Dude, what’s that on your forehead?

Lent turns us from ourselves

Author of the Valley Catholic article, Father Jon Pedigo- photo from You Tube

When I was in college I was not yet baptized and I was very curious about Catholic customs. One Wednesday I noticed my friend, Kevin, sporting a black smudge on his forehead. I asked him, “Dude, what’s that on your forehead?”

“Ashes,” he said. Of course, I thought, why not keep a smudge of ashes on your forehead for everyone else to see. Then I noticed that several other students had black and grey smudges on their foreheads. So I asked Kevin what was the significance of the ashes. He said, “It’s Ash Wednesday.”

Still feeling a bit lost; I asked what was the significance of Ash Wednesday. “It’s the start of Lent where you have to give something up.” Clearly Kevin was not interested in providing answers that would help this poor young pagan any clarity. So I pressed him, “What are you going to give up for Lent?”
“Playing pinball machines,” he said. I asked Kevin what purpose would giving up pinball machines serve. He said that all Catholics had to sacrifice something that they really like and for him, giving up playing pinballs was a sacrifice.

For Kevin, Lent was a tangible way for him to connect to the Catholicism of his mother (she insisted that all her children practice the Catholic discipline of Lent) and a way to think about his relationship to God (vis a vis giving up pinball games).

…. Lent always turns from the self and points us toward the baptismal waters of Easter where we promise to share in the three-fold ministry of Christ: Priest, Prophet and King.

…. Our Lenten journey as “Priest” will lead us to commit ourselves to work toward building a more inclusive, welcoming community in which all persons feel connected and embraced.

…. Lent gives us an opportunity to build up our community along the vision of the Peaceable Kingdom where the mighty lion lies peacefully with the fragile calf (see Isaiah 11) and for us to get involved in the solution rather than simply blaming others for social ills.

…. In Lent we might take the time to ask ourselves if power is being used appropriately in our own family. We might even involve ourselves in supporting low wage workers gain justice in the workplace. We could even address public officials’ treatment of the poor and vulnerable.

To read the entire Feb. 21 article from the San Jose diocese paper by Father Jon Pedigo, click here.

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  1. Now, knowing that Fr. Jon Pedigo has only entered the Catholic Church in the mid-1980’s while in college at Oberlin U., it all makes sense—about his general truncated, abbreviated “sensus Catolicus.”

    He has little idea of the devastation and auti-destruction wrought by Vatican II. He never lived through what the Church was before 1965, and what it has become since.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Campion,
      The Church after Vatican II has certainly had its problems, and the Council’s initial implementation certainly was a cause of this, but what makes you think that the Church immediately before the Council was any better than the Church today.

      • Linda Maria says:

        Before the Council, the Church was well-respected, for its integrity, teaching and preaching the exact, same Catholic Faith and Morals, worldwide, with daily discipline required of all clergy and nuns, and of all Catholic churches and institutions! No silly “Vatican II Freedoms!!” The Mass was the same, worldwide. If you enrolled your child in a Catholic school, anywhere in the world– it operated in the same way! You got what you paid for! The Bible, Catechism, Magisterium, Tradition, and religious customs — all were highly respected– even by non-believers!

        • Linda Maria says:

          I think there are good things in the Church, both before and after the Council. However, too much so-called “freedom,” with no governance– destroys the integrity of a religious institution, and no one can support their local parish, or local Catholic institution– if it is against Church teaching, and claims irresponsible, fraudulent notions of “freedom of religion,” sort of like Martin Luther, who wanted to establish his own church!! Instead of freedom,” we need COMMITMENT TO CHRIST and RESPONSIBIITY TO CARRY OUT CHRIST’S WORK!!

    • The documents of the Council did not cause any “devastation” in the Church. This is hyperbolism, exaggeration, and heretical. Campion is wrong as usual.

      • Campion didn’t say that the “documents” caused devastation; he said “Vatican II” wrought devastation.

        He’s correct, and you’re proven wrong, plain for all to see.

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Chris,
          Actually, you can’t necessarily say that Vatican II caused devastation either. However, in regard to my assertion, I will justify it once Campion has replied to my question (above).

          • Campion says:

            My assertion that Vatican II was an occasion of “auto-destruction” for the Church is based on the Paul VI’s own words:

            “The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called auto-destruction. It is an acute and complicated upheaval, which nobody could have expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself.”

            “We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of concepts which matured in the great sessions of the council… one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself.” –Paul VI, Address to the Lombard College 12/7/68

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Campion,
            Those are very interesting words from Pope Paul. But he was commenting on the sad situation: He didn’t blame the Council. Please read my own post to Chris [and you] about my views of the cause.

          • This is a disingenuous misinterpretation of Pope Paul VI’s words from his address in Lombard Seminary! People I advise you read the text yourself from the Vatican website, which is in Italian, there’s no English translation. And behold, NO WHERE in the text does the Pope criticize the Council. No where! In fact the Pope praises the Council. In the bit that Campion chose to cite, the Pope was referring to the “contradictions” in the times in which the Church finds herself. Pope Paul’s point is that in the one hand: “Taluni si esercitano nell’autocritica, si direbbe perfino nell’autodemolizione..” meaning “Some practice in self-criticism, or it seems even self-destruction” (he was referring to some in the Church, not the…

          • Church itself!). While in the other hand, Paul says: “C’è anche questo aspetto nella Chiesa, c’è la fioritura” (“There is also this aspect in the Church, there is flowering”). What is flowering? Why, it was the “concepts that matured in the great Conciliar assembly” (“a un’espansione serena dei concetti maturati nella grande assise conciliare”).

            Folks, the disembowelment and deliberate twisting of the words of Paul VI is apparent here. This is perpetrated by those who wish to discredit the Council, by advancing their own false “narrative.” You find this among those who identify with the beloved SSPX. Beware folks, beware!

          • Campion says:

            Yes, Steve Seitz, I rather expected that somehow SOME OTHER interpretation of these words by Paul VI:

            “…We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of concepts which matured in the great sessions of the council… one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself.” –Paul VI, Address to the Lombard College 12/7/68

            …which TWICE make reference to the expectation that the Council would bring a “flowering”, instead brought a nuclear-winter—could not refer to the Council. Of course. It could not be the Council that occasioned the auto-destruction.

            In Novus Ordo World, you cannot, indeed, must not, tell the tree by its fruits. Mt. 7:15

          • Ann Malley says:

            “…This is perpetrated by those who wish to discredit the Council, by advancing their own false “narrative.” You find this among those who identify with the beloved SSPX. Beware folks, beware!”

            Jon, with all due respect, you express yourself as one intent on discrediting reality. Your fixation on the SSPX must be called out. For your own good.

            Beware, folks, beware!! Obedience for obedience sake is NOT what Catholics are called to do. Sorry, but scripture clearly states that there will be a time wherein those speaking the truth will be cast out of the temple.

            You’re mirroring that sentiment, jon, when you seek from a supposed position of obedience to denounce the truth by smearing those who justifiably tag the dangerous…

          • Ann Malley says:

            … ambiguity of Vatican II documents (a pastoral council) and the visible fallout. Your denial of reality doesn’t create truth. It merely renders you one of the blind leading the blind.

            Perhaps if you stopped judging with false judgement, you’d be able to understand at least that others do have legitimate concerns. Being fixed and blind in your marginalization of others is just another form of bigotry, jon. Try focusing on the “beloved” Truth as others have been attempting to do while being denigrated by change-agents, many of whom wear collars.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Re the nonsense that VII isn’t binding, St. John said this at the opening of VII:

            “now the Church must once more reaffirm that teaching authority of hers which never fails, but will endure until the end of time. For that was Our reason for calling this most authoritative assembly, and We address you now as the humble successor, the latest born, of this Prince of Apostles. The present Council is a special, worldwide manifestation by the Church of her teaching office, exercised in taking account of the errors, needs and opportunities of our day.”

          • AM: Faithful Catholics are obeying and respecting the teachings of the Magisterium because they recognize in it the sound of The Good Shepherds Voice! Who said anything “obedience out of obedience sake?” We’re human beings: not robots! We faithful Catholics obey the Magisterium BECAUSE WE KNOW THEY ARE RIGHT! We do not follow dissenting and disobedient voices!

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Campion and Ann,
            Vatican II is one of the 21 ecumenical councils of the Church. If you condemn Vatican II, you have condemned the Catholic Church and, by extension, the work of the Holy Spirit. I, myself, will always remain with the Catholic Church: I will not be part of any other church, including the Church of SSPX.

          • Ann Malley says:

            … RIGHT. That is ambiguity, confusion, and the sowing of intentional division. That is not looking at what IS, but what you wish where there. A fidelity stamp so you can feel “right”. But whatever. That’s your choice, jon.

            But you are in no position, at least not that you’ve demonstrated here by way of logic and adherence to the fullness of Faith outside of the call to “obey”, to judge others as being less than faithful. No position at all.

          • Only two remarks to make here: First, there is no intentional “sowing of division” in any action of the Magisterium. None! If you are referring to Amores Laetitia, even Cardinal Muller doesn’t see anything wrong prima facie with the Exhortation. NONE! Only those who wish to see in it ambiguity, will see ambiguity. But for normal ordinary Catholics like myself who read Amores Laetitia with the lens of the tradition of the Church—we understand what Francis is doing for the Church: he is calling out those in the margins!

            Secondly, disobedience against the Magisterium through unjust castigations of clergy, of the Council, of the OF are SIGNS of disobedience. And yes, we can therefore judge actions as therefore faithful or…

          • not. We’re not mindless robots. We’re endowed by the Creator with reason and logic.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Ann,
            You seem to make “obey” seem like a bad word.

            I need to remind you that those who obeyed stayed in the Church and reformed her from within such as St. Francis and St. Theresa d’Avila.

            Those who disobeyed bolted from her and never reformed her such as Martin Luther. Others who disobeyed were Adam, Eve, and Lucifer.

            Ann, you need to keep better company.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Steve,

            You would do well to read deeper into the lives of the Saints. St. Theresa d’Avila reformed the Church by beginning a new reformed Carmel, not by staying within the confines of that which indulged nuns. She was aided by St. John of the Cross who was held captive by his lawful superiors and escaped.

            St. Francis, similarly, began his own order. And contrary to what you may have been led to believe the SSPX was begun with full authority of the RCC. Nothing like Martin Luther.

            Better company is a subjective term. Best educate yourself as to particulars lest you be led by the blind.

          • Ann Malley says:

            jon, the fruits of disunity speak for themselves. Those who refuse to see the signs of the times are willfully blinding themselves. That’s you, jon. But again, if you do not see, then there is no sin. But if you say you do see and do not do what you can to adhere to truth, then the sin remains.

            So while you defend the “intentions” of the magisterium, to be fair, you should withhold judgement of the “intentions” of those you are bent on smearing without a license.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Ann,
            Excellent! It looks like we might finally be approaching agreement. Sts. John and Theresa worked within the Church by founding new religious communities. This is exactly what has been happening, in part, in the Catholic Church since Vatican II. The SSPX was originally founded within the Church but its bishop(s) were eventually excommunicated, thus also the people who follow them. There has since been a partial reconciliation, but full Communion isn’t apparent. That’s the difference between the SSPX and the Discalced Carmelites. And this is why I plead that members of the SSPX quit and join groups like the FSSP.

            BTW, St. John of the Cross is my favorite saint.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Steve, the SSPX Bishops “were” excommunicated, but that has been rescinded. The faithful who attend SSPX Chapels have never, ever been excommunicated. The priests of the society have similarly, never been excommunicated. (Let us not forget, however, that excommunication is not infallible. That is it is not an act that ensures that the excommunication is just.)

            The difference between the Society and the Discalced Carmelites, at this juncture, is that the Society has been persecuted for rejecting the now demonstrable ambiguity that has brought such bad fruit to the Church in the “pastoral” confusion of Vatican II documents.

            This is why, while communion with Rome is desired, I do not plead with the Society to “quit” and join…

          • Ann Malley says:

            … groups like the FSSP. The FSSP would not exist were it not for the SSPX. So, if you enjoy the FSSP, great. You’re really looking a gift horse in the mouth by projecting your “fears” and nothing of reality onto the Society. (The FSSP is still awaiting the Bishop they were promised.)

            There is such a thing as unjust persecution, Steve. And one must look to the reasons why Archbishop Lefebvre took the actions that, on the outside, would automatically imply schism. A break with doctrine. A desire to teach something new. The only novelty here is that the Archbishop acted to preserve the teachings of the Church, not to divert from them. And, despite the fury of those who would create it, the SSPX is no schism. (The term full communion…

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Ann,
            If the bishops are excommunicated, the priests that swear oaths to these bishops are also outside the Church. Remember: priests take oaths to a bishop and not to the Pope.

            Also, as you’ll remember, the excommunication was just because it was, per Canon Law, latae sentental. JPII also gave warning of the penalty before the ordinations. If there was confusion, LeFebvre was bound to postponed the event.

            But if you feel that SSPX was still Catholic during the time of the excommunications, this would certainly be documented somewhere. Can you provide any such documents? This would make your case easy.

          • Ann Malley says:

            It is not “my” case I’m making, Steve. Church law, while outlining the requisites for excommunication, also provides canonical shelter for those acting in the case of necessity.

            While you may not feel such a state existed, the resulting fruits of the erroneous pretense that the Latin mass was abrogated (something cleared up by Summorum Pontificum) or that the pastoral portions of VII are doctrinally binding is proof enough that there was/is an ongoing crisis. (The FSSP is still awaiting the bishop they were promised, Steve.)

          • Ann Malley says:

            …understanding. Sorry.

            I cannot help but wonder where you are getting your information. Seriously.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Ann,
            If you think I’m wrong, maybe you can set me straight by answering the following questions.

            Could you please cite the canon that AB LeFebvre used in his legal defense?

            How did the judicial court rule in his case?

            It’s my understanding that JPII followed up the latae sentental excommunication with a formal bull of excommunication. Was the papal bull issued before or after the court ruling?

            If priests don’t make oaths of obedience and celibacy to their bishop, to whom do they make them?

            Lastly, it’s my understanding that most religious orders, congregations, and societies are not led by a bishop. Why should FSSP be an exception?

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Ann,
            If you think I’m wrong, please set me straight by answering the following questions.

            Could you please cite the canon that AB LeFebvre used in his legal defense?

            How did the Vatican court rule in the case?

            It’s my understanding that JPII followed up the latae sentental excommunication with a formal bull of excommunication. Was the papal bull issued before or after the court ruling?

            If priests don’t make oaths of obedience and celibacy to their bishop, to whom do they make them?

            Lastly, it’s my understanding that most religious orders, congregations, and societies are not led by a bishop. Why would FSSP be an exception?

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Chris,
          I’m not sure if Campion is going to respond. While it’s true that the laity and clergy immediately before the Council had head knowledge, it appears that most were spiritually dead. As such, when the Council ended in ’65 and society exploded in ’67, vast swaths of clergy and religious left their vows. By ’68, Humanae Vitae was rejected by both clergy and laity. Why? They had no spiritual roots (cf. Mt 13:20) and the winds of the 60’s revolution swept them away. There is no other way to explain the dramatic shift. If these were serious Catholics that had roots in Christ, the culture wouldn’t have destroyed them?
          [1 of 2]

        • Steve Seitz says:

          [Continued from Previous]
          Here’s more evidence. Protestantism didn’t have a council, but mainline Protestantism has been eviscerated. Only market-oriented Evangelical congregations have survived through metamorphosis.

          Today’s Church is still weak, but significantly more resilient than the Church of ’65. Despite its problems, it’s much more vibrant. Also, the New Evangelization born of the Council has taken root. Today, we have the integrity of the Magisterium while having the market-oriented tools of the laity (e.g. EWTN, Dr. Hahn, et al.) What we now need are better priests and bishops. In this regard, things have been slowly improving each decade. Despite our problems, I see hope.
          [2 of 2]

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            I’ve never heard the Church of the sixties put that way re: the roots parable. Interesting!

          • Campion says:

            Except, Steve Seitz, you overlook two groups that Pew Survey shows have grown, and in one of the two cases, have grown geometrically, since 1960:

            One group is Fundamentalist Protestants, who have retained the Scriptures as a fundamental unchanging norm of life and have retained the traditional moral law of Christ and family values.

            The second group? Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who have never changed their teaching (whether you believe in the Book of Mormon or not), their theology, their commitment to family values and moral living, and above all, have never changed their rituals since Brigham Young institutionalized them in the mid 1800’s.

            The Novus Ordo Catholic Church, by contrast, has elected to go…

          • Campion says:

            ..the way of “mainline” Protestantism, into extinction.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            The Mormons have never changed their teaching. Uh What??? How many wives does Mitt Romney have?

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Campion,
            Regarding Fundamentalism, they can double their size and still be a small group within Protestantism. Their doctrines will always keep them hamstrung. And as YFC alluded, the Mormon church has changed quite a few things over the years.

            As far as the Latin Rite is concerned, the Church in the United States is undergoing a minor renaissance. She is not poising for extinction but for vaulting forward.

        • Vatican II are the documents, Chris. Your point is pedantic.

          • No, Father Jon, VII was a council that produced documents. The documents had effects, but so did other things about the council, including speeches, bishops who made decisions based on expectations generated by the council, priests who left or joined based on the mood in the Church after the council, laity who were taught or not taught certain things based on the “spirit” of the council. Vatican II was much, much more than the documents, and although the documents can be interpreted consistently with Tradition some of what Vatican II wrought severed from Tradition. You’re WRONG.

          • Chris, I don’t know if you notice that in fact you are seconding my point. The documents of Vatican II themselves DID NOT CAUSE a “devastation” nor an “auto-destruction” in the Church. Thank you for echoing my point.

          • See what I did?

          • Campion says:

            Chris:

            Good effort, but I don’t bother to respond to “jon”: when caught in obvious contradictions (as here—that Vatican II occasioned a disaster for the Church, all the statistics show it, even Paul VI witnessed to it), by some marvelous heavier-than-air flight of ideas, he will deny objective fact.

            To be candid, I don’t even read his posts: I find they are intended to distract, and confuse, and render the matter opaque.

          • Campion, you clearly have not read the entirety of Pope Paul VI’s speech to Lombardi Seminary, and/or are deliberately OMITTING sentences from the Pope’s words which deliberately misinterpret his speech. For instance you omit the Latin tag the Pope mentions: «bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu» (“An action is good when good in every respect; it is wrong when wrong in any respect”). AndTHAT, according to Paul, is what has caused the “self-destruction”—it is the people who refuse to see any good in the Council, but seeing it only as purely bad: THAT is what is self-destructive. O Campion, and ladies and gentlemen, Pope Paul VI DID NOT criticize the Council in his speech to Lombardi Seminary College. He praised…

          • it. An objective reading of the text of his speech proves it! This gross misinterpretation of the words of Pope Paul VI SHOULD BE CALLED OUT!

          • Campion says:

            I was emailed to answer this false claim that the Vatican.va version of the Lombard Seminary address is an actual text of the address (Dec 7, 1968). It is not.

            n fact, the vatican.va version is actually a shorthand summary of notes by one of those present, not the actual address.

            For one thing, this version starts in the 3rd person, stating, “The Holy Father begins, greeting those attending,..” It also has no traditional papal salutation at all, (“Venerabili Fratelli” was typical of Paul VI), nor valediction and prayer, which was also typical of Paul VI. It simply abruptly beigns and ends, as disjunct notes would do. It could not be, and is not, an accurate representation, of what was actually said.

          • Campion says:

            Here is an example of an actual text of a complete Paul VI address, conclusion of the III session of Vatican II, 21 Nov. 1964.
            https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/speeches/1964/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19641121_conclusions-iii-sessions.html

          • Campion says:

            The actual full transcript and text of the Lombard College address 12/7/1968 was published
            on the following Friday, Dec. 13, 1968, by the official weekly of the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano.
            In the LOR-English (and Italian) version, of this speech, the full address and passage is referenced:

          • Campion says:

            “The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called auto-destruction. It is an acute and complicated upheaval,which nobody could have expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself.”

            “We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of concepts which matured in the great sessions of the council… one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect… It is as if the Church were destroying herself.” –Paul VI, Address to the Lombard College 12/7/68

            The original and complete text of this speech, including the part “It is as if the Church were destroying herself..” appear in the authentic text published by LOR.

          • Campion says:

            I must conclude that those who quote Italian cannot actually read and understand it very well, or they would know that the Vatican.va version of the Lombard College address is not an actual text of the speech, but crib-notes–it continually has Paul VI refer to himself in the 3rd person, for one thing, as “Il Santo Padre” and “Il Papa” at the beginning and the end— clearly not Paul VI’s usual manner of referring to himself.

            Maybe they would best learn a little bit first, about the true history of the Church in the Vatican II and post-Vatican II age.

    • Linda Maria says:

      I think that if the Church wants to hold a Council, and wants to DEFINITELY make changes– big or small changes– they should be crystal clear– not vague! Make the changes, put them in writing in important documents, for all to see– then, you tell everyone that this is the way things are going to be– crystal-clear!! Next– begin to govern the Church according to the new plan, and do it well! With sincere commitment, integrity, and discipline! No confusion, no misleading people, who hope for the return of the old ways, or hope to be given a small place, in the new plan!! And what about Christ’s Teachings???

  2. fr’s whole focus is on the social’ and political side of lent, of how we can ‘use’ it to get socially active. but without a serious focus on the spiritual, individual side as the locus of repair work, the rest won’t get very far. in the early church, candidates and newly baptized christians were not introduced to the social sphere of christian teachings, sometimes referred to as the ‘didascalia’, until later. it seems that the intention was to focus on formation in Christ first and to not weigh them down with too many duties beyond their graces until they had moved from milk to meat.

  3. If Fr Pedigo was in college in mid-80s, most likely he was born in the mid 60s. While not a cradle Catholic, he is one of many middle age and younger Catholics who have limited or no experience with the pre-1965 Church. Things changed then. Perhaps some for the better, perhaps others not.

  4. Linda Maria says:

    Perhaps, when studying his new religion, as a Vatican II-era convert– Fr. Pedigo may have found Catholicism to be very confusing, inconsistent, and hypocritical, at times! And the Mass, too– is unstable, in many cases! You can walk into a Catholic church, for Mass– and don’t always know what to expect!

  5. Campion says:

    The period of auto-destruction of the Catholic Church caused by V2, which Paul VI himself witnessed (Address Lombard College, 12/7/1968):

    “The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called auto-destruction. It is an acute and complicated upheaval, which nobody could have expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself.”

    ….THIS period, is what I could never expect a Fr. jon Pedigo, a virtual spiritual baby (if converted to the Novus Ordo Church about mid-1980’s) to understand. It would explain why he must attack continually the Church he never knew, and indeed replace it with a social-atheist-activist gospel…

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Campion,
      I moved this post here [hopefully] for clarity. While it’s true that the laity and clergy immediately before the Council had head knowledge, it appears that most were spiritually dead. As such, when the Council ended in ’65 and society exploded in ’67, vast swaths of clergy and religious left their vows. By ’68, Humanae Vitae was rejected by both clergy and laity. Why? They had no spiritual roots (cf. Mt 13:20) and the winds of the 60’s revolution swept them away. There is no other way to explain the dramatic shift. If these were serious Catholics that had roots in Christ, the culture wouldn’t have destroyed them?
      [1 of 2]

      • Linda Maria says:

        Steve Seitz– Pre-Vatican II Catholics, “morally and spiritually dead?” where in the world did you get that?? Pre-Vatican II Catholics were well-educated in their Faith and Morals, and taught how to be good, practicing Catholics! Many were deeply spiritual, and there were tons of religious vocations! Good religious catechetical training is a NECESSTY, to understand and grow in religious practice, of our Catholic Faith! There are some 1960s-era fraudulent misunderstandings of spiritual life — that it is based merely on “hippie-style” ignorant, childish, emotional gratifications.

        • Linda Maria says:

          The true practice of religion is not easy. Plus, we do not have Christ to show us things, in person! It takes a God-given talent, to teach and to guide others, in the field of religion, and in other fields, too! And prior to the time when our culture had some knowledge of practical psychology– there were abuses, sometimes, not only in our Church, but in other churches too, and in all areas of working with people of all ages, including children and the elderly! Good, practical psychology, is greatly helpful to Catholics of today, along with good religious training!

          • Linda Maria says:

            The Church had thousands of Saints, prior to Vatican II!! Many endured terrible hardships, for love of Christ!! Hopefully, someday, the post-Conciliar Church will likewise inspire many to be led by God, to become Saints!

          • Linda Maria says:

            With a good understanding of practical psychology, and good human relations skills– one can vastly improve one’s life, and relationships, in all areas, including marriage, child-rearing, business and work, and every possible area of life! This knowledge can (and has!) made vast improvements in the lives of devout Catholics! Of course, Christ was a Master at human understandings!

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Linda Marie,
          Not all Pre-Vatican II Catholics were without spiritual roots but at least 50% of them were. It’s true that the pre-Vatican II church was better at catechesis but that catechesis wasn’t enough. Also, keep in mind that a great many Christians and Jews went to church, not because of spiritual rootedness, but because of societal expectations. Everyone went to church back then. The proof that they didn’t have sufficient roots is that they left when the 60s/70s enticed them away and societal norms changed.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Continued from Previous]
      Here’s more evidence. Protestantism didn’t have a council, but mainline Protestantism has been eviscerated. Only market-oriented Evangelical congregations have survived through metamorphosis.

      Today’s Church is still weak, but significantly more resilient than the Church of ’65. Despite its problems, it’s much more vibrant. Also, the New Evangelization born of the Council has taken root. Today, we have the integrity of the Magisterium while having the market-oriented tools of the laity (e.g. EWTN, Dr. Hahn, et al.) What we now need are better priests and bishops. In this regard, things have been slowly improving each decade. Despite our problems, I see hope.
      [2 of 2]

      • Linda Maria says:

        Steve Seitz– mainline American Protestant denominations have been increasingly liberalized, since the end of the 19th century– and have endured criticism, due to this! Many predictions were made, from this time onward, that if these liberalizing influences were not ended– mainline denominations would eventually end! Also, our own Pope St, Pius X had warnings, of all of these dangerous, liberal, un-Christian influences, tearing at our Church and other churches, too!!

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Linda Marie,
          Yes, that is all true. The Council, of course, while liberalizing was not liberal or against truth. I view their words as being just as golden as Trent.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Steve Seitz– to compare the works of Pope St. Pius X, with the Documents of Vatican II– is quite scandalous!! I think that poor Pope St. Pius X, and many other excellent Catholic Saints– would be shocked, at what happened to the Church, at Vatican II!! The Council Fathers were in direct opposition, to many of the things believed in, by Pope St. Pius X!! But perhaps Pope St. Pius X, might agree with the Church, on Vatican II ideas– who knows??

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Linda maria, it is your post that is scandalous. Prioritiezing the opinions a Pope over the deliberations and conclusions of a Solemn Ecumenical Council is scandalous! And the idea that Vatican II was in direct opposition to the prior Pope is absurd. Especially when you consider that it was called for and presided over by one Saint, also presided over by a Pope who is well on his way to sainthood, and was largely implemented by a third Pope, who was also canonized. But I suppose you know better than these.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Linda Marie,
            Actually, I’m not familiar with the works of Pius X. My statement merely affirmed my affection for both the Councils of Trent and II Vatican. Trent was excellent in that it reigned in the abuses that the prior Lateran councils weren’t able to do and it refuted the heresies of Luther. II Vatican removed the Trenten lock-down that went on for too long and sought to equip the Church for the modern world. However, in my opinion, the Vatican needs to place a minor lock-down on the Liturgy to fight abuses that inhibit worship.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Your Fellow Catholic, calm way down! I only made a very small point– that is, if you read the works of Pope St. Pius X, and then, you read Vatican II– there are contradictions! Fine, and so what? It is only an interesting point, very small! Only a very few people, like to read the works of Popes who are Saints, that lived a long time ago!! Only a few people like to read the works of Church councils, such as Trent, Vatican I or II, etc. Fine!! The most important thing, is to lead a good life, and follow Christ!

          • Linda Maria says:

            Steve Seitz– Recently, I read that Pope Francis is tinkering with the Novus Ordo Mass. And we only had liturgical changes recently, just a few years ago — which Catholics had to get used to! Wonder what the Pope is up to, now?? What does he want to do, with the Mass??

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Linda Marie,
            Regretfully, I’ve found Pope Francis to be so confusing and contradictory that I’m unable to predict anything about him. My instinct tells me that there will be no changes. But If there are changes, my only hope is that he consults Pope Benedict’s work, “The Spirit of the Liturgy.” It’s a good read.

    • Above, I have addressed this gross misinterpretation and twisting of Pope Paul VI’s word. The Pope did not say in that speech that Vatican II caused an “auto-destruction” in the Church. READ THE TEXT! Nowhere does it say it. For instance, among other things, the words: “It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself” is NOWHERE in the text!

  6. Campion says:

    Another point about how wrong people “have it” about Vat II is seen by re-reading John XXIII’s opening address, Oct. 11, 1962:

    https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3233

    The Church of Oct. 1962 that JXXIII witnesses is a church of “Catholic vitality” (his words); inside the Church, “men enjoy light, goodness, order and peace”. He says it is an occasion of “happy circumstances under which the Council commences”, indeed an occasion of “thanksgiving” for the Church to shine its light to dispel the “confusion” of the outside world. “without forfeiting that accuracy and precision in its presentation which characterized the proceedings of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council.”

    • Campion says:

      In other words, the Church of Oct. 1962 was a strong, vital, cohesive unity and was reaching out to the world: confusion was not inside the Church: it was outside of it. It was a Church of “light, goodness, order and peace” (or if you disagree with that, then JXXIII was a liar).

      It was a Church that a Fr. jon Pedigo could never have known, and that says it all.

      • Erroneously using the words of John XXIII in order to cast aspersions against Vatican II is disingenuous and repulsive. I have spoken with priests who were ministering before Vatican II, and not everything is entirely “hunkey dory” prior to the Council, O Campion. I agree that the Church of today is more resilient, and indeed the Mass of Pope Paul VI which was born from the Council has made the liturgy more accessible to the masses.

        • Ann Malley says:

          Of course, not everything was “hunky dory.” Prior to Vatican II, however, there was clarity in teaching, even if some pressed for new and varied “interpretations”. The Church of today is not more resilient but increasingly unclear as the masses are courted not by truth, but by the proposition that there will be change and more change and more change, etc.

          A food court – where one can order up whatever “they like” – is similarly open to the masses, but offers nothing unique, jon. That’s not a good thing for Holy Mother Church.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Ann,
            Yes, the Church after the Council has come a long way. Unlike the Church in America 20 years ago, current Catholics are very eager for the truth. They just need priests, bishops, and the laity to properly and consistently present the faith. In this regard, we are in need of more good priests and bishops. Fortunately, seminarians have been becoming ever more orthodox and conservative each decade since the Council.

          • Ann Malley says:

            …indeed, folks are increasingly seeking the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Having the Devil swap out the Armani suit and pleasantly groomed appearance for horns, a tail, and an open invite to the Rave in Hell has a way of scaring even the most sincere atheist. Kind of like those foxhole conversions my dad used to tell me about during WWII.

            When things get scary, those who still can wake up.

        • Loretta C says:

          Pah! The present church “resilient” and stronger! What nonsense

          Germany: priests, mass-goers all in decline, Crux, July 2016:
          https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/07/18/germany-mass-goers-priests-sacraments-decline/

          Pew Survey (2015) says Catholic Church in US losing members faster than any other church:
          https://cruxnow.com/church/2015/05/12/pew-survey-percentage-of-us-catholics-drops-and-catholicism-is-losing-members-faster-than-any-denomination/

          Church in Europe is resigned, like jon and Steve Seitz, to “managing the decline”
          http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/managing-the-decline

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Loretta,
            I can’t speak for Europe, but the Church in the United States is not in decline. If we’re losing numbers, this is more a function of the arc of history. Christendom has been in decline since circa 1200. If you take the words of Jesus and apply symmetry, we’re looking at a multi-century persecution of the Church that will start within 100 years. Therefore, it follows that the Church will likely continue to shrink but will also grow stronger. I, myself, have been observing greater faith among the faithful in recent years. You’re judging the Church based on numbers.
            [1 of 2, Continued]

          • [Continued from Previous]
            But what do you prefer, large numbers of lukewarm Catholics that the Lord promised to spew out, or smaller numbers of strong Catholics. As Bishop Olmstead said on page 19 of his apostolic exhortation, “Into the Breach,” a weak Christian is a danger to himself and others. There won’t be large numbers of lukewarm Christians at the Second Coming.
            [2 of 2, End]

      • Steve Seitz says:

        Campion,
        I think you misquoted John XXIII. The “vitality” to which he referred was clearly about the church over her 2000 year history: not specifically about the Church in 1962. Furthermore, near the end of the address, he states that “What is needed at the present time is a new enthusiasm, a new joy. . .”

        St. John Paul II in “Crossing the Threshold of Hope,” page 169, states that the Council came at the right time because he saw the “old model” beginning to cede away to the new. I personally fee that it came 15 years too late because of its timing with the late 60s. Satan struck her hard when the Church was most vulnerable.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Campion,
      I’ll respond to you tomorrow. It’s currently Ash Wednesday, and I don’t do well when I fast. 🙂

  7. Well what do you know. If it isn’t Fr “No Peace in Our Streets” Pedigo, back from all that rabble-rousing over at the woMen’s march.

    Community organizer first; priest, as afterthought:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-pedigo-a874b436

    For an antidote, it should be easy to garner equal time Lenten homilies from, oh, say the censored Fr Perozich, Msgr Charles Pope, or even Aesop. Ya know, something resonating with the ring of truth; really edgy.

  8. Campion says:

    Kenneth C. Jones, a lawyer by trade, presented a critique of the Church based on Vatican II both before and after the Council (“Index of Leading Catholic Indicators”, 2003).

    Jones decided to evaluate Vatican II in the manner of lawyer’s brief, sizing up all the data pro and con, before and after. He goes through all the data: In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States. This year, perhaps 560. In 1965, 58,000 priests; in 2002 when he was writing, 45,000; in 2015, perhaps 37,000. On and on.

    The overwhelming evidence, if presented before a judge, would be a summary judgment against the defendant: Vatican II is that defendant.

    And the Vatican II-istas only answer? Endlessly clucking: “correlation…

    • Campion says:

      ..is not causation. Correlation is not causation. Correlation is not causation…”

      • There is a fine editorial from UK’s Catholic Herald that addresses this fallacy of blaming Vatican II for drop in Church attendance, and even drop in religious vocations. Written by Stephen Bullivant (March 2015) the editorial asserts: “To accuse Vatican II of being the cause of disaffiliation and “resting”, therefore, is rather like blaming Trent for the rise of Protestantism.” There is a definite logical fallacy and a disingenuousness in the usual sad and false narrative of this “bash Vatican II” mentality. It is not of the Spirit of God. It is the spirit of disobedience and dissent.

        • Linda Maria says:

          jon— when the Council ended,, warnings began, of a priest shortage. 200,000 priests and bishops resigned– and some left the Church, too! Many religious orders collapsed. Catholic schools, K-12, also collapsed. Religious orders also went through massive re-organizations– and many members left, with few vocations to replace them. Churches were “wreckovated,” the Mass was changed beyond recognition, Catholic colleges and universities fell to pieces, after the 1967 “Land O’ Lakes” scandal. A very real crisis began, jon!

          • Linda Maria says:

            jon– It is fine if you want to defend the Council— I am only telling you the obvious truth– a real crisis started in our Church, right after the Council, and continues to this day! Before the Council, we had a highly-respected Church, which required theological and moral discipline of all its clergy ad laity. Since the Council ended, however– we no longer have a Church of true obedience to Christ’s teachings– we have tremendous moral and theological disobedience– all the way to the Pope’s door! A real crisis!

          • Your point LM is tangential to my own: the Council–namely the documents from it— DID NOT CAUSE any disaffection, dip in Mass attendance, or even dip in religious vocations. There is nothing in the valid achievements of the Council, namely its documents, that resulted in whatever “collapse” you speak of: NOTHING!

          • Linda Maria says:

            jon— Pope St. John Paul II spoke of his disobedient clergy as the “Silent Apostasy”– and he worried a lot about this situation, of constant moral and theological disobedience, in the Church! When asked as to why he would not try to find a solution to this problem, he said that he would not do it, because he feared a schism would result, which might cause terrible destruction, in the Church!

          • Linda Maria says:

            I think, jon, what is most important– is to lead a good, Christ-like life, follow Christ, listen to Him, and seek Heaven. Bring Christ’s Love to your fellow man, jon, practice all He taught– and you will have fulfilled your life’s purpose, as a Christian! Arguing constantly with good, fellow church-goers, who love Jesus, over an ecumenical council of the previous century– and constantly seeking to hurt and belittle them– will not get you closer to Christ, will it??

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Linda Marie,
            I’m interested in your statement about John Paul II and his decision not to crack down much on dissident priests. Could you please cite your source. Your comments explain some things.

          • anonymous Anselm says:

            Let me help you, Linda Maria, in regards to Seitz’ question:

            Here are just a few dissident theologians that carried on with virtual unfettered freedom of heresy in the Catholic Church under JP2: Richard McBrien; Hans Kung; Leonardo Boff; Gustavo Gutierrez; Richard Rohr; Fr. Robert Nugent, and his side-kick Sr Jeanne Gramick; Edward Schillebeeckx.

            If you need more, let me know, I have more.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Steve Seitz– When questioned by reporters, and many others– Pope St. John Paul II said that he would not crack down on dissident Catholic clergy, because it might cause a horrible schism in the Church! Read George Weigel– an excellent source! Weigel wrote an official biography of the Pope’s life!

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Linda Marie,
            Thank you for the source. My wife has George Weigel’s book although I haven’t read it. It’s further down on my reading list. 🙂

          • Linda Maria says:

            Actually, the term, “Silent Apostasy,” was also used by Pope St. John Paul II, to refer to the crisis in the Church in Europe, too, among dissident lay Catholics, as well as dissident clergy, and theologians! I recall, in the 1980s ad 1990s, reading articles in major secular publications, and watching TV reporters question the Pope, on this problem– the “Silent Apostasy,” and what was his solution? None, was his answer– because he feared a terrible schism!

          • Linda Maria says:

            anonymous Anselm- it seems that these dissident theologians were simply given free rein, to do as they please– and they all have caused much destruction, to the Church! Of course– some, like Hans Kung– were so extremely heretical, that they finally got into bad trouble, with the Vatican! The Church relinquished all moral and theological discipline, after Vatican II!! A major tragedy!! And Pope St. John Paul II felt his talents were not in administration.

        • Ann Malley says:

          Who are you to decree others “disingenuous” because you disagree with them, jon? It is not the Spirit of God to dismiss others with legitimate concerns/observations just because they make you uncomfortable.

          Mindless obedience for obedience sake is not necessarily Faith in God.

          The spirit of disobedience and dissent is also not limited to the faithful. We are warned in Scripture to be wary and read the signs of the times.

          • Sorry AM, but it is not “legitimate” to disobey the Magisterium. And because of that, every faithful Catholic is duty-bound to call disingenuous any attempt to cast aspersions and negativity against the teachings of the Magisterium (in this case, Vatican II).

          • Moreover AM, neither you nor anyone has given any compelling proof that the present Magisterium has strayed from the truth of the Catholic faith: therefore, I’d rather obey (yes, obey) the Magisterium, rather than dissenters.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Campion,
      After your tragic misreads of both Paul VI and John XXIII, I can’t trust your quoting of a lesser source such as Mr. Kenneth C. Jones,

      The facts are that the Catholics at the time of the Council had head knowledge but had only minimal spiritual roots. The Church of 1962 was not of the same caliber as Christians of the first century or of the 21st century. They clearly were not ready for either white or red martyrdom as is seen by the evidence.

      • Linda Maria says:

        Steve Seitz, where have you been? The Catholic Church was far more spiritual, prior to Vatican II!! All they used to focus on– was the spiritual life, imitating the Saints, not being attached to the world– and striving for Heaven! Spiritual life, and going to Heaven, was the one and only thing, that the pre-Conciliar Church focused on, and had its roots totally in!! No secular, worldly stuff, was allowed! And there was plenty of catechesis (“head” knowledge?)– and lots and lots of vocations, to be priests, brothers, and nuns! Take a look at the story of Our Lady of Fatima, for example!

        • Linda Maria says:

          When Our Lady, at Fatima, caused the miracle of the sun– thousands of people witnessed this event, in 1917!! Catholics used to be very serious about their religion, and many Catholic families used to daily say their Rosaries, and had great faith, in the intercession of Our Blessed Mother! Catholicism once was a very high and holy religion, deeply spiritual, far above the mundane, sinful, tawdry, secular world, which does not know Our Lord!

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Linda Marie,

          It’s true that many Catholics were quite rooted. My grandparents were an example of this. Its also true that many Catholics were not. My point is that you can’t assume that most had firm spiritual roots. As I said above, keep in mind that a great many Christians and Jews went to church, not because of spiritual rootedness, but because of societal expectations. Everyone went to church back then. The proof that they didn’t have sufficient roots is that they left when the 60s enticed them away and societal norms changed.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Steve Seitz, prior to Vatican II, almost all Catholics went to Sunday and Holyday Masses, a great many attended Catholic schools, and all had deep Catholic identities! Catholic identity was extremely strong– like belonging to a definite race, or something! And even those who left the Church would later say, “once a Catholic, always a Catholic!” They couldn’t help it– from birth to death, their Catholic identity (or “roots!”) was extremely strong!! Vatican II destroyed these “roots!” And the Church once was extremely spiritual! With many Saints!

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Linda Maria,
            Regarding your comment about the saints, my comments about the Church were only regarding the mid-60s and the decade leading up to it. I disagree that Catholic cultural roots directly relate to spiritual roots. Case in point, I’m current dealing with an hispanic gentlemen who has a strong Catholic identity but who never had spiritual roots. He does the absolute minimum required by the Church and is spiritually dead.

            If those Catholics that fell away in the 70s and 80s had a firm spiritual foundation, nothing would have come between them and Christ.

          • Linda Maria says:

            One can never say, that just because someone “only does the minimum” required by the Church, that one is “spiritually dead!” Many great Saints did the so-called spiritual minimum,” when young — but they had great experiences of God, later on! You need the DISCIPLINE of church attendance, religious instruction– and obedience in Christian moral life– to start off with! Later, let’s see what God can do with you! A big parish might have as many as 2,000 families!! Scattered amongst them, will be some very religious Catholics!!

          • Linda Maria says:

            P.S. Catholics who fell away from the Church during the 1960s and onward– were all mostly very young kids, teens and college-age– and they had NO CHURCH LEADRRHIP, after Vatican II!! (The liberals in the clergy were immature, irresponsible, and immoral– just like the kids!) By contrast — older Catholics, who were mature, responsible, married with kids, and who were well-trained in Catholic Faith and Morals– went CRAZY, trying to cope with all of the “hippie garbage,” in the Church, and in society!! I repeat– went CRAZY!!

          • Steve Seitz says:

            LInda Marie,
            You’ve made many good comments, but it also seems like we’re talking past each other a bit. I’m currently a bit weary (not your fault). I recommend continuing this conversation in another post area in the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, Hymie, this priest was mostly a product of modern social-activist Jesuit training!

      • No, his problems started much earlier. Red-diaper baby, radicalized from childhood–father, union organizer, mother from communist radicalized sugar plantations of Hawaii. A very old story.

        http://www.metroactive.com/metro/11.18.09/cover-0946.html
        Excerpt: “Pedigo’s parents were not present at his ordainment ceremony in 1991. He says his mother and father eventually came to terms with his chosen lifestyle when he started taking more of an activist role at his first parish, . . .” (See section “Catholic by Choice.)

  9. Sorry AMalley, but your point that the Church is not “courting” people with the truth is VERY FALSE! First, the Church is not about “courting” people, but about proclaiming to people about the Gospel, proclaiming the Truth–Who is Our Lord. And secondly, guess what, the Church is STILL proclaiming the Truth of Who Our Lord is. CLEARLY! People are still being baptized, people are being called into the Church STILL, people are still being converted daily through the sacramental life of the Church. I still agree with the commentator above that the Church of today is MORE RESILIENT: because the Mass—specifically the OF—is more accessible to the ordinary Catholic. And that makes a whole of difference!

  10. Bob One says:

    And all of this has to do with ashes, how?

    • anonymous says:

      If you would condescend from Olympus to read the article and the subsequent commentary, it directly relates to radical Fr. Pedigo’s shallow experience of the Catholic Church during its last few sad decades.

      • Steve Seitz says:

        “If you would condescend from Olympus to read the article . . .”

        For some reason, this phrase caught my funny bone this dreary Monday morning. Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

      • Linda Maria says:

        Fr. Pedigo, and other priests and prelates like him– are much-rewarded, in today’s Church! Pedigo has a great many awards and honors! He also tragically celebrated a big Mass, for Catholics who are Democrats– Democrats support abortion, as well as other anti-Catholic beliefs, sadly! Pedigo supports many immoral, anti-Catholic beliefs, such as gay sex and “marriage,” in the name of “Christian love and acceptance.” He even has a “Rainbow Chalice,” for Masses for LGBTs and their lovers! Pedigo sadly is not teaching Catholic kids how to lead a good life, close to Christ!

      • Linda Maria says:

        “Father Fluffball” seems to say, “claim your rights to your sins, during Lent! And I will help you all the way, so you can “love and accept yourself,” sins and all! Don’t you dare give up your sins– you have a right to them all!!” Whoopee, Father Fluffball!! Never-ending Mardi-Gras of the liberals– and NO LENT—- that’s against their religion!!

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