Author Topic: My Position on SGG, VoV site, etc.  (Read 4665 times)

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Offline Matthew

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My Position on SGG, VoV site, etc.
« on: July 17, 2011, 10:46:05 PM »
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  • Hobblehoy made a very good post, which I believe deserves its own thread.
    If my wife hadn't pointed it out to me (Her: "It has upvotes already -- I should probably read it!" Me: "Schiavo thread? Not exactly a subject I'm interesting in...")

    Here is the gem of a post, with my comments in the post that follows:


    Perhaps I may make a complete idiot of myself for entering into this exchange, but after much reflection I feel myself compelled to make the following general remarks, which are not aimed at anyone in particular, although they chiefly concern the American sedevacantist world (since it is the only one I've ever known so far):

    1. I believe there has to be a balance between zeal for defending the integrity and purity of the practice and profession of the faith, which in these sad days sometimes entails an ardent battle against errant clerics and layfolk (which is true for other traditionalist circles and the N.O. diocesan predicament), and a spirit of prayerful recollection that does not allow such zeal to become a hindrance to the cultivation of the interior life.

    2. The individual Catholic has a right and duty to correct in all humility, verity and charity those clerics who presume to have a sort of authority wherewith to bind their consciences when these same clerics have proven themselves unworthy and incompetent to exercise such authority by manifest abuse, especially because said authority does not exist as every "independent" cleric is bereft of jurisdiction in the external forum. These individual Catholics, moreover, are obliged by fraternal charity to warn their fellow brethren of clerical abuses that may scandalize or endanger their souls and those souls under their care (as in the case of parents, educators, &c.).

    3. The above cannot be effectively or efficiently done without the prior cultivation of those acquired moral virtues that will ensure clarity of mind in the midst of the most obfuscating of questions, and stability of heart before the most unnerving of trials. In addition to the prayer and good works that the cultivation of such virtues requires, there needs to be a certain amount of discretion in expressing oneself when it comes to these grave matters.

    Now, having made those general remarks, I shall now address a particular point that was made by Mike:

    Quote from: Raoul76
    I took a look at the VoV site, it is indeed disgusting.  There is no cause whatsoever to talk about priests and bishops that way, I don't care what their problems are.  When St. Francis met a priest who was openly living with a concubine, did St. Francis go and write a website about him mocking him?  No, he bent down and wept and begged the priest not to tarnish himself, as he was consecrated to God.  I understand being outraged by a priest's actions, but this feels like calculated destruction of someone's reputation.


    Sometimes the tone of the criticism in question does unnerve me, and it is quite saddening, but it is saddening precisely because it is an understandable reaction to abuses that are utter baneful and should be denounced. These abuses actually took place. All pious sentimentality in the world will not change that FACT.

    Yes, the example of St. Francis is to be imitated, because Holy Orders confers upon a man a dignity that is wholly hallowed and ontologically superior to even the dignity of the Angelic choirs. However, St. Francis never faced the possibility of reverencing Episcopi vagantes or clerics who attained to Sacred Orders without a Papal mandate. As I have said before, it is precisely because the present day clerics do not have a Canonical mission nor jurisdiction in the external forum that they cannot publicly bind individual consciences or ascribe to themselves the dignities and prerogatives of the Bishops and Priests that ruled over the faithful in ages past by authority of the Supreme Pontiff.

    These clerics must prove themselves worthy of the pastoral care of the faithful before the souls for whom the intend to care with whatever supplied jurisdiction the Church can give, and this onus is all the more grave precisely because of the sanctity of Holy Orders. As they say in the courts, the burden of proof falls upon them. If they prove themselves unworthy or incompetent by manifest abuse, injustice, immorality, imbecility, &c., then they lose the right to be reverenced until they do penance and restitution for their misdeeds, just as a Church that has been violated or polluted cannot be licitly used for Holy Mass and other sacred rites until it is reconciled according to the rites of the Roman Pontifical.

    This is what the clerics who have deserved such violent censure have done, and they appear to be pertinacious in their error, since they have yet to apologize to the injured parties. Good will must be presumed in the spirit of charity, but there is just too much evidence to maintain this stance when it comes to the clerics whom the VoV site and Pristina Liturgica criticize.

    It would be nice if their tone was a bit tempered, but I cannot blame them for that, because they have witnessed (or have been subject to) a systematic victimization that is simply inexcusable.

    They doing a very important service for the sedevacantist faithful for the reasons I have already mentioned. The authors of those sites are not clerics who pretend to bind consciences, so they don't have the burden of proof in that regard. When it comes to their allegations about particular instances, they have provided ample proof. They just reporters of unhappy happenings.

    One may argue, "Well, what good can this do for their spiritual life? Are they personally more holy because of their internet reporting?" Well, such an argument is a mendicant for questions, since it is impoverished of answers. First of all, no one created or creatable intellect has the cardiognosis whereby to judge the state of souls, or to gauge the spiritual progress of the individual Christian; we cannot be judges of consciences. Secondly, the faithful need to be aware of these problems in order to arrive at a prudent and well-informed choice when it comes to the practical aspect of certain key praxes immediately pertaining to the faith: what Chapel to attend, to which Seminary to send young men, to which collection basket to give what amount of money, &c. Without the ability to make such practical judgements, one cannot have the stability necessary in order to cultivate the interior life, especially when there is danger of scandal that will either tempt one to despair and abandon the faith, or lull one into a Quietist and apathetic torpor that will merely perpetuate the sort of mediocrity that had allowed these abuses to occur in the first place.

    When a man decides freely to attain to Sacred Orders in these confusing times for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls, and his actions and attitude betray a contrary motive and result in outright abuse, then the faithful must make a practical judgment in order to avoid scandalizing themselves and others.

    Do the VoV and Pristina Liturgica sites do a good service, in light of the things mentioned above? Yes, in my opinion.

    Are they above censure? No: no one is above censure. They could temper their tone, but they were the ones who witnessed this, and it is understandable that they express themselves the way they do.

    All I can do is pray for them, as well as for the clerics who have caused all this mess, and especially for those clerics who have suffered because of it.

    Again, these are my personal opinions. I may be wrong, so don't cite me as authority (please!).
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    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 10:52:28 PM »
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  • I'm a little more critical of the VoV site than Hobbledehoy.  Other that that, I agree.

    I think one must maintain charity even while admonishing serious abuses -- or one risks becoming that which they despise and correct.

    Modern day/recently-ordained trad clerics have to earn our respect -- along with the Church's "supplied jurisdiction" which gives them their legitimacy (btw, that's given for the good of souls -- salus animarum suprema lex)

    If they don't seem to be acting for the good of souls, doesn't it depend on us to "spread the word" so that souls aren't damaged?  Isn't that the reason we're all TRAD Catholics in the first place -- we don't want our souls damaged by poorly formed/worldly/bad clerics?

    I hate to be partisan, but I think it applies MORE SO to sedevacantist/independent circles than in the SSPX. What professional, major seminaries do you have in the Sede world? Do they adequately train their clerics? And, statistically, isn't a sedevacantist/independent priest more likely than a SSPX priest to have been formed via a priest/apprentice arrangement (like in the wonderful days BEFORE the Council of Trent -- you know, when priestly ignorance and immorality were epidemic) rather than attendance at a 6 or 7 year professional seminary, which is the case with 100% of SSPX priests?

    I'm a couple steps above Tele when it comes to my enthusiasm for Bishop Fellay, if that means anything. But I'd take the SSPX problems over the sede/independent "mess" (to say it politely) any day. At least SSPX priests are well formed in the principles of Thomistic philosophy and theology, and I can be sure they are valid priests! And usually things like finances, etc. aren't in the individual priests' direct control anyhow.

    Sure, we should give the priests the benefit of the doubt out of charity, and reverence their person even when they are "to be blamed", but I do think they should watch how they try to "bind consciences" since they haven't exactly been approved by any Church authority.
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    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 11:00:19 PM »
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  • I noted that Hobble's reputation barely fits in a byte. One more upvote, and it will require 2 bytes of storage.

    For all the non-computer-geeks out there, I'm referring to the boundary represented by 255.

    Every geek knows the special meaning of 255, as well as 32767.
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    Offline LordPhan

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    « Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 11:09:57 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    I noted that Hobble's reputation barely fits in a byte. One more upvote, and it will require 2 bytes of storage.

    For all the non-computer-geeks out there, I'm referring to the boundary represented by 255.

    Every geek knows the special meaning of 255, as well as 32767.


    I'm not a geek but I understand computers and how they work and basic programming. I take it that 255 is the max character in a binary 8 bit byte?
    If you explain it I'll understand it.

    From what I know they work in Hex's and each byte consists of either a 1(on) or 0(off) but they are then in formations of 8(Hex) which equals a byte and one formation could be the letter A or Z or the humber 2 or 10 etc. So I only gather from your remark that perhaps 255 is the highest the number that can be made using one Hex?

    Or I might have it wrong.

    Offline LordPhan

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    « Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 11:10:46 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    I'm a little more critical of the VoV site than Hobbledehoy.  Other that that, I agree.

    I think one must maintain charity even while admonishing serious abuses -- or one risks becoming that which they despise and correct.

    Modern day/recently-ordained trad clerics have to earn our respect -- along with the Church's "supplied jurisdiction" which gives them their legitimacy (btw, that's given for the good of souls -- salus animarum suprema lex)

    If they don't seem to be acting for the good of souls, doesn't it depend on us to "spread the word" so that souls aren't damaged?  Isn't that the reason we're all TRAD Catholics in the first place -- we don't want our souls damaged by poorly formed/worldly/bad clerics?

    I hate to be partisan, but I think it applies MORE SO to sedevacantist/independent circles than in the SSPX. What professional, major seminaries do you have in the Sede world? Do they adequately train their clerics? And, statistically, isn't a sedevacantist/independent priest more likely than a SSPX priest to have been formed via a priest/apprentice arrangement (like in the wonderful days BEFORE the Council of Trent -- you know, when priestly ignorance and immorality were epidemic) rather than attendance at a 6 or 7 year professional seminary, which is the case with 100% of SSPX priests?

    I'm a couple steps above Tele when it comes to my enthusiasm for Bishop Fellay, if that means anything. But I'd take the SSPX problems over the sede/independent "mess" (to say it politely) any day. At least SSPX priests are well formed in the principles of Thomistic philosophy and theology, and I can be sure they are valid priests! And usually things like finances, etc. aren't in the individual priests' direct control anyhow.

    Sure, we should give the priests the benefit of the doubt out of charity, and reverence their person even when they are "to be blamed", but I do think they should watch how they try to "bind consciences" since they haven't exactly been approved by any Church authority.


    Good Post


    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 02:13:50 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    I hate to be partisan, but I think it applies MORE SO to sedevacantist/independent circles than in the SSPX. What professional, major seminaries do you have in the Sede world? Do they adequately train their clerics? And, statistically, isn't a sedevacantist/independent priest more likely than a SSPX priest to have been formed via a priest/apprentice arrangement (like in the wonderful days BEFORE the Council of Trent -- you know, when priestly ignorance and immorality were epidemic) rather than attendance at a 6 or 7 year professional seminary, which is the case with 100% of SSPX priests?

    I'm a couple steps above Tele when it comes to my enthusiasm for Bishop Fellay, if that means anything. But I'd take the SSPX problems over the sede/independent "mess" (to say it politely) any day. At least SSPX priests are well formed in the principles of Thomistic philosophy and theology, and I can be sure they are valid priests! And usually things like finances, etc. aren't in the individual priests' direct control anyhow.


    I pretty much agree there in regard to the seminary training. No doubt the (F)SSPX seminaries are far superior to anything the sedevacantists miniworld has to offer. Even if their theological and philosophical training would be bad (which is not exactly the case), at least those seminarians could enjoy spiritual formation and a rich, liturgical life.

    Still, I find the remark regarding pre-Tridentine times a bit harsh. Obviously, the Church did quite well for not having seminaries for about 1500 years. And most of the time Holy Mother the Church was not in such a bad state. Many "untrained" Saints account for that.
    Looking back in time again, seminary training as we know it today is of rather recent origin. Despite the disciplinary degrees of the Sacred Council, it took centuries till they were actually applied. Political disturbances, Gallicanism and the like made it even more difficult. Another good modern example besides the Holy Cure of Ars would also be Dom Gueranger, nothing but a "self-trained" Benedictine. Still, he managed to revive the Benedictine Order, reform liturgy and chant in the whole Christian world.

    The picture of the typical "seminary" we have is actually (to a large extent at least) much more from the late 19th and early 20th century, when the revolutionary spirit lost somewhat of its first fury. And we know how many of those priests trained in these institutes ended up putting together a rather known Council...

    Don´t get me wrong, I don´t disagree with having seminaries. But different times have different needs. And always playing to live hundred or fifty years in the past will not really help to make the situation better, either (even though it is tempting, living in the rather cosy atmosphere of the society - at least compared to the sede world).
    It is true, the SSPX has real seminaries. The sede´s unfortunately don´t. They can hardly afford it or supply educated priests to train those young men. But because everybody knows seminaries and wants to hear about a "seminary background", they give the appearance of seminaries. But those places are usually not known for their academical training, spiritual or liturgical life.

    So, I´d still rather have a priest trained by another able priest, than somebody who run through a papier-mâché seminary. If somebody has the intellectual abilities, some secular academical training, then the necessary sources for clerical training and supervision by a senior priest who also provides spirituality and liturgical life - then thats fine with me.

    And despite all my sympathies for the SSPX (which is maybe rather unique in sedevacantist circles): They also didn´t produce any great theologians, either. You might want to check who those firsts priests were who lectured in Ecône, too...not exactly the crème de la crème. This one cardinal called that place not without reason: “Port- Royal sans intelligence

    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

    Offline Hobbledehoy

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    « Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 03:14:39 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    I noted that Hobble's reputation barely fits in a byte. One more upvote, and it will require 2 bytes of storage.

    For all the non-computer-geeks out there, I'm referring to the boundary represented by 255.

    Every geek knows the special meaning of 255, as well as 32767.


    Quote from: LordPhan
    I'm not a geek but I understand computers and how they work and basic programming. I take it that 255 is the max character in a binary 8 bit byte?
    If you explain it I'll understand it.

    From what I know they work in Hex's and each byte consists of either a 1(on) or 0(off) but they are then in formations of 8(Hex) which equals a byte and one formation could be the letter A or Z or the humber 2 or 10 etc. So I only gather from your remark that perhaps 255 is the highest the number that can be made using one Hex?

    Or I might have it wrong.


    Wha...   :stare:

    I have no idea what these things mean.

    What's more complicated: traditionalist "politics," computers or women?

    It's all binary code to me!  :farmer:
    Please ignore all that I have written regarding sedevacantism.

    Offline TKGS

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    « Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 06:52:02 AM »
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  • Quote from: Hobbledehoy
    It's all binary code to me!  :farmer:


    Just remember there are only 10 types of people--those who understand binary and those who don't.


    Offline gladius_veritatis

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    « Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 08:28:46 AM »
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  • FWIW, the Nine (and many other SVs) are products of the SSPX seminaries.  How about Urroitigoity?  He, too, was formed and ordained by the SSPX, whose treatment of his situation is eerily reminiscent of how the V2 vipers handle such things...

    From an article about Fr U: ' "Later, after a brief stay at the priory of Cordoba (Argentina), Urrutigoity was shipped out of Argentina to the SSPX’ St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minn. where he was ordained in 1989 and given a teaching position," says Engel.'

    I am not saying Matthew doesn't make some decent points, but nothing in the post-V2 wasteland is as simple as we might like it to be -- the 50s are LONG GONE and the present reality is A LOT uglier than most of us are able to imagine.  If you think Traddieland isn't crawling with SOME infiltrators, you are more or less asleep and do not grasp the most basic elements of why Traddieland even became necessary in order to resist the onslaught.  Take it to the bank: those who brought us V2 followed us into the desert and their job has been immeasurably easier because of our shell-shocked naivete (which still persists after decades) and the smallness and easily-penetrated nature of our groups.  Does this mean we should be paranoid?  Nope; however, it wouldn't hurt to be a little less ready to trust men just because they have cassocks and collars and know a little more Latin than most of us.  The rot ALWAYS starts and reaches its apogee within the Temple.

    More later...
    + Vincit veritas +

    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 01:35:58 PM »
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  • Of course, Eamon, one could argue that the SSPX and their seminaries changed a lot since the Nine left. And thats true. Back in those days Econe was pretty wild in regards to discipline, liturgy or theology, only in the late 70´s and early 80´s things settled down.

    The story around Urrutigoity is of course extremely hard to defend, especially the very unclear role of Bishop Williamson, who rather had (now Bp.) Morello expelled then loosing this scandalous priest.

    That there are actual infiltrators in the traditionalist camp I certainly believe - but in the tiny sedevacantist "movement"? I don´t think so. We are doing a much better job to destroy ourselves without any outside help.
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 01:44:38 PM »
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  • Quote from: gladius_veritatis
    FWIW, the Nine (and many other SVs) are products of the SSPX seminaries.  How about Urroitigoity?  He, too, was formed and ordained by the SSPX, whose treatment of his situation is eerily reminiscent of how the V2 vipers handle such things...

    From an article about Fr U: ' "Later, after a brief stay at the priory of Cordoba (Argentina), Urrutigoity was shipped out of Argentina to the SSPX’ St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minn. where he was ordained in 1989 and given a teaching position," says Engel.'

    I am not saying Matthew doesn't make some decent points, but nothing in the post-V2 wasteland is as simple as we might like it to be -- the 50s are LONG GONE and the present reality is A LOT uglier than most of us are able to imagine.  If you think Traddieland isn't crawling with SOME infiltrators, you are more or less asleep and do not grasp the most basic elements of why Traddieland even became necessary in order to resist the onslaught.  Take it to the bank: those who brought us V2 followed us into the desert and their job has been immeasurably easier because of our shell-shocked naivete (which still persists after decades) and the smallness and easily-penetrated nature of our groups.  Does this mean we should be paranoid?  Nope; however, it wouldn't hurt to be a little less ready to trust men just because they have cassocks and collars and know a little more Latin than most of us.  The rot ALWAYS starts and reaches its apogee within the Temple.

    More later...


    I think the best paper-mache seminaries in the Sede world -- the ones that give the best appearances, and/or the best seminary education -- are the ones where the priests/Bishop/founder had some contact with "real Catholic seminaries" before Vatican II.

    Of course, in the practical realm that means it helps when they got to experience an SSPX seminary, because the SSPX in turn has an unbroken line with Tradition.

    This is a point that many Sedes miss -- that the SSPX has an unbroken line from before the collapse. Most traditional groups today were founded post-collapse after a period of nothingness -- and tradition (customs, liturgy, practices) have to be "re acquired" more or less.

    Let's just say running a seminary isn't a skill that comes along with ordination -- or consecration to the episcopate.

    Archbishop Lefebvre was providentially taught and prepared for what his missionary Society would need -- by observing the behavior in pagan lands during his time in Africa. He observed what happened to priests who were alone vs. a group of pagans, so he determined that priests must live in priories with a population of at least 3 priests. Any expansion must be subservient to that regulation. That's just one example.

    Archbishop Lefebvre wasn't inspired one day as to what might make a good seminary -- he KNOWS from first-hand experience (some negative, some positive). Experience is the best teacher.

    BTW, the Fifties and everything it stands for is anathema to types such as myself and Bishop Williamson.
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    Offline Pyrrhos

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    « Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 01:54:32 PM »
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  • I could not agree more, Matthew.
    If you are a theologian, you truly pray, and if you truly pray, you are a theologian. - Evagrius Ponticus

    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 02:48:02 PM »
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  • Another thing that came to mind -- the idea the clerics (even those in the lower years) praying parts of the Divine Office together in common -- that wasn't even done in the Fifties or earlier, nevermind in modern-day sedevacantist seminaries.

    This was an element that Archbishop Lefebvre added to the statutes of the SSPX, which wasn't found in plain-vanilla seminaries before the Council.

    It might be something new, but I wouldn't call it a novelty in the sense of Vatican II innovations which came out of nowhere for no good reason -- rather a Holy Ghost-inspired reaction to the times in which we live.

    I don't think seminarians prayed in common back then -- not even the Rosary. It sounds odd to me, so maybe I'm wrong -- but I know things were quite different.

    I have a book on seminary life from before V2 -- it mentions how seminarians would go home for the summer, and often get jobs to pay their way, etc. Very different from my own experience at an SSPX seminary.

    I much prefer the "leave the world" aspect, as well as liturgical prayer (Divine Office) in common. I don't think I would have even tried out life in a seminary if I'd been born in 1940. The priesthood would have seemed too "social" for someone with my personality -- just like the Novus Ordo priesthood still seems to me today.
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    Offline gladius_veritatis

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    « Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 02:52:44 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    Experience is the best teacher.


    It is usually the ONLY teacher.

    Quote
    BTW, the Fifties and everything it stands for is anathema to types such as myself and Bishop Williamson.


    I don't think the 50s were, in all respects, evil (and I think you'd agree).  However, romanticizing about them as many moderns do is often no more than irrational sentimentalism.  The Age of Materialism was already in full swing and the noxious fumes of materialism had notably affected even spiritual matters, including piety.

    FWIW and from what I know, there were objections to DD's ordination -- ABL apparently chose to ignore them.
    + Vincit veritas +

    Offline Lighthouse

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    « Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 03:53:14 PM »
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  • Of course, the monasteries maintained a rather rich communal prayer-life up to about the time that the rest of the barn started to burn.  Then they started letting in guys like Thomas Merton, and eventually, they ended up doing pscyho-oatmeal group meditations, and marriage counseling.  I've always wondered why D.D. has not found it necessary to apologize for his slavish devotion to the words of Merton.

    Let's not get too hung up on our own misery, however. The Church has been under attack from the very beginning, nestled in there among the chaff.  Which do you prefer:
    having to drive further to Mass, or getting thrown into a stadium of hungry lions?

     :geezer:

     

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