Monday, May 08, 2006
But a number of items have come up that I ought to comment on.
First of all, Cardinal Pell's comment that Catholics ought to read the Koran. He is correct in a "Know your enemy" sort of way. He took a lot of heat from liberals because in his reading of it, he was noting the incitations to violence against non-Moslems, and said he had to stop counting after the first 60 pages. Well, I have no doubt that His Eminence is correct in this.
But what His Eminence is missing, and other Catholics who would read the Koran would miss too, is that the centuries of interpretive glosses on the various passages which have taken on lives of their own. And these are often wildly at variance from one another. It is almost an axiom that, if one Moslem cleric proclaims jihad against somebody, you can find another Moslem cleric who will, just as righteously in their paynim ways, declare jihad on the first cleric and his supporters. That goes to the whole "Islam doesn't need a reformation, it needs a Pope" argument.
Actually what Islam needs is Baptism in Jesus Christ and a mass burning of the Koran.
But someone else (I'm sorry, I don't remember who, but it was another St. Blogger) took His Eminence to task for suggesting that Catholics, who for three generations now have been so badly catechized that they don't understand, and probably have never been exposed to, key elements of the Catholic faith should take up the Koran as pleasure reading. What are we doing here, encouraging Catholics to turn Turk?
And you know, I think there is some sense in this argument. Maybe instead of reading the Koran, Catholics ought to enrich their own foundations and read St. Alphonsus Liguori's The Glories of Mary (in this month dedicated to Our Blessed Lady), St. Thomas a Kempis' The Imitation of Christ, the second best-selling work of Catholic spirituality after the Holy Bible, St. Theresa of Liseiux's The Story Of A Soul, or St. Augustine's Confessions. Or how about just taking up the Book of Pslams and one of the Gospels. Or the Compendium Of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
So while I understand the impulse that lead His Eminence to say that, I think he might have thought more carefully about making a recommendation like that to Catholics in general.
Then there is Episode 27 in the SSPX "leadership's" efforts to make the entire Roman Catholic Church bend to their will. Before I would have said that just Monsr. Williamson was a millstone around the neck of the efforts to bring the SSPX into conformity with the Roman Catholic Church. Now the French SSPX leader, whose name I just can't be bothered to look up to see how it is spelled as he impacts my life absolutely not at all, is busily emptying his revolver into his own soul.
It brings me back to the point I have been making over and over. The Holy Father will most likely greatly liberalize availability of the traditional Mass through some sort of declaration, followed by a structure to enforce rights against antagonistic local bishops. That should empty out the SSPX chapels pretty quickly, I should think. Then, the SSPX leaders can either find the humility to admit that they don't indeed know better than Rome, or risk going to hell wrapped in their own increasingly-diminishing mutual admiration society.
We should pray that they find the grace and wisdom to return to full communion. After all, I don't want to see anybody damned.
OK, what next?
Over at The New Liturgical Movement, Shawn Tribe reposts an important article from The Wanderer in which Cardinal Medina, former head of the Ecclesia Dei commission. Signs of hope. Traditionalists should never forget, that our Holy Father Pope Benedict is on our side. How many cardinals have celebrated the traditional Mass over the last 2 decades? Very few. Pell comes to mind. Did
O'Connor? But our present Holy Father has done so at least twice (and John Paul was not holding a gun to his head to make him, either). And his writings indicate that he fully supports more freedom for the traditional Mass. The question is, is he willing to buck the perceived concensus among the cardinals. I think he will.
On the local front, what is going on with our Boston indult parish, Holy Trinity which I frequent? It was slated for closing, and the indult community slated to be crammed into an inhospitable Asian parish downtown with no parking, which would pretty much end the indult community. Well, Bishop Lennon's pending departure from the position of head of the Boston curia and the interregnum while we wait for Father Erickson to take up the post, has left us in limbo. There has been no suppresison decree read. The social services that use the church are still there, as they appear unable to find other quarters. Will the archdiocese close it down after they have their own house in order? I pray not.
Perhaps Father Erickson will be of a different mind with regard to the Latin Mass than Bishop Lennon was, perhaps more in conformity with the views of the Holy Father himself. Archbishop O'Malley is a month back from Rome, where he heard the Holy Father bring up the issue of liberality towards the Latin Mass. Frankly, the Latin Mass community just has not been on Cardinal O'Malley's radar screen. Perhaps, he is rethinking that position in light of what he heard from the Holy Father. In any case, we seem to be on the back burner for the Archdiocese, which still has several parishes in vigil to deal with. So, we go on.
There have been a number of things pointed to and said by other bloggers that I wanted to call further attention to.
In Illo Tempore points us to two things that caught my eye.
Photos of the FSSP Maundy Thursday Mass in Rome from Cyntr.
And a history of the Benedictine order in England.
With Whitsunday quickly approaching, The Inspired Traditionalist reminds us of the power and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, as well as this month of May being devoted to Our Blessed Lady, something aI know I have not made adequate note of here.
Saint Peter's Helpers for First Friday/First Saturday had a great post on the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Our Lord and Our Blessed Lady, which is an aspect of Catholic spirituality I am becoming increasingly devoted to. The Two Hearts have worked the most astonishingly joyous wonders in my life. I will have more to say about the Two Hearts shortly.
Check out Jeff Culbreath's thoughts on enforced solitude of rural living.
Jay tells us that Rod Dreher is thinking of leaving the Church. Now I love converts. Chesterton, Waugh, Knox, Benson, Newman, Faber, Bl. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, St. Katherine Drexel, Lunn, Tolkien, Bork, John Wayne, Sam Brownback. But Dreher, with his "Crunchy Conservatism" has always struck me as more than a little flighty.
Traditio In Radice tells us of a very generous offer for the free use of recently-done, yet traditional Catholic images. Some excellent images there.
Catching up with St. Blog's:
Our friend Carmel is back from the USA, and she and Jonathan are eager to get down to setting a date and serious planning. Our prayers for many blessings for them.
Melanie and Dom Bettinelli are into week 39, and counting. Not too much longer now. Our prayers for a safe blessed event.
Father Sistare has left the sacred soil of New England for a spell of missionary work with his brother in Honduras. You can contribute to the effort via Father's link.
All corners of St. Blog's are abuzz about Dan Brown's forthcoming cinematic sacrilige. I plan to ignore it. I didn't read the didn't read his astonishingly biased piece of drivel. I won't be seeing the movie. If Dan Brown is going to make money off this, none of it will be coming from me. The only movie of interest to me that is coming out of Hollywood soon is the next X-Men.