Friday, July 26, 2013

The Pope in Rio

Cleansing Fire quotes the Pope in Rio. It's a short read, but it's good food for thought. What do you suppose Pope Francis would think about the situation in the DOR and those who have spoken out against its 30-year policy of closing churches and whatnot.

Pope Francis would probably like CF

From the article:

It seems to be not only a clarion call to keep working for the good of Christ’s Church, in spite of the forces undermining that work, from inside and outside the Church, but also to involve the young even more in a most worthy fight, in THE most worthy fight — for souls.  What has happened here to so many parishes, and to so many souls, needs to be retold to a new set of ears, in a new day.  Isn’t this invitation of Pope Francis to the youth in Rio an invitation to all of us, not to settle for what we’ve received, but to re-emerge with what has been kept carefully in our hearts and memories?   Just because we had 30+ years of suffering and secrecy, and just because so much is still unaddressed nearly a year after Bishop Clark’s retirement, is no reason to abandon the story.  Most unanswered complaints need to be re-surfaced; that which is still undone needs to be revived.  A new bishop needs to receive it all.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our Catholic Faith

How often have you walked into church and absentmindedly dipped your fingers into Holy Water? Crossing ourselves, we don't truly understand the efficacy of water that has been exorcised. Perhaps we don't even understand why the Church offers this powerful sacramental for our use. Click here for a short essay on Holy Water. It is interesting to note that, towards the end, the priest mentions that he is speaking of Holy Water that has been blessed by the Tridentine rite. It uses prayers of exorcism and exorcised salt, and is longish (but not unduly so).

Having Holy Water and exorcised salt to use at home is a wonderful way to bless those who pass through the doorways of your house...or to keep out devilish spiritual creatures we wish to keep from troubling us. If you would like to have Holy water and salt that is blessed with the Tridentine rite, you can simply print out the rite and ask the priest to use it when blessing those items for your home.

Here is a comparison of the Tridentine rite and the newer rite. And here is a lively post with debate about the blessing of Holy Water with the two blessings.

Friday, July 12, 2013

On catechesis

Repenting of the Failure of Parish-Based Catechesis: Time for An Old Idea

From the article:

It's long past time for the Catholic Church in the United States to acknowledge and address the fact that in many, possibly most, dioceses, parish-based catechesis has been an abject failure. In the vaunted Year of Faith, it should sting all of our leaders and pastors that few of the ever-dwindling percentage of Catholics in the pews on a Sunday morning could pass a basic catechetical quiz. How many Gen X Catholics could name one of the precepts of the Church or recall any one set of the Mysteries of the Rosary? How many of our teenagers could list all Ten Commandments? How many First Communicants could recite the Acts of Faith or Hope, or name the Seven Sacraments? The terrible, tragic, and fundamental truth for 21st-century Catholicism is, not many!

(H/t to Cleansing Fire)

Monday, July 1, 2013

On ecumenism

The Second Vatican Council's Decree Unitatis Redintegratio set forth the Church's efforts to promote Christian unity. In 2004, the Vatican hosted a meeting to see what 40 years of ecumenical effort had wrought. While reporting much that was positive, it did note a few issues, among which was the need for "reflection on how to respond to the problem of aggressive proselytism," (more on that in a bit).

It was also noted that some Evangelical and Pentecostal groups (most notably in Latin America) tend to  dismiss Catholicism as a non-Christian religion. Bishop Brian Farrell, who heads up the ecumenical effort at the Vatican spoke about the Church's worldwide efforts since Vatican II in this 2012 interview:

Bishop Farrell is an articulate and Christly voice for the Church. He speaks eloquently about Blessed Pope John Paul II and his efforts at Christian unity with the Eastern Churches, as well as with our Jewish brethren. He also mentions Pope Benedict XVI's views on 'spiritual unity' with other Christians. Nowhere is there suggested an evolution to a stance that is not within the parameters of the Church's Apostolic Tradition and Magisterium. In his report, Bishop Farrell stated, "In a world that has changed much since the Second Vatican Council, a new realism permeates the Catholic approach to the restoration of unity. It is clearer than ever that ecumenism can only be promoted on a solid doctrinal basis, on serious dialogue between divided Christians." (Emphasis added)

Ecumenism does not mean that Catholics must abandon their Traditions or traditions, or that they should take on doctrines or practices that are not explicitly Catholic. Watering down the Catholic Faith through a false ecumenism was not the goal of Unitatis Redintegratio. One failed example can be found here, wherein a homosexual Episcopal bishop attempts to trash the Catholic Church for not embracing his personal sexual choices. Fr. Z disposes of the silliness in one short blog post.

Do note, however, that the Episcopal bishop comments on the statistic (true or not) that ex-Catholics comprise the third largest religious group in the USA. If Catholics are leaving the Faith in droves, could it partly be as a consequence of having the Faith watered down to the point that it differs little in substance from other denominations? The Wesleyans in Corning certainly find that many ex-Catholics are quite at home there. And there is also a contingent of Pentecostals working the sheep in our own parish (and have been for quite some time).

Aggressive proselytism. It is quite distressing, particularly when cloaked in a false ecumenism. Added to that is the monstrous lack of catechism on the part of many Catholics for two generations now. Ecumenism, Bishop Farrell states, "...can only be promoted on a solid doctrinal basis, on serious dialogue between divided Christians."

Think about it. Catholics in our parish are being encouraged to hear preaching from non-Catholics, are being encouraged to attend Pentecostal tent revivals in order to do what--promote ecumenism? To experience how the "other side lives"? To show how wonderfully understanding we are? To have a unique spiritual experience? Why?

According to the Church, ecumenical activities are to be promoted on a "solid doctrinal basis, on serious dialogue..."

Is that what is going on at All Saints Parish? A program of ecumenism based on solid doctrine and serious dialogue?