So, because today was the birthday of the Church, being Pentecost, the solemn liturgical celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit, the giving of the gift of tongues to the apostles and the other disciples, the conversion of 3000 to Christ, a day of joy, thanksgiving and happiness, the FSSP priest decided - as any right-thinking priest would - to give us an extended meditation on hell and the various ways to get there.
Hmmm... What's that?
What did you ask?
Well, in his defense, what else would you EXPECT him to preach about on Pentecost? Indeed, what else would you expect him to preach about EVER? No matter WHAT the Sunday? But I digress.
He began with this quote from Pope Leo XIII's Humanum Genus:
The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, "through the envy of the devil," separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God.Now, I will pass by in total silence (too late!) the fact that Adam and Eve are, according to the traditional calendar, celebrated as saints of the Church on December 24. For if I were to dwell on this point at all, I would have to mention how this fact of our first parents' liturgical feast, when combined with Pope Leo's words, would demonstrate how cautiously we must tread whenever we read Church documents.
"But," as the beloved FSSP priest functionally replied, "to hell with caution!" He took Leo's passage as the jump-point to illustrate that, while 3000 Jews DID respond to Peter's exhortation, thousands of Jews did NOT respond to Peter's call. And they are therefore all part of the Kingdom of Satan! Yes, all of them!
He did allow as how the Jews who responded positively, being all travelers from foreign parts and new to town, certainly had nothing to do with the Crucifixion.
Incidentally, how does he know this? Isn't it possible that some of the travelers DID join in and participate in Christ's crucifixion with gusto but, stung by Peter's interpretation of Scripture, actually turned and repented? "Balderdash and PSHAW!" bellows the reply! This fine parochial vicar not only treated such a possibility with complete silence, he implicitly rejected it as an outrageous claim.
So, the rest of the Jews, the ones who rejected Peter's call, these Jews HAD ONCE BEEN (emphasis in the original. Repeated emphasis in the original, in fact) members of the Chosen People but they were now members of the Kingdom of Satan (cue dark organ music - this is a traditional liturgy, after all. No guitars allowed.)!
Now, at this point some Novus Ordo heretic is likely to point out that the Church specifically teaches that this idea is theological insanity.
Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God's saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets... Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles.(7) Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles, making both one in Himself.(8)
The Church keeps ever in mind the words of the Apostle about his kinsmen: "theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh" (Rom. 9:4-5), the Son of the Virgin Mary. She also recalls that the Apostles, the Church's main-stay and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ's Gospel to the world, sprang from the Jewish people.
As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation,(9) nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading.(10) Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.(11) In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Soph. 3:9 cf. Cf. Is. 66:23; Ps. 65:4; Rom. 11:11-32 .Our FSSP priest made no attempt to reconcile his interpretation with Nostra Aetate, because... Vatican II! He did not try to show how the Old and the New Covenants are, like the Persons of the Trinity Himself, covenants that can be distinguished but never separated. He didn't point out that the New Covenant contains the power of salvation that was only prophesied by the Old, so that, like the Old and the New Testament, both still apply. Absurd even to propose such a possibility. No, this dear FSSP priest throws all the Jews who failed to accept Christ into the Kingdom of Satan! No one can be saved outside the Church!
And thus we admix truth (no one can be saved outside the Church) with error (the perfidious Jews!).
Now, he did admit the possibility of blood baptism and baptism of desire (but seemed to apply the last primarily to catechumens without much mention of anyone else having a shot at it), so he at least isn't a Feeneyite. But he spent zero time emphasizing the fact that God holds individuals accountable only for what they know, and not for what they don't.He didn't mention the words of the Holy Spirit via Paul, that every man has the possibility of being saved by the natural law written on their hearts (Romans 2:15). Instead, he spent quite a lot of time emphasizing that invincible ignorance does not save you, since it is not a sacrament and provides no sanctifying grace. Apparently, we can't trust St. Paul, because he was (did we mention this?) also a Jew.
When Jew-bashing is the order of the day, certain nuances must be omitted for reasons of length. Why waste time on the fruitless hope St. Paul raises when the Gospel so clearly preaches the message "Be Afraid! Be VERY Afraid!"
Instead, then, he then spent a few quiet moments emphasizing the possibility of hellfire to the teens in the audience, indeed, even explicitly addressing them. If you leave your parents' house and then follow up by dallying outside of the Church, you are destined for HELL!
There. That will keep those teens Catholic! Teens respond well to threats of punishment. In fact, you should always threaten and punish someone most severely just when you are about to have the least amount of input on how they live. Father Pastor knows this about teens because he's raised so many of them. He understands their psychology, you see.
(I Am NOT Making This Up. It Really Happened This Way.)
So, later, I walked out of the parish hall, into the bright sunshine and was met by a white van carrying Catholics looking for a Mass. Only now as I type this does it occur to me how well this maps into the sermon about the out-of-town Jews. God is spooky sometimes.
Anyway, these Catholics, traveling the country in their white van, were concerned. This was the conversation, as close to verbatim as I can render it.
Them: "Are you a member of this parish?"
Me: "Hmmm... I attend Mass here sometimes."
Them: "We're from out of town, traveling, looking for a Mass and didn't realize this was a traditional Latin Mass until we got into the parking lot here."
Me: "Well, yes, it is." I shrug my shoulders
Them: "We're concerned. About what people will say about how we are dressed."
Me: "You're travelers, right? (They nod.) Then it makes no difference - you'll never see these people again, so who cares what they think?" (They laugh, as I hoped they would.)
Me, getting out of the car to show them: "As you can see, I have just slacks and a short-sleeve shirt. I'm sure you're fine."
Them: "Well, do the women have to wear mantillas?"
Me: "My niece just left Mass and wasn't wearing one. There's no requirement to do so."
Them: "Well, we're concerned that they may look at us kind of funny. Some of us are wearing shorts."
Me: "If they look at you funny, look back at them funny." (I made a face - they laughed).
Them: "Well, we don't want to be a scandal or distraction."
Me: "Just sit in the back. You'll be fine. Look, Jesus is here. If some of the congregation doesn't act like Jesus, that's kind of par for the course, right?" We all laugh. He drives off.I didn't look to see if he parked, as I was also driving off in the other direction. I hope he did. But that's between him and God. To be honest, I was so scandalized by the conversation that I was too preoccupied to watch what he did.
He had concerns about the traditional Catholic congregation sitting in judgement of him. The saddest thing is this: his concerns were well-founded. I am positive that the minute he and his family walked in, this congregation was scandalized.
Because, you and I both know Jesus HATES people who wear shorts.
God just HATES them.
As the Scriptures say:
And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with just judgment. (John 7:24)Well, no, ignore those Scriptures. The point is, if they didn't dress right, then God hates them. Because that is TOTALLY how God operates.
Here are these people who just want to go to Mass and receive Jesus. That's all they want. But instead of being able to prepare themselves for Mass, they have to spend time worrying about the community sinning by taking scandal. They have to worry about a bunch of gossipy old women and flinty-eyed old men whispering to their children, warning them to avert their eyes.
They have to deal with a congregation of liturgy police rolling their eyes, heaving great sighs, pointedly turning away from them after Mass because - well isn't it obvious that these travelers didn't bother to take the time to dress for Mass? I mean, when *I* travel, I always take the time, but these people just couldn't be bothered! This Novus Ordo mentality is the death of the Church! Why didn't they just come in wearing bikinis and flip-flops, with sand on their feet! Disgusting!
And what if they DID come in so dressed, and sat in the back praying "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!"? Well, at least they would be in back, where they belong, so that those of us sitting in the front pew would be justified and right to pray to God without distraction, saying, "Thank you God, that you did not make me like these sinners! I wear ties to Mass, both with the dark suit and the tan!"
Amen, amen I say to you, the people in this van showed more love and concern for both God and neighbor than many of the righteous who celebrated in the traditional Latin Mass congregation today.
Why is traditionalism stuck on STUPID?
Why will they NEVER make any serious converts among the pagans in the Aereopagus?
I give you this Pentecost.
And I rest my case.