“I think that some people are exploiting the cardinals’ letter in order to ramp up the tension and create division within the Church. These groups feel sidelined, so they’re yelling, and attacking anyone perceived as being close to the pope”
I found and bookmarked this a while ago. It really impressed me, so I share it now as some are throwing rope over the tree branch and tying a lynch-knot – eyeing me intently.
The Catholic World Report published this article by Thomas Doran, a brilliant Catholic engineer, scientist and writer living in Michigan. Mr. Doran takes what I believe to be a measured and truly Roman Catholic response to what the “environmentalist-whackos” on the left would have us all believing concerning the “imminent” man-made cataclysm of global climate-change. I am a denier – and I was sickened by the way the Vatican engineered their climate-change summit to give verbiage to Bergoglio’s laughable encyclical. The way that was done further convinced me that “Climate Change” is pretty much a farse foisted upon us by the leftist/globalist cabal. The composition of the selected “experts” was clearly political and abandoned all pretenses to be an impartial body to help the Pope find “the truth” of the matter. I posted earlier on this blog about the “dissing” of Phillipe de Larminat, the French scientist that was banned simply because he wanted the chance to speak about and give proof that the sun actually has a greater influence than man on earth’s temperatures, but was told there was no room for him at the table. They did however find room for a whack-job atheist Hans Schellnhuber, who doesn’t share belief in the same God ostensibly worshipped by Pope Francis, but does however have his own faith – and it’s based on the Gaia Principle. He’s expressed a belief that “Gaia faces a powerful antagonist” — humans, which he considers the equivalent of a virus — and answers with events like earthquakes and arctic ice growth to cool itself. In Schellnhuber’s world, mother earth is God and “will explode” if its population reaches 9 billion, a number that the UN projects in 2050. This is the type of “expert” Pope Francis relied on to come to his conclusions about climate change, not to mention the evils of capitalism in preying on the world’s poor. I say it was all very, very political. It stunk.
Here is the article by Mr. Doran courtesy of the Catholic World Report:
Catholicism and Environmentalism
“Catholics with an interest in the environment should attempt to separate legitimate science from ideological noise and organizational self-interest”
December 29, 2014
What are Catholics to make of the big environmental questions: climate change, deforestation and habitat loss, water quality and water shortages, the extinction of species, fossil fuels? How compatible is environmental activism with Catholicism? What does it mean to be responsible stewards of creation? These are important questions, made even more timely in anticipation of Pope Francis releasing an encyclical in 2015 on environmental and ecological issues.
Christians believe it is necessary and good to show “respect for the integrity of creation” (CCC, 2415) and to use the Earth’s natural resources prudently, but these beliefs don’t tell us whether specific environmental initiatives are morally compelling.
Environmental activism is often a matter of science and ideology. Not infrequently, when someone disagrees with a tenet fervently held by environmental activists, they are labeled “science deniers”. Ironically, many of those who blithely label opponents “science deniers” do not themselves understand the underlying science.
As an engineer/scientist who has worked in the trenches for over 30 years, taught environmental engineering subjects, and loves to explore history, I have seen my share of bad science and bad data (sadly, guilty myself on occasion). I’ve learned that while we need to rely on data, an honest skepticism of data is an important aspect of the scientific method. On many occasions, scientists—experts—have reached a consensus on something that was subsequently proven to be false. As Matt Ridley wrote in a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, “Science is about evidence, not consensus.” I’m with Mr. Ridley. I don’t care about consensus, no matter how passionate or morally indignant. I want to see the data and the evidence.
Objective criteria, clean data
Here’s an example. With hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and advisories warning us that our environment is under assault and deteriorating, how can anyone claim that America’s environment is cleaner than it’s been for over 100 years? I can, and I do, and here’s my evidence based on these criteria: waterborne illnesses, levels of pollutants in water and air, habitats, technological innovation, and sensory evidence.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, and even into the 1920s, typhoid epidemics annually sickened thousands in American cities. Waterborne illnesses have been practically eradicated in the United States, to such an extent that most Americans take safe water for granted. Now that we can detect and measure pollutants in parts per billion, or even parts per trillion, many think that we are releasing more pollutants. On the contrary, the quality of treated wastewater and storm water discharged to rivers, lakes and streams has been steadily improving, as measured by significantly lower levels of pollutants. Some wastewater treatment plants discharge water of higher quality than their receiving streams.
As to air quality, there are more efficient combustion processes, fewer polluting products of combustion, and better air pollution abatement technology. Then, there are habitats for fish and wildlife. A 2010 Detroit News article reported: “From bald eagles to lake sturgeon, native wildlife is making a dramatic return in what might be considered the unlikeliest of places—the waters and shores of the Detroit River…After decades of struggling to overcome the Detroit River’s polluted past, a variety of fish and bird species have re-established themselves in the watershed. The budding osprey population is joined by increasing numbers of walleye, lake sturgeon and whitefish as well as bird species like the bald eagle and peregrine falcon.” We’re talking about Detroit, at one time the manufacturing capital of the world, and still a gritty manufacturing center. This is happening all over the country.
In a 2014 Wall Street Journal article, “The Scarcity Fallacy”, Matt Ridley identifies many instances when ecologists predicted the world’s resources would run out, though technological innovation has since broken through these limits again and again. Against the evidence of history, many believe that if we can’t solve a problem today, then it will still be a problem next year and next decade. Dire predictions are often based on this misconception.
Fact: we have the technology to go from toilet to tap, if the psychological barrier can be surmounted. Oil and gas reserves that were supposed to have already run out are now projected to last far into the future due to fracking and shale oil technology innovations. Trenchless technologies now allow us to repair and replace infrastructure with minimal disruption of the surface environment. There is also abundant sensory evidence that the environment has been steadily improving. Some can remember the days when oil sheens covered rivers and lakes, when coal-fired home furnaces produced black palls over our cities, when industrial and municipal wastes were dumped on empty sites or in unsecure pits. These environmental scars have been virtually eradicated in America. Many of these improvements came about because of the efforts of dedicated environmentalists.
The reason these science-based assessments are important is that a good environmental end may not be morally compelling when evaluated in relation to other—conflicting—good ends: thousands of jobs; products to keep us well-nourished, healthy, and safe; property rights; or even another good but conflicting environmental end, such as zero water discharge versus lowest carbon footprint.
Rejecting ideology, finding balance
The ideology of many in the environmental movement also bears examining. There is a quasi-religious and especially virulent element in the environmental movement for whom, as the Journal puts it, “climate change has become a totemic cultural issue, like abortion and gay marriage…What matters is that they are on the right side of the cultural and political symbolism.”
Without weighing in on the complex issue of climate change, I am suggesting that environmentalism has become a moral lodestone to many, one in which facts, data, evidence are of secondary concern. Among these vocal activists, you will find the themes that man—exerting an unsustainable carbon footprint—is a threat rather than a transcendent creature; that man should have no more legal or ethical standing (and maybe less) than any other animal; that messy free markets are environmental threats; that states or intergovernmental organizations with people who know better ought to be establishing economic, environmental, and energy policy; in short, a materialistic interpretation of the relationship between man and the planet. And lest we think that these themes are limited to the radical fringe, some of these tenets are seeping into mainstream environmentalism.
Given a free hand, these movement activists’ energy and industrial policies could return us to the days of freezing in the winter, roasting in the summer, and perishing from lack of food and the pharmaceuticals that keep diseases at bay. More importantly, the Catholic concept of man undergoes violent deconstruction with this ideology, or quasi-religion. Man’s work and dignity should not be subordinated to the natural world, which is far different from saying man should be able to rape the world to satisfy his appetites. The right balance is achieved when man is properly formed in relation to virtue and reason so that he behaves responsibly in relation to the environment. Sadly, the materialistic dogma that many of these activists espouse views virtue, and even reason, as mere human or societal constructs.
It’s important to recall that Catholics have done groundbreaking work in the sciences. In a recent Magnificat article, “The Church and the Beginning of It All”, Anthony Esolen writes about the Jesuit priest, George Lemaitre, who first espoused the Big Bang Theory (convincing Einstein), and the monk, Gregor Mendel, who is considered the father of the science of genetics. I worked with a faithful Catholic engineer with a balanced environmental perspective who is more knowledgeable than anyone in the world on the subject of automotive water/wastewater treatment. Many Catholics may be unaware of the number of highly esteemed Catholic scientists. Serious and committed Catholics, far from being anti-science, embrace honest and ethical scientific inquiry, while recognizing that the competency of science does not extend to the ultimate philosophical questions.
Certainly, there are environmental issues of concern today, even in a cleaner America: invasive species, occasional outbreaks of pathogens and toxic algae in water supplies, spills, failing and leaking infrastructure. But considering our track record in the past century, these threats are solvable, or at least manageable.
Catholics with an interest in the environment should attempt to separate legitimate science from ideological noise and organizational self-interest; not an easy task these days, and recognize that the environmental scare of the month may not be morally compelling, but this rational approach to the environment should be governed by an awareness that though man was given dominion over the Earth—women and men are more than just intelligent animals—we are also expected to be good stewards of this world and its resources.
Ever since Brexit, in Britain, the Italian referendum vote last week, the many polls showing the rennaisance of the Catholic right in France and Germany and now the Trump victory here in the states, there have been many analyses of what is happening in the west these days. Some say that all of these events represent a kind of populist revolt whipped up artificially by demogogic politicians using hate speech to corral the votes. Others say the populist revolt is real and would have happened without demogogic politicians because of the ravages causes by globalization on populations in every country throughout the world. Globalization has meant that the super-rich get richer and most of the rest of the world’s population gets immiserated. The only thing that interrupts this inevitable dialectic imposed on us by the neo-liberal elite (and embodied by the Clintons and the Obamas) is the occassional world economic collapse like we saw in 2008.
While there absolutely is a large scale reaction against the neo-liberal order going on across the world (as evidenced by the Sander’s campaign on the left and the Trump campaign on the right), I do not think that this analysis of the current political moment captures the whole story. Most especially I am interested in what the present political moment means for the Church.
When people rebel against globalization and the neo-liberal order with its identity politics, its politically-correct thought control police, its creation of “sacred victims” everywhere you look (from gays and lesbians to blacks and muslims etc), its promotion of abortion and pornography with the concomitant suicide of the west, its promotion of constant apologies for what the west supposedly inflicted on sacred victims and the constant war on religion, and the elevation of scientists as the new clerical order etc etc…I say when people rebel against all this …in my view they are rebelling against heresy. Therefore the so-called populist revolt is really a revolt against heresy. These practices and ideologies are all legacies of the French revolution and then of the various incarnations of Marxist philosophy. They can all be conveniently referred to as modernism or the modernist heresy.
The populist moment then represents a kind of general revulsion or rejection of the bill of goods being sold to ordinary people over the last few centuries of “enlightenment”. When ordinary people living in southern France in the middle ages came across the Albigensians or the Cathari they were both impressed and repulsed by them. They were impressed by them because these fanatics were clearly intelligent, good people. The problem was that they were clearly insane. They urged everyone to stop reproducing because they saw the world as entirely evil. Yet they practiced free love and despised marriage. They practiced abortion while counseling abstinence. They accumulated wealth while preaching voluntary and literal starvation so one could leave this vale of tears and so on. The Cathari women were given the political and religious power so the women basically ran the cult.
I think people today see the left-wing ideologues, the social-justice warriors so commonly produced by our universities today exactly as ordinary people in the middle ages saw the Cathari. There is a mixture of admiration concerning their fanatical passion to fight injustice and to stop all hate speech and protect all victims and so on…and then repulsion at the fanaticism and the effeminate hatred of the world and the worldly things of the flesh. just as their was an overt suicidal ideology at the heart fo the Cathari heresy, so too there is an overt suicidal ideology at the heart of the leftist ideology. The left sees the West as the source of all evil in the world and the Church as the source of the West. Thus, there is an almost fanatical hatred of the Church among “progressives” and other leftists in the West.
The Cathari Albigensian heresy contributed to the ideologies that the French philosophes picked up on and that then fueled the French revolution. It is an old story…gnosticism in new guises. That is what modernism is–a world-hating, effeminate gnostic ideology. And that is what the populations around the world are reacting to. they are rejecting on a mass scale the old gnostic heresy in its most recent incarnation in the ideologies of the neo-liberal elite.
This just posted on the awesome blog “1Peter5“:
“A Grave and Pressing Duty”: Statement of Support for the Four Cardinals’ Dubia
We [the blog 1Peter5] received the following statement of support for the four cardinals’ dubia this morning. It has been signed by various pastors, theologians, and scholars from around the world.
As Catholic scholars and pastors of souls, we wish to express our profound gratitude and full support for the courageous initiative of four members of the College of Cardinals, Their Eminences Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Leo Burke, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner. As has been widely publicized, these cardinals have formally submitted five dubia to Pope Francis, asking him to clarify five fundamental points of Catholic doctrine and sacramental discipline, the treatment of which in Chapter 8 of the recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) appears to conflict with Scripture and/or Tradition and the teaching of previous papal documents – notably Pope St. John Paul II’s Encyclical Veritatis Splendor and his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. Pope Francis has so far declined to answer the four cardinals; but since they are in effect asking him whether the above weighty magisterial documents still require our full assent, we think that the Holy Father’s continued silence may open him to the charge of negligence in the exercise of the Petrine duty of confirming his brethren in the faith.
Several prominent prelates have been sharply critical of the four cardinals’ submission, but without shedding any light on their pertinent and searching questions. We have read attempts to interpret the apostolic exhortation within a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ by Christoph Cardinal Schӧnborn and Professor Rocco Buttiglione; but we find that they fail to demonstrate their central claim that the novel elements found in AL do not endanger divine law, but merely envisage legitimate changes in pastoral practice and ecclesiastical discipline.
Indeed, a number of commentators, notably Professor Claudio Pierantoni in an extensive new historical-theological study, have argued that as a result of the widespread confusion and disunity following the promulgation of AL, the universal Church is now entering a gravely critical moment in her history that shows alarming similarities with the great Arian crisis of the fourth century. During that catastrophic conflict the great majority of bishops, including even the Successor of Peter, vacillated over the very divinity of Christ. Many did not fully lapse into heresy; however, disarmed by confusion or weakened by timidity, they sought convenient compromise formulae in the interests of “peace” and “unity”. Today we are witnessing a similar metastasizing crisis, this time over fundamental aspects of Christian living. Continued lip service is given to the indissolubility of marriage, the grave objective sinfulness of fornication, adultery and sodomy, the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, and the terrible reality of mortal sin. But in practice, increasing numbers of highly placed prelates and theologians are undermining or effectively denying these dogmas – and indeed, the very existence of exceptionless negative prohibitions in the divine law governing sexual conduct – by virtue of their exaggerated or one-sided emphasis on “mercy”, “pastoral accompaniment”, and “mitigating circumstances”.
With the reigning Pontiff now sounding a very uncertain trumpet in this battle against the ‘principalities and powers’ of the Enemy, the barque of Peter is drifting perilously like a ship without a rudder, and indeed, shows symptoms of incipient disintegration. In such a situation, we believe that all Successors of the Apostles have a grave and pressing duty to speak out clearly and strongly in confirmation of the moral teachings clearly expounded in the magisterial teachings of previous popes and the Council of Trent. Several bishops and another cardinal have already said they find the five dubia opportune and appropriate. We ardently hope, and fervently pray, that many more of them will now endorse publicly not only the four cardinals’ respectful request that Peter’s Successor confirm his brethren in these five points of the faith “delivered once and for all to the saints” (Jude 3), but also Cardinal Burke’s recommendation that if the Holy Father fails to do so, the cardinals then collectively approach him with some form of fraternal correction, in the spirit of Paul’s admonition to his fellow apostle Peter at Antioch (cf. Gal. 2:11).
We entrust this grave problem to the care and heavenly intercession of Mary Immaculate, Mother of the Church and Vanquisher of all heresies.
December 8, 2016, Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carambula, STD, JD
Chaplain and Faculty Member of the Roman Forum
Rev. Claude Barthe,
Dr. Robert Beddard, MA (Oxon et Cantab), D.Phil (Oxon)
Fellow emeritus and former Vice Provost of Oriel College Oxford.
Carlos A. Casanova Guerra
Doctor of Philosophy, Full Professor,
Universidad Santo Tomás, Santiago de Chile
Salvatore J. Ciresi MA
Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
Director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild
Luke Gormally, PhL
Director Emeritus, The Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (1981-2000)
Sometime Research Professor, Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan (2001-2007)
Ordinary Member, The Pontifical Academy for Life
Rev. Brian W. Harrison OS, MA, STD
Associate Professor of Theology (retired), Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; Scholar-in-Residence, Oblates of Wisdom Study Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Rev. John Hunwicke, MA (Oxon.)
Former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford; Priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham; Member, Roman Forum
Peter A. Kwasniewski PhD (Philosophy)
Professor, Wyoming Catholic College
Rev. Dr. Dr Stephen Morgan
Academies Conversion Project Leader & Oeconomus
Diocese of Portsmouth
Don Alfredo Morselli STL
Parish priest of the Archdiocese of Bologna
Rev. Richard A. Munkelt PhD (Philosophy)
Chaplain and Faculty Member, Roman Forum
Rev. John Osman MA, STL
Parish priest in the archdiocese of Birmingham,
former Catholic chaplain to the University of Cambridge
Dr Paolo Pasqualucci
Professor of Philosophy (retired),
University of Perugia
Dr Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile
Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Member of the International Association of Patristic Studies
Dr John C. Rao D.Phil (Oxon.)
Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University (NYC)
Chairman, Roman Forum
Dr Nicholas Richardson. MA, DPhil (Oxon.)
Fellow emeritus and Sub-Warden of Merton College, Oxford
and former Warden of Greyfriars, Oxford.
Dr Joseph Shaw MA, DPhil (Oxon.) FRSA
Senior Research Fellow (Philosophy) at St Benet’s Hall,
Dr Anna M. Silvas FAHA,
Adjunct research fellow, University of New England,
Armidale, NSW, Australia.
Michael G. Sirilla PhD
Director of Graduate Theology,
Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio
Professor Dr Thomas Stark
Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Benedikt XVI, Heiligenkreuz
Rev. Glen Tattersall
Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, Archdiocese of Melbourne
Rector, St Aloysius’ Church, Melbourne
Rev. Dr David Watt STL, PhD (Cantab.)
Priest of the Archdiocese of Perth
Chaplain, St Philomena’s chapel, Malaga
Visit them at:
By Allan Gillis
I almost forgot that the trash needed to be put out today here at Maison de Ghillie’. It is Thursday after all. Some neighbors put theirs out the night before – I’ve done that and been quite sorry next morning as the raccoons and/or the coyotes had been given a free ticket to a food fight at an “all-you-can-eat-buffet”! Nasty mess!
So, I’m drudging back up the front steps and I look at the bare and barren Forsythia bush to my side and remember; that morning just…not too long ago…seems like yesterday… it was beginning to push out it’s springtime yellow buds! It seemed like it was only a few moments ago! Where did the spring and summer and fall go to? This is madness! 2016 is almost gone by!
The older I get, the faster times seems to go. I remember when I was a kid how long the summer used to seem – it was glorious! Long bright sunny days on the Connecticut shoreline. Then Autumn would come – the piles of leaves, school and Halloween. Thanksgiving and Christmas. After Christmas there seemed this infinite and boring expanse of time in which we were held to the grindstone of schoolwork/homework and little fun – until the day was long enough and warm enough to get outside and play until supper. Springtime turned to summer and Alice Cooper was singing “School’s Out For Summer”! A year was a long, long time!
As we grow older, a year – relative to our lived experience of how long a year “is”, seems shorter and shorter all the time… because we have more “years” under our belt. More years experienced. The years now just fly by. I wake up some mornings and have to quickly think about what season it is. I’m serious. Not just what day it is or month…what season am I waking up to today?
Am I a more religious man today than when I was young and life seemed infinite? Yes, I think I am. I am so much more aware of this slow but unstoppable slouching, lurching toward my gravesite. Death cometh for us all. Macaulay was correct.
It seems the post-conciliar church doesn’t teach this anymore – it just offends the sensibilities of the woosi-fied modern catholic. But our tradition as Roman Catholics has for centuries taught us; The Four Last Things. Death. Judgment. Heaven. Hell.
Ponder this dear reader; tempus fugit, memento mori – time flies, remember your death!
by Allan Gillis
Yup! You heard that right! It is now required by seminary rectors and bishops to school the young seminarians on “environmental threats and climate change”!
What ever happened to the requirement for proficiency in Latin?
The Boston Pilot http://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?utm_source=ConstantContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breakingnewsletter&Source=we&ID=178080 reports this afternoon that new guidelines have been issued from The Vatican for schooling the “young-skulls-full-o-mush” in order to make them suited for priestly duties in this post-conciliar church.
The Congregation for Clergy recommends that women be on the staff of seminaries or teach at the universities where the candidates study and that seminarians’ ability to relate to and work with women be considered in the candidate’s evaluation, since the majority of parishioners with whom the future priest will work are women. [what a damned shame!]
I remember, years ago, a good friend of mine – now a rising star in the Archdiocesan hierarchy here in Bostoniensis regaled me with tales of life at St. John’s Seminary. In all that he endured, studied and worked on – he NEVER took a class in Latin – nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada. People – it is mandatory in the “Latin Rite” that a priest be well-schooled in Latin. Seriously. It IS a requirement – tho quietly ignored. Ya think they’ll ignore the new requirements on global warming, I mean cooling?
Ever read an article and say to yourself; “nobody could ever have said it better than that” ?
I found this gem in today’s New Oxford Review and it is a wonderful and thoughtful unfolding of many of the components of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form – which can be somewhat intimidating to those who approach it as an intellectual exercise as they are familiar only with the new Mass and perhaps may get stuck on the Latin – as opposed to the common or colloquial. The Latin Mass is so much more than “common”! I digress.
Here is a short snippet:
WHAT I’VE LEARNED
The Latin Mass After a Year’s Attendance
By Richard Upsher Smith Jr.
It is clear, then, that not only are words associated with sacrifice sacrificium, hostia, oblatio, offerre, suscipere used less frequently in the New Mass, but the mental world of the Offertory has been made shallower, and in some ways even trite. Where the Latin Mass weaves together the sins of all men in the Church Militant and Expectant, the entire redemptive work of Christ, the condescension of God, and the work of the Church Triumphant on our behalf, what does the Mass of Paul VI offer? “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation”! The notion of sacrifice is still present, but the profound richness of the concept has been lost.
Another example of the weakening of the sacrificial mental world is the new Mysterium fidei. As I grew more accustomed to the extraordinary form, I noticed that it makes clear that the Mysterium fidei is the “chalice of my blood, of the new and eternal covenant.” But in the ordinary form, the Mysterium fidei has become, in two cases, a declaration of the congregation’s faith, and in the third case, a plea for salvation. It is no longer a statement of what has now occurred on the altar: the re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary.
I urge you to go there and read the rest!
This from Father Zuhlsdorf’s site today! It is awesome!
This blog is NOT a Safe Space for you! This post, especially, is NOT a Safe Space for you.
You know which sites you can go to to be affirmed and unchallenged by anything truly Catholic. Please go to one of them NOW.
There arrived in my email today an interesting study in contrasts, which I gave a bit more attention and detail.
Missale Romanum 1962:
Deus, qui beatum Nicolaum Pontificem innumeris decorasti miraculis: tribue, quaesumus; ut, eius meritis et precibus, a gehennae incendiis liberemur.
O God, Who didst adorn blessed Nicholas, the bishop, with miracles unnumbered, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayer we may be delivered from the fire of hell.
What’s this prayers pedigree?
Meanwhile, the experts of the Consilium, dedicated to turning every Mass – sorry… “liturgy” – into a Safe Space to make Catholics into Tender Snowflakes…
Missale Romanum 2002 (new composition for the Novus Ordo):
Misericordiam tuam, Domine, supplices imploramus, et, beati Nicholai episcopi interveniente suffragio, nos in omnibus custodi periculis, ut via salutis nobis pateat expedita.
We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas that the way of salvation may lie open before us.
Interesting choice, no? Let’s water down the Four Last Things.
Our brothers in the Anglican Use surely took the following from the Book of Common Prayer, which in turn mined the Roman Missal…
“O God, who didst adorn thy blessed Bishop Saint Nicholas with power to work many and great miracles: grant, we beseech thee; that by his prayers and merits, we may be delivered from the fires of everlasting torment.”
They got it right.
Today we are facing something rather like the Arian crisis in the 4th century.
Think about it this way. There are a lot of people – more and more – going over to the position that Christ simply got it wrong about indissolubility of marriage (Kasperites). That means that He wasn’t divine, right? Moreover, these same people are reducing Holy Communion to a token of affirmation in the comfortable club we all more or less belong to. What does that say for their belief in the divinity of the Lord?
The questions which are being hotly debated today go waaaaay beyond mere considerations of Communion for one group of sinners in hard cases (the divorced and civilly remarried). The questions go ultimately to: Who is Jesus Christ?
In the early centuries of the Church this question had to be settled by the Council of Nicea. There were those who, following the heretical proposition of the priest Arius, believed that Christ was not divine as the Father is divine, that Christ was the greatest of creatures.
According to some accounts, during the heated debate of the Council the bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas, struck Arius across the face. Apocryphal or not, an exaggeration over time of a lesser micro-aggression or not, you have to admire the bishop’s zeal. After all, Arianism was not a small deal. They weren’t having a disagreement over the translation of a liturgical Collect. They were debating an issue which had torn apart the Church to the point the the Emperor Constantine had to intervene for the sake of civic unity.
The apocryphal story of Nicholas belting Arius in the chops continued. Nicholas, for his infraction, was taken to Constantine, divested of his episcopal garb and locked up. This is why Nicholas is sometimes in art not depicted with a miter, etc. During the night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and gave him an omophorion, the Eastern style of today’s pallium. When in the morning he was thus found clothed as a bishop, he was reinstated.
A dear Priest friend of mine once told me that the names for Satan were loosely translated as “one who divides”. I did a quick look online and found this:
“The Hebrew word Satan means “adversary” and its translation into Greek gives the word “Diabolos”, from the root dia-ballo, to divide or separate. The meaning of Devil (>Diabolos) would be “He who places division” and its derived meaning would be “slanderer”.
The question then comes back to what we do and say, especially in a public context, like a blog. When we intentionally say things to divide and separate, it may seem like a great way to capture an audience (and quite effective, if the recent elections are any measure), but, in fact, it places us in direct opposition to the Church we love.
Although it has always been so, more recently, the rise of social media and advanced marketing practices have raised the processes of division and slander to an art form. Worst of all, it suggests that hatred, division, slander and scapegoating are somehow now ok, especially if we stoke enough righteous indignation. The acceptance of this is dangerous to our world and very dangerous to our faith.
The message of Christ to Love one another becomes very difficult to comprehend in this environment, but if we claim to love our Church, then we must defend it with the tools that Christ gives us and not the tools of one who divides. If there is a lesson here, it is that the ends do not justify the means. In fact, it is all about the means. Our salvation is through our faith in Jesus Christ brought to life by works that mirror His life and message.
The willingness to use the tools that were given to us by Christ and reject the tools provided by satan, is a foundation of Faith. This is true most especially in this world where the tools Christ provided appear to be so ineffective. Our great temptation is the notion that the Gospels and the Eucharist are not enough; that somehow we need strength and power to defeat the strong enemies at the door. Be assured this is not the case.