Nov 10, 2006

Great Moral Defect of the Catholic Schools

A close relative was a long time teacher in the Catholic elementary schools. She taught during the cross-over from the 'old' Catholic schools of the early '60s to the 'new' Catholic schools of the '70s. I asked her about her experiences, and she mentioned two. Her first observation was that the later children were definitely not as well-behaved and seemed to find learning more difficult. She believed these were the result of many more divorces of parents and especially of women working outside the home.

Her second observation was related to the first. Because so many children now had parents who were divorced, the diocese, in its teacher training program, strongly recommended that the sins of divorce and remarriage be slighted in the classroom. The purpose was to not to place a child in the situation of having his/her parents criticized by the teacher, especially if the teacher also taught the child that mortal sin condemns a soul to hell. An additional purpose was not to drive students away from Catholic education because their parents were divorced and attempted remarriage. Many Catholic schools apparently continue this policy today.

The results of the policy not to teach students about the death that mortal sin causes have not been good. In some Catholic schools, even though 90+ percent of the students are Catholic, they are not taught Catholic morals, if it means criticizing the practices of the parents. The schools seem afraid that they will lose students if they do this. Is it then surprising that the great majority of Catholic students do not attend Sunday Mass? Even up to 95 percent, as estimated by some friends?

Parishioners are promised that parochial schools will develop new Catholics for the future of their parish, but they begin to wonder why they should contribute to parochial schools when the results are so bad. Some good Catholic parents believe that this kind of compromise with sin is so much in error that they begin to home school their children. Some of the best Catholic children are lost to the Catholic school system. Good parents strongly believe it is necessary to follow the example of Jesus Christ who said to follow a narrow path to heaven and avoid sin, even those sins well-liked by some in the community!

Pope Benedict XVI reminded the faithful that mortal sin leads to damnation, in a sobering message at his Angelus audience on November 5. [See the related post on Fr. Gonzales' blog--BTW, he offers the new Tridentine Mass in Phoenix.] Yet how can sin and its effects be discussed in a classroom without offending parents of students? Short answer: It can't!

Teachers must teach about mortal sins, even those committed by family members of the students. The teacher can explain, as my own grade school teacher did for a student whose parents did not take him to Mass one Sunday, that the student is obliged to tell his parents that he really wants to go to Sunday Mass and that it is a mortal sin to miss. The nun then explained to our class that the student was not responsible for missing Mass if he did this, even when the parents did not take him to Mass.

With regard to other serious sins, this age requires the child to remind poor parents that serious sins will send them to hell. Teachers need to explain that children must continue to respect their parents in all things but sin, and give examples of the kinds of statements and questions that students should make to their parents living in sin. That has to become a major purpose of the Catholic schools. Yes, some students will be lost, some homeschooled children will now attend if the faith is taught clearly by the teachers, but the children who remain will know what God requires of us. Most importantly, they will begin to practice evangelization--starting with their parents!

Nov 9, 2006

The Remnant Analysis

I subscribed to The Remnant Newspaper beginning in the late '60s after Walter Matt resigned as editor of The Wanderer and began to write a new, small newspaper that claimed Vatican II was not good for the Church. Walter Matt and his columnist, Michael Davies, always seemed to say what I felt and wanted to say myself.

Walter died some years ago, and his son, Michael Matt, is proving to be a worthy successor to the highly respected father. I recommend Michael's recent analysis of the Universal Indult, in the context of current rumors and projected happenings in Rome.

Bloody Scars

I would like to personally congratulate Missouri Catholic bloggers who worked so hard to oppose the Cloning Stem Cell Initiative. Wolftracker, you led the way with blog after blog, day after day. Curmudgeon did much the same and introduced a final three major posts on the Clone and Kill Amendment: Perspectives from a Cleric, Lawyer, and Doctor. Catholic Knight, more than anything, your good post on spiritual measures needed to march into immortal combat brought the battle into perspective.

To all of you who prayed, lost sleep, made deep financial sacrifices, wrote blogs, passed out signs, talked with your neighbors, wrote letters, developed bumper strips, and gave deeply of yourselves to do God's work--May God bless you with His choicest gifts for recognizing His littlest ones. Our Lord Jesus Christ wants more people to fight like you fought. Your bloody scars will make you even more worthy combatants in the future. This war is a long one.

Nov 8, 2006

Una Voce - Arkansas Ozarks

Una Voce Arkansas Ozarks has developed five recent monthly newsletters. The latest one discusses Kansas City traditional Catholics.

The Ottaviani Intervention

One of the most important documents of the Catholic Church in the 20th century is the Ottaviani Intervention. The Intervention is a relatively small study developed in 1969 by a number of good bishops and theologians. It was presented to Pope Paul VI by two senior Vatican Cardinals who saw serious theological and other problems with the new Mass. You'll have to judge for yourself as to the validity of their observations.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council assumed that the great Roman Rite would be maintained in all its essentials and would continue to be the principal form of the Mass. This did not happen. Inside the Vatican magazine notes in a May 2004 editorial: "A New Mass was created that "attracts and 'enables' abuses because it was intentionally shaped to diminish the 'transcendent' and emphasize the 'profane' dimension.

"The New Mass has turned out to be a rite too rapidly produced and too influenced by the rampant secularization of the 1960s. Pope Paul VI himself was hesitant about the new Mass, as he was about so many things. He approved it half-heartedly. It is said that after he attended a 'trial run' of the new Mass, he said, 'But where is the mystery? The mystery is gone!' He himself felt something was missing in the new Mass, but promulgated it anyway."

Pope Benedict XVI is trying to patch up the New Mass, but I believe his efforts may take too long and achieve only limited success. Current news items indicate Benedict XVI soon may free the ancient, holy liturgy of the Roman rite that sustained the Saints of the past and allow it to be restored in almost all parishes. The restoration of the old Latin Mass seems necessary for the Church to come out of a very harsh 'winter' when many of our children and friends became spiritually weak and died.

Nov 7, 2006

Rat Poison in the Church

Don't forget to read the recent speech by Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, NB.
....we should however, realize that the Catholic Church in the United States, and to a large extent throughout the Western World, is facing a very formidable series of crises. is an aphorism that probably can be statistically verified that the largest religious group in the United States is the Catholic Church, but the second largest is fallen-away Catholics, lapsed, non-practicing, those who have abandoned the Catholic faith.

Unless there is a strong realization among practicing Catholics that there is a crisis, and that this crisis deserves our resolute determination to confront it and overcome it, we will not get very far, except to descend further into the bleakness of this sad kind of winter. Unless the patient realizes he is sick, he will not expose his wounds to the necessary healing medicine that would provide a cure for his problems.

Even the healthiest fish cannot swim along in polluted waters.

In Nebraska, where I come from, at this time of the year, harvest time, there are a lot of rodents who try to intrude themselves in, feasting on the corn, soybeans, and other products of the fields. This requires the farmers to put out appropriate amounts of rat poison to prevent this from happening. The rat poison that is put out is always 95% healthy, good, wholesome, nourishing food. It is only the 5% in the poison that does the killing. I think that this has been overlooked in the ecumenical and inter-religious dialogues sometimes, that inserted into things which might have elements of truth, are also very serious elements of error that place in jeopardy one's eternal salvation.

The clash of culture represented by the Muslim demography and onslaught in our time, which reflects the Islamic expansionism of times past, cannot be successfully confronted by an easy-going pluralistic tolerance. It can only be confronted by a reinvigorated Christianity, a reinvigorated Catholic faith.

Vocation to the Cloistered Life

Discalced Carmelites
Valparaiso, Nebraska

A young woman from Kansas City was recently clothed with the garments of the cloister. In her investiture of early November, 2006, Lindsay Jennings assumed the religious name of Sr. Mary Pia of the Cross.

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska was dedicated on December 14th, 2001, the Feast of St. John of the Cross, and the Papal Enclosure was set by Bishop Bruskewitz. Over 25 priests were in attendance. Perhaps just as important, over 4,000 visitors attended the open house following the dedication.

One of the very interesting stories that happened at that time is told at the website of the Las Vegas Marian Center.
The Lincoln Journal-Star had published a really nice article about the dedication and more specifically about the high altar. They published two photos of the altar. One from the dedication and one as it was, back in the hospital chapel. Saturday morning a gentleman from Minnesota was traveling through Nebraska and had stopped to eat breakfast. While reading the paper he saw the article and could not believe his eyes! There on the page was the altar that he had disassembled over 30 years ago.

He immediately went to the monastery and when he walked in to the chapel he could not hold back the emotion. He sobbed uncontrollably. He never thought he would ever see the altar again. He was the man that was hired to disassemble it and for years it bothered him that he had been the one to take apart something so beautiful and it would never be seen again. Once again he was standing before it in all its glory. We had never seen a man so happy. He stayed and talked with the Sisters for over an hour. Just one more example of the countless graces and blessings being poured out on people as a result of the Sisters' prayers.
Photos of the investiture ceremony of Sr. Mary Pia of the Cross are courtesy of a friend who attended this important event. Other photos are here.

Kansas City Catholic Bloggers

Kansas City has a good stable of Catholic writers, most of which seem to be traditional Catholics of a younger age (with the exception of old man Jovan and me!) If you haven't visited their web sites, this might be the time.

Dr. Bombay is a student at a public university and has blogged since early 2006. The Dr. is a Senior Member of the Catholic Answers Forum and has almost 1,500 posts to his credit. His blog, Confraternity of Uber Catholics, often blows hurricane winds at modernist cows, who if they were standing at the beginning of his post, are laying down dead or laughing hilariously at the end. [Can modernists really laugh at themselves????]

Christopher Rossman started his blog in 2005 and will be ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas next Spring. His homilies are posted at An Instrument of God, but some of the early ones seemed a little light. He is currently writing a piece on the Sacrifice of the Mass that is beginning to sound very good. Finally, Christopher has done a superb job of explaining and motivating readers to pro-life efforts--especially regarding Missouri Amendment 2 that would allow human cloning.

Wolftracker began his blog, Kansas City Catholic, in Spring 2006 and quickly attracted a large audience. If you want to know what is going on in the Catholic church in this area, read his blog. Wolftracker seems to have an eye for good Catholic news. I always ask myself if he is an insomniac to produce so many good posts. He also posts to the Bishop Finn Fan Club.

KCPriest at Sacerdos in Aeternum initiated several very good discussions on his blog, but he hasn't posted anything since August. I hope he returns, because when he writes a post that asks a question, he can generate over 60 interesting comments in response.

Jovan at The New Crusade is a one-issue guy who has projected the Church's main enemy for the next 100 years--Islam. Give the guy credit for great long distance vision! I love the little pig in Crusade armor that accompanies Jovan to battle. Don't forget to give him a look.

Stephen of True Restoration is another busy and very prolific Catholic blogger with attachments to Kansas City. Stephen's excellent blog occupies the very important right flank of the army opposing Modernism. He recently organized a new Yahoo group that features a daily "one minute devotional" from a book of prayer or spirituality or an encyclical.

Curmudgeon has returned to his Cave, and I'm afraid it is a permanent loss. If anyone wanted to know what church was which and its history in the Kansas City area, you went to his blog. If you wanted to get a raspy opinion of what's wrong with the Church, Curmudgeon would clarify it for you. Curmudgeon never bit his own tongue to keep silent; rather he was that rarity of the news--a heretic biter. He constantly nipped at the heels of heretics in the Church--especially those who proclaimed loudly their loyalty but betrayed it with their actions.

Chad is a new (2006) Catholic who posts at Chad is Not Enough. He also contributes to a group blog at Per Christum. Chad first informed his readers last January that he was investigating Catholicism. Read his opening post on Figuring out the Church. The writer who had the most impact on Chad is Thomas Howard, author of Evangelical is Not Enough. I like his sidebar picture, "I Love Bishop Bruskewicz."

Mr. R. M. A. J. Romero is a 23-year old Catholic blogger who has posted at Caritas Christi Vrget Nos since January 2006. He loves God, Mary, the Church, and the poor. See Ave Maris Stella where he tells a little about himself and the Blessed Virgin Mary. I think I'm going to like him!

Then there are the great Kansas City voices who read and comment on Kansas City Catholic blogs. These include Alison, dotte, Cranky, .... Who am I missing?

Nov 6, 2006

Prayer for the Defeat of Modernism

With a slight change, the old prayer for the defeat of Communism seems very good for the defeat of Modernism and all the other enemies of God. May I please ask readers to say it today.
Eternal Father, I offer thee the Cross of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and all the instruments of His Holy Passion, that Thou mayest put division in the camp of Thy enemies; for as Thy Beloved Son hath said, "A kingdom divided against itself shall fall."

Vatican II - A Great Moral Flaw?

I've just finished reading an extraordinary article in the October 15, 2006 issue of The Remnant Newspaper. Raymond B. Marcin, Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America, proposes a radical thesis. He argues that a great moral flaw in Vatican II contains within it "an implication that the participants in the Second Vatican Council could not have been cooperating with the oversight of God the Holy Spirit."

Can a Council of the Church be defective? Professor Marcin quotes Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI):
...[n]ot every valid council in the history of the church has been a fruitful one; in the last analysis many of them have been just a waste of time.

...the last word about the historical value of Vatican Council II has yet to be spoken.
Archbishop Chaput of Denver made similar comments in December 2005:
While all true ecumenical councils are important in the life of the Church, some failed to achieve their goals. The Council of Florence failed in the 15th century because the Western Church was badly divided and the Greek Church could not accept a union. The Fifth Lateran Council (1512-1517) failed in the 16th century because it focused on the wrong issues. It did too little too late to change the conditions that led to the Protestant Reformation.
Professor Marcin goes further and points out that all of the Bishops who participated in Vatican II adopted measures inconsistent with the Oath Against Modernism--which they had all subscribed to when they were ordained. This solemn oath was supported by many prior Papal documents, and was not rescinded by the Vatican until 1967, two years after Vatican II concluded.

Professor Marcin identifies remarks of Cardinal Ratzinger, where he explains documents of Vatican II were a revision of earlier Papal documents.
If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [of Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions), it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus.
Professor Marcin notes that Cardinal Ratzinger suggested that Vatican II documents "were intended to 'correct' what he called the the one-sidedness of the anti-modernist position adopted by the Church under Pope blessed Pius IX and Pope Saint Pius X, the Popes whose Syllabi of Errors and Encyclicals warned agains the dangers of Modernism."

The article by Professor Marcin should be read by every serious student of Vatican II.

Looking for Signs and Apologies

For years I've believed one of the first signs that the Church will begin to recover from its surrender to Modernism is when Bishops remove references to Vatican II from the first paragraph of every document they issue. Indeed, it seems there are far fewer references to Vatican II in Bishops' current statements.

The second sign will be a Papal apology to Catholics. This apology should be easy, because recent Popes have already apologized for the schism with the Orthodox, the 'excesses' of the Crusades and the Inquisition, and treatment of the Jews and Galileo. John Paul II in 2000 finally issued an overall apology to everyone who felt aggrieved by past church actions over the past 2000 years.

The new apology from the Pope should be to Catholic parents who now cry daily because of their children's loss of faith. These children are now agnostics, pagans, secularists, and Protestants. I hope the apology comes before the parents die and specifically notes the bad catechetical instruction received by most Catholic children since the last 1960s.

Alas, Curmudgeon, Farewell...

Curmudgeon's departure from active blogging is much regretted. He was usually the first Catholic blog I checked when I logged on. Curmudgeon was the one who bravely charged into the line of fire and often caused readers either heartburn or reevaluation of why they believed as they do. You knew his posts would not waste your time and would be informative and worthwhile to read. He was zealous, irritating, informative, irritating, truthful, irritating, passionate, irritating, Catholic-to-the core, irritating, etc....

Alas, poor Curmudgeon! I knew him well, fellow bloggers: a fellow of infinite irascibility, of most excellent observations: he hath striped us on our souls a thousand times; and.... Where be your gibes now? your wit? your irony? your flashes of passion that were wont to set your readers on a roar? Alas, poor Curmudgeon, farewell...