Monday, October 11, 2021

Let's Go Brandon!

I really do sympathize with the sentiment behind the outpouring of a particular anti-Joe-Biden expletive slogan at rallies and sporting events.  And I cannot truthfully declare myself innocent of having ever uttered that particular expletive myself.  

But: this is one time I am really glad we have come up with a euphemism for an expression of strongly-felt indignation.  Nearly 11 years ago, I gave my opinion in this space about the advisability of drafting vulgarity as a servant of the common good, and I haven't changed my thinking on this.  It is the liberals who set out to destroy manners and decorum, and we shouldn't be helping them with that.  I understand how the people feel who fly "F*** Joe Biden" flags from their houses or their pickups, but I really don't think we make the world a better place by making public obscenity ever more acceptable.  It's precisely in this way that we coarsen our sensibilities even more, until, before we know it, we won't be able to pick up on even the grossest evils.

"Let's Go Brandon," on the other hand, not only captures the sentiment behind the nasty flags and T-shirts without actually being nasty; it also has the secondary advantage of accurately targeting the media types who are trying to cover up the very real and mounting ire in the country over what Biden and his handlers are doing to us.  It is therefore even better than the original.  

And it's a chorus I can join.  Let's go Brandon!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat, Part II

As the preposterously-named "Synod on Synodality" opens, and our shepherds embark on an orgy of intellectual onanism while the Church burns, let us commemorate the one bright spot in another idiotic Synod that took place two years ago this month:

I for one was electrified by this.

There are those who decried this as a setup and a stunt, especially after it came out that Taylor Marshall was behind it.  It would certainly have qualified as a setup and a stunt if Taylor Marshall had also been the one to bring idols into churches in the first place, thus playing both the arsonist and the fire department; but the case for that obviously cannot be made.  No, the responsibility for creating this whole situation unquestionably lies with the organizers of the Amazon Synod, and ultimately with the Pope, who publicly approved of it.  Pushback was essential, even if every blogger, podcaster and "professional Catholic" on earth was behind it.

What Alexander Tschugguel and his friend did, with Taylor Marshall's financial backing, somebody had to do.  Let those who criticize the event because it wasn't carried out by the right sort of people ask themselves whether they would have done it, if given the chance.  Somebody had to pull those idols out of that church, even if they couldn't get them all: Tschugguel said taking out all of the pagan crap would have needed a truck (and they had to keep a low profile and move fast, since they were, after all, doing something "illegal").  Somebody had to videotape it, so that it could not be chalked up to mere "theft."  Somebody had to galvanize the faithful Catholics, sunk in gloom at the spectacle of idolatrous rites in the heart of Christendom on earth.  Somebody had to splash cold water over the modernists in the hierarchy who, in their towering arrogance, probably never foresaw any pushback from the faithful Catholics.    Above all, somebody had to vindicate the honor of God, which was being outraged by His own prelates.  

And there are probably other, hidden reasons why it had to be done.  I'm prepared to bet that the fate of these particular idols probably made a lot of liberal priests around the world think twice about putting them up in their own churches, lest equally dramatic results ensue.  Also, this small act of reparation may well have mitigated the worldwide punishment we have been suffering under since the Amazon Synod, and of which I have no doubt that the Synod was the proximate cause.

In short, the tossing of these totems into the Tiber made the world a better place, and probably in more ways than we can see with our mortal sight, this side of the General Judgment.  God bless everyone involved, and may something similar happen to derail this year's synodal circus.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat

Looking at this new little bit of Catholic triumphalism on the sanctuary gates at the chapel makes me feel pretty good.  It instantly reminded me, the first time I saw it, of the Catholics of Port Marly, France on Palm Sunday, 1987, taking back their church with crowbars and a battering ram to the strains of "Christus Vincit."  Their bishop had bricked up their church because they insisted on the traditional Mass.  In a fit of what today would be called "disobedience," "schism" and maybe even "terrorism," but what tomorrow will be called true, manly devotion, the parishioners and their priest held Mass on the front steps, pried open the doors, and then took out the brick wall behind the doors.

It is good to be reminded every Sunday by the new sanctuary gate ornamentation that even though the world is going to hell in a bucket, and the Church has entirely fallen into the hands of her enemies, the reign of Christ is not just for the future, but is a present reality, right here, right now.  Christ conquers right now; He reigns right now; He rules right now, no matter what things look like to us.  Nothing is happening even now that He does not permit for the sake of a greater good, and that He cannot stop dead in its tracks in His own good time, which is probably not the same as our own good time.  

All we have to do is persevere.  And keep our crowbars and battering rams handy.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Collegial Consecration of Russia Has Clearly Never Been Done

Years ago, Cardinal Bertone announced to the world that in fact the collegial consecration of Russia was done as asked in 1984 -- by the Pope and all the world's bishops together -- and claimed that Sister Lucia, the last living Fatima seer, confirmed this.  

Really?  Yes, the Iron Curtain fell within a few years of John Paul II's consecration of the world (omitting to specifically name Russia), proving only that no prayers for Our Lady's intercession are fruitless.  But since she is the Exterminatrix of heresies, and the ideology of the Soviet Union obviously has yet to be exterminated, something has obviously been left undone by us.  Do we look like we're in a period of peace as Our Lady promised?  On the contrary, we are more at each other's throats than ever, even within our own nations, and even within the Church.  Our own governments and cultural institutions have made war on us and on our natural-law right to bodily integrity.  Our own shepherds have joined them by locking us out of our churches, threatening to make a caste of untouchables out of those who refuse the abortion-tainted covid vaccines, and seeking to exterminate the Mass of tradition.  Even traditional Catholicism is a circular firing squad.  When are we going to finally catch on to the bald-faced mendacity that is an entrenched habit of our ruling and cultural elites, both ecclesiastical and secular?  

The collegial consecration of Russia is the way out of all this.  It's very simple, but our hearts, and the hearts of our prelates, have been too hardened to do it.  We have to pray hard for the specific intention that it be done, and soon.  The Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima has been set up specifically to achieve this goal.  

I would love to see Pope Francis, probably the worst Pope in Church history, do the collegial consecration.  It would be, at least as far as I can see, perfect.  He is brutal and authoritarian enough to whip all the world's bishops in line to join him in it or suffer excommunication (or maybe the public exposure of their Grindr memberships and other hidden felonies).  He is the absolute last man on earth who is likely to do it, so God would get all the credit.  And it would decisively answer the question of whether he is the true Pope.  Is this a pipe dream?  Humanly speaking, yes.  But nothing is impossible to God.  If enough of us pray hard for it, God is entirely capable of moving even Pope Francis to do it, whether by touching and converting his heart, or by giving him no peace whatsoever until he complies.  

Prayer for the Holy Father to Consecrate Russia
By +Athanasius Schneider

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, you are the holy Mother of God and our tender Mother.

Look upon the distress in which the Church and the whole of humanity are living because of the spread of materialism and the persecution of the Church.

In Fatima, you warned against these errors, as you spoke about the errors of Russia.

You are the Mediatrix of all graces. Implore your Divine Son to grant this special grace for the Pope: that he might consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, so that Russia will be converted, a period of peace will be granted to the world, and your Immaculate Heart will triumph, through an authentic renewal of the Church in the splendor of the purity of the Catholic Faith, of the sacredness of Divine worship and of the holiness of the Christian life.

O Queen of the Holy Rosary and our sweet Mother, turn your merciful eyes to us and graciously hear this our trusting prayer.


Sunday, August 29, 2021

A Good Man and His Limitations

Paul VI was Pope when I was born.  I vaguely remember images of him lying in state after his death in 1978.  Then Pope John Paul I was elected.  I remember watching the white smoke come out of the chimney on the news.  After only a month on the throne of Peter, we were all surprised to find ourselves already awaiting the outcome of the next conclave.  That conclave brought us John Paul II, the first man to break the Italian lock on the papacy  in four and a half centuries.  For some reason, I could never bring myself to become a fan of JPII, whom the rest of the world looked upon as a rock star.  His visit to my town when I was in high school left me cold (as, frankly, did the Catholic faith itself at that time).  He deserved credit for helping to bring down the Iron Curtain, and for laying down the law on the impossibility of women's ordination; but he also tried to tinker with the Rosary; he pushed the revolutionary agenda of Vatican II; his Theology of the Body is all but impenetrable; he failed to carry out the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart; and, above all, he created a lot of really terrible bishops.  His hasty canonization is a classic example of why we were much wiser, in former times, to let enough time pass for emotions and partisan feeling to die down before opening a cause for sainthood on anyone.  Still, John Paul II was the Vicar of Christ on earth, beyond whose reign many adults were too young to remember; and when he was in the final stages of his terminal struggle, I too felt the desolation that seemed to lie over the whole Church, and indeed the whole world, as they awaited the inevitable news of impending fatherlessness.

Then came Benedict XVI, the first Pope to be elected during my adulthood.  I remember wanting to park in front of the TV during the conclave and watch for the white smoke and see the announcement of the new Pope, but my court schedule would not allow it. As I meditated later upon the above image of him showing himself to the crowds for the first time as Pope, I found myself being filled with a personal affection for the man that I never felt for his two predecessors under whom I had lived.  I actually hung this picture up in my house.  As an added bonus, all the right people were wailing and gnashing their teeth over the election of Ratzinger.  He on his part asked us to pray that he would not flee for fear of the wolves.  When he abdicated less than eight years later, my first thought was: I didn't pray for him enough.  Then we got...what we got.

I have never lost my personal affection for Benedict XVI.  He is a scholar and a gentleman, a father of such tenderness as his wayward children did not come close to deserving.  The Church and indeed the world owes him a great debt for having opened the road home for Anglicans by creating the Ordinariates, and especially for having brought back the Mass of Tradition and many of the things that go along with tradition.  But, as Pope, he should have been able to entirely correct the course of the Church and turn her off the path of self-destruction she has been on for at least a century, and certainly since Vatican II.  As we find ourselves almost entirely leaderless while the world launches a frontal assault on the Church and on her members in particular, it cannot be denied that he failed to do this.

Was this because of the wolves that Benedict saw around him everywhere he turned?  Partly.  But now, in the light of the post-conciliar hierarchy's massive and blatant failures over the last year and a half,  something seems clear to me that I never more than half-realized before now: how handicapped Benedict XVI was as Pope by the fact that to some extent, he still bought into the wolves' ideology.  Josef Ratzinger was a child during the Nazi era and the Second World War, during which life was held cheap, and then grew up under the harsh American occupation of his country, during which the immortal souls of his people were held cheap.  He spent his formative years and his young adulthood marinating in trauma and modernism.  Trauma has the power to make us doubt settled principles, seeing that they have appeared to fail us in our particular case.  As for modernism, it has been in the air we breathe, and the water we drink, for decades.  Without a special grace from God, it's impossible not to be touched by it.  Modernism trains us to set aside our common sense, doubt known realities, and hold entirely contradictory ideas simultaneously.

I can only speak to my own perceptions and conclusions on this.  Why didn't I see before now how greatly influenced Pope Benedict was by the poison in the Church's bloodstream?  Partly because I have not entirely escaped it, either.  Partly because, though I knew the young Fr. Ratzinger was a peritus at the Council, and that he had some rather eccentric ideas in his youth, I believed he had outgrown them.  He was, after all, orders of magnitude more orthodox and traditional than anybody else in the Church I had to deal with on the ground, in my own diocese.  The liberals thought so too, and so did not trouble to disguise their hatred and contempt of him.  But while Benedict clearly recognized many of the bad fruits of the Council and its aftermath, he still dreamed of being able to salvage the Council and its underlying ideologies, and reconcile them with the authentic doctrines and traditions of the Church.  Immersed in the "hermeneutic of continuity," Pope Benedict was apparently not troubled by the co-existence of contradictory things or ideas, and even thought this could somehow redound to the benefit of the Church.  Thus, from within this ideological and philosophical quicksand, he was unable use decisively his power as the Supreme Pontiff and Shepherd of the Church and put the wolves to flight.  Instead, he tried to co-exist with them and with their noxious notions.  Today, we live with the results.

Whether he intended to or not, Pope Francis has done a great service to the Church by at last nailing his colors to the mast and proving decisively that there is no middle course we can take in dealing with our opponents.  We can't "dialogue" with them, because they don't mean the same thing by words that we mean, and because to them "dialogue" is just a tactic to waste our time and exhaust our energy until we cave.  We can't compromise with them, because to them compromise means we give up everything and they give up nothing.  We need to be as committed to defeating them as they are to defeating us.  And we can't do that by remaining mired in the muddy, slippery slime of modernism.

I still love Benedict XVI (not the true Pope any longer, since Jesus Christ cannot be hindered or stymied by any man's loopy ideas, grammatical errors, semantics games or crooked intrigues in conferring or taking away papal jurisdiction).  I still believe he is a good man, that his intentions were good, and that he did his best as Pope, within his limitations.  But we cannot deny the limitations, and should not miss out on the lessons those limitations have for us and how we ought to carry ourselves in the continuing crisis.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

More on Why Francis Is the True Pope

Don Tranquillo, FSSPX, explains why Benedict XVI's abdication was valid, and why the irregularities alleged with the 2013 conclave were not enough to invalidate it.

I highly recommend the whole Crisis in the Church series on the SSPX Podcast.  Even if you don't like what the SSPX says or agree with it, the arguments and evidence adduced are abundant food for thought.  Their positions on various issues in the Church are far from trivial.  They deserve more than just a knee-jerk dismissal.

This series also gives the lie to the allegations that the SSPX are schismatic or sedevacantist.  They spend a lot of time refuting, not only Vatican II Fanboy arguments, but also the arguments of the sedevacantists, and defending the conciliar and post-conciliar Popes as true Popes.  It doesn't make a lot of sense that they would go to all this trouble if they were in schism.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

What Ever Happened to the Medicine of Mercy?

From the vestibule of the "schismatic" SSPX chapel in New Plymouth, Idaho.

I am seeing on social media the sentiment expressed that the latest motu proprio was a just, fitting and appropriate comeuppance for traditionalists.  Those mean, nasty, rotten, Vatican-II-hating trads, leading unsuspecting normal Catholics into schism and disobedience, and probably also kicking puppies and eating kindergarteners for breakfast!  I see even some traditionalists (or at least some professing to be traditionalists) saying, look, we had this coming.  We deserve to get smacked around because we are so mean and uncharitable.  Thank you, sir, may I please have another.

This is even assuming -- which I do not assume -- that the Pope has the authority to do what he has done.  Jesus Christ founded the Church as a monarchy, a family with a father at its head, not as a tyranny.  (The redoubtable Fr. Hunwicke explains brilliantly why Traditiones custodes is not binding, here and especially here.)  The question here is: whatever happened to the mercy and compassion that were supposed to be the hallmarks of the Church in the post-conciliar age toward those who are in, or who are supposed to be in, error?  Whatever happened to the mercy and compassion, pursuant to which canonical penalties have become a thing of the past in the quest to draw malefactors gently back into the fold?  Consider the words of John XXIII at the opening of the Council on October 11, 1962:

The Church has always opposed these errors.  Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity.  Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.  She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations....[T]he Catholic Church, raising the Torch of religious truth by means of this Ecumenical Council, desires to show herself to be the loving mother of all, benign, patient, full of mercy and goodness toward the brethren who are separated from her.

Now, the Vatican II fanboys consider traditionalists to be separated from the Church, or on the verge of being separated from the Church.  If that were true, it would seem to indicate that traditionalists are therefore in need of the Medicine of Mercy.  But it would appear rather that all that Medicine of Mercy stuff held true only as long as the revolutionaries within the Church were the ones being condemned.  It became a whole different ball game once they and their fellow travelers and tools took over the league.  When Archbishop Lefebvre, for example, ordained priests after the purported suppression of his Society of St. Pius X, and then later consecrated bishops against a papal mandate, surely those were occasions to deploy the Medicine of Mercy.  But no: it turns out that the Medicine of Mercy crowd are actually huge fans of canonical penalties, ruthlessly applied -- to their opponents.  Even the threat of canonical penalties turns out to be a very handy political weapon against those who do not want to sign on to the revolution within the Church.  Meanwhile, there is to be no Medicine of Mercy for those who are looted, pillaged and despoiled by even the open pervs, crooks and charlatans who are in lockstep with the revolution.

Traditionalists, being humans, have warts like anyone else.  We are sinners.  We are annoying.  We overindulge our passions and appetites.  We let our anger and hurt get the better of us.  We fight amongst ourselves.  There are even those among us who stray into error of various sorts -- making us indistinguishable from our fellow Catholics in the mainstream, which also includes those who reject all sorts of Church teachings, from the Real Presence to the evils of contraceptives.  

But it takes a real hard-heartedness to consider the Howitzer of Traditiones custodes as being in any way a proportionate response to the flea that is the excesses of traditionalists.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Attempted Coup


A priest of the SSPX leads the faithful in a
Rosary against satanists trying to take over Idaho's capitol.

Today, the feast of St. Ann, mother of Our Lady, a group of masked, robed and hooded satanists gathered at the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho, to conduct a "prayer" ceremony in an attempt to turn Idaho over to the will of the devil.  A group of Protestants gathered at the bottom of the steps to counter the satanists.  A group of Catholics, led by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X, climbed the steps past the satanists and gathered in the rotunda to pray the Rosary.  The satanists came in and stationed themselves at the four compass points within the rotunda (where there is currently construction underway) and shouted prayers to satan.  The Catholics prayed all the louder.  Before long, the satanists walked out and returned to the steps where they blew a horn or two and made some noise for about a minute.  After the Rosary, Father prayed a prayer of exorcism out of the Rituale Romanum while the Catholic group continued to pray silently, and then walked around the rotunda, sprinkling it with holy water.  He then blessed the group, which left the way it came.  By that time, the satanists were off the steps and in some unknown location.

This is not the only time or place where the devil's minions have launched a public offensive against a state or city or town.  Why are satanists bold enough to come out in the open (albeit hiding behind their masks) and conduct black rituals to try to capture a political entity for the powers of darkness?  It must be because, saturated with the ideology of "religious liberty," or a failure to take the devil seriously, or a disbelief in their own powers given to them in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or some combination of all three, the Catholic hierarchy turns a blind eye.  But this is not a battle that they can just leave to the laity, who are usually the ones keeping track of these things.  If the local priests and bishops are not aware that these ceremonies are going on, why aren't they aware?  How is that not their business?  And if they are aware, how can they bear to allow it to go on?  Why do they mostly leave these things to the laity to deal with by themselves?  It's like sending an eight-year-old out to deal with a wild animal.  One can only speculate what the repercussions might have been, if there had not been a priest on the scene today to beat back the assault.  If priests and bishops haven't got time to chase devil worshippers off their doorstep, they haven't got time for anything.

Excellencies and reverend fathers: you have got to go out in the forefront of this battle and drive back the powers of darkness.  We pew sitters are willing to come with you and back you up with our prayers, but you must lead us.  You are the ones who wield the power of Jesus Christ.  This is why it was given to you.  It is up to you to send the satanists away, tail between legs, and make them fear to ever dare to launch an offensive against our states and cities.  Nobody else has been given the power and authority to do it.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ultra Vires

 "Ultra vires" is an old legal term that describes an act that exceeds the limits of the actor's authority.  Fr. Hunwicke explains why Traditionis custodes is ultra vires.