Friday, April 13, 2018

ARE RANK AND FILE CATHOLICS MORE CONFUSED TODAY COMPARED TO FIVE YEARS AGO?


To be honest with you, I don't know if Catholics are more confused than five years ago.

What I do know is that Catholics are leaving the Church to become nones, which means they are losing their Catholic Faith, but this has been happening for the last 50 years.

I do know that the same old, same old, in terms of so-called "renewal" isn't helping.

I do believe if we save the liturgy, God will save the Church. Say the black and do the red aren't ostentatious or punctilious, the Holy Father's English translation notwithstanding.

The EF Mass imposed on congregations isn't the answer either--that has to happen in a voluntary way.

But a more faithful celebration of the OF Mass will go a long way, with the following adaptations encouraged as Cardinal Sarah has done:

Chanting the propers

No ad libbing

More Gregorian Chant, either in the vernacular or Latin

Ad orientem

Kneeling for Holy Communion

And receiving the Precious Blood by way of intinction

Doctrinal confusion has been rampant for the last 50 years and I am not sure if Pope Francis has actually increased it or not in rank and file Catholics who don't really pay attention to what is happening in the universal Church that much.

All they seem to be concerned about is going to Mass, if they go. And that's it.

But then there are the churchy parishioners, who are concerned about their parish and its gossip.

But apart from a few Catholic geeks, no one, except those into blog reading seems more confused to me than usual. 

45 comments:

TJM said...

Yes, next question

Anonymous said...

You contribute to the blog readers' confusion and apopletic rants by saying that the pope is a modernist heretic leading us to Protestantism and that the pope-emeritus is the defender of the True Faith.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Apoplectic? Wow. You must be able to see and hear me as well as read me. A modernist heretic? Really. Fake news as our famous president has made those words go viral. Yes, Pope-Emeritus is a defender of the True Faith. I am glad you agree.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

You are becoming as unhinged as the other members of the Abortion Party. Yesterday, at a senate hearing on Pompeo for Secretary of State, Cory Booker asked Pompeo if he thought gays were perverted? Cory has no shame, do you? Ironic question since the Dems are blocking Trump's gay ambassador nominee for Germany. I guess the Dems are greater than God, because they can routinely resolve contradictions, even though God can't

rcg said...

If something obviously is not working for us. and something else was, we are fools to wait until we understand why before going back to the original way. It has been satisfactorily explained on this blog that the Mass of the Ages actually changed over time. So progess is not abandoned by returning to the proven solution.

My latest theory about Pope Francis is that he is continuing to grow and is exemplar of his generation. I pray for his continued growth, such as the foolishness in Chile, that he will lead others to the same humility and conversion. Just as Pope John Paul II led us to consider the value of geriatric life by the example of his frailty, I pray that Pope Francis will lead us out of hubris by either conscious or accidental correction.

Marc said...

I have to agree with anonymous at 8:57. In fact, both the pope and the pope emeritus are modernist heretics leading us to Protestantism. Neither is the defender of the True Faith.

It is confusing to suggest otherwise.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course, Marc, the fact that you declare two popes, one active the other contemplative heretics is a sign of your confusion as the only authority on earth that has the authority to do so is a pope or an ecumenical counsel.

Can you give examples in the Church even prior to the Great Schism or afterward where the laity could make such a statement.

This is clearly a sign of the confusion in the Church that you or anyone would declare a reigning pope to be a heretic. It is schismatic and protestant to say the least and the most.

ByzRC said...

Yes. But, don't worry, Father, the "New Evangelization" coupled with continued parish closures will continue to address the problems here in the northeast.

Marc said...

Father, your clericalism is showing. I don't agree with your ideas that my being a layperson somehow makes me unqualified to know what the Church teaches. My being a layperson also doesn't mean that I am unqualified to recognize reality. And finally, my being a layperson doesn't mean that I have to set aside reason simply because the reality in question involves a man who lives in Rome and wears white.

If an acquaintance of mine said what Francis says, I would have no difficulty concluding such a person was not a Catholic, even if such a person self-identified as such. Before the advent of Francis, if you had encountered someone asserting that people living in adultery could receive Communion, you would have made the same judgment. Yet since it is Francis, you insist one cannot use reason. Such a supposition is -- unreasonable!

The case of Benedict is more difficult since his errors were not as brazen as those of Francis.

There has never been such an overt heretic as pope before Francis. So, no, there are no historical examples. We have to deal with the reality that presents itself so historical examples aren't always especially useful.

It's neither schismatic nor Protestant to state the utterly obvious. It's not schismatic because I'm not deposing Francis or refusing any of his legitimate demands on me (he hasn't made any such demands thus far). And it's not Protestant because that term refers to actual heresies to which I do not subscribe.

Henry said...

"This is clearly a sign of the confusion in the Church that you or anyone would declare a reigning pope to be a heretic."

Obviously, no layman is competent to declare the pope a formal heretic.

But material heresy is rather like that which most anyone recognizes (and smells) when he steps in a pile of it in the barnyard. Any well-informed Catholic should recognize a materially heretical statement as such when he hears it (whether uttered by pope or priest or pew-sitter).

For Those priests who attended 1970s/80s seminaries and are lacking in Catholic theology:

In Catholic theology, the term material heresy refers to an opinion objectively contradictory to the teachings of the Church, which as such is heretical, but which is uttered by a person without the subjective knowledge of its being so. A person who holds a material heresy may therefore not be a "heretic" in the strict sense. Material heresy is distinguished from "formal heresy", i.e. a heretic opinion proposed deliberately by a person who is aware of its being against the doctrine of the Church.

Victor said...

A more faithful celebration of the OF Mass will not work. This assembly based notion of liturgy with its emphasis on active participation that followed V2 has been a disaster. All it has done is to foster the "community" which becomes nothing more than a local based exclusive old "boys" club on the human level. What is needed is the cosmic liturgy founded on a mystical worship of God. The Novus Ordo from the ground up is founded on babble to comfort extroverts who fear Silence: talk, talk, talk: noise, noise, noise. I wonder if it is child abuse to have children assist at this, as it is a form slow torture through boredom. The liturgy needs to return to being contemplation based which means awakening the 6 senses, including the common sense.

You speak of music, but touch only the surface. The chief Sunday Mass must be sung as much as possible especially the so-called readings, which should be labeled as "sacred songs". The profane in the house of God must be eliminated, especially today's great symbol of godless culture, the guitar. The music must be sacred and excellent, which means art-music whether Gregorian chant or other masterpieces that contrast with the music of the profane world.


Henry said...

But as to the main question, after fifty years of Vatican II confusion, the typical Catholic pew-sitter was already clueless about authentic Catholicism five years ago, and still is.

It's more the class of "professional Catholics"--priests, bishops, Church functionaries, religious educators, Catholic writers, opinion-makers and talking heads, blogsters, etc--that are more confused due to the spread of apostasy and heresy from the top down during the past five years.

Dom Yves said...

"My being a layperson also doesn't mean that I am unqualified to recognize reality."

Neither does your being a lay person qualify you in any way to usurp the role God has given to the bishops, not to lay people like you, to determine what is and is not constitutive of the Catholic faith.

As long as you think it does, you will continue to rely on your tortured and idiosyncratic grasp of reality to lead you in your faith.

TJM said...

Henry,

We will survive PF, Kavanaugh and the rest of the clergy malformed in the Faith who would do the Church a favor by becoming social workers instead of masquerading as Catholic priests

TJM said...

Dom Yves, your condescending comment as the whiff of "eau de Kavanaugh" about it. Make yourself useful and convert some separated brethren to the Faith

Marc said...

I'd rather rely on my "tortured and idiosyncratic grasp of reality" than reduce my mental faculties to the equivalent of a cult-follower.

I do not share your Kantian view of ultimate reality as somehow impossible to grasp. Instead, I adhere to Catholic philosophical principles rooted in Realism.

Marc said...

If a person like myself -- with multiple degrees and a genius-level IQ -- cannot grasp the faith, then I would suggest the faith is meaningless esotericism, Gnosticism revealed only to those privileged enough to be ordained.

Dom Yves said...

Self-reliance, theologically, has a name. Pelagianism. Knowing my grasp of the reality is weakened by my sin, I choose to rely on the gift of the Holy Spirit given to bishops - not to lay men such as yourself - as the source of certainty.

The Ultimate Reality - God - is impossible to grasp. As St. Thomas Aquinas reminds you:

"But some come to knowledge of God by the incomprehensibility of the truth. For every truth which our intellect can contain is finite – for, as Augustine says, everything known is within the limits of the knower’s comprehension. Thus it must be that the first and highest truth, which is above every intellect, would be incomprehensible and without limits: that is, God."

"So in Psalm 8 it says, your magnificence is lifted up above the heavens, that is, above every created intellect, angelic or human. And this is because, as the Apostle says, he dwells in inaccessible light (1 Tim 5:16). Isaiah says, I saw the Lord setting upon a thrown, high and lifted up. By lifted up he means, above all knowing of created intellects."

"And John reminds us of this incomprehensibility when he says, No one has ever seen God." - -From the commentary on the prologue to John’s Gospel

Marc said...

Perhaps your misstatements would work on the ill-informed, but they will not work on me. Pelagianism is not "self-reliance" on one's senses and intellect. You've also misstated what St. Thomas teaches about the impossibility of knowledge of Ultimate Reality.

Of course, all of what you've said is a dodge since we're not even talking about Ultimate Reality or knowledge of God. We are talking about the perception of reality, which is only knowable through the senses using the intellect: that is, the precise sort of Realism to which St. Thomas adhered.

What you're suggesting is that we cannot trust our intellect due to a lack of knowledge or insight or that we cannot trust our senses since reality is veiled and imperceptible. In fact, it is possible (and easy) to comprehend and assess reality: that is why God gave us senses.

At its root, you're espousing the view that knowledge of reality is reserved for a select few who have received the "magic feather" of ordination. The idea that one cannot question the man with the magic feather even if what he says doesn't match intellectual and sense perceptions simply because he is the holder of that magic feather is ridiculous and anti-intellectual. Thankfully, that sort of magic thinking isn't what the Church teaches.

ByzRC said...

Anonymous, April 13, 2018, 8:57 said...
You contribute to the blog readers' confusion and apopletic rants by saying that the pope is a modernist heretic leading us to Protestantism and that the pope-emeritus is the defender of the True Faith.

When the evidence is considered, that which is quantified as well as that which is passed along via oral tradition, I think a reasonable person could conclude that things are amiss, apathy is rampant, vocations are not what they used to be and absent drastic action (which, I have no faith will occur), the aforementioned resulting in mergers and closures will only continue. It seems to me that the people who post here and, obviously care or they wouldn't waste their time, reading and commenting are justified in being concerned and, at times, apopletic about the abuses they witness some of which go unchecked.

TJM said...

Marc,

You've just discovered the "essence of Kavanaugh!" Don't let his most recent nom de plume fool you!

Dom Yves. said...

Many of the Protestant Reformers, too, with their high IQ's and multiple academic degrees, thought they could grasp the faith without reference to the Magisterial authority of the Church in her Pope and Bishops.

Pelagianism is self-reliance, a denial of the effects of Original Sin (or Original Sin, per se) and a denial of the necessity of Grace for salvation. The Pelagian says, "I am not afflicted by the reality of Original Sin, nor am I in need of the Grace given, not to me, but to the bishops of the Church who exercise, by Divine Right, the teaching office."

Yes, I am talking about the Ultimate Reality, not some perception thereof, which is knowable by Divine Revelation.

Like many, if not most, sins, it springs from pride. Hang that shingle next to your Mensa Membership Certificate and your sheepskins.

Marc said...

I should also mention the logical flaw in your argument that since your grasp on reality is weakened (I'm not taking issue with this part), you rely on the Holy Spirit speaking through the bishops.

You rely on your sense and intellect to know what the bishops say. If your ability to perceive is as weak as you assert it is, then you also cannot trust your senses and intellect to rely on the bishops since you have no certainty that you are accurately perceiving what they are saying to you.

Again, ultimately, your false distrust of your own capacity leads to absolute unknowability of anything. That is a tortured view of reality since it rejects objective reality despite constant sense input attesting to the existence of that reality and the intellect natural inclination to trust that sense input.

Henry said...

TMJ: “We will survive PF, Kavanaugh and the rest of the clergy malformed in the Faith”

Indeed, Holy Scripture itself promises explicitly that we will. For instance, in Psalm 82--our weekly consolation in the 9th psalm of Friday Matins--with its assurance that in His own good time God will deal with those who currently rule the Church:

2 O God, do not be silent; do not be still and unmoved, O God.3 For your enemies raise a tumult; those who hate you lift up their heads. 4 They plot against your people, conspire against those you cherish. 6 They conspire with a single mind; against you they make a covenant: 13 the men who said, “Let us take the fields of God for ourselves.” 14 My God, scatter them like the whirlwind, drive them like chaff in the wind! 15 As fire that burns away the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains ablaze, 16 drive them away with your tempest, and fill them with terror at your storm. 17 Cover their faces with shame, so that they seek your name, O LORD. 18 Shame and terror be theirs forever. Let them be disgraced; let them perish! 19 Let them know that you alone, you whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth. (Novus Revised Grail translation)

Marc said...

TJM, I've been on here arguing with Kavanaugh since 2009. I discovered what he's all about nearly a decade ago!

Dom Yves said...

"I should also mention the logical flaw in your argument that since your grasp on reality is weakened (I'm not taking issue with this part), you rely on the Holy Spirit speaking through the bishops."

Reliance on the Holy Spirit is not a matter of nor subject to anyone's rules of "logic." It is a matter of faith.

I have never said a word about the ability you or I have to know what the Church's magisterium - the Pope and the Bishops - say. I have said, and will continue to say, that they, not you nor I, have the charism granted by Almighty God to teach the faith. Without that charism, your "understanding" is nothing more than that - YOUR understanding. It is not, and cannot be, authoritative.

If you do not recognize the fallen state in which we all live, and the effects of that fallen state on our thinking, our understanding, then you cannot rely on Grace since, by failing to recognize your need for it, you cannot be open to it.

You have made yourself your own supreme authority. That is a dangerous position to hold, one from which escape is most difficult. Good luck with that.



Marc said...

So you don’t question an individual’s ability to know what the Church teaches, just the ability to understand it. And no person can authoritatively know what the Church teaches too, I see. Somehow this results from the Fall, according to you — by that Fall, according to you, somehow didn’t reach the bishops.

And you still haven’t explained how anyone in the fallen world could ever know the teachings at all since you’ve sold out the logical position in favor of magical thinking.

You’re argument is absurd. That’s why you’ve shifted gears to arguing that somehow an inability to comprehend God in his essence equates to an inability to ascertain whether any statement is in accord with Church teaching. If you’re right, we can’t even know that God is unknowable in his essence, so your epistemology actually leads you to agnosticism. Which, coincidentally, is right where that same epistemology led others who fell into it when they started moving away from the Realism of the Church’s philosophy.

Marc said...

Let’s make this a little simpler: If a pope were to say that there are four persons in a holy quadrility instead of Three Persons in the Holy Trinity, would I — a simple layperson — be able to recognize that statement as erroneous?

Why or why not?

TJM said...

Marc, kudos, but what are you doing about Yves aka Kavanaugh?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, some of the things Pope Francis either says or is reported to have said are not official meaning placed into writing especially how he'll is described.

We can say as an individual bishop, priest, deacon or lay person that it appears that this, that or the other that Pope Francis has written or said appear unorthodox, heterodox or heretical. But none of these people can call the pope heretic.

I am not sure who can other than the college of cardinals or the college of bishops, which implies an ecumenical council which only the reigning pope can call.

Is there any precedent of a true pope being officially named a heretic in the history of the Church? I don't think so. Yes, there are those very few that are named antipopes, having to do with multiple claims to the papacy at the same time.

A future pope or council could do so with Francis due to Benedict still living.

The only formal teaching that could lead to an actual charge of heresy is the footnote, but this has to do with pastoral solutions to a complex human situation. I personally believe it unwise for the Magisterium to get involved with pastoral theology and dogmatize it let alone raise a theology to the level of a doctrine. That's wrongheaded and unorthodox. Heretical? I cannot officially declare that as you a semi schismatic Catholic is prone to do.

Dom Yves said...

"Let’s make this a little simpler: If a pope were to say that there are four persons in a holy quadrility instead of Three Persons in the Holy Trinity, would I — a simple layperson — be able to recognize that statement as erroneous?"

Yes, you would. But not because of your "genius" level IQ nor because of your graduate degrees. You IQ and your credentials are corrupted by the fact of Original Sin. As you persist in maintaining that your IQ and your academic background make you the authority on what is and what is not the Church's teaching, you stand on the precipice of Pelagianism. The argument could readily be made that you have fallen into that pit.

You would be able to recognize an erroneous statement because the Church, via her Magisterium, tells you it is erroneous. Not because you are smart, not because you are well-educated, but because you listen to the Church and her Magisterium.

That's precisely why the charism - which you do not possess - of teaching is given to the bishops. Our brokenness clouds our understanding and it clouds our senses.

"Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not." Jeremiah 5:21

Do I distrust my own capacity? You bet I do. Now I can know, without Magisterial assistance, that it is wise to brush my teeth regularly, to save for retirement, and to use my blinker when I am making a turn in my car.

However, when it comes to Divinely revealed Truth, the charism to teach authoritatively is given to the Church. That's why I do not trust my own capacity but rely on the gift as God has given it to guide me to Truth.

Marc said...

Father, there are distinctions to be made, true. There is the sin of heresy and the crime of heresy: the former mostly impossible for anyone to judge and the latter judged by a tribunal. Of course, when I observe that Francis is a heretic, I’m making neither judgment. I am merely observing that he has written heretical things, he has been confronted with the heresy, and he hasn’t recanted. That makes him a public, manifest heretic. I draw no addition conclusions from that observation.

Just because he is pope doesn’t prevent my making such an observation. If Pastor Bob down the street says that God approves of adultery in some circumstances, and persists in that error having been told the truth, I can observe he is in error.

This is not a difficult thing to understand. You all just erroneously think that no one is allowed to state the obvious when it involves the pope. That’s ridiculous.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A Catholic in full communion with the pope can certainly question questionable remarks and/or teachings of a pope and even say these are unorthodox, heterodox or heretical.

But no Catholic, clergy or laity, can declare a pope to be a heretic.

I can say, Marc, you are schismatic for attending an SSPX parish and by some of your comments about post Vatican II popes and even about Vatican II. The Catholic definition of schism is breaking full communion with the Pope.

However only the pope or a local bishop officially name you a schismatic with the resulting excommunication and/or interdicts.

Dom Yves said...

"Of course, when I observe that Francis is a heretic, I’m making neither judgment. I am merely observing that he has written heretical things, he has been confronted with the heresy, and he hasn’t recanted."

Yes, you have judged the statements you have "observed" as heretical. That is a judgment. You didn't "observe" heresy, you concluded it was the case.

Your error is thinking that what is obvious to YOU (using your flawed judgment) is, or should be obvious to all.

It doesn't work that way.

Henry said...

It seems to me that Marc's statement at 8:26 am is just about the most instructive and irreproachable one of this thread. And perhaps the most precise and authentically Catholic view of this issue that I've seen in any recent blog. It's carefulness approaches that of the kind of Catholic theology that a certain generation of priests evidently missed out on.

He does not declare the pope to be a heretic, in the sense of judging either guilt of the sin of heresy or guilt of the crime of heresy. He merely observes that some of his public statements are materially heretical. (Again, one who steps in it doesn't any great expertise to know what it is.)

Marc said...

If Francis doesn’t wish to be called a heretic, then he shouldn’t write heretical things and he should correct the heresies he’s already written.

Ironic that you, a priest from another diocese a thousand miles away, can label me a schismatic whilst claiming that I cannot label the pope a heretic. If you can do the former, I can do the latter since both assertions are based on the same reasoning process.

Kavanaugh has now so missed the point of the discussion that hope of salvaging the thread is lost. Typical Kavanaugh.

Dom Yves said...

The thread is "Although he thinks he is, Marc is not the Magisterium."

Nothing more than that.

Marc said...

If it’s possible to know that a pope is wrong to say there are four persons in the Trinity, then it is equally possible to know that a pope is wrong about any number of things — not by using academic credentials, but by comparing what the Church teaches to what a pope says.

What Kavanaugh has been arguing to this point is that it isn’t possible for a simple layperson to know what the Church teaches as such insight is reeerved to bishops. That isn’t true, of course, as he now concedes. Recognizing that his argument has collapsed by that concession, he maintains that it is Pelagian for a layperson to claim to know what the Church teaches, even if it is apparently possible for a person to know. That is absurd as it is illogical for their to be any teaching authority if the teachings remain in a state of unknowable obscurity.

Again, if a pope (or anyone) said there’s a fourth person in the Trinity, anyone knowing the Church’s teaching can observe this is heresy. If it is also observed that the person making that statement knows it is wrong, such a person is a heretic. This is merely definitional.

The argument here is that one must cease applying this definition in the case of the pope. That is either absurd piety (which places the pope above Christ, actually) or it is papal inerrancy, which is false.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, you playing the FrMJK game of smoke screening or not addressing the subject.
Neither you or I can label a pope a heretic, but we know that our Catholic Faith, all of it, is out in the open and anyone can discover the truth, it isn't for a select few which would be true gnosticism which in fact Pope Francis misrepresents in his condemnation of it.

You can certainly call some of his musings heretical if you can back it up with what is known through the Magisterium. But you have no authority to call him a heretic which is a juridical terms of condemnation by the Church through her Magisterium or some aspect of it.

Yes, I can call you entering into schism by your words and actions which prove to me that you are since you haven't hidden it from anyone. But only your bishop or the pope can call you a schismatic with its possible excommunication and/or interdicts. I can't do that.

Marc said...

Father, with respect, are you incapable of understanding what I’ve written or are you intentionally misrepresenting it?

You’ve repeatedly called me a schismatic — for years now. I’m not overly concerned about that, obviously, but it does tend to demonstrate that your position is untenable and illogical.

Henry said...

"Yes, I can call you entering into schism by your words and actions which prove to me that you are since you haven't hidden it from anyone. But only your bishop or the pope can call you a schismatic with its possible excommunication and/or interdicts. I can't do that."

Oh my, oh my! Can't we have just a smidgen of the precision that priests once learned in the seminary? You or me or anyone else can observe (informally) that Marc's words or action are schismatic, and therefore call him or them schismatic. But only his bishop (or other appropriate Church authority) can declare him to be in canonical schism with the Church. Assuming this has not been done, he is not in schism, and it therefore would be calumny to suggest or imply that he is.

Likewise, you or Mark or anyone else can observe (either correctly or incorrectly) that the pope's words or action are materially heretical, in which case you might call him "heretical" in the ordinary colloquial sense of the word. But guilt of either the sin or of the crime of heresy is not for you or him to judge; hence you have no warrant to call him a formal heretic. (I'm not aware that anyone here has done that.)

Perhaps no one should use the word "heretic" who does not know the difference--which makes all the difference--between material heresy and formal heresy.

Dom Yves said...

"What Kavanaugh has been arguing to this point is that it isn’t possible for a simple layperson to know what the Church teaches as such insight is reeerved to bishops."

Nope, never argued or suggested such.

My argument is that those with the charism to teach are, well, the ones with the charism to teach. Those of us who do not have that charism are not the authoritative teachers of the faith.

"...he maintains that it is Pelagian for a layperson to claim to know what the Church teaches,..."

Nope. Never argued or suggested such.

My argument is that the bishops have been granted the charism to teach, and that a person, say a lawyer with a "genius" IQ and lots of academic credentials, does not have that charism. He/She is, therefore, not an authoritative teacher of the Faith. If that person knows what the Church teaches it is only through the Magisterium that such is known.

If one presumes to be the authoritative teacher of the Faith without having been granted the charism given to bishops, that person is, by definition, wrong.

Marc said...

Do you know what “teach” and “teacher” mean? It seems like you don’t. Or, shock!, you’re obfuscating again.

TJM said...

Dom Yves thanks for outing yourself!!! You are the one and only Kavanaugh!!

Marc said...

TJM, of course "Dom Yves" is Kavanaugh. Interestingly, he was simultaneously posting on another thread as "Carole V." Make of that what you will.