Are you hurt, disoriented, frustrated about what’s going on in the Church? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Two things struck me with special force today.

Today I said the traditional Mass in the Duomo of Florence at the altar of St. Joseph, Patron of the Church, who protects the Church now just as he protected the Holy Family in its time of mortal peril.   I read the reading for the Mass for St. Callistus, Pope and kstyr:

… He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered and said, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. …

Today I spotted in a comment in the queue including this:

“At a time when the very rock upon which the Church is built is turning to sand…”

No!  In renaming Simon as Rock, Peter, Christ shared his mission and authority with him in a special way.  Peter can only be Rock because Christ is The Rock.  The Rock upon which the Church is ultimately built is Christ Himself.  Nevertheless, it is Christ’s will that the Rocky Ministry, the Petrine Ministry, not Sandy Ministry, be a necessary part of the His Church.  Just as Christ crowns His own merits in us whenever we do something worthy and beautiful, so too Peter’s rocky solidity is rocky because Christ rocks it.  This cannot change until the Doom falls and He returns in glory to take all things to Himself, submits them to the Father, and God is all in all.

So many Catholics today are hurt, disoriented, frustrated.  If they are paying attention to the news, they see all manner of stories about the doings of Popes and Prelates which leave them perplexed, pained and thoroughly pissed off.  I join their ranks for entire minutes at a time, especially on days like today when I saw Pope Francis with a statue of Martin Luther.

Such a gesture means – simultaneously – absolutely nothing and yet not quite nothing.  My visceral reaction was “blech”.  Luther?  Really?  Then I calmed down and my reaction was still “blech”.   But the second “blech” was tempered by the fact that – as a Roman says with that trademark shrug “Meh… Popes come and go.  Big deal.”

If you are getting worked up these days, pay a less attention to news about bishops and popes.  Believe me… it helps.

Being in Rome also helps you to gain perspective.

Although I write this from Florence, being back in Rome for a few days refreshed my ecclesial sobriety.  “Being in Rome” is, by the way, more than just flying to FCO and taking a taxi into the centro.  I’m a convert from Lutheran heresy. I am thoroughly “in Rome”.  It was a blessing and a curse to have spent all the years literally in Rome that I did.  They gave me scars and antibodies and corrective lenses for my presbyter-opia.  We have to maintain a Roman perspective on Popes and Prelates.  Sure, what they do is important… for about 10 minutes, blah blah blah.  Sure, they can be pretty strange or pretty great, for a while, sigh.  In the end…

… Holy Catholic Church is indefectible.

indefectible

What do we mean by “indefectible”, one of the three attributes of the Church, “indefectibility”?

Christ meant His Church to endure to the end of the world. It is, therefore, indefectible, that is, indestructible.

Would the Savior found something on His Incarnation, Death and Resurrection, something rooted in the agony and bloody Sacrifice of Calvary, that was so weak that men like me, some dopey cleric, could erode it?  Is that how we see the Church?  Able to be eroded by us?  Even by a Pope?  Peter, after all, betrayed the Lord.  One twelfth of the Apostles sold the Lord.  The first act of the first conference of bishops was to abandon the Lord.  And yet, here we all are… in this together.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you hermeneutic of rupture types are sniveling, as your heads spin around and you float above your beds, “You aren’t in this with us!  We are for real change and spirit-filled dynamism of blue skying together!  We know that the spirit will guide us beyond as we church together.  She will open the doors and windows and bring perpetual revolution and ‘Catholic Spring’ and with … and…. and people like you… yooouuuuu…. will finally be BEHIND BARBED WIRE WHERE YOU BELONG!  Because… because… you …hate Vatican II!  Which didn’t go nearly far enough! Hans Küng says so! Because of people like YOOOOUUUU.  GAH!  Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug….”

Meanwhile, I say…

The Savior knew that we in our times would need the Church just as much as the men and women in the age of martyrs needed her. Therefore, the same Church endures and cannot be turned to sand no matter what we do to it.

Christ said to Peter in Matthew that the “gates of hell” would not prevail.  Attacks of the Enemy from within and from without, through false teachings or immorality or violence cannot shake the foundation of the Church.  He did not guarantee that the Church would survive with the comfortable elements we know it in, say, 21st century Madison, WI or … wherever.  The visible Church in her members will grow and shrink like a living thing, but she will never be overcome.  History has borne out the Lord’s promise.

Christ said to the Apostles before his Ascension: “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20).   Since the Apostles were mortal men who passed, he was talking through them to us, through the ages to our own day and beyond.  They understood this and passed this true teaching down. It has been a faithful teaching that cannot be other than as true now as it was true when it came from Christ’s own lips.

C’mon!  Where’s your faith?  This is Christ’s promise we are talking about here, right?

As seeds germinate and grow they go through many stages, but they remain what they were in the beginning: tomato or mustard.  Tomato seeds don’t grow to be mustard trees.  The newly conceived human being cannot grow into a giraffe or sea urchin.  The Church, having stages and changes and growth and decline and illness and recovery and strength and activity and rest and lassitude and energy remains precisely what Christ meant her to be: His Body on Himself the Rock with its clear constituent elements that we can perceive and which tell us which is His Church and which is not.   St. Ambrose uses the analogy of the Moon: it wanes and waxes, it is dark then bright, it can even be eclipsed, but, it’s always there and it is always the Moon.

Not only did our Lord says that He would be with us, but He sent the Holy Spirit to give life to the Church as the soul does to the Body.

How can that be inconstant and false?  WE can be inconstant and false.  Christ cannot be.  I believe Him.  The Catholic Church is so great, so strong and true that not even men like me – or any of the ridiculous clerics and prelates out there – can break her or do anything to undermine her in any fundamental way.  We – they – I – can hurt some souls – we can hurt each other – and woe to those who do, but we cannot change the Church’s very nature.

If you are irritated about something going on right now, something manifestly stupid, wicked or just ill-conceived, a well-intentioned misstep in judgment, examine your own consciences and …

… GO TO CONFESSION.

That’s what I do.

UPDATE:

On this score, One Mad Mom has a few interesting things to say.  HERE

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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59 Responses to Are you hurt, disoriented, frustrated about what’s going on in the Church? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. Mario Bird says:

    GAH! Raphèl mai amècche zabì almi!

    :)

  2. wmeyer says:

    Thank you for this, Father. I had already reduced my attention to bishops and popes, or any cleric, in fact, whose words are at odds with doctrine. I understand that doctrine cannot be changed, and that reduces the annoying words to… someone’s opinion. Not binding on me.

    I disconnected from cable nearly four years ago, because it was loaded with smut, and far overpriced. Were I not dependent on Internet connectivity in my work, I would be tempted to disconnect again.

    But I keep my morning prayer routine, and the evening, and when the online nonsense is disturbing, I simply turn to Our Lady: Hail Mary, full of grace…

  3. un-ionized says:

    I stopped having a cow when I was left with an invalid baptism that nobody would fix. So now I go with the flow. And take some valium sometimes.

  4. HighMass says:

    what troubles one the most is the recent selection by Francis of the US archbishop from Chicago….flaming liberal, etc etc etc. thought the liberals were dying down but now they are gaining a resurgence in the church, of Course why should one be surprised after Pope Benedict resigned??? we new we were headed for liberalism again in the church.

    Holy Orthodox Bishops and Cardinals hang in there….as we pray for you….we hope the next Pope will be in line with St JPII and

    Pope Benedict!!!

  5. SKAY says:

    wmeyer said:

    “and when the online nonsense is disturbing, I simply turn to Our Lady: Hail Mary, full of grace…”

    I have also started to do that and I also ask Almighty God to deliver us from the evil that I see coming.

  6. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “…some of you hermeneutic of rupture types are sniveling, as your heads spin around and you float above your beds,…”

    Oh man! Thanks for the rant, Fr. Z. :^) I know I needed it.

    Yes, I *will* be going to confession tomorrow afternoon after spending the last three days examining my conscience with the help of this fine guide: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/sacraments/adults.htm

    MSM

  7. gloriamary says:

    Ugluk u bagronk sha pushdug. I nearly choked on my nachos. Hahaaaa! Thank you father! I feel better already!

  8. ratchie55 says:

    In the midst of all the grumbling and murmuring, so what’s RIGHT with the Church? What’s RIGHT with Pope Francis? What’s RIGHT with the clerics and prelates? The Real Presence says it all. Spend more time in Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The thorns will still be there, but they won’t rankle as much.

    [Was it Chesterton who answered the question, “What’s wrong with the world? I am.” We have to clean our houses. GO TO CONFESSION!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  9. Absit invidia says:

    Very timely with these good and reassuring words if hope

  10. rmichaelj says:

    Going to confession is wonderful advice, which I take seriously. However, for those of us who are responsible for the upbringing of children in the Faith, we are finding ourselves between the rock of obedience to our bishop, and the hard place of our responsibility to before God to raise our children Catholic.

    Unfortunately, advice as to what to do in these situations is highly dependent upon which priest I am confessing to.

  11. frjim4321 says:

    Yes, indeed. I would say pick one of these; 4/19/2005 or 11/27/2011. The music died on both of those days as far as I’m concerned.

  12. Kerry says:

    “With a statue of Martin Luther”. Was he taking a hammer to it?

  13. poverello says:

    All I can say, Father, is Amen. And, Amen.

  14. rdb says:

    It is important to also call to mind (and to prayer) the many, many great prelates and priests that we have today in the United States. While it is easy to reflect on those who now seem to be ascending in the light and power of the current pontiff, there are many more who are courageously continuing their faithful preaching, sanctifying and governing. These prelates and priests will not make headlines or draw attention to themselves, but it is not difficult to see the fruits they are bearing in fidelity to Christ and the Church.

  15. ChgoCatholic says:

    Small children here, too. Always interested for more guidance in this area; though I suspect it’ll come with prayer and fidelity to God’s Word and Will, like anything else. At least that’s what I tell my husband and myself, when the question comes up (weekly if not daily, in these times!)…

  16. ChgoCatholic says:

    Beautiful. Thanks Fr. Z! I’m bookmarking this one.

  17. Sword40 says:

    I just put 5 to 5, kneel down and pray. I no longer fret and fuss over cleric’s opinions. I am fortunate that I have a great FSSP priest within driving distance. He helps me focused on prayer.

  18. un-ionized says:

    ChgoCatholic, I would think that raising your children as you see fit would override your bishop or anybody else. The problem I realize is explaining things to your children. But then you are better at that than any bishop too.

  19. kurtmasur says:

    frjim4321: “Yes, indeed. I would say pick one of these; 4/19/2005 or 11/27/2011. The music died on both of those days as far as I’m concerned.”

    Yes indeed that is when the music died because it only meant the gradual end of guitar and folksy music at Mass, and the resurgence of beautiful Gregorian chant, which is actual, proper liturgical music. Brick by brick, frjim4321, brick by brick :-)

  20. Supertradmum says:

    One of the best articles you have ever written…Popes come and go…

    Thanks…

  21. ChesterFrank says:

    I understand your rant, and plan to read it more thoroughly, but I ask: is it wrong to hope for a church with a proper sanctuary (communion rails and all) free from politically motivated invaders, and a confessional that does not resemble that therapists chaise lounge. I understand the papal arguments but rant about something a little closer to home.

    [Don’t just hope for it. Work for it.]

  22. Mariana2 says:

    “Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug….”

    ROFL, specially as I, at the “…is built is turning to sand…” I said to myself ‘No! Never!’ in Gollum’s voice (from the films, obviously).

    At least this papacy has cured me of my papolatry.

    All the same, I’m glad not to to have seen the pic with the statue of Luther. My former coreligionists will regard it as approval from the highest quarter.

  23. MrsMacD says:

    I was just reading this from Dom Gueranger’s liturgical year and thought it fit;

    I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God! [Apoc. vii. 9, 10]

    TIME is no more; it is the human race eternally saved that is thus presented in vision to the prophet of Patmos. Our life of struggle and suffering on earth is, then, to have an end. Our long-lost race is to fill up the angelic ranks thinned by Satan’s revolt; and, uniting in the gratitude of the redeemed of the Lamb, the faithful spirits will sing with us:

    ‘Thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever!’ [Ibid. 12]

    And this shall be the end, as the Apostle says; [1 Cor. xv. 24] the end of death and suffering; the end of history and of its revolutions, which will then be explained. The old enemy, hurled down with his followers into the abyss, will live on only to witness his own eternal defeat. The Son of Man, the Saviour of the world, will have delivered the kingdom to God His Father; and God, the last end of creation and of redemption, will be all in all. [1 Cor. xv. 24-28]

    Long before the seer of the Apocalypse, Isaias sang: ‘I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated, and His train filled the temple. And the Seraphim cried one to another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of His glory.’ [Is. vi. 1-3] The train and fringes of God’s vesture are the elect, who are the adornment of the Word, the splendour of the Father. For, since the Word has espoused our human nature, that nature is His glory, as He is the glory of God. The bride herself is clothed with the justifications of the Saints; and when this glittering robe is perfected, the signal will be given for the end of time. This feast announces the ever-growing nearness of the eternal nuptials; for on it we annually celebrate the progress of the bride’s preparation.

    Blessed are they that are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb! [Apoc. xix. 9] Blessed are we all, who have received in Baptism the nuptial robe of holy charity, which entitles us to a seat at the heavenly banquet! Let us prepare ourselves for the unspeakable destiny reserved for us by love. To this end are directed all the labours of this life: toils, struggles, sufferings for God’s sake, all adorn with priceless jewels the garment of grace, the clothing of the elect. Blessed are they that mourn! [St. Matt. v. 5]
    More at; http://www.catholictradition.org/Saints/saints11-1.htm

  24. PTK_70 says:

    @frjim4321…How can we not be grateful for the progress made during the last pontificate towards stripping the Church of the pretense that She can be at core a man-made institution?

    Absolutely there is a time and place to sit in fellowship and faith-share and strum guitars. How about do this on Wednesdays the way that evangelical Protestants get together on Wednesdays for Bible study? But if Catholics don’t snap to attention on Sunday and focus on the worship which is the Almighty’s due, who will?

  25. Joseph-Mary says:

    Took such things to my confession just this morning. Cutting back on Church news as it is mostly upsetting these days and must focus on the true, the good and the beautiful that is the Church and her age-old teachings that can never change. Must keep my eyes on Our Lord and Our Lady and keep at my little work in the vineyard.

  26. I have decided to take a very “medieval” approach to the activities of our Holy Father – when they get proclaimed from the pulpit on Sunday, then I’ll pay attention. Otherwise not so much! Without social media coverage I wouldn’t know anything about what he was up to, which I figure is better for my blood pressure. Thanks once again, Fr. Z, for your words of wisdom!!

  27. chantgirl says:

    I understand that popes come and go, but their mistakes can lead many to perdition, which is forever. It is crushing to me that many will never find their way into the Church because She is almost disfigured beyond recognition right now. Real souls will be lost, and forever is a long time.

    I have only managed to not blow a gasket by frequent confession, prayers to the Holy Family, the Holy Angels, and Adoration. Every night our family invokes a litany of saints who resisted heresy.

    And BUX PROTOCOL.

  28. ChgoCatholic says:

    Thanks! Humbly, I think you’re right; I ask for constant guidance in my prayers!

  29. CatholicMD says:

    The Pope loves to say reality is more important than ideas. The Church I thought I entered is an idea. The reality is a dumpster fire.

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Some expressions in the “MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 2017” reminded by of a psychomachia: “emigration, almost always caused by violence, poverty, environmental conditions, as well as the negative aspects of globalization. The unrestrained competition for quick and easy profit brings with it the cultivation of perverse scourges such as child trafficking”, those allegorical figures Violence, Poverty, Environmental Conditions, Negative Aspects of Globalization, and Unrestrained Competition for Quick and Easy Profit working their wills in an – ‘oikomachia’?

    Fortunately, Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, was around to clarify where blame might truly be assigned behind these allegorical figures: he said “Christians cannot be xenophobic and they cannot refuse to help welcome immigrants” (or so the Catholic Herald informs me).

  31. stephen c says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf, that was wonderful. That being said, even though I feel like I am one of your most reliably crabby commenters, I have to say that I love being a Catholic alive today! Why would anyone want to change their good luck in being a Catholic in 2016 for being those marginally less fortunate Catholics of, say, 1916, 1816, 1716 et cetera who did not have so many of our recent saints praying along with them – Padre Pio, the Martins of Normandy (well Therese was a saint by 1916, but not in 1816, unless one disregards chronology – which one has the right to do, of course) , the martyrs of places like Spain and Africa, Edith Stein, Matthew Talbot, Kateri from upstate New York, and obvious future canonized saints like Mother Angelica, Father Lefebvre, Solanus Casey, Brother Groeschel, and so many others? Sure I get frustrated and hurt when I read the Catholic press, or, even worse, the description of Catholics in the secular press – Dostoevsky once wrote a book about the “insulted and injured” and that is the title of a book that one could write about what is happening to the good Catholics of our day – but thanks for reminding us that we really need to think more about the promises of Christ than about dumb things our fellow Catholics are always saying.

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  34. gracie says:

    Where are the St. Pauls to call out the St. Peters?

  35. Gaetano says:

    I’d settle for a St. Catharine of Siena.

  36. Cornelius says:

    In my parish, Pope Francis is not mentioned. Something JPII or Benedict taught might get mentioned in a homily, but never Francis, at least no more. During the initial months of his election his orthodox statements would get mentioned by my pastors, but as Francis revealed his mind more they gradually ceased citing him. He is not denounced or attacked or even criticized, there is simply silence about him.

    I understand why they feel they must be silent, but how many are being led astray by that very silence? It would appear that resistance (the ‘loyal opposition’) is being left to the faithful laity.

  37. avatquevale says:

    @Midwest St. Michael at 1.16 PM
    The Exam. of Conscience for Adults you link is has been helpful–until recently.
    It needs updating for the Church of Now.
    Among xamples from the list of mortal sins we find,

    10.  “Have I taken part in a Protestant church service?”

    On October 31, the pope will travel to Lund, Sweden, to honor the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s revolt. His Holiness is scheduled to participate in in a “communal liturgy” with the Lutheran Church of Sweden.

    11.  “Have I contributed to the advancement of a non-Catholic religious sect or movement as such?”

    Isn’t this the ecumenism we are all encouraged to practice now, on the model of the pope’s apology to Swedish Lutherans for the Church’s Counter-Reformation.?

    On the list of sins against Hope:
    9. “Have I deliberately passed up direct opportunity of informing others about the Catholic faith by going out of my way to avoid speaking of it?”

    Confusion: Didn’t the Holy Father recently call proselytizing sinful rubbish?

    under sins against God:

    12. “Have I stated that any one of the com­mandments of God or precepts of the Church cannot be observed by ordinary folk?”

    See Amoris Laetitia.

  38. “If you are irritated about something going on right now, something manifestly stupid, wicked”

    Don’t forget that short and powerful prayer, “O God, please clean up the mess.” God never sleeps and He knows the who, why, where, what and when of all the messes. :) 

  39. boxerpaws63 says:

    Father Z wrote,I’m a convert from Lutheran heresy. I am thoroughly “in Rome”.
    i did not know this. Converts always seem to know what we have in the Church & are willing to do battle for it.
    Welcome home.How did your vocation come about?

  40. Mariana2 says:

    boxerpaws (nice name!),

    We former Lutherans have all had to stand in front of the altar and say ‘All that the holy Catholic Church teaches I believe and profess.’

    We have had to study what Holy Mother Church actually teaches. That tends to make us rabidly…er…rather zealous for Her.

  41. Olecrochet says:

    Ahh! This was like a glass of cold water on a hot day. Thanks, Father Z!
    And the quote ” the gates of hell Shall not prevail against it ” made me wonder if , not only are they not going to destroy the church, but is the church going to bust through those gates and knock some heads together? That would be gratifying, indeed.

  42. SanSan says:

    Ahhhh, a bright spot to start my day. Thank you Father Z.

    Adoration and prayer…………….and I went to confession Again.

  43. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: annoying popes, I recently found myself reading about the Servant of God Pope Benedict XIII. He was a Dominican, not a Jesuit, but a very similar personality type. Tried to refuse the papacy, very seriously, and then refused the robes and kept getting off the sedan chair or going on lone excursions into Rome. His security and his ceremony people were always terrified. Did a lot of the stuff Pope Francis does, and was also unreliable on trips.

    Not a bad guy, just not a prudent guy. Trusted a total crook to be his right-hand man, even, because he came from his old see. His biggest error was trusting a treaty with the various Barbary pirate cities, which led to a lot of Papal States folks getting killed or enslaved.

    And yet, he didn’t do super badly, when you look at the whole record of his pontificate. Made some very useful administrative moves, got people to sign onto important doctrines. He just wasn’t prudent, that’s all.

  44. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I forgot to mention that he initially was styled Pope Benedict XIV, until somebody noticed that numbering acknowledged an anti-pope as legitimate to have ruled. Oops.

    So yeah, things could be worse than a Luther statue. And that’s why we study history – to know just how blessed we are.

  45. AnnTherese says:

    10. “Have I taken part in a Protestant church service?”

    This is a mortal sin? Huh. Lutherans (or Methodists, etc.) are Christians. Devoted ones, like us. They are not our enemies. Why can’t we live our religion in peace and let them live theirs in peace– and offer love to one another?

    And if I go to a Protestant service, I will join those good Christians in praising and thanking God and celebrating Jesus at work in our lives, and taking our faith out of those church doors into the world.

    That’s a sin??

    [It can be, yes. Going to a funeral or a wedding is generally not a problem. However, going to their “communion” is. Also, choosing or preferring something Protestant instead of Mass is wrong.]

  46. Tom A. says:

    The actions of this Pope should not be ignored by the laity any longer. It is time to stop the subjective reasoning as to what he may or may not have meant by this or that statement. It is time to objectively anaylize his words and actions. Going to Sweden to celebrate an excommunicated heretic says something very clear.

  47. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Yes, indeed. I would say pick one of these; 4/19/2005 or 11/27/2011. The music died on both of those days as far as I’m concerned.

    What is the significance of 11/27/2011? The only thing I can find is that the world record for the Zombie Walk was broken in Mexico City.

  48. Grant M says:

    Fluctuat nec mergitur. Mark 4:36-40

  49. SenexCalvus says:

    Sand is nothing but particulate rock, or, to borrow a term the media now applies to Pope Bergoglio’s vision for the Church, decentralized authority. Sand was once rock, and its elemental composition remains the same, only it has been eroded to such a degree that we call it by another name and use it for different purposes. In other words, the rock remains, but in a form no child could mistake for the original. A sophist, perhaps, might argue that the difference is merely one of perception, as neither the mass nor the chemistry of the two differs in any way, but such equivocation belies the plain truth.

    I can’t fault anyone for wishing to believe that Pope Bergoglio remains true to Tradition, or that his reign has not undermined the authority of the Petrine Office. What I see, however, compels me to say otherwise. Not even during the early 80s, before St. John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger began to restore theological orthodoxy and liturgical discipline, did we see such blatant disregard for the universality of truth among renegade priests and sisters as we now hear espoused by bishops and cardinals in interviews with the press, their secular pulpit. Would a Bishop Bonny, for example, have publicly called for the blessing of homosexual unions under either of the previous two popes? Would various American bishops be issuing mutually contradictory statements on the implementation of AMORIS LAETITIA within mere months of each other?

    The most troubling aspect of this erosion of authority, I fear, is their method preaching the new gospel in largely extra-magisterial ways, such as offhand remarks, private interviews, press leaks, and ecclesial appointments. Circumventing the traditional teaching organs of the Church, our pope and bishops now turn to the media, a teaching organ of the prince of this world, the father of lies. (At least Martin Luther had the courage to post his theses as an invitation to public debate. And yes, I did see the picture of Pope Bergoglio smiling beneath Luther’s statue. Why does it remind me of Julius Caesar at the feet of Pompey’s statue?) Here I see an analogy in the tale of the gossip asked by St. Philip Neri to fetch a hen from the market and pluck its feathers on the way back. Upon her return, the gossip is told, of course, that she can no more gather up feathers scattered by the wind than she can take back her malicious words. Once our pope has plucked his office of its teaching authority and scattered it on the winds, it can no more be restored than a rock can be reconstituted from sand.

  50. Grant M says:

    There’s sandstone.

  51. SenexCalvus says:

    Clever! I concede the point.

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  53. Filipino Catholic says:

    “Once our pope has plucked his office of its teaching authority and scattered it on the winds, it can no more be restored than a rock can be reconstituted from sand.”

    Sedimentary rock is in fact rock born of those small particles of sediment, even smaller than sand grains, pressed together under the weight of the ages. Metamorphic rock, which is even less porous, is formed of sedimentary rock fired under the heat and pressure of the interior of the earth.

    Perhaps the metaphor here is that the office of the Pope’s teaching authority can in fact be restored — but only in the dreaded crucible of persecution.

    [Now you seem to be placing limitations on God. Really, you should probably stop now.]

  54. helenmarie211 says:

    “Meh! Money changers come and go, but God remains the same.” From the Holy Gospel according to . . .or wait, is that actually the attitude Our,Lord took?

    [False analogy. Think before posting, please.]

  55. PTK_70 says:

    Pretty sure that’s when the old ICEL translation gave way to the new in the celebration of Mass. I remember it happened at the beginning of the liturgical year in my parish and 2011 sounds right.

  56. Filipino Catholic says:

    Fr. Z, I must kindly register protest and point out that the bit in quotation marks is what I’m quoting from SenexCalvus’ comment. Though the “only” in that final sentence of mine seems ill-advised… point conceded.

  57. Ave Crux says:

    I have never doubted the Church will endure until the end of time, but to watch the Shepherds who should protect Her from error and protect the sheep from falling into the ditch, doing just the opposite is not something one can be indifferent to.

    Such treachery caused the Saints to weep, and it is for this reason Our Lady is our Mother of Sorrows…a title which Our Lord said was Her greatest honor. The Church is the Mystical Body of Her Son, now undergoing a new Passion.

    Our tears, our rent hearts are a reparation to God for so much treachery.

    The scriptures tell us that God had His angels place a mark on the foreheads of all those who lamented the abominations committed in His sight so that they would be priced from His avenging angels.

    Now is not the time to find ways to make ourselves feel better about the greatest betrayals ever witnessed within the Catholic Church, but a time to weigh the circumstances at their true worth and to feel the same sword of sorrow which pierced the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for these same betrayals.

    Our Lady appeared at LaSalette weeping….

  58. Meditate on the Denial of Jesus by Peter. What makes this prefiguration both so horrible and so comforting [as a warning] in Scripture is that this IS THE POPE. The Pope, St. Peter, denied Christ not just once but three time AND WITH AN OATH!
    The whole point of the crisis is that Peter was the Pope when he said this and still remained that Rock. That is what is so horrible about it, and what is so horrible about what we are enduring today.

    Christ did not turn on Peter, didn’t demote him, didn’t remove him as that Rock. But Peter in his shame and grief, leaves to weep and is not mentioned again during the Passion.

    Though just a few sentences in Scripture, that moment must have been as shattering to the young Church as the apparent denials of our present Pope are today. As Christ is going into His Passion, Peter deserts Him, denies Him – oh no – that Man isn’t God, isn’t the Messiah, he’s a fake, I don’t believe any of that, I have no idea Who He is.

    Said again: the whole point of this crisis is that this IS the Pope. This would not be the crisis that it is if he wasn’t the Pope.
    There’s also that spot in Scripture where Christ says to Peter “get thee behind me Satan”. Ah, the prophecies and warnings we have that the Papacy will be under the influence of the devil.
    So yea, this is how it is supposed to happen, and yea, it will get worse.

    Hang on to Mary, pray that Rosary – The Church is undergoing the Passion as Christ did. Mary stuck with it the whole way through. The Warrior Woman will crush the serpent’s head, will chop off Holifernes’ head with his own sword and return to the despairing townspeople [The Church] waiting to die within its walls. [the story of Judith is a great read!]

    From Matthew 26:
    [69] But Peter sat without in the court: and there came to him a servant maid, saying: Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean. [70] But he denied before them all, saying: I know not what thou sayest.
    [71] And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. [72] And again he denied with an oath, I know not the man. [73] And after a little while they came that stood by, and said to Peter: Surely thou also art one of them; for even thy speech doth discover thee. [74] Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man. And immediately the cock crew. [75] And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly.