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 What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?) 
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New post What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
Hello Bellarmine Forums, I am a young man - having recently turned 22 - that has grown up in an irreligious household. I'm not sure at what point in my family tree my family departed from religion altogether (though my grandparents were not religious), but, being British, I imagine that they departed from the true one centuries ago. My parents are good and decent folk, they just lack the Faith and I doubt it has ever been properly preached to them. My finding of the faith has been a slow process, and what has slowed me down considerably is the scandalizing stories that have come out regarding the "Novus Ordo" over the last several decades. Once I had embraced God and his Divine Son I knew immediately that the Catholic Church was the true Church of Christ. For, you see, part of what was drawing me to the Faith was my delving into modern philosophy trying to discover something that could console me and prepare me for life, and finding it utterly barren. The most distinctive mark of modern philosophy seemed to me to be its subjectivism or personalism or phenomenalism - whatever you would like to call it - which reduces truth to a matter of opinion. At the same time I was feeding off of the insanities of Nietzsche, I was reading Plato; and while Nietzsche was appealing to my brooding adolescent heart, Plato was appealing to my mind. Plato would talk about the Good and Truth as though they had absolute existence and were discoverable, which contrasted sharply with modern philosophy. From Plato it was not far to Christ, and of all the churches it was clearly the Catholic Church that had the greatest claim to teach absolute truths with authority. "Dogmatism" is an insult today, but a quick glance at history told me this a consequence of the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, which brought about the attitude of "everyone has their own truth", "it doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong as long as we are nice people and don't hurt one and other", etc., that I was rebelling against. I was awed by the Catholic Church's claim to teach faith and morals infallibly, knowing by then that behind the world's false ideals of "peace" and of "tolerance" is something insidious.

So you can imagine how dismayed I was to find signs of the Catholic Church seemingly surrendering to the world, to the false spirit of the times. It was the one thing that I did not want to see. I was thinking, "the world teaches that worldly comfort is more important than truth, but the Catholic Church teaches the opposite; so surely the Catholic Church will have stood firm when all other institutions have failed for having embraced false doctrines." From despair, to hope, to despair again, I am now tired of giving into despair, especially now knowing that it is sin, and even - according to St. Thomas - the greatest of sins. I want to act but I do not know what act to make, which is why I am seeking clarification here through discussion. I've been posting on CathInfo intermittently for a while, but browsing this forum I enjoy the tone of conversation here and that - together with my favouring the Sedevacantist thesis over the Recognize & Resist thesis more popular there - is why I am here rather than there. There is an SSPX chapel over an hour's drive away; my father drove me there once but unfortunately the priest offering Mass that day was not the priest regular to that chapel, so I was unable to discuss with him there the opportunity for my being catechized (for prior to that I had discussed with an SSPX priest over the phone and he had advised me to attend Mass and talk to the priest there). The reason that I went to the SSPX, knowing that it was not the theological position I preferred, was that I thought there was some leeway on this issue, and that it would be better to seek the sacraments than to not do so because of a doctrinal issue I - being so woefully ill-educated on this matter - was unequipped to declare on anyway. Having returned home from Mass though, I began doubting my logic again and wondering whether or not I was going about this is in the right way.

I have said that I prefer the Sedevacantist thesis over Recognize & Resist: if the Post-Vatican II Popes are true Popes then my nascent Catholic Sense tells me that I should submit to them. I want there to be a Pope, and I want to submit to that Pope, because I want to be a Catholic; but being scandalized by the actions of recent Popes and their subordinates, and having listened to the objections of Traditional Catholics in general and Sedevacantists in particular, I am not sure that there is a Pope. Though the SSPX say that there is a Pope, in which case I would like to submit to him and his Magisterium; which is why in my mind I would rather be attending my local Novus Ordo Church (which happens to be a beautiful Cathedral), than an SSPX chapel; because I do not feel that I am equipped to judge a valid Pope or his Magisterium. If the Pope and the Magisterium say that the Novus Ordo liturgy is approved of by Christ and is a means of salvation, then who am I - a man that has never been confirmed, who has never received Holy Communion or the Sacrament of Penance, and who was baptized in an Anglican Church (though I the baptism was valid; my family never attended the church afterwards) - to disagree? It's absurd. I'm not even a Catholic yet and my initial training in the Faith has been how to avoid and not listen to the man that the world (and presumably God, according to the SSPX) recognizes as the Roman Pontiff. Sedevacantism is similar in this way too, in that in order to embrace it I am forced into the embarrassing situation of having to explain to my family, and to anyone that would ask, that: "I'm a Catholic, but I don't go to the local Church because Francis is a heretic, and not a true Pope". I've tried explaining it to my mother and she is not interested discussion on this matter; she just interprets it as my being proud and thinking, "no priest is good enough for me" - a comment which may in fact have substance. For, you see, I am not completely convinced that my embracing of, or wanting to embrace, Sedevacantism and so-called "Traditional Catholicism" (I would prefer to be a Catholic, without qualifiers), is motivated completely by reason and not by emotion. I have to admit to myself that perhaps you Traditional Catholics, though I know that your being scandalized by the Novus Ordo is serious, may have been deceived, and that perhaps you have been deceiving me. I'm not sure whether I have a solid case to declare the Pope a heretic and hide at home or seek a Sedevacantist chapel far from my current home, or whether the Devil has used true Catholic clergy to scandalize us and lead us into schism. On the other hand, I hear many stories - some of which are undoubtedly true, many of which are probably true - of how the Novus Ordo religion leads to a loss of faith, to sacrilegious worship, and so on.

So I have positive doubt as to whether I should belong to Francis or not. On the one hand, it does seem possible to me that God could have become so repulsed by man's sin that he would have allowed an imposter church to prevail in the eyes of the world, while keeping the true Church as a tiny remnant (like in the Old Testament when God allowed the Israelites to wallow in their abominations for a time, keeping aside one of his Prophets). On the other hand, I do not want to presume to know God's mind, and if I do not want to presume to know God's mind perhaps I should default to the most obvious course of action which would be to assume that Francis is Pope and to submit to him. If I don't submit to Francis, I will always fear that I may be displeasing to God for not doing so, and I fear that I would scandalize others (for how would I ever, for example, be able to convert anyone in my family to the Faith, having to tell them how the Modern world and Liberalism are wrong for denying the existence of truth; how the Protestant sects are all wrong because they lack the unity of truth; and that of all the churches the Catholic Church has the truth in unity because of the Papacy - and then to turn around and tell them that the Papacy is vacant and that they have to listen to, no, not the man the world recognizes as the Pope, but to me! A mere individual! After labouring to explain how we cannot leave the matter of truth down to personal opinion!). However, how can I ever expect to grow to be pleasing to God by attending a church that spews forth false doctrine and abuses an already suspect liturgy? If Vatican II had never happened, and if Rome had stayed true to the memory of Pope St. Pius X, and if the priests who had taken the Oath Against Modernism had remembered their oath and if it was still sworn by priests today - then I would be considering a vocation. As it is, not only am I not considering a vocation, I'm considering not attending church at all! These endless considerations bother me to no end; I want to be a Catholic but I do not know where to begin (where is the Church?). Without any sort of spiritual direction I also find myself wandering between scrupulousness and anxiety over my sins, and ignoring my sins and indulging myself in sloth and sensuality; it's not long before I find some consolation in reading St. John of the Cross's Ascent or Dark Night that I begin reading forum posts, listening to youtube videos, digging up old articles, and driving myself mad once again with the same considerations. I'm so consumed with these considerations that I neglect even the fundamentals of the Faith, like loving God and my neighbour. So here is my most recent attitude: I should forget Vatican II, I should focus solely on studying the catechism, the Scriptures, theology, and developing an interior life by reading ascetical works, and in pleasing God by practising virtue. I'm well aware that this is not a Catholic attitude, because I do not visibly submit myself to the Church and make a profession of Faith, but my response to that objection is as follows: even if I were to attend a Sedevacantist or SSPX chapel, or a Novus Ordo church, I would not be sure in myself that I was truly submitting myself to the Church and making a true profession of Faith, because I have positive doubt as to where the Catholic Church is. "Where Peter is, there is the Church". I agree, but where is Peter?

I'd appreciate any comments you may have / any discussion.

Faithfully,
Jack.


Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:29 pm
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
Well, you've summed up why there have been so few conversions since Vatican II. As Archbishop Lefebvre said on the floor of the Council in October 1964, addressing the proposed Declaration on Religious Liberty, Dignitatis Humanæ, “Should this statement in its present terms come to be solemnly accepted, the veneration that the Catholic Church has always enjoyed among all men and all nations, because of her love of truth, unfailing to the point of martyrdom, will suffer grave harm, and that to the misfortune of a multitude of souls whom Catholic truth will no longer attract.”

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Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:11 am
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
There's a great danger in spending one's energies debating things which do not need to be settled, until and unless one has settled more fundamental matters.

You have been baptised. Baptism makes one a member of the Church and the character and grace of baptism maintains this effect except where prevented by an obstacle - in your case, the obstacle of heresy. But that heresy seems from your testimony to have been removed. Therefore you are able to be recognised as a member of the Catholic Church merely by presenting yourself and publicly testifying to your faith - that is, renouncing your errors and making a profession of the true faith, which are the essential elements of the reception of a convert. You don't need to concern yourself over the legalities of which priest to approach, just so long as you know that "Rome" recognises the SSPX as Catholics. If you were received by an SSPX priest you would be recognised as a Catholic by "Rome", so that potential difficulty is chimerical. You just need to follow the dictates of grace and take the necessary step.

Even in relation to the public worship of the Church the situation is less complicated in practice than might appear. Benedict admitted in Summorum Pontificorum that the old mass had never been legally prohibited, so that it follows as night follows day that any priest may offer the Holy Sacrifice acording to the traditional missal without any possibility of censure. The Modernists have given the game away with that admission. How could you be censured for assisting at such a Mass? Indeed, nobody ever is censured for doing so. Again, whatever view we take of these questions on the theoretical plane, there's no difficulty in practice.

Go and become a Catholic, practice the faith, and experience the joy of the state of grace and all of the riches of the Church, and don't worry about what other people think - and don't throw your pearls before swine, or holy things to dogs, who will only turn and rend you. Over time you will learn how to give a reason for the faith that is in you without unnecessarily provoking ridicule or anger. Patience. But first, embrace what the grace of God has presented to you and be grateful for it. Our gratitude can never be sufficient.

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Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:05 am
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
John Lane wrote:
Well, you've summed up why there have been so few conversions since Vatican II. As Archbishop Lefebvre said on the floor of the Council in October 1964, addressing the proposed Declaration on Religious Liberty, Dignitatis Humanæ, “Should this statement in its present terms come to be solemnly accepted, the veneration that the Catholic Church has always enjoyed among all men and all nations, because of her love of truth, unfailing to the point of martyrdom, will suffer grave harm, and that to the misfortune of a multitude of souls whom Catholic truth will no longer attract.”


Yes, it is very scandalizing. I also heard that the fallout from Vatican II ruined a lot of vocations. All the way up until Vatican II the Church seems so consistent in its character and in its teaching. I listened to the debate between Bishop Sanborn and Dr. Fastiggi yesterday, and one of the things that stood out to me, which is something that Bp. Sanborn himself did not fail to notice, was the inconsistency between Dr. Fastiggi's fiery accusation of Bp. Sanborn being in schism and the pandering and soft touch that the Vatican II church takes towards every false religion. I can't imagine anyone representing the Vatican II church shouting with such righteous anger in a Mosque, Synagogue, Eastern Orthodox church, or Protestant church. "Every kind of religion is permitted except for the Catholic religion as practised prior to Vatican II; that is a schismatic sect", seems to be the policy. That's what is really scandalizing: the Vatican II church ostensibly teaches that anyone in any religion can be saved, therefore I would have no reason to convert to that church.

I'm sure that you already know this, however, having to think about it for a lot longer than I have.

John Lane wrote:
There's a great danger in spending one's energies debating things which do not need to be settled, until and unless one has settled more fundamental matters.

You have been baptised. Baptism makes one a member of the Church and the character and grace of baptism maintains this effect except where prevented by an obstacle - in your case, the obstacle of heresy. But that heresy seems from your testimony to have been removed. Therefore you are able to be recognised as a member of the Catholic Church merely by presenting yourself and publicly testifying to your faith - that is, renouncing your errors and making a profession of the true faith, which are the essential elements of the reception of a convert. You don't need to concern yourself over the legalities of which priest to approach, just so long as you know that "Rome" recognises the SSPX as Catholics. If you were received by an SSPX priest you would be recognised as a Catholic by "Rome", so that potential difficulty is chimerical. You just need to follow the dictates of grace and take the necessary step.

Even in relation to the public worship of the Church the situation is less complicated in practice than might appear. Benedict admitted in Summorum Pontificorum that the old mass had never been legally prohibited, so that it follows as night follows day that any priest may offer the Holy Sacrifice according to the traditional missal without any possibility of censure. The Modernists have given the game away with that admission. How could you be censured for assisting at such a Mass? Indeed, nobody ever is censured for doing so. Again, whatever view we take of these questions on the theoretical plane, there's no difficulty in practice.

Go and become a Catholic, practice the faith, and experience the joy of the state of grace and all of the riches of the Church, and don't worry about what other people think - and don't throw your pearls before swine, or holy things to dogs, who will only turn and rend you. Over time you will learn how to give a reason for the faith that is in you without unnecessarily provoking ridicule or anger. Patience. But first, embrace what the grace of God has presented to you and be grateful for it. Our gratitude can never be sufficient.


Thank you Mr. Lane. I admit that I have been troubling myself with chimeras. God keeps on reminding me of this in subtle ways, but I have been impatient with Him, wanting all of the answers before the time. I just want to forget this issue and start with the very basics of the Faith, because thinking about who is a heretic and who isn't is too great an opportunity for pride for a beginner.

This question is open to you and anyone else on the forum that has experience in the matter: do you think that it is best for me to avoid a Novus Ordo church? I've heard and seen many scandalizing things, but I am not sure if those are notorious exceptions or the rule. I imagine that it is the rule because there seems to be a ruthless consistency running through the Novus Ordo which creates opportunities for scandal. I don't have first-hand experience with how bad it is, which is why I am asking you. I don't want to avoid the Novus Ordo because of a preference for Latin or anything like that; I'd only want to avoid it if I were convinced that God wanted me to avoid it. Also, what do you all think of the "non una cum" Sedevacantists? Is it a case where we cannot be sure and so are allowed a degree of flexibility? If that's the case, why is there not more unity among Traditional Catholics? Why is it divided into so many opinions and sects? Why not just limit "Traditional Catholicism" to celebrating Mass in the traditional style and giving sermons in the traditional style? This is one of the things that makes me suspicious of so-called Traditional Catholicism in general: if God has decided to preserve the Church among "Traditional Catholics" then why is there such uncatholic disunity among us? One could argue: it is the Devil causing division. But then how am I to tell which sect is the true religion and which are the sects of perdition without being a veteran theologian, ecclesiologist, etc.? This is one of the things that suggests to me that perhaps the Novus Ordo still is the Catholic Church, and that perhaps "Traditional Catholicism" is a case where very well-intentioned folk have been scandalized by devil-possessed clergy, and have reacted in a way that, while understandable given the circumstances, is not justified. At least the Novus Ordo appears to have Catholic unity. So perhaps I am to sit in a Novus Ordo church and just silently disagree with my pastor whenever he makes a mistake, or talk to him privately about it? But how can there be a Catholic Church where the laymen is supposed to be constantly analysing and contradicting his pastor? That would seem to contradict the very nature of the Church.
Let me summarize the question as follows: how can the Church be VISIBLE if I have to be a trained theologian in order to see it?

Thank you for your time, and sorry for having to put you in the position of a pastor :lol:,

God bless,
Jack.


Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:33 pm
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
I read the following from a Novus Ordo apologist named E. Michael Jones today, from a debate that he had a while back with SSPX apologist Michael Davies:

E. Michael Jones wrote:
That is Mr. Davies position. But what is the position of the Catholic Church? Canon 751 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states that schism is the refusal of submission to the roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him. In case Mr. Davies finds the 1983 Code tainted with the spirit of Vatican II, I draw his attention to Canon 1325 of the 1917 code which states that "if anyone refuses to be subject to the Supreme Pontiff or if he refuses communion with those members of the church who are subject to him he is schismatic." And if Mr. Davies feels that the 1917 code is hopelessly tainted by proximity to the twentieth century I refer him to St. Thomas Aquinas. In the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas defines schism in the following manner: "Schismatics are those who refuse obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff and who refuse to communicate with the members of the Church subject to him." (Summa Theologiae, IIa, IIae 39) This formulation is almost verbatim the definition we find in the 1983 code which brings things full circle and shows that on a matter as basic as schism the Church has maintained a remarkable consistency throughout the centuries. It also shows that Mr. Davies definition is unique to Mr. Davies. There are no subjectivist escape clauses in the Church's definition of schism. The Church from earliest times has maintained adamantly that there is no justification whatsoever for breaking communion with the Church, "even" as St. Augustine says "on the admission of evil and sacrilegious men."
http://www.culturewars.com/CultureWars/Archives/Fidelity_archives/SSPX6.htm


He mainly argues against what people today call the "sifting" nature of SSPX where the SSPX decides when to obey the Pope and when not to - this he calls subjectivist, liberal, etc.

Perhaps it is a case where the Catholic Church has been taken over by very many evil and sacrilegious men, but that it is nevertheless still the Church. Well, that ecclesiology makes no sense, so let me rephrase: perhaps it is the case where the Catholic Church has an evil and sacrilegious pontiff, many evil and sacrilegious cardinals and bishops, and many evil and sacrilegious parish priests, monks, and nuns, but that nevertheless these evil and sacrilegious persons belong to the Catholic Church and all Catholics owe obedience to said evil and sacrilegious pontiff. I know that there is a difference between a morally evil Pope and a heretical imposter Pope, but how am I supposed to tell the difference? By becoming a theologian on the level of St. Robert Bellarmine? By listening to the theologies of various self-appointed preachers who do not agree with one and other?

If the Catholic Church has not given you explicit approval to preach, then surely you must have that approval from God Himself - but which of the preachers of Traditional Catholicism can claim to have obtained that appointment from God? Have any of you been raised to the position of an Old Testament prophet? And if neither God nor the Church has sent you to preach, then who has? Perhaps you could argue that you have implicit approval from God or from the Church, but that does not, albeit my eyes are not trained, appear to me to be sufficient. How am I to tell who has received this implicit approval and who hasn't? Why should I trust any of you and not the infamous "Pope Michael", or the slightly less infamous "Dimond Brothers", or the less infamous still but still quite infamous Richard Ibranyi? Because you are "moderate" whereas they are "extreme"? That's a bit vague, but I'll let you answer rather than put words in your mouth.

Please don't mistake me for being ill-willed. I hope you understand my caution and thoroughness in dealing with this very serious matter.


Last edited by McFiggly on Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:56 pm
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
Another quote from the same source:

E. Michael Jones wrote:
This is the Church speaking now. She is saying nothing more than what she has said for her entire history. Breaking the unity of the Church is never justified. It is to religion what abortion is to the moral law. Anyone who appeals to private judgment to justify such an act is not only wrong; he is also a liberal. As Cardinal Ratzinger wrote to Archbishop Lefebvre on 28 July 1987, "by producing your own interpretation of the texts of the Magisterium, you would paradoxically display the very liberalism which you have combated so strongly and you would be acting against the aim you are seeking." When it comes to Mr. Davies and Archbishop Lefebvre, the disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. The philosophy at the heart of the Society of St. Pius X is not "traditionalism;" it is pick-and-choose liberalism.

That was Cardinal Ratzinger six years ago (1987). Sixteen hundred years ago, St. Augustine had virtually the same thing to say, when he claimed that "it is a manifest rule that one ought in no wise by the establishment of a separate communion to secede from the Catholic communion, that is from the body of Christians throughout the world, even on the admission of evil and sacrilegious men..."

Needless to say, there was a state of emergency, in Mr. Davies sense of term in existence back then as well. But no state of emergency and no amount of evil and sacrilegious men in the Church ever justifies defying the pope on a matter this grave or breaking the bond of unity with those who maintain communion with him. "If the communion of wicked men destroyed the Church in the time of Cyprian," St. Augustine write to the Donatists, "they have no source from which they can derive their own communion; and if the Church was not destroyed, they have no excuse for their separation from it." The Church is not destroyed, nor are her sacraments adversely affected by communion with wicked men. If they were, she would have ceased to exist long before Archbishop Lefebvre had ever been born.

http://www.culturewars.com/CultureWars/Archives/Fidelity_archives/SSPX6.htm


Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:01 pm
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
Two comments.

1. Do some searches of this forum and a lot of reading - many of the objections/questions you are presenting have been answered thoroughly already. Use http://www.google.com/advanced_search and put http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums in the "site or domain" box.

2. E Michael Jones hasn't noticed the nuclear destruction of Vatican II which produced utter chaos, a shattering of doctrinal and disciplinary unity, and of which the traditionalist reaction is only in one sense a side-show. Why on earth would anybody take anything he says seriously? His entire position is predicated on assuming that the elephant in the living room is not actually there. "You are breaching the perfect unity of doctrine and discipline maintained everywhere else in the Church..." Riiiiigggghhhht!!!!

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Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:48 am
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
McFiggly wrote:
I'm sure that you already know this, however, having to think about it for a lot longer than I have.


Implicit in this entire analysis or commentary is the recognition that the Conciliar "magisterium" cannot be trusted. Indeed, it doesn't even make sense, as you point out.

So we're back to submitting to the pre-V2 magisterium and ignoring the new one, which is perfectly reasonable and practicable and really not unprecedented, insofar as any Catholic in, say, 16th century England had the same problem and the same solution was available and necessary. Communications with Rome were not particularly close or clear for great swathes of Church history, and especially during crises, so if we take that as the example and react the same way that the saints did in the past, the problem is reduced to a manageable one.

Again, this point illustrates the folly of trying to solve every problem before taking care of the fundamentals. Go and ensure your membership in the Church and put aside the knotty problems that can wait for better and clearer data, and can be viewed from the perspective of the state of grace!

McFiggly wrote:
Thank you Mr. Lane. I admit that I have been troubling myself with chimeras. God keeps on reminding me of this in subtle ways, but I have been impatient with Him, wanting all of the answers before the time. I just want to forget this issue and start with the very basics of the Faith, because thinking about who is a heretic and who isn't is too great an opportunity for pride for a beginner.


It's an opportunity for pride for all, not just beginners. Now, if you are serious about this comment, make sure you act in accordance with what you recognise as true.

McFiggly wrote:
This question is open to you and anyone else on the forum that has experience in the matter: do you think that it is best for me to avoid a Novus Ordo church? I've heard and seen many scandalizing things, but I am not sure if those are notorious exceptions or the rule. I imagine that it is the rule because there seems to be a ruthless consistency running through the Novus Ordo which creates opportunities for scandal. I don't have first-hand experience with how bad it is, which is why I am asking you. I don't want to avoid the Novus Ordo because of a preference for Latin or anything like that; I'd only want to avoid it if I were convinced that God wanted me to avoid it.


You can avoid it on the basis that it's doubtful - doctrinally, legally, morally, and even in terms of validity. It's a novelty and novelties are to be shunned as unreliable. Salvation requires certitude of means - uncertain means are unlawful. There's nothing proud about a modest and practical doubt. Just leave aside the Novus Ordo on the grounds of modest and undemonstrative doubt and you won't have to answer every question about it, from yourself or from others.

McFiggly wrote:
Also, what do you all think of the "non una cum" Sedevacantists? Is it a case where we cannot be sure and so are allowed a degree of flexibility? If that's the case, why is there not more unity among Traditional Catholics? Why is it divided into so many opinions and sects? Why not just limit "Traditional Catholicism" to celebrating Mass in the traditional style and giving sermons in the traditional style? This is one of the things that makes me suspicious of so-called Traditional Catholicism in general: if God has decided to preserve the Church among "Traditional Catholics" then why is there such uncatholic disunity among us?


Well, the Church consists of all of those who profess the true faith, worship in the same way according to the approved rites, and are subject to the Roman Pontiff. All traditionalists (and many or most Oriental Catholics) fulfil all three parts of the definition. The Novus Ordo certainly doesn't fulfil the first condition and arguably doesn't meet the second or third either. To grasp the nature of the third condition it is vital to know that subjection to the Roman Pontiff does not mean clapping when you see him on TV kissing the ground in some far-flung corner of the world. It means obeying his laws. For example, accepting all of his doctrinal laws, fasting on the days appointed, assisting at Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, keeping the laws regarding marriage, etc. Traditionalists keep all of the laws of the pre-Vatican II popes, and there is a great unity in this, even recognising the minor and non-essential differences of fact which we all recognise as points of difference, but not true division (e.g. the length of the Eucharistic fast). One could argue that we are failing to obey the Conciliar popes, on the hypothesis that they have been true popes, but then one would have to show which laws they have promulgated that we don't obey, and I challenge anybody to make even a prima facie case on that score. Even the Novus Ordo Missae was never made a law obliging anybody to offer mass according to it. Legally, it is arguable that no priest even has the right to offer mass with the new rite.

McFiggly wrote:
At least the Novus Ordo appears to have Catholic unity.

You obviously haven't any experience of it. I was raised in it, and I was intensely interested in how it worked and what it taught, etc. I can tell you, as anybody in my position can, that it has no doctrinal authority, exacts no doctrinal submission, tolerates no doctrinal intolerance (i.e. will not tolerate Catholic doctrine except as opinion), and as a result enjoys no unity of profession - not even the unity that the early Lutherans enjoyed of unity in the profession of a false faith. No, that is Babel, and the traditionalist milieu is a tranquil pond of peace and unity in comparison.

McFiggly wrote:
how can the Church be VISIBLE if I have to be a trained theologian in order to see it?


You don't. You just need to know what it means when we profess to believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It's not theology, it's catechism. The Church's unity is fundamentally, primarily, one of the outward profession of the same faith by all of her members. This we traditionalists have, and the Conciliar sect simply doesn't. It doesn't even claim to have it, does nothing to bring it about, and observes pacifically the blatant fact that it does not have it. It's Babel, and it glories in being Babel.

Here's the true constitutive principle of the Conciliar Church, and its inevitable effect, expressed in the imcomparable prose of GK Chesterton:

Quote:
Yet exactly such a pantheon had been set up two thousand years before by the shores of the Mediterranean; and Christians were invited to set up the image of Jesus side by side with the image of Jupiter, of Mithras, of Osiris, of Atys, or of Ammon. It was the refusal of the Christians that was the turning-point of history.

If the Christians had accepted, they and the whole world would have certainly, in a grotesque but exact metaphor, gone to pot. They would all have been boiled down to one lukewarm liquid in that great pot of cosmopolitan corruption in which all the other myths and mysteries were already melting. It was an awful and an appalling escape. Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realise that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions.

GK Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.

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Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:44 am
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New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
John Lane wrote:
Here's the true constitutive principle of the Conciliar Church, and its inevitable effect, expressed in the imcomparable prose of GK Chesterton:

Quote:
Yet exactly such a pantheon had been set up two thousand years before by the shores of the Mediterranean; and Christians were invited to set up the image of Jesus side by side with the image of Jupiter, of Mithras, of Osiris, of Atys, or of Ammon. It was the refusal of the Christians that was the turning-point of history.

If the Christians had accepted, they and the whole world would have certainly, in a grotesque but exact metaphor, gone to pot. They would all have been boiled down to one lukewarm liquid in that great pot of cosmopolitan corruption in which all the other myths and mysteries were already melting. It was an awful and an appalling escape. Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realise that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions.

GK Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.


I had forgotten that Chesterton, in his charity to the future, commented so explicitly on the Assisi meetings! Brilliant.


Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:11 pm
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Posts: 52
New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
Jack,

Your posts are exceptionally articulate. You posit well the dilemma facing serious Catholics and the problems with each solution. Have you made a decision yet? If so, how did you come to it?


Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:39 pm
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Posts: 210
New post Re: What should I do? (How do I become a Catholic?)
I had like 2 weeks ago a really beautiful long post, going point by point. The problem is I forgot to put my clipboard manager on, and BF tends to sometimes log you out. So before posting at all, I always copy paste it before anything. I had done a 4 hour post for you, but it got lost O_O. So anyone out there, just make sure to always save your message before its sent. So you don't have to suffer the same fate. It would be a good idea John if you can add an auto saving feature or something like that.

Well anyways PM, I can talk to you and go over some stuff.

Most of all, Welcome to the Catholic Church. It is a glorious age to be a Catholic, the graces that we are given are so much more then previous times. Therefore the sanctity of our true modern Saints, is that much more. Never forget that, and let that be your hope, because remember we hope against hope (to quote scripture).

My sincerest best wishes in your forming your conscience, always do it according to Catholic principles. Most of all you should stick to reading St. Thomas, I remember reading one of the Popes. He said that one year of study of St. Thomas was more then a lifetime of study of the Father's. I think it was John XXII who said that, remember he was the one who canonized him :-). Here is an excellent resource http://www.dhspriory.org/thomas/, combine that with Yakitome to read the books for you. Stick to Thomist principles and no false prophets/teachers will ever deceive you. That simple.

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Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:38 am
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