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Freudian Slip

I love how Rorate Caeli calls honesty “ham-handed and amateurish,” and praises Machiavellianism, calling it “sly and skillful.”

Precious.

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Prophecy and the FI

This post is tangential to my mysticism series (1 & 2). It is an aid to understanding why I am writing on the subject, as well as a practical application of the principles I have been working with.

Prophecy

Prophecy has always existed in the Church in one form or another. Like all the charisms, when prophecy is authentic it is an aid to the magisterium’s role to sanctify, teach and govern.  Prophecy requires the careful discernment of the Church, especially when it takes the form of an apparent special revelation from God or the foretelling of the future. Since the death of the last Apostle, prophecy belongs to the category of private revelation.

There also less extraordinary ways in which the spirit of prophecy may manifest itself, such as the influence that the charism of a religious institute may have on the historical circumstances in which it is given. This too is subject to the discernment of the Church. Continue reading

Keeping Secrets

I am diverting slightly—just slightly—from my “mysticism” series in the interests of swatting away some unhelpful mist (the kind that ends in schism). I am moving from the bench of speculative reflection to my soapbox, just for this one post.

Disciplina Arcani

The early Church protected the sacred mystery of the Eucharist from the misunderstanding and profanation of pagans by the disciplina arcani, “discipline of the secret.” This meant that the newly baptized were not introduced the mystery of the Real Presence in the Eucharist until just before they received Holy Communion for the first time. In the context of the Church’s persecution, the pagan misunderstanding of Holy Communion as an act of cannibalism could have dire consequences for both believing Christians and those who needed to be evangelized.

So the motives for this discipline were that of reverence and humility. The practice was eventually abandoned. Even so, since the time of Our Lord’s discourse on the Bread of Life in John 6, there has been this tension between the frank and unapologetic proclamation of the full truth about the Eucharist and the need not to throw our pearls to the swine. Continue reading

Rorate Caeli: More Lies About Us

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Rorate Caeli: More Lies about Us

The English speaking traditionalist website “Rorate Caeli” reports in a post of 14 May 2014 that 100/150 friars have asked Rome for “dispensation from vows.

There are actually only about a dozen priests and as many students in temporary vows of the total of 378 friars.

This news serves to create agitation and encourages those already hesitating through the psychological dynamic of suggestion.

The fifteen clerics after two months have not yet found a welcoming diocesan bishop, so this is simply a sabotaging and destructive strategy of former superiors who, for ideological reasons and personal interest, do not wish to see the present crisis end.

From Immacolata.com

Rorate Caeli true to form

Further Update on Fisher More

Per the request of a reader I am updating this blog concerning the Fisher More College situation.

There are a series of updates on the situation from the College itself, including a rebuttal of Taylor Marshall by the President of the College, Michael King.  I provide the link in the interests of fairness, but I also deem it necessary to point out again, why I originally posted on the matter and included a link to Taylor Marshall’s allegations.

I pointed out that the list of speakers at the College since Taylor Marshall’s departure confirm problematic situation as Dr. Marshall narrates it. The invitation,for example, to a suspended priest to speak at the college says pretty much all you need to know. Continue reading

What the Fisher More Situation Teaches Us

The current situation with Fisher More College is the new handle on the radical traditionalist axe.  As though an indisputable fact, it is being compared with the restrictions placed on the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  The story goes that whatever the problems might have been in these institutions there simply can be no legitimate reasons, or motivations of pastoral charity, that would justify a moratorium on the use of the old Missal.  But I believe a more apt comparison is to be drawn between the way in which the two situations have been used for propaganda purposes by these traditionalists.

In both cases there has been a leaking of documentation to Internet blogger/journalists, whose credentials show them to be, not just advocates for the full implementation of Summorum Pontificum, but also mouthpieces for the extreme side of traditionalism (end of the reform of the reform, the horror of Pope Francis, the impossibility of a hermeneutic of continuity, etc.).  Likewise, in both cases there has been a great deal of prejudicial conjecture, placing the worst possible interpretation on the decisions made by the Church.  In the case of the FI, the problem has been fire-bombed with conspiracy theory and the wholesale destruction of reputations.  It needs to be clear that is has been the traditionalist sources that have made a public spectacle of these ecclesiastical problems.  If any reputations have been damaged on either side, it has been due to the fact that they chose to fight this problem out in the public square. Continue reading

War in the Bubble

It is really hard to know how to be charitable in these instances.

We have gone from The Shire to Mordor in two posts.

Back when I was writing on Christopher West’s interpretation of the Theology of the Body, I experienced something similar.  People who were inclined to agree with me egged me on, while those who disagreed largely objected to the very fact that I had something critical to say at all.  It was a lack of charity on my part to criticize someone so committed to the work of God, so I was told.

My response was to say that it was not personal or an attack on Christopher West, but a critique of his ideas and methods.  When someone decides to use an authoritative voice and say controversial things in public, they implicitly agree to accept criticism.  It is the nature of the public forum and the free exchange of ideas.  They have made an argument in public about something important to them.  It begs for a response. Continue reading

Behind the Looking Glass, and It Ain’t Pretty

I feel like I am caught in a bad fairytale.

I am publishing in-full Rorate Caeli’s follow-up on their Tolkien post and linking to it in my original rebuttal of Father X.

Follow-up: on Tolkien

The post including transcripts of the conferences first posted on Audio Sancto with a somewhat critical view of the value as Catholic literature of the mythological world created by traditional Catholic author J. R. R. Tolkien generated quite a bit of heat.

The reaction from many quarters was stronger than might have been expected if we had posted a denial of an article of the Creed!… In a sense, even though I personally disagreed with much of what Father had to say, it seems to me that this bizarre overreaction validates much of his concern over a sacralization of texts which, as loved as they may be by many, are just a modern piece of entertaining fiction, and, let us be quite honest about it, regardless of the academic brilliance of the author, are not part of the canon of great literature of Christian Civilization.

In any event, precisely because this does not involve an article of the faith, but a prudential judgment on which Catholics may reasonably disagree, we would be more than happy to post a rebuttal of the conferences from a traditional Catholic perspective, in case it is also authored by a traditional priest and is, of course, respectful towards his fellow man of the cloth.

Rorate Caeli (exactly who from RC, I don’t know) made a request yesterday in the comments section of my rebuttal that I provide a link to the above follow-up.  I asked him to provide a link on RC to my post in return, but he declined, saying Continue reading

Is Tolkien’s Fantasy Gnostic?

I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ — though it contains (and in a legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory.

—J.R.R Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, wrote the above in a letter to a lady in which he discussed Frodo’s attitude towards the weapons and war.  He was expressing his own skepticism about how much was possible to accomplish for the good of man through the force of arms.  In so doing he quoted a remark of Galadriel about Gandalf and how for many ages they had together “fought the long defeat.”

History often appears to be a long defeat and under its burden we may break, or we may just live for the day and damn the consequences, or we may fight like hell in spite of it all.  In any case, the “long defeat” itself may contain “the glimpse of victory” in spite of the fact that no such victory seems to be written into the historical circumstances we experience. Continue reading