Monday, 20 November 2017

Pope Benedict XVI and the Great Reveal


I expect that Benedict XVI reigned as Pope for a great deal longer than his official tenure from 2005 - 2013 would suggest. Back in the day when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was seen as really very important indeed (has anybody heard anything from Archbishop Ladaria recently or has he gone on an extended holiday?) the then Cardinal Ratzinger was Pope John Paul II's right-hand man and right-hand men are significant. As John Paul II's illness deepened in the 1990s and his ability to govern effectively became limited, I expect that the competences Joseph Ratzinger took on became more papal. Perhaps his experiences under John Paul II even gave the then Cardinal Ratzinger his novel and hugely problematic idea of a bifurcated papacy with an active and contemplative ministry.

St John Paul II still today has his critics in traditional circles, Koran-kissing, Assisi gathering Popes do somewhat give the impression of a tarnished papacy, but at no stage in either Benedict XVI's or John Paul II's reign did Catholics feel that the axe was being laid to the moral foundations of the Church. What has astonished me and many others is the 'great reveal' that has taken place with the removal of just one man at the summit of the Church.

It would seem very much that the removal of the one man has revealed what we can see is a kind of 'mystery' that leaves many Catholics bewildered and shaken in their faith. Around them, both Benedict and John Paul II had a few, but perhaps not many, senior members of the Church as bulwarks of support. Both were strong in their Catholic faith and in their Catholic identity. But in hindsight - such a wonderful but often bitter tasting thing - the presence of even a few pillars of Catholic orthodoxy gathered close to the Chair of Peter turned out to be entirely dependent on the faith of the person in the Chair.

The election of Pope Francis represents the definitive crossing of the rubricon for the Catholic Church. Perhaps it is temporary, perhaps it is not, but both Amoris Laetitia and Magnum Principium are documents that suggest we have reached a moment of full disclosure, a moment in the Church's history when the Church's slide into irrelevance, of being subsumed into the decaying culture of the once Catholic West is virtually guaranteed. There is no trumpet to announce the surrender of the Catholic Church from false apostles to announce the Church's surrender to the evil forces at work in the world. There will probably be no announcement to this effect. All we will receive as Catholics is mini-announcements. Praise for an abortionist here. A bishop reinventing the Mass there. The invitation of Planned Parenthood to the Vatican here. Such are, I am sure many readers will agree, the announcements of a counter-Church established within the bosom of the bride of Christ.

The true Catholic Church, however, the one faithful to her Lord, to use the words of the Second Vatican Council's own phrase, would now seem to 'subsist' within the walls of a fabricated Catholic Church, fashioned by human hands, constructed by enemies of Christ, because the takeover of the "official" Catholic Church is by now all but complete. This is the Church which, of course, our Lord has promised, cannot be destroyed and against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail.



Everybody who believes in the ordinary Magisterium of the Church once proclaimed without any sense of embarrasment by Popes and which finds its expression in the Catechism of the Church was sitting very comfortably knowing that the Vicar of Christ was a strength and bulwark against the demon and nobody thought for a moment that what was taking place in their Diocese and their local parishes could ever happen to Rome. Why were we so naive? Did we consider that Christ's promises meant what we had thought they mean or did we not read Christ's promises in a sensible way? For 2,000 years no Pope - no, not even an "Antipope" - has tried to separate the moral teaching of the Church from her pastoral practise. No "Antipope" in history has ever actively sought the dilution of Christian doctrine on morality.

Antipope Benedict XIII
Ultimately, however, the resignation of Benedict XVI and the great reveal that this has engendered - though catastrophic in the short term - catastrophic indeed it is, for souls - will purify the Church, but the truly disturbing thing to realise is that the true Church - the one which is faithful to Christ, the one that is faithful to His teaching, is small. We must praise and give thanks to God for men of courage such as Cardinal Burke and the small number of cardinals and bishops who have stepped forward at a time of great crisis in the heart of the Church, but we must also be astonished at the lack of faith of so many of the Hierarchy.

Yes, the reality check is here and it is most painful and salutary. We might ask the question: Of what use to the Church is a doctrinally sound and exemplary man of virtue in the Chair of Peter if anything between 50 - 90% of bishops and clergy do not believe him and are, in fact, implacably opposed to the Catholic truth. Of what use is this exemplary and holy Pope in the outcome that in your local parish, your priest tells you that the Mission of the Church consists of caring for our neighbour but that Baptism itself is not in any way necessary for Salvation. Of what use is this Pope if your bishop, for example, writes pastoral letters with words to the effect that Confession is an unnecessary, repetitive or even burdenesome duty on a soul. How heartening is it really to know that the 'man at the top' is doctrinally sound if on the ground, where real life is lived, bishops and clergy give the impression that they simply don't believe in God or the Real Presence or devotion to the Mother of God and are fundamentally liberal in outlook? Was it really that consoling to know that at least the Pope was Catholic? Really? Even when nearly nobody in the Church but you listened to a single word he had to say?

If we really want evidence of the wholesale abandonment of the Lord by His people, we need not look to the mad things happening in Rome under the reign of Pope Francis. No, if we really want to see evidence of the wholesale abandoment of the Lord by His people, we must look to the reaction against Francis's actions and his subtly deceptive documents. How strong is that? We must ask, how many Cardinals have signed the dubia asking for clarification on Catholic doctrine held by the Pope? How many? Four. Two of them are now dead. So that's now two. Will this number increase? One can forgive the Team Francis for feeling incredibly confident of the success of their 'revision' of the Catholic Faith, we must forgive Archbishop Paglia, Fr James Martin S.J, Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Tobin and the small number of Francis activists in the clergy and the Hierarchy who are brimming with (over) confidence in the carrying out of their ideas, because the counter movement within the Church, which should be the Church Militant is so weak and vulnerable. Few Cardinals, they can be counted on one hand, few bishops, they too can be counted on one hand, are actually coming forward to refute the errors that are coming from Rome. It is not so much that the Church Militant is 'giving up' and surrendering to the spirit of the age adopted from the summit of the Church, it is rather that the Church on Earth is not very militant at all.

Yes, Benedict XVI's abdication of the Chair of Peter was indeed the great reveal. It has revealed something of a mystery of iniquity working behind the scenes, it has revealed in all its gory reality, the pack of wolves who surrounded him and who were waiting for him to fall. However, it has revealed much more than that, that the apostasy we now see occuring within the Universal Church was already in operation in your town, in your city, in your home, in your Church. Already the Church faithful to her Lord was there, already the Church unfaithful to Christ, an adulterous Church was there and had been for years, even decades.

Ultimately, Benedict XVI's abdication reveals something about Benedict XVI, something about his trust in Christ, something about the 'new' Pope, something about the papacy itself, but more importantly, it reveals what was already in plain sight, but which so many of us overlooked, that faithlessness, heresy and godlessness had become so among clergy and bishops that it was foolhardy of us to look at the Pope and at WYD gatherings and say, 'Yes, I see the faith is strong!' No, the faith is not strong. Perhaps it is stronger in Poland.

No. When Catholics organise a million man march on Vatican City to protest against the destruction of Christian faith and morals undertaken or the presence of Planned Parenthood at the Vatican, or 100 - 200 million people sign a petition rebuking seemingly heretical suppositions in a papal document, or when entire bishop's conferences stand up to reject both a rupturous interpretation of Amoris Laetitia or Magnum Principium, then yes, then, maybe then we can call the Catholic Church strong. When Catholics demand that their pastors give them the undiluted Catholic Faith, then we can say that the faith is strong.



Yes, the Great Reveal may have revealed the mystery of iniquity at work in the Bride of Christ - I see no reason to doubt this - and may even have revealed a subtle form of apostasy at the summit of the Church, but it also reveals something about you and something about me, something about your priest and something about your bishop. It reveals something about our character and our faith. Are we faithful to Jesus Christ or not? Will we fight for our faith or let wolves ravage it and rebel bishops rape the Church? There is not a single member of the Church Triumphant who is not on the side of those who fight for Jesus Christ. Christ is Victor. Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph!

There may indeed be many clergy and many bishops who are afraid now to speak out in defence of the Lord and His Teachings or to rebuke the terrible things that come from Rome, but laity, clergy and bishops, Cardinals as well, must know this. If those who seek not the restoration of all things in Christ but instead the reconciliation of Church with the world on the world's terms are in any sense victorious for a time, though they can never be triumphant, it is because we, the Body of Christ, are letting this happen. No Pope has the authority to destroy the Church. Nobody may rape or molest the Bride of Christ! But they do not see any substantial opposition to their programme. A petition here, a letter there, a theologian here, they are all easily dismissed. What is not easily dismissed? An army. What is this army? The Church Militant. Who are its soldiers? Those of any rank confirmed to be soldiers of Christ.




Where are the soldiers of Christ?

In establishing the answer to this question, we will, I expect, be establishing at least a partial answer as to why the good Lord has permitted this crisis in the Church. Of what use would Pope Leo XIV be to the Church tomorrow if the Church refused to fight for Her right to be fed by a Successor of Peter worthy of the name?  Of what use would Pope Leo XIV be to the Church tomorrow if 75% or more of bishops and clergy despised him and rejected him because he stood up for the truth of Jesus Christ and a similar percentage among clergy, bishops and laity had no faith in the Blessed Sacrament?

Honestly, I used to think the Catholic Faith was so very simple. 'The Pope's Catholic so all is right with the Church!' Everybody tolerated the heretical priest down the road. Everybody tolerated the heretical bishop in his diocese. Everybody tolerated the dissenting theologian who obviously had no faith, the Catholic author who propagated heresy and profitted from it.  The Catholic university which  was anything but. The Catholic school which gave its pupils sex tips. The Church of the future, if it has a future, will not be like this.  The people of God will not stand for it.

I don't know what Pope Francis has to do to provoke the raising up of generals to form this army that will terrify those who seek the overthrow of the Catholic Church for an imitation of it devoid of Christian doctrine and morality.  Apart from a diocese that has 'too many' vocations, there is only one think that is going to keep Pope Francis up at night. And that's this. An army of people young and old of every rank, from the great to the small shouting, 'We Want God'. Until the Catholic Church has this spirit, I now see, we have precisely the Pope we deserve. 

If we will not fight for our glorious Catholic Faith, for the defence of the Church, we deserve Francis and, more, we deserve worse! If we Catholics desire that the Pope be Catholic and tolerate apostasy and faithlessness everywhere else, we are not worthy of Jesus Christ and we're certainly not worthy of Pope Leo XIV, and the Pope of the restoration of the Church will find few helpers and not many friends upon his accession to the Throne.  Right now, the Church is indeed a field hospital. The only combatants laying down dead or wounded, however, are faithful Catholics. The heretics are doing just fine, nor do they see a substantial opposition.  Unless that changes, a great and holy Pope makes no real difference to the Church in the future. We must pray for the resurrection of Christian Europe, a Europe that gave the Popes a Holy League, that was willing to shed its blood than permit alien religions take over Christendom, a Church of martyrs, a nation sealed for battle in Confirmation against the foes of Christ. We must pray that our clergy and bishops, the faithful among them will make a fortress of their Dioceses and parishes against the coming onslaught, and an onslaught it will be and that the Body of Christ convulses with  righteous anger against a regime that seeks the destruction of Christian morals. It happened in Poland. It can happen in the Church.


St John Paul II, pray for us!




Poles! You're going the wrong way! Rome is that way!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Seminary



It's a weepy!

The whole of Michael Davies's 'Timebombs in Vatican II', more relevant than ever, is available at this website.


Michael Davies's statistics are from 2002. That was 15 years ago! Things are much worse now. Here in the UK, more and more people are becoming more and more familiar with Bishops announcing that there will be 'difficult decisions' at a local level with parishes 'merging'. I am certian this is a nationwide phenomenon. The whole issue of parish mergers becomes the most wonderful form of Newspeak, with Bishops announcing 'mergers' which amount to a near shutdown of ordinary parish life  - with, you know, no resident priest - for existing parishes. This is predicted to become more and more common, never less. What many Catholics are seeing at a local level is a reorganisation and restructuring that almost imitates what is happening to British libraries. I'm told many British libraries are closing with a central one being manned mostly by volunteers. Most are being sold off to private firms who manage them, restructure them, gut them, sack their staff and then say, 'Good job done!'

Only the beginning of sorrows at Ground Zero.

Parishes don't 'close' they 'merge' and it is often glibly slipped in that we have to see as a diocese where 'the Holy Spirit is taking us'. There is never or rarely an assessment from Bishops as to whether it is the Holy Spirit, or rather a spirit of godlessness and faithlessness, the collapse of perhaps an entire culture that has led us to parish closures a.k.a 'mergers', the taking over of parishes by lay communities, the drastic decline in vocations, a dearth of religious and the increasing isolation and pain of those heroic priests who are still alive holding the fort as best they can.

The question that I and others would like to have answered is: Do bishops even want more vocations to the priesthood or are they now so comfortable with the management of decline that the management of decline is in fact the de facto policy of the Church in England, Wales, Germany and elsewhere in the West? Have they already decided that 'the Holy Spirit' is leading us to a priestless (or even Christless) Church?

'I'll just leave this 1962 Missale Romanum and maniple here for fifty years.'

The ideas that I hear from many bishops are about a 'creative' or 'innovative' response to the crisis of vocations (not that it is ever regarded or alluded to as a 'crisis' in public, after all, we don't want to upset the children!), but these responses rarely amount to a resolution to 'up the game' on making the priesthood look attractive to men who are devoted enough to Christ to consider it, nor to encourage such devotion among the clergy to the venerable Rite of the Church that might foster embryonic vocations.



One could be forgiven for wondering if a culture of acceptance about the loss of so many Catholics in two generations has bred not only a culture of pessimism about the future of the priesthood in the average diocese, but indeed a culture of death and sterility sweeping over the Church. It is never the Holy Spirit Who takes the Church to Hell in a handcart. It is always Bishops (of elsewhere, but not excluding Rome) who do that.



There are of course real reasons for optimism for the growth areas in the Church but they seem to lay within traditional orders and traditional communities. I have spoken to at least two people in the last week or two who promote the Traditional Latin Mass online and on social media but in fact do not even attend the Mass in the Extraordinary Form because it is not available within a 50 mile radius of their house. 

I think the late and great Michael Davies (RIP) may have prophecised the coming of Cardinal John Dew, having examined the Second Vatican Council and discovered the various loopholes therein that could be the seeds of the destruction of the universality - read Catholicity -  of the Church if bishops so willed it. But then even Cardinal Dew could not do what he has decided to do without the aid of an atmosphere of lawlessness encouraged by Francis, courtesy of Magnum Principium and other 'signs' destructive to the unity of the Church. It is with a sense of dread that one anticipates what stories we shall hear in the coming weeks and months of liturgical innovations being touted in other major Dioceses around the World.

A number of bloggers are using the word 'antipope' in relation to Pope Francis. I'm beginning to think that this is most unjust and deeply unfair.  

Let's be fair to the antipopes of history.

No antipope in Church history has sought to do what Francis is doing. 

Nor would any of the antipopes of history even dreamt of doing what Francis is doing.




Pray for bishops and pray for vocations to the Priesthood.

Pray for the Pope and pray for an end to the crisis in the Church.


Please note: Cats ears and whiskers have no been placed on the Princes of the Church in order to mock them as individuals (whoever they may be) but to add a humourous dimension and to make more visually effective a parody of the Andrew Lloyd Webber West End musical, 'Cats'. 


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

Love Changes Everything...




Just realised this morning I am being 'followed' on Twitter by Archbishop Paglia.

I have no idea how long he's been following me.

Does he like my songs? 

With a little vocational training I am sure I could do murals as well, Your Grace!


Though I'd have to do a little sanding at first, I think.

A lot of sanding, in fact...


Say a prayer for the Archbishop and all those in Rome who fancy the odd fag here or there. The Holy Father is really clamping down on vice since Cocco's party!



May Pope St Leo the Great intercede for Holy Mother Church 
and for the occupant of the Chair of Peter in this hour of grave crisis.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Clear Sign from God...




That much is clear!

May God bless Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy (O.F.M) for writing to the Pope and for speaking out publicly.

May many more come forward to make the defence of the Holy Catholic Church, Her doctrines and yes, to defend the Office of the Papacy itself at this most critical time.

Poor Cardinal Nichols, usually such an astute media representative of the Church, is himself finding it difficult to answer questions about Pope Francis at the moment.

Even the media are waking up to the reality that 2 + 2 does not equal five and are asking uncomfortable questions.

Hugs?

Really?

Chaos and confusion over doctrines reigns supreme but...



...at least there are hugs!

Still, I suppose that Francis is not making it easy for Cardinal Nichols...

“There is no doubt there is tension within the Catholic Church, but one of its great strengths is that we have a Pope – and we have a Pope who can say yes or no and then give you a hug.”

Hugs! How did the Church manage for so long without them?

Ironically, 'yes' or 'no' answers are what the remaining Dubia cardinals are seeking. So far, for them at least, no answers and not even...hugs!

Happy Feast of All Saints to all readers. May all the Saints intercede for the Church on Earth, so that the Lord may deliver His Bride from anarchy and bring Her to the restoration of Faith, doctrine and sanity!

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