Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Principle Movie Announcement


The Principle movie announcement was made on Michael Voris' "Mic'd Up" program.  Below is a link to the entire webcast - but I'll pull a spoiler for you here and now.  If you want to watch the clip, fair warning, stop reading now!

The interview with Robert Sungenis and Rick DeLano on Michael Voris' "Mic'd Up" webcast includes a discussion of how so many "critics" of "The Principle" are publishing things all over the place - and yet, none of them have seen the movie yet.  It makes for an interesting point - and asks why so much interest and focus is on this movie.  Why so much attention if it's just a bunch of poppycock?  I, for one, have not yet seen the film and I am reserving judgment until I do. 


"The most reviewed movie which has never been seen!"

The "release" of the film has been taken up by Rocky Mountain Pictures and it will be in a single theater "in a major market" which has not been disclosed as yet.  The release date though, has been announced and that is to be September 19th.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Islamic Prayers at Vatican

Is it true?  Well, yes it is!  Is it a big deal?  Well, it could be if it leads to peace in the region, as it stands right now it was a gathering of heads of state in a garden within the city-state of the Vatican.  It was not held in a church - in fact the purpose in being in the garden was to avoid the constructs of religion other than the fact that two of the four represent the majority of Christians in the world.  No one expected peace to break out on Monday, but it was a start.
 
A more interesting thing to me was the fact that Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew were together, and we're seeing more and more of that.  There is also rumors of "Nicea III" being proposed for 2025 - which may bring about reunification of the Orthodox/Catholic rift.  

Some people out there though are seeing this as an anti-pope destroying what is left of the Catholic Church.  I was actually drawn to this story after following a rabbit trail regarding Fr. Terra to Br. Dimond's anti-Catholic site.    Now, in this particular posting at MHFM there is not any commentary (yet) from Br. Dimond, it is just a listing of "facts" - but a key fact is left out - this was not a meeting within a church building, it was a garden setting which happens to be within the city-state of the Vatican.

Not just an olive branch, but an olive tree is planted to commemorate this meeting:
photo from ansamed.ansa.it

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Priests Attacked in Phoenix

At my parish in Phoenix, Mater Misericordiae, the two priests were attacked last night and one of them, Fr. Walker, who was only 28, is dead.  Fr. Terra was injured severely and is in a local hospital.  Please remember both of them in your prayers.
April 19, 2014 - Frs. Walker and Terra at Easter Vigil
I posted the above this morning, I didn't have much time because I was just waking up to get ready for work when I heard the news.  My heart is very heavy with sadness for both priests, one whose suffering was over quickly, the other who continues to struggle for life.

We've lost a great soldier for Christ and a well loved spiritual leader in Phoenix.  The FSSP has lost a brother and the whole Catholic community, especially in the Diocese of Phoenix is in mourning.

Fr. Walker's parents were in Chesapeake, VA when they heard the news and left early this morning for Phoenix.  Five priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) in the Diocese of Richmond will offer a Solemn Requiem Mass on Monday, June 16th at 6PM at St. Joseph's Church, 828 Buford Road, in Richmond, VA.  All are invited to assist at this Holy Mass.

Addendum 6/14/2014:
A report heard on the radio (still looking for a transcript of this) indicated that the suspect was arguing with Fr. Terra, when Fr. Terra tried to end the discussion the suspect started beating him.  At this point Fr. Walker came in and tried to stop the beating - and the suspect pulled a gun and shot Fr. Walker in the chest then fled - somehow attaining Fr. Walker's keys and taking his car which was found abandoned a few blocks away.

Fr. Terra was able to absolve Fr. Walker and administer Last Rites.  It was Fr. Terra who called 911 and as paramedics arrived he was, barely alive himself, still trying to perform CPR on Fr. Walker.  When help arrived Fr. Terra "went into survival mode" himself and was barely conscious.  The only description we have of the suspect is that he is a white male in his 40s - and the police are not definitively saying there is only one suspect.

Fr. Terra's condition has improved to "stable" but is still in critical care.  Please continue praying.

Mass Times for Sunday will be at regularly scheduled times:
7am - Low Mass
9am - Low Mass
11am - High Mass

Addendum 1 - 6/16/2014:
An arrest has been made.  No details as yet.  More to follow.

Fr. Terra's condition is improving and is expected to make a full recovery, he has been moved out of ICU.

Requiem Mass for Fr. Walker, was held at 10am at St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Phoenix, June 16.  Fr. Terra was in attendance, in a wheelchair.

Addendum 2 - 6/16/2014:
The man arrested, based on "strong physical evidence" from the scene was Gary Michael Moran.  Moran was recently released from prison where he served 8 years out of a 10 year sentence - he was released in April of this year.
Gary Michael Moran - Suspect in murder of Fr. Walker and beating of Fr. Terra.



Addendum 6/22/2014:
"June 11th is the best day in the life of Gary Moran," according to Fr. Lee who preached on the Feast of Corpus Christi at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix, "for he now has Fr. Walker, the priestly fraternity of FSSP, the parishners of Mater Misericordiae Mission and countless other Catholics praying for the salvation of his soul."  May God have mercy on him and bring his soul to salvation in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

========================================================================


When I hear more, I'll post here.

A very fitting rendition of Pie Jesu by "The Priests"
Eternal Rest, Fr. Kenneth Walker

Please pray for the repose of Fr. Walker's soul and the consolation of his family as well as the full recovery of Fr. Terra.

To hear Fr. Walker preaching, here is a video of his sermon on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, I am assuming it is from 2013.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What Constitutes an Infallible Definition or Dogma

When is a Catholic teaching MORE than just a teaching and considered an "infallible" teaching or definition?  In a recent discussion here on CathApol with "John" (which comments had to be ended after responses became repetitious) the matter of "dogma" v. "dogmatic" came up - and is there a difference when the word "dogmatic" is used by an ecumenical council?  Well yes!  Just because the word "dogmatic" is used does not mean that new dogma is being defined.  The issue came up because "John" challenged that the Second Vatican Council (VCII), in his interpretation, has contradicted the Council of Florence on the necessity of Baptism for salvation.  (I do not wish to, and will not, rehash that entire discussion - feel free to go to the archives here to read the exchange - there's really nothing more to say there).  The purpose of this posting is to explain and discuss the matter of truly when dogma is being defined by a council or pope.  This charism of infallibility is really rarely used.

When Was The Charism Last Utilized?

I will grant, there is some debate about this - but to go back to the last time where there is no doubt, we go back to 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the doctrine on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Munificentimus Deus.  Before that we go back to the First Vatican Council (VCI) wherein papal infallibility is defined.  Prior to that the next time is 1854 in Ineffabilis Deus in which the Immaculate Conception is defined.  In the last two hundred years, the charism has only been utilized three times.

Is the Entire Document/Council Considered Infallible?

Even within an entire document or council, the only part which can be considered infallible is the definition itself.  There are explanations and theological opinions related to the dogma expressed, but those opinions, as respectful and true they might be, are not under the charism of infallibility - such as the definition itself is.  So to re-emphasize, even in VCI, the last "dogmatic council," in all the documents from that council, the only part which is considered to be infallible is that one small section of the definition itself.  Even though VCII has sections entitled "The Dogmatic Constitution on..." there is no new dogma defined at VCII - VCII is not even officially referred to as a "dogmatic council," rather it is (the first ecumenical council of its kind) a "pastoral council."

Does the Charism of Infallibility Validate the Papacy?

No, the charism of infallibility was defined in Scripture (Matthew 16:18-19) by Jesus Christ Himself.  Every pope has the charism, but the fact is relatively few have utilized it.  So, the charism does not validate a papacy, but a pope (or council) may invoke it when there is a controversy large enough that it is splitting the Church.  A papal or concilliar definition then ends the controversy for all faithful Catholics.  From the point the infallible definition forward there can be no further public debate between faithful Catholics.

How About Those Who Denied a Dogma Prior to the Definition?

Prior to the official promulgation of the infallible definition good and faithful Catholics may have stood on "the wrong side" of the definition, does this mean they are now under anathema?  No!  Prior to that defining moment they are not held accountable or culpable for standing in opposition to it.  If they are still alive when the infallible definition is promulgated then they must conform to and accept the dogma.  If they have died prior to the defining moment then they are not guilty of the anathema(s) which accompany the denial of such a definition.

If the Charism is Used So Infrequently, What Good is it?

It is good for ending the debate over a subject which may be splitting the faithful.  This level of debate does not happen very often, and thus the charism is not utilized very often.  The important factor here is that the pope has been given this authority (Matthew 16:18-19) and so has the college of bishops (Matthew 18:18) and to deny the matter of infallibility is to deny the Scriptures which promise it.  Whether or not it is ever used, the fact remains that it CAN be used for "whatsoever" they shall bind on Earth shall also be bound in Heaven.  Unless one contends that error can be bound in Heaven, then we must conclude this binding is infallible.

Where is the Infallible List of Infallible Doctrines?

The fact of the matter is no such "list" exists.  Why?  Such a "list" would be more of a disciplinary action, and disciplines can change - say a new dogmatic definition comes about - then "the list" would need to be amended.  We do have reliable sources, like Dr. Ludwig Ott's "The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" as a good starting place.  We tend to get this question from a challenger who is seeking a "gotcha" question, as if such a list is necessary - when in reality, it is not.  If any Catholic has concerns about whether or not a specific teaching is dogma, it's not hard to find out.  If such a challenger has a genuine question regarding a specific teaching, as to whether or not it is dogma, I would be happy to provide an answer - just use the "comments" section here.

When is a Papal Declaration Considered Infallible?

As we've already discussed, the charism is scriptural, so there can be no doubt among Bible-believing Christians that it exists, so when does it exist?  The formula presented at the First Vatican Council (VCI) spells it out quite clearly:
we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that
  • when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
  • that is, when,
  1. in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
  2. in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
  3. he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,

      • he possesses,
      • by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, (Matthew 16:18-19)
      • that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
      • Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.
      Keep in mind, this is coming from an ecumenical council as a defining statement (per Matthew 18:18).  I must repeat, VCI while it is expressly defining dogma here - it is really only reaffirming what has already been defined by Scripture in Matthew 16:18-19.  It does make this dogma unquestionable by faithful Christians - and there was a group called "The Old Catholics" which did not accept this definition and officially split with the Church shortly after VCI.

      The bottom line is - when the bishops of the world are gathered in ecumenical council and they specifically define something - it is unchangeable, it is dogma.  Likewise, when a pope uses the above formula then such a decree from him would be unchangeable, it is dogma


      Monday, June 09, 2014

      Ron Reagan Jr. FFRF Totally Backwards

      Ron Reagan, Jr. announces that he's an "unabashed atheist" and "unafraid of burning in hell," but also erroneously states that the Founding Fathers (of the USA) were supportive of "freedom FROM religion" (emphasis added).  Sorry Mr. Reagan, but the Founding Fathers actually actually supported "freedom OF religion."  THAT is what is protected by the US Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights and other founding documents. 
      From the Bill of Rights:
      Amendment One: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
      John Adams, our second president:
      1788 - A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: The experiment is made, and has completely succeeded: it can no longer be called in question, whether authority in magistrates, and obedience of citizens, can be grounded on reason, morality, and the Christian religion, without the monkery of priests, or the knavery of politicians.

      1798 - Address to the militia of Massachusetts:  We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
      Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention Delegate and signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence:
      1787 - Address at the Constitutional Convention:  I have lived, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
      Alexander Hamilton, first US Secretary of the Treasury,
      1802 - Letter to James Bayard:  In my opinion, the present constitution is the standard to which we are to cling.... Let an association be formed to be denominated 'The Christian Constitutional Society,' its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.

      Patrick Henry, Member of First Continental Congress; Governor of Virginia,
      Letter to Archibald Blair:  The great pillars of all government...[are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible. 

      George Washington, First President of the United States, Commander of the Revolutionary Army,
      1796 - Farewell Address:  Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

      In short, completely contrary to what Mr. Reagan, Jr. attests to!   The Founding Fathers were quite fond of supporting religion!  What they not support was a state established religion and there are some out of context quotes which people like Ron Reagan, Jr. like to cite, but in context the Fathers are saying there was to be no "Church of State" as in the European model.  The American experiment was founded upon laws which protect religion, specifically Christian religion, and officially opposes ANY restriction of the free exercise thereof.  If the people wish to assemble, even on "public" ground, and recognize God - the First Amendment absolutely protects that RIGHT.  What Mr. Reagan, Jr. supports is the creation of laws which are in direct opposition to the Bill of Rights.  Does Mr. Reagan, Jr. believe that the majority of Americans are so stupid they would just accept him at his word?  Sorry "Little Ronny," but you're only fooling the foolish and those who want your paradigm to be true.

      I would not be so proud to announce your lack of fear of burning in Hell, while you may not believe in it - that does not change the reality of it.  May God have mercy on your soul and give you the grace to see the folly of your ways.

      Scott Windsor<<<

      Sunday, June 08, 2014

      Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis Pray with Peres and Abbas

      Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Francis, 
      Israeli President Shimon Peres and Patriarch Bartholomew I 
      at the Invocation for Peace in the Vatican Gardens June 8. 
      Credit: Alan Holdren / CNA.
      Pope Francis with Patriarch Bartholomew praying for peace in a conference with President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mohammed Abbas of Palestine at the Vatican, June 8, 2014.  (Full article).

      This is remarkable, not only that Israel and Palestine are "praying for peace" together - but also the Patriarchs of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are praying together with them.  We should all unite in prayer with them!

      Progress Toward Eastern Rite Married Priest Ban to be Lifted

      June 6, 2014 - One of the things affecting reunification of Orthodoxy with Catholicism is the Latin Church's "ban" on allowing married priests of the Eastern Rites in primarily Latin Rite jurisdictions.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published an article stating:
      WASHINGTON—The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation voted in early June to encourage the “lifting of the restrictions regarding the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic Churches of North America.”
      “This action would affirm the ancient and legitimate Eastern Christian tradition, and would assure the Orthodox that, in the event of the restoration of full communion between the two Churches, the traditions of the Orthodox Church would not be questioned,” the consultation said in a statement released June 6.
      “We are convinced that this action would enhance the spiritual lives of Eastern Catholics and would encourage the restoration of unity between Catholic and Orthodox Christians,” the statement said.   
      Now this is not stating the "ban" is lifted, but the recommendation of the USCCB is that it should be lifted, which is progress and could lead toward more productive talks about reunification of Orthodoxy and Catholicism - a wound which has been open far too long in the Church.

      Let us pray!

      It Is Pentecost Sunday!

      Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

      It is today that we celebrate the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin, and they go forth into the world, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  From the time of the Resurrection (Easter) until the Ascension Jesus remained with the Apostles, teaching them what they needed to build His Church, upon which they were the foundations.  Of all the "churches" of the world, only Catholicism and Orthodoxy can trace their roots all the way to the Apostles and Christ through valid bishopric succession.  No other "church" can validly make this claim!

      Thursday, June 05, 2014

      Church Authority

      “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  How was Jesus sent?  He was sent by the Father with all authority in heaven and earth (Mat 28:18) in such a way as to never bind a believer to a falsehood since whatever is bound or loosed on earth is also bound or loosed in heaven (Mat 18:15-18).  Nothing untrue can be bound in heaven therefore whatever is bound on earth must be true.

      But is this how it was understood at the time of the Apostles?  Were there disagreements between the disciples?  If so, how did they resolve it?  One need not look any further than verses 1 and 2 of the Book of Acts, chapter 15.  It says:

      “ 1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.”

      One set of Christian teacher were telling new converts that they are to be circumcised first if one was to be saved.  The other set, Paul and Barnabas, told the converts that circumcision was unnecessary.  Who were the converts to believe when confronted with conflicting teachings?  The converts sent both groups to Jerusalem to settle the matter. The leaders of the Church…Of the WHOLE Church decided the matter for all believers in Christ.  As is clearly seen a little further down when Paul and Barnabas traveled through the towns after the Council of Jerusalem, Scripture says that “As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.”  It wasn’t a choice or simply for those believers in Jerusalem but for all believers in Christ.

      The first followers went to the Church when disputes arose between believers to settle the matter because that’s how Jesus told the Apostles to do it.  He told them try to settle the matter between themselves but if they couldn’t, they were to go to the Church.  The buck stops at the Church.  Here is how Jesus put it.  When one sins against another (separating oneself from the Body of Christ is a grave sin against the whole body), they are to:

      If your brother sins, go and point out his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he still refuses to listen, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Mat 18:15-17)

      These verses show us that the Church that Christ builds must have a visible aspect to it because there is no way two individuals in a dispute can go to all believers in Christ (all Christians) when so many believe contradictory doctrines.  Paul tells us in his first letter to Timothy that some will abandon the faith by believing false doctrines and therefore instructs Timothy to go to the Church, the One True Church to settle the matter.  Go to the leaders of the Church.

      And because Jesus promised us that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church in Matthew 16:19 means that His Church will never teach false doctrines.  If His Church did teach a false doctrine as true then that would put the faithful at peril of losing the faith (1 Tim 4:1).  His Church could never do that since it would go against its very nature of being the upholder and defender of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

      Let’s use a concrete example to clarify what I’m saying.  Let’s say my cousin comes to me one day and tells me that his wife is pregnant and she feels she isn’t ready for a child right now.  She decided to have an abortion, and failing to convince her and following Scripture my cousin comes to me with another friend to try to convince her not to have the procedure.  But she still wants an abortion.  My cousin then goes to his church (which is Catholic) for help.  Now, since the Catholic Church teaches that absolutely, abortion is wrong, we know the church will tell her that she shouldn’t have an abortion.  But she just goes to her church (one of many possible ones who do teach that abortion is a personal choice and can even be redemptive).  So now we have come to an impasse, which church are we to listen to?  Which church is actually teaching the truth?  You see how the idea of His Church being only a conglomeration of all believers prevents us from knowing the truth with certainty?  His Church must have a visible entity so that all may know the truth of what He teaches.  And His teachings are made known to us in its fullest form through His Church because only His Church has been given the promise of being led into ALL truth (John 16:13).

      The only Church which has had a physical presence throughout the centuries beginning in the first century up to today’s councils is the Catholic Church.  All these councils, 21 in all beginning with the council at Jerusalem found in Acts 15, are teaching doctrinal truth because we know that His Church is the pillar and defender of the truth.  We can know this Church is the Catholic Church by simply going through the writings and declarations inside the documents produced by these councils were written by Catholic Bishops and ratified/approved by the Pope. When it comes to doctrinal matters, either of faith or morals, we are to accept the Catholic Church’s doctrinal teachings whether we like them or not, whether they are easy to follow or not because they are the truth. 

      Isn’t it a great blessing to be able to go to an authority that can guide and correct our wayward ways by identifying the truth in a sea of confusing and conflicting ‘truths’?  Thank you Lord for giving us a sure fire way of knowing the truth!

      God Bless
      Nathan