Wednesday, April 26, 2006

it is also necessary to speak the truth with strength

From Bishop Robert Vasa

In our “compromising age” we are loath to name something too strongly. If we do, we are accused of harshness, judgmentalism, perhaps arrogance, certainly intolerance and possibly pharisaism. While it is always necessary to speak the truth with love, the Church also believes and teaches that it is also necessary to speak the truth with strength. It is necessary to defend truth and not be too quick to rationalize, justify or excuse misleading teachings or teachers. There is a point at which passive “tolerance” allows misleading teachings to be spread and propagated, thus confusing or even misleading the faithful about the truths of the Church.

Degrees of Nuttiness, East & West

Upon reflection, it's funny how the clear divisions between strata of 'traditionalists' in East and West are exactly mirrored in their reactions to the Gregorian Calendar (for the Easterns) and the Novus Ordo Mass (for the Westerns). Take the following three strata, where 'X' indicates the Gregorian Calendar or the New Mass, and Y represents the Julian Calendar or the Tridentine Mass;

1) Those who believe the X is equally valid, if perhaps sometimes rather problematic. These people prefer Y over X for historical, cultural and various reasons, but do not see X as heretical.

2) Moderates. These believe X is seriously problematic and has heretical tendecies - Y is the solution to these modern heresies. These believe that while X is not invalid or graceless, they prefer to wall themseleves off, keeping Y and the true uncompromised faith, forming a sort of resistance, hoping for better times.

3) Extremists. These believe X is heretical and invalid and graceless. Those who adopt X have become heretics, outside the True Church, and that grace leaves that jurisdiction. Those who use X may only be saved if they renounce X and join Y, the only place where true believers may be found.

In the West, 1) is represented by the indult traddies, 2) by the SSPX and suchlike vagantes, 3) by the sedevacantists, feenyites, pius xiiiers, palmarians.

In the East, 1) is all those on the Old Calendar who maintain communion with Constantinople, 2) is ROCOR and the Cyprianites (Moderate Old Calendarists of Fili) and the Old Calendar jurisdictions of Romania and Bulgaria, 3) by the extreme True Orthodox Church of Greece and suchlike.

Now, isn't that curious? Comments and contributions welcome.

Avoiding Catholic-Orthodox polemics

Avoiding Catholic-Orthodox polemics

So, in place of polemicism, let us witness to a better way: humility at all times about each of our own Traditions, charity towards one another now in all our dealings (even in our theological exchanges), and hope for a future that—like it or not—will put all things in proper perspective and that we will inevitably share.


Sunday, April 16, 2006


Pascha nostrum immolátus est Christus, allelúia: ítaque epulémur in ázymis sinceritátis et veritátis, allelúia, allelúia, allelúia.

Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore, let us keep the feast by sharing the unleavened bread of uprightness and truth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Church is teaching the priest who he should be

Fr John Zuhlsdorf on the washing of feet at Maundy Thursday

The Church is teaching the PRIEST who he should be. The priest, as your servant in your parish, shows in his words and deeds and instruction also how you should be to each other. The priest forms you lay people. However, this time you are being allowed to watch part of the priest’s own ongoing formation from Christ Himself in action in the Church’s liturgy. You are witnessing your priest being shaped into the kind of priest Christ wants for you.
It's a great thing that priests like Fr Z are using the internet so effectively in their role in forming the laity.

on Good Friday we also wish to direct our gaze to the pierced heart of the Redeemer

From Pope Benedict's Address at the recent General Audience

Good Friday, centered on the Passion, is a day of fast and abstinence, oriented to the contemplation of the cross. Proclaimed in the churches is the account of the Passion, and the words of the prophet Zechariah resound: "They shall look on him whom they have pierced" (John 19:37).

And on Good Friday we also wish to direct our gaze to the pierced heart of the Redeemer in whom, as St. Paul writes, "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3), more than that, "in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Colossians 2,9), for this reason, the Apostle can affirm his decision "to know nothing ... except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). It is true: The cross reveals "the breadth and length and height and depth" -- the cosmic dimensions, this is the meaning of a love that surpasses all knowledge -- love goes beyond what is known and fills us with "all the fullness of God" (cf. Ephesians 3:18-19).

In the mystery of the Crucified is brought about that "turning of God against himself in order to raise man up and save him. This is love in its most radical form" ("Deus Caritas Est," No. 12). The cross of Christ, wrote Pope St. Leo the Great in the fifth century, "is source of all blessings, and the cause of all blessings" (Discourse 8 on the Passion of the Lord, 6-8; PL 54, 340-342).

The Pope's speeches and writings are gems waiting to be discovered!

A Blessed Triduum to all!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holy Week MMVI

Palm Sunday procession in Lyse, Poland

Penitents of the San Gonzalo brotherhood participate in a Holy Week procession in Seville on Monday, 10th April

Penitents of Santa Genoveva prepare to participate in a Holy Week procession in Seville on Monday, 10th April

A young penitent of the Santa Genoveva brotherhood walks past a painting of Our Lady on Monday, 10th April

A young penitent of the La Paz brotherhood puts his gloves on during a Holy Week procession in Seville on Sunday

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Christ become obedient for us unto death

Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum: et dedit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen.

Christ become obedient for us unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause, God also hath exalted Him and hath given Him a name which is above all names.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Prayers for Bishop Hlib

Bishop Hlib Lonchyna has just returned to his residence at the Ukrainian Catholic Pilgrims' Hospice at Piazza Madonna dei Monti - after spending all week in hospital having surgery for a ruptured disk somewhere among the vertebrae, which was causing serious pain. He's not out of the woods yet, so please pray and pass the word along.

Background: Bishop Hlib is titular bishop of Bareta, a native of Detroit, a Studite Monk, and the bishop who served during Holy Week last year in Dublin when I was co-chanter with Andrij. He is currently attached to Santa Sofia (Holy Wisdom) Cathedral, which rather makes him a sort of Episcopal Ambassador to Rome from Patriarch Lubomyr of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.