Friday, December 15, 2006

Is Jack a Heretic?

To my complete surprise, I received several similarly-themed emails in reaction to our offering of the Tridentine Catechism.

Without reproducing them all, here are some of the highlights of the accusations in these emails:

(1) That I am "not supporting our current popes"

(2) That I am "committing the sin of idolatry by worshipping a time in the past" and wishing to "move the Church backwards after all the progress it's made."

(3) That I am "arrogant and nostalgic"; attempting to have us "live in the past".

Wow. Ok. I'll address these.

First of all, I don't know of ANY pope (from Peter to Benedict XVI) who has ever said "don't read the historical documents of the Church or else you won't support me." In fact, I think it's just the opposite. Popes such as B16 and JP2 have ENCOURAGED the faithful to learn more about the Church and all of her historic riches.

Second, that I am idealizing the past to the point of sin and trying to force the Church to take steps backward. That's a pretty powerful accusation. I do love the Latin Mass. I attend it with my family every week and it still sends chills up my spine each and every time. But let's say I attended Mass in English (which I do sometimes). Am I still an idolater (sp?) because I find eternal truths of the Church in her historical documents? In all honesty, I don't believe I am.

Third, that I am "arrogant and nostalgic." Mom! I told you to stop emailing me at this address! Just kidding Mom. I guess I might be an arrogant person. I am a lawyer after all. And if I am nostalgic (I know the Silly Putty's gonna make it's big come back any day now), I'm not sure that's a sin. But I really can't see how appreciating the classics of the Catholic faith is any attempt to live in the past.

You all know how much I enjoy the Catholic Classics such as Imitation of Christ, Confessions, Story of a Soul, etc. They have all given me rich meaning and insight into my faith and at NO time have I ever felt that I needed to denounce modern Church documents in order to appreciate these classics. I believe in One Church . . . not a Church that existed before 1963, and another that existed after.

So that's really all I have to say on the matter. I appreciate your feedback. If you disagree with me on this, please let me know. However, if you are on the same faith journey as me and Joe and find beauty in the Catholic Classics, I believe you'll find just as much if not more beauty and meaning in the classic that is the Tridentine Catechism.

But don't take my word for it. Read it for yourself and make up your own minds. Here's the link to get your copy:

Thanks for your patience. May God bless us all this coming Christmas.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear JAck,
I appreciate your offering the CDs and I, in fact, forwarded the offer to my dear friend who also attend the TRidentine Mass very regularly. While I do not (mostly out of laziness because I would have to travel an hour and a half and partly out of commitments to my regular parish in town) attend the Latin Mass, I love it and am teaching it to my children. I think all the traditions of our Holy Church are valuable and I fully support the Tridentine mass. If more people would attend just one, they may find a welcome relief to some of the horrors of the "comtemporary" mass which are NOT in fact supported by the church: dancing, female servers, folk music, etc. Thank you for your hard work in preserving this beautiful Mass.
God Bless,
Christina Czelusniak
Lawton, OK

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have heard reference to our present Pope as B16 (sounds like a vitamin). Why not just call him by his last name: 16. IWIHWM (I wonder if he would mind).


Blogger said...

Mike -- LOL! I never thought of it that way. I see B16 a lot. It's just shorthand. Just like JP2. Not trying to be disrepectful (oh no. . . maybe I should write another blog post explaining that!) ;-)

- Jack

Anonymous Danny Forbes said...

Amen Jack! Being a Novus Ordo kid (born in '74), I find it exciting and enriching to re-discover for the first time the deep riches our long history has to offer. I think some people in the modern church are short-changing themselves by isolating their readings to a "shallow pool" of teachings; limiting it to documents of just the past few hundred years when there's an ocean of truths out there. (Granted, Theology of the Body is an amazing work, but it's not all there is.) It's one of the many things that separates us from the modern Christian churches, having a true 2000 year history full of teachers and Saints who strive for the same things we do, eternal life. And they wrote down their thoughts, hints, tips, FAQ's, whatever you want to call them, and they're there to help us.

I think/hope the majority of your readers truly understand, as the response from the "Classics" campaign can attest. If not, know I'm with you bro!

God Bless, and don't forget your recommended daily allowance of B16. :P


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Very well said. It is a lot easier to stay in the present cafeteria style "American Catholisism". This way we can ignore our "conscience" and still "feel good" about ourselves!Thank you for taking the time to root out such publications to expand our knowledge of our "beautiful faith"
Cathie in California

Anonymous Danny Forbes said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that the only reason I'd consider you a heretic is because you asked for my credit card on a page without a SSL certificate (non-secured).
Internet Heresy!

I opted for the Fax method. :-)

Anonymous Naomi said...

What is that verse? (I know many verses for which I do not know the reference!)

"The Kingdom of heaven is like a storehouse from which are brought forth treasures both new and old."

The Tridentine Catechism is an old treasure, and the current Catechism a new treasure, yes?

Do the people complaining think that the teachings of the Church have changed? They have not.

Blogger R Ryan said...

Jack, what's the old saying -- "No good deed goes unpunished"?

As with the outrage over your "holiday" e-mail, I am again mystified and disappointed by the folks who have taken such offense at your offering the Tridentine Catechism.

And my response to these people would be the same as before: You people criticizing Jack need to GET A LIFE!

Why do some people take a "default" perspective that these initiatives are somehow nefarious or done in bad faith? For crying out loud, this guy is running a pro-life apostolate. Since this is the extent of what most people (including me) know of Jack, my perception of him is that he's a pretty good guy.

Jack has spoken for the validity of the Tridentine Catechism and for the new Mass in this post. Speaking for me, I think you detractors should give him the benefit of the doubt and GIVE HIM A BREAK.

I like both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Tridentine Catechism. I like Gregorian Chant and intensely dislike newer hymns like "Gather Us In". I prefer the Novus Ordo Mass rather than the Latin Mass. All these are valid -- it's a matter of preference which of these you embrace.

Lighten up and have a Merry Christmas. As for you and your apostolate Jack -- May God bless you and your efforts on behalf of the unborn.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Jack. First - like the double entendre of B-16 - the 16th pope to bear the name of Benedict and it makes him sound like a bomber of the WWII era. Fun image, although he would certainly not care much for it and in fact is a very charitable and careful teacher and thinker. I am happy and feel blessed to follow him as the leader of the Church.

But maybe you could have made clearer in your initial email what your purpose was in putting out the cd. For those who are sensitive to Pius X-style heresy, your initial email may have met there code and criteria for heresy. Since that is clearly not the case - today's explanation was helpful - maybe a bit of understanding of their concern is in order in addition to the sarcasm.

Thanks for all the work you guys do. Keep it up.


Blogger Stephen said...

My (college-aged) generation is clamoring for the Truth in all of its fullness.

We've been fed garbage for far too long.

All the crap that unintentionally came after Vatican II has rotted many souls.

Bring on a reform of the new and a revival of the old. There is no reason they cannot coexist.

Keep up the good work guys!

Anonymous vicky said...

In the 1994 English translation of the Catechism on page 735, in the Index of Citations, under the section Ecclesiastical Documents, under the heading "Roman Catechism" (which on this site everyone is referring to as the Tridentine Catechism), you will find about 25 or more paragraphs that cite the Roman Catechism. Therefore, obviously the Roman Catechism is something that the writers of the current Catechism use. Our popes and bishops always encourage us to read our bountiful writings and documents prior to and after 1963.
Further, in the current issue of Faith and Family magazine, there is an article about Pope Benedict XVI's Compendium of the Catechism. One of Pope Benedict XVI's quotes in this article which demonstrates his own desire of "continuity with our ROOTS" is this-- "Latin, for centuries the vehicle and instrument of Christian culture, guarantees not only continuity with our roots, but remains as relevant as ever for strengthening the bonds of the unity of the faith in the communion of the Church."

Food for thought, indeed...

Anonymous Ann said...

Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

In our Catholic Church, we have a rich history, and God-willing, we'll have a glorious future!

Thanks for reminding us all we are One Body!


Blogger Bro Robin said...

Thanks for clarifing the purpose of publishing the Tridentine Catechism. In this day and age where people are descenting from the Church on both ends of the spectrum it's very helpful to know that you are directly in line with Rome. God bless your work.

Blogger Bro Robin said...

Thanks for clarifying your intention for publishing the Tridentine Catechism. In this day and age where 'Catholics' are defecting from Church teaching on both ends of the theological spectrum its a nice relief to find those who are following Rome to the core.
God bless your work!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that it is important to know where our faith comes from. It will help us defend our faith against misunderstood teachings. Of course there are many texts, including Vatican 2 that I still have to read. And our beloved JP2's writings... I'm probably not going to get to the Tridentine Catechism. Is anyone saying that reading the Summa Theologica is heretical?

Blogger Tradcatholic said...

This catechism sounds great! Actually you would be more of a 'heretic' if you attended the NO Mass! Well....
Anyway, B16 sounds like a bomber to me.

Blogger BlestOne said...

This brings to mind Matthew 5:11-16
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: 12 Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. 13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.

16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Congrats Jack you are in great company!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a much lighter note:

Sorry Jack, you're too late for ther return of Silly Putty, it's already here.

God bless!

Blogger Aquinas said...

Those who have criticized you should have done their homework by reading paragraph 9 of the Prologue to the current Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly states:

"The ministry of catechesis draws ever fresh energy from the councils. The Council of Trent is a noteworthy example of this. It gave catechesis priority in its constitutions and decrees. It lies at the origin of the Roman Catechism, which is also known by the name of that council AND WHICH IS A WORK OF THE FIRST RANK AS A SUMMARY OF CHRISTIAN TEACHING. . . ."12 The Council of Trent initiated a remarkable organization of the Church's catechesis. Thanks to the work of holy bishops and theologians such as St. Peter Canisius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Turibius of Mongrovejo, or St. Robert Bellarmine, it occasioned the publication of numerous catechisms.(emphasis mine)

That's quite an impressive list of contributors to the Roman Catechism (also correctly known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent). To put down a "major" Catechism of the Catholic Church is what appears to be clearly heretical to me! (The Baltimore Catechism for example was a "minor" Catechism.)
Keep up your awesome work!

Anonymous Jim Kerrigan said...

Jack and All,

Don't usually read these blogs, but I thought that since you were pro life I would give it a try.
I suppose the only word that comes to mind is saddened. Let us all as Catholics go back and recall our glorious 2000+ years of faith.
I was troubled by comments that called one of our Popes a heretic. Our Lord gave Peter (and his predecessors) the power to loose or to bind, so whatever they order in faith and morals IS coreect.
While some of our Popes may not have lived a perfect life, they cannot err in matters of faith and morals. To deny this is to say that you are not truly Catholic.
We have had many changes in our church, even dating back to the very early church. Prayers were said in one meeting room and Communion was held at someones home. Penance didn't exist as such and folks held off Baptism until later life because they could only be forgiven once through this Sacrament, and if serious sin came later, they were doomed so to say.
Some , maybe took Vatican II the wrong way, but I feel too, that some are acting like fundamentalist, who also look at things from an off angle.
We are the Church of Jesus, of God. We must accept ALL the truths and understand that our Popes will not err in what they tell us is God's will, even though they may not lead perfect lives.
I loved the old Latin, but never really understood all that was being said. Now we take more part in the Mass-that's good too.
So one point is: It doesn't say anywhere that our church cannot change some things, and change we have. If not we would still be doing things, not like in the 1500's but like they were done at the time of Jesus and shortly thereafter. Just a note: We didn't have a Bible then (New Testament), that came around 500. So things do change.
The important things we still do, many others can and will change. The early Jews didn't want to accept the change-or continuation that Jesus brought. They wanted to keep things the same, except they didn't want to give up the old way, even though the old Covenant had been fulfilled, and that indeed the New was upon them.
In a world today that is still against many of the things that our Faith stands for, we as Catholics cannot be divided. We must stand together, under the leadership of our Pope.
In the 1950's Russia's communist leader said that countries would be conqured from within, not from without.
Jesus asked "When the Son of man returns, will He find any faith here."
Let us as Catholics keep that faith; Despite our own feelings, let us unite in the truth and love of our God.
footnote-yeah to whoever asked,The Summa is very lengthly but if you can't read that I would recomend 'My Way of Life", a digest version of St. Thomas' work, by Walter Farrell, O.P., S.T.M. and Martin J. Healy, S.T.D..
My copy is from 1952 and is very enlighting; It would perhaps put a pause to some of these lesser issues.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF you're all these things, then so is benny XVI because of his recent support for the tridentine mass... keep up the good work.

Anonymous Mary said...

Thanks Jack, and thanks to Vicky and Aquinas who point out that THE CURRENT CATECHISM DRAWS ON THE PAST CATECHISM!!!

Ignore the nutcases who call you "arrogant" etc. On what could there arguments be based? And I don't notice them (yet) is this combox defending their indefensible position.

I have a seminary degree, and I deeply love and admire JPII and B16, I don't even mind the Novus Ordo mass, but is appalling and intellectually ignorant to think we should throw out the baby with the bathwater. I can't imagine what these people are thinking. Should we throw out the encyclicals of the past? The writings of John of the Cross?

Anonymous Joe in Baltimore said...

Some B16 humor:

Humanae Vitaemins

Keep up the great work!

Blogger Bro Robin said...

God bless your work!


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