Monday, May 31, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Tuesday, May 29-June 1, 2010

On this year's production of the Oberammergau Passion Play

An article posted at AQ contained the following paragraph:

Somewhat more removed from Church control is the Oberammergau Passion Play,the famous Bavarian portrayal of Christ’s Passion which is by now a huge commercial institution. This year, for the first time, the play is designed to emphasize that Jesus was a reform-minded rabbi who was unalterably opposed to institutions and hierarchy. Thus the new play demonstrates once again the dangers of interpreting Revelation without a guiding authority. Suddenly the Meaning of Life is determined by our own (or, more likely, some elitist director’s) vibes.
and that whole article is worth reading for its point about a teaching authority being necessary for the faithful transmission of any body of revealed truth]

There's also more on this silliness here("Jesus was against hierarchy and against institutions") and in the comments here.

Death of Mr. Geoffrey Chapman

From an obituary in Saturday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald:

Geoffrey Chapman, 1930 - 2010

Sydney seminarians were Geoffrey Chapman's best customers in the Commonwealth when he began publishing Catholic books in the late 1950s.

Their support enabled him to build a small suburban press into the leading English language purveyor of the ideas that led to Vatican II.

When the council concluded, its documents, translated into English, aptly bore the imprint of Geoffrey Chapman. By then, he was the publisher of choice to the Vatican II generation of Catholics.

[...] At university, [Mr. Chapman and his wife] had been part of the vibrant Catholic subculture energising the Newman Society of Victoria. They had resisted B. A. Santamaria's attempts to take over the society. In London they made contact with like-minded Catholics in the church's main youth movement and offered to see through the press two collections of vanguard writings. Thus they discovered a vocation to be publishers.

On borrowed money Chapman travelled to the US, where Fides Publishers took him in and taught him the trade. ''They fed him, lodged him, encouraged and gave help, ideas, information and friendship,'' his wife later said. ...

[...] Soon, however, he and Sue were seeking authors of their own. An outstanding editor, Sue scoured the Catholic world to find writers who could explore the new territories opening up in church life. Many of her authors were French and all of them looked forward to a better church. Among these early books were essays by the Melbourne group gathered around the poet Vincent Buckley and lectures given in Sydney by an English scholar, Alexander Jones.

[...] The opening of the Second Vatican Council, in 1962, took Chapman to Rome, where he got to know and assess bishops and the experts brought to the council. Never overawed by bishops, he yet found lifelong friends in the hierarchy. One was the Archbishop of Durban, Denis Hurley, a courageous opponent of apartheid. Others were the Archbishop of Hobart, Guilford Young, star of the Australian bishops, and Cardinal Augustin Bea, the Vatican's point man on ecumenism.

When the Herald's Rome correspondent Desmond O'Grady alerted Chapman to the publication of a diary kept by the late Pope John XXIII, he rushed to Rome and sealed a deal giving him exclusive world rights to an English translation. Competitors were kept at bay, making its publication, in 1965, a coup for the Chapman firm. By request, first copies went to Buckingham Palace and to Pope Paul VI's personal library.

By then, Geoffrey Chapman publishing was well known throughout the English-reading world. Needing recapitalisation, in 1969, the firm was sold to a US conglomerate. A few years later, both Chapmans joined the William Collins firm as the nucleus of a liturgical publishing enterprise. Their task was to mass produce missals and service books in English in line with the Vatican II reforms of Catholic worship. Later they would do a broad ecumenical hymnbook for Australia and a multilingual prayerbook for South African Anglicans.

[...] His place in history is assured by the fact that no one can tell the story of Vatican II without reading the books he published.

[... Obituary by] Edmund Campion


See also here and here. His enthusiastic involvement in the diffusion of the Spirit of Vatican II notwithstanding, may he rest in peace.

Prof. Ormerod on Vatican II

An article at CathNews mentioned the following about its author:

Neil Ormerod is Professor of Theology at Australian Catholic University. He contributed to the volume of essays, Vatican II: Did anything happen? He also has an article soon to appear in Theological Studies (Sept 2010), on the debate on continuity and discontinuity at Vatican II.

I would be interested to read both works.

More from Joshua on the Carthusian Rite

"The Modern Carthusian Mass":

The Sybil on how The Diocese of Wollongong might report to Rome on its post-Summorum-Pontificum experiences

The original Sodomites: The first recorded to complain about people being 'judgemental'!

Here's a comment which was posted at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog:

The first people in Scripture to cry “judgmental” were the Sodomites, who

surrounded the house; 5 and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them” (Gen. 19:4-9 RSV-CE).

Plus ça change...

Comment by Hieronymus Illinensis — 30 May 2010 @ 2:44 am
[bold and italics in the original,]

Vynette on Tradition

Here's a comment by Vynette, whom you might recall from her visit to Mr. Schütz's blog last year, in a thread at Catholica:


You are assuming that the late "oral transmission" theory championed by so many biblical scholars is the correct one.

In fact, the New Testament is so full of Semitic syntax, vocabulary, idioms, and thought patterns that these intricacies and peculiarities could not possibly have survived years of oral transmission, particularly in a foreign environment and language [Greek], and then been written down in a foreign [Greek] language.

Some of the New Testament's apparently difficult passages can only be understood by studying the underlying Hebrew text.

In reality, the gospels we have now were written originally in Hebrew, or compiled from Hebrew notes, before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

["by vynette, Brisbane, Australia, Friday, May 28, 2010, 08:37 (4 days ago)",]

But if the New Testament "can only be understood by studying the underlying Hebrew text" (which Hebrew text we don't even have), then what good is it to those who aren't experts in Classical Hebrew and its literature and culture? We can't all be expected to attain that kind of expertise, so wouldn't some kind of teaching authority be necessary? With a Divine promise of indefectibility, such a teaching authority would be secure against the pitfalls from which oral Tradition would otherwise suffer.

An index fund aimed at Catholics

Here's a story from page 2 of yesterday's Sydney Daily Telegraph's Your Money supplement:

Many of us look for divine intervention when it comes to investing, so the answer may be upon us.
The Stoxx Europe Christian Index has been launched and the index fund has been Vatican-approved.
The fund is a compilation of 533 European companies that adhere to Catholic values, which means no profits from porn, gambling, weapons, tobacco or birth control.
Faith funds have been around for a long time. In fact, back in the 18th century the Quakers refused to invest in tobacco and the slave trade.
There are kosher funds in Israel and Sharia compliant funds operate through the Muslim world.
In Australia, we have ethically and socially responsible investment funds. Returns from these types of funds have been around the average.
H.H. The Pope on freedom of religion and its relation to democracy and development


VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS) - ...

[...] "I also wish to express my appreciation", [His Holiness] concluded, "for the efforts being made by everyone, especially the authorities, to strengthen relations of respect and esteem among the country's religious groups. Freedom of religion helps to enrich democracy and promote development".
CD/ VIS 20100528 (540)

Disappointing to see that kind of unqualified endorsement of 'freedom of religion', which, understood as a civil liberty, is evil in itself and is only conducive to the common good when it is the lesser of the two evils of, on the one hand, offences against the Catholic religion and, on the other hand, the disruptions which would result from repression of offences against the Catholic religion when there are many such offenders.

Blog/DB comments by me

At AQ:

"We were troubled with equating a living Catholic prayer for the conversion of Jews, newly endorsed by the Pope, with several obscure references from the Talmud that have no practical role in Jewish life today."

Really, "no practical role in Jewish life today"? Not according to Prof. Shahak:

"Of particular note, however, is the fact that the daily "blessings" of Judaism contain a curse against Christians. As Professor Israel Shahak of Hebrew University tells us, "in the most important section of the weekday prayer--the 'eighteen blessings'--there is a special curse, originally directed against Christians, Jewish converts to Christianity and other Jewish heretics: 'And may the apostates have no hope, and all the Christians perish instantly.' (20)" "

Furthermore, if someone says to you 'I will give you something which you would value greatly if you give me something which you value little' then you'd accept the offer, wouldn't you? So if a Catholic prelate says to Mr. Foxman 'We will given you something which you would value greatly--namely, the removal of liturgical references to the conversion of the Jews--if you give us something which you value little--namely, "several obscure references from the Talmud that have no practical role in Jewish life today"', then he should eagerly accept the offer, shouldn't he? Or is the Talmud more valuable to him than he is letting on?


At Terra's blog:

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Cardinal Pole said...

There's a good
comment at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's post on the topic--unsurprisingly, it turns out that the Sodomites (note the capital s) are the first people recorded as complaining about people being 'judgemental'!

June 1, 2010 4:26 AM
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At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 1, 2010 at 5:30 am

In other words, it forbids the Social Reign of Christ and imposes the Social Reign of Pilate.

Cardinal Pole
June 1, 2010 at 5:32 am

I’ve been interested in the Australian experience of Vatican II for some time now, and so I checked out this programme’s website last week (the Compass website didn’t have a transcript). I suspected that the website’s “Talent profiles” page told me all I needed to know about its agenda: Not one of the priests interviewed could be bothered wearing conspicuously clerical attire, and the rest of the interviewees seemed pretty ‘Spirit of Vatican II’. If I understand correctly, did they not interview anyone who opposed the illicit marriage of Revelation and Revolution and the bastard rites which issued therefrom? Didn’t the producers think to visit an S.S.P.X. chapel and interview one of the older members of the congregation? They had a token Aborigine (despite the fact that, by the look of her, she wasn’t even old enough to remember the early post-Vatican-II period, though corrrect me if I’m wrong), but they couldn’t find a token Traditionalist? I suppose that that wouldn’t have ‘woven seamlessly’ into their ‘narrative’.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Angela of Merici, Virgin, A.D. 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Notes: Friday, May 28, 2010

Unrest among the Nationals over Mr. Abbott's paid parental leave policy

Here're some excerpts from the article in today's Herald:

The policy is unpopular throughout the junior Coalition party for a variety of reasons but nobody wants to cause a split so close to an election.

One Nationals MP, Darren Chester, has gone public, telling Parliament yesterday that providing paid parental leave with nothing for stay-at-home mothers was discriminatory.

''It sends a message to the community that the government places more value on the offspring of working mothers than on the offspring of stay-at-home mothers,'' he said.

Mr Chester advocated a scheme in which mothers would be paid to stay at home until the child was ready for school. ''Returning to work and putting children into childcare often creates a giant money-go-round where no one is happy,'' he said.

[...] Several sources told the Herald the Nationals do not like the concept because it breaches the pledge to not increase taxes as well as offering nothing for stay-at-home mothers. There are a lot more stay-at-home mothers in the country where more families get by on single incomes.

''It's not the flavour of the month with us,'' said a senior National yesterday. Another said the party disliked the concept but considered the Rudd government a greater problem. To split publicly over the policy would hinder its goal of defeating the government, he said.

Views on paid parental leave are being vented internally as Parliament debates the Rudd government's $263 million taxpayer funded scheme. It will pay carers the minium wage of $453 a week for 18 weeks.

[...] Two National Party MPs, Kay Hull and Mr Chester, complained about the Coalition policy during Tuesday's party-room meeting, prompting Mr Abbott to declare the party had to move on from the Howard government view that mothers should stay at home with their children.

At the same meeting, Mr Abbott stressed the need for unity. In addition, the Nationals have already threatened a split on amendments to renewable energy target legislation.

In Parliament yesterday, Mr Abbott said women should not be forced to choose between career and family.

Mr Abbott had wanted to announce payments for stay-at-home mothers as part of his budget address-in-reply but was overruled by the shadow cabinet.

Discussion at CathPews on the increased frequency of late-term abortions in Victoria

National Observer: Article on John F. Kennedy

The National Observer ("Australia's leading current affairs quarterly specialising in domestic and international politics, security-related challenges and issues of national cohesion") has been brought to my attention, and I thought I'd bring it to your attention too. It looks like a good publication. The latest issue has a review by Mr. R. J. Stove (an Australian Traditional Catholic and occasional commenter at this blog) of the book The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960. Here's an excerpt:

At least Ku Kluxers avoided the responsibilities of cognitive stature. More subtle and equally obstreperous was the Protestant intellectual establishment of 1960, for which Kennedy’s presidential hopes meant a flagrant attack on the so-called "separation of church and state". Never mind that the US Constitution’s First Amendment, ostensibly guaranteeing this separation, guarantees no such thing. Never mind that outside America, Protestantism usually scorned church-state rifts (as the histories of Edinburgh, Geneva and Pretoria show). Never mind that Jefferson — usually credited with demanding "a wall of [church-state] separation" — was no Christian at all, but a crypto-Jacobin, Bible-doctoring Deist. Jefferson’s views have no more relevance to any Christian nation’s beliefs than do those of the nearest imam, bonze or lama (who, unlike Jefferson, does not claim Christological expertise). These uncomfortable data mattered nought. JFK called himself a Catholic; Catholics owed their first allegiance to a foreign power; ergo, JFK owed his first allegiance to a foreign power. On this syllogistic theme, America’s Protestant press devised seemingly inexhaustible variations, many of which displayed an obsessive terror that Kennedy, if elected, would prohibit contraceptives. (The press either did not know or did not care that every Protestant church in the world prohibited contraceptives until 1930.)
[italics in the original]

From yesterday's issue of the daily CathNews e-mail bulletin:

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett does not support a Liberal backbencher's call to make women seeking abortions first undergo 3-D colour ultrasound imaging and view the foetus.

Mr Peter Abetz, who made the proposal at an anti-abortion rally at Parliament House in Perth on Tuesday, said a study in the US had shown that 89 percent of women committed to having abortions had not gone ahead with the procedure when shown 3-D colour ultrasounds of the foetuses they were carrying, according to an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Abetz also would like to see a 48-hour 'cooling off period' after women have applied for an abortion, the report said.

But Mr Barnett told Fairfax Radio on Wednesday that he did not support mandatory ultrasounds.

"I understand what Peter is saying, but I think that would put a huge amount of personal pressure on someone who is already going through somewhat of a personal crisis, so I don't support that." [...]

On the Novus Ordo Missæ and one of the anathematisms of the Council of Trent

The following comment was made at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog:

@MichaelJ: I would certainly say that the translation is defective and expresses a falsehood.

I did not say that the translation was free of defects of accuracy but meant that the resultant text is free of intrinsic defects, meaning defects of faith, and that anyone who says otherwise is anathematized by decree of the 7th Session of the Council of Trent:

CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned…let him be anathema.

Comment by C. — 27 May 2010 @
6:06 am
[italics in the original,]

Note the wording, though: Not just "approved", but "received and approved", which was also the teaching of an earlier Council (I can't remember which one). A recent issue of The Fatima Crusader dealt with this in one of its articles. The N.O.M. might have been approved (though even on that point doubts have been raised--see the S.S.P.X.'s American District website and Iota Unum, especially the translator's footnote in the Sarto House English translation), but its staunchest defenders could not say that it is a received rite--as everyone knows, it was cobbled together by a committee. Hence that anathematism does not apply to the N.O.M.

Joshua on the Carthusian Rite

This post of his contains some interesting information about that Rite. Joshua mentions parenthetically that
It is a little-known fact that the wise Carthusians retain their own proper form of the Roman Rite, having reformed it in 1981, to produce a new edition of the Missale Cartusiense. Amongst many other appealing features, it contains:

•no penitential rite other than the Carthusian Confiteor;
•substantially the traditional one-year lectionary (with Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia or Tract, and Gospel);
•no modern Offertory prayers;
•none of those modern Memorial Acclamations;
•a rubric specifying that the Eucharistic Prayer is normally said secretly, others ordering it be said with hands extended in the form of the cross;
•no response "For the kingdom..." after the Embolism;
•and finally the Placeat.
and the whole post is worth reading.

Here's a comment I've left there:
Cardinal Pole said...

Thank you for this information about the Carthusian Rite, about which I have wondered.

"Well may we pray that this fine prayer is re-inserted into the Ordinary Form of the Mass!"


Friday, 28 May, 2010
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Friday in the Octave of Pentecost, A.D. 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notes: Thursday, May 27, 2010

Two newspaper letters on Mr. Abbott's paid parental leave policy

Here's a good letter, published, in slightly different forms, in today's issues of both The Sydney Morning Herald (which published it under a sneering little heading) and The Australian:

What's wrong with Libs' picket fence?

''A true conservative moves with the times,'' says Tony Abbott (''Abbott tells Libs to forget Howard and back parental leave'', May 26). Was this an unscripted comment, or has he lost his dictionary?

A true conservative retains those traditions and values that have stood the test of time. Mothers caring for babies and toddlers - at least until age two or three - is such a tradition, and studies show children greatly benefit. Most of those mothers will return to the outside workforce when their children become more independent.

Mr Abbott wants to punish conservative mothers. Unless they return to paid work by the time their babies are six to 12 months old they miss out on his generous maternity leave of up to $75,000, financed by a great big new business tax which all of us would pay for with increased prices.

This policy is discriminatory. It is also harmful social engineering. Think again, Tony.

Roslyn Phillips Tea Tree Gully (SA)

Social engineering
From: The Australian May 27, 2010 12:00AM

A TRUE conservative "moves with the times", says Tony Abbott ("Abbott's plea on paid parental leave", 26/5). Was this an unscripted comment, or has he lost his dictionary?

Actually, a true conservative retains those traditions and values which have stood the test of time.

Mums caring for their babies and toddlers at least until the age of two or three is one of those traditions, and studies show children greatly benefit from it. Most of those mums will return to the workforce when their children become more independent.

Abbott wants to punish conservative mothers. Unless they return to paid work by the time their babies are six to 12 months, they will miss out on his generous maternity leave of up to $75,000, financed by a great big new business tax which all of us would pay for through increased prices.

This policy is discriminatory. It's also harmful social engineering.

Roslyn Phillips, Tea Tree Gully, SA

And here's an even better one, from The Australian's "Last Post" section of its Letters page:

Shame on Tony Abbott for espousing a paid parental leave scheme which treats stay-at-home mothers as second-rate. His policy will further encourage women to be careerists who leave the raising of their children to institutions - de facto orphans, as it were.

Ann Crawford, Tynong, Vic

Tynong is, of course, the veritable 'capital city' of Catholic Tradition in Australia.

More from Joshua on liturgical matters

"The History of the Mass":

... late-term abortions have skyrocketed at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne after Victorian laws fully legalising abortion were passed in 2008. Three late-term abortions a week are now performed at the hospital. Doctors and nurses are feeling “traumatised” as a result. This even appeared on a Seven News segment ...

The news item really botched the story, claiming almost all such abortions were necessary to save the life of the mother. This is in fact rarely the case, and both baby and mother are generally perfectly healthy. ...

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Thursday in the Octave of Pentecost, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On the push to punish for murder or manslaughter those who kill late-term unborn babies

The Sydney Daily Telegraph has been running this for the past couple of days and I see it's being discussed at The Punch:

and at Cath Pews:

Arabella made the following comment at the latter:

I can't imagine any law coming into being which would impinge upon a woman’s ‘right’ to abortion.

A paragraph from a USA court case around abortion sums up the current state of affairs well I believe. Basically the way of life in countries such as the USA and Australia now depends upon the availability of abortion.

The Roe rule's limitation on state power could not be repudiated without serious inequity to people who, for two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.
See paragraph ‘e’ at link.

A website which monitors Facebook posts

I saw this in today's Herald. Here's the U.R.L.:

Might be useful.

"Testimony to the Primacy of the Pope by a 17th c. [Ruthenian] Orthodox Prelate"

Interesting article on AQ. Here's an exerpt:

The appropriate solution would be the following: Let all recognize the primacy. The Apostolic See ought to content itself with this without changing or abandoning any of its principles and basic rights. It is real union and not mere change that we must seek. Now, the constitution and nature of union is to unite two realities and to safeguard each natural integrity. That which existed previously should exist today; that which did not exist previously ought to be suppressed. That which has always existed is the Sovereign Pontiff regarded as the first and supreme pastor in the Church of Christ, as the Vicar of Christ, the Chief. May that be conserved today! But we have never read that a Latin has ever exercised a direct jurisdiction over the Greek rite. The Greeks have always acknowledged the primacy, but they themselves have always been under the jurisdiction of a patriarch of their own rite.

... We confess openly, in virtue of the principles and basic foundations of the Church of God that our own (Byzantine) rite distinguishes us from the Roman, but that we have communion in one and the same faith. We are not able to deny that the Blessed Apostle Peter has been, as we profess in the hymns of our Church, the Prince of the Apostles and that his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, hold in perpetuity the supreme authority in the Church of God.

Consequently, without distancing ourselves from our father, the patriarch [of Constantinople], from whom we Ruthenians have received initiation into holy baptism, and without delaying the union of the Church (in which is given true salvation), everyone of us - clerics and laity - (in order to escape the dangers of dissensions) has accepted the following solution in the name of Our Lord: to live in unity under one head and one only pastor, the Vicar of Christ, as the Symbol of Faith [the Creed] prescribes for us; to profess one only Catholic and apostolic Church and in her, one only sovereign successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff; and to remain faithful to the rites of our holy Greek religion conserved in their integrity from the beginning and until the most clement God (by His power from on high) will render liberty to the Greek people (from the Turks) and to our pastor, the Patriarch (of Constantinople) who will conduct us to that salutary concord which we implore with a holy ardor, especially in the Divine Liturgy.

I worry about where it says

The Greeks have always acknowledged the primacy, but they themselves have always been under the jurisdiction of a patriarch of their own rite.

though. Although Eastern Catholics are, of course, under the jurisdiction of their respective Patriarchs, they are also under the full, supreme and immediate jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which jurisdiction he is free to exercise at any time.

Joshua on the Old and News Rites of Mass

"Offertories Old and New":
"A Few Restorations to the Mass":
"Three Most Untraditional Prayers":
"Offerimus tibi Domine":

I've left the following comment at the first of those posts:

Cardinal Pole said...

"Then someone had the bright idea of adapting the Jewish table blessings of bread and wine, much as, just perhaps (who can say?), Our Lord did at the Last Supper."

It ought to be noted that the N.O.M. 'preparation of the gifts' comes from the Talmud, which is the written collection (written down hundreds of years after the time of Christ) of the very 'traditions of men' which Our Lord condemned. There is no proof that the table blessings therein are those of the Jews before and during the time of Christ, and, on the contrary, according to Encyclopedia Judaica they probably date to no earlier than the second century A.D.

"It is important that sacrificium nostrum... placeat tibi, Domine Deus be read in the strongest sense, as praying that the sacrifice offered – which is Christ – please the Lord, placate Him, appease Him, be a propitiation availing for us men and for our salvation."

The surrounding text does not impose that reading. Someone who knows the theology of the T.L.M. will read that into it, but someone who does not would be perfectly reasonable to read that as 'pleasing' in the way a mere sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving is pleasing, not 'pleasing' in the sense in which a true, propitiatory sacrifice is pleasing.

"Undeniably, however, this is doctrine is deëmphasised ..."

'expunged' would be a better word.

"The Supreme Pontiff formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned, while yet in that rank, that Lumen Gentium has passages that sound almost semi-Pelagian in their overconfident view of "modern man"."

I think you mean Gaudium et spes, Joshua.

(I hope I don't come off sounding too harsh here, Joshua; I appreciate these posts you've done on the Old vs. New Masses and am about to link to them at my blog.)

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Wednesday in the Octave of Pentecost, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Notes: Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Russian Orthodox patriarch: Vatican concert an "event of great importance"

Dr. Pemberton on Magna Carta and Mediaeval kingship

Dr. Pemberton makes the following two points, among others:

[1.] The Charter was less an assertion of modern rights than of traditional feudal liberties against a modernising, centralising authority. [2.] Autocratic kings were more fathers of modern democratic states than feudal lords.

Fair points, do you think, or not?

"Catholic Bible search tool launched"

From yesterday's edition of CathNews:

A new online Catholic Bible search engine, believed to be the first complete Catholic Bible translation made available for keyword search, has been launched.

The program, which enables people to find specific Scripture passages using keywords, has been developed by with the support of the US Bishops' Conference, said the Independent Catholic News

This might be useful, though I'm not sure which version of the Bible is used; I suppose that if it's a modern translation one could use the search function to find the required chapter and verse and then consult the Douai-Rheims version. Anyway, here's the U.R.L.:

Death of H.I.H. The Dowager Grand Duchess of Russia

See also Her late Imperial Highness's Wikipedia entry here:

Blog comments by me

At A.C.M.:

"1. For one Church in the Catholic Communion of Churches to claim to be the "standard" for the entire Catholic Church is for the eye to say to the hand or rest of the body, "I have no need of thee.""

Jack, that's a bad analogy to use here, because

1. The Church of Rome is not just any old member of the Body of Christ, but the Head, not just any Church, but the Mother and Mistress of all Churches.

2. The Universal Church cannot say to the Church of Rome "I have no need of thee", since it is in the Church of Rome that the Petrine supremacy perdures (and cannot be transferred to any other place), but she can say that to any other given Church; any other Church, or even a large number of Churches, of West or East could become extinct without the extinction of the whole Church, but if, by an impossibility (and I stress 'by an impossibility'), the Church of Rome became extinct then so would the Universal Church--the body would have been decapitated.

3. In order for an Act of the Ordinary Magisterium of any Church other than Rome to be infallible it must also be universal. But the Church of Rome is infallible in her Ordinary Magisterium without any need to compare her teachings to the teachings of the other Churches; the perennial teaching of the Bishops of Rome is a rule of Faith superior to the teaching of any other Bishop or even all other Bishops. In other words, the teachings of any Bishop other than that of Rome must have been taught always and by all Bishops (or at least at many times and by many Bishops) in order to be infallible, but for the Bishop of Rome, it suffices for infallibility that the teaching have been taught always (or for a very long time) by the Bishops of Rome. And since the teaching in the liturgy is the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium, the liturgy of the Church of Rome is indeed the standard for the whole Church of Christ.
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"... Bl. John XXIII and Ven. John Paul II have celebrated in various Eastern forms."

I am surprised to learn that. Do you have sources to back this up (I ask not because I doubt you--though surprising, it is plausible--but in order to keep for future reference)?

And does anyone know: Did any Popes before Bl. John XXIII. do likewise?
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Cardinal Pole
May 25, 2010 at 4:12 am

“[You] note, incidentally, that the Bishop of Rome doesn’t use a cross in his signature. He’s just “Benedictus PP. XVI”.”

Good point.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Tuesday in the Octave of Pentecost, A.D. 2010

Text of present blog masthead, tag-line and sidebar tabs

Since I'm about to change them, I'll save in this blog post the text surrounding my blog posts:


Cardinal Pole's Blog on Church and State
Australian Catholic and secular news commentary from an uncompromisingly Traditional, arch-reactionary perspective

Comments are most welcome at this blog. Are you an outspoken Traditionalist who fears censorship at certain other blogs? Then this is the place for you. Usually I will delete comments only if they contain blasphemy or foul language.

But this blog is not a mere mutual admiration society either. You are also most welcome to comment if you disagree with me or have detected an error of fact or logic.

Comments are not moderated, so if you have made a comment on an older post then you might need to draw my attention to it.

Usually this blog is updated on Monday and several times during the week. This blog is not usually maintained over the weekend, so feel free to read my posts and make comments, but I shall not respond till Monday.

Links: (S.S.P.X. District of Australia home-page; Mass times and locations, Parish bulletins and useful Links section) (S.S.P.X. U.S. district home-page; excellent apologetical material) (a Victoria-based stockist of Traditional literature) (Ecclesial humour blog) (warning: Mr. Muehlenberg is a Protestant, apparently of a Fundamentalist persuasion, but he is usually spot on about social morality)
Reginald, Cardinal Pole

[portrait of Cardinal Pole]
(from the pretender Archbishop of Canterbury's website)
This blog is dedicated to the memory of

His late Eminence
The Most Reverend Father in God
Reginald of Canterbury
Cardinal Pole
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury
Papal Legate

Go to
for a brief sketch of his life


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Tuesday in the Octave of Pentecost, A.D. 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Important find: Sources for the Syllabus of Errors

Here's a post which I've just published at AQ:


While trying out the National Library of Australia's useful new "Trove" search service, I discovered perhaps the most valuable thing I've ever found on the web: A book collating all the Acts--Apostolic Letters, allocutions and so on--from which the errors condemned in Bl. Pius IX.'s Syllabus of Errors were excerpted. It is available here:

Here's a transcript of the title page:


SS. D. N.

P I I P P. IX.







Now all I have to do is learn Latin! Seriously though, if anyone who knows Latin were to translate some or all of these Acts into English he (or she) would be doing a great service to English-speaking Catholics. Even if he were just to translate the Acts from which the most controversial errors were excerpted he would be giving us something of great value. (And if anyone's interested in doing so, I'd be happy to provide modest assistance by tidying up the optical character recognition transcript available on-line.)


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Monday in the Octave of Pentecost, A.D. 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Facts and figures: On abortion in Victoria


It seems that when evil abounds, evil is compounded. The other story appeared in today’s press with this headline: “Healthy babies aborted”. The article begins with these words: “Almost one late-term abortion is performed in Victoria every day, and 54 babies survived the procedure to die post-natally, according to figures released by the State Government. Of the 345 late-term abortions in 2007 – the highest number on record – 164 were performed at a Melbourne clinic on women with healthy foetuses who said they were suffering psychological or social problems.

“Many of the women who were granted late term abortions for ‘psycho-social’ reasons travel from overseas or interstate to have the procedure done at the clinic, one of the few facilities in the country willing to perform late-term abortions. Two of the terminations of healthy foetuses were older than 28 weeks’ gestation, but the majority were performed on women who were about six months’ pregnant.”

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Mr. Vennari on H.H. The Pope's trip to Fatima and on related matters



Two days later, in his homily at Fatima, as reported by Vatican Information Service, Pope Benedict said, “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic message is complete.”
He went on to look forward to the 2017 centenary of Fatima, expressing his hope that “the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions” may “hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity.”
This last sentence is a clear indication that the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not yet fulfilled, since the “triumph of the Immaculate Heart”, the conversion of Russia and a “period of peace” granted to the world are the promised result of this consecration – an outcome that has still not occurred since Pope John Paul II’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984.

[...] The first thing to note is that the Pope chose to deal with this topic. Journalists do not spring these questions on the Pope without warning, but as John Allen notes, “The Vatican asks reporters traveling with the pope to submit questions for the plane several days in advance, so Benedict has plenty of time to ponder what he wants to say. If he takes a question on the plane, it’s because he wants to talk about it, and he’s chosen his words carefully.”[...]
Thus the Pope wanted to make this comment on both the pedophilia scandal as a crisis coming “from sin inside the Church”(and not a trumped-up ‘media attack’), and that the Fatima Message, including the Secret, concern “future realities”.

“The Pope has now reopened the dossier of Fatima in such a precise and obvious way,that everyone who, in the last years, had rushed to give praise to the official Curial version is now caught in panic by facing the Pope’s words that place the pedophilia scandal within the Third Secret.”
- Antonio Socci

Antonio Socci, author of The Fourth Secret of Fatima, was quick to comment, “The assassination attempt of 1981 is nowhere to be found in Benedict’s words. Therefore it is not pointed out as ‘the’ fulfillment of the Third Secret.”
Socci went on to observe with a certain relish that commentators in the Italian media who had defended the official Vatican interpretation were left stammering over the Pope’s latest statement.
“The Pope has now reopened the dossier of Fatima in such a precise and obvious way,” notes Socci, “that everyone who, in the last years, had rushed to give praise to the official Curial version is now caught in panic by facing the Pope’s words that place the pedophilia scandal within the Third Secret.”

[...] Even Vatican journalist Vittorio Messori, who had publicly supported Bertone’s position three years ago, now says the opposite in light of the Pope’s recent statements. According to Socci, “He [Vittorio] said that Benedict XVI doesn’t see the fulfillment of the Third Secret in the attempt of 1981, and does not consider it part of the past, but sees it projected into the future, because he’s now considering a new fact, the pedophilia scandal, as part of the Secret (and it’s obvious that the Pope can’t make all this up: he must have taken this from the complete text of the Secret).”[10]
All of this cannot help but add to the evidence that there is still part of the text of the Secret that the Vatican has yet to reveal.

[...] Yet the question can be asked, why is Pope Benedict now apparently contradicting the interpretation given by Cardinal Sodano, Cardinal Bertone, and even by himself as Cardinal Ratzinger in 2000.
To answer this, we will take another look at the rumor that circulated at the time of Pope Benedict’s election. At this time, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X related that a priest acquaintance from Austria told him that Cardinal Ratzinger confided (to the Austrian priest) that he had two things weighing on his conscience. One was his mishandling of the Message of Fatima in 2000, the other was his 1988 mishandling of Archbishop Lefebvre. Cardinal Ratzinger is reported to have said that in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre, “I failed”, and in the case of Fatima, “my hand was forced.”

[...] Pope Benedict’s trip to Portugal comprised more than a resurrection of the Third Secret; some of his actions were praiseworthy, others leave us disappointed.
According to the Diário de Notícias, the country’s most prestigious daily, Pope Benedict said, “The change towards the Republic [in power since the October 5, 1910 Masonic revolution], which took place in Portugal 100 years ago, made a distinction between Church and State and opened a new space of freedom for the Church”. But as a friend from Coimbra noted, “The Pope was of course misinformed about this; the Church was persecuted in many ways until the 1926 national revolution and Salazar’s ascension to power.” Further, the Pope appeared to make no mention of the true Catholic restoration that occurred under Salazar (who dissolved Freemasonry in Portugal in 1935), but only praised the Masonic doctrine of separation of Church and state that effectively bars the influence of Jesus Christ from States and social institutions.
To be specific, the Act of Separation of Church and State of April 20, 1911, which Republican leader and Grand Master of Freemasonry Magalhães Lima called “the basic law of the Republic”, was a very flexible law which was used to transfer Church property to the State; to forbid priests, friars and nuns from wearing clerical dress in public; to abolish processions outside the churches; to deport all Jesuits; to detain priests at will, without a warrant, on suspicion of being “enemies of the Republic”; and to do this: [...] The actual facts of Portugal’s 1911 “separation of Church and State” policy hardly amounted to “a new space of freedom for the Church.”

[...] Thus, despite the bleak “business as usual” in the post-Conciliar Church, there is a ray a hope. Pope Benedict has opened a new phase in the Fatima controversy. He himself noted that the Secret does not merely refer to the failed assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II in 1981, an interpretation that even many in the secular press found ludicrous.
Also, contrary to the June 26 Vatican commentary, that stated “any further request or discussion [of the Consecration of Russia] is without basis”, Pope Benedict said on May 13 at Fatima, “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic message is complete,” indicating that Fatima is not finished, but its prophecies still point to the future.
Pope Benedict further prayed at Fatima that we may “hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart,” indicating that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary has yet to occur, and that the collegial consecration of Russia by the Pope in union with the world’s bishops, which will bring about this Triumph, has yet to be accomplished.
These admissions may be the basis for Pope Benedict or his successor to finally release the full Third Secret, and to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Only by doing so will we avoid the “annihilation of nations” and the other chastisement threatened at Fatima. Only by doing so will we see the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith and a period of peace granted to the world.


Reginaldvs Cantvar

H.H. The Pope on freedom of worship and religious liberty

From today's Vatican Information Service daily e-mail bulletin:



VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Pope today received the Letters of Credence of Hissa Abdulla Ahmed Al-Otaiba, the first ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to the Holy See.

Speaking English to the diplomat the Holy Father highlighted how "love of God and respect for the dignity of one's neighbour motivates the Holy See's diplomacy and shapes the Catholic Church's mission of service to the international community. The Church's action in the field of diplomatic relations promotes peace, human rights and integral development, and thus strives for the authentic progress of all, without regard for race, colour or creed".

He went on: "The Holy See and the Catholic Church take care to highlight the dignity of man in order to maintain a clear and authentic vision of humanity on the international stage and in order to muster new energy in the service of what is best for the development of peoples and nations".

The U.A.E., the Holy Father noted, "notwithstanding difficulties, has experienced notable economic growth in recent years. In this context, your country has welcomed many hundreds of thousands of foreigners coming to seek work and a more secure financial future for themselves and for their families".

"The openness of the United Arab Emirates towards those foreign workers requires constant efforts to strengthen the conditions necessary for peaceful coexistence and social progress, and is to be commended", said the Pope, expressing his satisfaction "that there are several Catholic churches built on lands donated by the public authorities.

"It is the Holy See's earnest wish", he added, "that this co-operation may continue and indeed flourish, according to the growing pastoral necessities of the Catholic population living there. Freedom of worship contributes significantly to the common good and brings social harmony to all those societies where it is practised. I assure you of the desire of the Catholic Christians present in your country to contribute to the wellbeing of your society, to live God-fearing lives and to respect the dignity of all peoples and religions".
CD/ VIS 20100520 (350)
[bold type in the original; my italics]



VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2010 (VIS) - Luvsantseren Orgil, the new ambassador of Mongolia to the Holy See, today presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father. "As your nation celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its passage to democracy", the Pope told him, "I express my confidence that the great progress made in these years will continue to bear fruit in the consolidation of a social order which promotes the common good of your citizens, while furthering their legitimate aspirations for the future".

Speaking English, the Pope expressed his "solidarity and concern" for people "who suffered as a result of the harsh winter and the effects of last year's torrential rains and flooding. ... Environmental issues, particularly those related to climate change, are global issues and need to be addressed on a global level", he said.

"The establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Holy See, which took place after the great social and political changes of two decades ago, are a sign of your nation's commitment to an enriching interchange within the wider international community", said the Holy Father. "Religion and culture, as interrelated expressions of the deepest spiritual aspirations of our common humanity, naturally serve as incentives for dialogue and co-operation between peoples in the service of peace and genuine development".

Pope Benedict likewise expressed his appreciation "for the constant support of the government in ensuring religious liberty. The establishment of a commission, charged with the fair application of law and with protecting the rights of conscience and free exercise of religion, stands as a recognition of the importance of religious groups within the social fabric and their potential for promoting a future of harmony and prosperity".

"The Church's primary mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fidelity to the liberating message of the Gospel, she seeks also to contribute to the advancement of the entire community. It is this that inspires the efforts of the Catholic community to co-operate with the Government and with people of good will by working to overcome all kinds of social problems.

"The Church", the Pope added, "is also concerned to play her proper part in the work of intellectual and human formation, above all by educating the young in the values of respect, solidarity and concern for the less fortunate. In this way, she strives to serve her Lord by showing charitable concern for the needy and for the good of the whole human family", he concluded.
CD/ VIS 20100520 (420)
[bold type in the original; my italics]


So according to the Holy Father:

Freedom of worship contributes significantly to the common good and brings social harmony to all those societies where it is practised. I assure you of the desire of the Catholic Christians present in your country to contribute to the wellbeing of your society, to live God-fearing lives and to respect the dignity of all peoples and religions".
But freedom of worship does not contribute in and of itself to the common good; in fact, freedom of worship is in itself an evil, though it might happen--and is clearly the case around the world today--that it would be prudent for a State to tolerate non-Catholic--whether heretical, schismatic or not even nominally Christian--worship, but in a State where the populace is united in the Catholic Faith, non-Catholic public worship ought to be suppressed, rather than spread the evil of indifferentism (cf. error no. 79 in the Syllabus of Errors) or risk Catholics being seduced into heresy, schism or apostasy. And 'respecting the dignity' of 'all peoples' is one thing, but 'respecting the dignity' of 'all religions' is quite another. To speak of 'respecting the dignity of all religions' is at best ambiguous; it would be orthodox if taken in the sense of respecting the value of whatever truths and goods can be found in non-Catholic religions, but since these truths and goods have come either from the Catholic religion or from right reason, it cannot be a case of respecting the non-Catholic religion as such/as a whole, but only those parts of it which accord with Revelation and reason.

And as for freedom of worship "bring[ing] social harmony to all those societies where it is practised", freedom of worship would not bring harmony to a society over which Christ reigns not only objectively (in which manner He reigns over every legitimately-constituted society, regardless of whether that society and its members subjectively recognise it) but also subjectively, and it is this kind of society towards which Catholics must work.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Notes: Friday, May 21, 2010

A nice response to yesterday's Herald letter on stealing

Brand of faith

With all due respect to Donald Howard, if I wanted an unbiased analysis of Catholic theology, Moore College is the last place I would go (Letters, May 20).

Stephen Magee Epping

Upcoming Compass episode on the Australian experience of Vatican II and its aftermath

From Yesterday's CathNews:

This episode of Compass explores the Catholic Church in Australia during one of the most dynamic periods in its recent history, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Vatican II challenged elements of Catholicism unquestioned since the 16th century. Pope John XXIII wanted to bring the church 'up to date' in a dynamic and fast changing world.

Almost 50 years later this film explores how Vatican II changed Catholic practice, identity and faith through the personal stories of eminent and ordinary Australians.

It also examines how the reforms of the Second Vatican Council are faring today in a time of rising conservatism in the church.

Challenge, Change, Faith: Catholic Australia and the Second Vatican Council - Compass, 10.05pm ABC- TV1, May 23


Russian Orthodox prelate on relations between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church

Archbishop Hilarion [Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate] went on to note that in both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church "the awareness has grown of not being in competition, but of being allies." The rivalries of the past, he added, "must stay there, in the past."

He noted that cultural changes, particularly the "de-Christianization of our countries," is calling for "greater collaboration."

Other cultural changes call increasingly for an open dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, the prelate said: "Today there are many mixed marriages. We often find an Orthodox person next to a Catholic."

[...] Archbishop Hilarion affirmed that for many Orthodox, "the election of Benedict XVI was received positively," especially because of "his position on moral questions."

"There is a commitment [among the Orthodox] to observe and promote traditional values," he said.

In regard to the theological dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics, the archbishop projected that it will last for many years.

"Each stage of the dialogue ends with a text where Catholics and Orthodox say something together," he explained. "What is important is that these texts are received not only by theologians but also by the faithful."

From another report on the same web-page:

"I think the atmospere of dialogue has improved and without a doubt relations improve along with the theological dialogue. But I think the theological dialogue still has a long way to go," [Metropolitian Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Moscow Patriarchate's office for external relations] said.

[... Regarding the prospects for a meeting between the respective heads of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church:] "An encounter between a pope and a patriarch should be a historic event, not just because it is the first meeting between the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church but especially because such a meeting must be sign of the intention to move our relations forward, which is why is must be prepared for well," he said.

"I hope there could be an encounter not between just any pope of Rome and patriarch of Moscow, but between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Benedict XVI," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

Pressed on the question, he said, "By mentioning these two concrete people, I tried to indicate somewhat a desired deadline."

He told reporters that most of the Russian Orthodox clergy and faithful have a very favorable opinion of Pope Benedict and particularly appreciate his efforts to promote traditional moral values and to strengthen the Christian culture of Europe.

Blog comments from me:

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:07 am

Thanks, Peregrinus. (Also, you might be interested to read the comment I’m about to post at the bottom of the main thread, on the origin of the symbol.)

Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:16 am

I wonder how the convention of prelates using the plus sign originated? I seem to recall reading somewhere some time ago that Bishops used to write ‘sinner’ before their respective names when signing something, and this evolved into the plus sign, which, as Peregrinus rightly noted, represents a cross. But if, as I think, it is for Ordinaries only, not just anyone consecrated Bishop, perhaps it’s meant to signify the heavy burden–the cross–of exercising Ordinary jurisdiction? The care of a single soul, let alone the souls of thousands, is a weighty enough responsibility, and they say that Hell is paved with the skulls of Bishops.


Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:37 am

“what is the Catholic view on the priesthood of believers,given that St Paul clearly talks about it?”

For what it’s worth (I’m no expert either!):

Any priesthood is the power to offer sacrifice. As a living member of the Body of Christ, the Christian has the power–and is required–to offer up spiritual sacrifices ‘on the altar of his heart’, as they say. By offering up good works, performed from a motive of Faith while in the state of grace, the Christian merits increase of grace and glory and makes satisfaction for his sins and the sins of others. This is the priesthood of all believers.

The ministerial priesthood, on the other hand, is the power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which (Sacrifice) is a true, propitiatory sacrifice, one and the same as that offered on Mt. Calvary, differing only in the manner of offering (unbloody rather than bloody), by which the Sacrifice of Calvary is renewed and represented and its fruits received.

Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:58 am
Is that “masters and magistrates” as in civic officers, or as in ecclesiastical officers (‘pastors and doctors’)? (From the contrast to following “individual intuition and authority” I expect the latter, but I might be mistaken.)
Two blog comments by others which I wish to save for future reference:

From Mr. Schütz's blog:

May 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

The difference between Calvinists/Lutherans and the Anabaptists is often described (and well) as the difference between a “magisterial” reformation and a “radical” reformation. “Magisterial” in this sense means that they followed the authority of the “masters and magistrates”, rather than individual intuition and authority.

Mark Henderson
May 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Yes, quite a valid and helpful distinction, David. Lutherans and Reformed also gained official toleration from the Holy Roman Empire, which the Anabaptists didn’t ever do, to my knowledge. By the way, I note that the Anabaptist presence in Australia has been growing over the last two decades; they now have their own association with a website (I mean true Anabaptist groups like the Mennonites, not just run-of-the-mill Baptists).


Reginaldvs Cantvar

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On H.H. The Pope's pronouncements during (and shortly before and after) his trip to Fatima

In reverse chronological order:



VATICAN CITY, 13 MAY 2010 (VIS) - ...

[...] The Pope continued: "I express my deep appreciation for all those social and pastoral initiatives aimed at combating the socio-economic and cultural mechanisms which lead to abortion, and openly concerned with defending life and promoting the reconciliation and healing of those harmed by the tragedy of abortion".

"Initiatives aimed at protecting the essential and primary values of life from its conception, and of the family based on indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, help to respond to some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good. Such initiatives represent, along with many other forms of commitment, essential elements in the building of the civilisation of love".

PV-PORTUGAL/ VIS 20100514 (750)

This didn't go down too well with the usual suspects, such as The Rev. Fr. James Martin S.J., culture editor at the American Jesuit magazine America.



VATICAN CITY, 13 MAY 2010 (VIS) - [...]

"In truth", [His Holiness] said, "the times in which we live demand a new missionary vigour on the part of Christians, who are called to form a mature laity, identified with the Church and sensitive to the complex transformations taking place in our world. Authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ are needed, above all in those human situations where the silence of the faith is most widely and deeply felt: among politicians, intellectuals, communications professionals who profess and promote a mono-cultural ideal, with disdain for the religious and contemplative dimension of life. Such circles
contain many believers who are ashamed of their beliefs and who even give a helping hand to this type of secularism, which raises barriers before Christian inspiration. And yet, dear brothers, may all those who defend the faith in these situations, with courage, with a vigorous Catholic outlook and in fidelity to the Magisterium, continue to receive your help and your insightful encouragement in order to live out their Christian freedom as faithful lay men and women".

[...] Turning then to consider the movements and new ecclesial communities, which he described as "new springtime" for the Church, the Holy Father said: "Thanks to their charisms, the radicality of the Gospel, the objective contents of the faith, the living flux of Church tradition, are all being communicated in a persuasive way and welcomed as a personal experience, as free adherence to the mystery of Christ".

PV-PORTUGAL/ VIS 20100514 (970)

"[T]his type of secularism"? But what type of secularism would a Catholic ever want to support? I can't conceive of any. And "the living flux of Church tradition" is an unfortunate choice of words.



VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2010 (VIS) - [...]

Before the end of the ceremony, the Pope entrusted priests to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. "We are mindful that, without Jesus, we can do nothing good", he said, "and that only through Him, with Him and in Him, will we be instruments of salvation for the world.

"Bride of the Holy Spirit, obtain for us the inestimable gift of transformation in Christ. Through the same power of the Spirit that overshadowed you, making you the Mother of the Saviour, help us to bring Christ your Son to birth in ourselves too. May the Church be thus renewed by priests who are holy, priests transfigured by the grace of Him Who makes all things new".

"Help us, through your powerful intercession, never to fall short of this sublime vocation, nor to give way to our selfishness, to the allurements of the world and to the wiles of the Evil One".

"Mother of the Church, we priests want to be pastors who do not feed themselves but rather give themselves to God for their brethren, finding their happiness in this. Not only with words, but with our lives, we want to repeat humbly, day after day, our 'here I am'".

PV-PORTUGAL/ VIS 20100513 (860)

For reactions to this, see here, and see here for the text of the Consecration. I see this as a welcome development, a step towards the Consecration of Russia.



VATICAN CITY, 13 MAY 2010 (VIS) - [...]

The shepherd children "offered their whole lives to God and shared them fully with others for love of God", said the Holy Father, highlighting how "we would be mistaken to think that Fatima's prophetic mission is complete. ... Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end. In Sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and He does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: 'Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which He will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?'.

[...] Benedict concluded his homily by expressing the hope that "the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions" may "hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity".

PV-PORTUGAL/ VIS 20100513 (830)

This also is heartening. And I wonder what the ellipsis in "complete. ... Mankind" replaced?



VATICAN CITY, 11 MAY 2010 (VIS) - This morning during his flight to Portugal, the Holy Father responded - as he traditionally does on his flights abroad - to a number of questions put to him by the journalists accompanying him on the papal plane.

Answering a query about the current secularisation of Portugal, a once profoundly Catholic country, the Holy Father replied that Portugal "has carried the faith to all corners of the world; a courageous, intelligent and creative faith. ... The dialectic between secularism and faith in Portugal has a long history", he said, noting how "over centuries of discussion between enlightenment, secularism and faith, there has never been a lack of people who have sought to build bridges and create dialogue".

"I believe that the task and mission of Europe in this situation is to discover such dialogue, integrating faith and modern rationality into a single anthropological vision which completes the human being and thus also makes human cultures able to communicate with one another. Thus I would say that secularism is normal, but separation and contrast between secularism and the culture of faith is anomalous and must be overcome. The great challenge of the current time is for the two to meet and thus discover their true identity. This, as I have said, is a mission for Europe and the [great] human need of our own history".


The third question put to the Pope concerned the significance of the apparitions of Fatima and whether the third secret, apart from referring to the shooting of John Paul II, also referred to the Church's suffering for the sexual abuse of minors.

"Apart from the great vision of the Pope's suffering, which we can primarily ascribe to Pope John Paul II", said Pope Benedict, the apparitions "indicate events of the future of the Church, which develop and are revealed little by little. Thus it is true that, apart from the moment indicated by the vision, we see the need for a passion of the Church, a passion naturally reflected in the person of the Pope, but the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is the sufferings of the Church that are being announced".

"As for the novelties we can discover in this message today", he went on, "we may see that attacks against the Pope and the Church do not only come from outside; rather, the sufferings of the Church come from inside the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church. This was always common knowledge, but today we see it in truly terrifying form: the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the Church. Thus the Church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice".
PV-PORTUGAL/ VIS 20100512 (650)

Well, I can't say that I was too enthused at hearing His Holiness speak of "integrating faith and modern rationality into a single anthropological vision which completes the human being"; it brought to mind Msgr. Tissier's recent article Faith Imperilled by Reason: The Hermeneutics of Benedict XVI. And I reject that secularism can be regarded as "normal" in any other sense than that, unfortunately, there happens no longer to be a significant number of Catholic Confessional States; in every other respect secularism is quite abnormal, since the Social Reign of Christ is the norm.



VATICAN CITY, 11 MAY 2010 (VIS) - [...]

In this context, Benedict XVI recalled how the foundation of a republic in Portugal 100 years ago, "by distinguishing between Church and State, opened a new space of freedom for the Church (to which the two Concordats of 1940 and 2004 later gave form) in a cultural and ecclesial context deeply marked by rapid changes. The sufferings caused by the transformations were, in general, faced with courage", he said.

PV-PORTUGAL/ VIS 20100511 (790)

The first thing to note is that His Holiness speaks here of a distinction between, not a separation of, Church and State. Yet according to Mr. John L. Allen, Jr.,

Benedict hailed the secular separation of church and state for “opening up a new area of freedom for the church,”

This is not the first time when Catholic news agents who should know better have misrepresented His Holiness's words on these matters; here's an excerpt from a Zenit article from December 2008:

Pope: Church-State Separation a Sign of Progress

Says Division Between Caesar and God Is Fundamental

ROME, DEC. 15, 2008 ( Church-state separation is one of the signs of the progress of humanity, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this Saturday when he visited the Italian embassy to the Holy See.

The Church "not only recognizes and respects the distinction and autonomy" of the state vis-à-vis the Church, but also "takes joy in this as one of the great advances of humanity," he said.

This separation is "a fundamental condition for [the Church's] very liberty and the fulfillment of its universal mission of salvation among all peoples," the Holy Father added. "This brief visit is conducive to reaffirming that the Church is very aware that the distinction between what is of Caesar and what is of God belongs to the fundamental structure of Christianity." [...]


But in fact, His Holiness never spoke of "separation" during that address; here is what he had to say:

“This brief visit allows me to reaffirm that the Church is very aware that the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God, that is to say, the distinction between State and Church, is a part of the fundamental structure of Christianity. ... This distinction and autonomy are respected and recognized by the Church which is happy with them, considering them a great progress for humanity and a fundamental condition for its freedom and for fulfilling its universal mission of salvation among the peoples".
[VIS 081215 (600)]

And of course, in the previously-cited VIS 20100512 (650), His Holiness said that "separation and contrast between secularism and the culture of faith is anomalous and must be overcome". Nevertheless, I concede that His Holiness's words are hardly an unequivocal preaching of the Social Kingship of Christ, and for a Portuguese reaction (in English) to what the Holy Father said, see here.

But, of course, it is His Holiness's re-opening of the Third Secret controversy which will be of lasting significance; see here for an article by Mr. Ferrara on the matter.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Bernardine of Siena, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Notes: Thursday, May 20, 2010

On the stealing of small and large amounts of money

Here's a letter from today's Herald:

Those getting their ecclesiastical knickers in a knot about Tony Abbott's attitude to truth should realise that his views reflect his Jesuit background. They only need to get a look at Moral Theology, by a Dr Davis, a Catholic scholar, whose work carries the imprimatur to understand what is acceptable.

The gem I remember from my Moore College days is that if one of the faithful diddles the railways of a nominal weekly sum, he need not confess it. However, let him take it all in one go and it's straight to the confessional.
Donald Howard Elderslie
Actually, if the thief's intention were to steal a significant amount of money, although spread over a long period of time, then he would indeed need to confess. What Mr. Howard was presumably thinking of was the case where in each instance the thief intends to steal only a trifling amount of money, and does so in many separate instances.

Sen. Xenophon on the reporting of Sacramental accusations of child abuse

[...] "I can't comment on the specific allegations against the archbishop, but what I can say is this should prompt a debate about the sanctity of the confessional and the role the church has had in relation to information raised about child sexual abuse," Senator Xenophon said yesterday.

"There are now mandatory reporting requirements but the confessional is exempt."

[... Sen. Xenophon] said the church should declare its protocols "so the public knows what the church does in the case of allegations of abuse in the confessional".

"If someone has confessed to a priest with information about the abuse of children, whether they're the perpetrator or not, then shouldn't the authorities know about that?" he said.
Well, the Church's "protocols" in these matters are already public knowledge. And why, Sen. Xenophon, stop at accusations of child abuse? What if, say, a serial killer accuses himself of his crimes in Confession? Why shouldn't the authorities be alerted in that case, too? How far does Sen. Xenophon want to go? Or has he not fully thought through his remarks?

"Gay couple in Malawi face heavy jail term for 'unnatural acts'"

I was amused, but unsurprised, to see what Amnesty International had to say:

Amnesty International called for the immediate release of the two men. "Being in a relationship should not be a crime. No one should be arrested and detained solely on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity," Michelle Kagari, Amnesty's deputy Africa Director, said. "Their human rights, the rights to freedom from discrimination, of conscience, expression and privacy have been flagrantly violated."
So "being in a relationship should not be a crime". Even a polygamous or incestuous one? And it's one thing to be in a certain relationship, and another to try to pass off that relationship as something it's not.

And of course, the sodomite and catamite were convicted neither "on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity" nor for "[b]eing in a relationship", but for buggery.

And note the little list of "human rights" at the end: The "rights to freedom from [1.] discrimination, of [2.] conscience, [3.] expression and [4.] privacy".
1. There is nothing inherently wrong with discrimination. What matters is whether the discrimination is just or unjust, and in this case it is just.
2. Of course, it is sinful to disobey one's conscience, but there is a world of difference between being forced to disobey one's conscience and being restrained from, or punished for, obeying one's conscience. I'm sure that if you spoke to prisoners many of them would tell you that their respective consciences were quite unburdened.
3. If by 'freedom of expression' they mean the 'freedom' to pass off a parody of marriage as the real thing then that is not liberty but licence.
4. Ah yes, the same 'right' by which the ruling in Roe vs. Wade was justified. As though one can do evil with impunity so long as one does it in private.

H.H. The Pope on the message of Fatima

From the Vatican Information Service daily e-mail bulletin:


VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning, Benedict XVI reminisced about his recent apostolic trip to Portugal, which took place from 11 to 14 May to mark the tenth anniversary of the beatification of the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco.

The Holy Father began by explaining how throughout his journey he had felt the "spiritual support" of his predecessor John Paul II, "who visited Fatima three times, to give thanks for the 'invisible hand' that delivered him from death in the attack of 13 May here in St. Peter's Square".

During Mass in the capital city of Lisbon, "whence over the centuries so many missionaries left to carry the Gospel to other continents", the Pope had called the local Church "to vigorous evangelising activity in the various areas of society, in order to sow hope in a world often marked by mistrust". In particular he had encouraged believers "to announce the death and resurrection of Christ, the core of Christianity, fulcrum and support of our faith and the reason for our joy".

Benedict XVI then went on to refer to his meeting with representatives from the world of culture, where he had "underlined the heritage of values with which Christianity has enriched the culture, art and tradition of the Portuguese people. In that noble land, as in every country deeply marked by Christianity, it is possible to build a future of fraternal understanding and collaboration with other cultures, opening reciprocally to sincere and respectful dialogue", he said.

In Fatima, "a town marked by an atmosphere of authentic mysticism, in which the presence of the Virgin is almost palpable", the Pope had been "a pilgrim among other pilgrims", who presented Our Lady with "the joys and expectations, as well as the problems and sufferings of the whole world", said the Holy Father.

He also recalled how he had celebrated Vespers in Fatima's church of the Blessed Trinity with priests, religious and deacons of Portugal, thanking them "for their witness, often silent and not always easy, and for their faithfulness to the Gospel and to the Church", inviting them to follow, in this Year for Priests, "the shining example of the 'Cure of Ars'".

The Pope mention the Rosary he had prayed with hundreds of thousands of people on the evening of 12 May, vigil of the anniversary of the first apparition of the Virgin. "This prayer, so dear to Christian people, has found in Fatima a driving force for all the Church and the world", he said. "We could say that Fatima and the Rosary are almost synonymous".

During the Mass of 13 May, celebrated on the esplanade of Fatima in the presence of half a million people, the Pope had reaffirmed that "the demanding but consoling message the Virgin left us at Fatima is full of hope. It is a message that focuses on prayer, penance and conversion, a message projected beyond the threats, dangers and horrors of history, inviting humankind to have faith in the action of God, to cultivate great hope, and to experience the grace of the Lord in order to love Him, the source of love and peace".

In his meeting with pastoral care organisations, Benedict XVI recalled how he had "indicated the example of the Good Samaritan, in order to meet the requirements of our most needy brothers and sisters, and to serve Christ by promoting the common good".

In his celebration of the Eucharist in Porto, "the city of the Virgin", the Pope had
highlighted "the duty to bear witness to the Gospel in all environments, offering Christ to the world so that all situations of difficulty, suffering and fear may be transformed by the Holy Spirit into an opportunity for growth and life".

"'Wisdom and Mission' was the motto of my apostolic trip to Portugal", Pope Benedict concluded his reminiscences. "In Fatima the Blessed Virgin Mary invites us to walk with hope, letting ourselves be guided by the 'wisdom from on high' which was manifested in Jesus, the wisdom of love, to bring the light and joy of Christ into the world".
AG/ VIS 20100519 (700)
[bold type in the original; my italics]
I find the bit in italics a bit odd:

[The message of Our Lady at Fatima is] a message projected beyond the threats, dangers and horrors of history
Surely the message of Fatima is a prophetic one, and one the fulfillment of whose prophecies we still await (and await with increasing eagerness)? How can the message be at once intimately concerned with "the threats, dangers and horrors of history" and also be "projected beyond" them?

Cardinal Pole's Blog on Church and State featured on CathNews!

Here's the thank-you comment which I've submitted at that web page:

Cardinal Pole
Thank you for featuring my blog. (I understand if you do not wish to publish this comment, given the new comments policy.)

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Thankyou for your comments.
Blog comments from me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
May 20, 2010 at 4:21 am

“2. The convention long predates the internet.”

I’m still not clear on this–are you referring to the convention of an Ordinary signing his name with a cross, or the convention of others using a cross before his name rather than writing out ‘Bishop’/'Archbishop’/whatever? (It’s just that I can’t imagine there having been much occasion for the latter before the internet, at least not in correspondence; in private notes I can see it being useful.)

Cardinal Pole
May 20, 2010 at 4:49 am

“[You] guess the Holy Spirit is asleep at the switch, since you have the popes you have instead of the ones of wishes and fantasy.”

The Holy Ghost gives us the Popes–and priests, and bishops–we deserve. There’s an article dealing with that in a recent (the latest? I’m not sure) issue of The Fatima Crusader.

“Or maybe it’s the whole pope thing that is the wish and fantasy, and the Holy
Spirit is doing just fine and has nothing to do with that.”

Well, He hasn’t allowed any Pope to define error or anathematise truth.
At Coo-ees:

Cardinal Pole said...
"Cardinal Pole, your expressed views on sacred vestments display the same narrowness and bigotry as your opinions on most other matters."

Much appreciated, Catholic Voice. I love those angry little comments which don't actually address the substance of a comment but just attack the person for making it. They don't further the discussion, of course, but they're good for a laugh.

"Cardinal Pole, one can only have a true and proper sacrifice if the vestment stops beneath the biceps?!"

In fact, I only said that the ponchasuble would make it "difficult" and that it was not "suitable", not that it made it impossible.

"The conical form, which long pre-dates the gothic ..."

If by "conical form" you mean a chasuble of the very same shape and size as the one Msgr. Fisher is wearing, I'm going to have to ask you to prove it.

"... was considerably larger than the vestment in question"

"[C]onsiderably larger" than a chasuble which, as the photo clearly shows, comes to the celebrant's wrists?! Now that would be a circus tent!

May 20, 2010 4:37 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Bernardine of Siena, Confessor, A.D. 2010