‘Lead us not into temptation’ – an explanation

It was reported recently that Pope Francis changed some wording in the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, The Our Father. It seems an extraordinary thing to do after centuries of the particular wording he objected to. It is even stranger that an explanation of the translation from the Greek to the English is laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic. Do he and his advisors not read the Church’s documents on such an important matter. Dr Pitre of Catholic Productions explicates the meaning of ‘Lead us not into temptation.’

Feelings die not in silence

DUE JULY 2021

THE STORY

It is January 1957. Without warning, Virginia Pearson breaks her engagement to academic Philip Stevenson to enter the convent of the Suffering Saviour. She says she has an irresistible calling. Philip is devastated. Though living up to the responsibilities of his academic position, he slides into depression, too much drink, and a series of short-term relationships.

Virginia makes friends with the beautiful self-effacing Aine O’Riordan who enters the convent at the same time. Strange inexplicable happenings torment the sensitive and withdrawn Aine. Virginia tries to comfort her, but Aine’s anxiety forces her out of the convent. She leaves Virginia behind to deal with an atmosphere of foreboding that seems to infect the life of the convent. (Descent into Hades: A Spiritual Journey, Book 3 of the Conciliar series relates what happens to Aine.)

Virginia, now Sister Agnes, is suspicious of fellow postulant Margaret McGuigan, now Sister Catherine, and her manipulative ways. She wonders about her role in the communal infection. Agnes barely suppresses her suspicion and antagonism toward Catherine through their religious training to their university course in 1962.

But the privilege of attending university brings fresh problems for Sister Agnes. Philosophy lecturer Phil Stevenson leads her tutorial group. It does not take long for them to realize their relationship has not ended, despite Agnes’s supreme efforts to keep Philip at bay.

The dark events in the convent, the leftist bullying on campus, the conflict with furtive, manipulative Sister Catherine, and her love for Philip have her rushing toward a crisis in which she acts out of character.

FEELINGS DIE NOT IN SILENCE is Book 2 of the Conciliar Series.

The themes of the ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are a thread through the story.  The Second Vatican Council and the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975) are the background to the Conciliar series.

Series title: The Conciliar Series.

Update on my writing

I have spent the last six months revising and reassessing my writing activities. That included examining covers (replacing them if required), writing, text formatting, and the outlets I use for my books. It has been a gruelling process revising the text of published titles and writing the two new titles, TIMES OF DISTRESS and EDITING CONSTANCY (which has just received its first 5-star rating on Amazon). One can view the new covers on my books page.

Until now I have relied on Amazon to sell and distribute my books – a period on an exclusive basis. I have now decided to go ‘wide’, that is, distribute my books through a select group of online retailers and bookshops. In addition to Amazon, my books will be uploaded to Kobo, and D2D. With these online platforms my books will be available through associated outlets around the world. They include the Dutch online retailer bol.com. In Australia, my books are available through Angus & Robinsons, Bookworld and Booktopia.

My fiction writing, which is my focus, fits into two genres.  First, there are my ‘Catholic’ novels, in the style of Evelyn Waugh, Grahame Greene, and Morris West.  I deal with similar issues as these Catholic writers. (See The Catholic Novel page.)

I am presently rewriting and reorganizing my first two Catholic novels to add to a new series of six titles. The first title in the new CONCILIAR series, TIMES OF DISTRESS was released on 31 October 2020, in paperback and ebook formats. The second book in the series FEELINGS DIE NOT IN SILENCE is due for release July 2021.

Second, I plan a series of titles in the romance genre under the pen name AINSLEY WILSON. This is to distinguish my romance titles from my books in the Catholic novel genre.

Love relationships are a way of exploring the human person. I like Jane Austen’s stories because of the satire and social commentary she weaves through her entertaining romantic stories with their engaging tensions. EDITING CONSTANCY (pub. 2021) is the first in a Jane Austen romance series. A second Jane Austen story is planned for 2022.

Who emptied the Church after Vatican II?

This is an interesting review of an interesting book. The key proposition in the book is that powerful factors outside the Second Vatican Council were the efficient cause of the Church’s collapse and not the council documents themselves, despite the shameless leftist political agitation in the council’s session. Fr Jennings writes that historian of religion Callum Brown observed:

For organised Christianity, the sixties constituted the most concentrated period of crisis since the Reformation; but what was at stake became perceived as the very survival of Christian society and values. In this respect certainly, the sixties may turn out to have been more important than even the Renaissance and Reformation. (p. 135)

I lived through the 1960s as a young adult and I can well believe it. The cultural revolution turned everything on its head. I look closely at the student radical activity at Sydney University in my book TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION.

*****

Why have all the Catholics gone?

A masterful examination of historical, moral and theological factors in the diminution of the Catholic Church in the UK and US after Vatican II.

by Fr Gavan JenningsMar 11, 2021

Mass Exodus: Catholic disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II
by Stephen Bullivant, Oxford University Press, 2019, 309 pp

Stephen Bullivant is Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion, and Director of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society. He holds doctorates in Theology (Oxford, 2009) and Sociology (Warwick, 2019). He has written several books on the Catholic faith, the loss of faith, and atheism.

The book is essentially a dispassionate, intensely scholarly examination of the question whether the unprecedented “mass exodus” of Catholics from the Church since the 1960s is a direct consequence, as many believe, of the reforms inaugurated by Vatican Council II (1962-’65).

Bullivant begins his investigation by looking at one of the great aims of the Council: to stir the lay faithful of the Church from passivity and insularity and to waken in them their baptismal call to holiness and apostolate. Instead, the Council appears to have succeeded only in having the faithful disaffiliate as never before in Church history.

From this unprecedented falling away in the years following the Council, it is tempting to draw the inference: post concilium, ergo propter concilium (after the Council, therefore because of the Council). And so “One of the primary purposes of this monograph is to investigate whether, how, and to what extent that implication is true — at least, in Britain and the USA” ( p. 12).

Read the rest here…

Response to Bishop Barron’s criticism of Traditionalists

In this letter addressed to Bishop Barron of the WORD ON FIRE ministry, Fr Cipolla rightly focuses on what the Mass has become since the Second Vatican Council and the mighty cultural pressures surrounding it. Was the Council more of a political contest than a religious one?

*****

“A Response to Bp. Barron’s Criticism of Traditionalism”: You can’t Evangelize the Revolutionized World With a New Mass Locked in the 1960s Revolution — A Letter by Fr. Cipolla

Rorate Caeli, 10 March 202

Dear Bishop Barron:

I have written many Letters to the Editor in my lifetime to the New York Times and to the Wall Street Journal—bona fide credentials of my moderate and centrist persona—and now I feel compelled to write this letter to you to respond to your recent article called “The Evangelical Path of Word on Fire”. I am a Catholic priest, soon to be an octogenarian. It would seem more prudent at this time in my life to lay aside those things that threaten the peace and equanimity that one should strive for at this stage of my life. But alas, my Southern Italian genetic makeup does not make it easy to live a laid- back life at this time when I should give oneself over to contemplation and remembrance of things past.

I have followed your career in the Church for some years now, with a good deal of admiration for your stand against what you call liberal Catholicism.  St. John Henry Newman, that great opponent of liberalism in religion, would approve of your battle against “beige Catholicism”.  Your many instructional DVDs show clearly that you understand the important role of Beauty in the Catholic faith.  You are obviously of man of real faith who loves the Church.

Your brief article refers to two types of Catholics that manifest themselves at this time and that you consider to be aberrant, for very different reasons, from your understanding of Catholicism , which you speak about as Evangelical Catholicism. The first is “liberal Catholicism”, which has predominated since the years after the Second Vatican Council.  You describe this type of Catholicism as “culturally accommodating…unsure of itself..a Church that had allowed its distinctive colors to be muted and its sharp edges to be dulled.”  You agree that, in the words of Cardinal George, that liberal Catholicism is “a spent project”.

Read the rest here…

A day in the life of a Traditional seminary

The St Aquinas Seminary is the seminary of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) in America. The SSPX is an order of priests whose purpose is to guard the content of the Catholic faith by preserving and promoting the traditional Latin rites and the traditional unadulterated priesthood. A few years back, they posted a video which shows what daily life is like for an SSPX seminarian: A Day in the Life of a Seminarian – St Thomas Aquinas Seminary.

It gives an intriguing picture of seminary training before the radical changes to the priesthood that followed the Second Vatican Council. I speak from experience. From 1959 to 1962, I attended a junior seminary in Australia. The routine of that junior seminary was pretty much the same as that depicted here in America in 2016.

Recommended viewing.

Moving towards a Feminist Church?

On The Bridge, the blog of the National Centre for Evangelisation, one finds this post: The Women of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. The unidentified author does indeed talk about the women of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s conference, but central is the boast below:

For many decades now, we have known that women make up the majority of those attending Mass and participating in parish ministries. Data from the 2016 National Church Life Survey shows that women hold 65 per cent of all leadership and ministry roles in parishes. These roles include lectors, special ministers of the Eucharist, leaders of prayer, youth or discussion groups, members of parish councils and so on. Overall, 42% of women who are part of parish life have a leadership role, compared with 38% of men. Recent data from Catholic dioceses reveal that significant percentages of women also have roles as chairs (56%) and members (45%) of pastoral councils and as members of safeguarding councils (49%).[1]

The contribution of women is not only limited to voluntary roles in parishes. Within the Church, there are over 3000 organisations that employ more than 220,000 people, and 77 per cent of these roles are occupied by women.[2] This is significant when compared with Australian society in general, where females make up only 46 per cent of the Australian workforce.

Across all the sectors, the presence of women is largely seen in education, health and aged care. But dioceses and parishes remain places where women contribute significantly. Around 78 per cent of all those employed in this part of the Church are women. Overall, within all Church organisations, women contribute not only through administrative roles but also as professionals, where 61 per cent of all professional roles are held by women… It may also surprise some to know that 47 per cent of the key advisors to the Bishops Conference are women.

Information about the National Centre for Evangelisation says the centre is ‘at the service of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in Australia.’ Indeed, the key purpose of evangelisation. But I wonder.

The women must be congratulated for their success. Perhaps it’s not just a boast. Behind the statistics lurks an imbalance of power and position between male and (lower-ranked) female executives, suggesting a correction is required – on moral grounds. I leave aside here a question of logic. Philosopher David Hume famously (and debatably) said you don’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’. However so, there is no necessary logical connection between the factual observation of an imbalance and an alleged requirement to correct it. 

But let’s allow the moral prescription. What then? Well, if you rigorously work out the prescription, you arrive at female ordination and episcopal consecration. Is this in the mind of the author of this blog, and those cited as female leaders? On the evidence here, I don’t know. Female Catholic leaders elsewhere are more explicit.

How many men could or would want to be part of a feminist church? Or am I getting too far ahead of myself?

Australia Day and the rest

On my Edmund Burke website, I have been making a series of comments on the radical left’s campaign to create a double Australia, an apartheid Australia, in which the ordinary Australian supports a superior caste of people based on race.

‘Indigenous historian’, Bruce Pascoe, wrote the following in his ABC-supported bestseller, DARK EMU.

Not only did Aborigines invent democracy, pioneer humankind’s first complex fishing systems and bake the first loaf of bread, they were agriculturalists with skills superior to those of the white colonisers who took their land and despoiled it. (p.1)

Preposterous claims, of course, that cannot be verified on the evidence. Peter O’Brien refutes Pascoe’s attempt to reinvent and fabricate Aboriginal history and culture in his Bitter Harvest: The illusion of Aboriginal agriculture in Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu.

It is fine to point out the superiority of Aboriginal culture, but a dastardly racist act to assert Aboriginal culture, pre-settlement, was a primitive stationary culture in which its members, by virtue of that culture, lived a life that was ‘nasty brutish and short.’

Aboriginals and Australians of Aboriginal ancestry have an infinitely greater of chance of thriving in our present European Society. Indeed, there are examples of ‘indigenous’ fat cats all through the public service and government-funded enterprises.

The Cardinal Pell affair has SHIFTED to Edmund Burke Society site

NOTICE

The pages about the Cardinal Pell Affair have been transferred to my Edmund Burke Society (Aust) website.

As a preeminent political and social issue, it belongs on the Burke website

All comments and records about this most shocking episode in Australian history will from now be on the Burke website. Indeed, the Pell Affair is of Burkean proportions. This screaming miscarriage of justice is an accurate measure of how corrupted Australia has become from its foundations.

Writer … and still in the fifties