Saturday, July 15, 2017


You can read a commentary on Fr. Sparado' stupid commentary on Catholic and Protestant ecumenism in the areas of common concern in the political realm in the good ole USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ HERE.

In fact in the area of politics Catholics and Evangelical Protestants have many common concerns, especially the protection of the innocent unborn.

But let's talk about ecumenism as this is an implicit criticism in the Jesuit's ill advised commentary. By the late 1960's many Catholics embraced ecumenism with Protestant Pentecostals. These Catholics known as charismatics, embraced at that time the Pentecostals fundamentalist theology concerning the Bible and some of their antiCatholic attitudes about tradition and Tradition. These charismatics embraced a Protestant Pentecostal theology and spirituality/devotion in prayer and music.

The only blame for this unbridled ecumenism and loss of authentic Catholic identity and spirituality is Vatican II's spirit promoted even by bishops here and in South America. Hispanic's in this country have left the true Church for the Pentecostal/conservative sects.

In South America, like the pope's Argentina, Catholics have departed the Catholic Church by the millions inspired by the loss of Catholic spirituality and identity and the universalism promoted by unbridled ecumenism. Pope Francis himself seems to have identified with the charismatics and their Protestant Pentecostal spirituality.

Fr. Sparado should focus on the real problems on the ground as it concerns unbridled ecumenism and loss of Catholic identity promoted by a South American mentality that could care less about authentic Catholic spirituality and identity.


Victor said...

Fr Sparado should focus on leading people to the City of God instead of building a City of Man here on earth.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Having read the entire Sparado item it is clear that your take on what it says about ecumenism is spurious.

Some of the very real problems Fr. Sparado comments on are Manichean language (and the Manichean thinking that underlies it as found in Steve Bannon), decontextualized Biblical exegesis, "Christian Reconstructionism/Dominionism," the so-called "Prosperity Gospel," the ideology of conquest, and the manipulation of people by playing on their fears.

Mark Thomas said...

In regard to Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement, the following is from Pope Pius XI's 1928 A.D. Encyclical Mortalium Animos

"But some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians.

"Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity?

"All Christians, they add, should be as "one": for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength.

"This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom.

"But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.

"Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil;

"This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ."

However, by 1949 A.D., Pope Venerable Pius XII had determined that the Holy Ghost had inspired the establishment of the Ecumenical Movement.

From that time to date, Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement has been encouraged by the Church.


Mark Thomas

Victor said...

Fr Kavanaugh:
Sparado has set up straw men for his arguments.
Nowhere do I find Manichean language being used by orthodox Christians if the main tenet of Manicheanism is that God's power is limited because there is an equally opposing power of evil. Maybe Fr Sparado should read St Augustine's Confessions.
Nor do I see "decontextualized Biblical exegesis" from the orthodox Catholic side except from the "progressives" with their social justice theories, such as Spaorado's.
The only "Christian Dominionism" I see is in the moral sphere which has its indirect relevance in the political sphere because of the latter's moral relativism.
Similarly for the others.....

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Victor - Where do you get the idea that Sparado is talking about orthodox Christians?

Maybe you should read the article and not base your analysis on other peoples' (Fr. Z's) comments....

James J. said...

Mark Thomas:

You comment on Venerable Pope Pius XII determining "that the Holy Ghost had inspired the establishment of the Ecumenical Movement" and that "Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement has been encouraged by the Church."

I'm wondering why Fr. Spadero would write what he has written. What good does this do? Does he think it necessary that they convert? Or not? Either way, shouldn't we pray for them? If Southern and other evangelicals are such a threat to the Catholic faith then that is a problem which stems from the state of the Church today. If so, the Church has persevered through greater threats and it has done so by those of faith employing much prayer and sacrifice. If Fr Spadero looks at the problem as a "political mixing with religion" one, is not the greater problem the deminishment of religious-moral influence in the public sphere? As far as "decontextualized Biblical exegesis" which Fr Kavanaugh mentions, well, one could attack Protestantism en masse with that one.

St Augustine converted to Christianity from Manichaeism. The Jesus of Manichaeism is not the Jesus of Christianity. We need to pray for the conversion of Fr. Spadero and others like him.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Mark - I think the "threat" Sparado and others see is the infiltration of some aspects of Protestant thinking into our Catholic minds and hearts.

As Fr. McDonald frequently mentions, too many Catholics have adopted a "congregational" understanding of parishes.

Sparado is not critical of having faith underpin one's political thought and behavior. But he is anxious, as many are, that when politics is seen as religion, or when religious thought is shaped by political thinking, much harm can be done to both.

Reading the talk Steve Bannon made at the Vatican to the Human Dignity Institute gives the flavor of much of what concerns Sparado and, I suspect, Pope Francis, about American religio-politics.


James J. said...

I've read Fr Spadero's"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A Surprising Ecumenism". It is very unbecoming of someone of his influence to write such a superficial screed. It is also, given his closeness to the Pontiff, quite concerning. It has elements of truthful insight,but is full of generalizations and not much in the way of footnotes or references to scholarly research. He paints with a very broad brush about those with whom he has only a passing familiarity. In one paragraph, he ties together Steve Bannon, who he characterizes as a supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics with the views of Pastor Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001) the father of so-called “Christian reconstructionism”. In his footnote for this accusation he references as source for this, an article in the Washington Post. Great.
In one paragraph he writes that the "strange ecumenism" between Evangelicals and conservative Catholics is one that wants "walls and purifying deportations", which he attributes to a "xenophobic and Islamaphobic vision", and that this represents an “ecumenism of hate.” He goes on to opine that Evangelical and Catholic Integralists ... promote an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state." Wow and Wow. Meanwhile Catholicism in much of Central and South America and Europe is in dire straits. Father Spadero, wouldn't to be better to put aside the disparaging remarks and promote among the faithful what Our Lady of Fatima even now exhorts us to do?

Victor said...

Fr Kavanaugh:
Orthodox I said, and orthodox I maintain. The idea of a Catholic integralist is just another straw man concept used by one side of the silent schism, the side that is unable to free itself from the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, against the other, the orthodox, and pejoratively, such as against the FSSPX.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Victor - What's the evidence that Catholic Integralism is a reference to orthodox Christians?

Where in Sparado's words, or the Pope's, do you find support for this assertion?

Or that this term is directed against the FSSPX?

Charles G said...

It is insufferable enough we have to put up with this anti-American, Marxist pope and his evil minions like Spadaro, but here we have to read an ostensible man of the cloth, Fr. Kavanaugh, parroting the anti-Christian left's ridiculous calumny that conservatives want to impose a theocracy. The Democrats in America boo God, make abortion and same sex "marriage" their most holy sacraments, and bully business owners like those of Memories Pizza for merely expressing traditional moral beliefs. It is the Democrats that want to impose their Godless religion of state-sponsored and promoted sexual immorality on everyone in the United States. Tell me, Fr. Kavanaugh, to which political party are the terms "religious freedom" bad words? And how is it remotely appropriate for the pope and his sockpuppets to engage in extreme partisan politics in the US and slander an entire nation? As the late Mayor Mumbles Menino of Boston would have said, it really fries my nose.

Victor said...

Fr Kavanaugh:
The term "Integralist" finds its source in France 110 years ago, but the way it has been used since the second World War (nothing new there of how war changes people's world views), is well stated by one of America's greatest theologians ever, Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton, whom almost no one hears about since the victory of the "Spirit of Vatican 2", and, hence, of modernism:

"[The inattentive Catholic] might possibly come to the dangerously false conclusion that modernism and integralism, as we know them, are two contrary false doctrines, one, as it were to the left, and the other to the right, of genuine Catholic teaching. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth. Modernism, in the technical language of Catholic doctrine, is the name applied to the definite series of errors condemned in the decree Lamentabili sane exitu, the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, and in the motu proprio Sacra Antistitum. Pope Pius X spoke of Modernism as the "conglomeration of all heresies."

Integralism, on the other hand, is essentially the teaching or the attitude of those who worked for the presentation of an integral Catholicism, of Catholic dogma set forth accurately and in its entirety. Most frequently the name of integralism was applied to the doctrine and the viewpoint of those Catholic writers who entered into controversy against the modernists during the first decade of the present century. Understood in this fashion, integralism was nothing else than the contradiction of heretical modernism. It was thus basically only the exposition of Catholic truth."

{"Two Currents in Contemporary Catholic Thought", in American Ecclesiastical Review (1948)}

The "New theologians" after the war were the ones who promulgated this dichotomy, and they entered the picture as the saving "via media". Of course, that was ill oonceived to begin with, and they just opened the road for the triumph of modernism in the Church.

In France to his day, the official bishops of the dying Church there continue to use "integristes" against members of FSSPX.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Charles G - I am not "ostensibly" a man of the cloth. I am a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Savannah.

Second it is a calumny against the Pope to accuse him, without basis, of being anti-American and Marxist. It is equally calumnious to assert that his minions are evil.

Third, in this country when a business is open to the public it is open to the public. If a shop owner wants to refuse service, based on his/her religious beliefs, to an interracial couple, or if, for religious reasons, a shop owner wants to refuse service to a single woman shopping alone, or if, for religious reasons, a shop owner wants to refuse service to a Catholic Church because he/she believes Catholics are the devil's "evil minions," well, those shop owners might be in for a surprise.

Fourth, an entire nation was not slandered. The majority of American voters did not vote for President Trump. Currently his popularity, according to various polls, ranges from 38.6% approval to 38% approval to 36% to 43%. So, according to the polls, you couldn't even say half the nation is feeling slandered.

Fifth, the issues raised in Sparado's article are not specific to the United States. As I mentioned earlier, he refers to "Manichean language (and the Manichean thinking that underlies it as found in Steve Bannon), decontextualized Biblical exegesis, "Christian Reconstructionism/Dominionism," the so-called "Prosperity Gospel," the ideology of conquest, and the manipulation of people by playing on their fears. These exist pretty much around the world in various forms and expressions.

James J said...

Father Kavanaugh:

Wouldn't it be better for Fr. Spadero and others of his conviction to concern themselves with the current state of society and the Church in what were once but are now the nominally Catholic countries in Europe and Central and South America? What do we see in modern society of the advanced countries? Rampant drug abuse and addiction, freely available pornography which is accessible to even the very young, legalized same sex "marriage" and the promotion of trangenderism, immodest fashions and public nudity,and ever diminishing church membership and attendance.
On the International scene we see rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran seeking to acquire and develop weapons of mass destruction.
So now the greater problem to be concerned with are Southern white evangelicals and others of similar views? Stunning.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

James - What is the Vatican solution to North Korea and Iran seeking to develop WMDs?

Charles G said...

@Fr Kavanaugh:
1. I only know your combox posts, but I'll take your word for it. Thank you for your service in holy orders.
2. The Pope allegedly told his atheist friend Scalfari, someone he has never personally corrected and with whom he keeps giving interviews, that Americans have a distorted view of the world. He received from Marxist Bolivian President Morales a hammer and sickle crucifix that, far from rejecting, he warmly received. His minions are pushing the abandonment of settled Catholic doctrines on the adulterous, sinful nature of divorce and remarriage and the necessity to avoid partaking of the Eucharist while conscious of unrepentant mortal sin, and are generally downplaying the gravity of sin in the face of an aggressive secular culture that completely denies Catholic moral truth. That's pretty evil in my view.
3. The real life instances at issue, unlike your fantasy hypotheticals, involve restaurants, bakeries or florists that are denying service to nobody, but merely do not want to be forced to participate in something they mirally object to, i.e., same sex "marriage", and in the case of the pizza parlor, the owners were just asked a hypothetical, and the liberal haters trashed them for it! All of this flies in the face of freedom of conscience, and is completly unnecessary, since you liberals have already brainwashed the youth into accepting your sexual immorality, and there are no doubt dozens of alternative service providers who are on board with the "gay" agenda. The ugliness of the left here bas nothing to do with stopping discrimination and everything to do with with beating down and persecuting the hated traditional Christian believers in this country.
4. See 2 above for the pope's slander of the entire USA. Half the nation voted for Trump (who by the way is a boorish personality but hardly the Nazi he is made out to be). So I guess it's perfectly fine for Spadaro to vilify half the country. After all, Mrs. Clinton said half the country were irredeemable deplorables. Frankly I expect this type of dehumanizing hate speech from American liberals, but it is a travesty and a disgrace to hear this kind of crap from the leadership of the Catholic Church. Of course the hatemongers take their cue from the pope himself, whom the media would have us believe is so "merciful" and warm and cuddly. In reality, he is anything but, constantly vilifying anyone and everyone who actually believes what the Church teaches. The man is a disgrace to the office.
5. Do these idiots even know what Manichaeanism is? Have they ever even read St. Augustine's Confessions? Manichaeanism posits equal forces of good and evil. Christianity on the contrary states that good is stronger since Our Lord has already won the victory. However, Christianity has always identified evil and denounced it. There is nothing wrong with that if based on correct Christian truth. As for the arcane ideologies you mention like dominionism, I am sure all three people who actually know what they are and believe them will thank you for mentioning them. As it is, these are just terms the Christianity-hating left use as a cudgel to beat up on the hated traditional Christian believers in this country.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"The Pope allegedly..." Alleged by whom?

I think there ARE Americans who have a distorted view of the world, don't you?

"He received from Marxist Bolivian President Morales a hammer and sickle crucifix that, far from rejecting, he warmly received." What was he supposed to do, throw it out a window?

"His minions are pushing the abandonment of settled Catholic doctrines on the adulterous, sinful nature of divorce and remarriage" Cite the texts - not commentaries on the texts.

"...merely do not want to be forced to participate in something they mirally object to..." A shop owner objects morally to serving a mixed race couple, a store owner morally objects to serving a single woman shopper, a business owner morally objects to selling to a Catholic Church because we are "evil minions." Businesses open to the public are open to the public.

No, half the nation did not vote for Trump. For Clinton: 65,844,610. For Trump: 62,979,636.

It is perfectly fine for Sparado to criticize what he, and possibly the Pope, see as needing criticism. Criticism is not hate, criticism is not dehumanizing. Were that the case, you would be all over the child's third grade teacher who CRITICIZED your child's behavior in the classroom, dehumanizing the poor thing in the process.

I suspect "these idiots" have a pretty good understand of Manicheanism.

There's nothing arcane about dominionism. Just because it's not on your radar screen doesn't mean that it is a secret. And dominionism isn't Christianity.

Charles G said...

Alleged by Scalfari of course.

The Pope said America, full stop, not some Americans, had a distorted view of the world.

Atheistic Communism is not a harmless political opinion, but a brutal, totalitarian, bloody ideology that has been responsible for the death of millions. Yes he should have declined the gift. Moreover, he didn't just accept it silently and hand it off to a flunky, but indicated his intention to keep it with him in the Vatican as I recall.

I don't have time to cite texts, but clearly the pope's infamous footnote in AL has been interpreted by many of his faction in the Church, including the bishops of Argentina, Malta and Germany, and the Pope's designated interpreter Cardinal Schoenborn, as upending Catholic teaching on marriage and the sacraments to allow unrepentant divorced and remarried living in a sexual relationship to take communion.

Once again, you make up straw man hypotheticals and don't address the facts. None of these people said they would not serve homosexuals, they just don't want to be coerced to participate in same sex "weddings". I suppose you support forcing Muslim and orthodox Jewish to serve pork products as well, and for that matter forcing Muslim bakeries to cater to gay weddings. If not, why not?

OK, so I guess if its only 62 million Americans that you and Spadaro and Hillary Clinton are sliming and slandering and calling hateful names, then that is of course perfectly acceptable...

Given that the man is either criticizing people based on left wing distortions of what American conservatives believe that has absolutely no basis in fact (sorry, there is absolutely no one on the conservative side of the spectrum calling for a theocracy - that is a complete left wing loony fantasy), or else he is criticizing people for actually voicing support for traditional Christian morality (which under our Constitution we are perfectly free to do, by the way), the criticism is not remotely valid, and seems likely based on animus. Your intolerant anti-Christian SJW liberal friends that Spadaro and co seem to be aligned with quite obviously do hate conservatives and traditional Christian believers.

They obviously don't understand Manichaeism if they think it means Christians should not identify or talk about good and evil. You might as well toss out all Christian moral teaching!

I guarantee you that the vast majority of American conservatives and traditional Christian believers have no interest in theocracy, restorationism or dominionism. We'd be quite happy just to keep our Constitution, thank you very much. The former are a left wing caricature and fantasy and show that Spadaro and co know absolutely nothing about these United States or conservatives here.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

If you don't have time to cite sources, then your assertions remain baseless. You can say "as I recall" till the cows come home, but recollections can be faulty.

"They obviously don't understand Manichaeism if they think it means Christians should not identify or talk about good and evil." I don't think that and I didn't say that. And neither did Sparado.

"I suppose you support forcing Muslim and orthodox Jewish to serve pork products as well..." No, I don't. If a store advertises that it sells kosher/halal products, then that what they serve. But the question is WHO they serve.

Selling Product A that is used by the purchaser for Event B does not make the seller a participant in Event B.

James J. said...

"James - What is the Vatican solution to North Korea and Iran seeking to develop WMDs?"

The Vatican through the Pope and others, has spoken out about wars, conflicts,totalitarianism and the arms industry. Perhaps if more Catholics did what Our Lady of Fatima has asked us to do, then we could avoid any potential Military action which might become necessary. If it were to come to that, it would be the soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the United States Armed Forces including many from the groups Fr Spadero has disparaged, who would bear the brunt. Would that Fr. Spadero and others of his philosophical persuasion find the time to comment on Our Lady's words at Fatima.
Time after time we have seen violence promoted and perpetrated in this country, and where has it come from? Where? Overwhelmingly from the leftists and progressives and not the people that Fr Spadero and others find hateful.

As far as Hillary Clinton, her loss in the election says more about her than Mr Trump's victory says about him.

Charles G said...

@Fr Kavanaugh: This is just a combox, not an academic article. Do your own research, I don't have any more time to address your and Fr Spadaro's typical liberal bigotry and hatemongering.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Charles G - I can't research YOUR assertions because they are based on YOUR assumptions and YOUR biases.

What evidence can you give, other than your assertion, that Spadaro is a liberal bigot engaged in hatemongering. Simply asserting that it is so doesn't make it so.