Further thoughts on restorationists—and a remark on papal sycophants

We need real dialogue, real healing, real conversation, and real Christian discourse in a spirit of charity. But in its place we get the back of the hand.

A Swiss Guard is seen as Pope Francis attends Mass in St. Peter's Square during the World Meeting of Families at the Vatican June 25, 2022. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

My recent CWR column on Pope Francis’s comments about the worrisome rise of what he called “the restorers” in the American Church appears to have kicked up some dust and not a little misunderstanding.

Many critics seem to think that I was saying more than I was saying. For example, some traditionalists, despite my explicit statement that the primary “gaggers” of the Council were the post-conciliar progressivesand despite my claim that it is Pope Francis himself who is to blame for the current radicalization of the current ecclesial factionalismtook my critique of their restorationism as some kind of blanket condemnation of traditionalism tout court. They think I am claiming that there can be no legitimate criticisms of Vatican II.

And it is only that last claim where I think a certain ambiguity in my remarks, born of a need to remain brief, should be clarified on my part. I am in favor of a deep and robust debate, involving all voices in the Church without any censoriousness imposed from above, about the ongoing meaning of the Council and its proper reception.

I myself have criticized the Council for what I call its “double naivete”. The first naivete was an overconfidence in the internal strength of the pre-conciliar Church’s culture. After all, if the pre-conciliar Church was as healthy as its proponents claim, then how on earth do we explain the almost immediate collapse of that culture after the Church lifted the lid off of the ecclesiastical libido? No less a light than a young Fr. Joseph Ratzinger had already noted, in an important lecture published in Hochland in 1958, that the Church had become a “Church of pagans” that was rotting from within.

The second naivete was a stunning (almost insouciant) optimism with regard to the Church’s dialogue with modern culture. There was an intoxicating overconfidence in the ability of the bourgeois culture of Liberal democracy to act as a medium within which the Church could be herself and fulfill her mission. In short, I think the Council failed to read properly and prophetically the very “signs of the times”, both within the Church and in the broader culture, to which the Council appealed as a tool for discernment, and that this failure was near fatal to the conciliar project as a pastoral endeavor, the aim of which was to usher in a new Pentecost within the Church.

Therefore, my problem with the traditionalist critique of Vatican II is not that they dare to question its documents, but rather that their critique is, generally speaking (but not in all cases), simply wrong. Space precludes a more lengthy exposition, but I think they are wrong to reject certain developments of doctrine in the areas of religious freedom, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and the theological nuances of Dei Verbum in its Christological recentering of our concept of Revelation and the various media of Revelation in Scripture and Tradition.

However, I think the traditionalist critique of the Council does raise certain thorny hermeneutical and theological questions that have been festering in the Church ever since the conclusion of the Council. Which indicates, at the very least, they are questions that are not going away and need answering. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI went a long way toward answering some, but not all, of those questions, and I agree with my friend, the brilliant patristic scholar Dr. Lewis Ayres, who stated in an interview I did with him, that the Council’s ressourcement theological project is an unfinished product in deep need of a renewed and vigorous revisitation. My traditionalist friends are of the view we have had enough time to do this already and that the project has been an abject failure. And, further, that it is the very unfinished nature of the whole enterprise that has led to the dangling loose ends of theological ambiguity that created this mess in the first place.

I can sympathize with this frustration while rejecting their solution to simply restore the old Mass as the standard Mass of the Church, and to resurrect the mid- century neo-scholasticism of folks such as Garrigou-Lagrange as the standard theology of the Church. I admire Lagrange and have profited from his writings, but a simple return to that mode of theology would be disastrous. Nevertheless, all of this is a debate worth having if for no other reason that the form of theology and liturgy they champion is indeed part of the Church’s Tradition and cannot, and must not, be simply swept away as so much retrograde nonsense.

Therefore, I am in favor of all voices at the table since only an open debate involving all faithful Catholics will help us untie the knots we have twisted ourselves into. But this is precisely my complaint regarding Pope Francis. The Pope of “accompaniment” and of “going out to the peripheries” and of “synodality” and “dialogue”, seems singularly unable to extend such things to the Church’s traditionalist flank. When it comes to those “peripheries” there are only harsh and scolding words (“rigid”, “Pharisaical”, “psychologically unbalanced”) and punitive and deprecatory motu proprios, all of which seem designed to disenfranchise and demoralize some of the Church’s most devoted and devout sons and daughters. And when those sons and daughters react negatively and then seek out spiritual enclaves where they can find succorenclaves that may indeed contain dysfunctional elements and theologically facile dismissals of more recent theologyhe reacts, not like a loving father, but as a harsh magistrate bristling with all of the bureaucratic means at his disposal to put them in their place.

Combine that with this Pope’s elevation of rather undistinguished bishops McElroy, Cupich, Tobin and Farrell to high office, and a picture emerges of care and concern not for peripheries at all but for the adulation of the rainbow-colored mainstream of our dominant cultural elites. I repeat: reaching out to the sexual libertines of our culture is not a going out to the peripheries at all, but rather a wedding banquet for the well-heeled devotees of our First World fetishes and obsessions.

And when those in the Church who have skin in this game object that this kind of accommodationist project is a recipe for a catastrophic pastoral capitulation to the nihilistic Zeitgeist, they are told that they do not have a place at the table of dialogue; only the progressive understanding of Vatican II is allowed into the banquet. And I can only repeat what I said in my previous essay:  that this autocratic and monochrome approach to the Council’s reception will only inflame, radicalize, and entrench those who do not agree.

In other words, my claim is that this is a Pope who does not unify, but who instead divides. This is a Pope who polarizes binaries and creates unnecessary peripheries. We need real dialogue, real healing, real conversation, and real Christian discourse in a spirit of charity. But in its place we get the back of the hand.

And that brings me to one of the other responses to my previous essay. This time from the Left, in an absurd tweet from the papal sycophant Austen Ivereigh, who says of my essay:

A curious article, which betrays the “isolated conscience” of which Francis warns in Let Us Dream, in which the desire to hold onto something we think is threatened ends up distorting our grasp of reality itself.

Devoid of any substantive discussion of my actual arguments, this tweet is also a form of mean-spirited, ad hominem accusation that plays in the sandbox of psychological imputation. And from a man who does not know me in the slightest, does not know my published works, and has most definitely not even bothered to understand my argument or, more importantly, the issues that generated it. He seems to just dismiss me as just one more cranky, Right-wing crackpot who hates the Pope for purely emotional, visceral, and subjective reasons. Therefore, I must be motivated by a badly formed conscience riddled with “fear” over the demise of things I am “clinging” to like a child clutching a teddy bear in the night, afraid of the bogeyman under the bed.

The “isolated conscience”, by the way, was a term used by Pope Francis to describe those who are selfish and who set themselves against the relational path opened up by true charity. And as such, they are tools of Satan, like Judas. Living in their own thought world and besotted by their own ideological deformations, they refuse to encounter reality and retreat instead into their safe spaces of interior, solipsistic, narcissism. And Austen got all of that from my observation that the rise of the traditionalist movement coincided with the rise of Pope Francis, and I dared to see a connection there? The fact that he would see in such a claim some kind of deeply distorting ideology speaks more to his own isolated conscience and lack of contact with charity and reality than it does to my state of mind. Sycophants gonna sycophant.

I only mention this tweet because it is all too indicative of just the sort of dismissive condescension towards people of genuine faith – fellow Catholics by the way – who dare question this papacy and its aimless drift, like a bobbing cork, in the tidal forces of modernity. It is indicative of the sort of bullying, and intellectually shallow, thuggery that passes for “dialogue” amongst Pope Francis’s most loyal admirers and promoters.

I and millions like me are not “restorationists” in the negative sense of that term employed by Pope Francis. We are simply loyal sons and daughters of the Church who have toiled in the Lord’s vineyard for decades. There is only one kind of restorationism that matters: the restoration of all things in Christ. And every faithful Catholic who shares that vision needs to be heard.


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About Larry Chapp 27 Articles
Dr. Larry Chapp is a retired professor of theology. He taught for twenty years at DeSales University near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He now owns and manages, with his wife, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania. Dr. Chapp received his doctorate from Fordham University in 1994 with a specialization in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. He can be visited online at "Gaudium et Spes 22".

81 Comments

  1. Maybe we don’t need more open discussion of Vatican II. Acting as though certain unchangeable teachings are open for discussion is destroying the Church. Maybe we need a few infallible declarations from a good Pope that will end the VII debate and then let the chips fall where they may. Then if the rad-trads and rad-progs want to leave, so be it. But I suppose that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

  2. Thank you, Dr. Chapp, for summarizing in one brief article, the central causes of all of the suffering, frustration and demoralization brought about by the flawed attempt at implementing Vatican II. We have suffered for sixty some years as a result.
    I am one of those faithful Catholics who, for years, has tolerated, for love of God, all of the abuse, discord, vilification and hate that the “shepherds” have directed toward, simply because we try to be faithful to our Catholic Tradition.
    At some point in their life, every pope is called home by Almighty God and demanded by Him, “Show Me your fruits.”
    There may not be much time left before this shepherd, Francis, to his great consternation, may be found lacking.
    Then, who will he blame? His train has already left the station.

    • True, like us, Pope’s also have to face judgement day. However, it is not only the Popes whose status was very clearly defined by Jesus, but also us members of the Church, faithful followers and recalcitrant ones as well, that have to face the founder of the Church in which redemption is made available to us.

      • Mal, ever the apologist for Pope Francis, you are attempting to deflect the issue by not sticking to topic. Yes, we all must stand before God someday in judgment but Mr. Rasavag’e comment addresses the shepherds of our Catholic faith, first all popes and then Pope Francis in particular.

        • Joseph, this is why I began by agreeing with Paul. I added that all of us, not only Popes, have to face our Redeemer. He will Judge us – by what we did to or for the least of his people.

      • St. James said: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1 RSVCE)

        • St Paul: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on another. For on whatever grounds you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1

          • St. Paul found it necessary to discipline the factions in the Church at Corinth. James also contains passages of corrective discipline. Admonishing sinners is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. Knowing that a person is a sinner in need of admonishment requires the use of judgment. Diagnosis needs to precede treatment. That is what takes place in a real field hospital. Would you rather that the sinner be allowed to spiritually bleed out and die of and in their sins>

          • That’s true, Greg. Jesus condemned sin and even the self-serving attitude of the Pharisees, but he did not condemn a single sinner. He came, after all, to save sinners and not to condemn them.

          • You keep missing the point. Warning people that they are on the wrong path is not condemning them, it is an attempt to put them on the right road so that they don’t end up in hell. Jonah tried to avoid going to Nineveh to give prophetic witness against their wickedness. Christ talked about Jonah:
            *
            29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin’eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nin’eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Luke 11:29-32 RSVCE)
            *
            The sign of Jonah was the predicted overthrow of Nineveh that moved them to repent. Christ lamented over Jerusalem and its impending destruction for lack of faith. This happened in 70AD with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple. Msgr. Charles Pope has an article about Jonah “What is the Sign of Jonah?”
            *
            https://cathstan.org/posts/what-is-the-sign-of-jonah-2
            *
            This website has an article about Jonah “In Defense of Jonah”
            *
            https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/10/28/in-defense-of-jonah/
            *
            The behavior of many in the Church hierarchy is like that of Jonah, running away from their prophetic responsibilities. (See Ezekiel 3:16-21)

  3. To this reader, your points were perceptive and quite clear the first time around. But, about “conversation,” there does come a point where the fireman does not negotiation with the fire. Where there is no elementary and remaining curiosity, there is no possibility of conversation and debate.

    As one whose professional career and vocation was in the secular world, might I propose the transferable lesson that there are two kinds of people—(a) those intent on “moving things along,” and (b) those drinking from a deeper well, and who regard steadfast and probing thought as not setting the clock not “back,” but setting it “right.”

    To a colleague who felt very much “thrown under the bus,” I suggested that he might be giving to much credit to an office abuser who acted arbitrarily from one day to the next. Of the victimizer, I proposed, “maybe he’s not really throwing you under the bus at all, maybe he’s just stupid.”

    But, for a better clue, the biblical theologian Thomas Dubay, S.M. (“Authenticity,” Ignatius, 1997), explores why elementary curiosity about facts (or in this case ressourcement) is excluded from “inclusive” discourse. Dubay’s riddle: “Two people can examine exactly the same evidence and come up with opposite conclusions [….] Why this vast resistance to CONCLUSIVE [italics] evidence? It must be largely mixed with WILL [!]. Yet it is not only scientists who can refuse evidence. Theologians can and do the same [….]”
    “St. Mark ascribes the disciples’ lack of understanding simply to the fact that their minds were closed (Mk 6:52) [….] biblical analysis is reflected in our own century by Alexander Solzhenitsyn when he remarked, ‘We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more COMFORTABLE.”

    How does one conduct theological debate when the UNDERLYING ISSUE is creature comfort? (Lying, an apt term.)

    In the Church today, why are we reminded of the secular Brown University which set the standard for comfortable recovery from campus ideas felt to be “damaging”? The safe space for college students was a room offering “cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh [not Plato], calming music, pillows, blankets, and a video of frolicking puppies” (New York Times, 2016).

    Welcome to the non-bigoted theological monologue…

    • Summarizing, is the robust discourse called for by Chapp being derailed by “intellectual contraception”? This, rather than any hermeneutics of discontinuity, or whatever?

      I recall a revealing comment from Pope Francis, a few years back, that “I don’t listen to my critics.” Some personalities, more than others, need more protective shields.

      So, if truncated synodality is allergic to the Tradition of the Church, it might still consider other traditions in history, not today’s Amazonia and Germania, but yesterday’s Attila the Hun: “a king with chieftains who always agree with him reaps the counsel of mediocrity”(Wes Roberts, “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun,” 1985).

    • I usually read your comments first because they’re well informed and usually target a center of discussion.
      Chapp’s bad restorers and good restorers comply respectively to the never ending challenge for the Mystical Body. Chapp’s theological preference rather than Francis’ pejorative restorationism or traditionalism is ressourcement. “I am in favor of all voices at the table since only an open debate” (Chapp). “About ‘conversation,’ there does come a point where the fireman does not negotiation with the fire” (Beaulieu). My response to Chapp and your response to him is a precis of Chapp’s discussion on misinformed opinions of his first essay.
      Today the Church celebrates the feast of St Irenaeus, bishop and doctor of the Church. If Athanasius of Alexandria was the nemesis of Arianism Irenaeus was the nemesis of Gnosticism. Irenaeus did exchange letters with Marcion a leading Gnostic. Although I agree in principle with your view on conversation yet believe with a strong affirmation of the faith as you suggest.
      “Only one kind of restorationism that matters: the restoration of all things in Christ” (Chapp). The ultimate bottom line for any essay on the current controversy related to Benedict XVI’s hermeneutic of discontinuity v a hermeneutic of continuity.

      • You mention Athanasius, and in him we have a clue about the current regime in the Vatican. The current regime is less about an “inverted pyramid” than it is about a backwards “alchemy”—they change gold into lead.

        Consider Athanasius at the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.). His earlier book, “The Incarnation” (318 A.D.) was not original, but faithfully recapitulated what the Church had always lived and believed from the beginning. Arius (beginning in 319 A.D.) was rejected as incompatible. The modernist and backwards alchemy in 2025 A.D. (the 1700th anniversary of Nicaea) likely will be to repaint the First Ecumenical Council as a synod synthesizing a moving consensus, rather than as a steadfast defense of the Deposit of Faith.

        And, today, rather than Arius’ ideological reduction of the unity of the self-disclosing Triune Oneness, the ideological agenda now seeks to reduce the unity of the fully revealed human person into a pliable non-being stripped of moral absolutes. The so-called Magisterium of Francis (Amoris Laetitia) blurs or even departs from the natural law and the confirming Magisterium of the Church, e.g.:

        “The relationship between faith and morality shines forth with all its brilliance in the unconditional respect due to the insistent demands of the personal dignity of every man, demands protected by those moral norms which prohibit without exception [!] actions which are intrinsically evil” (Veritatis Splendor, VS, n. 90).

        “The Church is no way the author or the arbiter of this [‘moral’] norm” (n. 95).

  4. I happen to agree with (then) Fr. Joseph Ratzinger’s assessment that the preconciliar Catholic Church was rotten with paganism and, by that, I mean that the Body of Christ was consumed with hedonism and materialism – in effect, “the world” and less consumed with what was distinctively “of Christ.” And then came the breakdown of that worldly culture during the 1960’s. And because the Church herself had already been so taken with the world, it fell apart with the rest of society. So, in my mind, if Vatican II was an attempt to re-invigorate, to re-spiritualize the Church, it was ultimately unable to make substantive changes in an already moribund Church. To compound this problem, those heavily secularized, progressive and often homosexual clerics and “off the rails” laymen and women used Vatican II as a pretext to further allow pagan societal forces to further influence the Church. This latter trend continues to this day (note the Cardinaliature appointments of Pontiff Francis).

    In my mind, what ails the Church has nothing to do with Vatican Council II. Vatican II looms important only in the minds of theologians whose vocation in life is to endlessly analyze its documents, get their ideas published and have them read by other theologians. My contention is that Vatican II has had no impact whatsoever in the life of Joe Average Catholic. If you doubt me, stand outside any Catholic Church as Sunday Mass finishes. Ask 100 Catholics who attend Mass regularly to tell you one salient teaching in the Vatican II documents and you will see “deer’s eyes in headlights.”

    So let’s once and for all stop the posturing about Vatican II by either progressives or traditionalists. Vatican II is a non-player in what truly ails our Church. What ails our Church is a pervasive virus such that our Church is consumed with things worldly, and most lethal – unrepentant sin. Please, no more talk about “pre-Vatican II vs post-Vatican II”, no more Synods and quick fixes, no more missives from that corrupt UCCB, no more “new programs” to make things better. It’s time for the Church to enter into the Garden of Gethsemane for a long period of “watching” with the Suffering Christ. Maybe one day, the Church might emerge from its slumber and will no longer be breathing with the lungs of a worldly, sinful culture and can speak “Truth” because the Church knows Christ.

    It is not Vatican II that allows Nancy Pelosi to declare herself a “good Catholic” while promoting the killing of babies. It is not Vatican II that permits Joe Biden to approach Holy Communion while advocating the same. It is not Vatican II that caused Theodore McCarrick and boat loads of other clerics to sexually abuse the vulnerable. We know what ails the Church.

  5. Let me begin by thanking Dr. Chapp for a brilliant essay. His is a voice of reason and it’s a pity that Pontiff Francis and his minions see fit to pillory him along with all their other perceived enemies in the Church. For me, I’m sick and tired of that lot. It’s a pity that they don’t realize that most devout and informed Catholics pay little attention to any of them. I’m reassured that my salvation depends nothings on Pope Francis and his not-so-merry band of sycophants.

    I happen to agree with (then) Fr. Joseph Ratzinger’s assessment that the preconciliar Catholic Church was rotten with paganism and, by that, I mean that the Body of Christ was consumed with hedonism and materialism – in effect, “the world” and less consumed with what was distinctively “of Christ.” And then came the breakdown of that worldly culture during the 1960’s. And because the Church herself had already been so taken with the world, it fell apart with the rest of society. It’s now all so plain to see how decadent our culture is when parades in places like Seattle feature homosexual men riding nude on bicycles and no one bats an eye?

    So, in my mind, if Vatican II was an attempt to re-invigorate, to re-spiritualize the Church, it was ultimately unable to make substantive changes in an already moribund Church. To compound this problem, those heavily secularized, progressive and often homosexual clerics and “off the rails” laymen and women used Vatican II as a pretext to further allow pagan societal forces to further influence the Church. This latter trend continues to this day (note the Cardinaliature appointments of Pontiff Francis).

    In my mind, what ails the Church has nothing to do with Vatican Council II. Vatican II looms important only in the minds of theologians whose vocation in life is to endlessly analyze its documents, get their ideas published and have them read by other theologians. My contention is that Vatican II has had no impact whatsoever in the life of Joe Average Catholic. If you doubt me, stand outside any Catholic Church as Sunday Mass finishes. Ask 100 Catholics who attend Mass regularly to tell you one salient teaching in the Vatican II documents and you will see “deer’s eyes in headlights.”

    So let’s once and for all stop the posturing about Vatican II by either progressives or traditionalists. Vatican II is a non-player in what truly ails our Church. What ails our Church is a pervasive virus such that our Church is consumed with things worldly, and most lethal – unrepentant sin. Please, no more talk about “pre-Vatican II vs post-Vatican II”, no more Synods and quick fixes, no more missives from that corrupt UCCB, no more “new programs” to make things better. It’s time for the Church to enter into the Garden of Gethsemane for a long period of “watching” with the Suffering Christ. Maybe one day, the Church might emerge from its slumber and will no longer be breathing with the lungs of a worldly, sinful culture and can speak “Truth” because the Church knows Christ.

    It is not Vatican II that allows Nancy Pelosi to declare herself a “good Catholic” while promoting the killing of babies. It is not Vatican II that permits Joe Biden to approach Holy Communion while advocating the same. It is not Vatican II that caused Theodore McCarrick and boat loads of other clerics to sexually abuse the vulnerable. We know what ails the Church.

  6. Larry Chapp has fallen into the trap of the so-called “traditionalists” who are just a small but very loud minority. He thinks they are big when they are not. They are loud and nasty. Their numbers do not lie. Based on the number of parishes where the old pre-Vatican II Mass are celebrated one can readily see their size. They are in only 1,700 out of the 225,000 parishes world wide, or in 700 out of the 18,000 parishes in the U.S..

    • Yes. And this is what frustrates me about Dr. Chapp. He treats a molehill as though it were a mountain. To me, the rad-trad element that rejects VII is not worth the ink he spills on them. Their numbers are tiny, they wield almost no power, and they are clearly off-base. They do not pose an existential threat to the Church. Meanwhile, the Church is burning to the ground because of the radical progressive agenda of those who are currently running it. We are on a direct path toward the official recognition of gay relationships with some form of liturgical blessing, and sooner rather than later, unless someone (the Holy Spirit?) puts a stop to it. If that were to happen it would be an ender for me. It would mean the Church is a fake – a fraud – and always has been. Wake up Dr. Chapp!

      • “He treats a molehill as though it were a mountain.” I don’t think so. It is Pope Francis who has been making a mountain out of a molehill (in both comments and actions), assuming you are correct about the radtrad element. And that is what Dr. Chapp addressed in this and the previous essay. But if you look at his various essays for CWR over the past few years, you’ll see that many, if not most, of them are addressing and critiquing the progressive attacks on Church teaching, practice, and thought.

      • I don’t at all perceive Dr. Chapp as giving undue attention to the rad-trad element, that is, those who reject Vatican II. That element is indeed very small and their arguments are not persuasive, or even intelligible, to the vast majority of the faithful. I perceive Dr. Chapp as being most concerned with Catholics who take our Doctrine and Tradition seriously and reject progressivism — and because of this rejection get the back of the hand from the current Pontiff and his people. There is no place at the synodal table for us, who are by no means rad-trads, and who accept and worship within the framework of Vatican II. Our fierce rejection of progressivism is the reason we’re currently out in the cold.

      • Exactly, Deacon Dom, some treat the molehill – the loud but small small minority – as though it was a mountain. The Church is not American-based, it is Catholic. Liturgy does not define us, it is the Church family we belong to that does. Our allegiance is to our Lord’s family and not to a form of worship.

    • The population of the Roman Empire in the First Century was about 59 million, compared to only twelve apostles plus their successors and priests (as extensions of the local bishops), and a Christian population of about 7,500.

      The relevant math would be the fact that 8% of the apostles betrayed Christ (Judas Iscariot), compared to what percentage today? And then, of course, there’s the real action of the Second Vatican Council itself regarding the liturgy, in Sacrosanctum Concilium (https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html).

      As one who prefers the Novus Ordo, yours truly is still attuned to the question of how many in the majority of Catholics are closet amnesiacs?

    • And in how many dioceses was the EF suppressed, in spite of B16 and JP2 support? I am personally acquainted with one large archdiocese where the Archbishop refused to allow the EF, except at one parish out of a total of 102.

  7. Well, the main effect that Pope Francis has had on me is that I have come to appreciate John Paul and Benedict like never before. I guess you could say Francis has made me a restorationist.

    • I suggest you also learn about liturgical abuses that not only happened during John Paul II and Benedict XVI but that were also witnessed by them. John Paul and the ecumenical meetings in Assisi, this alone will make you reconsider your appreciation of JPII by the way. And those are not just rumors, pictures can speak for themselves.

      • I think that the liturgy hit absolute bottom under JP II, even at his own Masses, where shocking sacrileges in the handling of the Blessed Sacrament occurred – I know from first-hand experience, having been present at one such Mass. At yet JP II remained serenely detached from it all, and continued with his almost unceasing, soaring praise of VII, and writing a string of dense, bulky encyclicals that his current successor – whom he elevated to the rank of Cardinal – has shelved completely, along with dismantling the Institute bearing his name.

  8. Nothing like a dismissive generalizing pejorative to reveal the intellectual acuity of someone who can’t be bothered to understand what another is saying. Just marginalize the speaker and his/her thoughts, and, voila. Discussion over (in the mind of the flame thrower). Sorry you have to put up with this, Mr. Chapp, and I appreciate your perserverence and fearless naming of what some of us see as truth.

  9. Cardinals Farrell, Tobin, Cupich and now McElroy. Yes, all of these men seem to symbolize the same tired (rigid) ideas that we’re constantly subjected to in our “culture.” These Cardinals could have all just as easily been appointed by the Disney Board of Directors.
    I’d like to hear the four of them give a clear answer a simple question: Is a perpetual Woodstock the goal of our spiritual life?
    I’m just wondering exactly what kind of “mess” it is that Pope Francis is asking us to make.

  10. I guess I am a “restorationist” of sorts, since I’d like to see Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum restored, making the EF of the Mass available to those of us who would like regular access to it. That’s not a great deal to ask, is it?

  11. The Lord gives us all manner of admonishments and urgings to live a holy and upright life. We are now united to Christ through His blood and we need to bear fruit according to our regenerated spirit. We of course fall short, yet the act of confession restores us to fellowship.

    If the head of the church makes ungodly statements, butts heads with the word of God, how does this benefit the flock? The leaders must be men of character, handling the word of truth. Further, they must be concerned with the wellbeing of our eternal souls.

    There is a continuing outcry that it is not being done.To align the profane with the sacred undermines to purpose of the church. We are a body of believers in Christ’s righteousness and tender ways. To endorse unholiness in the church is utter folly and an unworthy rebuke to the one who saved us through by the washing of His blood.

    The natural man can not understand this and hence he tries to undermine the church by means of his own folly. We are to be a light to those perishing, rather in endorsing that which God does not approve of.

    Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    May we all strive to honour God in word and deed, praying for one another that we live lives that please Him and benefit our fellow man.

  12. “… the Council’s ressourcement theological project is an unfinished product in deep need of a renewed and vigorous revisitation. My traditionalist friends are of the view we have had enough time to do this already and that the project has been an abject failure. And, further, that it is the very unfinished nature of the whole enterprise that has led to the dangling loose ends of theological ambiguity that created this mess in the first place.”

    YES. This my exact concern. I do think it’s obvious that all was not rosy before the Council (or it would not all have fallen apart) and that many things happened because of our times, not necessarily because of our Church. But if the state of our Church led to us surrendering (mostly — others have surrendered far more, but the bar is low) then I don’t see what the Council came up with doing any better. One reason I like reading Larry is in the hope that Vatican II actually CAN bring about what it promised. But frankly, I don’t see much sign of that. So what’s the solution if we can’t go back and we’re heading to a dead end? My bet is that it has yet to arise, and it might come from somewhere unexpected — perhaps the new flowering of the Church will be in Africa, while we go the way of Christianity lost long ago to Islam.

  13. In this video the Holy Father gives a “V” image to talk about “2” points. This “V” is the back-to-front of the usual “victory” palm-forward “V”.

    He says he is speaking “from the heart” or in “the language of the heart”.

    When St. Paul addressed the Unknown God to the Greeks he was not surrendering on doctrine and revelation or skipping around them.

    More generally, I meet people at work who flick signals as they are speaking; and almost invariably things have to be re-stated, particularly when the flicking is at the inception.

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2014/02/20/watch-in-video-message-to-pentecostal-community-francis-calls-for-christian-unity/

  14. “The “isolated conscience”, by the way, was a term used by Pope Francis to describe those who are selfish and who set themselves against the relational path opened up by true charity. And as such, they are tools of Satan, like Judas. Living in their own thought world and besotted by their own ideological deformations, they refuse to encounter reality and retreat instead into their safe spaces of interior, solipsistic, narcissism.”

    Projection by the progressives.

  15. “this Pope’s elevation of rather undistinguished bishops McElroy, Cupich, Tobin and Farrell to high office” …

    The return of understatement in our debates. thank you.

  16. As Beaulieu stated, Chapp’s first article (and comments therein) was perfectly clear.

    There Chapp applied the term ‘radtrad’ to a group of Catholics and labeled some (small group of them) as anti-semites and misogynists. He failed to supply any definition or explanation as to who or why he described some of them so.

    Now Chapp here claims that he favors debating all voices. May I suggest that he approach Francis with his wish? Perhaps Francis can give Chapp the platform he desires. THE SYNOD OF ALL SYNODS ON THE ALMIGHTILY MISALIGNED AND MISUNDERSTOOD WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS, ALL POWERFUL, and VERY AMBIGUOUS, NEVERTHELESS SPECIFICALLY HISTORICAL AND ASSUREDLY THEOLOGICAL VATICAN COUNCIL TWO!

    Many voices rejoice that ressourcement perfectly supports and empowers ambiguity. Ressourcement was surely and certainly baked into the cookies the spirit handed out during and after VCII. Those cookies look and taste exactly the same as those Francis continues to serve from his silver-made-to-appear-like paper platter. The same platter contains many rainbow-colored pills.

    Matthew 5:33-37. Me gusta bastate.

  17. I accept that we have had a discussion about Vatican II for the last 60 years, adhering to some fiction that the discussion was a “dialogue” in the accepted sense of the word, as though we were ironing out legitimate issues that had been genuinely brought to the table by people with honest motives. I accept, also, that the ecclesiastical participants in the Council did, of course, have honest motives.

    However, Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes caused me to examine closely the issues that were brought to the surface by his banning of the Catholic Mass to Catholics. My first response was “What are they so afraid of?” As a true child of the 21st century, I was immediately informed that the stated reason (Survey of bishops) was not accurate and discovered that the suppression occurred upon discovery by them of the popularity of the TLM with young people and the growth of vocations. As this revealed a lie within the accepted belief of a “vocations crisis”, I looked further, comparing the TLM, in its content, with the Novus Ordo. I had long held a disquiet about the actual content of the Novus Ordo after reading about the changes brought by Thomas Cranmer to the Catholic liturgy in the reformation in his refashioning of it to accord with protestant doctrine. Having been criticised for his changes by the puritans as being “too Catholic” Cranmer responded that his changes, which included receiving communion in the hand and standing to receive communion, were introduced for the specific purpose to encourage disbelief in the minds of the congregation of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Henry VIII introduced “Petition prayers” – prayers specifically directed to secular and political issues, for the purpose of reinforcing the standing of the king in the minds of the people and, importantly, to reduce the service from one which focussed on the supernatural to one directed to the secular and material. These petition prayers, on scrutiny, to my mind, were remarkably like the “Prayers of the Faithful” which had been introduced by the Novus Ordo. I invite any reader to examine the differences between the two liturgies – to a faithful Catholic, catechised and solid in one’s faith, the Novus Ordo is capable of representing the tenets of the Faith. However, it is the ambiguous content of the Novus Ordo that is problematic in the liturgy that is the cause of the issues that are the subject of the constant “discussion” that is endlessly (and cynically) employed. The word “Sacrifice” is used throughout the liturgy in ways that can be interpreted in many different ways. Hence, as one protestant minister observed, a protestant could, in complete agreement with their different theological understanding, comfortably attend a Novus Ordo Mass. In the circumstances, with the obvious consequences of the evangelisation effect of the Novus Ordo, these being millions making a quick exit from the pews, attributing a good will to those who repeatedly implement, and are now enforcing in a dictatorial suppression, a liturgy and an approach that has been empirically shown to be a total failure from the moment of its inception, can only be naive. If I, a lay person, upon comparing the two liturgies, could assess the Luke-warm content of the Novus Ordo in comparison to the precise and unambivalent catechesis which is imparted by the traditional Latin Mass, then it must be more than obvious to those in the Vatican hierarchy. When we see an enforcement of a liturgy that has been shown publicly to be vulnerable to abuse, upon ordinary Catholics who simply want to attend a Catholic Mass that possesses not one single thing that is heretical, then suspicions should arise as to the motives of those concerned. If these totalitarian measures are considered in conjunction with the many failures to act on obvious transgressions – to mention sexual abusers, or China as immediate examples, then the suspicion is more pronounced. And yet, these eternal discussions of “Vatican II” keep going on. And the conservatives react, and believe, that these people are genuine. Austin Ivereigh is now introducing into the “discussion” the idea that traditional Catholics are “schismatic” because they refuse to mindlessly follow this Pope in his suppression of the Catholic liturgy and his numerous transgressions. As “schismatic” is a specific term, involving precise actions, it is impossible that fighting for attendance at an unarguably Catholic Mass could ever be a “schismatic” act. He is placing the Pope as absolute monarch – the worst caricature of the Catholic by the protestants – saying that any refusal to blindly follow the wishes of the Pope is schismatic (even when these wishes are against the faith) – and he is giving the nod to Catholics to marginalise and attack traditional Catholics, just as Pope Francis did in Traditionis Custodes when he used the accusation of “divisive” as a justification to ban the Catholic Mass to Catholics by a Catholic Pope.

    It would be different if the Novus Ordo had been shown to succeed. Could you imagine what the reaction would be if the traditional Mass had resulted in tens of thousands leaving Holy Orders and millions leaving the pews? And, what is so moving is that young people, when they see the traditional Mass, recognise the Truth – this is what these “Vatican II” people cannot abide – they have reduced the Faith to a political football and they cannot contemplate that there is something profound and holy that is existing in the traditional Mass -something that reaches over and above their secular power-grabs and political certainties.

    The fact that “discussion about Vatican II” is a chimera is tested by this reality – The accusation is that traditional Catholics “fail to recognise Vatican II’ – just what part of which document in Vatican II supports any part of what they are saying? The Novus Ordo Mass was not introduced by the Council -all the bishops and cardinals – directly after Vatican II. It was put together by Annibale Bugnini (who was shown to be a Mason), in 1969 – by a committee separately and completely severed from the Council. The Council Fathers not only did not knowingly accord to the Novus Ordo in the Council itself, the Council documents were expressed in terms that were deliberately so ambiguous that they were later used to justify changes that were never contemplated by the Vatican II discussions and, indeed, completely transgressed the documents themselves (retain Latin/Gregorian chant etc- basically, retain the old liturgy but reform it slightly). This fact alone points to duplicity. It also reveals a lack of informed consent on the part of the Council Fathers that negatives any claim to legitimacy on the part who wish to use some vague claim of “Vatican II” to justify any pet whim or orientation they wish to introduce, (and enforce).

    The good thing about Pope Francis, his elevation of very sexually questionable clerics, his betrayal of the Chinese Catholics and his simultaneous suppression of the traditional Latin Mass is that all this is coming to a head – it is becoming very obvious. But let’s forget the lame deflection and dishonest resort to a semblance of legitimacy by a perpetual discussion of “Vatican II” – Vatican II does not justify any of the moves that these people are forcing on us. A mere reading of the (interminably dense and ambiguous documents) reveals this. There is no discussion to be had. It is a ruse.

    • Re the passage “…the precise and unambivalent catechesis which is imparted by the traditional Latin Mass…” – I can’t see what this means. A mass in a language most people don’t understand is a very strange way to teach anybody anything. Would young students grasp geometry better if it was taught to them in Euclid’s Greek? I should say I am no opponent of the Latin mass, having attended one recently, and I liked the more reverent atmosphere. But as catechesis, no.

      • Perhaps the question and answer may be approached from a slightly different perspective. How does God speak to man? Consider that even the life of Jesus has not been completely and fully revealed to man. We know something about his early life and we know absolutely nothing about the years from 12 to 30 because He spoke nothing to us about those years. Then there is the Holy Spirit’s form of communication. And what is the language of God the Father?

        Are there ways men communicate with one another which do not involve language. We give each other many different type of gifts and many of these do not involve speech.

      • Michael Cashman – if possible, you should attend more traditional Masses. It takes quite some time to understand the traditional Mass. Once you become familiar with it, it is indeed a catechesis. First, it is quite obviously, from the very beginning of the liturgy, a derivation from the ancient Jewish Temple. This places the liturgy into a context in which the sacrifice of Christ as the Lamb of God is very real. Further, the Mass has aspects that are addressing our senses and understanding in ways other than words. Children respond to it, even with no Latin. The English translation is there, of course, and the prayers and Psalms are unspeakably beautiful. However, the Asperges, the sprinkling with cleansing holy water, the confession at the foot of the altar – the preparation before the Mass even commences, before the priest approaches the “Holy of Holies” – refers back to the Temple and draws our eyes to God in our humility. That is what I refer to as a catechesis – it is an undefinable awakening – absolutely as a consequence of my exposure to the liturgy and the contemplation that the Mass and the prayers inspire.

      • Michael Cashman: But catechesis typically takes place outside of Mass, doesn’t it? The Mass is not a classroom, but instead an event central to the faith to which sound catechesis leads us. In any case, the question to consider regarding the EF rite in Latin is not whether those in attendance are conversational in that language – most aren’t and never have been – but whether the age-old ritual somehow COMMUNICATES with them. Wouldn’t you agree that someone who doesn’t play an instrument or read music is nevertheless perfectly capable of appreciating Mozart? Both of these can communicate powerfully, much more so than merely cognitive, didactic approaches, especially with the unconscious. The OF liturgy, as most people experience it presently lacking in that dimension, indeed is most often hostile to. Beauty, as Plato taught us, speaks more directly and effectively to the soul than mere words ever could, as the attraction to the EF in so many youthful participants illustrates.

      • Michael Cashman, it is good to read that you are not an opponent of the Latin Mass because, as Catholics, we should not be opponents of either of the Masses.
        Present at the first Mass were Jesus, the 12 Apostles and some disciples – two of whom made the preparations in the Upper Room. They definitely did not use a foreign language. And, they did it as a family group around the table, which served as an altar. After serving his followers (he washed their feet), he gave them all of himself, his body and blood. At least one of them did not deserve to receive the offerings but Jesus, nevertheless, gave them to him. This is the point: Jesus gives himself to all. This is what communion is all about. However, he will not remain in a soul that does not truly welcome him. He will react in the way that he asked his disciples to. “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.”
        The Holy of Holies, was a small collection of sacred items like the Ten Commandments and Manna, that was locked in the tabernacle and kept in a room behind a thick curtain which separated the worshippers from it. The worshippers prayed facing the Holy of Holies. When Jesus accomplished his mission on the cross, that curtain ripped in two. There was nothing separating the Holy of Holies from the people. The followers of Jesus were now one with the Holy of Holies – Jesus. Our Lord promised that whenever we gathered in his name, he is in our midst – not in some room far away.
        Michael, I have no doubt that you know all of this but it is worth reminding ourselves how ordinary, humble yet so beautiful Mass is. It is our oneness with the Lord, who made it possible, that is being celebrated. Not the form.

      • I got a missal with English and Latin columns respectively. I can see that it has helped me understand the faith better by reading the parts of the Mass in English. You get to read wonderful prayers that foment in me a desire to learn even more. If you do not have a missal I suggest you look into one. There is something called Lex orandi, Lex credendi” which is something like “law of prayer, law of belief”, in other words, the way we pray leads to the way we believe. That is the goal catechism, to instill in the faithful the teachings of the church and in my opinion the Traditional Latin Mass does exactly that. It takes time, patience and discipline which we can offer up to God.

        • I am glad for you Salvatore. I do not have to take a book to follow what is being said/prayed by a priest and his altar server. In fact, along with the other worshippers, I join in the various prayers. I believe that in the OF there are far more readings from scripture. There are some very beautiful hymns – How Great Thou Art, What a Friend we have in Jesus, Amazing Grace, Glorify Thy Name and heaps more.

          • I’m sure people can also go along with other worshipers at a protestant “church” because it’s easy, however, easy is not the Catholic way. Many hymns at Novus Ordo churches are protestant, don’t take my word for it, look them up.
            I reiterate, “Lex orandi, Lex credendi”, the way we pray leads to the way we believe. If you worship with protestant hymns, how can that lead to Catholic beliefs and understanding of scripture?
            Youth Masses at a church near me play the same songs during Mass that you can hear at a local protestant music station. And we wonder why people leave the Catholic church?

    • I’m not so sure. I think Dr. Chapp’s overall loyalties are clear enough. But, as a life-long fan of Aesop, I like your approach. Perhaps a more apt selection would be Aesop’s Bundle of Sticks fable. Unfortunately, we Catholics seem to be playing the role of the sticks.

      • Loyalties clear but subject to judgment as somewhat opaquely incoherent, ambiguous. I’ll have to review ‘Bundle’…my memory is not jogged by the title. Thanks for the nudge to ‘restore.’

  18. From my experience, I have found that very few people want to dialogue because in order to be able to dialogue I need to know clearly what I believe and what I think and also why I believe and think those things. This calls for a deep self-knowledge and a testing of my own ideas that is not done in a few days or even a few weeks.
    Yet it means that because I know what I believe and think, or, to quote Fr. Bernard Basset, S.J., because “I know my own mind,” I am not afraid to meet other people’s ideas even when they totally contradict mine. I can be open to other ways of seeing because I know that my own way of seeing is omniscient and the truths other people see can compliment my own vision.
    I would love to meet more people with this courageous openness!

      • Sr. Gabriela…I did read your previous comment, and was sure that it was a clever attempt at sarcasm, putting all of us in the same boat (as does the revised wording).

        • Dear Peter D. Beaulieu, I assure you, there was no sarcasm meant at all. What I wrote was based on an article explaining the challenges involved in inter-religious dialogue. I simply applied what was written there to INTRA-religious dialogue. Being a witness to the revelation of God through Jesus Christ is very demanding. I forget who said, “May you know what you believe, and may you love what you know.” Only then can we witness credibly to our belief and trust in Him. God bless you.

          • Sr. Gabriela, you say “May you know what you believe, and may you love what you know.” Only then can we witness credibly to our belief and trust in Him”

            “For judgment, I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind”

            For me, these words relate to our ongoing ‘awareness’ of our own self-judgment, under the bright lamp of Truth, and if embraced ‘honestly’, will transform the shamefulness (Grit) within our hearts, as in we see but then we realize we do not see, then again we see/understand, this ongoing process/awareness cannot be digested in the mind alone, as the light of our intellect is a dry light, for fluidity (Spiritual growth) it has to harmonize within our vulnerable hearts, and this can only come about by embracing our own vulnerability in Trust and humility before our Fathers Inviolate Word (Will).

            “Take my yoke (One Iota) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”

            So, we learn from His vulnerability, while in humble/child-like ‘simplicity’, we are been emptied (Set free) of the selfhood; we will then eventually find (the lost coin, a dewdrop, a mustard seed, pearl) His gift of joy/peace/ the spiritual ‘treasure’ the Holy Spirit dwelling while adorning our own hearts/souls.

            So, humility is the key but will we in Unity of Purpose bend our knee?

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

  19. Get hold of yourselves.

    Must I make a dialogue of Nancy Pelosi publicly receiving communion as a public relation on sacrament; or as grace?

    Where I live we would stress the “I” like this.

    I – ” I ” – must make a dialogue of Nancy Pelosi publicly receiving communion as a public relation on sacrament?

    I am NOT supposed to have a strong position on it or am supposed to have a weak position on it?

  20. Gentle Will, June 28, 7:38 – Thanks for your account. I am totally there. (Anthony Esolen has an article, I believe in Crisis Magazine, that chronicles the process many trusting Catholics – myself, my parents and how many others? – submitted to re the changes foisted on us after VII).

    • Thank you, Meiron and Gilberta, for the reference to this wonderful article – it was inspirational. I was also of the generation of Anthony Esolen – indeed, my music teacher, a lovely, young, pretty nun, wrote one of the most terrible, most popular, and most theologically wrong, songs. I left the Novus Ordo forever when the “music minister” at our local parish (the one at the front of the church with the microphone), played the spoons. I grabbed my daughter’s hand and marched out, never to return. So I very much identify with Professor Esolen’s insolent refusal to obey the directives to submit to the ugly. My comment about children responding to the traditional Latin Mass was from my own experience too- our local priest (post Vatican 11/Novus Ordo), for some reason, celebrated the TLM at 6am during the week, with the Novus Ordo on the weekend. My parents were like Prof Esolen’s – completely obedient- but did not attend week day Mass. I took myself off by myself to walk to the (unadorned and quite ugly) Hall which served as a church to our community of Italian market gardeners to a low Mass celebrated by an extremely uncharismatic priest, in a language I did not understand. I was a child but recognised a beauty in it that I responded to. When the 6am Latin Mass ceased I gradually drifted away. I returned to a beautiful celebration of the traditional Mass after tolerating bad Masses or feeling the pangs when a beautifully celebrated Novus Ordo retained elements of Catholic character sufficient enough to cause me to note what we were missing.
      I am confused therefore by the fallacy that seems to be accepted (& is reflected in the comments here and in the statement by Father Ratzinger), that the collapse of the Church is the result of what existed before Vatican II. I am sure that Catholic congregations were constituted by many who were not committed, perhaps cultural in their attendance. However, in the present case, the logic is bizarre – in any ordinary life experience, the simplest explanation is that, if something is introduced and, in the following ten/twenty years, there is a total collapse, with Mass exits of the sales people and customer base, then the novelty introduced would be attributed as causative. In the word salad of the Vatican II generation, the mass exit of religious/and faithful following upon the changes of Vatican II is attributed, not to the changes but to the prior situation. That is, can you believe – the Mass exit of millions from the pews and tens of thousands from holy orders in the years immediately following massive changes to the liturgy and the introduction of the Novus Ordo is attributed to – the Latin Mass! That is classic! Can you imagine the CEO of a company (Coca Cola) excusing a massive loss of customer base by saying that it was the fault of the prior product which had the customers (Coca Cola classic)? This itself reflects the opportunistic twisting of words that goes very deep within the new discourse. The assumption that is forced to be placed as a logical basis for any discussion (as though it is factual common sense) fails to acknowledge that a mass fallout of the kind that immediately followed Vatican II has never happened in the two thousand year history of the Church – a two thousand year period served solely by the traditional Latin liturgy and calendar ( the one people don’t understand).

      Where my charitable excuses for the people who foisted the changes upon us become more cynical is when I contemplate the remarkably accurate aim of many of the changes to the liturgy and the readings. The excision of beloved saints has been mentioned (so much for making the faith ‘more relevant’ – take out St Valentine and Saint Christopher!? Really?). My suspicions came to the fore when I discovered that the passage of St Paul where he said that those who eat and drink the body of Christ unworthily shall eat and drink damnation in themselves was excised from the novus ordo readings. That alone makes me sign up to every conspiracy theory I can think of.

      I am realising that we have been subjected to a generation of pseudo-intellectuals who have made pretensions to true discourse, genuine discussion, but have, in reality, merely used the genuine sentiments of such people as Prof Esolen’s parents, mine and my naive and trusting music teacher to coerce the masses into their ideological vision. It is to their impoverishment that the vision of Christ and His Church, in its truth, is so much more beautiful.

  21. Faithfulness and continency are NOT “omniscience” and now I can add that the are NOT “not omniscience”. They are fruits of the HS in the measure of His gifts.

    The fruits of the HS come from the gifts and they intensify one another. They do not produce “omniscience” and they do not produce “not omniscience”.

    I imagine that certain blissful or mystical encounter with God will bring one to His eternal vision for the time it happens; but in heaven it will be forever.

    That is why Jesus warned them, “Woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed” – after allowing that “All sins against the Son of Man will be forgiven.”

  22. Thanks to Meiron and Gentle Will. The Esolen article really chrystalised for me the process I and my parents, especially my parents, lived through. I think I understand it now but I don’t think my parents ever did. They managed to hang on to their faith but I think were saddened and bewildered by the loss of faith they saw all around them, including in their own family. Like so many others. One (dubious) comfort is that at least some in my family here have kept the faith, as the saying goes, while “the old country” is, from all accounts and from what I can observe in my relatives there, a wasteland.
    But despair not. The present pontificate has opened my eyes as nothing else could have. So thanks, PF. You have wrought better than you knew!

  23. What I do not understand in all this is the febrile commentary about Bergoglio dictates. Another Pope in 50 years (if the Church is still existing)could undo all of Bergoglio’s dicta, just like Bergoglio threw out Pius V’s Quo Primum. It is becoming ever increasingly transparent that there is no longer a Catholic Church. The foolhardiness in all this is when Pio Nono declared the Papal Throne infallible. It isn’t, never was, and no exegesis of Scripture will provide basis for such a position as Nono took.

    • Rodolfo Ramirez, your way would make redundant the duty of correction that is our heritage in the Lord; as well as disfigure piety and dismantle fear.

      What’s wrong with you, you’re going round in circles man.

    • Rodolpho, Pio Nono did not declare the papal throne infallible…

      This declaration was an act of the First Vatican Council, and applies very narrowly to formal teachings presented in a very carefully prescribed manner. Further, it is not license to proclaim new truths, but rather a protection from error against elaborating existing truths. Outright corruption, acts of poor judgement, poor governance, and even informally signaling falsehoods—these are not covered.

      Previous embarrassments of history also not covered, as identified by St. John Henry Newman who, initially, was opposed to the doctrine before its precise meaning was determined in 1870:

      “What have excommunication and interdict to do with infallibility? Was St. Peter infallible on that occasion at Antioch when St. Paul withstood him? Was St. Victor infallible when he separated from his communion the Asiatic Churches? Or Liberius when in like manner he excommunicated Athanasius? And, to come to later times, was Gregory XIII, when he had a medal struck in honour of the Bartholomew massacre? Or Paul IV in his conduct towards Elizabeth? Or Sixtus V when he blessed the Armada? Or Urban VIII when he persecuted Galileo? No Catholic ever pretends that these Popes were infallible in these acts” (from a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, 1876, in Vincent Blehl, editor, “The Essential Newman,” 1963).

    • Rodolfo, it matters very little what one might think about the Pope’s infallibility. What really matters is that we accept that that position of Pope was established by the founder of our Church and that our Lord assured us that whatever the Pope binds on earth is bound also in heaven. There are, of course, conditions under which the Pope can make such decisions.

  24. But just isolating dialogue like that is neither natural nor necessarily intelligible. The spiritual works of mercy require faith and reason and there is no overarching necessity or demand to couch everything in dialogue. Many parts of the Gospel are not a teaching about having a dialogue; and the same can be said about the witness of the saints.

    Our Lady told Bernadette about the spring. Imagine being moved to eat raw vegetation growing off the ground in a dump-site.

    What I am doing in this post, right here, is not a dialogue either.

  25. Pope Francis says in this letter,

    “The holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, approving the reformed liturgical books ex decreto Sacrosancti Œcumenici Concilii Vaticani II, have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the Council. For this reason I wrote Traditionis custodes, so that the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity.[23]”

    I think this is a very adequate answer to all the arguments about Bugnini etc. Catholic faith grasps the principle. How long will we elevate our own ideas and preferences above the living magisterium’s development?

    Thank you for your considerstion

    • “How long will we elevate our own ideas and preferences above the living magisterium’s development?”

      Good question, Timothy. I believe that it will go on as long as we have websites and blogs that tolerate these ideas. I hope it will not be too long.

  26. Maybe Pope Francis is of the school of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer when choosing some of his new cardinals.

    One thing that is clear about Pope Francis is that he knows and supports our Lord’s teachings on morality.

  27. In the Old Testament the word “restoration” does not only refer to a return to good fortune, as for example was done for Job. It also has a unique prophetic sense. It foretells the leaving behind of the old credentials and the entry into the stream of grace of the Redemption. It means regaining the course heavenward with the right to enter that had been foregone and completely lost. This is an enigmatic condition with many flourishes. The image of it found in the OT in many places and in the New Testament particularly at Revelation 22. But Christ Himself told the Samaritan woman that streams of living water will flow, from within the Church, because of Him. It is not something uniform and can never be anything degraded. Justice requires that it be given its fullest expression and its fit species should be facilitated and defended. Restoration in Christ, then, always was, always is and always will be, a beautiful word and a most holy reality.

    https://onepeterfive.com/restoration-hope/

    The Waters of the River Gladden the City of God, The Holy Dwelling – Psalm 46
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkiFgH3ZKm8

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
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  3. What are ‘Jesus Beads,’ Friends Since High School, Four Priests Celebrate 50 Years of Ordination, and More Great Links! - JP2 Catholic Radio

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