Monday, September 15, 2014

SO THE HOLY FATHER CAN'T/SHOULDN'T MARRY SINNERS

I get many absurd comments on my posts from some trying to censor comments I post in order to allow others to respond to comments that simply have no idea about Divine Mercy and the effects of the Sacrament of Penance and the other Sacraments worthily received.

For example, those who call themselves traditionalists are not at all happy with Pope Francis and continue to show His Holiness contempt and disregard and snipe at His Holiness every chance they get. Of course, no true traditionalist would do this. Traditionalists who carry with them the best of the pre-Vatican II Church know that they must always respect the person and the office of the Papacy. We respect and love the pope because Christ commands us to love God above all and our neighbor as ourselves. This applies to every person in the world regardless of race, creed or color of skin and to include the Holy Father.

But as traditional Catholics, we love the papacy and never, ever show contempt for the Pope by snide remarks or ugly sentiments toward the Holy Father. This doesn't mean we have to accept every opinion of the Pope, but it does mean we have respect and love the pope.

This brings me to the theater of the absurd! The way some so-called traditionalists have reacted to the Holy Father celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony for 20 Roman Couples on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Some of these couples had co-habited prior to their wedding day. One man needed an annulment for his marriage by Pope Francis. Another women had had a child out of wedlock.

Who are these so-called traditionalists trying to kid?  What is it about Catholicism they don't get? Are they victims of poor catechesis? Have they even read the CCC? Are they coloring book Catholics?

The last time I checked, the Church teaches that any Catholic who is free from any impediments has a"right" to be married in the Church. What is important is that they understand the three questions that are posed to those who are to be married and accept the proper answer:

1. Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves in marriage?
2. Will you love and honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?
3. Will you accept children and lovingly from God and bring them up according to Christ and His Church?

It is presumed that each of these Catholics who were married by the Pope were washed clean and completely forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance prior to this wedding celebration.

What is it about Confession that these so-called traditional Catholics don't understand?

I have married many couples at a Nuptial Mass who cohabited prior to marriage, who were pregnant at the time of the wedding and who have received annulments. In each case all impediments to valid celebration of this Sacrament were removed prior to the wedding. All were invited to go to Confession prior to their wedding.

Sinner, repentant or otherwise, are not excommunicated from the Catholic Church. The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a country club for saints who never sin.

Who are these so-called traditionalists (really neo-Puritans or heretical Jansenists) trying to kid?

41 comments:

Vox Cantoris said...

I agree with you Father, we must presume that all of what you said was followed.

My issue is, what the heck was this doing on a Sunday?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Weddings can and should be celebrated on Sunday. We allow these at St. Joseph and free of charge. We've has one couple elect to do so. The Holy Father models hoe to do this at a Sunday Mass.

Who am I to judge?! said...

The problem is the vicious circle created by traditionalist commentators and blogs (gleefully) overreacting to the liberal gloss that the media put on Pope Francis's every action. And even when there's no news, they fill the vacuum with more venom-filled speculation and gossip.

Everyone who reads these spiteful comments and blogs is affected by them, since they chip away at our sense of decency and respect for others. Cardinal Mueller was quite right to urge one group of bloggers to tone it down, even if it resulted in one more or less harmless blog being closed down, but the problem is much wider than that. We're all guilty here, since everyone who visits sites like ... well, you know the ones I mean, is fuelling this invective and hatred.

Pater Ignotus said...

"Traditionalists" are not always Traditional Catholics. There is a world of difference between the two.

Traditionalists think that their understanding of Church history is perfect, that their interpretation of Magisterial documents is unassailable, that their liturgical tastes are those shared by God Almighty, and that anyone who disagrees with them is 1) an enemy of the Church, 2) an apostate (or heretic or modernist or philistine, take your pick), 3)poorly catechized, or 4) self-deluded.

Thank goodness for Tradition and save us, O Lord, from traditionalists.

Gene said...

The word play between "traditional" and "traditionalist" is meaningless. It is simply an effort on the part of libs to degrade devout, conservative, believing Catholics.

Nothing "chips away at our sense of decency and respect for others" more than the dilution of doctrine, the marginalization of believing Catholics, and the destruction of there Liturgy. Censorship of blogs does not help much, either.

Flavius Hesychius said...

'Any comment that is vitriolic and disrespectful of the laity... will not be posted!'

'Traditionalists think that their understanding of Church history is perfect, that their interpretation of Magisterial documents is unassailable, that their liturgical tastes are those shared by God Almighty, and that anyone who disagrees with them is 1) an enemy of the Church, 2) an apostate (or heretic or modernist or philistine, take your pick), 3)poorly catechized, or 4) self-deluded.

Thank goodness for Tradition and save us, O Lord, from traditionalists.'


The FARCE does indeed continue, eh PI?

JusadBellum said...

It's a sign of the times for authority to be dissolved into an 'every person for themselves' mode until new unquestionable authorities establish themselves.

Certainly the media loves a horse race and loves to pit two mutually antagonistic groups against each other. It makes for excitement and excitement sells papers and blog hits.

And certainly many traditionalists fall into many traps - the trap that the various media outlets are INFALLIBLY correct in every detail.... and the trap that only one (negative) interpretation of facts can be held.

But we err if we just throw up our hands at these scandalized brothers. Would St. Paul? They are not as sophisticated as we are, they are not as discerning as we are, so what isn't deadly for our faith is deadly for theirs....what shall we do?

It's tough to thread the needle and avoid extremes. It's tough to help people out of a panic or paranoia. Great patience is required.

But at the root these folk are sheep looking for a shepherd whose voice they can trust. Many of them come from families who suffered apostasy - total loss of the faith by loved ones. Or cases where priests, deacons or religious gave children or loved ones bad advice that led those kids etc. out of the faith. So their anger and fear is palpable.

They are scared and so shrill. They're scared and feel alone against the Leviathan of "them" who seemingly control 'everything'.

But while 'judgmental' are they in the main heretics? No. Are they the sorts who don't seek out confession, spiritual direction, Mass, etc.? No. In the main they do everything Mother Church has traditionally asked of followers.

Their 'hang up' is the exercise of leadership and authority, not the deposit of faith.

So how does one minister to such people? Intentionally scandalize them further?

It's tempting (and wrong) to assume they are aggressors (and unjust aggressors) whom we can just ignore. They are not. They tend to be victims thrashing about like the drowning man will thrash about looking for something solid that's floating.

Henry said...

"I have married many couples at a Nuptial Mass who cohabited prior to marriage, who were pregnant at the time of the wedding and who have received annulments."

Independent of the "traditionalist" criticism--which I have not yet seen (abstaining from internet distractions on Sundays nowadays)--even when there is no legal impediment and hence a right to Catholic marriage exists, one might still wonder whether a Nuptial Mass, at a Sunday Mass no less, always passes the smell test for appropriateness and respect for the public liturgy of the Church. And whether such a Mass could sometimes be an occasion for public scandal instead.

rcg said...

In the '62 missal (the one with all the chrome and fins) there are prayers for meditation after Communion and one that is especially meaningful to me is from St Augustine. He admits that even when the punishment is stayed, that we forget our tears and sin again. There is a similar prayer from St. Aquinas of the same theme. I am partial, as a Traditional Catholic, to these two saints and their understanding of both God and Man, so after my Communion I pray these along with a prayer to Mary to help this weak man be strong. It does help, immensely, but they will not be disassembling the confessional anytime soon on my account.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - You are wrong, again.
Words have meanings and different words have different meanings.

A Traditional Catholic does not say that he would follow the Holy Father "only out of curiosity" as you have stated. A traditionalist, who thinks he knows better than the Holy Father, would.

A Traditional Catholic does not make baseless accusations against bishops, claiming they should be ignored as you have done. A traditionalist, who thinks he knows better than the bishops, would.

And on and on and on.

Traditionalism is a menace to the Church.

Anonymous said...

Boy! That last quote from P.I. reminds me of a quote I read from Nancy Pelosi the other day: "Republicans are a threat to civilization." How interesting that those who complain of prejudice often paint with the broadest brush.

Gene said...

No, Ignotus, clever, unbelieving Priests are a menace to the Church.

Keyser Soze said...

Without splitting hairs about all the categories of those attached to the EF, I think a good argument can be made that Traditionalism is the last, best hope of the Church.

Anonymous said...

"It is presumed"..."We must presume" that the 20 couples all went to confession before the wedding. Maybe I missed something, but none of the several reports I have read about the event indicated that all of the people involved are Catholics and I have seen nothing at all about confessions.

Fr. McD and Vox "assume". I'm not sure everybody does.

Bee said...

Back in the olden days (pre-Vatican II) I recall that I learned it was always better to correct an initially bad situation, like having a marriage blessed in the Church if you were civilly married, or having a sacramental marriage ceremony if you were in a common law marriage (just living together), or having a child baptized even if the mother was unmarried. However, I believe it was common custom that these ceremonies were "low key," done without a lot of fanfare, There was no white billowing dress for the bride, or tuxedo for the groom, nor numerous attendants, sprays of flowers, or organ music. Fathers did not walk the bride down the aisle. Instead, the bride and groom came nicely dressed (the bride usually wore a pastel suit) and stood together at the foot of the altar with one attendant each. Usually only immediate family attended, and usually there was no Mass. All of this was done to prevent scandal.
So the only thing that might give me pause about these ceremonies is not that they are done, but that they are done as if the couples were of the same status as an engaged couple living apart coming to the Church to be married.
Maybe some would disagree that there is any difference, or there should be, but I guess the low key nature of the ceremony for these couples suggests to me a decorum and respect for the Church and the sacraments. So although I think it's wonderful the Pope "married" these couples, I'm not sure the ceremony, as it appeared to be, and hoopla was appropriate.

rcg said...

Keyser, and every time someone says "ignorant" you take a shot of whisky.

Anonymous said...

You're not fooling me Bee. You're "Aunt Bee" from Mayberry...and you're talking about good old 1960. I'm afraid things have moved on a bit since then.

Tell Andy and Opie and Goober I said "HEY".

Anonymous said...

If my catechism is correct, the Holy Father "CAN'T/SHOULDN'T MARRY" ANYBODY. The two people marry each other. You and the Holy Father are merely witnesses.

Anonymous said...

I guess no one has seen the report on Rorate from our dear Pontifs home country of the baby of a transsexual couple who was baptized and the civil union of a gay couple that was blessed by a priest in a Catholic Church...photos on Rorate are horrifying..love you Fr. AJM, read your blog everyday, but, head in the sand much?

John Nolan said...

I'm with Vox Cantoris on this. Traditionally Christian marriages were not allowed on a Sunday; if you remember in 'Around the World in Eighty Days' Phileas Fogg only realizes he has won the wager when he tries to get married but finds it's Sunday and not Monday, since he has crossed the International Date Line.

I am aware that they are now allowed on a Sunday but to say that they 'should be' is going too far. For a start, the Mass would not be a nuptial Mass (missa pro sponsis) but the Mass of the Sunday, which will include the Credo (its omission in the Mass in St Peter's was wrong). Secondly, those who attend Mass on Sunday have a right not to have someone's wedding inflicted on them, together with all the tat that usually accompanies weddings these days.

Moreover, last Sunday was one of the few Feasts that actually displace the Ordinary Time Sunday and seems an inappropriate choice for such a ceremony. Still, the institution of Christian Matrimony needs all the support it can get, and I applaud the Holy Father for giving it such a public endorsement.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Credo was chanted, John. Do you know why silver candlesticks were used and no decorative addependium on the altar?

Anonymous said...

Gosh y'all...you'd think the Pope would know better. He should always check with John and Allan before he does stuff...

Anonymous said...

Everyone welcomes the fact that co-habiting couples should be married but by publicly doing this Pope Francis has just once more stabbed at the heart of the Church. I certainly, Father, would not be trying to gloss over this and make it look good because it's not. If you want to be a member of the Anglican Church that is where it appears we are headed ... and it's not a case of what the media say, it is the Pope's actions that speak louder than words. I could never imagine St John Paul II The Great, nor Benedict XVI doing this because they would have known what this would signal - Pope Francis has done this too often for it to be a naive action of goodwill. Thank God we have Cardinals, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke and others who are speaking out standing up for the Faith by publishing "Remaining in the Truth of Christ".

Jan

Henry said...

"Secondly, those who attend Mass on Sunday have a right not to have someone's wedding inflicted on them, together with all the tat that usually accompanies weddings these days."

Or baptism, for instance. Or,surely, anything else not proper to the Holy Sacrifice. To come to Mass and see something liturgically unanticipated, not to say inappropriate, is an imposition Catholics should not have to endure.

Anonymous said...

Typical neo con......vilify faithful Catholics and rationalize a pope that causes scandal and chaos.

Anonymous said...

Neocon, not neo con. (I'm trying to p you o.)

What is a "typical neocon"?

Anonymous said...

"Neocon, not neo con. (I'm trying to p you o.)"

But your not.......getting to me. I don't care what you think of me. And you aren't clever, you are ordinary and you know it. I really care about the Church I have loved since birth. A Church that has been thrown in the mud because of the evil, the sins of priests and bishops who should have known better. That's what bothers me. You not so much.

Gene said...

Fr. clearly did not like my synonyms for neocon..LOL! What a shame…they were so apropos.

Anonymous said...

I did, in fact p you o....and you know it. I am not ordinary...and you know that too.

rcg said...

I am glad John Nolan made his comment. I feel the the same way. I remember my (now) wife making an elaborate calendar to ensure all the days were avoided and the RIGHT SATURDAY was chosen. This is the same feeling I have about music in Mass. People will clamor to hear my banjo in Mass, but I always say "No", because that is for after Mass with family and friends as part of our expression of Faith in our lives.

Anonymous said...

"I did, in fact p you o....and you know it. I am not ordinary...and you know that too."

No, honestly you really don't bother me. It's funny with all the confusion that Bergoglio is causing has deepened my love for Our Lord. It's causing me to live a better Catholic life. I'm not mad at you at all. I feel so sorry for the modernist and neo con "Catholics" because you don't know what you are missing holding to liberalism and modernism. And yes you are ordinary because you just feel like you have to attack and you never have an original thing to say. You have to play off of me. I'm original. If it were not for me you would be silent. And I'm done with responding to you on this post. I may on another, but it's over on this one.

Anonymous said...

I just hope that I can grow up to be as smug and self righteous....and as.... pompous as you are. (That's what I "play off of".)

But you set the bar pretty high...
Thank you for your pity.

Anonymous said...

And The Franciscans of The Immaculate continue to be destroyed.

Flavius Hesychius said...

I'm still wondering why, after posting here about Fr. M approving malicious comments against the HF, he then decides it's quite alright to come here and do the exact same thing to traditionalist laity. The blog rules clearly state '...THE LAITY IN GENERAL, AND POPE FRANCIS...'

Gene said...

Ignotus gets a pass from Fr. It's a Priest thing, I guess.

John Nolan said...

There is no point in a blog which does not encourage debate. Censorship should be left to forums like PrayTell.

There is an ugly face to 'traditionalism' just as there is an ugly face to 'progressivism' since both sides see themselves on the defensive.

Joe Potillor said...

Some thoughts...

a. A situation can be objectively in thing x, but subjectively in thing y. For people that are living together, we don't know what goes on behind closed doors. We can make assumptions that x is going on, but x may not be going on at all...I know some very traditional Catholics who have had opposite sex roommates...nothing that people would presume to have happened, happened...so to judge the souls of people in this situation would be wrong. At the same time people should attempt to minimize scandal in so far as is possible within reason, so people should not give a perception that things are happening that shouldn't be.

b. In the Church, neither marriages, nor baptisms are private acts as society understands them, so while I personally don't agree that marriages/baptisms should occur in the context of a Sunday Mass, I can see the logic as not preventing a public act from happening on Sundays. But one would think that people would want to respect the Sunday Liturgy, and allow it to take precedence.

c. It's no longer improper once the people are married by the Church.....I'll say that I rejoice that people are coming home to the Church. Obviously one would have to go to confession before and an appropriate penance would have to be given that wouldn't give a hint as to what was said in confession.

Bee said...

Anonymous on 9/15/14 at 3:45:
I'm sorry you think my comments about the dress and hoopla at these marriages witnessed by the Pope are an anachronistic throwback to the 1960's, but I'm not aware the Church has changed its teaching on the virtue of modesty; not only modesty in dress, but modesty in bearing and behavior as well. And yes, I am aware the World has long left modesty in the dust, yet I didn't think we as Catholics were supposed to follow the example of the World, but are to be examples of virtue, so the World could see the good and follow us.
I think it would have been great if the Pope had used the event, not only as a teaching moment about marriage, but one about modesty too.
In any event, I am happy that you got a laugh at my expense. God bless.

Jdj said...

Good point John Nolan, thanks!!

Anonymous said...

“Criticism of others is thus an oblique form of self-commendation. We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbors that all his pictures are crooked.”

- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Gene said...

Of course, criticism has to be based upon the belief that one is correct about something that others are not. It may be "self-commending," but Sheen certainly did his share of it. We all do. Big deal. Some things need to be criticized.