Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Relationship With The Orthodox

This post from Rorate is worth reading in order to get some perspective on the recent events surrounding Pope Francis's visit to Turkey. Mark well the quotes from Bartholomew I, as well as those we have previously mentioned from Metropolitan Hilarion from Russia.

First off, the Orthodox have enough disagreements among themselves that we shouldn't treat of them like a monolithic body.

Second, these comments should spur us to further prayer for a miracle that will bring them back into the fold.

Third, we should appreciate their frankness regarding the distance between us, as well as their posture that Truth matters. Would that Catholic ecumenists be so honest, rather than engaging in endless glad-handing with poor unfortunates outside of the Church (to use St. John XXIII's term) and repetitive self-congratulatory drivel over yet another worthless document that either does nothing but create the illusion that we really have agreement or encourages the heretic/schismatic in their errors by making them think the differences don't actually matter.

As an aside, if you want to see people stop being nice and start being real about this topic, check out what I'm sure will be some epic responses over the anniversary celebrations for the liberation of the Ukrainian Church (which is being attended by Cardinal Schonborn of all people).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cardinal Sarah Is Now Prefect Of The CDW

No, not the network with Flash and Arrow. The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. 

While a good thing to see in that  Cardinal Sarah is a good, holy, and orthodox son of the Church, it is also a weird pick to the extent that he is not a liturgist. This is sort of like taking a family practice physician and then telling him to work in a Level 1 trauma center. Sure, he knows some of the stuff going on. He can figure out a lot through experience. However, the whole environment just isn't his niche or area of expertise.

We will probably have a better handle on all this when we see what happens to his old job as the head of Cor Unum. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Life Is Good

My wife and I welcomed our newest addition this morning. She is beautiful, healthy, and already such a blessing. Mom is doing well. Everything is great.

This has been a difficult pregnancy. Thank you all so much for your prayers throughout this period.

Life is so good.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cardinal Sarah Just Freaking Rules

We mention him every now and again here because of that simple fact. Whether it's defending the Church's teaching on marriage and the family or nuggets like the one below, he has shown himself to be a loyal shepherd and one worthy of our prayers.

Please note these recent comments from the CNA:

“It’s very important to express that the hunger we are suffering today is not having God in our life, in our society,” the cardinal said Nov. 7. He explained that Benedict XVI’s encyclical insists that charity is the way we express our faith. Although giving food is necessary, “the main food is God.”

He recounted a story from one of his two trips to Syria to visit refugees. He met a small child who asked him: “does God really exist? Why did he let my father be killed?”

This child had everything, the cardinal observed, including food and medicine, but still lacked the most essential thing, which is the assurance that God exists and is close to him.

“(So) charity today is not only to act for social work, for material assistance, but really to bring the Gospel to the people.”

In other words:

Cardinal Sarah, citing Benedict XVI, told CNA that “charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity is not only giving food, giving material things, but giving God too. Because the main lack of man is not having God.”

How timely this message is, given the prevailing attitude that charity is essentially passing on stuff for temporal well-being, while souls are neglected. What does it profit a man that he has food for a few days (or the rest of his life) if he winds up in hell?

Social justice has long been the smokescreen of the heterodox *cough*nunsonthebus*cough*, Words like Cardinal Sarah's are a big deal because they correct against heretics co-opting the Church's message. It also helps that he's the head of Cor Unum so, you know, it's his job to lead charitable relief efforts.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Too Funny

The Eye of the Tiber does an excellent job with its latest effort:

Pope Francis Not Sure How To Make Sense Of What He Just Said

“I said what?” Francis asked those gathered. “There’s no way I just said that. OK, that’s just weird. Seriously, what the heck is it with me? Am I trying to change doctrine or something? How am I gonna explain this to my secular friends? Oh boy, I can see their faces now. I bet they’re just itching to ask when I’m gonna start allowing divorced gay Catholics to receive communion. This is great…just great. I’m so freaking pissed right now I think I’m gonna go blog about it.”

Well played.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Criticizing The Pope

Just a quick thought. We live in an odd world wherein one group calling for the Pope to defend the Church in order to resolve the faithful's confusion are considered slanderers on the verge of schism while another group who are overjoyed at the thought of the Pope agreeing with them as an outright heretic are somehow looked on as protecting his reputation.

The world no longer has any use for the concept of words having proper meanings or things having a specific essence.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Christian Pop Culture Characters

I was trying to cipher the numbers on something.

How many openly homosexual characters are on your major tv shows and movies these days?

How many openly Christian characters are in the same?

And let's add that said characters as such are shown in a positive light rather than as straw men or caricatures.

I'm not sure of the exact ratios, but on first blush, the closet for Christians seems way more crowded.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Of Vital Importance To Remember

Regardless of whom we elect, we will never see a renewal of society until we embrace the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.

Lord, have mercy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Whither Ecumenism For The Synod?

In the course of the Synod's proceedings, we heard a lot about folks trying to warp the notion of certain settled Church teachings, particularly on things like homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage.

While we continue to hear a lot about the importance of ecumenism, the scandal being given to those of other faiths due to the Synodal proceedings is being ignored. You can do a few internet searches to see what I mean. Generally speaking, there are two groups involved.

First, you've got the folks who are looking for something to show that Catholicism's claims are false. After all, if the Church ever shows it was wrong about something, then the rightness of anything else is open for debate. This category is inhabited by lots of different groups ranging from militant atheists to virulently anti-Catholic Protestants.

Second, you've got fellow travelers in other faiths, from Protestantism to Islam, who have a certain amount of respect for Catholicism as the global standard bearer for morality on a global scale. These people hear what Cardinal Kaspar or Archbishop Forte are saying and are confused. Why is Catholicism folding in the culture war? What are these bishops/the Pope/the Synod doing? This has the additional effect of confirming to such people that Catholicism is "just another religion" and/or turning them away from the prospect of conversion altogether.

We've talked a lot about liturgical abuse (or just the existence of the Pauline Mass itself) as an ecumenical stumbling block for the Orthodox. Sure, you might have some of them that go with "three strikes and you're out divorce," but they are going to draw the line on homosexuality. Likewise, the Protestant churches that most would call "evangelical" are becoming less and less accepting of divorce (in my admittedly anecdotal experience) and are definitely going to hold anything looking like approval of homosexuality with disdain. And rightfully so.

My point in all this comes from multiple conversations I've had in the last week where I've had to deal with these new issues arising from people who otherwise might be accepting of the Church. Unfortunately, the modern notion of ecumenism, which is largely (and coincidentally?)  embodied in the works of Cardinal Kaspar, is only interested in action that results in an abandonment or compromise of Catholicism and not in the salvation of souls. Until the latter becomes the focus, real ecumenism will be ignored, and a false message of irenicism will result in the abandonment of many who crave the clear message of Truth.

Holy Innocents Will Stay Open

This is wonderful news. We mentioned a while back that this wonderful parish and home to the TLM in New York was under threat of closure. It appears to have survived that.

If you have a moment, send a word of thanks to Cardinal Dolan. Then pray for the inhabitants of New York for a resurgence of the faith that will allow for some of the parishes that are being shuttered to be re-opened or saved.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pray For Them

Much is made of the poor and suffering. In thinking of those, do not neglect our brethren undergoing their final purification. They suffer. They aren't called "the poor souls in purgatory" for nothing. They deserve our love and our efforts to end their suffering just as much as the hungry or poverty-stricken here on earth.

It's All Souls Day. There are indulgences out there. Why not take advantage of them to help out someone who needs them? Someone who, I might add, will pray for you when they get to Heaven.