"Vatican II: 50 Years On, The New Evangelization"
3-5 May 2012, Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario
Sponsored by the Canadian Forum on Theology and Education
As advertised at the New Catholic Times
PROBING THE THEOLOGICAL DEPTHS...
- "Prophets of the Earth and Universe"
- "What’s it all about Alfie? Curriculum in a Catholic school"
REFLECTIONS & REMINISCES ON LITURGICAL INNOVATIONS...
- "will address the legacy"
Okay, let's go in for the kill...
I. Don't know about the reader, but this writer always has enjoyed shooting fish in a barrel. Or would that be fishes in a barrel? Anyhow, the proliferation of heretics these days has topped off that barrel, so somebody has to do it. Perhaps some would deem this pleasure of mine perverse. Know, however, that perversion resides with those persons who, while claiming assent with Catholic doctrine, advocate notions manifestly inconsistent with it, as borne out with objective facts. According to my favourite dictionary, perverse means a "turning away from what is right or good... corrupt, incorrect, improper... obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted... wrongheaded... arising from or indicative of stubbornness". Admittedly, this lowly compiler has the propensity for stubbornness and, yes, even to be an outlandish smartass. Yet identify any error regarding dogma in this blog and I will correct it, wholeheartedly submitting to the authority of the Church. For penance I'd even be willing to be Joy Behar's pool boy for a month.
II. So what specifically is the Canadian Forum on Theology and Education? Reportedly, it started as "high school forum" in 1979, recommencing anew in 2007. In essence, it's an annual get-together of lesser light heretics who actually think that the Vatican takes them seriously. If you check out the CFTE website and click the "contact" link, the listed address (in St. Catharines, Ontario) is the same as the headquarters for the New Catholic Times. NCT claims itself to be "the only online Pan-Canadian Catholic independent magazine". This, apparently, is a fancy way of saying it has a site on the internet. Given that NCT is probably the most radical of Canadian Catholic media outlets, and that the CTFE "forum" is advertised on the NCT website, it's rather pedestrian to forecast what the aforementioned boomerfest will entail. A little hindcasting shows that a past speaker was one Diarmuid O'Murchu who, as of 2006, was under investigation by the CDF. He is author the book Quantum Theology (1997) and occasional blogger for the National Catholic Reporter. His latest blog post: "The new stage of psychic evolution". O'Murchu's spiel is the usual Process Theology twaddle, disproven for decades now, by the likes of Monsignor Fulton Sheen, that is, in his earlier academic works. Nonetheless, to spare any potential suckers out there from blowing 400 smackers to party with the Nu-Church hipsters at the Atheneum Plastique, figured I'd give a kind of "heads up" overview as a public service.
III. So here we go... Some teasing at the CFTE website:
What does it mean to be Church today?... Theologians and bishops continue to recognize Vatican II as the most significant event in Catholic history in over 400 years... As an ecumenical council is the highest teaching authority in the Catholic Church.... The Second Vatican Council urged the Church to recognize itself in the achievements of society, such as human rights, democracy and religious pluralism. At the same time the Council urges us to resist the dark side of progress: individualism, instrumental thinking, the unregulated market system, and the neo-colonial exploitation of the Third World. Social solidarity is in decline, while indifference to the common good grows... Vatican Council II was a new way of thinking and a new way of being for the Church. It showed that the Church can and must be part of the world for which Jesus died.Now this stuff is just fantastic. So much here. One could have a field day. Right now, however, I have not the energy to write a detailed analysis thereof. What can be said is that this is emblematic verbiage of the Nu-Church hipster demographic: mainly 60+ years in age, grey hair (if colouring not utilized), plaid apparel and a penchant for wanting to "get involved". You see, these types are increasingly becoming cognizant that time is running out, and the 50th anniversary of Vatican II is only a stark reminder of the clock ticking toward midnight. That gallery of V2 superstars are now reconsidering the victory they prefigured was theirs. The aggiornamento has steered off course, not within sight down range along the revolutionary horizon. Case in point is Pope Benedict: Summorum Pontificum, SSPX negotiations, et cetera. Forsooth, what can the Nu-Church hipsters do to reclaim that which was theirs? Well, they can have a "forum"...
IV. The CFTE forum is to be constituted of five sessions: (i) "Why the Council Matters", (ii) "the historical context, the personalities, issues, debates, and politics of the Council with some focus on the Canadian participants", including Remi "Enneagram" De Roo and his boyfriend Greg Baum, facilitator of the Winnipeg Statement, (iii) "on education, on the church, etc. - and the issues and challenges they have generated", (iv) "session will be panel-like in its format", (v) "will address the legacy, the future, the potentialities, the pitfalls, and the crises of SVC". The star speakers of the show are two. First, Michael Higgins: writer/columnist for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Commonweal, contributor to the CBC and TV Ontario... you get the idea. Second up is Jessica Taylor:
...PhD candidate in Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. She did her B.A (Theology) at St. Paul’s and M.A at Ottawa... During her time in Ottawa she facilitated Positive Space workshops for the University of Ottawa’s Center for Equity and Human Rights. Jessica brings to her presentations a commitment to social justice and feminist principles.You get the idea. Ummm... ahhhh, don't forget the retreats and workshops. Here's a suite of "themes" to be addressed [TH2 comments in bolded square brackets]:
- Educating for Justice. [standard issue, zzzzzzzzzzz]
- The New Cosmology: The New Story. [admixture of religion and science, just like the pagans of old, confusion of natural with supernatural, no distinction between immanent and transcendent, blurring poles of dualisms into one, etc.]
- Using Stories and Games to Teach and Learn [hee hee hee hee, it's playtime kids]
- Catholic Education: It's how we do it not what we teach. [note how the manner of teaching as such, i.e. "how we do it", overrides the word, thought, "not what we teach", cf. Goethe's Faust: "In the beginning was the Deed", Marxist primacy on action, and so forth]
- Teilhard, Thomas Berry, Diarmuid O’Murchu, Rosemary Ruether, Miriam McGillis, Maureen Wild: Prophets of the Earth and Universe. [heretics, charlatans, a cornucopia of pantheism, feminism, nature worship, Gaia and so on]
- What's it all about Alfie? Curriculum in a Catholic school. [I have no bloody idea what this is all about]
V. Let's return to the New Catholic Times, specifically it's head honcho Ted Schmidt. If any of you Catholic Canucks haven't before heard of this character, it's about time you did. He's got a long history of activism, one of those careerists that does the circuit around the country, polluting minds with "workshops" on social justice and allied subjects. At the website with the http "renewedpriesthood.org", or at the publisher Seraphim Editions, you will find his book Journeys to the Heart of Catholicism. Go to the sites, read reviews (note reviewer names, affiliations) and it's a rather simple exercise to understand what's going on. Catholic Insight calls Schmidt a "dissenting gadfly". Here's an example of Ted in action at a Toronto Star column last year:
The central teaching of Vatican II was a radical paradigm shift from hierarchy to communion. A new root metaphor - People of God - now defined the church as an absolutely egalitarian people, a communion, a discipleship of equals. Baptism, not holy orders, was the central sacrament. The Spirit was given not to a tiny clerical and celibate elite but to all the baptized.Okay, he's a Protestant or a Conciliarist or a follower of Schillebeekx's idea of the "Democratic Rule of the Church" or whatever. Next:
Poll after poll, however, indicates that Catholics are ignoring head office. Demands to end mandatory celibacy, advance women in every church role available to men, a new sexual ethic, etc. have only increased.Okay, Teddy wants married priests, further feminization in the Church and a free reign of polymorphic sexual activity. What else do we have here?:
In his 26 years as pope [John Paul II], no priest was made bishop who did not follow the hard Roman line on the role of women, birth control and abortion... In the 45 years since the dust was blown off an antiquated institution, lay people, particularly in strong democratic countries, took to the new reforms with gusto. This would radically change under the authoritarian John Paul II and his German enforcer, Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.Okay, Teddy wants women priests, contraception, is a pope basher and, obviously, takes a pro-abortion stance. Evidence for the latter comes from the NCT website itself. On July 5, 2010 it posted an article by Daniel McGuire of Marquette University, also "president of the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health, and Ethics". The paper is entitled "Hierarchy, Sex and Power - a primer on educating bishops". It was originally printed in Conscience, a periodical published by Catholics for Choice.
VI. So, then: Does the abovementioned qualify for manifest heresy? The editorial board at the Catholic Register doesn't think so...
VII. We could, I guess, let Schmidt the fossilizing Modernist criminal whine and cry all he wants. The biological solution looms and such V2 remnants are now well aware of the disinterested and dreaded march of time. Hence the undercurrent of desperation in his Toronto Star commentary. Thing is, Schmidt and his ilk always have readily available venues to spew their heretical nonsense, they populate (however sporadically) various influential positions within the Church's structure and, most notably, it does not take many of these enemies within the Catholic Church to effectuate changes for the worse. If this paltry number of heretics and apostates want change hard enough... if they have the will and wherewithal, they will get what they want, they will get their desired revolution, pending God's permission or any interdiction He deems necessary. As the late Primate of Poland Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński spoke: "Certain historical developments are willed by the Lord of History, and they shall take place. Many other developments, mostly minor, that same Lord is willing". In this context, it's disheartening that a significantly larger number of Catholics in Canada, silently attentive to the infection within, have yet to rise up in a substantial way, to overwhelm the Modernist blowhards. No need to be intimidated by these geriatrics. If a real challenge was posed against the Modernists, you would be surprised at how quickly they would cower. It's the "sleeping giant" scenario, you know. And there isn't even a need to use "shock and awe" tactics, as is done in this space.
VIII. In light of this situation, TH2 now asks himself this question: Why did the editor at the Catholic Register recently publish a column by the radical Ted Schmidt? Opinion commentary at CR, "Canada's Catholic News Source", is supposed to be more reputable than the antinomian tripe dished out at NCT, yes? But Ted Schmidt?! Heck, even Bentley and his latte leftism was tolerable, though he seems to have disappeared. Schmidt's piece was a typical liberal routine in selectively extracting quotes from papal encyclicals to justify a vulgar socialism. Standard fare with the Nu-Church hipsters. Thus we can disregard that noise for now. Instead, let us focus: "Why?", I asked myself again. I pondered. I ruminated. I cogitated. I ate a cheese sandwich and thunk some more. Still, no solution to the conundrum. So, then, tell us, Mr. O'Leary: Why did you publish an article by a pope-bashing, pro-abort, antinomian Catholic and demonstrated radical? Eh, hotshot? Certainly, you must know these facts. Tell us what you know about the world. I'm interested. Come on, Mr. Publisher/Editor, tell us. I'm very interested. Justify it.
IX. But the story doesn't end there. It's that unspoken, ongoing ruse that's been in effect for weeks, for months, for years, for decades. For example, last November reporter Shiela Nonato wrote a puff piece on the apostate Mary Jo Leddy, her views on "a more just society" and so forth. Let it be known that Leddy, along with excommunicated priest Greg Baum, founded the now defunct Marxist Catholic New Times, of which Schmidt was also an editor (not to be confused with the online NCT). This former habitless hussy abandoned the Sisters of Sion because - get this - "vocation is about where the heart is". Golly gee, how charming. Was that a reference to Wesley's "religion of the heart"? Or, perchance, a throwback to the pietism of Jakob Spener's Pia desideria? But why, Miss Nonato, do you feed us this crap? Purpose please? Then there's associate editor Michael Swan. I can remember as far back as the 1990s when this individual was maligning persons or subject matter with any tinge of orthodoxy, let alone his current skewed reporting. Last month: "Cremation, green burials becoming more popular". Not even going to comment on that one. The situation was the same when Joseph Sinasac was CR editor some years back. Now he's Publishing Director at Novalis, Canada's main Catholic publisher. Here's an extract from the current issuance of "From the Publisher" at the Novalis website: "Exciting New Books... As always, best-selling spiritual writer Joan Chittister plays a major role in our line-up. You'll love Happiness, the beloved Benedictine nun's reflection on its true meaning". Chittister is a notorious heresiarchess. Look her up... the obscenities circling around inside my skull right now. What is really disturbing here is the nonchalant way all this stuff is dished out, as if there's nothing wrong or inconsistent with Catholic doctrine.
X. Be it the Register's publishing of Schmidt or Novalis' dissemination of books by Chittister and Baum, there is a malevolence at play here, hushed, where weasels work behind the scenes. A secret gateway is opened, permitting radicals to enter and thus corrupt souls. An analogy would be like malware or a virus program that covertly runs in your computer's background. For instance, you open up the latest issue of the Catholic Register and read a text from one of B16's general audiences or an absorbing column by Peter Stockland. But then you start to notice little things: the inclusion of those always questionable CNS reports, the bombardment of reports on whatever form of "justice", "human rights" and "climate change", the editorial slant toward Statism, the emphasis on NGO work for the poor over and above spiritual works of mercy, an approving book review of that author who has that just perfect left-liberal tilt. Not too much. Not too little. Do you ever notice these little things? I do - and it pisses me off. Then there was Sinasac's recent appearance on Salt + Light TV, talking about all the wonderful books Novalis has to offer. Buy why, TH2 queries again, didn't Apostasy Joe mention the many books by Joan Chittister sold by Novalis? Is she not, as he recently wrote, a "best-selling spiritual writer"? Does she not play "a major role in our line-up"? Then why not mention The Blueberry Muffin on Canada's "Channel of Hope"? An excellent venue for advertising to a wide audience, yes? Big bucks to be had, yes? What's there to hide?
XI. Does the reader see what's happening? It's a confluence of truth and error, of good with evil, without identifying real distinctions between them and, therefore, stealthily affirming error and evil. C.S. Lewis: "...then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger". It all happens little by little, week after week, a phrase here and a sentence there, report after report, book upon book, and the purveyors of this subcutaneous malignancy, leaving things unsaid, quietly hope that nobody will excavate into the subsurface, take notice of the contagion and then challenge them. When have they ever been challenged? Do they actually believe themselves accountable? So it's the subtlety. That's the poison - and it must be pinpointed and called out for what it is. Which leads to these further questions: Who the hell are these people? Why do they permit and facilitate heresy? Do they even know that they're doing the devil's handiwork? If not, why are they even allowed to wield such positions in Catholic publishing? Do they actually think any Canadian Catholic with a modicum of orthodoxy doesn't understand what's going on here? This must stop. Accordingly, the virus has be purged, the stables need cleaning, this ideational sewage must be flushed out. The time for diplomacy and dilly dallying with enemies of the Church is over.
NOTES / REFERENCES
1. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (Toronto: Thomas Allen & Son Limited, 1977), p. 856.
2. "Priest's Australian lectures cancelled over CDF investigation", CathNews, June 30, 2006. See also "Critiquing Diarmuid O'Murchu's 'New World Order'", Catholic Online, April 16, 2006. Authors not indicated.
3. D. O'Murchu, "The new stage of psychic evolution", National Catholic Reporter, April 29, 2011.
4. D. Dooley, "Pre-history of Humanae vitae", Catholic Insight, vol. VI, no. 7, July/August 1998. For more of Schmidt's antics (e.g. promotion of homosexuality, attack on priestly celibacy) see: CI Staff, "Promoting Spong", Catholic Insight, vol. 11, no. 6, June 2003; and A. de Valk, "The anti-Catholic New Times", Catholic Insight, vol. VIII, no. 4, April 2005.
5. T. Schmidt, "The Roman Catholic Tragedy", Toronto Star, April 4, 2010.
6. cf. E. Schillebeekx, Church, The Human Story of God (New York: Crossroads Publishing Company, 1990), pp. 190, 228.
7. T. Schmidt, op. cit.
9. D.C. Maguire, "Hierarchy, Sex and Power: A Primer on Educating Bishops", Conscience, vol. XXXI, no. 1, pp. 18-23.
10. Quoted in M. Martin, The Keys of This Blood (New York: Touchstone Books, 1990).
11. T. Schmidt, "Justice, equity and a living wage", Catholic Register, November 15, 2011.
12. Quoted in D. Gibeau, "Mary Jo Leddy leaves Sisters of Sion after 30 years", National Catholic Reporter, May 6, 1994.
13. C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle (London: The Bodley Head, 1967), p. 96.