Thursday, May 28, 2015

St. Jude and the Hopeless Cause of Clerical Corruption

source: Echoes from the Vault
Largely forgotten outside of the popular “Hopeless Causes” devotion, St. Jude Thaddeus—one of the Twelve and brother of Our Lord and of St. James—wrote a short but effective epistle against the doctrinal and moral corruption of false teachers in the Church. While the exact identification of these heretics is uncertain (Fr. Haydock seems unreasonably certain that they are the Nicolaites and the disciples of Simon Magus), the moral attributes of these errant teachers are common even today.
For certain men are secretly entered in, (who were written of long ago unto this judgment,) ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness [Latin: luxuriam], and denying the only sovereign Ruler, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 4) 
As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. In like manner these men also defile the flesh, and despise dominion, and blaspheme majesty. (v. 7-8) 
But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted. (v. 10) 
These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking according to their own desires, and their mouth speaketh proud things, admiring persons for gain’s sake. (v. 16) 
In the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses. These are they, who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit. (v. 18-19)
They entered in secretly, encouraging lust, and denying the kingship of Christ. They participate in the sins of Sodom and Gomorrha, and despise the celestial hierarchy, which even the great St. Michael would not do against Satan. Whatever these teachers do not understand, they mock. What they know, they corrupt. They complain ceaselessly, speaking constantly about their own greatness, and flattering others for their own good. These are mockers, and unspiritual schismatics.

Now of course there are many other interesting things in the Epistle of St. Jude, including references to unbiblical (but not untraditional) stories of Sts. Enoch and Moses, as well as some very colorful language about the punishments awaiting the false teachers. What interests me are the unavoidable parallels between the descriptions of these teachers and the false teachers we are afflicted with today. I will not belabor these parallels, as they are obvious to anyone who has been reading Catholic news sources for the last few years or even months, but it is somehow comforting to know that Christians have always suffered under the weight of deceivers who twist doctrine to suit what the brobdingnagian apologist Mark Shea frequently calls “pelvic issues.”

We may take some further comfort in Jude’s exhortation of how we ought to bear living under the weight of these wicked men, and how to comport ourselves while waiting for their judgment:
But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting. And some [of these heretics] indeed reprove, being judged: but others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on others have mercy, in fear. (v. 20-23)
source: The Met


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  2. An off topic but my personal thoughts.

    I so wish to be in those times, to really walk with Our Lord and the Apostles and witness His miracles, His Paschal Mystery (yes - i've used that phrase), to witness and to live with the first Christians under the guidance of Peter and the Apostles...witness the Apostolic Liturgy...hear them teach...

    tears come to my eyes when i think of those times for i long so much to be then and there...

    maybe it's the "little Luther" the archaeologicist (cf. Mediator Dei) in me (whom, i don't doubt many of us possess) who longs for purity and simplicity of those times...

    1. There's nothing wrong with the phrase at all. It's just been abused to death so that few associate it with its true meaning.

      I too would have loved to be there so I could accompany St. Thomas on his journey to Kerala.

    2. Indeed. I just had to do a translation from Spanish were "pascual" was used as an adjective for all kinds of things. It didn't even make sense. I also found a German text referring to Fr. Kentenich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as "österliche Menschen", "paschal people".

    3. i am glad my sentiments resonate with acceptance amongst you :)

  3. Watching the Bishop of Rome actualising his duties is, one imagines, what it would be like to watch a Giraffe Pole Vault.

    Speaking of self-conceived greatness, did y'all know that Pope Blessed Paul Vi, during the council described the Fathers of V2 as the greatest, holiest Catholics ever?

    Be right back..chasing down the quote..

  4. Text of Pope Paul VI’s Address Closing Council’s Second Session

    by Jim Lackey

    Following is the council press office translation of the Latin address delivered Dec. 4, 1963 by Pope Paul VI at the closing meeting of the second session of the ecumenical council.

    We have now reached the end of the second session of this great ecumenical council.
    You have already been long absent from your Sees, in which the sacred ministry requires your presence, your guidance and your zealous pastoral labors. Your work here has been heavy, and assiduous and protracted by reason of the ceremonies, studies and meetings of this period of the council...

    Before concluding our labors, it would be fitting to sum up and to consider together the course of the session and its results. But to do that would make this address too long, nor indeed could it be done adequately since so many aspects of this council belong to the domain of grace and the inner kingdom of the soul into which it is not always easy to enter, and since so many of the council’s results have not yet come to maturity, but are as grains of wheat cast into the furrows, awaiting their effective and fruitful development, which will be granted only in the future through new mysterious manifestations of the divine goodness.

    Nevertheless, lest we seem to leave this holy council hall without gratitude for the blessings of God, from whom this council has here taken its origin, we will remind ourselves above all that some of the goals that the council set itself to achieve have already been at least partially reached.

    The Church wished to grow in her consciousness and understanding of herself. See how, on the very level of her pastors and teachers, she has begun a profound meditation on that mystery from which she draws her origin and form. The meditation is not finished, but the very difficulty of concluding it reminds us of the depth and breadth of this doctrine, and stimulates each of us to strive to understand and to express the doctrine in a way which, on the one hand, cannot fail to lead our minds, and certainly those of the faithful who are attentively following our labors, to Christ Himself from whom all gifts come to us and to whom we wish to return all, “reconciling everything in Him” (Col. 1, 20).

    On the other hand, our efforts cannot fail to increase both our happiness in being personally called to form part of this holy Mystical Body of Christ, and our mutual charity, the principle and law of the life of the Church.

    Let us rejoice, my brothers, for when was the Church ever so aware of herself, so in love with Christ, so blessed, so united, so willing to imitate Him, so ready to fulfill His mission?

    There is more of his speech but that blooded part says it all, no? They thought themselves THE best Catholics to have ever lived. This is embarrassing to read. They are all better than - well, let's just roll out the A List; Athanasius, Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas..

    1. One thinks of the President of the USA: "We are the people we've been waiting for." No thanks, I have one Messiah and am quite happy with Him.