Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Just an fyi to readers to stay away from my catholiclane column for the time being due to a security issue.
My regular column suffered a double dose of bad timing: the day I say we should stop saying "radical traditionalist" is the day some of my brethren through their actions practically justify using the term.
Having trouble accessing blogger on anything but my mobile at the moment so posting is light. Yet have plenty to say about the Fransiscans, Francis, The Latin Mass and the bad response by a lot of people. Also have more exciting news which will be shared soon enough.
Catholic Lane is back up and running. Feel free to visit again. Link coming soon
Monday, July 29, 2013
There are uncomfortable realities here for all Catholics, not just traditionalists. When we are presenting the Gospel, are we doing so in ways which are still relevant? Let's take the manner of Latin for example. Let's say tomorrow Pope Francis announced he was going to replace the liturgy that we know today with the liturgy of the 1962 missal.... except in English. Would we take that deal, or would we insist on it being in Latin. Unless we are fools, we would take the English. Would it be our perfect ideal? Maybe not. Yet it would give us quite a bit of what we want, since it gives the underlying principles we hold dear. So our focus should be on those principles, no matter what disciplinary fashion they are in.
The question basically becomes: is full abolition of the Ordinary Form, and a reversion to the Extraordinary Form all that matters?
Finally, I have never wished to "recover" the lost past of events right before the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II didn't cause Humanae Vitae. Those leaders were in place well before the Council. Some anti-traditionalists try to frame this argument "if traditionalism is so awesome, how do you explain the near total apostasy Catholicism experienced after the council?" The near total apostasy part should never be denied. Yet we should have no problem saying that our ancestors, heroic as they are, had some blind spots, just as we have our current blind spots that we need the help of God's grace to overcome. (If they were a tad too legalistic, even most trads today are absolute panzies when it comes to suffering, if you compare our fasting to that of our ancenstors.)
There will never be a perfect Church militant here on earth. But we can say that our generation needs to drink far deeper of the Gospel, and the principles we advocate are a way of doing that. Few if any trads would say we simply look for a "discplinary solution", and quite frankly, the Pope should exhibit far more sensitivity when speaking on the subject. As Archbishop Chaput rightly pointed out, Pope Francis needs to act like he is the Pope of traditionalists as well.
So really my brethren, stop taking every statement from the Pope as a way to tear you down further. Look at it as a challenge to return to a greater fidelity to our principles. Those disciplines we advocate so ardently are meant to lead to those principles, which is first and foremost a deeper personal relationship with our Savior. We have had so much success these past 6 years showing the world these principles. Let us always look for more chances.
Friday, July 26, 2013
- The Churches teaching on worship is the same before, during, and after the Second Vatican Council. Those who talk about how we should be glad that Vatican II "changed" the way Catholics worship, they are mistaken. A clear statement that the liturgical reform we experienced was not the liturgical reform the Council Fathers had in mind. This is pretty standard boilerplate stuff, but it appears that some of our friends at the big Catholic organziations need reminders of these things if the past few weeks have been any indication.
- The liturgy is God's gift to man, not man's creation. This cannot be emphasized enough.
- Since the liturgy is the apex of everything Catholics do, there will never be authentic reform of the Church without an authentic liturgical reform. We've made progress, but we still got a long way to go.
ZENIT: Some argue the liturgy is mostly about aesthetics, and not as important as, say, good works done in faith. What is your view of this argument that one often hears?
Cardinal Burke: It’s a Communist misconception.El-Oh-El.
- Liturgical laws are meant for man, not man for laws. They give us the freedom to not be a bumbling idiot in the way we worship God.
And most importantly:
-The moral decay and corruption within the Church goes hand in hand with the liturgical decay and corruption in our parishes. If you change the way people worship, you change the way they believe. This works both ways. That new generation of priests that everyone tends to love as young, holy and doctrinally orthodox? Even if they only celebrate the Ordinary Form, there's little that seperates them from working alongside or even being a traditionalist, save opportunity.
h/t Fr. Z
I'm not really one to comment too much on the article in The Remnant. When one gets past Mr. Ferrara's verbal flourishes, one finds there actually aren't a lot of things to disagree about. I think everyone would agree that nobody is obligated to attend Mass in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form. Everyone would also agree (or at least they should) that the Church has been under attack from both the world and from within, and that weapon has many names: the dictatorship of relativism, modernism, secularism, etc. I think it is also beyond dispute that everyone agrees the Second Vatican Council wasn't implemented pretty good, if at all. Those who disagree are free to find beef with Pope Benedict (who spoke of a false council of the media that has mistaken for Vatican II) and Pope Francis.
These truths aren't denied by anyone, yet both sides have to act like they do. Why? To put it bluntly, people are pretty angry when they are treated as second class Catholics, and they are likely to fire back in kind. When people aren't around screaming "rad-trad", you don't see too much talking about "Neo-Catholic." Neither term is actually descriptive of anything. It simply means "other people do crap I don't like, and I need to condemn it in the flashiest way possible." They are polemical terms that belong to a previous age. They are also words that are only meant for the choir.
So now we've got another pointless conflict that the good folks at Catholic Answers don't actually disagree with, or at least wouldn't dare to disagree with it in public, as they really are settled matters. What's sad is that others are actually starting to become a bit more honest in their assessment of matters. The only problem with this kind of approach is you aren't going to drive up ratings for your radio show or print magazine. Instead you will do the far more mundane task of slowly but surely laying a proper foundation for true Catholic unity. Perhaps Catholic Answers would be far better suited instructing its audience how to do that.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
Most people would understand this when dealing with our seperated brethren across the Tiber. Yet swap "Protestant" with "traditionalist" and suddenly all the rules change, and any attempt at due diligence is thrown out the window in mainstream Catholicism. When Catholic Answers apologist Patrick Coffin does a show about "radical traditionalism", he invites Tim Staples to discuss it. Tim Staples is a very brilliant man, but let's be real here: his only exposure to traditionalism is reading a couple blog posts. As a result, when they do their show, they royally anger not just the "radical" traditionalists, but the good traditionalists as well, those same individuals Mssgrs. Coffin and Staples praised as providing "heroic witness" to the Catholic faith. They even wrote a follow up article, expressing amazement at this fact. They spoke to their audience as Jane Goodall, seeking to educate them about the primate traditionalists. Jane Goodall at least spent time studying the primates.
Over the next few days, I'm going to outline why traditionalists were angry, and more importantly, why the efforts of the Catholic Answers apologists are bad not just for loyal traditionalists, but bad for people attempting to understand traditionalists, and to avoid those who would try to use the good in traditinoalism to justify opinions that the Church has said we cannot.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
For those outside of traditionalism, the Fraternity was very important as well. It showed people that traditionalists aren't all the wacky schismatic kooks that misguided bloggers liked to portray us as. Oh sure, we got em, but nowhere near what the conventional wisdom is. As the FSSP continued to grow, the kooks we do have became a lot more marginalized. They also helped priests who weren't in the Fraternity learn to say the Extraordinary Form, bringing that beautiful form of liturgy to many parishes weekly. People saw their liturgical reverence and were influenced by it.
Ironically, 50-100 years from now, the only things we will remember about the relationship between John Paul II and traditionalists are the excommunication of the by then ashbin of history SSPX, the legislation which gradually lead to the Benedictine restoration of the Extraordinary Form, and confirming the founding of the FSSP. The rest will be a bunch of irrelevant noise to my grandchildren and great grandchildren.
While I haven't blogged much, I've been very busy writing still. The usual column appeared at Catholic Lane about a New Pentecost, what it is, how the Sacrament of Confirmation helps, and how to make it happen.
The work I'm most happy about however appears at a place that might strike some readers as odd. During the so called "Westian Wars", one of the biggest promoters of the views of Mr. West was Catholic Exchange. (They originally ran the horrendous Janet Smith hit piece on Dawn Eden, debunked by yours truly.) Yet I'm glad that chapter is closed. This week they gave me the opportunity to write my own take on the Wednesday audiences, and why I think the popular understanding of the audiences (by the likes of Smith, West, et al) misses the larger point of those audiences.
I'm hoping they will give me a chance to develop the thought further (the comboxes got pretty lively so there is certainly interest!), but consider this column an opening teaser to building a Theology of the Family.
Hope to return to regular blogging next week. Planning on writing on so-called "radical traditionalism", develop a bit more of my CE column, and whatever else I come across. Lots of changes in my life the past month obviously (thank you for all the well wishes and prayers after the wedding!), and there will inevitably be many more changes to talk about.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
As I have said many times, this is unfortunate. We have an opening, should we choose to seize it. We've always felt that the pop TOB evangelists (while getting several things right) strayed from sound Catholic principles on some of their ideas. We've even shown from the texts of the Wednesday audiences how this occurs. Yet I also think we've conceded too much of the narrative. We concede to them that the Wednesday audiences are primarily some catechesis about sex and sexuality, a "gospel of the body" (As Mr. West used to term it in his less guarded days), yet an honest reading of the text actually makes clear that wasn't the point at all.
The real point of the texts are actually based on very sound traditional Catholic principles. This is good for two reasons. Once traditionalists get over that initial skittishness of anything "modern" and realize a lot of what has been promoted in the pope's name is wrong, his message can be defended by a group that would seem to be the logical constituency: people who are very militant about large families. We also have a knowledge of previous Catholic social teaching we can bring to the discussion that our friends across the way normally do not talk about.
For actual fans of the texts, this should be a positive development because it allows you to probe deeper into these texts, when you work with the same understanding and sources the Pope did. At its bare bones, TOB is a biblical study on the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. What you don't hear from the pop TOB evangelists is that this style of biblical study is very ancient, and was something people throughout the Church have done frequently. They've done it so frequently there's even a name for it: Hexameral Literature, after the Hexameron. When you look at the Church Fathers who wrote Hexameral Literature, it is a who's who of Doctors of the Church: St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Basil the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, and countless others. As we have demonstrated elsewhere, it is also quite clear that in several instances John Paul II is borrowing and developing the profound insights of earlier Popes such as Leo XIII in his Wednesday audiences.
Tomorrow I'll be giving the few readers of this blog a taste of several essays I'm looking to get put online somewhere that provide this alternative to the popular understanding, as well as a better understanding of these sources.