Sunday, May 15, 2011


The article below was written by a priest of the Society of Pope Pius X. That group is the schismatic group that Pope Benedict XVI has been trying to reconcile to the Church but so far in vain. Apart from trying to be more Catholic than the pope, they've become actually more Protestant than Fr. Martin Luther.

But in the brief article below they get some things right although unwittingly. My comments follow this brief article:

An Opening in a Double Direction


In his homily for the beatification of his predecessor, Benedict XVI proposed an interpretation of the famous “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!”, pronounced by John Paul II at the beginning of his pontificate. For Benedict XVI, “what the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was the first himself to do. Society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ.” Vatican Council II, which was John Paul II’s “compass”, claims to be the council of the opening of the Church to the modern world, but Benedict XVI tells us that the Pope who for 27 years applied this council with zeal, “opened society to Christ”. A double question arises: is it the spirit of the modern world that entered into the Church? Or is it the Catholic spirit that has transformed the modern world?

Paul VI had answered the first question, without proposing any remedies: “Doubt has entered into our consciences, and it has entered in by windows that should be open to the light. (…) This state of incertitude reigns even in the Church. It had been hoped that after the Council a sunny day would shine on the history of the Church. Instead, it is a day of clouds, tempests, shadows, groping and incertitude that has come.” (Insegnamenti, Ed. Vaticana, Vol. X, 19972, p. 707)

John Paul II himself gave an answer to the second question, without drawing from it its concrete consequences, recognizing that the time we live in is one of “silent apostasy” in which there reigns a sort of “practical agnosticism and religious indifferentism, which leads many Europeans to give the impression of living without a spiritual loam and as heirs that have dilapidated the patrimony bequeathed to the.” (Ecclesia Europa, June 28, 2003)

In both cases, the desired opening turned into a tragic disappointment.

Fr. Alain Lorans


Fr. Lorans actually gets two of his points correctly. The first is that Pope Paul VI was very concerned and I would even suggest clinically depressed about what was happening to the Church worldwide in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council that collided with social unrest and political and sexual revolution of the 1960's. The secular revolution that affected also the Church was one that opposed authority, whether religious or secular. In America this led to the term "generation gap" which only people my age would get, which is really niffty when you think about it! I remember when it was cool to call cops "pigs" and anyone over 30 the enemy. But I digress.

Blessed John Paul II who ascended to the Chair of Peter in the fall of 1978 by shear force of personality tried to restore the great discipline of the Church and was quite successful on many fronts. He did not compromise Catholic identity in his dialogue with the world. That helped to bring down communism and liberation theology. That would not have happened if Blessed John Paul II compromised on our Catholic identity!

Fr. Lorains correctly writes what Pope Benedict said about Blessed John Paul II:

“What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was the first himself to do. Society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ.”

In other words, Pope Benedict gets the gist of Vatican II as teaching us that we should dialogue with the world in order to bring the world to Christ and His Church. Keep in mind that after the Protestant Reformation, the Church was in the "circle the wagons" mode and afraid of the assaults of Protestantism and modernism and this persisted until the Second Vatican Council. By the 1960's the Church's hierarchy was more than ready to open up that circle of wagons and create a dialogue with the world. The initial steps were not very fruitful, but what Blessed John Paul II showed the world is the right way to do it. Pope Benedict sees his own papacy in continuity with Blessed John Paul's.

Therein lies the rub, though. In this new and unbridled desire to be successful at dialogue and to become optimistically modern, so much of Catholic identity, especially little "t" traditions were thrown out the window. But worse yet, a solid foundation of knowing Catholic faith, spirituality, devotions, and moral teachings were also thrown out the window as that was seen by many modern theologians as the only way to dialogue successfully with the secular world and also with the Protestant world and non-Christian world.

When you throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to your identity and then think you can dialogue with those who oppose you, you will be the one who will lose in the long run. Rather than opening the world to Christ, the Church opened herself to the world who does not recognize Christ as the Church does and thus the Church began to conform or be converted to the world. Blessed John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI have sought to turn that mentality around. Especially the attention that Pope Benedict has given to the Liturgy, both the EF and OF is a rather significant development for it is in her liturgy that the Church finds the source and summit of her Catholic identity. A corrupted form of celebrating the liturgy will corrupt Catholic identity.

So a recovery of Catholic identity, including all our little "t" traditions, as well as the EF Form of the Mass, faithful celebrations of the OF Mass, our Catholic spirituality, doctrines and morality will go a long way in recovering what Vatican II presumed the Church would bring to the world, her unabashedly Catholic identity. This will lead the world to Christ, not Catholics who have lost their Catholic identity. In this way, we all will truly become Vatican II Catholics.


R. E. Ality said...

Well done Father. Before the internet and other increased world coverage, the odd Bishop, politician or theologian could go way off the reservation of orthodoxy and obedience with the poison being more localized. Now each and every aberration circles the globe almost instantaneously.
The Pope and dicasteries need to be more sensitive to that reality and promptly issue unambiguous corrections and discipline, with instructions to Bishops and Bishops’ councils to do the same. Otherwise, how seriously will the culture, indeed our very own Catholics, respect and conform to the morality we have preached for 2,000 years? We can no longer leave it to “400-year cycles.”
Courageous Priests like yourself need to continue preaching Church morality and doctrines, whether popular or not, to include issues of artificial contraception, IVF and all such matters. Even to the extent of recognizing that silence and soft-pedaling issues to keep attendance and contributions up is an example of “evil means” to accomplish what they might think are good ends. A faithful remnant trumps devolving into the appearance of one more protestant denomination.

Anonymous said...

Why continue to refer to the SSPX as schismatics when the Vatican has said they are not in Schism. Even thought the act of ordaining Bishops could be considered a schismatic act it had been judged not sufficient to have pushed them into formal schism. I believe the Vatican is the only one who can rule as to whether they are or are not in Schism. And it has been stated the latter. Terminology is important here, especially when they are talking reconcilliation. To call them something they are not will not help as it spreads false rumor to those who may read it and not know otherwide. Why else would we be allowed to attend SSPX Masses as long as it is not in disobedience to the Pope at Society Masses? Do you really think the Vatican would allow us to attend a Schismatic Groups Masses, coming from the Congregation of Divine Worship? And from the words of Cardinal Hoyos?

Templar said...

I beg of you favor to please stop referring to the SSPX as schismatic. Even HH Pope Benedict has stated they are not in schism, they are merely in an irregular canonical status. Of more interest perhaps is that your comments on the article are quite in line with the things I have read on the subject from Bishop Fellay.

Anonymous said...

So I went to neighbouring parish this morning for Mass. It was remarkably like the Bernstein Mass I attended last night. Strikingly so, except the priest did not seen nearly as introspective, of course. Afterwards I asked my youngest daughter, 15, what she thought of it. She said it did not seem very religious. I had the same impression of that parish almost 20 years ago when I was only visiting the area. Although a different priest, it is very much in line with our diocese attitudes.

So I wonder what these people will do when the new guidance arrives? I don't want to be there for it. OTOH, the people at the Latin Mass seemed to be ready, of course. My daughter commented that she felt ill at ease sans the mantila, so she will acquire one soon. I think that may be our home for a while.


Anonymous said...

R.E. Even Cardinal O'Malley, or was it Wuerl?, instead of acting on the clear meaning of Canon @#315 used the cop-out of waiting for Rome to make a definitive statement? Wiggle-wiggle! I agree with you that the Pope needs to speak out loudly and clearly about heretical Catholic politicians and others who flaunt Magisterial teachings. How long, Oh Lord, how long?

Anonymous said...

I think the internet has been great for like minded Catholics to learn about their faith. My mother was a teen in the sixties. She lost all knowledge of traditions, devotions, sacramentals, etc. (but at least she took me to church and sent me to Catholic High School).
The internet brought answers to my finger tips. The Catechism of JP2 was a great idea and is a great resource. EWTN has been a blessing. Learning these traditions/devotions and teachings has brought a correct form of Catholicism into my life that I didn't know how to do.
There is a difference between now and 20-25 years ago. The 80's felt like the sisters were all women's libers. I was implicitly taught liberation theology ways. Fortunately, the ship is being righted. Glad to see it!

Anonymous said...

Is that 'speeling' of shismatics correct? Is Snoop Dogg or Heidegger influencing you, Father?


Gene said...

Ha, ha....High Digger. For the Time Being it will have to do.

Anonymous said...

Talk about more Catholic than the Pope. Are you familiar with the Dimond brothers and the Most Holy Family Monastery?
I heard an advertisement of theirs once on Alex Jones show.

Anonymous said...

Ignotus/Anonymi. Even though you routinely avoid answering questions, how about these: Are you referring to the Alex Jones who was a Pentecostal Minister that converted to Catholicism along with a lot of his congregation?

If so, and if indeed he linked favorably to the holyfamilymonastery site, is that better or worse than a Catholic priest voting for Obama?

Is it better or worse than Notre Dame, Georgetown bowing and scraping before your false messiah?

Pater Ignotus said...

Ah! "Wind From the Sea" by Andrew Wyeth. Fresh air is good, and a stiff breeze can help cean out a lot of unnecessary mustiness!

Pater Ignotus said...

Anon Yerself-
I am not the Anonymous poster of May 17, 11:14 a.m. I have no idea who Alex Jones is or is not.

And I have no false messiah. Jesus is the one for me.

Anonymous said...

No, different Alex Jones, if you look at that crazy website you would see that it is not the convert but a conspiracy theory guy. MHFM advertises on their radio broadcast. Both are suited for each other.

Anonymous said...

Ignotus. My apology and relief. Thanks for the clarification. As for "messiah," I was into the distinction between God and Caesar. Since you voted for Obama and support his political positions, I was adopting the label "messiah" which has been given to him. Can one "worship" him and God at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:20. I misunderstood your post. Having never heard of the Alex Jones therein, I wrongfully assumed Ignotus was taking what would be a nasty swipe at the the "right." In retrospect, no one could be so nasty as to do that.

Pater Ignotus said...

Wrong again, Anon. As the catechism says, worship is reserved for God alone. You may choose to "worship" one politician or another; I do not.

Gene said...

Ignotus, Yeah, but which Jesus?

Anonymous said...

Pater Ignotus. How do you justify a claim to worship God whie at the same time voting for Obama and supporting his assault against the morals taught by the Church?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Ignotus. If you don't really want to dialogue why participate in this blog? If you want to dialogue, why don't you answer the questions you are asked?

Anonymous said...

Cool it anonymous. Maybe the force considered him the only one worthy to be raptured.