Rorate Caeli

7 years of RORATE CÆLI - and a special gift:
An essay on Modernism by Don Pietro Leone

Heinrich Isaac (1450-1517)
Propers, Mass of the Fourth Sunday in Advent: Introit


Today is Rorate Sunday, the Fourth Sunday in Advent, and a very special day for us: it is the seventh anniversary of this web log, founded on this same Sunday, 2005, and named after its introit - recurrent words throughout Advent, from its very first liturgical moment (First vespers of the First Sunday). It is a perfect day, then, for us to present a special essay on Modernism and why its presence is so strong in our days - by Don Pietro Leone Monselice, the pen name chosen by a traditional Catholic priest, whose solid work on the Traditional Roman Rite and the Pauline Rite we happily published in 2011.

We thank Father deeply for his new contribution to our website - and we also thank you, our readers, for the faithful readership in the past seven years. And thanks also to our followers on Twitter (@RorateCaeli).
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In his book “Athanasius”, Bishop Rudolf Graber, of Regensburg, explains how the Evil One in the course of the ages has attacked the Holy Catholic Church in ways increasingly refined, insidious, and intimate. He began by attacking the faithful through persecutions, but seeing that these lead rather to an increase of the Faith, he adopted another method: that of attacking the Faith itself.

With the heresies of Martin Luther he managed to detach a great number of people from the Catholic Church; with the heresies that comprise Modernism, he has even succeeded at present in contaminating the Faith of a great number of people within the Church Herself.

What is Modernism? Saint Pius X defines it in his encyclical Pascendi as “the synthesis of all heresies”. The Code of Canon Law (CIC. 751) defines heresy as: “the obstinate denial, after receiving baptism, of a truth which is to be believed by Divine and Catholic Faith, or the obstinate doubt concerning it…”

Now, what is defined by the words ‘a truth which is to be believed by Divine and Catholic Faith’ is Catholic dogma. We observe that Modernism has in fact a wider scope than Catholic dogma as here defined, in that it extends to all traditional Catholic doctrines, even if they have not yet been defined as dogmas. In other words, Modernism includes the denial not only of all dogmas, but also of all traditional Catholic doctrine.

For the purposes of this essay we shall understand ‘heresy’ in a wide sense, as the obstinate denial of any traditional Catholic doctrine (or the obstinate doubt in its regard).

First of all, we will present two particular characteristics of Modernism: 1. Ubiquity; 2. Obscurantism.

I The Characteristics of Modernism

1. Ubiquity


Ubiquity concerns the extension of the heresy.

In the past the Church always condemned heresies, and took this opportunity to formulate Her doctrines more profoundly and more clearly. Consequently, the rotten, heretical, branch of the Church was cut off from its healthy trunk; and the healthy trunk, nurtured by a new influx of the light of Truth, was able to flourish yet more gloriously than before.

For the past fifty years, by contrast, the heresies of Modernism have no longer been condemned; or if they have been condemned, they have been but seldom, feebly, and without sanctions. As a result almost the entire tree of the Church has by now been infested by error.

This infestation takes its cue from the Magisterium itself, from the teaching of the Church: of the hierarchy and the clergy. This said teaching constitutes an illegitimate use of the munus docendi entrusted to the Church by Our Lord Jesus Christ: a use illegitimate and therefore a use that also exceeds the competence of those who exercise it: a use that is extra vires.

At this point we observe that we understand the term ‘Magisterium’ as the organ or instrument of the munus docendi of the Church, and we distinguish two senses of the term: a positive sense which refers to its legitimate exercise; and a neutral sense, which is the sense in which we will understand it in this essay, which refers to its exercise simpliciter, without specifying if it is legitimate or illegitimate. That the Magisterium may be exercised in an illegitimate way, will be demonstrated by the examples given below. This is obvious, and may be denied only by an ideologist.

Modernism inside the Church is difficult to combat for various reasons:

-it is difficult to discern inasmuch as it is ubiquitous or omnipresent - Jacques Maritain speaks of ‘immanent apostasy’. This signifies that it has become part of the very fabric of the Church Herself, or, using another image, it has become too vast even to see;

-it is difficult to understand because it is obscurantist (as we shall show it in the next section);
-it is difficult to evaluate since in order to evaluate it, theological knowledge is required which is no longer taught in seminaries or in parishes, or at least not exclusively so taught;
-it is difficult to accept because it requires intellectual honesty and courage, which are necessary to face the doctrinal devastation in the Church today;
-it is difficult to criticize, above all for a priest, because he will be regarded not only as ‘hard’, but also as ‘lacking in piety’ or even ‘schismatic’ (or ‘crypto-schismatic’) towards the Church, the Pope, and the Magisterium (understood in the first sense of the term); and will have to steel himself for some mauvais quarts d’heure with his Superior or Bishop, and perhaps even the loss of his apostolate.

2. Obscurantism


Obscurantism concerns the communication of heresy. Heresy is the obstinate denial, or doubt, of a Catholic dogma. 1.

In the past, heresy was explicit. Examples are Martin Luther’s 95 Theses posted on the cathedral door at Wittenberg. Nowadays, by contrast, in the context of Modernism, the heresy is implicit: it is implied, insinuated, suggested, favoured by obscurantism.

This obscurantism operates in two principal ways: by silence or by equivocation (ambiguity). By silence a given doctrine is no longer taught; by equivocation it is expressed in a way that furthers heresy.

We shall consider each way in turn.

a) Silence

Many doctrines are passed over in silence, i.e. those that are considered “negative”, such as the existence of Hell, Mortal Sin, and sacrilegious Holy Communion.

Let us look at sacrilegious Communion. This doctrine is almost never taught or preached any more. In fact, the passage from Saint Paul that condemns it, which appears in the Old Roman Rite on the Feast of Corpus Christi and on Maundy Thursday, was suppressed in the New Rite.2.

Clearly this silence, as indeed silence on any article of doctrine, is not merely something neutral: the failure to accomplish an act; but something positive: a veritable act, an act of denial. Because if someone is entrusted with a doctrine to preach as a moral principle and does not preach it, the only explanation possible is that he does not deem it necessary for moral conduct, and therefore, for all intents and purposes, he denies it.

If a worker notifies the headmaster of a school that there is a live electric cable in a certain classroom, and cautions him to warn students not to enter for fear of electrocution, but the headmaster omits to warn them, his silence, for all intents and purposes, amounts to a denial of the fact in question.

To the Modernists’s silence on Catholic doctrines, we can apply the declaration of Pope Felix III regarding the Patriarch Acacio in the 6th century: ‘Error cui non resistitur approbatur, et veritas quae minime defensatur, opprimitur: error which is not opposed, is approved, and the truth which is defended only minimally, is oppressed’.

b) Equivocation


The second method of obscuring doctrine is equivocation. Let us put this equivocation in its context.

As for witnessing to the Faith, the Catholic assents to that which a doctrine declares and denies that which it denies: he says yes to yes and no to no, as the Lord Himself teaches us (Mt. 5.37): ‘But let your speech be yea, yea, no, no: and that which is over and above these is of the evil one.’ The heretic of the past, by contrast, says yes to no and no to yes; while the modern heretic, by means of equivocation, says yes and no to yes, and yes and no to no.

As for epistemology, it should be said that if a strength of dogma is its clarity, a strength of Modernism is its confusion. Clarity illuminates the mind to accept the truth, while confusion confounds the mind to accept falsity.

We will proceed to give three examples of equivocation.

i)The Ends of Marriage 3.


Until quite recently, the Holy Catholic Church has always taught that the primary end of Marriage is procreation, and the secondary end the reciprocal assistance, or love, between the spouses. Whereas at the Second Vatican Council, in the new code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and in various recent encyclicals, love is now put in the first place and procreation in the second (without, however, explicitly defining love as “the primary end” nor procreation as “the secondary end”).

Let us ask ourselves the following questions: Was the doctrine of the past true and the doctrine of the present false? Or was the doctrine of the past false and the doctrine of the present true? Or was the doctrine of the past true then but is false now? Or was the doctrine of the past true in one sense and is the doctrine of the present true in another sense? And in this case, why does the doctrine of the present take precedence over that of the past? And answer comes there none.

ii)The Holy Mass


In the final version of Art.7 of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (n. 27 in the 2000 typical edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal), the official introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, the Holy Mass is presented in these terms: ‘Missa seu Cena dominica....memoriale Domini seu sacrificium eucharisticum: the Mass or The Lord’s Supper[…] the Commemoration of the Lord or the Eucharistic Sacrifice’. In other words the Holy Mass is identified with the Lord’s Supper in the first instance and with the Commemoration of the Lord in the second. This, however, is an equivocation. The Holy Mass is the Lord’s Supper and the Commemoration of the Lord (that is Calvary) in a certain sense (not essential), but presenting it thus simpliciter, suggests that it is so essentially: which is a Protestant position.4 In other words, to present Holy Mass in terms laden with a Protestant sense, is to present it in a Protestant sense.

iii)The Papacy


Professor Romano Amerio, in his contribution at the Theological Congress “Sì, si, no, no” ‘The Dislocation of the Function of the Magisterium’ cites the following initiative expressed in an official document about ecumenism: ‘to discover a form of exercise of the Papacy, which, while not renouncing anything essential to its mission, opens up to a new situation’ and he comments: “This means: it cannot be renounced, but at the same time it can be renounced. It is an absolute principle, but it is not an absolute principle. The infallibility of the Pope is an immutable rock ‘but’… and when you say the ‘but’ the move has already been made.’

c)The Nature of Obscurantism


In summary, we have given various examples in order to show how Modernism obscures Catholic doctrine: it obscures the Catholic doctrine on sacrilegious Communion; on the order of the ends of Marriage; on the sacrificial nature of Holy Mass; and on the primacy of Peter.

However, it does not only obscure these doctrines, but it obscures them in favour of heresy, since keeping silent about sacrilege is the same as denying it; the reversal in listing the ends of marriage insinuates a reversal of their valuation; presenting Holy Mass in Protestant terms, favours Protestant theology on the Eucharist; and qualifying that which is absolute relativises it.

This obscurantism can be considered as a sort of partial or total eclipse of the Faith. It is partial when it consists of an equivocation which does not amount to a formal contradiction; it is total when it passes over Catholic doctrine in silence, or when it expresses the doctrine in contradictory terms: since the denial of the principle of non-contradiction regarding a given doctrine is the denial of the very possibility of its truth. The result of such denial is a Faith without truth: a Faith determined merely by sentiments and subjective attitudes, which is no longer Faith at all.


II The Consequences of Modernism


If the heresy of the past is like ‘a dagger thrust’ in the words of the Abbé Dulac, the modernist heresy is like a slow poison, in such a way that one can go to bed at night with the Faith and wake up in the morning without it.

Modernism acts like a slow poison inasmuch as, by obscuring a dogma, it weakens the virtue of the Faith: that is to say it weakens the adherence of the will to revealed Truth. In this way Modernism disseminates doubt about all the dogmas of the Faith.

As a result, dogmas are labelled as ‘problems’: ‘the problem of the Resurrection’, ‘the problem of Original Sin’, ‘the problem of Hell’, etc. However, the dogmas of the Faith are not problems: rather they are supernatural Truths 5. They are problems only for those who deny the Faith.

The Faith becomes a problem, then, and is relegated to a place alongside other Religions, or is treated as one theme amongst a variety of others. In this way the Faith is substituted for “fables”: ‘they will refuse to listen to truth and will turn to fables’: a veritate quidem auditum avertent, ad fabulas autem convertentur’ (2. Tim.4.4).

The members of the hierarchy and clergy, then, in an illegitimate exercise of their munus docendi, lend importance to other Christian confessions or religions, or alternatively, abandon in large measure the teaching of the true Faith in favour of subjects such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, or politics. Abandoning definitions and anathemata, they make recourse in their official declarations to cascades of intellectualizing and impenetrable verbiage and in their sermons to stories and jokes

The emptiness of this teaching, once stripped of its sophistication, is manifested all too clearly in the children’s catechesis. What visions of truth and of holiness are given them in the pure days of their childhood to root them in the Faith and in the life of the sacraments and the virtues, and to summon them in the final hours of their life to the embrace of Divine Mercy?6.

Obscuring a doctrine, in particular by denying the principle of non-contradiction, has a further, and even more notable, effect, inasmuch as it not only obscures the Faith in its entirety, but also the very notion of Truth. For Catholic doctrines are Truths, objective Truths, indeed they are absolute Truths, more certain than the truths of the senses; and to claim that at the same time and in the same way they can be both true and false, is to deny the very possibility of Truth.

The further one departs from the conception of objective truth and reality, the closer one draws to that of subjective truth and reality. In so doing, however, one is on the road that leads to madness, because madness is nothing other than embracing subjective reality.

The order of the True yields to the order of the Good. Truth is no longer considered a guide to behaviour, but “love”: love, however that is no longer defined by reality. This love, inasmuch as it is rational, is manifested in humanism, a humanism lightly coloured by Christianity with a tendency towards activism; inasmuch as it is emotional, it is manifested in sentimentalism and the excessive concern for the sensibilities of others.

The objective yields to the subjective, and the river of Modernism flows back into that vast ocean of subjectivism from whence it came.

[MODERNISM: an essay by Don Pietro Leone Monselice. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

_______________________________
Notes:

1.or, in the wide sense in which we understand heresy in this essay, a Traditional Catholic doctrine.
2.This is a reference to the passage I Cor. 11,23-29 in the Old Rite, where the verses 27-29 have been omitted in the New Rite.
3The Catholic Doctrine on the ends of Marriage is not a dogma, but rather a sententia certa, but as we said above, Modernism extends to all Traditional Catholic doctrines.
4.According to Martin Luther the Holy Mass is the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and a mere commemoration of Calvary, in contrast to Catholic Doctrine which teaches the that Holy Mass is essentially the Sacrifice of Calvary.
5 A number of them are also mysteries, but that does not make them problems either: mysteries are unfathomable to the reason but defendable by it.
6. The merit of the Catechism of St. Pius X, who explains with exemplary simplicity and clarity the central doctrines of the Faith, which was learned by heart by countless Catholics up to two generations ago. In the present times, which are even more dangerous to souls than the past, children are deprived of this most precious assistance for their salvation.

24 comments:

Barona said...

Excellent post. One other vile and sinister aspect of Modernism that really needs to be brought out is the the use of traditional, pious, orthodox words and terminology; along with pious practices... yet, the motivation behind is a subjectivist reduction. So what seems Catholic, looks Catholic is subverted to an evil end.

Gratias said...

Thank you New Catholic, and colleagues for seven years of apostolate. You have achieved much in the battle against modernism.

A Blessed Christmas to all of you (and to our resident poet Long-Skirts).

chaimbeul said...

Who gives this anonymous priest the right and authority to proclaim that the Novus Ordo is Protestant?

Francis said...

"Who gives this anonymous priest the right and authority to proclaim that the Novus Ordo is Protestant"?

@chaimbeul
You don't have to be a biblical scholar or liturgist to know that when 6 or 7 protestant advisors and a devout freemason named Annibale Bugnini invented the Novus Ordo in the 1960's under the guise of "ecumenism" and modeled it (the Novus Ordo) after a Calvivinist prayer service that it is, in many parts, protestant. All one has to do is assist at a TLM then go to a NO to see the difference.

Long-Skirts said...

Thank you, Gratias and thank you Rorate Caeli...

SANCTUARY STARS

To all my friends
I cannot see
I'll pray for you
On bended knee

On Christmas morn
At stable's side
Where Christ the King
Once did abide.

Amidst the stench
Of creatures low
Yet star above
Sent down its glow.

First Sanctuary light
Bold thing,
A beacon for
The hidden King.

And when bad men
Snuff earthly light
Stars are born
To light the night.

That's why He put the stars
So much
Up in the sky
Where men can't touch.

For candled flames
Men can bring low
Sanctuary stars
Won't lose their glow.

So at each stable
Be not forlorn
If bad men say
"He was not born!"

Look up O, man
The sky is flooded...
With Sanctuary light
Sanctuary-star studded!

Gabriel said...

@chaimbeul
He hasn't said any such thing. What he said is that the GIRM presents the Mass in a way which effectively promotes (or at least lends credence to) the Protestant understanding of its nature. This is not the same thing at all.

@NC and company.
I would like to echo the thanks expressed by Gratias for the service this blog has given to traditional Catholics these seven years. May it continue for many years to come.

Fritz the Cat said...

Long-Skirts,

Wonderful, wonderful doggerel! Please keep up the good work!

NIANTIC said...

Yes, a thousand thanks to NC and all contributors, as well as to all commentators, for RORATE CAELI. This is a beautiful apostolate which encourages Traditional Catholics never to give up, but to fight for the holy faith and traditions of our Holy Mother Church.
May God bless each and everyone!

Long-Skirts said...

Fritz the Cat said:

"Wonderful, wonderful doggerel!"

This is no battle of wits between you and me, Fritz. I would never pick on an unarmed man!

Merry Christmas and in the words of one of my sons when he was 3 yrs. old...

"POLICE" Navidad!!

Shane said...

Thanks for the article. I have a few questions on points that seem either obscure or wrong. However, I admit I may be wrong in my reading, so please help my understanding if you think I have missed the author's argument. I will post in several installments as a couple of my points required lengthier articulation.

1) For the past fifty years, by contrast, the heresies of Modernism have no longer been condemned; or if they have been condemned, they have been but seldom, feebly, and without sanctions. As a result almost the entire tree of the Church has by now been infested by error.

This infestation takes its cue from the Magisterium itself, from the teaching of the Church: of the hierarchy and the clergy. This said teaching constitutes an illegitimate use of the munus docendi entrusted to the Church by Our Lord Jesus Christ: a use illegitimate and therefore a use that also exceeds the competence of those who exercise it: a use that is extra vires.


My question: How does this not imply that the Church has contradicted itself on faith and morals in its official teaching aspect?

Shane said...

2)Clearly this silence, as indeed silence on any article of doctrine, is not merely something neutral: the failure to accomplish an act; but something positive: a veritable act, an act of denial. Because if someone is entrusted with a doctrine to preach as a moral principle and does not preach it, the only explanation possible is that he does not deem it necessary for moral conduct, and therefore, for all intents and purposes, he denies it.

First, what constitutes this 'silence' on matters of doctrine? Does the author mean that no pope or bishop since the 2nd Vatican Council has, at any time, taught doctrines concerning hell, mortal sin, etc.? Does the author mean they have not spoken of them often enough? Or does the author mean that when they have spoken on these topics, he has disagreed with the content of taught doctrine? As one example, the Catechism does teach on these topics. Does the author simply disagree with the teaching? Or does the Catechism not teach often enough or teach wrongly about them? Or, what seems very unlikely to me, is the author not aware that the present Catechism teaches these doctrines?

Secondly, by very definition of the words, silence is not identical with obstinate denial or doubt. If we all cannot agree that not speaking about a thing is not the same as denying the existence of said thing, we must have different understandings of language which also seems very unlikely to me.

This whole point seems, in fact, very important to me as it seems to highlight the nature of a true heretic: one who not only is unsure or uncertain of Church doctrine but actively teaches something contrary to it. However, not fully understanding, being uncertain of, or even silently doubting Church doctrines is not the same. The latter person shows respect for the Church by acknowledging his own individual imperfections and uncertainties without attempting to relay those doubts to others.

Which brings me to the author's analogy. Again, by definition, the headmaster has not denied the existence of the cable simply by not telling others about it. That is only one possibility as it is possible that the headmaster doubted the worker's word. But, perhaps, the headmaster knows the room, knows the cable in questions and does not agree with the worker that it poses a great danger. Perhaps, and this would be cruel (so let us hope none in the Church do this), the headmaster is silent, because he wishes students to enter the room and be injured. However, even in this latter instance, the headmaster's silence does not imply his denial of the existence of the cable though it would suggest that he doesn't want others to know of its existence. Anyways, the point is that silence could mean many things and does not necessarily imply denial as the words themselves suggest.

On this point about silence, the author seems to me to be saying something like, 'The Church is afraid of speaking about these harder doctrines, because she doesn't want to scare people away, but this is dangerous because people need to know these doctrines.' However, even in this case, there is no denial. Okay, nuff said on that point.

Shane said...

3)Professor Romano Amerio, in his contribution at the Theological Congress “Sì, si, no, no” ‘The Dislocation of the Function of the Magisterium’ cites the following initiative expressed in an official document about ecumenism: ‘to discover a form of exercise of the Papacy, which, while not renouncing anything essential to its mission, opens up to a new situation’ and he comments: “This means: it cannot be renounced, but at the same time it can be renounced. It is an absolute principle, but it is not an absolute principle. The infallibility of the Pope is an immutable rock ‘but’… and when you say the ‘but’ the move has already been made.'

The author did not comment on this, so I assume he agrees with the Amerio's assessment as an example of equivocation.

However, again, this seems to me to be reading some hidden intent in the words that is not expressed by the words themselves. The quotation used (I think from Ut Unum Sint) does not mention papal infallibility or specific dogma. In fact, it says that the Church must maintain that which is essential to the mission of the Papacy. Yet Amerio simply seems to think the document's writer is being disingenuous or outright lying, that, in fact, the writer really does want to renounce Papal teaching but wants to do so without saying that he is renouncing it.

This mode of criticism, however, seems to me an evasion of the actual content of the document. If Amerio or Don Pietro want to disagree with the content of the document, they should say why they disagree with it. Instead they criticize by saying simply that the writer of the document wants it both ways but doesn't want to say he wants it both ways.

That criticism ignores the actual distinction made in the exact quotation Amerio uses, that is, a distinction between the essential mission of the Papacy and the exercise of the Papacy. Perhaps Don Pietro doesn't think there is a distinction between these two. Maybe he thinks there is a distinction though poorly articulated. But Don Pietro should argue with the actual words of the text instead of arguing that the author didn't mean what he said or meant something other than what he said. For, the cited document did not actually say, 'Yes, we can renounce the Papacy and no we cannot renounce the Papacy.' What it said was, 'Let us work to maintain the essential mission of the Papacy while also working to adapt its exercise for the greatest benefit of the Church.' If Don Pietro thinks it's impossible to do both those things, let him show why he thinks so. If Don Pietro thinks that the essential mission of the Papacy and its exercise are the same thing (as seems to be implied if his argument is to be logical), then let him say so and say why he thinks so. However, it seems to me that, on this point, what we have is merely a statement of opinion and not an argument.

Those are a few of my questions and criticisms. As I said, I may be wrong and am willing to listen to explanation as it is possible I may have misread or oversimplified Don Pietro's article.

Mar said...

Congratulations to RC! Still, I wonder if those were the 7 lean years or the 7 plentiful years - and what the next 7 years will be like.

Thank you to NC and the other contributors, and to all those writing comments; despite manifestations of the influence of original sin in us all on many an occasion, RC maintains a certain dynamic which gives it more the character of a lifeline and an oasis than of a futility closet.

Last but not least in this particular instance, a very special thank you to Don Pietro Leone Monselice. He is a hero! May the Lord of Hosts raise up more and more such heroes in the Church Militant! For someone in the pews like myself, who sometimes feels that there is nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide even, the knowledge that there are still heroes 'out there' is a source of comfort and joy beyond description.

Malta said...

I love this site and its traditional stance.

However the sad reality is that 99.99% of the world's 1 billion catholics will continue to adhere to Modernism, the Novus Ordo, abortion, contraception, women's ordination, and the like.

Not to say they go to mass at all; they are 'catholic' in name only!

Patrick Langan said...

As an struggling ordinary catholic who has had the misfortune to be living in the times we are where the faith we thought we knew has be manipulated so ruthlessly. Even I who have always attended Mass and have saw this abuse daily and weekly can without perhaps the right and definitely without any authority except that of my own eyes and mind can without reservation proclaim the Novus Ordo Protestant in nature.

Steve Calovich said...

"As an struggling ordinary catholic who has had the misfortune to be living in the times..."

I disagree Patrick. We are living in the most fantastic times in the sense that, if you are standing fast and holding to tradition, it is because Our Lady is giving you a special grace! That is why Our Lady of the Rosary could promise at Fatima not only salvation, but a place at God's throne for embracing devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As far as the Papacy goes, the Holy Father has the power to judge Vatican II and its aftermath "ex cathedra". Then we would know for certain if it was good or bad. Christ gave the Popes that very commission, "Confirm thy brethren".

Paul said...

I'd call my local diocese somewhat orthodox. The priest talked about "false and true ecumenism." It's still ecumenism, but he distinguished from the "we're all just branches of a tree" to "no, we are the whole tree with all the branches." Anyway, they never speak out against sacreligious commonuion. I'm a pharisee and jansenist in that every time I am in mortal sin, sitting in my pew not going to communion, I flatter myself by saying "at least I am aware that I am in mortal sin and ain't I good for not taking communion sacreligiously like so many of these other folks". The human mind is funny like that. Still, the point I am coming too, is that once I heard them speak about it. It was in regards to the Divine Mercy devotion and whatever you can gain by contemplating that image during that day. What the priest said went something like this:

"You're supposed to commune with a spotless soul, and that means, for the best, that you could, should, could, but should, but only could, but should [he sounded like this] so that you are spotless when you commune", and it sounded like he meant that it was some sort of thing especially for this devotion. It was very odd. It made me a bit sad.

Sorry for bad and confusing English.

Kathleen said...

First and foremost -- many thanks to N.C. and Rorate for all you do! And thank you and Don Pietro Leone for bringing us his works!

And Malta -- you're right -- most N.O. attendees/non-attendees do actually prefer the banal as it is much easier and less demanding.

That's why it is inevitable that we will face severe persecution in the West -- at which point said Catholics-in-name-only, when they witness the suffering of devout Catholics, will apostatize as, again, it will be the easiest path.

But some of them can be converted and saved before that time and even during that time -- bringing us back to all the good work done here in winning souls for the Faith!

Kathleen said...

Paul,

I thought I'd pass along something from an Advent mission that I was just fortunate enough to attend that might help you with the problem of having prideful thoughts immediately after doing something virtuous -- which was a terrible problem for me even with as little reason as I'd have to indulge it.

There are a few key elements/pieces of humility to keep in mind:

1. All good we do comes from Jesus working through us. All bad is ours.

2. But those good works are building towards the slow process of our sanctification and the enemy hates them and wants to immediately ruin them. It is the Liar that whispers in our ear self-pleasure and spiritual price at the act of virtue.

3. THE most effective response is to LAUGH at Satan and his ludicrous lies. He has no sense of humor. He knows his whispers are a lie and you laughing at them will dispel them in effect.

Such a simple thing -- the laughter -- but it was a key element I was missing.

I hope it helps you and may God bless you!

Libera Me said...

The late Fr John Hardon used to say..."ordinary Catholics would not survive this age." I find this oft repeated statement of his increasingly fascinating especially since our Pope relabeled the Novus Ordo the "Ordinary Rite".

Jean-Francois said...

And Malta -- you're right -- most N.O. attendees/non-attendees do actually prefer the banal as it is much easier and less demanding.

That's why it is inevitable that we will face severe persecution in the West -- at which point said Catholics-in-name-only, when they witness the suffering of devout Catholics, will apostatize as, again, it will be the easiest path.


So if N.O. Catholics will apostosize so readily simply by virtue of their being N.O. Catholics, how do you explain the 99% of Catholics who apostosized in England in the 16th Century when the Usus Antiquor was the ordinary form. Why did our Lady show the children at Fatima a vision of souls falling into Hell like snowflakes? Was that a post-Vatican II vision or just in general?

Picard said...

Jean-Francois:

Many modern "Catholics" apostatize because of the N.O. or precise: the N.O. is not a strong means against apostasation but a means to help it.

The old-day Catholics apostatized despite of the T.L.M/Rites.

I am not Spartacus said...

When the Catholic Church took the decision to institute radical changes in the Mass and all of The Sacraments it vacated any reasonable ground for claiming that those changes were anchored in continuity or Tradition; that is, radical change has never been Catholic Tradition.

I was born into the Catholic Church in 1948 and the Church of that time was the same Church as The Church of all time and it would have been confessed to have been so by my Irish progenitors stretching back into the mists of time.

However, were they to be resurrected, my Irish ancestors would prolly die of angry shock to see what had become of their Holy Mother - it would be unrecognisable to them.

If there were continuity and not rupture in the Catholic Church due to V2, then please explain the iconoclasm.

Iconoclasm has been a recurring feature of the heretical eastern schismatic sect, not the one true Church and,so, if the Catholic Church of today is the same as the Catholic Church of the past, why did it encourage and/or allow the destruction of so many priceless works of sacred art and architecture?

All of the clearly radical objective changes can not be denied, wished away, or explained away as continuity with the past and every claim that is advanced that radical change is continuity is but the rhetoric of a failed modernist iconoclasm that, brick by brick, bounces off objective reality without destroying it.

JabbaPapa said...

A fairly decent essay on the consequences and the inherent confusions of Modernism -- though the essay sadly fails to clearly define Modernism ; though of course, this is not easily done.

Modernism is, briefly. the false notion that one's own individual and personal opinions should constitute the highest authority -- including one's personal opinions on the nature of Modernism itself !!!

It is easily understood, from such a basis, exactly how pernicious this heresy can be, and how one can -- quite unawares -- fall into the very trap of modernist thinking that one might be condemning (a trap that Dom Pietro himself has completely avoided, I hasten to say).

Just one quibble, though :

Let us look at sacrilegious Communion. This doctrine is almost never taught or preached any more.

This is inaccurate -- though it is certainly true locally.

"Almost never" is a clear exaggeration -- certainly, setting aside the arguments concerning communion in hand versus on the tongue. and those concerning one or two species in the Eucharist, the actually sacrilegious actions towards the Holy Eucharist most certainly ARE condemned and actively taught against in the ordinary Catholic Instruction provided throughout most of Southern Europe...