My Name Day. Am I the only person who observes his Name Day with more enthusiasm than his birthday? Today I plan to say the Johannine Mysteries of the Holy Rosary (The Annunciation to Zacharias; The Visitation; The Nativity of S JB; The Lord's Baptism; The Decollation). Incidentally, without in the least wishing to denigrate the cult of Great S Joseph the Patriarch, I do rather feel that in our Counter-Reformation Latin Christian culture it has slightly overshadowed the perhaps more primitive and ecumenical cult of S John Baptist, the greatest of the Old Covenant and a reminder of our kinship with the People of the Prophets.
The Calendar now offers us an interesting week.
I think we have the anniversary of the Econe Consecrations; so we pray for bishops, priests and seminarians of the SSPX and their lay adherents. And for Benedict XVI who extended such a generous hand of reconciliation to them, as he did to us Anglicans. I suspect it is not always realised what an agony it must all have been for him. On the one hand, he felt it his duty to attempt a collegial and consensual exercise of the Petrine Ministry with his Venerable Brethren, and, on the other hand, he believed (as he said after his inauguration) that he, before all others, will be asked to give an account of what he has done for Christian Unity.
We know how many of his own Bishops were doubtful or worse about his initiatives to Lefebvreists or to Catholic Anglicans; we remember how, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he observed in the early 1990s 'What are the [English RC] bishops so afraid of?'
'Christian Unity' is an automatic, axiomatic Good that all right-thinking Christians automatically and axiomatically favour ... except that, sadly, they don't. Because all we fallen human beings are very acutely nervous about the wrong sort of Unity, and Unity with the wrong sort of people. Remember the true story about the Jesuit who was asked "Why don't you like the Ordinariates? We thought you favoured Unity with Anglicans?" and who wailed in reply "But they're the wrong sort of Anglicans!!
And so we have had to endure PF with his Liturgy wars.
We have had to watch him playing out a sort of Toddler Ecumenism by kissing Patriarchs who ... embarrassingly ... can't even manage to stay in communion with each other.
Just as PF himself expresses so often his own intolerance of fellow Catholics.
Happy Name Day, dear Father!
On other occasions, perhaps you or some one of your readers would prefer the other Johannine Mysteries:
1. Calling of St John;
2. St John at the Transfiguration;
3. St John at the Last Supper;
4. St John at the Agony in the Garden;
5. St John at the Foot of the Cross;
6. St John at the Empty Tomb;
7. St John at the Ascension;
8. St John at Pentecost;
9. St John and Our Lady’s Home Life;
10. St John at her Assumption;
11. St John Writes his Gospel;
12. St John Writes his Epistles;
13. St John Boiled in Oil;
14. St John, Exiled to Patmos, Writes the Apocalypse;
15. St John’s Assumption.
I, for one, have long ago come to the conclusion that, malgre possible original good intentions and a devout desire for unity in the early movement, ecumenism in the hands of men like Papa Bergoglio means mainly this: Water down the Faith, chip away at that "obscurantist" hated (but, alas, magisterially defined by popes and councils!) doctrine of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (scandalously declared "abandoned" by our beloved Benedict XVI), and in the more perverse cases to make Catholics feel there is nothing unique about their Faith. In short, smoothing the way for the shimmering apostasy of the "Coexist" creed, with the added "benefit" of putting the resisting orthodox in their miserable places. Cynical? You bet your last penny.
Happy Nameday, Father! I too celebrate my Namedays (all four of them) and have never celebrated my birthday. That is due to my having grown up in lands that were then still culturally Catholic, where namedays were celebrated. One extra benefit is that nobody asks me hiw old i am.
There are still some St John's Eve bonfires lit in Co. Mayo. The old customs in religion are nearly always better, although the bonfires aren't strictly religious occasions, but a drink to this Saint would do no harm, and likely good.
EENS was still found in some form in Lumen Gentium, albeit a slightly silly form that someone could only be lost if the rejected the Faith knowing it to be true. I honestly wonder if some of the Fathers and Periti at V2 were pioneers of the 60s drug culture to ravel so badly.
Be careful about sledging Benedict XVI, coradcorloquitur. Compare, for example, Denzinger #2426 and 2429, in which Clement XI condemned the assertions of the Jansenist Quesnel that no grace is given unless by faith or given outside the Church; or #2865-677 in which Pius IX taught that, while indifferentism was to be condemned, those in invincible ignorance could be saved if they followed the natural law as best they could. And, although his works are not magisterial in the same sense, see Aquinas on implicit faith.
PM, it seems to me that you implicitly assume I am a Feeneyite, a denier of the imperfect membership in the Church that comes from the shedding of blood (martyrdom before baptism), or from desire for the true God, or from virtuous living while invincibly ignorant of revealed Truth. You would be wrong in such assumption. I accept fully Catholic teaching on baptism of desire and/or blood as firmly as I reject the Rahnerian heresy of the "Anonymous Christian" (one of the earlier putrid fruits of ecumenism). It is not for me (or you, PM) to calibrate where or how those extraordinary ways of belonging to the Church occur or how often (many orthodox Catholic teachers believe they are rare indeed without the aid of the sacraments). Many things are not for us to know. But God certainly knows, and we also know by holy and divine Catholic Faith with certainty that the Church does not contradict Her solemn, defined teachings---and Her teaching remains (pace Jorge Mario Bergoglio) that while no one limits God's grace, normally there is no salvation outside the One, True Church. I have not "sledged" Pope Benedict XVI, whom I love and in many ways admire; sadly, it is dear Benedict who, without making any distinctions or clarifications (as far as I can tell from the context of the statement in question), seems to have taken the sledge hammer to defined Catholic doctrine by that glib (and public) irenicist statement.
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