Recently in Evangelization Category

At the parish today, there was a rite of sending the catechumens (and candidates too!) for the Election rite to be held at the cathedral: and, man, was it overdone! Since the books on-line describe it as an "optional" rite, that probably means that some liturgist invented it out of whole cloth.

Here's an excerpt from some old LTP book:

Reverend Father, these catechumens, whom I now present to you, are beginning their final period of preparation and purification leading to their initiation. They have found strength in God's grace and support in our community's prayers and example.

Now they ask that they be recognized for the progress they have made in their spiritual formation and that they receive the assurance of our blessing and prayers as they go forth to the rite of election celebrated this afternoon by Bishop N.

Ugh: "they ask that they be recognized" for their spiritual progress? Thank God I didn't have to go through that indignity as a catechumen.

Denis Boyles of NRO agrees that the problem with journalists is that they have no idea what Christianity or Islam teaches, much less have a grasp on philosophy:

Part of the problem journalists face when they have to report on complicated, somewhat obscure topics, such as Roman Catholic dogmatic theology, is that graduate journalism courses like JOM926 may stress spelling & grammar, but completely at the expense of “faith & reason.” So maybe it’s not fair to blame journalists for the inanities in the week’s reporting of what was a very complex discussion by a scholarly pope concerning faith and reason in Christianity and in Islam. As you know by now, the pope quoted a 14th-century Byzantine whose millennial empire had been reduced to mere acres and whose people had been dispatched by the hundreds of thousands by Islamic armies who thought death was a suitable end for unrepentant infidels. The emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, ventured to a visiting Persian that surely there must be a better way to do missionary work. Somehow a graduate of JOM926 got hold of the pope’s speech, and that was all it took.
Full article

Welcome aboard, new Catholics!

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Who's going to be a new Catholic this Easter?

Well, among bloggers there's Dawn Eden for starters; but then she was really one all along in potentia, I guess!

But there are other dear people on the way in, and I'm rejoicing with all of you. (This will be my 26th anniversary as a Catholic.)

Know that the saints, that great "cloud of witnesses", cheer you on as you come into full communion with our Lord's mystical Body. And one Heart desires it even more.

A regular Catholic Light reader e-mailed me for some help picking a catechism:

...I am basically looking for a catechism that explains 'What do Catholics believe, and why do they believe that?,' and it has to be orthodox. I have already purchased and read Surprised by Canon Law."
He seems to be looking for a good apologetics book, not just a good catechism. The difference is that a catechism will tell you what Catholics believe, but apologetics will tell you why.

I could name a dozen good apologetical books, but I really can't think of a single, all-purpose volume — sort of like a "Mere Catholicism" for the general knowledge-seeker. I'm sure they're out there, I just don't know about them. Does anyone want to name any favorites?

The next month, as a new pope is selected, Catholics will have a great opportunity to explain why our faith is not incompatible with high culture, sex, education, personal hygiene, or any other good thing, small or large. There will be a lot of regular people who are curious about this whole Catholic thing — now is a good time to think of an explanation, if you haven't already.

My conversion story -- for free!


A friend of Pete's pointed out that Catholic Answers has posted my conversion story on the Web. It was the cover article on the May 1999 issue. You may read it for free, but that means you probably won't buy the condensed version contained in this here book. That means you'll be denying me my 56 cents in royalties from every sale. For shame!

If I were writing it today, I would change a few things. I'm not sure I like the overall tone, and there are a few sentences that could be beneficially restructured. But it's a good retelling of my conversion. Incidently, I wrote it as a final paper for a writing class I took as part of my M.A. program. The class cost $500, but Catholic Answers paid me $300 to print it, and with the royalties, I've more than paid for the class.

I like the cut of Archbishop Chaput's miter. Here is an account of his lunchtime question-and-answer session yesterday:

...In another face-off, a man identifying himself as a Catholic graduate of Regis University questioned why "a bunch of celibate men are telling us what to do about sex."

"That's the unfair kind of remark that happens in these discussions," Chaput retorted.

"Let's have an honest debate and not make fun of the values of the other side. We've become quite uncivilized."

One questioner observed that the Catholic Church doesn't appear to care about protecting women hurt by unwanted pregnancies.

His voice rising, Chaput replied, "That dear baby who gets aborted is who I'm protecting. Somebody doesn't just get hurt with abortion - they get killed."

"Who will take care of the unwanted children?" another asked.

"I'll take any child that's unwanted and find them a home and take care of the mother," he said. "You have my personal pledge on that."

When the issue of separation of church and state arose, Chaput derided a bill before the legislature that would require hospitals to give emergency contraception information to sexual assault victims.

"The state doesn't seem to worry too much about separation of church and state when it wants to force its point of view on Catholic hospitals," he said.

To applause, another questioner observed that if the church wants to be part of public life, "When is the church going to agree to pay taxes?"

"I run 50 Catholic schools that keep you from paying more taxes - is that worth it to you?" Chaput shot back.

I wish more bishops would go out and mix it up like that. From their tone, it sounds like the questioners didn't expect real answers. They sound like the smug, unreflective types who think religion is stupid and thus they can look down on religious leaders. Then again, even smug, unreflective people need the Gospel.

The link is to a press release on the Diocese of Scranton's website. They have yet to post the letter in full.

“The church has always taught — and I teach here — that we need to find our happiness and holiness in a commitment to the chastity lived out in marital love or the chastity of celibacy lived out either in the consecrated life or the life of a single lay person in the world. These are the two paths to happiness and eternal life. There are no others.”

While some may believe that other subjects take priority, Bishop Martino stressed that

“chastity is a virtue for our times, and it does take priority. That should be clear, for instance, in the wake of the scandalous events in our own church as well as those in secular society.”

Scranton's diocesan newspaper is, incidentally, called "The Catholic Light."

"Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words."
- St. Francis of Assisi

We’re all familiar with this quote. Why do faithful Catholics involved in charitable work sometimes use this quote to justify not using words? As John said in his excellent post on the distinction between charity and social work, Christian charity is rooted in eternity. St. Francis means that our faith should inform all we say and do. He exhorts his brothers to truly live the Gospel so they would be, in their time, the light of the world. Not only to be the light of the world, but also to bring the light of Christ to the world. Again, to paraphrase John, no secular or governmental relief organization can truly do that. In fact, to depend on a relief or social services from a non-Catholic entity is to invite in some cases an immoral solution. Counseling or providing contraception is but one example.

Today St. Francis’ words are construed to imply that giving of one’s material wealth is enough. It’s a start to be sure, but incomplete. We have a responsibility not only to share our blessings with those less fortunate that us, but also to share our most valuable possession: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is clear that the Gospel, and only the Gospel, is the antidote to the immoral solutions available from social services outside the Church.

I’ve heard the same people misquote the Beatitudes saying, “Blessed are the poor, blessed are the hungry” to imply the poor and the homeless already have their reward in heaven. They think we have no need to evangelize the people who come to a Catholic soup kitchen or thrift store. While the poor may be closer to heaven than all of us, there is no way to heaven but through Jesus Christ and the grace we obtain through His Church.

Christ is not speaking of material poverty and hunger when He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” He is speaking of the virtues of humility and diligence.

Just after the Beatitudes are preached Christ urges us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

“We don’t want to force our faith on them,” I’ve heard an employee of Catholic Charities say. The implication is that there are only two options: say nothing about Jesus, or require someone be baptized before you give them a can of pork and beans. This is, of course, false. It’s a cop-out and it’s dangerous.

The literal case in point is Catholic Charities of Sacramento, Inc. v. Superior Court. The State of California seeks to require Catholic Charities of Sacramento to provide health insurance for their employees that include contraceptives. Catholic Charities of Sacramento filed suit against the State of California claiming a violation of the free exercise of religion and establishment clauses of both the California and United States' constitutions. The California Supreme Court ruled against Catholic Charities and the Catholic Charities has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. All this could have been avoided if Catholic Charities of Sacramento had acted like a Catholic charity.

Can we meet the demands of social justice without considering those of Divine Justice? It’s clear that the answer is no. Christ commands us to preach the Gospel with words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20) Divine Justice is only served by obeying Divine Will. By all means we must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, but to the degree that we are able we must preach the Gospel. The corporal works of mercy must be accomplished while the work of Divine Mercy is proclaimed.

I cannot offer this criticism without some meager suggestions on how we can meet the requirements of social justice and Divine Justice:

Make Catholic literature available for those who make use of Catholic social services. Place “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth” in the bag of clothes someone has purchased from the Catholic thrift store and a rack of pamphlets in plain sight in our soup kitchens and shelters.

Invite those who have come for a meal to pray the Rosary if they wish. After a meal extend the invitation. Those who wish to stay will stay, those who do not will go. Use short meditations on the Mysteries so that they have some meaning to those who are praying them. The Rosary is truly the simplest form of Bible study and the

Make our parishes more inviting to the less fortunate. This is a challenge, especially here in Northern Virginia where some of the wealthiest parishes are just blocks away from low-income housing. Many of us have, unfortunately, a “not in my back yard” attitude to those in need. In church this becomes a “not in my pew” indignation, and again, Divine Justice is ill served by this lack of charity.

These are some humble recommendations that we may employ to evangelize as we engage in works of mercy.

I welcome any other suggestions or criticism on this post by our readers.


Yes, Phatmass. A grassroots movement in the Church whose import and orthodoxy I was entirely unaware of until today. I apologize to the members of Phatmass whom I may have offended with my initial post. In particular Nathan Nelson. Thanks for calling me on this, man. Keep the faith!

Ephesians 4:29-32

Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Romans 13:11-12

It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day is near. Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Cardinal Francis George to JPII on the Catholic Church in America. Looks like we're hung up on step 5 of 12: "Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

New Catholic magazine coming


Writer/editor Fr. Peter Stravinskas is probably best known for his apologetics work, but he's announcing a new general-interest Catholic magazine he plans to launch in July. I look forward to it. Here's his announcement.

(Thanks for the bandwidth, eje.)

Prayers to the saints, con'd


This is in response to Catholic Light's favorite Protestant, Ken Shepherd, who commented on a previous post about praying to the saints.

Ken, I have to take issue with your assertion that "asleep" in the NT is anything other than a euphemism for bodily death. Is our God the God of the living, or the dead? In Revelation, are the saints who cast their crowns before the Lamb "asleep"? No: "...they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them" (Rev. 7:15)

Or Revelation 4, which describes the worship of the Lamb that goes on "day and night"?

Are the saints indifferent about what happens on Earth? "...I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?'" (Rev. 6:9-10) That sounds like they're tremendously concerned with enacting justice on earth.

You don't cease to be a member of the Church merely by dying. There is one body in the Lord, not separate bodies for the physically living and the dead. "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Eph. 4:16) Some do the work in heaven, others do it on earth. There's nothing we can do for the saints in heaven; they have attained perfection. However, since they have been transformed into "little Christs," they have the ability to pray to the Father and intercede on our behalf, just as Revelation says they do.

I think it's best to leave the question of imputed righteousness for another day. (For now, I'll point out that Christ himself commanded us to "be perfect, even as my Father in Heaven is perfect," and I think he meant it!) What I'd like to do is ask, if you don't mind, when and where you think prayer to the saints originated? Because I can show you references to that practice that are contemporary with Scripture, and in the decades following. To my knowledge, that wasn't even a significant point of controversy within Christendom until Martin Luther reacted against the real, scandalous, and devil-inspired abuse of relics and other saint-related devotional practices.

If the practice is wrong, it was wrong almost from the very beginning, since as I mentioned before there are ancient accounts of the earliest Christians venerating the graves of the saints and building altars over their bodies. And why didn't Jesus step in to stop it? What was the Holy Spirit doing for 1,500 years, if it wasn't guiding the Church? Why would he allow his children to persist in such gross errors for so long?

A time for adoration


(In response to Ken Shepherd's comments below about the "Messiah" being fine for Christmas.)

Ken, we're running into one of the big differences between the liturgical and non-liturgical Christian traditions (and no matter how much Evangelicals like to deny it, Evangelicalism is as much a tradition as Roman Catholicism.)

You say, "...Christianity is not about cycles, it's about the linear unfolding through time of God's eternal plan towards the end of this age and the inauguration of a new heaven and a new earth." In the Catholic view, the Christian life has a very strong cyclical component. We celebrate the birth of hope in winter, as the days begin to lengthen; we do penance before Spring so we can celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

To the Catholic, there is nothing wrong with following the cues of nature as we live out our baptismal vocation. Nature was created good by God, and we must adapt our lives to it even in the modern world. Those two facts urge us not to keep a constant focus on one aspect of the Christian mission -- spreading the word of God -- to the exclusion of others. Sometimes we should preach Jesus Christ, and sometimes we should merely adore and worship Him. The remembrance of his birth is an occasion for the latter.

Evangelicalism, as the name implies, has an omnipresent emphasis on conversion and downgrades adoration to a lower priority. What about the prophetess Anna, who "never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying" (Lk 2:37)? Does the Evangelist imply that she should have been out proclaiming the Word, a la John the Baptist? No. She was living out her vocation: to pray for her fellow men and to adore God in the one place in the world where he dwelled in a special way. Clearly her example is one way to live out the Christian life.

To everything there is a season. There is a time for the Cross; but for now, it's still off in the distance. This is the season to kneel at the Christ child and be astonished once again that God wanted to become one of us.

Scenario for discussion:

Family of 5.
The father is Catholic, the 3 children ranging from under 12 month to 6 years old have been baptized. The mother is a Protestant. She would like to become Catholic, but the RCIA program in the parish calls for 2 meetings per week for 2 hours each. Catechism for the oldest happens at a different time than the RCIA classes. The father works a full time job with some travel. No nanny or other support is around. So between father, mother and 3 small kids, it's very difficult to commit to the 12 month schedule of the RCIA program.

Should the structure/schedule of the RCIA program be flexible to accomodate the needs of a family such as this? Is it fair for a non-Catholic mom to have to attend several hours a week of RCIA classes and discussion sessions when the needs of the family are great? Should the RCIA program schedule and requirements be adjusted in order to get converts access to the sacraments sooner?

Discuss in the comments boxes, please.

Cute parodies from James Louviere

Pray for Terri Schiavo

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Today is the day she will have the starvation process imposed on her if there's no further legal intervention.

More info here.



The mostly black Baptist church in Louisiana that plans to pay white visitors for attending reminds me of the first time I went to a mostly black church.

When I was a catechumen, my sponsor and I visited various congregations' services, and one of them was at a "Jesus-only" United Pentecostal church. The congregation was small, maybe 30 people: just a few extended families, it seemed. During the sermon, the black minister looked down at us amid his flock and said, "You boys: don't think you're saved just because you're white!" We answered, "A-men!" and everyone laughed.

A German scholar of Near Eastern languages proposes a solution to the many incomprehensible passages of the Qu'ran. Since Syriac-Aramaic was the written language of Arabs in Mohammed's time, and written Arabic did not yet exist, Christoph Luxenberg (a pseudonym) re-interprets the existing Qu'ran as a document originally written in Syriac and finds that this approach clarifies puzzling passages.

It took 300 years until the Qu'ran's transcription into Arabic became stable and, as an academic reviewer puts it, one "cannot assume that the earliest Arabian commentators understood correctly the grammar and lexicon of the Arabic of the Qur’ān."

The popular implications of this approach are enormous: some of the most controversial passages in the Arabic Qu'ran are affected by the new interpretations this theory proposes. Would Wahhabi terrorists blow themselves up if they were promised a reward of "raisins" and "juicy fruit" in paradise instead of "72 virgins"?

Even more surprisingly, Luxenberg suggests that Mohammed may have been a Christian describing himself as a "witness to the prophets" rather than the "last of the prophets".

(Thanks to CWN for mentioning the story.)

I was having lunch with a spirit-filled co-worker and we were talking religion. He mentioned that Jesus was the New Adam. I said, "If you say Jesus was the New Adam would you accept that Mary was the New Eve?"

"I don't know what Mary has to do with it," he replies.

"Mary's obedience as the New Eve was instrumental in healing the wound that Eve caused by her disobedience," I said.


"Saying Mary is the New Eve doesn't take one bit of glory from God, in fact, it's shows how much of His glory he would share with us by allowing one of us to play such an important role in our redemption. How about that?"


(Link via it's a mystery)

A good little article over at

I BECAME A CHRISTIAN because of the rapture. When a youth leader told my 12-year-old self that he would "stake his faith on it" that Jesus would soon return preceded by cars and planes crashing as the holy inhabitants were taken to heaven in a flash of light, it was only sensible to agree and take the red pill. It would have been rude to turn down the offer of eternal life for those who agreed, burning flesh for those who didn't.

After this seminal experience, I lived in fear of the future moment when all of us would meet our good Christian friends in the sky (and never asked who would be controlling the air traffic).

Thank God I found a way out.

Sales Tip #1

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My wife Teresa is in the cosmetic and fragrance business. One of the products her company makes is a lotion that helps relieve razor burn. Every now and then, she looks at my neck and says, "You still using that Razor Burn Relief? Because right now, you're not a good advertisement for me."

I normally don't think of myself as an advertisement, it seems a little cheap and cheesy. But the business of advertising and sales is alot like evangelization - it's something that can be lost of some of the most sincere Catholics. Every day is an opportunity to meet and have an impact on people that are not living fully in Christ.

I'm writing these tips because I've been running into people who are good, active Catholics but aren't going to get people to buy what they are selling. It's not a holiness issue, it's a communication issue. Here's Tip one:

I got this via an email list this morning.

NOW's annual convention is being held at the Doubletree Crystal City Hotel, located at 300 Army-Navy Drive in Arlington, VA July 11-13. Janet Baker is organizing a picket against their rabidly pro-abortion stand outside the hotel which will be held on Saturday July 12 from 3-5pm. Everyone willl meet down there. Some signs will be provided, but depending on numbers, folks may want to bring their own. (How about Pro-choice is no choice or Pro-choice = Poor choice or some of the website addresses: or or ) There is meter parking on the streets (won't have to feed them since it's Saturday). City of Arlington guidelines include: 1) no bullhorns 2) no blocking sidewalk 3) no blocking entrances - none of which they are planning, anyway. Call Janet for more information at (301) 208-9180 or email her at Janet would like to have an idea of attendance, so please, if possible, let jer know who's attending.

Watch your language!

In last weekend's general assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, fittingly held in Boston and reported in the Globe, some startling language was heard.

I don't mean the common words that punctuate rap records -- no, these words really got the attention of the audience:

[Rev. Victoria Weinstein:] "I'm talking about the hot-button words, like `God' and `spirit' and `spiritual' and `soul' and `sacred'...."

...there was some audible gasping during [UUA president William] Sinkford's opening speech yesterday, when he remarked that 'souls are saved one at a time.'...

Prodded by a new president, a onetime atheist who had a conversion experience in a hospital room, the Unitarian Universalist Association is embarking on a freewheeling debate over whether to reverse its decades-long drift away from what...[the Rev. Mr. Sinkford] calls the ''language of reverence'' and instead begin to ''name the holy.''

As the saying goes, the wellsprings of grace are infinitely deep.

Scott Hahn In MA Sat Jun 28

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New England readers will be interested to know that Prof. Scott Hahn is giving a day of talks at St. Joseph Church in Charlton, MA (that's near Sturbridge) on Saturday, June 28. Tickets are $10, and if you're interested, read on for the details:

I had lunch with Spirit-filled Christian Guy on Friday. We started talking about prayer and I brought up praying for the dead. He said, "There ain't no such place as purgatory!" I told him I wasn't talking about Purgatory. One of the merits of praying for the dead is that God, who is outside of time, takes into account our prayers for someone who has passed on at the time they are judged, even if that is in the past. I think this is sensible and true. He disagreed.

"Someone is either going to heaven or hell based on whether or not they accept Christ while they are alive. You are just wasting your time if you're praying for the dead!"

I appreciate any thoughts or Scriptural passages that might help me out. Thanks!

St. Peter, Ora Pro Nobis


It's funny, but over the last couple days I've been reflecting on the SSPX situation, and how its various leaders are now quoting Archbishop Lefebvre to justify contradictory offers. Some, like Fr. Aulagnier if I am not mistaken, feel that Lefebvre would have accepted Rome's recent offer. Others don't. Who is right?

In a limited way, probably both. We humans are self-contradictory at times; we also like to create God in our own image. This is why Christ gave us the Roman papacy, so we would always know where the Church is. Take your eye off the papacy and you get chaos and contradiction.

Was it Mother Teresa who said "God has lots of money"? Whatever - give the good folks at Envoy Magazine some help in their worthy ministry.

Meanwhile, Williamson continues on as always....

In the past week or two, even some of the most hardened traditionalists I know have complained about SSPX Bishop Williamson's latest monthly letter, in which he appears to take a very firm stand against the possibility of an SSPX reconciliation. Here's an excerpt:

Even if these Romans were to speak exactly the same language as the SSPX still, by their modernist religion, they would not be meaninq the same things. Therefore the "reconciliation" would be verbal, not real, and the SSPX would have lost the protection of its present marginalization.

This does not appear to be much different than his various negative comments about the Campos reconciliation. Williamson, as everyone knows, is from England and was raised (at least nominally) as an Anglican. Reportedly, he briefly passed through the Catholic Church on his way to the SSPX schism. He know runs the SSPX's American seminary, and his influence within North America appears to be quite strong.

On the other end of the spectrum, (which is surprising given his past reputation as a SSPX hardliner) L'Abbe Paul Aulagnier from France is now making some pretty strong statements in favor of reconciliation. To share a little of his background, he was one of the SSPX's first priests and has held the offices of District Superior of France (which if I understand correctly is sort of the position of "first among equals" when it comes to SSPX District Superiorships), District Superior of Belgium and Second Assistant to the Superior General. Here's a loose translation of an excerpt from a recent interview he gave ITEM, in which he tackles these same topics:

I am very happy with the positive reaction of Bishop Fellay. "The negotiations continue," he said, "they are not dead." This is something good. I am always very favorable towards these contacts with Rome. We cannot "separate" from Rome, "forget" Rome.

Thus the best thing is to keep things, it is to keep these contacts frequent. Otherwise our "battle" would lose its reason of being. Our goal, over and above the salvation of souls, is to see our Apostolic Tradition rekindle in Rome -- and from Rome to the entire Church.

All isolation is dangerous, and ours in particular.

If we were not to turn toward Rome, we could in time create "a little Church". [Basically a non-Catholic Church like the Old Catholics - PJV]

Then the schism would be consummated well and good. This is our danger. This is why I am happy about Bishop Fellay.

This is also why I'm happy with the "agreement" that Bishop Rangel worked to bring to a successful conclusion with Rome by creating a personal apostolic administration with an exclusive right to the Tridentine liturgy. I hope we will get there ourselves as well.

Granted, my translation isn't perfect, but you get the gist of what Fr. Aulagnier is saying. Despite couching his comments behind appeals to Bishop Fellay's recent comments, it has taken him great courage to state what he has stated in public. (Which is why I'm not gonna quibble with him over whether the SSPX is headed towards schism or already there -- suffice to say, it appears that we both agree the SSPX will end up there permanently in the future if negotiations and contacts aren't intensified.) My heart and prayers go out to Fr. Aulagnier and I pray he will be successful in urging the SSPX toward reconciliation.

Unfortunately, my head tells me that most SSPX clergy still stand behind Williamson, and that he will likely win out if we don't see a massive change of heart among these same clergy. My pessimism is further amplified by the fact Fr. Aulagnier was recently transfered to North America. This is not good in my opinion. I have always found the SSPX quite euro-centric and thus I would not venture to guess that this transfer to North America was a promotion -- especially as Aulagnier is now in the heart of Williamson's sphere of influence.

Which only raises the following question: whose side Bishop Fellay is really taking behind the scenes? In other words, if Bishop Fellay is really in favor reconciliation, why would he transfer the SSPX's most outspoken and well-respected reconciliarist ourside of his reported sphere influence after he appeared to break with the party line, when no action appears to have been taken against Bishop Williamson -- who appears to be the SSPX's most outspoken opponent to reconcilation?

This gives the appearance of a double-standard and sends a strong message to the outside world that Williamson's ideological influence has won out within the SSPX. In my opinion, traditionalists on both sides need to watch the SSPX's treatment of Fr. Aulagnier carefully, because it likely will be the litmus test of how serious the SSPX is in approaching negotiations. Those like myself at St. Blog who favor reconciliation need to make a strong statement in support of Aulagnier right now.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


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