UPDATE Oct 14, 2014
Due to unforseen circumstances, the SPGC is unable to now use SLTM for its Christ the King Mass. It might be still held, should an alternate site be found. Prayers for the choir please? Thanks.
No sooner do I write about how the coverage of the Synod is biased at the hands of these TBBs, that the Might Trad Hero, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, weighs in and warns us to watch what is being reported by the media. See HERE!!!
This weekend in Canada is Thanksgiving weekend, where we have a good old meal of turkey and all the fixings, and are supposed to be thankful for all we have in our lives.
I was reminded of that at Mass this Saturday evening, when with my fiancee we attended the vigil with the pastor presiding, whose community and church is to be built. Due to the current location being locked, we relocated to the temporary chapel set up in his house, complete with an altar, tabernacle, and the like for a basic location to hold Mass.
There, the deacon from the neighboring large-scale parish was present at Mass, and preached on the theme of Thanksgiving. Certainly, on this weekend, one should be thankful for what we have, especially for the Sacrifice that our Lord made on Calvary. However, we are often sour-sacks (not his words) and we are not grateful enough to God and Christ, and should do things such as small efforts of gratitude, but most importantly, open our prayers in gratitude for the coming day, and end at night for the day we had and where God acted in our lives. I think that`s great advice, considering most of us use prayer for supplication, vs. thanking Christ for things. We`re quite selfish and sour and un-thankful, aren`t we?
Unfortunately, some pickled-pepper faced people have no room for thankfulness in their hearts, spewing their hatred for the Church and the Holy Father and others over the Synod of 2014. This is retrospect as mid-way, a document has been released, a ``relatio`` of sorts that outlines what has been covered so far. Wow they are fuming over a lot. It makes you wonder why these angry denziens of darkness even care to be a part of the Church. They accuse Modernist Rome of conspiracy, and Pope Francis of teaming up with the homofacists in changing Church doctrine by stealth, and that the Church is essentially going to Hell in a hand basket with the world. With that kind of attitude, how many Latin Mass ``converts`` have joined you people in your quest for ``holiness?" Have new Latin Masses popped up in your archdiocese, or mine for that matter? With that attitude, likely, 0.
They might as well take their Modernist Rome hate and join their ``good friends`` who are outside of the Church canonically and are protestant, the Society of St. Pius X (Don't blame me for the protestant remark, even a Latin Mass saying priest in a diocese neighbouring mine thinks that. Not linking to him though due to whom he associates with.). Why with the SSPX, you can have your Francis/Church of Rome hate, believe you have the "true" Church, and get your Latin Mass done to every minor law about liturgy in one! If you are happy to believe the lies that their sacraments are VALID and licit (of which, "Trad Hero" Benedict XVI re-iterated they have NO SACRAMENTAL FACULTIES in 2009), then great! Go be a part of their number. Stop being part of the "modernist" church! The exit door with Dante's Inferno's line about abandoning all hope ye who enter here, is just waiting for you. As for your soul ... well it`s a dice roll, as other communications such as from the PCED warn going frequently can put you in a state of schism, which automatically excommunicates you. But really, if you don`t like what`s going on in Holy Mother Church, then get out. Go be with your like-minded friends.
Now listen, I don't like some of the politics that is going on here. I don't approve of Francis' power play with the "liberal" additions to whatever committee he put the supposedly "sinister 6" on, when democracy was upheld and this is not something needing "supreme legislator" interference. If he purposely told all in attendance, "kay I get some of you are pastoral, and others doctrinal. You can't have one without the other, so I'm balancing the groups as an exercise in collegiality and co-operation," then fine. I'd approve of that as a teachable moment. But no announcement to that effect was made. That was not a move where the Pope is exercising divine authority/Infallability.
Regardless of politics and human fault, I still stand with Holy Mother Church, and I still obey the Holy Father in terms of his valid election to the chair as Bishop of Rome, and that in Faith and Morals he cannot err, as well as being supreme legislator of the Church.
One bone of contention in my mind, is this principle of "graduality." Thankfully, the Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, a Benedictine tertiary/oblate, has covered this topic in an excellent post, of what proper gradation is AND addressed some of the more educated laity's fears, which I'm posting most of the content:
"... we’ve been writing about aspects of graduality here at Patheos, sometimes without even realizing it, and to my way of thinking there is no better explanation of “graduality”, or a better example of its power, than Calah Alexander’s personal story, which she first shared here in 2012, and in which she describes, yes, a yes, “long road” to mercy, undertaken by a sincere but challenged couple, and a priest who was willing to see them fully and deal with the reality of their lives:
He was trying to figure out how to bring both of us into a state of grace, how to help us learn to love God, each other, and our child, and how to begin building a foundation that might one day support a solid family.
Saint John Paul famously said told his priests that we have to “deal with the world as it is; the world before us.” That is precisely what Calah and Christopher’s priest did, and he ultimately welcomed them into full communion with the church. Now they’re a solidly-Catholic young family of six.
That’s the goal of gradualism. It is not about ignoring doctrine or condoning mortal sin. It is about a priest at work the field hospital God has provided, and applying powerful medicine within dosages that each patient can withstand, until they are spiritually stronger, and can withstand further treatment. Your dosages and mine will be different at different times in our illnesses.
Calah has written more about gradualism, here:
The law being for the people means that its purpose is to aid in the salvation of souls. It can’t be thrown out or changed without throwing away souls in the process; but neither can it be used as a spiritual threshing machine without throwing away souls in the process.
When I go to confession, I usually confess the same sins. The same sins, over and over, over and over, like a litany of awfulness...
The thing is, though, that the sins I confess over and over today are not the same sins I confessed over and over seven years ago. They are, in fact, radically different.
Do people have a point when they worry about “gradualism” assisting in the degradation of the sacraments and our understanding of them? Is there a possibility of it being misunderstood and misused? Oh, yes, and that’s worth being concerned about, particularly given the church’s poor catechetical transmission over the past five decades — when it has most desperately been needed — and the Curia’s self-destructive habit of not controlling its message but allowing important teachings, documents and exhortations to be filtered through the secular press, and thereby reduced to the least-helpful soundbites.
Father Dwight Longenecher is concerned about the seeming double-speak on co-habitation, and I get that, but then again. . .the thing about Calah’s story is that Calah and her husband were taking the church on its own terms, while still trying to extricate themselves from their sins, and were therefore willing to work within the discipline, willing to withhold themselves and (so to speak) “take their medicine” of refraining from Communion, until they were in a state of grace.
It seems to me this is where things fall apart and gradualism becomes scary for people; precisely at the line where people place their sense of entitlement before their willingness to try something as radical as obedience, which is strong, strong medicine, and must be taken with an IV of humility.
Yes, I get the scary part. But I also get the humane part that evangelizes people back into church by seeing them in their totality and walking with them. Gradualism is a time-consuming and one-on-one sort of pastoring, and we have so few priests well-trained to it, and so many Catholics or potential Catholics, in great need: how can shall we manage this?
The laity will have to step up. The priests will need the support of a nursing and nurturing laity — a laity willing to humbly assist the patients, and their priests, with hands-on support and their prayers, and with a minimum of hand-wringing about how it “looks” to have all these spiritually bedraggled people milling about the pews, giving scandal to the church, as though we do not do that, all of us, every day, anyway.
We really must pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to forcefully guide the synod and its wisdom, and then keep praying all the way through to the next synod, next year. It’s that grave an issue.
There are a lot of prodigals who are “still a long way off” and whom the church wants to “run out to meet.” Gradualism is effective ministry, but it’s a long healing. Done correctly, it can completely renew the church. Implemented poorly (as was VCII) and it can be a wrecking ball, and pfft goes Catholic credibility and too, too many souls.
I’ll let Calah close this:
The danger inherent in the idea of gradualness lies in losing the distinction that JPII made — the law of gradualness is not the same thing as gradualness of the law. We knew we were in sin. That was clear. No one told us that it would be okay if we went ahead and took communion, since we were working on that whole “not sinning” thing. We went to Mass with our friends and the Ogre’s family and stayed in the pew during communion, and everyone knew why. But we kept going, and when we finally got to receive with everyone else it was amazing. That approach would probably not be healthy or helpful with some people…the point is, only the pastor can know when, where, and how to apply it.
But for ordinary laypeople, our job is not to figure out when, where, and how someone is sinning or not sinning. Our job is not to cast out those among us who smell suspiciously like sulfur, or whose hair looks a bit tinged from brimstone, or whose companions in Mass cry “irregular!” from the bare ring fingers of their same-gendered hands.
And that is not our job for a very simple reason: if we’re always looking for scandal, we’ll find it everywhere.
What is also everywhere, whether we’re looking for them or not, are souls trapped in the mire of mortal sin and desperately in need of Christ. Please don’t cast them out. There were people in the Church who tried to cast me out, who went to extraordinary lengths to bar the door against me. I can’t begin to tell you how much it hurt to feel unworthy and unwanted by the people I recognized as keepers of Truth and bearers of Christ.
And there you have it. So people, just remember that the doom-prophets don't have the foresight on the Church, and that their message is thankless, and spiritually damaging and full of despair. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH, NOR THINK WITH ITS MIND. Does that mean we are to just be tolerant of everything? No. However, we should be thankful in our faith life and with others, and not everything that "Modernist" Rome does is poisonous. If anything, the gravity is lesser than the Chicken Littles are saying.
Pax and Happy Thanksgiving, Julian.
P.S. Oh yeah! New Latin Mass update Here! St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir is doing their annual Christ the King Mass Sunday October 26th @ 1pm, I'm serving in it.
P.P.S. The Trads Behaving Badly, are not all badly, nor all the time. Here's an example of a guy who does attend their organized Masses and supports them, but is demonstrating that Pope-bashing and the Modernist Rome thing isn't their modus operandi 24-7. There are times some of them actually can have Joy and thank fullness in their lives and not act like their Trad-masters.
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