Saturday, January 25, 2014

The scandal will become greater

One of the things that has been on the rise in the last few months is the rise of ACTA, often apparently with the support of Auxiliary Bishops. To be charitable if I were a Bishop I would do my best to go out and meet these straying sheep and draw them back into the fold, I hope this is what these Bishops intend to do, but who am I to judge.

The wound of Pope Benedict's resignation should have resulted in a Papacy that was  concerned with healing divisions.The great problem is Pope himself has not focussed on healing, instead he allows himself to be presented as supporting the fragmentary initiatives and the dog-whistle words and terms that are put into his mouth, or that he chooses, all seem to add fuel to controversies which had under the last two Popes had died down.
The primary function of the successor of Peter is to ensure the unity of the Church, so the Church might be effective in its mission. Pope Francis wants us to go to the peripheries and to evangelise and as the Vatican Council reminds us disunity among Christians is a scandal that destroys belief. The scandal will become greater. I do not think that one needs to be a great prophet to predict that the next few months and years are going to bring us increased divisions and polarisation between Catholics that are seriously going to damage the Church's mission. None of the issues ACTA raises are concerned about mission all are ad intra churchy issues.

A few months ago I heard of one young priest, an assistant priest, who discovered and advert for an ACTA meeting on his parish newsletter and had all 800 copies destroyed. The divisions and the battles will be generational, among the clergy the John-Paul/Benedict generation, the young, will be supporting orthodoxy, the old heterodoxy.

Now is the time to pray for Unity within the Church.

31 comments:

Pétrus said...

I am not sure if you are aware but I found the following message on Facebook today :

"A meeting of the Arundel and Brighton core group of A Call to Action will be held in the parish hall of O.L. of Ransom on Wednesday, Jan 29th from 11 to 2. Parishioners of OLR and parishes in East Sussex are especially invited to attend this discussion and planning meeting - to observe and comment. It is hoped soon to create local ACTA parish groups. (Please let us know if you are coming on 01403 257959 or ransomagnes@sky.com. Bring own lunch - coffee/tea available). ACTA is a national movement of ordained and lay catholics which works towards our Church realizing in full the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. ACTA(A@B) is the diocesan-approved local branch."

I note that with a meeting at 11am on a Wednesday the anticipated audience must comprise largely of the retired.

Supertradmum said...

Until the Tablet is not sold in the back of Westminster Cathedral and many other parishes, including the one is downtown Canterbury and until the priests stop saying that contraception is ok to people in mixed marriages, and until the Catholic Church in England is really Catholic and not compromised by liberal playing footsy with the liberal Anglicans and allowing the lack of discipline in the so-called Catholic schools, there will be no change. Time for fasting and prayer.

There is a weakness in the leadership of the Church in both the clergy and the laity.

gemoftheocean said...

Have I been asleep? What is "ACTA?"

carolinefarrow.com said...

Everyone says not to worry about ACTA meetings, but they seem to be springing up all over the place like mushrooms. Kept in the dark and fed on manure.



Physiocrat said...

You should set up an ACTA group of your own. Focus on things like Sacrosanctum Concilium and the GIRM, and misinterpretations of the V2 documents eg use of the vernacular, versus populum celebration.

Yes, let's get back to the authentic V2.

Stephen Spencer said...

Go back to the "authentic V2"? So, it is all about Vatican II? 1 of 21 Councils.

The answers are not to be found in Scripture, the sacraments, the writings of the saints, the 21 Councils taken as one whole, and papal documents taken as one whole?

Still again we are to ACT as though there has only been one True document, that Vatican II is the Alpha and the Omega…the very center of our faith and focus?

Look, if we haven't gotten Vatican II right yet, then it was not a very pastoral council after all: time to drop the subject, and just be Catholic looking at ALL that the Church has taught.

We haven't gotten Lateran V right yet either.

Leo Alba said...

I once was aware of a discussion between an English prelate and an Italian prelate in which the English prelate argued that allowing the then Archbishop of Canterbury, who was coming for a visit, celebrate "mass" on the papal altar would be a positive gesture towards "our Anglican brothers and sisters". This was well after the C of E had started "ordaining" women. The arch-priest of the basilica said no and the English prelate (who was touted as a possible successor to O'Connor) and his sidekick appealed to a higher authority. That higher authority, a Bavarian prelate gave a definitive "No" and definitively ended the discussion, to everyone's relief. I can't imagine that there will be much of a denuncia of ACTA here in the UK because I have a sneaking suspicion that those whose duty it would be to do so are not really that much in disagreement with them. At least that's what we thought when I was working in an office in central Rome.

I don't expect you to post this but I thought you'd find it an interesting insight into the standing of ACTA here in the UK.

Bernard Fischer said...

Double plus very good to Stephen Spencer

viterbo said...

There is little that's solid for younger people to hold onto when the fog of relativism is still relentlessly promulgated from within the Church. "Only 30% of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. 10% of all adults in America are ex-Catholics. 80% of those who have dropped the name "Catholic" and claim no religious affiliation of any kind, do so by age 23." Mother Angelica started up A Call to Holiness to counter the american branch of ACTA. Holiness? how unpopular!

One of the crucial reasons I came into the Faith was because of Benedict's careful shepherding, and palpable reverence and respect for the One True Faith. You GOT that this man wanted to share this treasure with others who had never known that that's what God wants. I have many of his books. Maybe one got a bit spoiled with Pope Benedict. I would avoid Francis on a bookshelf because his translators seem to be de-facto anti-popes.

“The only good pope is one who faithfully adheres to the ‘whole of Catholic Teaching and Tradition’ and never wearies of feeding the Lord’s flock with the same while defending them with great vigor and vigilance from the predator wolves ever on the prowl.”

Savonarola said...

Most Catholics today have moved on from the old Latin mass. I am glad that those who still prefer it are able to worship in this way, but I do dislike their constant sniping at and denigration of the Novus Ordo. Is this concern, not with mission but with an ad intra churchy issue a good way of fostering unity?

viterbo said...

Savonarola: the way the NO rite has come to settle in many parishes it looks and feels and sounds like a compromise mass that keeps on comprimising until - we all know the worst cases. It seems that the less the celebration of the Mass compromises its God given history the less likely those celebrating are to pass on compromises with regards to the Faith. one seems to follow the other. unfortunately with N.Ordo architecture those compromises have been built in, so to speak.

http://zephyrinus-zephyrinus.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/open-library-plea-for-retaining.html

on the 2nd and 3rd pages of this century old book is good explanation of why liturgy should be less worldly.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Yesterday I was at Westminster Cathedral - Rosary, sung Latin Mass, seven priests hearing confessions, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, hymns Latin & English, procession of the Blessed Sacrament, contemplation of the Passion, prayer for England, litany, excellent talk from Father Marcus Holden on Our Lady as the guardian of Doctrine crushing the serpent's head of heresy and finally a procession taking our Lady's statue out into the Piazza for those in Victoria Street to stand and be amazed. Father Holden emphasised that you had to accept Church Doctrine in its entirety including Humanae Vitae. The Cathedral was packed with an estimated 2,000 people mainly from ethnic minorities for six hours and more. Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate led much of the singing and generally helped the day. Is that not the real Catholic Church in England?

olovemj said...

Nicholas Bellord - The problem is there are far too few priests like Fr Marcus Holden - now if the Catholic Church in UK had 50% of it's Priests and more that the 2 decent bishops that we have at present all as orthodox as Fr Holden, then we might get a REAL Catholic Church in England!

Gungarius said...

Never fear, Eccles has infiltrated them:

http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-pilgrims-ogress-6-acta-of-apostle.html

Liam Ronan said...

Just saw this and I felt it spoke volumes about the state of affairs in the Church at the moment.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2546218/Birds-released-Vatican-gesture-peace-immediately-attacked-vicious-seagull-crow.html

EFpastor emeritus said...

Thank you, Father, for this post.

Part-time Pilgrim said...

In my view ACTA are a group of elderly dissedents with little appeal to younger members of the church whose ideas will die with them. I think the scandal has passed its zenith.I am not dismayed at all about ACTA - their ideas have been around for a while but I am very troubled by those who miss Benedict attacking Francis. This will do far more harm than ACTA.

A snide attack on the Pope, quoting his "Who am I to judge" will only encourage them into believing that he is on their side. It is also wrong. The Pope is not above criticism and I would say some of the things he has said and one thing he has done have troubled me but all of us should be able to criticise him with kindness - something I find lacking in this and other posts

You showed admirable loyalty to your own bishop recently. Perhaps you should treat the Pope in the same way.

Dom said...

By saying nothing, our bishops are assenting to this group. Many are quick to put up hurdles to Latin Masses. Frankly some of them are two-faced.

Fr Ray Blake said...

PtP,
I am not criticising the Pope but there is a wound that seems to be beginning to fester, it is not a matter of missing Pope Benedict but of regretting a style that is imprecise, perhaps deliberately so, perhaps just an unfortunate personality fault, or something that gets lost in translation.

You are right ACTA etc was on its way out, it is unfortunate that it has been given fresh life and a new dominance, which seems to come from no other source but the Pope himself and some of the G8 Cardinals, who seem to be in regular contact with Pope Francis.
I am sure this could be a S. American thing: big man communicates a vision but fails to deliver it. However I think you should recognise there are huge expectations that have been raised, not just amongst ACTA activists but also many who are the edges, 'peripheries' of the Church.

epsilon said...

We are in no small way to blame for that ourselves!!
Of all the bloggers going on about how the friars of the Immaculate are treated, how many of them went to Westminster on Saturday?
I asked a couple of different people were there more people than usual, both said there have often been more. NB invited people here and on PtP. One or two said they'd go. I got up at 6:30am to go and arrived back at midnight - not looking for medals, just asking when are we all going to ACT?!

Genty said...

Father, you are bang on the nail regarding the peripheries. A divorcée, remarried, of my acqaintance has taken to heart apparent hints coming from Rome and is confident the rules on receiving Holy Communion will be relaxed.
She won't go to Mass unless and until because she doesn't feel "involved" if she is not receiving. When I've gently suggested making a spiritual Communion, it seems I'm some kind of fundamentalist nutcase.


Delia said...

I wrote to the archbishop of Southwark, complaining about the use of Amigo hall at the cathedral for a meeting of ACTA. The reply said that the cathedral authorities had permitted the group to have the meeting because 'it is not at all clear that ACTA is a dissident group as such'. It said that there seemed to be 'a variety of views amongst those who form ACTA, some of which certainly seem to be in contradiction to Church teaching', but on the other hand, at the meeting in Hinsley Hall in 2013, 'there was no discussion of such topics and the burden of the meeting was a request for broader consultation by the Bishops with the laity'. This was gleaned from the report 'received in good faith' from a priest whom the Bishops of England & Wales had asked to attend the meeting.

The reply went on to say that Archbishop Smith is clear that some members of the group are sending out mixed messages, but supports the initiative to allow the meeting to 'understand better where this Group stands'; subsequent to the meeting, they 'will have to decide whether to allow such meetings in the future or not'.

On the face of it, I guess this is fair enough, and the archbishop has to be seen not to condemn out of hand, and try to get the straying sheep back into the fold. On the other hand, just a little digging on the Internet makes it rather clear where many members of the group stand. Anyway, for what it's worth, I thought readers might be interested in the position in Southwark.

Delia

Francis said...

The liberals are invoking Pope Francis and some of his out-of-context soundbites to advance their agenda and put a spin on things in exactly the same way that they used Vatican II back in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Same people (now armed with bus passes rather than guitars), same methods.

The good thing is that we now have the internet and can show this all up for what it is.

Liam Ronan said...

I see Pope Francis has made a splash in Rolling Stone magazine now.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/pope-francis-gentle-revolution-inside-rolling-stones-new-issue-20140128

viterbo said...

@Liam. The prime RS quote.


'Beyond offering a friendlier alternative to Benedict XVI – his predecessor, who was the first pope to resign from his post in 700 years and who had a far more draconian outlook on homosexuality – Pope Francis has begun investigations into possible corruption within the church. He has explored ways to deal with the problem of pedophilia, looking into ways to take measures and counsel victims.'

I think this is what's called egregious reporting. Egregious is as egregious does.

viterbo said...

Beautiful photo, Father. Maybe all these choice pics could be collected into a book on the Church's history and restoration, especially with interest growing in Mother Riccarda.

Tom Mushroom said...

May I echo Gem of the Ocean? What is ACTA?

Tom Mushroom said...

May I echo Gem of the Ocean? What is ACTA, please?

viterbo said...

oops for the other post.

Brian White said...

ACTA is only getting started. As I suspected, this papacy it is going to turn into a free for all....

"Priest in charge of liturgy in Diocese of Brentwood argues it’s legitimate to ditch the new translation, and use the previous missal"

http://protectthepope.com/?p=9850

gemoftheocean said...

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Leo Alba. What is this unequal slam about the C of E "ordaining wymin'" -- Got news for you, they also "ordain" men. Their ordinations are EQUALLY invalid!