Mary’s Anawim Makes It Above the Fold in Wisconsin State Journal

February 27, 2010

Several years ago, the Rev. Rick Heilman, a priest in the Madison Catholic Diocese, started jotting down occasional reflections and e-mailing them to a handful of friends.

When the list of people who wanted to read his e-mails grew to more than 200, he created the blog “Mary’s Anawim.” The Hebrew word refers to “the poor ones” who remain faithful to God in difficult times.

Now, three years later, he posts almost daily and has acquired a following with his ardent defense of Catholicism and Madison Bishop Robert Morlino.

If the Vatican is handing out gold stars, Heilman likely will get one. In January, Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to embrace new communication tools, including blogging, saying digital technology can “open up broad new vistas” for dialogue and evangelism.

Continue Reading …


Modernism’s Full Impact

February 26, 2010

Very Cool

February 26, 2010

Catholics Come Home

February 23, 2010

The Catholicism Project – NEW TRAILER

February 23, 2010

Father, Forgive the Progressives, for They Knew Not What They Were Doing

February 21, 2010

An event of this past week gave me the opportunity to think about how I represent those who advocate Tradition, Traditional Sacred Music and the more generalized notion of liturgical reform. I had the opportunity to take part in the St. John’s Seminary “Theology Day” in Naples Florida this past Wednesday, an opportunity that allowed me to hear an excellent lecture by Fr. Anthony Ruff on the USCCB document “Sing To The Lord”. Fr. Ruff’s insight as one of those involved in the drafting and process of producing this document filled in some of the voids that had become the topic of discussion at seminars and on the internet, replacing them with facts about the creation and negotiation of this document. Regardless of what an individual might think of “Sing To The Lord”, it is, in my eyes, a far more incredible document than I have up to now thought.

The details of the lecture will have to be the subject of a different posting, because that isn’t really the point I want to make here. What I did discover, however, was that there is a valuable lesson for those who consider themselves passionate about “reform”… whether it be reform of Sacred Music, liturgical practice, translations or whatever. While there are exceptions, I think it can be said in general that those who continue to languish in the notion of the “Spirit of Vatican II” or the “Hermeneutic of Rupture”, or whatever name we assign to the enemy, have done so with the confidence that this is what they are supposed to be doing. Many have begun to see the light, as evidenced by many of the questions and comments heard during Fr. Ruff’s lecture. This is a critical time, a time to teach rather than criticize.

This will be something of a new idea to many… there have been plenty of hardened attitudes and hurt feelings among the traditionalists and advocates of traditional Catholic Sacred Music in the past. Forty-plus years of marginalization and de-construction of the musical heritage of the Church left it’s advocates bitter and vengeful in many instances, ready to portray anyone walking in the church with a guitar case as the enemy, and ready to aim the criticism at individuals rather than at the real source of the problem which was the widespread acceptance of a flawed and destructive vision of liturgical music and it’s role in Catholic worship.

More recently, Pope Benedict has begun to set the example for looking at Vatican II in a new light, a “hermeneutic of continuity”, and it is incumbent upon us to adopt this view and promote it as the only real path for reform. While it may have been an attractive option to call for the abolition of Vatican II, call for it’s “overturning” or whatever, the fact remains that there is no precedent for such an event really, and even if there may eventually be a “Vatican III”, it will not come about because of some kind of popular uprising by traditionalists. What we need is the faithful and authentic implementation of what Vatican II called for, following an honest and thorough discussion of those parts of the concilliar documents that are contended, perhaps rightly so. This is the direction in which Benedict is guiding the Church, and we need to follow as we have often implored others to follow.

The problem, of course, is that the very progressives who constantly mouth the mantra of “Vatican II… Vatican II…Vatican II!!!” will be the first to object to such a faithful and authentic implementation. They don’t want to hear that Vatican II called for the Mass to remain in Latin (except for the readings and homily), they don’t want to hear that the priest was to remain facing the same direction as the faithful (ad orientem), they don’t want to hear that Gregorian Chant was to remain as the normative music for worship while allowing for “other styles of music to be permitted”..(such as Renaissance Polyphony, Classical Polyphony, Mozart, Haydn, etc…). They don’t want to hear any of that. They cringe at the words of Pope Benedict when he said in his letter to Bishops last week;

“But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.”

They don’t want an authentic “Vatican II Church”, they just want the Church the way it is now, and that status quo is being challenged and exposed. The thought of having to accept the traditions of the Church because that is what Vatican II called for shatters their 40 year old facade. The idea of turning to Pius X’s “Tra le sollecitudini” as the foundational document for liturgical music sends them running. That is why the Holy Father used the figure of speech “those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the council”…. he sees the facade for what it really is. There are those who are truly responsible for misleading the Catholic faithful, and then there are those who have been innocently mislead. One is the enemy, the others should be the objects of our compassion and help.

Source: The Authentic Update


‘The Future Church’: Why Progressivism is Passè

February 21, 2010

Who are the Progressives and where are they going? The progressive movement in the Catholic Church refers to those who believe that the church must continue to adapt itself to the progressive trends in society. Progressives push for married priests, women priests, permission for contraception, a more ‘pro choice’ position on abortion, ‘open-ness’ to same sex unions, an end to what they claim is clerical control of the church, and other ‘modern’ causes.

While progressives in the United States, Canada and Europe still have a strong voice in certain quarters of the Church, what is their future? According to journalist John Allen it doesn’t look good.

In his book Future Church Allen lays out the demographics of the Catholic Church of the twenty first century. From 1950 to 2005 the world population swelled from 2.5 billion to 6.5 billion. During that time the Catholic Church grew at about the same rate. However, the numbers are misleading because the growth was not equal to the population growth across the world. The Catholic Church in the Southern Hemisphere grew more while the Catholic Church in the Northern Hemisphere contracted. Allen reports, “the total number of African and Asian Catholics grew enormously, to 130 million and 107 million by the year 2000.”

The Catholic Church in the global south is therefore young and growing and like any adolescent, it is learning to flex its muscles. What will this young and vibrant Catholic Church look like? Allen lays out six characteristics which I will be exploring in six articles for Catholic Online.

The first quality of the Southern Hemisphere Church is that it is morally conservative and politically liberal. Catholics in Africa, Asia and South America are shocked by homosexuality and Western style immorality, while they are in favor of a preferential option for the poor and are critical of unbridled capitalism. Allen quotes Ugandan priest Fr John Mary Waliggo who likes aspects of liberation theology but says, “Things such as homosexuality are not just seen as sins, but as hideous perversions.” He points out that these prohibitions are deeply rooted in African tribal culture, not just in the rules of Catholicism.

Allen points out that the same attitudes prevail in Asian and Latin America. According to a 2006 study 72% of Indians, 78% of South Koreans, 56% of Philipinos believe that homosexuality is ‘never justified’. Across Central and South America numbers are about the same. What percentage are opposed to abortion? Brazil: 79%, Guatamala: 85%, India: 68% and the Philippines: 97%.

However, while the Southern Catholics are conservative morally, they take a more ‘liberal’ approach to politics and economics. They are skeptical of globalization and American power. They like the United Nations and don’t like Israel. They endorse state involvement in welfare systems and tend toward pacifism and an ecologically sound agenda.

Are our Catholic brothers and sisters in the Southern Hemisphere ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’? I think they’re just being good Catholics. Catholicism has always defended strong family values while also being justly skeptical of super powers, men of wealth and those who would dominate and exploit the poor.

How does this play out for the progressive Catholics in the United States, Canada and Europe? It is very simple: progressive Catholicism is passè. It’s already past it’s sell by date. It’s proponents are grey and going while the Church in the south is young and growing.

The positive way forward for Catholics, as always, is to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. The Spirit speaks from the past to the present and from the present to the future. The struggles of the church in the forty years since the Second Vatican Council have brought us to a new threshold. English priest, and Newman scholar, Fr. Ian Ker has said that it takes about fifty years for any general council of the church to come to it’s fruition. Furthermore, that fruition is never what the fathers of the council envisioned. The future always plays out differently. The Holy Spirit is always full of surprises.

The ‘new Springtime’ of the Church predicted by Cardinal Newman may very well be sending up its first shoots in the spiritually fertile ground of the South.

Source: Catholic Online