Friday, October 11, 2002

Why do traditional Catholics oppose the ecumenism as practiced by the current hierarchy?

Because we adhere to the teachings of the popes. In the comments section, many of the readers have recommended Pius XI's Mortalium Animos. Another papal document on this question is Pope St. Pius X's letter on the Sillon. You can read it here.

And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.

Under the pretext of freedom and human that doesn't sound familiar, does it?

A reader writes in to ask

Could somebody please provide an authoritative definition of "ecumenism" (as
defined in an authoritative Church document)? I've only been Catholic for
three and a half years, and I truly can say that I have NEVER heard an
authoritative definition of what "ecumenism" is. I've heard all kinds of
speculation, and I've read all of the documents that deal with "ecumenism",
but I am still at a loss for the definition. I am honestly seeking an
answer here.

Sincerely In Christ,
Rick A. Orr Jr.

If you have any ideas, you can e-mail Rick at

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Since it is the month of October...

There is a fascinating article on the Our Lady of the Rosary website called the Mystery of the Wizard Clip. Now when I first read this story I was skeptical. Could something like this really happen? But thanks to the magic of Google I found that even non-catholic sources attest to its authenticity. This includes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the respected West Virginia Historical Magazine.

The story on the whole is rather uplifting but it does contain one ominous note. It is said that:

On one occasion, when Mr. Livingston's family assembled in one room, they saw a man in the midst of them and supposing him to be a beggar, as he was poorly dressed and barefooted, the day being cold, Mr. Livingston offered him clothes and shoes, which he accepted but said they were not needed where he came from. He tarried for some time, instructing them in the Christian doctrine and talking to them. He told them; "Luther and Calvin were in Hell and every soul that was lost through their fault added to their torments." When he left the house, Mr. Livingston thought to watch him, to see where he went, as they had not seen him when he came in; they saw him go out by the front part of the house and then disappear.

Now you can all make of it what you will but I will say that it did give me pause.

Ever notice that neo-catholics always use the word schismatic when talking about the Society of Saint Pius X?

I guess this is supposed to scare everybody away from them. But this is the age of ecumenism not counter-reformation. Its the reign of JP 2 not St. Pius V. So I've made a list of the top 3 things about being "schismatic" in the post-v2 church.

3. The Holy Ghost uses your church as a "means of salvation"(V2: Unitatis Redintegratio)
2. Your church is a "sister church" and the idea of returning to the Catholic Church is "outdated ecclesiology"(Balamand Declaration)

and finally,

1. You get to stand next to the Pope when he opens the door for the jubilee year

Ok I don't mean to keep picking on Bill Cork but I just can't let this one pass.

He says in response to Bob Sungenis: "As to the epithet, "liberal Catholic" -- since this is how he refers to John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger, and Walter Kasper, I feel like I am in fine company."

Walter Kasper? Walter Kasper? Is he kidding? He is liberal even according to most conservative catholics. If what is written at this site is true, he might not even be a Catholic.

According to the article, Kasper's treatment of Our Lord's miracles is thoroughly modernist. It quotes him as saying of them:

"These non-historical stories are statements of belief in the salvific meaning of the person and message of Jesus."

Non-historical stories? That's how you would describe Jack and the Beanstalk not the miracles of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

I have always thought that if God had a favorite sport it would be baseball. I'm not sure why though. Maybe its the fact that it is played without regard to a clock. Or its essential continuity down through the years. I don't know. Anyway, now that my Diamondbacks are out of the post-season I'm hoping the Twins will take it. What a great story that would be.

Shawn at his blog Rerum Novarum has removed his references to my comments as "Ku Klux Katholicism." I thank him for that. He still calls me a "yellow-bellied poltroon" but at least its a step in the right direction.

The whole issue of the magisterium is at the heart of the debate between conservative vs. traditional Catholics. An excellent article on this can be found here

It quotes Catholic sources that make 3 distinctions in the papal magisterium. You have:

1. Extraordinary Infallible Papal Magisterium
2. Ordinary Infallible Papal Magisterium
3. Papal Magisterium that is mere authenticum, that is, only "authentic" or "authorized" as regards the person himself, not as regards his infallibility

I think both Shawn and I would put the teachings of John XXII in the third category. Now the difference between us is that I would put much of what JP II has said and written also in the third category. In times of crisis in the Church such as we are witnessing now, we can withhold our assent to teaching of the third category when there is, as Dom Pau says, "....a manifest discordance between the pontifical affirmation and the doctrine which had hitherto been taught."

Neo-catholic apologist I. Shawn McElhinney has made some comments on this blog at his site here

First I would like to thank Mr. McElhinney for taking the time out of his day to respond. Although I have become a convert to Tradition by a thorough study of the issues, I'm always willing to be convinced by solid argumentation. I think it's unfortunate that he refers to my comments as "Ku Klux Katholicism" but I have come to expect such ad-hominem attacks from the neo-catholic establishment. I will not respond in kind. I think Mr. McElhinney is an excellent apologist and I especially recommend his article on the ante-nicene development of papal primacy.

I will take Shawn's points one by one. First off are his comments on Pope John XXII's erroneous teaching on the beatific vision. It seems we basically agree on the facts of the case but we differ on the interpretation.

Shawn makes essentially two points in his post. His first contention is that the matter at issue had not been decided. Of course this is true. If it had been decided definitively, Pope John XXII would have been condemned as a heretic. But remember, my opposition to the statement of Bill Cork is only the part where he states that "What is more, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic magisterium even if they proclaim those teachings in an act that is not definitive." So now we get to the heart of the matter...

His second contention is that the teachings of John XXII were not magisterial. But I don't see why not. Shawn would have to agree that the oral teachings of Popes can certainly be considered magisterial because the heretical "Reflections" document cites mere speeches of John Paul II to support its novel teaching that the Jews don't need Jesus. It is only Shawn's opinion that they could not be considered magisterial and I certainly think Cardinal Orsini would disagree.

Finally, however one interprets the facts of the John XXII affair, the traditionalist position is vindicated. Certainly there has been no magisterial teaching that it is ok to invite snake worshipers to pray for peace to their false gods. So traditionalists, like the Dominicans of John XXII's time, can stand up and just say no!

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Interesting thing I picked up from google. This site has all of the ecumenical councils of the Church listed. Now look what the Council of Basle has to say about the jews.

By these salutary instructions it desires to provide measures whereby Jews and other infidels may be converted to the orthodox faith and converts may remain steadfastly in it.

Now what strikes me is not just that the Church had a specific mission to the jews. It's more the fact that it referred to them as "jews and OTHER infidels". Now tell me, can this teaching of an ecumenical council be reconciled in any way with the Reflections document of the American bishops.

I got an answer to my question from Mark Shea

He writes in an e-mail:

"I remember you. You got yourself kicked off my blog. And now I can kill file you too! How considerate! Thanks!


Now that's what I call neo-catholic charity at its best!

Now about the Bob Sungenis controversy.....

I still haven't heard from the opponents of Mr. Sungenis how they can charge him with anti-semitism WITHOUT implicating our own popes and saints. For example, Pope Saint Pius V ordered the jews expelled from the papal states. I'd like an honest answer from Bob's critics. Was Pius V, one of only two popes to be canonized in the last 500 years, an anti-semite?

The Remnant has an excellent article by Christopher Ferrara on the appropriateness of the term neo-catholic to describe the legion of so-called conservative catholics who really aren't about conserving anything at all.

Bill Cork writes a statement of faith that includes the following:

What is more, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic magisterium even if they proclaim those teachings in an act that is not definitive.

A statement like this is why I believe, to paraphrase Newman, that to be deep in history is to cease to be neo-catholic. Has Bill heard of Pope John XXII? This is the pope who in the 14th century taught from the pulpit that souls would not attain the beatific vision until after the final judgment. Did all the Catholics of that time just accept this teaching with religious submission of will and intellect ? Of course not. They rose up in opposition with Cardinal Orsini even calling for a council to declare him a heretic. With all the pressure he faced, the Pope appointed a commission to study the issue and he eventually recanted of his error on his deathbed. I shudder to think of what would have happened if the men of that day had the erroneous view of the papacy that so many neo-catholics have today.