Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Tradition

All of the posts under the "Tradition" category.

Argument of the Month Club: Patrick Archbold

Patrick Archbold was the sole speaker at the May Argument of the Month Club. Pat is a former writer for the National Catholic Register, and writes on Creative Minority Report along with his brother Matt. Matt generally writes about fun things like puppies, kittens, and babies. Pat writes about how they are all going to die.

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Patrick’s talk was about the “gay marriage” debate. He explained that we shouldn’t hold any hope that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of traditional marriage because they have already struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The plan has already been laid for them to rule that gays can get married and that the government will provide legal recognition of their “marriage”. Additionally, there will be punishment for those who refuse services to gays. Catholic schools will likely be sued out of existence. Churches will be sued and lose their tax-exempt status.

He pointed out that if you don’t think this is too far into the future, you can look around at what is going on today. Christian bakers and florists are being sued, shut down, and being imposed with criminal fines for denying services to homosexuals looking for goods for their “gay wedding”. Soon, Christians will be going to jail. Mobs will form and destroy businesses. There is already evidence of this with what happened to Memories Pizza in Indiana. The irony of it all? How many gay weddings are having pizza as their caterer of choice? Yet, they don’t care. If you aren’t with them, you are against them and must be destroyed.

This is only where we are at currently and this is only with one example. But really, there is a deeper issue that is the root of all of this. Pat thinks, and I happen to agree, that the reason we are losing the culture war is because its a spiritual battle, and we are losing ammunition. Simply put, Catholics and most Christians aren’t practicing their faith. Period.

The Catholic Church has not changed any doctrine. However, with the way she behaves by both her members and prelates, she acts as if she has. Many Catholics do not believe that the Catholic faith is necessary. Most Catholics believe you can practice whatever faith you choose whether it be Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, atheism, etc. They believe Hell is reserved for those who are Hitler, or worse. You can see this attitude not just within the laity, but within the hierarchy as well.

Why do so many Catholics not believe in the faith? Because the teachers have not taught the faith. These teachers haven’t passed on the catechism, or the dogmas, or the doctrines that the Catholic Church proclaims. Not only are the teachers at fault, but the religious, the priests, and the bishops have failed to proclaim the Truth, and lately the Church has failed to stand firm in these teachings when confronted by the world.

Shortly after the Second Vatican Council, contraception was accepted by most of the Cardinals. Even with Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae upholding the teaching that contraception was immoral and forbidden by Catholics to use, the prelates went against the teaching and told the laity that it was okay. The rest of the prelates stayed silent. The teachings of the Church didn’t change, but the behavior of the Church was as if she did.

Another example Pat gave was a homily given by his parish priest. The Gospel for that day was Luke 14:8-10, in which we are to take the lower seat, so that we can be given the higher seat. From this reading, his pastor came to the convoluted idea that we weren’t to look down upon other religions because they are just as equal to ours. After the Mass, Pat asked him to clarify, in which the priest stated “the Church abrogated the teaching on no salvation outside of the Church”. There are many stories similar to this one of priests giving false teachings right in the middle of their homilies. This has been going on for decades.

We as Catholics must stand for all Truth. Not this Truth or that Truth, but all of it.

A few months ago, Reinhard Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Episcopal Conference, threatened schism if the upcoming Synod of the Family did not allow the divorced, remarried, and active homosexuals to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Vincent Cardinal Nichols who is the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales celebrated a Mass honoring homosexuals. They aren’t trying to live their life according to the Church, but are those who want the Church to change her teachings. This came two weeks after he criticized a group of priests who petitioned the Vatican to uphold Catholic doctrine at the Synod of the Family.

And then we have Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York. In the infamous Meet the Press interview, when asked about incredibly poor, but fabulously gay football player Michael Sam, Cardinal Dolan said “Bravo, good for him!”

In the last election, “Catholic” Governor Andrew Cuomo had no opposition from the Cardinal. A few days before the election, Cardinal Dolan wrote a letter to the New York Times stating that Catholics need to vote in line with their faith. That’s it. In fact, Cardinal Dolan left town and went across the country during this time. His actions left the New York Times befuddled as to why the Church just shrunk away from the fight.

Additionally, Cardinal Dolan applauded openly gay groups marching in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, even though his predecessor Edward Cardinal Egan said there would be no way that they would ever be able to march on his watch.

Finally, this takes us to the Synod of the Family at the Vatican. The Bishops at the Synod voted to remove faulty language from the final relatio that would be published. Pope Francis overrode their decision and the relation was published with the faulty language. What language was so important that Pope Francis wanted it included? “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”. How can you accept and value something that the Catechism of the Catholic Church labels as grave sin?

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. CCC 2357

So what do we do? How do we fix this? We can’t. But God can.

What we can do, is preach the Truth, the whole Truth to the world and restore traditional Catholic worship. We must believe all of it no matter what, and we will pay the price for our beliefs.

While this was not your usual argument with two sides going back and forth, it was great to see Pat present a good argument for his position. We do need to restore traditional worship. We need to believe everything the Church proclaims, and we must practice this faith. Until then, our efforts will be in vain.

Jeff May 20, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

The Traditional Latin Mass is Superior To the Novus Ordo

There exist stark differences between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass. Both Masses are valid in the Church. The Concise Catholic Dictionary defines valid as:

“founded on the truth or fact; in Church law, that which conforms to conditions essential to the efficacy of a sacrament; that is, the proper rite in administration, the intention and jurisdiction of the minister, and the moral fitness and intention of the recipient.”

There is much discussion about what direction the Novus Ordo Mass needs to take in order to be more reverent and fitting for proper worship. I believe the Church should restore the sacred and ban the Novus Ordo, and only offer the Latin Mass. In order to illustrate my line of thinking, I would like to present the following analogy:

The Mass is absolutely necessary for the health of the soul. Likewise, water is absolutely necessary for the health of the body. The Traditional Latin Mass, or the Mass of All Ages, has been celebrated by the Church for the last 2000 years. The Latin Mass is like pure water, which is found at its original source. There are no additives, pollutants, toxins or anything that would ruin its purity. The Novus Ordo is like water from a river filled with dirty pollutants.

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I want to make it abundantly and absolutely clear that one can drink from either the pure water (the TLM) or the polluted river (the NO) and survive. It is not wise to drink from the polluted river for too long, lest you suffer unwanted side affects. Similarly, attending Novus Ordo Masses in which there is little to no reverence and that resembles a Protestant service has unwanted side affects in one’s spiritual formation.

One can filter the water to help remove the pollutants. With regards to the Novus Ordo this filter would be reverence. However, no matter how many times the water runs through a filter, there will still be some trace amounts of pollutants in the water. It is not pure. The less reverent the Novus Ordo Mass, the more pollutants there are in the water. Similarly, no matter how much reverence is added to the Novus Ordo, there will still be remnants of Modernism and Protestantism. Modernism is defined by Pope St. Pius X as the synthesis of all heresies and was rightly condemned in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis. For a great summary of Modernism, please check out The Old Evangelization’s Modernism Series.

Now, using this analogy, if one were to see a vast group of people drinking water from a polluted river, knowing full well there is a pure source of water to drink, you would have them stop drinking from the polluted river and drink from the pure spring. If there were not pure spring available, it would suffice to drink the polluted water after it has been repeatedly filtered. However, we know that there exists a pure spring that has enough water to hydrate the entire world.

River pollution

While it is admirable to want to slowly move people over from an irreverent Novus Ordo to a reverent Novus Ordo, so they can appreciate the Traditional Latin Mass, it makes little sense when the above analogy is applied. Unfiltered polluted water is bad for the body. It will allow the individual to continue to survive, but it will cause other negative effects to the body. An irreverent Novus Ordo, assuming the words of consecration are said properly, will feed the soul the necessary food required for it, but will cause ill formed consciences and catechesis. What’s best for a person who is drinking polluted water is to give him the fresh, pure water, no matter how much he fights it. Filtered water is far better for an individual than unfiltered water, but pure water is far superior and will provide lasting positive effects. Likewise, a reverent Novus Ordo Mass better for Catholics than an irreverent Novus Ordo, but a Traditional Latin Mass is most superior and provides ever-lasting effects which assist Catholics in their sanctification.

The argument that an individual who is attending an irreverent Novus Ordo, or even a reverent Novus Ordo will leave the Church if the Traditional Latin Mass is forced upon him seems silly. If he was to leave the Church because of his Mass preferences, than he wasn’t a faithful Catholic to begin with. It is not our job to keep every single Catholic within the Church, but to give those members of the Church who want to become Saints the tools to do so.

Using the water analogy, if a group of people stop drinking water and die of dehydration because they do not want to drink the purified water, than that is the problem of those who are too prideful to admit they are wrong.

Some argue that if the Church immediately moved over from the Novus Ordo, either irreverent or reverent, to the Traditional Latin Mass, it would cause many Catholics to leave the Church. While it is admirable to bring over as many Catholics as possible to the Traditional Latin Mass, it is imperative to realize we are dealing with souls. We aren’t dealing with hydration and the physical body, but rather, with spiritual food and the soul.

It may be better to drink from the polluted river than to die of dehydration, but to keep people from drinking out of the pure stream because they might die of dehydration if we move them over to pure water too soon is a cop out. If people want to stay alive, they will drink the water that is put in front of them. If Catholics truly believe in the Church and her authority, they will attend the Traditional Latin Mass. It might even be time to realize Pope Benedict XVI was correct when he said “From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. It will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.” If the Eucharist is the source and summit of  the Christian Life, then perhaps the Novus Ordo Mass is the perfect place to start afresh.

Jeff April 9, 2015 2 Comments 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 4 Comments Permalink

The TradCast Episode 01

On the first episode of the TradCast, I give you a bit of history about me. I discuss my experience at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Rediscover: Catholic Celebration. What do you do with your orthodox leanings in a progressive parish? And finally, what does it mean to be Catholic and who do we look to in this day when modernism reigns supreme?

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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!

One correction, the verse is Romans 16:17-19

Jeff October 14, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

A Weekend in Madison

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of seeing my friend, the Reverend Deacon Chris Gernetzke, get ordained by Bishop Morlino to the Deaconate of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. I have never been to an ordination of any sorts, so I was unsure what to expect.

When my wife and I arrived at the Bishop O’Connor Center, we were looking out for some friends that I had met on Facebook. We met one couple outside in the parking lot, and chatted for awhile in the main lobby. While we waited, we noticed Father Richard Heilman of Pine Bluff come in the door. After some waiting we went in to pray before the Mass.

As Mass started, the procession was long. We saw Fr. Z process in in choir and he had his biretta on. No other priests had their biretta on. Even Deacon-Elect (at that moment) Gerntzke processed up, and I was moved. He had quite the man-lace on. Bishop Morlino also processed in after many priests did so. It was rather an awesome experience.

The Mass, was very reverent. Bishop Morlino managed to give about a 20-25 minute homily. He had 4 points, though I do not recall them all. I do recall how he mentioned a great point to give in regards to married priests. If Catholics give like they do when they don’t like the priest (not much), how is a priest supposed to support a family on that kind of an income? On top of that, how is a priest, who is supposed to love his flock, going to love them if they are mean to his family and taking away their food?

Bishop Morlino also talked about how he calls it as he sees it. Truth is truth. As an example he said he was “chubby wubby” and would not get offended if someone called him that.

The rest of the Mass was very reverent. Deacon Gernetzke did an awesome job. After he was ordained, he vested, and he ad some pretty awesome looking vestments. Solid gold. Nice! All in all there were 3 new Deacons. Apparently the Diocese of Madison has had many years where they had no vocations. Pray for vocations to the priesthood.

Afterwards, my wife, friends and I all went to an Old Chicago for some celebratory food and brews. We had some great conversation about all things Catholic. I asked about how they held their hands in prayer and why their thumbs were crossed over each other. They politely informed me that all of my prayers up to this point didn’t count because I was doing it wrong. Kidding, of course.

The next day, we awoke rather early and went to Deacon Gernetzke’s first preaching Mass. They had quite a few priests who con-celebrated as well as another Deacon. There were several other Seminarians who were also assisting. Deacon Gernetzke gave an excellent homily about Mary, and what the Deacon’s role is in the Church. The Mass was also reverent even though the parish wasn’t exactly the “prettiest”.

A fun fact, the Church was shaped like a fish! Groovy!

All in all though, the Mass was good. Everything was say the black and do the red. There was a nice reception afterwards. We talked with Deacon Gernetzke, for a bit. He informed us that Sunday morning he would be doing an Extraordinary Form with Fr. Z!

View Photos Here

Unfortunately, we were not able to attend this. However, we were able to go to Pine Bluff with Fr. Heilman!

Fr. Heilman has done an excellent job at restoring and preserving tradition at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff. I have only spoken with him on Facebook and then briefly before the ordination. When we walked in, he was standing right there and recognized us and welcomed us. Traditionalists can be welcoming too! We chatted for a bit and then proceeded to walk into the Church.

Everything had been restored. Absolutely amazing. Fr. Heilman brought in new high altar and two side altars. He got rid of the coffee table altar that is generally used. He celebrates the Mass Ad Orientem, that is, back to the people. He reinstalled the communion rail. Everything looked pristine. It was like being transported outside of time itself and into Heaven.

St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff with new Altar Rails. Via Fr. Z.

Father Heilman had an excellent homily about how complaining is unchristian. He said that we as Catholics should not be seeking what is comfortable, but what is uncomfortable. We have to bear our crosses daily. He also talked about how awesome soldiers are and that we need to become an army for Christ and His Church. This was a manly homily that called every single one of us to not be content with the ordinary. We need to live our lives for Christ and be obedient to Him and His Church. We need to be good Catholics.

The music was incredibly prayerful. I have heard some of the songs before sung by various different choirs, including the dreaded Praise and Worship choirs. However, this time, it was sung from the heart with the organ. It was prayerful. It reminded me of listening to one of those chant CDs. The songs we sing (or preferably chant) at Mass need to be sung from the heart and need to be prayerful. Its not a performance. You don’t need to be a pop artist. You just need to do it.

Father said Mass intentionally and to the T. He wasn’t trying to entertain us. He was there to say Mass. There was something great about the consecration as well. Reverence. Real reverence at the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. You can tell that he believes it (the real presence), reveres it, and worships it.

We received communion at the communion rail and on the tongue. It was incredible. It was beautiful. I was overwhelmed by emotion that Father believes and encourages that we should receive in this regard. I have been criticized a few times and even denied communion for kneeling and receiving on the tongue. Father Heilman has a great article on why we should receive on the tongue AND kneeling. I suggest you read it.

I have lately been a critic of the Novus Ordo. Mostly, because I felt that it was not as good as the TLM. I still feel that the TLM is better, but after going to Fr. Heilman’s Mass, I am not entirely convinced that the NO should be completely abandoned. The Novus Ordo, in order to succeed, needs to be free from any form of irreverence and influences from the world.

Father Heilman’s Novus Ordo celebrated Ad Orientem felt as if I had indeed gone to a Mass that took place outside of time and space. This is how every Mass should be celebrated. Restore the sacred. Say the black and do the red. If you ever get the chance to go to St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff, GO! It is well worth it.

Please keep Fr Heilman and Deacon Gernetzke in your prayers. Deacon Gernetzke will be Deaconing or Sub-Deaconing two more EF’s in the month of June in the diocese of Madison.

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