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pic 1 alternative“This year’s first meeting is ending today,
So what do you think all the bishops will say?”
“Hunh? Why do you wait for the prelates to speak—
Reporters predicted it fully last week!”
“They’ll skip the formality, blessings and fuss
And marry their cats to their dogs—or to us!
Or they’ll marry each other, then surely of course,
Hence cometh the weekend and quickie divorce!” 

“Yes! Scrapping obedience, kneeling and bother,
They’ll change personnel when they fire God the Father,
Next, then the Holy Ghost surely must go;
And finally, just before Christmas or so,
They’re predicted to climb from their doctrinal rut
When that brash upstart Jesus gets told what is what!”
“Yes! Then comes pure Reason, the wise rule of Men,
For the facts were predicted on live CNN!”

“Then I heard that the College of Cardinals will be
An anarchic sitcom on BBC-3!”
“And American broadcasters’ new Sacred Arts,
Will feature nuns singing and dancing like tarts!
Moreover we’ll know if the programmes are working,
When choirs sing rap and the pontiff starts twerking!”
“I heard that the bread and the wine they will scuttle
‘Til liturgy’s all just one great buggers’ muddle
And Mass will become what it long should have been;
Pass the peanuts to him and to me Vaseline!”

roller vatican“They say each Confession from each VIP
Will be bugged, taped and aired on MSNBC!”
“In the previous, uppermost, holy High Masses,
The poshest of choirs from the Chattering Classes
Will gossip while priestesses trade in the Host
For Obamacare, or what may please them the most;
The wars and entitlements, government messes,
The legalised dope and the men who wear dresses,
Plus every month’s trendy Progressive new fad –
Like those women insisting we call them all ‘Dad.’”

“The newest of smart-phones, most stylishly Nokia’ll,
Swiftly replace every grade-school parochial;
Each ideology, every new ‘ism,’
Will change week by week in the New Catechism;
Until the kids learn that the New Church is ‘hip!’
And soon after, secular state censorship
Will help to promote our inflexible Will,
As each Catholic schoolgirl must swallow her pill;
While every clinic is thoroughly stocked up,
Providing abortions in case she gets knocked-up.”

“They say that the Synod’s most heartfelt position
Is clearly to shred the last scraps of Tradition
To save us from Darkness and banish the mists!”
“As the New York Times loudly and daily insists,
Sin hurts us less than a few pounds of fat,
And what trendy cleric can argue with that!”
“We plunder the earth, and irreparably so,
Thus the font and all that holy water must go!”
“The pews and the kneelers, all made up of trees,
Deplete the earth’s resources! Get rid of these!
“And the misuse of wheat that the wafer incurs,
Could make buns for McDonalds as each child prefers!”

“What else could bishops say to us instead?
‘Who am I to judge?’ Mister Francis has said.
And they ask how the pontiff could opt for obedience
Over a popular act of expedience!
How could he choose to remain so devout
As opposed to him letting it ‘all just hang out?’”
“Quite. Just how backward and deeply paternal
Is trading the fashionable for the Eternal?”
“By not saying sorry and making amends
He’ll miss all our soirees and new Facebook Friends!”
“He’d be far more cool and far less obsolete
If he dropped that old boring and dull Paraclete!”

“The objectors are prudes and the only ones shocked,
Or so says a wise theologian (defrocked),
But teeming with insights both clever and able,
Now most every night you can watch him on cable.”
“An expert concurs and her scholarly screed,
Relentlessly radioed, ever teeveed,
Warns the deaf Church of impending disasters
(Based on her Media Relevance Masters);
It threatens the Church’s entire Magisterium
To keep on ignoring one teacher’s hysterium.”

pic 1 roaches“But what if this Jesuit, all so unschooled,
Bought into this hokum, what if he were fooled
By conservative notions and moralist taints?
By two thousand years of the scholars and saints?
By Christ’s own admissions! But surely he wouldn’t,
And Gallup’s respondents insist that he shouldn’t!”
“Well, we’d all denounce him and call him a dud!
He’d be dropped by elites like a blazing hot spud!”
“With naught left but Prayer and Redemption for sure,
And leading his flock while he’s feeding the poor,
He’d teach them more prayers to redeem mortal men,
And just as his Lord did…he’d do it again.”

“Yeah? So what!” they answered, repeating “So what!”
“Then he’ll never ‘get with it,’ emerge from his rut!”
Overheard in the parlour were guesses from Rome,
And back under the ‘fridge all the roaches crept home.

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29 replies to this post
    • Thank you! But every time that I dip into the Lives of the Saints I see them having a far harder time in Ancient Rome and tell myself to get tough!

  1. Very good! The Voices, making their pompous predictions and worldly threats, revealed at the end as mere cockroaches! I liked particularly the line “this Jesuit, all so unschooled”. Thank you!

  2. Well done. However, as I read this I was reminded of how often, especially of late, the movie title It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World has come to mind. I wish it weren’t so.

  3. A casual glance at the opinion-editorials of American conservative and liberal outlets would lead a reader to believe that Pope Francis has just renounced his faith. There is a very good scene in the movie “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” which all of us should now recall. The lawyer defending the Priest in the film learns that a doctor was present at the exorcism and asks the Priest why he didn’t tell her anything about this fact, since it could have helped him in his trial. The Priest replies: “because he asked me not to.”

    It is impossible for me to write an open and honest defense of Pope Francis because to do so would be to trod on affairs which are private, and should be private. I have a sneaking suspicion that many people may find themselves in similar situations; particularly Priests, but lay people as well. Therefore, please excuse me, fellow Catholics and those who are reading out of interest, for being vague. I trust you will understand the reasons. My defense will be short, because there is no reason to get worked up over nothing.

    First: I am an adult convert. I was baptized into the Catholic Church as a child, but I received my first Communion and Confirmation only three years ago, after a one year study under the tutelage of a Jesuit order in Poland. Many adult converts receive their First Communion after three days of study, or a few months of study. They say it depends on the parish and on the Priest. I say it depends on you. When my Jesuit master asked me “and in what time frame do you hope to receive your First Communion?”, I answered festina lente. Thus, I proceeded in my studies towards First Communion without a clue as to when they would end, trusting in my Jesuit Master and the Holy Spirit. Looking back now, in retrospect, had I known anything about Catholicism when I began my journey, it would not have surprised me that my preparations lasted the duration of one liturgical year and ended in a lovely agape following the ceremony. Of course, now I know how important the liturgical year is for Catholics; and now it is simply logical that my Master decided (without telling me) to train me for the duration of a Liturgical Year. But he need not have made this decision – it was not his decision – it was mine. I could have, like many people said “as soon as possible.” And many adults, especially if they want to get married, usually do say “as soon as possible.”

    The dilemma for the Church in such cases is easy to see: If everyone were forced, as I was, to read tomes and tomes of books about the liturgy and the Eucharist, it is quite possible that a large group of potential Catholics would not bother, whether adult converts or those who, for a variety of reasons, did not have their Confirmations. Purists might say “well, tough luck for them!” And there is merit to the idea that the Church ought not sacrifice virtue in favor of attracting as many people as possible to the pews. The problem with this view is that it treats the faith in a very static way.

    In point of fact, faith is a process that lasts throughout our entire lives – whether or not we are closer to or farther from the Church. Thus, many good and wise Catholics believe that it is better for a worse man to be a worse man in the Church than outside of the Church. I agree. This does not mean that I endorse being a worse man. I took my First Communion and Confirmation in the company of about two hundred men who had spent three days being formed for it. I spent one year being formed for it because God was gracious enough to put a Jesuit in between me and my goal of becoming a Catholic. This Jesuit did not command me to study the faith for a year – he merely asked me how long I wanted to wait. Had I told him “as soon as possible” – I doubt he would have given me the benefit of spending a year gaining from the wisdom of his Order. The point: the choice about whether or not the Catholic Church is a serious institution is our choice – not the Bishop’s choice or the Pope’s. The choice about whether or not our Church and our culture will be good or bad is ours.

    So when Pope Francis reaches out to homosexuals, to the divorced, to those whose lives are crooked rather than straight – ask yourself this: what does this have to do with me? If you are a happily married Catholic, joyous in your faith – then it has nothing to do with you. The Pope is not talking to you. The Pope does not need to talk to you. The Pope is talking to those whose lives are crooked rather than straight, and who require Pastoral care. The Pope is doing exactly what he should be doing. If you think he is attacking your faith and your commitment by doing so – you are being alarmist. No such thing is taking place. Is the doctor at the local hospital evil because he is treating the sick rather than coming to see you?

    Second: With regard to the Sacrament for the Divorced. I know for a fact that the Catholic Church is a good and just institution in its’ treatment of the problem of divorce. But you will never hear the arguments for why this is true. You will never hear the argument for why it is true because the silence of the Catholic Church regarding its’ own virtues in regards to the problems of marriage is a testimony to that virtue. The reason why Cannon law allows for nullification of marriages is simple: divorce and separation are not only something that “people” do – they are often something done to one person by another person. A good and faithful Catholic can find themselves in a marriage to someone who is a liar and who acts to dissolve this marriage. A good and faithful Catholic can then find themselves outside of the Catholic community despite their best efforts to repair their marriage – because the person they thought they were marrying was not marrying them. Marriage is the only sacrament in the Catholic Church which is administered by the lay person. The blessing of the sacrament of marriage, unlike the blessing of the Eucharist, is conferred by husband upon wife and by wife upon husband. If one of the two parties to the marriage was not really intent on conferring this sacrament – the marriage never took place. The Catholic annulment process exists to prove this.

    The bane of the annulment process is that in situations where one of the parties to annulment is clearly the wronged party – this party is therefore technically forced to be excluded from the Catholic Communion. Situations vary, and levels of complexity vary. It is of course a tragedy that so many people do not take their marriage vows seriously –and I do believe that both civil and religious law should punish – with utmost harshness and severity – those who have left their spouses and children. But neither civil nor religious law can ever punish victims of infidelity. The Church has a special duty to care for these people and cannot push them away from the Eucharist when they need it most.

    I know something about the hunger for the Eucharist amongst the faithful who are pushed away from it for a variety of complex reasons, because I myself embarked upon a voluntary Eucharist fast for one year. Prior to becoming a Catholic, I could take the Eucharist in an Anglican Church or in any of the various protestant Churches which celebrate a similar rite. As an aspiring Catholic, I had to sit there – learning more and more about how wonderful the Eucharist is from my Jesuit masters with each passing week – and go to Church to watch other people partake in it; and find myself excluded from it. Naturally, this entire process was a wonderful experience in hindsight –because only through a Eucharist Fast does one truly learn to appreciate the Eucharist.

    I think to myself then, that it would be best – and is best – if those who are divorced give themselves to a Eucharist fast and give themselves to prayer and wait for the Church annulment courts to deal with their cases – even if this usually takes three years to resolve. I know people who have given up far more than just the Eucharist in such cases. I also know that human life is such that many people, having had their lives shattered by irresponsible and evil men or women, find themselves in a confused state. This is a tragedy of culture – but a Priest is not charged to look at the big picture: a Priest is charged to look at the small picture. The smallest picture is you. And because so many of us, of the “small pictures” in our present world are incapable, irresponsible, and need to be re-taught what our grandparents understood almost instinctively about marriage and commitment, Pope Francis recognizes that the culture (the big picture) will not be healed if we push away the small picture – if we push away the individuals who need Pastoral care and guidance.

    Catholics who have kept their marriage vows and lived good lives are to be commended. They should see it as their duty to serve as role models for those of us who have tripped up and perhaps continue to do so. That is the point of what Pope Francis is doing. By acknowledging that homosexual couples care for each other at some level and that couples who cohabitate engage in Christian virtue at some level, the Synod is not arguing that these states are desirable or good. Frankly – the Synod is arguing something else – but the Media would like us not to talk about it.

    Churches in Warsaw had posters up telling Catholics to pray for the Synod: “Say the Rosary for your Mother, for your Father, for your entire family.” I have not read the Synod document because I have better things to read. I will get around to it, but I have read enough Catholic theology not to be alarmed that one or two sentences in a twelve page document are going to suddenly overthrow two thousand years of practice and thought. I have heard something or other about the Catholic Church becoming more like the Orthodox Church: this does not really bother me either. All night Mass for Christmas and more Icons are good, or is Orthodoxy about getting divorced? It all depends on what we want to choose to make the principle teaching in our lives. Part of the reason I have not read the Synod document is that I am not a homosexual, nor was I ever divorced, and so long as the media keeps telling me the document is about gay people and divorced people, I do not read it for the same reason I don’t read the latest scientific studies of exotic plants in the Amazon. I am not a lawyer, and the Catholic faith is not the faith of the picky Pharisees who comb through the letters ignoring the spirit.

    In my experience, the Catholic Church is deeply and truly committed to marriage and the family. In my personal experience, I have witnessed Cardinals and Priests going over and above the call of duty to help families with real problems preserve their virtue in the face of some truly heart breaking tragedies. I will never forget my own witness of these experiences, and no amount of liberal or conservative press coverage of this or that Synod will ever convince me that the Pope or the Church are betraying their faith. Our duty and our primary worry is our own soul, the souls of those closest to us – that is where our thought and action have any real effect. For everything else: say the rosary and stop worrying that Pope Francis is doing something wrong.

    • “For everything else: say the rosary and stop worrying that Pope Francis is doing something wrong.”

      With all due respect, especially regarding your journey to the Faith, this is not sound advice. If Pope Francis or any other pope preaches doctrine that is contrary to Catholic tradition, it is our duty to defend the Faith loudly and clearly, so that the bishops and cardinals hear and are prompted to act, because they too have a duty, to declare Pope Francis to be a manifest heretic should they determine this to be true. May I recommend the study of a small text (I think it now only comes with audio, the last time I checked and the book is part of the package) summarizing the traditional doctrine on this matter called The Papacy, from Angelus Press. It is quite good, covers sufficiently the two instances of erroneous papal teaching (I have mislaid my copy and hope I am remembering correctly that there were only two instances) and shows how it was dealt with.

    • Contained within your usual eloquence, I recall something from the Gospels. The Apostles frequently seem to have become upset with Jesus for his reaching out to people who both Pharisees and Apostles deemed “unworthy”.

      In addition, I had/have an aunt who was a faithful Catholic all her days. It took her four husbands to discover the man with whom she would spend the remainder of her long life. She had not received the Host since her early 20s, but she went to Mass every Sunday, and frequently during the week. She never complained.

    • I am sorry I have to say this but Pope Francis is NOT doing the right thing he is toying with the very words of The Son Of God himself. Pope Francis is a revolutionary who wants to make Catholicism more open to the world just like his predecessor (who should not have been beatified) Paul VI. But Catholicism is NOT of this world it is of the world to come. I am a revert from Protestantism I saw the bad liturgy and theology and I want the Catholic Church to stick with its magnificent Traditions. I say this as a Catholic who had never attended the Latin Mass but admired the Ideas of people who do. The real hero here is Marcel Lefebvre he was the true defender of Catholicism and her sacred traditions doctrines dogmas and liturgy. Years from now he will be hailed as a hero and God willing a Saint. I think this article is spot on, if we want to be Imaginative Conservatives we must stick with Tradition. Lefebvre was a defender of the “wisdom of the species” to borrow Burkes phrase.

  4. Madame,

    Of course everyone should do their duty, and if some are moved by conscience to speak up, this is fine. I am simply happy to go down with the ship rather than bail because I am firmly convinced the ship will rise again and that it always sails in the right direction.

    But as an aside: we are all called to obey, and saying the Rosary, especially when obedience runs counter to good sense, is sound advise (I have found) because the Rosary helps us enter the obediant suffering of Mary and her Son who gave Himself to the inconcievable because he understood obedience to be the act of faith: obedience is the only real act of faith available to us.

    It is precisely when reason, conscience, will, tradition and every normal instinct tells us to rebel that we must obey: the Demon uses that which is familiar and sensible to lure us. God is a great surprise, a mystery and must be obeyed for nothing.

    I will be happy to read anything, and still have many books I am tardy in attending to, but there must always be time for the Rosary, and it is when reason is wanting or the Demon plants fear in us that we must run to the Rosary.

    I am of the opinion that the Devil is working to undermine our Pope by two means: on the one hand through his usual minions who actually deserve our love and pity and care, on the other hand – by igniting the passions of our virtues against our own Church. Popes come and go. Ours is not to wonder why, but to do and die. Some will worry as they do, I am blessed that I can do.

    I try as much as I can to follow the example of Pope Benedict XVI: we are privileged to be called to labor as humble workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, we should be overjoyed, not worried about who gets how many dinars for what. I also trust the Jesuits because they are the most serious of the Church’s soldiers and it is not a coincidence that the first Jesuit Pope comes in these darkest of times for our Church and our world.

    • “I try as much as I can to follow the example of Pope Benedict XVI”

      Dear Peter, he’s a liberal. He’s a modernist. He’s just one who wishes to retain the trappings of majesty, but his philosophy is the same as Francis’. Please look more deeply into it. I tried to handle his latest but totally revealing statement at the dedication of the Aula Magna, it’s first on my blog.

  5. Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, fresh from the Synod:
    “Pretty soon, the liberal media are going to start trying to force us to make women priests…This Synod was not about homosexuality or divorce. This Synod was about the family, about families in regular and irregular situations. The media have seen fit to divert attention – before the Synod even began – and focus the weight of public attention on two things which seem to interest the liberal media most.Indeed, nobody seems to have taken any interest in the Synod beyond those two points. With regard to homosexuals, the Synod had nothing new to say. The Synod expressed respect for all people, and thus obviously for homosexuals as well, on account of their human dignity. The Synod also made clear that the Sacrament of marriage cannot, in any way, be found similar to a homosexual partnership. The Synod also noted that adults are not the only ones with rights, that children also have rights and that the rights of children deserve more attention in our world than the rights of adults. A child has the right to be brought up by a mother and a father in a complementary manner, in a manner where the emotional aspect and the rational aspect form a union: only this can make for good rearing of children.”

    So says our Archbishop here. He is more credible for me than the liberal press.

  6. Thank you as always, sir! As a fellow Catholic traditionalist (but better informedthan I) can you please tell me what happened to Catholic obedience among so many of us, particularly the belief that popes are selected by God? You and I seem to think alike, but somehow we missed all the democratisation and politicisation of the laity, even after a pope is chosen. Do they come up for reelection by the full membership? Are there grounds for dismissal? Then when need I register? May I nominate any papal replacement whom I like or must he (or she) be a Catholic? Maybe I was preoccupied that day and missed the news story. Can you help?

    • Papa Bergoglio has demoted Papal dignity, by bringing it down ” to the people”.
      St Pius X was not keen on the monarchical dress code that the Papacy had, but knew he had to were it in honor of his predecessors. I am a staunch defender of the glory of Papal Rome. Archbishop Lefebvre is a hero because he defended every Catholic dogmas you can name including the infamous ‘ outside the Catholic Church there is no Salvation’. Besides as Chris Ferrara would say “there ain’t no doctrine in ecumenism” which means we have to exclude evangelization. The Pope IS appointed by God but so are political leaders. St Peter himself started out as a wayward disciple. As Father Nicholas Gruner says ” we follow Christ first and Peter second”.

      • The pope receives his authority from the Church (politicians not). His authority comes from his election, just as does the county sheriff receives his through his election. PapL authority does not rest on his sanctity or his orthodoxy. The papal electors must unelect him. I am summarizing the teaching of the Church.

        • All civil leaders get there authority from Christ the King.
          That is definitely church teaching. Politicians all get there authority from Almighty God because Christ is King over all of God’s creation. Leaders have gotten their authority from the Church plenty of times throughout History, Such as King Ethelbert of Kent who was baptized by St Augustine of Canterbury, and many other leaders at that time as well.

          • Nate, I don’t see how you can believe that all civic leaders no matter their actions get their authority from God. I know the catechism says we must obey all legitimate authority, a traditional teaching coming from the ages of the Catholic states–does that include Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and so forth, those sons of rebellion? We must exercise discretion in all things, learning what is legitimate and what is not. For Christ to be ‘king’ of a nation, that nation must choose Him. He is not king over any nation which rejects Him. Your argument extends the logic too far, into the realm of civic laziness or indifference, the kind that tyrants love.

            This is garden variety conciliar thinking, it seems to me. Benedict was famous for including every intellectual he had a ‘dialogue’ with in salvation, whether they liked it or not! That is how he would end the conference. “You are Catholic, you will come to see it.” Every atheist, every person of importance, under the same reasoning: because God is God, everything is ultimately His will, no one is left out. BS! There is hell and there is illegitimate authority and we have some.

            The conciliar way is, ‘all are saved, no need to convert anybody, nothing to see here, move along.’ You are extending this reasoning to secular leaders with no justification except American clerical practice for a few hundred years. We had no right then to abandon the Restoration to form a secular America, we have no right now to cover secularism with teaching that applied to a Catholic state. Help us to get it straight, Nate, to patiently teach the people what they could have under a Catholic state, convert as many as possible until we have a majority, and then overthrow secularism, which does not derive its authority from God and does not want God and was always wrong from its first breath.

  7. Peter, I hope you will read The Papacy from Angelus Press or some other reliable source of Catholic teaching on the papacy before you write regarding ‘doubt in the Pope,’ as you put it,, because since the Council (actually, since the protestant rebellion, Vatican II having fulfilled it) our world is full of misinformation on this most fundamental topic. We will be fighting harder on this topic in–I’ll say six months, but I’m just saying that, maybe nine months as we start to head into the next synod–than about the synod issues, because it is really the principle of papal authority that is being challenged in the name of a ‘democratic’ Church. SSPX is conversely fighting for papal authority, as Lefebvre did at the Council, against papal authority. They do not try for any more embellished defense than, ‘this is an emergency.’

  8. Madame,

    Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger, already put this subject of challenging Papal authority to rest in his speech on the subject where he outlines why a colleagial Papacy cannot exist, why the Pope must be one man – because Jesus entrusts individuals with moral responsibility, not collective bodies (my very very short summary of Ratzinger’s speech). I don’t have the year/name of the speech in front of me – it’s in his Bavarian lectures (collected works) – which I don’t even know if they are published in english.

    As for the synod:–listen-to-the-vatican–not-the-press-150#.VFyv17HRPHo

    Vatican II was not a protestant rebellion – unless we believe that Ratzinger – who was the intellectual mind behind much of Vatican II – was a secret protestant rebel.

    The Catholic Church is not in crisis – the West is in Crisis. The Catholic Church works just fine. The West is broken. If Americans are sick and tired of the Catholic Church departing from its’ obligations in America, then they should repair American culture which is the root cause of this departure – the cause is not in Rome, it is in America.

    Please also note that Benedict XVI annuled the ex-communication of Lefebvre’s annointed Bishops.

    The case of Lefebvre might take a few centuries for the Church to figure out – Father Pio was another such case of someone who seemed suspect and heretical – but is now cherished. I do not know what the fate of Lefebvre will be – we can pray for him and hope for the best – but meanwhile, we should focus on Christianity here and now – not re-fighting the French Revolution.

    • Peter, the west is in crisis because the Church is in crisis. Yes, Vatican II was the flower of the protestant rebellion, and Benedict is a son of the Council. Liberalism dashes collegiality, and then implements it. As in all the doctrinal issues. First the statement of tradition, then the opposite. You cannot take only Benedict’s teaching on the papacy to present a prudent piece of writing on the subject. But that’s what the new world religion is hoping you will do.

    • And Peter, just one more thing, can’t you conceive it that Benedict’s lifting of the excommunications might have been the result of a mind divided on the issues? Lots of bad people do good things. Or it might have been a strategic move, having in mind pulling SSPX’s fangs. Our ultimate enemy is the one that robs us of the authority of the Church, that levels the Church with the other faiths, that smooths the way for a syncretist religion. If you re-read the Aula Magna speech, it flows like this: we must not level the Church with the other religions, that kills faith! [there’s your requisite bow to tradition] But the Church must be as self-critical as all the other religions,the Church has made huge errors like all the other religions, and thus cannot speak freely, but individuals can communicate their love for Christ, and that will solve the big problem, the philosophic tension as Benedict renders it, between ecumenism and evangelism.

      That’s the Council’s message almost in twitter. Benedict is a son of the Council. You seem to not mind my saying that–you seem to like the Council. Man!

      And a last thing: I have skimmed your recent post on the Polish character vis a vis language and literature (I opened it before I ran out to mass and now I’ve lost it for a minute) and I love that you’ve laid out so many real problems–but I can’t understand why you don’t see that the Council, that protestant hot mess, fueled the flames with their back-door introduction of the vernacular, which in turn has broken our Church into national entities with national morals, it would seem, according to Kasper et al. I have had occasion to leaflet and discuss some local issues in several Polish parishes here in Chicago and I live a block from one of the largest, St. Constance, and go to eucharistic adoration every Tuesday, plus all my neighbors belong and go and participate with all their hearts at their worship: of being Polish. That’s their interest–it’s just a center for Polish dances and Polish customs and cooking. They worship the language. They are enjoying a giant love-in. And they are calling it Catholicism. I say ‘they.’ There are exceptions–including some who support Hungary, and there’s no way you can support Hungary and support the Council, too. This Vatican has attacked Hungary for its rejection of liberal principles.

      I hope you will forgive me for speaking frankly and perhaps harshly, which I don’t intend, but it sometimes becomes the tone for us seniors (pain makes a person so cranky, : ). I’m going to go find that new article of yours about Poland.

  9. Madame,

    The universal is always hard to reconcile with the particular. You will notice I am not disagreeing with your arguments, I am just less worried about the problems you see.

    I am generally pesimistic about politics, optimistic about the Church. I will try to find time to look into the material you suggest.

    • Thank you for your sweet response. OK, the things that worry me don’t worry you, notably Vatican II and the doctrinal changes introduced by the back door but perhaps also my thesis that the West is sick because the Church is sick. But I have the hope that you will remember these points as you mature in your practice, and perhaps even that having talked about it, you might be less likely to panic later when the contradictions begin to shout. The promise that the Church will endure until Christ’s coming is surely reliable, but we don’t know the terms, the definitions in the mind of God, how much of the Church need survive to be counted, how long a time between the fall of the Church before all those last things ripen and we see Christ coming in glory. I hope you will just take a few evenings to read The Papacy, it will anchor your reflections in the Church of ages, not the Church since the council.

  10. I don”t mean to be disrespectful, Ms. Baker, but your comment, “if Pope Francis or any other pope preaches doctrine that is contrary to Catholic tradition, it is our duty to defend the Faith loudly and clearly…” is not in accordance with holy scripture. if any man, Pope or otherwise preaches contrary to The Word of God, then we must regard him as a false prophet and defend the Truth. But I am less concerned with tradition. I grew up Baptist and I can assure you that mere tradition is dead. Jesus Himself warned his apostle of the danger of man’s tradition: (mark 7:5-8)The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
    ‘This people honors Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far away from Me.
    ‘But in vain do they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
    Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
    As an American I can see that my county needs Christians to be “salt and light”, as Jesus commands us. Many in my culture are very like those hypocrites.
    But if we are to change we we need saved men and women who obey their Lord and hold to His teaching revealed in God’s Word. Not man’s tradition. Not church tradition. Only the Bible is authoritative as God-breathed.
    Many Americans are deceived by “easy believism” instead of trusting in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Jesus Christ ALONE can save. Acts 4:12 Not dead saints. not being a “good person” Not Mary. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” No one can earn salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:9-10
    We as Christians must care less about the denominational label we wear and more about making sure our lives line up with scripture to God’s glory. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

  11. Oh, Jill, you aren’t disrespectful! Listen, when you’re tired of all that, come back to the Faith. We have the Eucharist and you will realize how much you have missed when you spend just one hour in His peaceful presence.

  12. Reading the Vatican press rather than the liberal press is the first step to avoiding misunderstanding:

    Even today there are “pagan Christians” who “behave like enemies of the Cross of Christ”, said Pope Francis at morning Mass Friday at Casa Santa Marta, warning that we must guard against the temptations of a worldly society that lead us to ruin.

    Pope Francis was inspired by the words of St. Paul to the Philippians to dwell on two groups of Christians, still present today as they were in the time of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Christians who go forward in faith and Christians who “live like enemies of the Cross of Christ”.

    “Both groups – he said – were in the Church together, they went to Mass on Sunday, they praised the Lord, they called themselves Christians”. So what was the difference? The second group “act like enemies of the Cross of Christ! Christians enemies of the Cross of Christ”.

    The Pope said these were “worldly Christians, Christians in name, with two or three Christian things, but nothing more. Pagan Christian”. “A Christian name, but a pagan life.” Or to put it another way: “Pagans with two strokes of Christian paint, so as to appear like Christians, but pagans nonetheless”.

    “Even today there are many! We must be careful not to slip toward the path of being pagan Christians, Christians in appearance. The temptation to get used to mediocrity, the mediocrity of Christians, these Christians, it is their undoing because their hearts cool, they become lukewarm. And the Lord had strong words for these lukewarm [Christians]: ‘because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth’. These are very strong words! They are enemies of the Cross of Christ. They take the name, but do not follow the requirements of Christian life”.

    Paul, he said, speaks of the “citizenship” of Christians. “Our citizenship,” he noted, “is in heaven. Theirs is on earth. They are citizens of the world, not of heaven”. “Citizens of the world. And their surname is worldly! Beware of these” warned Pope Francis adding that everyone, himself including, must ask: “Do I have something of these? Do I have some worldliness within me? Some paganism?”.

    “Do I like to brag? Do I like the money? Do I like pride, arrogance? Where are my roots, that is, where am I a citizen of? Heaven or earth? In the world or the worldly spirit? Our citizenship is in heaven, and we await heaven and Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And theirs? Their ultimate fate will be destruction! These painted Christians will end badly … But look at the end: where will that citizenship that you have in your heart lead you? The worldly one to ruin, that of the Cross of Christ to an encounter with Him”.

    The Pope then outlined a few signs “of the heart” that show us whether we “are sliding towards worldliness”. “If you love and if you are attached to money, vanity and pride – he warned – you are heading towards the bad road”. If, instead, “you try to love God, serve others, if you are gentle, if you are humble, if you are the servant of the other, you are on the right road. Your citizen’s card is good:  it belongs to heaven”. The other, by contrast, “is a citizenship that will bring you only bad”. The Pope pointed out that Jesus asked the Father to save his disciples “from the spirit of the world, this worldliness, which leads to destruction”.

    The Pope then turned his attention to the parable of the steward who cheated his master, told in the Gospel of the day:

    “How did this steward in the Gospel arrive at this point of cheating, of stealing from his master? How did he get there, from one day to the next? No! Little by little. One day a tip here, the next day a bribe there, and this is how little by little you arrive at corruption. The path of worldliness of these enemies of the Cross of Christ is like this, it leads you to corruption! And then you end up like this man, right? Openly stealing … ”

    Pope Francis returned to the words of Paul, who asks us to remain “firm in the Lord” without allowing our heart to weaken and end up in “nothing, in corruption”. “This is a good grace to seek – he said – remaining firm in the Lord. It is all of salvation, there lies transfiguration in glory”. “Firm in the Lord and following the example of the Cross of Christ: humility, poverty, meekness, service to others, worship, prayer.”

    I really think Pope Francis is concerned about the very problems that have been discussed in this thread. We would just do well to actually listen to what the Pope says and not what the media says he says. Also, notice that the key concern here is not “is my gay, atheist pagan neighbor being a good Catholic?”, but “Am I being a good Catholic?”

  13. Janet,
    If all civil leaders don’t get their authority from God then Christ is not the King of every human heart and every living thing in the cosmos, (which he is). Yes they may fail at obeying God’s Laws but that does not mean they are not subject to Christ The King. The problem I have with Vatican 2 and the post counciliar Church has little to do with the Latin Mass, it has to do with a softening and modernizing of theology it has to do with the abandonment of the Social Kingship Of Christ which is the basis for all Catholic Social Teaching. It also has to do with an unwillingness among the clergy to preach that things are heretical and tell people their immortal souls are in jeopardy.

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