Apr 13, 2007

Motu Proprio to be Issued in May

I'm going to stick my neck out and say the Motu Proprio is definitely to be published in May, the month of Mary the Virgin Mother of God. The blog, Rorate Coeli, has kept everyone abreast of all the promising news on the universal permission for the old Latin Mass.

Here's what Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State in the Vatican, said in an April 2 interview in Le Figaro--(using a somewhat modified Babelfish translation, not too accurate, but you'll get the drift.)
The value of the conciliar reform is intact [not trying to undo Vatican II and the Novus Ordo]. But the great liturgical inheritance given by saint Pius V [the old Latin Mass] should not be lost, as the faithful want to attend Masses according to this rite, within the framework of the missal published in 1962 by the pope John XXIII. There is no valid reason not to give to the priests of the whole world the right to celebrate according to this form. The new authorization [of the old Latin Mass] by the sovereign pontiff obviously does not invalidate the rite of Paul VI [the Novus Ordo Mass]. The publication of the Motu Proprio specifying this authorization will take place, and it will be the Pope himself who will explain its motivations and the framework of its decision. The sovereign pontiff will personally give his vision of the use of the old missal to the Christian people, and in particular to the bishops.
Then on April 7, a nasty editorial was published in the French national daily, Le Monde, entitled "The Church in Retreat" which lamented the Papal decision to further expand the old Latin Mass. Some of my favorites of the 30 comments on the Rorate Coeli post on the nasty Le Monde editorial included:
"Weeping and gnashing of teeth."
"This is one of the most ludicrous editorials that I have read in some time. Given the howls of indignation the Pope is right on target with the motu proprio."
"More drivel brought to us from the authors of the French Revolution and secular humanism."
" Sore loosers"
" Militants of ancient tradition, unite! Thank you, Le Monde, for reminding us that our instincts are correct."
Finally, the Italian daily Il Tempo published an unsigned article on April 10 claiming in the headline that the Motu Proprio will be issued next Monday, 16 April, after the celebration of the Holy Father’s 80th Birthday. [Thanks to Father Z for this information.]

New Traditional Catholic Bloggers in KC

I've been negligent reading the local Catholic bloggers. Guess what, there's more of them than I thought! Take a look at Christopher's blog, Lost Lambs. Chris identifies himself as a 22-year old "lost lamb" with two children. I highly recommend his personal story where he describes how the death of his grandmother led him to the old Latin Mass.

Kansasopolitanus is another new traditional Catholic blog offered by Daniel, who attends the old Latin Mass in Kansas City, MO. Based on comments from others, he's a doer!

Traditional Catholic Mom is written by Augusta, a 24-year old stay-at-home mother and convert whose husband introduced her to the old Latin Mass. I've got to try her taco soup recipe. Augusta has a brother-in-law who is a novice at St. Benedict's in Atchison.

Indulterer X is a fourth new traditional Catholic blogger from Kansas City. He's a good writer and should compose more posts (but perhaps less about shoes and the mall!).

There's also a new guy who is very excited about being accepted at Conception Abbey. See Pater Noster Benedict.

[I just checked Wolftracker and he already has listed most of them! You're ahead of me, WT!]

John C. Wright, Again....

I am continuing to read John C. Wright' Journal, the atheist writer of science fiction who converted to Christianity a few years ago. Here is a sample of his recent and extended discussion with atheists. Pray for him.
It is the failure of modern systems, after Kant, to explain synthetic a priori reasoning which has led to the foolishness (e.g. Marx) and triviality (e.g. Wittgenstein) and wickedness (e.g. Nietzsche) of modern philosophers. The moderns no longer believe the mind of man can deduce truths about the universe and know right from wrong. Without an assumption that reason tells us real things about the real universe, we are left with three possibilities: philosophy is an intellectual superstructure or rationalization imprinted on our false consciousness by the mechanics of the inanimate forces of history around us (Marx); or philosophy is just a word-game (Wittgenstein); or philosophy, especially moral philosophy, is an arbitrary convention of the small minded that the great should shrug aside during their triumphant march into the superhuman (Nietzsche)
At no point did I say that a man could reason himself to a belief in God. At most, philosophy can argue that the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle or the Absolute of Hegel exists: but this God of the Philosophers does not have the character and personality of the God in the Bible (even though the God in the Bible, oddly enough, does have the character of the God of the Philosophers). I do not think anyone can believe in God unless he is inspired or suffers a revelation, or accepts the testimony of someone else who is or has. Theology, reasoning about God, is defensive, not persuasive. I cannot possibly talk you into belief in God: all I can do is show you why, once I have accepted such a belief, my ideas are rational and cohere each with their axioms and conclusions.

Christianity is the default position for several reasons: its age proves it has stood the test of time; it is a mature and a beautiful view of the world; it has a salutary effect; it has no serious rivals.
Keep in mind that during its 2000 year history, Christianity has been opposed by many rivals. Only Islam has any staying power, and, frankly, Islam copies many of the best features of the Judo-Christian tradition, but leave out some specific humanizing elements and beatitudes that gives this sad copycat religion the barbaric backwardness so much on display today.
Everything else has flourished and faded. Is communism still a viable rival for the affection of the intellectuals and common man? What about Logical Positivism? Deism? Theosophy? Albigensianism? Donatism? Montanism? Gnosticism? Right now, the only contender on the field is a type of naïve materialism that can't even explain itself, much less the universe, and offers no reason or meaning to life.
The historical dominance of the belief does not necessarily show that it is right; but it does show that every generation was sufficiently convinced of its verity to pass it along to the next, and each new generation was sufficiently impressed to accept the learning and add to it. The jury has been sitting for two thousand years, and a single nay vote of one generation would kill it as dead as Thor-worship.

Small Dollars to Change the World

Have you ever thought about starting your own very small charitable foundation? I have because then I could decide exactly what my money would be used for. I've found that the most effective charity starts at home and in our church and local communities. If you look, you can find all kinds of ways to work privately for good. You won't be able to take a tax deduction, but you will do your small part to change the world.

Most of the time, only a few dollars are needed to make a huge difference in what happens to people in their future lives. Here are some gifts people have given me or that I have learned about from others:
  1. Buy a subscription to a good Catholic magazine or newspaper for someone special. It really can be a lifelong gift.
  2. Volunteer to take someone's little kids so the couple can see a movie like "Into Great Silence." Pay their way.
  3. Give the altar boy who won't get a nice present for Confirmation (because his family can't afford it) a special gift.
  4. Pay for a small ad in a local paper (either Catholic or secular), volunteering to send a person a free small catechism of the Catholic Church.
  5. Design a contest to draw out the best in Catholic students. Mail an announcement to schools, or ask a Catholic newspaper or church bulletin for free publicity. Give small money prizes.
  6. Pay for a Catholic Information booth at the county fair. Ask the Legion of Mary or another parish organization to staff it with materials and people.
  7. Invite a person to go with you to a Catholic movie, conference, monastery, or shrine and treat them to lunch or dinner. You'll enjoy it more than they will!
  8. Keep your eyes open to help someone with a special need; often it won't cost much.
Now, it's your turn to suggest ideas of where to spend "Small Dollars to Change the World."

Apr 10, 2007

Should I Reconsider?

I've heard from several people who believe that dusty's reviews of Catholic churches in the Greater KC area should not have stopped--(see sidebar for relevant posts on different churches). Our oldest daughter gave me a 'hard' time on Easter Sunday because she believed the series is a good historical record of rapidly changing conditions in Novus Ordo parishes. She believes, as do I, that the imminent future in Catholic parishes will be like the late '60s when the Mass and other aspects of Catholic practice changed dramatically in a short time. Yet there is little documention of what actually happened in individual Catholic churches during that very important time period.

Do readers have comments on whether to proceed with the series? And if so, how, and under what conditions?

Divine Mercy Sunday and Catholic Printing Houses

Next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday with its great opportunity for a plenary indulgence. I've ordered some holy cards with this icon image because my Mother is particularly attached to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Icons are a wonderful substitution for the poor religious art of the past 40+ years!

When Mother and I are driving together, we try to say the full rosary or the chaplet together. More information on the Divine Mercy devotion and this icon image are available at the Printery House of Conception Abbey in northwestern Missouri. I won't vouch for all their products, but the selection has improved over the past several years. [I still like the Angelus Press the best however, because their books feed the soul.]

For a long time, I would not touch anything from Conception Abbey (and its associated printing house) in the Kansas City diocese because they appeared to have lost their faith. A friend of mine liked to visit seminaries and he told me about ten years ago, that his new visit to Conception showed the seminarians had changed from being primarily effeminate to now being mostly true men. [I'm only repeating what a good man with a lot of experience visiting religious houses around the world told me.] With Bishop Robert Finn now in charge, I have ever higher hopes that Conception's destiny is full of hope and promise.