Thanks for your patience. The new blog is live at  www.catholictruthblog.com see you there!

 

BLOG MIGRATION

At 2:30pm today (Saturday 6th July) the blog will, as announced below, move to as new, secure and technologically advanced domain. This web address will become inoperable at 2:00 to accommodate that change. We look forward to your comments on the new-look blog which is at  www.catholictruthblog.com. As previously advised, users will have to re-register (using your normal user-name, we hope!) with WordPress.com who will be hosting the site.

See you there!

 

At some point today, our webmaster will be closing down this blog and we will be re-opening our new upgraded blog. At this rate, I can hear you say, we’ll have had almost as many new blogs as the diocesan Catholics have had new Masses!

Happily, this time, webmaster is able to transfer all (or almost all!) the posts from this blog and all comments, onto the new blog. A number of features which we have wanted, many of which are at your suggestion, will become available…

One little nuisance is that bloggers have to re-register because we are moving to a different hosting company for security reasons. Users must therefore re-register with wordpress.com. As you know, though, that only takes minutes, but we apologise, nevertheless, for any inconvenience caused.

We’ll give at least half an hour’s warning before the final changeover. After that, the new domain name will change to www.catholictruthblog.com; please don’t use that page until we are ready; we can’t guarantee that any posts made there will survive the migration process.

The main Catholic Truth website will, of course, remain operational as usual.

Editor

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis’s first encyclical is now published…

The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. Read entire encyclical here

Your thoughts welcome…

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For the General Discussion thread click here

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As we await publication of Pope Francis’s first encyclical it might be interesting to examine other first papal encyclicals.

Pope Pius XII, being the immediate pre-Vatican II pontiff,  may be the obvious place to start…

SUMMI PONTIFICATUS

Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XII
On the Unity of Human Society
October 20, 1939

Venerable Brethren; Health and Apostolic Benediction.

In the very year which marks the fortieth anniversary of the consecration of  mankind to our Redeemer’s Most Sacred Heart, the inscrutable counsel of the  Lord, for no merit of Ours, has laid upon Us the exalted dignity and grave care  of the Supreme Pontificate; for that consecration was proclaimed by Our immortal  predecessor, Leo XIII, at the beginning of the Holy Year which closed the last  century.

2. And We, as a newly ordained priest, then just empowered to recite “I will  go in to the altar of God” (Psalm xlii. 4), hailed the Encyclical Annum Sacrum  with genuine approval, enthusiasm and delight as a message from heaven. We  associated Ourselves in fervent admiration with the motives and aims which  inspired and directed the truly providential action of a Pontiff so sure in his  diagnosis of the open and hidden needs and sores of his day. It is only natural,  then, that We should today feel profoundly grateful to Providence for having  designed that the first year of Our Pontificate should be associated with a  memory so precious and so dear of Our first year of priesthood, and that We  should take the opportunity of paying homage to the King of kings and Lord of  lords (I Timothy vi. 15; Apocalypse xix. 6) as a kind of Introit prayer to Our  Pontificate, in the spirit of Our renowned predecessor and in the faithful  accomplishment of his designs, and that, in fine, We should make of it the alpha  and omega of Our aims, of Our hopes, of Our teaching, of Our activity, of Our  patience and of Our sufferings, by consecrating them all to the spread of the  Kingdom of Christ.

3. As We review from the standpoint of eternity the past forty years in their  exterior events and interior developments, balancing achievements against  deficiencies, We see ever more clearly the sacred significance of that  consecration of mankind to Christ the King; We see its inspiring symbolism We  see its power to refine and to elevate, to strengthen and to fortify souls. We  see, besides, in that consecration a penetrating wisdom which sets itself to  restore and to ennoble all human society and to promote its true welfare. It  unfolds itself to Us ever more clearly as a message of comfort and a grace from  God not only to His Church, but also to a world in all too dire need of help and  guidance: to a world which, preoccupied with the worship of the ephemeral, has  lost its way and spent its forces in a vain search after earthly ideals. It is a  message to men who, in ever increasing numbers, have cut themselves off from  faith in Christ and, even more, from the recognition and observance of His law;  a message opposed to that philosophy of life for which the doctrine of love and  renunciation preached in the Sermon on the Mount and the Divine act of love on  the Cross seem to be a stumbling block and foolishness.

4. Even as the precursor of the Lord proclaimed one day to those who sought  and questioned him: “Behold the lamb of God” (Saint John i. 29), in order to  warn them that the desired of the nations (cf. Aggeus ii. 8), dwelt, though as  yet unrecognized, in their midst, so, too, the representative of Christ  addressed his mighty cry of entreaty: “Behold your King” (Saint John xix. 14) to  the renegades, to the doubters, to the wavering, to the hesitant, who either  refused to follow the glorious Redeemer, living ever and working in His Church,  or followed Him with carelessness and sloth.

5. From the widening and deepening of devotion to the Divine Heart of the  Redeemer, which had its splendid culmination in the consecration of humanity at  the end of the last century, and further in the introduction, by Our immediate  predecessor of happy memory, of the Feast of Christ the King, there have sprung  up benefits beyond description for numberless souls — as the stream of the  river which maketh the City of God joyful (Psalm xlv. 5). What age had greater  need than ours of these benefits? What age has been, for all its technical and  purely civic progress, more tormented than ours by spiritual emptiness and  deep-felt interior poverty? May we not, perhaps, apply to it the prophetic words  of the Apocalypse: “Thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of  nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and  blind, and naked.” (Apocalypse iii. 17.)

6. Can there be, Venerable Brethren, a greater or more urgent duty than to  preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians iii. 8) to the men of our  time? Can there be anything nobler than to unfurl the “Ensign of the King”  before those who have followed and still follow a false standard, and to win  back to the victorious banner of the Cross those who have abandoned it? What  heart is not inflamed, is not swept forward to help at the sight of so many  brothers and sisters who, misled by error, passion, temptation and prejudice,  have strayed away from faith in the true God and have lost contact with the  joyful and life-giving message of Christ?

….. Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the  year of Our Lord, 1939, the first of Our Pontificate.   

Read entire encyclical here

Rome, Italy, Jun 29, 2013 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the first time since coming into clear union with the Pope, the religious institute the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer celebrated the priestly ordination of two of its members on June 22.

Father Magdala Maria and Father Yousef Marie were ordained alongside Fr. Massimo Botta of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, head of the Office of Papal Charities, in Rome.

Both orders are dedicated to celebrating the liturgy in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite – as was done prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, also called the Transalpine Redemptorists, were founded in 1987 and were associated with the Society of St. Pius X.

After Benedict XVI issued a document affirming the value of the extraordinary form, also called the traditional Latin Mass, the Transalpine Redemptorists responded by petitioning the Vatican to regularize their situation. Read more

So,  has the regularization of the Transalpine community, made a difference to the Diocese of Aberdeen and to the Church in Scotland generally?

Your thoughts…

One of our regular bloggers has an excellent letter published in this week’s Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO). Now, I know anyone can go into town and take a peek at the letters page of that august, or should that be awful, newspaper and find out precisely which of our regulars has made it into print there, but it’s much more fun if you don’t do that and participate instead in the CTNTBC – Catholic Truth Name That Blogger Competition. Prize for Winner: moving two points up the pay scale with a guaranteed Christmas bonus.

As well as guessing the letter author’s name (is it Petrus? Athanasius? Josephine? Gabriel Syme, semperfidelis?) we might as well engage in the issues raised in the letter. Why not? Could be interesting, eh?

Over to all of thee… The Letter – which (amazingly) appears to have been printed in full in the SCO, follows…

LETTER

I have been following Dr. Harry Schnitker’s ‘History of the Papacy’ series of articles in the SCO these past weeks and I have to say that on Leo XIII and St. Pius X I have been somewhat disappointed with his interpretation of events, as well as with certain glaring omissions that are most certainly applicable to our times.

For example, he writes that the future Leo XIII (Giocchino Pecci) gave only lukewarm support to Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors. This is quite false since it was as Archbishop of Perugia that the future Leo had himself instigated the Syllabus at the Provincial council of Spoleto in 1846, which he later complemented in the Leonine Encyclicals.

This myth of antagonism between the two is further dispelled by the fact that Pius IX raised Archbishop Pecci to the Cardinalate in 1853 and later appointed him to the important post of Camerlengo in 1877. It is also recorded that Pius had previously offered various suburbicarian sees to Cardinal Pecci with a view to bringing him geographically closer to the Pope.

That the Cardinal declined these generous offers is said to have been principally due to his dedication to Perugia, although there is speculation that he was not always in accord with Pius’ Secretary of State, Cardinal Antonelli.

Further suggestions by Dr. Schnitker that there were respective “murmurs of Socialism” and “Murmurs of Protestantism” over Leo XIII’s teaching on Social Justice and the importance of Sacred Scripture to Catholicism are likewise unfounded.

Concerning this latter assertion, it seems odd to me that Dr. Schnitker omitted to mention Leo’s Encyclical Apostolicae Curae, in which Anglican orders are formally declared to be null and void. But then, a reminder of that Encyclical would not sit well with today’s ecumenists.

Nor would St. Pius X’s Apostolic Letter of 1910, called ‘Our Apostolic Mandate,’ condemning the liberal Catholic French lay movement, Le Sillon, sit well with the modern movements Focolare and Sant’Egidio. This may explain why Dr. Schnitker failed to mention that important document in his short biography of Pope Leo’s successor.

Mention was made of St. Pius X’s Anti-Modernist Encyclicals, Lamentabili Sane and Pascendi Dominici Gregis, but only to undermine their value with a retrospective conclusion that they were products of a “Muddled affair” based on a threat to the Church “as he saw it.

In fact, these Encyclicals were works of incredible intellectual foresight and holy wisdom which exposed and suppressed as “the synthesis of all heresies” the “New Theology” of Modernist exegetes, then threatening to poison the Catholic Faith from within by means of a false notion of “Living Tradition” that Pius X declared in Pascendi to be a ruse to justify doctrinal evolution and innovation.

Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII) confirmed the continued presence of this threat to the faith some 25 years later when he spoke of innovators all around him who wished “to dismantle the sacred chapel and alter the Church in her theology, her liturgy and her soul.”

That these Modernist innovators finally triumphed at the Second Vatican Council is clear from Fr. Ralph Wiltgen’s excellent and impartial book ‘The Rhine flows into the Tiber,’ as well as from the 1967 abolition of St. Pius X’s mandatory anti-Modernist Oath for priests.

And if that is not evidence enough, then we need only consider the unprecedented crisis of faith in the Church today and remind ourselves of the prophetic lament of Pope Paul VI in 1972: “Through some fissure in the walls, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and set her on a path of auto-destruction.END.

Some time ago,

A reader commented that Catholic Truth is not included in the list of British Catholic Blogs  (BCB) and remarked “you’re probably too Catholic for them!” I took a quick look and agreed – there’s everything up there from “Auntie Joanna” (Bogle) to Medjugorje.

Some time later…

I decided to approach the BCB and on 21 June, sent a very short email to say “Hi” could we be included on their list, giving the website address.  That’s it. That’s all I wrote. Charming to a fault, straight to the point. That way, I thought, everyone who visits our website will see the link to our petition, which is not exactly winning any popularity prizes right now (tell your granny to sign). Good thinking, or so I thought.

Then today, the following reply arrived:

Thank you for your e-mail…

While I share your love of the Extra Ordinary Form of the Mass I can’t in good conscience include a blog on the list that seems to tell Catholics they cannot attend the Novus Ordo Mass. I understand the concerns mentioned by the SSPX article but I must remain with Rome rather than Menzingen.

It gives me considerable pain to write the above but my opinion will not change for as long as Catholic Truth supports or appears to support the SSPX position. Please pray for me, as I will pray for you.

 Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Malcolm Mann

Is it not very sad indeed, that even now, even NOW with the Church in tatters around us, there are still people like Mr Mann who cannot see the wood for the trees?

I did fire off an email, markedly less charming if every bit to the point,  to argue my case. I’m nothing if not persistent. I said, in words of unmistakeable candour, that it seems incredible that there are still people in this world (I refrained from saying “numpties” – I mean, would I?) who do not connect Our Lady’s plea-cum-prophesy at Quito in the 17th century (requesting  Sister Mariana to pray that her Son would send a priest to restore the priesthood in the 20th century) to the late and great Archbishop Lefebvre.  I mean, if that prophesy wasn’t about Archbishop Lefebvre, who, pray was it about?  I lived through to the end of the 20th century and can’t think of any other possible candidate. Can you?  Clarification: I lived to the end of the 20th century, but wasn’t there at the start…

Anyway, is it too strong to say that we at Catholic Truth are being discriminated against because we “support the SSPX position” – that is, because we adhere to the entire Faith, and reject modern errors and heresies? We certainly have no intention of suing. That would be the wrong thing to do (wouldn’t it?) but we’re interested in your opinion on this…

Was our reader correct to say that we are “too Catholic” for the  British Catholic Blogs” list?

Recommended answer: yes…

Pope Francis ‘snubs’ pomp and ceremony of Vatican Beethoven concert

Pope Francis failed to show up at a Vatican concert crowded with cardinals at the weekend, an absence seen as the latest example of his dislike for the Holy See’s tradition of pomp and ceremony.  Read more

Reading the latest batch of UK Catholic papers, I’m struck at how devoted the dissenters are to Pope Francis. He’s jes wonderful in their jaundiced view.

Mgr Basis Loftus, for example, cites the new Pope’s markedly new ways and quotes his apparently never-ending and seemingly, (according to the news reports) highly ambiguous exhortations to let the “Spirit” flow freely in the Church, as a thinly disguised stick with which to beat Pope Benedict, not to mention earlier popes such as Popes Pius IX and X.

In his latest published nonsense, Mgr Loftus offers two quotations, one from English Bishop Philip Egan and the other from Pope Francis, to set orthodoxy against (papal) modernism.  Mgr Loftus argues that at Vatican II, the “baton” (of modernism) which was handed on by the “modernists and Catholic theologians” of the previous fifty years after being squashed by the bad guys, especially Pope Saint Pius X, had been ”dropped in recent years, indeed, almost lost without trace” – evidently a jibe at Pope Benedict.  It is – Loftus exults –  ”in very large part thanks to Holy Father Francis” that it (the baton of modernism handed on by Vatican II) has been “picked up and handed on to us” (Reformers are true prophets in Church, Vatican Counsel, Mgr Basil Loftus, Catholic Times, 23 June, 2013).

So, in the context of the Pope’s latest reported act of “humility” and “simplicity” in failing to attend a “pomp and ceremony” event, we might brace ourselves for more of the same in the next round of Loony Loftus Literature.

Apart from the ever–present question – why is the Bishop of Aberdeen permitting this man to write in the Catholic press – we have another question to address in this thread: is the Pope’s personal animosity against, apparently, any kind of “pomp and ceremony” helpful?   Is it, in fact, Christ-like?

Was there NO “pomp and ceremony” at the marriage Feast of Cana? Did not Our Lord rebuke Judas for complaining that the expensive jar of ointment used by the sinful woman to anoint His feet be sold and the money given to the poor?

Help me to cultivate a more favourable view of this new Pope. Right now, I’m struggling….

There’s allegedly a secretive “gay lobby” that wields massive behind-the-scenes influence at the Vatican. Pope Francis himself appears to have confirmed it, during what was intented to be a private conversation with a delegation of Latin American religious orders. His words somehow got leaked, and although his visitors apologised, his press office hasn’t denied that the quote is genuine. Francis was discussing the difficulties he faced reforming the Vatican’s notoriously inefficient and scandal-ridden bureaucracy, the Curia.

“There are holy people,” he said, “But there is also a stream of corruption. The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true it is there! We need to see what we can do.”  Read more

So, the claims about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, squashed when they first surfaced, are true, after all.  How interesting. The Pope has admitted that there is corruption in the Vatican. Also interesting. Interesting, too, that he only admitted it “off the record” so to speak. But for that wee indiscretion, those of us who’ve been saying in plain English, Irish, Welsh and Scots how it really is for years now, would still be labelled conspiracy theorists or dubbed “disloyal” to Church and Pope.

So, in a spirit of striking while the iron’s reasonably warm, allow me to offer this thread for the purpose of considering, not just the above report about homosexual activity in the Vatican (not to mention within the Church in Scotland where we brace ourselves for further scandalous revelations)  but for the purpose of considering the wider corruption of the priesthood per se…

Since our conference last weekend, I’ve listened closely to a number of priests, well meaning, who loosely fit the description “traditional leaning.” They are, put simply, sympathetic to what has come to be known as the “traditional movement” (those diehards who just won’t let the old Faith, devotions, customs and traditions be stamped out!)

Yet, paradoxically, they defend the squashing of those very traditions in their own parishes. Take altar girls (or girl altar boys  as the Americans call them). There’s nothing to mandate girls serving at the novus ordo Mass yet most priests recruit them now. Ditto Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Communion in the hand etc. Any suggestion that a priest might stop doing any of these things, meets with the objection that you can’t change things overnight (although things WERE changed overnight after Vatican II) and/or it’s disobedient to the local Bishop for individual priests to make such changes without permission.  “We’d be sent to outer Siberia” said one clergyman, defending his “keep a low profile and do what I can without annoying the bishop” policy.  Not that I recommend annoying the bishop, by the way; there are skilled ways of seeing off altar girls and all the other aberrations without annoying anyone.

The big talking point for us, however, is this: the careful, diplomatic priests who believe they can do more good by going along with the rebellion until they can diplomatically restore what has been lost without antagonising anyone,  do not appear to realise that the very nature of their vocation is altered, seriously and in a very damaging way, as a result of the confusing of the roles of the ordained and lay. Why on earth would any young man choose to be a priest today?

The key question, therefore, to address in this thread is:  what is the priesthood all about?

The Government has finalised the text of the landmark abortion legislation.

The final legislation is not changed substantially from the earlier draft but the wording does:

 increase the number of hospitals where abortions can be carried out;

 alter what psychiatrists will be involved in assessments of suicidal pregnant women;

 narrow the definition of the criminal offence of carrying out an illegal abortion;

 allows the revoking of the licence of hospitals not following the guidelines.   Read more…

Who would have believed it?  An Irish Government passing legislation to butcher unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs – legislation that is even worse than the abortion law in the UK, and that’s saying something.

Enda Kenny defends his unconscionable promotion of this evil law by arguing that he is a “Catholic not a Catholic Taoiseach”.  It will be interesting to see how that particular novel interpretation of Canon Law is received on Judgment Day.

In the meantime, we expect Mr Kenny’s Parish Priest to enforce Canon 915 – assuming that Kenny has the temerity to keep up the appearance of being a Catholic by attending Mass in his local parish. Apparently, he’s been receiving 100 letters a day objecting to the abortion legislation but will these same pro-lifers write letters to Kenny’s parish priest and bishop demanding the enforcement of Canon Law because Kenny is a very public sinner and so, in fidelity to Canon 915, he must not be allowed to receive Holy Communion?

And so say all of us?

“Catholic Answers” is an organization made up of lay apologists whose stated mission is to “Explain and Defend the Faith.” Despite a growing contingent of Tradition friendly personnel, Catholic Answers remains, for the most part, a staunch defender of all post-Conciliar novelties.  This is no more apparent than in the organization’s radio show, “Catholic Answers Live.” The show consists of a host and an apologist who discuss important Catholic topics and take calls from listeners. As far as important Catholic topics go, the following are just a few of the Catholic news stories that broke on Friday, May 31st ; any of which would have made for a very interesting discussion:

Cardinal Godfried Danneels defends legislation for same-sex marriage

Major Obama backer negotiated Archdiocese of NY’s coverage of contraception, abortion

Canon Law Case Against Georgetown Submitted to Cardinal Wuerl

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked documents prove abortions at Catholic hospital despite Cardinal’s denial

Instead, “Catholic Answers Live” ran a full two hour radio show on May 31st on a much more important epidemic ruining the Church today. Yes, you guessed it: “Radical Traditionalism.” For those lucky enough not to have tuned in, host Patrick Coffin and guest apologist Tim Staples took listeners on a guided tour of the various dangers of believing and practicing the Catholic Faith of 2,000 years if one doesn’t also accept every post-conciliar novelty as a gift from Heaven.

Praise for Fr. Greeley?

One news story of the day that the host did decide to cover was the passing of Fr. Andrew Greely. For those of you who are not familiar with Fr. Greely, he was an outspoken critic of infallible Catholic teaching on contraception, divorce, and the ordination of women. However, when Fr. Greeley wasn’t speaking out on these issues, he found the time to write pornographic novels. In fact, the LA Times reported that, “Glistening loins, unfettered breasts and rapes were so abundant in his fiction that the National Catholic Register said the author had “the dirtiest mind ever ordained.”[1] The sale of these novels made Fr. Greely a very rich man, enabling him to buy three homes — one in Chicago, another in Tucson and a third at Grand Beach, Michigan.[2] Despite these expenditures; however, Fr. Greely was somehow able to save enough money to donate thousands of dollars to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in 2008.[3]

While admitting that Fr. Greely wrote some “sexually frank” novels, host Patrick Coffin told listeners that he had friends who, “thought a lot about his attempt to get outside the regular means by which priests communicate, with varying degrees of success.” He also reminded the audience that Fr. Greeley, “was certainly a man of the left in the Catholic Church in America, but did a lot of sociological research and had a voice.” This was apparently the host’s “Catholic” response to the passing of such a priest on a national radio show. Logically, if such “tolerance” can be directed towards such a “man of the left in the Catholic Church” the same should be shown towards those on the right in the Catholic Church, correct? Not so much.  Click here to read the rest of this article

When I addressed our wonderful audience at the recent Catholic Truth Conference, I used some artefacts to prompt my (very bad) memory, rather than rely on notes. One of the things I forgot to put into my bag of goodies, however, was a shoe. I’d meant to point out that it is not possible to keep a foot in both camps as this Church crisis worsens by the day. The article above on “Catholic Answers” underlines my point. No use having “a growing contingent of Tradition friendly personnel” if they are willing to go along with many – or any –  of the errors of Vatican II, from the advertising of ecumenical and other harmful activities in their local parish to praying what one of our cheekier bloggers terms the Gluminous Mysteries of the Rosary.  That’s what’s called keeping a foot in both camps. Hedging one’s bets. Opting for the easy life.

As for Fr Greely – I remember, some years ago, struggling to think of a suitable answer when a teaching colleague (in a non-denominational school in a very Protestant part of Scotland) told me that he was reading a novel by this priest and asked me where, in my opinion, he got the experience to write his sexually explicit material. Asked the same question now, I wouldn’t be stuck for an answer. Not for a second.

Anyway, what do you think – IS it possible to have one foot in the camp of “Tradition” and one foot in the post-conciliar novelty camp? Or would that mean you had two left feet?