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 Catholics Assisting at a Valid Indult/Motu Mass? 
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New post Catholics Assisting at a Valid Indult/Motu Mass?
Responding to the poll on my previous thread, Vince Sheridan said:

Quote:
I would not attend a Mass that Benedict was offering. But [I] will attend a Mass where he is prayed for in the Canon.

I would like to take this thought, too, a step further, and ask Mr. Lane and other forum members another question:

If a validly-ordained priest offers a traditional Latin Mass according to the conditions laid down in the 1984 Indult or the 2007 Motu Proprio, would it be permissible for sedevacantists to actively assist at that Mass and receive communion from him?

Once again, I’d like members to explain the reasons for their answers.


Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:36 pm
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New post Re: Sedes Assisting at a Valid Indult/Motu Mass?
sacerdos wrote:
Once again, I’d like members to explain the reasons for their answers.


Yes, I understand, but I don't think it would be helpful to continue this thread-creation without getting to the bottom of any one issue, so let's deal with what is on the table and then we can revive this one. :)

Have you not seen this thread, for example? http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... .php?t=495

It's two days old and directed at you. I thought it was an excellent question.

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Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:54 pm
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Dear Father Cekada,

In answer to the question posed by Sacerdos, I have been pondering whether there is any valid excuse for missing Holy Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day, if the only Mass one can conveniently reach is offered by a Catholic priest who thinks that he needs special permission, from his supposed Ordinary or from Rome itself, to offer it. I haven't been able to come up with a reason which in every such case would provide a good enough excuse to release the faithful from this very, very, grave obligation.

In case anybody needs a reminder of the gravity of the obligation and the limited reasons which are available which excuse one from fulfilling it, here is McHugh and Callan on this once again: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... =5452#5452

Obviously one is unable to fulfil one's obligation by assisting at an invalid Mass, and I would think that sufficient excuse would be that the only Mass available is sacrilegious (the mention of the fake pope is not a sacrilege, obviously), or if the priest, whilst a Catholic, was known to behave in a manner which was gravely scandalous (e.g. unorthodox sermons). But rather than assume anything, I think it is time that those who lightly dismiss grave precepts of the Church were asked to prove their position clearly. Otherwise sedevacantists will continue to slide down this slippery and dangerous slope of making known laws of no value, and instead replacing them with personal judgements and preferences.

I think this might be a useful Quidlibet subject.

By the way, there is no such thing as a "Motu Mass" - the Motu Proprio states categorically that the old Mass has never been abrogated. Therefore there can be no substance to any attempts to place conditions upon its celebration. This is a fundamental shift from the situation under the "Indult" and a good thing, as Fr. Cekada pointed out in his own article on the Motu Proprio.

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Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:06 am
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New post Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
Pardon me if I seem a little dense, but I am again confused. The "Motu" Mass will be "activated" in September, just around the corner in time. Many articles on the internet indicate that, at least the American, "bishops" have stated that the new motu will have no effect on what will be permitted in their dioceses. There will naturally be more in some places, but I don't think we will have a "wholesale" return to the True Mass. I think we need to wait before we make a judgment on what is going to occur, such as conditions placed on its celebration.

A problem that I see happening is that this "universal" Indult will only unleash a lot of problems. One problem is that there will be many invalid "priests"/presbyters offering the Indult Mass. Remember the comment of Fr. Carl Pulvermacher - "they will permit the Latin Mass when there are no longer any valid priests." If we believe that the change of the sacrament of Holy Orders, among others, in 1968/69 rendered ordinations/consecrations invalid, then there is indeed a huge problem. Since Fr. Ratzinger was "consecrated" after that date, thereby "possibly" rendering his elevation as bishop/pope invalid, then the motu proprio is rendered invalid due to it's being "promulgated" by a non-pope. I think we all, or the majority of us on this Forum, know that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated. That the present "administration" in Rome now reverses itself completely from "abrogation" to "non-abrogation" shows that the present "administration" doesn't even wince at telling an untruth in the first place. That is one big reason that Archbishop Lefebvre renounced his signed agreement with Rome/Ratzinger in the first place. He smelled a "rat", and he fled from the trap that was set to ensnare the SSPX at that time. NewRome/Newchurch wants to rewrite everything - sacraments, rosary, apparitions (Fatima 3rd secret), eliminate saints from the calendar, etc. When is one finally convinced that they lie, and don't even blush, as the emoticons inserts do?

We ceased going to the Indult because it was beginning(?) to turn into the "arm" of the diocese, which hates all Tradition. They permitted the Indult because it helped to fill the coffers of the N.O. diocese with money (to help pay for the [edit] scandal cases against the diocese) from very generous Traditionalists, who gave $$ because they were so grateful for having a Latin Mass. Little did we know, at the time, that the "minister"/priest was not validly ordained - he was ordained in 1979 as a Jesuit. Nor did we know, at the time, that the "hosts" were consecrated at the N.O. Mass prior to our Indult Mass.

When this Jesuit later joined the FSSP, he was told he could not be re-ordained conditionally because it would look as though the FSSP wasn't loyal to N.O. Rome. What about all our confessions to this man? When the Jesuit left to join the FSSP, we were assigned a young N.O. "priest", who once told me he kept a file on us Traditionalists! When that "priest" was reassigned, we were fortunate to have an elderly retired priest say the Indult, so there have been valid Masses said during the past 2-3 years. When that priest was "restricted" (gagged) in many things, in order to continue saying the Indult Mass, such as no more talking against Vatican II, no mention about the N.O. sacraments, etc. in his sermons, we just decided things were going further and further downhill, because this priest started thanking the "bishop" for his generosity to the Indult group, and he began promoting the N.O. functions! The funny thing is that the diocese doesn't even permit the FSSP to say a public "mass", and please, don't even mention the SSPX to them (I had)!

It is indeed a grave obligation to attend Mass. In 1958, McHugh and Callan, I am sure, could not imagine what would become of the sacraments. None of us imagined that the Church would be eclipsed! We are in an unprecedented time in the history of the Church and the world. You could possibly call these apocalyptic times. When we began reading and researching the destruction that has and is taking place withing the Church, and we realized that our research showed us that we held the sedevacantist position, it made us ill to think of all the sacraments we and our children received that were possibly/probably invalid! We do not feel guilty about staying home on the Sundays when CMRI isn't here for Mass (twice a month). We use the booklet: The Method of Hearing Mass Spiritually for the Absent", from The Key of Heaven, and insert the readings for the day. It works very well, and we also say rosaries to complete our Sunday obligation. It works very well.

Remember places like China and Japan, where there were no priests for perhaps a hundred years or more, and they continued the Faith, passing all of it on to their children, grandchildren, etc. Missionaries were shocked to find so many Faithful Catholics still practicing their Faith - without sacraments available to them for such a long time! These are dangerous times, beset with "pitfalls" of all sorts, to tempt people away from the True Faith, the True Church, and the True Sacraments. Parents are responsible for the education of their children in all aspects, especially their Catholic Faith, and we as parents, have a grave responsibility to pass on that True Faith. Also remember, God always provides. As I said in another posting, when God shuts one door, He opens another door for us.

In Jesus and Mary, Pat Beck


Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:29 pm
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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
Dear Pat,

Pat Beck wrote:
Pardon me if I seem a little dense, but I am again confused.

No, you're not dense, Pat - at least as far as I have seen. But there is a lot of very loose talk out there which treats traditional Catholics as though they are dense, and over-simplifies things.



Pat Beck wrote:
A problem that I see happening is that this "universal" Indult will only unleash a lot of problems. One problem is that there will be many invalid "priests"/presbyters offering the Indult Mass. Remember the comment of Fr. Carl Pulvermacher - "they will permit the Latin Mass when there are no longer any valid priests." If we believe that the change of the sacrament of Holy Orders, among others, in 1968/69 rendered ordinations/consecrations invalid, then there is indeed a huge problem. Since Fr. Ratzinger was "consecrated" after that date, thereby "possibly" rendering his elevation as bishop/pope invalid, then the motu proprio is rendered invalid due to it's being "promulgated" by a non-pope. I think we all, or the majority of us on this Forum, know that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated. That the present "administration" in Rome now reverses itself completely from "abrogation" to "non-abrogation" shows that the present "administration" doesn't even wince at telling an untruth in the first place.

I agree with every word of this.



Pat Beck wrote:
That is one big reason that Archbishop Lefebvre renounced his signed agreement with Rome/Ratzinger in the first place. He smelled a "rat", and he fled from the trap that was set to ensnare the SSPX at that time. NewRome/Newchurch wants to rewrite everything - sacraments, rosary, apparitions (Fatima 3rd secret), eliminate saints from the calendar, etc. When is one finally convinced that they lie, and don't even blush, as the emoticons inserts do?

And I agree with you entirely about all of this too.



Pat Beck wrote:
We ceased going to the Indult because it was beginning(?) to turn into the "arm" of the diocese, which hates all Tradition.

I'm in full agreement with you. I certainly wouldn't promote the Indult. I think in many or even most cases it is invalid due to the lack of a proper minister; in many of the cases in which it is offered by an old (real) priest, he is a liberal and one could not subject one's family to his sermons due to danger of perversion. My point was a very narrow one, which is that if you had access only to a Mass offered by an old priest who was an orthodox Catholic, but who was still officially under the diocesan structure, would you not fulfil your obligation by going to his Mass, and would you not have to invoke some excuse if you were not going to do so? I think you would clearly fulfil your obligation if you assisted, and you would have to have a reason not to do so. I don't think this situation is common - I think it exceedingly rare. My point was a question of strict principle, in answer to the trap question posed by Sacerdos.

I am aware of several such situations which have been the case over the years around the world. In one case the traditional priest who had opened a chapel without any consultation with the local "Ordinary" was sbsequently given a letter of approbation by that "Ordinary" which testified that he was "in good standing" with the diocese. This was used as a kind of quasi-Indult notification by the priest, who wanted to relieve timorous consciences and get as many as possible to the real Mass and sacraments. In other cases you have old priests who only offer Mass under the Indult because it is there - they offered Mass without the Indult before 1984, and they would continue if it was removed. Should the faithful have stopped assisting at such Masses in 1984? Should they begin again in September this year? There may indeed be good reasons behind any such odd-sounding decisions, but let's get those reasons out on the table where they can be considered calmly in the light.

Would anybody seriously argue that the conditions of the Indult, in themselves, which are obviously entirely unlawful and invalid, constitute a reason to avoid Holy Mass in the absence of an alternative? I know there are some who have said this, but I wonder if confronted with the kind of circumstance I have related, would they not sharpen their wits and take the question a little more seriously?



Pat Beck wrote:
We do not feel guilty about staying home on the Sundays when CMRI isn't here for Mass (twice a month).

Nor do I think you should feel guilty. But it's good to consider the question from that angle, which is the angle it is approached from by the Catholic Church. :)



Pat Beck wrote:
Remember places like China and Japan, where there were no priests for perhaps a hundred years or more, and they continued the Faith, passing all of it on to their children, grandchildren, etc. Missionaries were shocked to find so many Faithful Catholics still practicing their Faith - without sacraments available to them for such a long time!

Yes, these people had no access to the Mass and sacraments (other than Baptism and Holy Matrimony). We can't expect extraordinary graces if we decide not to take advantage of goods which are within reach, however.

Further, despite the fact that these people kept the Faith, the story has been romanticised by sacrament-scarcifying propagandists. The mess the Japanese Christians was in was horrific. We hear about the ones whose Faith survived - we should make sure we understand that many, even most, of those who thought of themselves as Christians when the missionaries returned refused to accept the missionaries, because they liked their independence and had actually lost the true Faith already.

Let me put this in a metaphorical form. Just because a few people have survived falling from aircraft without a parachute over the past one hundred years, we should not think it a good idea to leap from a perfectly good aircraft without a parachute.



Pat Beck wrote:
These are dangerous times, beset with "pitfalls" of all sorts, to tempt people away from the True Faith, the True Church, and the True Sacraments. Parents are responsible for the education of their children in all aspects, especially their Catholic Faith, and we as parents, have a grave responsibility to pass on that True Faith. Also remember, God always provides. As I said in another posting, when God shuts one door, He opens another door for us.

I fully agree. One of those temptations is to become "exclusive" in some manner, and then to demand of God that He "provide." We must work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Some people make a virtue out of cutting off communion with others, as though safety always results from running in a single direction. Such people, despite their huffing and puffing and angry words, do not take religion seriously.

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Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:06 pm
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Pax Christi !

Quote:
Let me put this in a metaphorical form. Just because a few people have survived falling from aircraft without a parachute over the past one hundred years, we should not think it a good idea to leap from a perfectly good aircraft without a parachute


Wonderful, except maybe " perfectly good" is not the proper expression :) while it is a functioning aircraft :)



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Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:47 pm
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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
John Lane wrote:
Further, despite the fact that these people kept the Faith, the story has been romanticised by sacrament-scarcifying propagandists. The mess the Japanese Christians was in was horrific. We hear about the ones whose Faith survived - we should make sure we understand that many, even most, of those who thought of themselves as Christians when the missionaries returned refused to accept the missionaries, because they liked their independence and had actually lost the true Faith already.

Let me put this in a metaphorical form. Just because a few people have survived falling from aircraft without a parachute over the past one hundred years, we should not think it a good idea to leap from a perfectly good aircraft without a parachute.



It's somewhat unclear how unCatholicized the Japanese really were. I think we should be careful about statistics and reception of sacraments including Mass attendance as a basis for determining the Catholic Faith of any group. Regarding the Holy Mass, those who were born after the Council will not have any personal historical basis of understanding that the Mass prior to 1965 was said more often, in more places, attended by more people, with more people receiving Holy Communion than at any other time in history. The Mass was everywhere and at everytime.

Literally, daily there were tens of thousands of valid Masses, attended by ten of thousands of daily communicants. On Sundays, millions of Catholics attended Mass throughout the world with millions receiving the sacraments. Catechesis abounded throughout thousands of schools. Many people attending these valid daily Masses and receiving the sacraments were, indeed, 'good' Catholics. Most everyone who attended those daily Masses could be looked upon as someone who took their Faith seriously. These 'good' Catholics numbered in the tens of thousands throughout the world. They took the Mass seriously and understood what it meant to receive the sacraments. These people were not crass modernists bent on destroying anything, let alone Holy Mother Church. These people were the solid backbone that built the Churches, had large families, and sent their children to Catholic schools.

Fast-forward to 1975, 10 years later: the Devastated Vineyard. God in his infinite Wisdom and Justice chastises us ... perhaps, all is not quite what it appears on the outside.

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Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:44 am
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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
It's somewhat unclear how unCatholicized the Japanese really were. I think we should be careful about statistics and reception of sacraments including Mass attendance as a basis for determining the Catholic Faith of any group.


Dear Teresa,

I don't understand your comment. Have you read about the Japanese Christians? It is not unclear to me how unCatholicised they were, because I've read about them fairly extensively. They had almost nothing of the Faith left, and the result was that very many, possibly even most, of them didn't return to the sacraments when these were again available.

Mass attendance and reception of the sacraments are the traditional litmus test of Catholicism, and for good reasons. Many Catholics have always held some erroneous ideas without pertinacity. But those who stayed away from Church were referred to commonly as apostates. Actions speak louder than words. I'm not of course commenting in this place on home-aloners; they have a (weird) theoretical basis for their choices. I'm commenting merely on the generic statement you made above, which seems to me to invert the usual common sense approach. Have I misunderstood you?

Are you saying that you think that it is unclear what the facts about the Japanese were, having done some research yourself, or are you saying that it is unclear from the comments made here?

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Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:17 am
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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
John Lane wrote:
Mass attendance and reception of the sacraments are the traditional litmus test of Catholicism, and for good reasons. ... Have I misunderstood you?

Are you saying that you think that it is unclear what the facts about the Japanese were, having done some research yourself, or are you saying that it is unclear from the comments made here?


John,

Several misunderstandings: one, it is unclear to me as to the state of 'all' the Japanese Catholics when the missionaries returned. I believe I've read the same statements about the Japanese Catholics that Pat Beck referred to in her post above. I was not aware that this was some 'puffed propaganda' by the home-aloners. You seem to state it as fact that the Japanese Catholics were in fact not Catholic. I believe I've read in My Catholic Faith (?) the story of the Japanese Catholics as an example of "holding on to the Faith". The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) also indicates the "extreme ardour" of the Japanese Catholics and their zeal toward the missionaries. Certainly, these sources would not be considered a present-day propagandist line. So, yes, it still is unclear to me as to the true state of the Japanese 'Catholics'. Perhaps, your understanding is more accurate.

Two, I am not disputing the obvious Catholic fact that Catholics must attend Mass and receive the sacraments when they can. I am only making an historical observation that external compliance to Church discipline on the part of Catholics does not necessarily equate to being 'good' Catholics ... that is all. Examples, three: (1) the glorious 13th century, schools, hospitals, abbeys, monasteries, universities, grand religious orders ... followed only decades later by the most devastating plague in human history ... 1/3 to 1/2 of Europe lay dead over a period of 15 years. (2) the reviving 16th century with its majestic papal courts, beautiful liturgies, and observant Catholics ... followed by the horrors of the Protestant revolt. (3) the 20th century, with its missionary zeal, burgeoning religious orders, and flowering lay organizations ... followed by WWI, WWII, and VII. There appears to be a disconnect for most of us Catholics between reception of the sacraments and the translation of those graces received into a truly Catholic life. Perhaps, the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican is in order here; for, as Sacred Scripture says: "with the most of us, God was not well-pleased".

By the by, I suspect that most sedeplenists would think that not only home-aloners but sedes also, have "a (weird) theoretical basis for their choices". :D

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Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:43 am
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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
it is unclear to me as to the state of 'all' the Japanese Catholics when the missionaries returned.


Why are you replacing my "many" with an "all"?


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I believe I've read the same statements about the Japanese Catholics that Pat Beck referred to in her post above.


Maybe you have. Maybe we both have. Those Japanese Catholics whose Faith survived are indeed wonderful examples for us all, and a consolation for those who are deprived of the Mass and sacraments through no fault of their own. I hope we can agree on that much.

On the other hand, I hope we can also agree that the citing of the case of the Japanese Catholics as a means of devaluing the reception of the sacraments is an invalid argument. That many Japanese survived the experience is consoling; that it is a good idea to live without sacraments unless absolutely necessary is stupid and unCatholic.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
You seem to state it as fact that the Japanese Catholics were in fact not Catholic. I believe I've read in My Catholic Faith (?) the story of the Japanese Catholics as an example of "holding on to the Faith". The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) also indicates the "extreme ardour" of the Japanese Catholics and their zeal toward the missionaries.

I hope you see how much damage replacing "many" with "all" can do. I would have thought traditional Catholics would be keenly aware of the distinction.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I am only making an historical observation that external compliance to Church discipline on the part of Catholics does not necessarily equate to being 'good' Catholics ... that is all. Examples, three: (1) the glorious 13th century, schools, hospitals, abbeys, monasteries, universities, grand religious orders ... followed only decades later by the most devastating plague in human history ... 1/3 to 1/2 of Europe lay dead over a period of 15 years.

This does not mean that the life of the Catholics of the thirteenth century deserved the plague. It may easily be seen as a great harvest of souls, one which would not have been possible if life had continued to be "good" for people as it had been before.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
(2) the reviving 16th century with its majestic papal courts, beautiful liturgies, and observant Catholics ... followed by the horrors of the Protestant revolt.

The court of Pope Leo X was scandalously worldly, even if magnificent. I don't think you could describe Roman life prior to the sack of Rome as "pious" on any scale. The sack was was a chastisement, as was the Protestant Revolt.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
(3) the 20th century, with its missionary zeal, burgeoning religious orders, and flowering lay organizations ... followed by WWI, WWII, and VII.

Well, look at these things supernaturally. The wars harvested souls prepared by the sacramental life of the Church. Vatican II was the natural result, and the punishment of, the worldliness of the post-war era.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
There appears to be a disconnect for most of us Catholics between reception of the sacraments and the translation of those graces received into a truly Catholic life. Perhaps, the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican is in order here; for, as Sacred Scripture says: "with the most of us, God was not well-pleased".

Yes. :)

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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
John Lane wrote:
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
it is unclear to me as to the state of 'all' the Japanese Catholics when the missionaries returned.


Why are you replacing my "many" with an "all"?


Good catch.

John Lane wrote:

Well, look at these things supernaturally. The wars harvested souls prepared by the sacramental life of the Church. Vatican II was the natural result, and the punishment of, the worldliness of the post-war era.


I tended to look at these things through the eyes of Sacred Scripture, the example of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, and the words of Our Lady of Fatima as wars being punishment for sin. It certainly is true that great chastisements are harvesters of souls, but I thought chastisements were seen as punishment for sin, and opportunities for amendment of life. :oops:

John Lane wrote:
This does not mean that the life of the Catholics of the thirteenth century deserved the plague.


It, nevertheless, was a great chastisement. Are chastisements not punishment for sin? :?:

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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
It, nevertheless, was a great chastisement. Are chastisements not punishment for sin? :?:


Yes, of course, but all men are sinners, even the saints, if you see what I mean. These questions are all relative, and we are touching here the deepest mysteries of Providence.

The question of what each evil event is, in its essential causes and nature, can be viewed from a number of angles, because human events are complex. My main objection was to the reference to the plague as primarily a punishment for sin, when in fact it seems to me that if we were to view it that way we'd have to despair of ever giving God any satisfaction, if the expression will serve, whereas the truth is that God is infinitely merciful and loves our efforts even when feeble and fruitless, as long as they are carried out with the right spirit. There seems to be a species of blasphemy in suggesting that the thirteenth century deserved the plague. Do you see what I mean? I mean, we always deserve a plague, of course, but that's not the point.

But yes, the wars were punishments for sin, but what is the punishment of a son if not a merciful correction intended to produce a change for the better? And what is the death of countless men who have been freshly shriven, but a harvest of souls for heavenly glory? To suggest that the reception of the sacraments and the practice of religion generally is completely ineffective in most cases would seem to signify a hopelessness unfitted to the Christian outlook. Christ has done a very great deal for these souls and surely He will bring them safe home somehow, despite their unworthiness?

St. Vincent Ferrer was suspected by the Inquisition at one point because he suggested that somehow Our Lord possibly saved Judas. If we err (and we all err), let's err in this way. Let's see God's mercy in everything. Did you hear my speech from the Fatima Conference last year? I tried to catalogue some of the goods which God will draw from this crisis. That's what it is really about, you know. God is working great goods. We don't see them because we are too carnal. I'm not denying the evils, of course - far from it! - but rather suggesting that these are only part, and even the lesser part, of the picture. They are the rough material, the scraps, from which the Divine Architect produces masterpieces. Think of the Exultet: "O happy fault, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!"

Can we turn this crisis inside out and thus see it the right way? That's the great question, upon which depends, in large part, our ability to remain hopeful about the situation and not descend into that awful depression of focussing always on the crimes and sadnesses of the world. I'm not suggesting that describes you, of course, I'm just trying to communicate a kind of mental tone or colour which I think is authentically Christian. The saints lived joyfully right through the horrors of the Coliseum.

We're a long way from the point now, but to bring it back into focus, I don't agree that "external compliance to Church discipline on the part of Catholics does not necessarily equate to being 'good' Catholics." To the contrary, that's how we are to judge, if we must judge (and sometimes we must). And if that external compliance is followed by what appears to be a punishment, then this seems to me to be a chastisement of those He loves, for their greater good. Does that make better sense?

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New post Re: Catholics assisting at valid Indult/Motu Mass
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
It's somewhat unclear how unCatholicized the Japanese really were.


Agreed. Apparently there were enough Japanese REAL Catholics so that the Masonic enemy atom-bombed them in Nagasaki in 1945.

The blood of those 15,000 or so martyrs in Nagasaki who died in the 1500s must have been worth something.

It seems to me that in BOTH cases, God took His loved ones home so that they wouldn't become contaminated by the world and lose their souls.

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Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:27 pm
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New post Motu Propio
John,

Perhaps, you should move these last posts to a new thread. We're way off topic here.

Wonderful post. "We are touching the deepest mysteries of Providence", when we talk of chastisement for sin. Chastisement is always necessary as punishment, correction, and as a opportunity for loving Our Lord more, and sharing in His Passion, "to fill up those sufferings wanting in Christ". So, indeed, "all things work to good, for those that believe in God".

I in no-wise want to imply that the sacraments are not necessary for salvation, or that one should not attempt to receive them when available. The actual necessity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the reception of sacraments is one of my principal reasons for being a sedeplenist.

However, I still think that "the external compliance of Catholics to Church discipline in not an indication of the state of the Church". Let's examine the 13th and 20th centuries more closely. Nothing happens by accident or chance in this world. When God intervenes in history in such dramatic ways as a universal plague, world wars, or a Church council such as Vatican II; this is done as punishment and correction. Certainly, many individuals can and do benefit greatly from such 'evils': benefit to the salvation of their souls. However, God's most certain indictment of these eras is, also, meant for our correction (as St. Paul said, loosely). We should try to learn something from these Providential signs.

When you punish/correct your children, you do it out of love for your children. You want to move them into the right paths, so your correction is seen as a sign of mercy, love, and justice. We assume most times when you do this, something is amiss in your childrens' behavior. (Granted that occasionally you may attempt to use correction to help increase virtue, even when correction seems not to be necessary: this, however, is probably not often used). When God visits us with catacalysmic chastisements, it would certainly appear that something is amiss in our spiritual lives: most often lukewarmness. So, the great punishments of the 13th and 20th centuries appear as God's direct intervention to set things right.

Surely, many individuals gain great merit at these times. Many souls are saved that most definitely would not have been saved otherwise. But the fact still remains that there was behavior not in accordance with the love of God which God set out to correct. God's correction can only be viewed as merciful, kind, and just.

From an outside view, the life of the Church in her members 'seemed' healthy and vibrant in both those centuries; and, no doubt many individuals were pleasing God. But, there must have been enough inappropriate behavior that warranted a "setting right" by God.

I'm simply trying to point out that the reception of the sacraments and the translation of the graces of those sacraments into a life pleasing to God may not always be connected. If anything, this should not be seen as an attempt to stop receiving the sacraments; but, rather a plea to take these sacraments more seriously.

Enough from my side.

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Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:47 pm
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Dear Teresa,

I don't think we're far apart.

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
So, the great punishments of the 13th and 20th centuries appear as God's direct intervention to set things right.

I agree with almost all you've written except that I still can't accept that the plague was a punishment for the 13th century. (The Black Death began in the middle of the 14th century, btw, not in the 13th. You seemed clear on this initially, but now you're speaking of it as a 13th century event. Just clarifying.).


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
From an outside view, the life of the Church in her members 'seemed' healthy and vibrant in both those centuries; and, no doubt many individuals were pleasing God. But, there must have been enough inappropriate behavior that warranted a "setting right" by God.

I'm simply trying to point out that the reception of the sacraments and the translation of the graces of those sacraments into a life pleasing to God may not always be connected.

It's quite right to say that we must not judge by appearances, but rather judge justly. I think that's in Holy Writ. But this must be understood aright. We have to judge by appearances - they are all that we have. The point is not to deny the validity of judgements based upon the evidence, but to ensure that we keep in mind our frailty and the fact that the evidence may in some cases mislead. St. Pius X, "Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action." These are the externals. We must form our judgements in accord with them. Bellarmine refers to the same truths, "men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic."

Apply these principles to the religious practices of Catholics and you'll see my point, perhaps?



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
If anything, this should not be seen as an attempt to stop receiving the sacraments; but, rather a plea to take these sacraments more seriously.

Sure.

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Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:54 pm
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New post Motu Proprio
John,

I agree we may not be that far apart. We're, perhaps, speaking past one another. To clarify, yes the plague happened in the mid-1300's; shortly after the 13th century. Our main difference would be the issue of the Black Death. I wonder what the Church said about this; how She viewed it. Whatever Holy Mother Church said about it, that's my view, too. :)

Thank you, again, for your elaboration on the subject of punishment.

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Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:05 am
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Teresa,

Another thought which may assist.

It is commonly taught that God gives whatever goods He can to all men. Some He can give salvation, because they will do what is necessary; others He cannot give salvation because they will not cooperate, but because He is goodness itself and goodness desires to communicate itself, He gives them worldly goods instead.

Now, to the first group He gives chastisements and crosses, to assist them in the way of perfection. The archetypal saint is of course Our Lord, and He was chastised beyond measure. Our Lady stands beside Him, Queen of Martyrs.

On the other hand consider the worldly, who often live apparently happy lives surrounded by luxury, never suffering any great privation or trial, and die impenitent.

Do the first group deserve punishments more than the second group? More often? More severe? Of course not.

But His ways are not our ways, and He will render ultimate justice at the particular judgement of each, at the General Judgement, and for all eternity. In the mean time He is managing His affairs in accord with His designs. Providence.

The danger is not, of course, to see in chastisements a deserved punishment for sin. All chastisements are that. Even the chastisements of Our Lord Jesus Christ were just punishments for sin, because of His (voluntarily assumed) position as new Head of the human race. He became our representative so that He could bear the punishments due to our sins. The infliction of those punishments was therefore strict justice, despite the personal innocence of He Who suffered.

So yes, the plague, the withdrawal of light and grace in our time, all wars, are punishments for sin. But unless we have some basis such as Our Lady of Fatima's words regarding specific wars and punishments, the danger is that we will apply our reasoning to God's actions in a way that is simply wrong. His ways are not our ways.

The men of the 'fifties may have been hypocrites who deserved Vatican II. I don't think that's a fair assessment, but even if that were true it wouldn't be the whole story. Much more important is the fact that this trial is for those who receive it well and use it rightly, a means of sanctity and of giving glory to God. Viewed from this angle wars can be seen to be harvests of souls, and large-scale apostasies can be viewed as purifying processes intended to increase the quality of the stock. Please forgive my agricultural metaphors!

Making sense?

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Last edited by Admin on Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:03 pm
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John Lane wrote:

Making sense?


Of course, John, this makes sense. I certainly did not mean that punishments/corrections were not in themselves times of exceeding graces. I think the issue is the statement you made that "the 13th century didn't deserve The Great Pestilence". I think the mind of the Church has always been that plague, famine (natural disasters), and war are punishments/corrections of sin. Now, we sin everyday, so everyday we "deserve" a punishment/correction. What God sends, we deserve. But, seen in only the initial sense, the absolute catastrophe that was the Black Death (it killed from 1/3 to 1/2 the population of Europe over 15 years, and was one of the main causes of the death of feudalism) cannot be viewed as a "reward" for good supernatural behavior.

Did good things result from the plague? Absolutely, it was a time of abounding grace, and a wonderful opportunity for conversion and repentance. I still see it in the light that Holy Mother Church would view this large catastrophe as essentially a punishment for grave sin. The effects of the plague are wonderful opportunities to reap the harvest of souls, but the onset of the plague is the same as the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, Babylonian Captivity, etc., etc., right on through to all the plagues, natural disasters, and wars of our time.

Has not the Church said repeatedly, even in Her Liturgy, that plagues, famines, and wars are punishment for sin? Does She not pray that we will not be visited with plagues, famines, and wars as a consequence of our sin. Does She not urge with all Her Power, as did Our Lady of Fatima, for conversion and prayer and penance. Did not Our Lady of Fatima say, "if you do not heed my requests (convert, prayer, and penance: stop the bad behavior), a greater war will break out". Is not the assumption that it would be as She said: "wars are punishment for sin". "Also, if you do comply with my requests, a time of peace will come to the world".

We may still be talking past each other. I understand what you are trying to say, and don't disagree with much of what you say. However, I view the 13th century very similarly to the early-to-mid 20th century for a not insignificant group of the Church's members: all flower, little root.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:08 am
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Dear Teresa,

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
But, seen in only the initial sense, the absolute catastrophe that was the Black Death (it killed from 1/3 to 1/2 the population of Europe over 15 years, and was one of the main causes of the death of feudalism) cannot be viewed as a "reward" for good supernatural behavior.


I'm not sure that the only alternative to "the plague was a punishment for the thirteenth century" is "the plague was a reward for the thirteenth century." Nor was I saying that.

I see history partly as a training process for the human race. He began as an infant, passed through adolescence, and on to adulthood. He is grown old and frail now, it seems. But at each stage God provides what is suitable to the stage of development. I think this view is the mind of the Church. At least, that's where I believe that I got it. The withdrawal of some goods at some times, and other goods at others, is Providential management, and the danger is that we will narrow these events down to something essentially distorting to a sane and proper view of things.

War is directly produced by sin. Apostasy is directly produced by sin. The plague was not directly produced by sin, but rather it was in the order of a natural evil, such as a flood or an earthquake. (These too are produced by Original Sin, but that is a distinct matter - we are agreed that all evils are punishments for sin.) Did God inflict the plague upon the mid-fourteenth century because men deserved it more then than at other times? Or did He have some more sophisticated purpose and plan? I suspect the latter, but my point is that whichever view you take, you're putting your own construction on it.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I still see it in the light that Holy Mother Church would view this large catastrophe as essentially a punishment for grave sin.

No problem, but that's not all you said - you decided to apply it to a specific sin, and you still are doing so, and further, you drew from this somewhat arbitrary assessment the additional conclusion that we cannot judge men as virtuous merely by their virtuous behaviour.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Did not Our Lady of Fatima say, "if you do not heed my requests (convert, prayer, and penance: stop the bad behavior), a greater war will break out". Is not the assumption that it would be as She said: "wars are punishment for sin". "Also, if you do comply with my requests, a time of peace will come to the world".

Yes, in these cases we have divine instructions on the particular meaning of these events.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
However, I view the 13th century very similarly to the early-to-mid 20th century for a not insignificant group of the Church's members: all flower, little root.

Well, this is always true. :) But I would be inclined to agree with you about the last century, and I would be loath to agree with you in respect of the thirteenth century. The latter was one of the most spiritually deep-rooted eras in the history of the world. Its flowers are still being produced to this day.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:31 am
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John Lane wrote:
Did God inflict the plague upon the mid-fourteenth century because men deserved it more then than at other times? Or did He have some more sophisticated purpose and plan? I suspect the latter, but my point is that whichever view you take, you're putting your own construction on it.


Are you saying, "my own construction on it", or whichever view anyone takes, "they're putting their own construction on it"? Is your view putting your own construction on it, that is?

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I still see it in the light that Holy Mother Church would view this large catastrophe as essentially a punishment for grave sin.


John Lane wrote:
No problem, but that's not all you said - you decided to apply it to a specific sin, and you still are doing so, and further, you drew from this somewhat arbitrary assessment the additional conclusion that we cannot judge men as virtuous merely by their virtuous behaviour.


I hadn't realized that I applied it to a 'specific' sin. If that's how it came across, that is incorrect. I meant much of any sin, in general. However, we can say with St. Paul, "where sin did abound, grace did abound, the more".

John Lane wrote:
But I would be inclined to agree with you about the last century, and I would be loath to agree with you in respect of the thirteenth century. The latter was one of the most spiritually deep-rooted eras in the history of the world. Its flowers are still being produced to this day.


Agreed. However, the effects of the Great Pestilence are, also, still being being effected to this day.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:22 am
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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Are you saying, "my own construction on it", or whichever view anyone takes, "they're putting their own construction on it"? Is your view putting your own construction on it, that is?


Yes, of course. Although my main point is one of principle, and that is not mine but rather it is that of the spiritual writers I have read. So, in principle we don't know that the plague was a punishment for some particular sinfulness of that time, and certainly not of the thirteenth century. But we do know various principles which together constitute the theology of history. We know for example that evils are punishments for sin; we know that God chastises in this life those whom He loves; and we know that there is a broader plan for history than merely a framework within which events randomly occur in accord with pre-established laws - that is, that God actively manages His creation. We call this Providence, and we know some features of it but not all. In essence I would say that my objection to your comment was that it appears to me to be the reduction of all of this to a single principle, as though every time something bad happens we know God is angry. Can you see how counter-Christian such a view is?



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I hadn't realized that I applied it to a 'specific' sin. If that's how it came across, that is incorrect. I meant much of any sin, in general.

Yes, spiritual shallowness. Essentially, hypocrisy. Taking spiritual goods and preventing them from penetrating to the depths. Placing obstacles to grace. That sin.

You said that the thirteenth century was followed by a great evil, and this must have been the punishment of some sin, so you infer that the spirituality of the men of that time was not what it seemed. I reject that analysis completely, for the reasons given.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:05 am
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Dear Teresa,

Sorry to persecute you like this, but it's a capital point.

Quote:
John, 9:1-3. And Jesus passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.


St. Gregory the Gtreat, commenting upon this passage, says, "One stroke falls on the sinner, for punishment only, not conversion; another for correction; another not for correction of past sins, but prevention of future; another neither for correcting past, nor preventing future sins, but by the unexpected deliverance following the blow, to excite more ardent love of the Saviour's goodness."

I take from this that we don't know why any chastisement falls, specifically, unless we are told by heaven (e.g. Fatima) but we must take from it the right lesson in any case.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:46 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Dear Teresa,

Sorry to persecute you like this, but it's a capital point.



My goodness, John, why would you think you are persecuting me. I find this forum instructional. I have never felt persected in the least. If I can't take instruction, well-given, I would refrain from participating in the forum. So, please, don't think that.

You beat me to the punch on the quote from St. John 9: 1-3. I was going to say that it is not up to judge, take scandal, or put unkindly interpretations on any individual, nation, peoples, or generation. We should view these events as God's goodness, and beneficence in His Divine Providence for everyone's growth in virtue. We should not give way to the temptation of the Calvinist mind that: "good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people". That particular mind-set further gives way to the Malthusian idea of "those bad people should not even be helped, since it would be better they perish than live and be a blot on the rest of the 'good' people.

We should remember that what happens to any member of the Mystical Body, happens to us, as "we are members, of member". Also, all individuals should share in our spiritual and corporal works of mercy. At times of calamities, are only concern should be to assist in any way we can, knowing that suffering while always a sign of God's mercy and essential in the spiritual order, is, nevertheless, acutely difficult in the natural order. We, that are not undergoing that particular trial, should only extend our prayers, hands, and hearts to those in need. We will, ourselves, be undergoing our own trials, perhaps, very soon: "do unto others ... etc."

Why God proceeds as He does, should be left within His Wisdom, Mercy, and Justice: "who as known the Mind of the Lord, or who has been His Counselor ..." We need only take care of the duties expected of us.

I think I've got it down. Right? Thanks for the instruction.

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:56 pm
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Teresa Ginardi wrote:
My goodness, John, why would you think you are persecuting me. I find this forum instructional. I have never felt persected in the least. If I can't take instruction, well-given, I would refrain from participating in the forum. So, please, don't think that.

Wonderful, and thank you for making me think as you have. I learned something from this too. A sensible discussion clarifies one's thoughts admirably.



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I was going to say that it is not up to judge, take scandal, or put unkindly interpretations on any individual, nation, peoples, or generation.

Yes, this is a good distinction I had intended to make also - that between how we take our own trials and how we view those imposed on others. It's always easy to see why others deserve to suffer. :) This is not to say that a preacher ought not to point to trials and tell people that these are punishments from God and we ought to repent. It's a question of the proper proportions, of maintaining a balance, I think. It's the office of a preacher to pass some judgement on others - it's not ours.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
We should not give way to the temptation of the Calvinist mind that: "good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people".

Yes, exactly. Much of the tone of the modern world is essentially Calvinist, including its love of money, its worship of material progress, its intolerance of any real thought, its preference for industrialised "charity" purchased at a safe distance from the dirt, its constant search for somebody to blame when things go awry, its two-dimensional concept of God as the stern ruler who really only exists to frighten the children into going to bed on time, etc.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
We should remember that what happens to any member of the Mystical Body, happens to us, as "we are members, of member".

Yes, great point. And its corollary – that there but for the grace of God go I. We are preserved out of the general apostasy, not through any merits of ours, but purely and solely by His mercy, for reasons entirely within His goodness and outside of our own orbit. We don’t usually think this way but it’s the truth and we must try to recall it and, eventually, make it our habitual view. How much evil would be avoided if this could happen! How much good would be done by men with such a view!



Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I think I've got it down. Right?

Yes, I think so. Much better than I expressed it. :)

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Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:47 pm
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