Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Saints Louis and Azelie Martin, Pray For Us and Protect the Synod

Yesterday, Pope Francis canonized the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, Louis and Azelie Martin. This is the first time a married couple has been canonized at the same time. There have of course been other married couples who are saints, but they were canonized at different times.

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A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for One Peter Five in which I pointed out that canonizing this wonderful couple and model of Catholic marriage should have been done prior to the Synod on the Family, instead of in its final week. I also give an in-depth look at the lives of the Martin family and how they truly radiate the glow of Catholic holiness.

Please, give the article a read here.

Sts Louis and Azelie Martin, Ora pro nobis.

Jeff October 19, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

2,000+ Signatures and Why I Signed It

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In only a matter of two days, the Petition asking the orthodox synod fathers to perform a walkout has reached a number of 2,000 signatures. This is simply incredible. From my understanding, petitions generally gather about 1/10 of the signatures of those who actually do support the petition. That means that in all likelihood, the petition has the support of 20,000 Catholics. Getting this much attention in only a few days with that many signatures is nothing short than a miracle.

This petition is the most important petition of this century. Requesting the Synod Fathers who are defending Christ’s teaching on marriage and the family to walk out is a slap in the face to the heterodox. It shows that the orthodox fathers are indeed following in the footsteps of Christ and refusing to waste their time with those who refuse to listen to the Gospel (c.f. Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5).

Since this petition’s release, I’ve seen a number of comments arguing how a walk out would be “giving up” on Christ. I’d like to address these concerns.

It wouldn’t be giving up. A Synod’s purpose is to provide advice to the Pope in order for him to make a decision.  Attendance is not mandatory for a prelate. An invitation is extended to him and he can either accept or decline. Likewise, a prelate can leave at any given moment.

It would be similar to you inviting some friends over to have a discussion on how you should approach a problem. You drafted up some rules and gave them all to your friends. But a few days before your friends were to come over, you changed the rules and stated that you won’t listen to some of your friends. If these friends, which you just insulted, were to walk out of your house after an hour of discussion in which you repeated told them you weren’t going to give their opinions any weight, would they be abandoning you? Absolutely not. You abandoned them by ignoring them.

Another argument I’ve heard, which is rather quite immature, is that walking out on the Synod would be abandoning Christ on the Cross. This is solemn nonsense. Christ died on the Cross to restore mankind from their fallen nature and allow them to be brought back into the state of grace through His sacrifice and giving of Himself. Jesus also stated in the Gospel that man and woman come together and are bound. Divorce is not allowed. Standing behind Christ’s teaching on divorce and remarriage is not “abandoning Him on the Cross”. Rather, those unorthodox prelates at the Synod trying their damnedest to change Church teaching are the ones who are abandoning Jesus on the Cross.

There is also a historical precedence of Bishops walking out of an ecumenical council. Steve Skojec, writing for One Peter Five gives us more:

The two bishops who voted on that day against the decree, as soon as Pius the Ninth had confirmed it, at once submitted and made a profession of their faith. They proved by their adverse vote the liberty which the 55 who left Rome equally possessed; and by their prompt submission they showed to the world that their opposition had been offered not to the truth of the doctrine, but to the expediency of defining it.

In the instance of the First Vatican Council, these 55 bishops removed themselves from the proceedings rather than vote against the promulgation of Pastor Aeternus, and by extension, Pope Pius IX, openly. They opposed something which in fact became a dogma; but these were not schismatic men, nor were they accused of being such. They were faithful sons of the Church, loyal to her teaching, concerned about the potential damage such a proclamation might do, and ultimately, obedient to the legitimate exercise of papal authority on the matter.

If bishops can in good conscience and without culpability leave an Ecumenical Council in protest over the promulgation of something proven to be a Divine Truth, how much more liberty should they be afforded when faced with the possibility of removing themselves from a Synod attempting to introduce pastoral practices which will lead the faithful into error and sin?

Finally, if you believe that the Holy Spirit is going to protect the Church from error, then there is no need to worry if the orthodox bishops and Cardinals walk out, after all, the Holy Spirit will protect the Church, right? If the Holy Spirit will prevent heresy from entering the Church, then we might as well go on auto-pilot and let God sort it out, no?

I signed this petition because I the deck has been stacked against the Truth in regards to divorced, remarried, and actively homosexual to receive Holy Communion. Those who uphold Christ’s teachings are not given much time to discuss. The Synod’s rules have changed in that this is the first Synod with closed doors, no reports, no transparencies. The final document was being drafted before the Synod even began. The Synod is just a show and there is no reason for it to go on. The decisions have already been made.

Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/the-synod-fathers-synod-walkout?recruiter=137122220&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink.

Jeff October 16, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

URGENT: Petition the Bishops to Walk Out of Synod

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I’ve been notified of a petition started by the Canon 212 Society requesting the Synod Fathers who are opposed to the changes being discussed in the Synod on the Family to simply a walk out.

From the petition:

Esteemed Synod Fathers,

We thank you for your witness to and defense of the truth of Matrimony and Family proclaimed by the Church, in fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Ordinary Synod on the Family continues its work, confusion and scandal spread among the faithful. Catholics are concerned that some members of this body of apostolic successors, under the guidance of the Pope, are seeking to endorse homosexual relationships, effectively question the indissolubility of marriage, and permit the distribution of the Holy Eucharist to the unrepentant.

The current Instrumentum Laboris contains language in certain sections (§ 122 (52); §§ 124-125 (53); §§ 130-132 (55-56)) that is completely unacceptable from an orthodox Catholic point of view regarding divorce and attempted remarriage, homosexuality, and contraception. We have witnessed with profound sorrow the ongoing development of this crisis, beginning with last year’s extraordinary session in October, 2014, making it difficult to have confidence in the outcome of the Synod.  

The irregular changes to the rules governing the current synodal process practically assure that the existing Instrumentum Laboris will be largely adopted. This revised process also appears to reject openness, transparency, and collegiality, and the committee drafting the final document of the Synod seemingly rejects any substantive input from the Synod fathers. We note with regret that the highly visible and widely adopted filial appeals and open letters have not been acknowledged, and have produced no discernable amendment by the Synod organizers. Several high-ranking Cardinals have brought concerns to the Pope, only to have them summarily dismissed as unworthy of consideration – with unfair accusations against those who are legitimately concerned that their voices will not be heard.

We fear, evidenced by all of the above, that the Ordinary Synod will attempt to recommend changes in teaching and pastoral practice that are contrary to the Gospel of Christ and the constant teaching of the Church on the sacred mystery of Catholic marriage and the nature of human sexuality. This would pose a clear and present danger to souls.

The Code of Canon Law 212 §3 states that the Catholic faithful “have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful…”  

Therefore, we faithfully request that each and every faithful Catholic bishop at the Synod, having made every effort to resist these attacks on Christ’s teaching, if its direction remains unaltered and those faithful voices remain unheard, do his sacred duty and publicly retire from any further participation in the Synod before its conclusion so as to prevent greater scandal and confusion.

Those bishops who remain as participants, accepting this process and its outcome, must certainly bear responsibility for whatever confusion and sin may result among the Catholic faithful from what would be the disastrous fruits of the Synod.

Please sign the petition and when you share to social media, please use the hashtag #SynodWalkout in order to generate more attention.

Jeff October 14, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

The Liturgy of the Crucifixion

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Mass as:

The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name. CCC 1330

We also read in the Baltimore Catechism:

The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

(a) The name “Mass” comes from the Latin word Missa meaning dismissal. In the early days of the Church the catechumens were asked to leave after the gospel and sermon were finished. The faithful, however, remained until they were dismissed after the sacrifice was completed. Then, as now, this was done by saying or singing Ite Missa Est. In the course of time the word Missa, or dismissal, was used to designate the entire sacrifice. BC 357

In short, the Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in which Jesus Christ is fully present in the form of bread and wine. When you go to Mass, this is the image you should be reminded of.

Jesus Crucified

When we see this image of Jesus bloodied and dying on the cross, we are witnessing this at Mass. We enter into this mystery. With the Novus Ordo, and its countless variables at each Mass, we must ask ourselves a serious question. Would this be appropriate if you were at the foot of the cross?

Contemporary Music

Praise and worship music would be inappropriate as it possesses no solemnity, that is, no respect for the dignity of the Holy Sacrifice. Praise and worship music, by its essence and intent, is upbeat, which elicits a response of happiness. Playing a guitar before Christ Crucified and singing “Gather Us In, the Rich and the Haughty” is insulting. If you disagree, imagine yourself dying a wrongful death upon a cross, suffocating in agony and a group of people singing this song. What would you think of them? What would you be tempted to say to them?

Gregorian Chant possesses the somber tone which from antiquity instills reverence and awe. Pope St. Pius X instated in his Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini (Instruction on Sacred Music):

These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone.

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

Gregorian Chant is the only form of music which will draw us into these Heavenly mysteries.

Standing During the Consecration and Receiving Communion

Standing is inappropriate as this is not just some man dying, but our Lord. When a mother loses her child, she does not stand, but rather, she collapses. She collapses over the despair of losing her beloved child. She collapses at the horror of never seeing him again. She collapses in grief and sorrow.

Much like any of us would collapse after tragically losing a loved one, we too should collapse to our knees out of grief and agony for the loss of Jesus, because He is our Lord. With the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus is fully present, Body, Blood, Soul, And Divinity. We should kneel out of respect and humility as He has dominion over us.

During the Consecration, we should kneel as the Holy Ghost descends upon the bread and wine and transubstantiates the Essence it into the Most Holy Eucharist. We kneel to receive Him because He is our Lord and only hands that have been consecrated to bring forth His transfiguration should touch Him. Those brave men who have been ordained to the priesthood or the diaconate have hands consecrated to touch Him.

Remember the conversion of St. Thomas, in John 20: 24 – 29. Thomas, both doubting and boastful, sees Jesus for the first time since their Last Supper together and the Betrayal in the Garden. Is it too much to imagine that Thomas, upon seeing Jesus, would jump up and run to Him, calling, “My Lord!” in excitement? And then, realizing that the Wounds in His Hands, Feet and Side are neither bloody nor healed, immediately fall to his knees, his face to the floor, exclaiming, “My God!” in breathless ecstasy and adoration? It all happens together, in that Eternal Moment of Sanctification.

If only hands have that have been consecrated to touch Him are allowed, then logically Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should not be allowed, as their hands have not been consecrated. While I understand the distribution of Holy Communion would take much longer, this should never, ever be a hindrance at the Mass, but a benefit. During this time, we should be offering prayers of Thanksgiving to Our Lord for allowing us to receive Him worthily. We should bring our prayer intentions to the Lord, focusing on His Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, and thanking Him for paying the debt which we cannot pay. In a society where we are constantly bombarded by noise, this provides ample opportunity to pray in silence before our Crucified Lord.

Clapping

Pope Benedict XVI, while still Josef Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.” Spirit of the Liturgy

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Applause is used to signify an accomplishment of an individual or group. It is not meant for the Mass, especially when we remember that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ Crucified. We would not applaud someone else while we are standing before Christ dying on the cross. We should not clap while we are at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The focus of the Mass is not us, but on Christ.

This includes all aspects of the Mass, even when the Mass is concluded. We are in the House of God, present before Jesus Christ in the tabernacle. We do not applaud the choir, nor any other individual or group of individuals. We read in Sacrosanctum Concilium:

32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

Altar Girls

Only men can be elevated to the calling of the priesthood. Many priests, while not all, were formed and called during their time as altar boys. A direct correlation has been observed between having altar girls and boys no longer being interested in serving at the altar. When boys are not interested, they may not heed their calling to a Vocation of Holy Orders.

When boys and young men miss their vocation to the priesthood, we are left in the vocations crisis that we are currently facing. Parishes are closing because we do not have any priests to minister to them.

These are but a few examples of abuses that we should aim to eliminate from the Mass if we want to restore a sense of the sacred. Prayerfully consider encouraging your pastor to begin removing elements that are not aimed at bringing forth reverence to Our Lord.

Jeff October 12, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

Either Cardinal Marx Had a Conversion or He Is Setting the Stage to Declare Schism

In February, Reinhard Cardinal Marx, the President of the German Conference of Bishops made waves when he announced that the German bishops would not adhere to what the synod determined, unless it favored their position stating “the synod cannot prescribe in detail what  we have to do in Germany.”

“We are not a subsidiary of Rome. Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way. We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have to carry out marriage and family ministry here.”

In short, Cardinal Marx proposed that the German Catholic Church would schism if the Synod on the Family did not yield the results they were wanting. The German Catholic Church is in favor of giving Holy Communion to the divorced, remarried and actively homosexual.

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Either the Holy Spirit has intervened and changed Cardinal Marx’s heart or he knows what the outcome of the Synod is going to be.

Pat Archbold of Creative Minority Report reports some surprising words from Cardinal Marx:

“We must try to remain together,” he said. “The Church is the only institution in the world that can reach unanimous agreement. Thank God we have the pope. We bishops do not have to decide. Church unity is not in danger. And once the pope has decided, we will abide by his decision.

Either Cardinal Marx is no longer in favor of administering the Holy Eucharist to adulterers and sodomites or he knows the Synod is going to lax the rules.

My bet is the latter, as it is highly unlikely, knowing what we have seen come from the Synod thus far that Cardinal Marx is suddenly having a conversion. I’m not saying it’s impossible, only unlikely.

Looking back at my post from Monday in which I outlined the possibilities of this Synod, I wrote:

I see that Option Two is much more likely to happen, simply because those who want to administer Holy Communion to adulterers and actively homosexual, will be able to through a liberal reading of the documents. Meanwhile, those who will actively refuse this reading will accuse the Synod of intentionally allowing this evil to occur. Thus what we will see is those who adhere to the “traditional view” (read: Catholic) will be accused of going the way of the SSPX and causing schism, when the reality simply is that Rome has condoned the practice by not condemning it, all for appearing to be “pastoral”.

Cardinal Marx, by his words today, has set the stage to display that those who do not adhere to what the Synod decides are breaking away from the Church. He is correct only if the Synod upholds Church teaching by denying Holy Communion to those in the state of mortal sin. However, if the Synod decides something contrary to this effect, then he is wrong and the validity of the Synod is left in question.

Let us pray that he had a legitimate conversion to the Truth, and not the other, more likely possibility.

Jeff October 9, 2015 1 Comment Permalink