Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

The Mass, Proper Worship and Megachurch Confusion

Should Catholics look towards Protestant megachurches for tips on worship experience? How about on church design? These are a few questions being asked within the Catholic Church today. In my last post, I examined why this would be a bad idea in regards to Catholic teaching. Now I’d like to examine the theology behind the Mass and our churches, to demonstrate how Protestant’s get them wrong.

What is the purpose of the Mass? The Baltimore Catechism (922) states:

“The ends for which the sacrifice of the Cross was offered were:
1. To honor and glorify God;
2. To thank Him for all the graces bestowed on the whole world;
3. To satisfy God’s justice for the sins of men;
4. To obtain all graces and blessings.

Christian worship should focus on Jesus Christ, Who is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist. While retaining the physical properties of bread and wine, when the priest says the words of consecration, they have become Jesus’ Body and Blood. His bloodied sacrifice of the Cross on Calvary is re-presented at the unbloodied sacrifice of the Altar, a sacrifice which can only be made by a validly ordained priest.

Tridentine Mass

In order for this reality to become manifest to those present, it is crucial for the space in which we worship to be reverent, solemn, and silent. Beauty adds to this atmosphere, as it draws us in to ponder the mysteries of this world and the next. This is why Catholics place many beautiful pieces of art and gold in their Churches. Sacred art invites those present to focus their prayer and contemplate God’s mysteries.

When churches remove elements of beauty, we lose opportunities to enter into contemplative prayer. Likewise, when the Mass is trivialized, we lose focus on Jesus Christ, and begin to focus on ourselves. Unfortunately, many Catholics believe we should look to Protestant megachurches, in order to influence the Mass and other facets of Catholic life.

We should see what one of these megachurches look like in order to draw a good comparison. Fortunately Boniface from Unam Sanctam Catholicam took a tour of his local Protestant megachurch.

Upon entering this particular “church”, you immediately see children playing soccer in their indoor soccer field. Yes, they have their very own indoor soccer field. Having worked at a high-quality fitness chain for a year and a half, I can tell you that the above church bears many resemblances. Boniface spends time walking around the building documenting all of the different facilities this megachurch has at its disposal.

They have their very own coffee shop, where you can go to get your mocha or latte. Or, if coffee doesn’t interest you, you can certainly grab a bite to eat. There is a play place where all the children can take off their shoes and run through the colorful tubes. Along the way, Boniface finds a timeline where the church traces its roots, all the way back to 2002. Ironically they list Jesus’ death, but ignore 2000 years of Christian history, showcasing their belief that their man-made church is far more important.

It isn’t until the end of the video that we discover the “auditorium”, as they call their place of “worship”, is on the other side of the soccer field. Nothing prepares someone for time with God better than a tour through a gymnasium! Ironically, the doors to the auditorium are locked. No longer do Christians recognize they are in need of the Lord’s saving grace; gone are the days when they go to a Church to pray, in the Lord’s own house. Why bother when you can easily spend your prayer time at the coffee shop?

There is hardly any indication this megachurch is even Christian. This odd building takes away focus from the sacred and spotlights the profane. It is about the temporal welfare of the believer, instead of the spiritual. I suspect they preach a gospel of prosperity, that is, God rewards His faithful with wealth.

the eucharist

As Catholics, we have to realize Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist. He resides in our tabernacles awaiting for us to adore Him. This reality affects how we properly worship God. There is no more perfect way to worship God and glorify Him than by attending Mass, receiving Him worthily in communion, and adoring Him in Adoration. We do not go to Mass to be friendly with our neighbors. We go to honor and glorify God, to thank Him for all the graces bestowed on the whole world, to satisfy God’s justice for the sins of men, and to obtain all graces and blessings. Social benefits should not draw us in, but the desire to come face to face with Jesus at the consecration: a most solemn moment. Once our focus is taken off of Christ and put onto ourselves, we have lost the meaning of the Mass, and what it means to be a Christian.

Jeff February 24, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

Can Catholics Learn from Protestant Megachurches?

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No.

Oh, you wanted me to elaborate more? I suppose I can.

Catholics can learn a great deal from Protestant Megachurches. In fact, Protestants can teach Catholics much in regards to defying Christ. Protestantism, which is a heresy against the Truth of Christ, can only teach Catholics error, falsities, and heresy. Even if a particular Protestant teaching is aligned with Catholic teaching, it is best to avoid it lest we become seduced into agreeing with error.

Protestants have been protesting the Catholic Church and her teachings and doctrines, which come from Christ, since the days of Martin Luther. It’s been a rather long protest and is motivated by human error, pride, and arrogance. These churches do not hold the truth and are man-made religions.

Seeing as the Catholic Church is the only Church Christ founded, we know it to have the fullness of the Truth. This Truth, which comes directly from God, gives assurance to this world that whatever the Church rules in the matters of faith and morals, has the backing of God. The Catholic Church is correct when it comes to worship, teaching, doctrine, and dogma.

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Once Martin Luther broke away from the One True Church, he introduced error into all of his teachings, even those teachings he brought along from the Church. This is because he no longer accepted the fullness of Truth. Likewise, once Martin Luther broke away due to his disagreements with the Church’s teachings, thousands of other men and women like Luther have left either the Church or Luther to find their own “church”.

Protestant megachurches are so far down the broken branches of Christianity, they are hardly recognizably Christian. Rock and roll, charismaticism, hand waving, and long-drawn out sermons are the trademark of these groups. They use the name of Christ often to give a false confidence in their worship and to appear as if they hold the truth, but proclaim a false gospel by doing so. They have twisted the core of Genesis 1:26 and instead of conforming themselves and their wills to that of God’s, they have made a god in their own image, a god they can physically see every time they look in the mirror.

While even a broken clock is correct twice a day, I do not rely on a broken clock to tell me what the time is. If by happenstance the broken clock is correct, I do not know if it is correct, unless I have a working clock to compare. The same can be said with Protestantism. We only know if Protestant teaching is correct if we compare it with Catholic teaching, and if we need Catholic teaching to tell us if it is right or wrong, what good is the Protestant teaching?

The purpose of Christianity is to make as many members as possible, but not at the expense of undermining the Truth. When we undermine the Truth to gain members, we spread lies and false hope. Many people are attracted to the Truth and beauty of Catholicism. When listening to conversion stories, converts never become Catholic because of the “fun” or “giddiness” or the “welcoming”. But rather, they became Catholic because of the immense beauty and the Truth that Catholicism possesses which can be found in no other religion or creed on this Earth.

In reality, Catholics have far more they can teach Protestant megachurches on how to become more Christian. Being poised in matters of faith and morals, we can teach them how to properly worship God that is pleasing to Him through the Sacraments and devotions. Catholics can demonstrate to Protestants the beauty and Truth we possess in the Mass and our Liturgies, especially when celebrated according to the rubrics set up by our forefathers.

If we, as Catholics, continue this erroneous mentality that we can learn from Protestants to become better Catholics, we slip dangerously into the temptation of reducing the Church Christ founded into one of many churches. We reduce the effectiveness of the Truth being proclaimed because if we appear incorrect in one facet of faith, many will question if we are wrong in others. We risk the possibility of losing souls to error. Those souls who are outside the Church and outside of the state of grace at the moment of their death are likely to spend an eternity outside of God’s Kingdom, whether they chose to or not.

Jeff February 15, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

A Verbally and Mentally Abusive Father

Imagine a father who lives in the picturesque suburbs. He has a good job, a loving wife, and several beautiful children of various ages. Many people look up to this man as an exemplary model within the community. Most say he is on his way to sainthood.

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As an outsider, this is only a part of the full picture. Now imagine if this same father spends more time playing with the other children in the neighborhood than he does his own children. When his children ask why their father would rather play with the other children and not his own, he in turn starts teasing them, making fun of them, and insisting that they are being whiny brats, instead of getting a loving answer in regards to why he is neglecting their emotional health.

Additionally, his children are victim to several bullies in the neighborhood, tormenters who are relentless and look for any flaw in these children in order to persecute them. The father’s words and actions give these bullies ammunition to use against his children. Then the aggressors pounce upon the children and use the father’s own words against them.

When some of the children get rightfully upset and complain about their father supporting the bullies more than themselves, their siblings yell at them and force their ideas into submission. “You can’t criticize Dad! He’s our father! You have to be obedient and submissive to his will, after all, he knows better than you do.” With this, the family has become more divided than before. Not only is the father allowing the world to abuse his children the same way he does, but some of the children viciously defend his abusive actions.

You are likely in agreement with me that the above father is not a good father at all. While he appears to be a great example to the community, in reality he is a deviant. Yet this is the same attitude in which Pope Francis, the Holy Father, operates his Papacy.

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Whether in the Vatican or abroad, there have been numerous times he was scheduled to meet with Bishops or Cardinals only to cancel at the last minute. While it is understandable, as he is in poor health, instead of taking time off to rest, he has spent time with Evangelicals, Lutherans, or even Buddhists, as he did during his trip to Sri Lanka. If spending time with non-Catholics is how he chooses to relax, doesn’t it beg the question: why? His purpose is not to evangelize; at no time does he discuss with them the need to become Catholic, but rather he endorses their views and discusses solidarity.

While he takes his trips abroad, he holds press interviews aboard the papal plane. “Who am I to judge” has become the go to line for non-Catholics to beat the faithful into submission for upholding Catholic teaching. Pope Francis has given the enemies another great line. “Some people think — excuse me for saying this — that to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits.” Additionally, he even told the world how he reprimanded a faithful mother for getting pregnant again. He accused her of “tempting God” and faulted her for “irresponsible parenting”.

These comments about rabbits and irresponsible parenthood have left some Catholics with the desire to defend the Holy Father’s statements to their dying breath. They accuse Catholics who take issue with the Pope’s choice of words as “taking them out of context”. They admonish their upset brethren for not trusting in God and accuse them of causing division within the Church. “If you just looked at context, you would agree with him!” While in context we agree with Pope Francis, his poor choice of words, especially when being given to newspaper reporters who will actively search for opportunities to take his words out of context and demonize our religion, are what we find fault in. He knew what he was saying, because he prefaced it with “excuse me for saying this”. He gives ammunition to the bullies who in turn use it on his children, who he is supposed to defend and build up into saints.

When a normal father partakes in this destructive behavior against his own children, he is looked upon not as a hero, but a deviant and abusive father. Likewise, if the Holy Father engages in the same acts, he is not being a good father to his children. He engages in the sins of calumny and detraction, and without a public apology for his statements we are left to assume the worst.

Jeff January 21, 2015 40 Comments Permalink

Pope Francis Met With “Interreligious Faith Leaders”

During his visit to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis met with leaders of various religions to discuss the need for peace between all religions.

A few key quotes and images:

“For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war, We must be clear and unequivocal in challenging our communities to live fully the tenets of peace and coexistence found in each religion, and to denounce acts of violence when they are committed.”

“Islam has no relationship with regard to such practices and evil conduct and deeds,” he said, adding that terrorists and extremists “have used many religions as a shelter” for their evil deeds throughout the years.”

Pope Francis Sri Lankan Prayer Blanket

 

Pope Francis visits the Agrashravaka temple in Colombo Pope Francis Speaks at Interfaith Meeting

It appears there was no mention of the importance of becoming Catholic (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus) and accepting Jesus Christ, the only Prince of Peace. The errors condemned by Pope Pius IX are as follows.

15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.

16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846.

17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. — Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. — Encyclical “Noscitis,” Dec. 8, 1849.

Jeff January 15, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

St. Pius X on the Wretched Clergy

Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies. It is a disease which has infiltrated the Church. Seeing Modernism for the evil it was, Pope St. Pius X wrote the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On Modernism).

This is must read material for any Catholic who wishes to adhere to the dogmas, doctrines, and truths of Catholicism. The encyclical can be read on Papal Encyclicals. If you are looking for a good synopsis, I suggest reading The Old Evangelization’s excellent series on the subject.

catechism of modernism

Another excellent work is Rev. J.B. Lemius, O.M.I.’s Catechism of Modernism, in which he asks questions about Modernism and uses Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical to respond. In it, a question is asked about Modernism within the clergy:

Q. Holy Father, are these hidden enemies, who cause anxiety to your paternal heart, to be found among Catholics? Are they found in the ranks of the priesthood?

A. Yes. Many belong to the Catholic laity; nay, and this is far more lamentable, many belong to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church.

These prophetic words ring true during this time. Many clergy could care less about the salvation of souls and in turn present themselves as caring by presenting a false gospel about being good and merciful to those around you.

They have become careerists by being promoted within the hierarchy of the Church, by being appointed Bishops, and even Cardinals.

They are willing to deny Christ, Our Risen Lord, and present a Christ who is a mere man. Hiding behind a curtain of ‘mercy’, they take cheap shots at any faithful Catholic who dare to defend Christ.

These rotten men who don’t deserve any of the pomp which stems from their office, lead numerous souls away from Christ and His Church, by giving them a false Christ.

We saw the evil of Modernism unfold with last year’s Synod on the Family with a botched attempt to rewrite Church law in regards to giving communion to adulterers, re-married, and those engaged in the sin of sodomy.

These wicked men have laid the ground work for their comrades throughout the Church to begin the further destruction from within. Buckle your seat belts, we are in for a bumpy ride with this year’s Synod, and the aftermath caused by both.

Jeff January 12, 2015 2 Comments Permalink

TradSpeak Episode 2

On the second episode of TradSpeak, I talk with Rachel Claire, one half of the YouTube show Your Face Is Catholic! We discuss Catholic Identity, specifically in regards to veiling from a woman’s perspective, kneeling to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and we even discuss Friday abstinence.

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Currently, you can download or listen from SoundCloud. Due to some technical difficulties and lack of foresight on my part, this is the only way you can listen to it. I am working on getting iTunes and self-hosted working soon.

Enjoy and thanks for listening!

Jeff January 6, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

My 2015 Predictions

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As we ring in the New Year, I would like to make my predictions for 2015.

  1. The Synod on the Family will be a complete and utter disaster. It will be so poor and awful, 2014′s Synod will appear as child’s play.
  2. Pope Francis will make several poor bishop appointments in the US which will promote liberals.
  3. The FFI will be further persecuted. Their case will either be left in limbo, or they will be accused of “heresy”.
  4. Catholicism will further be suppressed from within and outside the Church. Tradition will be suppressed in all corners as much as possible.
  5. The Traditional Latin Mass will grow in some areas, and will be hindered in others.
  6. Novelty will continue to be embraced as ” the only way to grow the Church”.
  7. I will blog more than The Old Evangelization.
  8. Pope Francis will no longer be Pope.

This year, I hope my predictions are wrong on all accounts.

Jeff January 1, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

My 2014 Predictions…How’d I Do?

With the year 2014 come and almost gone, it is time for me to review how well my predictions were for the year.

Confused Pope Francis

Here are my predictions from last year, with my comments in bold.

  1. Our Lady of Medjugorje will be denounced by Rome as being an invalid apparition, however, Rome will still declare that Medjugorje is a good pilgrimage site. (There was no denouncement from Rome in regards to Medjugorje, as we are still waiting for the results from their investigation. Seeing as the secondary prediction required the first, I rule this as not happening.) FAIL
  2. There will be a very public, and violent attack against Christians and faithful Catholics in the United States. (There was the beheading of the Christian woman by the Muslim in Oklahoma City back in September. There have also been a number of Satanic black masses and idols to go up this year. I’d say this one passes.) PASS
  3. Catholic employers will be arrested for refusing to provide contraception to their employees. (There have been zero arrests that I know of.) FAIL
  4. The Mainstream Media will turn on Pope Francis because he refuses to accept their false views on women’s ordination and homosexuality. (The Mainstream Media continues to love Pope Francis, and with the Synod of October, it appears he may be okay with homosexuality.) FAIL
  5. Because of this Pope Francis’ popularity will begin to become low. What will attribute to this is his already apparent disapproval of faithful Catholics. (Pope Francis still acts and appears to be a rock star.) FAIL
  6. Pope Francis will announce the canonization of Pope Paul VI, without the second needed miracle. (No announcement was made in regards to Pope Paul VI’s canonization, though he was beatified.) FAIL
  7. I will post more often than The Old Evangelization(I did! Knowing him, he would argue quality is better than quantity, but I believe I’ve had some rather quality posts this year as well.) PASS
  8. I will finalize my Mortal Sin Series to better help you all understand what sins are mortal and why. (I wrote more on mortal sins, in fact I wrote a few posts in regards to the Fifth Commandment, though I only wrote those.) FAIL

Overall, I did about a 2/8 for a whopping 25%. Check back shortly for what I believe will happen in 2015, and trust me, these predictions will not be your typical ones.

UPDATE: January 1, 2015 3:22pm
I have released my predictions for 2015.

Jeff December 30, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Pope Francis Clarifies In Recent Interview His Statements Are Clear and Part of His Magisterium

Many Catholics have argued when it comes to some of the odd statements Pope Francis has made over the last 21 months, it isn’t part of the Magisterium or Church teaching. They have also made arguments calling out the media for misrepresenting the Pope.

Pope Francis did another interview, this time with La Nacion, an Argentinian newspaper. Here is an excerpt (emphasis mine):

Q. As a Pope you are different because you speak with utmost clarity, you are completely straightforward, you don´t use euphemisms and don´t beat about the bush, the course of your papacy is extremely clear. Why do you think some sectors are disoriented, why do they say the ship is without a rudder, especially after the latest extraordinary synod of bishops on the challenges posed by the family?

A. Those expressions strike me as odd. I am not aware of anybody using them. The media quote them. However, until I can ask the people involved “have you said this?” I will have brotherly doubts. In general people don´t read about what is going on. Somebody did say to me once, “Of course, of course. Insight is so good for us but we need clearer things”. And I answered, “Look, I wrote an encyclical, true enough, it was a big job, and an Apostolic Exhortation, I´m permanently making statements, giving homilies; that´s teaching. That´s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out, it´s very clear. Evangelii Gaudium is very clear”.

Confused Pope Francis

Pat Archbold, writing for the National Catholic Register, brings up a very excellent and valid point:

This interview makes clear that Pope Francis does intend that his statements and homilies are to be considered part of his personal magisterium. He also insists that this teaching is very clear.

Pope Francis has effectively denounced all of those who have argued two things.

1. The media is misrepresenting him. We hear it from Pope Francis himself, “that’s what I think, not what the media says I think. Check it out, it’s very clear.” Pope Francis knows what the media is saying about him, and agrees with it. These words he has spoke are what he said.

If you’ve been sitting around waiting for him to offer any further clarification, you shouldn’t. “It is very clear.” We can no longer use this excuse, nor any derivation of it. No more “translation issues”. No more “taken out of context”. The interviews, the news articles, the incorrect homilies are all what he said. Deal with it.

2. This isn’t part of the teaching of the Church. Pope Francis says he is constantly teaching and considers it part of his teachings and his magisterium. He is not offering his opinion, but what he thinks is actual teaching to be included in what he has to offer to the Church.

Pope Francis clarifies he is “permanently making statements, giving homilies; that’s teaching”. Everything he says, no matter how true or erroneous, is part of the teaching he wants to give to you. For those who have defended him using this excuse, you have done so in vain. You are incorrect, because Pope Francis says it is.

If Pope Francis truly believes his off-the-cuff statements are in fact teaching, then perhaps it is time we go back and reassess his entire papacy and every interview, homily, and off-the-cuff comment he has ever given. Let’s start calling a spade a spade.

Jeff December 15, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

A Small Catechism For Catholics a Must Have

I recently received a copy of “A Small Catechism For Catholics” originally written by St. Peter Canisius and translated from the original Latin by Ryan Grant. This is published by Mediatrix Press.

Small Catechism for Catholics

This is an absolutely fascinating translation of a fascinating Catechism. This Catechism is written with precision and clarity. In a question and answer format, it allows for simple questions to be answered quickly and concisely, and encourages memorization of its passages. It is a must have for every single Catholic. At 65 pages in length, it is a very quick read of no longer than an hour. It has not been tainted with modernism, thus we know it holds true to the teachings of the Church. St. Peter Canisius is also a Doctor of the Church.

I would suggest you purchase it. You can do so through Amazon. It appears the new version of the book includes a special Foreword by Fr. Chad Ripperger.

To demonstrate how this book is aligned with the traditions and teachings of the Church, I would like to include this excerpt which discusses who are outside of the Church and  who are heretics. (pgs 13-15)

Who are altogether foreign to the Church?

In the first place, Jews and all unbelievers and also apostates from the faith; thereafter heretics, those who, of course, were baptized, but pertinaciously uphold error against the Catholic faith. Besides these, schismatics, those who separate themselves from the peace and Catholic unity itself; and last of all, those who are legitimately excluded from the communion of Saints, from the participation of the Sacraments and the aid of the Church and from divine offices, throughout Ecclesiastical power, wherefore they are called “the excommunicated”.
All those who are separated and foreign to the body of Christ, which is the Church, and hence remain outside of the spiritual life and salvation, unless they should recover their senses, are guilty and merit eternal death, that is Satan. Moreover, while all these are to be avoided by Catholics, more particularly, heretics and schismatic should be detested and avoided no less than some deadly plague.

At length, what might be a simple, short and upright rule of faith, by which Catholics are distinguished from heretics?

It is this, they confess the faith of Christ and the full authority of the Church; and it behooves them to hold that as certain and fixed, which the Shepherds and Teachers of the Catholic Church have defined must be believed. The others, who do not listen to the Church, should be to you, as Christ himself said “As a heathen and a tax-collector.” (Matthew 18:17) Indeed he who refuses to have the Church as a mother, will not have God as Father.

Yes, this is 100% accurate and Catholic. If you’re Catechism doesn’t include this, it does not cut it.

Jeff December 10, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink