"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." John Adams

Featured Posts


Creative Minority Reader

Do You See What I See?

Having been born in the 60s, I have no strong recollection, beyond some overheard conversations, of what it must have felt like to witness the tearing down of everything. It must have felt to many that all was ending and that God must surely act to defend His Church from the destruction.

Alas, it was not to be and the destruction continued, most people just cared less.

As a child with no recollection of what came before, I still had a sense of loss. It is hard to explain, but I knew something was wrong. Ask my family, they will tell you that I have always been like this, of course they would say it mockingly.

I also wondered why so many people, at that time, failed to see it for what it was. They smiled and called it the new springtime even as everything died around them. They called it opening the doors and letting fresh air into the Church, as everybody inside choked on the smoke of Satan. How did they not see what was happening?

I have often wondered what it must have felt like to live through that era. I wonder no more. In fact, I think that perhaps today's high speed death spiral may be worse in some ways. Having never been through it before and unable to see its logical end, many well meaning Catholics perhaps opened themselves up to the false optimism of that era.

Today, having seen what the last 50 years has wrought, I have, we have no such luxury.

Today is not 1970, but I sometimes imagine I feel as some must have felt back then. I know some people and I am acquainted with more people who are really struggling in this time. I know that so many 'Catholic' pundits and wannabe pundits would mock them for their worries even as they celebrate every novelty and heresy that infects the Church as, you guessed it, a breath of fresh air.

I can see it. I can see it so clearly. The only question that remains is whether this time, the Lord will act.

I have often pondered this question. Will I live long enough to see the Church fully transmogrified into syncretistic modernized mess it seems hellbent on becoming or will the Church be rescued by the Lord.

As I said, I have often wondered what it must have felt like. I don't wonder that anymore, I know now. The only thing I wonder now is when God will choose to act and rescue us, His Church, from us, His Church.

We have partied on the train tracks for so long, we delude ourselves into thinking them abandoned. But the train is coming, I can see the light in the distance and I know with certainty it will arrive. I cannot tell how far out is the light of the train and I can't say how fast it is moving. But it is coming, of this I have no doubt.

When will others see it and will it be too late?

As a blogger, I pray and ask for guidance. Lord, should I just pack it in and just focus on getting my family through this time. Or, should I be shouting the obvious from the rooftops, even though I know I will continue to be ignored and vilified. I don't know, I guess I will keep praying.


**Note. If you don't sympathize or understand this post, that's fine. Just let it go please. Anyone who chooses to use the comment box to mock me and my fellow travellers will be deleted and likely banned. So again, just let it go please.

*subhead*Live blogging the apocalypse.*subhead*

Your Ad Here

84 comments:

Patrick Archbold said...

Hey, if O'Bama thinks it's a good thing, who are we to "judge"? http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/28/obama-marks-canonization-of-popes-who-shaped-not-only-the-church-but-the-world/

Patrick Archbold said...

I do sympathize with your point of view. At the same time, it's important to remember that the Church has been through worse. The Church has survived the Soviet Union, the Borgias, the French Revolution, the 30 Years War, Henry VIII, Cromwell, the list goes on. The enemies of the Church are growing bolder, yes, it might be a rough ride for a while, I agree.

Patrick Archbold said...

"...he's the post-Christian Rowan Williams."



Rowan Williams is a close personal friend of, and is deeply admired by, Pope Benedict XVI. He is a Christian of deep faith and a theological thinker who is treasured by Christians of all denominations, including many orthodox Catholics. Have you ever read any of his (numerous) writings, on the core essentials of the Faith, on Christian art, on devotion to Jesus and Mary, etc., or do you just assume he's an "enemy" who can be dismissed as "post-Christian" because he was a relatively ineffective administrator of an ungovernable ecclesiastic body?

Patrick Archbold said...

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. Praying for peace in your heart and hope. There is always hope.

Patrick Archbold said...

Keep on blogging. Another orthodox blogger has just been permanently silenced by his bishop, so there is no point giving ground to the enemy voluntarily.

http://protectthepope.com/?p=10373#comment-327704


Its time for Catholics to make a stand and not roll over like they all did 50 years ago. Jesus is coming - will He find any faith on earth?

Patrick Archbold said...

Well written, Matt. I see what you see, crystal clear. I was born in '52 and was an altar boy during the Tridentine era and was shocked by the transformation of the Church (and our culture) after Vatican II into something that -- as a practical matter, quite apart from what the documents say -- had little continuity with the past where it mattered. On the question of whether you should "pack it in," of course not! Fr. John Hardon spoke of "white martyrdom," and he suffered greatly because he would not go silent. His influence has been profound and impossible to measure. You'll know you should pack it in the day you're getting Catholic $$ and feel compelled to censor what you know to be true so as not to offend a bishop.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Patrick Archbold said...

It's somewhat comforting to know that there are such fellow travellers... I tend to think we are back in the late 14th c. once again. Church, university, government, all seem corrupt. All we have is Christ's promise to peter, that the church founded on him would not fall.

Patrick Archbold said...

The main thing that keeps me from feeling that way is that I live in Texas and know about five young, good priests active and rising in the Church and have a Parish that, while having a few flaws, is a good place both to find and reflect Jesus.


If you don't have any priests that help inspire you at your location, if it's all "Praise the new and toss the old!" wherever you turn, then the location may be too difficult or lost for you. I know I've visited some Parishes in my travels that would obviously poison my heart if I had to go every week.

Patrick Archbold said...

I remember the Pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, just barely. I was the only one of my siblings to receive First Eucharist in the old church, with the Communion rail and the High Altar made of marble and gold. The attraction to God was always strong, and as a teen I participated eagerly in the youth masses, prayer services, even as a lay lector because I wanted to be closer to God.

Nothing happened. So, as a 20-something I shopped around, trying to fill the God shaped hole in my soul. Raising a family in the Church started to fill the hole, but it was finding a TLM parish 2 years ago that gave me a true jump-start. But life isn't always fair, and I had to leave that parish. Back in my home parish again, I have been told to go to another church for Adoration, because it won't happen here.

Patrick Archbold said...

And this post is why your blog is one of the few that I still faithfully read. If you need to focus on your family, I understand that... but I hope you can keep going. You are seeing what many others are not seeing. I will add you and your family to my prayer intentions.

Patrick Archbold said...

I can sympathize with you greatly, but I'm not sure the Church has been through worse. All the examples you listed a good ones but recall this: in every one of those cases the Church was not stabbing its own in the back; it was defending the Faith. I'm not talking about individual clerics doing the stabbing but the institutional Church. Now, you could argue that I am being a bit over-the-top here by suggesting that the "official" Church (I prefer to say, "the current regime") is stabbing us in the back. But before you dismiss me to the looney bin do consider what has been happening these past four-five decades, and I think you will see that the fish stinks from the head down.

Does that make me want to abandon Holy Mother Church? Of course not. But I will not shy away from calling a spade a spade and in doing so I am in some pretty good company, as when great Saints had to criticise publicly their Popes.

Patrick Archbold said...

So, maybe someone can fill me in. What happened to make the author feel like this?

Patrick Archbold said...

I think this is one of my favorite of your articles yet good sir. I can relate, recently I've been trying to decide if I should just focus on trying to get my family through it all or if I should 'shout from the rooftops', still not sure myself but these are dangerous and confusing times for sure. Thanks for all that you do.

Patrick Archbold said...

I did not live through the 60s, but my parents and grandparents did. This is what they tell me they felt: relief mixed with apprehension.

They had experienced an ossified Church, a sterile worship. Gregorian chant, polyphony, incense and reverence weren't the norm of the Church they knew. Low mass, Latin so mumbled, mispronounced and rushed as to occasionally call the validity of the Eucharist into question, people ignoring mass for the rosary if they weren't dozing off, clericism, folk religion that was constantly flirting with heresy if not outright apostasy .. this was the norm my parents and grandparents knew.

I'm sure that it wasn't like that everywhere. I'm sure I'm getting a view tinted by Boomer-colored glasses. But a Church that was healthy never would have been susceptible to the ills we have since suffered.

I'm not saying that things are great now. I'm certainly not defending all of the changes made after Vatican II. But I think the ills of the Church from which we are now trying to recover began long before Vatican II. Modernism, syncretism and revisionism may have given the problems their current form, but they did not create those problems.

The answer is not just rolling back the clock. There never was a Golden Age of Catholicism. We began with the Apostles and disciples running away and that has been the status quo ever since. The answer is to focus on the faith. We can be very clear-eyed about the current situation, we can be honest about the problems that our current pope has caused .. but we should not give in to despair, we should not lose sight of the good and progress in the Church, we should not be blind to the considerable genuine good our current pope has also done.

Piss and vinegar, doom and gloom, these are not the Good News. We can be realistic, but we are a people of hope, not a people of pessimism.

Patrick Archbold said...

If you continue to point out that 2 + 2 = 4, I fear for your career.

Patrick Archbold said...

Even amidst the destruction of the 70s and 80s, God would soon move against many of the bishops who had badly damaged the Church. Notice how many of the most scandalous bishops never made it to retirement age: I'm thinking of Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, San Francisco, Saginaw...


Christ is always with his Church (however small!) and is slowly re-seeding it with faithful young men and women.

Patrick Archbold said...

I see it, but more noticeably, my heart feels it. Thank you for your post.

Patrick Archbold said...

I agree with Schmenz. While the Church has been through trials before, such as the Reformation, much of it was an external attack. I don't know of any time in the Church's history where the crisis has come, not so much from the outside, but what we as Catholics have done to the Church. I'm thinking primarily of the changes to the liturgy after Vatican II.


I don't think Cranmer himself in his wildest dreams could have imagined that we would institutionalize a liturgy worldwide which might have been dear to his own heart.

Patrick Archbold said...

Perhaps a priest within a 1000 mile radius gave a mass NOT in Latin :)

Patrick Archbold said...

As a JPII era convert, I'm of conflicted opinion. Study tells me we've been through horrible times before, including corrupt popes. Scripture tells me that the gates of Hell will not prevail. Experience tells me that bishops and priests are frail humans who can fall. And I've always been able to find parishes that are faithful, and am blessed in living in a little town in West Virginia that offers both faithful teaching and beautiful liturgy around the Novus Ordo Mass and a small Augustinian monastery at which the Tridentine Mass is offered with great reverence and beauty. I see the Church struggling in the U.S., but I also see converts, including myself, who come into the Church because of faithful preaching.

The train has been coming for 2,000 years, give or take. One reason the headlight can be seen more clearly is communications technology.

Patrick Archbold said...

It's game over pretty much. I guess I can see why you would say there's no point in blogging anymore. Either you see this stuff for what it is or you don't at this point. Of course, I thought that after all of Francis' horrific interviews so one never knows.

Patrick Archbold said...

The one thing that everyone seems to forget is "the gates of hell will not prevail" can mean no one is left but the Pope and a couple of his followers. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that the higher ups can play with teachings, modernize and socially engineer extra-biblically. Because at some point, "The Church" will no longer be "The Church" Our Lord spoke of.
I'm not sure where it will be, but if the Vatican goes secular, She won't be there.

Patrick Archbold said...

First Communion was the last of the Turidentine era. I also grew up amidst the viet nam war, the pot culture, and the institutionalization of abortion on demand.
A very small remnant stayed faithful.
Thank you, BVM, all was not lost.

Patrick Archbold said...

I was born in '85 and joined the Church recently as a convert. Now I love tradition and have been reading the Saints for many years, and in fact own a Tridentine missal and Latin Breviary. It took me a while to accept Vatican II as it had got such a bad press from traditionalists. But I soon came to understand that to follow the Pope and the Magisterium is to trust in their leadership, wisdom and insight, and that my own limited viewpoint could not compare to the college of Cardinals. Basically, it is to trust the structure and hierarchy of the Church; I like the Novus Ordus mass, and viewed the Traditional schismatics (saying, for example, that NFP is a mortal sin) with great scepticism. So I was won over to the modern view of the Church, especially since mysticism is still highly valued, which was the main element I cared about.

Patrick Archbold said...

Soooooo yes. And please don't be silent. The world, and the Church, need your voice.

Patrick Archbold said...

I was a youth in the 1960s, so I have some first-hand knowledge of what happened. Our family was typical for this times. Seven children (considered medium size) who all went to the local parish and Catholic school.

As a child, we dressed up for Mass and, yes, mom always had a rosary curled around her hand, and dad gazed intently at what was happened in the sanctuary - it was a contemplative gaze that I never experienced in him outside of the Mass. The choir was beautiful, and helped us to feel as though the angels were around us. At least for an hour every week, we felt like we were in heaven.

Parish life was vibrant, with lots of spaghetti dinners and pancake breakfasts. We even rang doorbells, selling lightbulbs, to raise money for our sports teams. The parish was our second home.

I entered my Catholic high school, and the devotion and love for our faith was prominent there as well. It was right after my freshman year that everything changed. The many nuns in full habits became 3 nuns with a small veil on their heads. The "religious resource center" was stripped of all books and furniture, and a bean bag was thrown in the middle of the room for us to come in and "chill" anytime we liked. We went from weekly Mass to Mass once a semester ... that nobody looked forward to.

Back in my home parish, Mass on Sunday was disturbing, to say the least. We went from dressed up and sitting near the front, to wearing jeans and tee shirts - arriving late and leaving early - as we hoped to find seats as far in the back as possible. The "Folk Group" was just simply annoying, and our new family tradition became listening to mom complain about the music every ride home in the car. Our family devotional life vanished over night, and we kids found more and more new ways to "ditch Mass" and go for joy rides to kill time.

We became almost entirely detached from parish life, and immersed ourselves in just about any worldly pleasure we could find.

Breath of fresh air - not so much.

Patrick Archbold said...

¿Y quién eres tú para juzgar?

Patrick Archbold said...

In 1966 God was kind and patient enough to permit me to be baptized into the Faith at the age of 18. Within a few years, as I learned more, I realized that the Church, which once informed culture, now followed the culture - Notre Dame de Peter, Paul, and Mary. The loss of the Tridentine Mass, the purging of parish libraries, the precious felt banners, the folk masses, the drum sets, the desperately trying to be cool priests -- I knew those things were wrong, but I didn't have a reference as to why and how.
/
And then I lived long enough to read a young Catholic blogger write that "baby boomers" (me?) deserved death for Vatican II, which began when I was an ignorant Methodist boy of 13.
/
Yet, life does go on, and the Faith will go one, despite the inadequacies faithful (like me!). Goofy emperors, Henry VIII, Napoleon, von Bismarck, Hitler, Mussolini, the KGB and its Hochhuth propaganda - none of these things prevailed against the Church. They can't. We were given a Promise in that.

Patrick Archbold said...

Pat, not Matt. Big difference. One is a super conservative Catholic blogger. The other is a dark and brooding presence who looks with the unblinking eye on all, and finds them wanting.

Patrick Archbold said...

"I can see it. I can see it so clearly."


Sure. Of course you can.


In history, particularly the history of the Church, what sort of person said things like this? It's a fair question.

Patrick Archbold said...

Patrick, I've enjoyed your blog over the years and hope you continue to write. Yes, it's very easy to be confused and discouraged right now, but keep your eye on the big picture: Christ is risen and wants to spend eternity with us in heaven. If that's not a reason to be joyful then I don't know what is.

I'm not trying to dismiss your concerns, as I share many of the same. But, despite the fact that it often seems like the sky is falling all around us, we still have access to the sacraments on a regular basis. That's more than many of our ancestors can say.

For me personally, I found that stepping away from the "opinion-oriented" traditional blogs has helped immensely. Reading these blogs was always very depressing and not bearing fruit in my spiritual life. I continue to read CMR because many of your posts contain levity and discussions about family life, which I appreciate.

We need more Catholic male bloggers who are joyful in the writing. I hope we don't lose you!

Patrick Archbold said...

He has been given a great and terrible burden by God, given only to one out of millions. Some see a burning bush. Some are struck down off of their horse. Some start a blog. It's roughly the same thing, with the same implicitly conveyed authority.

Patrick Archbold said...

Equating the TLM crowd with the remnant who remained faithful to Christ. And you wonder why the Pope has such harsh words for the TLM crowd? "Thank you, Lord, that I am not like this publican...."

Patrick Archbold said...

Well, I'm just wondering when Pat is going to stand up, take charge, and actually do something. It's all fine to blog, but what does that really accomplish? No, it;s time for him to live out his mission, stand up, and take power away from his Bishop so Pat can wield it righteously. God helps those who help themselves, right? Well, if Pat wants God to save the Church, maybe that's why God sent Pat. I'm sure there's a vacant building nearby, and I'm sure some fellow travelers will go along. Pure and righteous worship is still possible, you just have to have the stones to stand up, defy the Bishop, say 'Non Servaim!' in a clear voice, and leave.


Go ahead.


I dare you.

Patrick Archbold said...

It SO resonated with me where you said "As a child with no recollection of what came before, I still had a sense of loss. It is hard to explain, but I knew something was wrong." Born in 1959, that's *exactly* how I felt growing up, not about the Church (I wasn't raised Catholic) but about our whole society.

As faithful Catholics, though, we must live in hope. We've read the end of the book! If you need some additional bolstering, read up on Our Lady of Good Success or listen to the Lighthouse talk on her. Key words: in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph, and it appears that this will take place soon. Pray and fast and pray and fast and pray and fast and it will eventually all be well.

Patrick Archbold said...

Yes to your account. I, and many others feel the same. Pray, fast, and focus on the true Faith. That is all we can do. These are very trying times.

Patrick Archbold said...

See my above post. You still have a chance to set things right. You just have to find an empty building, elect Pat pastor, and you can fix every single problem in your own midst. How could it go wrong?

Patrick Archbold said...

Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that Pat would include the Pope in that group.

Patrick Archbold said...

Shout, yes shout, but why shout within the Church where, to quote Rebecca above, it's 'Game Over'? You need to have the courage of your convictions that you know better, than you can do a better job, and go found a Church where you can do things right. Like I said above, if Pat had the courage, he'd do it.

Patrick Archbold said...

Right, but what power does a lay person with a blog have? If things are this dire, Pat would have the moral right, nay, responsibility, to strike out on a new path, where his clear vision of God's will is untainted by the corruption of Vatican II. So go ahead. Go.

Patrick Archbold said...

Ha, you're paying close attention today.

Patrick Archbold said...

I guess you know how close to intellectual schism you are...and you're corrupting all these nice people. Shame on you. You should stop blogging and do penance.

Patrick Archbold said...

I love how some anonymous blowhard who is to chicken to use his own name guy makes side comments about Pat's supposed lack of courage.

Patrick Archbold said...

"You'll know you should pack it in the day you're getting Catholic $$ and feel compelled to censor what you know to be true so as not to offend a bishop."




...Like writing for the Register?

Patrick Archbold said...

I have to say, I don't understand stories like this. How could a parish so vibrant deteriorate so fast? If things were so great, why did all but three of the nuns abandon their vocations? If parish life was so vibrant, why didn't the parishioners fight tooth and nail to keep it alive? If the "folk mass" was so much worse compared to what they had, why didn't the parishioners beat it back with sticks?

I don't deny your experience, but it raises very troubling questions for me about the health of the Church. What were we doing as a Church to foster a faith so shallowly rooted, so easily overturned by revisionists and revolutionaries? What kind of Catholics were we raising who would just roll over as their paradise was being despoiled? What kind of vocations did we have if they were so easily cast aside?

For me, tales like yours of paradise lost lead me to think that the Church was even less healthy than tales of a wheezing Church do.

Patrick Archbold said...

There are people with impeccable credentials on the traditional side of things who would agree with much of her analysis. The folks at the New Liturgical Movement (and more importantly, their forbears) were engaged in the movement precisely because chant and sacred polyphony had disappeared from wide swaths of the Church. And in places like Ireland, most Sunday masses were quick, mumbled low masses.


Fr. Phil Wolfe FSSP (who has an influential web presence, albeit under anonymity) has often argued that the collapse after Vat II was only because the Church had been failing in it's mission before Vat II (and that the subsequent effects were actually a chastisement).


All in all, I thought "wineinthewater" was trying to offer a balanced perspective.

Patrick Archbold said...

Seriously. You use disqus. You can have as many disqus accounts as you want. It takes literally 30 seconds to create one. So why fight it?


You are just a lay person with a blog...and yet a bunch of other confused lay people are flocking to you because you claim to ;see so clearly'. You see nothing clearly, except the limits of your own knowledge and experience. I've seen you make more than your fair share of mistakes here, I have to presume from the level of writing that you don't have a degree in any Catholic discipline. What you are doing is dangerous to you and others.


Yes, you should pack it in.

Patrick Archbold said...

I'm sorry for your feelings of loss and despair, but I am gladdened by your hope for the Church's future through your prayers.

I cannot sympathize with you, but I can empathize. I too saw the end, the decaying Church being stripped of its truths was a nightmare to witness. We are born of different decades, but surely we can share the sense of doom. However, this doom, this loss, this despair are the fruits of the Devil, and they are death. He wants us to be suffering over the state of God's Church, and he does so by twisting the truth. I came to realize that God's Church is not dying when I came to college and witnessed the Truth being lives out by the faithful young men and women there. At my university, the University of Texas at Austin, we have FOCUS missionaries, the only active Schoenstatt University branch in the US, a Catholic fraternity and sorority that is spreading throughout Texas and into other states, and organizations that focus on putting on high school retreats, organizing social service events, leading the pro-life movement here on campus, organizing retreats for college students, and much more.

Please, my friend, the life of the Church is being activated and moving out into the world around you! It just might be hard to see for whatever reason. Please, pray for us, pray for the New Evangelization, pray for God's Church. We need your prayers. I will be praying for you.

Patrick Archbold said...

I agree with him. I also agree with Stephen's comment, though I admit to being baffled by both him and his successor, Justin Welby.

Patrick Archbold said...

This was worse and maybe even more widespread within the Church. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism

Patrick Archbold said...

Seriously, Pat. I wonder if you consider what you're doing to your brother. Matt still has a pretty good reputation, I guess, but you've ruined this blog for his readership. My wife found CMR years ago when Matt was writing funny and interesting things here, but she left when you started your reign of traditionalist terror. I'm no snotnosed internet kid who writes "Kill yourself" because that's probably a mortal sin...no, instead I'm a Catholic who says "You should definitely stop blogging. It is bad for you and for others."

Ban me and I'm back in 30. Seconds, not minutes. The joys of Disqus!

Patrick Archbold said...

Matt, keep the faith. I counted at least 153 of us worldwide. It's a start.

Patrick Archbold said...

They didn't fight for the same reasons they are not fighting now and then some. We were told that this was the "New Springtime" and that things would be SO much better even when they were good now. Back then, we OBEYED. That was it. There was no going against the Vatican, no going against the Priest. In today, the here and now, people can't understand what being a Catholic was like. If your Priest said jump, you said how high. If Sister told you to spin in circles, you did it. Question the Vatican, you were a heretic.

The Priest scandal changed many things. People are smart enough to question when things look strange. Now you just have fellow Catholics, who either didn't live through it, or are protecting their position, shaming those who question anything. Now the bloggers call you a heretic while proudly comparing your questions to "ecclesiastical porn".

Patrick Archbold said...

Please don't desert us. That's only a tiny bit.

Patrick Archbold said...

Perhaps I will be deleted and banned for posting this. But here goes. A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew:

------------------------------
"And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, 'Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.'

Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.'



He said, 'Come.'



So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me!'



Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, 'You of little faith, why did you doubt?' When they got into the boat, the wind ceased."
-------------


Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


When I left for college I watched a number of my peers get sucked into secularism and atheism. And I wasn't the best Catholic myself. But the Lord led me into a good youth ministry program that forced me to be honest. Now I teach high schoolers - fighting back against the tide that swept out my generation.



When I see things I don't like, my response is to renew my hope, not despair, and to work harder. Many people look for greener pastures, but the point is not how green the pastures are - but whose pastures they are. So rather than curse every weed I find, I shall grab a rake. I I shall do my part in my corner of the world, and trust that Jesus is present in His Church.
The banner for this blog reads, "We laugh because we believe." I see very little joviality these days on this blog.

Do we still believe?

Patrick Archbold said...

There it is the c-word. Clericalism.
And how there wasnt a golden age for the church? Try 1963. Thats when you can look at published indicators that show it was then (see Kennedys key of Catholic indicators).
And yes, all of the problems since then can actually be blamed on tje synthesis of all heresies. Modernism

Patrick Archbold said...

ABOVE

ALL

SHADOWS



The shadows are dark

They meld into one

But “above all shadows

Rides the sun”.



The shadows are cold

The warmth they shun

But “above all shadows

Rides the sun”.



Purity preferred

The shadows want none

But “above all shadows

Rides the sun”.



And the abandoned priests

Who won’t be out done

Bravely elevate…

Where “above all shadows rides the sun”.

Patrick Archbold said...

I've heard this nonsense so many times from Vatican II apologists. It's a bunch of horse hockey. How the heck did people know if the Latin was rushed and inaccurate if it's being whispered?
Ignoring mass for the rosary? That can't even be possible. The Latin mass was witnessed with silent contemplation by many simple folks who loved Christ. Those who were praying the rosary during mass knew exactly what they were witnessing and were offering up the rosary as they knelt at the foot of the cross, as the un-bloody sacrifice of the Lord was being offered. Just how the heck did your grandpa and grandma know what was in the minds and hearts of those attending? Clairvoyant were they? I think most people trumpeting this BS history read it somewhere because I hear the same old accusations hurled against a generation long gone and no longer here to defend itself.
As far as how the Church was able to fall so hard so fast, look to the shepherds. They led the sheep to the edge of a cliff and docile, trusting Catholics followed their shepherds as they had been taught to by their parents and their grandparents. They were in a Catch-22 - they were faithful and obedient and docile - and they were betrayed, that's what happened. Why didn't they fight? Because unlike today's ACT gay squads and "we don't agree with Father" chanceries, they were taught that good Catholics were not supposed to fight their priests and bishops. And they were betrayed.
So spare us the revisionist crap. I'm tired of it. The Church wasn't perfect in 1950, but they damn well didn't divorce, didn't murder their unborn children, didn't contracept themselves out of existence, didn't support sodomy masquerading as marriage, and they subjected themselves to the obedience of their shepherds, which is all more than I can say about the 'Spirit of Vatican II' crowd.

Patrick Archbold said...

As Netmilsmom so correctly noted, these changes, such as to the liturgy, weren't enacted by outsiders but the Vatican itself. What were priests and laymen supposed to do, refuse to celebrate the New Mass which was promulgated by Pope Paul VI?

And the collapse of Catholic life after Vatican II does not indicate vocations or Catholic life were "weak" prior to Vatican II. Rather, it indicates how important small "t" traditions, such as liturgy, art, architecture, and music are to the Faith.

Catholicism is not an abstract, merely doctrinal faith, it depends on small "t" traditions to embody that faith incarnationally. When that is stripped away it's no wonder the Church itself will undergo a crisis like night following day.

I liken it to a basketball coach who has a championship team. The next year instead of running drills and practicing every day he decides his team is going to play hopscotch and skip across the gym instead, for "pastoral" reasons. Well, he's the coach, he can do that, but let's not stand around wondering why his team all of a sudden is losing its games and becoming more irrelevant in the league, even with the same players.

Patrick Archbold said...

'people ignoring mass for the rosary '

Actually, I've been seriously considering saying a devout rosary through Mass at my local parish as a refuge from the insipid, and often times damaging, spectacle that is our regular Sunday Mass.

Due to a false notion of 'active participation', I never understood the whole saying-a-rosary-at-mass thing. I knew it was 'pre VII', and viewed the few old ladies who still fingered their rosary beads through Mass as interesting historical oddities. But I get it now.

There is, often-times, very little spiritual benifit from 'participating' in the Mass in manner expected in our local church. In this non-ideal situation I think saying a devout rosary while mediating on the Mass would be far more useful.

Patrick Archbold said...

And who are you to judge?

Patrick Archbold said...

And as a further response to Jack Archer and Ubrington regarding praying the rosary, or some other devotion, during Mass we have this genuinely pastoral statement from Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei:

"108. Many of the faithful are unable to use the Roman missal even though it is written in the vernacular; nor are all capable of understanding correctly the liturgical rites and formulas. So varied and diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns and liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who, then, would say, on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them."

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_20111947_mediator-dei_en.html

Patrick Archbold said...

As a further addition to Jack Archer and Ubrington's comments regarding praying the rosary or some other devotion during Mass we have this genuinely pastoral statement from Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei:

"108. Many of the faithful are unable to use the Roman missal even though it is written in the vernacular; nor are all capable of understanding correctly the liturgical rites and formulas. So varied and diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns and liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who, then, would say, on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them."

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_20111947_mediator-dei_en.html

Patrick Archbold said...

One of the annoying bits is when folks who you try to tell about how horribly you were abandoned without even a basis to teach yourself about basic theology assure you that it must've been simply that you weren't interested.


My mom was removed as a CCD teacher during the 70s because the priest didn't like her disagreeing with his claim that sex before marriage was just fine as long as you "really loved" the other person. CCD improved after that-- they didn't even talk about Church teachings. I've had multiple arguments about the need for confession. (My own-- as in, I said I needed it, they assured me that was silly.)


The parish I grew up in now has things like the Priest's father givng the sermon the Sunday before Christmas for fund raising activities to support the illegal alien community down the road.


People who have been going there since I was a kid, through horrible priests, have stopped going-- after the excitement of finally having a priest that is fluent in English from the day he arrives.

Patrick Archbold said...

The Church did, but a lot of Catholics did not, in either sense (surviving in the faith, or surviving by not being killed.

Patrick Archbold said...

Hi Father and all,
I was born in 1964. My mother and father left the church for decades because of this. It's really only because of my grandparents and aunt that us kids made our First Communion, Confession, Confirmation. Attending Mass in between mostly did not happen, not growing up. my dad, who is passed now, never returned to the church, but spoke all the time about the beatiful medieval church. he and my mom had all that ripped from them, them and a few good priests in Chicago at the time. My dad actually read all the Vat. II documents. It's a miracle af grace that my sister and I are back at all. so dont despare, becasuse I think we are living in this, and at the tail end of it, too. and if ONLY to be a thorn in Hell's side, I stay in the Church.
http://www.michaeljournal.org/visionleo.asp
I think we're at the end of this, and if we're not, well, then the Lord and Our Lady will find me attending a TLM, receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue, and praying the Rosary. Because of Who is in that tabernacle. If every single person in the pews and the priest up on the altar, and everyone in Rome, were heretics and apostates, I would still be a Roman Catholic because of Who is in that Tabernacle.
Because if THAT isn't true, there is no truth.
If that isn't true, there is no truth.
So, there. :)
Who's with me?

Patrick Archbold said...

I have to say in was worse in the late 60's and 70's. Not only were liturgical changes made frequently and illegally (and the frequency of altered translations destroyed any sense of customary prayer), heresy was openly taught and Rome was silent, and appointing bad bishops. One had to watch people, priests and religious, going mad, older Catholic suffering terribly or leaving, younger ones being misled, churches gutted overnight in secret. One saw the fallout of lives ruined by the bad teaching. I had a theology degree in 68 and was denied a volunteer position once because I was NOT a pantheist. The nun said my problem was that I believed that God created the world. Honestly. And that is one of hundred such stories from me alone. What was worse then was that there was no source of support or information. Faithful Catholics now have immense amounts of support in print, in blogs, in organizations. In those days, one was underground.

Patrick Archbold said...

One bishop out of ALL was faithful in the time of Henry VIII. What does that say?

Patrick Archbold said...

I agree about the chastisement....the sins of the clergy were terrible. Forty percent don't up and leave all of a sudden because they have been behaving well. Much of the abuse documented in legal cases in our time happened in the post-war period thru the early 60's.

Patrick Archbold said...

"the Arians you always have with you..."

Patrick Archbold said...

You are correct. However, one thing that made it easy for the wreckovators to succeed was the deep sense of obedience that Catholic lay people were inculcated with. What Father said was what Father said. And at the time, Father said this was what Rome wanted - heck, I was still heariing that in the 80's from idiot pseudo-experts - that Rome ordered the despoiling. And parents who complained about abuse were bound to secrecy under pain of excommunication!

Patrick Archbold said...

Yes, but what about the children misled and lives ruined. As someone in a pastoral ministry, I receive people back after 30 years of destructive wandering.

Patrick Archbold said...

St Augustine, the Doctor of Grace says, “For the effectiveness of God’s mercy cannot be in the power of man to frustrate, if he will have none of it. If God wills to have mercy on men, He can call them in a way that is suited to them, so that they will be moved to understand and to follow... God has mercy on no man in vain. He calls the man on whom He has mercy in the way He knows will suit him, so that he will not refuse the call.” [To Simplician 2:13] Later, he says, “Who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified?”

Thus Scripture says, “I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me” (Exod. 33:19) This is the great mystery of Election.

Patrick Archbold said...

The Church of the 1950s was pretty much the Church described by Maurice Blondel forty years earlier: “First, the scholastic ideology, which still exclusively dominates, includes the study neither of religious psychology nor of the subjective facts that convey to the conscience the action of the objective realities whose presence in us Revelation indicates; this ideology only considers as legitimate the examination of what objectively informs us about these realities as designated and defined. Moreover, and especially, everything is instinctively resisted that would limit the authoritarianism born of an exclusive extrinsicism. And, without formulating it, the conception is entertained according to which everything in religious life comes from on high and from without. Only the priesthood is active before a purely passive and receptive flock”

As a footnote, it is worth recalling that, when he was asked by the Archbishop of Aix for his assessment of Blondel’s philosophy, St Pius X replied “I am sure of Blondel’s orthodoxy, and I charge you to tell him so.” Cardinal de Lubac called Blondel the man who “launched the decisive attack on the dualist theory that was destroying Christian thought.”

Patrick Archbold said...

I certainly understand your angst as well as your ambivalence about continuing, but I sincerely hope and pray that you continue. Your blog has been a daily read for me for quite some time now. Your posts help me focus, concentrate and articulate generalized observances and feelings about the contemporary church.


Born in 1949, I graduated from Catholic grade school in 1963. At that time the convents and seminaries were full and the church was still an informative influence on the broader culture. After graduating from a Jesuit high school in 1967 and Jesuit college in 1971 (when the Jesuits were, for the most part, still Catholic) the winds of change were beginning to sweep across the church. Many of the younger, and a few of the older, Jesuit scholastics and priests left the order. What was happening to the Society of Jesus was indicative of what was happening throughout the Church. By the 80s the winds of change had become truly destructive. The convents and seminaries were emptying and a significant portion of those who remained in them became perverse influences inside the Church. The Church is still reaping the bitter harvest produced by this cohort. Under their direction the Church abdicated its role as a positive, informative influence on the broader culture and began a regression to the norm of a rapidly deteriorating culture.


I am greatly encouraged by the young priests now coming out of the seminaries and by the new communities of religious women that are growing rapidly, but the hill remains steep and they need all the help they can get. Your blog is a voice of reason helping support them and build momentum in a positive direction. Again, I hope and pray that you continue.

Patrick Archbold said...

Right with you, Pat. Can see it coming, not sure where the Lord wants me to be.

Patrick Archbold said...

I was your contemporary then. I remember the new young priest walking up and down the aisles telling us how wonderful the new mass was going to be and everything. From daily Mass at Catholic school in grade school to weekly Mass during school to a monthly and by the time I graduated from Catholic high school, we no longer had Masses during the week. I came into adulthood thinking I could be a 'good' Catholic but reject what I did not like about the Church. That attitude never changed for many. It did for me: Our Lady found me.
We see the hierarchy persecuting faithful priests still and even faithful Orders like the FFI who are squashed with NO charges against them. But a heretical priest in Ireland is restored, the 'nuns on the bus' can continue on, the 'nuns' who are deathscorts at abortion mills have impunity. Terrible and no catechesis is the order of the day at many parishes still. It is not looking good. The pope says confusing things and often, it appears, opposite things so we are continually wondering where he is coming from. He does not seem to like the most faithful of Catholics, calling them names and so forth. That is disturbing. Yet we cannot control any of that and have our own soul to save. May we be faithful and learn our faith, remain in a state of grace always, and be lights to others.

Patrick Archbold said...

It says there is nothing new under the sun and can we expect any higher percentage of bishops to have that sort of courage now.

Patrick Archbold said...

Read what happened to the IHM nuns in Los Angeles in the 60s: http://www.culturewars.com/CultureWars/1999/rogers.html
Teaching and nursing sisters have disappeared and instead we have new age, wicca, and lesbianism in many modernist aging convents. So many of them helped destroy the faith of millions of children over the decades and like some male religious Orders have been a detriment to the faith when they lose their charism and embrace modernist heresies and no longer uphold the truths of the faith, especially in matters of sexual morality.

Patrick Archbold said...

What, you do not like singing about how WE are church and all that and how wonderful WE are?

Patrick Archbold said...

God bless you, Pat. Right with ya! Beautifully, sadly stated.

Patrick Archbold said...

If anyone believes in Great Britain, its because they worship Allah.

Patrick Archbold said...

Stephen (and Matthew), who cares if Rowan Williams is a friend of and admired by the Pope Emeritus? Williams played a leading role in the development of "post-Christian" Britain. For example, he said that it was perfectly acceptable for British Muslims to be judged by Sharia law, as opposed to British law. Who really gives a rip about what Williams wrote? Catholic bishops provide the ultimate example of talking a great game but being unable to live by their stated beliefs.

Patrick Archbold said...

From what I read Rowan Williams is and was an outstanding intellect and scholar. However, he was the wrong man for the job of leader of the Church of England. It wasn't just that he was an ineffective administrator; he was obviously in way over his head. His reign reminded me of the Bishop Fulton Sheen when he served as Bishop of Rochester New York. Sheen too was an outstanding theologian, scholar and intellect. He was also a very popular writer and TV personality. However, his time in Rochester was a near disaster for him and the dioceses.

Post a Comment