We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mercy and clarity. We need both.

If the current papacy is the papacy of mercy, the next might be the papacy that embraces Francis' pastoral ease and places it within the confident clarity, may it please God, of a well spoken and unquestionably orthodox Cardinal from the vibrant Church in Africa.

As most are probably aware by now, Pope Francis' stated agenda is to create a mess, which also includes a call to clean up that mess afterwards, as he himself has said.

1.
ASUNCION, Paraguay — Pope Francis is telling young people to shake up society, but then help clean the mess up. His exhortation came Sunday during the final event on his three-country tour in South America.
His comments were a modification of his famous exhortation in 2013, when in Rio de Janeiro he told a church full of Argentine youths that he wanted them to "make a mess" by shaking up their dioceses.
Francis told tens of thousands of young people gathered in Paraguay's capital on Sunday that a fellow priest once told him that encouraging youths to disrupt things up was all good and well, but that later others had to clean up after them.
So Francis said he was correcting himself.
"The mess that young people make, we then have to clean it up ourselves!" he said to roars of laughter. "Shake things up, but then clean it up and fix the mess that you've made."
—Pope in Paraguay | Natacha Pisarenko, The Associated Press
2.
"Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope."
Did the Holy Father mean that, to unsettle a world enamoured in sin and made intransigent by sin, and thus enslaved to sin, one must create a state of flux (a mess?) by shifting the narrative (to mercy?), for example, then guide that fluid state to a constructive end (clean it up!) by modelling a joyful and orthodox Catholic Faith? Need it be said that the Church's mission is to be faithful to Jesus Christ, the one Saviour of the world, and to participate in Christ's mission to rescue souls from sin?

At the Rome Life Forum:
(Dr. Anca) Cernea said, that now, more than ever before, it is critical for the Catholic Church return to its mission of saving souls from the evil one’s ever expanding clutch.

“Thus, for the eternal salvation of millions of souls, the Church should be leading the fight against ideologies, and especially against Cultural Marxism, both in [her] public teaching and in [her] confession,” she said.

She said that Christians around the world must oppose movements within and without the Church that seek to concentrate power in the hands of a few in order to bring about a so-called “wonderful world.”
“The revolutionists will always use this power against Christianity," she said.

“Then we shouldn’t be surprised if society is secularized, charity is replaced by welfare, education is replaced by ideological indoctrination and outright moral perversion, the care for the sick is replaced by euthanasia, freedom of conscience and of speech is replaced by government-imposed political correctness, and citizen’s life is regulated in detail by social engineers, the culture of life and family is constantly losing ground.”
If we want to defend the family, we need to take the world back from the revolutionists,” she added.—LifeSiteNews
The Church in North America has largely been shut out of conversations in the secular sphere, so much so we can barely speak about any subject without earning undeserved condemnation or summary dismissal by the paladins of militant secularism. The Lord did say that the world hates us because it hated Him first (St. John 15:18-25). For the sake of all souls, we need to re-own the narrative by using all tried and true insights and methods. The Catholic Church must, as Dr. Cernea reminds us, take the world back from those who are turning the world into an even more wretched and inhuman place.

Given time and the effort of regressive liberal policies, and acquiescence by people of goodwill, Canada will more resemble North Korea than a true democracy.


Many in the blogosphere have been bent out of shape by some of the off-the-cuff things spoken and done by our current Holy Father. Frankly,—no pun intended—I'm not comfortable with impromptu papal remarks either, and like many I've struggled to understand the rationale behind the Holy Father's modification to the Holy Thursday Feet Washing ritual, a ritual intended by Christ to communicate the nature of the ordained priesthood.

I'm more comfortable when a prudent degree of information control is in play. Of course, once something leaves one's mouth there are people out there who, for whatever reason, exploit any opportunity to distort or misinterpret what one says. In a relativistic world, it should come as no surprise that those who have rendered communication meaningless by having emptied language of meaning have done so to eliminate the power of fact and to replace reasoned debate with emotional tirades based on nothing more than tyrannical feelings, feelings which fuel the abuse of legislative and legal systems in an attempt to bully others into compliance with irrational agendas.

Even when a pope speaks in a manner that leaves little room for manipulation of his comments, some people still manage to twist precise statements into a knotted mess. Take, for example, the irrational reactions to Papa Benedict's Regensburg speech. Adjusters of information have perfected the art of using incomplete reports, a sin of omission of sorts, which allows them to slip in half truths and colour news and information with subtle shades of the half-baked theories that are part of the relativism conglomerate.

Pope Francis' response to a question about deaconesses is the latest source of irritation, and by irritation I mean the soreness generated by people reacting in an uncritical manner to what was actually said. 'Hey, did you hear? Pope Francis is going to ordain women!' 'Yay', replies the advocate for women's ordination; 'Boo... bad Francis', reply those who actually believe the secular media reports. A myopic mainstream media and rabid proponents of women's "ordination" routinely miss or blur the necessary distinctions, i.e., the distinction between minor and major orders, and, historical revisionists that they are, ignore any evidence that clarifies and/or limits the role of deaconesses in the early Church.

The so-called progressives simply ignore anything which contradicts their agenda. In the Catholic and Orthodox Church, which is to say Rome and those churches in communion with the Apostolic See, deaconesses have never been ordained into the major orders. That is, the diaconate, presbyterate and the episcopate. The incessant pontificating of radical feminists and heterodox (c)atholics is nothing more than the adolescent behaviour of those who want to refashion the Church in their image. Female deacons equivalent to deacons in the major orders? Not. Going. To. Happen!

Even though I'm irked by some of the outcomes generated by what the Holy Father says and does, I'm confident that the Magisterium protected by the Holy Spirit will continue to provide clarifications as needed. It seems the need is great because clarifications are being delivered on what seems to be a nearly daily basis.

For those who have attached themselves to imaginary conclusions, i.e., those attached to wishful thinking, they will be disappointed when they learn the Church has not changed nor will ever change her teaching on Holy Orders. Note to those who persist in error: they should take up their argument with the Author of Catholic doctrine, Jesus Christ.

Those who are paying attention hear and heed the Author's voice in the Magisterium of the Church. Those who fully embrace the Lord's teaching will avoid complications post-mortem.

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