Wednesday, November 29, 2017

When we lose faith



I don't fear atheism or aggressive secularism as much as I fear Catholics who have lost their faith bur remain in professional roles within the Church,  There seem to be a awful lot of them on the right and left who contribute nothing to the life of the Church, in fact they suck it dry or damage its Christocentricity, they are interested in church politics and factions or they use the Church to satisfy and further their own needs. People like this can be found in every Catholic school and parish, in diocesan curial offices, in choir galleries and music groups, in theological faculties, in fact they are everywhere and they are legion.

Increasingly there is a strong division between the episcopacy and the people, in recent weeks young men have been forcibly removed from churches in Belgium and France over Reformation celebrations, in Belgium, as in Germany and Austria protests over art installation, the latest being a crucified cow in a Belgium church. It seems really odd that any bishop or priest would allow such things and that they would not realise how appalled the faithful might be. On the continent it could be that the local civic authority rather than the clergy have control over what is put into churches but one might expect senior clergy to be more shocked not less shocked than the laity.

When lay people lose faith, unless they are Church employees or gain some satisfaction like performing, they simply stop practicing and supporting the Church and its activities and in effect they disappear. When clergy, especially those of a certain age, stop believing they carry on, either with a lack of enthusiasm or actively undermining the faith of those who still believe and pushing their own particular agenda, in many cases they become even more concerned about developing their own careers.

It is important to remember when faith goes, so too do the other theological virtues, hope and charity. The result is people who are depressed and bitter or cruel or those who are aggressively destructive of faith and those things that speak of faith, they become practically and supernaturally anti-Christ. We Catholics understand faith as the foundational virtue which if it is present always produces fruit. If the fruit is rotten, then faith is likely to be dead and the tree unsound or dead. I remember a prelate who gutted his church and threatened to sue parishioners who objected, he used to send one particular couple a Christmas each year renewing the threat.

This article appeared a few days ago, which, if as I suspect it is true, it explains Pope Benedict's reference to "the wolves". A great deal of the confusion and pain in the Church today and the divide between those who have faith in Jesus, and those who use Christianity for their own agenda; amongst the laity using Christianity is about a backdrop for weddings or funeral, amongst the clergy it can be about career development or exerting power over others, which as we have seen all too vividly can be expressed in sexual terms.

28 comments:

Unknown said...


"I don't fear atheism or aggressive secularism as much as I fear Catholics who have lost their faith bur remain in professional roles within the Church,..."
. . .
“I Fear Only Bad Catholics.” – Saint Bernadette of Lourdes

philipjohnson said...

I agree with you Father.Pope Benedict said,along time ago,that we would be smaller and more faithfull.At the moment,in my parish,the Bishop is asking for more money from us in the pews.I saw around that scam a long time ago!Let these Liberal Vat 11 type Parishes close and ,for Gods sake,let us move to Tradition again.The result is -look at Preston and Warrington.Father we should do the same.God Bless.

JARay said...

How very sad this is. I am sure that what you say is true Father. There are times when I feel that I have lived too long. I hate seeing the Church I love being shredded by these wolves. Over and over the words of Jesus come to me when he asks if the Son of Man will find any Faith when he comes again! I also have a strong feeling that His second coming is not very far away.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Only where there is mercy does cruelty end, only with mercy do evil and violence end. Pope Francis is totally in agreement with this line. His pastoral practice is expressed in the fact that he continually speaks to us of God’s mercy. It is mercy that moves us toward God, while justice frightens us before Him.

The words of Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger who considers God's Justice cruelty, evil, and violence - as does Franciscus - and Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger is in complete support of Franciscus as far as can be rationally determined.

Franciscus is aught but the logical successor of other radicals who participated in The Vatican Two revolution and The revolution secured its triumph with the imposition of a new liturgy which was necessary for the new catholicity has rejected the purposes of the Holy Mass and the new orientation was wordlessly proselytized via the actions in the new rite; the Lil’ Licit Liturgy.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the sacramental representation of The Holocaust on Calvary where Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for man and His burning love for sinners stood in place of the OT Sacrifical hoocausts;

ABS challenges the entirety of Catholicism to find any Ordained man who can tell him what are the fours aspects of Sacrifice in the Holocaust of the Real Mass for he is sure the number capable of doing so is significantly less than 1% of those ordained.

FOUR DIFFERENT KIND OF SACRIFICES

1. The holocaust offered to God was an homage/offering to His sovereign greatness.

2. The sacrifice of expiation, offered to appease His Justice.

3. The Sacrifice of impetration offered to implore His bounty.

4. The Eucharistic sacrifice offered to thank Him for his bounty.

The Mass is a Holocaust which the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church offers to God as an offering to His greatness and power; a sacrifice of expiation to appease His Justice; a sacrifice of impetration to solicit His bounty; and a Eucharistic sacrifice offered to Him in thanksgiving for all of His favors.


The Holocaust demands a spirit of humility, the sacrifice of expiation, a spirit of penance, compunction, and penitence; the sacrifice of impetration, a spirit of fervor and submission; the Eucharistic sacrifice, a spirit of love and gratitude.

https://archive.org/stream/explanationofthe00unknuoft/explanationofthe00unknuoft_djvu.txt

The single most important act on this Earth at any time of day is the Holocaust and the Shadow Church (It has no substance) has no love for it.

It has abandoned the Real Mass and substituted an anthropocentric rite in its place.

RichardT said...

An excellent piece, Father, but is there a bit missing from the end? It seems to finish halfway through a sentence (unless that is a sign of your despair).

Physiocrat said...

Where I live it is usually possible to find an EF Mass on a Sunday without making a long journey. This is exceptional. If one looks beyond, the picture is much as Fr Ray describes. The Catholic blogosphere is a war zone. It cannot be good for one's soul even to engage with the vituperation.

Should we instead be looking east? They squabble over jurisdiction but they have kept the liturgy and kept the faith consistently when the picture in the western church is patchy.

What, though, of the principle of one bishop in one city? What if the regular bishop is not teaching the faith? As a lay person with no committments, should one seek out a congregation and attach oneself to a bishop who are doing that without a shadow of doubt?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Richard, Sorry, I didn't notice, there is a last sentence now.

Physiocrat said...

@ABS

What does the Creed say?

"Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam", or
"Et unam, sanctam, romanam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam"?


Sixupman said...

At an Ordination Anniversary of a priest friend, his bishop preached in favour of a 'lay priesthood', in opposition to the Ordained Priesthood, and looked forward to its rise. My own bishop's solution to the future - lay managed parishes and Ordained Clergy merely tolerated.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

The Catholic blogosphere is a war zone. It cannot be good for one's soul even to engage with the vituperation.

Well, one can strive for the truth, or, one can denounce an entire category of men as agents of vituperation in a failed attempt to remain above the fray.

The Early Church Fathers pulled no rhetorical punches when dealing with heretics and Jesus described the Messias-Deniers as vipers etc and told them the Devil was their father because no vituperation...

Andreas Meszaros said...

Levius est professum inimicum cavere quam hostem latentem sub amici nomine sustinere. (Hieronymus: Apol. adv. lib. Rufini II)

RichardT said...

Thank you Father, that now finishes very well. I was expecting the mention of careerism, but the link to power and sexual abuse was an interesting addition.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Physoicrat.

From Denzinger



...Osius the bishop said: However it has been agreed, that, if a bishop has been accused, and the assembled bishops of the same province have judged and deprived him of his office, and he appears to have appealed, and has taken refuge with the blessed bishop of the Roman Church...

St Athanasius 1 398-401 The Orthodoxy of Pope Liberius

....Liberius of the Roman Church...

The Primacy and the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff (extract from Quamvis Patrum traditio to the African bishops March 21, 418

..since therefore Peter the head is of such great authority and that he has confirmed the subsequent endeavors of all our ancestors, so that the Roman Church is fortified..

Council of Ephesus 431 : ...as to what rulers of the Roman Church judged...


Here is Denzinger's entry #460:

Gregory X 1271-1276 Council of Lyons II 1274

...The most holy Roman Church

#464
We believe that the true Church is holy, Catholic, apostolic, and one in which is given holy baptism...This is the true Catholic Faith, and this in the above mentioned articles the most holy Roman Church holds and teaches.

#465 The same holy Roman Church...

The same Roman Church...

# 466 Also this same holy Roman Church holds the highest and complete primacy and spiritual power of the universal Catholic Church...

...she receives the other churches to a share of her solicitude, of which many patriarchal churches the same Roman Church has honored in a special way...


ABS could have cited other entires..

It is always a good idea for we Catholics to remember the infallible teaching of Vatican 1 - that it is to the Holy See of Peter alone that the promises of Jesus applies vis a vis the gates of Hell not prevailing; that is, literally, every single Church on earth can fail and fall into heresy and even apostasy save the See of Peter

Physiocrat said...

The Roman claim to supremacy is thinner than we generally assume. It is founded on a particular interpretation of Matthew 16:18. There was always a diversity of views on this, though clearly, as the history of the pre-schism church illustrates, the Bishop of Rome, as Patriarch of the West, had a particular role.

Precisely what this role was is less clear. By the time of the schism, different ecclesiologies had emerged, with four of the five patriarchates following a horizontal model and Rome a vertical one. They might be visualised, respectively, as "net" versus "mast".

We know from experience that a net is more stable than a mast, since the structure has redundancy; parts can fail without the whole ceasing to function. The Roman model has broken several times: during the scandalous papacies just before the middle ages, during the Avignon period, and at the Reformation. The Orthodox churches seem to have shown more resilience in the long term; despite all the hostile pressures including of course Islam and the twentieth century communist persecutions under communism, they have kept the faith and kept the integrity of their liturgy.

JARay said...

What Amateur Brain Surgeon misses is the fact that the occupant of the See of Peter may himself have fallen into heresy. In the which case then, it is that occupant of the See of Peter which needs to be removed and replaced with one who is faithful to the teaching of the Church. The Pope himself does not have a guarantee that the Holy Spirit will keep him, personally, free from error. The guarantee is to the Church herself that she will not teach error.

JARay said...

If I might dare to add a little to what I have just said. In the matter of the reception of Holy Communion by those who are in irregular lifestyle partnerships, Canon 915 of the Church says that no one may be given Holy Communion if they are in a state of mortal sin. This is despite what Pope Francis has said to the bishops of Argentina that such receptions may take place in certain circumstances. Canon 915 is the teaching of the Church and the Pope's letter is not!

Nicolas Bellord said...

And Vincent Nichols thinks he is safe in endorsing Quest - an organisation devoted to undermining Catholic teaching on homosexuality. How much longer do certain members of the hierarchy expect us to remain loyal?

Pelerin said...

ABS mentions the early Church Fathers dealing severely with heretics. We don't wish to return to those practises but hasn't Ecumenism gone too far and that is why there is a lack of teaching about the One True Faith? The PP of a friend told her that we are all going to the same destination but by different routes. No wonder the churches are emptying.

I have just read that a church in Paris (Catholic) hosted a concert last week of Islamic 'sacred' music to celebrate the birthday of Mohammed. 'Riposte Catholique' writes that the Blessed Sacrament was still in the Tabernacle during the concert.

Physiocrat said...

@Pelerin

There is nothing wrong with Ecumenism but it needs to be selective. The Orthodox continue to teach the One True Faith, both formally and through their liturgy.

Nicolas Bellord said...

"ABS mentions the early Church Fathers dealing severely with heretics. " Perhaps Pope Francis's blanket condemnation of capital punishment shows he may be concerned about what might happen to heretics. :)

Nicolas Bellord said...

I wonder how many people have read Gabrielle Kuby's "The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom"

It has given me a very clear picture of what is happening at the moment. Her thesis is that powerful bodies wish to curb population at all costs under a theory of 'gender mainstreaming' a policy adopted by the United Nations and the European Union. The idea is to encourage every kind of sexual deviance in preference to ordinary heterosexual intercourse which produces children. Under the Yogyacarta principles the rights of the LGBTI community must trump all other rights such as a child's right to a father and mother. It is a policy which aims to destroy the family.

Wittingly or unwittingly many in the Church are supporting this policy. Supporters are invited to the Vatican, heterodox clergy are promoted, the Catholic Education Service goes along with Government policy on gender fluidity, Vincent Nichols endorses Quest.

This has got to stop. Read this fully researched book which received the praise of Benedict XVI. We must fight back.

Pelerin said...

Completely off topic (humble apologies Fr Ray!) but if anyone is interested in the Church in France the new Archbishop of Paris was announced this morning. It will be Mgr Michel Aupetit, Bishop of Nanterre, and he will be installed in Notre-Dame on the 6th January.

Simple Simon said...

Nicholas, is it not the truth that certain members of the hierarchy could not care less whether any of us remain loyal or not? They relentlessly pursue their own agenda. Vincent Nichols knows that he will not be challenged publicly to his face by any Catholic bishop in England or Wales. Sadly most orthodox bishops remain silent in the face of unprincipled bullying, barefaced lies, the relentless proclamation of a false gospel, the deadly embracing and promotion of the sexual revolution. We are being slowly put to death by a poisonous gas which masquerades as oxygen. Surely every faithful bishop is under obligation to the laity to at least raise the alarm?

The Rad Trad said...

@ Physiocrat:

You seem to be embracing ideas that I once found tempting as an escape from the current malaise, but which time and historical reading have rendering intellectually untenable, at least to my poor mind. If you have a moment, here are some applicable reflections: http://theradtrad.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-eastern-church-five-years-on-part.html

Nicolas Bellord said...

Pelerin: And the good news is that he is an expert in bio-ethics having qualified as a doctor and is therefore presumably very much pro-life. Le Figaro reports him as saying that we have yet to see the catastrophic results following from IVF and 'marriage for all' i.e. same-sex marriage.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Simple Simon: Bishops speaking out? I sympathise with them as it can lead to dire consequences. I have read at Rorate Coeli:

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/12/for-record-franciscan-friars-sisters-of.html

"About that same time of the Austrian Mission ending, Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Argüelles of Lipa, was "resigned" from his episcopacy. He was guilty of having approved a public association of the faithful made up of ex-FFIs, but since that's not a crime, he was accused of -- and apparently framed for -- something unrelated."

I can think of one of our Bishops who could suffer the same fate for accommodating the FFI.

Speaking out would probably require a number of Bishops getting together to do so if it is to be effective. I suspect though that there is a lot of speaking out privately. For instance we have yet to have had any comment on how Amoris Laetitiae is to be interpreted and I suspect this is due to some profound disagreements.

I am afraid Vincent Nichols has form over homosexuality. I remember his coming out of the Bishops Conference to approve civil unions although the Bishops Conference backtracked on that one subsequently. I had a long argument with a member of Catholic Voices over their following Vincent Nichols on this one.

Pelerin said...

Nicolas Bellord - yes I have been looking at some of the interviews with him online. It is indeed interesting that he has spent twelve years as a doctor in general practice. I wonder if there are any other bishops who have been medical doctors?!

It is also interesting to note one comment (I think it was on the Salon Beige blog) that 'he is more open to the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form than most of his fellow bishops'. His previous diocese of Nanterre had three regular EF Masses every Sunday after he became Bishop whereas previously I understand there were none.

I hope to be in Paris the weekend after his installation and look forward to hearing his Sunday homily.

Simple Simon said...

Nicholas, what leaves me distraught is the dire consequences for the Church which have resulted from Bishops not speaking out. The Lord’s vineyard is being systematically denuded of healthy vines, and the vandals are partying on heady cocktails of delusional arrogance and hubris. The more they get away with it the more emboldened they become. If orthodox clergy do not unite and take on the heterodox babblers publicly and without fear, where will it all end?