Voices from Russia

Monday, 14 June 2010

Here’s a Good Example of REAL Russian Press Reportage on Catholicism: RIA-Novosti on “The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Catholicism”

Interior of a papist church in Poland


Editor’s Foreword:

After Rod Dreher’s little contretemps, I post the following to show the actual Russian attitude towards the papal confession. It is what it is.



On 11 June, Catholics around the world celebrate Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a holyday dedicated to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. It is noted on a Friday, falling eight days after the Feast of Corpus Christi, and on the twelfth day after the Feast of the Holy Trinity. The Heart of Christ is a symbol of God’s love to mankind; the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, thus, reflects the gratitude to God for his love and freely given gift of salvation.

The origin of the holyday goes back to the 11th and 12th centuries. This Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus marked the beginning of the veneration of the Wounds of Christ, which became widespread in the 13th century, when [Catholic] monks devoted special prayers to Christ’s wounds, especially to the pierced side of the Saviour. The original impetus for the modern development of the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was a vision of the French nun Margaret Mary Alacoque, of the Visitation Convent of Paray-le-Monial, where Jesus Christ expressed the desire that people worship His Heart in a special way. However, this wish remained unfulfilled for a long time; many theologians doubted the need for a new universal devotion. In the 1600s, notably due to the Jesuits, the cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus reached its climax. In 1672, with the permission of his bishop, Fr Jean Eudes, the confessor of Sr Margaret Mary Alacoque, served, with permission from his bishop, the first Holy Mass to the Heart of Jesus.

For a hundred years, the Catholic church lingered over the official establishment of the new holiday. In 1765, Pope Clement XII Corsini gave the first permission to celebrate this holyday to the Polish [Catholic] episcopate. It was celebrated worldwide by the 19th century. In 1856, Pope Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti made the liturgical celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus mandatory for the whole Church. Leo XIII Pecci deepened the understanding of the Sacred Heart devotion, illustrating the relationship between this devotion and the salvation of the world. In 1956, Pope Pius XII Pacelli, in his message on the hundredth anniversary of this event, gave the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus solid dogmatic foundation.

On this holyday, Catholic worship recalls the passages of Holy Scripture that speak of Christ as the Good Shepherd, who sought out the lost sheep through the warmness of His Heart. A portion from the Gospel of St John about the pierced side of Jesus is also read on this day. During this feast, the Holy Gifts are exhibited on the altar for the veneration [of the faithful]. After Communion, a prayer to the Heart of Jesus is read, to ask that the world discover the true nature of God, and to teach people to see Christ in their brothers. The Heart of Jesus was pierced on the cross, becoming the source of the Sacraments of the Church. From it came out blood and water, pointing to baptism and the Eucharist, without which it is impossible to maintain a righteous life and to be one with God. On the day after this Feast, on Saturday, Catholics honour the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which was the perfect image and likeness of the Heart of her Son.

10 June 2010



Editor’s Note:

Two things prompted me to post this. One was Rod Dreher’s juvenile and uncalled-for rants against his former confession. Another was Jonas Paffhausen’s intent to speak at the so-called Lumen Gentium conference. Both are deviations from the Orthodox norm. The former is an ignorant konvert who is egged on by other konvertsy (including JP) and the Renovationist crowd at SVS. He’s relatively harmless… he’s just a mewling toddler who deserves to have a “sock stuffed in it”. I have no doubt that there are many good Catholics queuing up for the honour… let’s sell lottery tickets for it… we’ll retire all our debts. The latter is more serious. How would I describe JP and the SVS lot to a Catholic? Ah, yes… think of what Catholic church life would be like if its guiding lights were Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hans Küng, and Edward Schillebeeckx … and that the Pope of Rome was Charles Curran. I am NOT saying that I would welcome such… I am asking you to imagine such. That is how off the beam such people are. We grounded Orthodox offer criticisms of this theological rubbish equivalent to the critique that Étienne Gilson and Dietrich von Hildebrand offered of Catholic Modernism.

The Church’s way is clear… we should not offer gratuitous and nasty commentary on another confession in “ecumenical” venues. I apologise for Mr Dreher’s irresponsibility. In like manner, if we receive an invitation to participate in things such as this Lumen Gentium conference, we should decline to do so, respectfully and privately, of course. One CAN send an observer… to observe… NOT to participate, NOT to be part of common photos, and NOT to give the impression that the event is “of the Church” (for it is not). We must show the Love of Christ to the outside world… and both Dreher and JP do wrong by obscuring that.

The Church is what She is… those outside of Her are what they are… they are in God’s Hands, which cannot be a bad thing. I confide that grounded Catholics would agree with me. Let’s have friendship and amity… there shall be no false union. The above post shows that Russians do not hate Catholics… but we are different, and the sooner we realise this, the better off we all shall be.


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