Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Binding force of Tradition ~ Fr Ripperger

Advisory: This is a substantial lecture with considerable philosophical & theological detail:

[Hat tip to J.E.]

Liturgy: Look to the East at sunrise for my coming ...

Ad orientem ... Overcoming the hurdle of 'priest as performer' ... Relearning what was once habit ....

[Hat tip to J.E.]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Profound hypocrisy of ACC, NCAA and others making business decisions desguised as moral outrage"

The following is taken from a PDF of a letter from Franklin Graham from Boone, NC, to Commissioner John D. Swofford of Atlantic Coast Conference in Greensboro, NC, dated September 15, 2016:
As a lifelong resident of North Carolina and current CEO and president of two organizations employing nearly 1,500 North Carolinians, I am saddened -- even outraged -- by the vote of the ACC Council of Presidents to move conference championships from our state in protest of legislation requiring people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their birth gender.

While I recognize this legislation -- and legislation like it in other states -- is complicated by society's continued blurring of the lines of gender and sexual identity, I also recognize the profound hypocrisy of the ACC, the NCAA and other companies and organizations who are making calculated business decisions disguised as moral outrage.

For example, the football championship game your conference voted to move from Charlotte in December is called the "Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship." Dr. Pepper and its parent company, Cadbury Schweppes and Carlyle Group, proundly sell their products in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Will ACC drop its title sponsor? And why isn't the LGBT community demanding you sever ties with such a "bigoted" corporate sponsor?

Currently, LGBT relationships are illegal in more than 70 countries -- including 10 where homosexuality is punishable by death. Dr. Pepper is often bottled under contract by Coca-Cola bottlers -- yet Coca-Cola conducts business in virtually every nation on earth, including nearly every country where homosexuality is currently criminalized. Can your conference continue to tolerate that?

The ACC website proudly features Toyota as an "Official Corporate Champion," yet Toyota maintains factories and distribution centers in several of these discriminatory countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Egypt. Where is the moral outrage of the presidents of Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, UNC, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest?

Indeed, the ACC's member schools compete in 25 sports divided by gender -- 12 men's sports and 13 women's. Though gender issues may be becoming more complicated in higher education and other parts of society, the athletic conference you serve as commissioner doesn't seem to have any problem distinguishing between the two genders -- male and female. Yet, when a state like the one I live in seeks to make the same distinction with regard to use of public bathrooms in an effort to protect its citizens from those who would use the men's room today and th women's room tomorrow, the academic elites who comprise your conference fake a moral outrage that is frankly shameful.

Ironically, the NCAA is more discriminatory towards transgender people than the public policy they apparently wish to see as law in America. For example, opponents to legislation like NC House Bill 2 support permitting people to use the bathroom which corresponds to the sex they identify with on a given day -- meaning someone might feel like a man today and a woman tomorrow, switching bathrooms at will.

Yet even the NCAA doesn't allow such casual gender identity for participation in collegiate athletics. The NCAA Policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation states, "Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender."

I think I represent the views of millions who would rather preserve gender-specific public bathrooms -- a mainstay for generations -- than to attend a football game in my state to determine the champion of a conference governed by politically-correct, morally hypocritical academics.

Commissioner, in your statement today you said, "the ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and wthe opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount. Today's decision is one of principle." Will this same paramount "opposition to any form of discriminatin" have you now sever ties with Toyota and Dr. Pepper?

I am a big sports fan. My only daughter married a college football star that went on to play in the NFL. But I would rather defend the biological definition of the two genders as created by the Creator of the universe than attend -- or even watch on TV -- a football or basketball game to determine the AC champion.

Commissionar Swofford, you maintain your conference's decision is "one of principle" and that "core values ... are of utmost importance." Well, millions of us who oppose your decision do so as a matter of principle and core values -- values of privacy, safety and protection of our sons and daughters in public restooms, and the principle that God created just two genders and assigned them at birth.

Please don't make political pawns of student-athletes who just want to play football or basketball in North Carolina, and don't continue to offend millions of Americans who endorse thousands of years of gender-specific bathrooms while you continue to accept corporate sponsorship money from companies proudly conducting their business in countries that discriminate against homosexuals to the point of death.


Franklin Graham President & CEO of Samaritan's Purse President & CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

cc. Presidents of the 15 member schools.
[Hat tip to J.S.]

Two money quotes from Henry Sire on the Mass of Paul VI and Annibale Bugnini

Pope Paul VI with Secretary of the Commission on the reform of the liturgy, Annibale Bugnini

Henry J.A. Sire, Phoenix from the Ashes: The Making, Unmaking, and Restoration of Catholic Tradition(Angelico Press, 2015):
The story of how the liturgical revolution was put through is one that hampers the historian by its very enormity; he would wish, for his own sake, to have a less unbelievable tale to tell. The partisanship in choice of agents, the contempt for law and consultation, the blind support given by Paul VI despite every abuse, the silencing of the Church's official organisms for the liturgy, the spirit of conflict in which the reform of the most sacred possession of the faithful was carried out, the advance of irreverence and impiety, the prompt discarding of principles that had been declared essential only a few years before, the discrediting and sudden departure of both the men to whom Paul VI had entrusted the reform of the liturgy, all these challenge belief. Moderation seems to demand rejection of such a story; but moderation is the wrong lens through which to judge immoderate events. That the reform of the Church's liturgical life should have been bound up with such violations seems too hard to accept, but it can be explained by two facts: the first is the initial decision of Paul VI to hand over the reform to the most extreme wing of liturgical iconoclasts, and the second is the background of Modernist clamour that existed at the time. However they chose to act, the pope and his nominees needed never to fear criticism for actions that made for change, but only for laggardness in promoting it. This noisy chorus, claiming to be the voice of the faithful, represented a milieu filled with arrogance towards the sacred and towards Christian tradition. At their demand the religious treasure house of centuries was destroyed, while the ordinary laity, under the flood of innovation, lapsed from the Church in their millions. One day it will be necessary for the Church to study with honesty the way in which its liturgical heritage was done away with and to pass the judgment that it has pronounced in the past on grave deviations from its true nature and duty. (p. 251-2)

We need to be clear that in attempting to stamp out the traditional liturgy of the Church, Pope Paul VI and the hierarchies of the world after him were following a policy of complete illegality. This assertion is not a legal quibble; it does not rest on a benign oversight in the constitution Missale Romanum. Paul VI did indeed want to consign the traditional rite to oblivion, but he knew that he was not entitled to do so. Yet even the legitimate intentions of legislation need to be expressed in legally valid form, and where the intention is legitimate there is never any difficulty in ensuring that. The failure of Pope Paul VI to abrogate the old liturgy is the consequence of the fact that it was a wholly illegitimate intention. This is merely part of a wider truth, that the entire liturgical reform is steeped in illegitimacy and illegality from beginning to end: the assumption by Bugnini and his associates of a mission beyond what the Council had authorized, the disregard that they showed for the Congregation of Rites, the ignoring of due process in the introduction of reforms, the overriding of the Synod of Bishops when it opposed the new Mass, the forcing of the new rite on the Consilium by Bugnini on the plea that it was the pope's personal will, his disobedience of the pope's direction to submit the General Instruction to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. When the new rite was brought in, the attempt to accompany its introduction with the abolition of the old was part of the same course of illegality. Hence we ought to recognize what the genuine law of the Church is at present: there is no need juridically for the restoration of the traditional rite. The only thing needed for its recovery is that the Church should return to legality. As a matter of law, there is no obligation on any priest to use the Missal of Paul VI for any celebration, and the only liturgy that has universal right in the Latin Church is the one decreed by Pope St. Pius V in the bull Quo Primum. (p. 286)
[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

'Ruling Class' author explains the Trump phenomena

Neal B. Freeman of the National Review has an interesting article by the above title over at (September 13, 2016). The interview is with Angelo Codevilla, "the longtime professor of international relations at Boston University and, before that, a powerful voice in Washington deliberations on national security. The author of 13 books, he is perhaps best known for an essay later turned into a book, The Ruling Class, which called out the coastal elites that have dominated, and in Codevilla’s view misdirected, our political culture for several decades past."

In every group of 1,000 Trump voters, there is one made-for-TV skinhead. With remarkable efficiency, the designated nut-job is identified and packaged for tele-journalists who in other circumstances might be expected to deplore the conflation of anecdote with datum.

... Caricaturing Trump’s supporters as skinheads is yet another instance of the ruling class’s longstanding attitude toward America. To wit: America was born tainted by racism, sexism, greed, genocide against natives — a critique that is wrapped in both religious obscurantism and hypocritical promises of equality. This refrain from government, its clients in the media, the educational establishment, and major corporations has convinced millions to support whomever and whatever might disempower that class. Even Donald Trump. Rejection of these caricatures is a unifying sentiment among his supporters. The accused’s natural tendency is to think, “That’s not who I am.” And then, “Who the Hell do they think they are to say that of me?” Humans live by the sense of who they are and of what the world around them is. In short, by common sense. They rebel reflexively when confronted by assertions that run counter to it.
[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]

Argument of the Month Club debates Amoris Laetitia

Well, 'debated' would be more accurate: this happened back on May 10th. But the video is still worth a watch:

Fr. John Eckert vs. Dr. David Pence, "Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love): 'Ambiguous and Scandalous' or 'Clear and Inspiring'?" (AOTM, May 10, 2016) [VIDEO]

[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]

An update from Norcia

Via Rorate:

Rare Merton observations on the liturgical reform

Kenneth J. Wolfe, "Thomas Merton on post-Vatican II liturgy" (Rorate Caeli, September 20, 2016):
For Father Louis (his religious name that appears on his tombstone, above), his liturgical sensibilities began in quite the traditional manner. In his 1948 autobiography "The Seven Storey Mountain", he wrote of his love of "the warmth of Gregorian chant" and noted his first attendance at Mass (before converting) was an August 1938 Low Mass at Corpus Christi church in New York, where he was impressed by even a music-free liturgy.

... In the 1960s, Father Louis would get caught up in the spirit of Vatican II, but he also showed some misgiving. A recent article by Gregory K. Hillis, an associate professor of theology at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, highlighted some of these quotes in the context of embracing "really groovy" Mass insanity in 1967, while writing numerous letters in the same decade opposing the reforms that led to the novus ordo (which he did not live to see). From the article:
...Merton knew that liturgical reform was risky, and in a letter to Dom Denys Rackley, a Carthusian at La Grande Chartreuse written five days after the constitution's promulgation, he expresses his reservations about the liturgical doors opened up by the council:

"Our great danger is to throw away things that are excellent, which we do not understand, and replace them with mediocre forms which seem to us to be more meaningful and which in fact are only trite. I am very much afraid that when all the dust clears we will be left with no better than we deserve, a rather silly, flashy, seemingly up-to-date series of liturgical forms that have lost the dignity and the meaning of the old ones."

"The monks cannot understand the treasure they possess, and they throw it out to look for something else ...."

... But Merton also frequently expresses frustration with the willingness with which progressives were willing to rid the liturgy of that which had timeless value. Merton's frustrations come through clearly in a 1965 letter to an Anglican:

"As I tell all my Anglican friends, 'I hope you will have the sense to maintain traditions that we are now eagerly throwing overboard'."

He is particularly concerned about the ease with which Latin and Gregorian chant were being abandoned, even in the monastery: "The monks cannot understand the treasure they possess, and they throw it out to look for something else, when seculars, who for the most part are not even Christians, are able to love this incomparable art."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Free fall

Elliot Milco, "Francis's Argentine Letter and the Proper Response" (First Things, September 14, 2016).

[Hat tip to JM]

Two demurrals from Mirus

Edward Peters, "My I demur re Mirus this once?" (In the Light of the Law, September 13, 2016):
Pretty much everything Dr. Jeff Mirus writes is worth reading, but his latest column, correctly defending Pope Francis against charges of heresy based on his endorsement of the Buenos Aires Directive, overstates the argument in one small, technical regard and, I think, misses a larger, more important point in another. I basically agree with everything Mirus wrote, except as follows. Read more >>
Dr. John Lamont, "Dr. Jeffrey Mirus on marriage and the Eucharist" - via "Op-Ed: 'Adultery as a venial sin' -- and other absurdities of trying to defend the indefensible Francis Doctrine" (Rorate Caeli, September 15, 2016):
Dr. Jeffrey Mirus has recently published an article entitled ‘Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages’ [available here]. The object of this article is to argue that Pope Francis has not asserted or endorsed heresy in approving of a recent document issued by some Argentinian bishops concerning the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. To justify this conclusion, Dr. Mirus makes a number of claims about moral behaviour and the discipline of the sacraments.

These claims urgently need to be addressed.
Related: And now a response from Dr. Jeff Mirus, "Papal governance by sleight-of-hand strains my grasp of culpability and Canon Law" (, September 16, 2016).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Canonis Ed Peters on "the Buenos Aires directive"

Ed Peters, "On the Buenos Aires directive" (In the Light of the Law, September 13, 2016). As always, superlatively clear, eminently edifying, and right on the money.

Robert Royal: "So now we know"

Robert Royal,"A Bizarre Papal Move" (The Catholic Thing, September 14, 2016):
So now we know. We knew before, really, but didn’t have explicit confirmation. The long, agonizing slog, however, is finally over: from Pope Francis’ invitation to Cardinal Kasper to address the bishops in Rome in February of 2014 to the pope’s letter last week to some Argentinean bishops affirming guidelines they had developed in a joint document that, in “exceptional cases,” people divorced and remarried (living in an “adulterous” relationship as we believed for 2000 years in Western Christianity), may receive Holy Communion. This whole affair is bizarre. No other word will do....

....Indeed, Catholics have a new teaching now, not only on divorce and remarriage. We have a new vision of the Eucharist. It’s worth recalling that in January the pope, coyly, not ruling it out, suggested to a group of Lutherans in Rome that they, too, should “talk with the Lord” and “go forward.” Indeed, they later took Communion at Mass in the Vatican. In a way, that was even more significant. A Catholic couple, divorced and remarried, are sinners, but – at least in principle – still Catholic. Has intercommunion with non-Catholic Christians also been decided now without any consultation – almost as if such a momentous step in understanding the Sacrament of Unity hardly matters?

I say this in sorrow, but I’m afraid that the rest of this papacy is now going to be rent by bands of dissenters, charges of papal heresy, threats of – and perhaps outright –schism. Lord, have mercy.

Spiritual vitality of today's youth vs. encultured sterility of older generations? A false dichotomy

Guy Noir, again, commenting this time on "Rah Rah T(eam) G(ospel) C(oalition)" (Old Life, September 13, 2016).

Noir writes:
SO the overheated rhetoric of "new" evangelization and new forms of discipleship is not just a postconciliar Catholic phenomenon. This critique seems not so much curmudgeonly as correct.

Let's have impassioned preaching (do we Catholics though have that?), but let's also have talk about faithful living that sounds adult in its tenor, and not like what sounds closer to either what Knox called Enthusiam or what I'd call very bad European ad campaigning.
Excerpts from the Old Life article:
[The so often] repeated contrast between the spiritual vitality of today’s young people and the enculturated sterility of the older generation is naive.... [...I]f spiritual renewal is to be a sustaining presence in the church at large, it must certainly go beyond what theologians, preachers, [...]officials, and other professional Christian workers do for a living. It must even go beyond what lay people do in devotion, worship, witness, and Christian social involvement.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Francis Schaeffer listened to Pink Floyd? Timothy Leary, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards read or studied with him??

A terrific article in many, many ways. Please do yourself a favor if you are the least bit interested in Christian intellectual culture, and read Jake Meador's "Francis Schaeffer and Christian Intellectualism" (Mere Orthodoxy, August 18, 2016).

The piece sets the stage by tolling the death knell of public Christian intellectual culture round about 1960. Like this:
In his recent essay on Christian intellectualism, Alan Jacobs dates the high point of the public Christian intellectual in America as being in the late 1940s. Citing the influence of thinkers like CS Lewis, WH Auden, and Reinhold Niebuhr, Jacobs argues that the movement began to fade in the 1950s and, by the 1960s, was largely a spent force. By that time Lewis, Auden, and Niebuhr were no longer as relevant in contemporary debates and the next generation had not yet emerged. By the time that generation of leaders did, Jacobs argues, the culture had moved past them and they had become more conversant in the intramural discussions happening in conservative religious circles rather than the broader cultural conversation.

... In dating the decline of the Christian intellectual, Jacobs cites, amongst other things, the evidence offered by major media coverage of prominent public Christians. He notes that both Lewis and Niebuhr made the cover of Time in the late 1940s with Lewis appearing on it in 1947 and Niebuhr doing the same in 1948. What’s funny about this is that Francis Schaeffer, who has been hailed by some as Lewis’s only equal amongst orthodox Christian apologists in the 20th century, also makes a prominent appearance in Time ... but in 1960....

Time‘s description of Schaeffer, however, tells us something about how things had changed during the 12 years between Niebuhr’s cover and Schaeffer’s. In 1960, Time presents Schaeffer as a missionary to the intellectuals, which he no doubt was. But this assumes that Christianity needs missionaries to the intellectuals because the intellectuals are no longer Christian. What had been conflict within the intellectual community 13 years before when they reported on CS Lewis has become an attempt to witness to the intellectual community by 1960. This suggests, in one sense, that Jacobs is right—the Christian public intellectual is dead by 1960, which is why Schaeffer was needed.

But it also raises a separate question: If that intellectual is dead, why is Schaeffer being covered by Time in the first place?Further, why does he have well-known figures from the various counter-cultures as well as popular icons of the era beating down his door to study with him at L’Abri? Timothy Leary, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards are just three examples of prominent 1960s figures who read or studied with Schaeffer. There are others....

[Hat tip to JM]

Papal letter approving sacraments for the re-married

Related: Lianne Laurence, "Another plea to Pope to correct 'heretical' statements in 'Amoris Laetitia'" (LifeSiteNews, August 10, 2016) - Professor Josef Seifert.