Our Town

I refuse to pay the local communist propaganda sheet to access their articles. You are free to do so; thus I give you the links here. But two headlines from the P-D today tell you everything you need to know about the well run town we have. How do we solve the problems with Metrolink? Well, clearly the priorities are in order:

Man shot to death as he steps off MetroLink train in East St. Louis; gunman runs off

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Ticketed for a MetroLink fare violation? St. Louis County will prosecute you

Benedict’s Resignation and Summorum Pontificum: a Similar Approach

Did he or didn’t he? Did Pope Benedict really think he could resign part of the papacy while retaining part? That there were two simultaneous ministries in the papacy, the active and the passive? Or was this merely a way of speaking colloquially about his post-abdication retirement plan?

Are there or aren’t there? Did Pope Benedict correctly note that the Novus Ordo and Traditional Mass are actually two forms of only one Roman Rite? Or was this a way of speaking colloquially about a plan to allow two rites to co-exist without causing upheaval in the Church?

Before his putative abdication Benedict asked us to buy another duality, based on nothing but his say so. This duality may give an insight into his thinking about the papacy.

N.B. I have expressed certain practical cynicism about the efficacy of the putative abdication. I have written on it so much before that I’ll just summarize here: I think it likely the abdication may not have been valid, but this is based on a large degree of speculation. As a result, because a) there are facts I do not and cannot know, and b) I do not have the authority to pronounce on this, I must accept the abdication as a fact. I must do so at least until either Benedict himself publicly claims the throne or until one of the few good Cardinals or Bishops states he thinks the abdication invalid. Then I can reassess. It is partly because Francis as pope is so little to my liking that it probably is true for that reason only. But, really, it is a matter of authority. I have none, and the last thing I want to do is to lead anyone astray. My spiritual director has given me the good advice to exercise necessary humility, and not waste time on this question until and unless developments warrant.

I respect those sincere Catholics who might hold differently. I speak for myself only. And lest you think I take my position out of fear, think again. I only require Benedict to claim it, and I am spoiling to back him. I make no money from this blog; and in fact very few even read it anymore. And I have no fear of the neo-Catholic book shills. But I hold to Unam Sanctam, and desire to submit to the Roman Pontiff as a necessary element of salvation.

This long disclaimer aside, I think the juridical structure of Summorum Pontificum is about as unsatisfying, intellectually, as is the bifurcation of office and ministry in the papal abdication. Trads rightly wlecomed SP, but was it merely because we desired the result? We had to swallow an unreality in order to get what Benedict correctly stated was our right— the Holy Mass. We swallowed the unreality that there were two “forms”of “one Roman Rite”.

A “banal, on-the-spot product”, a “fabrication”, is how Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger described the N.O. “Two forms” of the same Roman Rite, is how Pope Benedict XVI explained Summorum Pontificum.

These two concepts cannot be reconciled without undermining one or the other Missal. Because there was no “development” of the Roman Rite into the train wreck that is the Novus Ordo. And the Traditional Mass is in no way either banal, or an on-the-spot fabrication. These are two rites. Plain and simple. One is handed down over a span of nearly two millenia, almost palpably directed by the Holy Ghost. It safeguards and amplifies the faith. The other was made up in a hurry by a committee of modernists, freemasons and protestants. It weakens and minimizes the faith.

There is one pope at any one time. This is reality. Nobody, not a pope and not a council, can split the papacy into two, or three, or a million pieces. How does one attempt it? If, and I mean IF, Benedict attempted such a thing, look to Summorum Pontificum for the approach. It pits positivistic juridical structure versus objective reality, to distract from the differences between the two, and to dampen investigation into those differences.

Take the Mass. There is one Roman Rite, but it has been wrongly, practically (not validly) suppressed by modernist popes, prelates and priests. Benedict wished to perform an act of justice in acknowledging that the Mass had not been abrogated, but had little interest in the upheaval that such an acknowledgement could provoke. So to rock the boat as little as possible– and we see it was plenty as it was– and leave the N.O. intact, he simply decreed by legislation: there are two forms of one Roman Rite. I have decreed it!

Take the papacy. There is one pope, but evil men were anxious that Benedict, already predisposed to retirement, should get out of the way. Benedict wished (for reasons that are not yet clear, but will become clear in God’s time) to remain in the Vatican–dressed in white, wearing the papal ring, using the papal style– and to keep close to things. So, to provide the rationale for this unprecedented situation, he simply decreed that there are active and passive ministries of the See of Peter, and that he would man the passive one. He wrote his abdication thusly: I no longer have the strength to hold the office of the papacy, so I resign the ministry of the See of Peter. I have decreed it!

So what follows? Beats me.

If we are assuming a valid abdication, it provides a reason why Benedict is sticking around. What we don’t know is why. If we are assuming Benedict really thought the papacy could be partially abdicated and partially retained, it gives credibility to the substantial error/invalidity theory. But we don’t know that Benedict thought this, and he has not explicitly said so. I share Ann Barnhardt’s concern but not her certainty. No words of Ganswein, and no after-the-fact commentary by Benedict himself, provide the conclusive evidence a mere layman would need in order to pronounce on the subject.

What I hold to is mere objective reality: Whatever semantics one uses to pretend there are two forms of the one Roman Rite, there can only be one pope.

St. Gregory the Great, pray for us!

Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

If you want an idea of how our groovy, post-Christian society will handle inconvenient serfs who stand up for freedom, independence, or traditional civilizational existence, check out this story at the UK Daily Mail. Maduro claims the current blackout is the result of a U.S. cyberattack. His opponents claim it is a total breakdown as a result of disastrous socialist policies. I say I find both plausible.

When they come for you and yours, expect it to look like this. Happy Monday!

Bonus Lent

In my mind I have been dividing time into periods before and after October 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Not in a systematic way, of course, but it just feels to me that every day since then, the consecration of Russia not having been done, is a day of God’s mercy tinged with a foreboding of the justice to come. This feeling of mine grows, and as last November was the 100th anniversary of the final death of Christendom, another sad marker is passed.

And so, as the Church’s liturgical year rolls on, this year has felt, to me, like a great big unearned bonus. Bonus Christmas. And now, Bonus Lent. I thoroughly enjoyed the celebration of the bonus Christmas, and I intend to thoroughly make good use of this bonus Lent. After all, no man can say when it will be his last, nor even if he will outlive it.

Some thoughts by smarter and holier men:

The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.

–Pope Benedict XIV, Constitution Non Ambigimus, 1745

More than a hundred years have elapsed since this solemn warning of the Vicar of Christ was given to the world; and during that time, the relaxation he inveighed against has gone on gradually increasing. How few Christians do we meet who are strict observers of Lent, even in the present mild form!

And must there not result from this ever-growing spirit of immortification, a general effeminacy of character, which will lead, at last, to frightful social disorders? The sad predictions of Pope Benedict XIV are but too truly verified. Those nations, among whose people the spirit and practice of penance are extinct, are heaping against themselves the wrath of God, and provoking His justice to destroy them by one or other of these scourges– civil discord, or conquest.

–Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, c.1850

The modern fast, of course, is nothing compared to the fast Dom Gueranger calls ‘mild’ in the mid-19th Century. That is the decision of the Church, who, out of concern for the weakness of her children, has over the ages allowed for relaxation of the Lenten fast (which is of Apostolic institution), and given freely of dispensations in various times and places. It is the decision of the Church what must be obligatory, for she speaks for Christ.  She has allowed such latitude that our present obligatory penitential requirements for Lent (fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstinence on all Fridays during Lent) ought to be easily and eagerly accomplished.

Yet even this seems too much. Again, Gueranger:

The word of God is unmistakable: unless we do penance, we shall perish (Luke 13:3). But if our ease-loving and sensual generation were to return, like the Ninivites, to the long-neglected way of penance and expiation, who knows but that the arm of God, which is already raised to strike us, may give us blessing and not chastisement? 

A good point, and one reinforced by today’s Lesson from Joel 2: 12-19:

[12] Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. [13] And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. [14] Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? [15] Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, 

[16] Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bride chamber. [17]Between the porch and the altar the priests the Lord’s ministers shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God? [18] The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people. [19] And the Lord answered and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations. 

Two Different Religions

The canard that Vatican II and the Novus Ordo are mere coincidences, and not in fact the intentional causes of the collapse of the institutional Church and the faith of untold millions, is no longer tenable. This is the one positive outcome of the Bergoglian Papacy.

The “hermeneutic of continuity” was the last effort to front for the logical proposition that the last 55 years have been anything but a rupture with the unchanging teaching and concomitant praxis of the Church. Sensing their hour was at hand, and that they could achieve the last of their goals, the evil men responsible for ousting Benedict and replacing him with Bergoglio have removed the last thin veneer preventing people from recognizing reality.

The train wreck is in full view.

Leaving aside those who actively embraced this evil for what it is, I feel sorrow for those of us who wanted to be Catholic, and still want to be Catholic, but who were not given the fulness of that faith to hold on to, and to pass down to our progeny.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are two different religions.

The image above is taken from a must-read article by Brian Williams at The Liturgy Guy blog. Seeking to test what most undoubtedly suspected through anecdotal evidence, Fr. Donald Kloster, Mr. Williams, and others conducted nationwide polling exactly mirroring previously published research on the Church as a whole, in effect comparing the responses of attendees of the Traditional Latin Mass with the Church at large, which of course overwhelmingly attends the N.O.

The results are self-evidently in favor of the TLM as a vehicle to transmit and retain the faith, to promote Catholic teachings, and to encourage regular recourse to the sacraments. But of course, this is by design.

Read it, and weep.

1 Kings 3:16-28

Then there came two women that were harlots, to the king, and stood before him. And one of them said: I beseech thee, my lord, I and this woman dwelt in one house, and I was delivered of a child with her in the chamber. And the third day after I was delivered, she also was delivered; and we were together, and no other person with us in the house; only we two. And this woman’s child died in the night: for in her sleep she overlaid him. And rising in the dead time of the night, she took my child from my side, while I, thy handmaid, was asleep, and laid it in her bosom: and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I arose in the morning, to give my child suck, behold it was dead: but considering him more diligently, when it was clear day, I found that it was not mine which I bore. And the other woman answered: It is not so as thou sayest, but thy child is dead, and mine is alive. On the contrary, she said; Thou liest: for my child liveth, and thy child is dead. And in this manner they strove before the king. Then said the king: The one saith, My child is alive, and thy child is dead. And the other answereth: Nay; but thy child is dead, and mine liveth. The king therefore said: Bring me a sword. And when they had brought a sword before the king, Divide, said he, the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other. But the woman, whose child was alive, said to the king; (for her bowels were moved upon her child) I beseech thee, my lord, give her the child alive, and do not kill it. But the other said: Let it be neither mine nor thine; but divide it. The king answered, and said: Give the living child to this woman, and let it not be killed; for she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king, seeing that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment.