Daily Archives: May 19, 2009

Fr. John Hardon, SJ, on New Age Movement and Karl Rahner, SJ

Having been accused by an anonymous poster of making claims without evidence (even though something I try very diligently to do on this blog, within reason, is provide evidence). One of the greatest theologians of the late 20th Century, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, gave the following answer to a question on so-called “Centering Prayer”:

I can talk for hours on centering prayer. . . . And of course, again there are different forms of centering prayer. Because as you know, in India, Hindus are not united. . . . In other words, we think that we are separate individuals. At the foundation of centering prayer, you don’t believe it. The center of our being, the New Agers say, is the Absolute. The only real being, the center of our being, therefore is the Absolute. [This is trancendentalism or pantheism] According to God you are cheating. Because the god of centering prayer, I repeat, the way the New Agers have brought it in, is the only being who exists. He is the absolute being. And he is the same absolute being, in every human being as we would call it. But, what we call an – person – they would say – is not a distinct reality. At the heart of centering prayer, there is no infinite God who created the world out of nothing. . . . Thomas Merton never, never believed there was a God who was infinite. Never believed there was a God who was really distinct from the world that we say was created. . . . If you think you are a distinct person, distinct from God, you do not understand centering prayer. . . . Although, he himself died before what we now call the New Age movement came into existence. That was the Jesuit, Karl Rahner. . . . Karl Rahner’s thinking is also behind centering prayer, and Karl Rahner never, never was convinced that there is an infinite God. NEVER. . . .

Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ: Eucharistic Heretic

One of the first programs I ever watched on EWTN was hosted by a Franciscan priest, and he was talking about someone named Karl Rahner, whom I’d never really heard of before that point. He explained in great detail how Rahner, often regarded as one of the “premiere” theologians of Vatican II, taught heresy regarding the Blessed Sacrament. I have sought for years to get the background materials on this.

Well, challenged by an anonymous poster, I did a quick Google search, and my first hit was an article in EWTN’s database by Fr. Regis Scanlan, OFM Cap.:

In 1966 the late Fr. Karl Rahner stated that “one can no longer maintain
today that bread is a substance, as St. Thomas and the Fathers of the Council
(of Trent) obviously thought it was”.[12] ForRahner, the “substance” of a thing
did not include its reality, but the “meaning and
purpose” of the thing.[13]So, according to Karl Rahner, transubstantiation meant
that, after the consecration of the Mass, the physical bread remained physical
bread but it now had a new “meaning” of spiritual food because it wasnow a
“symbol” of Jesus Christ.[14]

So, Rahner held that the Eucharist was only a “symbol.”
Now here’s something from Fr. John Hardon, SJ:

We get some idea of how deeply this error has penetrated Catholic thought, when we read what Karl Rahner writes about the Eucharistic consecration. Rahner therefore is the first of the two master teachers of profound error on the Real Presence. I will quote now from Rahner’s language, not always so clear, I chose the clearest part that I could find. Quote Karl Rahner, “the more recent approaches suggest the following considerations, one has to remember that the words of institution indicate a change. But not give any guiding line for the interpretation of the actual process. As regarding transubstantiation it may be said, the substance, essence, meaning and purpose of the bread are identical but the meaning of a thing can be changed without changing the matter. The meaning of the bread has been changed through the consecration something which served profane use now becomes the dwelling place and the symbol of Christ who is present and gives Himself to His own.” unquote Karl Rahner. From the Encyclopedia of Theology edited by Rahner and defining the meaning of transubstantiation. What takes place through the Eucharistic consecration the significance the meaning attached to the bread changes but the bread remains bread. Rahner’s ideas are permeating the Eucharistic theology of whole nations.

In other words, the Mass is nothing more than a blessing. For example, when a priest blesses water and makes it holy water, it remains water, but its meaning has changed. There is no change in the substance of the water.
Rahner insists that “substance” is purely a term of definition, and that it is merely the definition of the Eucharistic species that has changed, not the species themselves.

To quote Flannery O’Connor, “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

UPDATE: Paul VI’s encyclical Mysterium Fidei was a direct response to Rahner’s blasphemies about the Blessed Sacrament. I’m sure my anonymous interlocutor will just say that that encyclical is not “ex cathedra,” and therefore Rahner trumps it.

Is the Church’s teaching on contraception infallible?

Here is an answer from Fr. William Saunders:

In explaining the Church’s teaching about artificial birth control, many people mistakenly think that this teaching is relatively new, something which occurred with “Humanae Vitae” in 1968.

Of course, Fr. Saunders starts with the story of Onan:

In Genesis, we find the story of Onan, the second son of Judah, who married Tamar, the widow of his older brother, Er. (The Levirate law of Judaism prescribed that if the older brother died the next oldest, single brother would marry his widow to preserve the family line.) The Bible reads, “Onan, however, knew that the descendants would not be counted as his; so whenever he had relations with his brother’s widow, he wasted his seed on the ground to avoid contributing offspring for his brother. What he did greatly offended the Lord and the Lord took his life” (cf Dt 38:1ff.) Here is a basic form of contraception withdrawal end clearly a sin in the eyes of God.

Advocates of artificial birth control try to say that Onan’s real sin was violating duty to his brother or some other sin, sometimes citing Rabbinical teachings.

However, it is defined Catholic teaching that “dissent” from an official Church interpretation of Scripture is heresy: yes, you can find *more* than what the Church has defined. But if, as in this case, the Church says, “Onan’s sin is contraception,” you can’t say, “No, it’s not.”

He moves on to the historical use of contraception in the ancient world:

History further illuminates the Church’s position on this subject. Anthropological studies show that means of artificial birth control existed in antiquity. Medical papyri described various contraceptive methods used in the year 2700 B.C. and in Egypt in the year 1850 B.C. Soranos (98-139 A.D.), a Greek physician from Ephesus, described 17 medically approved methods of contraception. Also at this time, abortion and infanticide were not uncommon practices in the Roman Empire.

Of course, as I often pointed out, we should read Exodus 1 in this context:

Then a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph 4 , came to
power in Egypt. He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful
the Israelite people are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come, let us
deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they
too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave our country.” (Exodus

Then he discusses the condemnations of “pharmakeia,” or “witchcraft,” or “potion-making,” which is usually listed as a sexual sin:

The early Christian community upheld the sanctity of marriage, marital love and human life. In the New Testament, the word “pharmakeia” appears, which some scholars link to the birth control issue. “Pharmakeia” denotes the mixing of potions for secretive purposes, and from Soranos and others, evidence exists of artificial birth control potions. Interestingly, “Pharmakeia” is sometimes translated as “sorcery?” in English. In three passages in which “pharmakeia” appears, other sexual sins are also condemned: lewd conduct, impurity, licentiousness, orgies “and the like” (e.g. Gal 5:19-21). This evidence highlights that the early Church condemned anything which violated the integrity of marital love.

The Didache:

“Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery”; thou shalt not commit
sodomy; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not
use magic; thou shalt not use philtres; thou shalt not procure abortion, nor
commit infanticide; “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”

The Catechism:

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:159

“Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.”160
. . .
2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

Casti Connubii:

53. And now, Venerable Brethren, we shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in matrimony when both parties consent) but by frustrating the marriage act. Some justify this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden. Others say that they cannot on the one hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties whether on the part of the mother or on the part of family circumstances .

54. But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.

55. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty egards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, “Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it.”[45]

56. Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.

57. We admonish, therefore, priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: “They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.[46]

58. As regards the evil use of matrimony, to pass over the arguments which are shameful, not infrequently others that are false and exaggerated are put forward. Holy Mother Church very well understands and clearly appreciates all that is said regarding the health of the mother and the danger to her life. And who would not grieve to think of these things? Who is not filled with the greatest admiration when he sees a mother risking her life with heroic fortitude, that she may preserve the life of the offspring which she has conceived? God alone, all bountiful and all merciful as He is, can reward her for the fulfillment of the office allotted to her by nature, and will assuredly repay her in a measure full to overflowing.[47]
. . .
61. However, they should take care lest the calamitous state of their external affairs should be the occasion for a much more calamitous error. No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. This truth of Christian Faith is expressed by the teaching of the Council of Trent. “Let no one be so rash as to assert that which the Fathers of the Council have placed under anathema, namely, that there are precepts of God impossible for the just to observe. God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.”[48]
. . .
65. All of which agrees with the stern words of the Bishop of Hippo in denouncing those wicked parents who seek to remain childless, and failing in this, are not ashamed to put their offspring to death: “Sometimes this lustful cruelty or cruel lust goes so far as to seek to procure a baneful sterility, and if this fails the fetus conceived in the womb is in one way or another smothered or evacuated, in the desire to destroy the offspring before it has life, or if it already lives in the womb, to kill it before it is born. If both man and woman are party to such practices they are not spouses at all; and if from the first they have carried on thus they have come together not for honest wedlock, but for impure gratification; if both are not party to these deeds, I make bold to say that either the one makes herself a mistress of the husband, or the other simply the paramour of his wife.”[51]
. . .
71 Furthermore, Christian doctrine establishes, and the light of human reason makes it most clear, that private individuals have no other power over the members of their bodies than that which pertains to their natural ends; and they are not free to destroy or mutilate their members, or in any other way render themselves unfit for their natural functions, except when no other provision can be made for the good of the whole body.

Mater et Magistra:

191. But granting this, We must nevertheless state most emphatically that no statement of the problem and no solution to it is acceptable which does
violence to man’s essential dignity
; those who propose such solutions base them on an utterly materialistic conception of man himself and his life.
. . .
193. We must solemnly proclaim that human life is transmitted by means of
the family
, and the family is based upon a marriage which is one and indissoluble and, with respect to Christians, raised to the dignity of a
sacrament. The transmission of human life is the result of a personal and
conscious act, and, as such, is subject to the all-holy, inviolable and immutable laws of God
, which no man may ignore or disobey. He is not
therefore permitted to use certain ways and means which are allowable in the propagation of plant and animal life.

194. Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members.

. . .
196. Genesis relates how God gave two commandments to our first parents: to
transmit human life—”Increase and mutliply” (44)
—and to bring nature into their service—”Fill the earth, and subdue it.” (45) These two commandments are complementary .

197. Nothing is said in the second of these commandments about destroying nature. On the contrary, it must be brought into the service of human life.
. . .
199. A provident God grants sufficient means to the human race to find a dignified solution to the problems attendant upon the transmission of human life. But these problems can become difficult of solution, or even insoluble, if man, led astray in mind and perverted in will, turns to such means as are opposed to right reason, and seeks ends that are contrary to his social nature and the intentions of Providence.

Donum Vitae:

Human procreation requires on the part of the spouses responsible collaboration with the fruitful love of God[21]; the gift of human life must be actualized in marriage through the specific and exclusive acts of husband and wife, in accordance with the laws inscribed in their persons and in their union.[22]

From Evangelium Vitae:

13. . . . It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the “contraceptive mentality”—which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act—are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church’s teaching on contraception is rejected. Certainly, from the moral point of view contraception and abortion are specifically different evils: the former contradicts the full truth of the sexual act as the proper expression of conjugal love, while the latter destroys the life of a human being; the former is opposed to the virtue of chastity in marriage, the latter is opposed to the virtue of justice and directly violates the divine commandment “You shall not kill”.

But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practised under the pressure of real-life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God’s law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted
in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfilment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception.
The close connection which exists, in mentality, between the practice of contraception and that of abortion is becoming increasingly obvious. It is being demonstrated in an alarming way by the development of chemical products, intrauterine devices and vaccines which, distributed with the same ease as contraceptives, really act as abortifacients in the very early stages of the development of the life of the new human being.

91. . . . It is therefore morally unacceptable to encourage, let alone impose, the use of methods such as contraception, sterilization and abortion in order to regulate births.

Here’s a case by Fr. Brian Harrison on the infallible formulation of Humanae Vitae.

Here’s a reprint of an article from L’Osservatore Romano which explains why our obedience is not limited to infallible declarations.

Did Obama "pivot" on Conscience Rights?

Some are suggesting there was an important change in policy hinted at in Obama’s Notre Dame speech. Even Bill Donohue is saying he has “pivoted.” Some are even taking the pro-life movement to task for not giving Obama credit for his apparent change of heart. Let’s look at what the President said:

“Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” he said, “and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

First, as often needs to be pointed out when abortion is a factor, abortion is only one aspect of medical conscience rights–just as Catholic identity, not abortion, was the primary issue with Notre Dame.

So, Obama says he wants to honor the rights of medical professionals who “disagree with abortion.” He doesn’t say anything about medical professionals who “disagree with embryonic stem cell research” or who “disagree with in vitro fertilization” or who “disagree with fetal tissue research” or “disagree with vaccines derived from fetal tissue,” or who “disagree with contraception.”

After all, opposition to abortion is traditionally part of the Hippocratic Oath, and even when it has been carefully removed, it is still considered generally acceptable for physicians to object to abortion.

The issue of conscience rights came about over the growing number of Catholic doctors and pharmacists who are objecting to the use of artificial birth control in their practices. It came out over the “morning after pill,” which, according to the ideology of those who support IVF and ESCR, is not an abortifacient, since it merely “prevents” a “pre-embryo” from implanting.

Let’s look at the next phrase: “sensible conscience clause.”
Operative word: “sensible.”

Again, part of the real controversy is not the ability of practitioners to refuse to engage in a partiuclar practice. It’s their refusal to *refer*.

For example, Dr. John Bruchalski of the Tepeyac Clinic makes it clear that he will not prescribe contraceptives. He says that he has many patients who *use* contraceptives, and appreciate his faith-based medical care, who will go to him for everything but and then go elsewhere for birth control. But he will neither prescribe nor refer.

I can see the argument that pharmacists should not confiscate prescriptions (but I question how often that occurs). But to refer is still remote material cooperation.

So, what exactly qualifies as “sensible”?

The final qualification is also crucial: “as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Now, first, this is laughable given our own experiences dealing with doctors on the subject of NFP. You’ll never see a more condescending reaction than if a female patient tells her OB/Gyn or GP that she practices Natural Family Planning.

“Rhythm Method doesn’t work.”
“I know lots of Catholic women who have different views of how to practice their faith.”
“I’m Catholic, but I disagree with the Church on that one.”
. . .

But getting back to Obama’s condition that “equality of women” be part of a conscience clause, you have to know the code.

“Reproductive Health” = abortion and contraception
“equality for women” = abortion and contraception. It’s what the whole modern Feminist
movement is based upon.

Contraception sterilizes women, destroys their femininity and makes them, in their view, “equal to men.”

Yes, again, assuming there’s validity to the claim that some pharmacists are confiscating women’s birth control prescriptions, that would not be a proper response in respect to individual conscience.

But a refusal to provide a service has nothing to do with equality.

If I go to a doctor and he wants me to take a higher dose of Coumadin, when I know from experience that, if my INR gets above 2.0, I bleed like crazy, I try to convince him otherwise. If he (or she) doesn’t want to listen, I find a new doctor.

That’s how it works.

Want an abortion? Go to Abortions ‘R’ Us. Or, wait, Planned Parenthood is only for black and hispanic, low-income women, so we can cure poverty be reducing the number of poor people.

No, rich white women are too good for Planned Parenthood. That would be like going to the Medicaid Clinic when they have a cold. They need their handsomely paid private physicians to perform their abortions so they can have a chance of not dying from infection or hemorrhaging.

In any case, that’s what “equality of women” means in Liberal-speak.

So, between “sensible conscience clause” and “equality for women,” what we get is what the left has been saying all along: it’s Ok for doctors to refuse to perform abortions, but they must be required to refer women to abortionists, and pharmacists don’t get any choice on what prescriptions they fill.

That is what he means. There’s no shift or pivot or waffle going on here. He’s just using his Doublespeak to win over a willing audience.

The Truth about "Assisted Suicide"

This article, dealing with an “assisted suicide” proposal in Quebec, says it all. Here are the key points:

In a March 2005 New England Journal of Medicine report called The Groningen Protocol, it is revealed that babies born with spina bifida, cleft palate and other abnormalities are being killed by Dutch physicians.

Consider the case of British Columbia couple George and Betty Coumbias, both 73. George is ill with serious heart disease and is seeking to be killed in Switzerland at a clinic called Dignitas. Betty is perfectly healthy, but she has decided she wants them to kill her at the same time as her husband, and this clinic is seriously considering it. More slipping and sliding going on here.

According to a 1991 Dutch report called Medical Decisions About the End of Life, by Prof. J. Remmelink, attorney general of the High Council of the Netherlands, in 1990 alone 1,031 people were killed by their physicians without their consent or knowledge. What I don’t understand is how this fact alone doesn’t stop the push for euthanasia cold. Of those 1,031 people murdered against their will, 14 per cent were fully competent and 72 per cent never expressed the will to be killed. In other words, those patients were given no choice then or ever again.

Numerous other reports in the Netherlands made similar hair-raising findings. In 1995, 950 people were killed without their consent or “choice,” and in 2005 (the most recent report in the Netherlands) 550 people were killed by their doctors without request or consent.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf comments on "the Commencement"

Since the actual graduation speeches on Sunday, “Fr. Z,” on his Facebook page, would post updates on his consideration of the speeches. He finally posted his response this afternoon. It is basically of the same thesis as the famous letter by Deacon Paul Weyrich about 10 years ago, after his “America’s Voice” network was sabotaged from within: secularly speaking, we have lost the Culture Wars.

Unlike Deacon Weyrich, Fr. Zuhlsdorf does not call for a total retreat into the metaphorical catacombs of subsistence farms and homeschools, and he *does* recommend a strong counter-attack. His message is more like that of St. Teresa of Avila, who wrote that, at times like this, we must first rebuild our spiritual strength before we take the world on in full assault.

It is hard to imagine, they will surely assume, that Ex corde Ecclesiae will ever be implemented now.

Frankly, I agree.

After all, who would implement it?

Unless we see, soon, some concrete gesture on the part of either the local bishop where Notre Dame is (and other bishops where there are other universities) or the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, then a battle will have been lost and won in this ever more closely joined culture war over the Church’s role in the modern world.

Among the reactions I gathered from the smart people I talk with about pivotal events – and we witnessed something pivotal on Sunday – I heard grim assessments and forecasts.

One person said, “America has a new pope”.

Therefore, after pondering this for a day, my response is finally to return to a basic premise of this blog.

More than ever, we must have what the Church really says, what Holy Church really has to offer. . . .

And so…I urge all priests and bishops who read this blog with any slight quaver of resonance or benevolence, to consider this with care:

If you sense that something quite serious and important is going on right now, for the love of God rethink your approach to how you foster Holy Church’s proper public worship.

That is why I love the title of the blog “Cosmos-Sex-Liturgy”. That is why, though I try to steer clear of apologetics and other issues, and I try to focus on pro-life/family related issues, I also comment on culture and especially on prayer and liturgy: because if we want to reform society, we must reform culture. If we want to reform souls, we need to do with through prayer and fasting, through greater devotion and more authentic liturgy.

The Culture Wars are essentially spiritual wars, and, unless we are practicing spiritual warfare, we will lose. That is why it’s greatly significant that both Fr. Weslin and Fr. John Corapi were at Notre Dame this weekend.

Here’s something else: I’ve said it many times. We often talk about “litmus tests.” Liberals try to say that we “self-proclaimed orthodox” Catholics make “one issue” the standard of the faith. Perhaps we do, but that “one issue” isn’t abortion. There are really two of them: contraception and liturgy.

Most Catholics will admit, at some level, they see abortion as wrong. They’ll come up with all sorts of excuses as to its legality, but they will admit they think it’s wrong. I have yet to meet a liberal Catholic who fully admits contraception is wrong. They may even claim to *follow* the Church’s teachings, but they always insist that it’s not an area where we can “judge” and they’ll always insist there are just reasons for commiting that intrinsic evil.

Plus, on the other end of the spectrum, few “Republican Catholics” are willing to seriously address contraception as a social issue.

Same is true of liturgy. Not all people who like traditional liturgy are “conservative.” Not all “conservatives” like traditional liturgy.

But the sheer hatred felt by many Catholics towards the traditional liturgy–especially since Summorum Pontificum–underlies a serious flaw in how they think. Their complete rejection of traditionalists belies their own, at least implicit, acceptance of a “hermeneutic of rupture.” Even many Christendom-type, conservative pro-life Catholics still see Vatican II as fundamentally a break with the past of the Church.

The discomfort such Catholics feel towards the Traditional Latin Mass/Gregorian Mass/Tridentine Mass/John XXIII Mass/extraordinary form (whichever you prefer) is usually a symbol of a deeper discomfort with some traditional teaching of the Church that they’d like to imagine was erased (rather than modified) by Vatican II.

Ralph McInerny on "A House Divided"

Notre Dame’s most esteemed soon-to-be professor emeritus comments on the recent events at the University where he has worked for over 50 years. The highlight:

All that is an old and oft-told story, still largely ignored officially. There grew up the notion that dissent from clear Church teaching was okay. With time, the difference between the moral teaching of dissenters and what was dismissively called “official” teaching blurred. Generations have been given a distorted notion of the faith. It is no wonder that Catholic politicians undertook to support policies in flat contradiction to what they purportedly believed privately. And so it was that on Sunday at Notre Dame faithful Catholics were regarded as dissenters. To such disfavor we have come.
If the Obama invitation has stirred such passionately prayerful reaction from an heroic band of students, from alumni and Catholics across the country, and – mirabile dictu – from more than seventy bishops, it may prove to have been providential, an opportunity for Catholics to recognize that their house is indeed divided.
Anathemas have been called for. Some long to have Notre Dame declared non-Catholic. Perhaps it will come to that, but the awakening of the laity, simple priests, a large number of the bishops, suggests that this is a possible epiphany. The sad fact is that people act contrary to the faith without realizing that that is what they are doing. A heretic chooses the opposite of the faith, but when in the present confusion as to what is in and what is out, heresy is not the appropriate word.

St. Teresa of Avila on headaches

St. Teresa de Jesus is the patroness of those who suffer from headaches, particularly migraines because she herself suffered horrible headaches.

I know headaches, for all sorts of reasons: tension headaches from my vision, sinus headaches, vascular headaches, etc. They are definitely a hindrance to prayer. Here’s what she has to say on avoiding prayer because of headaches:

“We stay away [from prayer] one day because our head ached, another because
it was just now aching, and three more so that it won’t ache again. And we seek to invent penances in our heads with the result that we can neither do the penances nor keep the observance. And at times the illness is slight, but we think we aren’t obliged to do anything since we have done our duty by asking permission” (Way of Perfection, Ch. 10, para. 6).