Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Archbishop John Nienstedt

All of the posts under the "Archbishop John Nienstedt" category.

How Accurate Was I In 2016?

With 2016 behind us, it is time for me to look at how well my predictions were for the last year.

the thinker

1. Pope Francis will announce his abdication from the throne of St. Peter to be effective in 2017.

Obviously, this didn’t happen, although interestingly enough, Cardinal Burke, along with several other Cardinals issued Pope Francis a Dubia, which the Pope has yet to respond. So, while the Pope himself did not move in any direction to leave his office, it seems like some in the Church might be moving in that direction.

2. Pope Francis will release his Apostolic Exhortation in January. This Exhortation, which will be written based on the findings of the two Synod of the Family, will have wording that will make it allowable for those who are divorced, remarried, or engaging in homosexual behavior, to receive Holy Communion, based on their “conscience.”

Pope Francis released Amoris Laetitia in April, so wrong on the release date. The exhortation used the findings of the two Synods on the Family and did indeed have wording that allows for the divorced, remarried, or those engaging in homosexual behavior to receive Holy Communion. Argentinian bishops have “interpreted” the writings in this way, and Pope Francis has stated that there is “no other interpretation.” This exhortation prompted the Dubia from Cardinal Burke.

3. The new Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be in the mold of former Archbishop Harry Flynn.

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Bernard Hebda to replace Archbishop John Neinstedt. So far, it would appear that he is not in the mold of Archbishop Flynn, but neither is he in the mold of Archbishop Neinstedt. He seems to be somewhere in the middle from what I have been able to gather thus far. It will be interesting to see his episcopate unfolds in the coming years.

4. The new Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be against tradition and will work to undermine the progress of the FSSP, the TLM community, and the progress the seminary has made.

Completely and utterly wrong, thankfully. When I predicted this, I thought we would get a bishop similar to that of now Cardinal Cupich of Chicago, who is a sworn enemy of tradition and the extraordinary form. Thankfully, we dodged a bullet.

5. Hilary Clinton will be elected president of the United States.

Thank God I was wrong on this one. I honestly thought Hillary would win a year ago. Though, once Donald Trump won the nomination and the scandals began to break from the Clinton camp, I changed my mind and thought she would lose. I completely forgot about this prediction.

6. I will blog more than The Old Evangelization.

TRCT – 36
TOE – 5

Overall score: 1.5/6

Jeff January 5, 2017 Leave A Comment Permalink

Why Is Matthew Kelly So Popular?

As we continue to celebrate the Christmas season, most of the Catholic blogosphere is discussing Matthew Kelly’s recent book “Rediscover Jesus.” Many parishes across the country gave this book as a gift after all of the Christmas Masses.

Rediscover Jesus

 

However, as Restore-DC-Catholicism points out, there is some bad theology in Kelly’s new book. Matthew Kelly writes quotes on page 99 of “Rediscover Jesus” (See footnote at bottom of page):

Was this some sort of vision, perhaps prompted by the apostles’ grief over their leader’s execution? This wouldn’t explain the dramatic conversion of Saul, an opponent of Christians, or James, the once-skeptical half-brother of Jesus.

The last portion of this paragraph claiming that James is the half-brother of Jesus is especially off. It implies one of two things; either Mary was not a virgin throughout the rest of her life or Joseph had other children.

The issue with Mary not being a virgin is that this is a heresy as we know that Mary’s virginity was perpetual. Mary’s virginity is not even up for debate as the Church declared her perpetual virginity as Dogma. The issue with Joseph having other children is that Catholic tradition holds that he too was a virgin. Even if this tradition was incorrect and Joseph did have other children from a previous marriage, Joseph is not Jesus’ biological father, and thus any children Joseph had would, if anything, be considered stepsiblings to Jesus.

This book has been released for some time now, and Matthew Kelly has not released any clarifications, so it is safe to assume that what he had printed was what he had intended. Rediscover Jesus does not have an imprimatur, unlike some of Matthew Kelly’s other works. The lack of an imprimatur is both good and bad. Good in that, at least, a bishop or cardinal did not sign off on this statement. Bad in that one could argue that Matthew Kelly has grown in such immense popularity that he does not feel the need to submit his books that claim to be in line with Catholic teaching to the proper hierarchical authorities for approval.

With this slip-up, many Catholics are beginning to wonder how Matthew Kelly managed to get his books into so many parishes. Seeing as I was once a Matthew Kelly devotee, but have more or less completely abandoned him as his theology is entirely modernist, I happen to know a bit about his rise to Catholic fame. Everything I am about to say is verifiable in his talks that he had both self-published and had published through Lighthouse Catholic Media.

Matthew Kelly began giving talks when he was 19 years old. He gave many talks and used some of the documents from the Second Vatican Council as the basis for these talks. When talking about the “Universal Call to Holiness” Kelly noticed that most people had checked out, so he began using his trademark “Best Version of Yourself.” People responded positively to this, so he began doing this with various Catholic principles.
He began writing Catholic books, with “The Rhythm of Life” becoming a New York Times bestseller. He even had an odd book called, “Words From God” which was a book on his personal locutions in which he believed God the Father was dictating the book to him. He has since moved away from this book by order of his Bishop. More info on this book can be found on the Women of Grace blog.

What launched Matthew Kelly to become a typical Catholic household name was after Rediscover Catholicism became somewhat well-known.  his organization Dynamic Catholic wanted to come up with a game changer. One of his workers came up with the idea that Catholics of all kinds, practicing and non-practicing always come to Mass on Christmas and Easter. The plan was to give out a free copy of a book to each person. Kelly was reluctant at first because he wanted to give out a copy of Rediscover Catholicism to each family, but his employee convinced him to give out a copy to each family member, as one book for a family might not get read.

They launched this program at a parish in Atlanta, Georgia and had tremendous success. Rediscover Catholicism even managed to bring back people who were Christmas and Easter Mass-goers to weekly Mass-goers. With this success, they came up with a plan to mass produce these books and pass the savings on to parishes. For $2 a copy you can give away these books to your church and make your fellow Catholics become Dynamic Catholics!

After some time and some success giving out copies of “Rediscover Catholicism”, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, with the blessing of then Archbishop John Nienstedt, partnered with Matthew Kelly and began a “Rediscover” initiative. Talks were given throughout the Archdiocese, “Rediscover Catholicism” book clubs were held in each parish, and once a year there was a “Rediscover Catholic Celebration” where speakers were invited to give lectures. This initiative only lasted for a couple of years, after the second Rediscover Catholic Celebration ended up being a massive flop with only half of the tickets were sold.

“Rediscover Jesus” and “Rediscover Catholicism” are but two of many books which Matthew Kelly has to offer, which Dynamic Catholic mass produces through their private publisher. Priests at parishes can buy the copies themselves with parish funds. Or more likely, a wealthy parishioner who believes that Matthew Kelly’s approach is the best way to get people to become Catholic (I was once one of them, but not anymore) purchases the books themselves without the permission of the priest and their priest now feels obligated to pass them out after the Masses. This has been the case for some priests as witnessed by friends who work for the Church.

By giving out free copies of his book and partnering with Lighthouse Catholic Media, Matthew Kelly has grown to become a Catholic powerhouse and recognized as one of the go-to speakers for Catholic teaching today. Unfortunately, those who believe Matthew Kelly is doing good will see this article as a hit piece. Yes, I am highly critical of Mr. Kelly, but as I have said before, and evidenced throughout older posts on this very blog, I once talked about how great I thought he was.  The argument that Matthew Kelly is “reaching people where they are at” is not applicable here.

Matthew Kelly teaches a very watered down version of Catholicism. It is so watered down that besides words that resemble those found in Catholic teaching; you would not recognize it as Catholic. Authentic Catholic thought resembles Catholicism even when Catholic jargon has been removed. Catholicism is so full of rich nourishment for the soul, that no matter how you broke it down into its simplest of forms you would still be able to reach people where they are at and challenge them. If people’s faith was a fire and Catholicism was a tree that could fuel that fire, Catholicism can be broken down into logs, branches, sticks, leaves, kindling, and twigs to feed that fire. What Matthew Kelly gives is a synthetic fire starter that has been sprayed on several leaves and nothing else.

There are plenty of books that exist on Catholicism, which have been written by some of the greatest minds in Church history. The Baltimore Catechism, True Devotion to Mary, the Catechism of St. Peter Canisius are to name but a few books that will shed more light on Catholicism and Jesus then the Rediscover books can hope to shed. There are plenty of books that are written even for those who are just beginning in their Catholic faith. I encourage you to seek out some of these books and not waste your time with Rediscover; your soul will thank you for it.

FOOTNOTE: I have received an email from Matthew Kelly:

Jeff,
I was disappointed with your article to say the least, but I think it is important to clear up one factual error.
You quote me as writing:
Was this some sort of vision, perhaps prompted by the apostles’ grief over their leader’s execution? This wouldn’t explain the dramatic conversion of Saul, an opponent of Christians, or James, the once-skeptical half-brother of Jesus.
This is not the case, this is part of an entire article that I quote in the book, and the source did not allow edits. The article begins on page 97.
I would appreciate if you would edit your piece to reflect this.
Thank you.
Matthew Kelly

What Matthew Kelly should have done is added a footnote to this error and pointed out what the Catholic teaching is. Footnotes are commonly used when a writer wants to clarify a point and can not do so in the original quotation.

UPDATE: I have received further correspondence from Matthew Kelly. The request for the Imprimatur was submitted late and has taken longer than usual, but he says the next printing will carry an Imprimatur.

Jeff December 28, 2015 17 Comments Permalink

Archbishop Neinstedt Resigns; An Ominous Sign?

Archbishop Neinstedt

As you have likely heard, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop John Neinstedt, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis . Below is Archbishop Neinstedt’s statement:

In order to give the Archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face, I have submitted my resignation as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and I have just received word that he has accepted it. The Catholic Church is not our Church, but Christ’s Church, and we are merely stewards for a time. My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them. Thus, my decision to step down.

It has been my privilege the last seven years to serve this local Church. I have come to appreciate deeply the vitality of the 187 parishes that make up the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I am grateful for the support I have received from priests, deacons, religious men and women and lay leaders, especially those who have collaborated with me in the oversight of this local Church.

I leave with a clear conscience knowing that my team and I have put in place solid protocols to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

I ask for continued prayers for the well-being of this Archdiocese and its future leaders. I also ask for your continued prayers for me.

Here are a few thoughts I have with the entire situation. The timing seems far too coincidental with Bishop Finn’s resignation, almost two months ago to the day. With both resignations, we find similar language such as “a new beginning” and to allow “healing”. It seems odd at how close these two were, and I would suspect that both of these bishops were forced from their post.

Pope Benedict XVI seems to have established an odd precedent with his abdication. Both Archbishop Neinstedt and Bishop Finn were appointed by Pope Benedict. All three have stepped down due to some form of sexual abuse. At this rate, most of the good bishops that have been appointed by Pope Benedict will be forced out.

Pope Francis will likely appoint a bishop who “smells of the sheep”, a bishop of “mercy”, and one who isn’t always talking about abortion and gay marriage. In other words, another Archbishop Blaise Cupich, We will unlikely see a replacement who is traditional, but one who is charismatic.

All the progress made in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis to restore the sacred and bring back the Traditional Latin Mass will be for naught. The FSSP will be forced out. The Traditional Latin Mass parishes will be severely punished. Priests within the Archdiocese who feel called to learn the TLM will now fear for their well-being. Suppression will occur. Reverent Novus Ordos will go difficult to find. It’ll be like the days of old with Archbishop Flynn. The Seminary will be reformed again and all the traditional elements the current seminarians are learning will be thrown out the window.

Archbishop Neinstedt is paying the price for his vocal discord with homosexual “marriage”. The gay lobby is powerful and will silence anyone who will try to expose them. Archbishop Flynn, who was in charge during the entire priest sex abuse crisis and who moved these child molesters around should be the one who is publicly tarred, feathered and thrown in jail. But then again, he is a liberal, so he is a “good guy”.

I also would not be surprised if Cardinal Burke’s Solemn Pontifical Mass that is scheduled for September is cancelled.

I hope I am wrong, but seeing how the last two years of this pontificate has revealed poor appointments for bishops while faithful bishops are being removed for the mismanagement of their predecessors, I’m left with a sense that this is bad news for St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Jeff June 17, 2015 4 Comments Permalink

Bishop Cozzens Celebrates Extraordinary Form Confirmation and Solemn Pontifical Mass

Bishop Andrew Cozzens celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool in the Extraordinary Form on Saturday October 11th 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota. This is the first time in over 50 years for the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated at the Cathedral. Prior to Mass, Bishop Cozzens confirmed about 40 or so teenagers using the Extraordinary Form rubrics. The FSSP was there as well to assist Bishop Cozzens.

Pontifical High Mass with Bishop Cozzens 2

The average age of those in attendance seemed to be somewhere between the ages of 35 to 45. From what I could tell, most of these people still had their natural hair color. The Traditional Latin Mass is a Mass which hasn’t been said for about 50 years. I have to ask: “how come a Mass which wasn’t said when these people grew up is gaining so much traction?” These Catholics are on fire and passionate about their faith. They just don’t go around bragging about it. On top of it, these are the Catholics who are having large families. I couldn’t tell you how many young families were there with young children, not because I couldn’t see any, but because there were so many.

Pontifical High Mass with Bishop Cozzens 4

Last week I went to the Rediscover Catholic Celebration the Archdiocese put on. Throughout the entire conference, it was never really mentioned at all going back to the traditions of Catholicism in order to draw people into the beauty of our faith. Archbishop Coakley did make some mention of it, but it was very subtle and if you were not paying attention you would have easily missed it. Instead, Jeff Cavins kept mentioning the new “Amazing Parish” program which is a “Rebuilt” clone. It takes the emphasis off of the Mass and the Liturgy, as well as the traditions of our faith. It looks to Protestants as models for “attracting” people. The vast majority of those at Rediscover were in their 50s to 60s. The direction we need to go in as a Church, I would argue, is passing on and practicing the traditions we have inherited from our ancestors in the faith. The parishes where the sacred traditions are kept and upheld are the healthiest of parishes, both financially and spiritually. I did not rediscover anything Catholic at last week’s conference, but I rediscovered Catholicism here.

Pontifical High Mass with Bishop Cozzens 3

When the organ began playing during the Te Deum, the entire Cathedral shook. One could sense the Cathedral was beginning to awaken after her 50 year slumber of not having a Latin Mass said within her walls. The sung chant and organ when combined reverberated off of the massive dome of the Cathedral. This Cathedral was built for the Solemn/Pontifical High Mass, and it is heartbreaking to think it could possibly be a number of years before another Mass of this caliber will be celebrated within her walls. By the grace of God, perhaps Bishop Cozzens would be kind enough to celebrate this beautiful Mass more often? Even if not a Solemn or Pontifical High Mass, perhaps a Low or High Mass? Maybe Archbishop Neinstedt and Bishop Piche can celebrate them too?

Pontifical High Mass with Bishop Cozzens 1

People were intrigued! The Cathedral is a tourist destination. I witnessed many people who were stopping in just to see what was going on. After Mass, my friend and I were approached by a woman asking what it was she had just experienced. We told her and she was interested. Non-traditional Catholics tell us the days of tradition are over in the Church because nobody cares for it, or people are turned off, or whatever excuse is popular for the day. As a convert I find these excuses lacking as it was the traditions of the Church that really drew me in. Catholicism celebrated as it has been given by Christ and His Church should draw people in with it’s beauty and pomp. Not with novelty, distractions and noise.

Jeff October 12, 2014 5 Comments Permalink

Rediscover Catholicism and the Rediscover Initiative

Matthew Kelly wrote the book Rediscover Catholicism as a way to bring lapsed and fallen away Catholics back into the faith. This book has been changing lives with its simplistic approach in discussing Catholicism. Its given away at parishes for free at Easter and Christmas in order to get those Catholics who only come to Mass twice a year, to read more and explore the faith. I’ve reviewed the book here.

Rediscover Logo

The book has become so popular, that in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, they have created an entire initiative around Rediscovering Catholicism with Matthew Kelly. Last year, they had the Rediscover Catholic Celebration in which Archbishop Neinstedt Consecrated the Archdiocese to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. They have talks at various parishes in the Archdiocese, they have a website with lots of information, and many other ways to grab your attention.

I follow their page on Facebook. Yesterday they posted an article in their “Rediscover Music” section in which you can listen and buy music from Bebo Norman. The post states “New to Rediscover: – Bebo Norman, Contemporary Christian artist.” If you’ve been practicing your Catholicism long enough, something about that statement should knock you in your seat.

If your answer was “Contemporary Christian”, then ding-ding-ding, you win! I did some Google Searching on Bebo Norman to find that it is highly unlikely that this guy is a Catholic. If that is the case, why is the Rediscover group, run by the Archdiocese mind you, actively promoting Protestant music in a Rediscover Catholicism group?

I simply asked “Is this guy Catholic?” to which they responded “Bebo Norman is one of dozens of Christian (some Catholic) artists we now feature on the Rediscover: website, with our new section Rediscover: music. While he’s not currently on the schedule for the Rediscover: Catholic Celebration, you can visit Rediscover: music online to hear from an artist who will be here in October: Marie Miller!”

They admit it, they are promoting Protestant music. Another question I ask “How does listening to Protestant music help us to Rediscover Catholicism?” And there response was simply “In featuring Christian artists, we hope that listeners can be moved and inspired by the message and beliefs that are shared in these songs, which reach across Christian denominations. We also feature Catholic artists you may enjoy, such as Audrey Assad, Matt Maher and Danielle Rose.”

Read my question again and then read their response. They do not answer the question. They give a typical PR answer that spins the question around to make themselves look good.

The problem with promoting Protestant music is simply that they do not believe that which Catholics do. They will not sing on and on about the greatness of Mary and the Saints. They will not sing about Jesus’ true presence in the Eucharist. They will not sing about how great the Catholic Church is. They have cut themselves off from Christ by actively resisting Him in their Protestant views. Sure, we may share some beliefs, but the differences are vast and are what make us different.

As long as the Catholic Church harps on and on about how great Praise and Worship music is and detracts from authentic Catholic music such as Gregorian Chant (which is the preferred music of the Church), we will continually slip further and further away from our Catholic identity. We will no longer be different than Protestants, and we will continue to lose Catholics to the Protestant mega-churches.

Jeff May 20, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

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