Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ralph Martin: Church witnessing catastrophic collapse

My esteemed colleague, Ralph Martin, has published a significant article entitled "The Post-Christendom Sacramental Crisis: The Wisdom of Thomas Aquinas," [PDF] Nova et Vetera, English Edition, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2013): 57-75.

In basic outline, Martin begins by tracing the erosion of Christian culture, accelarating today with "well-financed and carefully strategized campaigns to completely remove respect for the law of God from the culture," and the profound affect of all this on baptized Catholics. Then he turns to some striking statistics from a Midwestern Diocese, illustrating the precipitous collapse and ensuing "sacramental crisis."

His purpose is ultimately practical: he wants to tap the St. Thomas Aquinas' advice on how to deal with Catholics who approach the sacraments without being properly disposed. We "can no longer presume that those coming for the sacraments still understand what it means to be a Catholic or are even committed to such" or "even know who Christ is" or "that what they are seeking when they come for the sacraments is what [they] are intended to effect." And St. Thomas Aquinas, as you might expect, is big on "testing" adults before they are admitted to the sacraments, even stressing the importance of exorcisms.

All well and good. As I say, the article is well-worth reading. There is excellent advice here that would help bishops plug up some of the holes in the hulls of their sinking diocesan ships, certainly, provided they implemented St. Thomas' advice.

Nevertheless, I was forcibly struck by the table of statistics from the "Midwestern Diocese" offered on p. 59. The numbers are nothing short of catastrophic. The table shows that over the last decade (from 2000 to 2010):
  • Infant Baptisms have decreased 42.4% (from 16,294 to 9,544)
  • Adult Baptisms have decreased 51.2% (from 1,442 to 704)
  • Full Communion has decreased 43.6% (from 1,713 to 960)
  • Catholic Marriages decreased 45.3% (from 3,641 to 1,649)
This is in ten short years, folks. Some of us remember Y2K as though it were yesterday. What will the next decade bring?

Further, Martin cites sources showing that while "Hispanics now constitute nearly 40 percent of the total U.S. Catholic population (and more than 50 percent of the Catholic youth population), only 10 to 15 percent of the priests ordained each year are Hispanic" and "only 9 percent of the bishops are Hispanic." The growth of Church numbers in the West is "largely due to Hispanic immigration, not to growth through evangelization," and "the statistics about the outflow from the Catholic Church in second and third generation Hispanic Catholic immigrants are not encouraging."

Martin does not make the mistake of placing all the blame for this collapse on the secularization of culture. "Years of silence about those aspects of the gospel which the contemporary culture is hostile to -- the truths about sin, about heaven and hell, about the need for repentance, about the real meaning of discipleship, about the supreme value of knowing christ -- have contributed to the metamorphosis of Catholicism in the minds of many into a comforting religious ritual of indeterminate meaning."

He also cites what Cardinal Ratzinger called a "catastrophic collapse" of catechetics:
The new evangelization we need so urgently today is not to be attained with cleverly thought out ideas, however cunningly these are elaborated: the catastrophic failure of modern catechesis is all too obvious. It is only the interaction of a truth conclusive in itself with its proof in the life of this truth that can enable that particular evidence of the faith to be illuminated that the human heart awaits: it is only through this door that the Holy Spirit enters the world." (Joseph Ratzinger, The Yes of Jesus Christ, 1991, p. 35)
Martin cites the Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado Springs, CO, which has interviewed tens of thousands of Catholics and their pastors and shown that "even among the minority of Catholics who come to Church somewhat regularly, fewer than 10 percent could be considered 'intentional disciples' who have consciously made Christ the center of their lives."

Finally, Martin hits the nail on the head with the following observation he makes on a strange phenomenon that many of us have, I am certain, long found troubling:
Cardinal Ratzinger remarked on a strange phenomenon he observed in conjunction with the collapse of the Church in the Netherlands after Vatican II. He pointed out that by every statistical measure the Church in the Netherlands was collapsing and yet, strangely, at the same time an atmosphere of "general optimism" was prevalent that seemed blind to the actual situation.
I thought to myself: what would one say of a businessman whose accounts were completely in the red but who, instead of recognizing this evil, finding out its reasons, and courageously taking steps against it, wanted to commend himself to his creditors solely through optimism? What should one's attitude be to an optimism that was quite simply opposed to reality? (Ratzinger, Op. cit., pp. 30-40)
"In the United States, "official optimism" has been quite strong in the midst of radical decline. When the American bishops greeted Pope Benedict XVI on his pastoral visit, they spoke of our "vibrant" Church. Shortly before Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States, Russell Shaw, a respected author and former spokesman for the American bishops, urged the American bishops to stop pretending everything was fine."
Enough said.


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

By and large, though certainly not in every detail as yet, there has been a convergence of the secular agenda with the "counter syllabus" of Vatican II. Like the polar ice caps, the cold war between the modern Church and modernity and its "post" children is in an advanced state of thaw. That is a fact: celebrated by agenda-driven agitators, and accepted with a shrug by most everyone else. I believe that, for many of the council fathers, the convergence was intentional: it was what the council was intended to accomplish all along. For others, there was a delusion of "augustinian" whitewash as a corrective for the stodginess of neo-thomism and scholasticism: a delusion which, in the years following, has led to one sickening concession after another: fundamental lack of courage abetted by the peculiar Catholic tendency to obey mindlessly. The long, lamentable decline of Pius XII's papacy, following its many heroic accomplishments, provided the necessary political opening; the politically-weighted council documents fashioned a fig leaf of "continuity"; and the post-council years became the petri dish of time, in which the Catholic Church began to vanish, and the vacuously "vibrant" Church of God -- like its abominable liturgy, in a perpetual state of re-invention -- displaced it.

I am not sure that any corrective for this horrendous chain of events exists outside of the realm of fantasy. It is quite clear that council modernists and their descendants have triumphed over the halfhearted opposition of the augustinians. With the election of Bergoglio, Rahner’s dream of a “world church” will likely reach fruition: in many ways it has already. The ineffectuality of the new augustinians, with their neo-Cath go-along-get-along subordinates and busy-bee-doing-nothing Communio crews, is based solidly in man’s infinite capacity for fooling himself. Even Thomas Aquinas is no longer the magic solution for all of the Church’s ills, for Aquinas has been reinterpreted in such ways as to provide not a bastion against modernist corrosions, but a cover for them.

We have Christ’s own assurances that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of the apostles. But more and more the conflict between them seems to be taking place inside the area of the razed bastions. That can’t be good.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

S.O.S. from the New Pentecost, New Springtime, Civilisation of Love losers who have never met a novelty they wouldn't try and impose on the faithful; and all of the stats cited just reflect how there has been no noticeable macro turnaround worthy of mention for Holy Mother Church ever since Mr. Jones (who did know what was going on) was severely criticised for publishing the headed-for-hell objectives in Latin Mass magazine:

When the sole Church Jesus established continues to get it wrong on such basics as sacramentals - Traditional Churches have Holy Water while the rest (surely well over 90% of all other churches) have Wholly Water - then it is only to be expected that it would get everything else wrong since the V2 revolutionary rocket destroyed Tradition.

When one, legitimately, wonders if the stoups inside Saint Peter's Basilica contain Holy Water or Wholly Water, then one arrives at the beginning of common sense and one wails and retches at the complete waste of time and money that constitutes the self-destructive inanity of the progressive pursuit of WYD and Assisi indifferentism and vacuous dialogue this and effete ecumenism that.

Pope Francis is not the one to lead a restoration of Holy Mother Church for he has made it quite clear he hates pelagian restorationists, rather, he will increase the intensity of institutional inanity while doing nothing to impede our inertia into indifferentism.

And the worse off the objective measurements of The Catholic Church become, the more The Church beatifies and canonises the very Popes who reigned during this seemingly unmitigated disaster of complete collapse and utter failure.

Although my face ought be the color of the flesh of a sockeye salmon due to my impeccably faied record of predictions and crummy advice, I think it is safe to write that the stats will continue their downward trajectory and anyone with a lick of sense will not give any cents to AmChurch or Peter's Pence but give their money to FSSP and SSPX and ICK and to poor persons and responsible charities and stay the hell out of the way of the colllapsing visibilium Church.

Anonymous said...

I believe that it is rather obvious that the Church is being attacked from both the inside and the outside.

The most insidious of attacks comes from within and can be found in two extremes: Liberal/modernist views and quasi Pharisaical ideas. In neither can be found any significant quantity of wisdom, knowledge, obedience or HUMILITY.

Let us continue to pray for the Church. May Mary the Immaculate, Mother of the Church, pray with us.

Constantboo said...

When Priests tell Catholics on a weekly basis that I am O.K and you are O.K and so long as you are nice, and of coarse everyone considers themselves nice, is there really a need for the Church anymore?

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear anonymous. Were he Catholic, AuH2O might have said: I would remind you that extremism in the defense of truth is no vice! And let me remind you also that modernism in the pursuit of ecumenism is no virtue but, that aside, who are the quasi pharisees you write about?

It's Ralph and PP, right?...maybe JMJ; almost certainly Anonymous Bosch is one of them.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Apocalypse; Grace be unto you and peace from him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before his throne, And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us a kingdom, and priests to God and his Father, to him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen

Since the V2 rocket destroyed Tradition, we no longer hear this truth because it is, presumably, too divisive and triumphant, rather, we hear that we are but humble pilgrims seeking the path of truth with other men of good will, blah, blah, damnable blah.


JESUS IS KING and by what right, and at the behest of which spirit, has the modern magisterium repudiated this eternal truth?

Each time Pope Benedict XVI came to America he praised America for its Religious Liberty thereby putting on the same level the KIngdom of Christ and The Kingdom Hall of the JW's.


Of COURSE we are being punished for abandoning His Kingdom. Do you think God is going to shed His Grace on those who repudiate Him and His Kingdom in favor of a search for the universal peace of naturalism putatively arrived at by His Kingdom and those who refuse Him as their King and who work diligently to destroy His kingdom?

What'n'hell kind of madness is it that possesses us to even think such thoughts?

Lord have mercy. This ecclesiological epoch is SO sick and evil and twisted

Anonymous said...

Would you give an example of a quasi Pharisacial idea?


kkollwitz said...

If it's any comfort, I teach a substantial Catechism class for 6th-graders. I myself was indifferently catechized, and swore my kids would not suffer the same.

Anonymous said...

Ralph would you expand on "The long, lamentable decline of Pius XII's papacy" I'm unaware of any decline of his papacy.


Anonymous said...

IANS you write: “anyone with a lick of sense will not give any cents to AmChurch or Peter's Pence but give their money to FSSP and SSPX and ICK and to poor persons and responsible charities and stay the hell out of the way of the colllapsing visibilium Church.”
Me: I have had similar thoughts I would however take exception to the idea of giving to the SSPX. As I see it you would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire, from AmChurch to AmSchism.

Kevin Tierney said...

Will have to give it a read. Am wondering if anything is mentioned about the sacrament of confession.

What I've found striking in my own research is that amongst my generation, a lot of the youth understand the importance of the sacraments and rate them as incredibly important to their life...... except the sacrament of confession.

I'm not really sure what can be done about that. a good start might be priests actually offering it beyond the most inconvienent times.

Anonymous Bosch said...

This is all well and good, apoplexy and all. Fitting, anyway. But I'd like to see a trifle more cheerfulness cultivated in the face of the guillotine. C'mon friends, think of the recent mention of St. Lawrence being roasted alive ("you can turn me over now, I'm done on this side"), and St. Thomas More ("please help me up to the scaffold, and I'll fend for myself on the way down").

The END is near! The END is near! So let's take to heart the advice from our friend, IANS, pour ourselves a glass of good Cabernet, and enjoy the ride! Our Lord is coming. Put in for a front row seat to enjoy his INVASION! What 4th of July fireworks display could possibly compare?

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Anonymous Bosch. There is a time to hate and a time to love, at least that is what I was learnt (Eccl) ; and while I like Bosch, I love Caravaggio whose darkness on his chiaroscuroed canvases focuses our attention on the works of our Morning Star, Jesus.

There is a lot of joy to be derived from cursing the darkness and which cursing is but the rhetorical spark that lights the roman candle.

And as for joy, far be it from me to leave the false impression that abandoning cabernet and Vivaldi is sensible or even defensible.

Dear Donna. As it is the case that the SSPX matter has been publicly described by Rome as "an internal matter" that would appear to undermine any claims it is a schism, a fact attested to by Pope Benedict XVI when he lifted the excommunications of the four bishops: ... Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope..

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Pius XII was IMO one of the great popes of modern times. To have guided the Church through the horrors of the second world war is a feat that dwarfs the accomplishments of the post-conciliar popes and exposes the puffery surrounding them as so much inert gas. That so many of the guiding documents of that papacy were tossed aside by those same successors underlines their sheer littleness.

Having said all that, the last several years of his Pope Pacelli’s papacy are problematic. From the little reading I have done, I have decided that even the judgments of usually trustworthy voices (like that of Paul Johnson) are questionable. This pope has many enemies, and they are as influential as they are vicious. It is hard to know how much of what any one says is reliable. But this much seems pretty clear, at least to me:

• As his papacy moved into the fifties, Pope Pacelli became more and more isolated from the curia, and from major clerical figures as well. It is speculated that his disappointment with the disloyalty of certain appointments (Montini?) had a lot to do with that

• In 1954, Pius XII suffered a major illness, after which his isolation was heightened

• After 1954, he became more and more, in the acidic judgment of Johnson, “pietistic and credulous . . . . obsessed by the prophecies of the Fatima-miracle children . . . and by his own mystical visions and dreams, some of which were leaked to the press.”

Although I am quite as skeptical as Johnson about ad hoc Catholic mysticism in general, I have always had great respect for Fatima. And although I bristle at Johnson’s offensive reduction of a great pope (in preparation for his hagiographical elevation of a decidedly poor one), I have to admit that there is probably considerable truth in the vitriol of his words: “In [Pius’s] old age, the great organization he controlled seemed to have lost any semblance of intellectual virility, any sense of pastoral mission, any desire to come to grips with the problems of the real world, and to be settling into a childish, devotional dotage. The Church appeared to be dying with him.” [These quotes are from Johnson, Pope John XXIII (1974), as found in E. Michael Jones, John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution (1995), p. 84]. This impression of precipitous decline is supported by the fact that even such reliable traditionalists as Cdls Ottaviani and Siri thought that a council was necessary given the current situation, and Ottaviani even approached the new pope about it.

Of course, Ottaviani would likely have changed his mind if he could have foreseen what a fever swamp the council would become. But he didn’t, and in due course was rolled over by the liberal and modernist elements among the council fathers and their controlling periti. The picture painted by Johnson, however questionable his motives in presenting it, does throw considerable light on how such an incredible putsch was made possible.

Pertinacious Papist said...


Thanks for these illuminating historical details. Very helpful. I've just put Jones' book on my wishlist.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Ralph. It is interesting to reread Dr. Jones' commentary about the Council in that book after having just read Dr. Roberto de Mattei's far superior commentary about the council based as it is on the many personal dairies of the Council participants not available to Dr. Jones in 1995.

In the fascinating Chapter, The Racial Front I think Dr. Jones is wrong in considering V2 a continuation of V1 (Pope John 23rd made it clear it was not) and wrong by being seemingly in agreement that the changes in the areas of Collegiality were necessary as was the circumscribing of Marian devotion and his apparent agreement with Cardinal Kroll's desire to frame doctrine according to Biblical and Patristic sources, a desire which can be (usually is) signs of the same sort of Biblicism the 16th century revolutionaries employed as they sought to excise Tradition by leaping back over a millenium of Magisterial Teachings to a putative more pristine and serene period of Christianity devoid of Catholic Triumphalism.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Ralph. It would have been better had the Council never been called.

Dr. Mattei pointed-out that the Council itself presented the modernists with an unprecedented opportunity to assemble together and to conspire together to capture control of the Church by seizing the important conciliar commissions that ditched the schemas, rewrote them, and then drafted the Conciliar Rules and either enforced or ignored those rules according to how those rules would benefit or harm the modernists.

V2 was a CCN (Council of Costa Nostra) Our Thing - for the modernists and new theologians - and they rubbed-out their enemies because the Traditionalist Family never formed an alliance with the Ultramontanist Family and both were out-manuvered, isolated, out-gunned, and then wiped-out.

I imagine that the great Roman, Ottaviani, and the young Siri were shocked at what happened and they were way too late in recognising the revolution they faced and they were way too ineffective in combatting it - especially Siri whose failure to publicly engage in defense of Tradition was so dispiriting to read about.

But as to the great Roman, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, and Cardinal Frings public attack on him and the Holy Office (entirely written by by a young Fr Ratzinger), it was a complete and total lie.

And the modernists and their lackeys applauding the public shaming of that great and faithful man Ottaviani, after that shameless and lying attack is a day that should forever live in Catholic Infamy.

That nasty, shameful, and scandalous attack was due to the Holy Office, rightfully, singling-out the modernists and new theologians as those suspected of heresy and unsound theology - the very ones that the soon-to-be-canonised, Pope John 23rd, could not wait to liberate and reinstate as orthodox as soon as he was elected.

It was payback with a vengeance.

Of his own free will, and due to his cooperation with the conciliar machinations, Cardinal Ottaviani walked into the council that day as unprepared for the cross-fire prepared for him as Sonny Corleone was unprepared for what was planned for him when he drove to that Toll Gate all alone.

Beefy Levinson said...

I assisted at a confirmation retreat once. They asked what I thought of the kids after it was over. "Some of them were quite good," I said, "but most of them are ignorant sacramentalized pagans whose parents ought to be ashamed of presenting them as ready for confirmation."

Needless to say, my candor was not appreciated by everyone.

Anonymous said...

Ralph I read and reread a few times your note regarding Pope Pius XII. It seems that you base your opinion at least in part on someone you refer to as “Johnson”. I’m going out on a limb here in thinking that you mean Paul Johnson. The reason that I am having reservations about the “Johnson” to whom you refer is that if it is that historian (so-called IMHO) I’m surprised. I have his book on Christianity roaming around here somewhere unfortunately I’m packing for a move to the Grand Canyon State so I can’t access it right now. OOPs I just reread your note again and saw that it is indeed Paul Johnson. I guess my eyes would not let me read that hee-hee. I don’t know very many knowledgeable Catholics who would say that Paul Johnson’s judgments were usually trustworthy.

I know that his holiness Pius XII of happy memory was ill during his last days but I wonder if you could cite some less than questionable sources to back up your assertion “In [Pius’s] old age, the great organization he controlled seemed to have lost any semblance of intellectual virility”. Your note seems to be a reflection of your own opinions and those of Mr. Johnson.


Kevin Tierney said...

Whenever you get a long pontificate, especially with an ill pope, you develop a "shadow pontificate" where most of the decisions, for good or ill, are done by others. I think Pius XII went through a lot of that.

In the final years (as many as 10) of JPII's pontificate, Ruini, Ratzinger and Sodano were three of the big guys, and two of them frequently couldn't stand the other. Pretty much everyone (even "conservatives") now recognize Sodano flagrantly abused his power, persecuted those he disagreed with, and was ultimately the reason Fr. Maicel was teflon for so long. Even those like Leo XIII (who maintained a razor sharp mind til his dying breath) didn't govern as effectively in the end as he did in the beginning.

None of this excuses anything, we just shouldn't be so darn surprised by it when it happens. :)

Francois said...

There is new underground Church forming beneath the "failing optimistic" Church. These new underground Catholics are aligning themselves with Catholic priests of the same mindset. Parish boundaries are being blurred, liberal Bishops are being ignored and waited out. Faithful vocations are sneaking into seminaries. Faithful and ardent Catholics are insulted and are being weeded out of high profile volunteer positions and low paid staff positions, only the liberal minded are being used to fill most positions. Pope Francis is a conservative Catholic moralist. Pope Francis is only appointing conservative old school Bishops. The next ten years are not going to be pretty.

JFM said...

"a delusion of "augustinian" whitewash as a corrective for the stodginess of neo-thomism and scholasticism: a delusion which, in the years following, has led to one sickening concession after another: fundamental lack of courage abetted by the peculiar Catholic tendency to obey mindlessly."

"The ineffectuality of the new augustinians, with their neo-Cath go-along-get-along subordinates and busy-bee-doing-nothing Communio crews,"

These lines may reflect a more precise reading and summary of the mass output of the post-conciliar players better than anything else I had come across. IF EVER there were accurate words describing out current predicament, these are they. Cutting through decades of well-intentioned hogwash. Thank you RDD.

IMO the only real hope lies outside any administration and with what old school Presbyterians used to call "Revival": a violent intervention by God.

JFM said...

I just got the Ignatius Press edition of the Documents of Vatican II. The Intro to Dei Verbum is written by the esteemed Abp Charles Chaput. Even he, there, cannot demonstrate immunity from clerical fevers, as makes the simply absurd howler that the document "launched everyday Catholics on a scriptural revival unparalleled in the history of the Church." Actually, as I now scan the equally fantastical preface to Sacrosancrum Concilim by Arinze, I have to put the whole thing away. The party line-ism endorsements make me far more understanding of the sorts of ecclesiastical currents that may have stoked the Reformation.

JM said...


Kevin O'Brien said...

Fellow Trads, the solution is not more indignant traddism, nor is the solution lifting one's traddy leg and peeing on Pope Francis, as many of you are doing above.

The old lady Catholics I know who were catechized before V2 don't really know the faith; they don't even know what baptism is.

One of the worst homilies I ever heard was at an FSSP Mass.

The solution is neither right nor left; it is certainly not liturgical abuse, nor is it purity in liturgy; it is the Cross, plain and simple and the full proclamation of the Faith.

Anonymous said...

As goes marriage, so goes the Church. Rome has brought much of this upon itself with easy annulments, facilitated divorce, pastoral practices that for decades that have undermined the family while saying otherwise.

The Catholic Church must alter coarse, particularly by listening to we who have been faithful to our vows in the ugly face of hierarchical support for our spouses marital abandonment and their continuing adultery.

Regarding marriage in spite of lies, otherwise, all the Popes in my adult life have been very poor administrating the Church.



Ralph Roister-Doister said...

It would be nice to know exactly what was on Ottaviani's mind when he pestered both Pius and John XXIII about convoking a council. E Michael Jones speculates about it a bit, but his does not seem to me to be the last word on the subject. I wonder if we will ever know. It could be that Paul Johnson and others have trumped up the case of Pius's infirmities and loss of control a bit in the interest of gilding the lily of the supposedly dire need for aggiornamento, renewal, new springtimes, windows flung open, "vibrancy," fervent belief in one's own celebrity, the ease with which made men like us buddy up to the Holy Ghost, er, Spirit, etc, etc, etc. Wouldn't be the first time church history was rewritten.

I can imagine Yves Congar and his coterie of middle european "tradition is whatever we say it is" goombahs licking their chops as Ottaviani lobbied for a council.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

When you read a liberal/modernist account of the council, you begin to see how much authority they place on sheer ego and emotionalism. For them, the fact that the council fathers were so transported by their beliefs in their own great achievements is what matters: emotional conviction is all the authority they need. They deny any difference between the council and the "spirit" of the council, because they place ultimate value in their own roles in a wondrous spiritual enterprise that would change the Church in the 20th century as decisively as Thomas Aquinas had done in the 13th. It is ego and enthusiasm pure and simple which animates them.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Ralph. Pius Xll's visions etc have been widely reported by many trads. As I recall, it is also in Mattei's great book which completely obliterates the conservative catholic collective's claim that the council was fine but its implementation was not.

There was a conspiracy amongst the modernists and the new theologians to seize control of the council before it even opened and the madness and mayhem within the Catholic Church is directly attributable to the success of that conspiracy and Prof Roberto de Mattei has all the documentation that severs the head of the continuity crowd which is why one will never read an honest review of his book by any of the progressives of the Patheos posse or the Girondists in the Brick By Brick Bund.

There wil be a Pope who will declare the council a runaway council and will vacate all of its decisions; that is ineluctable.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Mr. O"Brien. No.

No, the answer is not to be sought solely in the Cross for if that were true, then Jesus erred by establishing His Church and the reality that modernists and new theologians destroyed the Roman Rite puts the lie to your claim that a pure liturgy is not a solution.

Why do you think Pope Francis hates the Gregorian Rite so intensely and thinks it is part of a restorationist project by Pelagians?

When any Pope (see Paul VI) hates the Gregorian Rite and seeks to destroy it then any man with a lick of sense can see in that Pope an enemy of the Church.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Donna. I think it is fairly well conceded that the last great Pope had no confidence in those who could have filled curial offices and so he left those offices empty and tried to do everything his own self.

Choosing to die at Castel Gandolfo is about as dramatic a symbol one could have that this great man had no trust in those who were anxious to have him die so they could run the church.

Of course Mr. johnson would see the Pope's decisions as reflecting an intellectual curial pool nearly dry and I'll just bet Johnson is quite keen on Vatican Two;wap2

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Kevin O'Brien:

“Fellow Trads, the solution is not more indignant traddism, nor is the solution lifting one's traddy leg and peeing on Pope Francis, as many of you are doing above.”

“Fellow” trads my foot. Bergoglio engages in namecalling of the most nonsensical kind. He has picked his share of these fights. Why don’t you peddle your “solution” to him?

“The old lady Catholics I know who were catechized before V2 don't really know the faith; they don't even know what baptism is.”

So this is part of that “solution" you mentioned? Raising one’s flabby neo-Cath leg and peeing on old lady Catholics?

“One of the worst homilies I ever heard was at an FSSP Mass.”

So what?

“The solution is neither right nor left; it is certainly not liturgical abuse, nor is it purity in liturgy; it is the Cross, plain and simple and the full proclamation of the Faith.”

These are only words, Kev. Any one from a pelagian restorationist to a Bergoglian liberationist to Harvey Freekin’ Cox can say them in support of totally disparate agendas. Get over yourself, Kev, get over your phony “come together” crap, and quit pretending you are a “trad” in any sense of the word that a “traddy” would recognize.

Anonymous said...

Mr. O’Brian you write: The old lady Catholics I know who were catechized before V2 don't really know the faith; they don't even know what baptism is.

Hmmm I turned 70 on the 11th of this month. Do I qualify as an “old lady” Catholic? I’m amazed that the old lady Catholics you know don’t even know what baptism is. I personally know a whole heck of a lot more than that. I know many women and men catechized before VII and don’t know a single one of those people who are not up to speed on many a Catholic topic. Every single one with whom I am acquainted knows considerably more than what baptism means. I also know many others who were catechized before VII and rejected that teaching who know as much as those who are faithful. It is much more fun and easier to latch onto one flavor or another of Protestantism or chuck it all because that’s even more fun in a hedonistic sort of way.

I’m just curious are you the Kevin O’Brian from EWTN?


Anonymous said...

I'm betting that you are correct IANS.


Anonymous said...

Mr. O'Brien my apologies for misspelling your name earlier. I noticed that you addressed your post to “Fellow Trads”. I wrote an earlier note regarding the old lady trads you know and got to thinking about another part of your note that I would like to address.

You say that the worst homily you ever heard was at an FSSP Mass. If you don’t want him can we have him? The Priest who is allowed to say our Latin Mass to be charitable is no John Chrysostom but we are happy to have him. In these days post Vatican II hijinks you make one unusual Trad. May I have your definiton of a “Trad”?


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Donna, I suggest that in the future you do your own reading instead of asking for assistance and then [complaining about] what is given you after misreading it. Paul Johnson did not write just one book about just one subject. On the subject of Vatican II, he is a putz, but he has written about many things, often quite convincingly. A great many modernists consider him a putz as well. Of course, they know something about him and may have even read something by him.

Anonymous said...

Ralph: I had to think through what you could have meant by “I suggest that in the future you do your own reading instead of asking for assistance and then [complaining about] what is given you after misreading it.”

So my reply: Did you think that when I wrote “Ralph would you expand on "The long, lamentable decline of Pius XII's papacy" I'm unaware of any decline of his papacy.”I was actually asking for your assistance? Au contraire. This is my way of saying en garde. Please defend what I consider an unfair accusation against someone I deeply admire. I have loved the Holy Father Pius XII since my childhood. I remember him and remember the sorrow I felt when I learned of his death. When you make those kinds of statements against a man whose character was holy and who did so much for the world it is incumbent on you to defend your statement. As I see it so far you have not presented anything beyond your opinion and that of Paul Johnson. As for thinking that I should read more of Johnson’s work I think I’ll pass. At the risk of tooting my own horn I am already somewhat well read however, I was raised by a farm girl. She told me that sometimes you may accidentally step in pig doo-doo but don’t do that on purpose. One can learn a lot about life living on a farm.


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Donna, read whatever your well-read self wants, just don't read anything by me. I will be happy to return the favor.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Here is a movie about he whom so many think was the last Pope.

I love nearly everything about him and I had the Bride take a photo of me before his statue in Saint Peter's, but, that aside, one of the fantastic things about this movie (among many things) is the way he used the Traditional Symbols of the Papacy in such a charismatic, provocative (in a REALLY good way) and theatrically inspirational manner that had the effect of igniting in the mind of any audience before which he appeared, ideas of dignity, solemnity, and sacrality.

Wow!!! Talk about Regal Bearing!!!

And yet after his impeccable example of how to be Pope, and after how it was that virtually the entire world was positively mesmerised (in a good way) by his solemn and dramatic use of his body vested with the symbols of Divinely-Constitued Authority, we have so rapidly descended to the point that even putatively orthodox Catholics are going ga-ga over the Pope who rejects ALL of what was then, not so long ago, normative for a Pope.

As an Oakland Raider Fan, IANS is constrained to live in the past, and as a Catholic, I am constrained to live in the past, and in each instance, I see a power that can not mount an effective defense to combat the assaults against it.

OK, I'll confess that last paragraph is weird, but it is getting close to football season.

Anonymous said...

Suit yourself Ralph. I don’t promise that I’ll not read anything written by you. There is a book that people like Johnson and all who agree with him just might benefit from reading.

It was written by a Jew.