found their stride in the context of the mass and we can still get glimpses of it, especially in the way our Eastern Orthodox brother and sisters practice their liturgy. You can’t watch or participate in that without thinking that the gravity of this moment is significant. Where I live, most Catholic masses seem to be doing everything they can to diminish and trivialize the gravity of that moment.
To be totally honest, I’d rather there be silence rather than some of the attempts we make to improve upon the profound way that Jesus appears to us. I don’t blame musicians and worship leaders because the problem is a lot bigger than that. I myself have been tapped to lead music at mass and if I had to do it tomorrow, I’d be playing my guitar singing the only songs that are recognized and available in the hymnals in our pews. The solution to this problem needs to come from the top down. We need our bishops and priests to lead us into a better understanding of what is appropriate for our liturgy. We need to stop supporting publishers who push this kind of thing, exclusively. The Church needs to reclaim a sense of patronage of good music and art made by sincere, faithful, Catholics who appreciate the subject matter that they are communicating. And I’m not trying to say, we need to go back to the way things were or only use a particular style or particular instrument. This isn’t about liberals vs. conservatives. This is about good and appropriate art and liturgy vs. bad art and liturgy. This experiment we’ve been on for the last half century has been one in which we’ve been chasing cultural relevance only to drive our Church into a deeper state of cultural irrelevance. Trying to fit in isn’t the way to be cool. Doing something entirely unique and set apart from everything else is how you capture people’s interest. It seems like the Church used to understand that and has forgotten it. Let’s do what we can now, to reclaim it.


What Will the Pope Say? His Friends Tell Us

Three years ago today, Fr Raymond de Souza warned us!

From the Catholic Herald


Francis has steadily prepared the Church for change. It’s foolish to ignore the signs
The synod on the family is over. The Church now awaits what Pope Francis will decide. Those who argued at the synod for maintaining the traditional discipline on admission to the sacraments for the civilly divorced and remarried must be ready for the Holy Father to decide differently.
He has steadily prepared the Church for just that. It would be foolish to ignore the signs.
After much back and forth, the synod decided to follow almost exactly what Pope Francis said in his general audience of August 5, during which he strongly suggested that he did not agree with the tradition taught by St John Paul in Familiaris Consortio (1981) and confirmed by Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis (2007).
He did not explicitly contradict it, and neither did the synod. But he quoted the relevant texts without affirming their definitive conclusion and the synod did the same.
Does silence on John Paul’s formulation token assent? Or does it mean that the traditional teaching is being left aside?
A commentary last week by Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, gave a clear answer. Civiltà always carries a certain authority, as the Jesuit periodical is reviewed by the Holy See secretariat of state before publication.
Fr Spadaro is more authoritative still, as both a close confidant and mouthpiece of Pope Francis. It is inconceivable that he would write something contrary to what the Holy Father desired. In his analysis of the synod, his answer is emphatic.
“The [synod’s final report] proceeds on this path of discernment of individual cases without putting any limits on integration, as appeared in the past. … The conclusion is that the Church realises that one can no longer speak of an abstract category of persons and close off the practice of integration within a rule that is entirely general and valid in every case.
It is not said how far the process of integration can go, but neither are any more precise and insurmountable limitations set up.”
The “limits of the past” are that of Familiaris Consortio, which was certainly “precise”. It no longer holds. And how far will the integration go?
Fr Spadaro quotes Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna to explicitly include Holy Communion for those living in invalid marriages.
Pope Francis gave another interview to the notorious Eugenio Scalfari last week, who reported that the Holy Father had told him that all those divorced and remarried who ask will be admitted to Holy Communion.
The Holy See Press Office issued the customary statement about the unreliability of Scalfari, who reconstructs his papal conversations from a fertile memory, but what Scalfari wrote in a few lines is basically what Fr Spadaro wrote in 20 pages: living in a conjugal union outside of marriage will either no longer be considered necessarily sinful, or being in a state of serious sin will no longer be an obstacle to receiving Holy Communion.
If Scalfari and Fr Spadaro were presenting conflicting views, it would be advisable to follow Fr Spadaro as to the Holy Father’s thought. But if they agree, there is no room for doubt.
Those close to the Holy Father did not wait until the synod was over to give strong indications of what outcome the Holy Father preferred. During the synod the Holy See Press Office circulated an interview conducted by Gerald O’Connell of America magazine with Cardinal Donald Wuerl.
O’Connell has been covering the Vatican for some 30 years, but his relevance is now at its zenith, given that he is married to Elisabetta Piqué, Papa Bergoglio’s favourite Argentine journalist, to whom he has granted special access.
If O’Connell’s name appears on something sent out by the Holy See Press Office, it can be reliably taken as the official line from the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The message of the Cardinal Wuerl, himself a man of great precision and careful in speech, was uncharacteristically blunt about those who were concerned that the synod would try to change the traditional practice. They found it all “somewhat threatening”, perhaps because “they just don’t like this pope”.
Hours after the conclusion of the synod, O’Connell, a reliable English-language conduit for those close to the Pope, wrote a commentary which identified by name Cardinals Pell, Ouellet, Sarah and Müller as those within the curia “rowing in a different direction” to the Pope, and to whom the Pope’s final address characterised as having “closed hearts”.
The Church waits now for Rome to speak. The voices closest to the Bishop of Rome are already speaking, increasingly confident that when the time comes, Rome will not say what she said before.

Fr Raymond J de Souza is a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario, and editor-in-chief of Convivium magazine
This article first appeared in the Catholic Herald magazine (13/11/15)

Book reviews ...

Father H looks at posthumanism or transhumanism, the ghastly 'philosophy' that posits that God didn't know what he was doing with Adam and Eve and that man must 'perfect' himself.

From Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment

... are a great temptation, I find, to those of us who like to appear knowledgeable without actually ... er ... reading ... all these wretched new boks.

Apparently the late Stephen Hawking has bequeathed to his admirers some Posthumous Papers, in which, so the Sunday Times informs us, he foresees that we we shall successfully transform ourselves into posthuman, inorganic beings. Creating immortal digital surrogates is an 'ambitious dream' but 'may not be as far fetched an idea as it sounds'.

Poor old thing. But, simultaneously, a rather more elegant thinker and writer, the Astronomer Royal Lord Rees, has come up with similar stuff. He also thinks that a bio-hacked super-race is inevitable; that we will transcend our biological bodies and go electronic.

Antidotes to such ideas are most easily found in the theological Sci Fi trilogy of C S Lewis. In Perelandra he advances the attractive hypothesis that since, in the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Glorious and undivided Trinity took our nature upon him, it is that nature which henceforth be assumed by the hnauanimalia rationabilia.

And, in That Hideous Strength he sets before us baddies who have become so fastidious and delicati that they seek the ultimate dissolution between mind and matter. "In us organic life has produced Mind. It has done its work ... after that we want no more of it ... learn to make our brains live with less and less body: learn to build our bodies directly with chemicals ... a great race ... a pure race ... they have cleaned their world, broken free (almost) from the organic ...they do not need to be born and breed and die; only their common people, their canaglia do that. The Masters live on. They retain their intelligence: they can keep it artificially alive after the organic body has been dispensed with - a miracle of applied biochemistry ... they do not need organic food ... they are almost free of Nature, attached to her only by the thinnest, finest cord ..."

But the climax and conclusion of Lewis's story reveals that, from page one, it has really all been a sort of prothalamium, about flesh and the fleshly love of creatures themselves begotten in a bed.

It is, surely, the fundamental anthropological dogma of Christianity that flesh is, in itself, good. Against the recurrent seductions of Manichees and Docetists and Gnostics and Cathars, we have maintained that what God wonderfully created (condidisti) and himself assumed and yet more wondefully remade (reformasti), is good and is destined for everlasting life. The old heresies were but Hellenistic attempts to corrupt the sound Jewish anthropological and theological bedrock of God and Creation; and the relationships and the distances between this two. The silly dreams of some modern physicists or technocrats are no better.

As the old fifth century office hymn for the Ascension so succinctly put it, culpat caro, purgat caro, regnat Deus Dei caro. [ flesh {of Adam} sins, flesh {of God Incarnate} cleanses, God reigns, the flesh of God {reigns}].

It makes one cynical, how old errors keep raising their ugly heads every few centuries. 

Great Catholic Scientist, Number 8

John Aloysius O'Keefe III (1916–2000) was an expert in planetary science and astrogeology with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1958 to 1995.


Bad Liturgical Parenting

Dr Peter Kwasniewski with an essay blasting the post-Conciliar Liturgy and the Hierarchy that foisted it on the Faithful as bad parents. Excellent!

From One Peter Five


In a wonderful article from years ago that I only recently discovered, “The Mass and the Four Most Important Lessons of Childhood,” Michael P. Foley argues that the four basic responses that parents teach their children from an early age map onto the four basic purposes  of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
Implicit, then, in the objective to raise children who say “I love you,” “thank you,” “please,” and “I’m sorry” is something more than a trivial habit of politeness, a meaningless conformity or capitulation to social convention. Somehow, the aim is to form a young mind into the kind of person who is loving, grateful, deferential, and, when necessary, contritely determined to make amends. Perhaps this is because such qualities are not only choices worthy in themselves, but they also lead to the acquisition of other virtues. …
Interestingly, this fourfold path to authentic human flourishing, as it were, bears a remarkable similarity to the traditional theology of the Mass. Specifically, saying “I love you” at home is analogous to the act of adoration that takes place in the Mass, “thank you” to thanksgiving, “please” to petition, and “I’m sorry” to satisfaction.
Strikingly, the four acts to which Dr. Foley refers line up with major themes of the four great prayers of the Ordinary of the Mass:
  • the Kyrie corresponds to contrition (“have mercy on us”);
  • the Gloria to gratitude (“we give thee thanks”);
  • the Sanctus to adoration (“holy, holy, holy…”);
  • the Agnus Dei to petition (“grant us peace”).
It is true that all four acts are mingled together in each of these prayers, yet there is a certain progression from one to the next. The Kyrie is penitential; the Gloria is full of rejoicing; the Sanctus is a solemn chant of angels bowing before God’s throne; the Agnus Dei is pleading for salvation from the Savior now present on the altar. The millennium-old Gregorian chants of the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei, as well as many of the polyphonic Mass settings, musically evoke these very spiritual attitudes and habituate us to make a serious response to Our Lord, as befits His divine Majesty.
We see here, too, a model of the basic order in which we proceed in the Christian life. First, we repent of our evil. Then we give thanks for God’s mercy. After this, we are ready to adore Him with a pure heart. Lastly, we present our needs. We remove impediments first, honor God for His glory, and think of our own wants last.
Now, what happens when parents neglect to form their children in the habit of saying “please” and “thank you,” “I love you,” and “I’m sorry”? The kids become little self-centered barbarians, incapable of moving on to the finer feelings and higher realities in life. They are rude or miserly towards their superiors, shrewd with their equals, bullying toward their inferiors. In short, they are malformed human beings who think of their wants first, do not think of the needs and demands of others, and don’t even recognize the impediments to their own maturation. We can see this today in so much deplorable behavior of children and young adults, who get away with things that no parents would have tolerated decades ago.
Following Foley’s insight, what do you suppose would happen if the spiritual fathers of the Church, the bishops and priests, failed to form their spiritual children in the proper habits of saying “I’m sorry” and “thank you,” “I love you” and “please” to Almighty God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? What if, instead of ensuring a true discipline of self-denigrating sorrow, prompt thanks, adoring love, silent respect, and humble petition, they provided a relaxed, casual environment, where the priest and people face each other in a self-congratulatory and self-celebrating circle, to the accompaniment of folksy, trite, sentimental, trendy music? Would the children of the Church ever learn how to worship God that way? Or would they become little self-centered spiritual barbarians, over-confident toward their heavenly Father, chummy with their neighbors, and altogether bereft of the “fear of the Lord” that is the beginning of wisdom?
This is exactly what happened – not just here or there, but everywhere in the Catholic Church. Growing up in a post-Vatican II parish, I fell prey to it myself. I was told to receive the host in my hands and to take the cup from the obligatory “extraordinary” minister of holy communion. I cannot remember ever hearing anything serious about the Eucharist. I was an altar boy who served with altar girls, and it was not apparent to me from the casual atmosphere of the sacristy or the minimal rubrics that we were taking any of this very seriously. I became a lector, and later an extraordinary minister myself, and joined the contemporary choir. I even wrote a guitar song during my time in the charismatic movement. Yes, I was trying to live my faith, but what was I living? All this was vanity of vanities, bearing little or no resemblance to Catholicism as it existed from the time of the Apostles to the Second Vatican Council. It was only later that I was given the light to see how sacrilegious these practices are, how much they grieve the Holy Spirit Who guided the development of doctrine, morals, and liturgy over twenty centuries.
Catholics who spent their early years as I did – how many of them have long since fallen away? Many of my relatives, friends, and acquaintances; we all know, or know of, far too many. There but for the grace of God went I. How many millions have fallen away during and after the Council, because they could no longer find the religion of Christ, could no longer recognize in the ever-shifting rites of the Church the earnest discipline of a loving parent, inculcating repentance, gratitude, adoration, supplication?
The reformed liturgy has trained Catholics to think, first and foremost, of their (supposed) needs and wants; just consider how “active participation” has been understood and practiced as a sort of blanket excuse for liturgical experimentation, so we can all “be involved.” It has trained them to neglect the Creator’s divine right to the worship of His creatures. It has habituated them to anthropocentric customs and art forms that deplete spiritual insight and wipe out asceticism. In short, the new liturgy has failed to inculcate the fundamental virtues, and the shepherds who sheepishly embraced it failed in their duty of parenting the offspring of God.
Notice that the four acts – adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication – are all directed to God.  The Mass is about Him, not about us, except inasmuch as we find ourselves in Him. Therefore, anything said or done, seen or heard that detracts from our saying to God “I’m sorry,” “thank you,” “I love you,” and “please” is not simply beside the point, as if it were a mild slip-up; it is offensive to God and harmful to our souls.
For example, if you wanted to say “thank you” or “I love you” to someone, would you turn your back to him first and then say your words as if to someone else? Would you first establish eye contact with a different person and then say these things obliquely to the one for whom they are intended? No, of course not, unless in jest, in parody or mockery. Or if you were welcoming the king or queen of a nation, would you have the band play the Beatles?
This absurd situation obtains at most celebrations of the Novus Ordo. Systematically, the altars were turned around. The Mass, that awesome sacrifice offered by the God-man Jesus Christ to the Most Holy Trinity – the sacrifice of a God worthy of a God, which thereby benefits man in reorienting him to the Alpha and Omega – was turned into a service in which a “presider” addresses himself to an “assembly,” facing the people all the time, even when he is apparently addressing God, praying toward the people when presumably praying for them to God, turning his back to the Lord for Whom modern man no longer has any time or any serious thought. And all the while, the miserable muzak grinds on, shredding peace, obliterating contemplation, severing Catholics of today from the Church of the ages.
Is all this a minor problem, one easily fixed – perhaps even one that is getting better with time? Or is it a serious problem, deeply ingrained, and getting worse?
It is the latter. We are now dealing with a generation of Catholics, multiple generations, that have known nothing other than abusive liturgical parenting; people who don’t know what reverent liturgy looks like, or what real sacred music sounds like, or what theocentric adoration feels like. The vast majority of believers around the world have never attended an authentically Catholic liturgy. With each passing decade, the way back to sanity and sanctity grows longer, harder, more remote, more countercultural.
Yet there is cause for hope. True liturgy appeals to something profound within man’s soul; it calls out to those who are serious searchers; it rewards those who stumble upon it by divine favor; it grows in attractive power as the rest of the Church evaporates into irrelevancy. It may still be a lamp barely taken out from under its bushel; it may still be a tiny light shining in a vast darkness, and blocked from view by moutainous ecclesiastical barriers; but it is really there, and the warmth and luminosity of it is unmistakable once you get within range of it.
The recent exercise in Bergoglian Peronism that was the Youth Synod yielded one of the most ridiculous propositions ever seen from the Vatican – namely, that Catholic sites on the internet be regulated and evaluated for sound content. We know, reading between the lines, that this proposal was directed at conservative and traditional sites successfully opposing the “new paradigm” on all fronts. One of the most poignant ways in which these resources have helped bring about a bit of springtime in the midst of the postconciliar winter has been the burgeoning display of photographs of magnificent solemn liturgies in all of the Church’s authentic rites. When practicing Catholics who are not already familiar with the glorious Roman liturgy see these photos, their curiosity is piqued, their capacity for the divine provoked, their aesthetic sense awakened, their hunger for something more than Vatican II Catholicism stirred up. When they act upon this actual grace and seek out a liturgy that corresponds to the greatness of God and to His image in man, it is the first step toward a deeper conversion.
This is why the devil hates it so much – why he hates, in fact, all things traditional. They are the fruits and tools of good parenting in every sphere of Catholic life, be it liturgy, devotion, doctrine, morals, or artistic culture, prepared for us by centuries of spiritual fathers who lived fervently and profoundly understood the fundamental acts of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication. These are the acts that save the souls of Catholics from the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is never too late to adopt better spiritual parents and to begin your childhood anew.

New York Parishioners Are Using the Collection Basket to Ask Embattled Catholic Bishop to Resign

It is a difficult choice, but I honestly believe that starving the beast is the only way to get the attention of the USCCB and the Vatican. Check out Regina's That's My Money, Your Excellency, for 'safe spaces' for Catholic money, where your hard earned dollars will not fund perversion and corruption.

From De Omnibus Dubitandum Est.

Oh this is brilliant!
"We will resume our weekly offering when the Bishop resigns or is removed," read one handwritten note that was placed in a Sunday collection basket..."
You see it is the lay faithful who really hold the power in this equation. It is lay Catholics who allow bishops and priests to continue their privileged lifestyles. It is lay Catholics who make sacrifices so that we have beautifully furnished churches and buildings in which to meet and worship, it is lay Catholics who sacrifice their sons and daughters to be priests and religious.

If we, the lay people, stop believing in the moral authority of the priests and bishops, if they cease to preach what the faith holds and teaches and instead start preaching some other Gospel, we have the power to stop them. 

They think they are in control, we have been docile for so long, but under the strain of scandal after scandal, the dam is beginning to break, and this story could provide the template many other dioceses will be following before too long!
And the evidence that the resentment of the laity is growing rather than dissipating is all over the internet:It emerges that in the deeply Catholic Rust Belt community of Buffalo, New York, some parishioners are using the Sunday collection basket to ask embattled Bishop Richard Malone to resign. Instead of giving money, some faithful are leaving handwritten messages giving the church an ultimatum.

In March, Malone released a list of 42 priests in the Buffalo diocese who had left the priesthood after facing accusations of sexually abusing minors. He has said his handling of some claims has "fallen short of the standard" but has maintained that he will not step down. "The shepherd does not desert the flock," Malone said in August.

However his former executive assistant, Siobhan O'Connor, leaked documents to CNN and other media outlets suggesting the bishop did not sanction priests accused of sexual abuse and concealed the identities of alleged predator priests.

In a meeting Malone had with priests Monday, two priests stood up and asked Malone to resign, according to a source who was in attendance, although at least a hundred supported him. The CNN report remarks that at least twelve men were afraid to speak out against Malone although they wanted to.

It's unclear how many of the 600,000 Catholics in the Buffalo diocese would like for Malone to give up his leadership. But one priest who does not want to be identified, told CNN that attendance at his parish is hurting because of Malone's refusal to step down.

"My biggest concern is that it will be the slow death of the church if he remains," he told CNN by phone. "People are leaving in droves."
"We've been wrestling some with our discomfort over supporting the diocese while Bishop Malone remains," read a handwritten note that was dropped in the Sunday collection basket and was shared with CNN.
"The bishop's response is that withholding contributions from local parishes hurts the parish who continue their ministries," wrote Spangler in an email to CNN. "Withholding contributions sadly hurts the parish community directly and immediately."
In another letter to Malone from a parishioner, obtained by CNN, the parishioner urges him to step down and explains that his or her contributions to the diocese's $100 million dollar capital campaign called Upon This Rock will be redirected.




Word of the Day: Carthusians


CARTHUSIANS. The strictly contemplative order founded by St. Bruno (1032-1101) in 1084 at the Grande Chartreuse in Dauphiné. At first there was no special rule except that the monks were expected to practice perfect mortification and renunciation of the world. Essentially hermits, the Carthusians were vowed to silence, with conventual Mass. In 1133, a form of life called the Carthusian Customs was approved by Pope Innocent II, and this has remained to the present day substantially unchanged. The Carthusian way of life is a combination of Benedictine monasticism and eremitical asceticism.

The order also includes a number of monasteries of nuns who live under a similar rule, but they have separate cells instead of cottages and are under the direction of the Carthusian monks. (Etym. French Chartreuse.)
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Whilst the Carthusians have been 'reformed', they still are a very strict Order, still following their Rule of Silence. In 2005, a movie was release, Into the Great Silence, about the life of the monks of the Grand Chartreuse, the Mother House of the Order.

Distributism vs. Socialism

The two most common lies about Distributism are, 1) that it is a variant of fascism, and 2) that it is simply a form of socialism. Mr Moore has now dealt with both.

From the ChesterBelloc Mandate

G.K. Chesterton said that one should "never let a quarrel get in the way of a good argument." He followed his own advice when he had bracing but loving arguments with his brother Cecil, which continued from the time they were children. Nowadays, it is far too easy for an argument over rival ideas to degenerate into a quarrel.

I saw this recently in a discussion about Distributism among a group of traditionalist Catholics. It became increasingly sharp-tongued when those who advocated Chesterton's and Belloc's ideas were denounced in favor of Capitalism. The epithets came fast and furious. Distributism was dismissed as "utopian" and the other usual tactics, but there was one charge that stuck in my craw: a respondent claimed that Distributism was just "Marxism with a rosary." A rather gross misrepresentation, but unfortunately quite typical from those who defend Capitalism against Socialism and assume that anything that is not pure Capitalism reeks of Marx.

Chesterton said that perhaps the worst thing about Capitalism is that it has achieved all the things that Socialism set out to do: "It is all very well to repeat distractedly, 'What are we coming to, with all this Bolshevism?' It is equally relevant to add, 'What are we coming to, even without Bolshevism?' The obvious answer is—Monopoly. It is certainly not private enterprise."

This is why we Distributists oppose Marxist Socialism as much as Capitalism and Fascism. But for the sake of argument, and not quarreling, indulge me while I explain the differences between Marxism and Distributism.

Marxist Socialism believes in centralizing the means of production and distribution into the hands of the government, as well as all decisions relating to politics and social matters. It is opposed to the very idea of private property. Marx's Communist Manifesto includes the phrase, "from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs." Who would decide who has the ability to do what, and who needed what? The government.

Marxism and most Socialist philosophies put more power into the hands of central government. But as Chesterton notes, it still favors the trend toward monopoly nonetheless, only with big government holding all the cards rather than big business. The average man is simply "one of the masses," just a unit of production that can be replaced if it goes "counter-revolutionary" or "deviationist" at any time.

Further, like Capitalism and Fascism, Socialism has a materialistic core to it, a belief in the utmost importance of the things of this world. It operates under the assumption that life on this side of the grave is all there is. Religion is an enemy to the system, lulling people away from responsibility, an "opiate of the people." Socialism tries to direct man's inherent religious energy to the substitutes offered by the government, whether it be in the Leader, the Party, the State, or Humanity itself.

But Distributism does the opposite. It believes in personal freedom and in de-centralizing political power into the lowest level possible. (Subsidiarity is one of the core principles of Distributist thought.) It also holds that private property—especially private productive property—is not evil in itself. But it needs to be widely distributed to as many as possible. In the practical sphere, that means breaking up the big conglomerates running and ruining our economy, as well as cutting the size and power of big government from the bottom-up.

Further, Distributism knows that materialism is no substitute for the love and light of God Almighty and obedience to His holy laws. As C. S. Lewis, who was greatly influenced by Chesterton's works, noted, "Whenever you find a man who says he doesn't believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later."

During these days of continual big corporate buyouts and mergers, as well as constant expansion of big government power and loss of freedom under the guise of "fighting terrorism," it is vital to teach people what Distributism is about. It is just as vital to show them how it isn't some form of Marxist tripe. Calling Distributism "Marxism with a rosary" is as silly as believing in "dry water" or "flaming snow."

What to do first then? Here is a suggestion from Chesterton in The Outline of Sanity:

Do anything, however small, that will prevent the completion of the work of capitalist combination. Do anything that will even delay that completion. Save one shop out of a hundred shops. Save one croft out of a hundred crofts. Keep open one door out of a hundred doors; for so long as one door is open, we are not in prison.


As for the march of big government toward a tyrannical future, get involved in local politics, for that is the level most responsive to change. Run for local office if you can, and network with other like-minded folks who are doing the same. It may not seem that much good can be done at all with such little steps, but take heart from what Chesterton wrote about such steps:

A hundred tales of human history are there to show that tendencies can be turned back, and that one stumbling-block can be the turning point. The sands of time are simply dotted with single stakes that have thus marked the turn of the tide.


©2006 The American Chesterton Society

Why I share Blog Posts, Rather than Links

I've explained earlier one reason Why I Post the Entire Article, Instead of Just a Link, and there is another reason as well. As I've mentioned, I ran a blog a number of years ago called The New Crusade. On it, I seldom shared an article. I would simply write an introduction, and link to the original story. If you go to it now (it's still online), and try to read some of the stories, when you click on the link, you will find that it's dead. For both of these reasons, I now share the entire story. But why do I share blog posts instead of links? Well, part of the reason is what I've just explained. 

The other reason is that I type labouriously, with one finger. My Mum called it the 'religious method', 'Seek and ye shall find'. When I was in highschool, well over 50 years ago, girls took typing and boys took shop. As a result, I have never learnt to touch type, despite several stabs at it.

Because of this is that I share posts from my blog, rather than just sharing links to the stories I want to share. Why, you may ask? Because of the way the Facebook platform works. In order to share links, I have to go to each page. This involves typing the name in the search bar, choosing which of several pages come up as alternatives (or typing out the full name of the group, so there's only one choice), clicking on that, waiting for the page to load, pasting the link, and then clicking on 'post'. Then it's rinse and repeat.

On the other hand, sharing blog posts is much easier. On the Blogger platform, at the bottom of each post are a number of sharing icons, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger itself, etc. All I have to do is click on the FB icon, click on the 'share to group' in the dropdown menu, and enter the beginning of the group name, or the beginning of a single word in the name, click on the group I want to share with, and click the 'share' button. In fact, several groups that I share to regularly come up at the top of the list when I type the first letter in the name, a great time saver!

Given my typing 'skill' this is much faster and easier. I always attribute the article to the source, linking to the original article. I often include a bit of information on the author, from the article if it's listed, or from a bit of quick research.

It may seem that I'm lazy, but my method is much more efficient and faster.