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Showing posts from August, 2014

Dealing with Argumentative Attacks - Sub-title: Answering A Sedevacantist's Objections - Part 1

Guidelines for Engaging in Discussions

I'm aware of a few guidelines in arguing with a person.

First, at all costs maintain your calm and keep yourself in peace. No matter what verbal or written attacks may be launched against your person or ideas.

Second, if the person is not arguing rationally, then you should 'break contact' because in their irrational state any logical arguments that you may put forward will only cause the person to hold to their irrational beliefs with greater tenacity.

Second, what out for challenges in which there are a number of undeclared assumptions.  If these are not made explicit there is a risk of answering the question but not the assumption.

In face-to-face confrontations, it necessary to move from the 'artifacts' to the 'beliefs' and 'assumptions' in order to determine what motivated the attack or challenge.

In other words a simple and effective response is the ask why the person they attacked your more made …

Dogmatic Fact or Fancy

I recently became involved in an online argument with some people about dogmatic facts and their application.

The key element is that my 'opponents' were caught in a circular argument seemingly without being aware of it.

In broad strokes they claim that because of the canonization of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Francis can't be Pope since canonizations are held to be an act of the infallible magisterium and this is obviously an error.

The problem comes that the same authority that established the doctrine of the infallibility of canonizations likewise established that the acceptance of a newly elected Pope by the bishops in union with Rome establishes an infallible dogmatic fact that the new 'Pope' is Pope - the Vicar of Christ.

My opponents rejected this latter dogmatic fact while maintaining the former.  As they both rest on the same authority, it is not rational to reject one and accept the other on ones own authority.

Reviewing the following reference re…

Why is Silence the Only Option for 'Conservative' Catholics in the Face of Novelties?

In the wake of the leadership style of Pope Francis, its been noticed that the conservative opposition to the post-conciliar novelties and even clear statements of Church Teaching  are being suppressed (1).

This has led one Catholic Priest to comment that: Most Catholics but especially clergy want to be loyal to the Pope in order to maintain the unity of the Church, today that loyalty is perhaps best expressed through silence. ( 2) The principle being evoked is that, in order to maintain 'unity of the Church', the good will be silent in the face of abuses and doctrinal error.

Was Archbishop Lefebvre not correct when he wrote:
For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience. (3)

Sedevacantism: One Response to the Crisis of the Church

I've added this to the Heresy series because at its core the Sedevacantism thesis is founded on the what is believed to constitute the Sin of Heresy and a resultant loss of office by the Pope.

There are a number of different articles on Sedevacantism and I've just found a number on UnamSanctamCathoilcam's website.

Here they are for future reference.


Alleged loss of the Four Marks

Cum Ex Apostolatus and loss of office

False Principles of Sedevacantism Part 1

False Principles of Sedevacantism Part 2

What is the 'Way Forward'

An online friend recently asked:

Tradical, I'm interested in finding out more about the statement on your blog: "looking for a way forward".  How do you envision this? 
Here are my thoughts, made clearer after a couple of years of slogging:

From my point of view there are two groups of issues that need to be resolved before this crisis of the Church will come to an end and the next one start.
Doctrinal ambiguityCultural ambiguity

Doctrinal Dissonance - An Application of Cognitive Dissonance Theory

I've discussed various cultural and psychological barriers that exist both in 'modern' and 'traditional' Catholics here, here, and here.

Normally, I referred to fig 1 in discussing the issues faced by Catholics of all cultural dispositions.

I was involved in some debates on dogmatic facts, specifically the dogmatic fact established by the recognition of the Bishops determines infallibly who is the Pope.

I decided that it would be good to provide a graphic applying the model to the crisis of the Church.

Pope St. Pius X - A Reflection - Rorate Caeli (The Victors Write History)

Rorate-caeli has posted an excellent article by

This quote of Cardinal Burke provides an excellent synopsis of Pope St. Pius X and a good contrast with his successor (s).

Instaurare omnia in Christo” Cardinal Burke writes, “is the sum total of St. Pius X’s pontificate, everything was aimed at the re-Christianizing of society assailed by liberal relativism, which trampled on the rights of God in the name of a “science” freed from any type of relationship with the Creator.” (p.9) (source)
I also found the following point enlightening:
The colossal reforming and restoring work by St. Pius X was carried out under the incomprehension of the ecclesiastical world itself. “St. Pius X – writes Cristina Siccardi – did not look for the approval of the Roman Curia, the priests, the bishops, the cardinals, the faithful, and most of all he did not look for the approval of the world, but always and only he looked for the approval of God, at the risk of damaging his public image, and doing thus, …

A Look Back - March/April 2006 SSPX Canadian District Superiors Letter

As noted earlier, sometimes it is useful to look back, especially after a particularly hard episode in our lives.

The lift of the SSPX is no different. For over a dozen years, as it seemed the Pope was approaching or at least tolerating the cultural assumptions of the SSPX and the SSPX was abiding by the principles of Catholicism (I know some will look with askance at that statement), an cultural reaction was going to happen in both the Church at large and the SSPX.

The rumours and fears of 'sell-out' were part of the cultural reaction, specifically of those that had issues with the principles that guide the SSPX.

So for the record, here is a 2006 District Superior Letter for Canada.


Courtesy of 

Is Dogma Important - Part III

As I mentioned in part 1 of this series Ecumenism of 'convergence', as put into practice since the Second Vatican Council has resulted in the suppression of expressions of the faith.

It happened to the Mass and the rest of the rites.

It has also happened to the Creed in the Ukranian rite with the suppression of the Filioque.

Here is a follow-up on the Filioque from St. Alphonse de Liguouri's "History of Heresies".
11. Finally, in the Council of Florence, held under Eugenius IV., in the year 1438, in which both Greeks and Latins were again united, it was decided unanimously, " that this truth of Faith should be believed and held by all Christians, and that all should then profess that the Holy Ghost eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, as from one principle, and by one spiration; we also define, explaining the word " filioque" (and from the Son), that it has been lawfully and rationally introduced into the Creed, for the sake of de…

What the Halifax is Theology of the Body - Part III

As a course of study, I usually pick a theological text and over the course of a couple of years read it from cover to cover.

Currently I am reading the Catechism of the Council of Trent and have just reached the section on the Sacrament of Matrimony.

I see it as an antidote to the confusion that TOB has cast upon the faithful of the Church.

While longer than my quote of St. Thomas , it is well worth the effort as it is a complete and detailed explanation of the doctrine of the Church on this topic. As the Second Vatican Council did not seek to alter the doctrine of the faith, the contents of the Catechism of the Council of Trent are as valid today as they were 100 years ago.

Given TOB as well as the divorce and Gay Marriage issues - a refresher on Catholic Teaching is ... refreshing!


Cognitive Dissonance and Changing Minds

It is one thing to be aware of cultural land mines, but quite another to navigate them in order to help someone to broaden their perspective on the crisis of the Church.

Every time an action is presented (present actions of clergy etc) that is inconsistent with a belief held, it potentially will result in an explosion.

Sometimes, it is better to let the 'non-traditional Catholic to lead off the discussion - which will probably be an expression of a belief about Traditional Catholicism. In other words the statement will go something like this: You believe X.

Correcting Cognitive and Cultural Biases

Cognitive biases can act like short circuits for our reasoning processes and are normally found in combination with Cognitive dissonance.

For example, if a person holds Pope St. John Paul II (PSJP2) in high regard, they will experience cognitive dissonance when presented with the fact that he kissed a Koran etc.

In order to relieve the dissonance (discomfort) there is a temptation to explain away the inconsistency between the belief that PSJP2 is 'Great' and that kissing the Koran is a sin against the First Commandment.

In the search for an explanation, the person will probably jump at the first cognitive bias that fits the bill.

I have witnessed this first hand. It took close to 20 minutes for the person in question to admit that when presented with a Koran, you do not kiss it.  The inner conflict experienced when confronted with these two issues was plain to see as the action (kissing the koran) was inconsistent with the belief held concerning PSJP2.

These biases and b…

A Consequence of Step 9 in Pope Francis' Ten Step Program

Pope Francis' Ten Step Program for Happiness, is completely consistent with the Second Vatican Council Declarations on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism.
Don't proselytize; respect others' beliefs. "We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you,' No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing," the pope said. (source)

Theological Flint and Communication - An Article Full of Insight

Theological Flint has posted an article on communication and has hit the proverbial nail on the head with an equally proverbial hammer.
One reason is that members of the Magisterium have decided that the world is its first audience, or at least “all theists”, or at least “all Christians”. Or even “just atheists”. But really, most often, the audience they address is the world. Now, since one adapts what one says to one’s audience’s ready capacity to hear, the Magisterium has adapted what it says to a “world audience”. But the world cannot receive many things. Only some things. It can make little progress, slow progress. It is not ready for the Paraclete to stretch its heart wide. (So, at least, in human judgment, with a human prudence. Perhaps not with a divine prudence, a divine calculus.) Thus, this new form of communication has necessarily led to the neglect of the very persons those charged with Magisterial authority are firstly called to serve, Catholics.(source) The whole a…

Unam Sanctam: The Truth About Priestly Continence and Celibacy in the Early Church

In general the Church, by its nature, is counter-cultural.  This was true in the 1st to 3rd centuries, remains true in the 21st century, will be true in the 23rd century and beyond.

Therefore it should be of no surprise that as the Church of Christ attempts to adapt to the culture of the World, chaos, confusion and upheaval will follow.  Anything counter-cultural within the Church will be targeted for elimination.  Just as it happened with the Traditional Mass and method of priestly formation (eg: SSPX), so it will be with every other Catholic cultural 'artifact'.

Priestly celibacy, or continence as noted by Boniface, is one of the 'artifacts' of Catholic organizational culture that periodically comes under attack because it is counter-cultural.

As such it is under attack today, here in the 21st century.

Boniface of Unam Sanctam has posted an excellent article that cuts to core issue about Priestly Celibacy - Continence.


For a canoni…

Fr. Longenecker and 10 Things to remember

Fr. Longenecker has posted a list of 10 things to remember if Pope Francis "upsets" you.

Interestingly he has made the following point #10:

Ten: Remember, where else are you going to go? A Protestant sect? The Lefebvrists? The Eastern Orthodox? Start your own garage church? Furthermore, what good does it do to get all upset and huffy about the pope?  Are you going to elect a new one? All you will do is get yourself into a lather and for what? Be at peace. Pray about it. Get more involved in spreading the gospel with joy. Roll up your sleeves, get busy in serving the poor, building your parish, sharing your faith and be a Catholic alive in the Spirit and full of optimism, faith and the joy of Christ. If the present pope tries your faith and your patience, well then offer it up. There’s a chance to have a stronger faith in Christ and to grow a bit more patient. (Source) Unfortunately, Father has missed the point.

Is the SSPX in Schism? If not what is 'Communion'? (part 2)

+JMJ In part 1, I provided a reference to the SSPX article from its perspective.

Communion must be preserved between the present and the past, not just amongst the present

Breaking communion with the past is just as severe as breaking it with those in the present.

Communion has three foundations that when all are present create unity or oneness. Fath, Government, Worship

Stop the Synod - The Remnant

While I doubt that we will be able to stop the Synod, I do hope and pray that there will be an intercession that prevents them from charging ahead with Cardinal Kasper's 'theories'.

If they do, I hope that the Church will awake from her slumber.


Review of "Responses to some questions" - Is the Church of Christ 'present and operative' outside of its bounds?

I recently read a paper by Dr. Malloy, that referenced the 'Responses to Some Questions'(RSQ), that appears itself to be a follow-up to Dominus Iesus.

I disagreed with a number of elements. One of which was a reference to RSQ #2.
SECOND QUESTIONWhat is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?
RESPONSEChrist “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”[5], that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.[6] “This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.[7]In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium ‘subsistence’ m…

What the Halifax is Theology of the Body - Part II

The questions surrounding the 'Theology of the Body' continue to abound.  I've attached an article from the National Catholic Register that sings its praises.

I've also attached some links to other references, that should help to form an opinion on the phenomenon called 'Theology of the Body'.

Now for the my first thoughts, formed prior to any uindepth review of the subject matter:

TOB seems to have spawned a cottage industry of 'consultants' and interpreters who provide their own interpretation of Pope St. John Paul II's talks.  (No this is not a good thing, if you need someone to provide an interpretation, its like hiring a consultant to tell you the time).Culturally, the title Theology of the Body, seems to be very weird.  Why?  Because theology is "the study of the nature of God and religious belief".  God does not have a Body, so it appears incongruous to apply the title of Theology to this title. Unless the point is that Man and…

Those who return to the past are not outside the Church - Rorate Caeli

I had been thinking about putting together a post explaining some of the history of how the SSPX has arrived at its current position.

Now I see that Rorate has posted a translated editorial that shows the roots of the SSPX principles.

In reading these words, I see patterns and themes that were put forward by Archbishop Lefebvre decades ago.

Perhaps his sight was clearer than most.


Strong Cultures Dominate Weaker Ones

Faced with a bold, resurgent militant Islam, what is the response of the Catholic Church?
Invite them to participate in prayers for peace in the Vatican gardens.  That turns into a prayer to overcome the 'infidels' - from the Islamic point of viewEcumenical actions are taken that receive no reciprocity from the IslamistRelative silence as militant Islamists rise up as part of the 'Islamic Spring' throughout the Middle-East.Articles that state 'no religion can justify such barbarity', without directly confronting the fundamental issue that these actions can be demonstrated as being aligned with Islamic thought and interpretation. The Catholics who are being persecuted and force from their lands have made clear that they expected their moderate Muslim neighbors to help them.
They did not.

Zenit: Ecumenical Dialogue with Pentecostals (Protestant Charismatics)

There is more on Zenit of the Papal visit to the pentecostals.

ZENIT: According to you, does the Pope’s visit to Caserta have a wider significance?Calisi: The meeting in Caserta precedes and has a wider significance than the visit made by the Pope. The Bishop of Rome is perfectly aware of the urgency to search for unity between the Catholic Church and the Pentecostal Evangelical Churches. ...
This pretty much says it all - as well as how the evangelicals see it: Rorate-Caeli:Italian Evangelical Alliance, the Federation of Pentecostal Churches, the Assemblies of God in Italy, the Apostolic Church and the Pentecostal Congregations
From their point of view it is a numbers game. The evangelicals have the numbers - so they must be right.
Christ Eleison!
P^3 Prayer Penance Patience

Will Novelties Never Cease? Protestant Tony Palmer Receives Catholic Requiem Mass - Catholic Family News


I almost feel like adding another 'label' to categorize all the Pope Francis novelties: Bergolio Era.
But that would be redundant as the idiosyncrasies of Pope Francis are merely a symptom or artifact of the underlying cultural change that has been in progress since the Second Vatican Council.
The latest novelty is twofold:  Tony Palmer (RIP) had a public Catholic requiem Mass said for himIt was said as if he were a Bishop of the Catholic Church There are a few oddities that have come out about Mr. Palmer as a result of his untimely death. Pope Francis advised him not to convertHis wife and children are Catholic (apparently led back into the Church by Tony which is curious-er and curious-er since he wouldn't lead anyone into the Church or something to that effect ... I'll need to check that reference or video)The requiem took place in a Catholic ChurchHe was buried in a Catholic cemetery When Pope Francis said to the SSPX that they are Catholic, I wonder if he mea…

Pope Francis and the Effect on the Church


The tablet has the following short article:

‘Conformist’ younger clergy wary of Francis – Dublin archbishop04 August 2014 14:54 by Sarah Mac DonaldPope Francis’ courage is causing disquiet among those with “a very conformist and closed Catholicism” the Archbishop of Dublin has warned.
In a speech given in Melbourne, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin referred to a young curate who recently told his parish priest he was not at all happy with some things the Pope had said.
The young priest felt they “were not in line with what he had learned in the seminary” and he suggested that they were “making the faithful insecure and even encouraging those who do not hold the orthodox Catholic beliefs to challenge traditional teaching.”
The archbishop warned conservative and progressive Catholics against becoming “closed in” within our own ideas. He also acknowledged that Irish Catholicism had a strong tradition of strict teaching.
Responding to the comments, Fr Seamus Ahearne of the Association of…

Is the Pope's Health Failing?

Whenever the Pope sneezes, speculation is sure to follow.  I know that I've had the same thoughts when it was announced that the Pope cancelled a large number of events in July.

DICI has reported on the Pope's health and provides some insight to why some events may have been cancelled.

Given the disparity between the Pope's words for Traditional Catholics and everyone imbued with the Protestant Culture (Protestants, Neo Cats' etc),  it does provide another possible way to 'read' Pope Francis.


Courtesy of DICI

Communion in the Hand - One of the Defining Cultural Artifacts of the Post Conciliar Era

Attached below is a collection of YT videos on the topic of Communion in the Hand.

Communion in the hand is one of the defining cultural artifacts of the post conciliar era.  In many ways it represents one of the final manifestations of the protestantization of the Catholic liturgy.

A liturgy that evoked the desire to create a fitting setting (see below) for the Great Mysteries being celebrated by the priest.

A signal that the Catholic culture is reasserting itself will definitely be the censuring of this abominable practice.


Houston: We Have A Problem! - The Pope's Ten Step Program

The Remnant blog brought to my attention the Pope's Ten Secret's to Happiness as reported by CNS.

I will admit that at first I thought it was a joke paraphrasing the various utterances of Pope Francis.

Sadly, it is not a joke, nor is it a laughing matter.

"Catholic" Charismatic Renewal - Culture Shock

If there is one phenomenon (read: Virus) within the Mystical Body of Christ that causes cultural shock to Traditionalists it is the "Catholic" Charismatic Renewal.

I can think of no better source than John Vennari for information on this movement within the Church of Christ.

In addition to the link below, here's another article worthy of consideration.


Source A "Catholic" Charismatic Extravaganza "To speak in tongues you had never learned was, and is, a recognized symptom in alleged cases of diabolic possession." Msgr. Ronald Knox -- Enthusiasm by John Vennari (RIP)   It arrived on my desk a few months ago as yet another unsolicited piece of bulk mail.  The brochure from the Franciscan University at Steubenville, announced that "Catholic" Charismatics were about to celebrate their 30th Anniversary bash in Pittsburgh "where it all began," and for $69.00 registration, I would be welcome too.  So it was that on June 27, 1997…