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Last week Pope Benedict issued his letter, The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, and I was extremely pleased to witness this event, which declares the popular return of the Latin Mass for us Catholics (or, Tridentine Mass — read about the variations in the Catholic Mass here — the “English” version of the Mass is called the “Novus Ordo” and will continue but is different in contents from the Latin Mass).

I don’t know who said that “the devil hates the Mass said in Latin” but the tintinnabulous discord that has been directed toward the Pope AND the Latin Mass — and especially toward the Summorium Pontificum in full — certainly is indicative of anything but the holy. The negation of this blessed event may not be “the devil” specifically but the din is a fairly good representation of evil, certainly of the bleak land of lack of faith, of what it means to jab in jealousy, what it means to covet.

Ben Johnson has written a very good article (ANTI-CATHOLICISM CHIC) about this issue in Front Page.

The links and information provided by Johnson in his article are very informative, as is Johnson’s piece all told, although I find a few scrappies — such as I disagree and always have that Mel Gibson‘s fulsome and notorious remarks-under-the-influence define him as “anti-semetic” but Johnson makes an unfortunate point of dismissing Gibson as such while referencing Gibson’s film, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, as a sincere work that has had beneficial if not miraculous impact and effect on viewers — but otherwise, the article is comprehensive from a reasonable, sociological-political perspective.

Johnson’s concluding words are of utmost weight and importance, however, as to what is at the heart of this matter of negation of the Summorium Pontificum, and about Pope Benedict:

…Other leftists joined (Susan) Jacoby with columns apparently written in crayon. None, however, matched Michael Lerner for Orwellian overstatement. Lerner is a rabbi in the controversial, New Age-leaning “Jewish Renewal” wing of Reconstructionist Judaism, whose ordinations are not acknowledged by more traditional Jews. The Berkeley radical has spent a lifetime humanizing terrorists and demonizing the United States. (His wedding cake bore the message “Smash Monogamy,” and his wedding ring was made of metal from a downed American aircraft.) Lerner was the preferred representative of God in the Clinton White House and enjoyed a warm relationship with Hillary Clinton. Given the current emphasis on faith in the Democratic Party, one wonders if Rabbi Lerner might be defaming Catholicism from the Lincoln Bedroom in a second Clinton presidency…

A Revolutionary “Faith”

Lerner does not seem to have an aversion to religious persecution, under the right circumstances. The Berkeley radical tips his hand when he expresses “concerns that this new pope, like the one before him, would continue the assault on Catholic liberation theology.” Liberation Theology is baptized Marxism that substitutes political activism for religious devotion. Liberation theologians played a role in Communist guerrilla movements throughout Latin America, though their creed violates the core of Catholic teaching. Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), in the first year of his papacy, issued an encyclical against socialism. Pope Pius XI wrote, “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.” Ultimately, religious opposition to socialism traces itself back to that Siniatic commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Lerner sees this as a building block of his Revolution. “[Every religious and secular tradition of thought and action must be reshaped to make possible the survival of the planet and the human race.” This revolutionary vision, he writes, “must become the guide to politics as well as to theology.” (Emphasis added.) So, Rabbi Lerner has no trouble harnessing the power of the Messianic State to promote theology — as long as it’s his own leftist dystopia.

Discounting Genuine Bigotry

The Washington Post’s over-the-top allegations and Lerner’s politically inspired ravings deflect outrage from legitimate prejudice and bigotry. Lerner has dedicated his life to seeing that fanatical Middle Eastern Islamist terrorists get a fair shake; in return, Muslim groups protested until International ANSWER blackballed him from an “antiwar” rally, because he does not believe all Israelis should be run into the sea. Cindy Sheehan has written more overtly anti-Semitic things than Pope Benedict has ever perceived was possible, has had warm relations with White Supremacists, and has earned the praise of David Duke. Lerner invited her to address his congregation. Yet he, Susan Jacoby, and the mainstream media save their wrath for aged Roman Catholics.

After all, it is easier for them to imagine all the world’s evils emanating from a white, Christian, celibate, pro-life, anti-Communist male and those who share his belief in the Transcendent.

As to the theological….there are a series of exceptional (and educational) articles written by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (Category, SESSIUNCULUM) in his blog, WHAT DOES THE PRAYER REALLY SAY?

Also, read his Category, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM for some intense analysis.

I particularly valued Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s suggestion that those of us who appreciate the Pope’s recent changes write and express our thanks and Fr. Zuhlsdorf explains how to do that

Additionally, Fr. Zuhlsdorf offers another excellent article, SR. CHITTISTER ON SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM: Joan Chittister, who is a member of a Catholic order and a self-described feminist — certainly a political Liberal — launches a scathing and unreasonable malignment of The Summorum Pontificum and “Fr. Z.” offers excellent observations as to where she wanders, which is often far astray. I learned quite a bit from reading this article by “Fr. Z.”

Elsewhere on the internet, there are a number of excellent and equally informative and well written Catholic blogs — some also by Priests, many by us general Catholics. So much to read, so much to learn, so much to be grateful for.

Among those worthy o’ reading are these two from THE CATHOLIC CAVEMEN blog:

TOP 10 THINGS THEY’LL SAY ABOUT THE MOTU by “Former Alter Boy” as published in his local church bulletin:

BE prepared for the following arguments and zingers (and attempts to falsely impune Catholics with these disgusting pejoratives) in just about every article to be published on the Classic Roman Rite:

1. Anti-Semitic
2. Sexist
3. Roll back Vatican II
4. Priest turns back on people
5. No one understands Latin
6. No one attends Old Mass
7. Permission already exists
8. Ultra-conservatives
9. All who favor Latin Mass are SSPX ‘extremists’
10. Something about Mel Gibson.

And, a good round-up of the state of things after the Pope’s changes among Catholic Churches that are overcome by Socialism (that about sums up most of California and perhaps Arizona):


And, last on this Saturday suggested reading list:

A wonderful column by Michael Coren, POPE STATES OBVIOUS

…Just in case any of us are foolish enough to believe the headlines, all the Pope said was that the full understanding of Jesus Christ and the road to salvation is to be found within Catholicism. Anyone who is baptized is still a Christian and non-Christians are also loved by God. Neither of these groups are, contrary to what some pundits yelled, condemned to hell.

But the Church, the Pope continued, offers the Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus. This and Papal supremacy and the Sacraments make it unique.

Not particularly surprising. What, one wonders, did people expect the Pope to say? “Well, Catholicism is quite fun but then so is Islam. I also hear that Hindus have great parties and as for Zoroastrianism, it’s really cool, man.”

Give us a break here. He’s a Catholic. He’s the Catholic! Nobody is obliged to be Catholic, but if they say they are they should live as though they are. Which means they have to observe Catholic teaching. Requiring that they know what Catholic teaching is in the first place.

It’s precisely because so many Catholics have been confused by decades of dreadful education and poor formation that they need reminding of basic Catholicism. Who better to do that than the Pope?

One of the reasons his latest statement has caused offense is because so many people, Catholic or otherwise, have all too often lost any sense of what constitutes a claim to truth.

Not that it’s a difficult concept. If I believe in the exclusive truth of something, I cannot believe in the exclusive truth of something that contradicts it…

C O M M E N T S : now closed