Must read of the day: the end of the Vatican II sect

RIP, Vatican II Catholicism (1962-2018) by Peter Kwasniewski (author of Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages) lays out succinctly why the Vatican II sect is NOT the Catholic Church of the ages. Here is an excerpt:

Today, in 2018, we are reaping the putrid fruits of this loss of faith, this lack of self-control, this stripping away of all asceticism and warfare from the Christian vision of life, this foolish optimism that rippled through the Church of the 1960s and begot the demon offspring of “Nietzschean Catholicism.” It has been a continual compromise with the reigning forces of liberalism, a chipping away at the demands of the Gospel, a suppression of hard truths and the love of God for His own sake and above all things. The end is nothing-worship—the nihilism concentrated in the unforgettable image of a priest, later a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, abusing a boy who happened to be the first person he baptized two weeks after his ordination.

Finally, Mr. Kwasniewski acknowledges what to me (and other people) is obvious:

For a long time, I thought John Paul II and Benedict XVI were fighting the good fight against this revolutionary reinterpretation of Christianity, but after a few high-profile interreligious meetings, osculations of the Koran, book-length interviews with dialectical answers to every question, and other such indicators, I lost my enthusiasm for them as pastors, whatever I might have admired in their philosophical or theological writings (which, however you slice it, are not the primary job of a pope).

Not only that, Mr. Kwasniewski provides a nifty list of men who were made bishop and cardinal by “saint” JPII, soon-to-be-saint Paul VI, and by Ratzinger and Bergoglio. It’s a rogues’ gallery, if you ask me. By the fruits of the tree, you will know that the seed is rotten, as is the tree.

Prelate Created Bishop By Created Cardinal By
Theodore McCarrick Paul VI John Paul II
Angelo Sodano Paul VI John Paul II
Tarcisio Bertone John Paul II John Paul II
Pietro Parolin Benedict XVI Francis
William Levada John Paul II Benedict XVI
Marc Ouellet John Paul II John Paul II
Lorenzo Baldisseri John Paul II Francis
Ilson de Jesus Montanari Francis
Leonardo Sandri John Paul II Benedict XVI
Fernando Filoni John Paul II Benedict XVI
Dominique Mamberti John Paul II Francis
Francesco Coccopalmerio John Paul II Benedict XVI
Giovanni Lajolo John Paul II Benedict XVI
Vincenzo Paglia John Paul II
Edwin O’Brien John Paul II Benedict XVI
Renato Raffaele Martino John Paul II John Paul II
Donald Wuerl John Paul II Benedict XVI
Paul Bootkoski John Paul II
John Myers John Paul II
Kevin Farrell John Paul II Francis
Seán O’Malley John Paul II Benedict XVI
Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga John Paul II John Paul II
Blase Cupich John Paul II Francis
Joseph Tobin Benedict XVI Francis
Robert McElroy Benedict XVI
Edgar Peña Parra Benedict XVI
John Nienstedt John Paul II
Jorge Bergoglio John Paul II John Paul II
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Sermons for the Feast of the Holy Rosary

October 7 is the Feast of the Holy Rosary. I found three great sermons on the Rosary by Rev. Francis X. Weninger.

Here is his book on feast day sermons which you can download:

Original, short and practical sermons for every feast of the Ecclesiastical year – 3 sermons for every feast) by Rev. F.X. Weninger, S.J., Doctor of Theology, 2nd edition 1882.

I find the PDF format (which are scanned pages of the book) best of all the formats since you can print out only those pages that pertain to a particular feast. The text, EPUB and Kindle formats are garbled and unreadable.

Each sermon for the Feast of the Holy Rosary focuses on what we should be meditating on when we pray the 3 sets of mysteries. In the first sermon, Fr. Weninger talks about the Joyous Mysteries; in the second sermon, the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the 3rd sermon, the Glorious Mysteries. Since this book was published in 1882, there is no “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense in it.

You should just print out these 3 sermons and keep them handy for when you pray the Rosary.

(Note: If you have not read it yet, go to Classic Catholic Sermons You Can’t Live Without which has links to both of Father Weninger’s books, which you can download for free.)

Survival of the Catholic faith in Japan

OnePeterFive has published an excellent article entitled “What Japan teaches about the invincibility of the faith” by Ken Foye, which provides a short history of the arrival of Christianity in Japan, the persecution of Christians, the expulsion of missionaries,  the underground Catholic Church (composed of the laity who kept the Faith even without priests), and the return of the religious orders and open practice of Christianity in the late 1800s. The period of persecution lasted over 200 years and yet Japanese Christians managed to transmit their faith to their children and their grandchildren.

The secret devotion of Japanese Christians took surprising forms. Check out this statue of the Buddhist deity of compassion, Kannon.

maria_kannon

You can find her in many Buddhist temples and shrines, but there’s one thing that makes this particular statue of Kannon very unusual – she is carrying a baby. Kannon is rarely ever depicted carrying a baby. This statue looks like the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child. Indeed, it probably is and she is known as Maria Kannon. What is that in her right hand? It looks like Buddhist prayer beads but it could also be a Rosary!

I came upon this statue, which I never noticed before, in a busy Buddhist shrine in Kyoto (which I have visited several times with friends and family who come to Kyoto). Most people just walk by it – including Buddhists from Japan and other countries – without giving it a second thought. Only someone who is well acquainted with statues of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus, will do a double take. Our Lady and Our Lord are right there in the middle of this Buddhist temple, hiding in plain view, watching over the faithful, a source of great comfort to Christians. This is the “creative trickery” that Ken Foye mentions in his article in OnePeterFive.

Today, Christians of every denomination practice their faith openly in Japan. Like Mr. Foye, I came back to the Catholic Church quite late, at the age of 56, after many decades away. It took a miracle to bring me back though so I cannot take credit for it. I, too, pray not just for Japanese Catholics, but for the Japanese people. Every time I go to Confession at my local church, Father always asks me to pray for Japan. I love this country and its people, who have been so hospitable and kind to me, and have gone out of their way many times to help me.

Here are a few sources about Japan’s hidden Christians and Maria Kannon:

Maria Kannon: Christianity in Japan

In Search of Japan’s Hidden Christians: A Story of Suppression, Secrecy and Survival by John Dougill

 

 

Autumn is here

Today is the autumn equinox. It marks the beginning of autumn, my favourite season. I look forward to cooler days and nights, cuddling up under a woolen blanket with a glass of red wine in one hand, and a book in the other. What books? Ghost stories, especially those written by M.R. James which have a lot of spooky atmosphere. His stories often take place in dark ancient cathedrals and haunted houses. When October comes around, I will post my favourite ghost stories.

In the meantime, here is a poem about the Japanese maple. In Japan, the autumn equinox is a public holiday (as is the spring equinox).

japanese maple leaf

Japanese Maple

by Clive James

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.
Breath growing short
Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain
Of energy, but thought and sight remain:
Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see
So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls
On that small tree
And saturates your brick back garden walls,
So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?
Ever more lavish as the dusk descends
This glistening illuminates the air.
It never ends.
Whenever the rain comes it will be there,
Beyond my time, but now I take my share.
My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.
Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.
What I must do
Is live to see that. That will end the game
For me, though life continues all the same:
Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,
A final flood of colours will live on
As my mind dies,
Burned by my vision of a world that shone
So brightly at the last, and then was gone.

 

Autumn Ember Days: fasting, prayer and meditation

The autumnal Ember Days (Michaelmas Embertide) are upon us. I found this helpful post on Rorate Caeli about the origin of Ember Days to encourage you to devote three days this week to prayer, fasting and penance. Pray especially for Holy Mother Church during these difficult times.

Listen to this lecture by Father Chad Ripperger about Ember Days and Rogation Days. The part about Ember Days ends at minute 22.45.

The Ember Days mark the beginning of every season. As the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, I’m filled with joy and expectation because autumn is my favourite season.

Consider that Ember Days are not only for fasting, but for prayer, giving thanks to God for the bounties of nature, silence and meditation. Meditate on the sins of pride and covetousness. Use the Ember Days to bring your physical appetites under control and to develop a regular fasting routine (one day a week).

Here are a few books I’ve found helpful if one wishes to cultivate a habit of mental prayer and silence:

The Power of Silence Against the Dictatorship of Noise by Robert Cardinal Sarah (after you read this, you’ll wish he was the Pope)

The Ways of Mental Prayer by Dom Vitalis Lehodey

Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales

Even Our Lady was not spared from sorrow (Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

On September 15 we commemorate the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Why is observing this feast day of great relevance today? Because the response to the scandals in the Vatican is not to whine that God failed to give us a perfect church with perfect priests. The response is to fight to hold wicked priests, bishops and cardinals accountable, and to pray even more (especially the Rosary), to do penance and go to Communion, to fast, and to attend Mass more often. These acts require the nerves of steel, perseverance and faith that the Blessed Virgin Mary exhibited in her seven sorrows.

God doesn’t owe us anything, least of all, a life of pleasure and eternal bliss; we owe Him everything. It could happen that next year, every single church in your city or state may close, leaving you with nowhere to go for Mass. Have you thought about that, as you make one more excuse not to go to Mass this Sunday? And what will you do if there is no priest within 500 kilometres who will hear your confession?

Beyond the scandals in the Church, there is pain and suffering in life. Some of it is caused by your own sins, others are part of the business of living a human life. Many people believe they are entitled to an endless parade of happy experiences, but they cling to precisely the things that make them miserable. The vast majority believe that the pursuit of happiness is a goal, not the by-product of a virtuous life. What is happiness anyway? Secular society tells us it’s all material: wealth, power, beauty and youth. But we know it’s not purely material.

Our Lady suffered the worst things a mother could imagine, but in the end she triumphed over her sorrows. Whenever you feel as if the world is coming down on your head, pray to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows.

 

1 Peter 5:8-9 Like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour

There’s nothing like a lion just a few meters away to keep one on high alert! Yet do most of us take to heart and remember this verse from 1 Peter 5?

Sobrii estote, et vigilate: quia adversarius vester diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit, quærens quem devoret : cui resistite fortes in fide.

I know everyone is upset about the scandals but you need to pray much more, do penance, receive Communion and guard your mind and your mouth.

Churches of Sudtirol, Italy

I am impressed by the beautiful, well-maintained churches in Sudtirol (Alto Adige), Italy. These are but a few of the churches I visited on my hiking trip in the Dolomites region.

(1) Heiligkreuz Wallfahrtskirche in Abtei (Santa Croce in Badia)

This pilgrimage church (built in 1484) and the adjacent rifugio lie 2045 meters above sea level. Pilgrims walk up 700 meters from the town of Badia (Abtei) along a very steep path aptly called Via Crucis, usually during Lent. I walked up to Heiligkreuz Wallfahrtskirche on a hot, sunny day, saying all 15 decades of the Rosary as I struggled up and up with one slightly swollen knee. If you don’t want to do this type of mortification, you can simply take the cable car up to the church. The rifugio restaurant serves excellent pasta and canederli in brodo.

(2) Nostra Signora del Buon Consiglio in Pieve di Marebbe (Enneberg)

The first photo is the village of Pieve di Marebbe (Enneberg) with the steeple of the church of Nostra Signora del Buon Consiglio clearly seen from a distance.

The church was built in 1347, but the interiors date to the Baroque period. If you avert your eyes from the hideous “Cranmer table” in the foreground, you will see behind it the stunning high altar, carved in wood. One day, when the priests of this church get around to celebrating the Mass ad orientem, they can smash this ugly table to pieces and spend most of their time gazing up at the splendid Baroque altar.

(3) Church of Santa Barbara in San Genesio near Badia

This is another richly decorated church, close to Badia (Abtei). Can you believe how beautifully preserved and cared for this church is? The Italian laws protecting historic monuments such as this church, have prevented the Novus Ordo sect from destroying the rich heritage of Catholic tradition in art inside these churches. I did not see a single “wreckovation” in the churches I visited on this trip!

(4) Cathedral Cloister in Bressanone, Italy

This is one of the many 15th century ceiling frescoes inside the cloisters of the Cathedral of Bressanone in Sudtirol.

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Catholic tradition lives on in many of the villages in Sudtirol. Once I saw and heard villagers saying the Rosary in the garden of a house of a resident who had recently died. They could not all fit inside so some were outside praying along with the others inside.