Saturday, July 19, 2003

I am not sure whether to chuckle at the Mohammed Saheed al-Sahhaf, Minister of Truth weblog or not. It is too similar to reading the kind of stuff commonly put out in "trad" circles except rather than butchering history and theology, they were butchering events in April. Here is an example from the weblog:

I decided to take a comp day today, as I have been working such long hours. Still, the phone rings off the hook. Everyone wants to know about the statue, and am I watching the “celebrations” on TV.

OK, here’s the deal. Periodically, statues of Saddam are taken down for cleaning. We pull them down with crane, and pull them around on the ground to loosen the dirt and bird poo. This is what you are seeing today. Joyous crowds gather when we do this, as you can see. They throw their shoes at the statue, as a way of saying "Thank you great Saddam, in your presence we are not worthy to wear shoes. Please have our shoes, they are no use to mere mortals like us. May the infidel invaders be squashed by our bare feet and drown in their own bile." Very moving, yes? Then, happy children ride on statue, like big Grandpa. It is a festival atmosphere.

Aah how similar it reads to statements like this:

In our view a possible future declaration of a sede vacante would take place automatically when the Church would become aware of the gravity of the present day errors and who is responsible for them. [We Resist You]


When it comes down to it, Rome never answers the essential question.  They demand of us a statement which would make us tilt ever so little in their direction, but on their side there is no calling in question of their basic liberalism and modernism…" (Mgr Lefebvre, June 13, 1988 to the four bishop elect).{1} The situation has not changed from 1988.  Sure the bait is bigger and nicer, but the line pulling us in is still the same.  In the minds of the present Roman authorities they want us to admit we were wrong, to admit we have created a schism and left the Church.  They want to bring us into the new church of Vatican II. [Fr. Jean Violette (Letter of December 2002)]

And of course this one:

[Y]ou have at your disposal at the bookstall some books and flyers which contain all the elements necessary to help you better understand why this ceremony, which is apparently done against the will of Rome, is in no way a schism. We are not schismatics!...Far from us be this miserable thought of separating ourselves from Rome! On the contrary, it is in order to manifest our attachment to Rome that we are performing this ceremony. It is in order to manifest our attachment to the Eternal Rome, to the Pope, and to all those who have preceded these last Popes...[Consecration Sermon Delivered by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre June 30th 1988]

And lest anyone think this applies to only the SSPX, here are some from a recent combatant with the Inquisition who likes to affiliate with questionable company such as those noted above:

No one is afraid of a reprisal from the Vatican, where as during the days of Pius IX's syllabus of errors, and Pius X's Pascendi, the world was outraged, and most of all, afraid of the Churches counterattack...[Response of Kevin Tierney to Gregg the Obscure circa June 2003 (see Lidless Eye Inquisition for details)]

In reading numerous assertions along the same lines as the above ones, I am reminded of Mohammed Saheed al Sahhaf standing with US tanks in the background claiming that the US military was not in Baghdad. Perhaps we should retitle "radtrads" and "integrists" (and in the case of their supporters like Mr. Tierney) "saheed al-sahhafists" and "traditionalism" as "saheed al-sahhafism." This is definitely something to strongly consider IMHO.


{1} The actual consecrations took place on June 30, 1988. Rome responded on July 2, 1988 with the Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei Adflicta which confirmed that His Grace and those who took part in the consecration had incurred automatic excommunication for breaking the communion of the Church.

[Update: With regards to the above quip about Kevin Tierney as a "Saheed Sahhaff supporter", please see what I noted recently in updating a post previous to this one in recent days so the context of that assertion (and the circumstances at the time it was posted) are properly understood.- ISM 3/21/06 9:45pm]

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Courtesy of Gerard Serafin's weblog is this link:

Church sued for 'hell prediction'

As if God would actually be appeased by a bunch of legal eagles...

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Oh and lest I forget SAM, the one in charge of registrations at St. Blog's - the very esteemed Gerard Serafin has entered your name and blog into the parish register. All you need now is the webring link - see this weblog's side margin for details.

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"SecretAgentMan" Dept.

Apparently, yesterday's question to The Secret One prompted a response which in essence said As much as I want to preserve the illusion of irrefutability, I can say I'll have "E&K" done this weekend. Then Shawn can shred my blunders at his leisure. (The link can be read HERE.) This appears to be the most modest - indeed the most deferential of responses but I am not buying it - not even at a discount.

For one thing, notice that SAM said that he would have the response done this weekend. He did *not* say he would actually blog it. So technically he could finish the thread, not post it, and not be accused of duplicity at all in his statements. Before you think I am off my rocker, remember, secret agents are masters of both saying and doing the unexpected. So one must be expecting the unexpected with them.

You see, this is more classic tactical maneuvering by The Secret One. For he seems to think that I have forgotten just how formidable he can be. One of the tactics of warfare is to get your opponent to underestimate you. If that is what he is seeking to do, I must say SAM, do you honestly think that a student of Sun Tzu will fall for THAT kind of ruse???

You better get on the phone to Miss Moneypenny about getting another gadget to try. I am onto your tricks ;-)

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Points to Ponder:

[O]ne too frequently hears it said, in various terms, that to impose a truth, be it that of the Gospel, or to impose a way, be it that of salvation, cannot but be a violation of religious liberty. Besides, it is added, why proclaim the Gospel when the whole world is saved by uprightness of heart? We know likewise that the world and history are filled with "seeds of the Word"; is it not therefore an illusion to claim to bring the Gospel where it already exists in the seeds that the Lord Himself has sown?

Anyone who takes the trouble to study in the Council's documents the questions upon which these excuses draw too superficially will find quite a different view.

It would certainly be an error to impose something on the consciences of our brethren. But to propose to their consciences the truth of the Gospel and salvation in Jesus Christ, with complete clarity and with a total respect for the free options which it presents- "without coercion, or dishonorable or unworthy pressure"{Cf. Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Religious Liberty Dignitaties Humanae, 4: AAS 58 (1966), p. 933.}- far from being an attack on religious liberty is fully to respect that liberty, which is offered the choice of a way that even non-believers consider noble and uplifting. Is it then a crime against others' freedom to proclaim with joy a Good News which one has come to know through the Lord's mercy?{Cf. Ibid., 9-14: Loc. Cit., pp. 935-940.} And why should only falsehood and error, debasement and pornography have the right to be put before people and often unfortunately imposed on them by the destructive propaganda of the mass media, by the tolerance of legislation, the timidity of the good and the impudence of the wicked?

The respectful presentation of Christ and His kingdom is more than the evangelizer's right; it is his duty. It is likewise the right of his fellow men to receive from him the proclamation of the Good News of salvation. God can accomplish this salvation in whomsoever He wishes by ways which He alone knows.{Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity Ad Gentes, 7: AAS 58 (1966), p. 955.} And yet, if His Son came, it was precisely in order to reveal to us, by His word and by His life, the ordinary paths of salvation. And He has commanded us to transmit this revelation to others with His own authority. It would be useful if every Christian and every evangelizer were to pray about the following thought: men can gain salvation also in other ways, by God's mercy, even though we do not preach the Gospel to them; but as for us, can we gain salvation if through negligence or fear or shame- what St. Paul called "blushing for the Gospel"{Cf. Rom 1:16.} - or as a result of false ideas we fail to preach it? For that would be to betray the call of God, who wishes the seed to bear fruit through the voice of the ministers of the Gospel; and it will depend on us whether this grows into trees and produces its full fruit.

Let us therefore preserve our fervor of spirit. Let us preserve the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow. May it mean for us- as it did for John the Baptist, for Peter and Paul, for the other apostles and for a multitude of splendid evangelizers all through the Church's history- an interior enthusiasm that nobody and nothing can quench.

May it be the great joy of our consecrated lives. And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the Good News not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ, and who are willing to risk their lives so that the kingdom may be proclaimed and the Church established in the midst of the world. [Pope Paul VI: Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi §80 (c. 1975)]


Friday, July 18, 2003

"Russian Chain Match" Dept.

As those who read this weblog on a reasonably frequent basis know, I recently responded in detail to one of The Secret One's encyclical email letters on the subjects of communion posture and the authority of bishops. That response can be read here:

SecretAgentMan vs. Rerum Novarum on Communion Posture and the Authority of Bishops

After he briefly clarified a point I was unaware of, I noted that point at another link which was then linked to the end of the thread noted above. Not one to take a thumping sitting down, The Secret One reacted with some effective counterpunching which can be read HERE. All I will note here in brief is that (i) the lumps around my right eye are *not* genetic and (ii) the claim of The Secret One that I "borrowed" some of his "mojo" (i.e. reference to Trent Session XXI) is not true - indeed he borrowed some of MY "mojo" - something I suppose I could demonstrate when responding to him later on. (If he continues to insinuate it.)

As he has indicated that there is to be a second part, I must ask him when he will post it as I promised to not respond until he does. So Secret One any plans to finish it this week??? Or do you want to lord the upper hand for a while longer??? Inquiring minds want to know :)

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A Few Notes On Dignitatis Humanae:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

My friend John Pacheco sent me a dialogue he is involved in on the subjects of religious freedom and the underlying moral right to a civil right. It brought about some musings on my part yesterday morning which I saved to my notebook and post at this time. Hopefully they are of some value in complementing John's excellent and *focused* responses. If only his dialogue partner was equally as focused but lest I digress, let us move onto what I was mulling over yesterday when reading the above link. The references cited in the musings below will be in darkblue font.

It is important to consider that the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH) before it develops the doctrine of civil religious liberty reaffirms the requirements of the divine law. Too many people overlook this fact including the late Fr. John Courtney-Murray and many of his followers. However, this is also a problem that Archbishop Lefebvre and the so-called "traditionalists" have. So in my opinion, any discussion of rights in the civil sphere must also take into account the divine sphere. And the notion of religious liberty in each sphere must be considered in its proper context.

Hence, "Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore [this Vatican Council] leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ" (DH §1).

The Council Declaration makes two very important distinctions here. It first defines the scope of religious liberty and confines it to the civil realm. Immediately following this the Council "leaves untouched" the teachings of the Church that pertain to the divine order. These are teachings including the encyclicals Mirari Vos, Quanta Cura, Libertas, and Immortale Dei of Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Leo XIII respectively. The notion that some that these teachings have been overturned is falsified by DH itself in the first section of the Declaration.

The intention of DH is to focus on the civil sphere and retain the teachings of the divine sphere. For this reason, the claims of contradiction between DH and previous magisterial teaching on this subject advanced by self-styled "traditionalists" (who abhor what they perceive as contradiction) and self-styled "progressives" (who relish the same perceived contradiction) are both well wide of the mark.

The requirements of the divine law are retained by DH. Once this is established, the religious freedom sphere enunciated in §1 (immunity from coercion in civil society), the Declaration manifests the intention to "develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society" (DH §1). As the first pope to enunciate doctrine on these matters was Pope Leo XIII, this makes recourse to encyclicals like Quanta Cura and Mirari Vos - neither of which touch on this subject at all - not germane to the debate.{1}

Having established this distinction, the Declaration moves on to teach the following on religious freedom:

"This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others within due limits" (DH §2).

This is to be understood in conformity with what the Church teaches on the requirements of the divine law. In other words, the divine requirement for persons and societies to recognize the Catholic Church (the one Church of Christ) and the Catholic religion (the true religion) for what they are is not to be overlooked.

However, there is also the fact that this Declaration, being primarily pastoral in nature and tone, is aimed more at application than at abstract theorizing. The civil law in this puzzle does not diverge from the divine requirement. Instead, the civil law is expected to conform itself to the divine law according to DH as well as any legitimate use of reason would dictate. However, in light of the fact that many societies no longer conform themselves with the requirements of the divine law, the Council seeks to establish as a civil right the religious freedom of the individual to not be coerced by the civil authority against their consciences that they may - without hindrance - come to recognize and adhere to the truth.

In short, the purpose of DH is to facilitate a means for people in all societies and under all governmental forms to have the freedom to recognize their obligations as individuals towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ. And this right to religious freedom - which is again the right to "immunity from coercion in civil society" (DH §1) is neither unlimited nor is it only to be accorded to some people and not to others.{2}

To quote DH, the right to religious freedom "[i]s based on the very dignity of the human person as known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right" (DH §2). The right in other words is one that the Church seeks to have recognized by various societies is based not only on the revealed Word of God but also on reason itself.

The importance of bringing reason into the equation here is that those who do not accept the authority of the Word of God can at least - if they are of goodwill - be shown that this principle is based on reasoning faculties. In this manner, the societies that seek to govern themselves by religious principles and those that did not - like the USSR and Red China for example - none of them would be able to claim that this right was not to some extent able to be demonstrated. The Declaration also noted the following on the right that it has already outlined the existence and scope of:

"[This right to religious freedom] is in accordance with their dignity as persons--that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility--that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth" (DH §2).

Notice the manner whereby religious freedom is to be properly utilized. It is not something that has an indefinite range but instead is conformed solely to the search for the truth - a search that the Declaration notes is in conformity with the natural law (i.e. "impelled by nature") as well as the divine law (i.e. "bound by a moral obligation"). If the moral obligation under the divine law is to recognize and adhere to the True Religion and the True Church, then once this is accomplished, the end to which the means is established to reach is attained. And at that point, the right itself ceases to exist much as a law that is "sunsetted" in the legislative realm ceases to have binding force. Having noted this point, the Council then needs to emphasize what is intrinsically required so that this means can be most fruitfully utilized:

"However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed" (DH §2).

The Declaration at this point is rejecting the hypocrisy of the Roman school thesis by noting that the right is not based on "subjective dispositions" but instead in the very "nature" of the individual.{3} In short, it is a right of objective import. And as the right itself was also based on the dignity of the person, this basis constituted a kind of subtle swipe at those nations which claimed to legislate "for the people" and to be interested in "the people's wants" while denying them the very freedom from coercion that this right enunciated by the Council Declaration entails.

All of this blatantly contradicts the facile notions by one so-called "traditionalist" that "[i]f you believe that religious liberty is a moral right for all men, then you must believe that a Christian has the moral right to worship a non-Christian god" (R. Sungenis). The Declaration points to a harmonization of the rights under the divine and the civil law properly constituted.

As John Pacheco notes in his correspondence at the link above, there cannot logically be a valid civil right without a corresponding moral right. And the Council noted that all people are bound to seek the truth and adhere to it; therefore there cannot logically be a moral right to worship a false god. This would be an example of someone who either in striving to find the truth erred in good faith or one who "d[id] not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it" (DH §2).

We cannot know with certainty which would apply to individuals of course. But those who claim that religious liberty was not a moral right for all men would be opening the door for the very kind of Animal Farm-like notions that were common to the totalitarian regimes that the Council was seeking to find an efficient and pastoral solution to combatting.{4}

By this particular "traditionalist" rationale,{5} DH would be claiming that all people would not have a moral right to religious liberty, only a civil one. The problem with this is that this constitutes a fundamental misunderstanding of the very purpose of law to begin with. Law is made for people not people for law. As Claude Frederic Bastiat (a Catholic economist and statesman) told the French Parliament during the Revolution of 1848-50 on the subject of Law:

"We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life -- physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production--in other words, individuality, liberty, property -- this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." [Frederic Bastiat: The Law (c. 1850)]

In short, all civil rights which are licit recognize underlying (i.e. existing) moral rights. Thus, DH asserts that this right should be recognized as a civil right in the constitutional order of society because "[it is] based on the very dignity of the human person as known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself" (DH §2).

So to summarize these musings, as (i) God cannot contradict himself and (ii) there is nothing logical about a civil right without an underlying moral right; ergo (iii) any thesis espousing a civil right without an accompanying moral right is blatantly contrary to the Second Vatican Council's clear teaching in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, to the dignity of the human person, and also to reason. And therefore such a thesis should be relegated to the ash heap where it rightfully belongs.

[Update: I just realized in digging into the archives for this posting that I forgot to link to it a thread written more than a year later that while diverging a bit from what is noted above nonetheless built on the latter material. Ergo, my intention at this time is to rectify that previous lacuna. -ISM 4/27/09]


{1} Except insofar as they enunciate teachings pertaining to the divine law which the Declaration explicitly claims to leave "untouched."

{2} The notion that religious liberty was "something the Church claimed when in the minority but did not have to acknowledge when in the majority" was the foundational principle of the hypocritical and blatantly contradictory thesis advanced in the curial schema on religious liberty defended at the Council by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani. (And ultimately rejected by the Fathers.)

{3} See footnote two.

{4} Anyone who thinks that DH was not drafted with communism and other atheistic totalitarian regimes in mind is truly disconnected from reality.

{5} And I should note here that Mr. Sungenis much as he is a maverick in many other areas is also one in this area. I am unaware of any self-styled "traditionalists" who would espouse the thesis he tries to defend against John Pacheco - in an effort that has been thus far "weighed in the scales and found seriously lacking" (cf. Dan. v,27).

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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part VII of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning of this thread, please go HERE.

The celebration of the Traditional Mass is not a "function [we] have unrighteously assumed" but a holy obligation that has always been incumbent upon all Catholics to fulfill.

Bulls%#t. You have seized on a particular devotional form (in this case the older Roman Missal) and have asserted (falsely) that all Catholics have worshipped in accordance with its directives. You have fixated on the externals and ignored the fact that the mass has been celebrated in a rich diversity of forms down through the centuries. This has become a rallying cry to justify your schism - a justification that cannot withstand the scrutiny of either church history, dogmatic theology, or even simple logic.

If you want to attend the Tridentine liturgy then drive to Rancho de Cucamunga fifty miles away and do so in accordance with the Indult established by your local ordinary. If this is too difficult, then mortify yourself accordingly by forsaking the unlawful sweetness of the schismatic prelate close to your dwelling and attend an arid liturgy closer to home. This will please God FAR more than you arrogating to yourself the temerity to pass judgment on your local ordinary - of which both God Himself and the Church abhorrs. By avoiding the latter, you will adhere to the true Tradition.

And who knows, it is also possible that God may reward your obedience by prevailing on his prelate (your ordinary) to provide an Indult closer to your home. But even if this did not happen, at the very least you would be safely in the Ark again. And that is far more important than falling for the temptation of illicit (or adulterous) Tridentine sweetness.

Traditionalists do not need to "defend their position by recalling a usage which prevailed in ages past." Rather, it's indefensible that non-Traditional Catholics would attempt to make us Traditional Catholics defensive over celebrating the Mass of our fathers, which is an Apostolic Tradition, part of the Deposit of Faith, not a mere "usage which prevailed in ages past."

You again show that you do not understand the distinction between Tradition (the Mass) and tradition (the formularies of the Tridentine liturgy). I went over this in my treatise in meticulous detail. (See this link of the work for details.) Apparently you were not paying attention or else you would not make such absurd assertions as this. (Ones that I will resist the temptation here to pummel to a pulp.)

If the Mass is but a "usage,"

No, the Tridentine FORM of liturgy is a liturgical usage. Much as the Ambrosian liturgy of Milan or the old Dominican Rite was. Or the Mozarbic liturgy of Spain or the Byzantine Divine liturgies of St. John Chrysostrom or St. James. Or the Maronite Divine liturgy of St. Myron. And numerous others could be mentioned. You are confusing external forms with the Mass itself. Neither form is "more" or "less" the Mass.

if it can be treated like a tire and re-treaded for today's ecumenical off-road excursions, then what will become of our other Apostolic Tradition tomorrow?

The Tridentine liturgy is not an Apostolic Tradition. PERIOD.

What prevents the second leg of sacred Tradition -- the Bible -- from getting amputated next? For their next trick, why couldn't our bishops claim that the Bible's admonition of homosexuality was but "a usage which prevailed in ages past"?

You are mixing apples and oranges. The Magisterium has affirmed and reaffirmed the teaching that homosexuality is gravely disordered intrinsically. There is no parallel between something like an ecclesiastical usage like a particular form of the liturgy and a teaching which the Church has always condemned and (if you have any faith in the indefectibility of the Church at all), always will. You might as well be saying "how do we know that the Yankees will win the World Series if it never snows in Uganda???"

The rest of Pope Pius's words are likewise inapplicable as an indictment of the Traditionalist cause.

{Snipped text - ISM}

As you repeat your errors about the Tridentine form of mass and repeat your errors about this form being "immemorial", there is no need to respond to it here.

In short, poor Pope Pius the XII, long dead and buried, cannot wrest control of his words from those who unscrupulously misapply his words to us Traditionalists.

And as I have outlined in much more detail than was needed, your attempts to defend your disobedience do not hold water. I will leave you with another valuable piece of spiritual instruction that you are in serious need of reading. That is the Treatise on Obedience from St. Catherine of Siena OP's Dialogues. It is available in full along with other related parts HERE.

If you want to go over it in dialogue that will be fine. But a few things are certain including (i) you are not following in the thread of the spiritual masters of the Great Tradition (ii) it is certain that you are not practicing authentic Traditional behaviour in your actions and words of disobedience to your superiors and (iii) my indictments against you - to which you attempted a response here - do not withstand the scrutiny of Catholic dogma or Catholic Tradition.

So to close with the words of Judge Judy, "do not pee on my leg and then tell me it is raining." That is what your attempts to justify yourself apart from the Great Tradition when we get down to the nitty gritty really entail.

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Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part VI of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning of this thread, please go HERE.

Shawn's appeal to the words of Pope Pius XII is a red herring. Allow me to gut it.

Albert's appeal to be following Tradition is false as I have thus far demonstrated. But let him seek to gut my supposed "red herring" and then I will counter with more material that he does not have a consistent answer for.

Traditionalists do not "belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed." Rather, we disobey unjust commands.

But you have no right to disobey a command simply because you do not like it. (Or because you deem it unjust.) This flies in the face of the very notion of submission to an authority at all - it strips that notion of any real meaning whatsoever.

For if you only obey when you want to, your obedience is actually nothing but convenience. (Credit for this axiom goes to my friend John Pacheco.) The true test is when you are presented with a command which is hard and which you are inclined against. *That* is when the true test of whether or not you are obedient to the will of God manifests itself. I hate to say it but you fail this test and fail it miserably.

The wholesale suppression of Church traditions, in particularly, the unlawful and unjust suppression of the Traditional Mass is just such an unjust command.

Your canard about "the Traditional Mass" aside for a moment, you are pulling a Fr. Martin Luther here. You do not have the right to pick and choose what you will and will not obey of the Church's policies of discipline and government. To quote from Pope Bl. Pius IX's Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura - written to condemn certain contemporary errors of his time:

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that "without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church's general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals." But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church. [Pope Pius IX: Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura §5 (c. 1864)]

The same principle applies to the diocesan bishop as it does to the pope - whom "trads" without a valid Indult show contempt for when they do not honour their diocesan bishop. As Pope Leo XIII noted in the Encyclical Letter Satis Cognitum:

[I]f the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also "chose, twelve, whom He called apostles" (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule. [Pope Leo XIII: Encyclical Letter Satis Cognitum §14 (c. 1896)]

And of course this was also taught by the First Vatican Council in the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus:

This power of the Supreme Pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the Holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the Supreme and Universal Pastor; for St. Gregory the Great says: "My honor is the honor of the whole Church. My honor is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honor, when it is denied to none of those to whom honor is due." [First Vatican Council: Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus §5 (c. 1870)]

So since you deny the honour of your local ordinary, you deny true honour to the Supreme Pontiff. But we are not done nailing the lid of this coffin shut yet.

I have mentioned all of this to you many times and many times it has gone in one ear and out the other. The quotes from St. John of the Cross I have given you at least seven times. The spiritual instruction on prayer I posted with you in mind. And of course in my treatise and also my open letter to you, these texts and others like them were referenced.

And of course I have also given you the TRADITIONAL definition of the jurisdiction of the bishop before and you have ignored it. (None of this is what a true Traditionalist would do.) Here it is again:

Bishops, Jurisdiction of. Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and by divine institution rule their dioceses with ordinary power under the authority of the pope. They have legislative, juridical, and executive power...[A] bishop can enact those laws which he considers for the good of his dioceses and he is a judge in the first instance in all ecclesiastical trials; he can punish lay people with censures and clerics by deprivation of offices or censures (qv). He has supreme direction of the clergy, the conduct of divine worship, administration of ecclesiastical property, building of churches, etc. [Catholic Encyclopedic Dictionary: Donald Attwater General Editor, tenth edition, pg. 62 (c. 1941)]

The summation of this my friend is that you are expected to follow the commands of lawfully constituted ecclesiastical authority whether you like it or not. Culpable failure to do this is to separate oneself from the Church and thus from salvation.

To be Continued...

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Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part V of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning of this thread, please go HERE.

Yet their wholesale laxity is credited to them as comporting to Church "discipline" while us Traditionalists are accused of violating Church "discipline" for sweating the details that they never break a sweat over.

This is yet more examples of your objective disconnect from the true Tradition. I wonder if further dialogue is even possible as long as you do not understand the true spiritual underpinnings of the Tradition you claim to preserve.

St. Catherine of Siena OP claimed that her Dialogues - to which she dictated while in ecstasy - were with God the Father. So this is either true or the Church canonized solemnly a saint who lied through her teeth. (I prefer to take her at her word myself.) In the Dialogue section titled Treatise on Prayer, this is what St. Catherine claims that God the Father told her about the honour due to sinful prelates:

I have shown you, dearest daughter, a sample of the excellence of good priests (for what I have shown you is only a sample of what that excellence really is), and I have told you of the dignity in which I have placed them, having elected them for My ministers, on account of which dignity and authority I do not wish them to be punished by the hand of seculars on account of any personal defect, for those who punish them offend Me miserably. But I wish seculars to hold them in due reverence, not for their own sakes, as I have said, but for Mine, by reason of the authority which I have given them. Wherefore this reverence should never diminish in the case of priests whose virtue grows weak, any more than in the case of those virtuous ones of whose goodness I have spoken to you; for all alike have been appointed ministers of the Sun -- that is of the Body and Blood of My Son, and of the other Sacraments.

"This dignity belongs to good and bad alike -- all have the Sun to administer, as has been said, and perfect priests are themselves in a condition of light, that is to say, they illuminate and warm their neighbors through their love. And with this heat they cause virtues to spring up and bear fruit in the souls of their subjects. I have appointed them to be in very truth your guardian angels to protect you; to inspire your hearts with good thoughts by their holy prayers, and to teach you My doctrine reflected in the mirror of their life, and to serve you by administering to you the holy Sacraments, thus serving you, watching over you, and inspiring you with good and holy thoughts as does an angel.

"See, then, that besides the dignity to which I have appointed them, how worthy they are of being loved; when they also possess the adornment of virtue, as did those of whom I spoke to you, which are all bound and obliged to possess, and in what great reverence you should hold them, for they are My beloved children and shine each as a sun in the mystical body of the holy Church by their virtues, for every virtuous man is worthy of love, and these all the more by reason of the ministry which I have placed in their hands.

You should love them therefore by reason of the virtue and dignity of the Sacrament, and by reason of that very virtue and dignity you should hate the defects of those who live miserably in sin, but not on that account appoint yourselves their judges, which I forbid, because they are My Christs, and you ought to love and reverence the authority which I have given them. ...

Their sins indeed should displease you, and you should hate them, and strive with love and holy prayer to re-clothe them, washing away their foulness with your tears -- that is to say, that you should offer them before Me with tears and great desire, that I may re-clothe them in My goodness, with the garment of charity. Know well that I wish to do them grace, if only they will dispose themselves to receive it, and you to pray for it; for it is not according to My will that they should administer to you the Sun being themselves in darkness, not that they should be stripped of the garment of virtue, foully living in dishonor; on the contrary I have given them to you, and appointed them to be earthly angels and suns, as I have said. It not being My will that they should be in this state, you should pray for them, and not judge them, leaving their judgment to Me.

And I, moved by your prayers, will do them mercy if they will only receive it, but if they do not correct their life, their dignity will be the cause of their ruin. For if they do not accept the breadth of My mercy, I, the Supreme Judge, shall terribly condemn them at their last extremity, and they will be sent to the eternal fire."[St. Catherine of Siena OP: Dialogues excerpt from Treatise on Prayer (c. 1370)]

This is of course covered in more detail later in the Dialogue when discussing obedience. It is also covered in detail in my spiritual instruction series on traditional obedience. But I will get to that in the last installment of this response.

To be Continued...

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Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part IV of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning of this thread, please go HERE.

It's oxymoronic to call these new ways -- the manifold impious laxities emanating from Vatican II -- "disciplines." The universal relaxation of liturgical and moral standards are not DISCIPLINES, they are DISPENSATIONS that Traditionalists simply dispense with.

I have no objection to you trying insofar as this is licit to adhere to the older protocols.

Thus, Traditionalists still abstain from meat on Fridays,

This obligation (in the absence of substituting another penance) is still required.

still kneel for Communion,

This one of course has been dispensed with by ecclesiastical authority. So you only heap coals on your own head for refusing to obey the authority of your diocesan bishop.

still genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament,

Genuflection or a reverant bow - this is of course your preference.

still wear veils,

This is not forbidden.

still seek out the unambiguously Catholic sacraments,

Of course objectively you err here in that neither forms are more "unambiguous" than the other. And of course if you have an Indult then you can utilize it. But you have admitted to being a hundred miles round trip from the closest Indult in your dioceses. So again you heap coals on your own head for shunning so contemptuously the authority of your local ordinary.

and still shun unorthodox prelates, while the vast majority of Catholics and their bishops don't do any of these things.

But of course you still manifest the exterior intention to break the communion of your local ordinary. So whatever value is in the list of things you noted above, you violate the most important of the non-theological virtues: that of obedience.

You are like Saul keeping all the healthy sheep and cattle to offer sacrifices to God instead of slaughtering the entire nation as God commanded. To quote the prophet Samuel to Saul "Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel; and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey" (1 Kings xv, 22-23).

So whatever good otherwise is in your observances, it is cancelled out by this one significant defect. We will see in the next installment what God thinks of those who refuse to pay proper obedience to even sinful prelates.

To be Continued...

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Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part III of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning of this thread, please go HERE.

To whit, Jesus' words to Martha concerning Mary are applicable to us Traditionalists: "Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her." All Catholics ought to chose the best part of Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. God's providence continues to see that it "shall not be taken away from" us.

There is nothing "traditional" about those who continually strive for sweetness and do not have the fortitude to bear the arid and dark night to be stripped of sensuality to overcome their imperfections of spiritual gluttony and sloth. (To say nothing of pride, covetousness, lust, envy, and wrath.)

It makes no sense to pray in a way that inhibits us from praying or to receive Communion in a way that interferes with our reception of Communion.

To someone who does not understand traditional Catholic spirituality sure. But true Traditionalists know better.
To quote from the first part of my weblog spiritual instruction on prayer:

If you experience great dryness in your meditation or other prayers, do not feel distressed and feel that God has turned His Face away from you. Far from it. Prayer said with aridity is usually the most meritorious. It is quite a common error to confound the value of prayer with its sensible results, and the merit acquired with the satisfaction experienced. The facility and sweetness that you may have in prayer are favours from God and for which you will have to account to Him: hence the result is not merit but debt...

[Snipping the excerpt from Imitation of Christ, B. II, c. IX" which mirrors this sentiment.]

The very fact that we derive less gratification from such prayer, makes it all the more pleasing to God, because we are thus suffering for love of Him. Let us call to mind at such times that Our Lord prayed without consolation throughout His bitter agony. [Fr. R. P. Quadrupini: excerpts from his spiritual instruction "Light and Peace - Instructions for Devout Souls" pgs. 19-20 (c. 1795)]

Again we see that the spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition do not agree with your assertion of what is and is not proper traditional behaviour or your mania for "sweetness" in your liturgy or other endeavours. Remember my friend, you will owe a debt for all sweetness given because you have not earned it - instead it was a gift gratuitously given by God. And of course since you are in schism from your local ordinary, you in essence are guilty of a form of "ecclesial adultery."

So on top of the debt owed for any sensual sweetness you are also guilty of an exterior act of schism which the Fathers and Saints would chastise you for. Further still, you are acting contrary to the very Tradition you claim to want to preserve. And also, just as God often rewards the wicked with material prosperity as a way of storing up fuel for the day of wrath (should they not repent) he is with the illicit liturgy you attend doing the same thing to you in the spiritual realm.

Kindly think long and hard about this because there is a reason I have taken the tactic I have taken with you the past year in dialogue. I have sought to remove from you the intellectual sweetness of cerebral engagement as a way of compensating for your unwillingness to walk the road of the dark night. I am not unwilling to walk it with you but if you refuse to do so, then whatever part I can play in withdrawing some of the "sweetness" in our discourses, that I will do.

To be Continued...

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Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part II of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE.

So even if the New Mass interferes with our ability to pray to God, we ought to attend it out of obedience to our bishops.

If exteriors interfere with your internal forum, then you are in need of spiritual guidance. I quote from the Holy Fathers's own spiritual master - and one whom I have began to reflect much more in depth on in the past year: St. John of the Cross:

You will find that many of these persons [spiritual gluttons] are very insistent with their spiritual masters to be granted that which they desire, extracting it from them almost by force; if they be refused it they become as peevish as children and go about in great displeasure, thinking that they are not serving God when they are not allowed to do that which they would.

For they go about clinging to their own will and pleasure, which they treat as though it came from God; and immediately their directors take it from them, and try to subject them to the will of God, they become peevish, grow faint-hearted and fall away. These persons think that their own satisfaction and pleasure are the satisfaction and service of God...

These persons have the same defect as regards the practice of prayer, for they think that all the business of prayer consists in experiencing sensible pleasure and devotion and they strive to obtain this by great effort, wearying and fatiguing their faculties and their heads; and when they have not found this pleasure they become greatly discouraged, thinking that they have accomplished nothing. Through these efforts they lose true devotion and spirituality, which consist in perseverance, together with patience and humility and mistrust of themselves, that they may please God alone. For this reason, when they have once failed to find pleasure in this or some other exercise, they have great disinclination and repugnance to return to it, and at times they abandon it.

They are, in fact, as we have said, like children, who are not influenced by reason, and who act, not from rational motives, but from inclination. Such persons expend all their effort in seeking spiritual pleasure and consolation; they never tire therefore, of reading books; and they begin, now one meditation, now another, in their pursuit of this pleasure which they desire to experience in the things of God. But God, very justly, wisely and lovingly, denies it to them, for otherwise this spiritual gluttony and inordinate appetite would breed in numerable evils. It is, therefore, very fitting that they should enter into the dark night, whereof we shall speak, that they may be purged from this childishness.

These persons who are thus inclined to such pleasures have another very great imperfection, which is that they are very weak and remiss in journeying upon the hard road of the Cross; for the soul that is given to sweetness naturally has its face set against all self-denial, which is devoid of sweetness....

With respect also to spiritual sloth, beginners are apt to be irked by the things that are most spiritual, from which they flee because these things are incompatible with sensible pleasure. For, as they are so much accustomed to sweetness in spiritual things, they are wearied by things in which they find no sweetness. If once they failed to find in prayer the satisfaction which their taste required (and after all it is well that God should take it from them to prove them), they would prefer not to return to it: sometimes they leave it; at other times they continue it unwillingly. And thus because of this sloth they abandon the way of perfection (which is the way of the negation of their will and pleasure for God's sake) for the pleasure and sweetness of their own will, which they aim at satisfying in this way rather than the will of God. [St. John of the Cross Dark Night of the Soul excerpts from Book I, Chapters VI and VII (c. 1600)]

We will consider the views of other spiritual masters as this response unfolds.

To be Continued...

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Fatal Flaws of False "Traditionalism"
(Part I of VII)

This is a response to my good friend Albert Cipriani. His words will be in black font. His quotations of sources previously quoted by me will be in black coloured font with italics. My words - except for the introductory parts of each installment of the thread - will be in regular font with any sources I quote being put in dark blue font.

Hello Albert:

It has been a while since we conversed. I hope all is going well with you and your family.

Shawn provides the following justification for obeying bishops who insist that we stand rather than kneel for communion:

"Much as the Vatican declared in the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum of 1570 that the usage of any missal except the Roman Missal... was illicit. I am sure there were not a few prelates who insulted Pope St. Pius V for this legislation and indeed who "resisted to the face" its implementation. Whatever their personal opinions were, they were as out of line opposing Pius V as the self-styled 'traditionalists' are opposing the Second Vatican Council and the authority of the post Pius XII popes.

And there was btw. St. Charles Borromeo of Milan actually told Pope Pius V to go fly a kite essentially. The prescriptions of Quo Primum had to be phased in because it was contrary to all of precedent for a pope to impose one liturgical form on the universal church.

"To quote Pope Pius XII on appealing to custom over and against decrees of the ecclesial magisterium: 'We are aware that those who thus belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed, defend their position by recalling a usage which prevailed in ages past. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise. In no sense do they excuse their way of acting by appealing to another custom, and they indisputably prove that they follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which they ought to be obeying. [Encyclical Letter Ad Apostolorum Principis §43 (c. 1958)]'"

Thanks for quoting the sources I quoted accurately. In light of some of what I have experienced lately with people it is refreshing to see this. (Not that I am implying that you would not do this of course.)

Shawn confuses discipline with prayer.

Nice try but you are confusing the issue. The posture for liturgical prayer, communion reception, or other such elements all are part of the Church's discipline.

Discipline is an outward display of a supposed inward disposition, whereas prayer is that inward disposition.

I would say that discipline is what the Church authorities impose for the spiritual betterment of the faithful. Prayer is of course supplication to God. Discipline properly utilized should help make prayer more fruitful.

Thus, prayer is a private act whereas discipline is a public display.

To a point. There is private and public prayer. Obviously without some disciplinary guidance, public prayer with numeous people praying at one time would look pretty disjointed.

We may be praying while driving a car and may not be praying while kneeling in Church. Conversely, because of our inward disposition, driving a car, or standing still, or kneeling may be a form of prayer while attending a clown Mass may be a form of sacrilege.

Kindly stop the references to the stupid clown mass canard or else I will really start hurling bombs at you. Have you ever seen one??? I doubt it. Has any of the trad timewasters who harp on this point ever actually seen one??? I would bet ten dollars to a nickel the answer is no.

I lived for years in one of the worst archdioceses in the country and I never saw one. Bringing up this or that abuse from twenty or thirty odd years ago is a pathetic attempt to distract from the subject at hand: your unwillingness to obey your local ordinary who takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth in your dioceses - much as the pope does for the universal church.

To apply Pope Pius' exhortation about those who flouted the discipline of the Church to you and fellow so-called trads "[i]n no sense do [you] excuse [your] way of acting by appealing to another custom, and [you] indisputably prove that [you] follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which [you] ought to be obeying." You know well this applies to you and I will not let you skirt it.

Point is, Church discipline can only regulate our public displays, not our internal dispositions.

This is true.

She may tell us to publicly pray in the vernacular instead of Latin, or to publicly receive Communion standing instead of kneeling. But she does not and can not tell us how to perform that internal spiritual act known as praying.

Obviously someone can go through the motions and internally be somewhere else. This is what Our Lord castigated the Pharisees for. This is what the prophet Isaiah noted when God told him about those who "honor me with their lips but whose heart is far from me" (cf. Isaiah xxix,13). No one disputes this.

She can only regulate how we appear to pray; she cannot regulate that we pray. (On this much, I think Shawn and I agree.)


That we pray is a duty we owe to God alone, not to His bishops. So if His bishops tell us how to put on a public display of prayer that prevents us from actually praying, should we obey them? Only a Pharisee would think so.

Not at all. The spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition are emphatic that often what we want is not what is best for us.

No doubt, many sincere Catholics, such as Shawn, think so, too. They think that Catholics are more obliged to obey their bishops than they are to pray to God, that we're more obliged to be in communion with our bishops than to be in communion with our God.

This is a false dichotomy. If you are culpably not in communion with your bishop, then you are not in communion with God but are instead effectively separated from the Church. It is that simple really.

To be Continued...

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Monday, July 14, 2003

The New Seattle Talk Radio BLOG:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

Occasionally I check the "most recently published" blog list and find one of interest. This time, it was a very recently started weblog called Seattle Talk Radio Blog. As I (i) live in the Seattle area and (ii) listen to Seattle stations - including parts of some of the shows listed, it seemed intriguing to post the blog particularly since it is new and hopefully the exposure will be of assistance to the webmaster.

Certainly I have well-formed opinions of the radio hosts listed - having listened to KVI religiously from 1991-late 1996, sporadically from 1997-2000, and again with some degree of regularity. (As well as KTTH which launched in January of this year as a competitor to KVI.) I remember when Mike Siegel was a flaming liberal on 1090, before Rush Limbaugh's show jumped the shark{1} when Alan Combs (of Hannity and Colmes) used to have a noon show on KVI, the "big announcement" of Mike Seigel's arrival on KVI in early 1992,{2} when Kirby Wilber was a frequent caller to the local shows before he got a show of his own. I remember when John Carlson had a four hour show and before Kirby moved to the morning to anchor the morning spot.{3} I remember back when Michael Reagan anchored the 6-9 slot on KVI and that was my favourite of the shows on what was once an all-star KVI line-up.{4} (I literally had to have the radio on all the time the KVI lineup was that hot.) But there is more.

I remember also when KVI began tinkering with things like Coca Cola and the "New Coke" fiasco. the gradual conservative makeover of Seigel until his controversial firing in 1996. I remember when Michael Medved {5} was a regular fill-in host for Limbaugh - as well as Medved's first show on KVI in Siegel's old slot. (His first caller was Rush Limbaugh to offer encouragement.) {6}

I remember when Michael Reagan's show was dropped, when Limbaugh's show started losing some of its edge, and when the landscape of talk radio changed in Seattle. I also remember thinking that KVI was once so good - and they needed competition to again return to form. (Medved is good but sandwiching him between Limbaugh and Carlson did not seem right after Siegel's departure from that slot.) I remember how none of the round robin shows after Reagan was dropped were worth diddley squat, and Art Bell - my favourite late night-early morning host - was dropped, etc.

Well, KVI now has competition in KTTH and they have a formidable line-up. Seigel is back from exile and going up against Wilbur (I have to split my time between them.) Limbaugh seems to be better than he was for some time - or maybe it is because no one opposed to him in time slot is up to snuff. (I like O'Reilly on TV but Limbaugh is stomping him between 9-noon.) Sean Hannity at noon is up against Michael Medved - I like both shows but I listen more to Medved.{7}

At three, Carlson is up against Rusty Humpheries - generally I prefer John but Rusty has a good show. Between 4 and 7 I listen almost exclusively to Michael Savage who has the kind of intensity that Limbaugh used to have. (And to John Carlson when Savage is on commercial if I am in the car and can change the station easily.) Between 7 and 10 I am devoted to Laura Ingraham who is funny as well as clever - not to mention a Catholic convert this past Easter. (Brian Suits IMO cannot stack up against Savage or Ingraham - nor can Larry Elder who is on for an hour in the evening on KVI. I listen to them only when Savage and Ingraham are on commercial - and if I am in the car or somewhere where changing channels is easy to do.) Sunday night after mass I tend to flip back and forth between Drudge on KVI and Rabbi Lapin on HTTH. (The latter was for some time my favourite KVI fill-in host for the local shows.)

Michael Savage when he gets into nostalgia mode reminds me of my father so much that it is scary. Of course when Michael blows his stack, it reminds me of some of the heated discussions my dad and I could have on issues.{8} Savage has been on the radio for some time it seems; however I did not run across his show until after dad passed. (I originally found it on KVI before it moved to KTTH.) I wonder sometimes if finding the show when I did was not a strange coincidence but only time will tell.

In short, though I do not have my radio on 24/7 on the talk stations anymore as I did throughout much of the 1990's, I have returned to listening to it on a semi-regular basis.


{1} Between 1991 and 1996 (maybe early 1997) his show was phenomenal. It has lost a good amount the edge it used to have but is still pretty good.

{2} And I was one of those who used to call in and grill Mike on certain points. Apparently the combined effort of me and others had an effect of some kind. (Either in bringing Mike to the conservative cause or hastening a move he was already making in that direction.)

{3} I used to call both John and Kirby on occasion as well - usually when they had liberal loons on espousing foolish notions which begged for refutation.

{4} It used to be Wilbur between 5am and 9am, Limbaugh between 9am and noon, Seigel between noon and 3pm, Carlson between 3pm and 6pm, Reagan between 6pm and 9pm, and Art Bell from about 9pm till around 2am.

{5} Of all the shows in recent years, I have called Medved's the most - particularly since he took his show nationally. (That happened when he was at KVI and before KTTH picked him up.)

{6} I finally found Seigel again on KIRO 710 -- where I would listen to Mariner games -- on Sunday evenings back around 1999. Other than him and occasionally sports talker "New York" Vinnie, no one on KIRO appealed to me one iota. (So sorry, I cannot speak with enthusiasm about any of them.) KOMO AM 1000 is where I listen to Mariner games and nothing else - KVI owns them and - though occasionally I would listen to Art Bell there after they moved him to the station - there is nothing of interest to me there anymore. (Particularly since Art Bell appears to have retired now.)

{7} And ironically, KJR sports has a show called "Groz with Gas" which I listen to at least as much as any of the shows that compete with it - it is sports related but David Grozby and Mike Gastineau are a hilarious team. Even someone not into sports would enjoy that program - those who are even that much more as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts there. If memory serves, they are between 2 and 4 so they compete with Medved/Humpheries (KTTH 770) and Carlson (KVI 570).

{8} Savage is to some extent a more book educated version of my father but with sharper edges in not a few areas. (Probably because he is younger than dad was.) My dad by contrast was more like a fine wine or sipping liquor when he was spreading around the Irish blarney. Not that he did not have a temper at times of course (hell hath no fury like it I assure you) but my father's temper burned hotter and much less frequently than Savage's does.

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Points to Ponder:

The work of evangelization presupposes in the evangelizer an ever increasing love for those whom he is evangelizing. That model evangelizer, the Apostle Paul, wrote these words to the Thessalonians, and they are a program for us all: "With such yearning love we chose to impart to you not only the gospel of God but our very selves, so dear had you become to us."{1 Thess 2:8; cf. Phil 1:8.} What is this love? It is much more than that of a teacher; it is the love of a father; and again, it is the love of a mother.{Cf. 1 Thess 2:7-11; 1 Cor 4:15; Gal 4:19.} It is this love that the Lord expects from every preacher of the Gospel, from every builder of the Church. A sign of love will be the concern to give the truth and to bring people into unity. Another sign of love will be a devotion to the proclamation of Jesus Christ, without reservation or turning back. Let us add some other signs of this love.

The first is respect for the religious and spiritual situation of those being evangelized. Respect for their tempo and pace; no one has the right to force them excessively. Respect for their conscience and convictions, which are not to be treated in a harsh manner.

Another sign of this love is concern not to wound the other person, especially if he or she is weak in faith,{Cf. 1 Cor 8:9-13; Rom 14:15.} with statements that may be clear for those who are already initiated but which for the faithful can be a source of bewilderment and scandal, like a wound in the soul.

Yet another sign of love will be the effort to transmit to Christians not doubts and uncertainties born of an erudition poorly assimilated but certainties that are solid because they are anchored in the Word of God. The faithful need these certainties for their Christian life; they have a right to them, as children of God who abandon themselves entirely into His arms and to the exigencies of love.

Our appeal here is inspired by the fervor of the greatest preachers and evangelizers, whose lives were devoted to the apostolate. Among these we are glad to point out those whom we have proposed to the veneration of the faithful during the course of the Holy Year. They have known how to overcome many obstacles to evangelization.

Such obstacles are also present today, and we shall limit ourself to mentioning the lack of fervor. It is all the more serious because it comes from within. It is manifested in fatigue, disenchantment, compromise, lack of interest and above all lack of joy and hope. We exhort all those who have the task of evangelizing, by whatever title and at whatever level, always to nourish spiritual fervor. {Cf. Rom 12:11.}

This fervor demands first of all that we should know how to put aside the excuses which would impede evangelization. The most insidious of these excuses are certainly the ones which people claim to find support for in such and such a teaching of the Council.

Thus one too frequently hears it said, in various terms, that to impose a truth, be it that of the Gospel, or to impose a way, be it that of salvation, cannot but be a violation of religious liberty. Besides, it is added, why proclaim the Gospel when the whole world is saved by uprightness of heart? We know likewise that the world and history are filled with "seeds of the Word"; is it not therefore an illusion to claim to bring the Gospel where it already exists in the seeds that the Lord Himself has sown?

Anyone who takes the trouble to study in the Council's documents the questions upon which these excuses draw too superficially will find quite a different view. [Pope Paul VI: Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi §79-80 (c. 1975)]


Sunday, July 13, 2003

My good friend and fellow Lidless Eye Inquisition member F. John Loughnan weighs in on the Bayside/Necadah apparitions HERE.

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