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

Monday, November 12, 2012

What Now? Strategies & Marching Orders

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I have some very bad news to report, but some very good information my readers will want to know. The persecution of the Catholic Church in the United States is about to begin, and as a result, the renewal of Catholicism in the United States (and around the world) is about to begin. The United States was the last hold out, the last stalwart of the Western world to give the Catholic Church freedom and protection from militant secularism. No more! That is about to end, and with that end, will come two things. The first is the persecution of Catholics throughout the Western world, followed by second, a renewal of Catholicism, which will spread throughout the Western World during a time of global trial and distress.

This is how the persecution will come to the U.S. Catholic Church. It will be primarily financial in nature and will take two forms initially. The first, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court does not strike it down, will be enforcement of Obama's HHS Mandate. Again, if the U.S. Supreme Court does not strike it down, this mandate will be used to fine parishes and dioceses that are not in compliance. Since the bishops have clearly said they will not comply, we can assume these fines will be universal upon all Catholic parishes and dioceses. The second will shortly come in the form of an IRS investigation of the U.S. Catholic Church. Certain hard-Left activist groups have filed official complaints with the IRS, alleging that the U.S. Catholic bishops used Church time and resources to campaign for Willard "Mitt" Romney in the U.S. presidential campaign. Granted, the bishops instructed the faithful to vote Pro-Life, and there was only one major "Pro-Life" candidate in the race (Mitt Romney), but that is not the same as an outright endorsement by name. There was, after all, a minor third-party choice for president (Virgil Goode) who was also Pro-Life. Nevertheless, the complaint has been filed, and of course the investigation will soon follow. We cannot know the outcome of this investigation, but if it is found that the U.S. Catholic Church has violated its tax exempt status, then fines will follow, in addition to revocation of tax exemption.

Now the result of this financial burden on local dioceses will eventually cause Church properties to need to be sold to pay the fines. That means there is likely going to be more church closings -- a lot of them! Faithful readers of this blog should keep that in mind. This is just good business. It makes sense for the bishops to consolidate and regroup under such circumstances. Bishops will close those parishes that perform poorly in weekly attendance and collection revenues, consolidating those congregations with parishes that perform well in these areas. It's unfortunate but absolutely necessary in these circumstances.

So what does this mean to you? As the Voris video above so succinctly points out, it's time to vote -- with your feet. Which parishes do you want to see sold off to pay for IRS and HHS fines? Will they be the classic and traditional parishes that have been around for more than 50 years? Or will they be the modern and progressive parishes that have been around for 40 years or less? The choice is yours. Whatever parish you decide to support with your attendance and donations, you had better make sure it's a good one as Voris describes above. Time is limited. You had better start searching now. It is these good parishes we want to preserve.

Voris provided a LINK to some parishes he and ChurchMilitantTV suggest. They are all Traditional Latin Mass parishes. While it is very true that nearly all TLM parishes are excellent! and I highly recommend them! I submit to you that there are some good vernacular mass parishes too. I also submit to you that such vernacular mass parishes that are "good" can be made "better" with your voluntary help, and respectful suggestions, to that parish priest. If we are diligent in following Voris' advice by moving to excellent Latin parishes, or work to make good vernacular parishes better (as I suggest), then when the financial persecution comes, the only churches that will be sold are those hideous modern parishes which are perfectly suitable for Protestant worship in practical appearance, and are already engaging in Protestant worship in practical application anyway.

So it's time to start shopping -- immediately! Here are some things you'll want to look for.  Print this list off for continual reference while you are shopping...
  1. Is the parish building traditional and/or functional?  In other words, is the tabernacle centred?  Or is it pushed off to the side somewhere nearly out of sight?  Can the altar be used for both ad populum and ad orientem worship?  Or is it too small or too cramped in space to be versatile?  Is there an altar rail so that people can easily kneel for communion?  Can one be functionally installed at some future date if there isn't?  Even if the parish structure is modern, is the inner sanctuary at least decorated in traditional Catholic style, with crucifix and icons?  Or is it bland, plain and somewhat sterile inside?  Knowing the answer to all of these questions will give you an idea if this parish is even worth showing up to on a Sunday morning.  If the parish chapel just isn't functional -- from a traditional Catholic perspective -- than why bother?  Let the Evangelical Protestants have this one eventually, because that is who will likely buy it when the bishop must sell it to pay the diocesan fines to the IRS and HHS.
  2. Once you've found a parish chapel that is at least functional (even if it's not perfect) then it's time to go to mass.  Sit at the back of the chapel during mass and observe carefully what is going on.  Is the worship solemn and reverent?  Or is it chaotic and happy-clappy?  If the proper demeanour of worship is displayed, then pay closer attention to the details of tradition.  Is the priest following the rubrics of the mass to the best of your knowledge?  Or is he innovating and "winging it" as he goes along?  What about the music?  Is it reverent in the form of chant or well-performed song? Or is it drums and guitars pounding away?  If it doesn't uplift God in a traditional way, then it's time to move on.  You should know pretty quick.  Are you going to stay, or find another parish and start over?  If you must move on, then it's back to step number one above.
  3. Last but not least, once the first two criteria have been reasonably obtained, (reasonably, not perfectly, but reasonably) it's time to start paying serious attention to the parish priest and his homily.  Does the priest ever talk about sin, hell, Satan and the spiritual battle for our hearts and minds?  Or are his homilies bland, general, and not very memorable at all?  Granted, nobody is perfect, and you're no judge.  Even a good priest can preach a lousy homily now and then.  This is why this third point (though extremely important) should be considered last, because it's going to take some time to actually watch this priest and get to know him.  This is why you want to make sure the first two items are taken care of ahead of time.  You need to get that out of the way, so you can really focus on this third point.  It's going to take several weeks to really be sure if this is a good priest or not.  You will know if his emphasis is on personal holiness, trusting in Christ and attaining eternal life with God.  Sure, he may occasionally talk about one social issue or another.  He may occasionally talk about what's going on in the community, or tells a story now and then as a personal example.  That's not the point.  What I'm trying to impress upon you is when it comes to this particular priest -- What is the big picture!?!  Does he have an orthodox and traditional Catholic heart?  Or is he just playing politics?  If he is the real deal, then after you've had some time to get to know him pretty well, send him a letter thanking him for challenging you to live the faith, and encourage him to keep up the good fight.  Let him know about your search for a traditional parish like his, and that you've finally found a new home.  Then, be sure to volunteer your time and abilities to help make his "good" parish better.  As time goes on, you can begin suggesting things that will "fix" those areas that are less than perfect.  Such as reintroducing an altar rail, if the chapel doesn't have one, or maybe bringing out the bells again for the communion rite, etc.  It's important to encourage priests when they challenge us to live the faith, carry our cross, and fight the spiritual battle for eternal salvation.  Lord knows, they are under tremendous pressure to not preach these things.  Yours may be the only voice encouraging him to do the right thing.  Think about that.
The days ahead are going to be rough for Catholics in the United States, Canada, Europe and the whole Western world.  The Church is going to shrink in size as a result of this.  That is guaranteed.  Many of the so-called "Cafeteria Catholics" will flee, deny the faith, and take up something else.  In the not-too-distant future, we shall be rid of them, this I assure you, but at a painful cost in the form of financial persecution.  We are already under the persecution of public opinion.  This has been the case since the 2002 sex-scandal broke out in the Catholic Church.  Financial persecution will soon be added to that.  This of course will refine the Church, and make her more orthodox in the process, and you can (and should) play a part in that.  I do not know what form of persecution will eventually follow.  I imagine it will vary from place to place with all different forms of intensity.  The form of persecution that will take place in the United States looks pretty obvious for the short-term.  It will be financial in nature.  In the long-run, I suspect our bishops and priests will eventually face prison when they refuse to perform state-mandated gay (sodomite) weddings and so forth.

Take courage my readers.  This is not a time to cower in fear.  This is a time to be bold, courageous and recklessly joyful.  For if you are reading this, and agreeing with what I have written here, then you have been chosen.  You are one of the elect!  God, in his infinite mercy, has plucked you out of this perverse and dying world, and elected you to be his representative.  You are the chosen few of a corrupt and wicked age.  Thank God for this mercy, and never forget that it is mercy, because he could have just as easily elected somebody else.  He chose you though, so it's time to cheer up and start doing what you know you have to do.  Future generations will sing of us.  We will be known as the remnant that remained faithful to the Holy Father and the Catholic Church in the most corrupt age ever seen so far.  Get to work my readers.  Our time has come!