Destroyer of Heresies

"Meanwhile, Venerable Brethren, fully confident in your zeal and work, we beseech for you with our whole heart and soul the abundance of heavenly light, so that in the midst of this great perturbation of men's minds from the insidious invasions of error from every side, you may see clearly what you ought to do and may perform the task with all your strength and courage. May Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, be with you by His power; and may the Immaculate Virgin, the destroyer of all heresies, be with you by her prayers and aid."
Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A mini-history of orthodox worship

The first sacrifice was by the LORD God in the garden of Eden to clothe Adam and Eve. They received the ritual of sacrifice directly from Him. Abel continues the Tradition, as did Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Pasch is divinely revealed to Moses in Egypt and the blood of the Lamb spares the firstborn in Israel from the angel of death - yet only if they carefully and devoutly follow the instructions God gives through Moses.

Then God reveals to Moses the entire divine liturgy on Mt. Sinai leaving nothing to man's imagination. Every last detail - the dimensions of the tabernacle, its building material, its colors and thread, the way it is to be deployed, carried, sanctified; the altars, tables, furnishings, washings, rituals, ceremonies, priestly garments, step-by-step instructions were all revealed to Moses and received from God directly through the mediation of angels. Yet even so, the penchant for novelty and innovation was so strong in Israel that deviations from the Law of worship inevitably led them to syncretism and finally apostasy. The Old Testament Prophets were sent to call the people of Israel back to the conditions of the covenant God made with them. Through His Prophets He promised a New Covenant different from the old (Jeremias 31,31-35).
A sacrifice taking place in the tabernacle in the wilderness; 
the encampments of the Jewish tribes spread out to the horizon. 
(Colored lithograph)

Christ instituted the Mass of the New and Eternal Covenant at Passover and offered Himself on the Cross during the Passover. The veil in the temple was torn in two when He defeated sin and death by His priestly sacrifice. Thus, St. Paul teaches in his letter to the Hebrews, a "new and living way was made for us through His death" (Hebrews 10,20).

St. Paul goes on to teach explicitly that the temple ritual is a prefigurement and copy of the heavenly sanctuary. This is pure Catholic theology; it identifies the Mass on earth as but a reflection of the perfect worship the Son offers the Father in heaven (Pius XII, Mediator Dei). The sacrifice offered at the heavenly altar by our great High Priest can never be reformed, altered, or changed.

The Latin (Roman Rite) Mass was already standardized during the time of St. Gregory the Great (+604) to the point that the innovation of a single word in the Canon - one word! - inflamed Rome in riots. And it is St. Gregory's Missal that Pope Paul VI admits is essentially unchanged until his own fabricated, man-made liturgy appears in 1969.

We can never say that the Novus Ordo is a received rite. If you try, you will disagree even with Paul VI who admits it is not. It is approved, but not received, at least not through organic development.

The history of the worship of God is one of that which is revealed by God, received by chosen men, distilled through centuries of ecclesiastical Tradition, and devoutly preserved by His faithful servants. The Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum promulgated by Pope St. Pius V is a part of this Sacred Tradition. Strictly speaking, the Novus Ordo Missae is not.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Myth of the Chaste Homosexual

An untold number of Catholic priests contend that they are homosexual but chaste. Taking St. Thomas Aquinas as our guide, we will see the futility of such a claim and the peril of succumbing to such a premise.

This claim is primarily an assault on the virtue of chastity. According to the Angelic Doctor
1. The word chastity derives from the chastening or rebuking of concupiscence. By such chastening, chastising or curbing, passion is held in control, and is kept in alignment with right reason. Chastity, therefore, is a virtue inasmuch as it steadily tends to keep human conduct under the control of reason.
2. And chastity is a special virtue for it concerns a special aspect of good, that is, the controlling, the keeping reasonable, of the tendencies of sex. (Summa Theologica 2.B.151)
 St. Paul writing to the Romans condemns sodomy as changing the natural use of sex into that which is against nature (cf. Romans 1,26-27). Therefore, the offense of sodomy is against reason. The person who self-identifies as homosexual has decisively rejected the natural law, and his own ability to reason. Chastity keeps the tendencies of sex in alignment with right reason. It is de fide that there are only two sexes:
And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
There is no third category.

Following St. Paul's analysis of the Fall and its consequences explained in Romans 1,24-32 it is evident that prior to the decision to self-identify as homosexual, there is a deliberate decision to reject the God of nature and exchange the truth for lies (1,25). This occurs in the will informed by an intellect darkened by the rejection of right reason (1,21). The heresy professed by very many today that they are 'born gay' is soundly refuted by Apostolic teaching:
Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man. [14] But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn away and allured. [15] Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death.[16] Do not err, therefore, my dearest brethren. (St. James 1,13-16)
So we see clearly that the decision to self-identify as homosexual is not a simple acceptance of nature nor an agreement with the design of the Creator; it is a willful choice to reject the natural law and the faculties of reason.

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (L), with his partner
Edouard. Photo: AFP

It is also important to acknowledge the term homosexual is itself a neologism of late advent (19th century) without roots in Catholic Tradition.  Catholic Tradition does not admit to any anthropological categories besides male and female. When treating this perversion, it is simply referred to as the sin against nature or the unnatural vice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II employs the novel and troublesome terminology of homosexual persons and teaches that they are called to chastity (2359).  In it's discussion on chastity, the CCC teaches
Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift. (2337)
How then can a "homosexual person" live chastely without integration of his sexuality according the natural order established by the Creator? The answer is that he cannot.

Abstinence from unnatural sexual acts is not chastity.
 3. Chastity is not the same as the virtue of abstinence. For chastity is concerned with the control of sex pleasures, whereas abstinence is directly concerned with the control of the pleasures of the palate. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 2.B.151)
The disordered sexual desire of sodomy can never be an object of chastity. And the mere abstinence from sodomitical acts is not chastity. For a person to practice chastity he must agree with the Creator's order established in nature, witnessed to by the natural law, and follow the truth in his intellect. Man must submit his intellect to the faculty of reason as clearly taught by the witness of nature (Romans 1,20). To self-identify as "homosexual" is a clear and unambiguous rejection of reason.

By now it should be evident that sodomy is primarily a disease of the mind and the intellect.
"No sin has greater power over the soul than the one of cursed sodomy, which was always detested by all those who lived according to God… Such passion for undue forms borders on madness. This vice disturbs the intellect, breaks an elevated and generous state of soul, drags great thoughts to petty ones, makes [men] pusillanimous and irascible, obstinate and hardened, servilely soft and incapable of anything.  Furthermore, the will, being agitated by the insatiable drive for pleasure, no longer follows reason, but furor…. Someone who lived practicing the vice of sodomy will suffer more pains in Hell than any one else, because this is the worst sin that there is.” (St. Bernardine of Siena, Predica XXXIX, in Le prediche
What then is the real reason for maintaining the pretense of 'gay but chaste'? It is presented as a justification for men with no supernatural faith to continue in their careers as professional clerics. They argue that they are chaste and therefore present no imminent threat to the faithful; however, the primary menace to the Church comes not from their acts of sodomy alone but from minds that have rejected reason and the natural law.

Chastity is required for sanctifying grace to remain in the soul. Chastity requires sexual integrity under the control of right reason. Anyone who has adopted the lie of homosexualist ideology has manifestly rejected right reason and therefore cannot be chaste.

How many faithful Catholics have succumbed to this lie! And their ignorance is not a justification for sustaining this blight on chastity; Saint Paul writes
Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them. (Romans 1,32)
The danger is not only in the acts of sodomy, nor is it restricted to agreement with them. The danger to the soul is in consenting to sodomy as being a real sexual 'orientation' that as long as not acted on is safe. There is no chastity for the person who self-identifies as homosexual, even if he or she never practices sodomy.

Is there any hope then for the person who self-identifies as homosexual? The answer is yes as long as the conscience has not been fatally wounded. If the soul is willing to hear the truth and submit to right reason, then the mind can be renewed and the soul saved. Sadly, we know that such conversions are rare and the road of repentance arduous and exceedingly difficult. This is primarily because the intellect has been reordered to follow an entire architecture of falsehood that rejects nature, and in so doing, rejects the God of nature who planted reason in the conscience of men.

The ugly reality is that the myth of the chaste homosexual is a clever subterfuge employed by wicked clergymen who submitted themselves for holy orders fraudulently. They assert this claim to maintain their status as pastors and priests. But they have no supernatural faith and have rejected nature, reason, and conscience in order to maintain their identity as homosexuals, which in the final analysis is their true priority, even above obedience to God.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Approved but not received

Below is an exchange I had with a Novus Ordo priest in social media five years ago.

Father Xxxx: Johnny, here's something I was thinking about today, when you speak of the Novus Ordo as "it is approved but not received*." The argument you seem to be making is that the Latin Mass was received from Jesus or the apostles but not the Novus Ordo. This presumes the Latin Mass exactly as we have it today was celebrated by Jesus, exactly in the same way we have it now. But if this Latin Mass was not celebrated by Jesus exactly as it is structured today, then even this form of the Mass was not exactly "received" from the Jesus and the apostles. A few things or rituals, or symbols, or prayers have been added down the ages. What do you think?

1. Approved and received: meaning it is licit (authorized) and passed down in a stable form (received) from antiquity. The Missal of St. Pius V is both, and it is also canonized by the Council of Trent and the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum (1570). It was NOT a new form of liturgy when St. Pius V canonized it; it was at least as old as Pope St. Gregory the Great (+ 604) and even Pope Paul VI admits this in his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (1970) that promulgates the Novus Ordo (new order) Missal.
2. No one has made the claim that the Novus Ordo is received from tradition. It was in the words of Cardinal Ratzinger, "...fabricated liturgy, a banal, technical on-the-spot production... not organically developed from previous forms..." THIS is the difference between the two liturgies. One is handed down in a stable form from antiquity; the other was invented by liturgical scientists in Fr. Bugnini's Consilium.
3. St. Paul says in 1: Cor. 11,23 that
"For I have RECEIVED of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread..."
This tells us in the very early days of the Church the form of the liturgy was already contained in a form received from Christ. It sets the precedent that men do not invent forms of sacred liturgy. If you recall the entire sacrificial system used in Israel, it was all 100% received by Moses from God by direct revelation - nothing was left to the imagination of men. It was a replica of the heavenly rite. Likewise, we are not permitted to invent our own forms of liturgy as though what has been handed down to us from the Apostles is some how deficient.
4. As the Church organically developed the Mass with minor accretions and modifications, it retained its basic structure and character down through the centuries. We are told by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei that it is wrong to try to recapture what we imagine the primitive form of the liturgy may have looked like:
"62. Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device."
5. The above is the error of antiquinarianism, AKA archeologism. It is condemned in the same encyclical.
A priest distributes holy communion during a Papal Mass, 2013.
6. Lastly, for me, the final straw was the testimony of the Vatican's top exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth, who concluded that the Novus Ordo Rite of Exorcism was useless against the demon. This for me brings the efficacy of the entire NO liturgy into question.
7. The fruits do not lie. In 1960 when all liturgy was in Latin, 3 out of 4 American Catholics assisted at Mass at least weekly. Since the new Mass was implemented and the Latin Mass was suppressed in 1970, the percentage has plunged to a mere 25%. Certainly you as a pastor can appreciate this.
I would add that the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy (CSL) Sacrosanctum concilium from Vatican II never mentions abolition of Latin, tearing out altar rails, removal of tabernacles, spinning altars around to face the people, tossing away of chapel veils for women and girls, communion standing and in the hand, EMHCs, altar girls or the introduction of popular music. It calls for Latin Masses with Gregorian Chant having pride of place in liturgy, which we both know has all but disappeared. So please do not insist that all this liturgical revolution is required by Vatican II. Vatican II was extremely imprecise in its verbiage and essay-style texts, and its elasticity has been stretched to bizarre extremes due to passages like the one below from the CSL:
"In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered BEFORE ALL ELSE; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work."
It is very easy to lift this very poorly worded clause out of the CSL to justify just about any liturgical abuse one can imagine, and indeed, that is exactly what has happened.
"We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director."
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1988
There seems to be a lot of misinformation about the development of liturgy out there...

* CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Session 7)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Hidden History of the New Mass

Few laymen are acquainted with the development of the Novus Ordo Mass they pray and which many – to include this author – for years mistakenly assumed was the same liturgy prayed in antiquity. It isn’t.

A few facts from history.

1. In 1960, Pope John XXIII named Fr. Annibale Bugnini Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for Vatican II's document on sacred liturgy. Fr. Bugnini had served in similar roles under Pius XII’s Congregation of Rites and led the reform of the Holy Week liturgy promulgated in 1955 with the decree Maximus Redemptionis.

2. In 1962 John XXIII removed Bugnini from his position as Consulter to the Sacred Congregation of Rites and Professor of Sacred Liturgy in the Lateran University.

3. In the same year Pope John XXIII promulgated the 1962 edition of the Missale Romanum. In February of the same year, he promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Veterum sapientia (on the wisdom of Latin as the universal tongue of the Church). These two promulgations give no indication that radical change of the sacred liturgy was in the mind of Pope John; tragically, Veterum sapientia was overcome by events just a few short months after it’s issuance.

4. During the 2nd week of the Second Vatican Council, the Rhine Fathers (German and French episcopal conferences) rejected the Pope's prepared schemata and demanded that the reform of the liturgy be considered as the first item of business. Pope John yielded to their demands and threw away three years worth of prepared schemata. The only prepared schema not rejected by the Rhine Fathers was Bugnini’s draft of Sacrosanctum concilium. It was introduced as the first document for discussion at Vatican II.

5. According to eyewitness Jean Guitton, Pope John XXIII cried out on his death bed, "stop the council!"  The Pope was laid to rest (and with him, the Council) in June 1963; he had not signed a single document.  Pope Paul VI reconvened it in the fall of 1963 and named Bugnini Secretary for the Council's document on sacred liturgy.

6. The president of the Council’s Preparatory Commission on the on the Liturgy was Cardinal Gaetano Cicognani. In order for the draft to be presented to the full council, his signature was required. Knowing what it would do to the liturgy, Cardinal Cicognani did not want to sign it.  According to Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, “an expert of the preconciliar Commission on the liturgy stated that the old Cardinal was on the verge of tears and waved the document saying, ‘They want me to sign this and I don’t know what to do!’ Then he put the text on his desk, took a pen and signed. Four days later he was dead.” (Wiltgen, Rhine Flows into the Tiber)

7. Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) was signed by Pope Paul VI on 4 December 1963. Following its promulgation, a period of wild liturgical experimentation immediately took off in the West. The wide variety of experimentation with the 1962 Missal eventually resulted in a 1965 interim version that allowed the omission of the prayers at the foot of the altar, the last gospel, and the entire Mass to be prayed in the vernacular – contrary to the Council of Trent’s condemnation in Session 22, Canon IX. While nothing in the CSL addressed or even mentioned turning altars around and celebrants facing the people, this experiment spread like wildfire and soon signified the primary emblem of the reforms. Pope Paul VI himself offered Mass in Italian and facing the people in 1965. Soon there were Masses on coffee tables, “folk masses” with guitars and tambourines, and in the US a new hymnal styled “Peoples Mass Book” was published in 1966 featuring pop-folk songs as liturgical accompaniment. All these things occurred well before Pope Paul’s Novus Ordo Missae was promulgated in 1969.
Pope Paul VI celebrates Mass in Italian facing the people, 1965.

8. The CSL’s orientation can best be summed up in article 14: "In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work." (emphasis mine) The phrase “active participation” became the rallying cry of the reformers who were less concerned about pure doctrine than religious experience. The Latin is rendered participatio actuosa which means “actual participation” and not “active participation.” This played directly into the hands of the subjectivist philosophers who rejected St. Thomas’ scholastic philosophy and sought to locate the divine in man (immanentism) and not in the Traditional method of gospel preaching and through the administration of the sacramental economy.
The 1965 interim Missal graphics show the priest behind a table
altar 4 years before the Novus Ordo was promulgated. The
terminology 'liturgy of the Word' and 'liturgy of the Eucharist'
are already in usage.

9. Bugnini's Commission developed the prototype for a new Mass called the Missa forma normativa.  The prototype was shown to a synod of Roman bishops in 1967 which voted to reject it. Bugnini’s reforms were temporarily halted by the unwillingness of the Synod Fathers to accept it’s radical retooling of the 1965 interim missal. Years later, Cardinal Ratzinger would comment,
"What happened after the Council was totally different: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We left the living process of growth and development to enter the realm of fabrication. There was no longer a desire to continue developing and maturing, as the centuries passed and so this was replaced—as if it were a technical production—with a construction, a banal on-the-spot product." (preface to the French edition of The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Klaus Gamber, 1992)
10. Fr. Louis Bouyer upon his resignation from the liturgical commission chronicled the following account of his intercourse with Pope Paul VI:
Father Louis Bouyer: I wrote to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, to tender my resignation as member of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform. The Holy Father sent for me at once (and the following conversation ensued):
Paul VI: Father, you are an unquestionable and unquestioned authority by your deep knowledge of the Church’s liturgy and Tradition, and a specialist in this field. I do not understand why you have sent me your resignation, whilst your presence, is more than precious, it is indispensable!
Father Bouyer: Most Holy Father, if I am a specialist in this field, I tell you very simply that I resign because I do not agree with the reforms you are imposing! Why do you take no notice of the remarks we send you, and why do you do the opposite?
Paul VI: But I don’t understand: I’m not imposing anything. I have never imposed anything in this field. I have complete trust in your competence and your propositions. It is you who are sending me proposals. When Fr. Bugnini comes to see me, he says: "Here is what the experts are asking for." And as you are an expert in this matter, I accept your judgement.
Father Bouyer: And meanwhile, when we have studied a question, and have chosen what we can propose to you, in conscience, Father Bugnini took our text, and, then said to us that, having consulted you: "The Holy Father wants you to introduce these changes into the liturgy." And since I don’t agree with your propositions, because they break with the Tradition of the Church, then I tender my resignation.
Paul VI: But not at all, Father, believe me, Father Bugnini tells me exactly the contrary: I have never refused a single one of your proposals. Father Bugnini came to find me and said: "The experts of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform asked for this and that". And since I am not a liturgical specialist, I tell you again, I have always accepted your judgement. I never said that to Monsignor Bugnini. I was deceived. Father Bugnini deceived me and deceived you.
Father Bouyer: That is, my dear friends, how the liturgical reform was done!
(Mémoires, posthumous, published 2014 by the Éditions du Cerf)
11. Pope Paul VI disregarded the decision of the 1967 Roman Synod and promulgated the Novus Ordo Missae in April 1969. In the notification Instructione de Constitutione (14 June 1971) Pope Paul VI ordered the practical suppression of the 1962 Missal with one exception: an elderly or infirm priest could continue to offer it in private with no one else present – not even an altar server. In a bizarre and confused address given on 26 November 1969 he calls his new liturgy a novelty, an inconvenience, an innovation, a cause of upset to the faithful and annoyance to priests, and yet justifies all on the basis of the utilitarian value of vernacular liturgy.

12. In 1974 Paul VI would remove [then] Archbishop Annibale Bugnini from all positions dealing with liturgy and appointed him as an auxiliary bishop to a diocese in Iran.
Archbishop Annibale Bugnini

So we may see that the five and a half years between December 1963 and April 1969 were a period of tumult and often gratuitous experimentation with the Roman Rite. Some commentators believe that the Novus Ordo was necessary to stem the abuses of the more extravagant forms of experimentation that were rampant during this period. The desacralization and destruction of the Roman Rite occurred much earlier than April 1969 and it is useful for laymen to understand the hidden history of the new Mass which did not spring up ready made at the time of its promulgation. Pope John XXIII dismissed Annibale Bugnini from having anything to do with liturgical reform for the Church and the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI brought Bugnini back and put him in charge of the reform of the liturgy. Twelve years later, he too would remove Bugnini from having anything to do with the liturgy, but by then the damage was done.

Fifty years hence, we may conclude that the reform of the liturgy was not something clamored for by the laity, but something devised by an influential minority within the hierarchy. The theological impetus driving reform was identified by St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi gregis: modern man would no longer accept God as the direct object of science and history, and therefore men must locate Him in their own subjective experiences. The ancient liturgy with its reliance on the supernatural order, external authority, and objective reality would no longer suffice; modern man would need a liturgy that would facilitate the attainment of religious experiences through “active participation.”

Thus, as St. Pius X teaches,
"How far off we are here from Catholic teaching we have already seen in the decree of the [first] Vatican Council. We shall see later how, with such theories, added to the other errors already mentioned, the way is opened wide for atheism. Here it is well to note at once that, given this doctrine of experience united with the other doctrine of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true. What is to prevent such experiences from being met within every religion? In fact that they are to be found is asserted by not a few. And with what right will Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? With what right can they claim true experiences for Catholics alone? Indeed Modernists do not deny but actually admit, some confusedly, others in the most open manner, that all religions are true." (Pascendi gregis #14)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Conciliar Church perpetually reforms itself to better serve the world

Pope Paul VI wrote a great deal about the "self-awareness of the church" in his encyclical Ecclesiam suam. This is personalist philosophy: applying the characteristics of individual persons to the Church Militant as though the mystery of the Church were a single, self-reflecting person:
18. We believe that it is a duty of the Church at the present time to strive toward a clearer and deeper awareness of itself and its mission in the world, and of the treasury of truth of which it is heir and custodian. Thus before embarking on the study of any particular problem and before considering what attitude to adopt vis-a-vis the world, the Church must here and now reflect on its own nature, the better to appreciate the divine plan which it is the Church's task to implement. By doing this it will find a more revealing light, new energy and increased joy in the fulfillment of its own mission, and discover better ways of augmenting the effectiveness and fruitfulness of its contacts with the world. For the Church does indeed belong to the world, even though distinguished from it by its own altogether unique characteristics .
Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam suam
 Here, the Pope makes two fundamental assertions:
(1) Self reflection will make the Church more effective in her divinely appointed mission;
(2) the Church belongs to the world.

This is the 'spirit of Vatican II' - instead of turning upward to God and the supernatural goods of heaven, we turn inward to reflect on our own experiences (anthropocentrism). And then we belong to the world - an astonishing contradiction of Apostolic teaching:
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..."(Philippians 3:20)
 Pope Paul VI continues:
"...We consider it timely and urgent and relevant to the needs of the Church in our day. With a richer understanding of the Mystical Body, we will be enabled to appreciate its theological significance and find in it a great source of spiritual strength. In this way we will notably increase our application to the task of fulfilling our own mission of serving mankind." [emphasis mine]
Here we may see the council's preoccupations with:

(1) it's own epoch;
(2) an increase of the Church's effectiveness in her divinely assigned mission;
(3) a radically re-oriented mission focus from serving God to serving mankind.

This is the encyclical [Ecclesiam suam] John Paul II refers to in the opening of his encyclical Redemptor hominis:
"Entrusting myself fully to the Spirit of truth, therefore, I am entering into the rich inheritance of the recent pontificates. This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council..."
 And how better to serve mankind in this present world than to strive for peace on earth? This is the theme of another encyclical John Paul II refers to in Redemptor hominis - Pacem in Terra by John XXIII.  Thus, John Paul II could triumphantly declare after the spectacle of praying with the adherents of all religions in Assisi that,
“The day of Assisi, showing the Catholic Church holding hands with our brothers of other religions, was a visible expression of [the] statements of the Second Vatican Council.” 
The interfaith event at Assisi was thus described by John Paul II not as a tragic misrepresentation of Vatican II, but as the glorious realization of its teaching.
Pope John Paul II went on to celebrate the inter-religious prayer meeting at Assisi as a new direction for the future, 
“The event of Assisi” he said, “can thus be considered as a visible illustration, an exegesis of events, a catechesis intelligible to all, of what is presupposed and signified by the commitments to ecumenism and to the inter-religious dialogue which was recommended and promoted by the Second Vatican Council.”
Toward the end of the speech, the Pope urged his Cardinals to continue on the same new path, “Keep always alive the spirit of Assisi as a motive of hope for the future.”
- Pope’s Christmas Address to Roman Curia,” L’Osservatore Romano, January 5, 1987, pp. 6-7.
 These two foci - personalist philosophy and anthropocentric orientation defined the Council and are still the driving philosophical and theological theories behind the Church's official action. Indeed, rather than any chaotic or incoherent pattern since Vatican II, we may observe a remarkable coherence in the sweep of change initiated by John XXIII and continuing to deepen through Francis: The Church sees herself as a human being would see herself and criticizes, amends, and reforms her self thereby; and the Church serves mankind in a greatly expanded mission that may spring from the Gospel proclamation but is in no way restricted to it any longer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Impossibility of a 'Gay' Catholic Priest

Bottom line up front: an ordained man who self-identifies as a sodomite (homosexual/'gay') is probably not even in the faith, regardless of the sacrament of holy orders.

One of the gravest errors of our day is to treat sodomy like just another sin. Adultery is a mortal sin but it is not against nature. It is natural for men and women to be attracted to each other and nature itself teaches us that the connubial act is the source of human procreation. It is a very serious offense against the law of God, but not against nature itself.

Sodomy (generic term that also applies to lesbian acts) attacks the moral sense, the conscience, and the faculty of reason. You will see this if you carefully read St. Paul's Letter to the Romans chapter 1:24-32. Three times in this passage, it describes God handing men over to their debased mind to destroy themselves.

When dealing with sodomites, we are not dealing with men who have a healthy, functioning conscience or an intact ability to reason according to the natural law. We are dealing with men who have rejected the natural law, the divine law, and even their own consciences. They are reprobate in most cases, meaning their consciences are ruined. This is one reason we see so few conversions from this unnatural vice, and why it is very dangerous to engage in religious discussion with such people.

To the Catholic conscience, the very idea that a Priest could be a sodomite should cause a strong moral reaction - revulsion, disgust, even hatred (of the act and its intrinsic disorder, not the person). Our society is permeated with this sin and therefore we have to a great extent lost our ability to reason, thinking emotionally rather than logically. This is one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for divine vengeance - the wrath of God.

Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, a member of the newly formed John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family writes:
“It is crucial whether or not a person normalizes his attractions. Doing this, he suppresses his reason and conscience, for the inner perception that homosexual activities are contra naturam is inborn and universal. Starting thus to lie to himself, he must suppress his awareness of the normality of man-woman love and of normal marriage with its fertility, and is forced to cling desperately to rationalizations that justify his choice to see himself as normal, healthy, and morally good. Thus he alienates himself from reality, locks himself up in wishful thinking and, not willing to seek the truth about himself, wants to change the natural feelings and opinions about homosexuality of 98% of mankind which he feels as hostile to him. In reality, it is not society, culture, or religion that persecute him but his own conscience.”
What we are dealing with here is not simply a sexual disorder. We are dealing with minds that have rejected the natural law - and by implication, the God Who planted that law in their hearts. How then can such a person be in the faith, let alone function in persona Christi as a sacerdotal priest? Who would assume such a person could even be in a state of grace at all, and why would you seek the sacraments at the hands of such a man?

Let us remember that the wickedness of wayward priests does not negate the flow of grace from the Holy Ghost - it is de fide that the sacraments are efficacious ex opere operato - by virtue of their operation. The ordination of a sodomite truly confers the sacrament of orders - but both that wicked man and his ordinary incur wrath upon wrath every time they perform a sacred function:
1. A man who receives the sacrament of orders is set to lead others. Therefore, he should be a man of holy and exemplary life. Yet this is a requirement of precept and of propriety; it is not of the essence of the sacrament. Even a sinful man who receives orders is validly ordained, although he does great wrong in accepting ordination.
2. A candidate for orders should have knowledge adequate for the proper discharge of his sacred duties. He must have a sufficiency of knowledge of the scriptures, and know the doctrines of the faith, and the requirements of Christian morality.
3. The personal holiness of an ordained man has nothing to do with the sacrament itself; an ordained man does not advance in degree of orders as he advances in personal holiness.
4. A prelate who knowingly ordains a candidate wholly unworthy of the office he assumed, commits a grave sin, and shows himself an unworthy servant of the Lord.
5. A man in orders who, apart from necessity, exercises his office while he is in the state of mortal sin, is guilty of another grievous sin every time he performs a sacred function.
(St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Supplement IIIa, 36)
The mere mention of the words "sodomy" and "homosexual" summon unwholesome images to the mind that are unfit for Christian thinking. Traditionally, this sin was not discussed in polite company.  Saint Thomas Aquinas, writing about sins against nature, explains:
However, they are called passions of ignominy because they are not worthy of being named, according to that passage in Ephesians (5:12): ‘For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.’ For if the sins of the flesh are commonly censurable because they lead man to that which is bestial in him, much more so is the sin against nature, by which man debases himself lower than even his animal nature. (Super Epistulas Sancti Pauli Ad Romanum I, 26, pp. 27f)
In the ecclesiastical Tradition of the Church, any hint of the perversion was to be acted upon swiftly and decisively: 
 “Homosexuality is the heaviest sin, which irrevocably and definitely prevents one entering the Priesthood (and of course the Church does not allow any homosexual to be elevated to the priesthood, even if he has stopped the sin for years). Basil the Great considers homosexuality or lesbianism a beastly sin: “Abusers of themselves with mankind and with beasts, as also murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, are deserving of the same punishment” (Canon 7 of Basil the Great). Saint Gregory of Nyssa characterizes homosexuality as “unnatural” in his 4th Canon. Saint John the Faster observes in his 19th Canon, according to the compilation of The Rudder by Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, the following: “A boy who has been ruined by any man cannot come into the holy priesthood. For although on account of his immature age he did not sin himself, yet the vessel of his body was rent and became useless in connection with the sacred priesthood.”
 (St. John Chrysostom on the Terrible Passion of Homosexuality)
Another Doctor of the Church affirms the gravity of this unnatural vice saying the vice of sodomy "surpasses the enormity of all others," because:
 "Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust. It leads to error, totally removes truth from the deluded mind ... It opens up hell and closes the gates of paradise ... It is this vice that violates temperance, slays modesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity ... It defiles all things, sullies all things, pollutes all things ...
This vice excludes a man from the assembled choir of the Church ... it separates the soul from God to associate it with demons. This utterly diseased queen of Sodom renders him who obeys the laws of her tyranny infamous to men and odious to God. She strips her knights of the armor of virtue, exposing them to be pierced by the spears of every vice ... She humiliates her slave in the church and condemns him in court; she defiles him in secret and dishonors him in public; she gnaws at his conscience like a worm and consumes his flesh like fire. ... this unfortunate man (he) is deprived of all moral sense, his memory fails, and the mind's vision is darkened. Unmindful of God, he also forgets his own identity. This disease erodes the foundation of faith, saps the vitality of hope, dissolves the bond of love. It makes way with justice, demolishes fortitude, removes temperance, and blunts the edge of prudence.”
St. Peter Damian (source)
In the ecclesiastical Tradition of the Church, sodomy was not only a sin against nature that cries out to God for vengeance, but was always treated as an ecclesiastical crime punishable by the severest means:
“Having determined to do away with everything that may in some way offend the Divine Majesty, we resolve to punish, above all and without indulgence, those things which, by the authority of the Sacred Scriptures or by most grievous examples, are more repugnant to God than any others and raise His wrath: that is, negligence in divine worship, ruinous simony, the crime of blasphemy, and the execrable libidinous vice against nature [sodomy]. For such faults peoples and nations are scourged by God Who, according to His just condemnation, sends catastrophes, wars, famine, and pestilence ... Let the judges know that if, even after this our Constitution, they are negligent in punishing these crimes, they will not only be guilty of them in the divine judgment but also will incur our indignation ... If someone commits that nefarious crime against nature that caused divine wrath to be unleashed against the children of iniquity, he will be given over to the secular arm for punishment [of death]; and if he is a cleric, he will be subject to the same punishment after having been stripped of all his degrees [of ecclesiastical dignity].”
- Pope St. Pius V, Constitution Cum primum, April 1, 1566, in Bullarium Romanum (Rome: Typographia Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae, Mainardi, 1738), vol. 4, chap. 2, p. 284, apud Atila S. Guimaraes, Vatican II, Homosexuality and Pedophilia, TIA, 2004, pp. 19-20
What about today? In his reforms of the code of canon law, John Paul II decriminalized clerical sodomy:

The 1917 CIC 2359 § 2 stated:
‘If [clerics] engage in a delict against the sixth precept of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of sixteen, or engage in adultery, debauchery, bestiality, sodomy, pandering, [or] incest with blood-relatives or affines in the first degree, they are suspended, declared infamous, and are deprived of any office, benefice, dignity, responsibility, if they have such, whatsoever, and in more serious cases, they are to be deposed.’
THIS CANON WAS DELETED FROM THE 1983 CIC promulgated by John Paul II. The 1962 instruction of the Holy Office (now Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) ...refers to sodomy as crimen pessimum (“the foulest crime”) and directs back to Canon 2359 of the 1917 Code.

So sodomy is now an act of "grave depravity" and "objectively disordered" (CCC #2357-58) but no longer a crime when committed by those under holy orders.

The infestation of the unnatural vice among clergy reached such saturation under the pontificate of John Paul II that just seven months after his election in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI had the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issue this teaching instruction:
“…this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture."
- Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations
with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders
What are we to make of all this then? When some venture to estimate that the percentage of priests so disposed to this mortal sin against nature may be as high as 50%? 

The above quoted instruction breaks the prohibited class into three sub-groups: active sodomites, those with deep-seated tendencies, and those who support the so-called "gay culture." If you count those too timid to openly oppose the sodomite agenda - even inside the Catholic Church - then you will quickly see how few faithful priests remain in active ministry today. 

No one who rejects the natural law in preference for the unnatural vice can be in a state of grace. Its simply impossible. These are the men preaching your homilies, hearing your confessions, and confecting the Holy Eucharist for you (although this also brings grave doubt on the validity of many Masses which require the intention of the priest to do what the Church does). The filth has reached the highest levels in the Church - this is clearly beyond dispute today. 

Do such men deserve our support - let's put it bluntly - our money? Corrupt men with debased minds who reject the faith of the Church in order to justify their disordered perversion? You must decide for yourselves and your own households.  It is certain that what you are receiving from the preaching and teaching of such men is not divine and Catholic faith.

We will end with the teaching of the first Pope, who far from opting out with "who am I to judge?" thunders down the centuries
These are fountains without water, and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved.  For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness, those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error:  Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave.  For if, flying from the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them and overcome: their latter state is become unto them worse than the former.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice, than after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them.  For, that of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog is returned to his vomit: and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.    (2nd Peter 2:17-22)
God gave man reason and the natural law written upon his heart. To depart from it leaves only one possibility: eternal perdition.  God help us all.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Are canonizations infallible?

The idea that canonizations are infallible is the majority opinion of Catholic theologians; it is neither a dogma nor even a doctrine of the Church; it is a disciplinary tradition, inasmuch as it depends upon the prudential judgment of bishops, and in some cases, the Pope himself.

The fact that until the 1980s almost no one, ever - over the past 350 years - questioned the infallibility of canonizations is attributable to two factors: (1) the rigorous process put in place by Pope Urban VIII in 1634 which included a comprehensive examination of the candidate's life and doctrine by the Promotor Fidei through the office of "devil's advocate"; and (2) a minimum 50-year 'cooling off' period before a candidate could be declared Blessed due to the excitement and hubris that may surround his/her cult shortly after their decease. In rare cases this 50 year waiting period was waived due to multiple miracles and the exhuming of incorruptible remains 30 years after burial, as in the case of St. Pius X.

John Paul II gutted the Code of Canon Law established by Pope Benedict XV (actually developed by the Curia of St. Pius X) and abrogated 141 canons that dealt with beatification and canonization. There is no more devil's advocate, only one miracle is required (and the threshold for these modern 'miracles' is remarkably low). The speed, haste, and hubris by which the conciliar Popes have been beatified is unprecedented in Church history.

Between 1314 and 2014, exactly two Popes were canonized, whose heroic virtue and Papal careers could never be questioned: Sts. Pius V and Pius X.  Since John Paul II died in 2005, two Vatican II Popes have been canonized, and another beatified, [ed. note: Paul VI was also canonized in 2018] even though the Church fell into precipitous decline during their pontificates or as a direct result of their prudential decisions.

Professor Donald S. Prudlo, Associate Professor of Ancient and Medieval History at Jacksonville State University in Alabama and Assistant Professor of Theology and Church History at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College writes:
"As an historian of sainthood, my greatest hesitation with the current process stems from the canonizations done by John Paul II himself. While his laudable intention was to provide models of holiness drawn from all cultures and states in life, he tended to divorce canonization from its original and fundamental purpose. This was to have an official, public, and formal recognition of an existing cult of the Christian faithful, one that had been confirmed by the divine testimony of miracles. Cult precedes canonization; it was not meant to be the other way around. We are in danger then of using canonization as a tool to promote interests and movements, rather than being a recognition and approval of an extant cultus."
- Professor Donald S. Prudlo
One need not be a Church historian or a theologian to detect what is going on here: the attempt to canonize the "mere pastoral council" known as Vatican II.