It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BREAKING: Vatican Says Sex-Abuse Higher In Other Religions

(The Guardian) - The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was "busy cleaning its own house" and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.

In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that "available research" showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.

He also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common.

He added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.

Nor did The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would "be more correct" to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.

"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."

The statement concluded: "As the Catholic church has been busy cleaning its own house, it would be good if other institutions and authorities, where the major part of abuses are reported, could do the same and inform the media about it."

The Holy See launched its counter–attack after an international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Keith Porteous Wood, accused it of covering up child abuse and being in breach of several articles under the Convention on the Rights of the Child...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's truly sad that such things need to be pointed out, but unfortunately they do, and it's even more especially sad that it's a Vatican spokesman, and a lowly Catholic blogger like myself, that has to do it. It's a sign of the times really, yet another reminder of how the mainstream media fails to do their job, over and over again, leaving the real work to scavengers on the Internet. Yes I admit it. I'm a news scavenger. All bloggers are. Lately however, it seems that if you want to really get newsworthy information, or dig down deep into a story, it's off to the blogs you must go. I'll also admit that I'm an apologist for the Catholic Church too. No surprise there. Let's face it though, people like me would be out of a job if the Church were not so viciously and unfairly attacked about so many different things. For example; how many apologists have you seen for the United Church of Christ? How many apologists have you seen for the Church of the Nazarene? How many apologists have you seen for the Amish? How many apologists have you seen for Buddhism? There just aren't that many now are there. That's because these groups do not find themselves regularly and systematically the target of unfair attacks. That's not to say there aren't people out there who would like to be apologists for these religions, and I imagine some of them would be good ones. It's just that there is virtually no market for it. An apologist has to have something to defend, and if nobody's attacking the religion he would like to defend, then there is no reason to be an apologist for it now is there.

This is not so when it comes to the Catholic Church, which is regularly and systematically attacked in the most vicious ways, not by Buddhists, not by Hindus, and not even by Muslims. (Though the latter have had their occasional fits of rage.) No, the most systematic and regular attacks on the Catholic Church come from just two main sources. They are Evangelical Fundamentalism and Secular Humanism, which in more ways than they would ever care to admit, have become two peas in a pod. Both movements were spawned in northern Europe. Both movements have extensive ties with Freemasonry. (Yes, it's true, many Evangelicals are Freemasons. Though they usually keep quiet about it.) Both movements have a history of targeting The Catholic Church as if it were the "root of all evil." Both movements have found a welcome home in the United States of America. Both movements dominate American politics - though usually in competition with each other. Both movements have been known to use the same arguments and tactics when attacking the Catholic Church. If we follow the "enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" logic, it's easy to see why Secularists and Evangelicals frequently end up in the same bed together when it comes to their take on the Catholic Church. There is no level of reason that will appease the Secularist, but for the Evangelical Fundamentalist there is hope. To them I say only this. Divorce yourselves from the Secularist hatred of the Catholic Church, for the tactics the Secularists use on Rome will soon be turned on you. Rome has withstood the assault. Will you? Instead, come to our aid, and help us get the truth out, before it's too late. Catholics and Evangelicals have nothing to fear from the truth, but Secularists do, and that's why they attack Catholicism so vociferously right now, and they will soon do the same to you. In the end, when all the statistics are counted, it is the Secularists who have the most to fear from sex-abuse of minors and cover-up.

The usual suspects are in the mainstream news media. By that I mean organizations like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, etc. These groups are all too eager to report the latest happenings in the sex-abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. They do so to the complete neglect of similar scandals erupting in other religions, and to the complete omission of the actual statistics that put everything into full perspective. They haven't pointed this out, and they never will. Why? Because if they did there wouldn't be a sensational story anymore. The Catholic Church would be no different than any other religion, and the problem would be revealed as so much worse in the non-religious Secular world. It defeats the whole purpose you see. Why report on a story, and attempt to make it into a sensationalist scandal that will stun the world, when reporting all the facts eliminates the shock. We could attribute this to pure sensationalism and media hype, and indeed that would probably be the case if it were not so systematic and predictable. Indeed, it would appear there is something much deeper at work here. We know certain elements of the mainstream news media have conspired to bring down certain presidential administrations. The emails and memos on that were uncovered some time back, even to the point where one network knowingly promoted falsified documents. So the question is, do some of these news media giants also conspire to bring down religious institutions? As one anonymous network news insider put it. "The bias in the television news media isn't in what we say. That would be too obvious. It's in what we don't say. It's in the bits and pieces of information that never make it to the set. That's where the bias is." I won't take it any further than that. You be the judge. What I will do is report the facts, and put them into full perspective. You decide what to believe.
(Christian Science Monitor) - Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.

These are findings from national surveys by Christian Ministry Resources (CMR), a tax and legal-advice publisher serving more than 75,000 congregations and 1,000 denominational agencies nationwide....

read full story here
The Christian Science Monitor nails it right on the head! And this is an old article no less, from April of 2002, but it's just as relevant today as it was then. Now the Monitor is not trying to pick on any one group here, but just put the whole matter into perspective. The article continues...
(CSM) - "The Catholics have gotten all the attention from the media, but this problem is even greater with the Protestant churches simply because of their far larger numbers," he says.

Of the 350,000 churches in the US, 19,500 – 5 percent – are Roman Catholic. Catholic churches represent a slightly smaller minority of churches in the CMR surveys which aren't scientifically random, but "representative" demographic samples of churches, Dr. Cobble explains.

Since 1993, on average about 1 percent of the surveyed churches reported abuse allegations annually. That means on average, about 3,500 allegations annually, or nearly 70 per among the predominantly Protestant group, Cobble says.

The CMR findings also reveal:
  • Most church child-sexual-abuse cases involve a single victim.
  • Law suits or out-of-court settlements were a result in 21 percent of the allegations reported in the 2000 survey.
  • Volunteers are more likely than clergy or paid staff to be abusers. Perhaps more startling, children at churches are accused of sexual abuse as often as are clergy and staff. In 1999, for example, 42 percent of alleged child abusers were volunteers – about 25 percent were paid staff members (including clergy) and 25 percent were other children.
source
So now that you know the facts, how much have you heard about this on the mainstream news? Have there been entire news segments dedicated to this story as we saw with the mainstream news media's coverage of the sex-abuse scandal among priests? Have there even be regular reports? How about irregular reports? Has there been any reporting at all? If so, certainly not on the scale of the reporting that's been done on the Catholic Church - not even close. Why do you suppose that is? If the news media is so hot for the next juicy story, why not go where the meat is, right? Why not turn to the Protestant churches and blow this thing wide open? Why do they focus like a laser beam on the Catholic Church? Could there be a reason? Could there be an agenda?

I've got to give credit where credit is due. The Christian Science Monitor did a bang-up great job with this report back in 2002. Not only do they report the full facts and figures, but their analysis of the situation is spot on...
(CSM) -The problem, Cobble says, is that churches are the perfect environment for sexual predators, because they have large numbers of children's' programs, a shortage of workers to lead them, and a culture of trust that is the essence of the organization....

source
The problem here is sexual predators, more so than anything else, coupled with church staff that is far too trusting. Sexual predators are naturally drawn toward positions of power that put them in close contact with their prey. Naturally, Protestant ministries and Catholic clericalism do just that, but not nearly as well as public school teaching, coaching and day care working, but I'll get to that later. To sum it up, a pervert is a pervert long before he ever decides to become a Protestant minister, Catholic priest, or Church volunteer. He seeks these positions because they get him close to what he wants. The positions don't make the predator. Quite the opposite really, the predator covets the position because he's looking for his next victim.

This gets me onto another matter, which is the nature of the sex-abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church. The overwhelming majority of it was NOT pedophilia. It was homosexual ephebophilia - which is a "gay" desire for teenage boys. It's a twisted manifestation of homosexuality, certainly not a trait of all homosexuals, but it would seem a lot of homosexuals are predisposed to it. The overwhelming vast majority of sex-abuse in the Catholic Church occurred on victims between the ages of 11 and 17 years of age. Of course there were a lot of 18 year olds included in that too, but since this is technically not illegal, since the victim is technically an adult, it falls more under the category of pure homosexuality as opposed to gay ephebophilia. The Catholic Church has a GAY problem, not a pedophile problem. How much has the mainstream news media reported on this? I suppose however, it would be politically incorrect to even suggest such a thing, so we shouldn't expect the mainstream news media to report on it.
(Catholic League) - According to a survey by the Washington Post, over the last four decades, less than 1.5 percent of the estimated 60,000 or more men who have served in the Catholic clergy have been accused of child sexual abuse. According to a survey by the New York Times, 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001 have been accused of child sexual abuse. Thomas Kane, author of Priests are People Too, estimates that between 1 and 1.5 percent of priests have had charges made against them. Of contemporary priests, the Associated Press found that approximately two-thirds of 1 percent of priests have charges pending against them.

Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals. Dr. Thomas Plante, a psychologist at Santa Clara University, found that “80 to 90% of all priests who in fact abuse minors have sexually engaged with adolescent boys, not prepubescent children. Thus, the teenager is more at risk than the young altar boy or girls of any age.”

The situation in Boston, the epicenter of the scandal, is even worse. According to the Boston Globe, “Of the clergy sex abuse cases referred to prosecutors in Eastern Massachusetts, more than 90 percent involve male victims. And the most prominent Boston lawyers for alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse have said that about 95 percent of their clients are male.”

In a database analysis of reports on more than 1,200 alleged victims of priests identified by USA Today, 85 percent were males. In another study by USA Today, it was determined that of the 234 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor while serving in the nation’s 10 largest dioceses and archdioceses, 91 percent of their victims were males.

Much has been made of a survey done by the Dallas Morning News which claims that two-thirds of the nation’s bishops have allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to continue working. But the problem with the survey is its definition of abuse—it includes everything from “ignoring warnings about suspicious behavior” to “criminal convictions.” Thus, the survey is of limited utility.

source
Now that's not to say that some bishops weren't involved. Indeed some were, and rest assured these offenders will not escape justice. However, there is no evidence to suggest that a "majority," or even a "sizable minority," of bishops were involved in the cover-up and systematic transfer of sexually abusive priests. We simply have no evidence of that. If you're going to nail a group of people on something like that, you had better have some evidence to back up your claim. Aside from a few isolated cases, with a few particular bishops, (most recently in Los Angeles), that evidence does not exist.

What's ironic about the phenomenon of abusive gay priests is that according to the laws of the Catholic Church, a homosexual is not even supposed to enter a seminary, let alone be ordained to the priesthood. So either they're lying about their sexuality upon entering the seminary, or else the seminary recruiters are lying for them. In his book "Goodbye Good Men" author Michael S. Rose exposes an elaborate network of pro-homosexual activists who infiltrated a few popular seminaries in the United States, gaining high positions, with an agenda to admit all of their gay buddies, and the most liberal men they could find. Pope John Paul II actually had to shut down one of these seminaries because of this very problem. He even goes so far as to suggest the current priest shortage is contrived, having been artificially created by the actions of this stealth network that turned away good orthodox candidates to the seminaries, and admitted the most liberal and progressive candidates instead, many of whom were homosexual. Gay seminarians eventually turn into gay priests, and as we learned from the statistics, these men have a much higher propensity toward sexual abuse of male teenage minors. Again, how much did you hear about this from the mainstream news media? Anything? I didn't think so. Is it designed to be that way? You decide.
(Catholic League) - In the spring of 2002, when the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was receiving unprecedented attention, the Christian Science Monitor reported on the results of national surveys by Christian Ministry Resources. The conclusion: “Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.”

Finally, in the authoritative work by Penn State professor Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests, it was determined that between .2 and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles. The figure among the Protestant clergy ranges between 2 and 3 percent...

source
The figure is significantly higher among Protestant ministers who have had some kind of sexual contact with adults from their congregations - about 25% to 38%. In this area too, Catholic priests do much better, the overwhelming vast majority managing to keep their vows of celibacy, or else they voluntarily leave the priesthood.

Stepping back and putting the whole thing into perspective, we find that the number of actual pedophile child molesters in the Catholic Church is incredibly small at approximately 1.7%. The number of homosexual ephebophiles (gay men who sexually abuse teenage boys), is slightly higher in the neighborhood of 2% to 3%. Less than 5% of Catholic priests have had a single accusation made against them, and in many of these cases, the courts have thrown them out as baseless. So were talking about 1.7% of priests who may be pedophiles. That comes to less than 1,200 priests in the United States. So you think that sounds like a big number eh? What does that say for the remaining 58,880 US Catholic clergy who were in no way part of this scandal? What does that say for the remaining 58,880 good Roman Catholic priests who do their jobs properly, and would never dream of harming a child? It says that they can count on not receiving any recognition from the mainstream news media. It says they can expect to continue to be demonized, all because of the actions of a tiny minority who don't represent them in any way, and the reporting of a careless news media machine that is hell-bent on portraying every Catholic priest in America as a pervert.

All that being said, as sad as the clergy sex-abuse cover-up scandal is in the U.S. Catholic Church, and in American Protestant churches, the abuse statistics are significantly higher among the Secularists in the public schools....
(Catholic League) - One of the nation’s foremost authorities on the subject of the sexual abuse of minors in public schools is Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft. In 1994, Shakeshaft and Audrey Cohan did a study of 225 cases of educator sexual abuse in New York City. Their findings are astounding.

All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.

Moving molesting teachers from school district to school district is a common phenomenon. And in only 1 percent of the cases do superintendents notify the new school district. According to Diana Jean Schemo, the term “passing the trash” is the preferred jargon among educators.

Shakeshaft has also determined that 15 percent of all students have experienced some kind of sexual misconduct by a teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade; the behaviors range from touching to forced penetration. She and Cohan also found that up to 5 percent of teachers sexually abuse children. Shakeshaft will soon be ready to release the findings of a vast study undertaken for the Planning and Evaluation Service Office of the Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education, titled, “Educator Sexual Misconduct with Students: A Synthesis of Existing Literature on Prevalence in Connection with the Design of a National Analysis.”

source
So there you have it. The dirty little secret is out. Our nation's public schools are filled with perverts, teeming with them actually, all just waiting to get a hold of your children. Since the public schools are essentially "Secular" institutions, maybe it all makes sense why the Secular news media would come down so hard on sexual-abuse within the Catholic Church. Maybe, just maybe, they're hoping if they keep the focus on a religious institution long enough, parents won't notice what's going on right underneath their noses in their kids' public schools. Could it be that while the Secular mainstream news media claims to be exposing a cover-up scandal within a religious institution, what they're really doing is assisting in a little cover-up scandal of their own. You decide...
(NCRegister.Com) - According to a major 2004 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 10% of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees. The author of the study concluded that the scope of the school-sex problem appears to far exceed the clergy abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church and concluded in an interview with Education Week “the physical abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests”...

source

Preparing For The Future Of Catholic Education

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I found a conservative Catholic homeschool program that is VERY reasonably priced at less than a fraction of the cost of most Catholic schools. Now you may be wondering why I'm looking around for such things, and the answer is I think we need to be prepared for the unexpected.

In today's economy, we know that anything can happen, virtually overnight, that could easily put tuition and commuting cost out of our financial reach. For example, right now all across the nation, Catholic schools are running into financial troubles. Some of them have already been shut down or downsized. Others are in the process. Some have had to cut all their financial aid programs. Now I'm not saying this will happen to your child's Catholic school, but we all know that it could, and no school system is immune from the sour economy we now find ourselves in.

There are more factors to consider as well. In addition to the above, there is always the possibility of a massive inflationary cycle due to the federal government's printing of money for the federal bailout packages. Virtually EVERYONE agrees this WILL CAUSE INFLATION. The only question is how much inflation and how fast. That's a source of much debate at this time. So we don't know what the future holds for us in that regard. Should inflation hit us rapidly, our Catholic schools may be forced to raise their tuition rapidly, and I doubt our salaries (or financial aid) will be able to keep up with it. So that's another possibility to consider.

Then of course we have to consider gasoline prices. Should we experience political troubles in the middle east again, and we probably will, we can expect gasoline prices to shoot through the roof once again. This puts many of us who have to commute any significant distance in another financial bind, especially when we have to drive into town everyday to drop off and pick up our kids from school. Once gasoline hits $4 a gallon, this may become too financially burdensome to practice. So we have to think about that possibility too.

Finally, there is the realistic possibility that personal financial issues may trump all of the above. In this economy we all know at least one person who has lost a job. Some of us know more than one. Who is to say that won't happen to one of us, or a pay cut, or reduced work hours? Any of those possibilities will put a strain on our budget that could put Catholic school tuition beyond our reach.

I know it's unpleasant to think about these things, but it is reality, and as uncomfortable as it may be, we need to pause to give it some consideration. Personally, I don't fear these things, and neither should you. I believe in the proverbial saying that "those who are flexible are not easily broken." I also believe in planning ahead, and making provision for the possibility of things going wrong. I can't think of anything more important than the Catholic education of my children. Can you? Since any of the above possibilities could easily happen in today's economy, doesn't it make sense to plan ahead, just in case?

That's what I'm doing, and I'm going to keep this link bookmarked on my computer for just such a possibility. I suggest you do the same. I'm also going to print out the contact information of this school and keep it filed in a safe place as well. I suggest you do the same. We don't know what awaits us in the future, but there is no need to fear it. As I've said, those who are flexible are not easily broken. Those who learn how to adapt not only survive hard times, but they sometimes even flourish during them. We can too. Plan ahead, and then you won't need to worry about it.

Here's the link...
http://www.olvs.org/

Monday, September 28, 2009

35 Catholic Lawmakers Defy Church Teaching And Co-Sponsor Bill To Allow Gay-Marriage

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws, and provides that states need not recognize a marriage from another state if it is between persons of the same sex." Thirty-nine states have passed legislation and constitutional amendments to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

Last week Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York) introduced the Respect Marriage Act - H.R. 3567. In reading the title one might think this bill is about protecting traditional marriage...just the opposite.

In a statement on his website, Rep. Nadler writes, "The introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act responds directly to a call from President Obama for congressional action on the issue. As the president recently confirmed: 'I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It's discriminatory, it interferes with states' rights, and it's time we overturned it."

H.R. 3567 is off to a good start having 90 co-sponsors at its introduction -- 35 Catholic...

[Here's The List]

MaryJo Kilroy, (D-OH15)
Mr. Bob Brady (D-PA1)
Ms. Carol Shea-Porter(D-NH1)
Jackie Speier, (D-CA12)
Mr. Luis Gutierrez(D-IL3)
Mr. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI1)
Raul M Grijalva, (D-AZ7)
Mr. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH10)
Mr. Paul Tonko(D-NY21)
Peter Welch, (D-VT-at large)
Mr. Frank Pallone (D-NJ6)
Mrs. Grace Napolitano(D-CA38)
Linda T Sanchez(D-CA39)
Mr. John Larson(D-CT1)
Mr. John Tierney(D-MA6)
Mike Capuano(D-MA8)
Mr. Xavier Becerra(D-CA31)
Mr. Joe Courtney(D-CT2)
Mr. Jose Serrano (D-NY16)
Mr. Jim Moran(D-VA8)
Mr. Michael Doyle(D-PA14)
Mr. Ed Markey (D-MA7)
Ms. Lucille Roybal-Allard(D-CA34)
Mr. Charles Rangel (D-NY15)
Ms. Nydia Velazquez(D-NY12)
Mr. Ed Pastor (D-AZ4)
Mr. Dan Maffei(D-NY25)
Mr. George Miller(D-CA7)
Mr. Bill Delahunt (D-MA10)
Ms. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT3)
Mr. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY22)
Mr. Jim McGovern(D-MA3)
Ms. Betty McCollum (D-MN4)
Ms. Diane Watson(D-CA33)
Mr. Joe Sestak (D-PA7)

source
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following are open questions to the bishops of these congressmen. Why have these politicians not been formerly excommunicated? Please explain. Are you bewitched by their charisma? Are you being blackmailed? Do you fear their wrath? What power do they have over you? Just curious.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How To Combat Evangelical Fundamentalism and Revive The Catholic Church


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I've been blogging for nearly five years now, and those who read this blog regularly know I am a convert from Evangelical/Fundamentalist Protestantism via The Episcopal Church. I was received into the Catholic Church almost ten years ago. I've had a chance to get my feet wet in Catholicism, and I've kept my ear to the ground on the latest trends in the Protestant world. It may surprise my readers to learn that Protestantism is very weak right now. In fact, it's on the verge of total implosion, and by this I especially mean the Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches (read more here). The mainline Protestant denominations have already collapsed (a few decades ago), and will continue to implode with each passing year.

All that is needed on the Evangelical/Fundamentalist side is a little push, and the downward spiral will be unstoppable. Here's the problem they have. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists (two flavors of the exact same phenomenon) are primarily reactionary movements. They exist for one reason, and one reason only, and that is to counter the rise of Liberal Modernism in the mainline Protestant denominations. I'll hereafter refer to both Evangelicals and Fundamentalists simply as "Evangelicalism" mainly because Evangelicalism is the larger of the two movements, and Fundamentalism is merely a subset of the larger Evangelical trend.

Since Evangelicalism is mainly a reactionary movement, it lacks essential characteristics of Christian tradition and history to sustain it for more than a couple generations. Right now Evangelicals are desperately looking for some kind of traditional core to propel them into the third millennium. The rise of the Messianic Jewish Movement within Evangelicalism is one manifestation of this, and it's not working.

I could spend a large portion of this blog entry analyzing Evangelicalism, both it's strengths and weaknesses, but I won't bore you with the details. I'll simply cut to the chase. So as a Catholic Christian are you eager to see the fall of Evangelicalism and the reemergence of the Catholic Church? If you are, I'll give you a formula that is guaranteed to work 100% of the time, in every neighborhood it's utilized. Any layperson (or group of laypeople) can initiate the program. I encourage you to share it with your priest so he can get on board and assist you in the process. This is truly a grassroots effort that will reform the Catholic Church from the ground up, bring in large numbers of Protestant converts, and establish the Catholic Church as the dominant religious force in your neighborhood, city, state and region. It is 100% orthodox, and in keeping with the historic traditions of the Catholic Church. Here is how it's done....
  1. Promote Catholicism as a more than a religion, but also a "personal relationship with God."
  2. Go directly for Protestantism's jugular vein by pointing out the unbiblical heresy of Sola Scriptura ("Bible Alone" doctrine).
  3. Learn your Catholic faith, and return to traditional Catholic practices both personally, and in your parish, thus promoting the historical connection with Christians throughout the ages.
Okay, it's a three-point plan as you can see. It's simple, and it employs the three aspects that Evangelicals are desperately in need of, and Catholicism needs to see revived.

The first concerns the promotion of Catholicism as more than a mere religion, but also a "personal relationship with God." This is extremely important, not only for drawing in Evangelicals but non-religious people as well. One of the major successes Evangelicalism had, at drawing people out of the mainline Protestant denominations, was their promotion of Christianity as a relationship more than a religion. What's good for the goose is sauce for the gander. This is not only a perspective that is agreeable with Catholicism, one could easily argue it was originally formulated within Catholicism over a thousand years ago. So let's get back to it - in earnest!

The second has to do with apologetics. Catholics have to be able to defend their faith, but let's face it, not everyone can be an apologist. Protestantism has stored five-hundred years worth of ammunition in it's anti-Catholic arsenal, and Evangelicals have become quite adept at using it. When confronted by the average Evangelical, the average Catholic will find himself bombarded by so many anti-Catholic allegations, in such a short period of time, that the conversation is usually over within minutes, resulting in a triumphant Evangelical and a discouraged Catholic. Well, I'm going to tell you how to turn that around, and you don't have to have a theology degree to do it. In fact, you don't even have to be well versed in the Bible. All you need to do is memorize just a few Bible passages, and stick to one single topic. Evangelicals have an "Achilles Heel" in their theology. If you hit it, you'll rock their faith. The effect may not be immediate. In fact, they may be quite defensive at first, even to the point of hostility, but this is because you've hit their soft spot and they subconsciously know it. What is this Achilles Heel? It's their doctrine of Sola Scriptura (meaning "Scripture Alone") and it's the foundational doctrine to which nearly all Evangelicals subscribe. Their entire religion is built on it. Basically it states that the Bible is the single authoritative source of religion, and there is no real religious authority outside of the Bible alone. This is a heresy. It's both illogical and unbiblical. You may, or may not, be able to convince them of the illogical nature of this, but you can at least confront them with the unbiblical nature of it (see details here).

Now the tendency of an Evangelical confronted with this Achilles Heel is to get off topic as quickly as possible. He'll want to change the subject to anything he can, usually pointing a finger back at the Catholic Church on one issue or another. Don't let him get away with this. Don't give him a free pass. Don't let him get off topic. Once you direct the conversation to the heresy of Sola Scriptura, stick to it, and don't let him change the subject. Stay on it, pound on it, nail it over and over again. It will be very difficult for an Evangelical to accept this, because doing so means questioning his entire faith system. It means questioning his church, pastor and every book he's ever read on religion. It even makes him question his hostility toward Catholicism. It is nothing less than a complete paradigm shift, which is why it's so important to stay on this topic. You just can't let it go. Force him to face it, or at least admit he'll look into the matter further, and tell him you just can't talk about anything else until he's produced a Biblical reason for why he believes in Sola Scriptura. Keep in mind, he will try to get onto other topics such as; Mary, purgatory, the papacy, inquisitions, etc. Again, make it clear you can't even begin to talk about those things until he produces Biblical evidence for Sola Scriptura. You might find that some Evangelicals don't even know what the phrase "Sola Scriptura" means. If that is the case, just tell them it's the "Bible Alone" doctrine, and if they can't produce Biblical evidence supporting it, then you can't even begin to address these other doctrinal issues they seem to be so concerned about. Honest Evangelicals who want to converse with you will research the topic. They will discover they have no Biblical foundation for Sola Scriptura, and this will open their hearts to consider the Catholic faith.

The third has to do with learning your Catholic faith, and renewing the ancient traditions of the Church. You can employ this yourself simply by praying the rosary, reading a good Catechism, and going to mass frequently, as well as regular confession (weekly or bi-weekly). However, it would also be helpful to enlist the help of your local priest, as well as liturgy coordinators and choir masters - if you can. It's not necessary, but certainly would be helpful. Believe it or not, Evangelical converts are not very interested in hip-hop contemporary worship. They can get that in their own churches, and at a much better quality I might add. As an Evangelical convert to Catholicism I can testify to this. I had no desire to bring my Evangelicalism with me into the Catholic Church. By the time I was ready to convert, I was also ready to leave all that behind. What I was looking for was tradition and a connection to the ancient worship of my Christian ancestors. Most Evangelical converts seek the same, and indeed this will be the underlying cause behind the coming collapse of Evangelical Fundamentalism. Priests and liturgy coordinators can address this by getting back to the basics. Generally speaking, older is better. Get back to using the bells and incense during mass. Get back to Gregorian Chant and Roman Plainchant. Pay particular attention to following the rubrics of the mass carefully, without innovation, and reintroduce the congregation to a modest amount of Latin. It can be as simple as a traditional Greek "Kyrie elèison," followed by the short responses of the people in Latin: "Dominus vobiscum, - et cum spiritu tuo," etc. Finally concluding with a traditional Latin "Agnus Dei." That should be more than enough Latin to suffice for this purpose. Parishioners can contribute to this atmosphere by frequently genuflecting during the liturgy at appropriate times, kneeling and receiving the Eucharist on the tongue, and using chapel veils. In all things the local parish should strive to revive ancient customs. Yes, not only will this revive local Catholic culture and restore respect for the sacraments, but believe it or not, it will actually draw more Protestant converts into the Church. No kidding. It will. I'm as serious as a heart-attack here.

This plan will work, because it has worked, thousands of times, with those Evangelicals who discovered it in their own lives through what can only be divine providence. Share this plan with your local priest, if he's open to it. Examine the plan carefully, and you'll see we've got nothing to lose by implementing it. In a worst case scenario, Catholics will gain a better appreciation for the faith. In a best case scenario, we get a better appreciation among Catholics, and a flood of Evangelical converts. It's a win-win situation. If you're a priest or bishop who happens to be reading this, consider the benefits to your parish or diocese. It's a simple concise plan. It can't hurt, and it just might help. Perhaps you can utilize your resources to implement it on a larger scale. If you're a layperson reading this, it all begins with you. It's a grassroots plan. It won't work from the top down. It has to be implemented from the bottom up, and that means you're the spark that starts the fire. Do you want to stop the exodus of Catholics leaving the Church and converting to Evangelicalism? Do you want to revive the Catholic Church? Do you want to draw Evangelicals into the Catholic Church? This is how it's done. Now you know. The rest is up to you.

If you would like to get this message out, please send a link to this page by email to all your Catholic friends and family. Also consider posting a link to this page on Catholic forums, bulletin boards, newslists, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

LINK: http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-crush-evangelical-fundamentalism.html
cut and paste as needed

WANTED: Bilingual translator - anyone fluent on both English and Spanish, to help "The Catholic Knight" translate this page, and the linked "Debunking Sola Scriptura" page, into functional Spanish. (I'm not interested in machine translations, I want a human touch.) I'm getting a lot of hits from Mexico on this one. Also, if there is anyone fluent in French and English, I would like to try a French version of this page too. I know this is a lot of work, and I can't pay anything for it, but I will give credit for the translation to anyone willing to do it as a sacrifice unto the Lord. Please contact thecatholicknight@gmail.com

Sola Scriptura Debunked


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Sola Scriptura (Latin for "Scripture Alone") is the Protestant belief that the Bible is the sole authority on all religious matters, and there is no other authority outside of the Bible. It was invented nearly five-hundred years ago by the German Protestant founder, and heretical Augustinian monk, Martin Luther. The doctrine is pure heresy! It is both illogical and unbiblical. It is also the foundation of most Protestant religions, in particular modern Evangelical Fundamentalism. It's become so much a part of Evangelical Fundamentalism that it's frequently taken for granted, even to the point where most Evangelicals are now unfamiliar with the phrase "Sola Scriptura." If you encounter this, and the Evangelical you're speaking with is not familiar with the phrase "Sola Scriptura," simply tell him it's the Protestant "Bible Alone" doctrine, which states that every religious belief must be found in the Bible. He will understand what you're talking about then, since that's been taught to him from a very early age.

Nowhere can Sola Scriptura be found in the Sacred Scriptures. In fact, the Bible says quite the opposite. I repeat. There is no Scripture in the entire Bible that supports this heretical notion of Sola Scriptura. To refute this doctrine you must first understand this, because Protestants will insist on it quite emphatically. It is after all the foundation of their entire religion. Without it - well - they might as well be Catholic, and a good number of Evangelical Protestants know this. That's why they'll defend it tooth and nail, even to the point of getting hostile. But if a Catholic is to win the debate with charity, he must stick to it, not letting the Protestant deviate from the topic. That will be their natural tendency you see. They'll try to level every anti-Catholic allegation in the book at you, whatever it takes, just to get off this topic. It's very uncomfortable to them. You can't let this happen. You must charitably seize control of the debate by letting them know you can't answer any of their questions or concerns about Catholicism until they first provide you with Biblical evidence for Sola Scriptura. To do this, you'll need to know just a few things.

First, memorize the following Scripture passages....
2nd Thessalonians 2:15
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

2nd Timothy 2:2
And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.

1st Corinthians 11:2
I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.

1st Timothy 3:15
But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.
Second, don't be surprised if the Evangelical you're conversing with throws back a few Scripture passages of his own. You don't need to memorize these, just know how to deal with them. Typically the one they'll use most often is...
2nd Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
When confronted with this passage, or something similar, assure them that Catholics agree with this 100%, but note the passages specifically says "All Scripture" not "Only Scripture." There is a difference here. Typically Protestants interpret this passage as if it said "only," and that's why they're quoting it to you. You need to point out that is not what the passage says. It says "all" which in no way excludes the authority of Apostolic Tradition or the teaching authority of the Church. Then go back to the verses you memorized above, and ask them again to provide Biblical evidence supporting Sola Scriptura.

Another common passage used is this one...
Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book.
This one is frequently used as a kind of condemnation against the Catholic Church. The implication of course is that the Church has "added" to the Scriptures with her Traditions, and therefore has violated this passage. However, that is a defunct argument, because the passage clearly condemns adding and subtracting words from the Scriptures. In other words the passage condemns anyone who would alter the text of the Bible. The Catholic Church has done no such thing. It's never done anything like this. If anything the Church has been the greatest guardian of the Sacred Scriptures there ever was. If anything, it is the original Protestants who would fall under the curse of this passage, simply because they DID alter the text. In the 16th century, the so-called Protestant "Reformers" threw seven books out of the Old Testament, and cut several chapters out of the Old Testament books of Daniel and Esther, namely because these books didn't agree with their new "reformed" theology. This is why Protestant Bibles are different from Catholic Bibles. Protestant Bibles have been edited, truncated and shortened to fit Protestant theology.

It is possible you may run across a well schooled Evangelical, who might pull out a slightly more obscure Scripture passage. This one has stumped a lot of Catholics. Again, there is no need to memorize it, just be sure you know how to deal with it if it's used...
1st Corinthians 4:6 - NIV
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
Now on this surface this looks like a slam dunk for the Evangelical. The passage clearly says "do not go beyond what is written," seemingly a perfect defense for the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Or is it? Take a look at the translation notation next to the passage citation above. NIV stands for "New International Version," which is one favorite Bible translation for Protestants. Indeed, a good number of Protestant Bibles translate the passage this way, and sadly even some Catholic Bibles, but is that really what the passage says? The actual Greek for this phrase is "me phroneo hoper hina hos grapho" (phonetically spelled here), which literally translates into "not to set affection above that which is described." Now here the context of the passage becomes really important, because the context of the passage is about men - not Scripture. St. Paul is warning the Corinthians not to take pride in one man over against another. This has nothing to do with Sola Scriptura. What we have here is a bad English translation of the passage, that does not pick up on the context. St. Paul is using a figure of speech to warn against pride. While it's nice to know all of this, I wouldn't expect you to remember it on the fly, so just do this instead. Take note of the above passage. If an Evangelical tries to use it on you, to prove Sola Scriptura, just tell him to read it again in the OLD King James Version...
1st Corinthians 4:6 - KJV
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
So you see, when the passage is properly translated, as it is here, it doesn't prove anything - certainly not Sola Scriptura! Since Evangelical Protestants usually consider the old King James Version one of the most authoritative translations in the Protestant world, it's going to be hard for them to refute this one. While you're at it, you also might want to point out that the original 1611 edition of the old King James Version happened to contain all the "additional books" found in Catholic Bibles, and they remained part of the old King James Version until the late 1800s, when they were removed for some mysterious reason. However, if your Evangelical friend wants an authentic and complete King James Bible, with all the original books, he can special order one through Amazon.Com. Just tell him to search for "King James Bible 1611." That is unless he likes having a truncated and censored version of the Scriptures.

Third, when dealing with Evangelicals, it's important to stress how important the Scriptures are to Catholics, and that everything we do in the Catholic Church revolves around them. However, it is the Church that is the "pillar and foundation of truth" not the Bible, because that's what the Bible says about the Church (refer to memorized passage above). Therefore, the Church uses Apostolic Tradition to help interpret the Scriptures, just as the Scriptures instructed (again refer to memorized passages above). Granted, I wouldn't expect you (or anyone) to remember all of this after just one reading. That's why you should probably email this blog entry to yourself, or print out a hard copy to study.

Fourth and finally, followup is important. You don't want your Protestant friend to get away and forget everything you've told him. Besides, he may want to look up those passages you cited, but forgot to write them down. That's where a followup tract comes in handy. I recommend you order the following tract from GrottoPress.Org. Just buy as many as you can afford. They're pretty cheap...

Order Here

This little tract won't contain all the information I've provided here, but it does cite some of the passages we've covered, and has a pretty concise message to it. It will make an excellent followup to any conversation you have with an Evangelical (or any Protestant) on the topic of Sola Scriptura. I recommend you buy some, and keep them in your pocket, purse, car or anywhere you can reach them at a moment's notice.

Remember, it's important to keep your Evangelical friends on topic. Focus on Sola Scriptura like a laser beam. Don't let them get you onto anything else until that issue is settled. It's not settled until they come to the painful realization that what they've been taught about the Bible is wrong. This probably won't happen easily, and it may not even happen right away. Remember, charity means patience. Be firm, but give them time to absorb this difficult information. It will turn their world upside down, and that's why they resist it so much. However, it's reasonable to assume that some of your Evangelical friends will eventually come to terms with the truth, and when they do, they'll be back. When they've finally accepted that Sola Scriptura is unbiblical, then they are ready to talk about the other questions and concerns they have about Catholicism. So while you're waiting, you had better start studying up on your Catechism, and get ready to answer some tough questions, because you'll have a new convert on the way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vatican Official: Kennedy Funeral A Scandal

(Inside Catholic) - Throughout his 50-minute address, the archbishop returned again and again to the scandal of Catholic politicians who support abortion or same-sex marriage. He did not mince his words: "It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself in this manner."

"Neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to such politicians," said Archbishop Burke. "To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects."

With obvious reference to the Kennedy funeral, he argued that when a politician is associated "with greatly sinful acts about fundamental questions like abortion and marriage, his repentance must also be public." He added, "Anyone who grasps the gravity of what he has done will understand the need to make it public."

It's not uncharitable to point out the scandal caused by these Catholic politicians. "The Church's unity is founded on speaking the truth in love. This does not destroy unity but helps to repair a breach in the life of the Church."

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Archbishop Raymond Burke, does not mince words. You cannot be Catholic and "pro-choice" or support so-called "homosexual rights." The highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church is laying the law down with American clergy, particularly Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston, after having permitted a "Catholic" funeral for the pro-abortion, pro-gay-rights Senator Ted Kennedy.

It's about time! I'm afraid however, it's going to take a lot more then speeches. The Holy Father is going to have to start implementing disciplinary action, reassignments, and early retirements for many bishops in the United States. Cardinal O'Malley is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Catholic Knight did not mince words on this matter either. In a previous entry (see here) I railed against the Kennedy funeral scandal, pointing out why it was wrong, in a manner similar to the recent argument used by Archbishop Burke. I love it when my positions are vindicated by Prefects within the Vatican!

Monday, September 21, 2009

USCCB Teaches Heresy - Again


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Here we have yet another example of why the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) should be completely and totally ignored....

(Catholic Culture) - A recent press release by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops appears to put forward a different understanding of proselytism from that taught by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith-- and in doing so, may inadvertently lead some Catholics to neglect their responsibility to proclaim and witness to the Catholic faith in its fullness to non-Catholic Christians.

An official of the US bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs writes:

Proselytism, or the deliberate targeting of another Christian or group of Christians for the sole purpose of getting them to reject their church to join another, is not allowed. Some people may feel called in conscience to change from one tradition to another, but “sheep stealing” is unacceptable.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith does not equate proselytism with “sheep stealing,” but with coercion. In its 2007 Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization, the Congregation teaches:

The term proselytism originated in the context of Judaism, in which the term proselyte referred to someone who, coming from the gentiles, had passed into the Chosen People. So too, in the Christian context, the term proselytism was often used as a synonym for missionary activity. More recently, however, the term has taken on a negative connotation, to mean the promotion of a religion by using means, and for motives, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel; that is, which do not safeguard the freedom and dignity of the human person. It is in this sense that the term proselytism is understood in the context of the ecumenical movement.

Although the USCCB press release summarizes several aspects of the Magisterium’s teaching on ecumenism, it fails to emphasize the obligation of Catholics to proclaim the Catholic faith to non-Catholic Christians. The Congregation notes:

Everywhere and always, each Catholic has the right and the duty to give the witness and the full proclamation of his faith. With non-Catholic Christians, Catholics must enter into a respectful dialogue of charity and truth, a dialogue which is not only an exchange of ideas, but also of gifts, in order that the fullness of the means of salvation can be offered to one’s partners in dialogue. In this way, they are led to an ever deeper conversion to Christ.
read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In other words, you should feel free to evangelize Protestant Christians in a respectful way! In times such as these it's important to remember the USCCB is NOT a governing body in the Catholic Church and has NO REAL AUTHORITY whatsoever. That's not how the Catholic hierarchy works. As far as the lay faithful are concerned, there are only four authorities in the Catholic Church. The first is your local priest. The second is your local bishop. The third is your metropolitan archbishop (see here), and the fourth is the Vatican which includes the pope and all the prefects who work in unity with him. That's it! The USCCB has no authority, and the local state bishop conferences have no authority either. They are coordinating bodies and that is all. Sadly, these organizations have gotten all too uppity lately, and are given to the notion that they do have some kind of authority. Perhaps it's time for Rome to give them a subtle reminder of who's really in charge. In the mean time, The Catholic Knight urges you to ignore the USCCB, and local state bishop conferences as well. We should all completely ignore them, as they've not only been known to teach heresy, along with all sorts of liberal ideas, but in addition they have been known to give money to anti-Catholic organizations such as ACORN, which actively opposes the work of the Church in so many areas. Furthermore we should urge our local bishops and metropolitan archbishops to defund these organizations, and keep collection monies local to the diocese.

From the Code of Canon Law...

Can. 455 §1. A conference of bishops can only issue general decrees in cases where universal law has prescribed it or a special mandate of the Apostolic See has established it either motu proprio or at the request of the conference itself.

§2. The decrees mentioned in §1, in order to be enacted validly in a plenary meeting, must be passed by at least a two thirds vote of the prelates who belong to the conference and possess a deliberative vote. They do not obtain binding force unless they have been legitimately promulgated after having been reviewed by the Apostolic See.

§3. The conference of bishops itself determines the manner of promulgation and the time when the decrees take effect.

§4. In cases in which neither universal law nor a special mandate of the Apostolic See has granted the power mentioned in §1 to a conference of bishops, the competence of each diocesan bishop remains intact, nor is a conference or its president able to act in the name of all the bishops unless each and every bishop has given consent.

This is the total power granted to national and local bishop conferences according to the Code of Canon Law. The "Apostolic See" mentioned above is Rome itself. Basically they can't do ANYTHING unless they get a two-thirds vote from all the bishops assembled, AND they get a "rubber stamp" of approval from the Apostolic See (Rome). In all cases the competence of each diocesan bishop remains intact, and unless there has been a specific mandate from Rome, a diocesan bishop is free to ignore the conference.

Once again, to make myself absolutely clear, The Catholic Knight urges you to listen to your priest, local bishop, metropolitan archbishop and the Vatican (especially the pope). Under no circumstances however should we continue to listen to the USCCB or local state bishop conferences. As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the Code of Canon Law the requires it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Time For A Vernacular Tridentine Mass


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: We really do need approved vernacular translations of the Tridentine mass. By that I mean approved vernacular in those areas of the mass where vernacular is permissible. Attempts at this were made in the early 1960's before the introduction of the Pauline mass (Novus Ordo) in 1969-1970. The time has come to get back to the work of a vernacular adaptation of the Tridentine.

Why? Because what is needed in the Church today is a level playing field. By that I mean a level playing field between the Tridentine and Pauline forms of the mass. If the two forms of the mass are truly to compete with each other for the sake of "organic development," as the Holy Father desires, then they must compete on a level playing field in regards to language. Approved vernacular translations of the Tridentine mass must be made available to the faithful, so those who wish to participate in the Tridentine mass, but find too much Latin to be an obstacle, may do so in the vernacular and thus have a fair CHOICE between the Tridentine and Pauline forms. This makes the choice easier. It makes it simple. It removes all obstacles.

Let us pray, and request, that the Holy Father makes the Tridentine form of the mass available to the faithful in their vernacular languages, so as to make a truly fair and level playing field between both forms of the mass.
THE LEGITIMACY OF THE USE OF THE VERNACULAR (ENGLISH) LANGUAGE IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS ACCORDING TO THE MOTU PROPRIO SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
11/16/2007 Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi


THE LEGITIMACY OF THE USE OF THE VERNACULAR (ENGLISH) LANGUAGE IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS ACCORDING TO THE MOTU PROPRIO SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM OF POPE BENEDICT XVI

The fundamental basis for the legitimacy of the use of English in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is to be found in Article 6 of Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio:

Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognized by the Apostolic See.

To understand why Pope Benedict authorized the use of the vernacular language even though the Missal as originally promulgated by Blessed Pope John XIII in 1962 is entirely in Latin, one must return to the Decree Sacrosanctum Concilium issued on December 4, 1963 by the Second Vatican Council. In Article 36 (2) the Council stated:

But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in the readings, directives and in some prayers and chants.

In Article 54 the Council further stated:

A suitable place may be allotted to the vernacular in Masses which are celebrated with the people, especially in the readings and "the common prayer," and also, as local conditions may warrant, in those parts which pertain to the people, according to the rules laid down in Article 36 of this Constitution.

Further, to understand the relationship of the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII to the Council's Decree it is important to note that he died on June 3, 1963. Also, lest one exalt the Missal promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII to the equivalent of having been cast in stone as were the Ten Commandments, it is important to remember that is was but one of many revisions of the Missal. Saint Pope Pius X revised the Missal in 1910 and it was published in an Editio Typica by his successor, Pope Benedict XV. Pope Pius XII revised the Missal before he died in 1958 and it was published in an Editio Typica on June 23, 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII.

Following the promulgation of the Council's Decree Sacrosanctum Concilium on December 4, 1963, the bishops of the United States petitioned the Holy See on April 2, 1964 for the use of the vernacular in those parts of the Mass celebrated with the Missal of 1962 permitted by Articles 36 and 54 of the Decree. On May 1, 1964 the Holy See granted permission for the bishops of the United States to print the Missal of 1962 with the following parts of the Mass in English:

a) the Epistle and the Gospel

b) the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus-Benedictus and Agnus Dei

c) the Lord's Prayer with its introductory admonition

d) the formula Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine, non sum dignus before the communion of the faithful.

e) the Introit and the Gradual

f) the antiphons at the Offertory and Communion

g) the acclamations, salutations and formulas of dialogue in which the people participate.

Accordingly, the bishops of the United States published, on September 21, 1964 a new EDITION OF THE MISSAL OF BLESSED POPE JOHN XXIII ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JUNE 25, 1960 NOW KNOWN AS THE MISSAL OF 1962.

IT SHOULD BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY ALL THAT THE EDITION OF THE 1962 MISSAL PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1964 IS IDENTICAL TO THE EDITIO TYPICA OF THE MISSAL PUBLISHED IN 1962 IN EVERY RESPECT EXCEPT THAT THE PARTS OF THE MASS ENUMERATED ABOVE a) THROUGH g) ARE IN ENGLISH INSTEAD OF LATIN. ALL RUBRICS, ALL PRAYERS, ALL OTHER TEXTS ARE IDENTICAL IN BOTH THE 1962 AND THE 1964 EDITIONS OF THE MISSAL OF BLESSED POPE JOHN XXIII.

The use of the vernacular (English) in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is therefore legitimate and is clearly in keeping with the mind of the Second Vatican Council and Pope Benedict XVI.

+Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi

source

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Los Angeles Cardinal Directly Implicated In Sex Abuse Scandal

(Los Angeles Times) - The former vicar of clergy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles testified this week under oath that Cardinal Roger Mahony ordered him in 2000 not to contact police about allegations of sexual abuse by a priest.

In deposition papers filed Friday as part of a civil case, Msgr. Richard Loomis also testified that Mahony ordered him not to inform parishes of allegations against the now defrocked Rev. Michael Baker.

In 2007, Baker was sent to state prison for 10 years after his conviction on molestation charges. He has been called before a federal grand jury investigating how the archdiocese handled priest abuse cases....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Regular readers of this blog know 'The Catholic Knight' has been a vigorous defender of the clergy, even in regards to the sex-abuse cover-up scandal of 2002-2003. I have cited statistics demonstrating, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that less than 5% of U.S. Catholic clergy (priests, bishops, nuns, etc.) were involved in the scandal, and that this number is no different than the statistic found in other denominations and religions. It is also significantly less than the common statistics found in secular organizations, especially our nation's public schools. In which the U.S. federal government commissioned a study having determined that a child was over 100 times more likely to be sexually abused in a public school than in a Catholic Church. This, however, is not to diminish the suffering of those minors (most of them male teenagers) who were abused at the hands of sexual predators within the Church.

All that being said, there are some The Catholic Knight simply cannot defend, and sadly, Cardinal Roger Mahony is one of them. I honestly cannot say if the allegations against him are true or not. I wasn't there. I don't have any new information to add to this story. However, I can say this with fair accuracy. Cardinal Mahony has presided over the largest sex-abuse cover-up scandal in the history of the world. He has presided over some of the worst examples of liturgical abuse in the Church - actually participating in many of them. He has presided over some of the least catechized laity in the United States. His public statements on social issues have been weak and have often failed to accurately express the full teaching of the Church. He has been an enemy of historical Catholicism, shunning traditionalists and inviting every sort modern revisionist. He was reprimanded by Pope John Paul II no less than three times. (Why he elevated him to cardinal in the first place I shall never know.) Cardinal Mahony is in many ways a poster boy for everything that is wrong in the U.S. Catholic Church today. The strange and distorted "cathedral," in which he presides, is an ironic caricature of the type of episcopal oversight he provided to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for nearly a quarter of a century. I really have nothing more to say about this matter, other than, let the investigation go forward, and let the wheels of justice turn.

Friday, September 18, 2009

BREAKING: Vatican Prefect Condemns Obama Healthcare Bill!!!


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Raymond Burke, has just labeled the Obama Healthcare Bill "unacceptable" do to provisions contained therein that allow for taxpayer funded abortions, and provisions that mandate euthanasia, or withdraw of care from the elderly and those whom bureaucrats deem are unworthy of medical treatment. Archbishop Burke is a canon lawyer, and very familiar with the nuance of legal technicalities. He has read the bill and found many problems with it.

In other news today, in spite of Obama's promise that abortion would not be included in the healthcare bill, the Whitehouse made it very clear that it would not commit to language that explicitly excludes abortion. read more here

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TEA PARTY RACISM!


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Let me state here plainly. The Catholic Knight supports the TEA Party movement as a peaceful demonstration against reckless government spending and over taxation. As a voter I supported Alan Keyes in the 2008 election, who also supports the TEA Party movement. There is nothing about a tax protest that is racist. No doubt, some racists may try to capitalize on the TEA Party movement, but they do so with all sorts of events all of the time. Racists are not welcome at TEA Parties, as these are generally family events with Christian people who abhor racism. Minorities participate in TEA Parties too. To claim this movement is motivated primarily by racism is to belittle the protesters and totally dismiss their message. It is an attitude that will ultimately backfire on the Democrats if they continue down this road to insanity.

Of course in former President Carter's defense, I could cite this flagrant example of racism at a recent TEA Party in Pennsylvania. Based on his appearance alone, we can clearly see this speaker is a white supremacist, and the ONLY reason why he's so angry is because the president just happens to be black...







Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Does Healthcare Reform Bill Include Euthanasia For Elderly?

Youth Are Drawn To Traditional Latin Mass


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: While this is anything but scientific, I can testify that my experience is the same, as it is with every other traditional Catholic parish I know of. I've also noticed that the average age of a Traditional Catholic priest is much younger too. It is obvious where the future of the Church lies...
(Catholic Culture) - In an interview with Vatican Radio on the second anniversary of the implementation of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, Father Joseph Kramer, FSSP, emphasized that the average age of those attending Mass at his parish is 30. Reacting to a lack of discipline, the younger generation, he says, is drawn to the prayerfulness, silence, order, and symmetry of the Mass...

read full story here

Catholic - Orthodox Reunification Soon?


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: We shouldn't make too big a deal over this right now. It's just talk. But what we should do is pray, now more than ever, that it actually happens.

Archbishop Says Catholic - Orthodox Reunification Just Months Away

********************

BREAKING: This just in this afternoon. The top Russian Orthodox ecumenical advisor now in Rome for talks. read more here

FOLLOWUP: Tensions ease between Vatican and Russian Orthodox Church, paving way to meeting between pope and patriarch. read more here

Monday, September 14, 2009

Solar Activity


Our Sun
Today
Sept. 14, 2009
Zero Sunspots for 12 Days and Counting

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It is normal for the sun to undergo cyclic sunspot activity. This year, 2009, marks the lowest sunspot activity ever recorded in over 200 years, since measurements began.

What does it mean? I don't know for sure. You're guess is as good as mine, but it's worth taking note.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Orthodox And Heterodox Catholicism

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I have decided to make this announcement, and I am asking all Catholics in the blogosphere to chime in and possibly help make this a new trend.

No longer will The Catholic Knight use the terms "liberal" and "conservative" in reference to how Catholics practice their religion. For some time now, I've been using the term "orthodox" (small "o") to describe Catholics with a proper approach to faith, morality and practice that is consistent with historic Church Tradition. However, I have been at a loss for how to refer to Catholics who do not have a proper approach to faith, morality and practice that is consistent with historic Church Tradition.

Recognizing that there is no such thing as "conservative" and "liberal" in Catholicism; there can be only those who are authentically Catholic and those who are not. I'm not speaking of those with occasional moral failings here, or occasional lapses of faith, but those who insist on calling themselves Catholic yet openly rebel against the historic teachings of the Church. In ages past the term "heretic" was applied to the latter. While this term may be technically accurate, it has been used so much in the pejorative, creating such visceral reactions, that it becomes extremely impractical to use it in regular conversation and writing practices.

Therefore from now on The Catholic Knight will use the slightly less inflammatory root word "heterodox" to describe those Catholics who do not have a proper approach to faith, morality and practice that is consistent with historic Church Tradition.

I think the term "orthodox Catholic" is far more descriptive of those who keep the faith. While the term "heterodox Catholic" is likewise just as descriptive of those who do not keep the faith, yet insist on calling themselves Catholic anyway. One could argue that the use of heterodox in conjunction with Catholic is an oxymoron. I would agree, but so is the use of the term liberal or cafeteria.

I'm asking for some feedback here, and I'm also asking other bloggers to help get this started as a trend. I really don't think there is a more effective way of getting the point across. Those so-called Catholics that rebel against the faith, and in effect preach another gospel, either in word or in action, are effectively in heresy, and therefore "heterodox Catholics."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BREAKING: Vatican Permits SSPX To Celebrate Tridentine Mass At St. Peter's

(Catholic Church Conservation) - The Prior of the SSPX House of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Father Marcus Jasny has celebrated Masses in St. Peter's in the Old Rite. The SSPX referrto this in a report on its website about a pilgrimage to Rome of graduates of the Schöneberg High School for Girls near Bonn.

Neustadt an der Weinstrasse is a town in Rhineland-Palatinate in southwest Germany.

The students visited the Eternal City, 24 August to 2 September.

In the morning at 7 clock Fr Jasny "could" celebrate the Mass in St. Peter’s - the report on the website of the SSPX states- at "that mysterious, quiet time of daybreak in St. Peter's, before the arrival of the torrents of tourist."

The paleo- liberal Swiss news agency 'Kipa-Apic' complained about the Latin Masses in Rome....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As best as I can tell, the story is accurate, and if indeed true, it sends a strong signal to traditional Catholics throughout the world. Rome has heard us, and change is on the way. As news of this story continues to break, I expect to see the customary back-and-forth game of words that has become so typical of the Vatican in recent years. First downplaying the significance, then refusing to deny it's significance. However this unfolds, it appears the Holy See is not only permitting the extraordinary form mass to be celebrated within St. Peter's, but it's actually allowing the SSPX to preside over the celebration.

This comes simultaneously with word that the Vatican has selected it's team to negotiate the terms of full reconciliation with the SSPX. As talks get underway, it appears that Rome is allowing normalization of relations to occur with gestures of good will. This is a very good sign indeed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Catholic Bishops Now Turn AGAINST Obama Healthcare Reform

(Catholic Culture) - Drawing upon Catholic teaching on subsidiarity, an increasing number of US bishops are criticizing the concept of government-run health care. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo has criticized the view that “the national government is the sole instrument of the common good.” Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford adds:
As Catholic people, however, we are not allowed to wash our hands of it and to let things shake out as the federal government would have it. Our more than bicentennial experience with our federal government leads many to the conclusion that our government really does only one thing well: waging war. In every other area of life, when someone says, “I am from the government and I am here to help you,” our survival instinct tells us to run and hide. In the early ’90s when the health care scare was last put upon us, the opposition crowed: “If you like the postal service, you will love national health,” and that still seems to be the feeling of many
source
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The principle of Subsidiarity has been called the "hinge" upon which all of Catholic Social Justice turns. Without Subsidiarity, there simply can be no Social Justice - only socialism.

This seems to be the one thing most Catholics have a difficult time rapping their minds around. In teaching Social Justice, the Church is NOT telling us to turn everything over to the government. The Church is NOT telling us to abrogate our responsibilities to a heartless bureaucracy that is the "cult of the omnipotent state." Catholic Social Justice IS NOT socialism.

When the Church talks about the sanctity of life, the traditional family, solidarity with the poor, a living wage, healthcare for everyone, it is not talking about government handouts, welfare checks and subsidized medicine. That's not Catholic Social Justice. That's voter laziness! And it runs against Catholic Social Justice. The first principle of Catholic Social Justice is the principle of Subsidiarity, the hinge upon which the rest of Catholic Social Justice turns....
Catechism 1883: Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."

Catechism 1885: The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

Catechism 1894: In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.

Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church
In no circumstance should the community of a higher order (in this case the federal government) interfere in the internal life of the community of a lower order (state government, community governments, churches, hospitals, doctors offices, etc.). Rather, communities of the lower order should be empowered to find solutions from the ground up. For Catholics, the central role of Catholic Social Justice is supposed to be played out in the Church, and not in the government. That means their local churches come first, and it is through these local churches that Catholics are to work toward solutions to their community needs. Granted, there are lots of things higher government entities can do to help, namely by reducing regulations, and permitting more freedom. Sometimes the higher government entities can play a coordination role, to help small communities (who are solving their own problems) work together with other small communities who are likewise working to solve their own problems.

In the case of healthcare reform, I can personally think of a some examples that would go a long way toward getting more Americans covered by medical insurance....
  1. Loosen regulations on medical insurance companies that would allow them to better market toward individual clients.
  2. Allow churches, synagogues and mosques to purchase into group medical insurance plans.
  3. Enact tort reform, to stop frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.
  4. Open the medical insurance market up to interstate and international competition.
  5. Shorten patent times on life-saving prescription drugs to allow the sale of generics more quickly.
  6. Open the pharmaceutical market up to international competition.
  7. Enable tax reform, allowing families more take-home-pay which can be used for medical insurance.
Of course this isn't going to solve the problems completely, but it would make for a good start, and a step in the right direction. At the local level, churches will have to step up to the plate, creating pools and buying into group medical insurance plans. This gives us more affordable healthcare without taking away our choices or rationing our care. More choice equals more options, and greater options means better Social Justice.

It's important for Catholics to remember that we cannot solve every problem in this life. We can only work toward making things better. Catholics must learn that Catholic Social Justice does not start with the government, but rather with us (individuals, families & churches). We don't do the work of God by abrogating our responsibilities to the government. That's not how it works.