Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rebelling Against the Magesterium: Right or Wrong?

This post is in reply to Laramie Hirsch, who has written a post on his blog, "The Hirsch Files" in response to this blog. Laramie's post is entitled, "St. Catherine of Siena Does NOT Warn Traditionalist Catholics."

My debate with Laramie started when he read a couple of my blog posts. Laramie is a Catholic traditionalist who, not surprisingly, does not agree with my opinion that Catholics should not judge the Magesterium of the Church. Laramie has given very reasoned and well thought-out responses, not just hit-and-run attacks that I so often receive from traditionalists. He has given a very detailed response on his blog, and I direct the rest of this post to him.

Dear Laramie:

I am happy that you have enjoyed reading Noffke's translation of the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena. If nothing else comes from our cyber encounter, at least that is a good thing. I am also very impressed with all of the research and detail that you put into your post. I seldom see this much effort in any blogging. I don't know if I can respond to every point you made, but I will do my best.

I have no doubt that you will disagree with every point I am about to make, but I'm going to put it out there anyway.  I do find it kind of amazing that those of us who defend loyalty to the Magesterium of the Church are labeled as heretics by those who see themselves as the only true and faithful Catholics.  Ironic, to say the least.

I would first like to take exception to your statement that I have taken a "vitriolic stance against Traditional Catholicism." I love traditional Catholicism. I attended the traditional Latin Mass almost daily for several years. I love the TLM and everything associated with it. I love all of the rich traditions of our religion.

My problem is with traditionalists.  Having been a traditionalist for several years, I know the mindset, and I know what I read on their blogs.  Traditionalists have basically set themselves up as the Magesterium of the Church.  They believe that everything they say and do is 100% correct and cannot be questioned, and if anyone - laity, priest, bishop or pope - disagrees with them, that person is a heretic. That has been borne out in spades with the just-ended Synod on the Family.   Many traditionalists now consider themselves at war with the mainstream Church, which they, in their great judgment and wisdom, no longer consider to be the Church.

Laramie, you still have not answered the points I have made on my blog but have centered all of your arguments around my discussion about St. Catherine of Siena, most particularly the statements she quotes from God the Father that He considers attacks against priests - His "christs" as He calls them - to be the greatest sin.  You accuse me of taking the following quote out of context.
'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.'
You correctly point out that this portion which I omitted contains the statement, "Civil law has no power whatever to punish them; this right belongs solely to the one who has been appointed to rule and to serve according to divine law"  You also point out Noffke's footnote which says this passage refers the Church-state relationship in the Middle ages.

You are correct in your statement, Laramie.  But do you honestly believe that God the Father was referring only to civil government entities in this passage?  If that is the case, who is the Father referring to when he says, "I wanted to teach you the respect laypeople ought to have for these ministers of mine"?  Your implication is that the Father is saying that it is wrong for civil authorities to oppose the priesthood, but Catholic laypeople are free to treat priests in whatever manner they choose.

If that is what you believe, you are reading something into this passage that is simply not there. God the Father plainly says that laypeople are to respect priests "regardless of how good or evil they may be."  There is nothing to indicate here that this is referring only to civil authorities. This is further borne out in a passage which you omitted in your next point, as I will show.

In your second point, you continue to push your erroneous position that God the Father is talking only about civil authorities.  You state:
These words from God to St. Catherine are discussing how His ministers—his christs—are not to be subject to the secular authority. God's ministers are not to be either punished or persecuted by them. 
You then make a very confusing statement:
Now, what did these persecutions of priests by secular authorities resemble? Well, we know that they lost an appreciation for the reality of the Eucharist. God expresses great concern that His children have turned away from that sacrament:
If I understand correctly, you are saying that the government's persecution of the Church resulted in a loss of "appreciation for the reality of the Eucharist" and caused "His children" to turn away from the sacrament.  I think you are saying that this is why God the Father was so upset with the persecution of the Church.  Where do you get that from?  It just makes no sense to me.

You try to prove your point by using this partial quote from the Dialogue:
"It is this ministry of theirs that dictates that you should reverence them, not for what they are in themselves, but for the power I have entrusted to them, if you would receive the holy sacraments of the Church. For if you refuse these when it is in your power to have them, you would live and die condemned."
You accuse me of taking statements out of context, but here you have shown us how it is really done. First of all, if the Father was talking about civil authorities, he would use the word "they" instead of "you."  He is clearly talking to anyone - be they laity of the Church or civil authority - who reads His words to St. Catherine.  Your explanation of this partial quote is as follows:
So, the civil authority is lessening the importance of the priests' ability to consecrate the Eucharist.
That really makes no sense.  Where do you read that because the Church was being persecuted, the laity no longer saw the importance of the Eucharist?  You must be reading a different book than Noffke's translation.  

The partial quote you have used is from Section 116, page 216. The entire quote paints a much different picture than you portray:
And if you should ask me why I said that those [civil authorities] who persecute Holy Church is graver than any other sin, and why it is my will that the sins of the clergy should not lessen your [St. Catherine and all other laypeople in the Church] reverence for them, this is how I would answer you.  Because the reverence you [talking to St. Catherine and all lay people] pay to them is not actually paid to them but to me in virtue of the blood I have entrusted to their ministry.  If this were not so, you should pay them as much reverence as to anyone else, and no more.  It is this ministry of theirs that dictates that you should reverence them and come to them, not for what they are in themselves, but for the power I have entrusted to them, if you would receive the holy sacraments of the Church.  For if you refuse these when it is in your power to have them, you would live and die condemned.  
As can be plainly seen when the two sentences you reference are put into context, it is clear that God the Father is talking about lay people in the church as well as civil authorities.   God the Father does not say only "civil authorities" should reverence priests.  When the Father commands reverence to the priests, He uses the term "you", meaning St. Catherine and everyone else.  Laramie, either you did not read the entire quote, or you are being disingenuous and deceptive.

After quoting only the last two sentences of the above-referenced paragraph, you state:
These words from God to St. Catherine are discussing how His ministers—his christs—are not to be subject to the secular authority. God's ministers are not to be either punished or persecuted by them. 
When put into context, it is quite obvious that your assertion is completely false.

In your third point, you accuse me of making an out-of-context statement when I wrote:
"Through St. Catherine of Siena, God the Father then gives three reasons why persecution of His christs is worse than any other sin: 'The first is that what they do to my ministers they do to me.'
You try to prove your point with the following:
If you had simply quoted the leadup to this 3-part list of God's reasons, people would see that there is a bigger picture, as is evident here:

"There are many reasons that make this sin more serious than any other, but I will tell you of three principal ones. The first is that what they do to my ministers they do to me."

So, when God says "reasons that make this sin more serious," we ask "what sin is God talking about?" The answer: Irreverence towards the priest's ability to consecrate the Eucharist. Again, there is a difference between a priest's priestly ability and his mortal, sinful inclinations.
Again, Laramie, I have no idea how you come up with this conclusion, because the context doesn't bear it out at all. How does "reasons that make this sin more serious" translate to "irreverence towards the priest's ability to consecrate the Eucharist"? Where does God the Father say this? What the Father is saying is that the reason He considers his "christs" to be special is because He has given them the ability to consecrate the Eucharist. That is very different from the point you are attempting to make.

In your fourth point, in answer to the quote from the Dialogue: "The first is that what they do to my ministers they do to me", you point to Noffke's footnote, which references Letter 377 to the rulers of France. However, you conveniently omit the other reference in this footnote. That is Luke 10:16, which says:
The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.
Laramie, do you really expect us to believe that this refers only to civil authorities and not to every person on earth, including, and maybe most especially, the laity of the Church?

Then you actually write the following:
I have yet to see any Traditionalist Catholic publication encourage this kind of smug practice towards any prelate. I would most definitely say that the Florentine officials on that day were "irreverent persecutors" of the Holy Father, Pope Gregory XI.
Laramie, I know you read the traditionalist blogs.  You said so in your comments to me.  You know that Louie Verrecchio has accused Pope Francis of hating the Church and trying to destroy it.  You know that Mundabor calls Pope Francis an evil clown and also accuses him of trying to destroy the Church.  You know people like Michael Voris are constantly attacking the bishops and priests of the Church, calling them wicked and quite literally condemning them to hell.  Just read Pewsitter.  The entire purpose of that site is to link to the Catholic bloggers who make the most vicious attacks against the Church.

Knowing all that, you actually write the following:
Traditional Catholics do their best to exercise charity towards both God as well as their neighbors by informing society of the constant Modernist heresies exercised by clergy in the various levels of the Church's hierarchy—since so many priests are modernists and do not warn their flock about such dangers. In fact, it is a Spiritual Work of Mercy when Traditionalist Catholics attempt to right the wrongs of Modernist priests.

In fact, I daresay, the Traditionalist Catholic is fulfilling several spiritual works of mercy when attempting this kind of duty. Consider them: instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently (as I do from your posts), to forgive offences willingly, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead.
Do you see what you are doing? You are setting up the traditionalists as the Magesterium of the Church. You are telling people that if they are looking for spiritual guidance, then they need to forget about the priests, bishops and pope. Those guys don't know what they are talking about. They are evil modernists who are out to destroy your soul. Look to the traditionalists - only they can lead you to Jesus Christ.

You mention the quote from St. Thomas Aquinas. Traditionalists always twist this quote. This is the entire quote:
To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith.  But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: "Say to Archippus: Fulfil thy ministry [Vulgate: 'Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.' Cf. 2 Timothy 4:5." It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, "Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects."
Traditionalists make the judgment that every time they perceive a wrong in the church, that means the faith is endangered and they, therefore, have a right to condemn Church authority. As. St Thomas points out here, this is to be done only in rare instances. Certainly there are times to point out wrong and scandalous behavior on the part of the clergy. As I told you, I did it when Cardinals Pell and Burke endorsed a radical traditionalist who denounces Vatican II and the "Novus Ordo" Mass. By endorsing this radical traditionalist, Cardinals Pell and Burke were pointing the laity to a man who would lead them out of the Church. That is a danger to the faith.

But contrary to the code of the Traditionalists, it is not our job as laity to point out each and every misstep or even sin of the clergy.  As I have tried to tell you, we are fallible human beings who see, at best, only a small portion of the picture.  We as laity have not been given special graces to understand every situation and see exactly how Christ is working in the Church and the world.  Christians walk by faith, not by sight.  As I have told you, traditionalists walk by sight, judging everything by their own standards and their own limited understanding, accepting nothing on faith that is not in complete accordance with what they personally believe.

I think the responses I have made above answer the rest of your post as well, since you basically reiterate the same talking points. You tell us that traditionalists are the best of Catholics, have a superior understanding of the Faith, and are just stronger and better Christians than the rest of us, who are too weak to deal with the reality of the Church today. These are the same talking points I read on all traditional Catholic blogs, and it gets very tiresome after a while.

I find it interesting that you do not use this statement from God the Father as recorded by St. Catherine of Siena (Section 116, page 216)
For this reason, no one has excuse to say, "I am doing no harm, nor am I rebelling against holy Church. I am simply acting against the sin of evil pastors." Such persons are deluded, blinded as they are by their own selfishness. They see well enough, but they pretend not to see so as to blunt the pricking of conscience. If they would look, they could see that they are persecuting not these ministers but the blood. It is me they assault, jut as it was me they reverenced. To me redounds every assault they make on my ministers: derision, slander, disgrace, abuse. Whatever is done to them I count as done to me. For I have said and I say it again: No one is to touch my christs. It is my right to punish them and no one else's. 
Laramie, we know that a priest can validly celebrate Mass, consecrate the Eucharist, give us absolution and perform his other priestly duties no matter what the state of his soul.  That is because the priest is not doing it.  Jesus Christ is doing it through him.  That is why God the Father says that when you persecute the priest, you are persecuting Him because you are persecuting His Son who is working through the priest.

I end by pointing you to the quote from St. Catherine of Siena at the top of this post.  You can read the entire quote here:
“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him." 


  1. "Laramie, we know that a priest can validly celebrate Mass, consecrate the Eucharist, give us absolution and perform his other priestly duties no matter what the state of his soul. That is because the priest is not doing it. Jesus Christ is doing it through him."

    You, CIB, did not seem to believe that before given that believed that Orthodox Priests (who are in Schism) DID NOT have valid Sacraments/Orders.

    For someone (like you) who reads a lot and who claims to have been part of the traditional movement (I would dispute that you ever actually fell in that category) not to know that Orthodox have always had valid Orders is just proof that you were not really a traditionalist (even if you thought you were).

    A traditionalist would never deny the validity of the Sacraments conferred by the Orthodox. We know them to be in great schism, but we, serious traditionalists, never say that they do not have valid Orders.

    By the way, analyzing and/or disagreeing with Kasper's proposal or with the Holy Father's push for change in practice for the reception of Holy Communion by people living in public and unrepentant sin is not disrespect.

    Your post on Cardinals Pell and Burke actually was complete disrespect and absolutely unfair and very biased. You do not do that with any other Prelate who leads other Catholics away from the REAL Catholic Faith (such as Cardinals Kasper and Marx). You are very delusional in thinking that you (alone) know when and whom to call out on your blog, while real heretics (clergy and laity) abound and you do not write to teach them how wrong they are.

    1. Whoa, Eddy. You might want to it down for this one, but you and I actually are in agreement. Over a year ago - in October 2014 - I wrote a post in which I said that Cardinal Kasper is wrong! Will wonders never cease?

      But since I said that, and I'm wrong about everything, I guess that means Cardinal Kasper is actually right? It get very confusing.

      I was most definitely wrong when I wrote that Orthodox Masses are not valid. So since that invalidates everything else I believe, then you can just write me off and be done with it. But for some reason you keep coming back. Why is that?

      But even though everything I believe is wrong, one thing I most definitely am right about is the quote at the beginning of your comment, and surely you know that is true.

      So Eddy, can you explain to me why, as a Catholic, it is wrong to promote loyalty to the Magesterium of the Church, and why it is wrong to trust that Jesus Christ - the head of the Mystical Body - is in charge and will work things out no matter how bad it all may seem? And can you tell me why St. Catherine of Siena is wrong?

      You know, Eddy, even though you and I are in total disagreement, I still admire and respect you because I know that you are the real deal, and I know how hard you work. I always admired you for that, and I always will.

    2. There's a lot of nuttiness and lack of charity in the traditional movement. A lot of hurt feelings. In my experience, CIB, ex-trad anti-trads are mad because they had bad personal experiences with trads.

      I came to traditional Catholicism in 2000, through the FSSP, and then to the SSPX in 2007. If I had based my commitment to traditional Catholicism on the quality of my experiences with fellow traditionalists, I would have gone back to a Novus Ordo Mass parish.

      I'd challenge you to reflect on your decision to stop regularly attending the traditional Mass, and to bash traditional Catholics.

    3. I would have to say that is actually not true. When I was part of the traditionalist movement, there were a couple of people with whom I had personality conflicts, and one in particular with whom there was true resentment. But for the most part I got along very well with others and very much enjoyed being with them. And as I told latinmass1983, I still admire them for their dedication and hard work. Most traditionalists I knew are accomplished people, very smart and knowledgeable. I think that is why they tend to be such a big presence on the Internet. They are articulate and they know their stuff.

      The vitriol and outright hate that has been thrown at me by traditionalists has all come since I left the movement. I know firsthand that you will find no better friends as long as you agree with them, but if you break rank - it ain't pretty.

      I left the traditionalists for the very reasons I have stated here on my blog. It was the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and his praise and promotion of Vatican II that started the process for me. I reluctantly began to see that the traditionalist way of thinking was actually in conflict with the Church. I came to realize that I was putting Christ in a box and telling Him what to do instead of following Him and His church. And that is why I'm where I am today.

      I do apologize if I seem to be "bashing" traditionalists. However, I do feel that the traditionalist movement is in conflict with the Church. Traditionalists, of course, feel that the Church is in conflict with them. The Church and the traditionalists can't both be right. I've decided to go with the one to whom the keys of the kingdom were promised. I would suggest you do the same. You can't go wrong there.

    4. CIB,

      It would appear that you write more about/against Cardinal Burke than against Cardinal Kasper. Additionally, the tone of your post when you write against Cardinal Burke is very different from the tone you use when you write about Cardinal Kasper. Why is that?

      With Kasper, you basically say: "He is wrong." With Burke, you give a whole diatribe about fundamentalists, pope bashing, schism, little faith, etc. Cardinal Kasper does not think or believe that he is preserving Church teaching, he simply says he is so that his theory may be more palatable to Catholics. Not only that, but his theory (which you wrote is wrong) has been indirectly (or semi-directly) viewed as having received support from the Holy Father. Now, the Holy Father has not officially accepted Kasper's theory, but by giving hints that he may or that he agrees with it, people get confused -- and with good reason. That latest phone interview of the Holy Father with the atheist Eugenio Scalfari, if it all turns out to be true (as previous interviews have), then that will simply add to the confusion among clergy and laity, especially because later on the Pope does not clarify anything. Fr. Lombardi tries to do some damage-control, but the Holy Father himself has not clearly set the record straight in the past in similar situations, and until now, he has not done so with the latest phone interview with Scalfari.

      It is not wrong to say that we should be faithful to the magisterium of the Church (not of a Pope, but of the Church, which comprises more than one pontificate), but it is also not wrong to say that Popes can (and sometimes should) be criticized, or even opposed, especially when there's a lot of confusion going around and the reigning Pontiff does not settle the matter to let faithful Catholics know what the clear teaching of the Church is. Obviously, opposing the Holy Father for trivial matters and trashing his office and his person for doing the right things is a whole different matter.

      For a Pope to simply say: "I am a son of the Church .... the Catechism is clear on this or that teaching" is not enough because his responsibilities go far beyond that merely compiling a catechism and then expecting people to readit and memorize it. If that were enough, then we would only need to memorize the Catechism and we would not need the Popes for much. Neither would we need Bishops and Cardinals that much.

      The Holy Father and all the Bishops are supposed to teach and guide *clearly* and *responsibly*. If they are part of the confusion and doubts about the Catholic Faith (or if they foment them by actively saying/doing confusing things or by not doing anything), then that is a huge problem. In the case of the Papacy, the responsibility is even greater because the duties are greater. The, more than anybody else, is the one who has to teach clearly and without the least bit of confusion as head of the *entire* Church - not just the Roman Church. At the Synod, for lay people and orthodox leaders to come and "remind" all the Bishops and the Holy Father what the role of the Bishops and the teachings of the Catholic Church are is just unbelievable. I think that if the Holy Father spent less time name-calling (fundamentalists, Pharisees, neo-palagians, conspiracy theorists), and instead taught more clearly and without any confusion, his words and (lack of) action would not be as opposed and criticized as they currently are ... and then most blogs would have very little to write about.

    5. Cecil Kenndy,

      There is a lot of craziness and nuttiness and lack of charity everywhere. The traditionalists do not have a hold on the sins against charity. Both clergy (yes, clergy!) and laity across the entire spectrum of views and ideas in the Church are guilty of lack of charity at some point or another.

      Anytime you have to deal with humans, you will find cliques, gangs, good people, bad people, difficult and easy people, etc. To think or expect otherwise would not be reasonable.


      Traditionalists do not think the Church is in conflict with them. Their defensiveness comes from a feeling (which seems to be justified by many facts) that the current Pontiff is not doing all he should be doing to dispel confusion when it comes to faith and morals.

      Given that the Church remains after the death of a Pope, the Church herself cannot or should not be identified with a specific Pope (even the reigning one at any specific time) because the Pope is not above the Church and because the Papacy itself is not the property of one single Pope (we have had 266 Popes, and we will most likely have many more).

      Friends & breaking ranks: this also happens in all walks of life, not only among conservative or traditionalist groups in the Church. The attacks you feel coming from traditionalists are not due to you simply disagreeing with them, but the fact that you make your views and (a lot of times exaggerated) criticisms against them public (on a blog). By doing this, your singling out of such group (with names of people and places) escalates in intensity and opposition. If you stop writing about traditionalists (which you probably won't), then you will see that the attacks you perceive (or receive) will decrease with the same proportion with which you stop writing about them.

    6. Yes, absolutely I write differently about Cardinal Burke than I do about Cardinal Kasper because they present much different problems. As I have written on this blog, I most definitely disagree with Cardinal Kasper's proposal to allow divorce and remarried to receive Holy Communion. Despite that, I truly believe that Cardinal Kasper wants to reach out to those who are in that difficult situation and somehow bring them back into full communion with the Church, and that is a noble goal. Obviously Cardinal Kasper is going about this difficult problem the wrong way.

      That said, I don't see Cardinal Kasper as a threat to the faithful. The actions and words of Cardinal Kasper do not threaten to tear the Church apart and cause a major schism. He and Cardinal Marx and anyone else who agrees with them can make all the arguments they want, but only the Holy Father can make the final decision, and I guarantee that it will not be the Kasper solution, the alleged interview notwithstanding.

      However, Cardinal Burke, in his words and actions, does threaten to tear the Church apart and cause a major schism. Among many other examples, his statements that he will oppose the Holy Father if he feels it is necessary, and his and Cardinal Pell's endorsement of Dr. John Rao - who rejects Vatican II and the New Mass - embolden those Catholics who already see the establishment Church as their enemy. This promotes division among the faithful, not unity. I would ask you, Eddy, to name one action of Cardinal Burke that I have cited which is not true. It is no secret that he does not like Pope Francis. And although he does not say it in words, all of his actions shout out that fact.

      I was once a very strong supporter of Cardinal Burke. When Pope Benedict abdicated in 2013, my first choice for pope was Cardinal Burke. But I had to admit that I was wrong about him just as I was about almost all of the other people I supported during my traditionalist days. Trust me, that is not an easy thing to do. I feel like I've spent the last couple of years in a constant mea culpa.

      There is no doubt that Cardinal Burke is a sincere man who believes he is serving God. But his actions and words show a man who is convinced of his own righteousness and is not afraid to defy Pope Francis and anyone else with whom he disagrees. The fact that he endorsed Dr. Rao makes me wonder how much of the post conciliar church he actually accepts.

      Cardinal Kasper is too willing to forget about the rules in the name of "mercy", and while mercy is vital, the law of God cannot be ignored. But Cardinal Burke is willing to sacrifice people in favor of the rules. Cardinal Burke lives by the law of "my way or the highway". If you can't hack it, too bad. Cardinal Kasper's way would be harmful to the faithful, but Cardinal Burke threatens to cause far more harm by turning Catholics against each other.

  2. I'm not without a reply to this, of course. For the moment, I will provide a complete easy-to-cut-and-paste copy of the passage in question. This should help in future references to this passage, as there is no solid place online to pull any quotes from, other than the Thorold translation--which is difficult to read.

    More later.


  3. Ding ding ding. The votes are in from the judges. Hirsch wins Round 1! :) Looking forward to Round 2! :)

    The key to the argument, imo: what is the most common opinion of past theologians and spiritual writers, traditionally that is, about the private revelations of St. Catherine of Siena, specifically about what Christ said to her about the laity criticizing the clergy.

    Is there a common understanding of what His words meant? If they are very specific admonitions for the secular State not to persecute the hierarchy, or if His message was more a general warning to everybody to scrupulously avoid criticizing priests and bishops? Have past writers been able reach any kind of agreement on how much Christ's revelations to St. Catherine indicate a very strict refrain from ever publicly criticizing or resisting the hierarchy, regardless of whether or not the Church is in a Crisis and how deep that Crisis is?

    If Catholic-in-Brooklyn can go beyond her own personal interpetation, and can show us past writers have concluded with her point of view, then it would call for pause and reflection. Since St. Catherine's private revelations are of late her main argument against traditional Catholics as a whole group, then the burden is on her to show evidence beyond her own bias.

    1. Cecil, who are all of these "past theologians and spiritual writers" who interpret the revelations of God the Father to St Catherine as Laramie does? Who says that God the Father is speaking only to civil authorities? I have never seen this anywhere.

      Since you agree with Laramie's argument (no surprise there), then I assume you must feel that it is right for the laity to rebel against the Magesterium. And if you believe that, then I further assume you believe Our Lord lied when He gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and told him whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.

      You could not have read very many of my posts or you would know that the revelations to St. Catherine are hardly the only argument I make that Catholic laity are obligated to follow the Magesterium of the Church. But these are the only arguments that Laramie has chosen to debate. That should tell you something right there.

      Cecil, if you feel that my arguments are faulty, I would appreciate specific examples. You have just made general statements and judgments which lend no clarity to the issue at all.

  4. No. I am arguing a specific example, as has Hirsch. You argue that God's private revelations to St. Catherine of Siena condemn the attitudes of a whole group of Catholics, that is Catholics who attend the Latin Mass, who are commonly called traditionalists, specifically about criticizing the hierarchy.

    What makes your argument faulty is:

    a) you are condemning traditional Catholics as a group, not the actions of some traditionalists.

    b) you fail to reference any approved religious authority in the Church to back up your personal interpretation of St. Catherine's private revelations. The impetus is on you to do this, not Hirsch, since the argument is yours against traditional Catholics.

    Again, I encourage you to reconsider continuing to use your blog to bash traditional Catholics (as you did in the last, above post in response to my post engaging the argument).

    1. You write: you fail to reference any approved religious authority in the Church to back up your personal interpretation of St. Catherine's private revelations. You fail to note that Laramie does not cite any "approved religious authority" in his arguments. He merely takes quotes out of context to prove his arguments. I have taken his quotes and put them back in context. I have also cited scripture (I think that is an "approved religious authority") and the plain teaching of the Church that the Magesterium is infallible in faith and morals.

      From an article by EWTN:

      "By the Magisterium we mean the teaching office of the Church. It consists of the Pope and Bishops. Christ promised to protect the teaching of the Church : "He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you rejects me, he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10. 16). Now of course the promise of Christ cannot fail: hence when the Church presents some doctrine as definitive or final, it comes under this protection, it cannot be in error; in other words, it is infallible. This is true even if the Church does not use the solemn ceremony of definition. The day to day teaching of the Church throughout the world, when the Bishops are in union with each other and with the Pope, and present something as definitive, this is infallible. (Vatican II, Lumen gentium # 25). It was precisely by the use of that authority that Vatican I was able to define that the Pope alone, when speaking as such and making things definitive, is also infallible. Of course this infallibility covers also teaching on what morality requires, for that is needed for salvation.

      A "theologian" who would claim he needs to be able to ignore the Magisterium in order to find the truth is strangely perverse: the teaching of the Magisterium is the prime, God-given means of finding the truth. Nor could he claim academic freedom lets him contradict the Church. In any field of knowledge, academic freedom belongs only to a properly qualified professor teaching in his own field. But one is not properly qualified if he does not use the correct method of working in his field, e.g., a science professor who would want to go back to medieval methods would be laughed off campus, not protected. Now in Catholic theology , the correct method is to study the sources of revelation, but then give the final word to the Church. He who does not follow that method is not a qualified Catholic theologian. Vatican II taught (Dei Verbum # 10): "The task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on [Scripture or Tradition], has been entrusted exclusively to the living Magisterium of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."

      You can find this article here:

  5. Again, you're just giving your personal opinion and stereotyping traditionalists as a whole group. Perhaps you can clarify your past posts about Catholics as a whole who attend the Latin Mass, because I have not read any distinction about your views of traditionalists in the different traditionalist camps. I have not read you post that the traditionalists who "rebel against the Magisterium" are mainly the ones not canonically recognized by the Vatican.

    Your condemnations paint as bad Catholics the many traditional orders, communities, parishes, and associations around the world who are canonically recognized, such as the Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianny, etc, etc, as well as fathers, mothers, and children who devotedly attend the Latin Mass.

    The fact that you have repeatedly and harshly characterized--ie bashed--millions of Catholics by virtue of the fact they attend the Latin Mass, and are identified as traditionalists, including the 400+ priests of the FSSP (!) says a lot about your objectivity and logical consistency.

    What Hirsch, myself, and other traditional Catholic posters in the past have been trying to get across to you is not a hatred of your blog or you personally, but that you have been using your blog for some time to calumnize Catholics who attend the Latin Mass.

    I will pray you will be at peace towards traditionalists, and stop bashing them on your blog.

    1. Cecil, how can you say I am merely giving my own opinions? I have quoted from the writings of saints, from Holy Scripture, from official Church teaching. I quote directly from the writings of traditionalists and show how they are wrong, not with my opinions, which are worthless, but with the teachings of the Church.

      You accuse me of being against the TLM. I think the TLM is beautiful. I attended regularly for several years and in my own smugness, considered the TLM superior to the OF. Pope Benedict XVI is the one who set me straight on that. He makes it very clear in Summorum Pontificum that the OF and EF are equal forms of the Mass and one should not be promoted to the exclusion of the other. That is something trads never tell us. The try to paint SP as saying the TLM is preferred over the OF. That is absolutely false.

      I cannot speak for all trads, but only for myself, those I have personally known, and those who write on the Internet and other publications. They all speak almost with one voice, and that is almost total rejection of the post conciliar church. That is rejection of the papacy, which is rejection of Christ and His Church. That is not my opinion. That is fact.

      Cecil, you never answer any of my points. It is you who dismisses everything I write by calling me biased against trads. It is not working Cecil. You are plainly showing the fallacy of your arguments and the fact that you have no answers to my arguments.

      I am not trying to put anyone down. My whole purpose in writing these posts is to promote loyalty to the Magesterium. That is the only place the fullness of the truth can be found. Any other way is a potential road to eternal damnation.

  6. My reply took an extra day. I got distracted with a new post, as you are aware. Nonetheless, my responses:

    1. I haven't read your reply, yet, Laramie, but I am very suspicious of you now because of the hateful posts on your blog. As far as I am concerned, this conversation is over.

    2. I talk about ideas and concepts. I talk about culture and social movement. What I think that governments should do, versus the private individual are two completely separate things, as each have a different role.

      Your immediate suspicion of me and knee-jerk reactionary labeling of me as an individual is rather insulting. It is hypocritical that you fail to practice what Novus Ordo clergy preach--that is, ecumenical-styled open dialogue with those you disagree. It is hilarious that I, an actual critic of Novus Ordo clergy, am better at practicing charity in this regard than you, who have admitted that you "have a problem with traditionalists."

      If you never mention me again, then that is fine. Cut yourself off and never have anything to do with me. Please do not mention me anymore, either directly or indirectly, and I promise I will do the same.

  7. Hi CIB,
    Like you, I have been a target of hateful comments on Laramie's blog, so I can empathize. Unlike you, I still consider myself a traditionalist. I think your criticisms against traditionalists would be more reasonable if you were clearer that your comments only apply to some rather than to all trads. As a traditionalist I feel unfairly attacked by what you said about us.

    I came here from following links so I do not know if you have dealt with this elsewhere, but are you interpreting St. Catherine in light of Canon Law? I'm thinking specifically of Can. 212 §3. "According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons."

    Laity do have a right, even obligation, to make their opinions known when it pertains to the good of the Church, although there is a line that ought not to be crossed. Some traditionalists probably do cross that line, but many of us do not.

    1. Hi Jayne - I am sorry I have not responded to you before this time, and I'm afraid you will have to give me a little more time. I will respond more in depth, but right now let me say that I speak from my experience as a traditionalist, my encounters with other traditionalists, traditionalist blogs, and my own thinking as a traditionalist. I see one mindset, and that is basically, the TLM is the source and summit of our beliefs, that as Father Z says, it is the salvation of the church and the world. Those traditionalists who do not actually reject the OF as invalid see it as banal and just barely valid. Traditionalists see themselves as the true members of the Catholic church and anyone who doesn't agree with them isn't really Catholic. Certainly almost no one who goes to the OF or "Novus Ordo" as they call it, is a true Catholic. Most priests and bishops are heretics and not to be trusted. Only those who celebrate the TLM can be trusted. And most certainly Vatican II must be rejected as heretical.

      If that is not what you believe, I would love to hear about it. You will be the first Traditionalist in my experience who does not feel that way.

  8. I do believe that the TLM is a better expression of Catholic theology than the NO. The creators of the NO made a deliberate decision to downplay themes that might be problematic for Protestants and so it is less clear on such subjects as transubstantiation, propitiation, and sacrifice. While I am willing to concede that this was well intended as a form of outreach, I think that hindsight shows it did not succeed and the shift in emphasis has been detrimental to the Faith. (According to the canon I quoted in my earlier comment, I have a right, if not obligation, to express this opinion.)

    Nevertheless, I consider that the NO is a valid Catholic Mass. Because Christ is truly present there, it deserves a certain respect. I do not question the faith of people merely because they attend it and I am sure that there are many good Catholics who do so.

    I make no claims about what proportion of priests and bishops are heretics because I have insufficient information. There are certainly some who have made heterodox statements and I consider this a very serious problem. I place a high value on doctrinal orthodoxy.

    I think that the Vatican II documents have a tendency to ambiguity which is a serious flaw. As Pope Benedict pointed out, this allowed for a hermeneutic of rupture that has been a destructive force in the Church. Vatican II must be interpreted in light of Tradition. I think it needs clarification so that it will only be interpreted this way. I would like to see such clarification rather than rejection as heretical.

    1. Thanks for your response, Jayne. As you write, you definitely consider the EF to be superior to the OF or "NO" as you call it (traditionalists rarely use the terms employed by the Church).

      A couple of years ago I would have been in complete agreement with everything you wrote. I never totally rejected the "NO", but like you, I felt it was "detrimental to the faith." I constantly complained that I couldn't really pray during the "NO" because of the lack of silence. And I really hated such "innovations" as the "sign of peace."

      However, do you realize that this thinking goes completely against Summorum Pontificum? Certainly we can have a personal preference, but to say that one form of the Mass is superior to the other goes directly against the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, as he wrote in Summorum Pontificum:

      "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture."

      Your reply indicates that you most definitely disagree with that statement, as you write: "While I am willing to concede that this was well intended as a form of outreach, I think that hindsight shows it did not succeed and the shift in emphasis has been detrimental to the Faith." As you can see, your statement directly contradicts that of Pope Benedict XVI.

      In his very next statement, Pope Benedict defends the validity and sacredness of the EF:

      "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

      Traditionalists hang their hat on that statement, and seem to think that is all Pope Benedict wrote, completely ignoring the next statement in Summorum Pontificum:

      "Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness"

      Your comments make it clear that you do not recognize the "value and holiness" of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. You consider the NO to be "detrimental to the faith."

      You say that not only do you have a right but an obligation to express that opinion. Actually, you do not have any such right because you are opposing the Magesterium of the Catholic Church, which says both forms of the Mass are equally valid and sacred.

      Like you, I too made such comments as "I do not question the faith of people merely because they attend it and I am sure that there are many good Catholics who do so." You do realize how patronizing and condescending that sounds, don't you, Jayne? It's kind of like saying, I'm not prejudiced, some of my best friends are black (Jewish, etc.).

    2. As far as heretic priests and bishops are concerned - could you please show me a time when that hasn't been the case in the 2000 year history of the Church? Read the writings of saints such as St. Teresa of Avila. Look what happened to her contemporary - St. John of the Cross- who was actually imprisoned by other Carmelites. That is almost 600 years ago, long before Vatican II and the "NO." .

      A few years ago I was in most definite agreement with you on the documents of Vatican II. Then Pope Benedict XVI got in my way with his constant praise of Vatican II. I started listening to him and reading him with an unprejudiced mind, and I realized that I was relying on my own judgment, making my own decisions of official Church teaching instead of allowing the Magesterium and the Holy Spirit to teach me.

      The reason Vatican II documents seem "vague and ambiguous" to some people is because it doesn't match what they personally believe. They have their own ideas about what is correct. They are not seeking to learn and grow. They already know it all. So either the Church agrees with them, or it is heretical and should be trashed.

      I had to come to admit that about myself, and it wasn't easy. I struggled a long time with it.

      What I have come to learn is that to be a follower of Christ does not mean to have all the answers, to understand completely and thoroughly all of the teachings of the Church. The most important element of being a Christian is to completely submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit and to trust that Our Lord will never allow His Church to go astray, just as He promised.

      If you had been Father Abraham, and you were told to kill your son, would you have done it? Or would you have said, no that goes against everything I believe. Even if God says it, something is wrong and I can't do that. I reject this heretical command.

      Fortunately, we will never be tested to that extent. I'm not sure any of us could pass that test. But we are often called to trust Our Lord when we don't understand, when everything seems upside down and inside out.

      When I decided that it was time to start attending the OF on a regular basis, I struggled. It went against everything in me. But I decided to stop fighting it and to actually start praying with the Mass. I would spend time in prayer before Mass. I gave my complete attention to the Mass, praying along with the priest. Believe it or not, Jayne, I have come love the OF as much as I ever loved the EF. All because I allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me instead of trying to take matters into my own hands and make my own judgments.

      I know, Jayne, exactly where you are coming from because I have been there. But I urge you to listen to Pope Francis, read the writings of Pope Benedict XVI. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. You may think you have done all that, but I assure you that you are still relying on your own judgments. If you were following the Holy Spirit, you would never reject the teachings of the Church as is obvious from your statements.

  9. I accept everything in Summorum Pontificum and I accept the authority of the Magisterium. I do not reject the teachings of the Church. When I described the OF as a valid Catholic Mass at which Christ is really present, I made it obvious that I recognize its "value and holiness." It is not the Mass itself that is detrimental to the Faith, but the reduction of theological clarity. Even Cardinal Sarah (Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) has stated the the OF would be improved by including the Penitential Rite and Offertory from the EF. Catholics in good standing can make observations about flaws or areas for improvement in the OF.

    You really seem determined to find a negative way to understand what I have written. You complained that trads do not think other Catholics are true Catholics. I responded by saying that I think they are. You then complained that this sounds condescending. It is pretty clear that, in your eyes, trads are "damned if we don't and damned if we do".

    You seem to think that the Holy Spirit has guided you to your current position. I find that unlikely. The sort of divisiveness and contentiousness that characterizes your writing is not a mark of the Spirit.

    1. I'm sorry, Jayne. You are now trying to change your statement by saying "It is not the Mass itself that is detrimental to the Faith, but the reduction of theological clarity." You are obviously changing your statement in response to my comment. Your first statement was unequivocal: you consider the OF (interesting that you are now using that term instead of NO) to be detrimental to the faith.

      The article concerning Cardinal Sarah is found here:

      It starts out thus:

      Paying tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as a liturgical “Magna Carta,” Cardinal Robert Sarah called for a more faithful implementation of its text, lamented misinterpretations of its teaching on “active participation,” and suggested an appendix to the Roman Missal that might better manifest the continuity of the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the celebration of the Mass.

      It is interesting to note that Cardinal Sarah is making these suggestions "to pay tribute to the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy." I would imagine this would upset many traditionalists who reject Vatican II. These are Cardinal Sarah's exact words:

      It would be wrong to consider the extraordinary form of the Roman rite as coming from another theology,” he said. To manifest that the ordinary form and the extraordinary form are “in continuity and without opposition,” it would be “desirable” that there be an appendix in an upcoming edition of the Roman Missal that would permit celebrants in the ordinary form to use the penitential rite and the offertory of the extraordinary form.

      “If we live in this spirit, then the liturgy will cease to be the place of rivalry and criticism,” and instead be the place in which we participate actively in the heavenly liturgy, the cardinal concluded.

      As can be seen here, Cardinal Sarah is attempting to show that there is not a rupture between the two forms. I guess in a way you could say that would be to "improve" the OF, but this improvement is not about "theological clarity" as you now claim. His suggestion is made to show the continuity between the two form and to be more faithful to the Vatican II documents.

      My whole point in all of these posts and in most everything I write on this blog is to promote loyalty and trust in the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and the Magesterium of the Church. This just seems to drive traditionalists crazy because they want so badly to justify their constant criticism and condemnation of Church hierarchy. It is interesting that you, like every other traditionalist that has come here, do not answer any of my points. You just complain that I am unfair and mean.

      You must understand that I was an integral part of the traditional community. I was totally in sync with their thinking. I can also read their blogs. Can you show me one traditionalist blog that does not condemn the post conciliar church? It's not out there. That includes blogs written by both traditional clerics and laity.

      We live in very difficult and evil times. We need to be sure we are listening to the voice of Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body, and not be taken in by imposters.

  10. You are not promoting loyalty and trust. You are annoying people. As far as I can tell, your "points" have been to tell me that I think things that I do not think. I never said that the OF is detrimental to the Faith. My exact words were "the shift in emphasis has been detrimental to the Faith". My description of the Mass itself was completely consistent with Summorum Pontificum.

    People tell you that you are unfair and mean because you are unfair and mean. You have been determined throughout our discussion to fit me into your idea of a trad no matter how much you need to twist my words. That is not fair.

    It is true that Cardinal Sarah did not use the expression theological clarity, but that is what he is talking about when he speaks of "continuity". He is talking about continuity of the underlying theology. He suggests adding those parts to the OF to make clearer that the theology of both forms of Mass is the same. This implies that it is currently not as clear as it could be. Which is my position too.

    I agree that there are plenty of trad blogs out there that go too far. I do not think, however, that you are capable of recognizing the ones that do not. You seem emotionally invested in seeing all trads as bad. For the record, I do not constantly criticize and condemn the hierarchy. I make it a point to avoid doing so because I believe that it is important to respect their office.

    If you have some specific point you would like me to address, please mention it. I may have overlooked something in a long comment. I suggest you make only one or two points per comment to avoid this.

    1. I seem to be annoying people who want to be able to condemn the hierarchy of the Church.

      I am not trying to condemn any group of people. I am condemning an attitude of willfulness and rebellion. I gave you a chance to prove that you do not agree with the traditionalist position, but everything you have written shows you are in total agreement. That is why I'm annoying you.

      You say I would not be capable of recognizing a trad blog that does not condemn the Church. Why don't you give me a chance? Let me answer that for you. The reason you do not give me the name of such a blog is because it does not exist. And you and I both know it.

      You say that you agree with Cardinal Sarah that the problem with the OF (I am so glad you are now using that term instead of NO) is that its continuity with the EF just needs to be made clearer. Let me remind you of your original comment:

      I do believe that the TLM is a better expression of Catholic theology than the NO. The creators of the NO made a deliberate decision to downplay themes that might be problematic for Protestants and so it is less clear on such subjects as transubstantiation, propitiation, and sacrifice. While I am willing to concede that this was well intended as a form of outreach, I think that hindsight shows it did not succeed and the shift in emphasis has been detrimental to the Faith. (According to the canon I quoted in my earlier comment, I have a right, if not obligation, to express this opinion.)

      Do you think Cardinal Sarah believes "the TLM is a better expression of Catholic theology than the NO"? Do you think Cardinal Sarah believes "The creators of the NO made a deliberate decision to downplay themes that might be problematic for Protestants and so it is less clear on such subjects as transubstantiation, propitiation, and sacrifice"? Do you think Cardinal Sarah believes "hindsight shows it did not succeed and the shift in emphasis has been detrimental to the Faith." (You were still using "NO" at that point.) That is most definitely NOT what Cardinal Sarah said. The only parts that of the EF which Cardinal Sarah would like to incorporate into the OF are the penitential rite and offertory. Is that how you feel?

      C'mon, Jayne. Who are we kidding here? Cardinal Sarah said, “It would be wrong to consider the extraordinary form of the Roman rite as coming from another theology." Your statement make it very clear that you are in complete disagreement with that statement.

      Cardinal Sarah made it very clear that he fully accepts the teaching of the Magesterium that the two forms of the Mass are equally valid and sacred. Nowhere does he make any indication that he feels the OF is "detrimental" in any way. And your statement makes it abundantly clear that you do believe that. Certainly you have made some gross accusations against Blessed Pope Paul VI and others who gave us the OF, accusing them of a "deliberate decision to downplay themes that might be problematic for Protestants and so it is less clear on such subjects as transubstantiation, propitiation and sacrifice." Absolutely nowhere does Cardinal Sarah make any kind of terrible accusations such as that. Just the opposite.

    2. Jayne, I wish you would read my posts. I certainly recognize the tumultuous times we live in. Certainly there are bad things happening in the world and the Church. We are in the midst of a storm just as the disciples and Jesus were in the midst of a storm in their little boat. Trads are not wrong when they say there are problems in the Church. Of course, there are. But the trads are saying that our worst enemy is the Magesterium. They are telling us that Pope Francis wants to destroy the Church, and most bishops and priests are just as bad. They are telling us that the only hope for the Church is the Traditional Latin Mass. Without the TLM, we are all doomed.

      Trads want to put God in a box. They think they have everything figured out, and if we just listen to them, we can't go wrong. When has God ever done anything according to man's decision? Would any of us have made the decision for Christ to be born in a manger, hunted down like an animal, he and his family fleeing for their lives? Would any of us have chosen for Christ to grow up in poverty, and then be executed like a common criminal? Would any of us have chosen such weak men as the apostles to be the foundation of the Church? Would any of us have made the decision that the Church would be persecuted and martyred for the first 300 or so years of its existence?

      We are just going in circles, Jayne. You are obviously going to keep accusing me of hating traditionalists, and there is nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. So I will give you the last word. You will be glad to know that I am done as far as this conversation is concerned.

  11. I do not think that I have everything figured out. Leading the Church is not my job. I am responsible for the duties of my state of life, while depending on prayer and the Sacraments. And I am not doing this anywhere near as well as I ought to be. I am more concerned about that than about how anyone else is doing his job. I do not condemn the hierarchy of the Church. I pray for them.

    I do not have an attitude of willfulness and rebellion. There is no point talking to you about blogs when I see how ready you are to judge me. You are not capable of recognizing it when a trad does not fit your image of trads.

    I think that Cardinal Sarah, the Pope Emeritus, and various other prelates would agree with my assessment of the OF. Acknowledging that it has serious flaws is not a rejection of the Magisterium. And, yes, adding the traditional Offertory would go a long way toward allowing a clearer expression of Eucharistic theology. That is the one change that would do the most good.

    I am saying, just like Cardinal Sarah, that the theology of the Mass has not changed. The OF is a valid Catholic Mass. The problem is that it is not sufficiently clear that it has not changed. The problem should be fixed. Somehow you get from this position of mine to claiming that I have condemned the hierarchy.

    There are several books on the process of creating the OF, at least one of them by a member of the committee which worked on it. My "terrible accusation" is a well-established fact. One of their goals was to make the Mass more accessible to Protestants. It is no secret that this was the reason they had Protestant observers. There is nothing terrible about saying that a well-intentioned attempt at outreach had a bad side-effect. Can you honestly not see that certain ideas have been downplayed in the OF and there was a shift in theological emphasis?

    "But the trads are saying that our worst enemy is the Magesterium. They are telling us that Pope Francis wants to destroy the Church, and most bishops and priests are just as bad."
    Why are you telling me what trads say instead of listening to me? I am a trad and I am not saying that or thinking that. That you infer such things from my comments on the Mass shows that there is a problem with your judgement.

    The Mass is the source and summit of our Faith. It is not some trad idiosyncrasy to believe that; it is a basic Catholic teaching. Problems involving the Mass have serious repercussions. Lack of theological clarity, liturgical abuses, poor translations (only corrected recently for English) are problems that need to be addressed. The TLM needs to be widely available so that all the faithful who wish can have access to it. The OF needs its problems dealt with. I am really grateful that Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Sarah who appears to have such a good grasp on the situation.

    I am not glad that you are done with this conversation. I am disappointed that your mind is so closed that you are unable to have a productive discussion with a trad.

  12. CIB, I hope you don't mind if I leave a message for Laramie here. He has forbidden me to mention his name and is terribly offended that I included his name in a comment here. He has written a long rant on his blog about how evil I am in order to punish me for committing such a terrible crime. (Although he actually did agree with my comment.)

    I just want to go on record that I am unmoved by his tantrums and will mention his name whenever I wish. Laramie. Laramie. Laramie.

    Thank you, CIB.

    1. I have no desire to get involved in disputes between other people. Laramie has decided that I am the devil himself, so I think I'll just leave it at that.

      Since you seem to want to continue our debate, I am actually in the midst of writing a response to you. It is too long as a comment, so I am going to do it as a new post. I don't know if this will help either of us, but hopefully it won't hurt us.

    2. I was being childish and petty to make a point of mentioning Laramie like that. I would have deleted it if you had not already responded to it. I look forward to your new post.

  13. I have been to exited the circus of traditionalists. The reason they take it upon themselves to sift through each and every teaching is because they are afraid of falling victim to modernism. But that mentality is deadly. Every man takes it upon himself to decide if what is taught disagrees with his own idea of Church teaching. Thanks to conspiracies and certain interpretations of private revelations some laity correct the successors of the apostles and even St. Peter. Fear makes us do inhuman, uncompassionate, antiChristian things. I repent of my schism. Without the bishop's blessing nothing should be done. We are not teachers or preachers. All I can do is lament my own sins and betrayals of Jesus Christ and his mystical body and try to save my terrified brothers and sisters who are making the same mistake I did.

    1. As our Blessed Mother told us, pray and sacrifice for them. God bless you in your spiritual journey.


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