So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, November 7, 2015

"I am a Catholic and a disciple of the God who hath a horror of lies."

I am a Catholic and a disciple of the God who hath a horror of lies. I seek the truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth. Although our weak eyes do not see at once the uses of it, or rather see damage and peril, we must proclaim it fearlessly.—Charles Ernest Henri de L'Épinois Buchère.
Hard hitting Catholic bloggers are often derided by other (tepid) Catholics for expressing views that are, to the thinking of the "pastorally minded", divisive and uncharitable. The culture of nicey-nice is easily offended by anything that smacks of absoluteness. To believe in absolutes, especially belief in absolute truth, is countercultural. Christ spoke in absolute terms:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.—St. John 6:53b-56.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."—St. John 14:6.
So, let's follow our Master and be countercultural and be blessed for it.

Charity without truth is no charity at all.

While not always agreeing with the mode in which some views are expressed, several bloggers who could be considered "divisive" and who are listed on this site are given a home because they speak truth to power. Not the relativistic "truth" of the liberal-religionist who is solely concerned with accumulating power for the sake of power, just the raw truth which, as acerbic as it may seem to some soft-eared cafeteria (c)atholics, merits serious consideration and, because it is the truth, merits the configuration of one's life to it.

We should all admire those who speak the truth in an uncomplicated or even when expressed in a rough manner. The packaging of the truth doesn't much matter to the person who appreciates the cake more than the box it comes in.

We need more not fewer plain spoken Catholics. We need countercultural Catholics who speak like Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop Athanasius Schneider, Cardinals Pell and Napier. We need Catholics who speak like Kasper, Forte, Durocher, Cupich and other culture-conformists like we need a hole in the head. Is that too plain spoken?

In this era of politically correct speech, I am reminded of the power of simplicity and the freedom demonstrated by certain young people who, like their grandparents, refuse to be hamstrung by the language police. I am happy to be corrected by my younger brothers and sisters, some of whom are not particularly religious and others who are, who express pointed criticism of my occasional attempts to be politically polite when they much prefer the plain, unvarnished truth, or at least an unvarnished opinion based on the facts.

Perhaps the critics of tradition-minded bloggers who express the uncomfortable truth about the behaviour of priests and popes possess those "weak eyes (that) do not see at once the uses of it", i.e., the truth spoken about by the historian Henri de l'Epinois.
(W)hile immoral writers have made only too much capital out of the salacious paragraphs (about Pope Alexander VI) scattered through Burchard and Infessura, there is no more reason now than in the days of Raynaldus and Mansi for concealing or perverting the facts of history.
"I am a Catholic", says M. (Henri) de l'Epinois (Revue des questions historiques (1881), XXIX, 147, "a study that even Thuasne, the hostile editor of the Diary of Burchard, calls "the indispensable guide of all students of Borgia history")"and a disciple of the God who hath a horror of lies. I seek the truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth. Although our weak eyes do not see at once the uses of it, or rather see damage and peril, we must proclaim it fearlessly." The same good principle is set forth by Leo XIII in his Letter of 8 September, 1889, to Cardinals De Luca, Pitra, and Hergenröther on the study of Church History:
"The historian of the Church has the duty to dissimulate none of the trials that the Church has had to suffer from the faults of her children, and even at times from those of her own ministers."
Long ago Leo the Great (440-461) declared, in his third homily for Christmas Day, that "the dignity of Peter suffers no diminution even in an unworthy successor" (cujus dignitas etiam in indigno haerede non deficit).
The very indignation that the evil life of a great ecclesiastic rouses at all times is itself a tribute to the high spiritual ideal which for so long and on so broad a scale the Church has presented to the world in so many holy examples, and has therefore accustomed the latter to demand from priests. "The latter are forgiven nothing", says De Maistre in his great work, "Du Pape", "because everything is expected from them, wherefore the vices lightly passed over in a Louis XIV become most offensive and scandalous in an Alexander VI" (II, c. xiv).
Loughlin, J. (1907). Pope Alexander VI. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved November 7, 2015 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01289a.htm
Transcribed for New Advent by Gerard Haffner.
Like it or not, many Catholic bloggers are doing the work of historians. Amateurs though they (we, many of us) may be, they risk loss of reputation and loss of personal well being rather than turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to, or speak with a muted voice about, the liturgical and theological abuse prevalent in the Church.

It is never pleasant when a priest or a bishop attacks one's witness to the Gospel. I am reminded of those bloggers who have faced the wrath of clergy for calling them out or calling out another priest or bishop for preaching goofball (c)atholicism or for engaging in some lame duck enterprise that puts souls at risk. Said bloggers take solace in the knowledge that the Church has always thrived because of the efforts of those anonymous believers who conserve Sacred Tradition.

There is no reason now... for concealing or perverting the facts of history.

The fact is, the current papacy has none of the doctrinal precision of the former, i.e., that of Benedict XVI, nor any of the bold and even muscular Christianity of Pope Saint John Paul II, an apostle of authentic mercy (i.e., a mercy that does not excuse sin), nor even a hint (at least not yet) of the apostolic fortitude of Blessed Paul VI who, though imprisoned in an era of apostasy and giddy antinomianism, produced a truly prophetic document, Humanæ Vitæ.

What does the current papacy have?

Many are asking that question and a convincing answer is proving difficult to come by. For what it's worth, this blogger maintains the position that the papacy of Pope Francis is more about the apparent unintended effects of his leadership: the exposure of the heterodox agenda; the shrivelling of the outmoded (c)atholicism of liberation theologians and the "Spirit of Vatican II" elitists; increased awareness of the uselessness of a false engagement with Liberal Protestant communities that have abandoned Apostolic teaching; the resiliency and irrepressible ascendancy of the orthodox and the restoration of liturgical integrity in spite of attempts by priests and bishops to suppress Tradition-minded Catholicism, i.e., Catholicism.

Catholic bloggers—all Catholics, of course—should express righteous indignation when priests, bishops and, yes, even a pope stumble around the issue of orthodoxy and the received Tradition of the Church.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.