One day off, but here it goes. You can find earlier installments by clicking the “Reading” tag.
For the first time ever a French/English edition of Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s essay “On Royal Government” is now available. I am proud to say that the translator is an online acquaintance of mine and an all around good egg. Illiberal Catholics of goodwill everywhere should be rejoicing over this. I know I am.
In my spare moments I have been working on a couple of articles on what it means for traditional Catholics to stand for Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and how CST ought to be understood and implemented in our daily lives. It seems that Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant, has beaten me to the punch: “The true traditional Catholic is a champion of the social teaching of the Church.”
Contrary to the ill-informed views of many, traditional Catholicism is not “just about the liturgy,” though obviously the Holy Sacrifice is and shall always be central. Traditionalism is also about upholding and living out the doctrine of Christ’s Kingship in society, even in the face of militant secularism. Being a champion for CST is not about dressing-up some Hippie sentiments with Latin jargon or providing excuses for voting Democrat during the election cycle. As I have written about before, we cannot embrace Rerum Novarum and forget about Quas Primas. There are some well-intentioned and intelligent voices out there fighting the good fight against the unholy union of economic liberalism with CST, but they seem to have forgotten about the evil of liberalism as a whole — religious, political, moral, and so forth.
I was distressed to learn a couple of weeks ago that only one priest in my diocese knows how to say the traditional requiem Mass — and he’s around 80 years old. Perhaps that situation will be rectified by the time I am called out of this world, but if it isn’t, I have made my wife promise that I wouldn’t receive a Novus Ordo Canonization for my funeral service. As I told her, “I don’t need people celebrating my entrance into Heaven when I clearly need to be prayed out of Purgatory.” Maybe a kind Eastern Catholic priest will be available to give me a proper sendoff or, absent that, a fine cleric from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). I have published articles in their flagship magazine, so maybe they’ll take pity on my predicament. Of course, I am sure if I announced on Facebook and/or Twitter my intention to have an SSPX priest say my funeral Mass, at least a few people would chime in that it would automatically damn my soul to hell before turning back to their hefty tome of Rahner or von Balthasar.
Much — far too much — is being made of Pope Francis’s decision to marry 20 couples today, some of whom have been, as the old saying goes, “living in sin.” Some of them have children. The Reuters story on this “event,” as reprinted in today’s Chicago Tribune, is indicative of the media hype that often accompanies any papal action which appears to signal a “relaxation” or even “repeal” of traditional Church doctrine and praxis:
For [Juan Donoso Cortes], man is a disgusting and laughable creature, completely destroyed by his own sins and prone to error. Indeed, if God had not redeemed man, the latter would have been more despicable than the reptile that one crushes underfoot. For Donoso, world history is a ship that reels forward, piloted by a crew of drunken sailors, who dance and howl until God decides to sink the ship so that silence can rule the sea once again.
– Carl Schmitt, “The Unknown Donoso Cortes,” Telos no. 125, pg. 82 (2002) (originally published 1950)
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will be the “Grand Marshal” of the 2015 New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade — the first to feature openly homosexual groups marching under their own banners. Here are the Cardinal’s thoughts on his decision, with some bracketed commentary provided by the folks at Rorate Caeli:
Because all of you need more things to look at when you’re not visiting this web-log:
Today, on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, we remember the 331st anniversary of the Battle of Vienna where Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, led the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to defeat the Ottoman Empire and once again save Europe from darkness. Because Sobieski had entrusted his kingdom and troops to the Blessed Virgin, Pope Innocent IX placed the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary on the General Roman Calendar in 1684. Originally assigned to the Sunday in the Octave of the Nativity of the Mother of God, St. Pius X fittingly transferred the feast to the day the Battle of Vienna was won. During the engagement, the elite Polish troops known as the husaria sang the Bogurodzica, an ancient Polish hymn. The following is an English translation:
Virgin, Mother of God, God-famed Mary!
Ask Thy Son, our Lord, God-named Mary,
To have mercy upon us and hand it over to us!
Son of God, for Thy Baptist’s sake,
Hear the voices, fulfill the pleas we make!
Listen to the prayer we say,
For what we ask, give us today:
Life on earth free of vice;
After life: paradise!
There has been a lot of renewed attention on the Second Vatican Council in recent years, prompted by both its various anniversaries (opening, sessions, closing) and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI’s calls to interpret the Council in continuity with tradition. Liberals, conservatives, and traditionalists have all weighed-in, offering up various histories, interpretations, and speculations — some far better than others. While I am sure some will accuse me of bias, I still think, pound for pound, Roberto de Mattei’s The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story is the best of the “new” go-to texts on Vatican II. Some folks don’t like his traditionalist bent, but it’s hard to argue with his results.
With that noted, let me direct you to an older, but no less insightful, work that can contribute to our understanding of Vatican II: The Melkite Church at the Council. The full text, including PDFs of all of the chapters, is available from the Eparchy of Newton here. Originally published in French in 1967, this English-language edition, which came out in 1992, features an “Introduction” from the indefatigable controversialist Fr. Robert Taft. While he has much praise to heap on the Melkite Church for what it did (or tried to do) at the Council, Taft reveals what he wished the Council could have fully accomplished with the following: