"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hypocrites! (Matthew 27:11-14)

In thinking of a few people I have blogged about most recently the word 'hypocrite' comes to mind instantly. Now it's time to add another person to this category: Rev. Dwight Longenecker.

Rev. Longenecker's work has appeared in this blog before - I used to copy/paste articles from his blog. They were well thought out pieces of solid orthodoxy and often presented Church teaching in an insightful manner.

One day Rev. Longenecker emailed me to ask that I no longer copy/paste the entire article but just a teaser with the intent that any reader here would then go to his site that was using the website Patheos as a platform. What I later found out was that Patheos pays its contributor by the hit count.

Now perhaps he doesn't care about the money or even donates every penny to a worthy cause, but I found this request peculiar enough to just stop promoting Rev Longenecker's teachings entirely. Problem solved.

If you didn't know Patheos is a for-profit multi-faith website that tries to be all about dialogue. Many different faiths have their own 'channel' including Catholicism, Mormonism, Wiccan, and even Atheism (ironically). It seems Rev. Longenecker is not blogging as much as he used to, however, he managed to make waves this week on another questionable website, Crux Now.

From Crux's About Us:

About Crux: Taking the Catholic Pulse

Welcome to Crux! We’re an independent Catholic news site, operated in partnership with the Knights of Columbus.

We hope you’ll find the site lively, engaging, topical, and thoughtful.

Crux strives to cover the worldwide institution of the Catholic Church, from the papacy to the hierarchy to local dioceses. We’ll explore the theology, doctrine, liturgy, practices, and traditions of Catholicism in the context of the life of modern-day Catholics, giving full voice to disagreements and challenges facing the Church and Catholics.

We’re committed to balance and fairness, striving to build a “Catholic commons” in which believers of different outlooks, backgrounds, and experiences can come together to build friendships and exchange views.

Finally, we hope you’ll join in to help us build an engaged community of Catholics and non-Catholics alike who come here to comment on current events and discuss social, theological, ethical, and spiritual issues.


John L. Allen Jr., the editor of Crux, specializes in coverage of the Vatican. 

I'm not sure what the Knights of Columbus have to do with this website and can't be bothered to look into it. The KoC should be much more than a bunch of old guys hanging out in their hall.

John L. Allen Jr, used to write for the National catholic Reporter, an extremely dissident publication that has been asked twice by their Ordinary to stop using the name Catholic, but guess what, they disobey him. Mr. Allen has also written for the Boston Globe, a virulently anti-Church newspaper that ran more stories on the Boston priest sex abuse scandal than it covered the Second World War.

Some people defend Mr. Allen as being one of the least dissenting writers at dissenting outlets, but that's not much to be proud of. It would be no stretch to consider him on the Church's left (to borrow a political axis). I don't have time to read much on Crux Now but after a quick glance it's much further to the right than the NcR.

If there is a next pope (and given the state of the world I'm starting to root for the asteroid) it will be interesting to see all these media outlets who gush over Pope Francis give the same treatment to a more 'traditional' pontiff such as a Cardinal Burke or Sarah.

Rev. Longenecker's contribution this week threw gas on the Rev.Rosica fire he has burning against 'traditionalists'. It's dripping with passive aggressiveness - a trait common among the 'modernist' types. Eventually he agrees with the Battlin' Basilian and denounces those not in favor of changing doctrine or other articles of the faith.


One good thing to come from this unnecessary attack is the other blogs Rev Longenecker mentions. If he doesn't like them then there's probably some valuable reading to be done. Thanks for the heads up.

This whole 'rad trad' stereotype is really old. Yes, of course there are some easily angered holier-than-thou types who could be classified as old school, but same thing can be said of the modernists, charismatics, cafeteria goers, etc. Because this label usually gets applied to those who prefer the Extraordinary Form the best argument against this 'rad trad' stereotype is to go to an EF Mass. I'll bet after Mass there will be socializing, fellowship, and even...laughter. One of these days I'd like to walk out of the nave and find some 'rad trad' flipping over tables and whipping anyone not wearing a suit or mantilla. Just once.

Yes, some people who prefer reverence and tradition in their worship make posts on their blogs that could have been nicer. However, they are usually frustrated with the 'Church Of Nice' and outraged that more of our clergy, teachers, parents, and other leaders are not passing on the faith or even trying to live it themselves. Yes, they have righteous anger at the thought of all the souls perishing in eternal fire due to weak or even contrary catechesis by those entrusted with their everlasting life.

It's called Church Militant because our time in this life is a spiritual battle and right now many of us think we're losing. No, the Gates Of Hell will not prevail but as many saints, doctors, Our Lady, and even Jesus Our Savior have told us - many are called, few chosen. I'm willing to bet Rev.Rosica doesn't talk about Satan much but the Prince Of Lies is real and powerful. As priests, both Rev. Longenecker and Rosica have a duty to teach the faith so those who walk the earth now won't burn in Hell later. Maybe all the time spent worrying about people who prefer the Latin Mass could be spent more productively.

So back to the charge of Hypocrites. Remember when Rev. Rosica called people who prefer the Latin Mass, 'Taliban Catholics'?

         Taliban                                                    Latin Mass Catholics

If anyone's comments have been a a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, it's Rev.Rosica.

To my knowledge, he has never retracted this gross insult nor apologized and no reasonable person is waiting for it. Rev.Rosica is a childish bully. His lawsuit threat against the blogger, Vox Cantoris, is proof of that. He used bully tactics to try and silence a critic but then backed off as soon as some larger muscle came to defend the Vox. Typical bully move.

So here's what the two revs think of those who use the Internet to counter the modernist lunacy that goes on in way too many parishes around the world:

“Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners!..in reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people.”

"Pulpit" is an interesting word choice. As ordained ministers obviously they have access to a pulpit from which to preach. Are they inferring that only the ordained can teach the faith, or object to heterodoxy? If the Internet and Catholic Blogs were around after Vatican II, would we have priests offering Mass facing us (not God in the Tabernacle) giving an all vernacular liturgy, the sanctuary full of laity, and Holy Communion being distributed like Low Church Protestants? Maybe not. Maybe the Catholic Blogosphere would have erupted and alerted the sheep about the wolves. 

Rev.Rosica's other pulpit is the dying television channel, Salt & Light (commonly referred to as Pepper & Darkness). Rev.Rosica didn't become the CEO of this outlet due to his extensive experience in broadcasting, his MBA, or personal flair in front of a camera (none of which he has). No, he found himself a sugar daddy, silent investor. 

And what does Rev.Rosica preach from his digital pulpit? Remember this interview with heretic Gregory Baum? Mr (ex-priest) Baum holds positions contrary to the Church on contraception, same-sex “marriage”, divorce, and women priests. Did Rev. Rosica correct the wayward soul? Of course not, instead he gushed over him. 

"I've certainly admired very much your theology, your writings; but also your love of the Church, your love of Christ, and you help to keep alive - not only the spirit of the Second Vatican Council - but the authentic teaching of the Council."

During the same interview, Rev.Rosica brought up one of his favorite topics:

"... many of those who are on the front lines - the crusaders - of the orthodoxy today (I would call it a pseudo-orthodoxy) are among the most unhappy and sad and angry ..."

I wonder how many 'traditionalists' he actually knows. When if ever has he attended a Latin Mass? If anyone is obsessed it seems to be him. If his accusations are true then shouldn't he be reaching out to all these disturbed people and trying to save their souls or at least give them a chuckle?

Actually, Rev.Rosica has caused many people I know to laugh - at him. 'What did Rosey say today?' is heard sadly too often but does bring amusement in a carnival performer sort of way. 

As for Rev.Longenecker's other pulpit, Patheos, again - whatever. If getting some attention from a 'all religions are equal' platform stokes his ego then fine. There are better sources for spiritual development from people who aren't paid by the hit which makes their efforts more meaningful and sincere. 

"The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of Heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter." Matthew 23: 11-14