Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Robert Sungenis Embraces Radical Catholic Reactionary Thinking and Sadly Edges Closer to Outright Schism in His Blistering Attacks and Slanders on the Church, and Popes Blessed John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI


 Canon Law 212 and 229 state quite clearly that I do have the right to be a prophet.

(Robert Sungenis, Papolatry is a Sin: A Response to John Dejak of The Wanderer -- 18 April 2011) 

[I don't see anything in canon law 212 or canon law 229 about prophets: nothing that would remotely justify Sungenis directly and repeatedly comparing himself (much like Martin Luther) to Jeremiah. Perhaps I missed something]

A few years back, Robert Sungenis (with whom I have had cordial relations by and large) at my strong urging, agreed to remove several derogatory remarks about Blessed Pope John Paul II from his website. But now he is back to his blistering criticisms: apparently due to the shock of the late great pope's beatification. 

Other recent statements of his are to the effect that the Catholic Church today is not the same as the Catholic Church of the ages. It has, so he pontificates, entered into profound heresy or apostasy. That, of course, denies (or comes dangerously close to denying) the doctrine of the indefectibility of the Church, and if carried to its logical conclusion, entails a Protestant- or liberal dissenter-like schism from Holy Mother Church. I'll let Robert speak for himself (all further words below are his own: I've added some italics for titles).

* * * * *

Attacks on Blessed Pope John Paul II

I’m sorry to have to say this, but from all my knowledge and experience, I would have to say that the last few pontificates have been an almost total disaster for the Catholic Church, especially the pontificate of John Paul II. (If you want a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive critical view of John Paul II’s pontificate that is not influenced by all the flowery assessments of his life and doctrine, I suggest you read Andrew McCauley’s new book, Crossing the Threshold of Confusion. McCauley was an attorney and former writer for The Wanderer.

You might also want to read the 100-page paper by Fr. Luigi Villa Ph.T., titled “KarolWojtyla Beatified? Never!” (Sept. 2010). You can also read my paper “Santo Non Ancora!” from our website. Of course, you can also hide your head in the sand like everyone else and pretend that there is nothing to be concerned about. Contrary to popular opinion, you may conclude with me that John Paul II was probably the worst pope we have ever had and the closest pope to outright heresy and apostasy). The fact that the crowds want to beatify him and call him “John Paul the Great” is just another indication of an overwhelming problem of spiritual blindness we have in the Church of today.

Why can’t many people see this? Why are millions clamoring for his beatification? Our Scripture and Tradition answer that question quite poignantly. Scripture says that the time will come in which “God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie” (2Th 2:11 NAB). God is not neutral when men depart from Him. This was also true in the Old Testament (cf. 1Kgs 22:23). God actually reinforces their apostasy by sending them “a deceiving power.” We were already warned about this in our modern day from the Fatima visions of Sr. Lucia in which she said that there would be a “diabolical disorientation” upon the Church and that it would seep into the very hierarchy itself, “at the highest levels.” It’s the same reason that Paul VI said that the “smoke of Satan has entered into the Church” (only he was also “disoriented” to the point that he didn’t see that his own actions were part of the “smoke”). The “disorientation” didn’t disappear in the pontificate of John Paul II. It only increased.

(from: Response to Jimmy Akin's blog re preaching to the Jews -- April 2011)

The sadder fact is there exists circumstantial evidence that he is personally culpable, either in allowing his bishops to shuffle incriminated priests from diocese to diocese or in the whisking away of these same bishops to the Vatican for safe haven (e.g., Cardinal Bernard Law who was given sanctuary at the Vatican before he could be prosecuted by the civil authorities in Boston). By and large, John Paul II seems to have turned a blind eye to the heinous sins occurring against little Catholic boys. The recent case of Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, patron of the Legionaires, speaks for itself. Maciel was a personal friend of the Holy Father, but had been molesting little boys for decades as well as fathering children from several different women. . . . While the homosexual/pedophile scandal was taking place on John Paul II’s moral doorstep, the promotion of what seemed to be raw paganism was occurring at his Assisi interreligious prayer meetings.

[ . . . ]

[conclusion] I could say more but it would only be redundant. There are problems and excesses in almost every area John Paul II touched (his appointing of liberal and doctrinally suspect bishops; his novel Theology of the Body; his ambiguous statements in certain encyclicals that seem to lean toward universal salvation; his tendency toward collegiality; his campaign against capital punishment by confusing it with the abortion issue; his promotion of the excesses of the charismatic movement; the perennial problems with World Youth Day, etc.). In the end, the only good things I am proud to say John Paul II accomplished was his resistance toward Liberation theology in the early 1980s; his stand against communism; and the writing of his apostolic letter in 1994, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which barred women from being priests. The world loved John Paul II, but it was not because he was heroically faithful to the Church’s tradition. They loved him because of his captivating charisma, but they know nothing about the moral and doctrinal problems that plagued the Church during his pontificate. They are kept in the dark so that the powers-that-be can have their way. The neo-catholic regime will probably make John Paul II a saint, but if they do it will be because they, like him, have turned a blind eye to the state of the Church today. The only solace I can offer is that if you check the Catholic Encyclopedia you will see that there is still a debate on whether canonizations are infallible, and I believe John Paul II’s case will make the question even more controversial than it has ever been. For me it will settle the issue permanently.

(from: Santo Non Ancora! Saint John Paul II: published in the notorious radtrad rag, The Remnant on 5 February 2011)

St Paul tells us in several passages (e.g., 1 Cor 10:1-12; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Thess 2:1-11) that the same apostasy that occurred in Israel could and will happen in our day. How bad might it be? So bad, according to Jesus, that “even the elect would be deceived, if that were possible” (Mt 24:24). This may be especially applicable in our day since John Paul II did precisely what St. Pope Pius X warned about – leading the Church, at its very highest levels, to the “synthesis of all heresies” – Modernism. It is the same thing about which the visions of Fatima warned us – corruption and apostasy occurring at the highest levels of the Vatican, including the pope, due to the “diabolical disorientation” perpetrated by no one less than the Devil himself. . . . The Wanderer is only encouraging modernist popes to continue their departure from Catholic tradition. . . . The Wanderer, and almost every other Catholic institution today, looks the other way. But as long as I’m breathing I cannot look the other way. I’ll be Jeremiah, even if I’m outnumbered 2 million to one. . . . read the 400 page book, Crossing the Threshold of Confusion by Andrew McCauley – ironically, a former writer for The Wanderer. There you will find out who Karol Wojtyla really was and how he severally [sic] undermined our Catholic faith. . . . There was no investigation into the potential heresies uttered and fomented by John Paul II that I listed in my essay.

[ . . . ]

If Dr. DeMarco can read my essay and its list of doctrinal aberrations and departures from accepted Tradition coming from the mouth and writings of John Paul II and not be alarmed by them in the slightest, then it only verifies the spiritual malaise of many Catholics and their apologists today. They deserve a pope like John Paul II. These kinds of people are ripe for deception – the same deception that the Fatima visions said would seep right into the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy and then fall upon its parishioners. . . . I suggest that Dr. DeMarco read the history of Israel in the Old Testament, for the same things that happened then are happening now. He should pay particular attention to the life of Solomon who, although Israel’s greatest king and man of God, eventually turned out to be her greatest shame and a man of sin as he began to give credence to the pagan gods of the nations around him (1 Kings 11; cf. 1 Cor 10:1-12; 1 Cor 1:12). But you say “It can’t happen here”! I suggest all of us read the history of the papacy and the bad popes that occupied the chair of Peter, especially in the second millennium. . . . the universal salvation that John Paul II so often promoted in his addresses and encyclicals.


But I’ve been pointing out John Paul II’s problems for more than a decade, and my Catholic faith is stronger now than it was at the beginning. The reason? The pope is not the basis for my Catholic religion. Jesus Christ is. As long as the pope follows Jesus there will be no problem, and the only real guarantee we have that the pope is following Jesus is when he speaks ex cathedra or when he follows the tradition laid down before him. Assisi is neither of Jesus nor of tradition. It is strictly out of the confused mind of the Phenomenological/Tielhardian/Rahnerian theology of Karol Wojtyla. . . . If you grasp all the deviant theological and moral aberrations of John Paul II listed above and end up calling me a “false prophet” for pointing them out, then the delusion is yours, not mine. I find it amusing that Mr. Dejak goes to “St. Paul” as his authority to condemn me, but wasn’t it St. Paul who upbraided Pope Peter for hypocrisy and perverting the Gospel (Galatians 2:11‐21)? Wasn’t it St. Paul who warned the leaders of the Church not to fall into idol worship and apostasy from the faith (1 Cor 10:1‐12; 3:1‐17; 2Thess 2:1‐11)? St. Paul is my model, not Mr. Dejak’s. In fact, every book of the New Testament warns against apostasy; and it tells us that the very leaders of the Church may, and often are, the perpetrators of the apostasy. No one is immune. Just because you wear cleric cloth does not mean you have a dispensation from sin and apostasy. . . . According to Mr. Dejak, we are only “humble” when we give blind obedience to the pope, even if the pope shows himself to be derelict in his duty as protector of the Faith. . . . If Mr. Dejak can show us how to defend Assisi and the other acts of John Paul II so that they do not capitulate to modernism, I’m listening. . . . So good was Karol Wotyla in mesmerizing his audiences with his ambiguous language; papal apologies; pagan retreats and worldly views that Mr. Dejak can’t see the forest for the trees. How sad. But I expect this kind of reaction. Since the “diabolical disorientation” of Satan will be so great that even the elect could be deceived (Mt 24:24); and so great because “God himself will give them strong delusion to believe a lie” (2 Thess 2:11), then I feel very sorry for anyone who is not well‐grounded in the Catholic faith of tradition. You are open to anything. . . . That’s the part of the equation Mr.Dejak and The Wanderer have ignored. They think that God is somehow going to excuse them from sin if they blindly follow a pope who has been derelict in his duty. Uh uh. God will judge you for your sin, and he will doubly judge the one who led you there. Go read Matthew 18:7‐11.

(Papolatry is a Sin: A Response to John Dejak of The Wanderer -- 18 April 2011)

I think Mr. [Mark] Shea knows, in his heart of hearts, that Assisi is wrong, but being a typical modern Catholic apologist who has more or less sworn allegiance to the powers-that-be to continually produce positive messages of John Paul II, he has to seek for some escape along the lines of taking the focus off the real problem – the promotion of idol worship. God forbid that “St.” John Paul II would be accused of promoting idol worship. That would crumble the whole Neo-Catholic regime in a matter of seconds.

[ . . . ]

Unfortunately, from what we know of the modernistic tendencies in the theology of Karol Wojtyla, it is not unimaginable that he did accept the contents of the Koran as another means to God. . . . It’s not often that a person overtly denies the essentials of the faith, (provided we are agreed on what those “essentials” are). John Paul II did not come out and say “I deny the existence of God” or “I deny that Christ was God and man,” or anything of that material nature. Instead, he couched his language so that the meaning could often go either way. . . . This is just one small example of the same kinds of problems in many statements from John Paul II (e.g., making ambiguous statements that could be interpreted such that all men will be saved or that humans may not be involved with hell; suggesting that the resurrection and return of Christ are merely symbolic; implying that Original Sin is not a fact; suggesting that non-Christians need not convert to Christianity). . . . the moral and doctrinal aberrations of John Paul II were far graver than most of the other bad popes. . . . Not once in 26 years of speaking and writing did John Paul II tell these non-Christian adherents that they would be judged and sent to hell if they did not convert to Christianity. In fact, he suggested that hell may not even exist. That was “the faith” of John Paul II. . . . John Paul II was certainly a “great threat” but it wasn’t against the forces of evil and unbelief. More immorality and doctrinal confusion was unleashed in the pontificate of John Paul II than any other pope in history. . . . The reality is, John Paul II was one of the worst popes we’ve ever had. Immorality is a terrible offense against God, but when that is compounded by a perversion of the Gospel, then the sins cry out to high heaven for judgment, and that judgment is coming very soon.

(Another Failed Attempt to Defend Assisi and Other Scandalous Events in the Pontificate of John Paul II -- 25 April 2011)

Attacks on the "Modern" Church as Allegedly Theologically or Institutionally Distinct from the Historic Catholic Church


I, being an independent Catholic theologian, am able to penetrate a little more deeply and be much more critical, as I have always done in this apostolate. Although some still regard me as a “Catholic apologist,” unlike Jimmy Akin and Catholic Answers I no longer consider myself an apologist for the modern Catholic Church. When compared to the Catholic Church of tradition, I have resolved that the modern Catholic Church will be required to stand on its own, for I simply cannot defend it any longer. There are simply too many doctrinal aberrations and moral laxities in today’s Catholic Church that are indefensible. In light of these problems, I have assumed what I believe is the more appropriate position – that of being a prophet of warning rather than one an apologist seeking to exonerate the Church from false accusations. Today many accusations against the Church are quite legitimate and I certainly will not be a party to sweeping them under the rug. Hence, I presently take my model from that of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and all the other prophets who spoke out against similar doctrinal aberrations and moral laxities that occurred in Israel before God finally judged them. I believe that if the modern Catholic Church stays on the course it has chosen, it also will be judged by God as Israel was, and, in fact, it is already being judged as we have seen the deterioration in the Church for the last few decades.

(from: Response to Jimmy Akin's blog re preaching to the Jews -- April 2011)

This is just another sign that the modern papal regime has thrown out the tradition and is making a new Catholicism in its own image and likeness. . . . This is just another sham perpetrated upon us by the modernists today who run the new church they have made into their own image. . . . Yes, I guess it [Pope John Paul II's beatification] is a great day for the “church” – at least the one that John Paul II made into his own image and likeness.

(Response to Dr. Donald DeMarco re the article in the Remnant titled “Santo Non Ancora: St John Paul II?” -- 4 April 2011)

When Israel’s kings and prophets set up idol worship in Dan and Bethel, most of the common folk resolved in their minds that since their leaders were put in place by God, then who were the people to protest? So the whole nation eventually worshiped idols. The people should have protested, and if they did God would have blessed them and judged the leaders. But that is in the past, you say, and doesn’t apply to us since Jesus promised the gates of hell will not prevail!


(Papolatry is a Sin: A Response to John Dejak of The Wanderer -- 18 April 2011)


Attacks on Pope Benedict XVI


The fact that Benedict XVI has chosen to endorse the doctrinal aberrations and deterioration of the Church caused by John Paul II by beatifying him in May; and then continuing the apostasy of the Assisi tradition in October, means that he is following the same “diabolical disorientation” of his predecessors. He isn’t immune to this devilish influence just because he is a pope. In fact, the devil will bring his fiercest attack on the pope. . . . JON [the pope's book Jesus of Nazareth] puts nothing less than 20 centuries of Catholic tradition on the chopping block, but that is not unusual for post-Vatican II popes. John Paul II did it constantly. It seems they have a need to silence the haunting voices of the past in order to give credence to their continuing novelties.

(from: Response to Jimmy Akin's blog re preaching to the Jews -- April 2011)

I am merely telling Pope Benedict that I think his attempt to beatify John Paul II is wrong, period. I have that right according to canon law, and I also have the right to tell my opinion to “the rest of the Christian faithful.” . . . We are using the canon law he approved to “sincerely” tell him that he shouldn’t be beatifying John Paul II.

(Papolatry is a Sin: A Response to John Dejak of The Wanderer -- 18 April 2011)

Although Benedict XVI is not as ostentatious as John Paul II, at the beatification in May and the Assisi in October, Benedict will be accepting the torch from the grave of John Paul II. I wonder how far he will travel with it until he realizes that it has incinerated much of the Church.

(Another Failed Attempt to Defend Assisi and Other Scandalous Events in the Pontificate of John Paul II -- 25 April 2011)

* * * * *


84 comments:

a-nonyhorse said...

I've been struggling with this myself, honestly.

I think JPII was well-intentioned - but went off the rails too often to be considered 'orthodox', and lost some of the music and the truth in places.

Other parts of his life were, however, seem consonant with heroic sanctity.

What are the fruits? Those of the "JPII" generation of priests and Bishop are just the next problem we have to deal with. Those "radical moderates" who are showing up now have basically followed their predecessors into acting based on the "respect of the world" - being Popular like JP was - which the saints reject unanimously. It's a false moderation, a false humility, that hides a deeper pathology of heterodoxy.

Jedinovice said...

Yup, Eeee's goin the way of Gerry Matatics all right.

Having said that, once he embraced geocentricism the rest was obviously inevitable.

Jedinovice said...

Ahhh... Google is using my, er Gogle identity - Jedinovice. Tis I, Laurence!

Jim Paton said...

I do believe Sungenis has a point with the joint declaration. (I could be wrong)

"But just a year later, John Paul II published his
Lutheran‐Catholic Joint Declaration. It states in Section 2c of the Annex that “man is justified by
faith alone.” So tell me, who is promoting error: the one who adheres to the Council of Trent or the
one who denies it?"

This is a tricky one. But maybe someone like Dave could clarify the matter. Is JP II promoting error?

Dave Armstrong said...

No. Everything must be seen in context. I can't devote time to all this; I just wanted to document the shocking, sad things that Sungenis is saying now. To me they are self-evidently false. I have refuted several aspects of what he is saying already (esp. regarding ecumenism, the stance towards Islam, kissing the Koran, and liberals in the Church).

I don't have unlimited time to spend on his errors, since I have other work I need to be doing (and have a very bad cold at the moment as well). I understand that to others the errors here may not be self-evident, but I can't do everything. It takes a long time to refute material such as Sungenis, because the massive amount of detail and false premises involved require an excruciatingly lengthy reply.

My general policy now for about ten years was to not spend much time refuting radtrad errors. I have a book about it, and several papers. It's similar to my stance on anti-Catholicism. One has to consciously decide how to spend one's time, in stewardship under God.

If Bob comes here and challenges me to refute his endless tomes, I'll tell him the same thing I've been telling him and everyone else. Not interested . . . have better things to do.

Nick said...

There is a right and wrong way to go about this, but it first requires dispelling any myths that the Pope is above criticism. The majority of Catholics today fall into that camp, which unfortunately causes the minority to go over-board into 'blistering' criticism (which is not a way we should treat the Vicar of Christ). In a non-official judgment capacity, all of us are free to weigh the merits and demerits of the actions of a Pope or Bishop or Priest, so long as we don't go in the direction of slander or "reading hearts".

IT is no small thing to note the last 50 years or so have been a state of turmoil - by and large - for the Church: vocations plummeting, religious orders not being faithful, priests not being shepherds of souls but rather 'buddies', a decimation of Mass attendance, decimation of folks going to Confession, an obscene divorce and contraception rate among Catholics, a widespread "dictatorship of relativism" (as B.XVI said), rampant liturgical abuse, a loss of Catholic identity/culture, etc, etc.

While it might be hard for Catholics to recognize this, it's the ugly truth - without implying the Church defected or sedevacantism - and thanks be to God this is all changing for the better.

The next question is: to what degree were the last few Popes responsible for this, either in promoting or not (sufficiently) condemning and using their power to fix? (Tolerating rather than fixing abuses can sometimes be as bad as promoting them.)

My biggest reservation about JPII's canonization is that it seems mostly based on a popularity contest that's typical of the American-Idol mindset. But canonization isn't about popularity, but rather an extra-ordinary and venerable Christian testimony, including verification by miracles and such. This is the criteria the Church uses (and thus we must accept), but unfortunately most people are too caught up in the wrong judging criteria - particularly the mindset that the Pope "can do no wrong" on anything. One good 'reality check' is to note only ONE Pope has been canonized in the last few centuries, but most people are too young or uninformed to know this - and if they did they'd see many impressive candidates for canonization that have simply not attained the pop-culture 'celebrity status'. And affixing the title "the Great" isn't something to take lightly (since it's a solemn title given to very few Saints), nor is it based on the whims of masses of uninformed laymen (which many mistakenly think controls the process).

I'm not the type who says JPII was the worst Pope ever, or even that much of the mess of the last 50 years was mostly his fault - and I don't think most Catholics making these criticisms go that far either.

While JPII did do some things to protect the flock, often this was only on paper, while publicly his actions at times could tell the opposite story. The Assisi meetings and kissing the Koran were two objectively scandalous events, to name but two. Further, too often it seemed like he was pandering to secularists and modernists in an attempt at 'ecumenism', when all along the secularists and modernists continued to ridicule and mock the Church.

Lastly, the sex abuse crisis began before JPII, it's hard to deny various Popes should have done *something concrete* to expose it over the last 50 years. Even stopping it 20 years earlier could have prevented lawsuits from reaching the Billions in Payouts (of what is actually lay Catholics hard earned financial donations over the years).

I know it's very easy and tempting to say the Popes "didn't do enough," but I don't think that is an unfair criticism to at least some extent - but, again, this level of discussion is almost impossible for the masses of Catholics wearing the 'celebrity' colored glasses.

Jim Paton said...

@Dave

I understand. I don't have bags of time on my hands either. And your right, everything should be seen in context.

Christopher said...

Forgive me Dave but, I don't understand the purpose of this post. As you stated, you don't have the time to put forth a good response to his claims (which is fair). But then why bother putting any time together to compile his claims in the first place? Compiling his claims and publicizing them like this might make him less likely to dialog with you in private where you might be able to come to an agreement/understanding.

Bob is a very smart man and has been an admirable defender of Catholicism in the past vs Sedevacantism and other faiths ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJJX123tIwA&feature=related ). I hope and pray your wrong about your prediction that he will stray from Rome with your help as his brother in Christ.

We need him as much as anyone to stay in the church and it is up to us to show love and respect to him as we would anyone. You could have at the very least asked that people take some time this holy week to pray for unity in the church, for Bob, and for our leadership in the church. I think Bob does make some good points in that evil forces would love to corrupt our leadership, our church, and even both you and Bob. Prayer is probably one of the most effective methods that each one of us can partake in to combat this.

God Bless you and your family this holy week!

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Christopher,

Forgive me Dave but, I don't understand the purpose of this post.

To make people aware of how far radtrad Bob has gone, so that they can hopefully warn him of the serious dangers of the road he is on.

As you stated, you don't have the time to put forth a good response to his claims (which is fair). But then why bother putting any time together to compile his claims in the first place?

So people will know exactly where he stands. His comments are shocking, explosive. He has gone from "traditionalism" to radtrad, which is a big sea-change.

Compiling his claims and publicizing them like this might make him less likely to dialog with you in private where you might be able to come to an agreement/understanding.

I've never had the slightest success persuading Bob of anything, whether in public or in private, so that wasn't my goal. He wouldn't listen to me, anyway. I don't see that he listens to anyone. If so, maybe someone could direct me to an example where he was persuaded to change his mind on anything significant. His only changes at all seem to me to be going further down a radtrad path, that leads to schism.

Bob is a very smart man

"Smart" can often be a stumbling block. One has to also have true knowledge and wisdom.

and has been an admirable defender of Catholicism in the past vs Sedevacantism and other faiths ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJJX123tIwA&feature=related ).

At times, yes. If he would stick to refuting Protestantism and the sedes, he would be of a lot more use than he is, attacking the Church, popes, and the Jews (and other Catholic apologists) all the time.

I hope and pray your wrong about your prediction that he will stray from Rome with your help as his brother in Christ.

Me, too. Unfortunately, I see little that would convince me that this won't be the outcome, if he keeps it up.

We need him as much as anyone to stay in the church and it is up to us to show love and respect to him as we would anyone.

I've probably shown Bob more respect than almost anyone in the apologetics community, and he knows it. We have had cordial relations, have mutually removed papers on several occasions. But this latest stuff is so absurd and ridiculous that it needed to be strongly rebuked. It's people like you, I think (ones who like his work), who will ultimately be able to dissuade him from this course. I've never been able to do it. I got him to take down junk about JPII in the past, but a lot of good that did. He has even worse comments up now.

You could have at the very least asked that people take some time this holy week to pray for unity in the church, for Bob, and for our leadership in the church.

You're right. I agree with you in that goal, and this is part of the paper, so it's here.

I think Bob does make some good points in that evil forces would love to corrupt our leadership, our church, and even both you and Bob.

But no one disagrees with that. We war with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Prayer is probably one of the most effective methods that each one of us can partake in to combat this.

It may be the only thing that has any effect. Bob is pretty far gone. I see "Matatics" all over this. It's very sad.

Dave Armstrong said...

And Happy Easter to Christopher and all reading. May God abundantly bless you and lead you more fully into His will and His kingdom, with peace and joy beyond all understanding.

Christopher said...

Thanks Dave for the kind response.

Adomnan said...

Mr. Sungenis shows that you can take the man out of Fundamentalism, but sometimes you can't take the Fundamentalism out of the man.

Blackie said...

Completely agree with you Dave.

Sungenis was bad enough as a proponent of Geo-centrism, and now this. IMO he's lost almost all his credibility.

It's a shame, but he's now more like so many of the Protestant and anti-Catholic preachers who seem to have to stir controversy to maintain interest instead of simply explaining and defending the faith.

The Puritan said...

No post on this? Seems to hit to the marrow of what this blog is about:

http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=14269

Dave Armstrong said...

I think a lot of good points are made in the article. People leave religions and convert for many reasons. each person has to be treated as an individual.

The author stated:

"The church needs a massive Bible education program. The church needs to acknowledge that understanding the Bible is more important than memorizing the catechism. If we could get Catholics to read the Sunday scripture readings each week before they come to Mass, it would be revolutionary. If you do not read and pray the scriptures, you are not an adult Christian."

Amen! I've been saying this for years (so has the Church and popes); it is the theme of my blog and many of my books. I had an article published in This Rock about the need for Catholics to read the Bible:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0402fea3.asp

john martin said...

Dave

Robert is simply showing the problems with the modern Papacy. This in no way means the current Papacy must be regarded as vacant. We have had heretical Popes in the past who were later corrected. Robert believes he is using his right under canon law to show his concerns for the church he loves and has defended for so long.

This is the same motive why he wrote the lengthy book on geocentrism - to defend the church and the Papacy he loves and to restore the church to its right place in society.

Furthermore I could turn the tables on Dave and say if he believes the Popes have not erred then why cant we charge him with ultrmontanism?

If Dave denies Popes always speak and live the truth as head of the church, then he is not an ultramontanist, but then must be open to Popes who teach and live errors in public. As such, he cannot logically be opposed to everything Robert is doing in regard to highlighting the modern Papal errors.

As such, Dave's claims that Robert will most likely end up being a sedevacantist are currently misleading and not based upon any logical argument.

I do believe the beatification of JPII is remarkably quick and seems to be pollitically opportunistic. Maybe JPII was a saint and then again, maybe the church's actions are something less than it should be.

I dont see any real defense of the Assissi meetings forthcomming. If the Pope is as competant as catholic apologists such as Dave think, then the Pope would have known that most of the world is very confused about religous matters. As such, having a prayer meeting with other world religions and not promoting the truth of the gospel can be seen as just another action by an incomptentant religous leader to promote religous confusion.

Also, I dont see any real defense for the failure to consecrate Russia as required at fatima.

The counters to these two incidents are simply not compelling and show the modern Papacy, which is legitimate from Christ and St Peter, has acted inadequately to secure the church's place in Europe. After all, if Russia did convert to the true faith, the the rest of Europe would be hard pressed to resist doing the same.

What do we see today? Russia is the same as ever and is not Catohlic and Europe is as secular as ever. Evidently the consecration did not happen as intended by the events at fatima. Therefore the Papacy has failed to act with the courage required to perform an act that would have allowed the expanded reign of the church.

The way I see it is this - the modern catohlic apologist is stuck with a Papacy that is hard to defend for several reasons. Yet the Papacy has been given to us to lead the church. So what is the modern catholic apologist to do? He can attempt to defend the many inadequacies of the modern Papacy or even try to state the inadequacies are really strengths. Or he can face up to the truth of what going on and see that something is not quite right with the modern Papacy.

Has the modern papacy formally taught error as truth and bound the faithful to that error? No.

Has the modern papacy taught error and not bound the faithful to that error, but in doing so, caused confusion? Yes. And this is why Robert is taking a stand against the modern Papacy.

Dan Marcum said...

A-nonyhorse said...
I do believe Sungenis has a point with the joint declaration. (I could be wrong)


I don't think he has a point there, because the Joint Declaration is one of the most landmark expositions of the Catholic faith on salvation ever to be put forward with Lutherans, one that keeps our differences and our common beliefs in mind the whole time. There's nothing unorthodox in it at all, if read with the mind of the Church. But there is much to celebrate in it, due to the progress it makes in building understanding between Catholics and Lutherans.

A-nonyhorse quoted...
"But just a year later, John Paul II published his Lutheran‐Catholic Joint Declaration. It states in Section 2c of the Annex that “man is justified by faith alone.” So tell me, who is promoting error: the one who adheres to the Council of Trent or the one who denies it?"


There's no denial of Trent in that passage. Trent condemned the teaching of faith alone "in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to obtain the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that [man] be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will." (Canon 9) THAT "faith alone" is condemned, but it does not exclude versions of "faith alone" that are COMPATIBLE with the doctrines of cooperation with grace and free will. And it is clear from the context of the Joint Declaration that the Catholic view includes cooperation with grace and free will; so there is no incompatibility.

Furthermore, several Saints have shown that not all statements about "faith alone" are alike; some can be permissible, some not, depending on what is meant. "Faith alone," if it is the kind of faith that works through love, is not wrong, because that kind of faith, is a "faith + works" faith...and that's compatible with Trent's teaching.

In this regard, St. Robert Bellarmine, the Hammer of Heretics, once compiled a list (in his book "Disputations" -- the chapter on Justification) of Saints who had talked about the phrase "faith alone" and who said that it could be legitimately used, depending on one's meaning. And the list is available in Latin, but the Disputations book, unfortunately, has not been translated into English, and is not available online (not even in Latin). But you could try to look up information about that for more information.

Dave Armstrong said...

As such, Dave's claims that Robert will most likely end up being a sedevacantist are currently misleading and not based upon any logical argument.

Time will tell, won't it? If it happens in the next two years then I can be a prophet like Bob says he is now!

Dave Armstrong said...

I'm sure if we went back 5-7 years to see what Gerry Matatics was saying then, it would sound uncannily like what Bob is saying now. Same thing with Mario Derksen 11-13 years ago. There is a trajectory to this radtrad nonsense. The sedes were at least logically consistent.

john martin said...

Dave

Is there any constructive criticism of the modern papacy going on that you know of?

Does criticism of the modern Papacy require the critics to be labeled as something other than catholic?

Is there a satisfactory catholic explanation for the Fatima directive to consecrate Russia and why Russia has not converted to the faith? If not, whats the problem with Sungenis calling out the papacy on this and other matters?

Is there any valid criticism of JPII been given by catholics? If not, how do you avoid the label of ultramontanism? If so, who are these critics and how are they any different to Sungenis?

Jedinovice said...

Just to wade in on the faith alone thing…

Catholics are most certainly allowed to believe in a concept of faith alone that matches classic Protestant thinking to the core. No really.

That is, INITIAL justification which is, indeed, a free gift (though Catholics hold that a person can refuse the gift. Calvinism which seems to be a form of de facto standard amongst Protestantism holds that the ‘gift’ is IMPOSED upon those God chooses purely through his Divine will against which free will has no place. I’ve read the institutes and Calvin makes it very, very clear that he has no truck with this ‘free will’ thing. A joint accord with the Calvinists would e impossible. Which is why it was signed with the Lutherans.

Initial Justification can be obtained without good works. It is what happens AFTER that where works kick in. Catholics hold that sanctification is part of salvation while Protestants separate the two. At that point we have a major difference!

I was once in a debate with a Protestant who was, and I quote “..looking forward to seeing your face when you realise salvation is a gift.” And then I stole the wind from his sail by pointing out in the debate that Catholics hold that salvation is a gift and obtained by faith alone. Poor chap. After that, it was down to the scriptures and the Church Fathers showing how works is undeniably part of salvation.

Justification by Faith Alone is part of Catholic teaching. It so happens that justification by faith and works is ALSO Catholic teaching! We do not look to a person’s works when they are baptised to save them. We look upon God’s grace. We do look upon a person’s work and co-operation with God as they approach death having been baptised. Cause, you see, Catholicism is sophisticated like that.

Happy Easter one and all.
Laurence.

scotju said...

John Paul the Great? The man aided and abbedded in the cover-up of queer priests by doing absolutely nothing to stop the scandal. The man also encouraged false ecumenicalism with nonsence like Assai. The rush to declare this extremely flawed individual a saint shows the extent of the spiritual and moral vacousness of the Church's clergy and laity.

Dan Marcum said...

Scotju said...
John Paul the Great? The man aided and abbedded in the cover-up of queer priests by doing absolutely nothing to stop the scandal.


Ridiculous. The man did everything he could have been expected to do. At the time, everyone from psychologists to popes was under the impression that therepy "cured" pedophile inclinations. After therapy, pedophile offenders were returned to their former positions, whether priests, teachers, or whatnot. Only recently did we discover that in most cases pedophilia is deeply rooted. And now priests are no longer returned to their positions. This is perfectly ordinary, run-of-the mill common sense. Pope John Paul II did nothing wrong in this regard, merely because he acted in ignorance by allowing offenders to be put back in their stations following therapy -- as the psychologists were then advising.

Scotju said...
The man also encouraged false ecumenicalism with nonsence like Assai.


What's nonsense is your insistence that the Assisi prayer meeting was false ecumenism. Praying to One God with those who believe in Him is not nonsense. It's not like the Pope said Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam, etc. are all "okay paths to heaven." He celebrated commonalities without ignoring differences. That is perfectly ecumenical. What's more -- I would wonder, how are we supposed to evangelize the nations if we're too scared to gather together with them? How are we supposed to reach out to them if we say we won't even pray in the same building, just because they're nearby? The ridiculous demands of Radtrads is the nonsense in this scenario -- not the Pope's actions, which were perfectly ordinary.

Scotju said...
The rush to declare this extremely flawed individual a saint shows the extent of the spiritual and moral vacousness of the Church's clergy and laity.


On the contrary, the rush to declare him a Saint shows that he is one, for the Holy Spirit will never lead His Church into error. What we are seeing is the "sense of the faithful" playing out. Notice: it's not the lapsed Catholics who want him beatified; not the ones who disagree with his teachings on contraception, divorce, etc. Faithful Catholics want him beatified, and Radtrads want him stomped. Which looks more like God's Church to you?

Dave Armstrong said...

My positions on rebuking popes and disagreeing with them are well known. As usual, certain loudmouths who come comment on my site, making claims about my alleged beliefs, haven't taken the slightest effort to determine what my position is.

I have Papacy and "Traditionalist" web pages. It is simple enough to do. I'll even walk my critic through it, with baby steps:

1) Select "Catholic Apologetics" at the top of my blog.

2) Select "The Papacy and Infallibility" web page.

3) Scroll down to the section: "Disagreeing with Popes".

4) Choose whatever paper you like:

A) Laymen Advising and Rebuking Popes
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/03/laymen-advising-and-rebuking-popes.html

B) Is It Dissent Against the Pope and the Church, and Downright Disobedient For a Catholic to Favor the War in Iraq?
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2008/05/is-it-dissent-against-pope-and-church.html

C) "Traditionalist" Catholic Webmaster (Fish Eaters Forum) Trashes Pope John Paul the Great
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2009/05/traditionalist-catholic-webmaster.html

D) Are All Catholic Laymen and Non-Theologians Qualified to Freely and Frequently Criticize the Pope's Opinions and Prudential Judgment? (vs. Mario Derksen [now a sedevacantist])
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2004/04/are-all-catholic-laymen-and-non.html

E) Am I a "Neo-Catholic"? / My Belief Concerning the Criticism of Popes is Taken Out of Context and Distorted by "Traditionalists" (in Wikipedia)
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2009/06/am-i-neo-catholic-my-belief-concerning.html

Nick said...

There is an unfortunate tendency for some folks, particularly Protestant converts, to go down the road of greater and greater criticism until they go RadTrad or even worse. But that's not the case with all people. The Remnant newspaper is not RadTrad and they've never gone in the sedevacantist direction. I don't see Sungenis doing this either, but I would consider it fair to critique some of the extreme comments he's made (and he's admitted he's gone overboard on things before).

The real issue, in my opinion, is that there is a Catholic majority who sees the Papacy and even Bishops as above criticism (i.e. they can do no wrong), and so when a vocal minority speaks up they automatically sound extreme.

One good 'reference' point in all this is to simply examine what our current Pope (Benedict XVI) has done that has gone a long way in (ironically) correcting the off the wall things going on unopposed with JPII. Some things that come to mind:

B16 almost immediately dumped JPII's master of ceremonies who was responsible for some horrendous masses and horrendous vestments and such, and B16 replaced that MC with a unapologetic 'traditionalist' MC who promotes and hosts solidly Catholic Liturgy. Just compare the vestments, Altar arrangement, Papal Cross, etc, that were dumped relatively quickly after B16 ascended.

B16 issued one of the most important documents of the Century (up there with Humane Vitae), if not longer, in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum because it was abundantly clear that JPII's Motu Proprio was too watered down had no teeth. B16 also lifted the excommunications of the SSPX leadership, which I take to be a sign he has some sympathies with how the traditionalist movement has been marginalized (I'm not SSPX, by the way).

B16 has edited Canon Law and such in a more traditionalist fashion, such as formally removing the clause that a person can "formally defect" from the Catholic faith.

B16 has been vocal about the rampant liturgical abuses and even critiqued weaknesses in the new mass; he has critiqued condom use, islam, etc, in ways that have sparked outrage.

And canonization aside, just in regards to affixing the title of "the Great," I'm just trying to think of a document or movement or stand that JPII made that really stood out as ground breaking and had wide spread effect on changing for the better. The only thing that comes to mind is the CCC, but I'm not sure how much was his doing.

I think a good challenge here is for those who believe the title of "the Great" is warranted, that they present a reasonable case for why; otherwise they reduce the title to merely about popularity and not substance.

I don't think it's too much to say JPII was a holy man, but a bad administrator, and could have done more to weather the storm that hit the church (I don't by any means blame most of the problems on him).

Neil Parille said...

Dave,

This is a complicated issue and things get heated on all sides, but (putting aside Sungenis and the "Radtrads"):

1. Isn't it a little too early to call JP2 "the great" when there have only been two or three popes in history who have been given that title?

2. Just what exactly did JP2 do to change the church from its liberal trajectory?

3. Did JP2 not know that many of the people he was promoting (such as Walter Kasper) were very liberal?

4. If JP2 embraced Hans Urs von Balthasar's view of potential universal salvation, wouldn't that be a serious problem?

That Bob Sungenis may have some bad ideas or that previous popes have had their problems shouldn't prevent us from trying to evaluate the late pope's actions and teachings.

Dave Armstrong said...

As I have said repeatedly, I have neither time nor the slightest desire to debate all these "trad" hot issues. Mainly I wanted to document how extreme Bob has become in this area.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi all! Everyone is focusing on what Pope John Paul II espoused as pope, but is that truly the measure of whether someone is a saint? I always thought that sainthood was all about personal holiness. Folks can argue about what JPII may have taught or held, but can anyone deny his personal sanctity?

A Blessed Easter to all!

Jae said...

RadTrad create a false paradigm:

He IS Peter - He has the tenure of being head of the largest Religion in the world - as supreme Pontiff - a position no other holds in their religion... He has not merely spiritual precedence but temporal AND moral primacy. Even amongst those who hold him and his religion in contempt he still affords the respect and dignity of being who he is...

He will not shirk, compromise, relinquish or abrogate the apostolic duty and responsibility of his office in some syncretist, relativist, pragmatist, collaborationist homogenous denial of reality - rather he will seize upon the opportunity to teach and evangelise and bring his fold closer to their eternal destiny.

They (Radtraditionalits) forget - His Holiness is one of the few conciliar periti to never shirk from teaching the dogma of the Church triumphant - where all in Heaven WILL BE Catholic - They also seem remiss in forgetting that His Holiness is one of the prime theologians in defending the principle of the diachronicity of grace where the future sanctity of all involved will echo and ripple throughout them when drawn forth from them by a call from the temporal leader of the Mystical Body of Christ here on earth.

Our Lord and Saviour prayed that we would all be one in John 17 - His Earthly Servant of Servants will continue that prayer...

Assisi conference started by JPII (the Great)was of good intention of gathering people of other faiths to have a common ground for PEACE. Whatever his shorcomings or mental lapse that was far out-weighted by his love and actions (his encyclicals) for the common good of mankind. One just can not shove down the throats of the other faiths our own Faith, one must have to have an atmosphere of peace and understanding. RadTrad are so haste in judgment about our beloved JPII without realizing it...that he just can't bash the Bible to people's head from other faiths which consider theirs as true and ours false and vise-versa. If Peace and trust is established first then the spreading of the True Gospel will follow. It took the Holy Spirit 2,000 years to just have 1/6th of the world's population to be catholics (only 1/3 of which are considered abiding) and the RadTrads are eager to convert people of other faiths in a lifetime of a pope.

Pope Benedict has spent his entire priestly and scholarly life as servant and witness to Truth - whom he recognises as the Person of Christ.

He will not abandon it now. In the same way he will use ARCIC III to guarantee that previous 'accommodating' suppressed and obfuscated truths are brought to light and to the fore - however confrontational, awkward, challenging and divisive - He will utilise Assisi to call his neighbours - his children - his flock whom he serves - to draw nearer and he will assist them on their journey which has as its ultimate end their coming home.

I do not ask them to trust Joseph Ratzinger nor JPII but I rather expect them to trust in the Holy Spirit who has led these Popes to us.

There are tradtionalist groups who have split from SSPX as being too liberal!!! There are also those who split and choose to koin the full communion with the See of Peter. They (RadTrad) are experiencing what the protestants since the Reformation have been experiencing....split from split.

The question is, why would anyone risk their soul by dabbling in a society that is in an irregular state with Rome to begin with?



If you don't listen to the Magisterium (Teaching Authority) of the Catholic Church who was given with such Authority by Jesus Christ (God ) Himself then who we should believe? Our own judgment and opinion? Or our local leaders or priests? Bishop Fellay? SSPX perhaps? or just our own assumptions?

Happy Easter to all!

Dave Armstrong said...

Amen, Jae. Preach it!

john martin said...

If you carefully read Sungenis, he uses Catholic tradition as a measure to judge JPII's actions such as the Assisi meetings. To say critics of JPII do not listen to the magesterium is a straw man argument.

Where does JPII get the precedent from tradition to gather false religions together to pray for world peace and have Buddhists place a statue of Buddha next to the blessed sacrament and pray to Duddha for world peace? Answer - nowhere.

Where does JPII get the precedent in Catholic tradition to have false religions gather together and thereby permit confusion to be created among the faithful, by equating the true religion with that of the false religions? Nowhere of course, and that's why some of the faithful are critical of JPII and the beatification process.

This is a clear indication that JPII must answer to Catholic tradition, which includes the teaching of previous Popes for his actions to then be judged as either orthodox or heterodox.

As JPII has no precedent in tradition for his actions then he is to be judged as acting outside Catholic tradition. How can it be otherwise? If JPII's actions are within tradition, then its up to his supporters to establish that tradition in magisterial teachings.

Where is the magisterial teaching/catholic tradition that permits Catholics to gather with false religions to pray together? If there is no such precedent or tradition then how can supporters of JPII's beatification be taken seriously?

If JPII supported Marcial Maciel Degollado as it is stated here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/07/canonising-john-paul-marcial-maciel-degollado

So why did JPII do nothing about the allegations made concerning Degollado's criminal behavior? Does this make JPII complicit in the actions of a priest who is now known to be a criminal?

Surely these allegations must be thoroughly investigated and JPII exonerated of all possible association and neglect in this case before he can be considered as a candidate for beatification.

Has such a process been done? Where is the evidence for this process having clearly demonstrated JPII had nothing to answer for in his decision not to have Degollado investigated?

If there is no evidence forthcoming to show a thorough investigation has been completed and JPII is completely innocent, then why shouldn't the catholic faithful question the beatification process?

After all, the church may yet have to answer for further allegations that may still come to light in years to come over these associations of JPII. If the current beatification process has been rushed and only a superficial investigation has been completed, and consequently, such allegations prove to be true and JPII is found not to be the "saint" as the church wants us to believe he is, then this would make the beatification process a laughing stock of the entire world.
. . .

john martin said...

JPII was the head of the church during a time in which many Catholic universities employed dissenting professors in theology. What did JPII do about such dissenters during his ponitificate?

A- Nothing.
B- Almost nothing
C- Nothing that resulted in any substantial change to the teaching of these dissenters.
D- Any of the above, just so long as we don’t look too closely at the failures of the pontificate of JPII.

Take your pick from the above, because that's all we've got to go on. Even so, we are expected to think that JPII is to become beatified and maybe later a saint even when -

A- he was most likely thoroughly remiss at his job in the area of disciplining dissenting theologians.
B- Did little or nothing about Degollado and therefore possibly committed multiple sins of omission.
C-Made statements on subjects such as universal salvation and a covenant with the Jews, thereby causing confusion among the faithful.
D- Seems to have permitted homosexuals to be ordained as priests.

As these issues remain around today, even as JPII is being beatified, it is no wonder some Catholics have made criticisms of the beatification process and JPII.

scotju said...

Dan, people in the world at large and in the Church centries ago knew pederasts were addicted to bottom feeding. They didn't need no stinking psychiatrist to tell them that these pervert would never change. St Peter Damian even wrote a book about it a 1,000 years ago. Fr. Fitzgerald warned over 60 years ago that these men were devils and should be turned over to the police and/or isolated from decent society. Your claim that the Church hierarchy was doing the best they knew how falls flat on it's face when you look at the real history.
About Assai again: Did any of the Apostles, the Church Fathers or pre-VII popes ever hold a meeting like this? To the best of my knowledge, they evangelized and prayed for the non-Christians, but they did not worship with them. No, they boldly denounced the false gods of the Heathens, and preached Christ to them. PJPII did nothing like this. Shoot, he ever kissed the Koran, an evil book that calls for the slaughter of those who reject it. He might as well have smooched The Satanic Bible.

Adomnan said...

john martin: Where does JPII get the precedent in Catholic tradition to have false religions gather together and thereby permit confusion to be created among the faithful, by equating the true religion with that of the false religions? Nowhere of course, and that's why some of the faithful are critical of JPII and the beatification process.

Adomnan: Where did he get the precedent? From an ecumenical council.

The following is from the Second Vatican Council's "Declaration of the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions":

"Throughout history, to the present day, there is found among different peoples a certain awareness of a hidden power, which lies behind the course of nature and the events of human life. At times, there is present even a recognition of a supreme being, or still more of a Father. This awareness and recognition results in a way of life that is imbued with a deep religious sense. The religions which are found in more advanced civilizations endeavor by way of well-defined concepts and exact language to answer these questions. Thus, in Hinduism people explore the divine mystery and express it both in the limitless riches of myth and the accurately defined insights of philosophy. They seek release from the trials of the present life by ascetical practices, profound meditation and recourse to God in confidence and love."

Nick said...

I think people need to make an important distinction: there is a difference between being Canonized and being called "the Great". To be a Saint, the 'bare bones' criteria is that one must have died in a state of Grace and either gone straight to Heaven or to Purgatory and witnessed to this by miracles. In the case of JPII, there is little reason to doubt he died in a state of grace. And if he endured purgatory at all, we can probably bet the entire Church praying for his soul satisfied that (and I'd bet more intensely than any man in history, given the sheer population of Catholics this time in history).

But affixing the title of "the Great" (or "Doctor" or whatever) is different; that requires a good case be made that such great contributions and Christian testimony were made that their life objectively changed the Church for the better. I'm waiting to see that case made.

As for Assisi, I don't see how telling or encouraging a pagan to pray to their false god can be condoned in any manner. That said, Assisi isn't a make or break in my book, though it's still a negative mark.

Adomnan said...

More from the Declaration:

"Buddhism in its various forms testifies to the essential inadequacy of this changing world. It proposes a way of life by which people can, with confidence and trust, attain a state of perfect liberation and reach supreme illumination either through their own efforts or with divine help. So, too, other religions which are found throughout the world attempt in different ways to overcome the restlessness of people's hearts by outlining a program of life covering doctrine, moral precepts and sacred rites.

"The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. It has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines which, although differing in many ways from its own teaching, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men and women. Yet it proclaimes and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 1:6). In him, in whom God reconciled all things to himself (2 Cor 5:18-19), people find the fullness of their religious life.

"The Church, therefore, urges its sons and daughers to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, together with their social life and culture."

And that's what Pope John Paul II was doing at Assisi. That's what Christians did who preserved the philosophy and even mythology of classical antiquity. That's what the Christian bards and monks of Ireland did when they recorded the ancient lore and tales of their Celtic ancestors. And that's what the Catholic Vikings did in Iceland, writing down the sagas of Norse heroes and, yes, gods that give us such a profound insight into the religion and heroic values of the ancient Germans. All of these strands, and others, have vastly enriched our Western literature and culture, because Catholics before us "acknowledged, preserved and encouraged the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, together with their social life and culture."

We are Catholics. We are not Puritan heretics. We do not condemn everything "pagan."

john martin said...

Yet it proclaimes and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 1:6). In him, in whom God reconciled all things to himself (2 Cor 5:18-19), people find the fullness of their religious life.

"The Church, therefore, urges its sons and daughers to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, together with their social life and culture."

JM- and yet there is nothing in those document that says it is permissible to pray with false religions for any matter, let alone world peace. Furthermore Vat II documents state "Yet it proclaims and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life". But when we look at Assisi, we don't see this happening. So one two accounts JPII is not in accord with Catholic tradition.

Any other documents you'd like to examine, or do you now agree JPII had no precedent for doing what he did?

Adomnan said...

I don't get it, JM. You're contesting my post by merely copying something that was in it?

I guess you're implying that JPII did not witness to his Christian faith in any way at the Assisi gathering. That seems, well, improbable.

JM- and yet there is nothing in those document that says it is permissible to pray with false religions for any matter.

Adomnanor: The documents say that Hindus (or some Hindus) engage in "profound meditation and recourse to God in love and confidence." Would a Catholic document call meditation "profound" if it weren't a form of prayer? And how can they have have recourse to God in love and confidence if they don't pray to Him at all?

Moreover, your dismissal of "false religions" is much broader than this document allows. "The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions." Evidently, if these religions have elements that are "true and holy," they can hardly be dismissed out of hand as simply "false." The Church's teaching, as evidenced in this Declaration of an ecumenical council, is certainly more nuanced than that.

Let me ask you, Do you see anything true and holy in Hinduism and Buddhism? The Council did.

Adomnan said...

Ignore that "Adomnanor" in my last post. It's a typo. I haven't changed my monicker.

Jae said...

I totally agree with Adomnan to which may I add, Do we see anything holy and true in Judaism? (They were also part of the Assisi Conference)

John, if you noticed most of your objections were about the alleged "personal sins" of JPII in which no one is exempted from including the Apostles themselves. My take is, let us not judge if he committed sins of omission, leave the judging to God ALONE, it's His business not ours.

The bottomline issue here is about the Validity of Vatican II. Radtrad I encountered are quick to say they don't contest the validilty of Vatican II but throw all sorts of objection, denigration, blame and condemnations of Vatican II and thus undermining the very Authority (FULL AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH) that validated VaticanII. Do we see a contradiction here, since Rome has spoken and the case is closed, my reason for the question again:

If we don't listen to the Magisterium of the Church, then WHO? Me? SSPX? Mr. Sungenis? Dr. James White? WHO? fill me.

Don't take upon ourselves to pass, decide and make judgment that we got it right and the Church is wrong, it's not our job.

Peace.

john martin said...

Adomnanor: The documents say that Hindus (or some Hindus) engage in "profound meditation and recourse to God in love and confidence." Would a Catholic document call meditation "profound" if it weren't a form of prayer? And how can they have have recourse to God in love and confidence if they don't pray to Him at all?

JM- “profound” is a vague term only related to the word meditation. It is well known that Hindus are polytheists, which is a grave error. The ray of light in the Hindu religion is there are beings superior to men in the universe. This is no way permits Catholics to pray with Hindus. The vague language of Vat II cannot be used to permit the head of the church to invent prayer meetings with non Christian religions. There is nothing in the sources of revelation to permit it and nothing in the magisterial teachings either. As such, the Assisi meetings are not objectively founded on anything Catholic and this must be taken into account in the beatification process of JPII.

A- Moreover, your dismissal of "false religions" is much broader than this document allows. "The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions."

JM – inferred in the above statement is the church rejects all that is false in those non Christian religions.

A- Evidently, if these religions have elements that are "true and holy," they can hardly be dismissed out of hand as simply "false."

JM- the errors contained within those religions make them false. The elements of truth are hardly a saving note as all religions have elements of truth in them. For example, Satanism and Masonry have elements of truth in them. Why then didn’t JPII invite the Satanists and the Masons to the prayer session? After all these organizations have elements of truth in them and that’s why they have members. The answer is these organizations were excluded because they are explicitly Satanic organizations, yet they have the truth that Satan exists.

What of the other religions? Are they from God, man or the devil? The church says they are not from God, but have elements of the truth that can lead them to God. So as they are not from God, but permitted to exist by the true God, then those false religions have their origins in either man or Satan. As such, these religions cannot in any way contribute towards world peace through prayer to gods invented by either men or the demons who are thought to be gods.

Using this simple and clear logic, JPII cannot expect faithful Catholics to accept the Assisi meetings as being consistent with the Gospel of one God who has revealed himself through Christ. In this way JPII has only added to the confusion in the world concerning the truth of the catholic church and the gospel.
. . .

john martin said...

A- The Church's teaching, as evidenced in this Declaration of an ecumenical council, is certainly more nuanced than that.

Let me ask you, Do you see anything true and holy in Hinduism and Buddhism? The Council did.

JM- This is a long way from obtaining any objective basis in revelation for a public prayer session with false religions to bring about world peace through gods that either don’t exist, or are demons. Lets see the fruits of these prayer sessions. Do we have world peace of not? The answer is definitely not and that’s why Catholics can look at the fruits of these sessions, which are very poor substitutes for the consecration of Russia, and only serve to caste doubt over JPII’s actions.

Furthermore his actions have not promoted conversions to the Catholic faith but only served to spread indifference towards the truth of the catholic faith. If JPII was serious about ecumenism and evangelization, he should have told the participants at these meetings about Christ, just as the Vatican II documents stated he should. Again, his failure to do this is further evidence against him as head of the church acting against magisterial documents and the sources of revelation.

So far there has been nothing substantial to provide an objective foundation in magisterial documents for JPII’s Assisi prayer meetings.

john martin said...

John, if you noticed most of your objections were about the alleged "personal sins" of JPII in which no one is exempted from including the Apostles themselves. My take is, let us not judge if he committed sins of omission, leave the judging to God ALONE, it's His business not ours.

JM – As JPII seems to have made many sins of omission and I would suggest sins of commission at the Assisi meetings, it is the duty of the church to have these incidents exposed before JPII is considered for beatification. How can it be otherwise? It cannot and as his pontificate contains some pretty big problems, these problems must be resolved by the church before he is beatified.

Jae- If we don't listen to the Magisterium of the Church, then WHO? Me? SSPX? Mr. Sungenis? Dr. James White? WHO? fill me.

Don't take upon ourselves to pass, decide and make judgment that we got it right and the Church is wrong, it's not our job.

JM- Simple answers really. We listen to the church taking into account the full tradition of the church and not merely some snippets from a Vatican II document. The church tradition is clearly against these prayer meetings with false religions. According to Paul, these false pagan religions worship demons. How can a demon bring about world peace when his sole aim is to destroy humanity? Of course, once this is understood in accordance with scripture and tradition, JPII has no foundation for his actions and has only added to the confusion in the church concerning the role of prayer, the church and the value of these other false religions.

As we listen to the church, as found in the sources of revelation, then we can compare what the church has said throughout history to what JPII has said and done. When JPII’s actions at Assisi have no objective foundation in the sources of revelation then Catholics are able to question his actions as being contrary to the Catholic faith. Logically this is the only position a faithful Catholic can take. The same rules apply to all members of the church. If they act contrary to the sources of revelation, then they are sinning because their actions are not based upon the faith. As JPII has acted outside the faith as found in the sources of revelation then how can his actions be anything other than destructive of the faith and objectively gravely sinful?

Do we know if JPII sinned or not in the Assisi prayer meetings? No, because we are not the measure of his conscience. Do we take his actions into account when the church investigates him in the beatification process. Yes- under canon law the laity has the authority to act and show the church the actions of one of its members is questionable, or possibly gravely sinful. This is what Robert Sungenis is doing as a faithful Catholic.

So far Robert has far more authority from the laws of the church to do what he has done than what JPII has done. In fact, JPII had no laws and no authority whatsoever to do what he did at Assisi.

It is a modern fallacy to think modern Popes are impeccable in practice or even in theory, especially when multiple examples are given of a modern Pope that shows his actions are objectively disordered and were not done for the good of the church. To remain silent after these objectively disordered incidents is to be open to committing the sin of omission. We are not expected to be obedient to the Pope in regard to every action of the Popes. If this were so, then Catholics would be open to believe in Christ having one will or permitting prayers with pagans. Faithful and educated Catholics know better than to say the Popes actions are permissible or good, especially when his actions are contrary to tradition and scripture.

So far there ahs been no evidence from the sources of the faith to permit the head of the church to pray with pagan and false religions in a public setting. Evidently this has not been done simply because there is no foundation for such an action in the sources of the faith and as such, JPII has acted outside the tradition given by the apostles.

john martin said...

Dave - Amen, Jae. Preach it!

JM - Surely JPII's holiness cannot be substantially disconnected with his actions or inactions of his pontificate. If so, this is like saying a security guard was really holy, but he kept on letting the thief taking the money from the bank and decided not to tell anyone about the theft.

If you think I am stretching this too far then think about JPII's inaction over the Marcial Maciel Degollado and Raymond Brown debacles. Both incidents show JPII was

1- thoroughly inept and could not make definitive decision as head of the church, or

2- was thoroughly ignorant of the goings on of these men (and many others), making him thoroughly incompetent.

3-he knew about and agreed with what these men were doing and therefore JPII was not a true man of the faith.

Taking the choice of the above three points. JPII cannot be considered in beatification unless his name is cleared of all these logical possibilities. Why? simply because if JPII is beatified, then the church is implicitly saying it is saintly behavior for the head of the church to permit criminal actions and heresy from his priests, while he does nothing to stop those men harming the faithful.

This is simple and clear logic concerning the actions or inactions of JPII as Pope and shows that if he is implicated in these matters then it is simply not fitting for the church to beatify him.

Put another way. When JPII is beatified and these blights remain unresolved, then bishops have precedent to allow such behavior to continue in their dioceses, thereby perpetuating criminal and heretical behavior. Evidently such a bad fruit cannot be the result of a saintly man. Yet this is what we are expected to beleive when JPII will be beatified in about a weeks time.

In short, when JPII is beatified, bishops and Popes have a clear precedent for failure of duty to not only tolerated, but now such behavior has been promoted to the level of blessed.

Is this a good fruit for the church? Clearly the answer is no and that's why some Catholics have spoken against the rushed beatification process of JPII.

Dave, how can you possibly logically work your way around these impossible problems concerning JPII's beatification? I'm open to a clear rebuttal, however I don't think there is any real room to move on the matter.

Jedinovice said...

Hinduism does believe in one God. They are not pagans in the Western sense Hindusim is very complex and confused and the laity do tend to believe in polytheism. But, and I have this from Hindus as well as through research, Hindusim does believe in one God. But they regard that God as unknowable. The lesser 'Gods' are merely aspects of this one divine who is too vast for us to grasp. Sort of similar to the 'unknown God' of the Greeks. The Hindus in attendance at Assisi, being the theological heavy weights of their religion would most likely have been praying to the one God as they understand it.

JPII had his flaws, most certainly. He left the Western Europe behind and allowed rampant liberalism and secularism to build up here. This I do hold against him as I now suffer the consequences. Things are now so bad in the UK that my wife and I are leaving the country this year. I hold it is not safe for us to raise a Christian family here now. That is heavy criticism of JPII. So, yes, it is permissible to criticise the Pope and, look, I just did it!

But, I hold things in balance. The Pope is but one man to tackle the whole world. The man is based largely in Europe in which liberalism has a massive hold even among the clergy. So the Pope, any Pope will have trouble getting good advice from the locals who have their own (secularising) agendas. We see this in the UK with awful, destructive appointments of Bishops here. But the Pope is operating on advice given to him from the British 'Magic circle' and they are his only source. So even Pope B16 appoints according to advice given to him, working in good faith but to poor effect. Even under this reforming Pope we get bad Bishops. So even if JPII had put his power to re-evangelising Europe he would have had to fight a corrupt executive at a local level that would warp any reforms. You see this in the Moto Proprio which is just ignored in the UK! The Pope is massively handicapped in Europe with rather nasty, conniving, self replicating clergy.

But let us see what JPII did. Remember, he was a Polish Pope appointed when Poland was still under Communism. JPII decisively smashed communism and brought about Polish reform. That is no small feat! I'd like to see a Rad-Trad make such a claim!

In addition, he broke the back of Liberation theology preventing South America falling into a communism ushered in by the Church! Catholicism has exploded in South America and Africa on his watch! Revival in parts of Africa are well, well documented. Strange how such a revival in pagan, witchcraft held Africa is not credited to JPII given that they lay all the problems of the Church at his feet. Under the JPII papacy the Philippines overthrew the Macros regime via the Bishops, through the power of prayer requested by Corazon Aquino without a shot being fired. (I have a very soft spot for the small islands.)

Jedinovice said...

JPII's passion of Evangelism drove him to travel of the length of world!!! Several times! This Pope attempted to reach out to the entire world, even attempting reconciliation with the Church England. This was a big deal. OK, the CoE pitch failed as it was rejected by the CoE which is fast becoming an anti-Christian state 'Church.' JPII's intentions were good but he did not understand European politics. His heart and understanding was for the East. He was an East European Pope. Now Pope B16 has a heart for the Western Church and understands where the likes of the CoE is coming from. Which is why he has instituted the Ordinate – which is the first time the (frankly despicable quisling) Rowan Williams has been thwarted in his secularising agenda by anyone! B16 is the only person to undercut the traitor Archbishop. You kind of have to have been following events is the Anglican communion to understand but Williams is a nasty piece of work. And B16 has proven to be the only one to understand how to tackle the CoE.

My point? JPII's intentions were always good but his knowledge of the Western European church was weak. B16 is carrying out JPII's wishes but is much, much for savvy. JPII was a Pope for Eastern Europe and saw communism fall on his watch. We, in the West, tend to see the problems because the fruits of JPII's reign were not felt here. But they were felt massively in the rest of the world!

Oh, as an aside, yes, JPII did tend to ignore the priestly paedophile crisis. But you know why? Because claims of priestly sexual abuse were common slanders by the Communists in Eastern Europe. The Poles had learnt to ignore the claims. Alas, one day, the wolf really did come calling. But, knowing the Bishops in the West, he was probably mis-informed throughout. One of the things I admire about Pope B16 is that he has some understanding of the 'magic circle' in the West and he is able to push through reforms they do not like. The Ordinand, for instance, both Pope B16 and the Angelo-Catholics bypassed the local Bishops in the UK completely knowing they would have sabotaged the plan. (Archbishop Cormac was most angry, but he proven to be total quisling and pushed aside.) That shows how bad things are in the West European Church. The Bishops cannot be trusted with toffee. I do not think JPII saw that. He trusted the Bishops and did not trust the communists. So he was not effectual in the West.

But JPII did know enough to push forward the wonderful 1992 Catechism. Oh look, it's teaching is 100% Catholic! This also was pushed through to howls from the Western Bishops.

JPII's will for evangelism, as I say, pushed him to travel the world trying to win souls. (I think he over did it and, thus, allowed a corrupted European executive to sabotage the Western Church on his travels. JPII was a Richard the Lionheart. Personally brave but never at home leaving King John to screw up the locals! :-) But when you are reaching out to people – and this always comes as a shock to fundamentalists – you first have to make them friends. You have to come alongside who they are. When you wish to reach Muslims and Hindus you do not make your opening bid an insult!. Also, when you are responsible for the lives of millions of Catholics (and, actually other Christians who can be affected my your actions) you are sure going to be careful to kiss the Koran! It's called being politically savvy, not risking lives and making connections, required to evangelise! ("Oh horror! He meets with sinners!")

Jedinovice said...

Was JPII flawed? Yup. So was Peter. Oh, so was St Paul. He still did more WORLDWIDE to push evangelism than any Pope I know in history! And he carried on in great personal pain to the end of his life. Heroic virtue? Oh yes. Great deeds? Brought down communism, liberation theology, saw through Revival in Africa and the East... Sounds like more than I have done! Plus travelling around the world seven times trying to win souls, yea, even of those of other faiths, with a Catechism to correct any 'confusion' among the faithful. (The confusion, as I say, comes from corrupt, liberal Bishops of the West who constantly undermine the faith. I had no idea what Catholics really believed until the internet appeared thanks to the Liberal Bishops here in the UK.)

Finally, I do not see that JPII need to apologise to Rad-Trads. Whenever I see their like online I notice they are forever obsessing about liturgy and just, well, complaining. I never see the Rad-Trad evangelistic outreaches, the Rad-Trad soup kitchens, the Rad-Trad medical boats... Oh no. It's always Latin, liturgy and 'reverence' (as if reverence was the only permissible human state sometimes.) JPII did things! Pope B16 is doing things. The Church moves on doing things. The Catholic Church in Indonesia is booming! My wife are planning on heading out there and being part of it. (One could say we should stay and fight in the UK but, trust me, the risk to my family is too great given what my wife has already been through.) Oh, and up until recently both my wife and I were involved with the Evangelistic community "Couples for Christ." It's a lay community founded in the Philippines committed to evangelism and family support. It's a high commitment community I can tell you! But it is growing exponentially. Oh look, it was founded under JPII's watch and given permanent Vatican recognition by him! 'Cause, you see, real Pope's are interested in people doing things and spreading the Gospel.

Odd that.

Laurence.

john martin said...

Your comments about the Hindus are speculative and therefore problematic. It is well known Hinduism is polytheistic and therefore fundamentally pagan. Even so, there were several other religions present at Assisi that were also pagan and therefore JPII did not act in accordance with Catholic tradition. As such, this is a massive blunder by the head of the church which is a scandal.

I agree with most of what you say about JPII and his actions as Pope. He did much that was constructive and good for the church. Nevertheless, the scandals and men closely associated with him, his apparent ineptitude in disciplining prelates and members of the Vatican bank, his apparent consent to move bishops/priest around who were involved in pedophile scandals and several other issues that have arisen in his encyclicals make his beatification problematic. As part of such a process the church should exercise caution and prudence to ensure these questions are cleared up for the sake of the faithful.

There is still no evidence presented showing JPII had any objective precedent for the Assisi gatherings. This is quite telling and adds great weight to the case to have his beatification either stopped of reviewed by the church.

Jedinovice said...

OK, I am going to cut through the red tape 'cause this is only going in one direction (though my comments on Hinduism are NOT speculative! I speak from knowledge of the religion!)

Like the Linux user always returns to his "wonderful kernel" no matter what you are actually doing on your PC – so the Rad-Trad always returns to Liturgy.

Look, let's cut to the chase. Rad-Trads, at heart, believe that the ills of the Church are all down to the abandonment of the Tridentine Rite as the "Mass for all time." That's it. Everything since is just proof that the Tridentine should be made the world standard again.

Want to get a Rad-Trad going? Mention the words "Mass", "Liturgy" and "Reverence." They can 'bore for their country' when the buttons are pressed.

No Pope who accepts the Pauline rite will be seen as worthy in a Rad-Trads eyes. Period. Until, say, Pope Benedict, imposes the Tridentine rite as the Mass for all and does away with the Pauline rite , it matters not what he does in his reign he will always been seen as a liberal. The Rad-Trads, being utterly convinced that the rise of modernism, secularism and over other 'ism' going is all down to the submergance of the Tridentine, seek to find flaw in any and all Pope's who do not force standardisation of the Tridentine.

Which is why discussion about the flaws of JPII or any other Pope post Vatican II are irrelevant. They are red herrings because, for the Rad-Trad it's all about the liturgy really. They hold that any Pope that does not restore the Tridentine as the world standard is going to be a hopeless liberal. Conversely, any Pope that did restore the Tridentine, no matter that he beatified Karl Marx, would be lauded as the saviour of the Church.

Let's cut through the tape. This is all about proving that the Pauline rite is deficient, indeed, downright demonic. A tool of Satan. The conclusion is known, this is all about (re)-establishing evidence to meet the pre-defined conclusion. "See! See! The Pauline rite has wrecked the Church and we are now led by liberals as a result!"

Rad-Trads are single issue campaigners which is why defending JPII or any post Vatican II Pope is pointless because it is not really where they are coming from. Dave is right not to engage with Rad-Trads because they cannot be satisfied on their own terms. Of course, they are not supposed to be satisfied by their own terms but that means changing the terms of the debate from liturgy and 'reverence' to more fundemental issues of obedience, humility and faith... which never happens.

Eventually this discussion will reach the point of "JPII was a liberal who broke with Catholic Tradition and, thus, it's proof, proof, I say that the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and Satan has brought us the Pauline rite by him and men like him!" The solution will be a return to the Tridentine.

Been there. Got the T-Shirt and commemorative mug. Attempting to justify JPII now would be like pouring water on a duck.

Nick said...

I don't want to turn this into an Assisi thread, so this is all I will say:

I don't see anything in that VII document that encourages praying together. If we believe there is one true God, and ultimately only listens to those living in the Truth, then the prayers of those other folks will be radically less potent.

A 4 year old Baptized Catholic praying the Our Father for Peace is more efficacious and true testimony than 100 pagans of various stripes and intentions praying to (a) nobody, (b) an outright idol, (c) a demon-god, (d) a glimmer of the True God.

Just like Paul on Mars Hill in Acts 17, the Vatican II quote is ultimately a lesson on pity: these folks very well might be trying their best to find truth, but they're tragically off the mark. We're not here to condemn any honest efforts, but we won't kid ourselves granting efficacy to their prayers anywhere near the efficacy of a Hail Mary. And with all the unfortunate apostasy we've seen among Catholics who have been exposed to false religions in one way or another, we would all do well to heed the plain teaching of Scripture we already know to be true and which shepherds should be especially keen on promoting:

1 Cor 8:4 "we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one ... 9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ."

1 Cor 10:20 "the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons"

1 Cor 12:2 "when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols"

Psalm 95:5 "all the gods of the Gentiles are devils"

2 Cor 11:14 "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light"



One mistake of ecumenism is thinking all/most/many other religions conceive of Peace and Unity the way Christians do. In reality, the concept of Peace and Unity can be radically different than Christianity's view. Also, in our modern age we tend to forget idolatry is a very real thing and not something of the past: aside from materialism and such, many pagans still worship and pray to outright idols and false gods. In other words, they don't even take on the "philosophical" approach that there must be an Ultimate Cause and such, which is at least a step in the right direction.

Nick said...

Laurence,

I greatly appreciate and agree with your comments about all the good JPII did bring about and how the storm the Church was in (and we're just now getting out of) was by no means all/primarily his fault.

Now for your Liturgical comments, while there was a lot of truth there, it wasn't a full look at the big picture. The reason why solid Liturgy is so critical is because that is where all Catholics get their primary nourishment and on a regular basis. When solid Liturgy goes downhill, you can bank on personal conviction for the Catholic faith going downhill. Everything is interconnected. This is not to say one cannot still push unCatholic agendas with the old mass in place, only to say it is much harder.

It's well documented and admitted (even by Vatican officials and documents) that there has been a crisis in Liturgy (which we're only now starting to come out of), and that this has led to massive scandalizing of the faithful and especially 'silent apostasy' (where the Faith of the individual is slowly snuffed out). For whatever reason, on a large scale, the liberals grabbed hold of the New Mass and used it for their own agenda, and were very 'successful' in their efforts to confuse, desecrate, and erase the past and re-create anew. The 'Traditional Latin Mass' tramples over all those things and doesn't even let them take root, and as all are aware it has become a reliable modern litmus test for what is safe and orthodox. In a similar fashion, the Rosary is another modern litmus test, since Liberals and the confused tend to distrust and hate it, despite it being one of the greatest treasures of Catholicism. (Side note: one of the things that scared the "High Anglicans" from converting was the Liturgical issues, which B16 has thankfully put to rest by preserving for them the Anglican Rite.)

And one of the greatest proofs of the power and symbolism of the TLM is the fact it is hands-down, by far the most widely feared and hated part of Catholicism - despite the fact it was the Mass of the West for ages. Why the hate and fear? Because of everything the TLM stands for and opposes. Destructive forces take the path of least resistance. It is the epitome of "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi".

(None of this is to say the New Mass is invalid/evil/etc.)

Jordanes551 said...

One mistake of ecumenism is thinking all/most/many other religions conceive of Peace and Unity the way Christians do.

The Church speaks of "ecumenism" ONLY in reference to its efforts toward reuniting non-Catholic Christians with the Catholic Church. Its efforts toward peace and coexistence with non-Christians, with the invitation to consider and accept the Gospel, the Church calls "interreligious dialogue."

Jedinovice said...

Hi Nick.

Many thanks for your gracious words. My references to the Rad-Trads is to distinguish between true Traditionalists and the, well, radicals.

The Rad's I find a nightmare. They use the word 'reverence' so many times I eventually want to hit them!! It's as if all human experience beyond reverence "and a sense of transcendence" count for nothing. So, with the Rad's, I find it's best to cut to their hot buttons, get it over and done with and then move on.

In regards to the liturgical crisis lemme say this...

What was envisaged by Vatican II was not at all what was implemented. The liberals - who existed long before the council itself, took upon themselves to warp the dictates of the council and use it as a cover for revolution. I mean, the key example is that language of the Mass should be Latin! The local language was only allowed under certain circumstances. But suddenly here we are! The merits or otherwise of the Latin is not my point, simply that a lot laid at the feet of the council was nothing to do with it! So, yes, we have had a liturgical crisis. Personally, from what I can make out, we hit a double crisis. Vatican II and Pauline rite came to be because it was acknowledged that the Church had so tied itself up in rules, regulations and dictates that the people were:

1) Totally removed from the life of the Church. (I had a Rad-Trad insist that the laity behave as sheep and the Priest did everything, period. He wanted a return to the 'good old days' of silent bums on seats.)
2) Actually uneducated in what the Mass meant. They just turned up to watch it! Many had not a clue what was going on.

However, pendulums swing in extremes. Vatican II tried to give the laity some representation and liberals and secularists used it to throw out the transcendent, Protestantise(SiC) everything if not downright secularise them. As I say, the Western European has ended up with a very corrupt episcopacy in many ways.

My hope is that, especially through the weighted reforms of B16, we will be able to bring together the best of all worlds.

I agree the liturgy is important. My beef is with the Rad-trads who reduce everything to liturgy and 'reverence.'

*Punch!*

:-)

Jim Paton said...

@jedinovice

"Things are now so bad in the UK that my wife and I are leaving the country this year. I hold it is not safe for us to raise a Christian family here now."

I agree. My wife and I have spoken about moving also, and especially with the homosexual masses happening with the full blessing of the bishops. Unbelievable. How can you trust them when they allow these sorts of things to happen?

Jae said...

@Jedinovice, you are SPOT ON! I really hope our beloved JPII will be proclaim with Finality and Full Authority of Church as a great Saint of the Church in my lifetime so as to put a lid to the RadTrads...well I guess they will challenge it again! No doubt.

I also have encountered a lot of RadTrad in defending the Catholic Faith and for some odd reasons they really believed they are the only holders of the One True Faith regardless of the FULL Authority of the Church said on VatII and Novus Ordo Mass.

Peace.

Jae said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Jedinovice.

If there were abuses in the implementation and interpretation of the documents of Vatican II they are the result of sins and fallen nature of man to push their own selfish agenda . If you read the entire Vatican II documents it is very beautiful and very CATHOLIC that is rightful response of the Church to the radically changing world. It didn't say to abrogate TLM. It didn't say you can have rock concerts in the Altar, none of that. If you just read them same with the Catechism of the Catholic Church...very Catholic!

Let's not blame the Second Vatican II which was a VALID 21st Ecumenical Council of the whole Catholic Church. We can't pick and choose which Council is right or "orthodox" enought accordoing to our liking/interpretation - it's the same trap which prortestantism fell hard..."Cherry-picking! The FULL Authority of the Church has been pronounce on Vatican II and the matter is closed. Blaming Vatican II because it gave rise to "bad fruits" is like blaming the Councils of Florence and Trent for the doctrine of purgatory and indulgences because it also "bear bad fruits" by the rising of Martin Luther and started the greatest schism of the christian world.

Jim Paton said...

Dr Sungenis has having another go at JPII. This time it's Mark Shea who is facing the brunt of it.

http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/Another%20Failed%20Attempt%20to%20Defend%20Assisi.pdf

Jim Paton said...

Sungenis actually makes a compelling argument against Mark Shea, and then he does this:

"John Paul II may have thought he was “a great gift” to the world. That’s one
reason, perhaps, why he made himself the “bishop in white” of the Fatima vision when
in reality, the more likely candidate was John Paul I who had plans to clean up the filth
at the Vatican that John Paul II decided to live in, but whose life was cut short by those
who wanted the filth to continue."

In my opinion he spoiled the whole thing by diving head first into the insane world of the conspiracy theorist and it ultimately makes him look silly.
I don't care if he is a "Jeremiah" this is Monty Python minus the dead parrot.

Here is my question: Will Dr Sungenis enlighten us as to who killed Pope JPI?

I don't have a million in the bank. But if anyone can tell me who cut short JPI's life, I will send them a bag of highland toffee's. A bag of these beauties are as good as million in the bank. How does that sound? :)

Dave Armstrong said...

I don't think he'll last even a year before he goes sede.

john martin said...

Still no evidence has been presented to establish any objective foundation in Catholic tradition for JPII's actions at Assisi. Of course this was never going to be presented because JPII has clearly and repeatedly broken with tradition by publicly praying with false religions for world peace. Somehow the modern church overlooks this glaring problem and continues on, on its merry way to beatify the flawed Pope.

If JPII was as saint, why not beatify an entire series of Popes who behaved far better than him such as Leo XIII, Pius IX, XII, Paul VI and so on. Why not beatify the whole lot? Why, because the church is making a politically motivated statement about a recent Papacy.

Yes JPII had many good qualities, but then again, why the rush to beatify him when so many questions hang over his Papacy? Could it be that the church has made a mistake in taking the step to beatify JPII?

How many serious miracles have been accredited to him? I'd really like to know.

The fact remains, this beloved Pope still remains controversial and has shadows over his character through his actions at Assisi, his associations with a known criminal and his failure to have the crooks at the Vatican bank investigated. These facts of history speak for themselves . . .what is the real reason JPII is being beatified?

Jim Paton said...

@Dave

"I don't think he'll last even a year before he goes sede."

It looks that way. How does one go from the "Not alone" books to this? It completely baffles me. The JPI statement gives a glimpse of what state his mind is in. It's frightening.

Jim Paton said...

@Dave

But then again, I have read his "the insanity of sedevacantism" article. I agree with you that he looks as if he is heading down sede road. But another part of me is saying that he knows deep down the sede argument is crazy. In the end, I hope he doesn't go down that road.

Dave Armstrong said...

Bob's consistent trend is to always go more and more to the right. He will continue to do so, if the past is any guide at all. And this road leads right off the cliff.

He might stop in the halfway house of SSPX, but if he keeps progressing in this thought-pattern, sedevacantism is almost inevitable, in my opinion.

Look at Matatics' journey for the blueprint. Bob is just 4-5 years behind him. They can become partners. Then Matatics can be guaranteed an audience of one when he goes on his worldwide preaching tours.

john martin said...

This speculation about Robert becoming a sede is only speculation.

Then again what do we do with JPII's praying with animists in West Africa in 1985? JPII said " “the prayer meeting in the sanctuary at Lake Togo was
particularly striking. There I prayed for the first time with animists.”

Does this mean praying with false religions to false gods is now permissible because the Pope has done this in public and thought there was nothing wrong with this?

If there is a problem with this, why then can the Pope do it as head of the church and in public and the rest of the faithful cannot?

If there is no problem with praying with animists, why is it that JPII is the first Pope to do so in 2000 years of Catholic history? Are all the other Popes completely deluded or thoroughly inept at understanding such a simple principle as - its ok to pray with false religions for something we know is due to a misunderstanding or sin concerning the nature of the true God?

It seems far more likely that all the other Popes got it right and did not pray in public with false religions and JPII has freely chosen to act outside this clear Catholic tradition.

Where do we see any apostle pray with false religions? The only possible candidate is pray in the temple, but this is an exceptional time whereby God granted a time for a decision to be made concerning the end of the old covenant. The Jews were given about 40 years to make up their minds about Christ and the value of the temple with its priesthood. During this short time, God permitted relations between Catholics and Jews to continue to encourage the Jews to convert. after the temple was destroyed, there was no longer any excuse for Jew to remain Jews and continue to pray to a God that had now fully revealed himself as the Trinity.

Any example other than this short and rather specific situation in salvation history is only an exception. There are no other examples of Israel, the prophets or the NT church members legitimately praying with false religions. Furthermore, every time Israel engaged in false worship it only brought condemnation and never blessing.

Once we look at these events with JPII and his novel prayer meetings after he supposedly consecrated the world to the immaculate heart of Mary. Why did JPII feel the need to have these false religions gather together when he had already made his consecration? Is it evident that world peace did not come about as promised at Fatima? Is it that JPII’s consecration was not done properly and therefore Russia has not converted to the faith and world peace was not given as a blessing for the failed consecration? If JPII’s consecration was done properly, why hasn’t heaven acted to bring world peace? Has heaven lied to the faithful at Fatima after perhaps the second greatest miracle in world history?

Evidently heaven cannot lie and world peace has not been granted and Russia has not converted to the faith because the Popes have not consecrated Russia as required by Fatima. This is why JPII thought he was forced to have the Assisi prayer meetings. Evidently JPII thought the consecration was not having its effect and that why he set up the Assisi meetings. Evidently JPII was not acting in accordance with heavens will in regard to the consecration.

Adomnan said...

Jim Paton: I don't have a million in the bank. But if anyone can tell me who cut short JPI's life, I will send them a bag of highland toffee's. A bag of these beauties are as good as million in the bank. How does that sound? :)

Adomnan: Sounds delicious.

It was the Freemasons. Am I right, john martin?

Jae said...

JM, "If you carefully read Sungenis, he USES Catholic tradition as a measure to judge JPII's actions such as the Assisi meetings".

Noticed the word "USES"... by whom? According to whom? Who is the right entity to interpret Sacred Tradition?

Choose one:

1. Dr. Sungenis/SSPX/Sede

2. Magisterium of the Catholic Church

Where did JPII get the precedent of Assisi conference?

Answer: From an Ecumenical Council.

Ben m said...

Hi all,

Jae asked, "Who is the right entity to interpret Sacred Tradition?"

The correct answer is, of course ...

☞ The “Magisterium of the Catholic Church.” ☜

That's certainly how St. Bernard - to name just one Father and Doctor - saw things - see page 67 of this book (might also check out p. 705 of this book.

As to all this business about praying with Pagans, non-Christians, etc, and the related topic of “salvation outside the Church,” I think maybe Augustine has a few comments we all should note. In the book below, some pages are not shown in preview, but the author of this work is clearly referring to Augustine’s letter to Deogratias (letter 102) .

Here's Letter 102 with some introductory remarks.

john martin said...

Answer: From an Ecumenical Council.

Counter answer - the quotes were analyzed and nothing was provided in the ecumenical council other than some vague statements on some truth in other religions. This in no way provides an objective foundation for praying with false religions, especially after a consecration has already been done for world peace.

Anyone following JPII could easily come to the conclusion that JPII thought the consecration didn't work and that's why we all needed the Assisi gathering. Evidently either heaven wasn't working well enough to obtain world peace, or JPII didn't do what he was supposed to do - consecrate Russia to the immaculate heart.

Even so, why did JPII think he needed to consecrate the world after other Popes had already done consecrations? Do we really need this consecration festival for heaven to work? Will Benedict XVI do yet another consecration because the others weren't getting through to heaven?

Where does all this Papal disobedience end? Does it end when the anti Christ comes to persecute the church? Or, does it end when one Pope takes Fatima seriously and does the right thing . . . the consecration of Russia, that was supposed to happen nearly 100 years ago.

Evidently the Popes have chosen the low road of disobedience (or at least acting on very bad advice) in the face of instructions given at Fatima, otherwise Russia would have been converted to the Catholic faith by now.

The non conversion of Russia to the Catholic faith is an outstanding example of why recent Popes cannot be beatified due to Papal disobedience to the commands of heaven made at Fatima.

How can anyone take the Papal consecrations seriously when we see such widespread secularism and Satanism in Russia today?

Were recent Pope genuine Popes - yes.

Is Vatican II a genuine ecumenical council - yes.

Have modern Popes done much good for the church - yes.

Have modern Popes consecrated Russia to the immaculate heart of Mary as required at Fatima - a resounding no.

john martin said...

Here is a good article that covers the major issues which should prohibit JPII being beatified -

http://www.dici.org/en/documents/a-statement-of-reservations-concerning-the-impending-beatification-of-pope-john-paul-ii/

Jim Paton said...

@Adomnan

"It was the Freemasons. Am I right, john martin?"

Looks like the toffee's are staying put for now :)

Paul said...

It was only a question of time before Sungenis couldn't restrain himself any longer in regard to attacking popes. All of his friends and associates who had any common sense and willingness to correct him left some years ago and so he now has only adulators around him who tickle his ears.

So much for his "Open Letter" of Sept 18, 2006:

R. Sungenis: “In case you haven’t noticed, CAI has also made a shift to the middle of the theological spectrum. Beginning in 2002, CAI embraced the more traditional side of the Catholic faith. There are many things we like about traditionalism, but we also found that there are also many dangers. Traditionalism, because of the distance it creates between itself and the pope, has bred many and varied reactions to the papacy, from the schism of the SSPX to outright rejection of the papacy advocated by sedevacantism, none of which we can sanction and some of which we deplore.”

“Recently we posted an answer on our Q&A board that we sincerely regret the manner in which we often spoke about John Paul II. At times there was much disrespect for him. Even though we still have trouble with some of the things John Paul did, in many cases we simply did not express our objections in the best way. In the future, only when our words contain the utmost respect and recognition of the dignity of the pope’s office will we ever offer our comments on his actions.”

And in regard to Pope Benedict XVI, it was obvious that his "obedience" and "respect" was only to the extent that Benedict agreed with him. The reality is that Sungenis is his own pope.

R. Sungenis: "The reason I don’t publicly condemn Benedict XVI is because he hasn’t done anything even close to what John Paul II did." (2/6/07)

http://web.archive.org/web/20070214084305/http://www.catholicintl.com/book-recomendation/palmweb.pdf

R. Sungenis: "Now that we have a new pope, and one that I see is a lot more sensible, I have a renewed faith in the pope." (Sept. 2006)

http://web.archive.org/web/20070103234952/http://www.catholicintl.com/qa/2006/qa-sept-06.htm

If you read his autobiographical conversion story in Suprised by Truth, you'll see that he's done the same thing everywhere he's gone. He goes from place to place and incites fights because of his arrogance and temper. Inside, he really thinks that he should be the Pope. But because that isn't possible, he's found something even better: he's playing the part of the "prophet" who corrects the pope.

Paul said...

After finding out that the voodoo/snake/cucumber story was bunk, I went back and looked over some of the other things Sungenis wrote about all this.

Another thing that hit me was this exchange:

Dejak: “Sungenis has an interesting history which, while not dispositive of his current position, may explain some of his oddities. He rejected the Catholic faith of his youth to become a Protestant pastor and teacher for a number of years…”

Sungenis: “No, I didn’t reject the Catholic faith. I rejected the perversion of the Catholic faith I saw coming out of Vatican II’s aftermath. The Catholic faith of tradition I loved, but I couldn’t stand the monster that was created in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Too bad I was too young and naïve not to see the difference back then. I came back to the Catholic Church to help it retrieve its original doctrines and practices.”

I remembered enough of his conversion story in Surprised by Truth to know that this didn’t sound familiar so I went and checked it. At least if you believe what he wrote back then, then his new story here is made up. Maybe he thinks this story will make him look good to his new fringe ultra-trad friends? For his sake, I hope they don’t ever read his own conversion story to see what really led him out of the Church and back into it because it’s not exactly the kind of story that will go over big with them. One of the main reasons he left was because he hated the ritual and traditions of the Catholic Church and thought they were from the Devil. Another was just because he was lazy and never took the time to learn the faith. And who rescued him and brought him back to the Church? The ultra-trads? Nope. People like Scott and Kimberly Hahn. And that's all according to Sungenis himself, at least before he went back to being ultra-trad again.

It’s too bad that he can’t seem to stay calm and humble long enough to be happy anywhere for long.

(continued)

Paul said...

Sungenis Leaving the Church:

(From Surprised by Truth)

“I never took the time or had the motivation to really understand Catholicism.” (p. 104)

“I made friends with the wrong crowd and promptly fell away from the Church. I soon found myself floundering with no sense of direction…” (pp 104-105)

“I continued to attended [sic] the Catholic church [sic] in my neighborhood in Washington D.C. At this point I wasn’t trying to figure out whether the Catholic Church was the true Church…One Saturday evening I found a call-in radio program in which the host was answering Bible-related questions. I was enthralled…at one point in the show, a particular doctrine of the Catholic Church was the topic of discussion. The host informed his audience that this particular Catholic belief was ‘unbiblical,’ and offered a few verses to support his claim. I naively agreed with his arguments and, without realizing it just then, took my first step away from the Catholic Church. I found myself wanting to do what this teaching was doing – be on the radio...” (p. 107)

“Not long after this, I met with some well-intentioned Protestants who, once they found out I was Catholic, persuaded me that the Catholic Church was too steeped in meaningless ritual and corrupt traditions and had strayed far from the Bible. They convinced me that what I really wanted was a simple faith, a ‘biblical’ faith that I couldn’t enjoy within the strictures of Catholicism - just me, Jesus and the Bible. My newfound love for Jesus and the Bible coincided with a rejection of the Catholic Church, which I thought had ‘hidden’ Jesus from me – a notion my Protestant friends egged me on to believe. My weak moorings in the Catholic Church were easily cut under the sharp knife of their anti-Catholic arguments, and I soon found myself no longer a Catholic. I had accepted the Protestant recipe for eternal happiness and began to grope my way toward what I hoped would be a vibrant relationship with Jesus, not realizing that each step was leading me away from his Church…I didn’t merely drift away…I developed a robust hatred for Catholicism…seeing it as a deception, a diabolical detour which led souls away from Christ by entangling them in a morass of ritual, legalism and unbiblical traditions of men.” (pp 107-108)

Paul said...

Sungenis Returning to the Church:

“But the Lord rescued me from my wanderings. What heavenly irony that he chose to use former Evangelical anti-Catholics…Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Thomas Howard...and others – to show me the way back home to Rome” (p. 117)

“As I sifted through the pile of Catholic books Bob [Swenson] and Gerry [Hoffman] sent me, the first thing I re-examined was the Protestant concept of sola scriptura…it was like a slap in the face to realize the truth of the Catholic claim that sola scriptura is a false doctrine…As I studied the Catholic case against sola scriptura I knew instinctively that the whole debate between Catholicism and Protestantism could be boiled down to authority.” (p. 117)

“After all the anti-Catholic propaganda to which I had been exposed in my Protestant years, what I found in the Catholic Church were the most reasonable and trustworthy interpretations of Scripture I had ever seen. It was this faithfulness to Scripture that sealed my decision to enter the Catholic Church.” (p. 126)

Do you see anything in there that sounds like the new story he’s telling his ultra-trad friends?

armstrongiswrong said...

Armstrong: "If Bob comes here and challenges me to refute his endless tomes, I'll tell him the same thing I've been telling him and everyone else. Not interested . . . have better things to do."

Read: "I can't refute Bob. Besides, why refute Bob when you can ATTACK Bob and paint him as a sedevacantist-in-the-making?"

armstrongiswrong said...

JM: Where did JPII get the precedent of Assisi conference?

Answer: From an Ecumenical Council."

Question: This is quite a scandalous assertion. So you are saying that a Council (that never employed Infalliblity) actually called for peoples of all religions to get together and pray to their respective deities and devils along side those who call upon the One, True, God? I would not want to answer to God on judgment day for such an assertion.

armstrongiswrong said...

Asserted: "Rad-Trads are single issue campaigners which is why defending JPII or any post Vatican II Pope is pointless because it is not really where they are coming from. Dave is right not to engage with Rad-Trads because they cannot be satisfied on their own terms. Of course, they are not supposed to be satisfied by their own terms but that means changing the terms of the debate from liturgy and 'reverence' to more fundemental issues of obedience, humility and faith... which never happens."

Possibly in the case of the SSPX. But for the rest of us who think Sungenis is right in speaking out this assertion is purely fallacious. The issue is and has been that of heresy or orthodoxy. Holiness or scandal. The liturgy is an important issue but it isn't even close to the only or main one.

I'll tell you the little secret though about Armstrong. He simply CAN'T refute Sungenis on a variety of points because to do so he would be speaking in direct opposition to Holy Tradition. And I don't think when it comes down to it he wants to go there.

jimpaton2011 said...

"And I don't think when it comes down to it he wants to go there."

That's because they're rabbit trails.

Jedinovice said...

Ai ai ai ai ai ai!

And the Rad-Trads are off again!

Dan Marcum said...

Armstrongiswrong said...
So you are saying that a Council (that never employed Infalliblity) actually called for peoples of all religions to get together and pray to their respective deities and devils along side those who call upon the One, True, God?


That is not an accurate summation of our stance. A Council (protected from error by the Holy Spirit) called upon Christians to acknowledge the good in other religions and to cooperate with them toward promoting the common good. By inviting members of other religions to worship alongside Catholics in such a holy place as Assisi, the Pope was exposing people to the holy Catholic faith -- showing our faith to THE LEADERS of these other religions, no less -- people who might never otherwise have seen it firsthand. It was an "evangelism moment." You'll notice that the Day of Peace wasn't held at the Great Mosque, or at the Wailing Wall, but at **Assisi**, the home-town of one of the Church's greatest evangelists.

Inviting members of other religions to pray at Assisi is not the same thing as inviting them to adore false gods. Someone who prays to a false god, if they are doing the best they know how, is not even sinning -- he is doing the best that he knows how. The Pope was right to call them to Assisi because, not only did he promote what was good in other religions, but he encouraged them to do it in a Catholic location, where they would be exposed to the beauty and truth of Catholic prayer, and perhaps see that their own attempts to pray, though sincere, fall far below the prayer that our Lord Jesus invites us to pray. And with that knowledge, these other men might be led to the Church they saw in action.

scotju said...

Dan, you claim Assai purpose was to expose the beknighted heathen, infidels, and pagans to the Christian faith. We needed Assai to do this? The last time I looked we have church services that are open to everybody, tv and radio programs that proclaim the gospel 24/7 and missionaries and evangelist who go, at the risk of their lives, to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only savior to the world. We needed Assai to do this? No, Bl.JPII needed Assai to stroke his ego as the Pope everybody luvs. So what if the pagans splaced their Satanic idols on the altars of a Christian Church and prayed to what were no gods at all, the impottant thing was, according to folks like you, was to give a witness to the Christian Faith. It's a pity the deluded pagans at Assai didn't see it the way you do!

Dan Marcum said...

scotju said...
Dan, you claim Assai purpose was to expose the beknighted heathen, infidels, and pagans to the Christian faith. We needed Assai to do this?


Yes. We need everyone to do this, especially in a very public way like at Assisi. It's not a question of "Don't we have enough evangelism going on?" No. Never. Jesus didn't say we can just ignore some methods of bringing people to Him as long as other people are working hard in other areas. He wants all people to be on mission, and for a very public person like the Pope, that is going to involve very public gatherings of non-Catholic people -- but He brought them to a Catholic place to pray for the common good -- and THAT, sir, is ALWAYS for the conversion of sinners.

Bl.JPII needed Assai to stroke his ego as the Pope everybody luvs.

All I need to do to refute this absurd remark is repeat it, and it refutes itself.

So what if the pagans splaced their Satanic idols on the altars of a Christian Church and prayed to what were no gods at all, the impottant thing was, according to folks like you, was to give a witness to the Christian Faith.

People who pray to a being they believe to be God are doing the best they know how. That is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing; for the Pope to bring them to a place of *true* prayer may stir something in their souls. A person who sincerely tries to find God, however feebly, may perceive more clearly what his true purpose is, when he sees the splendor of *true* religion in a place like Assisi.

It's a pity the deluded pagans at Assai didn't see it the way you do!

We do not know how God touched their hearts that day. Certainly they were not harmed by prayer before the Eucharist; if God is working on them, you do not know it.

But even if NO ONE converted because of Assisi, that is no different from other works of the apostolate -- the majority of the time, very few people listen to the missionary. But the missionary did his job.

We should not judge our efforts by the standard of success but by the standard of faithfulness to the Great Commission. The Pope at least did what people are commanded by Jesus to do, in the only way a Pope can do it; no one else could have brought together the multitudes of religious leaders, and shown them the true faith, like he did. But he did.

Jordanes551 said...

Assai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assai

Assai may mean:

Assai in musical terminology, meaning "very"

Euterpe, a genus of palms commonly called Açaí or Assai Palm


Assisi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisi

Assisi (Italian pronunciation: [asˈsiːzi], from the Latin: Asisium) is a town and comune of Italy in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Monte Subasio.

It was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death. The 19th-century Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was also born in Assisi.

Dave Armstrong said...

I'll tell you the little secret though about Armstrong. He simply CAN'T refute Sungenis on a variety of points because to do so he would be speaking in direct opposition to Holy Tradition. And I don't think when it comes down to it he wants to go there.

Right. One only has so much time to spend refuting nonsense (if it is worth dealing with it at all). To me his current rantings are self-evidently ridiculous. I don't spend time on nonsense. I simply expose it. I have the same exact policy with anti-Catholic Protestants. Bob is an anti-Catholic Catholic. What is more ludicrous than that, I ask? A house divided against itself cannot stand.

But I have dealt in depth with several of Bob's errors, such as his view that an omniscient God can change His mind, etc. You can see the posts on my "Traditionalism" page where Bob has his own section.