Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Last Post 'Til Easter

Howdy fellow Okies, Okie Trads and Friends from Far and Near, wanted to let you know I'm givin' up blogging for Lent, which is a bit selfish to TBH, since it simultaneously curbs what has become at times addictive, while also serving as a Lenten penance.

Also please keep me in your prayers, as I'm recovering from a weird run of medical issues in the last several weeks-- seemingly serious but in the end minimal--that started with a Low Back Injury (which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy), then a facial nerve compression from sleeping on my hand (which produces paresthesia) which thank God is healing and "fading away," a CT scan to rule out stroke (which it did!), oh and for good measure an MRI (a 30 minute purgatorial experience) from my family doc to verify an arachnoid cyst in my skull (which turns out I have, but probably since birth, these things being benign--thank the Good God and Divine Physician!!!).

My last health challenge is overcoming weeks of insomnia, i.e. for me trouble falling back to sleep due to these symptoms (+ worries).  Such has been my pre-Lent gauntlet, which I offer up in reparation for my own sins, for the grace to once and for all overcome my personal sins, and in the end I think to become a stronger man and Catholic for it, according to my state in life.  

So besides abstaining from blogging, then, I'll also be offering up the residual effects of these recent crosses in the next weeks to come.

Come Easter Vigil when we stand outside watching Father light the Easter fire, know I'll be prayin' for you all.  So, I'll be seein' you all in a few weeks, 40 days as it were.  We'll celebrate the Resurrection with a roasted pig and flowing wine, as signs of the renewal of our Christian soul!  Happy Fat Tuesday!

lechon1_3.jpg (750×499)

water-into-wine.jpg (421×311)


Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Good Fruits of Summorum Pontificum

I was just watching a youtube video talk about the Mass given by a former Okie Trad from OKC, Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, who I knew back in the day visiting Clear Creek monastery before he entered the seminary.  This young priest is brilliant; last I heard he was headmaster at St. Gregory's boys school back in Pennsylvnia.



Someone in the audience asked if the Church was heading in the direction of every parish having a Latin Mass.  Fr. Nolan said Yes, he thinks there will be at least half of parishes with the traditional Mass, and asserted that half the priests in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia already say regular TLMs.


Folks, brace yourself!  Here's the current list!!!

https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/Catechetical-Resources/Worship-and-Prayer/Liturgy/Masses-in-the-Extraordinary-Form/

LINK



Holy Trinity Parish, Gainesville: Sundays at 12:30 p.m.



Saint Anthony Mission, King George: Sundays at 12:45 p.m.; Thursdays at 9 a.m.



Saint John the Apostle Parish, Leesburg: Sundays at 10:30 a.m. (in the Historic church).



Saint John the Baptist Parish, Front Royal: Sundays at 12:30 p.m.; Mondays at 7 a.m. in the Chapel; Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Contact the parish for more detail (540-635-3780)



Saint John the Beloved Parish, McLean: Sundays at noon; Mondays at 7:30 p.m. (Low Mass)



Saint Lawrence Parish, Alexandria: Sundays at 12:30 p.m.



Saint Mary Parish, Alexandria: Third Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m.



Saint Michael Parish, Annandale: Sundays at 7:00 a.m.



Saint Patrick Parish, Fredericksburg: Sundays at 1:30 p.m.



Saint Raymond of Penafort Parish, Springfield: First and third Fridays of each month at 7 p.m.



Saint Rita Parish, Alexandria: First Sundays of the month at 9:40 a.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Alt Right. My Opinion.

My friend and blogger colleague Laramie Hirsch is a decided die-hard Alt Righter.  For years he has followed Alt Right blogs and forums.  I have not.

header-2400x1200-121123395115.jpg (2400×1200)

How to define what Alt Right is?  How much can traditional Catholics get involved in the Alt Right?


I'ts Saturday morning, and the caffeine from my morning coffee is setting in.  I'll be addressing these poignant questions in today's segment.


You'll be very hard pressed to get an Alt Right advocate to clearly explain what the Alt Right is, define it, list its specific ideals, especially it's positive goals and truths.  But I'll try and give my own fair take on what it is.


The Okie Traditionalist's Definition of the Alt Right!

The "Alt Right" is an ideology and socio-political movement, mainly on the internet, of websites, blogs, and forums, which opposes liberalism, neconservativism, multiculturalism, and globalism, while promoting a mainly caucasian European-American nationalism, return to foundations of Western Civilization, and restoration of the dignity of white men.
Can we get involved in this movement?

I think we can, but marginally at most.  There are good alt-right authors and principles, but in my observations this online phenomenon is riddled with serious problems, from the perspective of Catholic morality and Catholic teaching on race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc..  The Alt Right does not per se hold a Christian society as an ideal, as one of its central values.  Some may, but generally the ideology is not promoting a Christian society or world view.   It's conservativism is libertarian and nationalistic, but not "socially conservative."


Can there be a "traditional Catholic niche" within the Alt Right movement?  Hirsch thinks so, and is an advocate for the notion, God bless him.  But I remain skeptical.

What is the alternative?


As Catholics we must be political.  We must promote just government and a society that is based on Christian morality.  The Church says that.  How much we get involved in any political movement would depend on the proportion that movement is in conformity with this standard.


But I don't see the need for a loose "umbrella" which the Alt Right says it is, under which conservatives dwell, i.e. those who reject liberalism and neo-conservativism.   It's like Hans Solo walking into that bar with all the different exotic aliens.  So what if all sorts of species fit into the intergalactic Empire. Unless the "Empire" presents itself as a clearly definable, definite entity with a specific creed--and a creed that is in conformity with the true religion--then it comes across nonsensical to be seriously part of it.  Why not just be under the smaller umbrella of a more specific political movement?  In this case the Alt Right would be the Empire.  And it comes across as deliberately nebulous.


The alternative is simply to be a traditional conservative, and to support political movements, but not to become seriously committed to their ideology. Instead of shifting, man-made ideologies, the Church says to turn to doctrine, especially from the popes, on the Social Kingship of Christ, government, society, culture, etc.  Make the Catholic system the primary source of socio-political truth, and ultimate guide to navigating the waters of political movements like the Alt Right.





Thursday, February 16, 2017

On an SSPX Personal Prelature. My Argument.

A priest in the know told me that the documents giving final approval for the Society of St. Pius X as a Personal Prelature are sitting on the desk of Pope Francis, waiting for his signature.

firma-740x493.jpg (740×493)

Meanwhile most pro-SSPX voices in the blogosphere right now are skeptical and unsupporting of the initiative.  I understand the arguments.  Pope Francis is arguably the most questionable pope in Church history. The Dubia of the 4 Cardinals has backed him into a corner; a first-step Formal Correction is expected. The modernists want to quarantine off the traditionalists, and one day snuff them us out.  The Society will face pressures to compromise under the threat of persecution.  But hear me out.

simon-cowell.jpg (307×400)

The crux of the matter is the sine qua non requirement of the Society before it will sign: it must be admitted they have the right to publicly resist-criticize-clarify certain doctrinal errors in the documents of Vatican II and the text of the New Mass.  In other words they must be accepted AS IS.

The Vatican Prelate in charge of SSPX-Vatican negotiations recently stated that the Society's doctrinal positions (dubia) are in fact permissible, and not an impediment to their canonical regularization.  By the way, this one issue has been THE issue until now.  

The Vatican modernists who want to make the Pastoral Council an infallible super-dogma, and make Catholics blindly accept it--without actually catechizing them about it in the first place--have been holding Absolute Acceptance of all VII documents over the heads of the SSPX, under threat of excommunication.  Turns out their human ultimatum is not orthodox.  Admitting the pastoral statements in question are not infallible, and the SSPX (and I'd think the FSSP, etc) can in fact raise public objections would be a major paradigm shift, I'd think.  The question of the Vatican II Reform would become a more universal discussion.

Turns out that yes, Catholics can respectfully question non-infallible, pastoral statements, without being labelled schismatics, as theologians have done before over certain statements made by ecumenical councils.

Archbishop Lefebvre himself stated several times, even towards the end of his life after relations with Rome broke down, that he wanted an "Experiment of Tradition," his words, an experiment, as long as they were not required to compromise on doctrine, and could have their own bishop.  To try it.

001_SignatureAccordLefebvre1988.jpg (403×376)

Flash forward 25+ years later, and the Superior General Bishop Fellay has achieved much more leverage and protection for the Society in relations with Rome.  The stigma of being backward for their attachment to the Tridentine Mass has at least been officially lifted with Summorum Pontificum, after which a Motu Proprio Latin Mass movement exploded worldwide, with many more priests and laity thinking along the lines of the SSPX and actually in support of it.  The doctrinal issues have been underlined and clarified as best as can be expected for now by the 2009-2011 SSPX-Vatican Doctrinal Commission.

And it was NEVER a sine qua non of ABL that modernist Rome must first convert back to Tradition, and that a normal state of the Church be restored.

So yes, I'm an SSPX Accordista, 100% in favor of trying a Personal Prelature ad experimentum.  Here's my top 10 reasons why I think it's a good idea.

Top 10 Reasons Why an SSPX Personal Prelature is a Good Idea:

1.  As Bishop Schneider recently stated, if Rome pressures the SSPX to compromise on their identity, they can resist to the point of pulling out of the Personal Prelature and continue as they have been since their illegal suppression in 1975.



Recent Interview of Bishop Athanasius Schneider about the SSPX Personal Prelature.  This is BRILLIANT.  A MUST WATCH.  Pop some Popcorn!

2. Every SSPX chapel, school, priory, etc already established on all the habitable continents (the international SSPX is huge by the way), would automatically be approved by Rome permanently within each individual diocese, with a permanent right to continue independent of the local bishop.

3. The head of the SSPX prelature would be a Bishop with jurisdictional authority over the laity who attend SSPX chapels, such that the laity are not compelled to attend Mass anywhere else than an SSPX chapel.  This would be laid out in the STATUTES of the prelature, in a very specific way that guarantees autonomy of the SSPX effectively as a "non-territorial diocese."  The key to the structure is the statutes, which by all reports has already been worked out.

4. The Archbishop always wanted an "Experiment of Tradition."  Some SSPX supporters may not know that the Archbishop insisted to his priests that they maintain relations with Rome and seek ordinary union with the pope, based on the doctrinal imperatives of unity with the Successors of St. Peter.  He was not a sedevacantist or stubborn separatist.

5. According to Bishop Fellay in a recent interview, the Bishop over the SSPX would be able to incardinate new religious orders under its umbrella.  That would not only include the MANY orders, monasteries, and convents already under the SSPX umbrella, but anytime a traditionalist order or priest gets evicted from a diocese, no worries, they can go under the SSPX. Mother Miriam, if you're reading, I hope you'd consider this option for your community recently severed from the Tulsa Diocese.

6. The SSPX will not allow itself to be quarantined off.  No, it is arguably the most evangelical force of traditional Catholicism in the world.  True, many of its members can tend to be insular, but its momentum has always been outward, pro-active, and international. I think that comes from the extraordinary apostolic spirit of the saintly missionary bishop who founded their society.  

Trouble is their irregular status has kept them in the dark in all dioceses.  Almost no Catholic in any diocese knows about the local SSPX chapel.  I can assure you, the canonically recognized SSPX will make sure Catholics in the diocese know they exist.  Imagine the many dioceses who would at least somewhat welcome them or authentically tolerate them, such that they have access to avenues in the diocesan structure such as the Diocesan Registry of parishes, Catholic conferences, priest meetings, diocesan March for Life, etc, etc, etc. The SSPX is crafty.  They have decades of experience knowing how to astutely navigate irregular settings.

7. A Prelature may mean a NEW phase for the Traditional Movement, increasing unity among traditionalists, which is greatly needed.  For example, while I know that your average FSSP priest will not preach against the New Mass from the pulpit, catch them after Mass and most will gladly tell you its dangers.  I'd wager a months wages most FSSP priests privately agree, for the most part, with Archbishop Lefebvre. 

Officially, part of the raison de faire of the FSSP was to bridge the SSPX back into normal union with Rome, but unofficially they are practically almost the same entity as the SSPX.  Decades of hostility can be addressed.  I predict that the canonically recognized SSPX will become the unofficial unifier for the traditionalist movement.  Many conservatives will shift to the right towards traditionalism, and many Ecclesia dei trads will gravitate more towards the SSPX.  

Its ironic how the "Francis Effect" is indirectly solidifying the traditional practice of the Faith, as opposed to the post-Vatican II apostasy.  

8. Truth be told, the irregular situation of the SSPX has partly created countless examples of bizarre weirdness in the Society.  Sit down after Mass with someone who's been with the Society for years, and they'll admit there are many extreme elements and extremely dysfunctional patterns in the Society. 

Bishop Fellay himself said this was one important reason to seek normalcy in the Church.  I'm talking about Catholics who lack foundational knowledge about the institutional Church, the life of a diocese or even a normal parish life.  I'd predict a small minority would resist this normalizing effect, and leave for "resistance" or sedevacantist chapels, but friends this experiment might make SSPX chapels more hospitable and inviting places to practice traditional Catholicism.

9. Our goal is not to form private clubs of self-enlightened traditionalists with gnostic knowledge about the Crisis.  Our aim is not merely to have our private experience of the Tridentine Mass and acquire a "sacrament machine" priest to hear confessions and offer a valid Mass.  Our spirit is not that of the synagogue, but that of the Catholic Church.  We must be actively trying to bring all novus ordo Catholics to Catholic Tradition, which means to the True Mass at our chapels and parishes.  The TLM is not a mere liturgical preference for a private group of Gregorian chant/Latin nerds who want conservative liturgy.  A Prelature would communicate to the world more loudly than ever the reality of the traditional Mass/Faith.

10. All the conditions for an Agreement, as stipulated by Archbishop Lefebvre, and even more strictly by Bishop Fellay, HAVE FINALLY BEEN MET.  All that is left is our prayers and Francis signing the Canonical Recognition.

Friends, I'm not trying to jerk around the Naysayers against this agreement.  As an active supporter of the Society of St. Pius X for over 10 years now, I am simply stating the reality of what is about to happen, and advocating for us to support this initiative for the good of the Church and the Society.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Alzheimer's

So the Little Lady just got an FB message from her friend back in the Old Country. It seems a senior member of their SSPX Chapel has Alzheimer's disease.   The faithful try to visit her at her house, but she is hostile and insulting (dementia).  Kyrie eleison.

maxresdefault.jpg (1280×720)

SSPX Brothers Praying for the Living and the Dead

Reminds me of my Uncle of sorts, at least that's what I called him, who was my aunt's live-in partner.  In the last few years of his life--God rest his soul--he suffered from Alzheimer's.  He went from being an occasionally grouchy person (lol who isn't), to being grouchy and combative 24/7.  It was horrifying to see him lose much of his personality.

This, in my mind, begs the question:  if a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, isn't it better if they pass on to the here-after BEFORE they lose their mind??  I mean, imagine potentially forgetting your own identity, much less that of the Holy Trinity or Catholic Church. I am not a moral theologian, but I'd imagine their culpability is akin to that of a severely mentally retarded child or adult.  I'm not sure.

Alzheimer.jpg (520×466)

God bless these patients, who are like "victim souls."

Recently I had my own sudden, odd, out-of-the-blue brush with a potentially life-threatening medical situation.  Thank the Good Lord and Most Merciful Divine Physician on High the diagnosis was minor and prognosis very good.  But it got me to thinking about death.   When an E.R. nurse asks you "Sir, do you have an Advanced Directive Order?" your life perspective changes, at least for a moment.

If you had Alzheimer's, how would you wish to be cared for?  Me, no, I wouldnt opt for a shotgun, but there are fools out there that would and do, God help them.  I would ask for "ordinary treatment to be preserved," but insist that the doctors DO NOT extend my life through any "extraordinary means."  My last petition would be to ride into the sunset with my faculties at least somewhat intact.

Anyways, please pray for Maam Rose who has Alzheimer's, that God will comfort her and give her some relative peace of mind during this final season of her life.

painting1.jpg (527×660)

Agony in the Garden