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"There is no use invoking a cleric who is highly placed in the church administration as some sort of arbiter in the matter"

Concerning Gruner, I would invoke this cleric, a friend and confidant of Pope John Paul II, over enthusiastic Fatima supporters on any day. He knew what he was talking about. Cardinal Gagnon also knew what Pope John Paul II thought, as well.

Fatima is more believable in its early phases than what it has become. One can verify events prophesied that actually occurred up until World War II. After that, it gets foggy. There is the whole matter of secrets. I have difficulty believing that Christ sent his mother to earth to reveal things to us which he thought we should know, but when she arrived, she couldn't tell us. It was a secret - or secrets. I have difficulty with an apparition happening in our own day which again, is encumbered with "secrets." Maybe we should stick with revealed truth in tradition and the gospels, and not worry too much about apparitions or secrets.

This situation in Ukraine is horrendous by any standard. If the recent consecration made any difference whatever, we should soon see some results from it. I would hope so, at any rate.

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Good points, sir.

Fr Gruner was deeply pious and traditional. If there was ever anything about the Fatima apparitions and devotions that was not about underlining revealed truth in tradition, I must have obviously missed it after over fifty years of adherence to them. That there are enthusiastic devotees - that happens.

Frankly, I lost faith in the post-Vatican II "contemporary" church. It was a failed experiment from the get-go that emphasized social action, politics and ecclesial geopolitical ecumenism, often at the expense of conviction, dedication to, yes, revealed truth in Tradition and tried and true good old fashioned Catholic devotion. By their fruits you will know them. Give me the traditional, Tridentine-style Catholic Church any day. Give me Fr. Gruner over the contemporary Vatican officialdom as well. The elderly couple that helped raise me who supported Fr Gruner all his life are characteristic of the type of Christian that was attracted to him. This couple have rosaries decorating their home, and pray it daily, while attending the Tridentine Liturgy regularly, fasting weekly and showing tremendous charity toward others. When I see them, and they are precious to me, I kiss their hands kneeling.

Keep your Vatican officialdom if they inspire you. They fall flat with me. The most recent example is the entire conversation about a patriarchate for the largest EC Church - the UGCC - that was always denied by your Vatican officialdom on the grounds that such would "offend"the Moscow patriarchate.

Well, now who is it who even cares what the Moscow patriarchate thinks or is or isn't offended? This was the kind of state-run church that the Vatican had always wanted to keep on good terms with? Again, sir, keep your Vatican officialdom. I'm with Catholic traditionalism, Fatima and, yes, Fr. Gruner (+memory eternal).

And I would suggest, sir, that those EC's who have gone over to Orthodoxy (leaving aside the question of whether they really understand the existential differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy so as to make a truly informed decision in that regard) have done so largely not because of their being repulsed by "Latinizations" (which I believe is a canard) but because of their being repulsed by a certain lack of moral clarity and true Catholic identity that affects many Catholics of other Ritual Churches - thanks to theconfusion sewn by Vatican officialdom yesterday and today. Cheers, Alex

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Alex,

How are you dear friend? Long time since I’ve seen you post.

I think both the Trads and the mainstream Church as well as the Orthodox Church have failed both God and the people since Vatican II, but I don’t think Vatican II was the cause. Massive cultural shift and upheaval that is still ongoing is the culprit I think.

As to Fr Gruner, he contradicted Sr Lucia, made anti-Semitic remarks in the Fatima Crusader and refused to obey his bishop and return to his diocese of incardination for which he was suspended. As a deacon, I can’t hold somebody up as an example who broke his vow of obedience and ignored the hierarchy. The saints always submitted to lawful authority even when it was unjust. The “we resist you to your face” crowd is something I can’t support.

Pray for me a sinner.


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Bless, Reverend Father Deacon!

it is very nice to connect with you after so long a time!

I agree with your assessment of failure, but I intended to point to the interpretations of Vatican II and administrators who have a tendency to give a liberal spin on that Council's teachings, I was lamenting to Charles that I had had enough of liberalism in the Church!

No one is going to begin a process to canonize Fr Gruner, of course. Yes, he did what you recount. It is just that I admire the spiritual devotion of individuals who were connected to him, for better or for worse. They are also members of the SSPX - which I also don't subscribe to and never will. That doesn't mean I cannot be inspired by certain aspects of their spiritual lives. Historically, the lives of anti-popes (as Fr F. Holweck recounts in his hagiographical sketches) were read for edification, despite their having been on the wrong side of ecclesial conflicts. I don't have to, and don't, swallow up everything they were and are about. As for anti-semitism, Christians have yet to come to a final reckoning of this aspect of Church history for a full and meaningful reconciliation with the Jewish people.

I am well, thank you for asking, having overcome a number of health issues - have never felt better. I had a "near-death" experience in hospital where I felt I was floating above my body looking down at myself as doctors and nurses tried to revive me. What I experienced in those moments has completely taken the fear of death away from me. A real blessing to me to be sure. The contents of that experience I keep to myself because no one would believe me. Suffice it to say that "eye has not seen, nor ear heard what God has prepared for those who love Him!!!"

Reverencing your right hand, I again implore your blessing, Father Deacon,

Alex

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Alex, that near-death experience could give you enough material for a very interesting book.

A big problem with liberalism - I don't like it either - is that it is difficult to tell where liberalism ends and secularism begins. The two seem to overlap and blend together.

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Dear Charles,

You are right on the money - liberalism and secularism go hand in hand. The blind leading the blind into a pit . . .

I will think about the book idea. Rather than doing it for sensationalism, it just might give some peace and calm to others.

Will think it through.

Cheers,Sir!

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There seems to be so much discussion, and blame, placed on Vatican II by conservative Catholics. Vatican II took place when I was in elementary school, so I thought I would revisit some of its history. I ran across a statement made by Pope John XX111 at the beginning of Vatican II. The Pope said it's " ....time to open the windows [of the Church] and let in the fresh air....."

I know Pope John was speaking symbolically. But, as a former student of Art History,  the metaphor reminded me so much of the the transition between the Romanesqe and Gothic eras of Achitecture that occurred around the 12th and 13th centuries.  The dark, sturdy fortress-like churches  of the Romanesque gave way to light- filled and soaring Gothic cathedrals. The change, of course, took place in theological outlook too. The Franciscans arose, giving a  new appreciation and gratitude for nature. Church scholars and theologians found a new inspiration for the writings of antiquity. The ensuing change in the Church laid the foundations for the Renaissance.

The fact is, Church history, like its architecture, reinvigorates itself from time to time. It seems to me that, in light of the Industrial Age, two World Wars and the rise of Communism, the Church felt it necessary to rephrase its message and re-represent itself to the modern world.  The famous Cathilic theologian and Biblical scholar, John McKenzie once said ........"The Church can survive the disorder of development better than She can stand the living death of organized immobility."

I see no premeditated attempt at "liberalism" in Vatican II. What I see is an attempt to help the Letter of the Law conform a bit more to the Spirit of the Law, and to help people understand practice doctrine better.

Having said all that, I still respect the " traditionalists" and feel that they too are an important facet to the jewel that is the Church.

But.........I am betting that, in the 12th century.......there were Church traditionalists who objected to liberals letting secular light into those beautiful rose windows.

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XPUCTOC BOCKPEC!

I, for one, never equated the issues of secularism and liberalism in the Church with Vatican II. Only in the interpretation of Vatican II later on. Vatican II laid the groundwork for a better appreciation of Eastern tradition and ecclesial identity that did not exist in the Catholic church (and when we say that, we do mean the Latin Church).

I am not young and I lived through the worst excesses of moral and religious confusion in the aftermath of Vatican II. That is a separate topic. But I found myself in the paradigm of Eastern Christianity.

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"With all the heavy incense smoke, lovely chanting and beautiful icons - there is a big emptiness where there should be the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

This single sentence was the revelation I have been in such desperate need of having, to dispel my illusions of Eastern Orthodoxy. For years I've struggled, being torn between the Eastern Orthodox Church and our Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church. I would always get drawn into the Orthodox side via online interactions. The people were so certain they were the fullness of truth and they'd point out the latinized state of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and I'd find myself having difficulty arguing against their logic. I actually spent a couple months away and tried going back to the Orthodox, despite all my reservations about where they are coming down in the war in Ukraine (this is an Antiochian Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch has vested political and self serving reasons to remain loyal to the MP, regardless of morality).

But spending time with the Orthodox again finally tore the veil that was placed over my eyes. These people were all in for Russia, even buying into all the conspiracy theories (about Ukranian soldiers dressing as Russians and killing Ukranian civilians to spur hatred toward Russia on the global stage). That single perspective alone helped me truly look at the Eastern Orthodox Churches with an objective lens, and not continue to see it as I "wanted" to see it. As they "wanted" me to see it. And I say Eastern Orthodox Church"es", because it's a myth that there's a single Eastern Orthodox "Church". They are as fragmented as Protestantism, always finding political or cultural reasons to rupture from one another and break communal ties. This is the natural consequence of their rejecting the papacy. Without the role of the Pope in Rome to serve the unity of the universal Church, all you end up with is bickering and disunity. This is also why the Orthodox have been adrift and rudderless for the last 1000 years, unable to progress forward with one mind and one body.

The emptiness I felt was not satiated by the Orthodox. It was made more sharp. But by returning to our Byzantine Catholic Church, by going to confession, by receiving our Lord in Holy Communion alongside my family, I now know. I am where God wants me to be. I am at peace, for I have found the Lord God.

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