Sunday, August 23, 2015

Father Z Tells Traditionalists They Can "Revitalize" The Church: Wherein CIB Rants

In my days as a Catholic traditionalist, I truly believed that the traditionalist movement was the salvation of the Church.  Without traditionalists, the Church would surely be destroyed by destructive elements from both inside and outside.  I look back at myself back then and I can only shudder at the raging hubris by which I lived.

However, that same hubris continues to infect many of those who call themselves "traditionalists", and it was on full display in a recent post by Father John Zuhlsdorf. (Oh, I'm still banned from viewing his site (that's for life), but that is only on my personal IP address. Like everyone else in the world, I can access his blog from any other IP address.) When I saw the post entitled, "You are the periphery which can revitalize the Church!", I immediately recognized the savior complex by which I had lived for so many years. Father Z and his followers are infected with this savior complex in spades.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Catholic Blogosphere/Internet Is Spiritual Pornography

The destructive effects of pornography have been well documented. It is easy to find studies by a simple search on the Internet. Pornography is condemned by the Catholic Church because it is a complete perversion of sex. The God-given purpose of sex is two fold: first, to be open to life and procreation, and secondly, to build a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bond with your spouse. The sexual act must always contain there two elements. If it does not, it is sinful, and it will destroy those who engage in such acts.

Pornography has only one purpose: self gratification. Porn makes all other people into mere objects which are used to gratify the self. This is why porn will destroy a marital relationship. The person using porn lives in a fantasy world inhabited by perfect people who are there only to satisfy his (or her) needs and desires, no matter how perverted. No one in the real world can live up to the fantasy standards of pornography, and as a result, often the user of porn will no longer be able to relate to his or her spouse. This is also why porn so often leads to rape, child abuse, etc. Porn destroys the idea of a relationship. To the porn addict, other people are just a drug to be used however you wish to get your fix.

Pornography not only destroys the ability to form true, loving relationships with other people. It also robs the porn addict of the ability to elevate his or her thinking to a higher spiritual level and enter into a relationship with God. The main concern in life is for sexual, physical gratification, and anything that does not lead to that is pretty much rejected.

I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of the Catholic Internet/blogosphere is spiritual pornography. Many Catholics who post to the Internet are completely convinced that they have a 100% grasp of the truth and that their view of the world is completely in line with God. Those who follow and read these blogs/Internet sites are just as convinced of their own infallibility.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Heaviest and Deadliest Cross to Bear - Part 2

The subject of my last post was the danger of taking pride in our own abilities and talents [HERE].  I pointed out the example of the great archangel, Lucifer, who at one time was the pinnacle of God's creation.  However, Lucifer became enamored with himself to the point where he thought he could replace God.  As a result, he was expelled from heaven and became Satan, the great adversary whose goal is to destroy as much of God's creation as he can.

I stated in my post that being very gifted and talented can actually be one of the heaviest and most dangerous of crosses that anyone can bear.  Talented and accomplished people must always be on guard against trusting in themselves in place of God.  When we begin to trust in ourselves, we are starting on the same path that took Lucifer from the heights of heaven to the depths of hell.

In my post, I stated that during my years as a Catholic traditionalist, I met many talented and successful people.  It is only natural that these people, who are truly often "smarter" and more "accomplished" (as the world defines those terms) than the average person, tend to trust in their own opinions and views.  Thus, if they feel something is right or wrong, nothing and no one else - not a priest, bishop or pope - can convince them otherwise,  As a result, many traditionalists are becoming more and more separated from the Church.

Among those I was privileged to meet during my years as a traditionalist was Father George Rutler. Father Rutler is truly one of the most accomplished, talented and intelligent people I have ever had the honor to meet. He has written many books. He is one of the most popular speakers in the Catholic Church, having appeared many times on EWTN. He has many degrees, including a Master of Studies degree from Oxford. He is even musically gifted. These are just a few of his talents and gifts. He has also known many famous people in his lifetime. When I was in his office, I saw a picture of him with both George Bush I and George Bush II, as well as a picture of him with Blessed Mother Teresa.  

Father George Rutler
In other words, Father Rutler carries a very heavy cross.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Heaviest and Deadliest Cross to Bear: Part 1

I spent several years among Catholics who consider themselves to be the "elite" of the Church. And in many ways they are correct.  They are the elite. They are, on the whole, highly educated - doctors, lawyers, CPA's, stock brokers, university professors, professional musicians. Many of them are highly accomplished not just in one area but in many. Their curriculum vitaes would blow your mind.

They also know their theology. They are very knowledgeable about the teachings and history of the Church. They can quote the most obscure saint from the 12th century to bolster their arguments.  And they have the ability to argue you into a corner where you will stand speechless, unable to answer them.

They stand firm against anyone who opposes them and what they hold dear, whether that opposition is from inside or outside of the Church.

These people call themselves "traditionalists."  They, for the most part, reject the post-conciliar Church and embrace what they call Catholic Tradition, with the Traditional Latin Mass at the heart of their beliefs.  They eschew the Ordinary Form of the Mass because of what they perceive to be its simplicity and banality.  It doesn't challenge them enough, which they interpret as not being "prayerful" enough. 

These intelligent, talented, creative people carry a heavy, heavy cross.  Sadly, and to their great detriment, they do not even realize it.  The result of all of this is that they are separating themselves more and more from the rest of the Church.  Of course, they don't see it that way.  They see the Church as separating from them.  That is what pride does to us.  


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Supreme Court Legalizes Sames Sex Marriage: Why Catholics Should Not Judge Or Condemn

"Why would a guy want to marry a guy?" When the scene from this 1959 movie, "Some Like It Hot", was first shown, audiences roared at this line. The idea of a guy marrying a guy was absurd and thinkable only in comedic farce.

However, 56 years after this movie was first shown, five Supreme Court justices made this absurd idea a reality for the entire United States.  Unfortunately, this is nothing to laugh at.  What are the real implications of this ruling?  In 2010, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) spelled out the real meaning of same sex marriage and the dire consequences for society.  Cardinal Bergoglio wrote the following to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on June 22, 2010 when Argentina was preparing to legalize same sex marriage [HERE];
The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.

I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth. Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a "move" of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Jesus tells us that, in order to defend us from this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. Today, the Nation [patria], before this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Ghost that may place the light of Truth amid the shadows of error; it needs this Advocate who may defend us from the enchantment of so many sophisms with which this bill is being justified, and which confuse and deceive even people of good will.

That is why I turn to you and ask from you prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons which Saint Thérèse confessed to have. Cry out to the Lord that he may send his Spirit to the Senators who are to place their votes. That they may not do it moved by error or by circumstantial matters, but rather according to what the natural law and the law of God tell them. Pray for them, for their families; that the Lord may visit, strengthen, and console them. Pray that they may do great good for the Nation.
As you can see from this letter, Cardinal Bergoglio saw the legalization of same sex marriage as disastrous for his nation. He called it a tool of the devil to destroy the plan of God. Truly, this is not something that can be taken lightly. This is a direct assault on not only the family, but on the very Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We in the United States are now joined with Argentina and many other parts of the world in having to deal with this grave evil. This is going to affect our lives as Christians in a profound manner.  It is only a matter of time before anyone who opposes this law, even based on religious belief, will be officially labeled a bigot and a hater and be subject to criminal prosecution.  Churches will be forced to perform same sex marriages, or lose their status as a legitimate religious organization.  Our priests and bishops will be on the front lines of this assault.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke Endorse Radical Traditionalists

Cardinals George Pell and Raymond Burke
Cardinal George Pell and Cardinal Raymond Burke are among two of the most well known and influential cardinals in the Catholic Church.  Cardinal Pell, former archbishop of Sydney, Australia, is currently the Prefect of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy.  Cardinal Raymond Burke is a canon lawyer and former archbishop of LaCrosse Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri and former head of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest Court in the Catholic Church.  He is currently patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke joined forces last year with three other cardinals when they wrote a book defending against Cardinal Walter Kasper's call for communion to the divorced and remarried.  

It seems Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke have once again joined forces. Both have written letters in support of the 23rd Annual Summer Symposium of the Roman Forum. Below are the letters:

The "Dr. Rao" to whom Cardinal Pell's letter is directed is Dr. John Rao, an associate professor of history at St. John's College in Queens, New York. He is also head of The Roman Forum founded in 1968 by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, and whose headquarters is now at Dr. Rao's office in Greenwich Village. I have personally met Dr. Rao and attended several of his lectures. He is no slouch. He earned a D.Phil. in Modern European History from Oxford University, and has done extensive writing and speaking.

Dr. Rao is a prime example of why it is so easy to get sucked into the message of radical traditionalism.  Dr. Rao is no kook.  He is a highly educated and highly intelligent individual.  He speaks to the real issues of our time.  And he seems to give real answers to the problems.  

Except that he doesn't.

Dr. John Rao

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Catholics Leaving The Church and The Need for Vatican II: Part 2

In the first part of this post [HERE], I wrote about the crisis in the Catholic Church here in the West in which so many have left the Church in the last 50 years.   No one can point to any one reason for this crisis.  Western society in general has become spiritually and morally depraved, and it is inevitable that the Church has been infected to one degree or another.  But as I pointed out in my post, we need to look at the pre-conciliar Church and how and what was taught to the laity.  I showed that on the local level, the pre-concilar Church taught about  the evil of sin, but not enough about the love and mercy of God.

As a result, many of us were taught an unhealthy fear of a God who must be appeased before he struck us down for stepping out of line in even the slightest way. We never came to really know the great loving and merciful God who created us and poured His Life out on the Cross to save us from death. I was one of those who left in that time, and as I wrote, I left because the Church had become a burden to me. I had come to see God as a bogeyman out to get me. At age 14 I rejected a life of fear as I had come to know it and, like millions of others, that meant rejecting the Catholic Church

It is vital that the Church teach about sin and the consequences thereof, both physical and spiritual. But to discuss sin WITHOUT discussing the love and mercy of God is actually dangerous. This can lead to fundamentalist thinking in which obedience to rules and law is an end in itself, and the love of God and of neighbor is forgotten.

It was from this kind of thinking that much abuse originated in the Catholic Church. In the pre-concilar Church era  it was common to hear about abusive nuns and priests who would slap a child for the slightest, often unintentional infraction. This would at times escalate, and then we had the following as described in an article from TIME Magazine [HERE], regarding the abuse in Irish Catholic schools in the 1950's:
James Quinn and his classmates called it the blackjack — five layers and 18 in. (46 cm) of leather, studded with coins and other metal objects. The priests at the school Quinn attended in rural Ireland in the 1950s each carried a blackjack and used it, along with bamboo rods and other objects, to dole out almost daily beatings to hundreds of children. "Whatever class you went to, you got a beating from whoever was in charge," says Quinn, now 70. "But knowing what other people went through, I know I was one of the lucky ones."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Catholics Leaving The Church and the Need for Vatican II: Part 1

When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, Catholic churches were packed every week for Sunday Mass. There were 5 to 6 Masses or more, and the pews were filled for all of them. There were long lines for confession on Saturday. Many Catholics defined their lives by their neighborhood parish.

However, as we are all well aware, all churches in western society, including Catholic churches, have been emptying out for the past 50 years. Religious belief and practice now play a very minor role, if any role at all, in most lives. Many conservative and traditional Catholics say it is not rocket science to figure out what happened in the Catholic Church. These people tell us that before Vatican II, when people were held to a "stricter standard" and "knew" Church teachings, the Church was strong. Then the Second Vatican Council happened, which many feel watered down Church teachings, and that caused a mass exodus out of the Church.

A typical response to the situation was laid out by Father John Zuhlsdorf, who did a blog post in August 2013 entitled, "Institutional collapse: a fruit of Vatican II?" [HERE]. Father Z quotes from an article by Louie Verrecchio, a bomb throwing traditionalist who writes his own blog entitled "Harvesting the Fruit of the Vatican II" and who has all but completely denounced Pope Francis as a heretic. In fact, a couple of weeks ago Verrecchio called for the bishops to denounce Pope Francis as a heretic and recently posted an article on his blog entitled, "Pope Francis Hates the Catholic Faith". That should tell you everything you need to know.

In any event. Verrecchio based his article cited by Father Z on another article written by Dr. Ralph Martin who succinctly describes the current situation of the Catholic Church in the West:
"There is something like an institutional collapse going on, evidenced by the vast numbers of schools closing, parishes merging, clustering and closing and the multiple assignments that many young priests now are asked to manage. Besides the institutional collapse, there is evidence of a widespread repudiation of the teaching of Christ and the Church by vast numbers of Catholics."
Verrecchio agreed with Dr. Martin's assessment but complained that "he [Dr. Martin] leaves the disease undiagnosed."

Verrechio then gives us his diagnosis:
With the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, the subsequent anti-religion rebellion of the French Revolution, and the profound intellectual rejection of the Christian worldview symbolized by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, forces were unleashed in Western culture that eventually led to not only a repudiation of the church-state relationships that had evolved over many centuries but a repudiation of religion itself as a legitimate shaper of culture.
What Martin leaves unaddressed is the degree to which these “intellectual currents” were unleashed, not only in Western culture at the hands of determined secularists, but in the very heart of Catholicism via the Second Vatican Council at the hands of determined churchmen.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Father John Zuhlsdorf Bans Me From His Blog

A few weeks ago I wrote about a cyber encounter with Father John Zuhlsdorf, which you can read HERE. As you will see from the post, Father Zuhlsdorf wrote a post in which he stated his disagreement with official Catholic church teaching that the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are two forms of the same rite.  Father Z says that while he accepts that juridically the two Masses may be one rite, he says that "liturgically and theologically" they are two separate rites.

Pope Benedict XVI declared that the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms are one rite in his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum dated July 7, 2007, and he restated this teaching again in his letter to the bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum. This same teaching is stated once again in the further instructions released by the Vatican in 2011.

I commented on Father Z's blog post that he was in disagreement with Pope Benedict XVI and put screen shots of my comments to Father Z in my post. It can be plainly seen that I was very respectful. However, Father Zuhlsdorf had what he would call a "spittle flecked nutty" and called me nasty. Father Z then blocked my home IP address and from that time on, whenever I would try to view his blog from my home IP address, I would get only a blank screen. I have had no further encounters with Father Zuhlsdorf in any way since that time.

Today when I tried to view Father Zuhlsdorf's website, I received a screen with the word "BANNED!", as shown above. It seems pretty obvious that somewhere along the way, Father Zuhlsdorf has read my blog posts, and he has had another spittle flecked nutty, to use his words, and this time it was on steroids. I am sure that Father Z will eventually see this post as well, so I am directing the rest of my post directly to him.

Father Zuhlsdorf, you are showing that you have a massive ego problem. Nothing I wrote either on your blog or on my own blog was in any way disrespectful or "nasty" as you claim. I did not even give my own opinion. I used the words of Pope Benedict XVI, whom you claim to honor and respect. You became upset because I showed that you were wrong, and your ego went into overdrive. May I remind you, Father Zuhlsdorf, that as a Catholic priest, your mission is to serve God's people. As Christ, the Good Shepherd, laid down his life for His sheep, so you are to do. And part of laying down your life for the sheep means getting rid of your ego. I can only say that you have failed miserably in your reaction to me, and by literally banning me from your site, you have only escalated your failure.

One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ whom he serves. “Feed my sheep”, says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, he says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of his presence, which he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.
Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Part 2: Fear Is A Tool Of The Devil

In Part 1 of this blog post [HERE], I discussed Pope Francis' recently homily he gave regarding the dangers of living in fear. I showed that the motivation of true followers of Christ is love. God does not deal in fear. Fear comes from the devil. As II Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment."

I also said in this post that much of the Catholic Internet is motivated by fear: fear of the world, fear of changes in the church, fear of church authority, fear of one another. In my opinion the poster boy for all of this fear mongering is Michael Voris. His entire "apostolate" (which his bishop forbids him to label as "Catholic") is based upon instilling fear into his followers. A recent Vortex episode illustrates this in magnificent Voris form. This Vortex is entitled, "It's In the Eyes".

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