Bits and pieces

At The Weekly Standard there is a superb summary article about The Present Crisis in the Church.

It is rather devastating for papalotrous and blinkered Team Francis.

The Catholic Church Is Breaking Apart. Here’s Why. by Jonathan V. Last

At the bottom, there are a few factual errors which have been corrected.  They are not substantive.  Also, there are a couple more errors in the piece, again, not substantive.

The best line:

Then again, the church survived Caligula, the bubonic plague, the Third Reich, the Gather hymnal, and the autoharp. It will survive McCarrick, Wuerl, and Francis, too.

Also, check out remarks by Fr. Wilson, whom I’ve know for many a year.  He responds to a question at VirtueOnline:

Q: “This is a stunning betrayal of all that you must hold near and dear. My prayers are for you as a priest, ministering in the midst of knowing all this. How do you, dear friend, move forward?”

One of best parts from that piece.

Over this past Summer I began with great profit to read systematically through the wonderful writings of Saint Teresa of Avila, a great Doctor of the Church on the sixteenth century. We have spiritual works and many letters of hers, suffused with her lively personality. She founded a reformed branch of the Carmelite Order; her nuns would live very simply in small convents and focus on prayer behind their cloister walls.

She wrote a book on prayer for them called “The Way of Perfection”, and at the beginning of it she says something so pertinent to our situation today that it startled me. Right at the start of the treatise she says to her sisters, Why do you think I founded the Reform? It is because of the state of the Church, those dreadful Lutherans up there in the North who are rejecting the Mass and the authority of the Church, the people who are confused, the courageous priests who are attacking the heresies… Women like us cannot go to the front of the battle lines, but we can found oases where Jesus can find welcome and rest and home in a world which has forgotten Him. And that is what our convents shall be, where we dwell with Him. This from a cloistered nun!

And there, she draws us right back to the one thing only that is necessary, doesn’t she? We persevere in the place in the vineyard where He had put us, we watch, we pray, and look for the day when He raises up a Dominic, a Francis, a Teresa of Avila, and the renewal begins. We look for holiness, we try to open ourselves to grace, we try to make of ourselves a cloister for Him. The scandalous failure of our leadership really does not surprise me at all; most of our bishops are anything but leaders. When Mass attendance falls from 88% (1965) to perhaps 14% today (and clearly they are doing their damnedest, literally, to drive it lower) and there is no visible sign of concern let alone panic, but a constant chanting of the mantra age of renewal over fifty years; no question raised, Can we have done something wrong???, it’s hard to take them seriously. There is a great gent named Frank Walker who runs the invaluable blog, covering the crisis in the Church (a must read every day twice a day at least), who startled me out of my wits recently by quoting something I said in, I think, 2004 in an article: “Watching the bishops’ conference in action is like viewing the film of a train wreck over and over again. With bright-colored clowns hanging out the train windows, waving and blowing kisses. One only wishes one had a tomato.” That about sums it up.

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  1. Benedict Joseph says:

    To render a comment on Father Wilson’s contribution would be an attempt to gild the lily. It is a rock solid consolation.

  2. Akita says:

    In these tumultuous days I’ve invoked a different saint’s intercession after every Hail Mary of my daily rosary. I figure we need the Church Triumphant’s help.

    There are legions of saints and the web will provide info on 1000s of them. I’ve discovered new saints just by imagining a name and whether there is one canonized with that appellation.

    Let’s storm heaven to right the Barque of Peter.

  3. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Regarding “The Church is Breaking Apart” article, I agree with Jonathan Last; I think he called it.

    He outlined four ways that this crisis can go, each bad in some ways for the Church.

    I think there’s a fifth way.

    I think that a time for us, the Orthodox among the Catholic laity and priesthood, to go to war is approaching – may even be almost upon us – but since it will be a war against an entrenched enemy better organized and with much more support from the local citizenry than we can ever hope to have, we may have to hope that God will fight this war. Not that He helps us in the fight. Not that He leads us in the fight. That God fights for us.

    Here is a reading from the Old Testament (2 Chron 20:2-26) that may be relevant: (Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah – the people of Israel) that explains this better than I ever could:

    “Jehoshaphat was told: ‘A great multitude is coming against you from across the sea, from Edom; they are already in Hazazon-tamar.” . . .

    “Frightened, Jehoshaphat resolved to consult the LORD. He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

    “Then Judah gathered to seek the LORD’s help; from every one of the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

    “Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the house of the LORD . . . , and he said: ‘LORD, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven, and do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In your hand is power and might, and no one can withstand you. Was it not you, our God, who dispossessed the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave it forever to the descendants of Abraham, your friend? They have dwelt in it and they built in it a sanctuary for your name. They have said: “If evil comes upon us, the sword of judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you, for your name is in this house, and we will cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save!”

    “‘And now, see the Ammonites, Moabites, and those of Mount Seir (are) . . . coming to drive us out of the possession you have given us. O our God, will you not bring judgment on them? We are powerless before this vast multitude that is coming against us. We ourselves do not know what to do, so our eyes are turned toward you.’

    “All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. And the spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel, . . . a Levite of the clan of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly, and he said: ‘Pay attention, all of Judah, inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat! The LORD says to you: Do not fear or be dismayed at the sight of this vast multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’

    “‘Go down against them tomorrow. You will see them coming . . . , and you will come upon them at the end of the wadi which opens on the wilderness of Jeruel.’

    “‘You will not have to fight in this encounter. Take your places, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD; he will be with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed. Tomorrow go out to meet them, and the LORD will be with you.’”

    “Then Jehoshaphat knelt down with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD in worship . . .

    “Early in the morning they went out to the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were going out, Jehoshaphat halted and said: ‘Listen to me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Let your faith in the LORD, your God, be firm, and you will be firm. Have faith in his prophets and you will succeed.’

    “After taking counsel with the people, he appointed some to sing to the LORD and some to praise the holy Splendor as it went forth at the head of the army. They sang: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, whose love endures forever.’ At the moment they began their jubilant praise, the LORD laid an ambush against the Ammonites, Moabites, and those of Mount Seir who were coming against Judah, so that they were defeated. For the Ammonites and Moabites set upon the inhabitants of Mount Seir and exterminated them according to the ban. And when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, each helped to destroy the other.

    “When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness and looked toward the throng, there were only corpses fallen on the ground, with no survivors. Jehoshaphat and his people came to gather the spoils, and they found an abundance of cattle and personal property, garments and precious vessels. They took so much that they were unable to carry it all; it took them three days to gather the spoils, there was so much of it.”

    In other words, God arranged for the coalition of Judah’s enemies to unravel, and its members destroyed each other, without the men of Judah having to lift a finger.

    This is what God does; and this is what He might do for us, if we ask Him with confidence, and if we trust Him.

    However, the men of the Old Testament were not Indifferentists or Modernists or Immanentists. They believed in God most ardently and built their lives and the lives of their families around The LORD.

    Is this how the orthodox among the Catholic laity are accustomed to behaving? I don’t know; maybe some are; some aren’t. But more of us have to, I think, accustom ourselves to really putting ourselves and our lives on the line for God and for Catholic Tradition.

    I highly disapprove of and would discourage complaining against those God has seen fit to place in authority over us within the Church hierarchy. (Sharing news and commenting on it in a businesslike manner is not the same as complaining.) Even though it is evident that some among the hierarchy and the priesthood are corrupt. Even though it appears that some of them have wanted to destroy the authentic Church from within, and would turn her instead into a haven for and a bastion of Modernism (that is, into a temple of the Evil One.) Nevertheless, our fear of God should make us tremble at the thought of uttering a word that shows disrespect for the office – this includes personal insults against them. Instead, we should exhort one another to beg God to fight for us, to fight for the Truth.

    Are we willing instead to spend our time and energy to “go down on our faces” before Almighty God to beg Him to destroy His enemies? Are we willing to fall down before Him and worship? Do we sing His praises and glory in Him? My impression is that the people of Judah did all of these things more than just for an hour a week. I think they spent most of their free time doing this.

    Perhaps our role in this upcoming war is to get down on our faces before God, and then arise, singing songs of praise and glory in Him. And then to prostrate ourselves before Him, begging Him to rid the Church of all that is not of Him.

    I don’t think we have the numbers, the weapons, or the supplies to meet this enemy. At all. I think we have to beg God to go to war and to win this war for us. In His own way. In His own time.

    And He will do it if we beg Him with confidence, night and day.

  4. Il Ratzingeriano says:

    As much as I long for an end to this Pontificate, I have to agree with the article’s point that the papacy would become too politicized if Pope Francis were to resign. What makes me despair is that the faithful Cardinals and bishops do not speak up. Only the Cardinals and bishops are in the position to compel a course correction to this out of control pontificate and they are not doing it. It would for example make a huge difference if two dozen Cardinals and hundreds of bishops jointly demanded answers to the dubia. But there does not seem to be any prospect of that.

  5. Neal says:

    Mr Last neglects to mention that the Catholic laity by and large support the liberal agenda. This is a fight that conservatives definitively lost a decade or more ago. Even though he paints a dark picture, the reality is darker still.

  6. GM Thobe says:

    The Gather hymnal provides ample opportunity for penance for those of us who need a bit of a push in that direction. And unlike, say, sand where the holy water ought to be, it’s there every week.

  7. The Astronomer says:

    A rosary in one hand and a bucket of soggy rotten tomatoes in the other….waitin’ for the clown train.

  8. bigtex says:

    Regarding the Weekly Standard article, I would suggest there is a 5th option:
    1. Council is called to determine if the apostolic constitution, Universi Dominici gregis, which expressly prohibits cardinals from forming pacts, agreements, promises, or commitments of any kind was violated in the election of Francis.
    2. Council determines the pope was invalided elected. It also determines that the abdication of PBXVI was invalid because he was forced out by the lavender mafia. Therefore, Francis is declared an anti-Pope and if still alive, PBXVI is reinstated.
    3. All of the encyclicals and other writings of Francis are declared invalid, because he is an anti-Pope. Neatly resolves the problem of his heretical teachings.
    Wishful thinking? Probably, but you never know.

    Both of those articles are really good, btw.

    [Legitimate Councils cannot be called without the Roman Pontiff. However, a group could meet and make a statement, for the record. Then, after the pontificate is concluded, and after a conclave elected – validly – a new Pope, then that Pope or the Pope with a Council could make all sorts of changes.]

  9. Fr. Reader says:


  10. Fr. Reader says:

    I don’t have any clue either. So please ignore my previous comment.

  11. grateful says:

    @ Neal
    “that the Catholic laity by and large support the liberal agenda. ”
    You’ve got that right! And I would add the clergy, as well as “catholic” universities.

  12. robtbrown says:


    What is an invalid encyclical?

  13. Dismas says:

    @bigtex – Were Pope Francis named an antipope, well, that wouldn’t be a case for Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation being invalid. However, I suppose that those cardinals elevated by Pope Francis would not be permitted to vote.

    That said, such is wishful thinking. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one day. I am not sure if I’ll be alive to see the casket on trial, though perhaps my small children might. The Jacobins own all the levers of temporal power, and will never willingly relinquish it. God may act quickly or slowly, but the perversion will not stand forever. The ongoing plague of apostasy may shrink the Church to irrelevance in the temporal sphere, so that the idolators of power move on. Perhaps the roof of the Sistine Chapel shall collapse in the next conclave. Perhaps we shall suffer a global plague. Perhaps Daesh is already setting up a WMD attack in Rome.

    As for my own pitiful intellect, I expect that we have reached the halfway point of the decline. The apex of Leftist power in the Church is still a few years off, but if you make a timeline of retirement ages, and demographic projections, their grip won’t last forever.

  14. chantgirl says:

    Dismas, I agree that we have not yet reached the apex of conflict in the Church, and Our Lady has said that things will appear to be hopeless by the time she will intervene and triumph.

    As for the unjust stewards who are currently in power in the Church, let us remember that when the Lord wanted to free His people from the grip of slavery to the pagan Egyptians, He intervened with plagues and the Passover, when the angel of death meted out His justice. It seems to me that there are three main Passover events in salvation history: the original Passover in Egypt when the Lord freed the Hebrews from slavery to the Egyptians, the Passover of the Crucifixion when Jesus freed sinners from the slavery of sin, and the future Passover the Church will endure at the end of time when the Lord will free His Church from the grip of the antichrist. Those in power who think that they are untouchable should remember the Lord’s justice cannot be avoided, and those in captivity should remember the Lord is mighty to save.

    In the meantime, I do expect that things will get much worse before they get better, but I am trying to fix my gaze on the prize so as not to be demoralized as things unravel. Let the powerful play their games while we little hobbits quietly go about working to undo their best laid plans.

  15. bigtex says:

    Well shoot, talk about your catch-22! We’ll just have to wait’er out then. This is worse than that time ol’ whiskey got spooked and threw me in the barb-wire.

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