Friday, July 22, 2016

Jesuitical 'genius': when "development of doctrine" becomes a convenient pretext for revisionism

In a telling review of an article by Jesuit theologian, Thomas Rausch, S.J., which appeared in Civiltà Cattolica, entitled "Doctrine at the service of the pastoral mission of the Church," the irrepressible Christopher A. Ferrara writes:
In typical Modernist fashion, Rausch affirms a Catholic truth in order to deny it throughout the rest of the article. He quotes Saint Vincent of Lerins for the fundamental Catholic truth that legitimate development of Catholic doctrine leaves intact “the same doctrine, the same meaning and the same import­” — precisely as the First Vatican Council affirmed — and that in the course of its legitimate development, meaning only its fuller expression, doctrine “becom[es] firmer over the years, more ample in the course of time, more exalted as it advances in age.” That is, there is no change in doctrine, either in content or understanding, but only strengthening and growth of expression. Hence St. Vincent’s famous formula: “We hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all.” There is no “God of surprises” in the thought of St. Vincent nor in the tradition of the Church.

Having affirmed this truth, however, Rausch promptly denies it, quoting his fellow Modernist Jesuit, Fr. Spadaro, for the following proposition:

"St. Vincent of Lèrins makes a comparison between the biological development of man and the transmission from one era to another of the depositum fidei [deposit of faith], which grows and is strengthened with time. Here, human self-understanding changes with time and, so too is human consciousness deepened. In this regard we could think of the time when slavery was considered acceptable, or the death penalty was applied without question. So, too, this is how we grow in the understanding of the truth. Exegetes and theologians help the Church to mature in her own judgment. The other sciences and their development also help the Church in its growth in understanding. There are secondary ecclesiastical rules and precepts that at one time were effective, but now they have lost their value and meaning. The view that the Church’s teaching is a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong."

Note the stealthy non-sequitur smuggled in via the italicized phrases: from St. Vincent’s biological analogy regarding the growth and development of the same, unchanging doctrine in the Church, Rausch (citing only his fellow Modernist for authority) leaps to the conclusion that just as “human self-understanding changes with time” so the Church’s teaching is subject over time to “different understandings.” Of course, that is exactly the opposite of what Rausch affirmed only a few lines earlier: i.e., St. Vincent’s insistence on “the same doctrine, the same meaning and the same import” down through the ages. God does not change His understanding of the truth, and neither does the Church change her understanding of faith and morals.
Ferrara goes on to point out that Rausch's references to slavery and the death penalty are red herrings, and the Church's nuanced positions on these issues do not represent any 'change' in the 'understanding' of doctrine. "The very essence of Modernism, he says, "is to deny what the Modernist appears to be affirming. Doubletalk is the language of Modernist theology."

"Does the USCCB letter on ad orientem establish a virtual 'indult' regime?"

Rorate reports: "Over the weekend, the liturgical website Corpus Christi Watershed posted the following letter from the USCCB's Committee on Divine Worship regarding the recent discussions on the celebration of the Novus Ordo ad orientem."

Rorate concludes: "At the same time we have the happy duty of pointing out that the easiest way right now to celebrate Mass ad orientem is by celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass. "

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Pope and the Lutherans

Sandro Magister, "A Pope Like None Before -- Somewhat Protestant" (www.chiesa, July 22, 2016): "The idyll between Francis and the followers of Luther. The alarm of cardinals and bishops against the 'Protestantization' of the Catholic Church. But also the distrust of authoritative Lutheran theologians."
In the alarmed letter that thirteen cardinals from five continents were preparing to deliver to Pope Francis at the beginning of the last synod, they were warning him against leading the Catholic Church as well to “the collapse of liberal Protestant churches in the modern era, accelerated by their abandonment of key elements of Christian belief and practice in the name of pastoral adaptation:"

... At the last of his in-flight press conferences, on the way back from Armenia, [Pope Francis] sang the praises of Luther. He said that he was moved by the best of intentions, and that his reform was “medicine for the Church,” skimming over the essential dogmatic divergences that for five centuries have pitted Protestants and Catholics against each other, because - these are again his words, this time spoken in the Lutheran temple of Rome - “life is greater than explanations and interpretations.”

The ecumenism of Francis is made like this. The primacy goes to the gestures, the embraces, some charitable act done together. He leaves doctrinal disagreements, even the most profound, to the discussions of theologians, whom he would gladly confine “to a desert island,” as he loves to say only half-jokingly.

The coming Christian collapse: something most of us will live to see

Rod Dreher, "The Coming Christian Collapse" (The American Conservative, July 15, 2016):
Christianity in America is strong in pockets, but mostly its strength is only apparent. It is a façade that will come tumbling down when social conditions are right. This is something that most of us Christians will live to see. This is something that few of us Christians will have prepared for.

And when it happens, our bishops, leading pastors, and senior laymen will be like the GOP Establishment in the Age of Trump, left to wonder what in the hell happened.
One reader comments:
What we are witnessing in the Republican Party is precursor to what we are witnessing in the Church.

Wait, did I say precursor? How Republican is Trump? Well, how Catholic is Francis if we want to be frank? Outrageous? No more so than "Love and do hat you please." If you have any appreciation for what Augustine might have actually wanted to convey. But who cares about that if you can score press points!
Enjoy your afternoon. [Hat tip to JM]

A decade plus of apostolates ...

Steve Skojec has this interesting account of the demise of the Catholic blogosphere, entitled "Austin Ruse on the Catholic Toxosphere" (1P5, July 15, 2016), based on an article by Austin Ruse in Crisis Magazine.

The main thing I like, however, is this adorable photo of our friend, Mark Shea. Who could possibly NOT admire it?!

[Hat tip to JM]

Vatican's greatest supporter and collaborator -- Jeff Sachs???

Elizabeth Yore, "Vatican Watch...The Vatican’s ‘Greatest Supporter’ and Collaborator" (The Remnant, July 19, 2016):
Despite the outcry from The Remnant, The Lepanto Institute, Voice of the Family and LifesiteNews and, many others, who repeatedly warned of the anti-life, anti-Catholic goals and tactics of the gender-bender, contraceptive ridden, and abortion laden UN/ SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], Francis is not backing down of his SDG support. Since his election, his papacy quickly embraced the eco agenda of the secular global elite by collaborating with the United Nations, as the bureaucratic global savior of the environment.

In three short years, the unthinkable envelops the seat of Peter, a radical secular agenda which undermines the deposit of faith. How did it happen so quickly? The answer lies in the man seated at the papal dais. His name is Jeffrey Sachs and he is the UN/SDG mastermind behind the papal eco doctrine of faith. Make no mistake. He operates with impunity and with the explicit blessing of Francis.

Sachs dominates the Vatican as its prominent eco-mouthpiece who has racked up over 9 appearances and speeches at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy in the last 3 years.

Sachs serves as the United Nations jack-of-all-trades expert propounding on everything from rising seas to rising population.

Sachs squires around fellow secularists, Ban Ki Moon and Bernie Sanders throughout the halls of the Vatican.

Sachs drafts Vatican documents on climate change.

Jeffrey Sachs far surpasses the mere role of Vatican collaborator. He is described by Pontifical Academy President Margaret Archer as one of its “greatest supporters.”

Who is Jeffrey Sachs, this greatest supporter of the Vatican? He is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and director of the UN Millennial Development Goals Network, a special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and author of (what else) The Age of Sustainable Development.

More troubling, Sachs perches as a permanent fixture within the Vatican walls of the Francis papacy, acting as a one-man climate change curia, incessantly promoting the UN global warming agenda. He is the self-appointed expert on all things global and his troubling influence continues to grow in the Vatican.

This “greatest supporter” functions as the Vatican’s most frequent invited speaker and climate global advisor. In the last 3 years, Sachs opines from human trafficking, to climate change to income redistribution. Sachs poses as an expert on an array of subjects insisting that they all lead to the sustainable green brick road of his precious UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This greatest supporter of the Vatican wrote that abortion is a “lower-risk and lower-cost option” (that’s an economist talking) than bringing a child into the world.

This greatest supporter of the Vatican believes that “high fertility rates are deleterious to economic development.”

This greatest supporter of the Vatican forcefully argues “legalization of abortion reduces a country’s total fertility rate significantly, by as much as half a child on average.” That’s a good thing for Sachs.

This greatest supporter of the Vatican has advocated for 20 years a UN global reproductive health policy, which is flush with abortion and contraceptives.

This greatest supporter of the Vatican promotes the new UN Sustainable Development Goals which are replete with the promotion of sexual and reproductive health resources, including abortifacients, contraceptives and abortion services.

[Hat tip to JM]

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tridentine Community News - Sacra Liturgía UK 2016 Conference Report; local TLM schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 17, 2016):
July 17, 2016 – Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Sacra Liturgía UK 2016 Conference Report

Though this was only its third conference, Sacra Liturgía has already become one of the can’t-miss events of the international Latin Mass convention circuit. Most of the credit goes to the top-tier talent organizing the conferences, led by Bishop Dominique Rey of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France and liturgical expert Dom Alcuin Reid. In each city where the conference has been held (2013 in Rome and 2015 in New York), Dom Alcuin has partnered with leading local figures. This year, Turning Towards the Lord author and London Oratory Parish Priest Fr. Uwe Michael Lang served as city coordinator.

Without a doubt, the top story from this year’s conference was the keynote speech by Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in which he asked priests to consider commencing celebrating the Ordinary Form ad oriéntem – facing the altar – on the First Sunday of Advent. The secular as well as Catholic press has been abuzz with chatter about this talk since then. Vincent Cardinal Nichols of the Archdiocese of Westminster, Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, and even the Vatican Press Office have rebuffed Cardinal Sarah’s suggestion, citing an arguably irrelevant and definitely mistranslated paragraph 299 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as justification.

Cardinal Sarah went on to recommend a few other practices to restore reverence to the Ordinary Form, chief among those the restoration of receiving Holy Communion while kneeling. Notably, His Eminence has not withdrawn any of his statements, even after an audience with the Holy Father that was immediately followed by the Vatican Press Office rebuttal.

Some writers have pointed out that while this may seem like a discouraging, political response by liberal clerics, in fact we must look upon the fact that a conversation has begun on these most important topics as a sign of development. Who could have imagined in 1996 that top Vatican officials be would discussing ad oriéntem celebration of the Mass? Equally significantly, this debate demonstrates that efforts to restore reverence in the Sacred Liturgy will bear more fruit and meet with less resistance if they are focused on celebrations of the Extraordinary Form. Indeed, the tables have turned: It has become easier to advance the Extraordinary Form than to secure celebrations of the Ordinary Form incorporating traditional practices.

Additional talks were given on a broad array of subjects, liturgical, artistic, architectural, and musical. Of particular interest was a presentation of the creation on the Anglican Ordinariate’s liturgy by Msgr. Andrew Burnham, an Ordinariate priest who served on the committee that authored it. Liturgical events began with Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form at the London Oratory on Tuesday, July 5 celebrated by Bishop Rey, with music provided by the Oratory’s professional adult choir. As this column has many times stated, the music for the Oratory’s Vespers services is of a level of excellence that is hard to describe. To show off the choir’s versatility, each Psalm in the Vespers was sung in a different style: Gregorian Chant, sacred polyphony, and this writer’s favorite, fauxbourdon chant. Later on Tuesday, the Schola Cantórum of the London Oratory School (a boys’ choir) offered a concert of sacred music.

On Wednesday, July 6, the same Schola Cantórum, accompanied by a few adult singers, provided the music for a Pontifical Mass in the Ordinary Form celebrated by Cardinal Sarah ad oriéntem, as is always the case at the London Oratory. On Thursday, July 7, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool in the Extraordinary Form, accompanied by the Oratory’s professional adult choir.

On Friday, July 8, a Pontifical Mass according to the rite of the Anglican Ordinariate [pictured above; photos by Sacra Liturgía UK] was offered at Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory Church by Ordinary Msgr. Keith Newton. Though he is not a bishop because he is married, Msgr. Newton celebrated the liturgy with Pontifical rubrics. Celebrated ad oriéntem, the liturgy struck this author as a cross between an Anglican service (with various additional prayers) and a Tridentine Mass in English (Roman Canon, altar cards).

As if that weren’t enough, on the evening of Friday, July 8, there was a second major liturgical event on offer: at St. Mary Moorfields Church, Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, the Apostolic Nuncio to Switzerland. The latter event was organized by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and had no affiliation with the conference. London is truly Catholic liturgical paradise.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 07/18 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor)
  • Mon. 07/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor)
  • Tue. 07/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Vincent de Paul, Confessor)
  • Thu. 07/21 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (St. Laurence of Brindisi, Confessor & Doctor)
  • Sat. 07/23 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for July 17, 2016. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
  • Wed. 07/20 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Jerome Emiliani - 3rd class)
  • Wed. 07/20 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Jerome Emiliani - 3rd class)
  • Wed. 07/20 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Jerome Emiliani - 3rd class)
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins." These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites. Also please note that St. Joseph's SSPX Chapel in Richmond has moved to Ray Township, at 57575 Romeo Plank Rd., Ray Twp., MI 48096.

Monday, July 18, 2016


This just in from Guy Noir - Private Eye:
What believers might consider amidst the colors of wind.

A seasoned word from an African-American minister (Hampton U and Westminster grad!) about witness and cultural relevancy:

the original “BLM” ideology, which started as a rally cry and grew into an entity, has given rise to a cult with its own doctrines and demands for faith. It now extends beyond the original entity, blending with other belief systems in a syncretistic manner as it exports its own iconography, its own language, and its own heroes for veneration. Honestly, I am more concerned about this syncretistic subculture than I am about the original “BLM.” It is an infection that is finding its way into Christian communities.

"Reflections on Black Lives," (Prophets of Culture, July 16, 2016).

NC State students can't talk to other students about Jesus without a permit

An aerial view of the North Carolina State University campus,
the Memorial Belltower (center) and surrounding area
in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Michael Avramovich, "Teacher, May I Have Permission To Tell My Classmate About Jesus?" (Touchstone, June 30, 2016): Apparently at NC State, you now can't talk to students about religion without a permit. Say what???

Contradicts President Helter Skelter's irresponsible 'narrative': "blacks commit homicide at 8 x the rate of whites & Hispanics combined ..."

Heather Mac Donald, "The Fire Spreads" (City Journal, July 17, 2017):
Perhaps it will turn out that the latest assassination of police officers, this time in Baton Rouge, is unrelated to the hatred fomented by the Black Lives Matter movement. Perhaps the gunmen were members of militia groups aggrieved by federal overreach, say. But the overwhelming odds are that this most recent assault on law and order, taking the lives of three officers and wounding at least three more, is the direct outcome of the political and media frenzy that followed the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, less than two weeks ago. That frenzy further amplified the dangerously false narrative that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today.

President Barack Obama bears direct responsibility for the lethal spread of that narrative. In a speech from Poland just hours before five officers were assassinated in Dallas on July 7, Obama misled the nation about policing and race, charging officers nationwide with preying on blacks because of the color of their skin. Obama rolled out a litany of junk statistics to prove that the criminal justice system is racist. Blacks were arrested at twice the rate of whites, he complained, and get sentences almost 10 percent longer than whites for the same crime. Missing from Obama’s address was any mention of the massive racial differences in criminal offending and criminal records that fully account for arrest rates and sentence lengths. (Blacks, for example, commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at about 11 to 12 times the rate of whites alone.) Instead, Obama chalked up the disparities to “biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out . . . across our criminal justice system.”

Then five Dallas officers were gunned down out of race hatred and cop hatred. Did Obama shelve his incendiary rhetoric and express his unqualified support for law enforcement? No, he doubled down, insulting law enforcement yet again even as it was grieving for its fallen comrades. In a memorial service for the Dallas officers, Obama rebuked all of America for its “bigotry,” but paid special attention to alleged police bigotry ... The irresponsible zealotry of [his] rebuke was stunning. Obama was fully on notice that the hatred of cops was reaching homicidal levels. And yet his commitment to prosecuting his crusade against phantom police racism trumped considerations of prudence and safety, on the one hand, and decent respect for the fallen, on the other. Read more >>
[Hat tip to Sir A.S.]

EWTN now agrees with The Remnant?

[Disclaimer: Rules ## 7-9]

Msgr. Michel Schooyans' devastating critique of the neo-casuistry of mercy

Msgr. Michel Schooyans, "From Casuistry to Mercy: Towards a New Art of Pleasing?" (posted by Edward Pentin, July 7, 2016):

One might think that casuistry is dead and buried. The controversies of the XVIIth-century should be over once and for all. Rarely do any of our contemporaries still read the Lettres Provinciales [Provincial Letters] and the authors whom Pascal (1623-1662) attacks therein. These authors are casuists, that is to say, moralists who seek to resolve matters of conscience without succumbing to rigorism. On rereading the famous Lettres, we were struck by the similarity emerging between a controversial document written in the XVIIth-century and the positions today defended by pastors and theologians aspiring to effect radical changes in the Church’s pastoral teaching and doctrine. The recent Synod on the Family (October 2014 – October 2015) has revealed a reforming pugnacity of which the Lettres Provinciales give us a better understanding today. Hence Pascal comes to be known in an unexpected light! The intention in the pages which follow is simply to whet the appetite of the reader, and help him/her to discover a new art of pleasing.

The treasure of the Church

The Synod on the Family has revealed – even assuming this was necessary – a profound malaise in the Church. A crisis of growth without doubt, but also recurrent debates on the question of « remarried » divorced persons, « models » for the family, the role of women, birth control, surrogate motherhood, homosexuality, euthanasia. It is futile to close our eyes: the Church is challenged in its very foundations. These are to be found in the entirety of the Holy Scriptures, in the teaching of Jesus, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in the announcement of the Gospel by the Apostles, in an ever finer understanding of the Revelation, in the assent of faith by the community of believers. The Church has been entrusted by Jesus with the mission of receiving these truths, casting light on their coherence, commemorating them. The Church has not been given by the Lord either a mission to modify these truths, or a mission to rewrite the Credo. The Church is the guardian of this treasure. The Church should study these truths, clarify them, deepen man’s understanding of them and invite all men to adhere to them through faith. There are even discussions – on marriage for example – which were brought to a close by the Lord himself. It was specifically to conceal these historical truths that descendants of the Pharisees have denied the historicity of the Gospels (cf. Mark 10, 11).

Saturday, July 16, 2016

More pleas to the pope ...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Jihad watch update: ascendant concerns

  • Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi, "Shari'a and Violence in American Mosques," Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2011), pp. 59-72:
    How great is the danger of extremist violence in the name of Islam in the United States? Recent congressional hearings into this question by Rep. Peter King (Republican of New York), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, have generated a firestorm of controversy among his colleagues, the press, and the general public. Though similar hearings have taken place at least fourteen times since 2001.... To what extent are American Muslims, native-born as well as naturalized, being radicalized by Islamists? And what steps can those who are sworn to the protection of American citizenry take that will uncover and disrupt the plots of those willing to take up arms against others for the sake of jihad? Read more >>
  • Gavin Boby, "What is a mosque?" (Video 1):
  • "About Muslims and Islam" (What makes Islam so different?):
    "Don't judge the Muslims that you know by Islam and don't judge Islam by the Muslims that you know."

    Since we hear from so many critics who either don't take the time to read this site, or simply can't understand the distinction between Islam and Muslims, we thought it best to bring together in one place what we have said in so many others over the years.

    Islam is an ideology - a set of ideas. It is not defined by what any Muslim wants it to be, but by what it is. No ideology is above critique - particularly one that explicitly seeks political and social dominance over every person on the planet. Neither is it entitled to human rights, which apply to individuals.

    Muslims are individuals. We passionately believe that no Muslim should be harmed, harassed, stereotyped or treated any differently anywhere in the world solely on account of their status as a Muslim.

    As an ideology, Islam is not necessarily entitled to equal respect and acceptance. Ideas do not carry equal moral weight. The feelings or number of those who believe does not make the idea true or good. Bad ideas can and should be challenged before they produce bad consequences.
  • Peter McLoughlin, Easy Meat: Inside Britain's Grooming Gang Scandal (New English Review Press, 2016):
    Peter McLoughlin spent years believing the Leftist narrative, namely it was 'a racist myth' that organised Muslim groups in Britain and the Netherlands ( grooming gangs ) were luring white schoolgirls into a life of prostitution. But in 2009 he first encountered people who said their children had been groomed like this. These informants had non-white people in their immediate and extended family, and were thus unlikely to be racists. So McLoughlin dug deeper and what he found shocked him: there were mounds of evidence that social workers, police officers, Muslim organisations, journalists and even some Members of Parliament must have known about these grooming gangs for decades, and they had turned a blind-eye to these crimes. He also came across references to incidents where any proof had since vanished. McLoughlin spent several years uncovering everything he could and documenting this scandal before the evidence disappeared. He demonstrates that the true nature of this grooming phenomenon was known about more than 20 years ago.
  • David Wood, "Islamic Rape Gangs in the UK":
  • "Gavin Boby: Muslim rapists - majority or minority?" (April 13, 2016):
  • Gavin Boby, "Brussels 2012: Stopping Mosque Building in Europe - How & Why":
  • David Wood, "Dealing with Death Threats":
[Hat tip to L.S.]