Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Traditionalists Twist the Truth To Defame Catholic Church


I find it ironic to the extreme that those who present themselves as the only faithful Catholics left in the world openly declare their complete contempt for the Church's Magesterium over and over again.  This is no where better personified than in Father John Zuhlsdorf.  Father Z, like every good radical traditionalist, feels that the only salvation for the Church and the world is not Jesus Christ but the pre-1962 liturgy.   According to Father Zuhlsdorf, every problem in the Church and the world can be traced to the Second Vatican Council and the implementation of the "Novus Ordo" garbage, er, Mass.

This assertion was seen in all its glory in a recent post by Father Zuhlsdorf in which he linked to a post by another rad trad priest, Father Ray Blake.  I have never previously read anything by Father Blake.  However, he is considered quite controversial in his native England, especially when he blamed the poor for making a mess in his church:
A priest has launched an attack on the poor and homeless describing them as ‘lying and messy’ people sent by God to test his faith.

Outspoken Father Ray Blake even said one who regularly turned up at his church pleading for money was ‘an irritating little b******d’.

He accused the beggar of making a mess of his prayers as he passed his cap around his congregation looking for donations.

The controversial Catholic cleric said in a blog post: 'The trouble with the poor is that they are messy.

'There is a secluded area between the church and our hall, a passage, occasionally we find someone has got a few cardboard boxes together and has slept there, and if it has been raining leaves a sodden blanket, cardboard there to be cleaned up.

'Often it also smells of urine and there is often excrement there and sometimes a used needle or two.'
You can read more about Father Blake's *loving* attitude toward the poor HERE.

The post by Father Z in which he links to Father Blake is entitled, "Liturgical worship… priestly vocations… Is what we are doing working or not?"  Father Blake's post can be found here: "Has it worked? The question we dare not ask."

The theme of Father Blake's blog post is that the Second Vatican Council has caused the destruction of the Catholic Church.  This argument is supported by half lies, whole lies and a distortion of the truth.  Father Blake presents a very narrow picture, leaving out anything that might disprove his argument.  Father Z loudly supports and applauds this method because this has always been his MO.

The truth of Father Blake's post is, obviously, that there is a shortage of priests in the Catholic Church.  There are tens of thousands of churches around the world without a resident priest.  One of the truths ignored by Father Blake and Father Z is that the Church is actually growing very rapidly around the world.  More about this later.

However, Father Blake immerses this truth about the shortage of Catholic priests with one lie after another.

Father Blake starts out with Lie No. 1.  He uses the godless Soviet Union as an example for the Church to follow.  He tells us that 70 years after the Communist Revolution, the Russian people asked themselves if it was working, decided that it was not, and got rid of Communism.  Father Blake tells us that we should employ this tactic in our spiritual lives:
In this centenary year of the Soviet Revolution, it is worth reflecting that after 70 years the Russian people actually asked the question, "Has it worked?" It is the question an efficient business asks regularly, I suspect parents in a healthy family ask that question. it should be the fundamental question of the spiritual life.
What history books is Father Blake reading?  The "Russian people" had absolutely no voice whatsoever in the fall of the Soviet Union.  If it had been up to the people, there never would have been a Soviet Union.  HERE is a short article explaining the fall of the Soviet Union, and as can be seen from this article, the collapse of the Soviet Union was not the result of a decision by the "Russian people", but by outside forces and the inability of the Soviet Union to stand up under these forces.  As the article tells us, "While many factors led to the fall of the Soviet Union, the aforementioned ideological changes, foreign pressures, and economic decisions hastened the demise of this once powerful socialist state."  The fall of the Soviet Union was most definitely NOT a decision of the "Russian people."

Further, Father Blake here tries to equate Godless Russia, responsible for the death of untold millions, with "efficient businesses" and "healthy families."  Father Blake also seems to have forgotten that the Catholic Church, founded upon Jesus Christ, cannot be equated with any human institution.  The Catholic Church is not run from below but from above, and it is not up to any of us to make decisions about the direction of the Church.   That is why we have been given the Pope, through whom the Holy Spirit works to guide the Church.  If Father Blake does not believe that, he needs to find a new profession.

Father Blake then gives us Lie No. 2:
Fifty years after the implementation of the liturgical changes, it is the question the Church should be asking itself, any business would have product tested before a change of brand. I suppose that Summorum Pontificum was Benedict's way of doing this retrospectively.
This statement further puts the Church on the same plane as any other human institution, and promulgates rebellion.  We become just like St. Peter who tried to take matters into his own hands and told Christ that he would never allow Our Lord to be crucified.  Need I remind anyone how Our Lord responded to Peter?

Secondly, I have discusssed many times this blatant lie regarding Summorum Pontificum that is promulgated by Traditionalists.  The Trads want us to believe that Pope Benedict XVI's purpose in Summorum Pontificum was to get rid of the "Novus Ordo" and completely replace it with the TLM.  I will once again give this quote from Pope Benedict's letter accompanying the Motu Proprio
I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.
Pope Benedict was not trying to revive the Old Liturgy. He was trying to bring the Church together. You can go HERE if you wish to read more about this.

Lie No. 3:  Father Blake continues by promulgating another lie told by the Traditionalists.  They state that because Vatican II was immediately enforced, it must therefore be rejected:
Vatican II's liturgical reforms were introduced en masse everywhere and within a few years of the Council, unlike the gradually introduced liturgical reforms of Pius V that percolated gradually as old books were slowly replaced but even then only where the Roman Rite was used, the Milanese, Lyonese, Bragans, Dominicans, Carthusian, for example, continued using their own Rites, and acted as a kind of quality control or reference point for the reformed Roman Rite.
Even "heroes" of the Traditionalist Movement, such as Cardinal Robert Sarah, tell us that, contrary to Fr. Blake's assertion, Vatican II has yet to be fully implemented.  From an article by John Allen, in which he quotes from a speech by Cardinal Sarah to traditionalists, His Eminence stated that the principles of Vatican II needs to be even more integrated into the liturgy:
Sarah suggested that if the Church today finds itself not always sufficiently “zealous” about its mission, liturgy overly shaped by modern tastes and fashions could be one of the causes. He also stated that “much remains to be accomplished for a complete and correct application” of the vision of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) on sacred liturgy.
The Trads don't want a "gradual implementation" of the Second Vatican Council. They want it completely thrown out.

Lie No. 4:  Father Blake continues by now telling us that not only should we question if the liturgy is working, we should also question the authority of the Pope:
There are two areas where, 'has it worked?' should be asked, the first is liturgical reform, the second is the modern use of the papal fiat that introduced them, it was an unprecedented use of papal power.
Father Blake and the traditionalists are the same people who stand in absolute condemnation of Martin Luther for rebelling against the Church, and yet they would seem to be his most ardent followers, at least in example.

Lie No. 5:  Father Blake now begins to give us examples of how badly the Church is failing since Vatican II.  However, Father Blake makes no mention of the fact that ALL religion is failing in the western hemisphere.  The fastest growing religion is "None."  All churches are losing members.  It is not the Catholic Church that is failing.  It is our western culture.

It is no accident that Father Blake cites churches only in the western hemisphere.  All of his examples are from western culture, e.g. France and his own England.  The truth is that the Church is actually growing rapidly in other parts of the world, as I will show.  Father Blake doesn't tell us at all that the Church is growing rapidly in Africa and other "third world" countries.  But of course, this does not fit in with his view of the disintegrating Church caused by the evil Vatican II.

Father Blake also does not take into account the terrible effect of birth control and how it has decimated families.  The number of children in the average Catholic family has dramatically shrunk, which means a drastic decline in the number of men who are eligible for the priesthood.  Pope Benedict XVI laid much of the blame of the priest shortage to this fact.  From The Pew Research Center:
During a 1997 interview, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, now Pope Benedict XVI, was asked about the declining ranks of the Catholic priesthood. "Mustn't celibacy be dropped," the questioner asked, "for the simple reason that otherwise the church won't get any more priests?" Ratzinger demurred. "I don't think that the argument is really sound," he said, noting that the trend had less to do with strict rules and more to do with family size and priorities. "If today the average number of children is 1.5," he reasoned, "the question of possible priests takes on a very different role from what it was in ages when families were considerably larger." The main obstacle, he argued, was parents "who have very different expectations for their children."
Neither Pope Benedict nor Father Blake seem to take the abuse scandal into account either.  And may I remind the trads that a good part of the abuse happened before Vatican II and/or by priests who were ordained before Vatican II when the Church was "flourishing."

As already stated, both Father Blake and Father Zuhlsdorf ignore the fact of the Church's growth.  According to an article from World Religion News dated March 2016:
The Vatican recently released information that says that the number of Catholics have increased at an exponential rate, even faster than the world population. The Catholic News Agency reports: “over the course of nine years, the number of Catholics worldwide has increased by 17.8 percent, compared to the global population, which increased by 17.3 percent.” It was likewise reported that from 2005-2014, the growth of the Catholic populace jumped from 1.12 billion to 1.27 billion. The African continent saw the greatest increase at 41 percent, while its population grew at 23.8 percent. Asia’s Catholic population grew at 20 percent versus a 9.6 percent population growth. The United States had 11.7 percent Catholic growth compared to 9.6 percent population growth. A Global Pew Report on the Catholic Population showed that Catholics have grown from an estimated 291 million in 1910 to nearly 1.1 billion as of 2010.
As can be seen from the above video, the number of priests is also growing.  The shortages can actually be attributed to factors completely ignored by Fathers Blake and Zuhlsdorf.  First, Catholic families are much smaller than they use to be, giving us far fewer candidates for the priesthood.  Secondly, all religion is suffering and diminishing in the Western world as we become more and more of a godless society.  Thirdly, the shortage in the rest of the world stems from the fact that the number of priests cannot keep up with the growing number of Catholics.  Vatican II does not enter into the equation in any way.

It is lies like this that drove me away from the Traditionalists.  They live in their own bubble in which they parse facts and truth, seeing the world through their own distorted views, completely discounting anything that doesn't fit into their own personal beliefs.

We must always keep in mind that the Catholic Church is spiritual, not a human institution.  We must always remember Christ's promise that the gates of hell shall never prevail against His Church.  As we see the world become more and more decadent, we must also remember the promise that as sin increases, grace increases even more.

Yes, the Church definitely has her problems.  We live in a world completely opposed to God and His Truth, and we are the outcasts, swimming upstream against everyone and everything else.  This will not destroy us but, thanks be to God, only make us stronger.  But only if we do all through love and mercy, not judgment and condemnation.


6 comments:

  1. Catholic in Brooklyn, do you personally have any problems with Cardinal Timothy Dolan posing for photos with The Radio City Rockettes? Michael Voris made a big deal about that in today's episode of "The Vortex." Hold your nose and check out the following URL/link:

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-making-all-things-revenue

    BTW, what do you have to say about the current scandals involving Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and Roy Moore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Problems with the Rockettes? How puritanical can we get?

      As far as the others, we live in a sick worlld. In some ways, it is refreshing to see the rich and powerful called to task for these criminal acts.

      Delete
    2. Um, is it safe to say that Michael Voris is a prude?

      Delete
    3. Voris just wants any reason he can find to criticiize Church hierarchy. It is how he makes his living, and he will have to answer for it someday.

      Delete
  2. I am glad that you haven’t been scandalised by the Catholic blogosphere. My patience with traditionalism is wearing thin. Recently I read a blog defending the orthodoxy os AL. I am so amazed how many people will follow these teachers of the law who oversimplify the faith. They would choose the them over the Vicar of Christ. The key issue is culpability. Are those who are guilty of objective sin (but not mortal sin) able to take communion? This is a pastoral issue!

    ReplyDelete
  3. When you get a chance, Catholic in Brooklyn, check out the following URL/link:

    http://mindhuntersinc.com/no-answers-or-questions/

    Don't just read the blog commentary; read the responses as well.

    ReplyDelete

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