For some reason, the Council for Promoting Christian Unity has decided to do a Joint Declaration on the Reformation with the World Lutheran Federation in order to "analyze the Reformation in the light of 2,000 years of Christianity." This is all per Zenit.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
The woes of rural America are unseen and unheard in our recent economic badness. It's exceptionally common to see much tooth-gnashing over, say, the fate of Detroit or some other metropolitan area. The country part of the country is ignored. This is a bad thing.
Rural America now accounts for just 16 percent of the nation's population, the lowest ever.
The latest 2010 census numbers hint at an emerging America where, by midcentury, city boundaries become indistinct and rural areas grow ever less relevant. Many communities could shrink to virtual ghost towns as they shutter businesses and close down schools, demographers say.
More metro areas are booming into sprawling megalopolises. Barring fresh investment that could bring jobs, however, large swaths of the Great Plains and Appalachia, along with parts of Arkansas, Mississippi and North Texas, could face significant population declines.
These places posted some of the biggest losses over the past decade as young adults left and the people who stayed got older, moving past childbearing years...
While rural America shrinks, larger U.S. metro areas have enjoyed double-digit percentage gains in population over the past several decades. Since 2000, metros grew overall by 11 percent with the biggest gains in suburbs or small- or medium-sized cities. In fact, of the 10 fastest-growing places, all were small cities incorporated into the suburbs of expanding metro areas, mostly in California, Arizona and Texas...
He and other demographers believe that rural areas will remain viable, although many will be swallowed up by booming metropolitan areas and linked into sprawling megalopolises. Far-flung rural counties boasting vacation and outdoor recreation also will continue as popular destination points for young couples, retirees and empty nesters.
Lang said he hoped the growing convergence of major metro areas — and smaller towns in between — will promote better regional planning and cooperation rather than leading to individual cities acting as rivals for new investment. He said such collaboration might mean development of more roads or regional high-speed rail, or new approaches to water and energy conservation in the Mountain West.
I consider this important and not just because I live in a rural area. Personally, I feel that the consolidation of people and resources in the "megalopolises" envisioned in the article is a bad idea and has already shown to be such. Let me admit that I'm no economist and my points on this are largely borne from anecdotes.
Taking all this into account, I think I should close by admitting I don't see any of these things happening. On a local level, cities aren't about to give up their political clout, even if it would make some of their other problems better. Individual politicians aren't about to allow their influence to be diluted even if it would benefit the common good. Look no further than the steps being taken by our own feds. Whether it's the new restrictions on agriculture or the new health care reform law, there are affirmative steps being taken to kill rural areas. And why not? It's easier to control people when they are all in the same place. Brave New World sort of comes to mind.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
We have heard, almost ad nauseam, over the last few decades about the New Springtime of Evangelization, New Pentecost, etc. and all the glorious effects that it had and would continue to have on the Church. I've never understood all this talk, nor do I recall seeing many of these allegedly positive outcomes. Monsignor Pope's article from the Archdiocese of Washington demonstrates why.
You and I will likely look to causes and solutions. And the temptation is to look outside ourselves and say the bishops ought to do something. Perhaps, but allow me to offer that the solution to this problem is no further than your very self, my very self.
What would happen to the Church tomorrow if every Church-going Catholic pledged to bring one fallen away family member or friend back to communion with the Church in the next two years? Well of course our numbers would nearly double. A few of us might not be successful, but, if we really worked at it, we’d probably come close to doubling. And the Lord would surely be pleased and also reward our efforts.
The answer is not really so difficult, but it is hard work. Yet, we do not need to go to a mountaintop to get the answer. The answer is staring you in the mirror: Go make disciples. If you need to, grab a partner and work on two people together. But get started. It goes without saying that you ought to have something approaching a relationship with the Lord to be a good evangelizer. More on that next week. But for now, don’t wait to be perfect just get started.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Yeah, this is pretty much a third rail topic. It's amazing to see how folks can get worked up over this one. William Oddie decided to use a gas can and blowtorch in his discussion of it over at the Catholic Herald. You should read it and pay special attention to the narrative on how girls serving at the altar came to be. Like so many other such items (communion in the hand- eg), it was a widespread abuse that the Pope caved on. I hadn't heard the explanation of political and/or legal pressure before, but the bottom line is that the Church capitulated to the whims of Her enemies (from within and without).
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"On 28 May 2011 Father Couture, the District Superior, came to visit our Convent. He had been delegated by Bishop Fellay to receive the vows of Mother Mary Micaela as she transferred from the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of New Zealand to the Dominican Sisters of Wanganui. [A congregation "friendly" with the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X - FSSPX / SSPX.]
"She had special permission from the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes in Rome to do this. As far as we know this is a world first, that a Sister would be allowed to transfer from a Novus Ordo congregation to a congregation set up by Bishop Fellay. The whole procedure implies a recognition of our Congregation, and of the religious of Tradition, by Rome."
Sunday, August 21, 2011
There is a complete lack of concern for the dead these days. Masses aren't being offered. People seem almost embarrassed to talk about indulgences, much less try to take advantage of them. Yet there is a huge emphasis on social justice and even liberation theology. Why is this?
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Rorate seems to be getting into the act by recounting some of the Council's historical highlights. Naturally, we welcome the contribution to the project. We've already discussed the first session ourselves and all the shenanigans that ensued as the Rhine faction hijacked the proceedings. I'd never seen the Cardinal Siri account provided by Rorate, though, so we're trying to help spread it around.
The Council has revealed: that a vague direction in the Church is being outlined, this is represented by a group of the German language and the like. It is organized aliquatenus [to a certain degree]. This is a partial attempt that you cannot affirm with certainty, but you see it in the facts, that someone has a clear and deliberate plan in mind; there is rage against reason, theology and the law. One sees the end of kerygmalism, that is, often that of eliminating Tradition, Ecclesia etc., this is more unconscious than conscious, but it is helped along by the lack of intuition of those who want absolutely to adapt as much as possible to the protestants, to the orthodox etc.,in very many cases, literature prevails on theology. Many beautiful and also true dissertations pertain to literary considerations on dogma, not dogma itself; there is talk of a Theologia nova and the concept of this, let alone the aim, appear to be very dark and perhaps dangerous. The term Theologia nova was coined by a Belgian bishop at the Council.”
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I've indicated before that I harbor monarchist sympathies. Not that I harbor any kind of romantic idealism that they're perfect or anything. I just don't understand why so many are allergic and/or repulsed by the concept. Recent events here in the United States have served to solidify my views. Before I go any further, let me be clear that I also don't think there is any chance of the old monarchical systems being restored absent some kind of complete and total breakdown of the current order of things. Yes, I know about the Great Monarch. That's sort of my point. Anything permitting a leader like that is nothing short of a signpost directly to the End of Days.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
This is the title of a recent article by Michael Youssef, and Egyptian-born Protestant who is kind of well-known these days due to his being from the Middle East and all. It makes for good reading for no other reason than it shows a guy who is interested in the Truth and real Charity. Sure, Mr. Youssef and I are going to disagree on a lot of stuff, but at least he seems like a guy who would be honest about there being differences instead of wanting to play make-believe with the most important subject in the universe, namely, God.
On June 26th, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.was the latest church to be used for the promotion of syncretism—the attempted union of different religions. The idea was that “Christian” ministers, Jewish Rabbis, and Muslim Imams would co-lead a service in “Christian” churches around America using a multi-faith liturgy.
Sadly, 70 other churches across America signed on to do the same thing. The event was organized by a group called “Faith Shared.” It comes as no shock that the service was designed to promote “religious tolerance.” This is indeed a major step forward in promoting what I believe to be America’s new god of tolerance.
The major problem with this false god of tolerance is that it is not marked by the true love that genuine Christians believe in and are called upon to exercise. Love of others, regardless of their background, religion, or complexion, should be expressed in offering hospitality, and even service, but not at the expense of the truth. Loving people and selling out on the truth of one’s faith are two different things altogether.
These liberal “apostate” denominations are not only naïve and ignorant of the truth of the Christian faith, they are acting on emotional impulse in a way that ultimately endangers our nation. They are seeking to engender personal acceptance from others, rather than imploring others to accept Christ as the Savior.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples. Anything in these peoples' way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy and, if possible, preserves intact. Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy itself, so long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit.
Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved; and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites and devising rubrics.
Within the limits set by the typical editions of the liturgical books, it shall be for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this Constitution.
In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties. Wherefore:
1) The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, must, in this matter, carefully and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and culture of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship. Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary should when be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be introduced.
2) To ensure that adaptations may be made with all the circumspection which they demand, the Apostolic See will grant power to this same territorial ecclesiastical authority to permit and to direct, as the case requires, the necessary preliminary experiments over a determined period of time among certain groups suited for the purpose.
3) Because liturgical laws often involve special difficulties with respect to adaptation, particularly in mission lands, men who are experts in these matters must be employed to formulate them.
E) Promotion of Liturgical Life in Diocese and Parish
The bishop is to be considered as the high priest of his flock, from whom the life in Christ of his faithful is in some way derived and dependent.
Therefore all should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church; they must be convinced that the pre-eminent manifestation of the Church consists in the full active participation of all God's holy people in these liturgical celebrations, especially in the same eucharist, in a single prayer, at one altar, at which there presides the bishop surrounded by his college of priests and by his ministers .
But because it is impossible for the bishop always and everywhere to preside over the whole flock in his Church, he cannot do other than establish lesser groupings of the faithful. Among these the parishes, set up locally under a pastor who takes the place of the bishop, are the most important: for in some manner they represent the visible Church constituted throughout the world.
And therefore the liturgical life of the parish and its relationship to the bishop must be fostered theoretically and practically among the faithful and clergy; efforts also must be made to encourage a sense of community within the parish, above all in the common celebration of the Sunday Mass.
F) The Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action
Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the Church's life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action.
So that this pastoral-liturgical action may become even more vigorous in the Church, the sacred Council decrees:
It is desirable that the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, set up a liturgical commission, to be assisted by experts in liturgical science, sacred music, art and pastoral practice. So far as possible the commission should be aided by some kind of Institute for Pastoral Liturgy, consisting of persons who are eminent in these matters, and including laymen as circumstances suggest. Under the direction of the above-mentioned territorial ecclesiastical authority the commission is to regulate pastoral-liturgical action throughout the territory, and to promote studies and necessary experiments whenever there is question of adaptations to be proposed to the Apostolic See.
For the same reason every diocese is to have a commission on the sacred liturgy under the direction of the bishop, for promoting the liturgical apostolate.
Sometimes it may be expedient that several dioceses should form between them one single commission which will be able to promote the liturgy by common consultation.
These three commissions must work in closest collaboration; indeed it will often be best to fuse the three of them into one single commission.
I just don't get it.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Read this bit from Bishop Coyne. To summarize, he was worried enough about how the Mass was offered that he didn't ask the priest celebrant to hear his confession. His conclusion is interesting.
It's a good theory. It should go without saying that many folks were driven to "traditional" Catholicism by disco liturgy. Whether or not things would shift if the Pauline Mass was treated with more respect by its ersatz defenders is a difficult question. I doubt very much you'd see the clamorers asking to go back to the OF. Would it slow down the number of folks hastening to the TLM? Perhaps.
More likely, a reverent OF would thin out a lot of disco parishes after the mass exodus of DJ Deacon-Rock and the Funky Bunch to the nearest parish that would let them get away with it. If that wasn't an option, I can see them leaving the Church altogether or setting up a schismatic alternative. That's the weird thing about this kind of liturgy. It's like a drug. People get addicted to their own self-importance in concocting and participating in these abominations. Once they are asked to decrease so that He may increase, it isn't fun anymore, and they seek out somewhere that will let worship be all about them again.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Most of us have probably heard this at some point. We've had a priest from Africa or Asia or somewhere beyond the English-speaking pale, and the guy happens to have a very thick accent. This almost inevitably leads to people griping that they can't understand him.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
We recently received the following query regarding our prior post on Cardinal Ottaviani:
Can you elaborate some more on this?
Thursday, August 4, 2011
This isn't really about the Church. I just realized that there are re-makes being done for Fright Night and John Carpenter's The Thing.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Rorate has a wonderful tribute up dedicated to this faithful servant of God on this 32nd anniversary of his death. Take a look and reflect upon what kind of suffering he must have endured in the latter years of his life.