Rorate Caeli

Modern world: a desert of God

Dear Brothers, in the decades following the Second Vatican Council, some interpreted the opening to the world not as a demand of the missionary ardor of the Heart of Christ, but as a passage to secularization, ... . ... [C]ertain fundamental truths of the faith, such as sin, grace, theological life, and the last things, were not mentioned anymore.

Many ecclesial communities senselessly fell into self-secularization; attempting to please those who would not come, they witnessed many whom they had leave them, deceived and disillusioned: those of our time, when they come to us, want to see that which they do not see anywhere else, that is, the joy and hope that come forth from the fact that we are together with the risen Lord.

There is today a new generation already born within this secularized ecclesial environment who, instead of noticing an opening or consensus, sees in society a ditch of differences and contradictions to the Magisterium of the Church, above all in ethical matters, which widens itself more and more. In this desert of God, the new generation feels a great thirst for transcendency.
Benedict XVI
September 7, 2009


  1. Deo gratias! This is hopeful, to say the least.

  2. Joe Alex12:13 AM

    So, what what to do now? We eagerly await some concrete action.

  3. Telling it like it is, calmly, dispassionately, with the authority of Peter. Will they listen? Perhaps not for the time being, but the internet won't let them forget for long.

    God Save Pope Benedict XVI! Our Lady of Victories, intercede for him!

  4. Anonymous2:07 AM

    There is no statement that more clearly announces Pope Benedict XVI's rejection of modernism than this. May Our Lady of Victories grant to him the great victory of the collegial consecration of Russia.

    Deo Gratias et Mariae!

  5. For two thousand years there was enough missionary ardor without any "openings" - on the contrary.

  6. Anonymous12:16 PM

    to Hebdomadary :
    "Telling it like it is, calmly, dispassionately, with the authority of Peter. Will they listen?"

    You have the answer with the disgusting conclusions of 2006 CELAM in Aparecida. A forceful, infamous rebuke of all what the pope taught them !

    Purging the rotten Latin American episcopates should have been a priority of Benedict XVI but, unfortunately, he has been more inclined to appoint dubious candidates than John Paul II.

    And recently, the Curia has let abp Sobrinho down in a spectacular way, the pope accepting his resignation as quickly as possible, adding another touch to the Roman surrender.
    So it's a bit ... late to add strong words today, trying to mend with mere words what acts have done before.
    The Church needs acts in Latin America, not just good words ... in Rome.

  7. J G Rathkaj4:35 PM

    "The Church needs acts in Latin America, not just good words ... in Rome."

    After decades of continuing liberal hegemony in the various american episcopates the erst powerful structures of the church
    seem to be smashed to smithers. Interestingly enough the Holy See avoided an official statement when it was announced in August that Guatemala now preponderantly turned to protestantism in its various sects (60:40.
    so long as Rome remains passive and does not map out a grand strategy to reconquer souls in Latin America the massive apostasy relentlessly continues under the aegis of the liberal abnegators on the episcopal sees

  8. Anonymous4:53 PM

    Talk is cheap, I'm afraid. Stop appointing liberal (and apostate) bishops; refuse heretical "Catholics" like Ted Kennedy public funeral Masses (guess we "glossed" over that one, didn't we?); clean out the homosexual filth from all the semininaries; mandate replacement of the Tabernacle in the center of every Catholic Church on the planet; knock the Communion rails back in; fire all the lesbian nuns from catechesis; mandate habits for every nun; if you call yourself a nun, look like one...

    Oh, wait. I forgot. We're talking about Modernist Rome here. OK, never mind. Carry on. Nothing to see here.

  9. Viva Papa, Amen!

    This is not just a nice speech of a pope. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit telling to the Church in this world.

    "Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness, when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, Although they had seen all my works."

  10. The enigma that seems to be in His Holiness's make up is once again clearly visible here. On the one hand he speaks with the voice of one who not only respects but demands Tradition in practice and belief; on the other he refuses to grant temporary faculties to a small army (SSPX) that could help him in the struggle for the soul of the Church.

    Yes, doctrinal discussions are nice but what about salvation of souls, particularly in this corner of the globe with bad actors in Venezuela and Cuba showing forth their wares for all to see and much, much Kool-Aid to be drunk. Egads, it boggles the mind.

  11. Anonymous1:34 AM

    The Pope knows that much of what needs to be done concerns conversion of hearts and minds, and though juridical procedures and appointments are often key, they are not THE solution. Anyone who doubts that can google Cardinal Bernard Law. When he came to Boston, it was with a lot of hoopla on the orthodix side. He failed, tragically. Patience, prayer, personal conversion, penance.

  12. Paul Haley:

    No enigma. The SSPX apparently believe Truth and Authority have become divided in the post-conciliar Church.

    Luther himself could not have stated his objections to Catholic dogma more succinctly.

    One cannot expect the Holy Father to grant faculties to an order which includes some, including at least one Bishop, who apparently have ceased to hold the Catholic dogma concerning the indefectibility of the Church.

    The statement by the Holy Father is stunning in its authority and truthfulness.

  13. Anonymous4:42 PM

    Dear Rick D,
    I struggle with the issue of obedience in this confusing time. Frankly I see a plausible argument for the FSSPX position and so disagree with least in your comparison to Luther.

    Comparing the SSPX to the heretic Luther is not tenable in my opinion. Imagine if Luther nailed his thesis on an FSSPX Church door. I don't think that Luther would be received too kindly : )

    It would be good if the Pope would make more statements like the one you see as stunning in its authority and truthfulness.

    Most recently Pope BXVI made statements on St. Peter Damian. Writers ask if it is good that the Pope did not mention Saint Peter Damian's emphatic condemnation of sodomy. The Pope seems to think so.

    Furthermore, I see this same kind of omission as well as a revision of testimony of the Saints and Martyrs, in the Liturgy of the Hours, the updated religious orders, the Catechism and the NO preaching generally.

    Placing less emphasis on penance and suffering is the prerogative of V2 but to be silent about a main theme or to change the testimony of Saints and Martyrs seems to contradict the Magisterium in my opinion.

    - Jerry, TOSF

  14. John McFarland12:26 AM

    Mr. DeLano,

    The members of the SSPX believe that things are a lot worse than you are willing to admit. But they also believe in the indefectibility of the Church. You might consider how that can be. The reason is: the Catholic faith is about just that -- the faith; and not personalities. We can have Pius X; we can have Alexander VI and Julius II; but the Church is still the spotless bride of Christ, and the Faith is still the Faith. The Faith is the measure of authority; authority is not the measure of Faith.

    My own view of statements like the one that occasioned this topic is that they are holy sound bites. When you go elsewhere in the Pope's magisterium, you look in vain for much evidence that he shares the "missionary ardor of the Heart of Christ," unless for him those words mean the sanctified oneworldism of his latest encyclical.

    And indeed, he hasn't got more than a hundred words or so before we hear about the "great thirst for transcendency" among the young. First of all, what good is "transcendency" unless it eventuates in the Faith; and secondly, anyone in full possession of his faculties can see that the young are no more attracted to "transcendency" than their parents and their parents' generation. The Pope has exchanged his predecessor's the "springtime of Vatican II" for a new comforting illusion.

  15. Dear Anonymous:

    I do not suggest that the SSPX is like Luther in that they agree with his ninety five theses.

    I suggest that the SSPX is like Luther in that they both believe that Authority and Truth have become divided in the Catholic Church at some historical point.

    In other words, both Luther, and those partisans of the SSPX who have defended the heretical proposition that Authority and Truth have separated at some historical point in the history of the Catholic Church, have alike shown themselves to have denied the supernatural Dogma of our Faith that the Catholic Church is indefectible.

    There are dozens- no, hundreds!- of cases where this or that dogma of Faith may have been inadequately defended, poorly explicated, or even reprehensibly misrepresented by the magisterium.

    But that the supernatural essence of the Church should have changed, such that Truth and Authority have ceased to dwell in unity in her?

    Bunk, balderdash, and heresy.

    This is a matter of Faith, and not all the reasonable arguments of reasonable men from the beginning of the Church to the end of time can possess so much as a smidgeon of Truth against it.

    I deny, here and now, every argument of human ingenuity that has been advanced, or ever will be advanced, against the Dogma of Faith that Christ has constituted the Catholic Church indefectible, by His Own Virtue.

    If you disagree then I cordially and charitably pray that you will seek spiritual guidance from a Catholic.

  16. Anonymous3:55 AM

    Dear Rick D,
    Thank you for explaining your position more clearly.

    I do agree with you in that "the Dogma of Faith that Christ has constituted the Catholic Church indefectible, by His Own Virtue".

    I also agree with Catholic teaching that says that we can rely on our Fathers' teaching especially in evil times such as in those instances which you refer to and, I think, which is the situation today.

    I pray St. Joseph will give us wisdom in these confusing times.

    -Jerry, TOSF

  17. John McFarland5:55 AM

    Mr. DeLano,

    You say:

    "There are dozens- no, hundreds!- of cases where this or that dogma of Faith may have been inadequately defended, poorly explicated, or even reprehensibly misrepresented by the magisterium."

    "Reprehensibly misrepresented" is the kind of thing that Bishop Williamson means in speaking of the separation of truth and authority. However, we have to go a step further and say that that misrepresentation has been systematized and institutionalized in the conciliar and post-conciliar magisterium. So if you want to have the complete and unadulterated faith, the magisterium of the conciliar popes is the wrong good place to look for it.

    But to say that is not to contradict indefectibility. Alexander VI sacrificed his duty to concubinage and nepotism and money; Julius II to political power; the concilar popes to a dream of a universal one world state in which the Church would supply the spiritualizing element and we'd all live a happy and healthy and prosperous and uplifting life. These pontificates were scandalous, and led to more scandalous things still; but none of them are a challenge to the indefectibility of the Church. The complete and unadulterated faith can still be found, although it can take a lot of looking.

  18. that misrepresentation has been systematized and institutionalized in the conciliar and post-conciliar magisterium.

    That is, truth and authority have been separated in the post-Vatican II Catholic Church -- which is to say, the Catholic Church has defected. We either have the formal teaching of doctrinal error, or else we have the fracture of the Church into the heretical "conciliar" Church with its Magisterium (the one to which the Pope and his bishops and almost all Catholic faithful belong), and the "real" Church, a small remnant institutionally separate from the Catholic Church's Magisterium, with its own Magisterium. But either way, the Church has defected.

  19. Anonymous6:05 PM

    I for one, don't quit buy the separation of truth and authority to equate to the defection of the Catholic Church.

    Mr. McFarland says there are systemic problems and we have to look harder to find the truth today, I agree with that statement.

    Your comments to the modernist in the "State of Latin AMerica.." thread were impressive and seem to me that you agree largely with Mr. McFarland about there being systemic problems and issues of crisis.

    Historically God has always guided a "remnant" to make changes in His larger Church. Is this happening today? I hope so.



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