The struggle for a Catholic America

By Augustinus

Although I do not think America is a democracy (where democracy = rule by the people), I think most American’s believe it is a flawed democracy. Most Americans furthermore very likely believe that democracy is the best possible political system. To the extent to which democracy unleashes the prodigious, manic, ever-changing, restless, searching, questing, striving, dynamic energies of ordinary people then I can endorse democracy. But I think the evidence will show that these energies of the people unleashed by democracy pale by comparison to those unleashed by the classical monarchies (not the absolutist monarchies that came into play after the protestant reformation and the rise of the state). In general, ordinary people fare better under monarchies than under republics or democracies.

The United States’ founding documents, the constitution, declaration of independence, the federalist papers and the bill of rights etc rightfully sought to produce a series of checks against popular mob rule and were influenced primarily by the English legal and  political systems. Thus the founding documents and mores of the USA are steeped in Anglican and Puritan-Calvinist background assumptions. How then can a Catholic endorse this kind of legacy?

The USA and America more broadly was created by far more than the English colonists on the east coast. Spanish colonists and Catholic missionaries explored and colonized vast tracks of lands in the south and southwest of what is now the USA. That Spanish colonial history is filled with thinkers and men of action every bit as wise as the men who are traditionally considered the founding fathers of the USA. For example, the Dominican friar, administrator and colonizer de las Casas (died 1566) created much of the institutional, philosophical and theologic bases for considering natives of the americas as full human beings who should be converted to catholicism and not slaughtered. Fr  Junipeiro Serra  (died 1784) is considered the founding father of California and most of the southwest states. He not only missionized all of these states and their natives, he also set up their institutional structures that set them on a posperous path for the next centuries.

French Catholic missionaries (including many Jesuits) explored and settled Canada and the mississippi river basin right down to New Orleans.  The great Catholic man of action Champlain established many of the cultural and political institutions for this vast region and of course for French Canada. There were many other great Catholic founders, organizers and intellectuals that contributed to the rise of the USA-none of whom are studied in the history books.

If we studied history correctly the USA would be considered a country founded by Catholics and Protestants -not just Protestants.

 

John Vennari, RIP

From Rorate Caeli:

Requiescat In Pace my Brother!

Traditional Catholics, and the world, lost a good man today.  Rorate was fortunate to call John a friend, who many readers knew of through his publication, Catholic Family News.  He will be greatly missed.  Please pray for the repose of his soul.

 

JOSEPH JOHN VENNARI (1958-2017) R.I.P.

 

Dear Friends, Joseph John Vennari died on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 10:46 a.m. E.S.T. It is not only Passion Tuesday, but the 98th anniversary of the death of Blessed Francisco of Fatima – the first Tuesday (the day dedicated weekly to the Holy Face) in April (the month dedicated to the Holy Face).

John received the traditional Sacraments and blessings of the Church several times during the past weeks and months. On Sunday, April 2, Holy Mass was offered in his hospital room. John was able to receive Holy Viaticum one last time, as well as Extreme Unction and the Apostolic Blessing. John died wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the cord of St. Philomena, with the St. Benedict Crucifix (with the special ‘Happy Death’ indulgence attached) next to him. He died shortly after the recitation of 15 decades of the Holy Rosary and during the recitation of the ‘Commendatory’ prayers for the dying, and being blessed with Holy Water. He died with his wife Susan and a close family friend at his side. Immediately after his death, another Rosary was prayed for the repose of his soul. Please keep the repose of John’s soul in your Masses, Holy Communions, prayers and sacrifices. Funeral arrangements will be posted shortly. May John’s soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

 

Thank you and God bless you.
The Vennari Family
John was a prime organizer of the annual Catholic Identity Conference, bringing together many traditional Catholics in the U.S. — including diocesan, Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, Society of Saint Pius X and Institute of Christ the King priests — for a three day set of lectures, Masses and meals. Here is a (personal) photo of some of the speakers from 2014, with John front and center:

 

Left to right:  Kenneth Wolfe; Father Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP; Eric Frankovich;
John Vennari; James Vogel; Christopher Ferrara; and Michael Matt.

– See more at: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/04/john-vennari-rip.html#more

My God!, They’d Have a Field-Day With Me!

Check this out snowflake!

University hosts ‘Masculinity Confession Booth’ for men to repent of their ‘hypermasculinity sins’

From The College Fix  –  3/28/17

Hypermasculinity is a “sin” at one university.

The University of Regina this week is hosting a Man Up Against Violence series of events that aim to redefine “what it means to man up,” according to organizers.

Among the events hosted at the Canadian institution is a “Masculinity Confession Booth.”

“We have all reinforced hypermasculinity one way or another regardless of our gender,” organizers state. “Come and share your sins so we can begin to discuss how to identify and change our ways!”

The booth is offered at many of the events this week, which include a “Social House” and “Healthy Relationships” workshop.

As The Daily Caller reports:

Man Up Against Violence aims to reduce violence, but also challenges “social norms surrounding masculinity.” The group’s introductory video criticizes the stereotypical view of men as macho and unemotional, linking this to spousal abuse by asserting that men have violent outbursts as a result of pent-up emotions.

“We don’t have to continue to live in a misogynistic society,” says Tyler Perkins, a football player at the University of Regina, in the video. “I think [changing this] falls on everyone and especially men because quite frankly we are the problem right now.”

According to Man Up organizers,  they use “education, training, partnerships and awareness” to “inspire men to accept their role as advocates in the movement to prevent violence in our communities.”

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

Disasters – at multiple levels

By Allan Gillis

So, I’m sitting at home in my parlor with “The Lovely and Gracious Mrs. Gillis” just over a week ago – regaling my wife with the details of my trip to New Orleans from which I had returned late the night before.  I had jetted down mid-week for a business conference in The Big Easy (more on that shit-hole of a city later!) and in the middle of a story about one of my trips down Bourbon Street we hear this horrible crash and crumpling of metal and shattering of glass.

This wreck of a young man – high as a kite, had taken out both of our vehicles right in front of our home!  Smashed, smushed, totaled, caput, gonzo!  His front grille (after hitting my SUV with such force he broke the read axle!) went right through Helen’s trunk and into her back seat.  Not pretty.  As I said, the kid was clearly on something and it wasn’t an “energy-drink”!  He never even touched the brakes.  Belligerent and subsequently arrested, the car wasn’t his and we are now chasing the owner’s insurance company.  Insurance hassles, rental cars, looking for TWO new vehicles (as if shopping for ONE car isn’t enough!), maintaining professional commitments, having the two kids living with us – no, let’s say the three kids as their mom is often-times as needy as the kids are.  I’m tired.  I’m lunch-meat.  Mama G. is a near-wreck and I sometimes want to ask: “where are You God”?

This is the Lenten season.  I started this Lent with the greatest ambitions to fast and pray myself closer to my God.  I have failed miserably.  The “best-laid plans of mice and men”!    I “feel” very distant from God.  But, as I write this I know better than just to go with my “feelings”.  I know better than to act on this subjective sense of separation from the Holy Spirit.  I KNOW that I am one of God’s kids…     I am determined to get back on the path of regular, meaningful prayer.   Where else can I go?  He has the words of eternal life!    Here’s my formula for entering (or re-entering) (metaphorically) the “temple of prayer”:  “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise”. (Psalm 99)  I’ll begin with expressions of gratitude for what I DO have and I’ll meditate on Who and What God is; and what He’s done  –  and I’ll praise Him for it.  This for me is the beginning of prayer  –  especially after a prolonged period of “spiritual dryness”.  God is always there for me – it is I who becomes distracted and then acting with contempt toward God – I then become alienated from Him.  It is incumbent upon ME to step back and look to Him.  This “stepping back” and “turning” is in a way the same dynamic as “conversion” or even “repentance”.   I need to go to confession!  I plead for your prayers.

click to enlarge

“SAD DAD BAD HAD Dad is sad.

Very, very sad.

He had a bad day. What a day Dad had!”

-Dr. Seuss

Mosebach on the tridentine rite

By Augustinus

The great German writer Martin Mosebach wrote an essay on the tridentine rite a couple of years ago and that essay is now reprinted in First Things. See https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/04/return-to-form

Mosebach points out that the second Vatican Council did NOT proscribe the old tridentine rite but instead instructed and prescribed continued use of Latin and never assumed that ad orientam worship would change. Still less did the council fathers envision a new “iconoclasm of the altars” that took place after Paul VI endorsed use of a new missal. The smashing of the altars and the destruction of traditional catholic imagery and statuary in numberless churches across the world was every bit as destructive as the protestant smashing of the altars that took place centuries earlier in the wake of the furies of the protestant revolution. The fact that these iconoclastic outrages were occurring from within the church itself must have made non-Catholic onlookers believe that the protestant revolution had been right after all. Perhaps the Bishops that promoted this iconoclastic spasm were thinking that this second protestant revolution would convince our protestant brothers and sisters that catholics were serious about dialogue with them and then protestants would flock back to the one true church and we would be united again!

But alas; the envisioned rapproachement between catholics and protestants has not happened. Instead the numerous protestant sects have continued their inevitable dissolution into Unitarianism and the catholic church has slowly begun to follow the same, disastrous  “liberalizing” path as the protestants. That path we all now know leads to heresy…a kind of no-offense-to-anyone doctrine that ends in Unitarian pablum where Jesus is depicted as a milquetoast and perhaps interesting ancient rabble rouser and moral leader but certainly not a divine being who demands obedience.

Mosebach argues that an organizational change in the catholic church abetted the protestantizing of church since 1968: namely the organization of the Bishops into national Bishop conferences which directly contradicts ancient canon law on Bishops rules and procedures. Nationalism inevitably begins to rule the conferences rather than the universal church.

In any case I highly recommend Mosebach’s book and this essay.

The Shack – Part 1

My wife wanted to go to this movie, but when I saw the early previews I was not so sure. I finally went with her last week and despite my hesitation, I found it worked in several levels. Certainly, everyone who sees the movie has an opinion. I have seen reviews that are very positive and very negative, but everyone seems to have strong emotions about the story and content.

In my case, I saw the continuing theme of Trinitarian relationship. I am sure theologians could do a much better review of the specifics, but I was happy to actually see a movie that put it out there at all.

I have more to share, but ask my brothers to take some time and see it first. I am sure there will be a lot of discussion at that point.

Birds of a feather flock together

The American Conservative presents a story on Frankie-The-Hippie-Pope’s buddy Archbishop Paglia…

Archbishop Paglia’s Homoerotic Fresco

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who commissioned the homoerotic fresco, is pictured in the skullcap (Screenshot from La Repubblica video)

Rest in God Alone

Apologies to my friends in the blog, but I have been swamped lately. the bottom line is I continue to work on recording the music to the Psalms that I wrote over the past 10 years. Back in January the first nine recordings went to iTunes as an album (Psalms Vol. 1) and now I am working on Vol. 2.

As my brothers both are aware, sometimes we are driven to get something done. In my case, my retirement from active music ministry last year kicked me into putting my focus on recording the Psalms the way I originally intended. I am not making any bold statements on the content, but for some reason, as I worked in ministry, the music came very easy.  I felt it was a gift from God, not as a definitive rendering of the Psalms, but as a personal connection and a lesson that God constantly reaches for us. He does not wait in Church for us to show up; He stands knocking at each or our doors in a way that we recognize. He speaks to us with the voices of those we know and those we interact with only briefly. He speaks to us in the Gospels and He speaks to us in our own hearts.

For some reason, I got this music, and for now, I will do whatever I can to put it out there. This one features my youngest son, Noah on lead vocals.