Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Call To Conservative Episcopalians - Come Home To Rome!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Seriously, why do you kick against the goads? Why do you insist on remaining part of a national church that is dead, and a communion that is dying? Why do you resist the pastoral protection you need, when Pope John Paul II already made provision for you over 20 years ago? Come home to Rome. Investigate the 'Anglican Use' within the Roman Catholic Church...
Conservative Anglicans Losing Hope in Episcopal Church

(The Christian Post): Conservative Anglicans in the United States are finding themselves living through an "extended Good Friday," mourning for The Episcopal Church.

The Anglican Communion Network, an orthodox group of Anglicans discontent with The Episcopal Church, began its fourth annual council meeting in Bedford, Texas, on Monday. Over 80 representatives opened the two-day meeting with disappointment in a church many had grown up in.

"Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next, we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross," said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, in his opening address.

A growing number of Episcopal parishes and leaders have left The Episcopal Church, citing the U.S. Anglican branch's departure from Christian orthodoxy and Anglican tradition, particularly the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop.

In March, The Episcopal Church reaffirmed its stance welcoming gays and lesbians as an "integral part" of the church and rejected the request of primates (Anglican heads of the 38 Anglican provinces) that it allow Anglican leaders outside the U.S. branch to oversee American dioceses and those unable to accept the authority of the Episcopal Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori. The Episcopal head unapologetically supports ordaining gays and allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Duncan, also bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, said the denominational Church that raised him and ordained him "no longer had any room for me, or any like me."...

read full story here

Pope Benedict XVI: Hated By Liberals, Feminists and Homosexuals

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: ...And that gives him "two thumbs up" in my book. The funny thing about all this is how personal the pope's enemies try to make it. They direct their frustration at him personally, as if he's the problem they're struggling against. Pope Benedict is not the problem for liberals, feminists and homosexuals. The papacy itself is the problem for these people. The fact is, they didn't like Pope John Paul II either. Oh sure, they claim they liked him better now, but I remember things. I remember how many of these same people eagerly awaited the death of John Paul II with baited breath, thinking he was too old fashioned and obsolete. They hoped a new pope would give them more of what they wanted. Such foolish expectations only go to illustrate just how ignorant of Catholicism these people are. It doesn't work that way in the Catholic Church. It's not a case of "dial a pope = dial a doctrine." The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church don't change with the changing of popes. I've got a news-flash for these people, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were of the same mind on all of these things. They both believed in the same doctrines, the same disciplines, and the same rules. The only thing they differed on was approach and personal style. News-flash: Pope John Paul II liked the old Latin mass and encouraged "wide and generous" use of it in his own motu proprio (Ecclesia Dei). News-flash: Pope John Paul II authorized a CDF document (Dominus Iesus) that asserted the centrality of the Catholic Church's role in the economy of salvation, and simultaneously marked other non-Catholic churches as "deficient." News-flash: What Pope Benedict XVI has done over these last two years is not much different than what Pope John Paul II did during his pontificate. Here's a great big whopping news-flash for all you liberals out there. The problem you have with Pope Benedict XVI doesn't have anything to do with Pope Benedict XVI at all. The problem you have is with the Roman Catholic Church, and if you have that big of a problem with it, maybe its not the right Church for you. On many occasions I have pointed out to Catholics, of the liberal persuasion, that any expectation they might have of the Church bending to accommodate their liberal desires is unrealistic. The Catholic Church will always preach against homosexuality, abortion and artificial contraception. The Catholic Church will always emphasize a leadership role for husbands in the home, and will never allow women into the priesthood. The Catholic Church is never going to endorse socialism, big government or high taxation. Sorry, it didn't happen before Vatican II, and it didn't happen after Vatican II. It didn't happen with Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, or Pope John Paul II. Guess what? It's not going to happen with Pope Benedict XVI either, nor will it happen with any future pontiff. Hope against hope if you like, but you're only setting yourself up for disappointment. The Catholic Church hasn't compromised on these things in 2,000 years. So there's no reason to believe it's going to change and start compromising now. When will liberal Catholics learn they can't win? When will they finally concede that liberalism and Catholicism are two completely irreconcilable ideologies? There are only two options for liberals you see. They can either change their thinking and conform to the message of the gospel as it's taught by the Catholic Church, or if they can't change, than the only option left is to look elsewhere for another church that will accommodate their liberal ideology. On many occasions, I have suggested the Episcopal Church USA as one possible place liberal Catholics can get the "smells and bells" of Catholicism, without having to worry about all the moral teachings they dislike.

Check out this liberal rant...
A church's assertive shift toward tradition
Pope Benedict XVI consolidates sweeping changes, reasserting the spiritual supremacy of the Vatican.

By Robert Marquand

(The Christian Science Monitor): Rome and Paris - The leader of 1.1 billion Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, is completing a significant theological shift of the Roman Catholic church – a sweeping change that not only eclipses 40 years of a more moderate and collegial Catholicism, but seeks to reassert the spiritual supremacy of the Vatican and more openly proclaim the authority of the office of pope among all Christians.

Some two years after taking the reins, say Protestant and Catholic theologians and religious experts, the Bavarian-born pope is moving swiftly to affirm orthodox doctrines and medieval church rituals that undermine the spirit of Vatican II, a period of modernization in which the church appeared to be rethinking its centuries-long insistence that it had exclusive claims to matters of grace, truth, salvation, and church structure in the Christian world.

Liberal Catholics go so far as to characterize Benedict as leading a counterreformation in the church – in which fervent backers of traditional Catholic identity and faith are favored, even at the expense of popularity. "While Vatican II said that the Holy Spirit was in operation among the people, now we are saying, no, the holy spirit is operating in the bishops. It is an enormous change." says Frank Flinn, author of the "Encyclopedia of Catholicism." The "impression [previous Pope] John Paul II gave was to emphasize teaching so that all may be one. But Benedict is turning around and saying to churches, 'you aren't all one.' It is destroying the ecumenical movement."

When the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope on April 8, 2005, many Catholics felt he might soften his reputation as a hard-line "enforcer of the faith." Yet his tenure has shown few signs of mellowing. In the space of three days this month, for example, he promoted the old Latin Mass, which contains references to the conversion of the Jews, then issued a blockbuster doctrinal clarification statement saying that Orthodox and Protestant churches were "lacking" and only authentic through their relationship with Rome.

"Benedict has fought for the same thing for 30 years and now he is putting it to work," says Frederic Lenoir, editor of Le Monde's religious supplement in Paris. "His main aim in being pope is to unify the true believer groups – and he will lose members or destroy religious dialogues, if that's what it takes." ...

read full story here

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tridentine Mass - Booming Interest Nationwide

(The Washington Times): The Tridentine Mass, the Latin-only rite both loved and hated by many Catholics for its medieval qualities, is roaring back into use after a July 7 papal decree loosened the rules on celebrating it.

Two traditional priestly societies dedicated to the rite report that priests from all over the country are signing up in droves for weeklong classes to learn the rituals and language of the Mass, named after the 16th-century Council of Trent.

Monsignor Michael Schmitz, vicar-general of the Florence, Italy-based Institute of Christ the King, said he has received hundreds of calls from interested clergy.

"This is a nationwide phenomenon," he said. "Many more parish priests and younger priests are interested in learning to celebrate the Latin Mass.

"Whenever the Latin rite is celebrated, you get many young people," he added. "They are looking for something that speaks to the soul, and the beauty of the liturgy is awe-inspiring. The heartfelt presence of God really affects them."...

read full story here

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why Television Producers and Hollywood Just Can't Get Enough Anti-Catholic Bigotry

(CNA): Catholic League president Bill Donohue is railing against the latest episode of the FX drama “Rescue Me,” in which Denis Leary’s character refers to the Pope as the biggest gangster on earth and a former nun has sex in a habit....

.....What kind of creative genius at FX is responsible for portraying an ex-nun having sex with her habit on?” Donohue continued. “Do they know of any ex-Muslim women who have sex wearing their hijab? For that matter, do they know of any imams who would make Al Capone look saintly?

“Why is it always us (Catholics)? Don’t these guys believe in diversity?” he said. “Or could it be that they know, deep down in their hearts, that we are the one, true religion? After all, that would account for their dismissive attitude toward all the other competitors.”

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Did Bill Donohue, president of The Catholic League, just hit the nail on the head? I guess when you look at it this way, it all kind of makes sense. Every time television and movie producers use this kind of anti-Catholic material (almost exclusively compared to other world religions), they unwittingly validate the Church's claim of being the only true religion. I guess it's sort of a back-handed complement when you really think about it - an unconscious nod these producers make, acknowledging all other religions as insignificant compared to the Roman Catholic Church. Though anti-Catholic "entertainment," like that mentioned above, may be infuriating to read, perhaps instead of getting mad, we should all write to these producers and thank them for validating our faith so effectively.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Girls Gone Mild! - Rebel Against Popular Culture

(The Christian Post): More young women want to return to modesty – the no-tank-tops-without-a-shirt-or-sweater, the not-too-short-shorts, and the modest-neckline (no lower than four fingers below the collar bone) type of modesty. And that also includes the curfew and abstinence-until-marriage pledge.

It's what Lucky magazine's special projects director, Allyson Waterman, calls a "backlash" to what is being seen in Hollywood. Being modest, as opposed to the barely dressed pop icons, isn't about being frumpy, Waterman told ABC News.

"This is about embracing a woman's body in an elegant way."

read full story here

Wendy Shalit is the author of Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It's Not Bad to Be Good and A Return To Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue. The enthusiastic response to her book from young women around the world prompted her to launch the online community, Modestly Yours. Today she lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario, where she enjoys various modern amenities such as the dishwasher and has no desire to return to the nineteenth century. Join the conversation at www.girlsgonemild.com.

Number One Fashion Rule:
Forget what the so-called fashion experts tell you, the focal point for every outfit should be your FACE (not any other body part or a piece of jewelry). It’s a matter of human dignity.

Modesty Links:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How To: Transform An Alter

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Reposting This Story...

The following is one example of how a traditional and contemporary Catholic community can exist together, in harmony, within the same parish. (The ideal state.) The video below ("Transformation of the Alter") was filmed in France, so you'll have to excuse the French titles. Nevertheless, the video is pretty much self explanatory. Here we see the transformation of a typical contemporary alter after a typical contemporary mass. With a few custom made pieces, a little creativity, and a lot of love for historic tradition, the alter undergoes a metamorphosis which makes it suitable for the Traditional (Latin) mass that follows. I would encourage my readers to share this video with your parish priest, in preparation for the pope's coming motu proprio liberalizing the celebration of the Tridentine rite. In an ideal world, there is no reason why traditional Catholics should be separated into different parishes from contemporary Catholics, as is often the case under the current administration of things in the United States. Traditional and contemporary communities must be integrated, for the good of both, and typical parish churches must be able to accommodate the needs of both groups effectively and efficiently. In other words, the pope's coming motu proprio insures the role of the typical parish church just got bigger. We need to prepare for this, and one of the purposes of this blog is to share with the faithful some ideas on how to go about it. Enjoy the film...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vatican: Protestant "churches" Are Not Real

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Reviewing a Vatican CDF statement that came out last week, I'll put the Catholic Church's view on Protestantism in a nutshell...

  1. The Catholic Church still recognizes Protestants as Christians, just as it always has.

  2. The Catholic Church still recognizes Protestant baptisms as a valid Catholic sacrament.

  3. The Catholic Church still recognizes that Protestant baptisms incorporate people into the Catholic Church, because it is a Catholic sacrament, even though full communion with the Catholic Church remains incomplete due to Protestant schism with Rome.

  4. The Catholic Church does not recognize the artificial organizations (denominations, affiliations, associations, etc.) created by Protestants as "churches" in the proper sense, because they were not founded by apostles, nor have the preserved the rest of the sacraments. Rather, the Catholic Church recognizes them as man-made Christian "communities."

  5. The Catholic Church recognizes that God still uses these man-made Christian communities to teach people of Jesus Christ.

The whole thing centers around baptism really. You see when Protestants baptize, they see the process as incorporating a soul into the "invisible" Church as well as the particular denomination one was baptized in. The Catholic Church, however, sees it much differently. Baptism and marriage are the only two Church sacraments that Protestants have preserved. The origin of Christian baptism, and Christian marriage, find their beginning in the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, their sacramental nature has a distinctively Catholic identity. When a person is baptized in a Protestant organization, that person essentially receives a Catholic baptism. (So long as the baptism is done in the Trinitarian formula.) That being the case, what results is a baptized Catholic who is not confirmed. That's essentially what Protestants (of all types) are -- baptized Catholics in need of good education and the sacrament of confirmation. Most of these people will never see that happen though. Instead they'll attend their Protestant denominations and receive a religious education that is lacking many key Catholic elements.

Since Vatican II many people were under the impression that the Catholic Church changed it's beliefs concerning this matter. Having read the Vatican II documents myself, I can testify that there is nothing contained therein to suggest such a thing. The teachings of the Second Vatican Council are consistent with the 1950's Catechism I keep in my home. So nothing changed here in regards to Church teaching. What Vatican II did was clarify.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Happy Days Are Here Again!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Everyone expected an earthquake with the Pope's motu proprio liberalizing use of the Tridentine mass. Instead what we got was a quiet tectonic shift. The shakedown never came, but what happened was a realignment (if you will), that has set the Church on a whole new course. Once moving away from her historic tradition, the Church now finds herself embracing it once again. The days of widespread liturgical abuse are not yet over, but they will soon come to an end, just assuredly as I write this post. Traditionalists can rejoice! They've been vindicated. Local traditionalists may not feel the change yet, but the change is coming, and it is one that will only grow with each passing year from now on. Once shunned and ostracized, local Traditionalists will soon find themselves in the role of teacher, as local priests will be seeking to learn Latin, the old liturgy, and the customs of pre-conciliar Catholicism.

Wearing The Chapel Veil

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It is revealing when one considers how Catholic women all over the world still keep this custom. Unveiled women during mass is a phenomenon mostly seen in the West -- particularly English speaking nations. In a way, we could consider this custom a barometer of sorts. A society's Liberal decadence can be measured in part by how few women veil themselves during mass...
Derived from a book in progress called: "The Unveiled Woman"
by Jackie Freppon

During the second Vatican Council, a mob of reporters waited for news after a council meeting. One of them asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, if women still had to wear a headcover in churches. His response was that the Bishops were considering other issues, and that women's veils were not on the agenda. The next day, the International Press announced throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the error, and many women stopped wearing the veil out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups.

Before the revision in 1983, Canon law had stated that women must cover their heads ". . . especially when they approach the holy table" (Can 1262.2). But in order to reduce such a growing collection of books, the new version of Canon law was subjected to concise changes. In the process, mention of headcoverings was omitted. In 1970, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Roman Missal, ignoring mention of women's veils. But at the time the Missal was published, it didn't seem necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice, even if it no longer had a "normative" value (Interinsigniores, #4). And mention in Canon law or the Roman Missal is not necessary to the continuation of the tradition, for it is rooted in Scripture and has been practised ever since the early Church. Indeed, Pope John Paul II affirmed that the real sources of Canon law are the Sacred Tradition, especially as reflected in the ecumenical councils, and Sacred Scripture (O.S.V. Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 169).

Sacred Scripture presents several reasons for wearing the veil. St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (11:1-16) that we must cover our heads because it is Sacred Tradition commanded by our Lord Himself and entrusted to Paul: "The things I am writing to you are the Lord's commandments" (1 Cor. 14:37).

God has established a heirarchy, in both the natural and religious spheres, in which the female is subject to the male. St. Paul writes in first Corinthians: "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11-3). And, in the institution of marriage, God gave the husband authority over the wife, but responsibility to her as well. Not only is he the family's decision-maker, but he is also responsible for the material and spiritual welfare of his wife and children. Man is not in this position to enslave or belittle the wife. As the Bride, (the Church), is subject to Jesus, women must wear the veil as a sign that they are subjected to men: "Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church." (Eph. 5, 22-23). The man represents Jesus, therefore he should not cover his head. However, this subjection is not derogatory to women, because in God's kingdom everyone is subjected to a higher authority: "For as the woman is from the man, so also is the man through the woman, but all things are from God." (1 Cor. 11, 12). Furthermore, the symbolism of the veil takes that which is invisible, the order established by God, and makes it visible. In the history of the Church, priestly vestments have played a similar symbolic role.

It is an honor to wear the veil. But by publicly repudiating it, a woman dishonors her feminine dignity, the sign of female subjection, just as the military officer is dishonored when he is stripped of his decorations. The Roman Pontifical contains the imposing ceremonial of the consecration of the veils: "Receive the sacred veil, that thou mayst be known to have despised the world, and to be truly, humbly, and with all thy heart subject to Christ as his bride; and may he defend thee from all evil, and bring thee to life eternal" (Pontificale Romanum; de benedictione). St. Paul says an unveiled woman is a dishonor: "But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncoverd disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven" (1 Cor. 11, 5).

"That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels" wrote St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11, 10. The invisible heirarchy should be respected because the Angels are present at Christian liturgical assemblies, offering with us the Holy Sacrifice with the honor due to God. St. John the Apostle wrote: "And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne." (Rev. 8:3, see also Matt. 18:10). They are offended by a lack of reverence at Mass, just as they abhorred King Herod's acceptance of adoration from the people of Jerusalem: "But immediately an angel of the Lord struck (Herod) down, because he had not given honor to God, and he was eaten by worms, and died." (Acts, 12:23).

The custom of wearing the veil was maintained in the primitive Churches of God. (1 Cor. 11:16). We see this in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The women of Corinth, beset by modern sensibilities, started coming to church without their heads covered. When St. Paul heard of their neglect, he wrote and urged them to keep the veil. According to St. Jerome's commentary Bible, he finally settled the matter by saying the head covering was a custom of the primitive communities of Judea, "the Churches of God" (1 Thess. 2-14, 2 Thess. 1-4), which had received this Tradition from early times (2 Thess., 2:15. 3:6).

Even today some people erroneously believe that St. Paul based the tradition on his personal opinion. They think he did not intend it to be continued in the Universal Church, but only as a local custom. This argument, however, does not conform to the Pauline spirit. After all, it was Paul who stood before Peter to change Jewish traditions in Christian Churches (Gal. 2:11-21). St. Paul reminds them: "for I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it; but I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:12), referring to the authority of his ministry, and veracity of his words. Pope Linus, who succeeded St. Peter, enforced also the same tradition of women covering their heads in the church (The Primitive Church, TAN). Our Lord warns us to obey His commandments: "He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19).

In summary, the reasons that St. Paul advises women to cover their head in the church are:

  • Our Lord commanded it;
  • It is a visible sign of an invisible order established by God;
  • The Angels at Mass are offended if women don't use it;
  • It is a ceremonial vestment;
  • It is our heritage.

Christian women around the world have other reasons to wear a hat, mantilla, rebozo, gele, scarf, shawl or veil. Some wear it out of respect to God; others to obey the Pope's request, or to continue family traditions. But the most important reason of all is because Our Lord said: "if you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). We should always be ready with our bridal veils, waiting for Him and the promised wedding (Apoc. 22:17), following the example of our Blessed Mother, Mary, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled. To those who still think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (Heb. 13:8).


Related Stories...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Can A Catholic Be A Democrat?

When author David Carlin was a young man, it was scandalous for a good Catholic to be anything but a good Democrat. In the pews, pubs, and union halls of America's cities, millions of poor European immigrants and their children pledged allegiance to the Church of Rome and the party of FDR. All that changed in the 1960s, with the rise of a new kind of Democrat: wealthy, secular, ideological. Even as Carlin served the party he loved - twelve yearsas a Rhode Island state senator and once a candidate for Congress - he could only watch in dismay as its national leaders abandoned their blue-collar, pro-life, and religious constituencies and took up with NOW, Hollywood, and the abortion lobby. So complete this transformation has been that we no longer speak of a natural alliance between Catholics and the Democratic Party. Indeed, Carlin here asks whether today it's even possible to be both a faithful Catholic and a Democratic true believer. A veteran sociologist, philosophy professor, and author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, Carlin shows how his party and his religion have taken opposite sides in the Culture War. On issues of human life, sex, faith, morality, suffering - and the public policies that stem from them - the modern, secularist Democratic Party has become the enemy of Catholicism; indeed, of all traditional religions. Carlin shatters the excuses that Catholic Democratic politicians employ in a vain attempt to reconcile their faith and their votes, and then, with what he calls the "political equivalent of a broken heart," he examines his own political conscience. As a faithful Catholic and a Democrat approaching his seventieth year, must he now leave the party he's called home since birth? David Carlin's arguments challenge all religious Democrats to ask themselves the same question...

read more here

Friday, July 20, 2007

An Extraordinary Dream

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following is the contents of a dream, originally posted by Karl Keating of Catholic Answers. Oh if only this "dream" would become reality for each and every one of America's Catholic bishops....
Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

A few days ago I hiked up White Mountain, at 14,246 feet the third highest peak in California, and then drove 400 miles home, arriving at the stroke of midnight. Fatigue hit me hard, and I slept deeply. I had an unusually vivid dream. At least I think it was a dream ...

I found myself in a large cathedral. A bishop was in the ambo. I could not tell whether he had just concluded his homily or had returned to the ambo at the end of Mass.

The first several pews were occupied by priests--the diocese's entire contingent, I supposed. Laymen occupied the rest of the pews and stood packed together in the aisles and in the vestibule. There was an air of expectancy, as the bishop stood motionless, apparently gathering his thoughts. Then he looked up. To the best of my recollection, this is what he said:

"My brother priests, my dear people: I want to speak to you today about the Holy Father's recent motu proprio, 'Summorum Pontificum,' and how it will be implemented in our diocese. This, as you know, is the document concerning what is commonly called the 'old Latin Mass' or the 'Tridentine Mass.'

"Ours was one of the first dioceses to make provisions for the so-called Indult Mass. My predecessor allowed those who were fond of the old Mass to have it celebrated each Sunday in the chapel of the monastery on the hill. This seemed sufficient to him, and, when I was transferred to this diocese, it seemed sufficient to me. I honestly thought that there was so little interest in the old Mass that there was no reason to extend its use.

"So it has been for the many years I have led this diocese. But then, some months ago, I heard the first reports about a possible motu proprio. I found myself one day praying that the Holy Spirit would enlighten me about his will regarding what I should do if such a motu proprio ever came to pass.

"It was a brief, almost off-the-cuff prayer, but it was sincere. The next morning I awoke with a sure knowledge of what I ought to do. I was a bit surprised, not often having had a sense of a real answer to prayer. I took this sureness as a sign from God to go ahead.

"What I did was to begin studying how to celebrate the old Mass in Latin. As you may remember, when I came to this diocese, my language skills were modest. They still are. It took me a long time to learn enough Spanish to celebrate Mass in that language. I hope, after all these years, that I have learned to do so competently. That I was able to pick up Spanish gave me confidence that I could pick up Latin. After all, the languages are related.

"Studying has not been easy for me, but I am pleased to say that I think my Latin is now sufficient for the task, and so I announce to you that, on September 16, the first Sunday after the motu proprio goes into effect, I will celebrate Mass in this cathedral according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII--and I will continue to celebrate Mass in the old form at least once each Sunday that I am in town.

"Of course, I will continue to celebrate Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI--that is, using the form you have been used to for nearly four decades--in English or Spanish, as appropriate.

"Today I am not telling you only what I will do. I also am telling you what I hope--even expect--the priests of this dioceses to do. I am taking to heart the aspirations of the Holy Father, as given in the motu proprio, and I hope my brother priests and all of you will do likewise.

"I urge each of our priests to learn Latin sufficiently to be able to celebrate Mass according to the old form. The diocese will help with securing instruction for you. We will bring into the diocese priests from religious orders that have been celebrating the old Mass exclusively, under papal approval. They will help you not only with the language but also with the rubrics.

"I hereby give each pastor authority to institute in his own parish one or more Masses according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, beginning September 16 or as early as practicable thereafter, given each priest's ability to become proficient in celebrating in Latin. For the time being, these Masses shall be restricted to mornings, beginning not earlier than 8:00 a.m. and not later than noon. These hours apply both to weekends and weekdays. There will be no Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon Masses in the old form without my explicit permission.

"No parish will be mandated to celebrate Mass under the old form, except for parishes that now have five or more Masses from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon. All such parishes must institute at least one Mass in the old form no later than the first Sunday in Advent in 2008. Such Masses may be instituted sooner than that, but this schedule permits priests enough time to get up to speed with the Latin language and with the rubrics.

"I have heard a few priests--none from our diocese, of course!--grumble that they are too old or too ignorant to learn the Latin needed for Mass. I have much confidence in our priests, and I know that if I have been able to learn what needs to be learned, my brother priests will have little trouble doing so when given twice the time to study.

"Pastors of parishes with five or more weekend Masses who believe themselves incapable of instituting these Masses within the allotted time are invited to consult with me regarding alternative parish assignments.

"Now let me speak not to our priests but to our lay people. Some of you, I know, remember the old Mass and look forward to its free availability. Others of you, much too young to have known that Mass, look forward to it because you are seeking a depth or sense of reverence that you have had trouble finding in the current form. But most of you, I think, are unsure whether you will be comfortable at a Mass in Latin. You do not know the language and have no time--and perhaps no interest--in learning it.

"I understand that. Do not let yourself be put off by unnecessary worries. I remember when, as a youth, all Masses were in Latin. I did not know the language in those years--you may recall that I attended public schools and not Catholic schools and so had no chance for instruction in Latin--but I had no problem following the Mass because the missals used by those of us in the pews had Latin and English on facing pages.

"To make the transition as easy and as inexpensive as possible for those Catholics of this diocese who will opt to attend the Mass in its old form, the diocese will arrange to purchase at discount a large number of Latin-English missals (and Latin-Spanish missals, if we can locate them). These will be made available to you at our cost. They will be simple but serviceable. Of course, you will be free to obtain your own, nicer missals if you wish.

"To help further with the transition, I am instructing our priests to use in Sunday vernacular Masses the first Eucharistic prayer. This is the one most similar to the canon of the old Mass. It is the most formal and the most traditional of the many Eucharistic prayers that a priest may choose from. I believe that if those who prefer to attend Mass in the vernacular get used to this Eucharistic prayer, they will feel more confident about trying out the old Mass.

"To make this transition easier yet, I am instructing our priests to use at all Sunday Masses in the new form the Greek Kyrie instead of the vernacular Kyrie and the Latin Agnus Dei instead of the vernacular Agnus Dei. I invite them to incorporate Latin elsewhere too, where permitted by the rubrics that govern the Missal of Paul VI.

"Lastly, I instruct our priests to be generous toward their parishioners. The Holy Father, in his motu proprio, says that parishes should offer the old form of the Mass when there can be shown to be a stable group of parishioners who desire to assist at the old form. He has set no minimum number for such a group, and neither do I. An initial group might consist of a handful of people.

"It is my intuition that over time a fair proportion of our lay people will come to prefer the old form. That is why I have mandated that parishes with five or more weekend Masses offer at least one in the old form.

"Perhaps some of you, both priests and lay people, look forward to these changes with a little trepidation. If so, I hope you will come to see these changes as an opportunity for a deepening of our common Catholic faith, not as something that will pit one Catholic against another or one parish against another.

"I have made these decisions with a sense of peace. I believe I am working under the promptings given me by the Holy Spirit, both in my office as a successor to the apostles and, more immediately, in answer to the prayer I mentioned earlier. I hope you will join me now in prayer, as our diocese moves forward in union not just with the letter but also with the spirit of the Holy Father's motu proprio."

... And then I woke up.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You Gotta See This...

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I absolutely love these things. Thanks Wolftracker, the Knight salutes you...
See What I'm Talking About Here

America, Mexico, Canada Merger In The News Again

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The 'North American Union' is in the news again. Local radio talk-show host, Vince Jericho, dedicated an entire segment of his morning show to an interview with Jerome Corsi of WorldNetDaily.com. This is something you MUST hear....

You Want This Bumper Sticker?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Show your support for Pope Benedict XVI, and the reforms he's making, as he's assailed from all sides by Liberal Modernists and Islamic Fascists. I proudly display this bumper sticker on the back of my two family cars, and you should too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Antichurch Rises

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: What's wrong with this picture? Yes, these women are bishops. They were lawfully ordained, according to standards of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and the Episcopal Church of Cuba.

I post this here tonight to call your attention to a developing trend not only in North America, but all over the world. As Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI, have moved the Catholic Church to the right, safely into the arms of historic orthodoxy, a new demand has been created. I'm talking about the demand of disaffected Liberal Catholics, who don't like the idea of historic orthodoxy. I'm talking about the so-called "Progressives" of the hippie generation who wanted the Catholic Church to endorse birth control, grant gay marriage, and ordain women to the priesthood. The Catholic Church has stood solidly against these things throughout the years with no sign of change. I've got to hand it to the hippies. A good number of them stuck around for a pretty long time. But their perseverance has not paid off. The Church now moves further to the right, and most of them feel powerless to stop it. In the coming years ahead, a good number of these people will be looking for something new.

While the papacy was beating off modern Liberalism with a stick, the "Progressives" found an open embrace in the Episcopal Church USA, as well as in many other Anglican bodies around the world. Within the Episcopal Church, many disaffected Liberal Catholics have found a home where they can have all the "smells and bells" of a vernacular "catholic" mass, without all that uncomfortable emphasis on Christian morality. In the Episcopal Church, female priests abound with a growing number of female bishops too. Their gay marriages can be blessed, and even a married man, who leaves his wife and children for a male lover, can not only remain a priest, but he can even be elevated to the level of bishop. In the Episcopal Church USA laymen can be treated to a morality of relativism, where the only thing absolute is the idea that there are no absolutes. All of this with a "catholic" veneer of course, filled with liturgical vestments, incense, and a "mass" that is virtually indistinguishable from the one currently used as the "ordinary" in the Roman Catholic Church. It's a perfect home for Catholics who are sick and tired of all the rules.

I suspect in the coming year, as the Episcopal Church crumbles and the Anglican Communion shatters, a new reality will emerge. The Catholic Church will become more conservative and orthodox, drawing in conservatives Christians from around the world, as Liberal Catholics start to bail out one by one. Some of them will move over to the Episcopal Church, where they'll feel quite at home, and it is possible that the ECUSA may actually experience a growth trend again. While there will never be a comparison in size to the US Catholic Church, Episcopalians have historically wielded a lot of influence over American politics. I'm sure the day will come when the Episcopalians and Catholics will go head to head over America's social issues.

When (not if) that day comes, what will Americans see on their television screens? They'll see two people wearing mitres -- one man and the other a woman. Both of them looking very "catholic" to the average American viewer. One espousing historic Christian morality, while the other preaching half-baked Liberal gobbledygook! Before every one's eyes, the world will see the Church vs. the Antichurch. What an interesting day that will be.

Vatican Goes On Offense Against Pedophiles

(Mercury News): VATICAN CITY—The Vatican said Tuesday it would lead the fight against pedophilia, but said the problem was not limited to the Catholic Church and that other institutions should take responsibility.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi spoke to Vatican Radio after the Los Angeles archdiocese reached a $660 million settlement with more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse, the largest-ever U.S. payout.

Lombardi said the agreement "closed a painful page" and allowed the church to focus on creating a secure environment for young Catholics.

"The church is obviously above all saddened by the suffering of the victims and their families, by the profound wounds caused by the inexcusable and grave behavior of various church members, and is determined to commit itself in every way to prevent the repetition of such wickedness," he said.

However, he said, other institutions should also take similar responsibility.

"They too should take decisions and necessary measures," he said, without naming any institutions.

Regardless, Lombardi said the church would lead "the fight against pedophilia, which today involves growing sectors of society in many countries of the world."

Pope Benedict XVI has spoken strongly about the clergy sex scandal, endorsing efforts to examine allegations and support victims.....

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In order to fight the problem, we must first UNDERSTAND the problem. The mainstream media has done an abysmal job on this. In all frankness, they're good for nothing, other than spreading confusion and distortion. So let's go over the facts.

First of all, all the data collected on the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church over the last 50 years indicates a predominately a HOMOSEXUAL problem. In most circumstances, what we have here are homosexual priests, ordained under a the false Liberal mindset that gays can be celibate just as easily as straights can. The data suggests otherwise. Many of the homosexuals ordained between 1950 and 2000 turned around and molested teenage boys between the ages of 12 and 17. These are boys becoming men, impressionable and physically fit, prime targets for homosexual predators. Pope Benedict XVI has already instituted the necessary reforms to purge the Church of this problem. Gays are no longer allowed in (or near) the seminaries where priests are trained. There are no exceptions. Homosexual men cannot be priests - period. All homosexual men who are already priests are on permanent probation. They will be watched closely. That takes care of 80% of the problem right there.

Second, Catholic churches in English speaking nations (were the majority of sex-abuse occurred) have implemented measures to screen out and filter pedophiles from seminaries, as well as creating environments within parishes that make it difficult for abuse to easily happen. Furthermore, each diocese has implemented measures to easily report abuse cases, and procedures to see that they are handled quickly.

It would seem the Vatican is pledging full support in this area, and it will be interesting to see what further measures the Holy See will be taking to purge the Church of sexual predators.

Now let's get back to the figures. A recent study indicated that sexual abuse is no higher in the Catholic Church (per capita) than in Protestant churches. In fact, the same study showed that sexual abuse is slightly higher (per capita) in Protestant churches than in the Catholic Church. Furthermore, a US government study indicated that a child is far more likely to be sexually molested in a public school than in either a Catholic or a Protestant church. But if your only source of information was the mainstream media, you would have never known that.

So while the pope doesn't care to name names when he calls upon other institutions to clean up their act, I'll be happy to fill in the blank for him.
  1. Protestant churches -- all denominations and affiliations
  2. Eastern orthodox churches
  3. Jewish Synagogues -- all branches
  4. Islamic Mosques -- all sects
  5. Public Schools -- the biggest offender of them all
  6. The Mainstream Media -- who just can't seem to figure it out and get their story straight

A Surprising Number of Priests Are Learning The Latin Mass

(New Liturgical Movement): In the days and weeks following the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, there have been many reports, some public and some private, of priests setting out to learn how to say the Mass from the Missal of 1962. Some of these reports were rather surprising in some respects, at least to me. The goal of learning the old Missal was being adopted by priests who otherwise evidenced little previous interest in the old Indult, or, perhaps, they had been interested all along but held some fear of taking on the associated political risks of drawing the attention of chanceries on the lookout for signs of “reactionary” impulses.

This is one of the many reasons that Benedict XVI’s document is so wise. It leaves the choice to learn the old Missal to the priests themselves, even while not taking the authority from the Bishop to regulate the liturgy within his own diocese. It merely shifts the burden of the first-round of decision making from the Bishop to the priest, and this has made all the difference...

read full story here

Pope Uses 1962 Missal

(CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news), who recently issued a motu proprio allowing all Catholic priests to celebrate the old Latin Mass, uses the older ritual himself for his private Mass, CWN has learned.

Informed sources at the Vatican have confirmed reports that the Holy Father regularly celebrates Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal...

read full story here

Tridentine Mass Touches Jewish Roots of Catholicism

(First Things): In my experience, Catholics who have an affinity for the particularly Judaic character of their Christian faith are more likely to be drawn to the Tridentine Mass than are Catholics for whom Judaism is a category on the other side of a boundary they would consider it bad manners to try to cross. You might think that, while Reform Catholics were on the subject of Catholic liturgy and Judaism, they would ask what happened to the Church’s observance of the event that most vividly marks Jesus as Jewish. The establishment of the 1970 missal as normative was accompanied by a certain curious change in the liturgical calendar: The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, on January 1, eight days after the celebration of his birth, wasn’t just moved. It was eliminated.

Of the criticisms that early Protestants leveled against Catholicism, the one that arguably cut deepest was that the Church presumed to revive the Levitical priesthood, which the spilling of Christ’s blood on Calvary now rendered obsolete. They inveighed passionately against the Mass, which they saw as overtly Judaic in its tone, structure, and purpose. (This Jewishness they objected to was largely a theological construct, not to be confused with the social and cultural construct of Judaism familiar to students of Jewish Studies departments at American universities.)

Protestants were correct that the Mass, in its aspect as a sacrifice, could not be fully understood outside the framework of pre-rabbinic Judaism. By the middle of the twentieth century, when Rome’s wish for some thaw in its cold war with Protestantism was in full bloom, it reformed the Mass such that the visible and audible distinctions between Mass and the worship services of the mainline Protestant churches were now greatly softened. Many Catholics saw it as an appropriate ecumenical gesture. So did many Protestants. Whether that step in the direction of Wittenberg and Geneva was deliberate or unconscious, what it was a step away from was Jerusalem, from the Temple and the daily sacrifice priests used to perform there.

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As a convert to Catholicism from Evangelicalism, I can particularly relate to this story. I often tell people that I came into the Church through the "back door" so to speak. What I hadn't really stopped to consider was that the "back door" used to be the "front door," that is, until Vatican II seemed to turn things around. My interest in Catholicism developed from my exploration of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. As a good Evangelical, I was particularly interested in the Jewishness of Jesus and his apostles. I wanted to discover the Jewish connections to common Christian beliefs and customs. After a brief journey through the Messianic Jewish Movement, I learned a lot about the nature of symbolism, ceremony and liturgy. As I searched for Christian churches that still preserved many of the ancient Jewish connections, I could only find one that fit the description. It was none other than the Roman Catholic Church. Little did I know at the time how much the Ordinary form of the mass, promulgated in 1970, had stripped down the Jewishness of liturgy. Had I been born in a different time, I would have immediately seen the direct connection between Jewish liturgy and the pre-1970 mass. Fortunately for me, I now live in a time when the Church is rediscovering her "Jewishness" by restoring the Extraordinary form of the mass.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The 'Extraordinary' Mass Will Outlive It's 'Ordinary' Counterpart

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following is an excerpt from a thought-provoking article written with more passion than paranoia. Generally I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I think this author made some good points outside of that...
(Scotsman.com): ...For the first time in living memory, a major institution is reforming itself by turning back to earlier precepts: David Cameron might profitably take note.

The bishops of England and Wales tried furiously to prevent the liberalization of access to the Traditional Mass, lobbying the Vatican against it, although they had recently approved the regular celebration of a Mass for homosexuals. On the eve of the publication of the Papal document, Bishop Kieran Conry, of Arundel and Brighton, said: "Any liberalisation of the use of the rite may prove seriously divisive. It could encourage those who want to turn the clock back throughout the Church." So, a liberal opposes liberalisation - why are we not surprised?...

read full story here

In a previous post I mentioned that if the Extraordinary form of the mass were translated into the vernacular (English for us), and celebrated along side the Ordinary form in English, it wouldn't be long before the Ordinary would be empty and the Extraordinary full. That's the power of the ancient liturgy. I have a feeling that this vision is not too far off from what the pope may be wanting for the future. A few clues were given in Summorum Pontificum. The pope allows for lectionary readings in the Extraordinary from to be read in the vernacular, and even suggests supplementing more readings from the new expanded lectionary. Furthermore he suggests a more reverent celebration of the Ordinary form -- following the example of the Extraordinary. Could it be that someday in the future (perhaps distant future) the pope envisions the reunion of both forms under a new missal?

Imagine for a moment the following. Suppose 15 years from now a synod on the liturgy called at the Vatican. Then five years later, in 2020, a new Missal is released for the universal Church. This new Missal is essentially a Tridentine mass in every sense. The only significant change is the expansion of the readings from the new lectionary. Permission is given to celebrate the mass in either Latin or the vernacular. However, if the vernacular is used, certain small parts of the mass are still designated to be said only in Latin - to preserve the Church's heritage.

It is possible? Now that the pope has released his motu proprio, I would say anything is possible.

Liberal L.A. Diocese Reaps The Whirlwind

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The sex-abuse settlement in the Diocese of Los Angeles was predictable. In fact it's old news. The only thing new about it is that it's finally been made official. Readers of this blog know what my feelings are about Cardinal Roger Mahony. The man has let so much happen in his diocese that I don't know were to begin. The Vatican has rapped Mahony on the knuckles in the past for things he's said and done. If there is any criminal activity on his part, I'm sure he will be prosecuted. So far no charges have been filed, and I don't know if there ever will be. In my opinion, I believe Cardinal Mahony's biggest crime is nothing more than Liberal incompetence. Five years ago, it was reported that Cardinal Mahony sought the resignation of Cardinal Law over the Boston sex-abuse scandal. That being the case, I think it's time for Cardinal Mahony to seek his own resignation - that is - if he doesn't want to be called a hypocrite upon everything else.

Nevertheless, in spite of all this, I stand behind my previous post 100%...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Keeping Kids Catholic

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So long as Catholic worship tries to look more "Protestant," it will always play second fiddle to worship in Protestant churches. In other words, Protestants will always do it better.

So long as Catholic worship tries to look more "Catholic," it will always be second to none.

If we are looking to keep our young people Catholic, than why do we show them how to worship like Protestants?

Are we really looking to keep our young people Catholic? Than by all means, show them what Catholicism is -- in all its rich ceremony and ancient glory!

If you want to keep them Catholic, than they have to fall in love with Catholicism for what it really is, not for how well you can make it look like something else.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Those Sneaky Bastards!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Okay, I don't use that kind of language very often, but I think this is one of those rare situations where it's called for. The Senate "hate crimes" bill (the so-called "Matthew Shepherd Law") is designed to make it illegal to criticize homosexuality. If a pastor tells his congregation that homosexuality is a sin, and somebody in his congregation later commits a crime against a homosexual, criminal charges can then be filed against the pastor for illegal hate speech. This effectively puts a muzzle on every priest, pastor and rabbi in the country. It intimidates religious leaders into silence on the issue of homosexuality, for fear of being prosecuted should they say what the Bible actually teaches on the matter. That folks, is exactly what the bill is designed to do. Prosecuting pastors for "hate speech" is just the icing on the cake for the bill's authors. What these demons were really after was the fear of intimidation. The objective is to shut down free speech, and religious liberty, when it comes to criticizing homosexuality. The leading Democrats in the Senate know this bill probably won't pass on it's own merit, so they're attempting to attach it to the Defense Reauthorization bill, effectively holding our troops overseas hostage to gay rights...
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Senate Democrats will hold US troops fighting the "War on Terror" as hostages in exchange for sweeping "hate crimes" legislation if the Senate votes this week, perhaps as early as Monday, to include it in the defense spending bill.

Instead of introducing the legislation giving sexual orientation "hate crimes" protection as a separate bill, Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) opted to introduce the "Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act" as one of hundreds of amendments to the Defense Reauthorization bill requested by President Bush.

"There's no question this is an attempt to sneak the bill in under the most shameful circumstances because they are attaching it to the defense of our military troops," Mat Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel told LifeSiteNews.com.

Sens. Kennedy and Smith's strategy, Staver said, forces the President into a terrible dilemma: President Bush must either approve "hate crimes" legislation or veto the entire spending bill thus leaving US troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan without new support and dwindling resources. Since the President has no line-item veto, approval of the defense bill is an all or nothing deal....

....Conservative groups have charged that "hate crimes" equals "thought crimes" and carries major implications for the religious freedom of Christians and other religious groups who preach homosexual behavior is intrinsically disordered and immoral. Such fears were confirmed when Rep. Artur Davis, a supporter of the bill, admitted that under this law a pastor could be charged with the crime of incitement if the he preached against homosexuality and a person in the congregation left church and committed a crime against a homosexual....

read full story here

FOX News Reports on Latin Mass

Some new and important information is brought to light in this video...
In Good Faith: Allowing More Catholic Churches To Use Old Latin

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The above video announces that the Vatican will soon be handing down some guidelines for how the Extraordinary form of the mass may be celebrated in more parishes throughout the world. It also trips over an important part of the traditionalist argument against the new Ordinary form of the mass. It makes the mistake of assuming that what traditional Catholics crave is Latin. Granted, Latin is the official language of the Church, and it should be used to some degree in the Ordinary form of the mass as well as the Extraordinary form. However, that is not the crux of the traditionalist argument. It's not about the language. It's about the liturgy. The new Ordinary form of the mass is DIFFERENT than the Extraordinary. Many changes were made, not just the language or the way the priest faces. Many of the prayers were changed, as well as the liturgical order and format. You could translate the entire Extraordinary (Tridentine) form of the mass directly into the vernacular, and I would dare say that most traditionalists wouldn't have a problem with it. Why? Because it's the same liturgy. Other than the language, nothing else would have changed. Granted, it probably sounds a lot more pretty in Latin, but the vernacular would be acceptable if it were offered.

I'll take it one step further and make a radical challenge just for academic sake. If the bishops translated the Extraordinary (Tridentine) form of the mass directly into English, and offered an English Tridentine mass every Sunday, along side an Ordinary (Novus Ordo) mass said in English, it wouldn't be long before the Ordinary masses would be empty and the Extraordinary masses would be full. That's how powerful the ancient liturgy is, no matter what language it's offered in.

Sex-Abuse Scandal Fading Away

Washington DC, Jul 13, 2007 (CNA).- The Roman Catholic Church in the United States is starting to move out of crisis mode five years after the sex-abuse scandal broke, according to an Associated Press report.

"I think the crisis mode is over, and I think that's a good thing," Robert Bennett, a Washington lawyer told the AP. Bennett is a former member of the National Review Board, which was formed by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to deal with the scandal.

While dioceses continue to receive and settle claims of sex abuse by priests, there are signs to support the claim that the crisis is fading.

The AP report notes that number of clergy sex abuse claims received by Catholic bishops and religious orders in the U.S. declined in 2006. This is the second consecutive year of decline. Furthermore, the new claims involve mostly decades-old events.

It also notes that donations to diocesan annual appeals fell slightly as the scandal spread, then jumped 13 percent in 2006, including in Boston, where the scandal first broke.

In addition, a survey conducted in October 2005 found 74 percent of Catholics were either "somewhat" or "very" satisfied with U.S. bishops' leadership, up from 57 percent in January 2003....

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So that it may never be forgotten, or taken out of context again, 'The Catholic Knight' points out some facts that the mainstream media refused to point out even though the evidence was right in front of them. First and foremost, all the accused priests and bishops involved in the scandal were a little less than 5% of all American clergy. That's less than 1/2 of 1% worldwide. Assuming that all of those accusations were true, (and many of them have proved false), that means over 95% of Catholic clergy in America are completely innocent of anything to do with this sex-abuse scandal. The same holds true for over 99% of the clergy worldwide. I would also like to point out that to date, not a single bishop has been charged with conspiracy or obstruction of justice. I would also like to point out that of all the reported cases of sexual abuse, the overwhelming vast majority of them involved teenage boys between the ages of 13 and 17, which makes it an overwhelmingly HOMOSEXUAL problem, not a pedophilia problem. The problem took root mainly in the United States, and other Western countries, namely because of Liberal policies allowing (even promoting) the admission of homosexuals to the seminaries. This was a bad policy that should have never been in place. It was practiced in seminaries because of the Liberal mindset that homosexual men can make good priests if they remain celibate. The data from the sexual-abuse scandal in the US Church demonstrates that celibacy is much more difficult for homosexual men than it is for heterosexual men. Since then homosexuals have been banned from the seminaries, and can no longer be ordained to the priesthood.

Finally, a few other little facts of information the mainstream media refuses to cover with any seriousness, even though the evidence is right in front of them. The incidence of sexual-abuse and coverup is slightly higher in Protestant churches (per capita) than in the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to that, the incidence of sexual-abuse and coverup in the Secular institution of public schools is exponentially higher across the board. In fact, the problem is so bad in public schools that a child is up to 100 times more likely to be molested there, than in a Catholic or Protestant Church. But you probably won't hear that on the news tonight, or any night for that matter. However, I would venture to say that if just one more Catholic priest goes on trial for sex abuse, it will be covered by all major networks, and given front page attention in the New York Times. Chalk it up to media anti-Catholicism. It's just a sign of the times folks.

Graphs Provided by "The Cafeteria Is Closed" Blog

Friday, July 13, 2007

Liberals Hyperventilate Over Catholic Teaching

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I have to admit I must have a sick sense of humor. Something about this whole eruption in the world over traditional Catholic ecclesiology is making me smile. On Tuesday, July 10, 2007 the 'Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith' (CDF) released a document reaffirming its long standing tradition entitled "Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church". The document clarifies the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) within the context of historic Catholic tradition. The issue causing so much hyperventilation in the non-Catholic world is the premise that the Catholic Church actually believes it is the "true Church" established by Jesus Christ and the apostles. Is it just me or does anyone else find it hysterical that people would get all worked up over this? Granted, I suppose in the age of religious relativism it was totally predictable, and perhaps that's one reason why I find it even more amusing.

What the pope authorized in the CDF document was nothing short of historic Catholic tradition. This is what the Church has always believed. Nothing in Vatican II even remotely suggested to change that. A careful examination of the text of Vatican II's "Decree on Ecumenism" reveals this. Not once does the decree ever refer to Protestant communities as "churches." So should it be any surprise to people today that the Vatican CDF simply reaffirms what the Church has always believed and has never changed?

Exactly what were non-Catholics expecting such a document to say? Perhaps they would have been more satisfied if the document said the Catholic Church IS NOT the "true Church" established by Jesus Christ. Perhaps they would have preferred it say something like: "We really don't know which church is the 'true Church,' so we'll just have to assume that all churches are the same and there really is no absolute truth." Maybe this is the kind of relativism people need to hear in order to stay comfortable.

Well, if that's what non-Catholics were hoping for, all I can say is "good luck with that!" It's never happened before, so I don't know why they would expect it to start happening now. People should have learned by now that if you want relativism, you're not going to get it from Rome. If the Vatican CDF document makes you a bit uncomfortable, you can always look to the "moral leadership" coming out of the Episcopal Church USA instead. Of course within that denominational community (i.e. "non-church") just about anything goes. So I'm sure there is a little something for everybody there, and I can almost guarantee you won't find any of those uncomfortable "absolute truths" in that part of the Christian world.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Motu Proprio Signup for Latin Mass

The motu proprio has been released! The next step is to start putting the Catholic faithful who want to assist at the extraordinary form of the Holy Mass in touch with Catholic priests who want to say the extraordinary form of the Holy Mass. Please fill out the form below with your contact information so we can help you make a connection.

Please make sure to include your geographical information (it will be difficult to link you up with others in your area if you don't), as well as an email address so that you can be contacted when a match is found. Your information is private and will not be shared with anyone without your consent. Also, including your parish of registry will be very important for helping to connect people in the same parish who may be unaware of each other....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vatican Says Protestant Organizations Are Not Really 'Churches'

(CWNews.com): The Vatican has issued a new doctrinal statement confirming the essential role of the Catholic Church in God's plan for salvation.

The short document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), presented in question-and-answer format, addresses questions about the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that the Church founded by Jesus Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church.

The CDF affirms that while other Christian bodies can play a role in bringing people to salvation, it is in the Catholic Church that "the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth." The Vatican document makes a further distinction between Orthodox churches that have preserved valid sacraments, and should be recognized as "sister churches," and Protestant groups that have not preserved the Eucharistic presence....

read full story here

Read Full Text of CDF Document Here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Here's the gist of it. The Catholic Church is the one and only "Church" founded by Jesus Christ. The Eastern Orthodox churches have maintained the sacraments, and therefore they are like "sister churches" in a very real sense, even though unity with Rome is the only thing lacking to complete them. Protestant churches on the other hand, are not really "churches" at all, because they have not preserved the sacraments. They are in essence man-made artificial organizations. These man-made organizations tie together like-minded Christians, who are separated from communion with Rome, into cohesive communities that mimic the appearance of a church, but they are not a 'church' according to the theological and historical definition. Because of this, it is more appropriate to refer to Protestant churches as "communities" or "organizations." Roman Catholics would do well to think of these "communities" this way, and order our speech accordingly for the sake of clarity.

It is absolutely imperative that Catholics understand the gravity of the Church's teaching on this. The Catholic Church has ALWAYS taught that it is the one true Church of Christ, and outside of it there is no salvation. This statement from the Vatican CDF reaffirms that fully, and again stipulates that the Second Vatican Council was pastoral in nature -- changing not a single Church doctrine. Many Catholics have been misled by the modern "I'm okay, you're okay" philosophy of religious relativism. The papacy has NEVER embraced this idea. The Second Vatican Council NEVER condoned it. Many of us may have been taught that by our priests or religious instructors, but it doesn't change the fact that it's heresy. The Vatican has NEVER embraced Protestant organizations as "churches" on equal footing with the Catholic Church, and much to the chagrin of liberals, it never will.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has something to say about all of this, but it's important for us to understand how it's nuanced a certain way, so as to reaffirm the same teaching always taught by the Church.
Outside the Church there is no salvation

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

[emphasis added]

The key to this post-conciliar nuance is knowledge on the part of the Christian who refuses to enter the Catholic Church. What the Catechism is telling us is that if you're a Christian, and you KNOW Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church, and you REFUSE to enter it anyway, then you damn yourself to hell, because there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.

The situation for Protestants is a complicated one. They know of Jesus Christ. They accept his Lordship. They receive the forgiveness he offers on the cross. Most of them are baptized in the Trinitarian formula -- a sacrament Rome considers totally valid regardless of the Protestant community it was performed in. They pray to and worship Christ as God. They study the Scriptures and give of their treasure and talents to the work of God's Kingdom here on earth. The Catholic Church fully recognizes them as Christian "brethren," though separated from full and perfect communion. In these ways Protestants are "catholic" in the sense that they've already embraced so much of the Catholic Christian faith, that virtually the only thing lacking is a little education and the sacraments. One could say if the trip to Rome were 100 miles, most Protestants have already traveled 80 to 90 of them.

Yet here is the sticking point. Very few Protestants have ever willfully chosen to leave the Catholic Church. Yes, there are a few, but for the most part, the vast majority of Protestants were born into Protestant families and consequently that's all they've ever known. Even among those few who chose to leave the Catholic Church today, in favor of some Protestant denomination, one could easily argue that the reason why they left in the first place was because they were so poorly educated in Catholicism that they didn't truly understand what they were leaving behind. Because of this, the Church places no blame on those Christians separated from the Catholic Church, so long as their separation was through no fault of their own...
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."
The Church still has the obligation and sacred right to evangelize. Why? Because it's pretty hard to be totally and completely without fault of your own. How many people do you know who are totally and completely without fault? Oh, I would venture to say that some of you may knew a few. Perhaps some of you may have small infants at home. Or maybe you know some adults who are mentally retarded and unable to communicate. These people certainly qualify as folks having no fault of their own. (When I say "fault" I don't mean sin, but rather blame.) Still, how many of you actually know some adults, who have all their faculties, that are totally and completely without fault? They may have sin in their lives, we all do, but that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm asking is who among them is ignorant of the gospel and the Church without fault of their own? Now we're starting to enter a grey area. Your Buddhist neighbor may be ignorant of the Gospel, and it may be through no fault of his own, but how can you be sure of that? You can't. You never could be. Technically speaking, you're not even qualified to say he is, even if you think you know. Only God is qualified to make that call. So what is your responsibility as a Catholic Christian then? Simple. EVANGELIZE! You don't know if your Buddhist neighbor is without fault in his ignorance of the gospel, and there is no way you could ever know. So the only thing you're qualified to do is tell him about it. Evangelize him! If he doesn't convert, that's fine because it's his choice, but you're still not qualified to tell if he's without fault. All you're qualified to do is tell them of your love for Christ and his Church, without stopping, and without judging them.

Now back to the Protestant question. What does Mother Church have to say to us specifically about them...
817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame." The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."
Here we see the Church takes the case of the original Protestant "reformers" very seriously. These were educated men, who fully understood the potential consequences of their actions should they be in error. We would like to believe that they did not know they were in error. We would like to believe they did not fully understand what they were doing. Indeed, only God can judge. But all the evidence available to us seems to indicate a very damning case against them. The Council of Trent (AD 1545) pronounced anathema upon them and their doctrines. Even the softer and nuanced bishops of Vatican II could not disagree. The social, political and theological movements that spawned the original Protestant "Reformation" were damnable things, and those educated men who espoused them risked damnation of their souls, even by the standards of Vatican II.

Yet the Protestant movement did not end there. The damnable teachings of the "Reformation" fathers poisoned the minds of their followers against the Catholic Church - brainwashing Protestant children against her. Sometimes this was done maliciously with pure anti-catholic propaganda. Sometimes it was done more subtly, with the teaching of theological doctrines so inconsistent with Catholic teaching, that conversion back to Catholicism seemed impossible. Through the centuries Protestantism drifted so far away from it's Catholic roots, that Protestants themselves began to think of the Catholic Church as something totally foreign to them. Catholic worship itself became "strange" to them. Catholics became known as a "peculiar" people with "peculiar" customs that were totally foreign to the Protestant frame of mind. For example; while visiting Catholic churches, some Protestants (of the Evangelical persuasion) have been known to get up and walk out once they see incense burning in the procession. Why? Because it literally frightens them. They've never seen it before, and they don't know what to think of it. (This actually happened to a Baptist friend of mine. She saw the incense burning and made a straight line for the back door. I've since heard reports of this happening with other visiting Protestants.) It's odd that this would be the case, especially since the burning of incense is a totally Biblical practice, and Protestants pride themselves on following the Bible. Yet this is the reality of the situation we live in today. Can these Protestants be excused because their refusal to enter the Catholic Church is by no fault of their own? Perhaps, but it's not up to us to do the excusing. We're not qualified. Only God is. Our job is to evangelize and educate our "separated brethren" about the necessity of the Catholic Church in their "personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

In regards to the community organizations which were formed by Protestants, often called "churches," we must educate ourselves as to what they are, and where they came from. The original Protestants who separated themselves from the Catholic Church were completely unable to reunify themselves under a single banner. (That's because there is no Christian Unity outside the Catholic Church either.) So the regional governments of northern Europe stepped in to prevent confusion from spiraling downward into chaos. The original Protestant "churches" were state run. They were entities of the government, and they were organized upon nationality. These National "churches" were the forerunners to the original Protestant denominations we know today. For example, when the English came to North America, the state-run "Church of England" organized itself in the colonies as a Protestant 'denomination.' This was one way the English state asserted its influence (via religion) over the American colonists. Likewise, the state-run "Evangelical Church of Germany" did the same with the German immigrants to America via what became known as the "Lutheran" denomination. Throughout the centuries, Christians within the artificially state-run "churches" came to realize the problems associated with this. Some of them broke off to form new denominations, which were independent of state-run authority. As a result, they created new artificial governing bodies, to handle affairs within these new so-called "churches." Schism followed schism as century followed century, until we finally reached the current state of things in the Protestant world. At latest count, there are now some 20,000 individual Protestant denominations, affiliations and sects. Most Protestants today remain a part of the organizations they are familiar with, simply because they're afraid to try anything else. Who can blame them? Why would anyone want to do all the work it takes to determine which one (if any) of these 20,000 denominations is the right one? Most Protestants simply throw their hands up in the air on this one. As a result, a new doctrine has emerged in Protestant circles, which teaches that the true 'Church of Christ' is totally invisible, with no distinct head or body. As a result, nobody can truly know who is part of the invisible Church of Christ. It's all a mystery. Needless to say this is heresy, but it illustrates just how 'impossible' a task it is when Protestants try to rationalize the reason for so many communities, and so little unity.

As for these artificial organizations that like-minded Protestant communities create to govern themselves, Rome has never recognized them as anything more than that, and it never will. Catholics should do likewise. But in regards to these like-minded Protestant communities, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does have some important acknowledgments...
819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements." Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."

When the Catechism uses the word "Churches" it is referring to the Eastern Orthodox. But when it says "ecclesial communities" it is in reference to like-minded Protestant denominations, affiliations and sects. In them, the Catholic Church recognizes that God uses them as tools to bring people to the knowledge of Christ and to salvation. You will notice that while it acknowledges these communities as a "means of salvation," it does so only so far as its teachings agree with the Catholic Church. Thus the "power" these organizations have to bring people to salvation, is in actuality an extension of the Catholic Church's power, because the vital teachings Protestant communities rely on (Bible, Trinity, Incarnation, Justification, Sanctification, Baptism, etc.) originally come from the Catholic Church, and are in full agreement with the Catholic Church. They are in essence, arms of Catholic influence, outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. So in a very real way, if a Protestant comes to salvation, he does so because of how well he was influenced by Catholic teachings, some of which may have come through his Protestant denomination. So it can truly be said that outside the Catholic Church (or her sphere of influence) there is no salvation.