There are a lot of things about what is happening now to be glad about. These mostly involve things that are now becoming more widely known and understood by believing Catholics that had previously been obscure. Taken together they are creating what could be termed “paradigmatic” changes – shifts of whole ways of thinking, a framework or paradigm for understanding the issues becoming clear.
Cor Orans Revisited...
Read Hilary's Cor orans, Part I HERE.
[Editor’s Note: “Cor Orans” (“Praying Heart”) is the title of an April 1, 2018 document that implements instructions on how to apply Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Constitution – “Vultum Dei Quaerere” (“Seek the Face of God”) addressed to Catholic women religious in contemplative communities. MJM]
One of the abiding characteristics of documents coming from the current administration in the Vatican is the aspect of “bait and switch,” the clever couching of completely opposite intentions in pious Catholic language. Many of the critics-of-the-critics of Amoris Laetitia pointed to the “good” passages of that document praising the family, and excoriated as “paranoid” the people who pointed out that these were there mainly to serve the function of the sugar that helped the drop of arsenic go down.
Cardinals Maradiaga and McCarrick
Well, it’s been quite a couple of news weeks for the Catholic Church, hey? McCarrick, Pineda/Maradiaga, Fr. James Larkin getting the boot in Dublin for upholding Catholic teaching on abortion… I know some people are, to put it bluntly, freaking out. The anger of the laity over the McCarrick situation is boiling over into the Twitter feed of the people we still call “the good bishops”. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence RI, - nicknamed the “Good Tobin” in contrast to the “Bad Tobin” and FrancisCardinal, Joseph Tobin of Newark – got quite an earful when he tweeted the other day, “Despite the egregious offenses of a few, and despite the faults and sins we all have, I’m very proud of my brother bishops and I admire and applaud the great work they do everyday for Christ and His Church.”
Pope to Purge What’s Left of Catholic Nuns
More evidence keeps pouring into my email inbox that the current administration of the Congregation for Religious is planning on using the provisions of Cor orans to totally rewrite the nature of contemplative women’s religious life, particularly the “conservative” and traditional communities, in the name of the “New Paradigm” of VaticanTwoism. [Editor’s Note:"Cor Orans" (“Praying Heart”) is the title of an April 1, 2018 document that Implements instructions on how to apply Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Constitution – “Vultum Dei Quaerere” (“Seek the Face of God”) addressed to Catholic women religious in contemplative communities. MJM]
As I have written many times elsewhere, the one uniform characteristic of the current pontificate is the purge. It is clear now that Jorge Bergoglio was elected by a group of 1960s progressives to bring about the final removal of the last elements within Catholicism that have resisted the Vatican II revolution. After 50 years of ambiguity, of the two implacably opposed “paradigms” living in an uneasy truce within the same institution, those few recalcitrants left who refused to accept the new liturgical forms, new theological “formulations,” the new disciplines are being forced either to conform or leave.
Today I’ve received an interesting document issued by the Carmelite Order in Europe following a meeting of the “Federations of Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Europe & the Holy Land” in Avila, February 2009. As a snapshot of the current condition of Carmelite monastic life after it had been completely “federated,” it paints a depressing picture; but as a demonstration of what “federations” are likely to achieve once Cor orans is implemented universally, it clangs in the mind like a funeral bell.
The meeting covered Carmels of the Teresian, Discalced, reform from Germany, five areas of Spain, three from France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia and the Holy Land. The reports from each region showed that many of the provisions found in Cor orans were already in place: federations with broad powers, including financial control and combined formation courses, “religious assistant” priests appointed by the federation and overseeing individual monasteries and superiors giving up their authority to the federations. Given that this was 2009, it is clear that the plans to force all contemplative monasteries in the world into this disastrous European mould were well under way long before Pope Benedict was even considering resigning.
Under the first part of my ongoing analysis of “Cor orans,” a commenter wrote: “When the enemy wants to take a soul, he tries to make it give up prayer.”
What, then, when the Enemy wants to take the Church?
One aspect of Pope Francis’ character that seems little-explored by the Catholic and secular media alike is his apparent disdain for contemplative religious life – a facet of Catholic life that could be described as the most purely religious of all the Church’s undertakings. The world does not understand it or want it. Therefore, it is something of a thorn in the Bergoglian side, and he has repeatedly expressed his contempt for it. So when, in 2016 he issued a document on contemplative nuns, the faithful braced for impact.
The Francis Vatican’s approach to the contemplative life is probably the most illustrative of our entire crisis. Contemplative life is aimed only at a purely supernatural end. It has no “use” in the sense that either the Bergoglians – in terms of their political machinations – or the world can understand. There is probably no other place where the differences between the two programmes - the Catholic programme of Christ and the Bergoglian/Kasperian programme - are more sharply contrasted.
I write this on the Feast of the English Carthusian Martyrs, St. John Houghton and companions.
I’m afraid of martyrdom. In fact, I’m afraid of experiencing anything bad - even things as silly as mean tweets - because of the things I believe. And I shy away from even the minor discomforts of fast and abstinence. I moan and complain at the normal aches and pains of being 52. I fear more cancer; I’m afraid of the increasing infirmity of age; I’m as worried as an old biddy about my health.
Zeno’s papacy: Francis cuts finer and finer slices of reality away as he daily halves the distance between himself and a formal declaration of heresy.
The ancient Greek mathematical philosopher Zeno of Elea (c. 450 BC) proposed a kind of thought experiment in which, in order to complete a distance of, say, a hundred meters, a runner would have to first divide in half the distance between himself and the finish line. But to get to that fifty meter mark, he would first have to achieve half that distance, which would in turn require that he halve that 25 meters, and to get to that mark would have to halve that distance… Each iteration of the project of getting from here to there requires splitting the difference again and again, meaning it would require an infinite regression of smaller and smaller distances be crossed to get to the finish line.
One of the painful parts of writing about the Church crisis is having to learn about the Church crisis. It’s a sad fact that in order to write about something with adequate care and diligence, one spends a lot of time amassing facts that most people, most sane people, would really just rather not know.
When I was younger the centre of gravity for the neo-modernist revolution in the Church was the Netherlands. But with yet another announcement gravely contrary to the Catholic Faith, it seems clear that the Spectre of Vatican II has settled permanently in Germany. With it being said more often and more openly that the German bishops are in a state of open schism, I thought maybe the time has come for us to have a closer look.