Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Long Hard Day

Winni pooh blessings fella Okie trads and beyond.   Just home from a long work day.

Enjoy this Thomas Kinkade painting,  as you yourself settle in for the evening.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Fr. Ripperger: Explains the meaning of Catholic Tradition

The first time I ever heard of Fr. Chad Ripperger was when he was with the FSSP, when I read an excellent article in which he explained the full meaning of Catholic Tradition.  He was explaining the philosophical divide between Catholics who find it necessary/helpful to identify as "traditional Catholics" vs. those who identify as "conservative Catholics."   He doesn't give some nostalgic, ossified opinion of what "Tradition" is, but rather explains from Church theology itself what it means.

So here is another traditional priest writing in the Latin Mass Magazine, an article that has helped countless Catholics for years discover Catholic Tradition, including yours truly.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fr. X here in the Heartland: a Sympathetic Review of Archbishop Lefebvre's Biography


Preface:  taking a two month break from writing more polemical posts,  so here is an article written by another traditional Catholic, this time a priest.  I was reminded of this article yesterday reading this recent, similar, refreshingly sympathetic post by Fr. Z:  LINK.  

This review, published in the Latin Mass Magazine, was written by a diocesan priest who now offers the Traditional Latin Mass, here in the Heartland.   Let's call him "Fr. X."


Latin Mass Magazine | Fall 2004 |   Father X  (name edited to protect the Anonymity of said priest; illustrative photos added)

Marcel Lefebvre -- by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais.


Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais is one of the four episcopal "sons" of Archbishop Lefebvre, uniquely qualified to offer a definitive account of Lefebvre’s life and career, much of which he personally witnessed. His personal experience of the archbishop, and his having been formed in the priesthood – and the episcopate – by Lefebvre himself, certainly provide a much-needed "inside view" of the prelate’s motivations and character, something often lacking in the thirty-second soundbite polemics of our day. 






Nevertheless, the work undertaken here by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais is not a personal memoir. Instead, this is a work comprising years of painstaking research, a comprehensive review of documentation and literature, and a gathering of interviews and anecdotes from virtually all relevant sources regarding the life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.  While some aspects of the development of Lefebvre’s character, like that of all men, must remain a mystery known only to God, yet perhaps it is now possible to better understand, from the trajectory of the life, and that of the Second Vatican Council, the decisions that he faced near the end.

Tissier de Mallerais traces for us the origins of Lefebvre’s family and describes in detail the environment and the times in which he was born and came of age. This son of a locally prominent French industrialist and resistor during both World Wars, Rene Lefebvre, and of his mother, the gentle mystic, Gabrielle, was given an exceptional formation in the Catholic religion in his earliest years. He was one of eight children, five of whom received religious vocations. As a responsible factory owner, Rene faithfully worked for the implementation of Catholic social principles in chaotic postwar France, while Marie led the children to a deep love for Church and faith, and for the prayerful union with God which both engendered in her. 





Taught by his family to follow the light of Catholic faith and principles and to apply them in tumultuous times, Marcel was blessed next with good and faithful priest-mentors, and with a complete Thomistic seminary formation – a rare gem, even then. At last he discerned a missionary vocation that led him to the Holy Ghost Fathers. The author shows us how this industrious missionary demonstrated striking gifts of planning, organization and leadership along with orthodox doctrine which led him to a singular missionary career in Africa, becoming the first Archbishop of Dakar and the Apostolic Delegate for French Black Africa and Madagascar. The fruits of the young prelate’s work in Africa are quite stunning; and through it all his character develops into that of a prudent, gentle father figure, careful, superior, and discerning defender of orthodoxy – and especially, that of a disciplined man of principle who has renounced his own ideas in order to always "think with the mind of the Church." 







Archbishop Lefebvre’s involvement in the Second Vatican Council is described in detail and makes a fascinating story. His alarm grew as he saw that same "mind of the Church" seem to question its own principles, and he was far from silent or passive through the proceedings, building coalitions and making interventions. But he was too late, outnumbered, and out-foxed. The deck was stacked against him. Tissier de Mallerais also addresses the questions about Lefebvre’s own signatures on the Council documents. 





The picture painted of Lefebvre is not that of an implacable reactionary who could not bear the onslaught of progress and change. Such a man could not have made such incredible inroads in missionary Africa in prior decades. Lefebvre was quite willing to make adaptations and adjustments whenever necessary or prudent. In many ways he was quite flexible and even innovative regarding the application of the apostolate, but always without compromising the integrity of the Faith and the sacred tradition of the Church. After all, was not the unbroken transmission of that Faith to souls, for their salvation, the very purpose of the apostolate and the mission of the Church?

Obedient and not unwilling to adapt, nevertheless Lefebvre became a witness to the "autodemolition of the Church" (as Paul VI put it) during the postconciliar years – the demolition, especially, of the integrity of the priesthood and the liturgy. Novel doctrine regarding religious liberty and the social reign of Christ the King were also foremost concerns.

Although he was supposed to retire, he was deeply concerned, and, responding to the pleas of others, he took action to foster the formation of holy priests and the preservation of tradition – the missionary bishop to the end! The struggles of the early years of the formation of the Society of St. Pius X, and mounting opposition and intrigue from the French episcopate, are recounted in great detail. With this biography, the light of day now shines on the obstructionist tactics of his enemies, part of a long chain of events that would climax with Lefebvre’s decision to consecrate four bishops without papal mandate, in order to insure the survival of the Society after his death. Dramatic behind-the-scenes encounters with popes and cardinals fill the pages; but in the end, we are presented the picture of a man at peace. "Tradidi quod et accepi," he said, quoting St. Paul. It was to be his epitaph: "I have handed on what I received." 





Bishop Tissier de Mallerais’ biography of Archbishop Lefebvre is replete with quotations, documentation, primary source references and firsthand interviews. Numerous maps and charts help the reader to orient himself as he follows the remarkable story of this lifelong defender of Catholic truth. Now that nearly forty years have passed since the close of Vatican II, perhaps some of the smoke begins to clear. In recounting the life and work of Archbishop Lefebvre, this volume becomes a contemporaneous history of an entire era of the Church, deepening our understanding of the movements, events and major figures leading up to and following the Council. As the conciliar era fades, the time to gain perspective has arrived, especially among a new generation who did not live through the battle but must now reap its consequences. Understanding the life and times of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre means understanding events within the Church that have brought us to where we stand.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Comments:

Bravo Father.  That took some courage, not to mention your ongoing commitment to the truly extraordinary form of the Roman rite, wherever God sends you.  A very fair and balanced review,  I thought. 

Here is a LINK to Angelus Press, where people can buy this book, a must read for every traditional Catholic across the spectrum.  After I read it myself, it was difficult to not conclude with many Catholics that Archbishop Lefebvre was an extraordinarily heroic bishop.

Also, here is the Documentary about the saintly bishop's life.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Public Announcement! Two Month Sabbatical from the Chaos.


For the next couple of months I expect to be extremely busy with work, so I will decidedly be blogging about less polemical, critical topics for now, but about more warm, fuzzy, devotional topics.  Sugar plums and kittens and puppy dog tails, and such.  :)  





Internet fight-club nuttiness from within the traditional Catholic blogosphere has never been something cathartic or edifying for me, as it is for some.  

A prominent Alt Right blogger Davis Aurini, online friend of Laramie Hirsch, because he disagreed with my criticisms (really Charles Coulombe's podcast) of their Alt Right ideology complimented me this morning:

you're an effeminate pussy, and no man of God. Repent of your wicked ways, and grow some testicles, faggot...






Davis Aurini, "Alt Right Catholic Blogger"

Yowsers!


Then, yeah, laughing out loud, it might be the moment to pull in the reins a bit to regroup and refocus.  A bit.  No doubt some (at least one or two) will think that makes me a eunuch, but so be it.   I would rather be perceived as such, while objectively doing my duties of state, than be an "alpha male" wannabe.   

But I will still be checking in daily at my favorite Canon212 news conglomerate website during my "morning constitutional," as it were.

Kudos to Frank Walker for his invaluable work!

I'm thinking maybe some comical, creative stories, or more "journal entries," or posting articles written by other traditional Catholic bloggers like Oakes Spalding for example, who has a great sense of humor mixed into his posts.  

Though if Pope Francis makes another heretical statement, or there is some other draconian shutdown of Catholic tradition in my own diocese, I might have to share in the reports and give my two cents.  Maybe.




Fair enough, Okie trad!

Thanks Bishop Konderla!   He and I have pleasantly emailed each other several times, btw.

Also, I will be disabling the comment section the next couple months at least, since about 80% of the comments/"discussions" in the comment box lately have been oddly either:  off topic, ad hominem invectives, inane, or just plain ridiculous.  To all you 20% of reason-loving and civilized people posting in the comment section, feel free to email me, or wait until I re-open the comment box.  

There's just too many internet trolls as of late.  Despite my many vices, being patient of those who fundamentally disagree with me has been one of my commitments, but there are limits

So, less critiques for now of the Clear Creek Village, or the Alt Right, or the 2013 Conclave, but more reflections this summer on Tulsa traffic, my swimming routine, or my wife's good cooking.  

Oh, and Part 3 about St. Padrio Pio coming soon!

Hugs and kisses, fellow Okie Trads and Beyond.






The Comment box is NOT open.  :)  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Please DONATE to a Traditional Catholic Man in Need of Help. As Reported by OnePeterFive.


Dear Reader,

Would you please consider contributing to a fundraiser for a traditional Catholic man named Bill Price, and his fiance, from Jackson, Michigan, after he recently suffered a terrible construction job accident?  They were just about to get married next month, and he has no personal health insurance, except for the workers he employs.  I ask because I know his mother, who asked I help.  She and her husband are the lay coordinators of their Latin Mass community, at their diocesan parish in Jackson, St. Mary Star of the Sea.



CLICK HERE TO DONATE





Steve Skojec over at OnePeterFive wrote about this story last week.
Read about it HERE.   Steve reported about Bill's devotion to the Latin Mass and his parish community, his help of others, and how he started their Gregorian chant schola.  That is where he and his fiance met.

Providentially, I've corresponded with his mother on a traditional Catholic online forum, who sent me encouraging messages when I myself was going through my own medical crisis a year ago, during my physical therapy and recovery.   So I promised to share this story here and ask others to help him.  Would you?  

Please share by Facebook, email, etc, as I will.  This would be a great corporal work of mercy, helping one of our own, a devoted, traditional Catholic, and a business owner about to enter into Holy Matrimony.  This also gives testimony to our Catholic Faith to which Bill and his family are so dedicated.  Thanks.


HERE IS THE LINK AGAIN.




Monday, May 14, 2018

Day 3 of My Vacation

Gotta love a good chair and a plate of buffalo wings, especially if you're a guy.  For those of you on a ketogenic diet (i.e low carb - medium protein - high healthy fat),  for wellness or weight loss,  I recommend making your own using a deep fryer and lard.  Comes out 2x as good as even Pizza Hut.

Lard, Okie trad?   Yup, studies show saturated fat is actually good for you.   It's processed food,  flour, and sugar that will kill you. 

Getting ready to go down to the gym for a swim and a whirlpool soak.   Does wonders for my stress hormone levels.  7 more days before I jump back on the treadmill set to level 10, like a  capitalist slave.   Any working men out there in need of a soak or a sauna,  let me know,  I can bring guests. 

Yesterday was also a rewarding tonic, us driving to picturesque Eureka Springs,  AR.   An Ozark lunch at famous Myrtie Mae's, then checked out the serene glass chapel in the woods, and the towering Passion Play statue of Jesus that looks down on Eureka Springs.  Protestant,  but edifying. 




Then a tour of majestic Blue Spring Heritage Center - a round,  blue spring that forms a lagoon, surrounded by well kept gardens,  and a nice path that also takes you through the woods.   That alone is worth the trip from Tulsa. 




After a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the traditional St.  Catherine's Catholic chapel,  we finished the day over a German meal at the Bavarian Inn, with my Bavarian,  German mother for Mother's Day.




Happy belated Mothers Day to all mothers,  especially the Blessed Mother. 

And thank God for building leisure into his plan of salvation.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

This Week in the Church: Gracida, Barnhardt, Padre Pio posts, Catholic blogs

Enjoying day 2 of my stay-cation.  I'm flopped lazily here in my Lazyboy in front of my bigscreen TV poisoning my body with diet Coke.   What a lazy man I am.

:)

Seriously though,  I'm in serious need of some R&R to re-charge my batteries before I'm sucked back into the proletariat, live-to-work whirlpool we call the American workplace   Pray for me my cortisol levels normalize these next days.  We're thinking some hikes,  dollar movies, a lake trip,  and maybe a daytrip tomorrow to colorful Eureka Springs, AR (with a great German restaurant and scenic village).


Bishop Gracida Interview:

That man is a breath of fresh air.  A now traditionalist Bishop saying only the true Mass,  outspoken against the liberal bishops,  giving a balanced, factual approach to how we the Cardinals can consider solving the papal crisis.   Take it or leave it,  at least he isn't another blogger pontiff spewing opinions based on his internet cred.   He is a bishop,  and the argument he presented is academic,  logical,  and humble, as I read it.   He may or may not be right.   In the end,  the Cardinals alone decide. 


Ann Blowhard's Barnhardt's Benedict is still the Pope Dogma:

God bless her.   I tend to like her spunk and filter her hyper-hyperbole.  But on this one she is coming across like a major blowhard.   The problem here is she promulgates her opinion as a dogma, even to the point one alternative, Bishop Gracida's proposal, "MUST NOT BE PURSUED."   LOL.   

She also recently opposed Steve Skojec at 1P5, Fr. Z, not to mention Hillary White.   

I confess also letting emotion at times become less subordinated to reason.  It is bound to happen when you express righteous anger about the breakdown of faith and order in the Church.   

For all you Barnhardite, SedeBenedictIsStillPope-ists out there,  I sympathize.  I won't rule out any reasonable option/question about addressing 
the current descent of the conciliar Revolution. 


St. Padre Pio blog posts:

I hope you all find them edifying. 
I owe the man a lot.   His intercession no doubt brought me out of a medical crisis I went through a year ago (plus physical therapy and joining a gym with an indoor pool).

There is a Padre Pio prayer group in many or most dioceses,  including in Tulsa.   I want to say Sts. Peter and Paul parish,  but also at Mary Magdalene. 

Part 3 coming soon. 


Closing Thoughts on Catholic Blogs:

A blog is a blog is a blog.   Nothing more,  and nothing less.    A spot to express views,  experiences,  interests,  and beliefs. 

A blog is not a place to set yourself up as a Pontiff, or self-appointed authority...  

...to expect readers to set aside requirements of logic,  evidence,  and reasonableness because you must be right,  because you are one traditional Catholic with a blog. 

At the same time, I believe,  it can be an invaluable tool for the laity to express our "sense of faith" about the Church today. 

So if I ask a bishop a few questions,  or report public facts about my diocese dismissing two traditional religious communities,  or wax and wane about cigars or buffalo wings,  please know I'm just one Joe Blow registered on blogger, sitting here in my armchair with this hobby,  trying to make proper use of what a blog actually is.  

I hope it informs, entertains,  and gives perspective,  not becomes another one-man Sanhedrin like too many Catholic blogs out there. 

Except in my own academic areas of study and professional experience--health care,  science/education,  Catholic philosophy--I decidedly refrain from basing arguments on my own personal authority or internet reputation, however small or large that should become in other people's eyes.   

Instead, the veracity and value of what I say on these pages rests squarely on the content,  form,  and style I present. 

To make that point,  see how I changed the title above. 

Happy Saturday. 


Friday, May 11, 2018

Okie Trad Refutes the "Barnhardt Thesis."

I'm on a "staycation," and about to go for a swim, but I thought I'd first respond to this Barnhardt hypothesis about Benedict still being the real pope. 

1.  He freely resigned and vacated the Chair,  of his own free will.  Hello. 

2. He has never said he still thinks he is pope.   Despite the spin. 

3.  In his speech to the Gregorian,  he does not claim to literally still be the pope,  or a Pope. Otherwise,  it's confirmation bias. 

4. Neither did the statement by his Archbishop friend.   Or any other statement by anyone. 

5. Ann and her followers fail to cite one authoritative reference to back up their lay reading of one canon law.   Can they? 

Conclusion:

It's at best a valid question,  but at worst a pointless conspiracy theory.   What is the purpose?   If BXVI was the "worst Pope in the history of the Church," as she says,  because of the novel way he resigned and uses the title "Pope Emeritus," then why would you want him back in the Apostolic Palace and in the Office of pope? 

Gotta run...

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ann Barnhardt Blasted Bishop Gracida's Proposal to the Cardinals?? Okie Trad Rebuts.


Saw this tonight:

Just checked in over at Canon212, and noticed this over-the-top story:


"BARNHARDT BLAST:  IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER THE CONCLAVE VIOLATED UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS BECAUSE BENEDICT STILL CLEARLY CONSIDERS HIMSELF A POPE."


She is "blasting" Bishop Gracida's argument.   LINK.   Yowsers.  No need to blast at each other here in the trenches, Ann,  especially at a very traditional and reasonable bishop like 
+ Gracida.  




BARNHARDT BLAST?




Ann Corrects Bishop Gracida:

Ann is talking about Bishop Gracida, retired bishop of Corpus Christi, TX, and his proposal to the Cardinals how to remedy the papal crisis, who I interviewed here a few days ago last Sunday.  See it as a Featured Post over there in the right hand corner of the blog.  Here is her BLAST of His Excellency's conclusions (emphasis mine):

A retired bishop from Corpus Christi, Texas, Bishop Gracida, has recently made headlines by stating that Bergoglio’s validity is in question due to “irregularities” in the faux-conclave of ARSH 2013, specifically the openly admitted electioneering by the Sankt Gallen Mafia supposedly in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, a document promulgated by Pope John Paul II addressing papal conclaves. While I certainly admire the good bishop for speaking up, I am morally obliged to warn one and all in the clearest possible terms that the “irregularities in the March 2013 conclave” premise IS A FALSE PREMISE, WHICH MUST NOT BE PURSUED. What went on in March of ARSH 2013 is NOT GERMANE to the question of who the Pope is.

Re-stating her filial correction, to show how over-the-top it is:  Bishop Gracida's premise -- that the validity of the 2013 conclave may be challenged by the Cardinals to solve the papal crisis -- is a "FALSE PREMISE" (all caps), "WHICH MUST NOT BE PURSUED" (more caps) because he/we all haven't seen the light that BXVI is absolutely, certainly still the pope, as she has!  
She is "morally obliged." 





Her dogmatic rant, while it references one canon law, doesn't even begin to explain or apply it in logical terms.  Are we just supposed to accept her conclusions based on her own internet reputation? 
Its her way or the highway?  Benedict is still pope, period, she declares?

Seriously though, how can anyone take this argument seriously with statements like this (emphasis mine)?


Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger, almost certainly despairing and very possibly coerced by the saturation of sodomites and Freemasons infecting the Vatican, college of bishops, and institutional Church as a whole, concocted a scheme allowing him to abandon his responsibilities as the Successor of Peter.

What?  Come again?  Benedict "concocted a scheme?"

Again, re-stating what she said to show how nonsensical that statement in bold is:  she is certain beyond any consideration to the contrary, that Benedict "concocted a scheme allowing him to abandon his responsibilities as the Successor of St. Peter."  

Benedict is more like an old, elf-like great-grandfather, praying for the Church like a cloistered monk, than a lazy Machiavelli trying to hold onto power while enjoying the good life of retirement inside Vatican walls.  

Hello.




        "Concocted a scheme, Anna?  
         To abandon my responsibilities as Pope?"

Why on Earth would anyone argue an allegedly conniving man is still the pope, and therefore an erroneous bad pope at that?  What is the point, to get Benedict to move back into the Apostolic Palace, take over his old office of pope, and start devising more "concocted schemes" to revolutionize the papacy???


Its getting late, so instead of a theological analysis of this truly concocted notion of a tiny fringe that thinks Benedict is still pope, I will just use a reductio ad absurdum argument to rebut her absurdities, about this.  Feel free to continue.


The Okie Traditionalist Rebuts Ann Barnhardt:

First, why on Earth, Ann, would Benedict "concoct a scheme," coming up with a novel doctrine about a bi-fold Petrine ministry, to avoid his papal duties, when all he had to do in the first place was just resign?  You admit popes in the past have resigned, and that Benedict could have resigned legitimately, but you give absolutely NO reason for us to believe that he would plan such an insane course.

He doesn't exactly have a reputation for being a self-serving man, prone to inventing ecclesiastical novelties in order to shirk his ecclesial duties.  The man now just reads, writes, relaxes, and prays all day, waiting for death.  He is hardly trying to get out of work, while trying to covertly co-rule the Church as "pope emeritus." 




"Ja, das ist richtig, Okie Trad."

Second, you are trying absurdly to read the mind of Benedict, Ann, why he still wears white or retains the regnal name of Benedict.  You're taking it all in an absolutely literal way, interpreting his actions as if they are literal statements.  

He has never said he still thinks he is the pope.  Yes, he has the novel idea of a retired, resigned, former pope living in the Vatican with a special role to advise the next pope and Church, but whatever.  Whatever floats his boat. 

Its at best a wild west conspiracy theory to think he is sitting there at his monastic retirement home in a corner of the Vatican, thinking that both he and Francis literally possess the Office of the Pope, both sitting on the Chair of St. Peter.

The obvious explanation of 99.999% of the traditional Catholic blogosphere, and beyond, is that while Benedict does have a novel idea about how a pope can retire to be a "pope emeritus," by that title he means a former, retired pope, who could still advise the new pope.  

After all, our own retired Bishop Slattery of Tulsa has the title "Bishop Emeritus," as does Bishop Gracida of Corpus Christi, but if they think they are still partially the Ordinary of their diocese, then I am Mickey Mouse.  They don't, and neither does Benedict with regards to the See of St. Peter.



  

Third, if we can still call the deceased popes of the past by their regnal names (ex: JPII or Pius X), what is so invalidating of BXVI's resignation (!!!) about him retaining the name before his death, even if that is unheard of?   While 264 popes of the past are now dead, and no longer sitting on the Chair of St. Peter, we still look back on their papal authority, and refer to them by their papal title.  If I saw Leo XIII in heaven, in person, I'd still call him Leo, maybe even Pope Leo, even though he and I would know he is no longer the Vicar of Christ on Earth.  

As historically novel as it is for a pope to even resign (which is valid, right?!), there is nothing so scandalous about BXVI's monastic lifestyle at the Vatican to actually rise to the conclusion that he never actually intended to resign from the Office of Pope.  


And fourth, if there is still ANY doubt whatsoever, then I refer Ann again to these words from Pope Benedict's actual speech to the Cardinals resigning from/vacating the Chair of St. Peter (LINK;  emphasis mine):


For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.


Conclusion:

Folks, as irregular as it is for Benedict to still use the title "Pope Emeritus" or dress in white, it is clear that he resigned as pope, as of 8 pm, Rome time, on 2/28/13.

This leaves us with a few options, only God and the Cardinals have any control over:  

1.  PF is confronted by Cardinals in person and asked to resign, and he does (best case scenario).

2. He is deemed a formal heretic and replaced,  or 

3. His 2013 election is found to be both illicit and invalid (Gracida's reasoned suggestion).

PODCAST: Charles Coulombe on the so-called "Alt Right."


Traditional Catholic author and speaker, Charles Coulombe, did a podcast on the so-called "Alt-Right."  He was interviewed on Veritas Radio Network by his fellow traditional Catholic author Br. Andre Marie, MICM, who is the Prior of The St. Benedict's Center.









Coulombe shows some sympathy for people who adhere to this ideology, but in the end rejects the "Alt Right" as incompatible with our Catholic Faith.  

Brother Andre Marie himself, a very high level thinker by the way, begins by saying the Alt Right is at heart "reactionary," and defined by what it is against than what it is actually for.  He recognizes the movement's reference to being a "Big Tent," but underlines "deeply flawed ideologies" of its main leadership, which some Catholics are falling into.  (Time 4:00 - 06:30).  Later he says:  


"I find the movement repulsive on a purely intellectual level."

This is an excellent and very informative talk, which I summarize below.  Here are the main criticisms from Coulombe about the Alt Right, which I challenge Catholics who identify with this movement to consider.  

Charles Coulombe's Criticisms of the Alt Right:

1.  Racism and anti-Semitism are serious moral problems in the Alt Right, those terms understood in the Catholic sense.

2.  From a Catholic perspective, it tends to "deify" "lesser things" of the world, especially race, ethnicity, and nationalism (Time 34:00 - 35:12).

3. He agrees with Br. Andre that the Alt Right does not respect the role of Black Americans in our history and culture.  (Time 54:00ish - 55:25).

4. And that Eugenics is a serious moral problem, in the sense used by Alt Right leaders in general (vs. the Catholic view of it).

5. And about their common love of Machiavelli, Nietzche, and Darwin in particular. "Regurgitated, German, 19th Century garbage," he completely agrees.

6.  The Alt Right makes religion a mere tool or means to political ends, rather than an end in itself, and Catholic Christianity is not necessarily the true religion for those purposes.

How then can a Catholic, in good conscience, seriously support the "Alt Right" movement?

If these criticisms are fair and objective, then of course the answer would be:  we can't.

Do you agree with Sir Charles' conclusions?  Disagree?  The Comment box is open.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

PART TWO: Some Facts about St. Padre Pio


This is PART TWO in a series of amazing, uplifting, and encouraging facts about the life of the Franciscan stigmatist priest from Italy named Padre Pio.  See Part One HERE.   The details of his life are meant here to comfort those in particular who are in extreme pain, suffering, and illness, who can be edified by the life of this saint who perhaps suffered more than most saints in the history of the Catholic Church.   Please share these posts with the sick by email, Facebook, etc.  Thank you.

Padre Pio was in constant, unimaginable pain all his life, all over his body, but especially for the 50 years he miraculously bore all Five wounds that Our Blessed Lord bore during his Crucifixion.  




Yet Padre Pio was constantly in a cheerful, playful, and comical mood, full of joy and hope in God.  




At the same time, he was also often full of sorrow and tears how sin afflicted Our Lord in His Passion and Death, as re-represented on the daily altar at Mass.  He was especially angered at irreverence, sacrilege, and disobedience of Church authority.  But when a penitent was scrupulous or acting eccentric, he typically was gentle and light-hearted with them in giving his advise.  

For a time in his life, he would miraculously cry so much in sorrow for the sins of mankind, while standing in choir with the other friars for prayers, that they would have to place towels around him on the ground to soak up all the tears.  

His daily motto he often repeated to penitents and other visitors was:  "Pray, Hope, and Don't worry."

He would typically preach very short sermons that were only 1-2 minutes long, but packed with spiritual wisdom and the teachings of Christ and His Church.  Listen to this moving EXAMPLE.

Padre Pio, while seminary trained, was a very simple, thinking man, reflecting his simple, peasant background.  He was not a theologian or philosopher, but loved to read the Bible, and to write simple, letters of spiritual direction, as a pastor and priest of souls, to his "spiritual children."   Yet, Padre Pio had an excellent grasp of the core lessons of theology, the liturgy, and the pastoral duties of a priest.




He often gave off the miraculous scent of roses or perfumes.  One day during Mass, the whole Church became full of the smell of roses, as witnessed by a packed church of visitors.

Cardinal Wojtyla of Poland, the future Pope John Paul II, visited Padre Pio, who confided to him, as he had rarely done to anyone, that he also bore a wound of Christ across his shoulder, which many people do not know Christ had suffered during His Passion.

Later, Cardinal Wojtyla wrote Padre Pio several times, to ask for prayers of healing for members of his diocese who were suffering from cancer or other life-threatening illnesses, and each time Padre Pio wrote back they would be healed, and then they were healed.

Padre Pio's body, as it lies inside a glass casket for pilgrims to see and venerate, is miraculously incorrupt, with no scientific explanation.  




It seems that he is a unique saint in the Catholic history of saints, in that he was the only saint who was: a priest with the full stigmata, a victim soul, a mystic, exemplifying through his own daily passion (especially the mystical way he was united to Christ's suffering during each Mass) the fullness of the sacramental priesthood.

Some days he spent 15-19 hours in the confessional, and beginning in 1950, the confession lines were so long the Friars would create a wait list that often was ten days out.




Every day the Friars received letters to Padre Pio, so many that a team of priests and brothers were assigned to sit down, read them, and try and answer them on Padre Pio's behalf, while he would bless the letters and include a holy card.

Every day Padre Pio went outside to walk around with the pilgrims and talk to them, answering questions, giving short catechism lessons, and often handing out holy cards and holy medals he had blessed.   People were constantly asking for his blessing.

Padre Pio could read people's souls.  Often he would help the penitent remember unconfessed sins.  But if the person was not truly contrite, but just going to confession for the amusement of hearing what he would say, he would know and angrily (justly so) order them out of the confessional, not because they disrespected him, but to admonish them for disrespecting the Sacrament of Confession.

One day after Mass a crowd filled the entrance to the sacristy.  After taking off his vestments, he was not able to get past the crowd.  As witnessed by priests who have given sworn testimony, Padre Pio levitated in the air, hovering above the height of the crowd, and walked over their heads to get past them.





Padre Pio was attacked by the devil on a nightly basis in his cell, leaving serious injury, that only the brothers who helped care for him knew about.  These attacks persisted throughout his life.  Sometimes the demon would physically hurl him across the room against the wall.  

The hospital he founded next to the Friary still exists today, and is overseen by the Vatican.

All the miracles and wonders surrounding Padre Pio's life are a testament to the divine love God has for each one of us.

Short BIO HERE.  St. Padre Pio, pray for us!

(Part Three coming soon!)


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Okie Traditionalist Interviews: Bishop René Gracida, of Corpus Christi, TX, about a Remedy for the Current Papal Crisis.





His Excellency, Bishop Rene Henry Gracida of Corpus Christi, Texas, gives clarification about an Article he posted on his blog last month on April 7th, which has since been circulated worldwide.  He is encouraging the Cardinals to take action to remedy the current papal crisis.

You can read the Article:  HERE.


Bishop Gracida of Texas was the first diocesan bishop to sign the "Filial Correction" presented to Pope Francis by Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other Cardinals, calling into question certain statements in the document Amoris Laetitia, in particular its policy of admitting public, unrepentant adulterers to Holy Communion.  

He is the retired bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX;  he also served as bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, FL; and, he was auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Miami, FL.   He has been a bishop for 46 years, a priest for almost 60 years, was a Benedictine monk for 10 years, and served in World War II as a tail-gunner.  Being 95 years old next month, and dedicated to the daily celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, he is one of the most senior and traditional members of the hierarchy.  Here is a past video interview of Bishop Gracida:  LINK.

The Interview:

J.M.J.


Dear Bishop Gracida, Your Excellency,

Thank you for your reply from down there in Texas, to me a blogger up here in Oklahoma, and thanks for considering my request for an online interview.  I would greatly appreciate any response you can give to my questions, and to readers worldwide, which you approve of before I post it.  

Questions:

1.  In a recent article posted to your blog (LINK), which has since been read around the world, you supported the case that Pope Francis may not be a valid pope, and that the Cardinals themselves consider electing a new pope.  Was/Is your intention that the article might end up being read by Cardinal Burke, and other Cardinals, with the unique authority to directly confront the problem of the Francis pontificate?




Yes, that was and still is my hope. Since only the validly appointed Cardinals have the power to initiate a solution to the present crisis in the Church, it was and still is my hope that they will be encouraged by what I published to take the necessary steps toward a solution as was proposed in the post.



2.  In your experience these last weeks, how has the response been from the laity, priests, and other bishops - if any - both online and in the flesh?  Do you anticipate backlash from members of the hierarchy, or Rome?  Or even from Cardinal Burke himself?



There has been some response but not from cardinals. I do not really look for response from cardinals, I look for action on their part to initiate the steps that will lead to a special conclave. I do not expect them to publicize those steps, I expect them to move silently and discretely in order to minimize active opposition by the friends of Francis who are now firmly entrenched in the Vatican curia.​



3. Reading the argument, it seems the main basis and bulk of it is the contention the 2013 conclave broke conclave laws, enacted by Pope John Paul II, that would invalidate the election results.  It begins by discussing the issue of heresy and papal infallibility, but seems to not make those issues the main basis. There seems to be strong enough evidence that certain Cardinals of the conspiring "St. Gallican Group" did violate conclave laws, enough to at least now raise the question of the validity of Cardinal Bergoglio's election.  Am I correct in understanding this argument?  Is that the focus you are encouraging the Cardinals to take? 



Yes, that is the focus I am encouraging the Cardinals to take.​



4.  Since the word "heresy" was used in the article, perhaps you could speak to the question of how Cardinals, based on the tradition of the Church, can judge if a certain pope is guilty of actual "formal heresy" (vs. material), which would result in excommunication and loss of Office according to church law.  Can you explain what the Church says?  That is how the College of Cardinals can judge the pope to be an invalid pope, for different reasons, to the point of actually electing a new pope?


Even though Francis has made heretical statements, he has cleverly also made orthodox statements on the same subject thereby making it virtually impossible to define him as a heretic.  On the other hand, the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution ​UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS (edit: you can read it HERE) promulgated by Saint John Paul II are clear, and Francis and friends have confirmed their violations of those provisions in the conclave of 2013.   Saint John Paul II provided for the penalty of AUTOMATIC EXCOMMUNICATION for any cardinal violating those provisions.  Reasonable people should have no problem agreeing that an excommunicated person cannot be elected pope.



Thank you again, Your Excellency, for answering these questions.   I also hope the reasoned Argument you posted, and your answers in this interview, will be read and considered by the Cardinals.

God bless,

Joseph Ostermeir
The Okie Traditionalist Blog

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Part THREE: Clear Creek and the Benedict Option. Seniorism gone Awry? Case for a Parish.

Introduction:

See part One HERE, and part Two HERE.  These blog posts seem to have gone viral here in our Local Church, looking at the stats, which is good because the de facto Clear Creek Catholic Community is a part of our Local Church after all, and I stand by the facts and perspectives I've so far expressed.  I hope to see its serious issues addressed and resolved, and for the Project to succeed.  





To address any potential naysayers, my approach is to lay out facts as I know them, observe patterns as I see them, and take a step back for perspective to see how the whole appears, and share that perspective with others.  This is just ONE of an estimated 300 MILLION blogs on the world wide web (LINK).   If you like it, please share with others;  if you don't, there are 299,999,999 other blogs you can read.

But, I highly recommend blogging for Catholics who like to write, and want to express their "sense of faith" about what is happening in our Church and society.  A certain professional Catholic gentleman, a reader of this blog, who lives in the Diocese of Oklahoma City, agreed.  I wrote a post about his vision of a Catholic Blogosphere HERE, as a thank you for the gift of a Dell laptop he mailed me.


John Senior's Poetic Vision for Founding Catholic Communities (i.e. akin to today's term "the Benedict Option"):

You could call me a Seniorista.  I support in theory starting Catholic Communities based on the Benedict Option.   If John Senior articulated a certain philosophy, let's call it Seniorism for short, then I subscribe to it, not as a dogmatic ideology, but rather a set of points and approaches to the "restoration of Christian culture."  I love John Senior and his books - they changed my world.  The Death of Christian Culture,  The Restoration of Christian Culture, and The Restoration of Innocence (unpublished).   I also read Poetic Knowledge by his student James Taylor, who I once attended Mass with at the same parish.

When I was a teacher once upon a time, his "poetic knowledge" approach to education was inspirational.  Because of his poetic philosophy, I would take my students on immersive nature hikes, and while we dissected animals in lab, I would emphasize love of how God designed living things more than memorizing anatomical facts...thanks in large part to the inspiring reflections of John Senior.

I myself turned away from a lifestyle too much based on modern technology, to a more integral, natural, and holistic lifestyle including gardening and fires in the fireplace.





Saying that, then, as a past frequent visitor of Clear Creek, I am familiar with the Clear Creek "Seniorista'" approach to forming their community over the course of years and decades, in a "poetic" and "organic" way...that is by those certain families and founding monks sharing the poetic vision/writings of John Senior for a "Catholic Village."


Seniorism gone Awry?

Yet, as I discussed in part One and Two of this series,  some things have gone awry there, as evidenced by the lack of support the Community gave to Bishop Slattery in his attempt to establish a Public, Parish Community for the families.  While John Senior did call for a restoration of "the poetic," he never said to reduce learning and experience down to the poetic, or to primarily form communities through organic evolution.  At least I don't recall anything like that in his books.  

What Senior did do in his books was remind the reader that there are four levels of knowledge, from the bottom up:  the poetic, dialectical, rhetorical, and scientific.  He was calling for a realist restoration of the poetic, as the foundation for higher thinking.   

"Poetic knowledge," as detailed by Dr. James Taylor HERE, a professor and former student of Senior, is the kind of knowledge that comes with experiencing the subject you are studying in a subjective, introductory way.  For example, before a child learns about where butterflies fit into Kingdom Animalia, and the taxonomic criteria for doing that, they spend time with their mother in the garden or playground chasing and imitating butterflies.  

However, poetic knowledge as defended by Senior, is a means to a higher end.  The adult then, still immersed in the poetic experiences of life, has learned to subordinate the subjective to the objective, the poetic to the logical and rational, and therefore to subject the natural processes of organic development to planned, reasoned out, and implemented projects of a public society...

...like a Catholic Community formed around a Benedictine monastery. 


The actualization of an official Catholic Community, requires then a logical and rational process that clearly goes above and beyond the subjective and poetic.  

Abbot Anderson at Clear Creek's 2017 "Idea of a Village" Conference.   The theme was The Benedict Option:




The Clear Creek Community Paradox:

But, I think there are some valid questions, I would personally ask Abbot Anderson (feel free to forward this to him):

Has this John Senior/Benedict Option/Village project gone in a different, unintended direction than originally envisioned?  The majority there are not members of a parish,  bound to any local pastor.  How can the Community become stable without that necessary, ecclesial center? 

Was it the plan of the monks to become the canonical pastors of the families they sold land to, who they encouraged to move to Oklahoma to form this Catholic Community?  

In the early years, say the first decade of its foundation, where were the plans to provide for a Public, Parish Community??   It was only later after many years that Bishop Slattery attemped a parish, which he later shut down for lack of support from the Community. 

Is it not an integral necessity of the life of  Catholic families to be subject to a pastor and priest who has binding authority over them?  To gather together on Sundays around a particular altar, in a particular public place, around a particular pastor and priest who offers for them the Holy Sacrifice?  Who then makes themselves available for baptisms, first communions, marriage preparation, catechism, visiting the sick and dying, and the other multiple tasks of a parish priest?

The paradox, then, is:  how could the Clear Creek monks encourage the actual formation of a lay Catholic Community around their monastery, but not foresee the need for an official parish/parish priest, to ensure a normal Catholic community life?   Why in the past could they not assign/call just one priest to be the public, pastor for these souls??  

Surely the Bishop would approve.  Surely one monk-priest assigned to a parish down the road would not alter the contemplative life of the community.   If anything,  it would help preserve it from unnecessary intrusions into the silent, cloistered life of the Benedictine monk.  


Solutions?

Start a parish there.  The Catholic Church morally and spiritually requires Catholic families to be active members of a parish.  

If in fact the Church is what generates a Christian society, as the monks are trying to restore, then it is a Public Parish that will generate an authentic, balanced, and successful Catholic Village out at Clear Creek.

There are new, younger families there who can ask the Bishop and Abbot to try again in starting a proper, local Catholic church there.  If not now, then one planned for the future. 

The Comment Section is open, and will be moderated.  Or, feel free to email me at:  JosephOstermeir@gmail.com  (I use a pen name for professional reasons).