“Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism….”

At First Things George Weigel has a short piece about how Benedict XVI was right in his memorable, controversial Regensburg Lecture in 2006.  He has prompted me to go back to review what Benedict said.  Weigel gives a précis:

Eight years later, the Regensburg Lecture looks a lot different [i.e., it doesn't look like Benedict committed a "gaffe"]. Indeed, those who actually read it in 2006 understood that, far from making a “gaffe,” Benedict XVI was exploring with scholarly precision two key questions, the answers to which would profoundly influence the civil war raging within Islam—a war whose outcome will determine whether 21st-century Islam is safe for its own adherents and safe for the world.

The first question was about religious freedom: [Q:] Could Muslims find, within their own spiritual and intellectual resources, Islamic arguments for religious tolerance (including tolerance of those who convert to other faiths)? That desirable development, the pope suggested, might lead over time (meaning centuries) to a more complete Islamic theory of religious freedom.

The second question was about the structuring of Islamic societies: [Q:] Could Muslims find, again from within their own spiritual and intellectual resources, Islamic arguments for distinguishing between religious and political authority in a just state? That equally desirable development might make Muslim societies more humane in themselves and less dangerous to their neighbors, especially if it were linked to an emerging Islamic case for religious tolerance.

Pope Benedict went on to suggest that inter-religious dialogue between Catholics and Muslims might focus on these two linked questions. The Catholic Church, the pope freely conceded, had had its own struggles developing a Catholic case for religious freedom in a constitutionally-governed polity in which the Church played a key role in civil society, but not directly in governance. But Catholicism had finally done so: not by surrendering to secular political philosophy, but by using what it had learned from political modernity in order to reach back into its own tradition, rediscover elements of its thinking about faith, religion, and society that had gotten lost over time, and develop its teaching about the just society for the future.

Was such a process of retrieval-and-development possible in Islam? That was the Big Question posed by Benedict XVI in the Regensburg Lecture. It is a tragedy of historic proportions [NB] that the question was, first, misunderstood, and then ignored. The results of that misunderstanding and that ignorance—and a lot of other misunderstanding and ignorance—are now on grisly display throughout the Middle East: in the decimation of ancient Christian communities; in barbarities that have shocked a seemingly-unshockable West, like the crucifixion and beheading of Christians; in tottering states; in the shattered hopes that the 21st- century Middle East might recover from its various cultural and political illnesses and find a path to a more humane future.

Benedict XVI, I am sure, takes no pleasure in history’s vindication of his Regensburg Lecture. [No "I told you so!" will be forthcoming.] But his critics in 2006 might well examine their consciences about the opprobrium they heaped on him eight years ago. Admitting that they got it wrong in 2006 would be a useful first step in addressing their ignorance of the intra-Islamic civil war that gravely threatens peace in the 21st-century world.

As for the conversation about Islam’s future that Benedict XVI proposed, well, it now seems rather unlikely. But if it’s to take place, Christian leaders must prepare the way by naming, forthrightly, the pathologies of Islamism and jihadism; by ending their ahistorical apologies for 20th-century colonialism (lamely imitating the worst of western academic blather about the Arab Islamic world); and by stating publicly that, when confronted by bloody-minded fanatics like those responsible for the reign of terror that has beset Syria and Iraq this summer, armed force, deployed prudently and purposefully by those with the will and the means to defend innocents, is morally justified.

Is this jihadism and “Islamism” inherent in Islam?

Finally, I note that pundits these days are using more often the term “Islamism” in distinction from “Islam”, I suppose on the theory that “-isms” are bad iterations of a better, pure paradigm.

There comes to mind, therefore, is the traditional prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Leo XIII recited before the Blessed Sacrament on the Last Sunday of October in the traditional Roman calendar, the Feast of Christ the King followed by a Litany and Benediction. This was established by Pius XI in 1925 in his encyclical Quas primas. Let’s see the prayer:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: “Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever.” Amen.

This prayer has fallen out of favor. It doesn’t pull any punches.  But I like very much the reference to Islamism.

This prayer was also recited at my home parish St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN, every Tuesday evening after the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  It was great to hear the clauses roll along, recited by the whole congregation, most of whom knew it by heart, as I came to in those days.   These prayers become part of you.  They shape identity.

If you are interested in learning more, I have a 2009 PODCAzT about the prayer and Leo XIII’s Annum sacrum HERE.

UPDATE:

The moderation queue is (now) ON.

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Posted in Benedict XVI, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PSA: Talk Like A Pirate Day

Setting aside all the insignificant stuff, like referenda and indissolubility of marriage, let’s keep our eyes focuse on what really matters.

Today is…

Talk Like A Pirate Day.

If you do nothing else, please use the exclamation “YARRRR!” (aka “ARRRR!”) at least 5 times before bedtime.

This has been a public service announcement.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 7 Comments

The blood of San Gennaro liquefied!

Neapolitans hold their breath on the Feast of the great patron San Gennaro, St. Januarius.  There is a relic of dry blood which, as the Cardinal Archbishop moves the reliquary, liqufies and visibly flows again.  When it doesn’t… bad things happen, such as earthquakes.

This year, just hours ago, the blood of San Gennaro liquified again.

Here is a video:

A news account with photos HERE

St. Alphonus de Liguori wrote in Victory of the Martyrs:

The Neapolitans honor this saint as the principal patron of their city and nation, and the Lord himself has continued to honor him, by allowing many miracles to be wrought through his intercession, particularly when the frightful eruptions of Mount Vesuvius have threatened the city of Naples with utter destruction. While the relics of St. Januarius were being brought in procession towards this terrific volcano, the torrents of lava and liquid fire which it emitted have ceased, or turned their course from the city. But the most stupendous miracle, and that which is greatly celebrated in the church, is the liquefying and boiling up of this blessed martyr’s blood whenever the vials are brought in sight of his head. This miracle is renewed many times in the year, in presence of all who desire to witness it; yet some heretics have endeavored to throw a doubt upon its genuineness, by frivolous and incoherent explanations; but no one can deny the effect to be miraculous, unless he be prepared to question the evidence of his senses.

A better video, but from last year:

Posted in Just Too Cool, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Irish bishop caves under pressure, won’t ordain only male deacons

Over at Crisis I saw that there is a piece by the esteemed Anthony Esolen called The Serpents Return to the Irish. That seems to be the case not only in these USA but also in the “old country” itself.

I saw this at Rev. Mr. Kandra’s blog, Deacon’s Bench:

Irish bishop bows to pressure, says he will postpone introduction of permanent deacons

Details: 

Protests over the proposed introduction of a male-only lay ministry [oops!] in the Catholic diocese of Killaloe have forced the local bishop to back down and postpone the move.

In a letter read out in parishes on Sunday, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly acknowledged the concerns raised by lay women and groups in the western diocese about the permanent diaconate. [permanent deacons are not lay men.  They are clerics.]

The move came after Kathleen McDonnell, a member a parish pastoral council in west Clare, had criticised the move to set up the men-only lay ministry and had called on the diocese to create a ministry for all.  [Good grief.]

It also provoked a poster campaign opposing the new ministry which appeared on parish noticeboards across the diocese.

It comes as over half of Killaloe’s 82 priests are now aged 66 or older and between them they minister to 56 parishes across Co Clare as well as parts of Offaly, Laois, Tipperary and Limerick.

In his letter, Bishop O’Reilly told his flock that in light of the conversations held over the past weeks: “I will not now proceed with the introduction of the permanent diaconate at this time in the diocese.” [He caved in?  Only men can be ordained, so let's not have anyone ordained.]

It is understood that a number of men had already put themselves forward for consideration as candidates for training to become deacons.

[...]

Check out the rest over there.

His smacks of what happened in the Diocese of Saginaw.  The late Bishop Untener didn’t want to ordain men until he could also ordain women.  Guess what that did to vocations.

In my opinion, the ordination of Permanent Deacons is not solution to the lack of priests, but it’s not nothing.  I don’t mean that “not nothing” to be dismissive, but the fact is that deacons cannot say Mass, absolve sins or anoint.

But to buckle under this ridiculous protest?  Really?

What is going on when bishops caved in to protest pressure like this?

Pray for our bishops, friends.

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, You must be joking! | 21 Comments

¡Hagan lío! TLM now more than ever!

In the midst of disorienting news, here is orienting news.

I saw this on the Twitter feed of Fr. Nathan Siray, @frnathansiray:

“First of many…”.  It warms the cockles of my beady-black heart.

Fr. Z kudos.

Fathers, we are living in interesting times.  The times are going to become interesting-er yet.

It is time for you to learn the Extraordinary Form.  Just learn it.  Then say it.

What you do will have a terrific knock-on effect.  Do not underestimate it.

Press forward.

 

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Fr. Z KUDOS, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Up and away! St. Joseph of Cupertino

I had to smile today at the Collect for the Feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino in the 1962MR.

Deus, qui ad unigenitum Filium tuum exaltatum a terra omnia trahere disposuisti: perfice propitius; ut meritis et exemplo seraphici Confessoris tui Iosephi supra terrenas omnes cupiditates elevati, ad eum pervenire mereamur:….

Fun.

O God, who disposed to draw all things to Your Son, raised up from the earth, graciously bring about that we, having been lifted up above all earthly desires by the merits and example of Your seraph-like Confessor Joseph, may be made worthy to reach all the way to Him.

Someone had a holy sense of humor.

Posted in Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Saints: Stories & Symbols, WDTPRS | Tagged | 9 Comments

RECENT NOTES and THANKS TO READERS

Posts roll off the front page here pretty quickly.  Here are some links to recent offerings.

First and foremost:

YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS

Help each other out.

And now…

And now, my usual paragraph of thanking donors and people who have sent things from my wishlists… well… I haven’t updated for a few days.  I’ve been really busy.  However, THANKS.  After posting this, I’ll start to update and send out some thank you notes.

However, I will say Mass for my the intention of benefactors on 20 Sept, Saturday.  I include those of you who have subscribed to make an monthly donation, who make an occasional donation, or who send items, Kindle books, etc.  I don’t always get a slip with the name of the person who sent items, but God knows you and I keep you in mind, whoever you are.

DY and GS, you are always on my list.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Leave a comment

HAM RADIO stuff again: Echolink QSL request by RADIOGRAM.

I’ll put on my Ham hat for a moment to share some news and ask advice from my virtual Elmers.

I posted a while back about Echolink HERE and HERE.  Alas, we haven’t done anything with this yet.  Should we schedule a time?

I just received a “Radiogram” by snail-mail.  Here is a scan.

I am not sure what to do with this, but I’d like to do something.  It would be my first QSL.

What is a “Radiogram”? It’s sort of a telegram that comes via post, through the help of volunteers. It is a plain text message, along with metadata (headers). It is launched into a traffic net by a ham operator and then relayed to another ham who volunteers to deliver it. In this case, it was tucked into a regular envelope and mailed from a place nearby to where I live in the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue.

Kinda cool, really, both the tech and the human interaction. Very cool, as a matter of fact. My thanks go out to everyone who helped.

Now… I have to figure out what to do!

73

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Ham Radio, Just Too Cool | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Card. Kasper accused other Cardinals of attacking the Pope

Card. Kasper, the proponent of the “tolerated by not accepted” solution, has been reacting all over the Italian secular press today.  He is “surprised” at the appearance of the “Five Cardinals” Book™.

His Eminence is flummoxed that he should be taken to task for what he has publicly proposed.

In English you can read at CNS:

“None of my brother cardinals has ever spoken with me,” the cardinal (Kasper) said. “I, on the other hand, have spoken twice with the Holy Father. I arranged everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do but stand with the pope? I am not the target, the target is another.”
Asked if the target was Pope Francis, the cardinal replied: “Probably yes.”

This is untrue.

I have seen the book. It was sent to me by the publisher. What Kasper said is untrue. The only way in which His Holiness is mentioned in the book is favorably. The Pope is praised.

Noooo…. the target is Card. Kasper. And he knows it. That’s why he is hiding behind the Holy Father’s skirts.

Specifically, the Pope is praised for his talk to the International Theological Commission when he reminded them that sensus fidelium had nothing to do with opinion polls. Francis is cited in the book, when he reiterated in April 2014 to the bishops from South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland that marriage is between one man and one woman and it is indissoluble. Francis in that same address praised St. John Paul’s Familiaris consortio as the basis for marriage instruction in these African countries.

The “Five Cardinals” Book™, if it is anti-Kasper at all, can only be described as anti-Kasper Lite.

If you want something weighs in more heavily, in a way directed far more pointedly at Card. Kasper by name, try the other new book coming out from Ignatius on marriage, divorce and Communion called The Gospel of the Family: Going Beyond Cardinal Kasper’s Proposal in the Debate on Marriage, Civil Re-Marriage and Communion in the Church by J. J. Pérez-Soba and S. Kampowski with a foreward by Card. Pell.

Click to PRE-ORDER

I am reading this book now.

Here, for your edification, is a quote from Pell’s foreward:

This book is important for many reasons. A courteous, informed, and rigorous discussion, indeed debate, is needed especially for the coming months to defend the Christian and Catholic tradition of monogamous, indissoluble marriage — focusing on the central elements of the challenges facing marriage and the family, rather than being distracted into a counterproductive and futile search for short-term consolations.

The health of an organization can be gauged by observing the amount of time and energy devoted to the discussion of various topics. Healthy communities do not spend most of their energies on peripheral issues, and unfortunately the number of divorced and remarried Catholics who feel they should be allowed to receive Holy Communion is very small indeed.

The pressures for this change are centered mainly in some European churches, where churchgoing is low and an increasing number of divorcees are choosing not to remarry. The issue is seen by both friends and foes of the Catholic tradition as a symbol — a prize in the clash between what remains of Christendom in Europe and an aggressive neo-paganism. Every opponent of Christianity wants the Church to capitulate on this issue.

Both sides in this discussion appeal to Christian criteria, and everyone is dismayed by the amount of suffering caused to spouses and children by marriage breakups. What help can and should the Catholic Church offer?

Some see the primary task of the Church as providing lifeboats for those who have been shipwrecked by divorce. [Kasper uses this image... "naufragio... zattera"]

And lifeboats should be available for all, especially for those tragic innocent parties. But which way should the lifeboats be headed? Toward the rocks or the marshes, or to a safe port, which can only be reached with difficulty? Others see an even more important task for the Church in providing leadership and good maps to diminish the number of shipwrecks. Both tasks are necessary, but how are they best achieved?

The Christian understanding of mercy is central when we are talking about marriage and sexuality, forgiveness and Holy Communion, so not surprisingly, in this excellent volume the essential links between mercy and fidelity, between truth and grace in our Gospel teaching, are spelled out clearly and convincingly.

Mercy is different from most forms of tolerance, which is one of the more praiseworthy aspects of our pluralist societies. Some forms of tolerance define sin out of existence, but adult freedoms and inevitable differences need not be founded on a thoroughgoing relativism.

The indissolubility of marriage is one of the rich truths of divine revelation.

[...]

Order the book and the read the rest!  Right now its 24% off.

If Card. Kasper needs a copy, I hope he’ll use my link!

 

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Synods and Sausage: having a Church isn’t for the squeamish

The opening of the Synod on the Family draws closer. Books in various languages are to be released in which marriage and Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried are studied, with a special eye on the proposals of Card. Kasper. Catholic media and blogs speculate that Pope Francis is irritated, maybe even angry, with those who are criticizing Card. Kasper’s proposals. Perhaps he is even exiling or punishing people.  Sides are polarizing.  People are having discussions.  Hands are wringing.

Can’t we all just get along?

A few thoughts.

First, this is what “synodality” looks like. It’s messy.

Bishops and theologians have at it. They propose. They counter-propose. They raise their voices.

Shall we forget our Church’s history? Look back to the ancient Church and the fiery synods of those days.

Anyone out there remember Vatican II?  It was in all the papers.

If people, especially liberals, want a more synod-like approach to how we do things in the Church, this is what they are going to get.

By the way, it doesn’t work very well for the ecclesial communities and churches that have it. But hey! Don’t complain about getting what you have asked for.

The liberal MSM is getting into it too.  For example, Nicole Winfield of AP has a bit today about the soon-to-be-released Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church (the “five Cardinals” book that dismantles Card. Kasper’s notions – HERE).  Here’s a look at some of it:

[...]

Conservatives, [Let's stipulate that "conservatives" are the bad guys standing in the way of "mercy" and move on.] including the five cardinal authors, have vehemently ["vehemently"?  Read the book before characterizing its tone.] opposed Kasper’s suggestion as contrary to Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Their debate — unusually raw and public for such “princes of the church” [Huh?  Where's the "raw" in "We don't agree."] — has crystalized the growing discomfort among conservatives to some of Francis’ words and deeds, and sets the stage for what is likely to be a heated discussion starting Oct. 5.  [A "heated" discussion in a "synod"?  What a thought!   This underscores a problem of perspective among those who lean to the Left.  Synods are apparently supposed to be like meetings of the Korean Supreme People's Assembly in which participants clap mechanically for the predetermined (read: liberal) position.]

[...]

Francis has asserted church doctrine on the matter but has called for a merciful, pastoral approach: He reportedly told an Argentine woman earlier this year that she was free to receive Communion even though her husband’s first marriage was never annulled. Knowing the issue is divisive, though, he has convened the whole church to debate the issue as part of a broad discussion on family issues over the next two years.  [Here, she got it right.  The Pope called for discussion of the issue.  Even during the airplane presser on the way home from WYD in Rio, the Pope called for the questions to be studied.  And now "conservatives" are being "vehement" and the discussion is "raw" when some cardinals and scholars do exactly what the Pope asked for?]

[...]

It is rare for cardinals to publicly and pointedly accuse another cardinal of being flat-out wrong, and rarer still for a cardinal to question the pope, as Burke has done. [Woah! Is that what Card. Burke did?] Regarding the purported phone call to the Argentine woman, Burke told the EWTN Catholic channel: “I wouldn’t for a moment impute that Pope Francis intended to give a signal about church doctrine by calling someone on the phone. This is just absurd.” [It is blatantly false and manifestly unfair to state, as Winfield did here, that Card. Burke "questioned" the Pope.  And let's be clear.  Who knows what the Pope really said in that phone conversation, reported second-hand on Facebook. Furthermore, the Church's doctrine is not established in phone calls to couples living in irregular marriages.]

[...]

We are not used to seeing how the Church’s sausage is made.  It is messy.  Hands get dirty.  Lots of things go into it which, considered individually, aren’t very appealing.  Having a Church isn’t for the squeamish.

Can’t we all just get along?  Sure we can!  That doesn’t mean we can’t have heated arguments about matters that are central to our lives as Catholics.  We can and must discuss the truth in charity.

Unless, of course, the era of Caritas in veritate … charity in truth… is over.

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, The Drill, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments