Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrating Community


As we draw near to the implementation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal (already I have heard moanings…), we would do well to recall that in their response to Vatican II’s call for better understanding and more effective presentation of the truths of the faith those assigned responsibility for the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium were led astray by the ideas and dispositions of modernity. As Paul VI had warned, the Faith is endangered when modern secular thinking begins to determine the Church’s understanding and transmission of the gospel message. For example — today it is possible for a Catholic to encounter in a popular Catholic magazine a theological de-emphasis on Our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation:

….the concept of atonement—that God and humanity have been reconciled through Jesus—hasn’t always focused so exclusively on Jesus’ death as a sacrifice and payment for sin. Like most teachings, it has evolved over the past 20 centuries of Christian thought, and today is being critiqued by some as problematic, not only for what is says about God, but also for what it may mean for victims of violence [emphasis added].

It would seem that the author is unaware that doctrine does not evolve (change meaning) but develops in stages over time, resulting in a clearer presentation of the doctrine by the Church, toward a more profound understanding of truth. It does not present new doctrine or revelation. Again, Paul VI warned that those who do not think with the mind of the Church may be exposed to “the influence of ‘the mystery of iniquity” in evidence when “the spirit of the Gospel is watered down or rejected…” The reason behind this disregard of the authority of the documents of divine revelation was the reformers’ assimilation of the principles of modernity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An "eminently logical" Strategy! (From: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God)


In psychoanalytic thought, libido (from the Latin: desire, lust) is the psychic and emotional energy associated with man’s instinctual biological drives (sexual desire). Though theoretically held in check by the ego and super-ego, in Freudian thought libido understands man as a sexual animal whose happiness derives from the unrestrained libido. The virtue of chastity in Freudian logic could only end in illness and unhappiness. Such thinking became normative in the United States in the 1960s, and it was not long before “the greatest of natural mysteries,” the marriage act, was reduced to an openly discussable “fun activity.”
Paul VI offered libido as one way Satan, the “malign, clever seducer” undermines man’s sexual morality with his “sophistry.” The Devil’s strategy here, as the Pope cautioned, is “eminently logical.” He approaches man with what amounts to a false reason in his mind, which, if dwelled on, can influence the will by rousing him to do something evil which seems to be good. Deceit is basic to his strategy. By way of one example, if one is gifted with a superior intellect, Satan will tempt to pride and sins of the mind. Thus it is not surprising that the notion that the Church is out of touch and unbending on issues relating to sex and marriage to this day is advanced by  intellectual Catholic theologians the likes of Frs. Curran, McCormick, and O’Brien.
If one is worldly and hedonistic, Satan enters with temptations of the flesh. One hears often that the “liberation” of the human libido began in earnest in the United States in the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s. Americans, troubled over repressive attitudes toward human sexuality, hoped for a revolution that would free them from outdated moral and social constraints. It resulted not in liberation but in license and a host of societal sexual crises. Since the onset of the sexual revolution, we have had to face an ever-increasing array of sexual problems. One has only to think of the tremendous increase in the number of post-1960s illegitimate births and abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, opposition to censorship of pornography (especially on the Internet), and the resulting sexual addiction (in some extreme instances resulting in murder). Consider too the tremendous blows to marriage and the family done by adultery, the battle over the homosexual lifestyle in the United States, Canada and Europe (now to the point of the redefinition of marriage under the law); the increasing incidences of sexual harassment, child pornography on the Internet, Internet predators, date rape, and of course, the divorce rate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Libido IV

I have been reminding readers that the libido was, in the teaching of Paul VI, a crack through which the Smoke of Satan has entered the Church. Here is an overview of the damage done to date, the subject of Chapter 4 of The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, Chapter Four

How has modernist thinking impact the Mass, the renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross? Given the importance of subjective human experience in neomodernism, in the field of the Liturgy we can detect a de-emphasis on the Liturgy as the worship of Almighty God in favor of a community celebration of one’s own life experience. After a high of seventy-four percent of Catholics who attended Mass in the United States in the post-WWI era, by 1965, sixty-five percent attended, compared with twenty-five percent in 2000. What is more, the data reveal that only twenty percent of the generation of Catholics born after 1960 attends Mass once per week. One major reason for this decline was the collapse of the Liturgy after the misimplementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, with the resulting harm to the faithful’s understanding of dogma and morals over time. As the Latin phrase goes, lex orendi, lex credendi!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

From: The Smoke of Satan...

Actor Mel Gibson, when filming his now classic The Passion of the Christ, was interviewed on the set by Time (January 27, 2003).  For Gibson, Vatican II "corrupted the institution of the Church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." Gibson misrepresents the moral crisis facing the Church, which is not “pedophilia” but stems from an inordinate amount of  active homosexuals as ordained priests and some inattentive bishops who have run interference for them, all the consequences of a failure to uphold and live the Church’s sexual moral teaching. Accolades to Gibson are in order, though, for his perception of Catholic demographics. The chart which follows gives us the tip of the iceberg (the underwater portion is the subject of the remainder of the book) regarding a few indicators since 1965:


1965
Today
Priests
58,000 (doubled from 1930-65)
45,000; projection for 2020 is 31,000
Ordinations
1,575
450
Priestless Parishes
1 percent
15 percent
Seminarians
600
200
Sisters
180,000
75,00 (Average age of 68)
Catholic High School Enrollment
700,000
386,000
Catholic Elementary Enrollment
4.5 million
Less than 2 million
Attendance at Mass
3 out of 4
1 out of 4


An interesting contrasting view to Gibson’s is Temple University professor and Hans Kung protégé Leonard Swidler’s in his introduction to The Church in Anguish: Has the Vatican Betrayed Vatican II? Swidler writes of:

….the anguish engendered in the Catholic church during the past decade through what appears to many Catholics, and non-Catholics, as an attempt by the present leadership in the Vatican to reverse the momentous gains in maturity that were made at the Second Vatican Council (1961-65)....Vatican II was clearly a peak experience. Today we seem to be going through “the valley of the shadow..."

Neither Mssrs. Gibson (who in common parlance is a “traditional” Catholic) nor Swidler have it just right. Mr. Gibson’s “dwindling numbers and pedophilia” are not the fruits of the actual reforms set down in the Documents of Vatican II any more than is Professor Swidler’s claim of “momentous gains in maturity” prior to 1978. The evidence reveals that the true fruits of Vatican Council II are only today beginning to be realized in each of the four main areas addressed by the Council documents, which brings to mind one final assessment of the Council’s fruits I discovered which, when I began understand why it was offered, inspired me to write the Smoke of Satan.....

Actor Mel Gibson, when filming his now classic The Passion of the Christ, was interviewed on the set by Time (January 27, 2003).  For Gibson, Vatican II "corrupted the institution of the Church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." Gibson misrepresents the moral crisis facing the Church, which is not “pedophilia” but stems from an inordinate amount of  active homosexuals as ordained priests and some inattentive bishops who have run interference for them, all the consequences of a failure to uphold and live the Church’s sexual moral teaching. Accolades to Gibson are in order, though, for his perception of Catholic demographics. The chart which follows gives us the tip of the iceberg (the underwater portion is the subject of the remainder of the book) regarding a few indicators since 1965:



1965
Today
Priests
58,000 (doubled from 1930-65)
45,000; projection for 2020 is 31,000
Ordinations
1,575
450
Priestless Parishes
1 percent
15 percent
Seminarians
600
200
Sisters
180,000
75,00 (Average age of 68)
Catholic High School Enrollment
700,000
386,000
Catholic Elementary Enrollment
4.5 million
Less than 2 million
Attendance at Mass
3 out of 4
1 out of 4


An interesting contrasting view to Gibson’s is Temple University professor and Hans Kung protégé Leonard Swidler’s in his introduction to The Church in Anguish: Has the Vatican Betrayed Vatican II? Swidler writes of:

….the anguish engendered in the Catholic church during the past decade[2] through what appears to many Catholics, and non-Catholics, as an attempt by the present leadership in the Vatican to reverse the momentous gains in maturity that were made at the Second Vatican Council (1961-65)....Vatican II was clearly a peak experience. Today we seem to be going through “the valley of the shadow...”[3]

Neither Mssrs. Gibson (who in common parlance is a “traditional” Catholic) nor Swidler have it just right. Mr. Gibson’s “dwindling numbers and pedophilia” are not the fruits of the actual reforms set down in the Documents of Vatican II any more than is Professor Swidler’s claim of “momentous gains in maturity” prior to 1978. The evidence reveals that the true fruits of Vatican Council II are only today beginning to be realized in each of the four main areas addressed by the Council documents, which brings to mind one final assessment of the Council’s fruits I discovered which, when I began understand why it was offered, inspired me to write this book.