Saturday, October 24, 2015

You of little faith, why are you so afraid?

Source
The Catholic blogosphere and internet have been awash with weeping and and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Synod on the Family. As far as many in the Catholic blogosphere are concerned, there has never been a worse assault on the Catholic Church than the Synod on the Family which has just come to a conclusion in Rome as I write this.

We have heard charges that Pope Francis is deliberately trying to tear the Church apart. We have heard bishops and cardinals attacking one another. Someone even started an online petition urging the bishops to walk out.  As Hilary White of the far-right radical traditionalist Remnant Newspaper entitled her report, "Blasphemy, Heresy, Schism and the 'Collapse' of the Church (but, hey, at least the bishops will get to vote)."  That pretty much sums up the consensus of the Catholic blogosphere.

Looking at all of this, I can only think of the passage in Matthew 8 in which Jesus was out in a boat with his disciples when a huge storm came up.  It must be remembered that these disciples were no neophytes when it came to dealing with storms.  They were fisherman who had seen it all.   But this was a major storm threatening to completely capsize their boat.  Our Lord was so little bothered by it that he was actually asleep, and the disciples had to awaken him, begging him to save them from drowning.

How did Our Lord react? Did Jesus sympathize with his disciples in any way? Did he try to comfort them or lessen their fears? Not in the least. Our Lord's reply was to harshly castigate them: "Oh ye of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Jesus basically called them all wimps and cry babies who showed no trust in God at all. The narrative tells us that Jesus then rebuked the storm, which immediately subsided.

Source
As Catholics, we are members of the oldest institution on the face of the earth. Our Church began with the death and resurrection of our founder, Jesus Christ. This was followed by a few hundred years of persecution in which the Church existed as a hated outcast, forced to live on the peripheries of society, many of her members tortured and martyred for their beliefs.

We have seen attack after attack down through the centuries against our Church. We have been betrayed from both within and without. Whole empires have come and gone, entire civilizations have vanished from the earth during the long history of the Church. There is no rational reason why the Catholic Church should still exist. But not only does she still exist, but despite all of her problems, she is strong with over 1 billion members in every country of the world.

And yet those who call themselves the most loyal Catholics who ever lived - the traditionalists - are convinced that the Church stands on the precipice of doom, and they alone will remain as remnants of this once mighty Church. These self-professed most loyal Catholics who ever lived are always the first ones to cry doom and gloom and condemn anyone who is not in lockstep with them.

In fact, these most loyal of all Catholics feel it is actually their Christian duty to condemn the rest of the Church as heretics. In their condemnation, they do not hesitate to include - and, in fact, most especially include - the Vicar of Christ. They are completely convinced of their own righteousness and do not consider for even a moment that they might be wrong. And how can they do this? They have tradition on their side! They can't be wrong!

These self-proclaimed most loyal of all Catholics don't realize that they are just like the disciples in the boat with Jesus. They don't realize that Our Lord is rebuking them just as he rebuked the disciples, "O ye of little faith!" They can't hear Jesus Christ because they are too busy criticizing and condemning and warning all the rest of us that we are headed to hell.

Source
Pope Francis called this Synod because the family - the essential building block of any civilization - is under attack throughout the world. The major weapons used to destroy the family are contraception, abortion, divorce and same sex marriage.

The match that lights the fuse of these weapons is a narcissistic attitude that our own happiness is paramount above everything else. We should be able to do whatever is necessary to achieve our happiness. This includes, but is not limited to, killing children who are inconvenient, changing partners whenever we are bored or relationships start going south for any reason, and experimenting with sex in any way, at any time and with whomever we desire. The result of all of this has been the destruction of the family, which is destroying the entire world.

Many under 50 years of age have been immersed in this evil way of life since they were born and actually are not even aware that there is any other way to live their lives. Sadly, this evil has also infected the Catholic Church as much as it has every other part of society.

The traditionalists have a very simplistic solution to the problem: tell the world in no uncertain terms that they are headed for hell, and if they don't shape up, that's their problem. Once we warn them, our job is done and their sin is on their own heads. Like all good fundamentalists, the traditionalists see the world in black and white - the good guys and the bad guys. The good guys are all the people who believe as they do. The bad guys are everyone else. Either accept what the good guys believe, or burn in hell.

Happily, God is not a fundamentalist. Our Lord reaches out to us constantly, no matter what the spiritual state of our soul. Before the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the entire world was headed to hell, and without waiting for a single person to repent and turn to Him, the Second Person of the Trinity took on our humanity and allowed us to crucify Him in order to save our souls. Romans 5:6-8:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And this is what He continues to do in the life of every human being who has or ever will live. He never stops calling out to us. No matter how often we turn away from Him, He will never abandon us.

In looking at Jesus' ministry when He walked the earth, it is interesting to note that the only ones he ever condemned in any way were the religious leaders of His time. Why? Because they were completely convinced of their own righteousness, and showed no mercy to anyone who didn't live up to their standards, as seen in the parable of the self righteous pharisee:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Source
Thanks be to God that He has also given us Pope Francis, for whom mercy is everything. Pope Francis understands that as Christians, our job is not to look at the world and condemn it. Just as Jesus Christ Himself did, we must reach out to the world with love and compassion and bring them to the saving message of the Gospel.

The purpose of the Synod wasn't to define sin. The Church is very well aware of the reality of sin and how it separates us from our Creator. Pope Francis is not looking for more ways to condemn the world and keep them away from the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis wants to know how to bring people out of their sins.

As has been seen in the last three weeks, there are almost as many opinions as there are bishops. Some think the way to go is to just overlook the sin, and by somehow pretending it isn't there, people will find forgiveness. Others feel that we need to continue to brand people as sinners and let them deal with it. If they insist on continuing in their sin, there is nothing more we can do.

We must remember that the world has spiritually evolved - or better said, devolved - to a point where many do not think anything they do is wrong. Where once people were fully aware of right and wrong, many now honestly believe that whatever they can get away with is fair game. Of course, this doesn't satisfy them. Although people try to ignore it, deep down they know there is an aching hole in their hearts and souls. They are restless and searching, just as St. Augustine said: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee."

People tell themselves that the reason for their restlessness and dissatisfaction in life is that they can't do everything they want to do or have all the material possessions they covet. They don't even realize the spiritual aspect of their emptiness.

Before the Church can do anything, she must first wake the world up to the fact that they are missing something. It is useless to tell people who do not believe in sin that they are sinners and going to hell. How did our Lord approach people? The answer can be found in the scripture he read one day in temple, as found in Luke 4:18-19:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Our Lord was reading directly from Isaiah 61:1. This was the mission of Jesus Christ, and it is the mission of all of His true followers. There are those who believe the best way to bring people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ is to condemn. Those who believe this are completely unable to see the purpose of the Synod. We already have Church doctrine. We know what Christ taught about the family. What more is there to talk about?

Thank God, Pope Francis understands that there is a lot more to preaching the Gospel than standing in condemnation of other people. Pope Francis understands the true meaning of the words from Isaiah as read by Jesus Christ.

The Catholic blogosphere, for the most part, hasn't got a clue. They thrive on promoting fear and condemnation. And this seems to be as true for priest bloggers as it is for the laity. Far too many in the Catholic blogosphere are actually promoting rebellion against the hierarchy of the Church. They are the disciples in the boat crying out. “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

Our Lord's reply to those "most faithful of all Catholics who ever lived": “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

Source

26 comments:

  1. And yet those who call themselves the most loyal Catholics who ever lived - the traditionalists - are convinced that the Church stands on the precipice of doom, and they alone will remain as remnants of this once mighty Church. These self-professed most loyal Catholics who ever lived are always the first ones to cry doom and gloom and condemn anyone who is not in lockstep with them.

    They way I've always seen it, someone has to be right.

    I'm guessing you're saying it's actually your side that is right, the side of tender encounter and synodal spirit.

    I'm guessing that it's actually this "mistaken remnant" that is going to Hell, and everyone else is doing just fine and is on the right path. That the silly Trads are uptight about nothing.

    You will go to Heaven, and all of us Toxic Trads will go to Hell, I suppose?

    Or are you going to cop out and say everyone a little wrong and a little right--but those Toxic Trads are VERY wrong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think, Laramie, that you are judging me by your standards. This is not about declaring who is or who is not going to hell. It is about finding our way in a world that is set on destroying all of us.

      You have to understand that not that long ago, I was in complete agreement with all of the traditionalists and the bloggers who are standing in judgment of the rest of the church. When I write about this, I am pointing the finger at myself as much as or maybe even more than anyone else. What I have come to learn is that I need to stop trusting my own judgment. As a fallible human being, I see only a small fraction of what is really happening. And everything I see is filtered through my experiences, prejudices and biases. This is just how the human mind works.

      But in giving us a promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church, Christ has told me that it doesn't matter how things may appear. The truth is He is always in charge, and He will never, never abandon His Mystical Body. As long as I trust in Him, He will never allow anyone to lead me astray. And the one person in the world that I need never fear of leading me spiritually astray is the Holy Father.

      I have learned from hard experience that everyone else can and most likely will let us down at some point. The worst offender, for me at least, has been myself. When I look back on my many decades of life, I see only two decisions that I feel were right: marrying my husband and returning to the Catholic Church.

      The point of my post is that to stand in judgment of the Catholic Church is to stand in judgment of Jesus Christ and His leadership. We make it so much harder on ourselves than we need to. It is not up to us to make sure the Church stays on the straight and narrow. We need to remember that the Church existed for 2000 years without us, and she will continue for another 2000 years, if time goes on that long, after we are dead and gone. Our job is to make ourselves completely available to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to use us as He sees fit. That won't happen as long as we stand as judge and juror of others.

      Delete
  2. Well, I am definitely judging you by some standard. And you are clearly judging as well. You are the one who is calling Traditionalist Catholics "self-professed most loyal Catholics who ever lived."

    I'm not talking about judging the Catholic Church.

    My question was simple: are you inferring that you are right and Traditionalist Catholics are wrong?

    My answer and stance are simple: Yes, Traditionalist Catholics are right. Their enemies are wrong. See? Decisive. To the point.

    And, of course I'm going to say this because I'm a Traditionalist Catholic. I would not be one if I thought the position was wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Traditionalists never answer anything I say. Laramie, you did not answer one point in my reply to you. I understand why. It is because you can't answer my reply without admitting you are wrong.

      My point is not that traditionalists are wrong and I am right. My point is that traditionalists are at war with the Catholic Church, and since the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ which cannot teach error, then yes, the traditionalists are wrong. It doesn't matter what I think.

      I am sure you have seen the ranting videos of Michael Matt and John Rao. Without any equivocation, no mincing of words, they completely condemn Pope Francis and the rest of the hierarchy of the church. They accuse the pope and bishops of pushing Christ out of the Church. Dr. Rao calls Pope Francis a "tyrant." I have personally met Dr. Rao (he lives in NYC), and I will be the first to admit he is a brilliant man. But his statements are monumentally ignorant, blasphemous and scandalous. And yet we have "notable" priest bloggers like Father Z agreeing with this scandalous and divisive rhetoric.

      We live in very dangerous times.

      I am going to do a post showing exactly why the Church is headed in the right direction and by railing against her, why the traditionalists are headed in the wrong direction when it comes to their reaction to the Synod. I do hope you will read it and give me your feedback. It is comments like yours that force me to think deeper about my beliefs, and that is always a good thing. I can be and often am wrong, and although individual members (both laity and clerical) of the Church can be and often are wrong, the Church can never be wrong.

      And Laramie, I'll bet that even you are wrong once in a while! ;)

      Delete
    2. "You have to understand that not that long ago, I was in complete agreement with all of the traditionalists and the bloggers who are standing in judgment of the rest of the church."

      This is not completely true.

      You were never in complete agreement with traditionalists (at least not the ones you and I know in common). Or I should say that traditionalists were NOT in a complete agreement with you.

      You were always proud in taking the most extreme position for anything (voting, the Holy Father, the Mass --Sung vs. Low--, the Archbishop of NY, etc. , and it would seem, you took such extreme positions simply to cause strange reactions from people in order to establish a division line.

      This is most likely the reason why you are not a traditionalist anymore -- you could not find a traditinoalist extreme enough agree with you -- for that, you would have had to go with the sedevacantists -- some of us are actually surprised you did not become a sedevacantist when you held such extreme and unCatholic views.

      Most of the traditionalists you know (or knew) are, in fact, NOT sedevacantist. They have criticisms of the current situation of the Church, and of certain Bishops, etc. But this was the case under every single Pope. Under Benedict, there were liberals who criticized him for being a conservative, did you write about that? No! Under Francis, there are liberals who want him to accept heresy. Do you write about that? No!

      Have you written about Cardinal Kasper's "doubtful" theology with regards to Communion for those living in adultery? No. Instead, you READ his book and agreed with most of it! Another fundamentalist extreme you take! Moderation is a virtue and you seem not to know or practice that!

      Could it be because you now want doctrine (or maybe just "practice") to be changed? under the fake version of Mercy?

      I have spoken with the people who used to talk to you when you attended the traditional Mass, and they all say that you were much more extreme than they wanted were -- to them, you were a fundamentalist. So, unlike most of the traditionalists you accuse of fundamentalism, it would seem that to them you were the *true* fundamentalist. And now, you are would appear to be a "New Order fundamentalist" (as opposed to a traditional fundamentalist"). Some things never change!

      And the schism you have been predicting for over a year still has not happened!

      Delete
    3. Eddy, you have admitted on this blog that you do not know me, having only talked with me a few times. So I really don't think it's a good idea to judge me from second and third hand judgments of other people.

      I find it fascinating that I seem to be such a topic of conversation at Holy Innocents I would think you would have other things to talk about.

      God bless you, Eddy. Always good to hear from you.

      P.S. Do you think it would be possible to address any of the points I have made in my post? I guess that would be asking too much. Ad hominem attacks are always so much easier.

      Delete
  3. Traditionalists never answer anything I say. Laramie, you did not answer one point in my reply to you. I understand why. It is because you can't answer my reply without admitting you are wrong.

    You, once again, generalize about Traditionalist Catholics. And then, you ignore the fact that I asked you a question first. Finally, you come to a false conclusion based on a generality.

    I will answer my question to you, for you.

    My point is not that traditionalists are wrong and I am right. My point is that traditionalists are at war with the Catholic Church, and since the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ which cannot teach error, then yes, the traditionalists are wrong.

    Your first sentence says that you do not want to proclaim who is right and wrong. Your second sentence makes an uneducated generalization, and then finally answers the question.

    Yes, you think that Traditional Catholics are wrong, and that you are right. You, perhaps, do not want to say that clearly and succinctly. So I have said it for you.

    Your answer to my first question is: Yes.


    The difficulty of even this one, simple question is the reason why I dare not discuss every single point in your posts. Obviously, I disagree with you on a lot of things.

    In trying to keep this simple, I will say: You are wrong that Traditional Catholics are at war with the Catholic Church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry if I didn't seem to answer your question. I thought I had pretty much stated my beliefs throughout this blog, but here goes:

      I believe that as a Catholic I am obligated to support the Catholic Church. I believe the statement of Jesus Christ - the founder of the Catholic Church - that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. I believe that the the Pope - who is the Vicar of Christ - has been given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and that whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven and whatever he looses on earth, is loosed in heaven. Ergo, I believe it is not the right of any human being to stand in judgment of the church or the pope.

      And yes, I believe I am right, and since most traditionalists do not agree with the above statements, I believe they are wrong. The argument is of course they do believe those things. But actions speak louder than words, and all of their hand wringing, attacks and condemnation say the exact opposite. I give you again the video of Dr. John Rao accusing the pope and bishops of trying to push Christ out of the church and accusing Pope Francis of being a tyrant, and of the constant calls for rebellion I hear and read from traditionalists.

      You say I am generalizing, but can you give me one example of a traditionalist who actually supports Pope Francis and says we should not speak against him? I haven't found any such person.

      I really can't be much clearer than that, Laramie.

      The point of my posts is not to push my own opinions. The point of my posts is to promote loyalty to the Church and dependence not upon ourselves but upon Jesus Christ. I do not see this in the Catholic blogosphere. I see self righteousness, rebellion against the Church and hate. These are not fruits of the Holy Spirit.

      Would you care to answer any of these points?

      Delete
    2. There are plenty of points to answer. But each point is a can of worms, and each worm is a hydra.

      So, trying to still keep it simple, I'll right now focus on this statement:

      I believe that as a Catholic I am obligated to support the Catholic Church. I believe the statement of Jesus Christ - the founder of the Catholic Church - that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. I believe that the Pope - who is the Vicar of Christ - has been given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and that whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven and whatever he looses on earth, is loosed in heaven. Ergo, I believe it is not the right of any human being to stand in judgment of the church or the pope.

      Traditional Catholics also believe that they are obligated to support the Catholic Church.

      Traditional Catholics also believe Christ when He said that the gates of Hell will not prevail over the Catholic Church.

      Traditional Catholics also believe that he Pope is the Vicar of Christ, and that he has been given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and that whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven and whatever he looses on earth, is loosed in heaven.

      Traditional Catholics do not believe they have the right to stand in judgement of the authority of the Catholic Church--neither Church Triumphant, Church Penitent, nor Church Militant.

      Traditional Catholics do not believe they have the right to judge the authority of the pope--with exception of the sedevacantists, who are a small group that I've always opposed.

      So far, Traditional Catholics agree with you.

      However, Traditional Catholics believe they have a responsibility to discern the prudential decisions of the pope, and Traditional Catholics believe they have a duty to discern and fight against corrupt decisions. As did Catherine of Sienna, for starters.

      Delete
    3. Again you are giving me generalities, Laramie. You tell me "Traditional Catholics do not believe they have the right to stand in judgement of the authority of the Catholic Church--neither Church Triumphant, Church Penitent, nor Church Militant."

      Yet, you still haven't given me a single example of a traditionalist who says we should not speak against the Holy Father.

      Laramie, you tell me that Traditionalists say they believe the words of Jesus Christ that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. You say they believe that the Vicar of Christ has been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Yet, as you point out in your last paragraph, despite professing these beliefs, they still assert their right to be the watchdogs of the Church, and if something is said or a decision is made that they don't personally believe or accept, then they must "fight."

      Laramie, that is how the Protestant reformation started. Luther had some very legitimate gripes against the Church. There was massive corruption in his time. Just like the traditionalists of today, Luther felt he had "a responsibility to discern the prudential decisions of the pope" and "a duty to discern and fight against corrupt decisions." The result was a major split in the church and the loss of who knows how many millions of souls.

      Don't you think that when Our Lord allowed sinful human beings to be in charge of His Church that He knew they would make bad decisions and act in other sinful ways? If Christ had wanted perfect leaders in His Church here on earth, He would have put the angels in charge.

      But He didn't do that. As He told St. Paul, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." (II Cor. 12:9). Our first pope - St. Peter - was the most fallible and weakest of men. He would have never been chosen as the CEO of any earthly corporation. Yet, Christ put His Mystical Body in the hands of this weak and sinful man.

      Wouldn't a better choice have been St. John, who had stayed with Christ through His entire passion? Best yet would have been the sinless and perfect Mary, our Blessed Mother. Not only was she not chosen to lead the Church, she was given no official role at all.

      In II Cor. 5:7, St. Paul said we walk by faith not by sight. It seems to me that traditionalists walk by sight not by faith. If something looks bad to them, they immediately rebel and starting flinging accusations and condemnation. Just like the disciples in the boat, they cry out, "Lord, save us, We're drowning."

      As Catholics, even though we fully accept and submit to the human leadership in our Church, we know they are not really in charge. We know that the true head of the Church is Jesus Christ - He is the Head of the body - and we know that the Church is always infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit. But just as Our Lord allows us to slip and fall in our own personal lives, often veering way off track, so He sometimes allows the leaders in the Church to veer off track.

      What is our responsibility? The great saint you mentioned - St. Catherine of Siena - told us what we should not do in a dialog with God the Father, which I wrote about here:

      http://catholicinbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2015/02/st-catherine-of-siena-warns-michael.html

      The words of God the Father as recorded by St. Catherine of Siena:

      "Christ on earth, then, has the keys to the blood. If you remember, I showed you this in an image when I wanted to teach you the respect laypeople ought to have for these ministers of mine, regardless of how good or evil they may be, and how displeased I am with disrespect. . . .
      These are my anointed ones, and therefore it has been said through Scripture, "Dare not touch my christs." Therefore, a person can do no worse violence than to assume the right to punish my ministers."


      It all comes down to this question: do you trust Jesus Christ to lead His Church?

      Delete
    4. I mirrored your generalities with mine. No need to be smug. We haven't yet broken the surface with our conversation.

      Of course I haven't given you an example of a Traditionalist who says we shouldn't speak against the Holy Father. That is because Traditionalists--backed up by doctors and scholars of the Church--comfortably criticize and call to question the bad judgments of the pope, as well as all clergy.

      The laity have safeguards against corrupt clergy. Calling corrupt clergy out is one of them. If all else fails, the laity have that as one of their last resorts.

      But you mix things up and don't make distinctions. You say: if something is said or a decision is made that they don't personally believe or accept, then they must "fight." This is inaccurate. The correct thing to say is: if something is said or a decision is made that goes against Church doctrine, then they must fight. There are plenty of resources out there that clearly state Church doctrine; so the laity is not without means.

      You also mention Martin Luther--a priest, might I add. However, he was not weighing the clerical corruption of his day against Church doctrine. In fact, he tore out pages of Church doctrine, and came up with his own on the toilet. Greedy kings were all too happy to help him jumpstart this Protestant Revolt, which had nothing to do with him returning the Church to Her original doctrinal practices.

      Indeed, God knew that there would be evil men in the places of power within the Church. Of course, God even knows how bad things would get to this day, and how they will get much worse. He assures us that the Church will overcome, which is why Traditionalists are actually not seriously worried about the Church's potential destruction. Traditionalists are merely disgusted when witnessing the day-to-day abuse and corruption that is so obvious to everyone.

      Delete

    5. You scoff and say that "It seems to me that traditionalists walk by sight not by faith." Yet, it will be the Traditionalists who will point out to you the plain words of Cardinal Danneels of Belgium--who is publicly known for encouraging abortion laws, quieting sex abused parishioners, enabling pornography in Catholic schools, and encouraging sodomy marriage--this man, Cdl. Danneels, who openly and cheerfully admitted to working against Pope Benedict XVI during his pontificate, and trying to install Cdl. Bergoglio as the new pope. He's admitted to it. It's in his book. I am assuming we should give this prince of the Church a pass, and just smile and nod if we ever see him in person, ignoring everything he's done?

      Now, I'm not a one-trick pony. I have the ability to learn something new and change my mind if I'm wrong. I've never seen these quotations from God to St. Catherine that you've cited (either here, or on the link you shared). And I'm intrigued. Truly.

      I am intrigued, because I don't know how this revelation from one doctor of the Church squares with the teaching of another doctor of the Church. I am of course talking about St. Thomas Aquinas, who states that we have the capacity as laity to respectfully protest against corrupt clergy if all else fails. Also, I have difficulty seeing how God's words squares with what St. Augustine says about the matter--and even St. Catherine's own actions; let's not forget how she directly criticized the pope of her day, telling Pope Gregory XI: "Cursed be you, for time and power were entrusted to you and you did not use them!"

      I really am the kind of guy who puts a lot of stock in miracles and revelations. So perhaps there is more context to the quotations you provided? I don't know. The link you shared is new information for me. I'm not an authority on the matter. I'll probably be kicking this around for a while before I have an answer for the Catherine of Sienna revelation.

      However, you did not have any kind of a reply in the anti-Voris post for the man who quoted various authorities as well as Canon Law. Do you, perhaps, have an answer for how these statements do not conflict?

      Delete
    6. Honestly, I'm doing my best to look the quotations of St. Catherine of Siena you provided. But I'm having a difficult time finding them. They appear nowhere online, it seems, except for in your blog.

      I've been trying to scan through a Algar Thorold translation, however, which is online.

      How many translations are there, by the way?

      Delete
    7. ...In fact, as I continue looking this up, I'm finding a whole LOT of differences between Suzanne Noffke's translation and Algar Thorold's translation...

      Delete
  4. ...ok, how about this. Since you're using a modernized translation, let's perhaps pin down where, in The Dialogue, you are getting your quotations. I understand that you've already pinpointed Voris' quotation from "section 124, page 237 in Noffke's translation from Classics of Western Spirituality." And you later jumped back 22 pages to p. 215, where you begin your own quotations.

    But since I am not reading "Classics of Western Spirituality," perhaps we could do something else. There are 4 treatises in The Dialogue. Perhaps you could, perhaps, specify which treatise your quotations come from?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You write: I mirrored your generalities with mine. Actually, I thought I was being very specific, quoting from scriptures and saints. I asked pointed questions which you still have not answered, such as "Do you trust Jesus to lead His Church?" I think that is the crux of the entire matter, and I still have not received an answer from you.

      You write: The laity have safeguards against corrupt clergy. Calling corrupt clergy out is one of them. If all else fails, the laity have that as one of their last resorts.

      Yes!! That is exactly it: IF ALL ELSE FAILS. But the problem is that at the slightest hint of a perception of anything wrong in the Church, traditionalists are screaming that the sky is falling, and judging and condemning anyone who does not agree with them. If only they would wait "until all else fails."

      You write: if something is said or a decision is made that goes against Church doctrine, then they must fight. The problem with this is that traditionalists are making themselves the judge and jury of what is right and wrong. That is not the job of the laity, it is the job of the Magesterium of the Church - those very bishops and Pope that they are criticizing and condemning. Certainly we can speak out when we perceive something is somehow amiss or outright wrong. But we, as laity, do not have the right to sit in condemnation of the Magesterium of the Church.

      Yes, I know the story of Martin Luther being inspired while sitting on the toilet. Nonetheless, there was great corruption in the Church in his time (as well as in the time of St. Catherine of Siena and almost every other time in Church history). Luther definitely had some legitimate gripes, such as simony.

      Of course, as laity, we can and should call out those priests and bishops who are teaching contrary to Church doctrine or acting in otherwise scandalous ways. I have done so on this blog, such as when I called out Cardinals Pell and Burke for endorsing Dr. John Rao, a radical traditionalist who denounces Vatican II and the "Novus Ordo" Mass, which Dr. Rao won't even call a Mass.

      You say: Traditionalists are actually not seriously worried about the Church's potential destruction. Traditionalists are merely disgusted when witnessing the day-to-day abuse and corruption that is so obvious to everyone.

      So traditionalists know that Christ is completely in control and therefore the Church is in no danger of being destroyed? So then why do they feeling such a need to accuse and condemn everyone in sight? Yes, point out specific wrongdoing if you feel that is necessary. But to run around saying, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling"?? This is what was done with those who wrote about the "Sin nod of doom." And then to actually demand that the bishops walk out of the Synod? Who are these people that they think they can tell the Magesterium what to do?

      The Noffke translation of the Dialogue is only in hard copy. You can't get it online. But I do recommend it. It's brilliant.

      Delete
    2. Google books has some excerpts of the book online. Here is a link to the section I quoted from:

      https://books.google.com/books?id=bsGXhNZyUSgC&pg=PA215&lpg=PA215&dq=Christ+on+earth,+then,+has+the+keys+to+the+blood.+If+you+remember,+I+showed+you+this+in+an+image+when+I+wanted+to+teach+you+the+respect+laypeople+ought+to+have+for+these+ministers+of+mine,+regardless+of+how+good+or+evil+they+may+be,+and+how+displeased+I+am+with+disrespect.+.+.+.+These+are+my+anointed+ones,+and+therefore+it+has+been+said+through+Scripture,+%22Dare+not+touch+my+christs.%22+Therefore,+a+person+can+do+no+worse+violence+than+to+assume+the+right+to+punish+my+ministers.&source=bl&ots=pSVSyjqXYy&sig=8510vWBmVFPcSuTEeu5RTSBUKuk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMIl5z26-TqyAIVRjo-Ch1z8A--#v=onepage&q=Christ%20on%20earth%2C%20then%2C%20has%20the%20keys%20to%20the%20blood.%20If%20you%20remember%2C%20I%20showed%20you%20this%20in%20an%20image%20when%20I%20wanted%20to%20teach%20you%20the%20respect%20laypeople%20ought%20to%20have%20for%20these%20ministers%20of%20mine%2C%20regardless%20of%20how%20good%20or%20evil%20they%20may%20be%2C%20and%20how%20displeased%20I%20am%20with%20disrespect.%20.%20.%20.%20These%20are%20my%20anointed%20ones%2C%20and%20therefore%20it%20has%20been%20said%20through%20Scripture%2C%20%22Dare%20not%20touch%20my%20christs.%22%20Therefore%2C%20a%20person%20can%20do%20no%20worse%20violence%20than%20to%20assume%20the%20right%20to%20punish%20my%20ministers.&f=false

      Delete
    3. As for the rest of your comments, I think we are getting sidetracked here. Laramie, you have basically said that you do believe Christ is in complete charge of the Church, and yet you still feel that the laity need to take charge whenever they feel things are going wrong. And I also agree that there are times when the laity need to correct those in authority. As pointed out, even St. Thomas said this.

      But what I see on the Catholic blogosphere is the wholesale condemnation of the Magesterium of the Church. We are told over and over again that the vast majority of these men are evil and are trying to destroy the Church. Therefore, we must rise up in rebellion against them.

      Calling out priests and bishops for certain actions or statements is one thing. But judging them and basically condemning them to hell is a whole other level, and as Christ told us, we will be judged as we judge others.

      There has never been a time in the church when we were free of sinners, and that will continue until the return of Jesus Christ. But that doesn't mean that we have the right to take over the Church from the Magesterium, and that is what I see traditionalists basically trying to do.

      We are all fallible human beings. We can't see the whole picture. Just as it looked like certain doom when the disciples were in the boat with Jesus in the midst of a great storm, so it can seem to us. But do you really think Jesus will let us drown any more than he let his disciples drown?

      We are going around in circles, Laramie, and I am starting to repeat myself. There really isn't anymore I can say to you. If you wish to continue to stand in judgment of the Church, that is your prerogative. But remember your own limitations as a human being, remember the promises of Jesus Christ, and remember that things are not always as they seem. Pope Francis has told us that God is a God of surprises. God almost never does anything the way we expect or desire.

      I will give you one last say if you would like, but I'm done.

      Delete
  5. I agree with Hirsch. Traditionalists are within their right to criticize the pope and bishops when they go against Church doctrine. What if Catholic liberalism and modernism has taken over most structures of the Church today, as permitted if not encouraged by the clergy?

    If you before identified with Catholic traditionalism, then it is a violation of human reason God gave you to deny this to be the situation in the Church.

    Its just as prudent to avoid neo-Catholic, traditionalist-bashers on the internet as to avoid "radical traditionalists" on the internet. Its falling into another ideology.

    The neo-Catholic ideology hyper-inflates Church and papal infallibility, the virtue of obedience, the conciliar Magisterium and state of reform. It fails to see that there is a major disconnect between anti-trad, conservative Catholics and the tradition of the Church--liturgical, doctrinal, disciplinary.

    I can appreciate you blogging about faults some traditionalists fall into, but I do not see how your attacks are Christian or charitable. We orthodox Catholics need to stick together during these times.

    And these times are getting worse. This pope has said he favors giving communion for the divorced and remarried, and encouraged that debate at this last synod! Would trads be out of line for publicly resisting such a heretical decision from the pope himself?

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown, instead of just pontificating, would you care to answer any of the points I made?

      Delete
  7. Ok. One point you make is that the SSPX is outside the Church.

    This contradicts Pope Benedict XVI, for example in his letter to the bishops accompanying his lifting of the decree of excommunication of the SSPX bishops.

    Would you care to answer that point?

    Also, can you also address Hirsch's points about St. Catherine?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did I say the SSPX is outside the Church? And I am not sure what you want to hear about St Catherine. I did respond to thet. See my comment.

      Delete
    2. I read a statement on your blog, forget where, something like "the SSPX broke communion with the Church." But I am glad to know you at least do not view them as outside the Church.

      I hope to see you answer Hirsch about St. Catherine's quotes about criticizing the pope or bishops. I think his argument is that today's pope and bishops are collectively working against Church doctrine, and if we should find ourselves in that kind of situation, then we have a right to respectfully criticize the decisions of the current hierarchy.

      Like for example, the Synod's document opening the door for divorced and remarried (invalidly) Catholics to receive communion. What Cardinal Burke, Bishop Shneider, Bishop Fellay and other prelates are warning us about is a new heterodox phase of disciplinary reform coming down from the Vatican itself.

      If Pope Francis officially permits communion for the divorced and remarried, will you accept that? or be silent about it on your blog?

      Delete
  8. Greetings, Catholic in Brooklyn. Sorry about the delay. But when you say so much that requires so many responses, it does take time.

    It would be ridiculous to attempt posting my reply to you in the comments box. Although, I could try. Instead, I will provide this link to my direct reply to you:

    http://thehirschfiles.blogspot.com/2015/11/st-catherine-of-siena-does-not-warn.html

    Here, you will be able to read my many replies to what you have stated. Again, it is too long to put in a com box. My homebase is a better format, allowing for optimal readability.

    Its length is precisely why I gloss over much of what you say, because responding to it all would consume an office staff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Laramie. You have been busy. I will need time to digest what you have written. It may be a day ot two, but I will get back to you. I promise.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...