Wednesday, April 16, 2014

YIKES! SO MUCH FOR ECUMENISM


But at least these Greek Orthodox bishops are honest! You've got to hand them that. What I find odd, though, is that there is so much we have in common with the schismatic Eastern Orthodox. We have together all of the seven sacraments including Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession in a valid episcopacy.

The two bishops say they are motivated by love in condemning Pope Francis and all Catholics as being possessed of "satanic pride."

With love like that, I wonder what their hatred is? Maybe we can learn a lesson on what not to do and say to win others over the Christ telling them we are insulting them out of love. 

Why or why won't this radical group of Orthodox bishops play fairly?  But I wish they wouldn't beat around the bush and really say what they think!

Greek Orthodox prelates denounce Catholicism as heresy

In a harsh 89-page letter addressed to “Francis, head of state of the Vatican City,” two Greek Orthodox prelates have denounced Catholicism as a heresy and urged the Pope to repentance.

In their lengthy message, heavily laced with anti-Catholic claims and conspiracy theories, Metropolitan Andreas of Dryinoupolis and Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus condemn the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and Pope Francis himself. The two Greek Orthodox prelates say that the teachings of the Catholic Church “are a clear blasphemy against the All-Holy Spirit and which show your theological departure and the satanic pride of which you are possessed.” 

Metropolitans Andreas and Seraphim claim at the outset that their message is motivated by “pure, sincere, and selfless Christian love.” At a time when most Christian leaders are sending Easter greetings to each other, they say that the feel compelled to “endeavor with all our might to restore you to the Mother Orthodox Catholic Church.”

The two Greek prelates also express their contempt for the “pan-heresy of ecumenism” and decry the willingness of other Orthodox leaders to engage in dialogue with Rome.

Metropolitan Seraphim has long been the most intransigent representative of the Greek Orthodox Church, which has retained pockets of animosity toward Rome. In March 2012, Metropolitan Seraphim issued a series of anathemas, condemning Pope Benedict XVI, drawing a rebuke from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The bitter new message from Metropolitans Seraphim and Andreas may prompt an apology to the Pope from Archbishop Ieronymos, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church.

I WONDER WHY A VAST MAJORITY OF YOUNGER PRIESTS LOVE THE NEW AND GLORIOUS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE MASS COMPARED TO MY AGE AND BIT YOUNGER AND CERTAINLY THE MUCH OLDER?


A recent survey of priests concerning the new and glorious English translation of the Mass finds that the vast majority of younger priests appreciate the new translation over the old, equivalent (inaccurate, mundane and banal) translation used by the Church since 1970.

Whereas the priests heading for retirement and glory seem to dislike it and long for the good old days of equivalent, banal and easier to manipulate prayers by ad libs of the 1970 missal.

As you know, being the hip, young at heart priest that I am, I like the new and glorious English translation of the Mass. I am one with my younger counterparts in the priesthood.

What is it about the new translation that I and my younger brothers in the priesthood love so much?

1. You can't manipulate the text and do your own thing with it. You have to read the text as is.

2. Tied into reading the text as it, you have to read the text before Mass and study it and make sure you chant or say the text properly. In other words you can't fly by radar and simply show up and celebrate Mass. You have to be intentional! That's got to be good!

3. The text is an accurate translation of the Latin, meaning that we are finally getting the post-Vatican II Latin Mass in English. We've only had this grace and blessing for about 3 years, whereas the English Mass we had since 1970 was unfaithful to the post-Vatican II Latin text because it was an equivalent interpretation of it.

4. Finally, the best thing about the new and glorious English translation is that we are now getting for the first time the post-Vatican II's Latin Mass piety, spirituality and devotion that moves beyond words to feeling and a sense of our unworthiness in the presence of God who nonetheless calls us into communion with him. It shows how popular piety and spirituality can be mixed with sterile theology. This was completely missing in the inglorious English translation now placed in the Vatican Museum of liturgical mistakes when it comes to translating Latin into the vernacular.

AUGUSTA'S HOLY WEEK ENDED ON PALM SUNDAY WITH BUBBA WATSON WINNING THE MASTERS

Winning the Masters must make Bubba very hungry. After putting on the green jacket he goes to the Steak and Shake and gets milkshakes, (with plenty of butterfingers inside it, yum!) and then later takes a selfie with his friends while eating yet again at the Waffle House down the road.
WJBF-TV ABC 6  Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

YOUR PIOUS FACE: ARE YOU TIRED LOOKING OR LOOK LIKE YOU ARE IN A BAD MOOD?

Glum or a piety of the pre-Vatican II era which should still be in effect in the post-Vatican II era? This is not a liturgical happy-clappy face so often  found at modern Ordinary Form Masses, but certainly not at the Extraordinary Form Mass.

Which of the two images below capture the sentiment of Pope Francis' serious, pre-Vatican II piety in the photo above?


I've already written another post that Pope Francis' demeanor during the celebration of Mass is very pre-Vatican II. He comes across as a different person or persona as he celebrates the Mass compared to when he simply presses the flesh and visits with people such as after the Palm Sunday Mass.

Even Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli, takes the world press to task for reporting that during the Mass the Holy Father looked tired or in a bad mood. And yes the photo above would give the happy clappy types who want to drag happy-clappy antics into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we stand as believers at the Foot of the Cross where Jesus hangs in agony and then in death! How stupid is that? If we truly understood as Pope Francis does, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is serious business and not a pep rally, we would all celebrate Mass as Pope Francis does.

Even when the Pope is celebrating Mass outside of the Vatican Walls at Roman parishes that seem to consistently use happy clappy Italian Folk music, he remains serious and glum looking. The same at the fiasco of musical entertainment style of the Masses in Brazil. Watch the pope and see the disconnect between his authentic liturgical piety and the pep rally entertainment style of liturgical music that is so often the case today in so many places.

From the Vatican Insider:

 At the Palm Sunday Mass, Francis reeled off a list of Bible characters asking faithful to think about which one they identified themselves with

ANDREA TORNIELLI vatican city  

The entire square fell silent when the Pope began his Palm Sunday homily, marking the start of Holy Week. Francis looked serious and deep in concentration as he left his prepared text to one side and began by asking himself and all those present the big question: Which Biblical figure do I identify myself with?

His questions - which started with “Am I like…” - obviously moved the crowd; there is no other way to explain the silence that accompanied the Pope’s brief but intense reflection. Some tried to play down Francis’ homily as “similar to those pronounced in many parishes this Sunday”. But this is coming from individuals who never lose a chance to talk down the Argentinian Pope’s words, probably because they are incapable of understanding that it is possible to be profound and simple at the same time.
 
“It would do us good to ask ourselves one question: Who am I before the Lord, who am I before Jesus who enters a Jerusalem during a time of celebration? Am I able to express my joy and shout it to the world or do I take my distance? Who am I before the suffering Jesus? We have heard so many names. The group of leaders, the Pharisees, experts in the law who decided to kill him and were waiting for the opportune moment to get him. Am I one of them?” the Pope asked.
 
“Am I like Pontius Pilate who walks away from his responsibilities when the situation gets tough, allowing others to be sentenced or sentencing people?” Francis went on to ask. “Or am I like the crowd of people who weren’t quite sure whether they were at a religious gathering, a trial or a circus and chose Barabas because to them it was the same; it was all the more fun because they could humiliate Jesus. Am I like the soldiers who beat Jesus, spit at him, insult him and enjoy humiliating the Lord?”
 
“Am I like those leaders who went to Pontius Pilate the next day to tell him that Jesus said he would be resurrected and blocked life by blocking the entrance to the tomb to defend the doctrine, so that life could not come out?”
 
Francis looked serious as he pronounced these questions. His seriousness was mistaken for tiredness or a bad mood by those who are not able to understand that for those who have faith, reliving Jesus’ Passion is no walk in the park and that the liturgy is not a show. At the end of the mass Francis spent a long while in St. Peter’s Square socializing and joking with the many young people present. Indeed, the Pope did not look serious because he was tired or in a bad mood. He was simply in deep concentration as he always is when celebrating one of the mysteries. This is something some Vatican observers fail to grasp, but simple faithful understand fully and they made this clear with their silence and presence.

Monday, April 14, 2014

POPE FRANCIS WASN'T THE ONLY ONE TAKING SELFIES ON PALM SUNDAY--THE FRANCIS EFFECT COMES TO AUGUSTA!

On Sunday night about a mile down from the Augusta National and a couple of miles from where I am blogging right now, Bubba Watson went to eat at the Waffle House, a good ole southern cafe open 24 hours seven days a week.

Is this the Francis effect on a Master's winner? And how cool is it that a southerner who attended the University of Georgia along with his wife and named Bubba is golf's Pope Francis?
This is alright but it isn't the Waffle House!


LESS WE FORGET, POPE FRANCIS COMMENDS THE POST VOX CLARA, LITURGIAM AUTHENTICAM INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON ENGLISH IN THE LITURGY (ICEL)




While another blog commissions a survey on how well the new and glorious translation of the English Mass is being received by the clergy, with the younger clergy and those of us young at heart overwhelming approving of it and appreciating what it has accomplished for the English speaking world, that same blog which has from before it was promulagated to be used derided it and thought Pope Francis would overturn it and go back to some vague "equivlant" form of translating the sacred Latin into English.

Of course there is delusion, pride and denial here to say the least. Pope Francis this past October 18th, what would have been my mother's 94th birthday, but also the Solemnity of Saint Luke, praised to the nth degree the post Liturgiam Authenticam, Vox Clara work of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy. READ FOR YOURSELF and don't rely on any "equivalent" translations of this speech to influence you over the literal translation below! Obviously Pope Francis embraces Liturgiam Authenticam and Vox Clara!

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS
TO MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION
ON ENGLISH IN THE LITURGY  (ICEL)
ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Hall of the Popes
Friday, 18 October 2013

My Brother Bishops,
Dear Friends,
I welcome the members and staff of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy as you gather in Rome to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Commission’s establishment. I thank Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and a former President of ICEL, for presenting you. Through you, I send greetings and the expression of my gratitude to the Conferences of Bishops which you represent, and to the consultors and personnel who cooperate in the ongoing work of the Commission.

Founded as part of the implementation of the great liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Divine Liturgy, ICEL was also one of the signs of the spirit of episcopal collegiality which found expression in the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, 22-25). The present anniversary is an occasion for giving thanks for the work which the Commission has accomplished over the past fifty years in providing English translations of the texts of the liturgy, but also in advancing the study, understanding and appropriation of the Church’s rich sacramental and euchological tradition. The work of the Commission has also contributed significantly to that conscious, active and devout participation called for by the Council, a participation which, as Pope Benedict XVI has rightly reminded us, needs to be understood ever more deeply "on the basis of a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated and its relation to daily life" (Sacramentum Caritatis, 52). The fruits of your labours have not only helped to form the prayer of countless Catholics, but have also contributed to the understanding of the faith, the exercise of the common priesthood and the renewal of the Church’s missionary outreach, all themes central to the teaching of the Council. Indeed, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out, "for many people, the message of the Second Vatican Council was perceived principally through the liturgical reform" (Vicesimus quintus annus, 12).

Dear friends, last evening you celebrated a solemn Mass of thanksgiving at the tomb of Saint Peter, beneath the great inscription which reads: Hinc una fides mundo refulget; hinc unitas sacerdotii exoritur. By enabling the vast numbers of the Catholic faithful throughout the world to pray in a common language, your Commission has helped to foster the Church’s unity in faith and sacramental communion. That unity and communion, which has its origin in the Blessed Trinity, is one which constantly reconciles and enhances the richness of diversity. May your continuing efforts help to realize ever more fully the hope expressed by Pope Paul VI in promulgating the Roman Missal: that "in the great diversity of languages, a single prayer will rise as an acceptable offering to our Father in heaven, through our high priest Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit".
To you, and to all associated with the work of the Commission, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.
 

THE PIOUS SELF AND THE REAL SELF A LA PAPA FRANCESCO

At hour 2 and 33 minutes in the video of the Mass for Palm Sunday with Pope Francis that I post below again, please watch the Holy Father become his real self or another aspect of his real self. Please contrast that with his self during Mass. During Mass he is extremely introverted, serious,pious and detached from what is going on around him. He doesn't acknowledge the congregation at all. It is almost like the demeanor of priests in the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Is this what Pope Francis is modeling? All of us have our raucous, outgoing selves at pep rallies, ball games or festivals. But when it came to the 1962 missal and its predecessors, we were like Pope Francis as soon as we entered the Church. Our pious more contemplative side was to be exhibited not our raucous side.

But with the modern missal and Mass, how often do we drag our raucous style of personality into it and make little distinction between the sacred and profane? Please note too that about about how 2 and 33 minutes he gets on the popemobile and then as it is moving tries to get off before it stops!!!!!

Please compare style of personality with Pope Benedict's 2012 Palm Sunday Mass, his last:

Please note too that during the homily the Holy Father does not refer to the homily script before him, but entirely speaks off the cuff. I listened to EWTN which has a interpreter who knew Italian well enough to know that the Holy Father wasn't reading the script and had to do a spontaneous interpretation and did a good job at it.

But notice how different the Holy Father is at Mass. This is traditional Catholic piety, very individual, not communal and very introspective. THIS IS A GREAT REFORM OF THE REFORM IN CONTINUITY THAT THE HOLY FATHER IS PROMOTING. IT IS VERY EF!

FATHER JONATHAN MORRIS' LESBIAN SISTER "MARRIES" HER PARTNER IN A WASHINGTON, DC CEREMONY

Fr. Jonathan Morris of Catholic Radio and Fox News:

Yesterday as I drove from Macon to Augusta I listened to Catholic Radio's Fr. Jonathan Morris. His show was on how the Church deals with issues of same sex marriage and the children these couples have and then want to have them baptized.

How do you deal with Catholic homosexuals who want to participate in the Church but completely reject the Church's dogmas on sexual morality? And not only that, but on the natural ways to conceive children and who reject that their children should have one father and one mother?

Then Fr. Jonathan revealed that his sister, with whom he is very close, is a lesbian (although he doesn't like that term to describe a person since we are more than our sexual attractions) who has "married" in a civil ceremony her partner in Washington, DC.

When these couples have children through artificial insemination, with surrogate mothers or simply adopt, should these children be denied baptism?  Church canon law states that there must be a reasonalbe hope that the children will be reared as Catholics.

I have had a few of these circumstances. One was unknown to me, in that I didn't know that the baby being baptized was the child of a lesbian couple. This was when I was first ordained. But the child was brought up Catholic.

I've inherited some of these situations and often the grandparents who are practicing Catholics are doing everything in their power to make sure their grandchildren are brought up Catholic and are enrolled in CAtholic school.

Should children, no matter how they are conceived or who adopts them be punished for the sins of their parents and denied baptism and a Catholic education?

I tend to have hope for children in these situations and empathy for them and in no way want to become for them a stumbling block to Christ. I hope more in God's grace rather than despair about our sins and sacrileges.

But back to Fr. Jonathan. He is a conservative, orthodox Catholic priest. He has a "married" lesbian sister. They are still close. He says he disagrees with her lifestyle and her marriage but he still loves her and they still communicate despite their differences and her immorality

How many of us have good friends or siblings who are heterosexual, yet very promiscuous fornicators or adulterers and flaunt it, who aren't married in the Church but living with many significant others?. How many cut them off and how many stay close to them?.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

UNDERSTANDING THE HERESY OF CALVINISM

Now I understand better where some of our converts (although not completely) from Calvinism are coming from. This is a good article from Catholic World Report:

April 11, 2014
You can’t purge an outsider. Scapegoating fury is reserved for an insider.
Long ago, I wrote a piece on Truth Cancer and the Redemption of Rebellion. Its point was that heresy tends to mutate into its opposite over time. So we find, for instance, a student writing for the Harvard Crimson who demands that free speech and academic liberty be ruthlessly crushed—in order to protect liberalism

Likewise, righties somehow manage to go from small government libertarianism to support for making the US an Orwellian national security torture state without noticing the contradiction. And nobody is more certain to become a bullying thug than some Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professional whose life is built around Stopping Bullying

Now here in America, we live in the Land of Calvinist culture and Calvinism—being a particularly potent form of heresy—has mutated into its opposite with peculiarly potent force. It retains its joylessness and icy fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time as it turns everything fun into an exercise in moralism, even when it kills off God and replaces him with social do-goodism. So instead of preachments on observing the Sabbath, we get homilies on having a green vacation. My favorite of these was on NPR a decade or so ago, in which the canon law for obtaining carbon credit indulgences while vacationing was laid out in Talmudic granular detail along with this final buzz-killing caveat: “But can we ever really justify taking vacation at all so long as there is ecological damage happening anywhere in the world?” Love that. 

Likewise, the Calvinist missionary impulse and the Calvinist work ethic continue unabated in our culture long after the Calvinist belief in God is dead. Only now the mission is to export hedonistic democratic capitalism with an entirely different Madonna as our icon, preaching an unholy trinity of Mammon, Moloch, and Venus to the world. 

Chesterton once remarked that in America we have a feast to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and in England they should have a feast to celebrate their departure. As the English were to discover under Cromwell, Calvinism is famously on the lookout for impurity and tends to seize on those sacrificial victims (such as Charles I) upon whom scorn can be heaped as the group periodically purges itself of shame by means of a scapegoat. 

Calvinism did not, of course, invent this deeply human habit. In ancient Greece a cripple or beggar or criminal was cast out of the community in response to a natural disaster or other crisis. In Leviticus 16, a rite for literally laying the sins of the community on a scapegoat is prescribed. In Catholic Europe, Jews were themselves periodically scapegoated by the Gentile majority, as for instance, when the Jews of York were massacred in 1190 as the age-old pattern was played out. 

America’s Puritan heritage and its various mutated descendents have done a bang-up job of continuing the periodic human itch to isolate somebody in American culture and exile them, whether from the community or from the ranks of the living. Catholics have been on the receiving end of this as often as not, what with various Know Nothing, KKK, and Nativist movements. But such thinking did not die in the 19th century and remains with us today in various expressions. 

The habit of scapegoating is traditionally done by finding somebody within the group who is deemed insufficiently pure—and then suddenly transforming them into a foreign threat to be expelled or killed. Thereby the sins of the community are placed on their head and the community is protected by sacralized violence that purifies from sin. 

We’d really like to believe that we left that sort of thing behind in the smoldering ashes of the Tower in York where 150 Jews were suddenly transformed by a mob from “fellow Englishmen” into foreign contagion that needed to be extirpated. But we still are quite capable of this stuff in all kinds of major and minor ways. The greatest major outbreak of this sort of thinking in the past century was, of course, the Holocaust, when the German Jewish community found, to their astonishment, that they were suddenly transformed from being seen as “fellow Germans” to being seen as a foreign bacteria infecting the Reich. The slaughter which followed astonished Jews no less than non-Germans—in no small part because German Jews saw themselves as Germans who shared 99 things out of 100 with their countrymen. Similarly, the European Jewry that followed German Jewry into the camps saw itself primarily as sharing in European civilization and could not comprehend its sudden transformation into a gigantic scapegoat for the ills of Germany. 

Of course, not all incidents of scapegoating involve mass murder, but they do generally involve some form of metaphorical death or exile (or attempt at it). So, for instance, we see the same pattern played out in an extremely minor key as Stephen Colbert, who obviously is no racist, does a sketch making fun of racism and is met with the ridiculous spectacle of people in dire need of Insensitivity Training striving to overcome the stereotype that Asians are all highly intelligent.  This obvious man of the Left who would not think of seriously engaging in racism is picked, out of a world of Internet and media examples of racism, for outraged opprobrium.  Not Pat Robertson (who recently bestowed upon the world the intelligence that Jews don’t fix their cars or mow their lawns because they are too busy polishing their diamonds). Nope. It’s gotta be Colbert, plucked from within the tribe of the Left, who is singled out for sudden declaration as an enemy—despite the bleedin’ obvious fact that he was, in fact, mocking racism.  Humor is not a strong suit among the New Puritans any more than among the old.  And like the old, they are far more obsessed with finding the Enemy Within than with opposing the obvious opponent without. In Colbert’s case, however, the scapegoating attempt appears to have backfired rather spectacularly

Another example of a similar dynamic: Alec Baldwin. 

Here is a guy who, again, is obviously a huge supporter of LGBT community—a clear insider on the Left. But unfortunately for him, he is a) personally dislikeable and abrasive; b) has made enemies and c) has not grasped a crucial double standard. 

The double standard is this: gay people can use the charge of homosexuality as an insult, but nobody else can.  Recall Dan Savage calling high schoolers “pansy asses.” Or recall Andrew Sullivan’s strange insistence the Pope Emeritus Benedict is gay as though that’s a bad thing. But let an obnoxious hetero male lefty like Baldwin toss around epithets like “toxic queen” and he runs the grave risk that the scapegoating mob will suddenly target him as foreign contagion when the fever is on. 

So to his everlasting confusion and astonishment, Baldwin suddenly found himself the object of a pogrom as the “liberal” LGBT community suddenly turned on him for doing, well, exactly what Dan Savage does when he calls somebody a pansy ass or Andrew Sullivan accuses Benedict of being gay. Baldwin is as hard left as they make ’em, including on all LGBT matters of piety—and yet none of that could save him. He was selected for the anti-sacrament of mercilessness and his sins shall not be forgiven, for he is the Scapegoat. And to drive home the fact that it is the Calvinist Purifying Impulse behind it all, the theological language from the Gay Legion of Menacing Visigoths for Tolerance helpfully casts Baldwin in the role of Satan himself

Note that. The devil is not, say, Pope Francis (who does, after all, actually teach that gay sex is sinful, despite what the NY Times deludes itself to believe). Nor is he any given GOP candidate, or Pat Buchanan, or even that beloved bogeywoman Sarah Palin, who seems to have finally relaxed her terrifying grip on the mind and viscera of the Left

Nope. Alec Baldwin of all people, is declared the devil because he hails from within the community and is therefore the ideal scapegoat upon which the community can heap its sins and purge itself in a violent orgy of Righteousness. 

Of course, it isn’t just LGBT Paladins of Tolerance who indulge in this sort of Puritan pogrom. Reactionaries on the right, both secular and religious, have more in common with progressive extremists than they care to realize, and also are on constant watch for signs of impurity. Here, for instance, is the Breitbart Inquisition ginning up the troops for a heresy verdict against pot-smoking hippie liberal Bill O’Reilly. His crime: not hating Barack Obama with sufficient intensity. 

It seems O’Reilly does not think that the president of the United States is part of a secret cabal that actively wants to destroy the Republic but instead, retaining some sanity, believes that Obama understands himself to be an American who imagines that “American” maps to his set of liberal values. Therefore O’Reilly regards Obama as a patriot—that is, as a lover of the US of A, and not its sworn enemy. He does not think that Obama is right in his judgments about what is good for America, but he does not doubt that Obama thinks he is trying to do good by America and does not subscribe to the fever swamp vision painting the president as a monstrous IslamoAtheistNaziCommunist hater of America willfully bent on its destruction. In short, he strongly disagrees with the president, but is not filled with unreasoning hatred of every atom of his being. 

For this act of impurity, O’Reilly might as well be a communist as far as Breitbart’s audience of inquisitors is concerned, and their responses in the comboxes generally run in the “He is dead to me!” vein from people who would agree with O’Reilly on 99 subjects out of 100. Again, it is precisely because he is not Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or Rahm Emmanuel or some other tribal outsider, but an insider, that the fury directed at him over such a triviality is so intense. Because you can’t purge an outsider. Scapegoating fury is reserved for an insider

Real Outsiders, looking in, often have difficulty even understanding the nitnoid and granular nature of the quarrel that consumes Insiders bent on a purge. And so outsiders look on in amazement as a man with whom the average Breitbart Combox Inquisitor shares 99 out of 100 things in common is declared a traitor and expelled.  Their mouths open and close and nothing comes out as a lefty like Alec Baldwin is suddenly stoned to death by the very people he once urged to stone Henry Hyde.
Catholics, and particularly Reactionary Catholics these days, are not immune from this either. Case in point: The Reactionaries vs. Michael Voris. Here again, on 99 subjects out of 100, Voris and the Reactionaries are on the same page—with one notable exception: Voris steadfastly refuses to indulge in criticism of Pope Francis. I regard this as a very hopeful sign and I sincerely commend him for publicly refusing to join the ranks of the self-appointed saviors of the Church who have fallen under the powerful delusion that God died and designated them to defend the Church against the pope.
But the Reactionaries who loathe and fear Francis with now nearly unbridled hysteria are increasingly bringing pressure against (and ginning up hostility toward) Voris, of all people, in the attempt to get him to fall in line and start ripping the pope as the evil monster they have convinced themselves he is. Whether it is just applying overbearing muscle in the effort to suggest Voris is a bad Catholic for his heretical submission to the pope, or flat out denouncing him for the grave sin of charity toward Francis, the Reactionaries are making it clearer and clearer that even the slightest variation from absolute purity of hatred toward Francis will not be tolerated. Once again it is the insider—the person perceived as hailing from within the tribe of Real Catholics[TM]—who is singled out as the scapegoat in need of punishment and (if no repentance from the grave sins of faith, hope, and charity toward Francis is shown) expulsion. “Neo-Catholics,” us ordinary slobs who actually like Vatican II and find the Paul VI rite of the Mass suits us just fine, don’t even merit consideration for such a bull of excommunication because, again, you can’t kick out an outsider. Novus Ordo riff-raff don’t even count as real Catholics for that subculture. 

All of this reminds me of the brilliance and insight of Rene Girard, whose thought about the strange human impulse to create scapegoats eventually wound up bringing him back to the Church when he realized that precisely what God did was enter the human race, not to join the mob of Inquisitors, but to take on the role of the scapegoat. And He did it, not merely for one tribe, but for the whole human race. In doing so non-violently—in letting the whole of human and demonic hatred, viciousness, spite, and sin wash over Him and, as it were, drown Him—Jesus undergoes the baptism in death that His baptism in the Jordan prefigures. He is “made sin for us” as Paul put it (2 Corinthians 5:21) and thereby opens the way for our baptism into His death and our participation in His resurrection.
Small wonder then that Jesus begins His ministry first with that baptism and then with a sojourn in the desert, which is exactly where the scapegoat was driven after the priest placed the sins of the people on it. Likewise, in the sacrificial rites of Moses, the cattle, sheep, and goat offered in the Tabernacle prefigured the sacrifice of Christ: 

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. (Heb 13:11–14)

It is therefore properly the place of the Christian to find himself, from time to time, scapegoated, betrayed, exiled, and even killed. When Christians take the role of the persecutor they betray Christ. When they are persecuted, conversely, Christ reserves a blessing for them: 

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12) 

And that blessing need not be limited merely to those who are visible members of the Christian community. The prophets have, so far as we can tell, no conscious knowledge of Christ, yet share in his blessedness—and in his martyrdom. So might any other person.  Why? Because they did the right thing even when punished for it by the world. We are free to hope that any person who obeys his conscience is likewise liable to be rewarded for it through the Holy Spirit.  As the parable of the sheep and the goats makes clear, some of the saved are going to be surprised: “Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, in prison?” (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). 

This does not mean that anybody unjustly persecuted is therefore bound for heaven. Horst Wessel, the Nazi stormtrooper who became the basis of the Nazi anthem “The Horst Wessel Song” was unjustly murdered, but that doesn’t make him a hero. Just because you are a victim doesn’t mean you can’t be a jerk too. But still and all, in the ordinary run of things, a blessing is pronounced by Christ, not only on those who are persecuted for his sake, but on people who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.  As our culture continues to de-Christianize and turn an ever more hostile face, not only to followers of Jesus Christ, but to the weak, the marginalized, the innocent, the vulnerable, the poor, the reviled, and the despised, let us go to our despised Lord outside the camp and welcome in his train every loser, oddball, factory reject, sinner, screwup, failure, jack and jill who tries, however, feebly, to do what is right.  It will probably mean going, or even being driven, outside the camp.  But that’s where Jesus is.

PALM SUNDAY ANYONE?






A MOST BLESSED PALM SUNDAY!

The Holy Father sports a new, lovely, wooden ferula, (staff, crozier, crook)!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BOMBSHELL: WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY, POPE FRANCIS RENEWS MSGR. GUIDO MARINI AS THE SUPREME PONTIFF'S MASTER OF CEREMONIES FOR ANOTHER FIVE YEARS! PRAYTELL SPEECHLESS

I had never seen this video, but it shows you what a darn good Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini is! What great news, and I think true liturgists around the world were praying for him wondering what Pope Francis would do to him, but Pope Francis loves this guy it turns out! I think the feeling is mutual! Msgr. Marini is a hard worker and dedicated to his ministry, his pope and holiness. He also exercises by swimming at a local Catholic University's pool. One of the priests with me on sabbatical ran or swam  into him almost every day.




Photos I took of Msgr. Marini while I was at papal Masses, prior and during! The first two are rehearsals before hand!


This is the Mass, and a glorious Roman Sunday it was, when Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary! I had the best seat in the whole wide world!

There is obvious warmth between Msgr. Guido Marini and Pope Francis and Msgr. Guido Marini I think has helped Pope Francis overcome some of his poor Jesuit tendencies regarding liturgy. There are no good Jesuit liturgists. To call a Jesuit a liturgist is an oxymoron!

But here is the bombshell good news from Pope Francis:

Pope Francis: Msgr. Guido Marini renewed as Master of Pontifical Ceremonies for a full new term

From Radio Vaticana:
The Pope has confirmed Monsignor Guido Marini as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies. Born 49 years ago in Genoa, Monsignor Guido Marini had been called to this position by Benedict XVI in October 2007.

As all confirmations and nominations in the Curia or Papal Chapels, except when expressly mentioned otherwise for a different period or for life, the nomination is for a five-year term.

My Comments: Keep in mind back in February Pope Francis, echoing concerns of Pope Benedict, confirmed that the Congregation for Divine Worship should continue on the path it was on with Pope Benedict to properly implement the Second Vatican Council's Document, Sacrosanctum Concilium:

 Pope Francis has issued a message on the occasion of a symposium devoted to the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. 

Stating that the anniversary evokes “sentiments of gratitude for the profound and widespread renewal of liturgical life made possible by the conciliar Magisterium, to the glory of God and the edification of the Church,” the Pope called for a renewal in the “commitment to receive and implement” the document’s teaching in a fuller manner. 

Pope Francis said that the Constitution and the postconciliar Magisterium “have made us better understand the liturgy in light of divine revelation” and said that Christ is the protagonist of every liturgical celebration. Quoting the Constitution, Pope Francis said that “in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members.” 

Citing St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the Pontiff then spoke of the importance of “true spiritual worship” in which the faithful offer themselves as a living sacrifice. A liturgy “detached from spiritual worship,” he said, might seem “almost magical” and have “an empty aestheticism.” Citing Pope Benedict XVI, he added that the liturgy transforms Christians from within. 

At the conclusion of his message, which was addressed to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope Francis called for “a renewed willingness to move forward on the path indicated by the conciliar fathers, because much still remains to be done for a correct and complete assimilation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.”