Friday, October 28, 2011
Review: Between Heaven and Mirth

I was recently asked to review a copy of the book "Between Heaven and Mirth" by James Martin.  I'm always happy to review books and if you have a copy for me to review and promote, please contact me.  I am particularly interested in reviewing books on Traditional Catholicism and the Liturgy.

For this particular book, I quickly noticed that the book suffers several serious problems and as I worked my way through the book, the problems did not cease.  Simply put, after reading this text, I am forced to call into account not only the theology of "Fr." Martin but his ability to serve as a Catholic priest.

As I opened my copy the first thing that I noticed was a picture of Martin Luther on the cover.  That's right, on the cover alongside Blessed Mother Teresa and other saints is the image of the well-known heretic whose false teachings are still causing untold numbers of souls to reject the truth and damn themselves.

But, I'm not here to judge the book by its cover, which may be the work of someone other than the author.  Let's start by looking at the introduction.  Close to the very opening of the book, Martin refers to the traditional practice in religious communities of public confession of sins by saying, "At the time young Jesuits in training were required to publicly confess their 'faults' to the men in their community..." (1).  Martin put "faults" in quotation marks as if he does not truly believe them to be faults - to be sins that infinitely displease the greatness and mercy of God!

He later says in the introduction that in the course of the book he will "draw on the wisdom of the Jesuit, Buddhist, and Islamic traditions..."  What wisdom?  There is no salvation outside of the Church.  There is no wisdom in these false religions.  You disobey the 1st Commandment and grievously sin by supporting or seemingly to condone in any way this false, pagan worship. These false worshipers must be converted to the One True Faith that alone saves.

So after this introduction, I was already on guard with this book.  I'll share my thoughts on the first chapter as well.  First on a logical note, when Martin says that humor is "an essential but neglected requirement of spirituality" (15), I was disappointed that he never supported his claim that it is "essential."  He gives too many examples of its neglect but fails to adequately show how it is "essential."

With references to Freud and numerous non-Catholic heretical worshipers, I can't seem to understand that this book was written by a man claiming to be a Catholic priest.  Are you a priest or a psychologist, Martin?  And, no they are not inclusive.

The only good part of the chapter was its incorporation of St. Thomas Aquinas' treatment of joy.  And, I might say, that is its only authentic Catholic part.

Chapter two, however, only made matters worse.  Martin begins the chapter by saying, "Let's take the New Testament as an example.  And let's look first at the protagonist of the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth" (31).  Is that how you refer to God Incarnate, Martin!  You call our Blessed Redeemer a "protagonist" as if he was a fictional character in a novel!  This is blasphemous.

Later, as he writes of the evangelists, he describes them as if they were writing a novel and not divinely inspired.  He says, "The evangelists wanted to portray Jesus as an appealing figure..." (31).  Blasphemy!  The evangelists wrote that which God Himself desired to be written - they did not "portray" our Lord as one portrays a character!

And then he references Professor Levine of Vanderbuilt whose "book looks at the Jewish background of Jesus and the ways that the church has often missunderstood that particular aspect of his life."  Martin, learn to capitalize "he" and "him" when referring to the Divine Lord.  And, how dare you, a alledged priest of God, claim that the Church - which is perfect and holy - has erred in reference to our Lord's Jewish roots.  Go join the Jews, Martin.  You are not part of the Church's teachings so drop the title from your name and stop pretending.

What looked like a good topic for a book quickly turned sour.  I'll leave my analysis at this but know that such poor theology does not stop in chapter two. 

Unfortunately, I can not and do not recommend this book.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Hymn to False God Sung at Assisi III

Inside the basilica of Saint Francis: a native African medicine man and pagan "priest" sang a hymn to the deity of Olokun, today October 27, 2011, during the Third Assisi Interreligious Conference of Prayer and Pilgrimage for World Peace.

Please join me in making reparation for this offense against our Lord Jesus Christ and His holy house that was consecrated to His worship alone.  For more on the blasphemy in Assisi, see my post on the Scandal of Assisi III.

Now is a good time to read a good article from the Remnant on this topic:

Tomorrow the Pope will be in Assisi for another interreligious gathering of “believers” in that holy city to “pray for peace” to their assorted deities, spirits, demiurges or whatever.  The Vatican promises that the event “will show that anyone and everyone can and should be a pilgrim seeking truth.”

Earlier hopes that the Pope had cancelled his appearance at this ludicrous gathering were dashed by the announcement on October 19 that he will address the “believers” (and a few atheists) in the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels, “where there will be a moment of commemoration of earlier meetings and further reflection on the topic of the day.”

Few Catholics remember how utterly unthinkable such an event would have been to any Pope before Vatican II. It is easy to forget what the Church was like before the Council and the descent of the Great Nebulosity that has rendered obscure so much of what was once clear—necessitating something called the Hermeneutic of Continuity, which itself seems part of the Great Nebulosity. Memory returns, however, upon reading landmark encyclicals by pre-conciliar Popes.

The pre-conciliar encyclical most pertinent to the upcoming carnival of religions at Assisi—the third such farce since 1986—is Mortalium Animos (1928) by Pius XI.  Warning of the danger to the Faith posted by the Protestant-born “ecumenical movement,” the Pope expressed his stern disapproval of Protestants who “go so far as to wish the Pontiff Himself to preside over their motley, so to say, assemblies.” Among these people, the Pope observed, are many “who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor.”

And this, mind you, is how the Pope characterized proposed gatherings limited to professing Christians of various denominations. Had Pius XI foreseen—in some vision or nightmare—that his proximate successors would routinely preside over, not only “motley assemblies” of Protestants, but pan-religious motley assemblies of everyone from Animists to Zoroastrians, he might well have required immediate medical attention to prevent his heart from stopping.

Today, still in the very midst of the Great Nebulosity, we traditional Catholics are expected to rejoice over the news that there will be no “prayer in common” by the members of the motley assembly, but rather that, as The New York Times (running an AP story) reports, “they will go to pray privately, separately in rooms of an Assisi convent.”

Continue Reading
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Scandal of Assisi III: "The Church is shaken to its very foundations"

This Thursday the Vatican will again participate in the infamous and sacrilegeous gathering in Assisi.  This is the third time in the past 25 years when the Holy Father has fallen to pressures from Modernists to pray on the same level as pagans, infidels, and those who deny and persecute our Lord and Christians.

This event must be condemned for four reasons:
  • Because it offends God in His first commandment.
  • Because it denies the unity of the Church and Her mission of saving souls.
  • Because it can only lead the faithful into confusion and indifferentism.
  • Because it deceives the unfortunate unfaithful and members of other religions.
Referring to the 1986 meeting in Assisi, Archbishop Lefebvre remarked:
It is demonic. It is an insult to our Lord Jesus Christ. Who will they pray to? What god will they pray to for peace? What peace can they ask for if they are not praying to the only true God? They will not be praying to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Jews do not want him, the Muslims and Buddhists do not want Him neither. Lots of Protestants do not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. What god will they pray to? God was made flesh and came and lived amongst us to save us. We have no right to pray to anyone else. If we put Jesus Christ aside, we are not praying to the true God. It is an indescribably impious act against our Lord Jesus Christ. (Spiritual Conferences, 117B, Jan. 28)
His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre later said, "He who now sits upon the Throne of Peter mocks publicly the first article of the Creed and the first Commandment of the Decalogue. The scandal given to Catholic souls cannot be measured. The Church is shaken to its very foundations."

This Thursday Assisi III commences and with it all SSPX priorities throughout the world will be saying a Mass of reparation on that day.  All matters will be Votive Masses for the Propagation of the Faith: Missa 'Deus Misereatur.'  Many Saturday Masses at SSPX chapels will also be said with the intention of making reparation to God for such a sacrilege.

As I have posted about many times, there is no salvation outside of the Church.  There is only one name under Heaven by which men can be saved and that is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 4:12).  So, please join me in saying rosaries in reparation for this most diabolical action initiated by the modernists.  Pray that our Holy Father will not pray with the pagans and infidels but preach and seek their salvation.

If you are unfamiliar with the Assisi issues, please see the SSPX page with several articles, links, and a video on the topic.  I conclude with the inspired words of Pope Pius XI in MORTALIUM ANIMOS:
10. So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly."[20] The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that "this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills."[21] For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one,[22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.[24]   Pope +Pius XI
Saturday, October 22, 2011
"By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them" — Bishop Williamson Sermon, July 1988

There is an essential Catholic message in this sermon. And it needs to be heard.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Are the Jews Responsible for Christ's Death?: The Four Causes of Christ's Death

It is a highly controversial claim that the Jews should be treated as if they were responsible for the death of our Divine Lord.  But are objections to this notion mere political in nature with an origin in religious indifferentism or must a Catholic honestly admit that no one race is to be held responsible?

The first overarching issue is to determine what we mean by "responsible."  How can one group say that the Jews are responsible for Christ's death and the other group says that the Jews are not responsible.  The difference is precisely a lack of continuity in terminology.

What we must first consider is the philosophical notion that has been part of Catholic theology for over 1,000 years - the four causes.  Aristotle was the first philosopher to identify all four kinds of causes which Aquinas would later incorporate in his Summa. Each cause is a different kind of answer to the question "why?

So, assume I am holding up a picture of the statue of David for you to admire.  I ask the question, "Why is this a statue?"  To answer this question, Aristotle can give four different answers: (1) This is a statue because it is made of marble; (2) because it is in the shape of David; (3) because Michelangelo sculpted it; (4) because Michelangelo wanted to depict the figure of David in marble (because he needed the money, perhaps). An account of each kind of cause is important for a full and accurate account of whatever a person is explaining.

Now let us return to the question, "Are the Jews responsible for the death of our Lord?"  Let's rephrase that to "Are the Jews a cause of the death of Christ?"

Let's first consider the material cause of Christ's death.  The material cause of a thing is the matter - physical matter - causing it to be.  For our Divine Lord's death, it was the nails and the Cross which caused His ultimate Death.

Yet, what of the final cause of Christ's death?  The final cause is the end (i.e. telos) for which something is done.  We know from Sacred Scripture that our Divine Redeemer willing gave up His life on the Cross for the salvation of mankind.  In this sense, many people will rightfully say that all sinners - thus all mankind aside from the Redeemer Himself and the Blessed Virgin Mary - are the cause of our Lord's death.  After all, since our Lord died in order to save us, we are the cause of Christ's death.

This is where many people who say that the Jews are not to be held responsible stop in their argument.  But, let us go further and consider the efficient cause of Christ's death.  The efficient cause of a thing is “the source of the primary principle of change or stability,” e.g., the man who gives advice, the father (of the child) (source).  For our Divine Lord, it was the cruelty and infidelity of the Jewish people that forced Pilate to condemn Him to die.  It was their hardness of heart that brought about our Lord's death and they were the agents who beat our Lord, drove the nails into His hands, and ultimately crucified Him.

Thus, it is correct to say that the Jews are responsible for the death of Christ - if one means that they are the efficient cause of Christ's death.  Let us be specific in our discussions - especially about matters involving philosophy since precise language is so necessary to understand a situation completely.  And let us not shy away from the truth - while not politically "correct" - that the Jews in one sense are to be held responsible.

Let us conclude with a segment of His Excellency Bishop Williamson's Eleison Comments for this week on this very topic:
Firstly, the killing of Jesus was truly “deicide”, i.e. the killing of God, because Jesus was the one of the three divine Persons who in addition to his divine nature had taken a human nature. What was killed on the Cross ? Only the human nature. But who was killed on the Cross in his human nature ? None other than the second divine Person, i.e. God. So God was killed, deicide was committed.

Secondly, Jesus died on the Cross to save all of us sinful human beings from our sins, and in this sense all men were and are the purpose of his death. But only the Jews (leaders and people) were the prime agents of the deicide because it is obvious from the Gospels that the Gentile most involved, Pontius Pilate, would never have condemned Jesus to death had not the Jewish leaders roused the Jewish people to clamour for his crucifixion (Mt. XXVII, 20). Certainly the learned leaders were more guilty than the unlearned people, says St Thomas Aquinas (Summa III, 47, 5), but they all cried together for Jesus’ blood to come down upon them and their children (Mt. XXVII, 25).

Thirdly, at least Pope Leo XIII considered there to be a real solidarity between the Jews clamouring then for Jesus to be killed and the collectivity of Jews of modern times. Did he not in his Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus have the entire Church, from the end of the 19th century onwards, pray to God that he turn his “eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once God’s chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver (i.e. washing) of redemption and life” ?

But Leo XIII is by no means alone in observing such a continuity amongst Jews down the centuries. Do they themselves not lay claim today to the land of Palestine on the grounds that it is theirs by right from the God of the Old Testament ? Has there ever been a race-people-nation on the face of the earth more proudly self-identifying as identical down the ages ? Originally raised by God to cradle the Messiah, alas, when he came they refused, collectively, to recognize him. Collectively also, meaning there are always noble exceptions, they have remained faithful to that rejection, so that they changed their religion from that of Abraham and Moses and the Old Testament to that of Anas, Caiphas and the Talmud. Tragically, their very messianic training by God drives them to go on rejecting the one whom they hold to be a false messiah. Until they convert at the end of the world, as the Church has always taught they will do (cf. Rom. XI, 26-27), they seem bound to choose to go on acting, collectively, as enemies of the true Messiah.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Book Review: "Dominus Est - It is the Lord" by Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Over the past few days I have been very pleased to read and review His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider's "Dominus Est - It is the Lord."  His Excellency writes on the controversial yet fundamentally urgent issue of Communion-in-the-hand and its departure from the Catholic Tradition. 

As I have written previously in my post on Restoring Eucharistic Reverence, Communion-in-the-hand, so-called "Eucharistic minister," and the elimination of altar rails must end.  As Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas writes in the preface, "Indeed, the centuries-old practice of priests placing the Sacred Host directly onto the tongue of recipients came precisely from the Protestant Reformers, who were intent on calling into question both the ministerial priesthood and the doctrine of transubstantiation."  Simply put, Communion-on-the-hand is a protestant, anti-Catholic notion that must be eliminated from the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

In the text, the Secretary for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Malcolm Ranjith, reminds us, "At the same time, speaking of Communion-in-the-hand it is necessary for all to recognize that the practice was as an abuse..."  That's right, Communion-in-the-hand entered the Liturgy as an abuse - it was illicit and in the ensuing years, it has caused countless numbers of atrocities from the Faithful losing Faith in the Real Presence to satanists obtaining our Lord's True Body and Blood for their diabolical rituals.

This short read is a fantastic testament of love for our Lord.  As our Divine Redeemer has said, the greatest of all Commandments is to first love the Lord God with all our hearts, minds, and souls.  If we do not humble ourselves in adoration before our Lord and if we dare to stand before Him and receive Him as mere earthly bread, we incur the wrath of Almighty God.

This book is highly recommended.  Distribute it to your Novus Ordo friends to help them see (especially if they were born after Vatican II) that the modern notion of "living a Catholic life" is not at all what a Catholic life is truly about.  And what is living a Catholic life really about?  It is about placing our Lord first in our lives and I, daresay, that is not possible for those who continue to receive Communion-in-the-hand.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Fr. Enrico Zoffoli on the Neocatechumenal Movement

My post on the Neocatechumenal Movement has been updated to reflect the following direction given by Fr. Zoffolio.  Below is a copy of a very good piece by the late Fr Enrico Zoffoli which Catholics should readily read to understand the errors undermining this very problematic movement.


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