Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Will Tridentine Divide the Church?

By Tom Heneghan

PARIS (Reuters) - It isn't official. It may not even happen. But reports that Pope Benedict could soon revive the old Latin mass are stoking heated debates among European Catholics with some fearing this will turn the clock back.

The uproar is loudest in France, where clergy and laity are ringing alarm bells against bringing back the old liturgy.

Church leaders in Belgium and Germany have also grumbled, saying demand for the old Tridentine mass in Latin was minimal and warning the traditionalists could use it as a wedge to smuggle more divisive issues into the world's largest church.

"The (Tridentine Latin) rite is only the locomotive -- the issue is the carriages that are pulled behind it," Brussels Cardinal Godfried Danneels said last week. "Behind this locomotive are carriages that I don't want."

These rumblings hint that Benedict might alienate many mainstream Catholics if he opts for a deal to heal an 18-year schism with the Society of Saint Pius X, a Swiss-based group that rejects the landmark Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

"We risk creating a front of sadness, discouragement and disappointment with the Holy See," said Toulouse Archbishop Robert Le Gall, using the Vatican's official name. "The liturgy is just the tip of the iceberg."

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: WRONG! The liturgy IS the iceberg. Here is the problem as I, a mere convert, see it. The closeting of the Tridentine mass has actually created the other problems these bishops are worried about. Putting a new liturgy out front, and making the old liturgy virtually "illegal" (I realize it's not illegal, it just appears that way sometimes), gave the Church a radically different appearance. That created an environment some traditionalists could not adapt to. That in turn drew some of them into splinter groups, like the SSPX, and that of course led them into the conspiracy theories about Vatican II, and ultimately the rejection of the post-conciliar Church. The root of the problem is the mass itself. It's that outward appearance the Church currently presents, that causes some of the more traditionalist mindset to stumble. There needs to be continuity between the old and the new. There needs to be a smooth transition between one and the other. The very fact that so many traditionalist splinter groups exist testifies that this smooth transition never took place in the post-conciliar Church.

As I said in a previous post. If the pope liberates the Tridentine mass, it will suck the wind right out of the sails of traditionalist groups like the SSPX. It may not eliminate such organizations. It may not even bring them back into the Church. But one thing that is sure to happen is the stunting of their growth. It will leave them dead in the water. What I'm saying here is this. The "other issues" the French bishops are worried about find their root in the very fact that the Tridentine mass is virtually extinct in the mainstream Church.

What these bishops fail to understand is that there is a fairly large number of Catholics out there who have a traditionalist mindset. Not all of them are schismatic. There is a sizable number of Catholics who want a return to the Tridentine mass, but refuse to disobey their bishops who have virtually banned the Tridentine in their diocese. What about these Catholics? Are they troublemakers too? Shall the pope simply ignore them to please some insecure bishops in France?

The problem liberal Catholics seem to have with this topic is their seeming inability to separate love for the Tridentine with the schismatic tendencies of the SSPX and similar organizations.

I'll offer myself as an example. I'm a convert to the Catholic Church as of six years ago. I enjoy all things Catholic, both old and new, and I love the Tridentine mass. That being said, I love the Novus Ordo mass too -- especially when it's celebrated correctly according to liturgical norms. I see beauty in both rites. If given the opportunity to attend a Tridentine mass regularly, I probably would, especially if the parish were large enough to host a Catholic school for my children. I would enroll my kids, teach them Latin, and attend a Tridentine mass regularly. Now that's not true for all converts. I realize I'm an exception to the norm.

Having said that, I wouldn't deprive my kids of the Novus Ordo mass either. If we regularly attended a Tridentine, I would make sure my kids attended a Novus Ordo at least once a month. Why? Because I believe it's a perfectly legitimate rite of the Roman Catholic Church, and I don't think my kids should be deprived of anything Catholic.

The French bishops are guilty of stereotyping. I certainly wouldn't fit their generalization. I have no problem with the Second Vatican Council. In fact Vatican II played a critical role in my conversion process. I have no problem with the post-conciliar Church, or the dialog with other Christian denominations, and non-christian religions. The way I see it; so long as we don't compromise our own beliefs, dialog with other religions can never be a threat. I'm learning Latin, but most of my prayers are said in English. For private devotion, I use a Church approved (2005 Imprimatur) 1962 Missal recently re-published with approval from the bishop of Lincoln Nebraska. For my mass celebrations, I attend the Novus Ordo, as per my own bishop's desire. I would like to see more of the Tridentine mass, and if I ever do, I will probably attend both (Tridentine and Novus Ordo) frequently. So, does that make me a "dangerous schismatic?" I don't think so.

I'll be quite frank here. I've attended a SSPX mass before. In fact, I've gone to two - just to visit. After hearing the homily in the second one, I decided I would never go back to an SSPX parish again - not even to visit. Why? Because the homily was anything but charitable. I didn't recognize Christ in it at all. To be quite honest with you, I'm not sure the SSPX (as an organization) can ever be reconciled with the Catholic Church. It may be too far gone. But that doesn't mean that every member of an SSPX parish agrees with everything taught by the SSPX. Indeed, I would venture to say a large portion of them only attend SSPX parishes because of their regular use of the Tridentine mass. A liberalization of the Tridentine in the Roman Catholic Church would spur many of them to return to Rome -- some sooner and some later. As for me, I already know about a dozen faithful Roman Catholics who are eager to attend the Tridentine mass, but at the same time, they will have nothing to do with schismatic organizations like the SSPX. So they keep quiet and wait for the pope to act. Or else they drive over a hundred miles whenever they can, to a city where the Tridentine is celebrated lawfully under the direction of a diocean bishop. Is this how faithful Catholics, with a traditionalist mindset, are supposed to live? I don't think so. That's why the pope needs to do something. Let us pray he acts quickly. Frankly, I'm not too worried about the actions of the bishops mentioned in the above story. After all, I would never expect a German pope to surrender to French bishops. Now maybe if it were the other way around...? Ah... nevermind.

UPDATE 11/1/2006

From Rorate Caeli Blog...

In the past few weeks, several French bishops have sent to Rome their lamentations of protest against the "Motu proprio" which would liberalize the pre-Conciliar Mass, but, as it seems, Benedict XVI is decided to move forward, even if with due caution, to heal the mini-schism of archbishop Lefebvre and to assure to the Traditionalist faithful, with an act of liberality, the use of the old missal.

read full story here

Monday, October 30, 2006

Some Good Advice for the Democratic Party

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: There's a simple message here for the Democratic Party. The Evangelical vote is not a monolith. There is a great diversity among Evangelicals on many issues, some of which the Democrats would find common ground with. The problem for Democrats is Pro-Life and Pro-Family issues, because that's the one thing most Evangelicals (and a growing number of Catholics) do march in lockstep on. To understand this issue clearly, Democrats should stop and consider how these issues look to Evangelicals. The typical Democratic line: "I'm personally opposed to abortion and gay-marriage but..." simply won't work. It never has, and it never will. To better understand how Evangelicals (and practicing Catholics) feel about this issue, the closest historical comparison Democrats can grasp would be slavery and segregation. Can you imagine a politician in 1860 saying: "I'm personally opposed to slavery but..."? Or can you imagine a politician in 1960 saying: "I'm personally opposed to segregation but..."? To the abolitionist of 1860, there is no room for the word "but." To the civil rights marcher in 1960, there is no room for the word "but." Either you're for it or against it, and your actions will speak louder than words. One cannot expect Evangelicals and Catholics to compromise on issues like abortion and gay-marriage anymore than one could expect an abolitionist or a civil rights marcher to compromise on the issues of slavery and segregation. It just isn't going to happen. If you want to harvest those votes, than as a politician, you're going to have to adopt those political issues as your own, and if you're a Democrat trying to beat a Republican, than you're going to have to demonstrate your adopted position through ACTION! Many Republicans like to talk the talk, but few are willing to walk the walk.

It is possible for the political field to be leveled once again. It is possible for Democrats and Republicans to start competing with each other on economic and social issues. But until Democrats really and truly (through action not just talk) start adopting the issues held most dear to Evangelicals and practicing Catholics, that just isn't going to happen.

Certainly, history will record that the Democratic alliance to pro-homosexual and pro-abortion issues has caused the party to fall into disfavor with Evangelicals and Catholics. This is true even for relatively liberal Evangelicals (and a growing number of liberal Catholics). As we enter the 21st century, Evangelicals and Catholics will play a greater role in American politics. Being on the wrong side of core Evangelical and Catholic issues, (such as Life and Family), is a place no sensible party should want to be. The Democratic Party would do well to heed this advice for the future, especially after their disappointing election results this November 7th. Ah, but you say all the polls indicate Democrats are winning. Is it possible I know something the mainstream pollsters don't know? I guess you could say that...

By Nathan Black

A new Baylor Religion Survey contradicted commonly held views about Evangelical Christians and their political, social and cultural views, which are stereotyped as conservative.

The survey found a large number of evangelicals holding liberal views on certain matters while maintaining conservative views on such issues as abortion and gay marriage. Conversely, many non-evangelicals were found to hold not just liberal views on some cultural issues.

Among evangelicals, the Baylor survey revealed that 50 percent think the government should not fund faith-based organizations; 50 percent indicate that the government should distribute wealth more evenly in this country; 74 percent of evangelicals believe that it is very important to seek social and economic justice; and 76 percent of evangelicals believe that the government should do more to protect the environment....

read full story here

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Michael J. Fox ADMITS He Never Read Amendment 2

From HotAir:

Stephanopoulos: In the ad now running in Missouri, Jim Caviezel speaks in Aramaic. It means, “You betray me with a kiss.” And his position, his point, is that actually even though down in Missouri they say the initiative is against cloning, it’s actually going to allow human cloning.

Fox: Well, I don’t think that’s true. You know, I campaigned for Claire McCaskill. And so I have to qualify it by saying I’m not qualified to speak on the page-to-page content of the initiative. Although, I am quite sure that I’ll agree with it in spirit, I don’t know, I— On full disclosure, I haven’t read it, and that’s why I didn’t put myself up for it distinctly.

Ah but Michael, you did put yourself up for Claire McCaskill distinctly, and you did so quite distinctly on the grounds that she supports the human-cloning embryonic stem-cell initiative (i.e. "Amendment 2"). You also quite distinctly put yourself up against Jim Talent, once again quite distinctly, on the grounds that he opposes the human-cloning stem-cell initiative (i.e. "Amendment 2"). So in your campaigning for Claire McCaskill on this issue, you have quite distinctly (intended or not) given a blanket approval to the human-cloning stem-cell initiative known as "Amendment 2." Believe me Michael, that's EXACTLY how the voters in Missouri took it, since that is the defining issue on the ballot in Missouri, not the senatorial race between Talent and McCaskill.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Behold! A Dragon in the Heartland

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I was called into service over a year ago. Today I report for duty. The Dragon has wrapped his serpentine tail around our beloved homeland of Missouri. Our state is in the midst of a crisis, a direct battle between good and evil. Amendment 2 (the human cloning stem-cell initiative) will be voted on this November 7th, and the Dragon has spewed his venomous lies to trick Missourians into voting for it.

For the last couple weeks I have been preparing for battle. I’ve passed out yard signs, bumper stickers, and information. “VOTE NO on Amendment 2.” Today I report for duty, and I will march into the very center of immortal combat. At 3 o’clock I will be going to confession. At 4 o’clock I will carry the statue of Our Lady of Fatima into mass. Sometime after mass I will pray the Rosary for the defeat of Amendment 2, and from midnight to the early hours of the morning I will be at Eucharistic adoration for the same reason.

Pray for me today, that I may get on my knees and fight like a man. Pray for me today, that I will fight nobly and not sin. Pray for me today, that I may truly engage the Enemy in immortal combat, with a pure heart, and for the glory of Christ our King.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio. contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen.

Christus Rex Exsurge!

UPDATE 10/29/2006:
The battle has been raging for weeks, and last night our parish entered into the thick of it. The turnout for Eucharistic adoration was amazing. The main chapel was nearly full. Into the latest hours of the night, and early morning, there was never less than a small handful of people there. The statue of our Lady of Fatima was processed into the main chapel at the beginning of the adoration. Because we did not have the appropriate carriage, we had to bring the statue in by hand, and assemble it on a base at the front of the main chapel. Because of this, I was privileged to participate in the crowning of the image of our Lady. The Fatima statue will remain in our parish until tonight, and Eucharistic adoration will continue between masses nonstop until then. Certainly, the forces of hell received a heavy blow this weekend, as they did at other parishes on the previous weekends. The final assault on Satan's gates will be in St. Louis next week. After that, we can only pray and await the outcome of this war on November 7th.

Tridentine Mass is ONLY Solution to the SSPX Problem

An Interview With SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson...

Is the SSPX such a Congregation?

If Archbishop Lefebvre had not founded the SSPX in 1970, and if his successors had not from the time of his death in 1991 maintained the SSPX along the lines laid down by the Archbishop, where today would there still be the true Mass and the true Priesthood? By way of good fruits, to have played a major part in maintaining the true Mass and Priesthood through 35 years of the the 40-year post-Conciliar crisis, is surely enormous.

But the SSPX seems now on the brink of some kind of reconciliation with Conciliar Rome!

Beware of the media. It seems as though each time the Society’s Superior General, Bishop Fellay, talks to journalists, he has to claim afterwards that he was misrepresented. After the last commotion in the media, in January of this year, he said it was due entirely to “journalists, the Internet and BLEEPS!”.

So all the newspaper reports of an imminent reconciliation are false?

One thing above all should always be remembered, in 2006, and for as long as this post-Conciliar crisis will last, namely that it consists in a war to the death between two directly opposed religions: the Catholic religion centered on God, and the Conciliar religion centered on man and the modern world. The Conciliar religion is a diabolically skilful counterfeit of the true religion. Between these two religions, as such, there can be no peace until one of them is dead.

That is why, firstly, journalists who as journalists are representatives of the modern world, will always be liable to misrepresent spokesmen for the true religion. The latter need therefore to exercise great care in talking to journalists.

That is why, secondly, the French bishops who have given themselves over to the Conciliar religion are furiously opposing any “reconciliation” between Rome and representatives of the true religion.

And that is why, thirdly, Conciliar Rome recently approved of the semi-Traditional Good Shepherd Institute in Bordeaux, France, not because it is Traditional but because it is semi-, in order to draw SSPX priests and Catholic faithful away from the up till now fully Traditional SSPX, which, precisely because it is fully Traditional, Conciliar Rome must dilute or dissolve.

So you do not believe that that approval came from any real benevolence of Rome towards Catholic Tradition?

How could it ? Anything to be loved must first be known. The Conciliar Romans cannot, or will not, understand the absolute demands made by the one true religion of the one true God, so they cannot have any real love, or benevolence, towards it.

So you cannot believe that the SSPX Superior General is in any way moving towards Conciliar Rome?

I cannot believe that Bishop Fellay means to let Archbishop Lefebvre’s magnificent work of the Catholic Faith come under any Conciliar control. If ever he were to mean that, some of us might have difficulty following.

Do you see any advantage to the SSPX being at the center of a renewed storm of media attention?

Bishop Williamson: Some people say that any publicity is better than none for the SSPX, because it is still too little known amongst the public at large. But the confusion that follows on each of these storms is a heavy price to pay. Archbishop Lefebvre used to quote the French proverb: “Good is not noisy, and noise is not good”.

Then how do you think the SSPX should behave towards the Conciliar Romans?

With deference, with respect, with charity, even with affection (they will not have much love in the next life), but also with the utmost prudence – “He who sups with the Devil needs a long spoon”, and these Conciliarists are, not all of them by their intentions but all of them by their fruits, choosing to make themselves instruments of the Devil.

Might anything make you change your prudence towards them?

They must, clearly and unambiguously, denounce the Second Vatican Council and renounce their false Conciliar religion. As Archbishop Lefebvre always used to say, they must make a profession of faith in the “Syllabus” of Pius IX and in “Pascendi” of Pius X. For tens of years Cardinal Ratzinger denounced the results of the Council, but never as Cardinal nor now as Pope has he denounced its false principles. He has still not understood that the bad results flow from the bad principles. Until he understands that, he will continue to preside over the destruction of the Catholic Church....

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: There is no mistake about it. If Rome is to stop the advances of the SSPX, it simply MUST restore the general use of the Trindentine mass. Such a general indult, once implemented practically in every diocese worldwide, would effectively suck the wind out of the SSPX sails, leaving the fraternity dead in the water, until it is ready to accept doctrinal correction.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Knights Marching Orders for November 2006

From the Knights of Columbus...

The Knights of Columbus announced today [Oct. 26] that it will sponsor a “spiritual pilgrimage” with Pope Benedict XVI as he travels to Turkey in late November.

Knights, their families, and all Catholics are being asked to pray daily for the Pontiff during the trip, which begins on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and concludes on Friday, Dec. 1.

Knights will pray for the pope’s intentions beginning on Nov. 26, the Sunday before the pope departs (the Solemnity of Christ the King).

In addition, the Knights of Columbus will print and distribute cards with a special prayer written by the Order’s Supreme Chaplain, Bishop William E. Lori.

Copies of the prayer card are being sent to state deputies for distribution, and to bishops and priest-members of the Knights for their use and promotion....

read full story here

Heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, we humbly ask that you sustain, inspire, and protect your servant, Pope Benedict XVI, as he goes on pilgrimage to Turkey – a land to which St. Paul brought the Gospel of your Son; a land where once the Mother of your Son, the Seat of Wisdom, dwelt; a land where faith in your Son’s true divinity was definitively professed. Bless our Holy Father, who comes as a messenger of truth and love to all people of faith and good will dwelling in this land so rich in history. In the power of the Holy Spirit, may this visit of the Holy Father bring about deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam. May the prayers and events of these historic days greatly contribute both to greater accord among those who worship you, the living and true God, and also to peace in our world so often torn apart by war and sectarian violence.

We also ask, O Heavenly Father, that you watch over and protect Pope Benedict and entrust him to the loving care of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, a title cherished both by Catholics and Muslims. Through her prayers and maternal love, may Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

TV Response to Michael J. Fox

From the American Papist blog...
What Caviezel said was "l'bar nash b'nashak", or "the son of man with a kiss". Which isn't even a complete sentence, but whatever.

Clearly there is some confusion here. So let's clear it up: Jim Caviezal is not speaking nonsense, or deliberately dropping verbs. He is quoting the Gospel of Luke (22:48) which reads:

[47] While he [Jesus] was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; [48] but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?"

By quoting this passage, Caviezal is making the point that just as Judas betrayed Jesus through a symbolic kiss of "friendship," the people of Missouri are being misled from the truth about amendment 2 by the false claim that amendment 2 will save lives (instead of actually harming innocent lives).

Hopefully this clears up the confusion.

see full post on American Papist

Liberal Catholics Freaking Out!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: A small group of liberal Catholics in Europe are literally freaking out over the pope's rumored plan to reinstate the old Tridentine mass. It just goes to show that there are still modern neo-Catholics out there who are hostile to Catholicism. The Tridentine mass was the standard mass of the Church for over 500 years. It amazes me to no end, when I hear or read of clergy who are so brainwashed by such modernistic notions about Vatican II that they think anything predating that council should be locked away in a museum. The article itself was clearly written by a liberal reporter, who doesn't understand much about Catholicism, but as of this time, it's the only thing that I can find on the topic....

PARIS (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's expected revival of the old Latin mass has provoked protests from Roman Catholic clergy in France, a major center of the traditionalist schism the Pontiff hopes to overcome with the gesture.

Five bishops and 30 priests -- a considerable number in a church normally wary of open dissent -- have expressed grave concern about making this concession to ultra-conservatives who reject the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Unswerving loyalty to the old Latin, or Tridentine mass, often goes hand in hand with a rejection of the Vatican II reforms, which opened the church to respect for and cooperating with other faiths and switched to a modern mass conducted in local languages.

The protests printed in the Catholic press highlighted serious issues the Vatican faces if, as church sources have reported, it announces soon that priests are free to say the vintage mass as an alternative to the modern liturgy...

read full story here

Monday, October 23, 2006

USA Prepares for War with Iran

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's the story nobody in the mainstream media wants to talk about right now. Why? Because Democrats are doing well in the polls, and the one thing that would surely change that would be the winds of war. By that I mean the STRONG winds of a very BIG WAR! American voters, at least subconsciously, know that Democrats are weak on national defense issues, and a war with Iran would certainly tip the electorate toward voting Republican. So the strategy of the left-wing media (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS) is to not report on it for as long as possible. But you can't keep a story this big suppressed for long.

AM talk radio show host, Michael Savage, has reported tonight that 3 U.S. aircraft carriers have just steamed into the Persian Gulf and are pulling into striking distance of Iran. Now this from DEBKA...

Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group steamed into the Persian Gulf to join the US naval, air and marine concentration piling up opposite Iran’s shores. The group is now cruising 60 km from Kuwait off Iran’s coast. As DEBKAfile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported exclusively two weeks ago, three US naval task forces will be in place opposite Iran in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea by October 21.

read full story here

BBC Admits to Anti-Christian Bigotry

2006 WorldNetDaily.com

An internal British Broadcasting Corporation memo reveals senior figures admitted the national news agency was guilty of promoting left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment.

News of the memo, reported by British media, comes as the BBC continues to struggle against claims of biased reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and distorted coverage of the global fight against terror, reports the Israeli YnetNews.com.

The admissions of bias were made at a recent "impartiality" summit the BBC held. Most executives admitted the corporation's representation of homosexuals and ethnic minorities was unbalanced and disproportionate, YnetNews.com said. The British news agency, the report said, leaned too strongly towards political correctness, the overt promotion of multiculturalism, anti-Americanism and discrimination against the countryside....

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Well, the Brits just got an eye-opener. I suppose the practicing Christians in the UK already knew this, but it's nice to have your suspicions vindicated once in a while. As for the general British public, I'm sure this revelation came as quite a shock -- to those who care anyway. It is often said that Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice, and I think it would be fair to say the same for Anti-Christianity in general, especially in Europe. But my question is when will John Q. Public wake up to this reality in the United States and Canada? When it comes to anti-Christian bias, the same could be said of CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. I'm sure Canada has its share of anti-Christian networks too. Really, this has the potential to become a HUGE story across the whole western world if Christians would just make a ruckus about it. One by one, the networks would be forced to cover the story, and like the ravenous wolves they are, they'll chide each other into releasing information about their anti-Christian bias, thus eating each other alive. But alas, Christians just aren't the type to complain about our mistreatment, and that is our own undoing. By failing to complain, we send a clear message to those who despise us and our faith. We say to them; "go ahead and do whatever you want to us, you'll get away with it, we promise."

Archbishop Burke vs. Michael J. Fox

Lowest of the Low!
Now Claire McCaskill Tries to Cash in on Suffering Actors

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: No offense Michael, but I wonder if you feel the same way about Archbishop Burke and Missouri's practicng Catholics. You know, since we agree with Senator Talent on this particular issue. As for Claire McCaskill, she ought to be ashamed of herself. I don't think I've ever seen a sleezy politician stoop this low.

Archbishop Burke calls for prayers prior to vote on cloning

St. Louis, Oct. 23, 2006 (CNA) - Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has called on all of the faithful in his diocese to pray the rosary on All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2, “for the safeguarding of embryonic human life.”

In an Oct. 20 pastoral letter, titled “Safeguarding Embryonic Human Life through Prayer,” the archbishop said Catholics must be thoroughly informed about the proposed constitutional amendment, which would allow for human cloning. Catholics must also courageously speak the truth to others about cloning and pray, Burke said.

In the most controversial form of stem-cell research, embryos are cloned; their stem cells are removed and the embryos are killed in the process.

Missourians will head to the polls next month to vote on Amendment 2, which would allow for this type of cloning. The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, headed by Donn Rubin, is responsible for putting the initiative on the ballot. The ballot measure would guarantee that any stem-cell research that is legal under federal law could be performed in Missouri.

“Somatic cell nuclear transfer, that is, human cloning, is the prideful attempt of man to generate human life by himself, without God and in defiance of God’s plan for us,” Archbishop Burke wrote....

read full story here

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Baptists Prepare to Pull Their Kids Out of Public Schools

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Let the great exodus begin! To our Baptist brethren I say "welcome to the club." Our popes saw this day coming a century ago when they condemned the idea of government (i.e "public") schools all together. Now our Baptist brethren have come to see first-hand the inevitable product of government controlled education. We welcome them into the fold on this issue, and are privileged to find consensus with them...

If you like sexually transmitted diseases, shootings and high teen pregnancy rates, by all means, send your children to public schools. That's the word from a leader in the fast-growing movement within the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention for parents to pull their children from those schools in favor of homeschooling.

Pastor Wiley Drake

The program is called Exit Strategy and Pastor Wiley Drake, whose home state of California has done some things especially offensive to Christians this year, is a leading promoter.

In an interview with WND, he said that those problems and others are prevalent in public schools, and some Christian leaders even have said it could be considered child abuse just to register children in such a facility.

That's why resolutions encouraging members of the nation's largest Protestant church organization to exit public schools have been submitted in every SBC state and regional convention in the U.S., he said.

"Basically, (the education system) has been saying, 'You have to let us teach your kids anything we want,'" said Wiley, citing some of the pro-homosexual material being required in public education.

"Well, we don't like it and we're not going to put up with it," he said....

read full story here

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mass Proscribed by Vatican II

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following is an article written by a Jesuit priest on what the new mass, according to Vatican II, is supposed to look like. Amazingly, it looks nothing like the typical mass celebrated in English-speaking Catholic churches today. What went wrong? Based solely and entirely on the actual documents of Vatican II, it would appear that the mass proscribed by Vatican II never materialized. What we have instead is a fabricated version, based upon the idealizations of naive liturgists, rather than the one mandated by the bishops of the Second Vatican Council. I find it ironic that some would dare suggest Pope Benedict XVI is going against the "spirit of Vatican II" by returning to the ancient traditions of the Church (such as Latin and Gregorian chant) in his enforcement of liturgical reform. Pope Benedict XVI is one of the few participants in Vatican II who is still alive to remember it first hand. He was there! He was involved! And more than that - he's the pope now! He knows what the bishops of Vatican II intended far more than any of the rest of us. The following article from Fr. Joseph will further explain...

Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

...Paragraph 54 is a key paragraph: "In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue." What did the Council have in mind? Let's continue: "This is to apply in the first place, to the readings and to the Common Prayer. But also as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people." Yet it goes on to say, "Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass" - (that is, the unchanging parts, the parts that are there every day) - "which pertain to them."

So, the Council did not abolish Latin in the liturgy. The Council permitted the vernacular in certain limited ways, but clearly understood that the fixed parts of the Mass would remain in Latin. Again, I am just telling you what the Council said.

Paragraph 55 discusses receiving Communion, if possible, from hosts consecrated at the Mass in which you participate. That is often done or attempted in many parishes today, but it is difficult to do in a precise way. It's hard to calculate the exact number of hosts you will need. Also, you have to keep some hosts in the Tabernacle for the sick and for adoration. The Council also permits Communion under both species here, but under very limited circumstances. For example, "to the newly ordained in the Mass of the Sacred Ordination, or the newly professed in the Mass of Profession, and the newly baptized in the Mass which follows baptism." The Council itself did not call for offering both species to all the faithful all the time, but it did grant limited permission for it....

... Notice, however, that the Council implies what many Church documents have said explicitly - that the most perfect form of music at Mass is not the hymns, the so-called "Gathering hymn" and its antithesis - I guess you would call it the "Scattering hymn" - at the end. The most appropriate use of music at Mass, as seen by Church tradition and reaffirmed by the Council, is singing the Mass itself: the Kyrie, the Agnus Dei, the Sanctus, the Acclamations, the Alleluias and so on. Again, this isn't Father Fessio's pet theory; this is what the Council actually says. Paragraph 112 adds, "Sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is the more closely connected with the liturgical action itself." This reinforces my point.

Paragraph 114 adds: "The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care." Then in paragraph 116 we find another shocker: "The Church acknowledges Gregorian Chant as specially suited to the Roman Liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services." That's what the Council actually said. If you are in a parish which prides itself on living the spirit of Vatican II, then you should be singing Gregorian chant at your parish. And if you're not singing the Gregorian Chant, you're not following the specific mandate of the Second Vatican Council....

Now, just a little footnote on the Gregorian Chant. In reflecting on these things about Church music, I began to think about the Psalms a few years back. And a very obvious idea suddenly struck me. Why it didn't come earlier I don't know, but the fact is that the Psalms are songs. Every one of the 150 Psalms is meant to be sung; and was sung by the Jews. When this thought came to me, I immediately called a friend, a rabbi in San Francisco who runs the Hebrew School, and I asked, "Do you sing the Psalms at your synagogue?" "Well, no, we recite them," he said. "Do you know what they sounded like when they were sung in the Old Testament times and the time of Jesus and the Apostles?" I asked. He said, "No, but why don't you call this company in Upstate New York. They publish Hebrew music, and they may know."

So, I called the company and they said, "We don't know; call 1-800-JUDAISM." So I did. And I got an information center for Jewish traditions, and they didn't know either. But they said, "You call this music teacher in Manhattan. He will know." So, I called this wonderful rabbi in Manhattan and we had a long conversation. At the end, I said, "I want to bring some focus to this, can you give me any idea what it sounded like when Jesus and his Apostles sang the Psalms?" He said, "Of course, Father. It sounded like Gregorian Chant. You got it from us."

I was amazed. I called Professor William Mart, a Professor of Music at Stanford University and a friend. I said, "Bill, is this true?" He said, "Yes. The Psalm tones have their roots in ancient Jewish hymnody and psalmody." So, you know something? If you sing the Psalms at Mass with the Gregorian tones, you are as close as you can get to praying with Jesus and Mary. They sang the Psalms in tones that have come down to us today in Gregorian Chant.

So, the Council isn't calling us back to some medieval practice, those "horrible" medieval times, the "terrible" Middle Ages, when they knew so little about liturgy that all they could do was build a Chartres Cathedral. (When I see cathedrals and churches built that have a tenth of the beauty of Notre Dame de Paris, then I will say that the liturgists have the right to speak. Until then, they have no right to speak about beauty in the liturgy.) But my point is that at the time of Notre Dame de Paris in the 13th century, the Psalms tones were already over a thousand years old. They are called Gregorian after Pope Gregory I, who reigned from 590 to 604. But they were already a thousand years old when he reigned. He didn't invent Gregorian chant; he reorganized and codified it and helped to establish musical schools to sing it and teach it. It was a reform; it wasn't an invention. Thus, the Council really calls us back to an unbroken tradition of truly sacred music and gives such music pride of place....

... That's essentially what the Second Vatican Council actually said about the renewal of the liturgy. Let me tell you what it did not say. The Council did not say that tabernacles should be moved from their central location to some other location. In fact, it specifically said we should be concerned about the worthy and dignified placing of the tabernacle. The Council did not say that Mass should be celebrated facing the people. That is not in Vatican II; it is not mentioned. It is not even raised in the documents that record the formation of the Constitution on the Liturgy; it didn't come up. Mass facing the people is a not requirement of Vatican II; it is not in the spirit of Vatican II; it is definitely not in the letter of Vatican II. It is something introduced in 1969.

And, by the way, never in the history of the Church, East or West, was there a tradition of celebrating Mass facing the people. Never, ever, until 1969. It happened occasionally in Germany, in between the wars; it was done sometimes at the castle where Romano Guardini would have his group of students meet; it was done in Austria near Vienna by Pius Parsch in a special church, in what he called a "liturgical Mass." That's an odd expression, a "liturgical Mass." The Mass is the liturgy.

But in any event, I can say without fear of contradiction from anyone who knows the facts that there is simply no tradition whatsoever, in the history of the Church, of Mass facing the people. Now, is it a sin? No. Is it wrong? No. Is it permitted? Yes. It is required? Not at all. In fact in the Latin Roman Missal, which is the typical edition that all the translations of the Missal are based on (not always translated properly, but at least based on it) the rubrics actually presuppose the Mass facing East, the Mass facing the Lord....

read full story here

U.S. Catholic Bishops Ready to Bar ALL Pro-Abortion Catholics from Communion

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The U.S. bishops will vote on a proposed document, "Happy Are Those Who Are Called To His Supper: On Preparing To Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist" during their annual November meeting in Baltimore, Nov. 13-16.

The document, addressed to all the faithful, points out that Catholics may not receive communion if they are do not accept Church teaching on matters such as abortion and homosexuality. Catholics should refrain from Holy Communion, says the document, "when they lack adherence to what the Church authoritatively teaches on matters of faith and morals."

The document is designed to help Catholics properly prepare to receive Holy Communion. It is organized as a series of questions and answers, and explores topics such as what the Catholic Church believes about the Eucharist, who may receive Holy Communion, and how Catholics can prepare to receive the sacrament more worthily...

read full story here

Such a move would be significant and meaningful, because not only would it instruct Catholics that the Church's teachings on these matters MUST be taken seriously, but it would also eliminate all confusion on the issue. You CAN'T be Catholic and Pro-Abortion. Nor can you be Catholic and pro-homosexual. Such action would go a long way to restore the credibility of the U.S. Catholic bishops, in a time when previous inaction has lead to the loss of virtually all credibility. Let's all hope and pray the measure passes by a wide margin.

SSPX to Send Spiritual Bouquet to Pope

Brian Mershon:
Following an hour-plus long press conference in Paris October 14 by Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General for the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), Reuters and the French Le Figaro reported that Bishop Fellay said the expected motu proprio easing current restrictions on the celebration of the Classical Roman rite of Holy Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) would fulfill one of the two criteria established by the SSPX in 2001 for continuing discussions on the path to possible full canonical regularization. In fact, Bishop Fellay called the expected document "a grand gesture" on the part of the Church.

"Things are going in the right direction," Bishop Fellay said. "I think we'll get an agreement," he said according to the Reuters account. "Things could speed up and come faster than expected," he said. Bishop Fellay was not available for a follow-up interview for The Wanderer by deadline, but the SSPX news service, DICI, said he would be available as soon as the expected document is promulgated by the Pope.

The SSPX has 470 priests, four bishops and claims 1 million Catholics who frequent their chapels worldwide. In 1988, Pope John Paul II, in the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, declared that the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Campos, Brazil's Bishop Castro de Mayer excommunicated themselves by ordaining four bishops, including Bishop Fellay, against the express will of the Holy Father. Pope John Paul II immediately created a new Society of Apostolic Right, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), for those bishops and priests who wanted to maintain full communion with the Holy See while continuing to administer all the sacraments according to the liturgical books in force in 1962.

Then Cardinal Ratzinger was in the heart of the discussions at the time with Archbishop Lefebvre, as well as the current Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone. Cardinal Ratzinger was also instrumental in the establishment and encouragement of the erection of the FSSP....

read full story here

New York Restricts Religious Liberty

The New York Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Catholic and other religious social services groups must fund contraception in their employees' health care plans. The ruling has pro-life advocates worried because it could lead to forcing the Christian groups to fund abortions as well.

Even though the groups are opposed to contraception, the state's high court ruled in a unanimous 6-0 ruling that Catholic Charities and nine other organizations must fund it anyway...

read full story here

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Love the Sinner but Hate the Sin

In their semi-annual meeting held in Baltimore in November of this year, the American bishops will be voting on a new document meant to help clarify the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality and "those with the homosexual inclination." The document is entitled "Ministry to Persons With a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care"

Catholic News Service reports that the document condemns homosexual activity of any sort but is careful to reinforce the necessity of treating those individuals with a homosexual inclination with "respect, compassion and sensitivity." A similar document was released by the Vatican in 1986.

The current document was authored by the Committee on Doctrine, a sub-committee within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bill Ryan in the Communications Department of the USCCB told LifeSiteNews.com that the document will be debated and possibly revised at the November meeting before it is voted on. 2/3 of the bishops in the USCCB must vote in favor for the document to be accepted and made public.

The document condemns homosexual acts of any kind. It says, "Homosexual acts also violate the true purpose of sexuality. They are sexual acts that cannot be open to life. Nor do they reflect the complementarity of man and woman that is an integral part of God's design for human sexuality."

The document goes on to clearly state that homosexual unions cannot be recognized under any form - either as 'same-sex marriage' or civil unions. Marriage is clearly defined as the union of one man and one woman, "a bond that is directed toward two inseparable ends: the expression of marital love and the procreation and education of children." The document reiterates the Church's teaching that any sexual activity, homosexual or heterosexual, outside of marriage is morally wrong...

read full story here

Vatican to Excommunicate Supporters of Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Scientists who carry out embryonic stem cell research and politicians who pass laws permitting the practice will be excommunicated, the Vatican said yesterday.

"Destroying human embryos is equivalent to an abortion. It is the same thing," said Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

"Excommunication will be applied to the women, doctors and researchers who eliminate embryos [and to the] politicians that approve the law," he said in an interview with Famiglia Christiana, an official Vatican magazine...

read full story here

Governor Blunt Has Gotta Go!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Based on the Republican Governor's support for human cloning and embryonic stem-cell research (i.e. "Amendment 2"), it basically cancels out anything and everything he's done for the Pro-Life movement -- which isn't much. This governor is a FRAUD! He is not pro-life. He's just playing political football with pro-life voters and the good people of the Show-Me State. As a conservative Catholic voter, I will NOT be supporting Governor Blunt's re-election in 2008.

Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday affirmed his support for a proposed state constitutional amendment to protect stem cell research.

The amendment, which will be on the November ballot, is needed to "ensure that we have a research climate that allows for responsible scientific research," Blunt told members of the Missouri Biotechnology Association gathered at a Lake of the Ozarks resort for their annual meeting.

"There is, in my opinion, no limit to what Missourians can do when they're given the freedom to put their genius to work," he said.

The Republican governor also cited a clause in the state constitution "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" as the foundation of federal patent laws that allow scientific discovery to flourish.

The proposed amendment, also known as the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, would guarantee that any federally allowed stem cell research and treatments could occur in Missouri, including embryonic stem cell research.

Ballot supporters have raised nearly $29 million toward the amendment's passage, almost single-handedly making it the costliest political campaign in Missouri history.

Nearly all that money has come from 82-year-old Kansas City billionaire James Stowers Jr., founder of American Century Investments and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and his wife.

Opponents of embryonic stem cell research say the well-funded campaign is an attempt to buy an amendment to the state constitution while codifying human cloning...

read full story here

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Real Beauty?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Here's a dose of reality for you...

Would a general indult be against Vatican II?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I recently asked a question of a Catholic Answers Apologist based on an experience I had recently...

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Last Sunday I mentioned the rumored general indult on the Tridentine Mass to my parish's Family Life coordinator. She said that if Pope Benedict XVI signed such an indult, he would be in violation of the Second Vatican Council and would be going against the will of the Church. She then said that the priest is NEVER to have his back to the people, except when granted permission to celebrate a Tridentine by the local bishop, which should only be on very rare occasion. Is any of this true?

CATHOLIC ANSWERS APOLOGIST: To put it as gently as possible, your parish's staff member appears to be very confused on these matters.

1. Granting a general indult for the Tridentine Mass is within a pope's disciplinary authority. Canon law states that the pope "has supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise this power" (canon 331). This means that the pope is not hamstrung in his disciplinary authority by a Church council. Even if Vatican II did proscribe the Tridentine Mass and the priest facing ad orientem ("to the east"), which it did not, a pope could legislate otherwise.

2. The current discipline of the Church regarding the celebration of the Tridentine Mass is that John Paul II asked in his apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei, given motu proprio (which means it has the force of canon law), that bishops offer "a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962" (ED 6c, emphasis added). This contradicts with your parish staff member's assertion that the Tridentine only be offered "on very rare occasion[s]."

3. I recommend that any time someone makes assertions that sound problematic that you politely ask that person to substantiate those assertions from the relevant documents. In this case, you might ask this person to show you where in the documents of Vatican II that the council prevented the celebration of the Tridentine Mass and forbid a pope to allow it.

Recommended reading:

Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)


Vatican Takes Lead In War On Terror

NEW YORK, OCT. 17, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address delivered Monday by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, before the plenary of the U.N. General Assembly on measures to eliminate international terrorism.

* * *

Mr. Chairman:

In recent years, terrorism has developed into a sophisticated network of political, economic and technical collusion which crosses national borders to embrace the whole world. Because the stakes are so high and concern us all, there is hardly any need to illustrate the importance of an internationally binding Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

My delegation believes that in the debate aimed at adopting a convention, it is fundamental to affirm from the very outset that effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals. Indeed, the former must serve the latter, because the protection of human rights is the primary objective of any counter-terrorism strategy.

The absolute unacceptability of terrorism lies precisely in the fact that it uses innocent people as means to obtain its ends, thus showing contempt and utter disregard for human life and dignity. This disregard for life reaches the point of cynically using innocent individuals and entire populations as human shields to hide and protect terrorists and their weapons.

Moreover, counter-terrorism strategy must not sacrifice fundamental human rights in the name of security. Rather, it must refrain from selective implementation of measures; otherwise, it would corrode the very values that it intends to protect, alienate large parts of the world population and diminish the moral strength of such a strategy....

read full story here

Yet ANOTHER Update & Revision for Novus Ordo Mass

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they're fixing things, but sheesh! When something has to be fixed so much, doesn't it beg the question that something must be terribly wrong with it?

WASHINGTON (October 17, 2006) — The U.S. bishops will vote on updating the Mass readings for the First Sunday and all the weekdays of Advent during their annual Fall plenary meeting in Baltimore, November 13-16.

The update of the readings marks the first part of a planned revision of the Lectionary for Mass. The action, which is being submitted by the Committee on the Liturgy, requires approval by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and subsequent confirmation by the Holy See. Revisions of additional portions of the Lectionary will be submitted at future meetings...

read full story here

Pope's Controversial Speech: Some Muslims Starting to "Get It"

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It would appear the pope's plan is working. His controversial speech in Germany last month has effectively become a catalyst for change, allowing peaceful Muslims to define a clear separation between themselves and violent extremists. This is indeed a first step...

The Open Letter from 38 Muslims to the Pope

Instead of saying they are offended and demanding apologies, they express their respect for him and dialogue with him on faith and reason. They disagree on many points. But they also criticize those Muslims who want to impose, with violence, “utopian dreams in which the end justifies the means”

read full story here

read full text of open letter here

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

VATICAN: Tridentine Mass "Cannot" be Abolished by New Missal

The following is from the Vatican Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Ranjith...
Reporter: Does this mean that the Mass said of Saint Pius V has never truly been abolished?

Ranjith: The fact that the Holy See has recently approved the foundation, in Bordeaux, of a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right characterized by the fact that it exclusively uses the pre-Conciliar liturgical books [Rorate Note: the Institute of the Good Shepherd] is to signify in an unequivocal way that the Mass of Saint Pius V cannot be considered as abolished by the new Missal, said of Paul VI.

read full story here

Monday, October 16, 2006

SSPX Hopeful of Quick Reunion with Rome

After almost two decades of schism, Catholic traditionalists hope the Vatican will soon take them back into the fold by granting two key concessions and leaving unresolved the main issue that drove them away.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), says the expected revival of the old Latin mass that was replaced in the 1960s by modern liturgy in local languages would be a "grand gesture" meeting one of his demands.

The Swiss bishop, successor to the late SSPX founder French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, also expects the Vatican to lift the 1988 excommunications of Lefebvre and four bishops -- including Fellay -- whom he consecrated without Rome's approval.

"Things are going in the right direction. I think we'll get an agreement," Fellay told journalists in Paris at the weekend. "Things could speed up and come faster than expected."

Getting an agreement now would mean the Swiss-based SSPX and its 470 priests could return to the Roman fold without resolving a dispute over its opposition to the modernising reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Claiming a million followers, the SSPX is the vanguard of traditionalists among 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide. Its return would have no direct effect on most parishes but high symbolic value for arch-conservatives in the Church...

read full story here

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Observations on the Liturgy

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As an outsider to the Catholic Church, (I converted to Catholicism six years ago), I recognize that I’ll probably never acquire the sensitivities common among cradle Catholics. It’s not unlike me to trample through delicate issues like an elephant in a flower garden. For this, all I can do is ask forgiveness, because if after six years I still haven’t changed, I doubt there is much hope for me. What can I say. I’m an outsider - a mere convert - and I just don’t look at things the same way. To some that is a blessing, to others a curse, and for me it’s just who I am. There are some aspects of my personality I can no more change than the color of my skin. I’ve come to accept this flaw as a part of what makes me “me.”

Having not developed the same kind of sensitivities and taboos of cradle Catholics, I find myself looking at the whole liturgical issues from somewhat of outsider’s perspective; I sometimes find it difficult to comprehend the conflict that exists between different groups of Catholics. Quite frankly, sometimes it just blows my mind that anyone is arguing about these issues in the first place.

Concerning the rumored indult on the Tridentine mass (assuming such an indult really exists), I’ve already come to see various reactions to it, some of them in conflict, and I can’t help but wonder why. On the one hand there are the Traditionalists (which I am not a part of, I’ll explain more below), who insist that the Tridentine Latin mass is somehow more “true” and “pure” than the Novus Ordo vernacular mass. This to such an extreme as to suggest (or imply) that the Novus Ordo is somehow “less” than fully Catholic. I’ve talked with many traditionalists, some of whom are from the Society of St. Pius X, and as I listen to them speak I can’t help by think “Man, lighten up!” Occasionally, they make a really good point about something, but it isn’t long before it’s lost to a kind of extreme fundamentalist tirade I haven’t seen since my days as an Evangelical Protestant. On the other hand there are Contemporary Catholics who so despise the thought of anything traditional that they reject it wholeheartedly. And when I see these two extremes I can’t help but ask; “doesn’t one just beget the other?” Is the militant obstinacy of each side just causing the other to dig its heels in deeper?

Over the the last few days I’ve had some interesting experiences. I’ve seen traditionalists shrug off news of a universal indult, and attack the pope for ecumenism, or not getting rid of the Novus Ordo completely. Then I’ve seen contemporary Catholics become defensive, and even going so far as to suggest that Pope Benedict XVI would be violating Vatican II if he did sign such an indult. Come on! Give me a break! What’s the real problem here? Could it be that both parties are interpreting Vatican II to an extreme it was never meant to be taken? You know you can’t really learn anything unless you’re willing to accept the possibility that you could be wrong about something. To me the whole thing seems silly. Why should contemporary Catholics care if more conservative members attend a Tridentine mass regularly or irregularly? Why should traditionalist Catholics care if most Catholics are perfectly happy with the Novus Ordo? You have to admit this is ridiculous.

What’s happening here is obvious. The two sides have aggravated each other so much that neither side is listening to the other anymore. What a shame! Because there is a lot they could all learn from each other.

As for me, well, I'm an "inclusivist." Does that make sense? What do I mean by this? When I say "inclusivist," I mean to say that I love ALL of Catholicism -- both the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary. I see each as complementing the other. Don't get me wrong. I can't stand liturgical abuse. But saying the mass in English, with some stringed instruments, is hardly what I would call "abuse." Just so long as the liturgy follows the norms of canon law.

For both the traditionalists and the contemporary Catholics I’ve got some shocking news that’s sure to ruin most of your day. It is simply this. Most Catholics don’t give a rip about either one of you. Really, they don’t. I’ve talked with dozens upon dozens of Catholics about this issue over the last couple years. What I’ve learned is this. You have a small group of people on both extremes of the liturgical spectrum. Both sides demonize the other. Both sides are virtually unwilling to talk to the other. Both sides make some good points to back their arguments. And both sides are completely oblivious to the fact that the majority of Catholics really don’t give a rip about this kind of stuff. All they really want is a stable church environment in which Catholics can find what they need without forcing their desires upon others who don’t want to hear it. Most Catholics really don’t care if the Tridentine mass returns or not. Most Catholics would just assume to let those who want traditional Catholicism have their way, and be able to freely celebrate the Catholic religion the way they want to do it. Most Catholics really don’t care why some traditionalists think the Novus Ordo is invalid. Most Catholics really don’t care if some contemporaries think the Tridentine is banned. They’re going to continue doing what they’re doing (attending mass and raising babies), regardless of what either side says about the liturgy or each other. What most Catholics want is a Church that functions, and one that appeals to Catholics of all types -- including contemporaries and traditionalists.

That’s why I define myself as an “inclusivist” in my approach to Catholicism. Hopefully, Pope Benedict will resolve all of this soon enough. We can only hope and pray.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

New American Catholicism Emerging - Orthodox, Conservative and Southern?

IN THE popular imagination, religion in the US Deep South, home of rednecks, Scarlett O’Hara and the Ku Klux Klan, was always a heady mixture of Confederate pride, bigotry and hellfire fundamentalism. But things are changing, and one of the most striking changes is the rapid growth of a Catholic Church with a particularly Southern complexion.

Catholics account for around 12 per cent of the population of the southern states, but in the booming cities of Atlanta, Greenville and Charlotte, 20 per cent are Catholics and their numbers are growing — up by a third in the 1990s — while Baptists, admittedly much more numerous, grew by less than 10 per cent. In short, Southern Baptists still dominate the religious scene, but the growth of the Catholic population is making itself felt...

...A “New Catholicism” is emerging that is likely to influence the whole US Church. These young Catholics tend to be faithful to the Church’s teachings while being educated and media-savvy. One of their hot spots in the South is the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in Alabama. Started by a nun, Mother Angelica, the network broadcasts radio and TV programmes worldwide (including to Britain)....

...This New Catholicism is young and optimistic, but it is unlikely to tolerate the open dissent that went with the 1970s and the “cultural Catholicism” of generations past. That form of Catholicism is dying, and its death is symbolised by the northern US parishes with plummeting congregations, a shortage of priests and huge debts as they pay off child-abuse scandals. It seems that in the parishes where “anything goes”, everybody went....

...Patrick McHenry, 29, a Republican congressman from Charlotte, said to Time: “Southern Catholicism is changing the nature of the Church in America. We adhere to a truer and purer view of Catholicism” — in other words, these are Catholics who sign up to the full Catholic menu, including papal infallibility and the rejection of contraception, abortion, homosexuality and female ordination....

...The clash between the “New Catholicism” and Evangelical fundamentalism is almost tangible. Evangelicals are still suspicious of the Catholic Church and they bristle at the encroachment of Catholics into their heartland. Baptist churches in the region are likely to host conferences to help their people “share the gospel with Catholics”, while for his part, Father Newman, at St Mary’s, Greenville, has started a Centre for Evangelical Catholicism which is dedicated to helping all the people of the parish to “live out their baptismal vocation”.

However, the tension between Evangelicalism and Catholicism in the US is waning. As the main Protestant churches continue to haemorrhage members, money and influence, the two main religious forces in America are Catholicism and Evangelicalism. Despite the historical tensions, these two religious forces are surprisingly convergent; their steady rapprochement and shared conservative agenda has been analysed in the recent book Is the Reformation Over? Many ascribe George Bush’s election to his second presidential term to the fact that he appealed to the New Catholic vote as well as the right-wing Evangelical vote....

The economic vitality of the new South and its increasing political clout (three of the five last presidents were Southerners) means that the future of the whole US will probably be determined there. As the 21st century becomes increasingly driven by religious agendas, it is likely that Catholics and Evangelicals in the influential Southern states will find themselves fighting side by side for a shared moral and social agenda on both the national and the international stages.

The Confederate soldiers used to say: “The South will rise again.” The prophecy seems to be coming true but in ways the old soldiers did not foresee.

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As I've said for years now, when it comes to that 'old time religion,' nothing beats the Roman Catholic Church. There is a natural appeal for Catholicism among Southerners in the Bible Belt. This natural appeal is suppressed unnaturally, by a prejudice and fear of Catholicism promoted in the age-old hostilities wrought by the Protestant Reformation. But once fears are elevated, prejudices can be put aside,and for those willing to try; a natural gravitation toward Catholicism will inevitably occur. There truly is nothing more 'Southern' than being Catholic when you really think about it. The Old South had a relatively large Catholic population, and virtually all the great Confederate heroes of the Civil War had some direct link to Catholicism in some way. Whether it be through a parochial education they received (as was the case with General Robert E. Lee), or a personal correspondence with the pope himself (as was the case with President Jefferson Davis); the Southern connection to Catholicism is just as historical as it is contemporary. The future of American Christianity is going to be Evangelical and Catholic -- and when I say "Catholic," I mean conservative Catholic. Mainline Protestant churches are slowly withering away, and will continue to do so. The 20th century experiment in religious liberalism has proved to be a complete failure. Mainline Protestant churches are imploding, while the Cafeteria Catholicism of the North and West Coast has given us nothing but stagnation and scandal. In the end, only conservative Catholics and Evangelicals will remain standing. The Bible Belt is a land where moral constants are desired, relativism is abhorred, and Southerners can't help but find what their looking for in the rich and ancient tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. As organizations like 'Catholic Answers' and EWTN continue to get their message out, and alleviate leftover Reformation fears, the Catholic population in the South has nowhere to go but up. This demographical trend will change the face of Christianity in the United States forever. It's influence over American politics cannot be denied, and through a seemingly unlikely vehicle, the South has risen again! DEO VINDICE!

Feminism Paves the Way for Western Islam

What started out as radical feminism has thus gradually become egalitarianism, the fight against “discrimination” of any kind, the idea that all groups of people should have an equal share of everything and that it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that this takes place. A prime example of this is Norway’s Ombud for Gender Equality, which in 2006 became The Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombud. The Ombud’s duties are “to promote equality and combat discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability and age.”

Western feminists have cultivated a culture of victimhood in the West, where you gain political power through your status in the victim hierarchy. In many ways, this is what Political Correctness is all about. They have also demanded, and largely got, a re-writing of the history books to address an alleged historic bias; their world view has entered the school curriculum, gained a virtual hegemony in the media and managed to portray their critics as “bigots.” They have even succeeded in changing the very language we use, to make it less offensive. Radical feminists are the vanguard of PC.

When Muslims, who above all else like to present themselves as victims, enter Western nations, they find that much of their work has already been done for them. They can use a pre-established tradition of claiming to be victims, demanding state intervention and maybe quotas to address this, as well as a complete re-writing of history and public campaigns against bigotry and hate speech. Western feminists have thus paved the way for the forces that will dismantle Western feminism, and end up in bed, sometimes quite literally, with the people who want to enslave them...

read full story here

Iranian Assault Troops Enter Iraq!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Get ready folks! World War III is upon us...

A new Middle East war is in the offing. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources in Iraq and sources in Iran reveal that Turkish and Iranian air units as well as armored, paratroop, special operations and artillery forces are poised for an imminent coordinated invasion of the northern Iraqi autonomous province of Kurdistan.

Our sources pinpoint the target of the combined Iranian-Turkish offensive as the Quandil Mountains, where some 5,000 Kurdish rebels from Turkey and Iran, members of the PKK and PJAK respectively, are holed up. Iranian and Turkish assault troops are already deployed 7-8 km deep inside Iraqi territory.

Turkey to the northwest and Iran to the east both have Kurdish minorities which have been radicalized by the emergence of Iraqi Kurdistan in the last three years. The three contiguous Kurdish regions form a strategic world hub.

A jittery Washington foresees a Turkish-Iranian military thrust quickly flaring into a comprehensive conflict and igniting flames that would envelop the whole of Iraqi Kurdistan as well as southern Turkey and Armenia...

read full story here

Canada Moves to Abolish Marriage

The Conspiracy to Abolish Marriage in Canada
If everything is marriage, then nothing is

By Stanley Kurtz

Canada, you don’t know the half of it. In mid-January, Canada was rocked by news that a Justice Department study had called for the decriminalization and regulation of polygamy. Actually, two government studies recommended decriminalizing polygamy. (Only one has been reported on.) And even that is only part of the story. Canadians, let me be brutally frank. You are being played for a bunch of fools by your legal-political elite. Your elites mumble a confusing jargon to your face to keep you from understanding what they really have in mind.

Language Exam
Let’s try a little test. Translate the following phrases into English:
  1. Canada needs to move “beyond conjugality.”
  2. Canada needs to “reconsider the continuing legal privileging of marriage and other conjugal relationships.”
  3. Once gay marriage is legalized, Canada will be able to “consider whether the legal privileges and burdens now assigned to marriage and other conjugal relationships can be justified.”
  4. Canada needs to question “whether conjugality is an appropriate marker for determining legal rights and obligations.”
[Answers: The English translation of #1,# 2, and #4 is: “Canada should abolish marriage.” The translation of #3 is: “Once we legalize gay marriage, we can move on to the task of abolishing marriage itself.”]

This argument was very publicly made to Canadians in 2001, when the Law Commission of Canada published its report, “Beyond Conjugality.” But nobody got it. Everyone noticed that a government commission had backed same-sex marriage. But few recognized, grasped, or could bring themselves to take seriously, the central thrust of Beyond Conjugality: that after the legalization of same-sex marriage, Canadian marriage itself ought to be abolished. (For more on this, see my article “Beyond Gay Marriage”)

Martha Bailey, Queens University law professor and chief author of the now infamous report advocating the decriminalization of polygamy, played an important organizing role in the Beyond Conjugality project (translation: the “Abolish Marriage” project). In 2004, Bailey published an article, “Regulation of Cohabitation and Marriage in Canada,” arguing that, after the legalization of same-sex marriage, Canadians would be able to turn their attention to the more urgent business of abolishing marriage itself. (That article is the source of items #2, #3, and #4 above.) So it is hardly surprising that Bailey has now called for the decriminalization of polygamy. What’s that you say? How does legalizing polygamous marriage advance the cause of abolishing marriage? Canadians, I’m going to have to spell it out for you in a way that Martha Bailey and her friends on the Law Commission of Canada will not.

The Plan
It’s like this. The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage. Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless. At that point, Canada can move to what Bailey and her friends really want: an infinitely flexible relationship system that validates any conceivable family arrangement, regardless of the number or gender of partners....

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Make no mistake about it folks, this is all part of a greater plan to eliminate the family, undermine the Church, and deconstruct western civilization. The masterminds behind it are homosexual and pedophile perverts, in high positions of government, trying to remake society in their own image. The Foley scandal here in the United States should serve to remind us that its easy for sicko perverts to get into positions of power. Once they do, the stupid ones fool around with congressional pages, while the smart ones keep their "lifestyle" under raps, while they covertly work to legalize it.

Married Couples Now a Minority In USA


49.7%, or 55.2 million, of the nation's 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples -- with/without children -- just shy of majority.

Pope Challenges Islamic Fascism -- Defends Christianity

If anyone wondered whether the heartache of the last few weeks would persuade Benedict XVI to dial down his challenge to Islam on “reciprocity,” Vatican argot for the religious freedom of Christians and other minorities in Muslim nations, Sept. 25 showed the pope instead more determined than ever...

read full story here


Pope Benedict said on Wednesday Christians could not allow their beliefs and identity to be diluted for the sake of dialogue with other religions.

"We have to remember that this identity of ours calls for strength, clarity, and courage in the world in which we live," he told pilgrims and tourists at his weekly general audience...

read full story here


The relatives of a Christian priest who was kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq have said that his Muslim captors had demanded his church condemn the pope's recent comments about Islam and pay a US$350,000 ransom.

They were speaking as more than 500 people attended a memorial service on Thursday for father Amer Iskender after his decapitated body was found in an industrial area of the northern city of Mosul on Wednesday.

Iskender was a priest at the St. Ephrem Orthodox church in Mosul.

"He was a good man and we all shed tears for him ... He was a man of peace," said Eman Saaur, a 45-year-old schoolteacher who said she attended Iskender's church regularly....

read full story here

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Supreme Court Slaps Down Gay-Marriage Appeal

Conservative legal groups lauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to decline an appeal Tuesday from a gay California couple who were denied a license to wed, but warned that pro-family Americans must remain vigilant in the fight to protect marriage as the battle is “far from over.”

“This is not just a good day for marriage; it’s a great year for marriage. The case drives another nail in the coffin of same-sex ‘marriage,’” said Matthew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case “Smelt v. Orange County” without comment, reaffirming the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer had sought a marriage license in Southern California’s Orange County in 2004 but were turned down. Soon afterwards, the men filed a lawsuit challenging both the federal DOMA and California laws confining marriage to a union between a man and woman only....

read full story here

Drudge Reporting On Latin Mass

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Here's the news you've all been waiting for. We've heard the rumors for a year, but now Drudge has picked up the story and linked to the Times Online...

THE Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI is understood to have signed a universal indult — or permission — for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years. The indult could be published in the next few weeks, sources told The Times....

read full story here

UPDATE 11:00am: All the Catholic news wires are now buzzing with this story. I think this one might be for real folks!

UPDATE 11:30pm: The entire Internet is now full of articles on this topic. It's impossible to count. Sources are religious and secular alike. This story is now shaping up to be the most widely covered topic on the Internet. If the pope doesn't sign the document now, it's likely to become the world's largest disappointment. I believe the popularity of this story has a lot to do with a general recognition that the Catholic Church has lost something very important over the last 30 years, and this papal action promises to become a driving force in the restoration of Roman Catholicism.