Teaching from Lost Teaching Moments

Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya. I don’t think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, “Bravo.”

–Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Michael Sam’s coming out

I have received a number of frustrated and angry emails about this.  Though I think it should be fairly obvious that the Cardinal is not condoning homosexual behavior, His Eminence clearly fell into the trap set for him.

Without a doubt, no matter what any person with same sex attraction actually believes about his or her sexual orientation and the acts that might proceed from that attraction, letting other people know about it involves the risk of public embarrassment and rejection.  The answer that society at large presents us is that there is nothing wrong with either the attraction or the acts and that rather than be embarrassed by one’s homosexuality, gay people and the rest of us should celebrate it.  Unfortunately the Cardinal’s remarks only reinforce this idea, even if he is otherwise clear that same sex attraction is disordered and homosexual acts sinful.

Courage, the approved Catholic apostolate that provides a spiritual support system to men and women with same-sex attractions in order to help them live chaste lives in accordance with Church teaching calls “coming out” a “trap.”  This is so because it is a ritualized commitment to a sinful lifestyle and because it forces those who receive the news to choose between the homosexual person and a commitment to the gospel values.

The whole celebrity coming out ritual being repeated lately with greater frequency takes all this to a new level.  In my view, it is a in a large measure passive-aggressive propaganda.  I don’t want to imply too much about the intention of individual celebrities, but clearly the media, and in particular, the questioner of Cardinal Dolan, manifest an intention to force us either to celebrate the coming out or make ourselves look like the very reason why many homosexuals out of fear pretend to be straight.  That was the whole idea of the question posed to the Cardinal, and it worked.  Cardinal Dolan was caught in the trap.

This being said, I don’t think the interests of the Church are served by dragging the Cardinal over broken glass or continuing to hyperventilate about Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge?”  The Church is confronted with issues both of truth and mercy, and her job is neither to capitulate to demands for misplaced compassion, nor simply to make a juridical proclamation of her own beliefs.  Her job is to save souls.

Carl Olsen from Catholic World Report just linked to an interview with Bishop Robert Morlino who has attested to the fact that the guidance of Pope Francis has made him more courageous and committed to proclaim the gospel in the face of opposition.  This is because he sees in the Holy Father the integration of the forthrightness of the truth proclaimed by Christ as well as God’s mercy.  Bishop Morlino calls this standing up for “the whole Christ.”

Concerning the media’s handling of the pope’s refusal to “judge” comment, Carl Olsen points out that the damage is already done: “The dominant media narrative has been set in semi-solid stone, and anything that Francis says or does contrary to said narrative will be ignored.”  Unfortunately, this is true, not only for non-Catholic news consumers, but also for Catholic ones, regardless of whether or not they are inclined to accept the Church’s teaching.  This is what makes Cardinal Dolan’s remark doubly unfortunate.  He not only fell into the trap, he also helped to reinforce the false “Francis” narrative.

But just for the heck of it—not that it will change anything—let me quote Bishop Morlino on the Pope Francis flap:

When Francis was telling us about that, he was talking about a particular bishop whom he had just given a job in the Vatican, and it was found out that in South America where this bishop had been, he had been charged with certain misconduct. So the question came to Francis, “How could you bring him in?” And Francis said, “The man has admitted he did wrong, he is sorry, and he has changed his life through the grace of Jesus Christ. Who am I to judge him now?” That is hardly a statement that somehow justifies homosexual behavior.

Pope Francis is not a theologian.  He would never have been chosen by Bl. John Paul II to be the head of the Holy Office, as was Joseph Ratzinger.  He is a pastor and speaks like one.  He also happens to have been chosen at this time to be the Vicar of Christ.  His voice ought to be treated as though it has a prophetic quality because in a particular way that voice is capable of being heard and appreciated by both Catholics and non-Catholics, and even by those to whom the evangelical message is completely foreign.  Cardinal Dolan attempted to follow this path on his feet in a more or less hostile situation and got burned.  It is a moment we can all learn from.

I leave off with this pertinent quote from Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium, 168:

As for the moral component of catechesis, which promotes growth in fidelity to the Gospel way of life, it is helpful to stress again and again the attractiveness and the ideal of a life of wisdom, self-fulfilment and enrichment. In the light of that positive message, our rejection of the evils which endanger that life can be better understood. Rather than experts in dire predictions, dour judges bent on rooting out every threat and deviation, we should appear as joyful messengers of challenging proposals, guardians of the goodness and beauty which shine forth in a life of fidelity to the Gospel.

35 thoughts on “Teaching from Lost Teaching Moments

  1. Well said, Father.
    The problem that I have is that Cardinal Dolan get’s caught in a lot of traps. And I can think of one or two where he has been forewarned, such as the Al Smith Dinner. How many people of note warned him that this would only be a trap that would allow the most pro-death President in history a chance to show the world that he is a “friend” of Catholics? Lo and behold, the picture.

    I’m beginning to think he’s not very smart. Actually, I’ve thought that for quite a while now.

    The difference between him and the Holy Father is that I seem to find that the Holy Father is often misquoted, mistranslated, or taken out of context. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Cardinal Dolan. Maybe the Cardinal should be a little less apt to speak publicly outside of the pulpit.


  2. I sin every day; and when I have the courage to admit it, it is with a spirit of contrition and repentance; I do not do it with the purpose of proclamation. I feel a sense of shame, not pride; I ask for forgiveness of my sin, not acceptance of it. I kneel before the Judge, I do not defy Him. To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, ” We are all worms”- however I am certain that I am NOT a glow worm. This whole thing is a monstrous wreck. Or as Oliver Hardy would say, “Well Stanley, this is another fine mess you have gotten us into!”

  3. When I say something I don’t mean, I apologize and tell what I really mean rather than letting people believe I meant something else. This is only to help the person to whom I was talking to understand what I meant to say. Perhaps to stop a minor misunderstanding.

    When a public leader of the Church says something that is misunderstood or they just says something they don’t mean, it is a matter of the GREATEST IMPORTANCE to apologize and clear it up so that the faith of thousands or millions is not negatively effected. When will we get this apology from Cardinal Dolan.

    Just this kind of thing, from Cardinal Dolan and Pope Francis has done great harm to my own faith. I thank God for my holy FSSP priests who build me up once again helping me to realize that all men our sinners yet the Church is still Gods spiritual temple on Earth.

  4. I thank God for Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ. My trust and confidence is in the Lord who is master of His Church.

    This one is not that hard to figure out, even for those who hear what they want to hear.

    Just to be clear: I said what I think needed to be said and no more than that. Please follow that lead in the comments.

  5. Sorry if my comment seems like I’m Cardinal-bashing. I didn’t intend that, Father. I like him, and think that he is good for the Church, especially when he’s speaking from the pulpit. But I’m very much a frustrated Catholic. Many times at a loss to defend my faith when I can’t defend the public statements of public people. It seems that every conversation that I get into nowadays about the Church involves me clarifying something someone in the Church has said. Most of all, we need clarity in the public arena, because everyone knows it is a fact that the mainstream media will take any comment that slightly leans their way and run with it. It doesn’t seem like that lesson is being learned. How many times do we need to touch the stove to realise that it is hot?

  6. Fred,

    No problem.

    Personally, I think this is a time in the Church when such clarifications will continue to be necessary, simply because engaging the culture requires it. I don’t have a problem with the “who am I to judge” comment. I don’t think it is that complicated.

    I believe that those who are incapable or unwilling to think their way through all this will find in just about anything a pretext to believe what they want. There are any number of passages in sacred scripture that atheists will throw in our faces because ostensibly those passages are problematic. People rationalize no matter what.

    Even the issue with Cardinal Dolan can be more indicative of the problem with the culture than with the Church’s response to it. As I said, the whole “coming out” ritual is designed to produce the exact effect that it did. It is emotional manipulation against which natural law arguments struggle to keep up. The cardinal was looking for a graceful exit and tripped over himself. Perhaps the situation would have been best served by simply pointing out the manipulative character of the question. Everyone knows what the Church teaches on the matter. That is why the question was asked in the first place.

    Perhaps in the end Pope Francis will modify his approach, but I for one am not ready to give up on it yet. I know people will say that this is putting form before substance, but the One Teacher of All is also The Good Shepherd. Chesterton said something to the effect that the faith has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried. It takes a bit of genius to convince those who find it too difficult to try it.

  7. Once again, Father, thank you for the sanest reflection that I have read on this situation. It is so refreshing to read something that is not just bashing Cardinal Dolan.

    I have a little bit different take on this. In watching Cdl Dolan over these last few years, it seems to me that he mainly works behind the scenes, and of course for that he never gets credit. Remember the whole bruhaha when VP Biden received communion right under Dolan’s nose, and the Catholic blogosphere went wild. After that Mass, the Cardinal and Biden went to coffee together. We were never told what they discussed, but is it just coincidence that Biden has not presented himself for communion since then? Of course, the blogosphere takes no notice of that.

    That is just one example, but I think that it shows that Cardinal Dolan really doesn’t care what people say about him personally. His interests are defending the faith, which he did very well in the Sunday interview, and in saving souls. What good would it have done for Cdl Dolan to point out in the case of Michael Sam that homosexuality is a sin. That was not a time for personal counseling. Dolan does not know Michael Sam or any of the circumstances of his life. It would have been inappropriate and judgmental. Did Dolan fall into a trap? Maybe. But I think his main goal was not to publicly condemn in any way, and he felt that was the best way to do it. As you write, no one is going to say from this statement that Cardinal Dolan now approves of the homosexual life style. Seems to me that the only people making a big deal of it are traditional Catholic bloggers, who feel they have another reason to point out that the Church is on the edge of collapse and only they can save it.

    Our Lord never called out sinners in public either, with the exception of the Pharisees, who were religious leaders who felt they had no sin and never showed mercy or compassion to anyone. When the woman was taken in adultery, our Lord refused to condemn her, and only when everyone else had left did he say “Go and sin no more.” He would not call her out in public in any way. This is what I see with Pope Francis and Cardinal Dolan. To me, they are exemplifying and personifying the true meaning of Divine Mercy, a lesson we all need to learn and one that I see very little of in the Catholic blogosphere.

  8. Marie, that was beautiful. Thank you so much. This conference shows that first and foremost on Cardinal Dolan’s mind when he looks at people is to save their souls and to do so through love, mercy and compassion, just as it was with Our Lord Himself. This press conference shows how Cardinal Dolan and by extension, Pope Francis, operates from Divine Mercy. “We don’t look at people in their sexual orientation, we look at them as children of God.” It is not our place to judge anyone. Christ showed us that our duty towards one another is to love. As Father Barron said, that doesn’t mean never talking about sin, but that is not how to approach people. Father Barron further said, if the first thing homosexuals hear from the church is your acts are intrinsically evil, that is a problem. This is what Cardinal Dolan displayed on Sunday, and this is why he has been so viciously attacked by Catholic bloggers.

    I really feel more than ever that the major reason why so many Catholics, especially “Traditional” Catholics do not understand the Church of today is because they do not understand Divine Mercy. I don’t think we can ever understand the modern day Church until we understand this great message.

  9. It was God’s Divine Mercy that brought me from the depths of a life of sin, depravity, and deception, with the help of loving and caring ‘Traditional’ Catholics that brought me back after 30 years. Yes, there are some very vocal Traditional Catholics who only know how to condemn and complain. Yes, this is not how to bring back sinners. This is not the message of Jesus Christ. Last night while sitting at a table with 10 Traditional Catholic men, they viewed this attitude as unChristian and disloyal to Mother Church.

    In the FSSP parish in the city 60 miles north of where I live, I visited with various members of the Church. I found that over half were converts to Catholicism and of the remaining 50%, half were Catholic reverts and only 25% who had been Catholic their whole life. That means that 75% of the parish have been converted to the Catholic Church. Can you say that about your average ‘pastoral’/liberal parish?

    It is this type of experience, not conjecture or theory, but fact that causes a majority of ‘Traditional’ Catholics to have deep concerns with the types of remarks as Cardinal Dolan gave recently. It isn’t that we don’t believe that Cardinal Dolan means well and is trying to bring Catholics back to the Church. It isn’t that we don’t recognize that Pope Francis is a very loving and holy man, But we have seen these types of remarks such as Bravo for almost fifty years now and what is the result? More than 70% of Catholics no longer attend Mass, over 94% of Catholics disagree with major Church teachings, Church after Church is being shut down, etc.

    I am so glad that the message of the Church was so clear under Pope Benedict because prior to coming back to the Church at least I knew what I was doing was evil, I knew that I needed redemption, I knew the only place to get that was the Church, and finally when God reached out to me, I knew I had a need to respond. With the message being put out by the media today, I venture that I would not have come back because I would not have seen any reason to. What need would I have for the Church? I would have thought that I was okay in my sin. I know that the media is misconstruing the messages of Cardinal Dolan and others but Cardinal Dolan and others are supplying the media the ammunition they need to it.

    I understand that Cardinal Dolan is trying to follow the Popes lead and reach out and be more pastoral. It isn’t that I don’t believe that he is doing his best to draw sinners in, but this tactic just doesn’t work and the last 50 years of Church history proves it. Statistically there are far more converts, and religious vocations in the more traditional/conservative dioceses than the more ‘pastoral’ dioceses. There are also far fewer Catholics who leave the Church. Jesus told us that he would leave the 99 to go get the 1 that had strayed, well statistically we now have 94 that have strayed and only 6 left in the flock because we aren’t using the right tools to get those who have strayed.

    When the only message Catholics ever here is ‘Bravo’ to someone declaring how wonderful their homosexual lifestyle is, that is the message these strayed Catholics get. How can you believe Church teaching when you have never been convinced of it. Where are Catholics to be convinced of Church teaching, in front of the TV, on Christmas or Easter Mass with the mushy sermon about loving your neighbor?

    I know that the attitude I was taught by several very ‘pastoral’ priests was that Church teaching was just guidelines and we are all sinners so don’t bother trying. Just the excuse I needed to fall into the darkest thirty years of my life.

    I speak from experience.

  10. i too am a revert, coming back after 38 years. So as one revert to another, I say welcome back, and isn’t it good to be home!

    I just want to add one comment. Cardinal Dolan is following the example of the Holy Father, and he is following the example of Jesus Christ. Does this mean that you don’t like the way Our Lord evangelized, either?

    As Father Angelo said, the word “bravo” was, to say the least unfortunate. I heard that Cardinal Dolan appeared on a Sirius radio program and said that the reason he said it was that he was caught off guard. As Father Angelo said, the moderator was trying to lay a trap for Cardinal Dolan. That’s what the media does to create stories.

    But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Our Lord taught, in His actions and words, us to approach sinners with compassion and love. This is what Blessed (soon to be Saint) Pope John XXIII said in the opening message of the Second Vatican Council:

    “At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”

  11. Donatus:
    Matthew 5:7 and John 15:20 And…Matthew 5:10, and Matthew 5:11!

    Something tells me that Pope Francis and Cardinal Dolan have a clear understanding of the Beatitudes.
    How beautifully blessed are the clergy that wear the crown of white martyrdom!
    And for the clergy and laity that ‘backbite’…..? Every word will be accounted for. (Matthew 12:36)

    BTW, your name is all over the combox’s at Rorate Caeli and Fr. Z’s blog.

  12. Donatus, I would like to make one more comment to what you said. When Christ died on the Cross, it didn’t seem like he had any converts, either. Everyone, except for his mother and a handful of others, completely deserted him and left him to die alone. Even his chosen successor deserted him. At the time of His death, just looking at the circumstances, it would have been fair to call Christ a total failure in His ministry.

    I’ve often wondered how the Church could go from being so “strong” as many claim it was prior to Vatican II, to “More than 70% of Catholics no longer attend Mass, over 94% of Catholics disagree with major Church teachings, Church after Church is being shut down, etc.” Could it be that many were obeying the Church only because of the severity of the message back then, and as soon as the pressure was lifted, they left because they were not really converted in their hearts? We can DO all the right things, but if our hearts are not right, it doesn’t mean anything. Our Lord looks for those who are “humble and contrite of heart”, not those who are obeying merely because they think they have to, and as soon as the pressure is lifted, they are off on their own merry way. Our Lord reaches out to us in love, and that is how he wants us to respond – in love, not just in dread fear of the consequences of disobeying, although I will most definitely concede that can be a good beginning. But if our motivation never gets beyond that, then we are not really converted in our hearts.

    Did it ever occur to you that even though the churches were overflowing 50 to 60 years ago, a good number of those people were just as physically and carnally minded as they are today?

    Anyway, these are just thoughts which I still need to really put together. Just throwing it out there to see what you think.

    • I apologize if I made it seem like I was somehow disapproving of Cardinal Dolan or Pope Francis, that was not my intent and is certainly not the case. I would just think Cardinal Dolan needs to be much more careful about what he says, and if he says something that is being interpreted to be against Catholic teaching, he should come out with an official statement of some kind to clarify it. It is human nature to try to take the easy road. If a Bishop or priest makes it appear that the homosexual lifestyle is okay, then people will take the easy road.

      This is already starting to happen. An example of this is a young man I was talking to last week. He has a friend who is living in a lesbian relationship and it is widely known. In his college at the Mass she receives communion every week. He was concerned that she didn’t realize that she was heaping mortal sin upon mortal sin by receiving communion. He had read where St Paul told us that if we do not warn someone about their sin, we ware culpable for their damnation. He privately told her kindly about his concern for her. Well, she told every she could at the college about this and now he has been black balled and is no longer welcome at the Catholic youth group. The whole group is following what they think to be Cardinal Dolan’s and others example, be accepting of what could condemn a person to eternal damnation, while not accepting the one that is willing to take action to save her.

      Yet at the ‘traditional’ parish, I know of some who are struggling with great sinful tendencies, some with mental illness that makes it worse, some who are not receiving communion because of a sinful lifestyle. These are welcomed and cherished with love and care. Yet they also try to help them escape the sin that drags them down, that separates them from God’s grace.

      Who is following Jesus example, the college Catholic group that is ostracizes someone who like Christ warns the sinner to sin no more, yet is accepting of sinful and self destructive behavior OR the traditional parish that is accepting of all, but helps them overcome their sin?

      Now I very much love the encouragement of Pope Francis that each one of us must be evangelizers and live the faith in our lives. I can’t find a parish in my liberal home diocese that actually wants to act on his recommendations, to teach us how to follow his teaching on evangelizing and reaching out to sinners.

      The thing is that the only place where I saw Pope Francis’s teachings being lived out was in the traditional parish in another diocese. The ‘conservative’ bishop in that diocese has also started a diocese wide long term group that is training and acting on the new evangelization.

      During the months prior to my reverting, I went to three ‘liberal’ parishes and not one person approached me, nobody said hello, nobody tried to engage me, nobody tried to help me. The best I got was the sign of peace.

      When I went to the ‘traditional’ parish, nobody condemned me or judged me, they were just happy to see me there. By the time I had left I had talked to more than ten different people who were interested in helping me.

      We can talk the talk all we want but if we don’t walk the walk, we are not doing any good.

  13. Donatus,

    “It isn’t that we don’t believe that Cardinal Dolan means well and is trying to bring Catholics back to the Church. It isn’t that we don’t recognize that Pope Francis is a very loving and holy man, But we have seen these types of remarks such as Bravo for almost fifty years now and what is the result?”

    You know what bible verse your comment reminds me of? John 6:41, 60-71

    The disciples also recognized Jesus as being holy….but they murmured at His teachings, and because they were hardened of heart (proud) they walked away.
    Peter….:Where shall we go Lord, You have the words of eternal life.” Hmmm. Pax.

  14. i’m not so sure the church is to be blamed for less attendance and more lapsed catholics rather it is the distractions offered by the secular society. do you know how much time people spend watching hundreds of cable tv channels and surfing the web? and its quick, quick, quick, and even weekly mass falls into the background of life for so many baptized. and then you have the relativism of the world that says why go to church anyway, belief in a supernatural being has no science, or wicca/kabbalah/agnosticism is just as valid as your baptism…

  15. Christian – that is my feeling exactly. Pope Benedict XVI used to talk about how important silence is, that we cannot hear God if we never allow silence in our lives. I think this is one of the major reasons why Blessed Fulton Sheen use to stress so strongly to the clergy the importance of one solid hour every day in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He never missed one day in all of his years as a priest, and in fact he died in front of the Blessed Sacrament, a truly holy death.

    God never yells at us. He quietly calls to us, but we have to be open to Him or we will never hear him. Most people fill their lives with everything but God. I have to struggle with this myself.

  16. Donatus, I don’t know if you are intending to sound this way, but you make it seems that you are saying the only good Catholics are “traditional” Catholics.

    No one in the history of mankind has had his words twisted and turned around more than Jesus Christ. People make the Bible say anything they want. When people are headstrong to do what they want to do, they will always find a way to justify it. Someone who is engaged in mortal sin and knows it will find no justification because she twisted the words of Cardinal Dolan. She knows what he thinks. Everyone knows his stand on homosexuality, especially the homosexual community.

    I normally go to a TLM and was very much a part of the Traditional “community” for a long time until just recently. But I have gotten really tired of the superior attitudes that I have seen and the constant criticism and outright condemnation of the post-conciliar church by almost all the traditionalists I know. The best thing they can say about Pope Francis is, “I’m not so sure about this pope.”

    Please try to take a subjective look at what you just wrote.

    “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isa 66:3. I have to say I don’t see a lot of humility among traditionalists.

    • Mary Griffin, first, I have the very highest respect for faithful non-traditional Catholics. In fact, from what I can see, their faith is stronger than mine. When my priests started getting rid of all the Catholic practices in our church, after about five years, my faith was totally destroyed and I left the church. These folks have stuck it out and kept their faith despite all this. If severe persecution comes, I wonder, can I stick it out when they close all the Church and imprison all the priests. So no, I definitely don’t think traditional Catholics are better than other Catholics.

      I would agree that ‘traditional’ Catholics have their own set of problems and they could learn something from the modern Church rather than being stuck in 1962, but that doesn’t mean that they have it all wrong. Now as far as having a ‘superior attitude’, were you going to an SSPX Mass, because I have rarely seen this at the FSSP parish I have attended. In fact, most of the time, if I get too upset about something and I voice my concern, nine times out of ten, I will be reminded in some kind manner that I am not being charitable and I should not speak or think things against my Bishop or the Pope. Sadly, there are some very vocal traditionalists that I have seen on the internet, yet I have only met one as an FSSP parish. Perhaps since I am newly back to the faith, my zeal is a bit too strong and my emotions will balance out with time.

      The problem most of us have is that we love Jesus and the Church too much. As for my own experience, I have watched my whole family humbly follow their priests and bishops, watched them stop saying the rosary because it is pagan and old-school, buried their statues and holy pictures because they were idols, stopped genuflecting and kneeling because it is only a superficial expression that Jesus condemned with the Pharisees, etc. Then they listened to their priests tell them that Protestants are just as good as Catholics and have just as good a chance of going to heaven. Then they just joined the happy and friendly people at the Baptist Church down the street or just stopped going to the Catholic Church altogether.

      If you saw a friend or relative teaching their child how to use drugs, would you sit back and say nothing or would you tell them that this is not a good idea? Likewise, if you saw your relatives slowly leave the Church over past thirty years, knowing that this was condemning them to possible damnation, what would you do, how would you feel? Would you just sit back and say nothing, would you not try to force change that may help them find their way back. If you found a way to get back to the Church, wouldn’t you try to give them the same help. As for me, and most of my relatives and friends that left the church, it was the wishy washy message that they were getting from their priests and bishops that caused them to leave the church. For me it was the rock solid message I received at the ‘traditional’ parish that brought me back.

      By voicing my concerns, I hope to influence priests and even Bishops that might read this to think very seriously about what they say because it has a profound effect on the faithful, both good and bad. Just as a parents actions and words have profound effects on their children.

  17. @Donatus
    “If a Bishop or priest makes it appear that the homosexual lifestyle is okay, then people will take the easy road.”

    The general public knows exactly what the Church teaches on this topic, and those inclined toward sinful pleasures are going to engage in it whether a Cardinal makes a blunder in his speech, or not.

  18. Donatus, you sure change from comment to comment. You wrote this in one post:

    “Now I very much love the encouragement of Pope Francis that each one of us must be evangelizers and live the faith in our lives. I can’t find a parish in my liberal home diocese that actually wants to act on his recommendations, to teach us how to follow his teaching on evangelizing and reaching out to sinners.

    The thing is that the only place where I saw Pope Francis’s teachings being lived out was in the traditional parish in another diocese. The ‘conservative’ bishop in that diocese has also started a diocese wide long term group that is training and acting on the new evangelization.”

    You are saying here that the only good parish in your diocese is your FSSP parish.

    Then in your next comment you say,

    ” I have the very highest respect for faithful non-traditional Catholics. In fact, from what I can see, their faith is stronger than mine. When my priests started getting rid of all the Catholic practices in our church, after about five years, my faith was totally destroyed and I left the church. These folks have stuck it out and kept their faith despite all this. If severe persecution comes, I wonder, can I stick it out when they close all the Church and imprison all the priests. So no, I definitely don’t think traditional Catholics are better than other Catholics.”

    These statements could not be more contradictory. You have said here that the only way you can be Catholic is to be a “traditional” Catholic. And you don’t see the hubris in that? You are rejecting the last 50 years of the church and saying if that’s all there is, I’m outta here.

    Do you wonder why you feel your faith is so weak? Do you think it could have something to do with the fact that you have rejected the post-conciliar Church? You are becoming your own Magesterium, making up your own mind what you will and will not accept in the Church.

    I attended and do attend a diocesan approved TLM. I have never gone to SSPX nor would I want to. But it is actually not much better than the SSPX. A large majority of the people I attend with are very much into the likes of John Vennari, Chris Ferrara, Fr. Gruner, et al. Most of them reject all or most of Vatican II. Maybe your church actually does exist, but I have never personally experienced anything like you describe among Traditionalists. And I certainly do not see anything matching your description among traditional Catholic bloggers. This last week exemplified that with they way they all, without exception, attacked Cardinal Dolan, basically telling him he really needed to just shut up.

    Traditionalists are alway complaining that the bishops hate the TLM and persecute anyone who supports the TLM. If I was a bishop, knowing what I know about the mindset of the average Traditionalist, I would be very wary of anyone who wants to promote the Latin Mass. And that is truly tragic, because I love the Mass. Traditionalists often bring the persecution they experience upon themselves. If only they could learn that, life would get much better for them. The Fisher More situation is a prime example.

    That’s it for me. I am the one who needs to shut up. I know I am not going to change your mind at all, Donatus, but I still appreciate Father Angelo giving me a chance to spout off.

    • I won’t bother to respond anymore. After experiencing the lack of charity here, I remember why I left the Church in the first place. Thankfully my faith is not dependent on my fellow Catholics but on Christ Jesus. May God bless you all with his Grace.

  19. @Donatus
    “Thankfully my faith is not dependent on my fellow Catholics but on Christ Jesus.”

    Funny…you just posted numerous times that your faith was based on traditionalism within the Church.

    But, having said that, your above comment is exactly what you should be saying….faith is about your relationship with Christ, not the rubrics of a Mass, or people.
    (see you when you come back under a new name) Pax.

  20. Donatus,

    One word and its a big one,

    “They want to be treated with oil, soap and caresses, but they should be beaten with fists.
    In a duel, you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can.” –Pope Pius X

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