Friday, 10 July 2009

Seven Signs of the Counter-Reformation

1. The Australian Prime Minister gives the Pope a suitable gift...

Our PM met the Pope yesterday, amidst a bizarre bit of politics on the part of the Opposition.

On the plus side, it is great to see our politicians actually wanting to be seen with the Pope, and wanting to be seen to be caring about Catholic issues. Yes, it is political opportunism. But he is after all, a politician! And the important point is that being seen to be a caring Christian is in fashion again in this most secular of lands.
So much so that the Mad Monk (Mr Tony Abbott) of the Opposition somewhat disingenuously attacked him for saying he was going to lobby on behold of Blessed Mary McKillop's canonisation.

Hmm, when Church affairs become political fodder, perhaps religion truly is back in the public square? In any case, no doubt that wine (looks like it is a sweetie?) will help ease the pain of all those visiting politicians in Rome!

2. Twenty one years after the Decree Ecclesia Dei, doctrine front and centre

The Pope's latest Motu Proprio making the Ecclesia Dei Commission part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith finally puts doctrinal issues up in lights. Liturgy had to come first - the way we pray after all, influences what we believe. But we all know that the real underlying issue all along has been the growth of modernism in the Church. And now we can look forward to some serious action.

3. You know the Pope is a traditionalist when the ultra-montanist neo-cons start finding ways to disregard what he says...

OK, he isn't strictly a traditionalist. But all the same there is something truly bizarre about the sight of ultramontanist neo-cons like George Weigel who under Pope John Paul II insisted that every word that dropped from the Pope's mouth had to be believed and obeyed without question suddenly finding ways to disregard large chunks of an encyclical. Yep, apparently now we can go through the document with a red pen and work out what is truly the Pope's own words, and what are interpolations by the evil bureaucrats...

4. A Pope writes an encyclical and actually attempts to explain how past statements of the Magisterium are consistent with it...

One of the major complaints of traditionalists through the post Vatican II years has been the steady stream of Magisterial statements that read as if nothing had ever been written on the subject previously, and often appeared to conflict with what actually had been written previously. Pope Benedict XVI's earlier two encyclical were only marginal improvements in this regard. But his latest, Caritas in Veritate, devotes considerable space to another articulation of the hermeneutic of continuity and setting his words in the context. It is a considerable step forward.

5. The Bishops invite in Catholics Come Home

For forty years Church attendee numbers have plummeted, and almost no serious effort seems to have been made to reverse the trend. But now, the Australian Bishops have invited Catholics Come Home an enormously successful organization in the US that is responsible for the return of 92,000 inactive catholics to the fold to launch an initiative in Australia.

6. Doing not just talking: Cardinal Pell offers a grant for Adult Stem Cell Research

Our bishops do a lot of talking. But it is good to see Cardinal Pell putting our money fact he has offered another $100,000 grant for adult stem cell research, to encourage it as an alternative to immoral forms of research.

7. The first anniversary of WYD is almost upon us...

And the good news is that the stories being run about it all seem to be about the upturn in vocations and other activity in the Church.


Jase said...

2-7 is fine, but somewhat contradicts #1. Rudd is afterall really a Neo-Con.

Surely you dont agree with lobbying for the sainthood?

Terra said...

Jace - I'm not sure I'd agree that Rudd is a neo-con in relation to things Catholic at any rate!

And really, what is wrong with a little 'lobbying'? It is really just affirmation as to the existence of a public cult, one of the criterion in eras past (until JPII went wild) for sainthood.... Besides, everyone knows that decisions on whether or not someone is a saint aren't going to be affected by what some pollie says to the pope, but it might help the priority her cause is given.

And the bishops said it was ok. Here is what their press release said on the subject:

"Pope Benedict XVI is to receive Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a private audience at the
Vatican on Thursday.

Mr Rudd has indicated that he will take the opportunity to express the inspiration that many
Australians feel at the example of Blessed Mary MacKillop.

A spokesperson for Mr Rudd said that before his audience with Pope Benedict XVI, the
Prime Minister will be briefed by Sr Maria Casey rsj, the Postulator for the Cause for
Canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop.

“The Prime Minister has asked that Sr Maria explain her work with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints to progress the cause towards recognition of Mary
MacKillop as the first Australian saint,” the spokesperson said.

“Mr Rudd is expected to mention Mary MacKillop's potential canonisation during his audience with the Pope.

“While acknowledging that canonisation is a process internal to the Church, Mr Rudd is
expected to express that many Australians are inspired by Mary MacKillop's example.”

The General‐Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Fr Brian Lucas, said Mr
Rudd’s enthusiasm for the canonisation of Australia’s first saint was welcome.

“There is a strict and detailed protocol for assessing a cause for canonisation,” he said.

“That is administered by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and it is not open to any
external influences.

“However, the Holy Father would be very interested to hear from the Prime Minister about
the enthusiasm with which the canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop would be received in
Australia, including among those who are not Catholics.”

In the end though, she didn't get mentioned in the official summary of the meeting!

David said...

Bah! Krudd is an apostate from the true Faith, because his wife's heretical sect was more suited to his convenience. And he's exporting abortion to the third world.

Perhaps Catholics Come Home could have a chat to him, if two-tonne-Terese will let them, of course.

I'm sure the Holy Father is excited that Bl Mary has a following amongst abortion-supporting heretics.

Joshua said...

Terra, shame!

Rudd gave up his Faith for the mess of pottage that is Anglicanism - I do hope singsth the Pope, as Christ's Vicar, asked him to "come home".

Terra said...

Yes I hope the Pope asked him to 'come home' too. And I agree that he personally has made an extremely bad choice endangering his soul as a defector from the faith.

Although actually I've heard him claim to still be a catholic, merely one who attends a different church on a day to day basis for fmaily reasons! I personally can't work out whether that is better or worse than the approach of nominal catholics who never darken the door of any church at all, but I'm inclined to think marginally better, but maybe I have a bit of a soft spot for those who like nice anglican liturgy as opposed to the rubbish served up in most catholic churches. I'm inclined to be charitable and think of him as someone who might have stayed a catholic if the majority of parishes had actually stayed catholic in the last several decades (remember he comes from Queensland!)...

But in any case I wasn't holding him up as a role model. My point was about the recognition by a politician of the importance of religion in general and catholicism in particular in our very secularized state.

Terra said...

PS Hope the Pope gets to enjoy that De Bartoli No 1!

Aussie Therese said...

That is good news about the funding for ASC.

Peter said...

Terra, as to the cult, unfortunately it is (or appears to me) the typical 'Aussie' cult, and even the sisters seem to share in it.

Not " a model of holiness", but a social justice campaigner, another AUSSIE on the podium, along with Nuke, Sterlo, Gus Nossel, etc etc.