Monday, November 21, 2005

Hatred blinds U.S. to truth - Toronto And GTA - Hatred blinds U.S. to truth: Journalist

If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective.

So says journalist Chris Matthews. Oh? And what is the principal difference between saying that the "person on the other side" (is this his euphamism for "enemy," or what?) has a "different perspective" rather than saying "evil"? I mean, by saying that the "other side" is evil, doesn't that presuppose an understanding of evil ergo an understanding of the "other side"? Ah. Mr. Matthews must not believe in such categories. How subtle of him -- as subtle as mold on bread.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Wiser Way

Inside the Vatican has this interview with Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Of late, Cardinal Arinze has made comments tending to discourage those praying for a more generous dispensation for the traditional Mass. In this interview, he backpedals just a bit:

ARINZE: To begin with, it is not within the competence of this Congregation to handle requests for the Mass of the Tridentine rite. The Holy Father has set up a special commission known as the Ecclesia Dei commission and it looks into that for groups that want it.

It is the Ecclesia Dei commission that examines that, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos is the President of that Commission. If there are any suggestions along those lines, he would bring them to the Holy Father.

Priests and bishops have to ask themselves when some of our Catholics are asking for the Tridentine Mass, could it be that we should examine how we celebrate Mass? Could it be that they have seen many abuses? And they are sick and tired, and therefore they say, "Look, we have had enough of this. Let’s go back to how it was 50 years ago." Could it be?

Unfortunately, what some don't know is that even when there was the Tridentine Mass there were abuses. Many Catholics did not know, because they did not know Latin! So when the priest garbled the words, they were not aware of this.

Hmm. Cold comfort, that. With all due respect, the Cardinal does not appear to have come to grips with the issues meditated by the recent episcopal synod. When asked about the controversy over denying 'pro-choice' politicians Holy Communion, quoth he,

My reply, "Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that question?" Can a child having made his First Communion not answer that question? Is it really so complicated? The child will give the correct answer immediately, unless he is conditioned by political correctness. It is a pity, cardinals have to be asked such questions.

Well, now. When asked about deficiencies in the Church's liturgy, such as the utter lack of Gregorian chant throughout the United States, he was less direct:

ARINZE: For music in the liturgy, we should start by saying that Gregorian music is the Church's precious heritage. It should stay. It should not be banished. If therefore in a particular diocese or country, no one hears Gregorian music anymore, then somebody has made a mistake somewhere.

But, the Church is not saying that everything should be Gregorian music. There is room for music which respects that language, that culture, that people. There is room for that too, and the present books say that is a matter for the Bishops Conference, because it generally goes beyond the boundaries of one diocese.

. . .

The judgment would be left to the bishops of the area. It is wiser that way.

It is wiser to leave these things to men who know less than "a child having made his First Communion"?

One thing in this interview heartened me. When asked about the possibility of "tougher action", Cardinal Arinze did not deny that any is on the way. Instead, he replied, "Many people would want it. Obviously, there are some major areas the Holy Father decides."

Thank God. As ITV said in a prior message,

In this context, there is one thing the Catholic faithful of the world need to do, immediately and urgently: they must pray for Pope Benedict. Pray for his intentions. Pray that he be granted the prudence, wisdom, and courage to cleanse the Church as she urgently needs to be cleansed. And let him know you are praying for him. He needs your prayers and support.

Another Try

Judiciary panel backs ban on gay marriage
By Associated Press | November 10, 2005

WASHINGTON -- A conservative push to ban gay marriage through a constitutional amendment gained renewed momentum Wednesday after a Senate panel led by Kansas Republican Sam Brownback narrowly approved the measure.

The ''Marriage Protection Amendment" would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, effectively rescinding the Massachusetts law that made gay marriage legal last year.

. . .

While a similar effort led by President Bush failed in both chambers of Congress last year, conservative lawmakers are pushing for another vote to head off any decision in the federal courts that could legalize gay marriage.

In a 5-4 vote along party lines, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., cast the deciding vote allowing the amendment to pass to the full Judiciary Committee and a likely vote in the Senate next year. . . .

The measure would need to be approved by two-thirds of those voting in the House and Senate and then be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures. . . .

Nineteen states have already passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, with Texas voters being the latest to take that step on Tuesday.

Voters in five other states will consider similar constitutional amendments next year.

A Tale of Two Democracies

David Warren paints an interesting contrast between the voiolence in Iraq and in France. Check the whole thing out, but here's the conclusion:

But the key difference between the two countries -- redounding to the credit of Iraq -- is in the public theatre. Iraqis are openly talking about their problems, and how they might be solved. The key problem of fanatical Islam, and its unquenchable thirst for human blood, is an open topic. You may see this wherever you look in Iraqi media -- the optimistic spirit of a young democracy.

Turning the pages of Le Monde, and Le Figaro, you will see the opposite. You will see, to often comical extreme, the “culture of taboo and avoidance”, in which the realities of Islam and demography are ignored, and euphemisms are uneasily employed to mask even the fact that the rioters are Muslim.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Interview with Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos . . .

. . . President of Ecclesia Dei, concerning the SSPX and the traditional Mass ("the Mass of Pius V").

A few highlights from this recent interview, which follows a meeting between Pope Benedict and the Superior General of the Saint Pius X Fraternity:

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: Unfortunately Monsignor Lefebvre went ahead with [the episcopal consecrations of 1988] and hence the situation of separation came about, even if it was not a formal schism.

. . .

in 2001, there was, however, rapprochement with the Brazilian group close to the Fraternity, the one now headed by Monsignor Fernando Arêas Rifan, who was elected in 2002 by the Holy See as bishop and titular of the personal apostolic administration of San Giovanni Maria Vianney in Campos.

. . .

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: Yes, the Campos solution was a delicate moment. Because the Fraternity was annoyed. Whereas for me it was something providential because it showed a possible way for a wider solution of the question.

. . .

the Saint Pius X Fraternity is a priestly body composed of priests validly ordained even if in an illegal way.

. . .

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: Monsignor Fellay, but this was known even beforehand, was able to express his fears on the state of the Catholic Church in the light of the abuses, not only liturgical, that have occurred since Vatican Council II. I believe that critical contributions of that sort that can come from the Fraternity can be a treasure for the Church, when expressed under the charisma of Peter and in charity among brethren. In the Church in fact we are all free to formulate critical observations on what doesn’t concern dogma and the essential discipline of the Church itself. On that subject I can testify that Cardinal Ratzinger was already fully convinced of the need for theological dialogue on the difficult points. In full unity there is more light to be found for studying these sensitive points.

After the audience an authoritative cardinal suggested that the Fraternity should recognize the legitimacy of the present Pontiff.

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: Unfortunately that is proof that within the Church, even at high levels, there is not always full knowledge of the Fraternity. The Fraternity has always recognized in John Paul II, and now in Benedict XVI, the legitimate successor of Saint Peter. That is not a problem. That then there are traditionalist groups that don’t recognize the last popes, the so-called “empty throne” people, is another question that doesn’t concern the Saint Pius X Fraternity.

It is known that the Saint Pius X Fraternity is asking the Holy See for a liberalization of the so-called Tridentine mass and a declaration affirming that this liturgy has never been abolished.

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: The mass of Saint Pius V has never been abolished. As for liberalization, I remember that under the pontificate of John Paul II there was a meeting of all the department heads of the Roman Curia, in which the vast majority were not against such a request. It would be dangerous to create opposition between the old rite and the new. The liturgy cannot be a battlefield. As priest, as cardinal and as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, I feel great pain in seeing the unacceptable language at times used of the wish of Jesus to give his own body and blood, and to entrust them to his Church. And this is true of some spokesmen of the Saint Pius X Fraternity, but not only them.

Are many bishops against?

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: At times the pastoral anxiety of a bishop leads him to think that granting permission to celebrate the Tridentine mass in his diocese may create confusion among the people of God. And when believers who ask for this type of celebration are very few, the perplexity can be understood. Whereas when it’s a more substantial group wanting the mass, it’s up to the Pontifical Commission «Ecclesia Dei» to remind the bishop, honestly and kindly, that the wish of Peter’s Successor is of be generous in responding in favor of these believers. And I see with joy that, day after day, there are ever more who so respond.

You are well acquainted with the traditionalist world. How do you judge the personal piety of the priests who belong to it?

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: Many traditionalist priests I have known have made an excellent impression on me: they have a sincere love for the mystery. Unfortunately there can also be fanatics who are bound to the old liturgy as one can be bound to a mathematical formula of which one doesn’t even understand the value in depth.

Do you think they represent the legacy of a past in any case on the way to extinction?

CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: At the World Day of Youth in Cologne there was a considerable group of young people attached to the traditional mass. The echoes have been positive. And it shows how short-sighted it is to consider the traditionalist phenomenon as on the way to exhaustion. Not least because in the traditionalist world, in proportion, the number of priestly vocations is decidedly superior to that of many diocese in the Church.
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