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Inculturation at Papal Masses; next, Poland and St. Faustina
National Catholic Reporter ^ | 8/7/2002 | John L. Allen

Posted on 08/13/2002 7:22:41 PM PDT by sinkspur

Press coverage of John Paul’s July 30-August 1 trip to Mexico turned mostly on his statement of support for the “legitimate aspirations” of indigenous persons, putting it in the context of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, as well as inroads among indigenous groups in Latin America by Evangelical Protestants. The media focus was thus political and inter-religious. This is entirely proper, but I confess that my optic was more intra-ecclesial. I was in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe for both the July 31 canonization of Juan Diego, to whom the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared, and the beatification August 1 of two Zapotec Indians, Juan Bautista and Jacinto de los Angeles, martyred in 1700. What struck me in both cases was the startling degree to which both liturgies were “inculturated,” meaning that they drew heavily upon the sacred traditions of the native cultures involved.

When the pope pronounced the words of canonization for Juan Diego, conch shells began to blow, and the hundreds of indigenous persons present began to shake rattles they had brought for the occasion. Then native music began to thump out, as 11 dancers in Aztec costume slowly twirled their way down a specially prepared runway. As they snaked their way towards the pope, incense was burned and candles lit, while flower petals were strewn in their path. Finally red confetti was fired over our heads. It was an electrifying moment, and left the people inside the basilica cheering like it was Game Seven of the NBA finals.

As we were filing out to catch the press bus, a colleague from one of the American TV networks, a non-Catholic, said to me: “Hell, if they did Mass like this all the time, I’d come!”

The next day was a repeat performance. The Nahautl, Zapotec and Mixtec languages, all spoken in the martyrs’ southern hometown of San Francisco Cajonos, were used during the liturgy. When the pope formally beatified Bautista and los Angeles, once again native dancers appeared on the runway, this time accompanied by a welter of indigenous brass bands from Cajonos and other nearby towns. Thousands of indigenous persons clapped, sang and swayed in time, as the dancers made their way toward John Paul.

Perhaps most remarkably, Indian women bearing smoking pots of incense brushed branches of herbs on the pontiff, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and other prelates in a limpia, or purification, ceremony. The common Indian blessing is believed to cure spiritual and physical ailments by driving off evil spirits.

Anyone who follows the Vatican knows that one of its most protracted internal tensions is between Bishop Piero Marini, responsible for the papal liturgies, and Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, who runs the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The latter makes the rules; the former sets the tone through what happens when the pope himself celebrates. Medina tends toward a traditionalist, by-the-book stance, while Marini is more reform-minded.

The Mexican celebrations, with their unapologetic embrace of elements of native worship, reflected the Marini imprint. But the $64,000 question is, whose side is John Paul II on? He signs Medina’s documents and yet celebrates Marini’s liturgies, so some accuse him of trying to have it both ways.

As a general rule, I suspect John Paul tolerates this tension as an exercise in pendulum governance, giving a little bit here and a little bit there, never letting any wing of the church feel too alienated. On this theory, the pope sees not a contradiction but a dialectic.

While such inconsistency can be maddening to observers trying to figure out what the church stands for, I dare say if you look closely, most pontificates embrace seeming contradictions. It was John XXIII, the beloved reformer, whose 1959 Roman synod forbade priests from driving cars or going to the cinema, and who decreed in his 1962 apostolic constitution Veterum sapientia that only Latin be used in seminaries. It was Paul VI, the “pope of the council,” who gave us both the new Mass as well as HumanaeVitae. How to explain this? John XXIII once quipped that he had to be pope both of those with their foot on the accelerator, and those with their foot on the brake. Such a view of papal responsibilities sometimes makes for a muddled approach to policy, but perhaps also for a kind of balance over time that prevents the whole thing from spinning apart.

On the issue of indigenous elements in Christian worship, however, I have two bits of datum suggesting the pope’s heart is with Marini — one theological, the other anecdotal.

The theological reason is the way John Paul has developed the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) on other religions. Vatican II for the first time spoke positively of other religions, saying that not infrequently they contain “elements of truth and grace.” Yet the Council did not resolve the question of how those “elements of truth and grace” got there. As Karl Rahner wrote, “The precise theological value” of non-Christian religions “was left open.”

The question at the close of the council was: Are the truths of other religions simply evidence of a universal human yearning for God, a kind of “natural religion?” Or are they inspired by God’s Holy Spirit as part of a salvation history more complex than we had previously imagined?

John Paul II has answered this question, defending the second, more progressive hypothesis: that God, through the person of the Holy Spirit, “inspires” at least some elements of other religions.

Consider this line from a radio address to the peoples of Asia, Manila, Feb. 21, 1981: “Even when for some he is the Great Unknown, He nevertheless remains always in reality the same living God. We trust that wherever the human spirit opens itself in prayer to this Unknown God, an echo will be heard of the same Spirit who, knowing the limits and weaknesses of the human person, himself prays in us and on our behalf.” Or this, from the pope’s annual address to the curia on Dec. 22, 1986, this time defending his inter-religious summit in Assisi in October of that year: “Every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in the heart of every person.”

One could go on multiplying examples (by one count there are at least 50 such statements). As Jesuit theologian Jacques Dupuis writes in his recent book Christianity and the Religions: From Conflict to Encounter: “The peculiar contribution of Pope John Paul II to a ‘theology of the religions’ consists in the emphasis with which he affirms the operative presence of the Spirit of God in the religious life of the ‘non-Christians’ and in their religious traditions.”

That’s the doctrinal reason I believe John Paul liked what he saw in Mexico. He believes those sacred dances, rites and gestures come from the Spirit and hence have a place in Christian worship.

My anecdotal reason?

I had a pair on binoculars with me, and I kept my eyes on John Paul on day two as the native dancers and mariachi bands did their thing. There was little response at first, but as the performance built up a head of steam, I saw the pope smiling broadly and tapping out the rhythm of the music. As papal endorsements go, it was indirect — but unmistakable.

* * *

Speaking of the Mexico leg of John Paul’s journey, one bit of subtext was whether Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, would be present. Maciel is a Catholic celebrity in Mexico, and on John Paul’s four previous journeys he has been a leading actor. This time, however, Maciel faces highly public charges of sexual abuse from several former members of the Legionaries, and there was speculation as to whether he would be exiled from the papal orbit.

On the day of Juan Diego’s canonization, I tried asking local organizers if Maciel were present. They had no idea. I asked four Mexican journalists, each one of whom proffered a different opinion. After attempts to spot him through binoculars failed, I tried a different tack, calling a Legionary friend in Rome. He declined to respond.

That night I headed off to a press conference at the Inter-Continental Hotel scheduled for 6:00 p.m., to ask Monsignor Guillermo Ortiz Mondragón, the designated spokesperson for the papal visit. 6:00 p.m. came and went, and no Ortiz. I enlisted the help of several very polite young men who had been stationed in the hotel to help journalists. After a half-hour, one came back with the news that his sister “swore” she had seen Maciel at the basilica. When I informed him this was not sufficient, he returned to the hunt.

Eventually they produced Ortiz. I put my question to him, and he responded: “I have heard nothing about Maciel being here, and I’m sure I would have heard if he were.” It was a curiously non-definitive response.

The next morning, I rode to Mass in the company of a member of the papal entourage. I asked about Maciel, and he was finally able to resolve the question: “Maciel was in the front row yesterday,” he said, referring to the Mass for Juan Diego. “I said hello to him myself.” I then asked if Maciel had greeted the pope, and my source, who was in a position to know, said he had.

However low profile, I believe Maciel’s presence at the Mass, and his greeting of John Paul, can only be seen as a show of support from the pope.

Two footnotes.

A major newspaper recently printed a story saying that Maciel was “expected” to travel in the papal party. I don’t know exactly who held this expectation, but I was on the papal plane and Maciel was not there. Just to be sure, I asked Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the Vatican spokesperson, on August 5, and he confirmed that Maciel did not travel with the pope.

Second, about those helpful young men … it turns out they were students at Legionary schools. The press operation for the pope’s trip was run by prominent Mexican members of the lay branch of the Legionaries, called Regnum Christi.

* * *

If you were tuned into the Italian press for coverage of the Mexico trip, you would have been following a dramatic “assassination attempt” against the pope.

It was certainly a riveting story. The only flaw is that it wasn’t true.

What happened is this. A fourteen-year-old Mexican, Erick Angel Hernandez Gomez, fired a BB-pistol out the window of his family’s apartment on the afternoon of July 31, along the route John Paul was to take from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the papal nunciature. The shots were fired well before the pope went by. One pellet slightly grazed a Mexican police officer, though it did not cause a wound. The boy was briefly arrested, then released into his parents’ custody when it became clear he hadn’t meant to harm anyone. (The judge called the boy’s action “a stupid joke”).

An Italian news agency, however, reported that the pope had been fired upon and that a Vatican security agent had been hit. With that, the chase was on. Italian reporters on the trip got urgent calls from their editors, demanding accounts of “panic in Mexico City” — despite the fact that a couple of steps out the hotel door was enough to prove that there was no such panic.

The lesson is not to be seduced by dramatic news flashes in the middle of a breaking story until confirmation emerges. This time it was the Italians, but it’s hardly a geographically limited temptation.

* * *

John Paul’s next journey outside Italy will take place August 16-19 in Poland. Fans of the papal resignation hypothesis have long been licking their chops over this trip. Why go now? Why for only three days? Could it be to announce John Paul’s long-rumored exit from the papal stage, then spirit him off to a monastery?

I seriously doubt it, though events could always prove me wrong.

In fact, there is a precise motive for the visit, with a deep resonance in John Paul’s spirituality. He is going to dedicate the new Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki, outside Krakow. It is named for a devotion to God’s mercy launched in the early 20th century by a Polish nun named Faustina Kowalska, whom the pope canonized on April 30, 2000 (making her the first saint of the new millennium).

Faustina believed that Jesus had appeared to her in 1931with a message of mercy for all humanity. Her spiritual director commissioned an artist to render a painting of Jesus as he appeared in her visions, which has become the well-known image of Jesus with two rays of light streaming from his heart. (The red ray represents the blood that flowed from Christ’s side when struck with a spear on the cross, the white the water). Her 600-page diary of the visions is known as Divine Mercy in My Soul. She devised various prayers and spiritual acts to support this devotion before dying in 1938.

Faustina has long been an important figure in the life of John Paul II. As an underground seminarian during World War II, he was influenced by Kowalska’s diary. When he became archbishop of Krakow, he began the process of her beatification, which he brought to fruition as pope.

John Paul’s devotion to Faustina has critics. Some see her quasi-apocalyptic insistence on human unworthiness as excessive. Others object to the way the pope placed the divine mercy feast on the second Sunday after Easter, hence “disrupting,” according to some liturgists, the Easter season. (Especially given that Easter is supposed to be about the joy of resurrection, not our constant need for mercy). Still others say the pope shouldn’t use his office to foist his personal spirituality on the rest of the church.

Those may all be valid points, but I still think there’s something to like about the Faustina story.

For almost 20 years, from 1959 to 1978, Faustina’s diary and her divine mercy devotion were officially banned by the Holy Office, today’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Working from what is today recognized as a faulty Italian translation of her diary, the Holy Office decided that Faustina’s private revelations were quirky and effectively silenced her movement.

It was thus a minor bit of defiance for Archbishop Karol Wojtyla to open canonization proceedings on October 21, 1965, for someone whose lifework was still officially censored in Rome. The Vatican’s ban on Divine Mercy Devotion was finally lifted on April 15, 1978, and in short order Wojtyla became pope. His 1980 encyclical Dives in Misericordia is heavily influenced by Kowalska’s thinking, in its own way reminiscent of how certain documents of Vatican II were inspired by figures censured under Pius XII.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has argued that its documents and disciplinary decisions participate in the “ordinary and universal magisterium,” which over time becomes the infallible teaching of the church. This may be, but as the case of Faustina shows — as did that of Padre Pio, also canonized by John Paul after having been disciplined several times during his life by Rome — only time can tell whether any given decision of the congregation really reflects that magisterium or not. In other words, even the Holy Office nods.

* * *

Two weeks ago, I described an interview I conducted with Fr. Peter Gumpel, the man responsible for the sainthood cause of Pius XII, about the book The Popes Against the Jews by David Kertzer.

Professor Kertzer was kind enough to respond, and among other points he boiled down the argument of his book into one paragraph. I asked his permission to reproduce it here. Kertzer wrote:

“The Nazis were behind the Holocaust, and the Nazis were also anti-Christian and anti-Catholic. But their ability to carry out the Holocaust depended on mass grass-root hostility to the Jews, and as I try to show, the Catholic Church played a significant (though far from exclusive) role in fueling these hatreds.”

Stated that way, there perhaps is not as much distance between Kertzer and Gumpel as one might imagine, since Gumpel allowed in our interview that anti-Jewish sentiments expressed in organs such as L’Osservatore Romano and Civilità Cattolica may have reinforced prejudices against Jews in early 20th century Europe.

I suppose the real argument (not necessarily between Kertzer and Gumpel, but among students of the issue in general) is not whether the church played a role in shaping anti-Semitism, but whether it has sufficiently acknowledged that role, repented for it, and insured that it does not recur.


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1 posted on 08/13/2002 7:22:41 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sitetest; Catholicguy; *Catholic_list; Desdemona; Salvation; narses; ultima ratio; Polycarp; ...
Some interesting stuff on John Paul II.
2 posted on 08/13/2002 7:29:31 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur; GatorGirl; tiki; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
More on "Inculturation" in the real world sinkspur:

Human Life International reported yesterday that some South African's are calling for ancestor worship and animal sacrifices to be included in the liturgy of the Mass. According to Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Bloemfontein, plans to include African pagan rites during the Mass is in response to the Vatican's invitation to "inculturate" Catholic rites.

Hearing that both priests and lay people were making such plans, an outraged Father Richard Welch, President of Human Life International, steamed, "In the letter to the Hebrews, Saint Paul discussed the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross with the following words: 'For it is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away…Sacrifice and oblation thou would not…Behold, I come…He takes away the first, that he may establish that which follows…we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once.'"

"This means that all animal and other such sacrifices to God ended with the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross. To distort and change that perfect oblation of the body and blood of Jesus Christ is an abomination," said Father Welch. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that superstition, idolatry, divination and magic are perversions of the virtue of religon. It is a sacrilege to profane the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and it is an especially grave sin when committed against the Holy Eucharist."

UNIVERSAL PAGAN ORIGINS

In Mardi Gras and Rio Carnival owe soul to Dionysus, Raiders News Update pointed out that Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry, was believed to be "the craving within man that longs to 'let itself go' and to 'give itself over' to the baser earthly desires." Such Dionystic abandonment included animal sacrifice, ancestor worship, and corruption of the concepts of Holy Communion.

Like those hoping to join animal sacrifices with the Mass, followers of Dionysus resisted every effort to control paganism. They believed that Dionysus visited a terrible madness upon those who tried to deny him his free expression. Conversely, people who gave themselves over to the will of Dionysus were rewarded with unlimited psychological and physical delights.

Mythical systems of mental punishments and physical rewards based on resistance and/or submission to Dionysus, were both symbolically and literally illustrated in the cult rituals of the Bacchae, as the Bacchae women (Greek women who participated in the mysteries of Dionysus) migrated in frenzied hillside groups, dressed transvestite in fawn skins and accompanied by ritual sacrifices, screaming, music, dancing, and licentious behavior.

When, for instance, a baby animal was too young and lacking in instinct to sense the danger and run away from the revelers, it was picked up and suckled by nursing mothers who participated in the hillside rituals. But when older animals sought to escape the marauding Bacchae, they were considered "resistant" to the will of Dionysus and were torn apart and eaten alive as a part of the fevered ritual. Human participants were sometimes subjected to the same orgiastic cruelty, as the rule of the cult was "anything goes," including bloodletting, beastiality, etc. Later versions of the ritual (Bacchanalia) expanded to include male revelers, and perversions of sexual behavior were often worse between men than they were between men and women. Anyone daring to resist Dionysus was subjected to sparagmos ("torn apart') and omophagia ("consumed raw").

In B.C. 410, Euripides wrote of the bloody rituals of the Bacchae in his famous play, The Bacchantes:
...the Bacchantes....with hands that bore no weapon of steel, attacked our cattle as they browsed. Then wouldst thou have seen Agave mastering some sleek lowing calf, while others rent the heifers limb from limb. Before thy eyes there would have been hurling of ribs and hoofs this way and that, and strips of flesh, all blood be-dabbled, dripped as they hung from the pine branches. Wild bulls, that glared but now with rage along their horns, found themselves tripped up, dragged down to earth by countless maidens hands.
Euripedes went on to describe how Pentheus, the King of Thebes, was torn apart and eaten alive by his own mother as, according to the play, she fell under the spell of Dionysus.

SUPERNATURAL COMMUNION THROUGH BLOOD SACRIFICE

The tearing apart and eating alive of sacrificial victims may refer to the earliest history of the cult of Dionysus. An ancient and violent cult ritual existing since the dawn of paganism stipulated that, by eating alive, or by drinking the blood, of an enemy or an animal, a person might somehow capture the essence or "soul-strength" of the victim. The earliest Norwegian huntsmen believed in this idea, and they drank the blood of bears in an effort to capture their physical strength. East African Masai warriors also practiced omophagia, and they sought to gain the strength of the wild by drinking the blood of lions. Human victims were treated in this way by Arabs before Mohammed, and head-hunters of the East Indies practiced omophagia in an effort to capture the essence of their enemies.

The Maya and the Toltecs practiced similar ritual human sacrifice, cutting the heart from tens of thousands of living victims and drinking their blood.

[Photo inset: August Le Plongeon christened the reclining Maya figure at the summit of the Temple of the Warriors a "chacmool," a ritual figure believed to be a messenger to the gods. The dish on its stomach held the heart of the sacrificial victim.]

Today, omophagia is practiced by certain Voodoo sects as well as by cult Satanists. Such modern omophagia illustrates a continuing effort on the part of Satan to distort the original revelations of God. Eating human flesh and drinking human blood as an attempt to "become one" with the devoured is, in many cases, a demonization of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion.

But sparagmos and omophagia, as practiced by the followers of Dionysus, was not an attempt of transubstantiation (as in the Catholic Eucharist), nor of consubstantiation (as in the Lutheran communion), nor yet of a symbolic ordinance (as in the fundamentalist denomination), all of which have as a common goal the elevating of the worshipper into a sacramental communion with God. The goal of the Bacchae was the opposite: The frenzied dance; the thunderous song; the licentious behavior; the tearing apart and eating alive; all were efforts on the part of the Bacchae to capture the essence of the god (Dionysus) and bring him down into an incarnated rage within man. The idea was not one of holy communion, but of possession by the spirit of Dionysus.

When one recalls the horrific animal and human sacrifices made by the followers of Dionysus, it's easy to understand Father Welch's outrage: "…if a Greek bishop requested permission to unite Easter Mass with a sacrifice to Demeter [see Raiders News Update article on Easter], he would be an object of mockery. This is a blatant contradiction of the first commandment hiding in the sheep's clothes of diversity. These practices were begun in the worship of false gods."

Father Welch concludes, "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a hidden treasure of graces obtained for us by Jesus Christ with His Death at Calvary. As we begin the Lenten Season and commemorate the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, we must pray that the people of South Africa, and all those who dissent from the Church, will return to the one true and eternal faith."
3 posted on 08/13/2002 7:46:52 PM PDT by narses
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To: sinkspur; sitetest; Catholicguy; *Catholic_list; Desdemona; Salvation; narses; ultima ratio; ...

The original image, from Krakow. We've 'inculturated' the image a bit in the USA.

4 posted on 08/13/2002 8:58:39 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko; JMJ333; Siobhan; Aquinasfan
(Bump!) Jesus I trust in You!
5 posted on 08/13/2002 9:09:41 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: Mike Fieschko
I like the original. From what I have read, Sr. Faustina was disappointed in the image. But Jesus told her that even though the image was to be venerated, it shouldn't be the focus. My personal favorite versions of the Divine Mercy Image are these:

This one is from the inside of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It was painted by Maria Gama in 1945.

The other one is from the Monastery Icons company. It was painted by iconographer Photios Kontoglou.

Here's a close up of the bust area from the Kontoglou icon.

I really like Byzantine-style art, actually.

6 posted on 08/13/2002 9:27:16 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: narses
Thanks for the flag.

Probably wasting your breath with Sinkspur where Mexicans and Africans are concerned.

7 posted on 08/13/2002 9:52:45 PM PDT by Askel5
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To: sinkspur
Interesting article. thanks for posting it.
8 posted on 08/13/2002 10:41:48 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: Pyro7480; Mike Fieschko
Thanks to both of you for posting those pictures.

In her book -- Divine Mercy In My Soul - Diary, I've seen the "first image" of the original painting and it closely resembles (the face appears thinner in the book) the first painting posted by Pyro. However, probably because of costs, it's in black of white and not as clearly defined as the painting you posted.

9 posted on 08/14/2002 7:17:35 AM PDT by Sock
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To: Sock
Here it is truncated and on the right of this composite.
10 posted on 08/14/2002 7:26:45 AM PDT by Sock
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To: Askel5
Probably wasting your breath with Sinkspur where Mexicans and Africans are concerned.

Either this remark is meant to imply racism on my part, or it does imply racism on your part.

As far as I'm concerned, inculturation is a settled issue liturgically: native customs are perfectly appropriate for inclusion as long as they don't require mopping the floor afterward.

11 posted on 08/14/2002 7:30:59 AM PDT by sinkspur
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: HDMZ
Here is an example of proper outrage at the "communicatio in sacris" and pagan rituals that occured, as reported by Chris Ferrara in the Remnant.

Chris Ferrara is no reporter. He's a propagandist, whose outrage is the only emotion he has. He spends his life looking to fuel that outrage and it is a grave misfortune that unwitting dupes find him in the least credible.

13 posted on 08/14/2002 8:02:03 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: sinkspur
Very interesting article. Thank you. I'm another who does not understand why a local touch, without venturing into pagan waters, is so bad. Some of the bizarre modern dancing I could do without, but that's personal taste.

But, when a saint is being canonized, why not? And what's so horrible about the way the Navajo venerate Mary. To them, she is as much mother earth as the mother of God. She's very prominant. And the Italians with the processions of the saints and the canopy with the monstrance (sp?). I've witnessed both and they are amazing to see.

Let's think about this. Christmas is on December 25 because it was the feast of a pagan god and it was the only way they could get people to go to Mass. The two, Catholicism and paganism, are linked in ways like this. And to remove ritual slides into protestantism, IMO.
14 posted on 08/14/2002 8:19:52 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: HDMZ
THE REMNANT?

You mean the "We Protest you to your face" rag edited by Michael Matt? The same little pathetic compendium that advocates a Catholic monarchy as the "ideal" form of government?

Chris Ferrara and Matt are borderline schismatics.

You know, you're ultima ratio with a bad attitude.

Both of you are annoying and, frankly, beside the point.

15 posted on 08/14/2002 9:02:48 AM PDT by sinkspur
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: HDMZ
Judging from your postings you obviously are not.

Anathema sit.

You sit. On a very sharp stick.

Do you agree with THE REMNANT that a Catholic monarchy would be much better for America than the present Constitutional Republic?

17 posted on 08/14/2002 9:59:03 AM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
John Allen?--not exactly the anti-Christ but where was the 'hold-your-nose' alert? (benign crankiness)
18 posted on 08/14/2002 4:07:39 PM PDT by Havisham
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To: Havisham
Why the hostility to John Allen? His reports cover aspects of the Vatican NOBODY ELSE seems to be interested in, and he is not a flaming liberal like so many at NCR.

There is simply no other Catholic paper that provides his perspective.

I read the NCR, regularly. Much of it is goofy stuff, but there are usually two or three articles that are worth reading. Allen's is always among those.

19 posted on 08/14/2002 4:17:44 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: Pyro7480
Thans for the flag, pyro! =)
20 posted on 08/14/2002 4:18:41 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Desdemona
Christmas is on December 25 because it was the feast of a pagan god and it was the only way they could get people to go to Mass.

I thought it was Dec 25 because that's nine months from the Annunciation. ;^]
21 posted on 08/14/2002 4:48:35 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: sinkspur
Faustina believed that Jesus had appeared to her in 1931with a message of mercy for all humanity.

It seems the other posters have beat me to the image, so here's an aspect to the Divine Mercy that may or may not be known.

Why would Christ emphasize in our time a doctrine, the Divine Mercy, which has been part of the patrimony of the Faith from the beginning, as well as request new devotional and liturgical expressions of it? In His revelations to St. Faustina Jesus answers this question, connecting it to another doctrine, also sometimes little emphasized, that of His Second Coming. In the Gospel the Lord shows us that His first coming was in humility, as a Servant, to free the world from sin. Yet, He promises to return in glory to judge the world on love, as He makes clear in his discourses on the Kingdom in Matthew chapters 13 and 25. In between these Comings we have the end times or era of the Church, in which the Church ministers reconciliation to the world until the great and terrible Day of the Lord, the Day of Justice. Every Catholic should be familiar with the teaching of the Church on this matter, contained in paragraphs 668 to 679 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Only in the context of public revelation as taught by the Magisterium can we situate the words of private revelation given to Sr. Faustina.

You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429) 

Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy.  (Diary 848) 

Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).

I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)

Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)

He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).

In addition to these words of Our Lord Sr. Faustina gives us the Words of the Mother of Mercy, the Blessed Virgin,

You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy. (Diary 635).

It is clear that, like the message of Fátima, the urgency here is the urgency of the Gospel, "repent and believe." The exact timing is the Lord's. However, it is also clear that we have reached some critical phase of the end times that began with the birth of the Church. To this fact Pope John Paul II alluded at the consecration in 1981 of the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenaza, Italy, when he noted the "special task" assigned to him by God "in the present situation of man, the Church and the world." In His Encyclical on the Father he urges us "to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history ... to beg for it a this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world as we approach the end of the second millennium." (Rich in Mercy

22 posted on 08/14/2002 5:08:33 PM PDT by NYer
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To: HDMZ; ultima ratio; narses; sinkspur
St.Chuck and sinkspur, I notice neither of you, or others of your ilk, EVER attempt to refute the FACTS - BECAUSE YOU CAN'T.

I refuted the claim that Chris Ferrara is a reporter. He described the events at the canonization as "insane", which is a subjective comment, worthy of an editorialist. He is not, nor ever been objective, so to describe him as some kind of journalist with any legitmacy is erroneous, and needed to be pointed out.I suspect you would do the same thing had you noticed.

More generally, facts don't necessarily need to be disputed. What is more pressing is the (in)significance, (lack of)meaning, and (mis)application of facts by some people. Take this fact from Ecclesia Dei:

" In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church's law."

I don't need to refute it. It is crystal clear to me what it means. But for some, it means that the authority and primacy of the Vicar of Christ is illegitimate. For others it means the French bishops are really in control. These are the things that need to be refuted.

Instead like your father, the Father of Lies, you attempt to divert attention from the facts, ignore the truth, chip away slowly like all heretical liberals at the Deposit of the Faith, and basically gnash your teeth, rent your garments and generally foam at the mouth in indignation whenever the light of day reveals your nefarious actions.

You don't like my posts.

You've been given a free pass by the real Catholics on this list for much too long. Your tactics with them in every posting are to pressure them to concede as much territory to the right as possible or to separate themselves from brother Catholics. As Pope Pius XI said, there are no enemies on the right.

The political spectrum is circular. The far right, let's say libertarians, can have leftist or liberal tendencies.Drug legalization is one example where leftists and the far right come together. As well, leftists can have fascist qualities. Socialism and communism are leftist philosophies with large doses of totalitarianism. In the case of right wing schismatics in the church, they have moved around the circle to join the Call to Action and We are Church crowd. They all share the same elements of cafeteria Catholicism that puts them in a precarious position. They all reject certain elements of the Magesterium. Yes, the pope is once again right. There are no enemies on the right.

23 posted on 08/14/2002 10:17:56 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: sinkspur
I bet you'd have never thought yourself and I of the same "ilk". :o)
24 posted on 08/14/2002 11:35:50 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
You hold on to Ecclesia Dei as though it were Sacred Scripture. But it cannot undo, and did not undo, Canon Law, which is also the Pope's word. And these canons provide that a State of Necessity can void an excommunication. These were clearly the canons Archbishop Lefebvre knew exonerated him. But even if they did not exist, the Doctors of the Church themselves have taught that a command to harm the Church is unlawful and must not be obeyed, even if the command were given by a pope.

SSPX is virtually the memory of the Catholic Church. It is Catholicism as it had always been practiced before the post-conciliar debacle. Its Masses and devotions and teachings are what the Church has always prayed and taught. Nor does it reject this Pope. In fact, it prays for him at every Mass, though it would openly deny he has any authority to oppose traditional Catholicism. This is because his authority exists only to GUARD the traditional faith, not to undermine or destroy it.

There are some on this thread who believe the Pope himself decides what is tradition. Such a notion is an absurdity and would deny tradition its own objective content. Tradition is what is passed on, not what is invented. It is what guarantees the validity of the deposit of faith. It is precisely because such truths are handed down UNCHANGED from apostolic times to our own that we affirm them. If they may be altered, then the whole of the deposit would be placed in doubt. Yet tradition itself is what this modernist Pope and his appointees are now actively dismantling.

Here is what the papal oath of office says:

I VOW TO CHANGE NOTHING OF THE RECEIVED TRADITION, AND NOTHING THEREOF I HAVE FOUND BEFORE ME GUARDED BY MY GOD-PLEASING PREDECESSORS, TO ENCROACH UPON, TO ALTER, OR TO PERMIT ANY INNOVATION THEREIN.

And the oath closes with this powerful avowal:

ACCORDINGLY, WITHOUT EXCLUSION, WE SUBJECT TO SEVEREST EXCOMMUNICATION ANYONE--BE IT OURSELVES OR BE IT ANOTHER--WHO WOULD DARE TO UNDERTAKE ANYTHING NEW IN CONTRADICTION TO THIS CONSTITUTED EVANGELIC TRADITION AND THE PURITY OF THE ORTHODOX FAITH AND THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, OR WOULD SEEK TO CHANGE ANYTHING BY HIS OPPOSING EFFORTS, OR WOULD AGREE WITH THOSE WHO UNDERTAKE SUCH A BLASPHEMOUS VENTURE.

If the Pope himself had the power to determine what tradition is, would he be obliged to take such an oath? Yet this Pope acts as if he may violate it at whim--as he did most flagrantly at Assisi--and he does nothing to check those who continue to attack the very traditions he is obliged under pain of excommunication to protect. In fact, these ecclesiastical forces are imposing upon the people what is tantamount to a totally new religion, replete with its own new Mass, its protestantized culture and its own set of newly-minted doctrines.

The recent declaration of the American bishops on our relations with the Jews is only the latest test for this papacy. If Rome either ignores or supports this heretical declaration, it will make utterly clear that John Paul II does not intend to reject apostasy or oppose the forces which oppose the Catholic Faith, as he is bound by the papal oath to do.


25 posted on 08/15/2002 6:03:01 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
You hold on to Ecclesia Dei as though it were Sacred Scripture.

You ignore it as if it didn't exist.

But it cannot undo, and did not undo, Canon Law, which is also the Pope's word. And these canons provide that a State of Necessity can void an excommunication. These were clearly the canons Archbishop Lefebvre knew exonerated him.

Lefebvre was mistaken. It has been shown to you on numerous occaisions how he was mistaken.Your unacceptance of the Church's position can only be attributed to.....well, I don't know the cause. It's very sad though. Your constant repition of your private interpretation of canon law will not change the facts.

But even if they did not exist, the Doctors of the Church themselves have taught that a command to harm the Church is unlawful and must not be obeyed, even if the command were given by a pope.

Nothing the pope has done concerning Lefebvre has been harmful to the church. On the contrary, he acted to protect the primacy of Rome, and the salvation of individual souls.

SSPX is virtually the memory of the Catholic Church. It is Catholicism as it had always been practiced before the post-conciliar debacle. Its Masses and devotions and teachings are what the Church has always prayed and taught. Nor does it reject this Pope. In fact, it prays for him at every Mass....

OK, you point that out every day. I'm glad. He needs all the prayers he can get.

Yet tradition itself is what this modernist Pope and his appointees are now actively dismantling.

Apparantly the prayers the SSPX are saying for the pope are going unheard.

as he did most flagrantly at Assisi

Ah - the Assissi battle cry. ( Yawn )

The recent declaration of the American bishops on our relations with the Jews is only the latest test for this papacy. If Rome either ignores or supports this heretical declaration, it will make utterly clear that John Paul II does not intend to reject apostasy or oppose the forces which oppose the Catholic Faith, as he is bound by the papal oath to do.

I would have thought that it was utterly clear to you already. I doubt that the pope will have anything to say about some obscure committee's ( to you it's all the American bishops)in the hinterland of the Church's frontier, making some meaningless, feel good statement. I suggest you ignore it. I suggest the SSPX continue it's extraorinary efforts in providing missions to convert Jews to Catholicism. You all can continue to hand out Catholic tracts outside synagogues. Defy the pope..er..committee.

Have a blessed Feast of the Assumption.

26 posted on 08/15/2002 8:16:23 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
You write, "Lefebvre was mistaken." Surely you realize this makes no difference--even if he was mistaken, so long as he believed a State of Necessity existed, the excommunication was void. So even if you are correct, that the Pope was right and Lefebvre wrong--which I suggest is absurd in view of the modernist debacle of the past 30 years--the Pope's own canons state the Archbishop incurred no excommunication if he merely believed he was acting out of a State of Necessity. The Pope, moreover, has never abrogated these canons. They are still in force and condition anything he might have said in Ecclesia Dei.

The top canonists in Rome, moreover, believe no excommunication was incurred. And not long ago when the Bishop of Honolulu excommunicated six Catholics for disobeying his warnings not to attend SSPX Masses, the six appealed to Rome and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruled the excommunication was invalid since the six individuals were clearly not in schism for attending such Masses. Still again, in 2000 when the Prefect for Ecumenical Relations sought to place the SSPX among other churches outside the Catholic Church--i.e., with Orthodox and Protestant churches--the Prefect of the Office of Ecclesia Dei refused to allow this, stating, "The SSPX is an internal affair within the Church."

If I repeat myself as you keep saying, it is because you and others still don't get it. SSPX is not in schism and never has been. Wishing won't make it so. Neither am I or others schismatic for attending SSPX Masses.

27 posted on 08/15/2002 10:51:11 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: St.Chuck
One final point. The Bishops put out the declaration as a representative statement of the entire conference. If it was actually an obscure committee and not the whole body of bishops, one still has to marvel at the audacity of the few who would make so daring a pronouncement on the part of the many. It is still another indication, along with the gay subculture that has decimated our seminaries, that discipline within the Church is virtually non-existent.

So whether this declaration proves consequential or not, if the Pope takes no action, it will show clearly once again how dangerously slow he is to put a halt even to statemnts of outright heresy.


28 posted on 08/15/2002 11:07:31 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: sinkspur
I can't agree with you about John Allen. The mere length of his article would be enough to raise my suspicions over whether he means to report or promote 'Unitarianism' in the Catholic church. I agree that the National Catholic Reporter is no more offensive than the bishops' Catholic New Service. I periodically skim both to know what they're planning next for the flock.
29 posted on 08/15/2002 2:46:05 PM PDT by Havisham
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Goldhammer
1. Msgr. Perle has long had an animus against traditionalism, and against SSPX in particular. He's hardly someone to cite as being fair- minded or objective.

2. It is true the Pope is the supreme Legislator in the Church. He has his Canon Laws and they allow for a State of Necessity which voids any excommunication which may have been incurred for disobedience. (canons 1320 and 1323.) The Pope, moreover, despite the motu prop. has never abrogated these laws. And they apply whether or not the Archbishop was objectively mistaken or not. As long as he sincerely believed there was a State of Necessity, no excommunication was incurred.

3. Ecclesia Dei has itself declared SSPX is "an internal matter in the Church". It refused for this reason to turn over its files to the Prefect for Ecumenical Relations.

4. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about ten years ago overturned the excommunication decree of the Bishop of Honolulu against six Catholics. The six had been charged with schism for attendance at SSPX Masses. Card. Ratzinger declared that the six individuals were not involved in a schismatic act and could not be excommunicated.

5. Some of the finest canon lawyers in Rome have stated the excommunication of the Archbishop was invalid.
31 posted on 08/15/2002 8:28:35 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: Goldhammer
For a fuller response see my reply to St. Chuck above (reply 25).
32 posted on 08/15/2002 8:32:19 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
You write, "Lefebvre was mistaken." Surely you realize this makes no difference--even if he was mistaken, so long as he believed a State of Necessity existed, the excommunication was void.

I understand that you hold the " State of Necessity " clause as Lefebvre's loophole. But, as I have explained before, Lefebvre's loophole can, and was, trumped.This is from Canon Law 1323, the pertinent phrase: An excommunication is null and void if someone acted "by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, UNLESS, however, the act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls; That word "unless" is key here. I'll grant, for argument's sake, that Lefebvre really believed he had a reason of necessity. But that reason of necessity is voided by the "unless" clause. Because, the pope judged Lefevre's reason of necessity to be intrinsically evil, and/or harmful to souls. How do we know this? In Ecclesia Dei the pope wrote:" Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church's law."A grave offense against God is harmful to souls. I hope you would agree with that. Therefore, the state of necessity becomes void.

I am aware that I have explained this before. I regret that I've needed to again. I just want you to be certain that I understand your defense of Lefebvre. You should understand that I don't buy it because of the "unless" clause. That's all.

33 posted on 08/15/2002 9:33:53 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: St.Chuck
You think an action to disobey in order to preserve traditional Catholicism was INTRINSICALLY evil? What planet are you living on? Did Lefebvre try to assassinate the Pope--or rape a six-year-old? Those would be INTRINSICALLY evil acts. The act of disobedience in itself is not intrinsically evil. It is certainly permitted under certain circumstances--to resist a command to do what would harm the Church, for instance. You need to read up on moral theology.
35 posted on 08/16/2002 5:50:12 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: St.Chuck
Let me get at this from another angle. First, it is certain that the act of consecrating bishops in disobedience to the Pope is not in itself intrinsically evil. This is because an intrinsically evil act is by definition always and everywhere evil. Abortion is considered by the Church an intrinsically evil act. This is because good motives would not change the essential evil of the act, though it would mitigate it.

Archbishop Lefebvre's act of disobediene in consecrating bishops could not be an intrinsically evil act in that sense. Doctors of the Church teach that even the Pope may be disobeyed under certain circumstances--when he supercedes his own authority and commands that which would harm the Church, for instance. Whether this was the case or not with Archbishop Lefebvre, what is indisputable is that his was not an intrinsically evil act. On the contrary, it was an act that was good or bad, depending on circumstances and perceptions. For Lefebvre, the attempt by Modernists to change essential Church doctrines and to destroy Church institutions, coupled with the systemic corruption that was spreading everywhere within the Church, was sufficient reason for believing a State of Necessity existed.

But did his action harm souls? The evidence is it did not and could not--unless it put his followers in formal schism. SSPX, after all, teaches and practices Catholicism as it was taught and practiced for two thousand years, adding nothing that is in any way novel or extreme. Surely such Catholicism is not harmful to souls! But did Archbishop Lefebvre place his followers in schism?

Cardinal Ratzinger himself has answered this question when, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he overturned the excommunication decree of the Bishop of Honolulu against six Catholics who attended SSPX Masses despite repeated warnings. The bishop had charged the six were formerly schismatic. But the decision by Cardinal Ratzinger stated explicitly that their actions did not constitute acts "of formal schism" as the bishop had supposed.

It is no secret that it is the opinion of top canonists in Rome that the excommunication of Lefebvre was void by reason of his perception of a State of Necessity and that his fraternity consequently had never been in true schism. This seems the basis for the Ratzinger decision. It also seems the basis for the continued inistence that the whole matter of Rome's relation with the SSPX is "an internal matter of the Church" and does not properly fall under the aegis of the Prefect of Ecumenical Relations for those outside the Church.

There is this claim, however, that somehow attending SSPX Masses might eventually lead to a schismatic tendency or attitude--but this danger is never defined or explained and appears as just another attempt to discourage traditionalist Catholics from attending SSPX Masses. Since the SSPX acknowledges the Pope as the head of the Church and prays for him at every Mass and when it leads the faithful in recitations of the rosary, how are the faithful placed in jeopardy? The truth is traditionalists who follow the fraternity must put up with a lot of abuse by badly informed Catholics who claim--on the basis of diocesan pundits who demonize the SSPX every chance they get--that its followers are either schismatic or heretical. These charges are thrown around willy-nilly without any attempt to decipher the legal and moral intricacies of the debate from both sides. This is done to dampen enthusiasm for the traditionalist movement in general.

So getting back to your initial objections: 1) the Archbishop's act of disobedience was not intrinsically evil; 2) it did not in any way harm souls; 3) the argument of the State of Necessity therefore was a valid one and voided any excommunication.
36 posted on 08/16/2002 7:08:55 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
You think an action to disobey in order to preserve traditional Catholicism was INTRINSICALLY evil?

It's not about what I think. It's what the Church thinks. "Tends to harms souls" is probably more applicable here if you don't like intrinsically evil, although disobedience certainly qualifies as such in some instances.

37 posted on 08/16/2002 7:50:33 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
Resisting a pope is not in itself unCatholic. WHAT MATTERS IS THE REASON FOR RESISTANCE. You are very confused about these matters. As for harm to souls, how is it harmful to teach Catholic doctrine and to practice Catholicism as it had always been practiced?

Do you know anything at all about the background to the dispute of SSPX with Rome and the French bishops? Do you know, for instance, about the dismissal of a parish priest by his French bishop for the crime of leading a procession of the Blessed Sacrament? Or of another priest dismissed for the crime of saying the old Mass--though no official abrogation was ever promulgated? These were the same bishops who would use every means available to protect clerical pederasts and heretics. Do you think the Archbishop didn't see what was going on? Give me a break.
38 posted on 08/16/2002 8:16:53 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
There is this claim, however, that somehow attending SSPX Masses might eventually lead to a schismatic tendency or attitude-

I've made an exhaustive list of character traits I've found to be caused by SSPX membership on another thread. I believe that the SSPX tends to inculcate a disordered paradigm. I derived my opinion by talking to many SSPXers. They all have the same tendencies. I think many bishops recognize these tendencies as well.

Since the SSPX acknowledges the Pope as the head of the Church and prays for him at every Mass....

LOL I don't know why you feel you need to keep telling me that. Is praying for the pope in mass somehow supposed to mitigate the insults you hurl and contempt you disply for the pope whenever you are not in mass?

The truth is traditionalists who follow the fraternity must put up with a lot of abuse by badly informed Catholics who claim--on the basis of diocesan pundits who demonize the SSPX every chance they get-

I'm still laughing. This is a good example of the hypocrisy the SSPX is known for. You cry demonization when that is all you do to the Catholic church. You despise the mass, the hierarchy, the theology,the councils, the popularity of the pope-all. Yet you expect your movement to be shown respect by those you despise. Believe me, I am being charitable when I describe that as kooky.

This is it for me Ultima. I'm not interested in repeating myself and that's all we seem to be doing. If I don't repond to anything else you might have to say, it's because it's probably been covered before. Thanks for playing. Pax et bonum.

39 posted on 08/16/2002 8:45:16 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
Your tirade proves my point. Show me where I have used such abusive language against others on this site, yet you and others routinely abuse those who put forth arguments to show the Archbishop was right. You do not address the points argued, you attack the persons making them, talking about vague "tendencies" that all seem to add up to this: we are not to criticize the systemic apostasies and corruptions that have poured forth from the conciliar Church for the past forty years.

In other words, we are not supposed to THINK. We are supposed to accept the revolutionary changes that have been imposed on the laity since Vatican II, including the institution of a Mass that is indistinguishable from a thoroughly Protestant worship service and in clear contradiction to the Council of Trent. If we should speak out against such radical changes and inform others of their illegitimacy, we are being schismatic--or at least tending in that direction.

Yes, I have criticized the Pope--as any Catholic has the right to do for acts which are thoroughly unprecedented and unorthodox--such as praying with voodoo priests and witchdoctors or kissing the Koran. I have done so in a context of extreme adulation of the Pope on the part of some on this site who refuse to attribute to his papacy any responsibility for the systemic wrongs and breakdowns in discipline and doctrine which currently plague the Church. If you don't like this, I am not surprised. But it is not doing anything but placing the blame for the current mess where it rightfully belongs.


40 posted on 08/16/2002 9:18:54 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: Desdemona
Let's think about this. Christmas is on December 25 because it was the feast of a pagan god and it was the only way they could get people to go to Mass.

Christmas is celebrated on the 25th because that is the day Jesus was born.

41 posted on 08/16/2002 10:03:59 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
No, I hate to tell you this, but the census was in June. December 25 was the feast day of a Celtic god and wasn't set as Christmas until, like, the 4th century while the Romans were converting the Brisish Isles and Ireland. I'll have to really seriously look it up, but I know that's the case.
42 posted on 08/16/2002 10:07:38 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: HDMZ
As Pope Pius XI said, there are no enemies on the right

Cite the quote, please. That phrase was proposed to "The Remnant" by one of its supporters years ago. I know because I used to subscribe to The Remnant. The one proposing it was a gentleman from "Keep the Faith," as I recall.

43 posted on 08/16/2002 10:09:40 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
Amazingly enough, I actually found this.

Christmas was set as Dec. 25 by Julius I, Bishop of Rome, in 350 A.D. Every pagan religion had a celebration at that time. Legend has it that Christmas was set to compete with the pagan religions. I've heard so many explainations over the years, the truth lies, I'm sure somewhere in the middle. But Christ was DEFINITELY not born in December. Historical records show that the census was in June. More than one scholar also believes that the translation from the Greek of the might be incorrect on a couple points.

I'm hungry. Lunchtime.
44 posted on 08/16/2002 10:17:12 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: St.Chuck
. If I don't repond to anything else you might have to say, it's because it's probably been covered before.

It has been , repeatedly. It makes no difference how many times Patent and Sitetest patiently chased down his misquotes and fabrications and corrected them. He will not abandon his position, for now.

Responding to his ceaseless repitition of the same errors will only encourage him to continue.

45 posted on 08/16/2002 10:20:21 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Desdemona
Christmas was set as Dec. 25 by Julius I, Bishop of Rome, in 350 A.D. Every pagan religion had a celebration at that time. Legend has it that Christmas was set to compete with the pagan religions. I've heard so many explainations over the years, the truth lies, I'm sure somewhere in the middle. But Christ was DEFINITELY not born in December. Historical records show that the census was in June. More than one scholar also believes that the translation from the Greek of the might be incorrect on a couple points.

I'll have to wait until I get home, but, off the top of my head, there is internal evidence of the Bible and external evidence - well,it used to exist.

I wouldn't leap to the 'definitely" conclusion. Some of the thngs I have lead me to think that 12/25 is DEFINITELY correct :) But, I think this a good oportunity to reconsider that date

46 posted on 08/16/2002 11:08:35 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: ultima ratio
Your tirade proves my point. Show me where I have used such abusive language...

Tirade? And to think that I have been consciously exercising restraint. Oh well.

I never accused you of using abusive language, so I'm not going to show you anything.

Yes, I have criticized the Pope--as any Catholic has the right to do for acts which are thoroughly unprecedented and unorthodox--such as praying with voodoo priests and witchdoctors or kissing the Koran. I have done so in a context of extreme adulation of the Pope on the part of some on this site who refuse to attribute to his papacy any responsibility for the systemic wrongs and breakdowns in discipline and doctrine which currently plague the Church.

I was so proud of you when you substituted mullahs for voodoo priests on another post. That attempt at variety/originality was encouraging. But you've reverted back to voodoo priests. Rats! A relapse.

IMHO, if not for this pope things would be far worse in this church. Liberals despise this pope too, Ultima. He's no modernist. Too laid back, maybe, but that is probably a consequence of a profound inner peace. May the peace of Our Lord also be with you.

47 posted on 08/16/2002 12:23:03 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: Catholicguy
Cite the quote, please. That phrase was proposed to "The Remnant" by one of its supporters years ago.

I was skeptical too. But I decided to use it as a teaching point instead of rightfully questioning it's validity. It does sound a bit fishy.

48 posted on 08/16/2002 12:38:27 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: Catholicguy
Responding to his ceaseless repitition of the same errors will only encourage him to continue.?

There is the Limbaugh school of thought, that when a kook calls up you don't need to respond to him, just let him ramble on and let his arguments reveal for themselves their speciousness. I must admit that I am somewhat bored with it though.

49 posted on 08/16/2002 12:52:09 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
Let me set the record straight. It was you who wrote to me, not the other way around. I simply responded to your posts.



50 posted on 08/16/2002 2:06:00 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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