Family in Exile

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Evelyn Waugh, the great Catholic novelist, was rather disappointed with the modern celebration of Christmas. He wrote:

Christmas. All that remains of Bethlehem is the breakdown of communications; no room in the inn.

For Waugh and for many other people, in spite of their deeply religious sentiments, Christmas is very much not “the most wonderful time of the year.” Continue reading

Christmas Mass at Dawn

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From the rising of the sun
To the world’s furthest edge,
We sing to Christ our Prince,
Born of the Virgin Mary.

Blessed maker of the ages
Now takes up the body of a slave,
So flesh may unfetter flesh,
That what He made is not lost.

This ancient Latin hymn for Christmas Lauds, A Solis Cardine, refers to the dawn and the course of the sun across the sky. It also connects this idea with the saving of our flesh by the coming of Christ in the flesh. We pass from darkness into light, from despair to hope, because Christ enters the darkling earth as the Light of the World. Continue reading

The Firmness of Faith in the Cataclysm of Time

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Una traduzione abbreviata italiano segue la versione inglese.

Sources below*


“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mk 13:14-26).

In today’s gospel, Our Lord portends the signs that will accompany the end of the world. The heavens will be shaken to their foundation. The universe will literally come apart, constituting the dissolution of all things of time and the advent of eternity. The sun, moon and stars along with the firmament in which they are set will collapse and fall, and, thus, so shall we.

This is the exact opposite of the way it is all began. The Holy Spirit says in Isaiah:

My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together (48:13).

Continue reading

Success

Update (6/6/16): Here are the notes as promised.  I was tasked with a forty minute oral presentation followed by ten minutes of questions on the topic with another twenty minutes on anything in dogmatic theology.


Thank you all so much for your prayers. I am very, very grateful.

I just wanted to give a brief update and then do nothing at all.  I am bushed.

I presented yesterday on the Triple Way in Dionysius. Within the next few days, I will post the file of my notes for the presentation. It was challenging and I was grilled with questions but in the end my moderator, Fr. Bernard Blankenhorn, OP, told me that I passed with flying colors.

It was very reassuring to know that I had so many wonderful people praying for me. Again I am most grateful.

I am still waiting to find out my overall grade, as the second reader for my tesina has yet submitted it, but I know I have passed and have finished the degree of License in Sacred Theology.

God bless all of you.

Journey to the Cross-roads

I have not been blogging for the a very long time now due to the demands of my studies, not least of which was the writing of my tesina (small thesis) on the development of doctrine in St. Bonaventure’s Collations on the Six Days.  I finish my decree of License in Sacred Theology at the Angelicum this Friday with the lectio coram, which is an oral comprehensive exam consisting of a forty minute lecture in front of a board of my professors and about a half hour of answering questions on my topic and on theology in general.

Thanks for all your prayers over the last couple of years of my studying.  I would be gratefully once again for a Hail Mary or two.

Here is the introduction from my tesina for whoever might be interested.

I will post on the results afterwards and then perhaps get back to blogging. God bless.

Father Angelo

SSPX: Accept Them as They Are?

The lightning rod of the SSPX is getting hit from various angles these days. Michael Voris thinks the Society is still schismatic, but Bishop Athanasius Schneider believes there is nothing seriously preventing the SSPX from being fully reconciled. In the middle, Bishop Morlino states there is very good reason why the Society finds itself in an ambiguous situation: they are not excommunicated but they have no ministry because they have chosen “to work outside of—and sometimes against—the hierarchical Church and its structures.”

The members of the SSPX are not being prevented from believing what they want about Vatican II and the new Mass. They remain without a ministry because their own definition their ministry is to expose the Council of Freemasons, Modernists and Jews and oppose the New Mass, which they believe is valid but evil.

Bishop Schneider thinks that both the Society and the Holy See overestimate the importance of Vatican II and regard it in isolation from the other Councils of the Church. But is not the solution he proposes a hermeneutic of continuity, and is this not what other traditionalists priests like those of the Fraternity of St. Peter have agreed to in order to have a ministry?

It seems to me the matter is not simply a question of charity and of stopping the infighting. With all due respect to Bishop Schneider, no matter how Bishop Fellay phrases himself the Holy See is very unlikely to give him a ministry to oppose the Council and the New Mass. And it is very unlikely that Bishop Fellay, a moderate in the Society, will agree to anything less.

Even if there were no doctrinal preamble to sign, in order to give a wider allowance for personal conscience, the Holy See would assure that the Society’s rules reflect the same kind of agreement made by the Ecclesia Dei communities. But the preamble helps to assure that members of the Society know clearly that their personal opinions and what they are permitted to do with the Church’s sanction are two different things.

And lets be Frank. The Holy See has every reason to believe that a mandate given to the SSPX ministry on a “as they are” basis would be considered a blessing on the Society’s mission to oppose Vatican II and the New Mass.

The Mob and the Machine

The other day Damian Thompson published a candid history of the Catholic blogosphere, which covers its heyday during the reign of Benedict XVI to its subsequent decline in recent years. Thompson knows a lot about this since he was on the ground floor of the Catholic digital information explosion, having been the writer for the very popular and hard-hitting blog, Holy Smoke.

As noted here before, the information democracy of the Internet has largely served the interests of the more conservative minded, both within the Church and in the secular world, because the mainstream media (secular and Catholic) has long been dominated by the left. Thompson acknowledges this, and accurately situates the new informational freedom in the context of Benedict XVI’s reform of the reform. With papal power behind doctrinal and liturgical reform as well as unrestricted access to the public through the blogosphere, a large sector of the Church, formerly marginalized, now had an opportunity to further what they saw as the true Church’s agenda. Continue reading