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).

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A refuge of Catholic Faith in the midst of the current storm.

As many of you already know, the refuge (which has found me and others) is a (quasi-)parish of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, a safe harbour of orthodox teaching and reverent liturgy. There are other places in our diocese which provide a measure of orthodox preaching, but the liturgy in those places is too often compromised by drippy music (weak settings, especially, of the Gloria) managed by parish bullies who have little or no interest in facilitating real sacred music, i.e., good music wed to the actual text of the Mass. Despite an abundance of worthy resources, e.g., the Simple English Propers, neither can one find consistent appreciation for the proper chants: Introit, Gradual Psalm, Offertory and Communion.

Former Anglicans, some now Catholics, know what it's like to watch their (former) community founder on the reef of relativism. Courageous former Anglicans have manifested patience, hope and faith despite being locked out of parish church buildings and being denied the use of buildings that sit empty out of spite toward them by their former Anglican bishops. A few Anglican leaders have allowed departing groups to purchase their buildings from Anglican dioceses. The hostility bourn upon the shoulders of former Anglicans (some now Catholics), laid upon them by their former brethren, is an experience with which Tradition-minded Catholics are somewhat able to identify. If the 1970s and '80s weren't enough to test the mettle of Tradition-minded Catholics, the current Roman Circus is providing additional heat and pressure on faithful Catholics to conform to some daffy ideas.

Short of divine intervention, which is always possible (because the Lord is in charge!), there can be no expectation (if dependent upon mere human sentiment) that Anglicanism can ever reorient to orthodoxy. Abandoning the unsinkable Titanic foundering Anglican dinghy has thus been necessary and remains necessary for those who seek Apostolic Christianity. The Catholic Church, however, enjoys the protection of the Holy Spirit, a fact that should bolster the spiritual warrior's heart even while he's being pummelled by some members of the Circus. There is no need to jump ship. Besides, where would one jump ship to?

There are additional safe harbours in the Lord's Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church, the Barque of Peter, is certainly not going to sink, though it is straying dangerously close to reefs which have devastated Anglicanism and all of protestantism. Christ has given His promise to protect His Church from error; He is faithful to His bride. St. Athanasius once stood against the world; we have Burke, Schneider, Chaput, Lopes, Müller and a host of others standing up in defence of Jesus' teaching about marriage and Holy Communion.

As we watch certain members of the Roman Circus spew forth unfortunate, uncertain and foolish things, we can take solace in the fact that the good and gracious Lord has provided, in His providence for His Tradition-minded children, faithful groups such as
which teach the Faith whole and inviolate.

It would certainly seem that, given Cardinal Coccopalmerio's bruising statements that add insult to a barrel full of injury, to echo the title of canonist Dr. Edward Peters' recent article, that Satan has been given license, once again, to test the flock. In the midst of unsettling developments, the wolves in the sheepfold are now fully exposed; the chaff is being separated from the wheat. Fear not; the Lord is in charge. Keep the Faith!
The Merchant of Venice, 1596, by William Shakespeare.
Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: give me your blessing: truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but at the length truth will out.—Launcelot Gobbo: 2.2.69-74.
The bad behaviour of so many self declared devout Catholics seems to have caught the attention of the Lord, which is to say our bad behaviour merits additional purification.

Faithful Christians are routinely persecuted in many nations across the globe. Tradition-minded Catholics are now being marginalized in many dioceses headed by bishops like Cardinal Cupich (Chicago). The marginalization in some places comes in the form of attempts to deny the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, or in the form of ridicule of faithful Catholics or as a refusal to confirm the teaching of Jesus Christ thus enabling liberals to flaunt heresy and to attack faithful Catholics who defend the Lord's teaching.

Will the current papacy last as long as that of Pope St John Paul II's (27 yrs) or even Blessed Pope Paul VI's (15 yrs)? Probably not. Will it last as long as Pope Benedict's pontificate (8 yrs)? Perhaps. Who can say?

The next conclave will be interesting to witness, in so far as all but a few of us are confined to the outer precincts of a conclave and must therefore be content to accept the results. In the meantime, pray we must for Pope Francis and all the bishops, that the time of trial may be as brief as possible. Let us offer fasts for the purification 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.