Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The snakes are back in Ireland

Guy Noir's telegram simply read: "The End."  I wondered what he meant, until I received a carrier pigeon message with a print-out of a comment made to a Carl E. Olson article in The Catholic World Report entitled "In Ireland, the old is out and the out are in."

Here's the combox comment:
"Many years ago, the great spiritual writer Dom Hubert von Zeller published a novel about the end of the world under the pen name "Hugh Venning." THE END is a witty book that treats apocalyptic events almost as a comedy of manners, but its plausibility just took another hit. In the novel, only three nations refuse to bow to Anti-Christ: Poland, Quebec, and Ireland. I wonder how much longer Poland will last?"

Come and visit Italy with Raider Fan

Yes!  "Raider Fan on Real Basil Pesto" and other visual and culinary delights over at The Nesciencent Nepenthene.  And during your journey, if you have any injuries to the head, or even a minor headache, it's always a comfort knowing you'll be in the skilled hands of your host, also famously known as the Amateur Brain Surgeon.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Irish referendum rejects the Faith

Michael Voris, "The Murdering of Catholicism" (Church Militant, May 23, 2015): 
Dublin, May 23, 2015 (ChurchMiltant.com) - This weekend's 2–1 vote by Ireland to lovingly embrace sodomy as a form of marriage proves two points.

The first is the abject, epic failure on the part of the Catholic clergy over the course of decades to transmit the Faith. Bishops refused to discipline various priests who were active homosexuals or sympathetic to the militant homosexual agenda. These traitorous priests slowly but certainly converted the Catholic populace, in cooperation with a high-voltage secular culture, to accept evil step by step.

The repeated refusal of bishops to discipline these clergy contributed greatly to this wicked turn of events. The status quo allowed the culture of death to flourish. Catholic leadership offered absolutely no defense, and in many cases supported the trashing of the Faith.

Homosexual priests abused boys in a Catholic school system that turned the Irish population decidedly against the Church when all was revealed a few years ago.

And that is the second point to consider: This was not only a vote in favor of sodomy, disguised as a human right, but also a referendum on the Catholic Church — and quite frankly, the Church got exactly what it deserved. The leadership betrayed the Son of God, and they are getting their due punishment.

Without a public admission of their sins, a call for forgiveness and resignation of their offices, they will more than likely be punished for eternity in the fires of Hell as well.

They will have chosen their eternal fate every time they looked the other way, allowed an abuse against the truth, covered up a homosexual abusive priest, diminished the Faith by allowing errant catechesis in the parish, permitted an active homosexual to run the nation's major seminary for over a decade (a man who has since converted to the heresy of Protestantism, and is civilly married to his gay lover in California.)

The step-by-step degrading of the Faith is how this happened. But it didn't come out of the blue. Four years ago when we were in Ireland, we interviewed random people on the street and asked them if they still attended Mass. We asked 19 people; 18 did not.

The total collapse of the Faith did not happen overnight.
 The video at the bottom of the page on the original site is very telling.  It was recorded earlier, maybe even a year ago, but it shows the "state of the faith" on the street, so to speak.  And it's about as dismal as the political understanding of the general American electorate, if you know what I mean.

Orson Scott Card on homosexual "marriage" and civilization

The Ornery American had this post from last February that's really not bad, Orson Scott Card on "Homosexual 'Marriage" and Civilization." The opening lines are great ... and timely:
A little dialogue from Lewis Carroll:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."
It's a long and substantial piece, but this alone is "right on the money" in that the tidal wave of pro-gay opinion is increasingly showing us that gay party members are really no longer interested in mere "tolerance," or "dialogue" or "rational argument," but only "to be master -- that's all." In other words, they are rapidly becoming homofascists bent on imposing their will come hell or high water. We've seen these sorts of social experiments before, and they've never turned out well.

Assumption Grotto family in need as mother AND father deal with cancer

A GoFund Me account has been set up by a relative of Caroline DeLoca to help with expenses related to her recent diagnosis of cancer. This comes just a few years after her husband, Peter, battled a cancerous tumor in his leg. As Caroline faces her own battle now, with stage 3 breast cancer, there are concerns that Peter's cancer may have returned.

This beautiful pro-life family with five children and, baby number six getting close to third trimester, belongs to Assumption Grotto and is known to many of us. They have a loving, supportive family network. But, as you can imagine, financial needs are many.

You can use the GoFund Me account set up by Caroline's aunt OR you can give money to the family directly if you know them. Others who do not know them, please check back tonight or tomorrow and I will update this post with an alternate place to send checks so the family gets the money directly if that pans through.

Most of all, pray for this family.

Fr. Perrone on Pentecost, the interior work of the Spirit, and Archbishop Vigneron's prayer request

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, May 24, 2015): 
The ‘fiftieth day’ is the meaning of Pentecost, the countdown for which began at Easter. This feast bears a relation to the day of Christ’s resurrection somewhat in the way that Epiphany bears to Christmas. The light that shone from the risen Savior’s body on Easter falls today upon Christ’s mystical body, that is, upon His Church. Easter was the day for catechumens to receive the sacrament of Baptism; today is the day that marked the coming of the Holy Spirit given in Confirmation. 

It is commonly said that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Our Lord promised that we would not be orphaned after His ascension because He would send the Holy Spirit to carry on His work in the Church. He would be the ‘soul’ of that body in the sense that He would give it life, both in its corporate totality as well as in the individuality of each member of the Church. Without the coming of the Holy Spirit sanctity cannot be possible, nor would the actions of the Church have any effectiveness. This means that sins would not be forgiven in confession and absolution without the Holy Spirit since our Lord breathed Him upon the apostles that they might have the power to forgive men’s sins. It means that the grace of preaching God’s word would not have its penetrating power to touch men’s souls for their conversion (an actual grace) unless the Holy Spirit would speak through the words of those preaching the truth of Christ. It also means that the Mass would be a powerless ceremony unless the Spirit would effect the change from bread and wine into the Lord’s body and blood in the sacrificial act of the Mass. 

The prayer of the Church on this day is that the Holy Spirit fill the hearts of the faithful. The idea here is a plenitude of grace, a perfecting of divine life. The Holy Ghost stirs up grace and activates His gifts in us to move us on towards the fullness of sanctity. (Note that His gifts are given to every Christian and are not the exclusive reserve of certain frantic enthusiasts who claim to have received specialized powers from Him.) 

I also call your attention to the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Pentecost day since it was not by chance that She was in the company of the apostles. The first descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin Mary resulted in the incarnation of Christ, that is, in the Son of God taking on human flesh through Her. In this second descent of Pentecost She is there again, this time as the Mother of the Church, Her Son’s mystical body. It is a new fertility of the Holy Spirit which gives this birth to the Church; notice how it, like the incarnation, also involves Holy Mary. 

We need to be discerning of the interior manner of the Holy Spirit’s working in our souls, and not be caught up, let alone confused, by the hype that’s often attributed to the Holy Spirit whose very name–Spirit, Ghost–indicates His invisibility. The outward signs of His coming on Pentecost–the wind, the tongues of flame, the gift of languages–are only indicators of His invisible presence. His operation in us, though divinely potent, is aptly expressed in peacefulness and quiet, mildness, humility, chastity and in charity. This, again, is quite other than the hoopla often attributed to Him nowadays. The infused gifts of the Holy Spirit received at baptism and confirmation will lead us to the height of sanctity unless we should impede their operation (which, alas, we may do all too often on account of our sins). 

Archbishop Vigneron has asked us to pray with him for the work of evangelization in the archdiocese. We need to pray that there will be souls converted to the faith of Christ in all its fullness. This is not the mere work of men’s talking, but of God. It’s not really a “new Pentecost” that is needed but the original one extended in our day. Let us ask Holy Mary to join us in prayer for this work of growth to the body of Christ’s Church of which She is the Mother.

Fr. Perrone

Tridentine Community News -

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 24, 2015):
Extraordinary Faith Episode 4: Chicago Part 1 of 2

Episode 4 of Extraordinary Faith – Chicago Part 1 of 2 – will be televised on EWTN on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 3:00 AM and 6:30 PM Eastern time. Filmed during the December, 2013 Christmas bus tour of historic churches in Chicago, this episode features not only Chicago’s well-known beautiful architecture, but also some familiar faces from our metro Detroit and Windsor Latin Mass scene:

Prayer Pilgrimages organizer and St. Joseph Church Music Director Michael Semaan opens the episode with a discussion of the goals of his bus tour operation. Windsor Latin Mass stalwarts and Prayer Pilgrimages frequent travelers Ted & Teresa Jankowski testify to the value of integrating the Church’s historic liturgy with visits to these lovely historic churches.

Archdiocese of Detroit roving Tridentine Mass celebrant Fr. Charles White gives newcomers to the Extraordinary Form tips on how to get acclimated to the classic liturgy.

With hundreds of thousands of sales to her credit, Mary Kraychy, the Chicago-based publisher of the ubiquitous Red Latin/English Missals, explains the history of the project.

Fr. Hilary Mahaney, Pastor Emeritus of Chicago’s St. Mary of the Angels Church, explains how this once-closed edifice has been restored to immaculate, stunning condition. We have many times written about this breathtaking building that should be on everyone’s list of churches to visit; now you can take a look inside and see snippets of the Tridentine Mass that Fr. White celebrated there during the bus tour [pictured].

Archdiocese of Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry, one of the world’s most energetic episcopal advocates of the Extraordinary Form, shares his reasons for supporting the classic Roman Rite.

Can’t wait to see what’s in store? A preview of Episode 4 will be posted to www.extraordinaryfaith.tv by June 1.

St. Albertus Mass Rescheduled for June 14

The long-awaited next Tridentine Mass at St. Albertus Church has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 14 at 12:00 Noon. The celebrant will be Fr. Mark Borkowski. We are grateful for your patience and understanding as St. Albertus has battled a failed boiler during the cold months and more recently faced a priest scheduling challenge. All should be well going forward, as St. Albertus leaders and our celebrants have agreed to let priest availability determine dates of future Masses. Please make an effort to show your support for the continuation of Tridentine Masses at St. Albertus by attending this upcoming Holy Mass.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 05/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Pentecost Monday)
  • Tue. 05/26 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Pentecost Tuesday)
  • Fri. 05/29 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Anthony, Temperance, Michigan (Ember Friday of Pentecost) – Dinner for young adults age 18-35 follows Mass, organized by Juventútem Michigan
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for May 24, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Moving photos of Chinese underground church

Maureen Mullarkey is probably best know for her acerbic brilliance, her insights and cutting remarks about Church politics. A great example would be her most recent analysis of two of the Pope's historical associates, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríquez Maradiaga and Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández of Argentina, by means of one of Aesop's Fables, "Birds of a feather flock together," and alternately, "You are known by the company you keep."

But as a son of Protestant missionaries in China during the Marxist Revolution, what caught my eye was her recent piece on Lu Nan, China’s foremost documentary photographer. According to Lu Nan, publicity is meaningless for an artist: "If the pictures are good, it doesn’t matter who took them, and if the pictures are not good, it also doesn’t matter who took them." Fair enough.

But these pictures are not only taken in by the eye, but by the viscera. They are, some of them, gut wrenching. They are pictures of inmates in mental hospitals, prisoners, and -- most significantly -- Chinese Christians in the underground church. These are pictures you don't generally see in the news or public media. They are moving beyond words, although I cannot say to what extent this is so for me because of the black-and-white photographs I still have from my parents' days in China back before most of you were born. Anyway, here are a couple:

Lu Nan. Yunnan Province (1993). The funeral of a Tibetan Catholic girl, 4 years old, who had died of a sudden illness. This village is located in the heart of the mountains, and it takes two and a half days to reach the nearest hospital. Children with an illness cannot often get cured, and on average, one or two die very young each year.

Lu Nan. Shaanxi Province (1995). Mass is offered in a Catholic's home in a village with no local church. Mass in a family house is officially prohibited by the government. But “unofficial churches” take the risk.

It's a bit surprising to learn that there are entire villages in remote parts of China's interior and Tibet that are Catholic. Pray for these good folk. We shouldn't think that their lot in life could never be our own.

In the meantime, have a closer look at the photos for yourself HERE.

[Hat tip to JM]

Tridentine Masses coming to metro Detroit and east Michigan this week

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Saturday, May 23, 2015

American money buys Irish referendum

Incredible: Atlantic Philanthropies has been pouring millions of dollars into Ireland over the past 12 years, and in recent years conspired to hijack the Irish referendum in favor of same-sex so-called "marriage" -- an undertaking whose illegality is surpassed only by its abysmal immorality.

A good discussion with interviews here: "Mic'd Up -- Marriage Showdown in Ireland" (Church Militant, May 20, 2015).

Why do traditionally Catholic people, like the Irish, abandon their religion?

The underground sleuth we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir -- Private Eye, recently sent me another carrier pigeon message calling my attention the the following comment by Savonarola attached to a post (also good) entitled, "On Saints and Scholars" (That the bones you have crushed may thrill, May 21, 2015). The discussion is about, among other things, the recent moral and spiritual collapse of Ireland and, more generally, why traditionally Catholic cultures are abandoning their religious commitments so suddenly. Has an archeological dig confirmed the bones of Jesus in a grave in the Holy Land? Has some new scientific discovery invalidated the historical claims of the Faith? Is it something in the cool aid? Of course not.

This is a very uncomfortable subject for many Catholics, but one they need to examine. Here's what Savanorola says. Think about it. I'm not saying that he's right about everything, but he raises some terrific questions. They should provoke some deep thought.
Rather than seeking scapegoats to blame, one might perhaps try to understand in a more realistic way why Catholicism in Ireland has collapsed so quickly. How deeply rooted was the Catholic culture really in days gone by? What was there about it which made it into a house of cards which one gentle push would topple over?

Similar questions arise over the well established Catholic culture of Poland. As soon as they started to receive the benefits of Western consumerism, their Catholic culture was the first thing many Polish people jettisoned. Why? And the benefits were not even things worth having. Unless we make a serious attempt to understand why people abandon their religion, we can only expect the decline to continue, but I think people in the Church are reluctant to question too far or deeply because they fear what it may show up - not about people, but the about the Church. One thing we might consider is whether or not the Church over the centuries has placed most of its emphasis on the externals of religion - doctrines, rituals, moral codes, practices which create a tribal identity - rather than on the simple knowing of God which should be the heart of religion. And this is not to blame anyone, but to acknowledge honestly what has happened in order to move on.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sacrosanctum Concilium's lost footnotes confirm "hermeneutic of continuity"?

This is essentially the claim made by Susan J. Benofy in the most recent issue of Adoremus Bulletin (Spring, 2015) in two related articles, both in the same PDF file linked in each title below:The Five Vatican Liturgy Documents whose citations were removed are:
  • Tra le sollecitudini (1903), a Motu Proprio by Pope Pius X
  • Divini cultus (1929), an Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius XI
  • Mediator Dei (1947), an Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
  • Musicae sacrae disciplina (1956), an Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
  • De musica sacra et sacra liturgia (1958), an Instruction released by the Sacred Congregation of Rites under Pope Pius XII
Two pertinent questions that come to mind are: (1) Is going back to the beginning of the 20th Century sufficient for establishing a hermeneutic of continuity? (2) Does establishing a hermeneutic of continuity not require a hermeneutic for understanding how later documents interpret and apply earlier ones?

Monday, May 18, 2015

The scandal of the German Catholic church, RIP

"Mic'd Up - The German Factions" (Church Militant, May 6, 2015). This diabolical and nepotistic plutocracy wallowing in ill-gained filthy lucre has virtually destroyed the German church. Unbelievable.

Related: "SYNOD BATTLES: Blackmail, Veiled Schism Threats, the Kasperization of the German Church, and the Destruction of Marriage - Document and Analysis" (RC, May 18, 2015) - the nitty gritty.

Homily of Fr. Eduard Perrone (Sunday after Ascension, EF)

"Homily of Fr. Eduard Perrone; Sunday after Ascension (EF)" (Grotto Cast, May 17, 2015). Nice, clear audio!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fr. Perrone on church maintenance, Pentecost, God's grace, and why we can't have a strong Church and heroic saints without moral discipline

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, May 17, 2015):
The campus of Assumption Grotto parish is of considerable size. It comprises church, rectory, school, convent, cemetery and its chapel, garage and storage spaces, parking lot, and others grounds. It’s a lot to maintain, especially in view of its age and size. Responsibility for the work of upkeep falls to Don, our full-time maintenance man, and to another part-time employee, Henry, who has been working while taking up his college course of study. Now that Henry must move on to full-time employment, we have a job opening that I’d first hold out to an interested parishioner. If there is a man interested in this job, he should contact me very soon so that we can continue to keep an even tempo (pardon the musical expression) in our plant maintenance. Lacking such a one, I will seek outside help to fill this position.

Next Sunday will be Pentecost. By the grace of the Holy Ghost, rather timid and common men became apostles of Christ and heroic missionaries, even unto their martyrdom. They had been amply prepared for this work through their close association with our Lord who instructed them with divine wisdom and made them privileged witnesses to His deeds. Reading the Gospels, one can’t fail to notice certain signs that proved them ill-prepared for apostleship. It’s one thing to be educated, to be schooled. It’s another to have the practical virtues needed for the work which was the object of preparatory training. And so, after Christ has ascended into heaven, with the apostles bereft of their Master’s visible presence but commanded by Him to evangelize the world, many essential prerequisites were lacking to them. In modern terms, they needed to assimilate all they had come to know of Christ’s work; they needed to memorize His words and comprehend the meaning of His actions. They may have had the enthusiasm of any new man for trying out his newly acquired knowledge, but they would have lacked the needed graces to face bravely the inevitable hardships of their mission. They lacked the courageousness, the fortitude which the Holy Spirit alone could impart to them. There were also at least one practical ability missing in their training: mastery of the world’s languages. Even more important, the things for which Christ had made them His representatives, their sacramental powers and other special abilities needed to convince the world to believe in Christ for salvation, were in them in an inchoate, rudimentary way. Accordingly, for nine days the apostles gathered together with their spiritual Mother, to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit, who descended upon them to supply what was yet needed to accomplish their mission.

One should not think however that the graces and other gifts endowed upon the apostles required nothing further on their part. God’s working with human nature does not seize human potential so that no human cooperation is necessary. God’s work of grace is an enhancing and perfecting of human capabilities. And so, to the point, the apostles needed to put their human efforts and human talents at the disposition of their apostolic work as well as the gifts imparted to them by the Holy Ghost.

Here I wish to make application to our situation in the Church, both for the clergy (especially) and for our laity (by extension). The Church is a divine institution, as we believe. Christ gave it all that was necessary to save men’s souls, including the deputation of priestly ministers to preach, teach and make the sacraments. These supernatural abilities are received in the souls of priests whose natural training in virtue makes them relatively capable of putting them into effective practice. Where the human receptacles are unfit, grace–aside from a miraculous transformation–will accomplish its purposes with so much less efficacy. More simply put, if we do not have good men who have been trained in virtue by a good moral upbringing, we will not have good priests. The same rule applies by extension to the lay people in the Church. Without good morals we will have bad Catholics....

The sad state of affairs in the Church today cannot be faulted to the inadequacy of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but only to lacking in moral virtues. We won’t have, we can’t have good priests and strong laity without the cultivation of virtue. Essentially lacking today is that courage which comes only from persistent, willful denial to personal sinful tendencies–moral training, in a word. The point: Don’t wait for a “magic” grace to change you into a good Christian. You will win the way to heaven only through the narrow way, only by the “sword” of unstinting self-denial. God’s grace does precede these efforts and it will help them along, but there can be no substitute for moral discipline.

Fr. Perrone