Tradition: Real and Ready!
If you are on a flight that compromises its principles, change your flight plans right now. Abandon the doomsday flights and book Traditional Air. It will lift you up!
If it is true God is our co-pilot, why would we choose to fly with those influenced by His archenemy the devil? The only failsafe way to travel through life is by canceling the Vatican II church's doomsday flight and booking the tried and true: the unchangeable Faith of our Fathers which has withstood 2000 years of turbulence. But we also need to be active and dedicated spiritual "travel agents" and let others know of this out-of-this-world sure deal, because, after all who wants to fly alone? The more the merrier and the more conversions to the True Faith the greater the guarantee of a first-class seat in Heaven.
"Debates will smolder and burn for years about schism, excommunication, apostasy and all the other legal terms, but we can't wait for them to be resolved. We must take a stand now. Standing for what is really Catholic is the only action we can take in good conscience. There are many people who are willing to listen to more lies, willing to believe that a man wearing white cannot deceive the people, willing to wait it out in hopes that Catholicism will be restored to them. Unlike the stout-hearted pioneers or any of the others who forged into new territories before the globe was completely discovered and mapped out, far too many of today's Catholics will not throw the imposters out."
A recent news headline declared, "Pope Benedict recalls fright at being elected pope…"
One can only imagine how frightening it must be to climb into the cockpit while the Church is in a nose dive knowing that he must do nothing to avert the eventual crash. The flight plan of Benedict-Ratzinger appears to coincide perfectly with his Vatican II predecessors while his continual praise of and commitment to Vatican II is accompanied by worldwide media coverage of every statement in that regard. Waving at the crowds, wearing a big smile, he tries to convince the world that a nose dive is not a bad thing; any impending crash is an illusion and needs to be understood in a new way; and with the proper interpretation, full impact will bring about much needed renewal.
It's a huge undertaking to keep hundreds of thousands of faithful in the dark and to continue exonerating that which leads to destruction. At any moment the sheep could suddenly wake up and see the truth. No wonder Benedict-Ratzinger is frightened.
Meanwhile, the gravitational forces that will eventually pull a careening Church to full impact with reality are working full time in parishes throughout the world. This isn't news any longer, it's just hard fact. Churches are being closed and sold, parishes are being consolidated or left to the innovations of "lay leaders" while the number of priests continues to shrink and women have taken over the sanctuary. Holy Days of Obligation are more and more often of no obligation at all because it's too inconvenient for folks to show up for "mass" if it's not Sunday. Monasteries are empty of vocations and closing down. Nuns are parading about as social justice gurus and Zen meditation zombies.
Benedict-Ratzinger tells us to "look back with gratitude to the Second Vatican Council."
In the Southern United States there are more and more Catholics in some areas known as the Bible Belt where protestant churches have always been very strong. While some may seize this opportunity to argue that the number of Catholics is really increasing, a study on the demographics of Southern Catholics by Clifford Grammich, Glenmary Research Center, shows that the growth has been fueled primarily by migration and immigration. Though it is indisputable that the number of people who call themselves "Catholics" has increased more rapidly than other religious bodies in the South, statistics among these "Catholics" show low attendance and a very real tendency to leave the Church. So, in reality, there exists only a very nominal residue of actual Catholicism in the South, though there are visibly more warm bodies claiming to be Catholics.
Benedict-Ratzinger tells us that the Vatican II "hermeneutics of reform" is bearing fruits "in a silent but ever more visible way."
The "silent" but very "visible" statistics showing the steady and impoverishing decline of the Catholic Church in every single aspect since Vatican II (see Index of Leading Catholic Indicators; The Catholic Church since Vatican II, by Kenneth Jones), are completely ignored by the Vatican and the general Vatican II church hierarchy worldwide. No action is being taken to address these very real issues, but the faithful are being placated with "talk" of liturgical standards and the restoration of Gregorian chant, and "rumors" of concern in Vatican offices about priestly formation and correctly interpreting the Second Vatican Council. These are the little tidbits routinely handed out by the Vatican in one form or another to the starving masses of people who are blindly holding on to the skeletal remains of what now passes in the world's eyes as the Catholic Church.
But these will never satisfy. The Catholic Church, as presented to the world today, is a virtually spineless, inept variety of generic Christianity which is in decline. She has become like sounding brass or a clanging cymbal in the wind. (See I Corinthians 13:1.) The true Catholic Church really loves her own enough to preach the truth in season and out of season, unlike the Vatican II church. Real Catholicism can't be found in name only; it lives in those who boldly proclaim and attempt to prayerfully live the true, authentic teachings held sacred for centuries.
The majority of those who call themselves Catholics today believe just like the pagans regarding abortion, divorce, and love of mammon, etc. Instead of preaching the Kingship of Christ, the kingship of religious liberty and a full, visible unity of faith among all religions (i.e. compromise) is the stated priority of "popes." Bishops live in fancy houses and love power and wealth in a time when their knees should be bloodied from so much prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and from crawling about in the streets to bring the truth of Jesus Christ to the common people who are perishing.
In this day, in this modern age of which Vatican II was so gushingly enamored, it's more important than ever to be on guard and expose the enemy, the terrorists hiding in our midst. As Americans can tell you, there is nothing like being infiltrated by the enemy and allowing him full use of all your tools and talents, and then watching him use those very tools to try and destroy you. Let's be truthful and admit that Vatican II was the 9/11 of the Catholic Church.
Many educated and well trained people have entered into lengthy discussions regarding the state of the Church, the state of the papacy and even whether he who occupies the chair is Catholic. Speaking for myself, but assuming that most people are not theologians, doctors of canon law, or religious geniuses, there has to be a simpler way to ascertain the real state of the Catholic Church.
For centuries, people knew what was Catholic and what wasn't. Real priests were sent into unknown regions of the world to bring the Gospel and the Sacraments to countless numbers of people sitting in darkness. Bishops were sent into territories and eventually they ordained other bishops in order to keep the Faith alive in these foreign lands. They didn't get excommunicated for doing it. They sent priests to the people on the frontier and in the wilderness without any announcement, but everybody knew they were priests and everybody knew the Mass and the sacraments were Catholic without having to consult a canon lawyer. The Faith was handed down from generation to generation sometimes without seeing a priest for long spans of time. But when the priest finally did make it back to the settlement or the township, he brought the same Catholic Mass and sacraments and Faith. The often uneducated people would have been able to spot an imposter quickly, and they would have thrown him out.
I don't think there has ever been a time in the history of the Church when that which was Catholic is no longer considered Catholic, and that which was of protestant development is now held to the bosom of the Church as prized possession with untouchable esteem. It seems absurd to think the Church could exist for 2000 years if she needed to be reformed or "renewed" with every "modern age" that came along. If the Mass was such a conglomeration of unnecessary, accumulating, repetitious phrases like the barnacles on the bottom of a ship, why did the Church hold the Mass as sacred, and virtually untouchable for so many centuries? Has the duty of a pope ever been defined as harbinger of novelty, party dude, media darling, or most traveled? In the history of the Catholic Church was there ever a time when the Great Commission was set aside in favor of some type of visible unity with all religions in order to bring about a sort of peace and harmony based on the dignity of man? Was there ever a time in the history of the Church when every aspect of her being was targeted and blatantly ripped apart by her own hierarchy resulting in the near collapse of everything that had been built up for centuries?
It defies logic that so many "experts" continue to look to the past to explain or qualify the present when we are obviously experiencing something that is completely new to the Church in scope and consequence. Worldwide devastation of the faith! The chair of Peter can't be vacant for this long because it's never happened before? Get real!
Debates will smolder and burn for years about schism, excommunication, apostasy and all the other legal terms, but we can't wait for them to be resolved. We must take a stand now. Standing for what is really Catholic is the only action we can take in good conscience. There are many people who are willing to listen to more lies, willing to believe that a man wearing white cannot deceive the people, willing to wait it out in hopes that Catholicism will be restored to them. Unlike the stout-hearted pioneers or any of the others who forged into new territories before the globe was completely discovered and mapped out, far too many of today's Catholics will not throw the imposters out.
But wait! The Catholic Church does still exist and the Faith lives on in traditional communities here and there throughout the world, but does this mean we can be satisfied? Never! How can we be silent in the face of such darkness that surrounds us? Isn't it up to us to continue in the steps of the saints and martyrs? You bet it is.
This means traditional Catholics can no longer be content to bask in the light of tradition while the world staggers under such a load of delusion. Every traditional Catholic must take up the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), and make known the mystery of the Gospel. We can't afford to dwell on the problems any longer, but must be getting out among the people and bringing them the good news of Christ! We must be willing to take the time to reach out and teach those who don't know, and to bring life to the hope of converts coming to our church doors by getting out there and inviting them to Mass.
Admittedly, most of the press we receive is negative because it is limited to the threats of bishops telling us we are not in communion with "Rome" and stand to be excommunicated. Are we doing anything to refute those lies and prove that we are serious about bringing the light of Christ to our neighborhoods and communities?
Real Catholicism isn't about keeping the good stuff for ourselves and making sure our own little families are taken care of within the bosom of the Church (Praise God, she lives!). We can't be satisfied with attending the true Mass and knowing our prayers by heart. We have to believe till it hurts…until we come to the realization that our faith has to be about saving souls by way of taking the bushel basket off the light, by being the city set on the hilltop. Love of our Lord and neighbor compels us to go forward in authentic charity and joy. Despite the desecration, destitution and seeming destruction of the Church today, this is our real challenge.
Benedict-Ratzinger may have been frightened on being elected "pope" but we must not be frightened to be unabashedly Catholic. We've got what's real, now let's get ready!
For past columns by Catharine, see 2006lam.htm Archives