Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rabbi Given Bum's Rush at Notre Dame Cathedral

No time is a good time for a Jewish rabbi to be asked to speak at a Catholic Church, especially on Passion Sunday, especially in a Catholic cathedral with the vaunted history and tradition of Notre Dame in Paris. But that is what almost happened. Just as the rabbi got up to speak to the congregation, a group of young traditional Catholics stood and began chanting the Rosary in unison. This demonstration created enough havoc and confusion in the sanctuary to drive the rabbi off the pulpit and back into the sacristy of the Church, from whence, reportedly, he made his speech over a microphone hookup. These young traditional Catholics were quite rude, many will undoubtedly judge. Oh, that such acts of rudeness might be the rule rather than the exception!

A typical reaction from the "vile media" can be found here.

Catch Michael Hoffman's gloves-off summary of the event. It can not be said any better. See also the accompanying one minute video on Mr. Hoffman's blog.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What the Spanish Civil War Was Really About

Most histories of The Spanish Civil War portray that struggle from a decidedly leftwing point of view . Wikepedia describes it as a “working-class” revolution for the establishment of a democratic “Republican government,” “brutally put down” by a fascist Spanish military regime. Here

Another such piece concludes that the Spanish Civil War “was the culmination of a prolonged period of national political unrest—unrest in a country that was increasingly polarized and repeatedly unable to ameliorate the conditions of terrible poverty in which millions of its citizens lived.” Here

Still another history records the tragic military overthrow by General Fracisco Franco of a popularly elected Republican government, orchestrated by By the leftist Popular Front Party – (Read ‘Stalin-supported Communist Party’) Here

We discover here that the church, “age-old enemy of all working class radicalism and indeed, openly pro-fascist, was dismantled (by the revolution), and its property confiscated; established political institutions disintegrated or were taken over by workers' committees. (Read ‘Communists’)

The Columbia Encyclopedia tell us: This new Republican government “began a broad-ranging attack on the traditional, privileged structure of Spanish society: Some large estates were redistributed; church and state were separated; and an antiwar, antimilitarist policy was proclaimed. Here

We learn from most popular histories of the civil war that the tillers of the soil, and the majority of the “impoverished” Spanish working class in both the cities and rural countryside, were the real heroes in the struggle, and that the ruling Spanish aristocracy, a corrupt "fascist" dictatorship, together with a "fascist" Spanish military and the Catholic Church, (especially the Church), were the bad guys. These characterizations, in brief, comprise almost universally the historical recounting of the Spanish Civil War.

But, let's take another look.
The following ten minute pictorial
video show us, in essence,
what that War
was really all about

video

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Let Bishop Williamson's voice yet be heard..

For well over 20 year, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X has been a powerful and consistent voice among traditional Catholics worldwide. That voice was effectively silenced by SSPX leadership after his infamous January 2009 interview for Swedish TV. Since then, truth be told, they have made every effort to expunge his memory from the collective Catholic consciousness. Just try securing any of his tapes or writings from any of the Society's chapel bookstores or seminaries. Even more difficult to obtain from these same sources, I am told, are any of the four volumes of the good bishop's Letters From the Rector, first published in 2008. To order copies of them, the reader will have to go to True Restoration Press at http://www.truerestorationpress.com/catalog/1. Otherwise, forget it! They are as scarce as hen's teeth. I know of at least one active Society priest who is unaware that these books even exist. Think I'm exaggerating?
In any case, let me introduce a sampling of one of these "Letters" for those who may lack a basic acquaintance with them, and for others, as well. The four volumes cover a period beginning in 1988 and ending in 2003. The letters were written monthly, updating the faithful about political, social and cultural issues from a Catholic point of view, and providing them with practical instruction and enlightenment in the maintenance of their Faith. The letter reprinted below is from February 4, 1993 (#112) It is entitled:

The American Patriot's Catechism.

The enclosed Verbum is hardly controversial, but its pre­decessor, headlined "Discovering America's Roots," pre­sented a picture of the Founding Fathers of the United States which did not gain everyone's approval. In particu­lar, a long-standing friend of the Society here in the USA, who has rendered the Society great service, made a series of reasonable objections which deserve a reply. Let me at­tempt the "Catechism of a Patriot." ..

Patriot: By concerning themselves with questions like the founding of the USA, don't priests risk being diverted or distracted from the saving of souls?

Reply: If any man had two heads, he might keep his reli­gion in one and his politics in the other, but inside any one head at any one time, the two things necessarily interact on one another. A man cannot be Liberal in politics without more or less contaminating his Catholic Faith and so en­dangering his soul.

Patriot: But Archbishop Lefebvre wisely left such worldly matters alone, and kept to the Doctrine of the Faith.

Reply: Archbishop Lefebvre may not have explicitly ques­tioned the founding of the American Republic, perhaps because he was never permanently stationed in the USA, but against the ideas of American churchmen he had to fight hard at Vatican II, in particular, against religious liberty. Michael Davies' latest book, The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty, shows clearly the part played by the compatriots of the Founding Fathers in the fatal establishing of the principle of religious liberty within the Catholic Church at that Council. Its "Declaration on Religious Liberty" is Americanism infecting the Universal Church. The result is that to defend the Faith anywhere in the world today, a priest must fight these ideas of the Founding Fathers.

Patriot: But Pope Leo XIII about one hundred years ago, with reservations, commended the USA political system. Why should Society of St Pius X priests be more demand­ing than the Pope?

Reply: Pope Leo XIII came before Vatican II; Society priests all come after. The full devastating effect of Americanism (as the Pope called it) upon Catholicism that he then feared, we now know. In Leo's time, the American churchmen could pretend that the Americanism he condemned did not even exist, but by the time of Vatican II, they were posi­tively proud of having "converted" the Catholic Church to the American way-see Michael Davies' book.

Patriot: But the Founding Fathers were decent, God-fear­ing men.

Reply: By no means all of them believed Jesus Christ is God, but let us suppose they were all, as the world goes, honorable men. That does not change the principles on which they built their Republic, which are Freemasonic principles, profoundly harmful to Religion.

Patriot: But not all the Founding Fathers were Masons, and those that were, were Masons-only in name, not in Wickedness like the French Masons who caused the blood-­drenched French Revolution.

Reply: Firstly, the Catholic popes have never distinguished a benevolent Anglo-Saxon Masonry from a malevolent Masonry of the countries of Latin origin. They have always condemned Masonry without distinction, as a whole, and many times. Secondly, Benjamin Franklin, an American Mason, was a close friend and colleague of the French Masons when they were preparing the French Revolution. Thirdly, however many or few American Revolutionaries were Masons, the founding principle of their new Republic- religious liberty- is a key Masonic principle.

Patriot: But the Founding Fathers' idea of liberty was the Catholic idea of liberty, only they left out the authority of the Catholic Church. How can you blame Protestants for that?

Reply: Firstly, their subjective innocence or ignorance God alone can ultimately judge. Here we are questioning their objective achievement. Secondly the opposition between true liberty, centered on God, and Masonic liberty, centered on man, is radical. The difference is not "only" the omis­sion of the Catholic Church (quite an omission!) but two wholly different concepts of God, man, life and law, as Leo XIII makes clear in his Encyclical Libertas, freely quoted in Michael Davies' book.

Patriot: Well, the religious liberty established in the First Amendment has given a marvelous freedom for the Catholic Church to thrive in the USA, ever since the founding of the Republic.

Reply: Freedom, yes, as Leo XIII acknowledges, but a marvelous freedom, no. The problem, in a few words, is that when men found a republic (as they do today all over the world) not just on the practice but on a principle of re­ligious freedom, they are obviously putting the interests of their republic above the interests of anyone religion, other­wise that religion would have primacy in their republic, as today Islam has primacy in Mohammedan republics. Now men are social as well as individual animals. Hence in a re­public of religious liberty, a man may be a pious Catholic individually, but all the social institutions of his inter-reli­gious State are preaching to him that his Catholicism is of secondary importance. At this point he may try to split his politics from his religion, but that is no more possible than to split man from God. So one of two things must happen: either his liberal politics contaminate his Catholic religion, which is how the American bishops at Vatican II ended up "converting" the Catholic Church to the American way, and which is why USA freedom is after all not so good for the Faith; or by the light of his one true Faith he condemns his country's religious liberty and sets out seriously to con­vert his fellow countrymen.

Patriot: But given the mixed religions of the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies, how could the Founding Fathers have founded their republic on any other principle than religious liberty? Impossible!

Reply: No intelligent engineer builds a bridge on sand, but if, for whatever reason, he is forced to do so, at least he does not glorify his bridge. On the contrary, he puts up a no­tice: "DANGER: YOU CROSS THIS BRIDGE AT YOUR PERIL." No intelligent Catholic glorifies a republic built on religious liberty, even if it is his own country. Otherwise politics are going to become his real religion, i.e., what he believes in first and foremost for the welfare of mankind.

Patriot:But the Founding Fathers had no intention of ex­cluding God, or of making liberty into their religion.

Reply: "The way to hell is paved with good intentions." You cannot, however good your intentions, lay down cer­tain principles and not expect their consequences. You cannot establish religious liberty in politics and not expect to undermine all religion wherever those politics apply, at which point religious liberty becomes your real religion.

Patriot: Well, the Founding Fathers may have wanted no State Church, but they did want a country based on Christian principles. The country was Christian, and they assumed it would remain so.

Reply: In that case their right hand did not know what their left hand was doing, which is typical of decent Liberals: their decency is at war with their Liberalism and their Liberalism with their decency. Poor pro-lifers! Many of them seem still to believe in democracy, petitions, letters to editors, etc., etc., but in fact President Clinton's sweep­ing away the Reagan-Bush roadblocks to abortion within two days of becoming president was not in defiance of, but in radical compliance with, democracy, petitions, etc., etc. Where religious liberty takes social precedence over the Catholic Faith or any faith, then implicitly my country's way takes precedence over any law of God, then my coun­trymen's votes entitle the president that they elect to do as he wishes, and any minority that still objects to abortion, for instance, should graciously admit defeat and stop rais­ing the issue, because the people have spoken. And if such a minority insists, the State must be turned loose on it!

Patriot:But the Founding Fathers would be aghast at the present-day development of their Republic.

Reply: No doubt the large majority of them, but that mere­ly shows that, like the Council Fathers of Vatican II who voted for the documents that would serve to destroy the Church, they did not know what they were doing. Liberals are blinded by their illusions. When it comes to building bridges, or republics, no amount of good intentions will make up for ignorance of the laws of engineering.

Patriot: But the situation is no worse in the USA than in many European countries, so the problem is not the Founding Fathers of the USA.

Reply: It is most true that the situation is in significant ways worse in Europe than in the USA. The problem everywhere is Liberalism, or the shaking off of God's truth and God's law. So, true, the problem in the United States is not the Founding Fathers as founding fathers, a task to which they brought many good qualities, but the Founding Fathers as Liberals. In establishing religious liberty, they laid the cor­nerstone of their Republic in Liberalism.

Patriot:But what else could they do?

Reply: You may appeal to historical circumstances, but if these forced the engineers to build on sand, sand is still sand.

Patriot:Are you claiming all Americans are Americanists?

Reply: By no means. Michael Davies' book (available from Angelus Press) is dedicated to the American church­man, Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton, editor of the American Ecclesiastical Review from 1944 to 1963, "whose clear, consistent and courageous defense of papal teaching on Church and State must once again be vindicated as the au­thentic Catholic position."

Patriot: Then the only reason why President Clinton has prevailed over the Catholics is because time ran out for the Catholics before they could convert the Republic.

Reply: No. The reason is because too many American Catholics aligned themselves with the Masonic principles of the Republic instead of condemning them, which is why their bishops "converted" Vatican II. God bless American pro-lifers, the movement is stronger in the USA than in any other country. However let them throw the best of their tal­ents and energies into purely supernatural action because it is only by the purity of their Catholic Faith, not by any hu­man means, that they can prevail.

Patriot:Do you love America?

Reply: Whoever loves Americans will tell them the truth. Whoever would flatter them with pleasing lies, scorns them.

Patriot: I still think Society priests would do better to leave all such questions alone.

Reply: Any Catholic priest must ask St Paul's question: "Do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal. 1: 10). May God bless the America needing and waiting to be converted to the fullness of the Catholic Faith!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Brave Little Chinese Martyr

The Little Girl Who Inspired Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s Vow

The Catholic Church, in her 2000-year history, is never wanting in awe-inspiring stories of heroism and martyrdom.
From the persecutions of ancient Rome to the Communist atrocities of the 20th century, the Church always had faithful sons and daughters who exhibited extraordinary courage and resolve in face of the most extremes of adversities. One little known story though no less edifying is that of a little Chinese girl-martyr at the time when China had just been run over by the Communists. It is the poignant tale of a little girl’s faith, zeal and keen Catholic sense overcoming fear and oppression.


The narrative that follows is an adaptation of the English translation of an unnamed priest’s first hand account of the events that happened during the Communist takeover in China (presumably around 1949.) The story was extracted from a collection of beautiful Eucharistic stories and miracles compiled by Fr. Karl Maria Harrer and published originally in German (Die schönsten Eucharistischen Wunder.)


Uncertain times

When the Communists first came into town, the parish priest started to feel uneasy about his fate not knowing how the intruders would act. During each day that passed, he paid keen attention to every din or commotion that transpired outside the church as he knelt in prayer inside. He was on edge expecting to be executed at any moment.
Just a day after the unwelcome band of soldiers arrived, someone paid him a visit. Thinking it was the police, he was struck with terror. Could this be his end? But contrary to his worst fears, the man at the door turned out to be cordial. As they conversed in Chinese, he was told to proceed with his daily routine. As they parted, his guest accepted a cigar, bowed and eventually left seemingly contented.

Days, weeks and months passed without any untoward incident. He would run into soldiers in the streets but they would only look at him with a straight, cold face but not without a dose of curiosity. Once, he felt perturbed when a certain inspector dropped by to see him.

Turning the tables

One beautiful summer’s day, just when things seemed to be settling down, the dreadful gang of communists finally descended on the town to turn things upside-down. Four soldiers and the inspector unceremoniously barged into the priest’s school house.

The inspector announced to the shocked schoolchildren that sweeping and drastic changes would be implemented from then on. In one fell swoop, the fearsome commander and his cohorts began tearing down the crucifix, holy pictures, blackboards and statues from the walls and laid them on the desks.

In a stentorian voice, he barked orders at the terrified children to put the articles in a box and to take them to the toilet while he threatened them with his handgun. In spite of the harsh treatment, the children resisted but eventually complied reluctantly.
An icon of resistance

But deep back in the room, sat a little girl in her desk; unmoving, with hands folded, and lips tightly shut. As the inspector caught sight of her, he immediately rushed in her direction and shouted curses at her. Mad as hell, he threatened her, “Take this!” But the girl only looked down and hardly flinched thus sending the rest of the terrorized children to gawk with bated breath.
Amidst the ghastly silence, a shot rang out shattering glass and driving the children into tears and screams. The violent disturbance attracted curious townsfolk to gather in front of the school.
The inspector kept on shouting furiously. And yet the little girl remained silent, still frozen like a statue, a big tear rolling off her cheek. At the point of losing composure at the girl’s staunch yet quiet defiance, he turned his ire at the crowd and snapped, “Go find this girl’s father and bring the townspeople here in the church!”
Desecration of the Hosts

As the church filled with people, the little girl’s father was ushered in with hands bound behind his back and placed to the right of the communion rail. Immediately, the girl was forcefully shoved into the communion rail.

The inspector spoke to the crowd and mocked the people’s belief in the Real Presence. And in a malicious and sarcastic tone, he announced that they were tricked into believing that God is present in the tabernacle. In fact, he told them he and his gang of soldiers would stamp on the Hosts with their boots to show nothing would happen.

Then the soldiers rushed on to the tabernacle and forced it opened with their revolvers. The tense crowd watched in silent disbelief. The inspector seized the ciborium, took the lid off and scattered the Hosts on the sanctuary floor.

Egging on his soldiers, he ordered them to go and step on the Hosts. And without hesitation they carried out the dastardly act. Not content with that, he taunted the crowd, “Do you still believe in those fairytales your priest told you?”

Turning to the child’s father he asked him if he still believed. No sooner did the father say yes did the inspector order him to be hauled away.

Dispersal

A non-commissioned officer then entered the scene who spoke with the inspector. They reached an agreement and the inspector submitted to higher authority. The crowd was told to disperse leaving the little girl alone in the communion rail.

The soldiers incarcerated the priest in the church’s coal bin where a small opening allowed him to see the area of the sanctuary where the Hosts lay strewn on the floor as well as the little girl who was leaning on the wall.

A beautiful lady

While peering through the opening, the priest saw a lovely young woman clad in beautiful garments enter and smile. As she hugged her, she said, "Poor child! Poor little one, what have these men done to you? Come with me. Will you?" The child broke into sobs and sought comfort in the woman’s arm and they left.

Witnessing a marvel from his cell

As time went by, the priest lost track of hours and days while imprisoned in the coal bin. He endured the stillness of the surroundings and at times he heard sounds he wasn’t used to. One morning, he heard the door open quietly. Through the little opening, the priest saw the little Chinese girl sneaking ever so carefully into the sanctuary, kneeling and bowing in homage. As she lowered her head, she took a desecrated Host with her tongue. She raised her head, folded her hands, closed her eyes and prayed in silence. Several moments later, she arose and departed.

Every morning the priest witnessed the uplifting scene that became a source of comfort inside the dark and somber environs of his makeshift prison cell. There he eagerly waited the break of dawn expecting to see the sweet, enchanting, little girl receive and adore the Host. Though it occurred many times, he couldn’t recall how often times she came to practice the soul-stirring daily ritual.

A Heroic Death

But alas, the day of final reckoning arrived. As the little heroine went through her daily pious exercise one morning; knees bent, hands folded and absorbed in deep prayer, the church door behind her burst open. Tumultuous screams stirred the air and a shot rang out.
As the priest hurriedly looked through his peephole, he saw the pallid little girl crawl agonizingly along the floor as she reached a Host to receive Holy Communion. When the soldier drew near to check on her, she tried in vain to pull herself up and to fold her hands. Instead she fell on her back and hit her head on the floor with a thud. The little Chinese girl-martyr lay dead motionless on the floor. For a moment, the soldier stood hesitant not knowing what to make of his deed and its fatal outcome. Finally, he turned around and stormed out of the church.

Set free

The moving yet harrowing scene left the priest in a state of shock. While he pondered on that painful experience, his prison door opened and the same soldier went in to announce that he was free to go.

Without any hesitation, he scampered towards the sanctuary to see the lifeless little girl. As he knelt besides her, the soldier approached him and uttered, “Sir, if in every town there was such a little girl, no soldier would ever fight for the Communists!”

Fortunately, the priest still had time to give the little martyr a decent burial. As he left the cemetery and walked along the road, a man approached and invited him into his car. He dropped him off at the border.

Edifying example

The story above moved Archbishop Fulton Sheen to make a vow to pray a holy hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the rest of his life. But who wouldn’t be? Indeed, the little Chinese girl’s zeal to receive and adore the desecrated Hosts on the sanctuary floor is really worth emulating much more in our days when lukewarm Catholics take for granted the Real Presence in the church tabernacle. Her acts of reverence put to shame those who present themselves before the Blessed Sacrament in questionable attire or those who fail to show respect by observing silence. May this little Chinese girl-martyr be a shining and glorious example for all of us. May she spur us to make a firm resolve the next time we visit a church to thank Our Lord Jesus Christ for the privilege and opportunity to adore Him FREELY in the Blessed Sacrament!
REFERENCES/SOURCES

HARRER, Karl Maria, Die schönsten Eucharistischen Wunder, Heft 1-5 (je 48 Seiten) Miriam Verlag
The Little Chinese Girl-Martyr of the Holy Eucharist,


Monday, March 15, 2010

Bishop Tissier de Mallerais Uncensored

SSPX Bishop Tissier de Mallerrais gave an exclusive interview to the Remnant on April 30 of 2006. (See a portion of that interview below.) In that excerpt he spoke about the alleged heresies of Ratzinger/Benedict. One can say in retrospect, that his revelations then served only as a 'primer' for a much lengthier, more philosophically and theologically oriented presentation on the same heretical themes, written by His Grace some three years later, in the summer of 2009. He entitled the work: Faith Imperiled by Reason- Benedict XVI's Hermeneutics.

The original essay appeared only in French, a copy of which fell into the hands of a traditional Catholic friend of ours. This friend thought it would be a good idea to translate the work into English for circulation abroad among English speaking readers. That translation was accomplished.


Subsequently, the 82 page essay was published on Stephen Heiner's True Restoration blog spot. But Bp. Tissier, very soon after its publication, asked that the essay be removed and not be made available to the public. I'll leave the 'Why?' of that request for the reader to figure out. His Grace obviously wrote the paper to be read, but, apparently, for the consumption only of a limited readership.

What Bp. Tissier was eager and willing to reveal about the alleged heresies of Ratzinger/Benedict in 2006, he seems not so eager and willing to reveal now.

In any case, one can pretty well discover what the essay is driving at, merely by reading that portion of the 2006 interview supplied below.

An excerpt from Bp. Tissier's 2006 interview:

SH(Stephen Heiner): Well, that’s all my questions, my lord. Now, when I type this I want to make sure all my quotes are accurate, so I will send you a transcript before you go to Veneta…

HL(His Lordship Bp. Tissier): No, no, these questions, you have not addressed the essential things – I appreciate your questions but you did not touch anything essential in your questions.

SH: What more, My Lord?

HL: Well, for instance, that this Pope has professed heresies in the past! He has professed heresies! I do not know whether he still does.

SH: When you say “has professed,” do you mean he still does?

HL: No, but he has never retracted his errors.

SH: But My Lord, if he has not retracted them, does he not still retain them? Of what are you speaking? Can you be more specific? I must admit I am no theologian and I have not read any of his works. Was this when he was a cardinal?

HL: It was when he was a priest. When he was a theologian, he professed heresies, he published a book full of heresies.

SH: My Lord, I need you to be more specific, so we can examine the matter.

HL: Yes, sure. He has a book called Introduction to Christianity, it was in 1968. It is a book full of heresies. Especially the negation of the dogma of the Redemption.

SH: In what sense, My Lord?

HL: He says that Christ did not satisfy for our sins, did not – atone – He, Jesus Christ, on the Cross, did not make satisfaction for our sins. This book denies Christ’s atonement of sins.

SH: Ah, I’m not sure I understand…

HL: He denies the necessity of satisfaction.

SH: This sounds like Luther.

HL: No, it goes much further than Luther. Luther admits the sacrifice…the satisfaction of Christ. It is worse than Luther, much worse.

SH: My Lord, I must return to the beginning of this line of questioning: are you saying he is a heretic?

HL: No. But he has never retracted these statements.

SH: Well, then, what would you say, My Lord, that it was “suspicious,” “questionable,” “favoring heresy”?

HL: No, it is clear. I can quote him. He rejects “an extremely rudimentary presentation of the theology of satisfaction (seen as) a mechanism of an injured and reestablished right. It would be the manner with which the justice of God, infinitely offended, would have been reconciled anew by an infinite satisfaction…some texts of devotion seem to suggest that the Christian faith in the Cross understands God as a God whose inexorable justice required a human sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own Son. And we flee with horror from a justice, the dark anger of which removes any credibility from the message of love” (translated from the German version, pages 232-233).

SH: What other heresies, My Lord?

HL: Many others. Many others. He has put up doubts regarding the divinity of Christ, regarding the dogma of the Incarnation…

SH: This cannot be true…

HL: It is very true. He re-reads, re-interprets all the dogmas of the Church. This is it. This is what he calls the “hermeneutic” in his discourse of 22 December 2005.

SH: This hermeneutic is also known as the “living tradition…” It would interpret existing doctrines in new lights…

HL: Yes, exactly. According to the new philosophy, the idealist philosophy of Kant.

SH: These are very strong words, My Lord, but yet, the Society is not sedevacantist…

HL: No, no, no, no. He is the Pope…

SH: But these are strong words…

HL: Ecclesia supplet. The Church supplies. It is even in the code of canon law: “in case of doubt, the Church supplies the executive power.” He is the Pope. Ecclesia Supplet. But we must know he has professed heresies.

SH: My Lord…has there been such a dark time in Church history?

HL: That is difficult to say. I would not say such a thing. It is sufficient to say that he has professed heresies.

SH: My Lord, I must emphasize that the paper I am writing for has wide circulation in the English speaking world…are these the words you wish to use?

HL: Yes. Yes. I have read Joseph Ratzinger, and have read his books. I can assure you that it is true.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Do Unto Others..

I'm not sure the following story is even true. But no matter; it's feel-good all the way. I'll probably not be using anecdotal material like this very often in the future. But I make an exception here. It's a tale that needs to be told. It may even get a few of the readers feeling a bit emotional.

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.
"Leave me alone," he growled...
To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.
"Are you hungry?" she asked.
"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president.. Now go away."
The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.
"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.
Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..
"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"
The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"
"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."
"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!"
Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.
"Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything.."
"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."
Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived..
The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked."What is all this, is this man in trouble?"
"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.
"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."
Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so.. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."
The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"
"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."
"And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"
"What business is that of yours?"
I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."
"Oh.."
The woman smiled again.. "I thought that might make a difference."
She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a laugh. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"
"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."
"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"
"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."
The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer.."
The officer watched him walk away... "You certainly put him in his place," he said.
"That was not my intent... Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."
She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.
"Jack, do you remember me?"
Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar." "I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."
"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.
"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment.. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."
Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."
"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right..."
"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.
"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always open to you."
There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he asked.
"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. He led me to you."
Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways..
"Thank you for your help officer," she said.
"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget, And thank you for the coffee."
Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You always and don't forget that when you "cast your bread upon the waters," you never know how it will be returned to you. God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Contrasting Reactions

Think I’ll give Pope Benedict's January 17 visit to the Rome Synagogue one more parting shot. Relatively few traditional Catholics, to my knowledge, have taken the event very seriously. Even Fewer SSPXers, priests or laity, it would seem, have squared off on the issue. To date, Traditional Catholic publications like The Remnant and Catholic Family News, have reported the visit cursorily, or not at all.

In October of 1999, Superior General Bernard Fellay wrote an indignantly worded, highly impassioned letter to the then reigning pontiff John Paul 2 over a planned ecumenical Day of Prayer. (He was to write a similarly-toned letter in 2002, on the eve of still another Assisi-like scandal, whipped up by the same pope. (‘Assisi 3,’ I guess you could call it). Bishop Fellay seemed a lot more fired up and combative then. One has to wonder why His Excellency, (hereafter HE), can not work up similar indignation over this most recent over-the-top event. But more on that below.

In the October ‘99 letter, HE recalled the “public sin against the first commandment” on full display at Assisi ’86. “How could you,” he wrote, “invite the followers of ‘religions’ which refuse the only Mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…” HE referred to these “religions” as “nothing more than atheism and idolatry.”

I don’t recall Bishop Fellay getting that upset again for a long time thereafter. It wasn’t until January of 2009 that we witnessed another vesuvian outburst from HE over an entirely different matter. This time, as we all know, his pique was directed towards a fellow SSPX bishop’s brief public assessment of a couple of historical events. Fellay informed the world crustily that the Society does not do history. Historical speculation is not within the Society’s purview, he explained; it exceeds her mandate. Indeed!

Well, I doubt that HE would have been so quick to apply such a narrow definition to the range of legitimate Society activities, had Bishop Williamson simply offered a few historical reflections upon, say, Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, or the Atlantic Charter, or even 9/11. No, it was not “history,” per se, which troubled HE; it was that particular history. That particular history became for HE “an extremely delicate and burning matter.” So much so in fact, that he ordered Bishop Williamson “to correct (his) nonsense.” This is history which HE does not care to deal with. Does HE really believe that Williamson’s holocaust perceptions are “nonsense?” I’ll bet conservatively that well over half of Society priests and lay associates believe as does Bp. Williamson.

Note how quickly Williamson’s revisionist comments, challenging two widely accepted aspects of popular Holocaust lore, pushed him irretrievably into the ranks of anti-Semitism. And Bishop Fellay did little to prevent this from happening. In fact, he poured gas on the fire. “Antisemitism has no place in our ranks,” he sniffs. In other words, Bishop Williamson’s historical perspectives are, in HE’s mind, clearly anti-Semitic, and truth be told, he calls his fellow bishop an anti-Semite in scarcely veiled language. HE concludes dismissively that within each group, “there are always people on the fringes.” In summary then, Bp. Williamson has been consigned to anti-Semitic fringe membership in the Society. That’s really the long and the short of it, isn’t it?

Elsewhere HE declares that “the anger of the Jews can be understood. I understand it, and I deplore what happened,” he says. Some traditional Catholics, including me, are wondering when, if ever, Fellay will begin to understand our anger and frustration over what has happened, but for entirely different reasons. We deplore what happened, as well, but of a manner in stark contrast to HE’s portrayal. Understanding and hopefully allaying Jewish anger seems to be HE’s major concern at this point. I suspect that mending fences with some of his own people hardly enters his mind. If a few priests get too out of hand, why, they are simply shown the door.

Let the foregoing merely set the stage for what is really on my mind now. The past is the past. Oh, that the past might inform the present, but I don’t think it does that very well in this case.

At the very beginning of his reign in 2005, Pope Benedict visited a synagogue in Cologne, Germany. I don’t recall Bishop Fellay, or for that matter, any other member of the Society saying much about that visit. No Society cleric that I know of exhibited any public displeasure over it. Nor did a subsequent visit by the pope to a major Jewish synagogue in New York City in 2008 seem to cause much of a stir. All was pretty quiet on the SSPX front. Nothing changed this year, January 17, 2010, when once again the Supreme Pontiff marched into the Synagogue of Rome for a friendly visit. Only one other pope, (need we mention his name?) had visited the main Synagogue in Rome in the entire 2000 year history of the Church.

Benedict, figuratively with hat-in-hand like his predecessor, groveled and apologized. He poured out a hogshead of mea culpas, and, in short, made a total ­­­­______ out of himself. St. John Chrysostom must have been tossing in his grave. But I haven’t heard that Bishop Fellay so much as uttered even a ‘Well,-can-you-beat-that!’ Nothing. The ‘seismographic needle’ did not so much as quiver.

But speaking of St. John Chrysostom: We Catholic “trads” celebrate his feast day on January 27. That was less than a week ago. St. John C. had a lot to say about visiting Jewish synagogues. Benedict would not have appreciated his insights, I’m sure.

At the end of the fourth century Chrysostom gave a series of homilies entitled Adversus Judaeos. In the very first homily, just for openers, the saint hurls a barrage of vituperation against the synagogue, such as to make one’s eyes water. He calls it a “brothel and a theater,” “a dwelling of demons,” “a lodging place for robbers and cheats..” And he hasn’t even really begun to warm up yet.

Had St. John Chrysostom been alive to witness the visit of Pope Benedict to the Roman Synagogue, he would have almost certainly recoiled in horror and disgust. Benedict told those assembled “harlots,” (to borrow a word from our saint), that Christians and Jews worship the same God. Now let Chrysostom speak: “Jews say that they, too, adore God. God forbid that I say that. No Jew adores God!”

“ If, then,” as this saint reasons correctly, “the Jews fail to know the Father, if they crucified the Son, if they thrust off the help of the Spirit, who should not make bold to declare plainly that the synagogue is a dwelling of demons? God is not worshipped there. Heaven forbid! From now on it remains a place of idolatry. But still some people pay it honor as a holy place.”

Well, St. John C., Pope Benedict pays much honor to the synagogue. So where does that place Bishop Bernard Fellay? I am not accusing HE of honoring the synagogue as a “holy place.” But it is on record that he thinks of the Jews as “our elder brothers,” in the sense that we have something “in common, that is, the Old Covenant.” So HE , as I read him, believes, that modern Judaics still operate, to one degree or another, under the influence of Mosaic Law.

Let me wrap this up: Why did His Excellency, Bishop Fellay come down so hard on Bishop Williamson over his remarks during a five minute TV interview, while, prima facie anyway, he ignored Benedict’s visit to the Roman Synagogue? Bp. Williamson committed no sin; he uttered no blasphemy. Nor did he say or do anything to compromise the Catholic Faith. Benedict, on the other hand, did all of the above.

Benedict spoke about “strengthening the good relations between our two communities” Was he kidding? The one “community” points to Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, Supreme Head of His Body, the Church. That “community” honors and venerates His Holy Mother, as well.

The other so-called “community” despises Jesus. They believe Him to be a simple mortal, and what is more, a liar, an imposter and a fraud, sentenced in the end to boil forever in a caldron of excrement. His Glorious Virgin Mother, their “holy” Talmud asserts, was a woman of easy virtue, an infamous “hair dresser,” who bore Jesus illegitimately.

The pope went into the Roman synagogue gushing “esteem and the affection” for the Jewish community there, “ and all Jewish communities around the world.” St. John Chrysostom would have found these papal encomiums incomprehensible. He cried out in his day: “Must you not despise (the synagogue), hold it in abomination, run away from it?”

Benedict declared that “Christians and Jews share to a great extent a common spiritual patrimony, they pray to the same Lord,…” Chrysostom knew better. He simply repeated what his Master had taught, viz. that these descendants of the ancient Pharisees worshipped their own father, the devil. (John 8)

“Antiemitism has been condemned by the Church,” says Bishop Fellay. Well then, does that mean that we can no longer point to the synagogue and its denizens and speak the truth about them? Does it green-light Conciliar popes going amongst the Jews and heaping nauseous accolades and honors upon them? Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre knew what these popes were doing and had done. “(W)e must not be afraid,” he wrote, “to affirm that the current Roman authorities, since John XXIII and Paul VI, have made themselves active collaborators of international Jewish Freemasonry and of world socialism. John Paul II is above all a communist-loving politician at the service of a world communism retaining a hint of religion. What might the Archbishop have said about our present synagogue- hopping pope? One can easily imagine. What one can not imagine is the current Superior General of SSPX opening his mouth in any such way against the shenanigans of this errant pope.

I will close by recognizing that a number of my readers may take umbrage at parts or all of this paper. If it gets into the hands of certain SSPX officials, my present association with the Society may be compulsorily altered. Well, let's hope that we'll not have to deal with that. We just take things as they come. Meanwhile, God bless and keep you all in the true Faith.


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