Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mastro Manifesto 2016

Well, I'm six months into my reflection year, and thus far one thing is certain.  I am a sinner yet I  desire to follow Truth, anchored in Love.  In doing so, and with God's Grace, I seek to follow the Universal Call to Holiness put forth by the Second Vatican Council.  I had tweeted and facebooked this week that this blog would be touchy.  Well, it is also going to be personal.  While my vocational discernment remains to follow God's Call in my life, Priesthood, I remain at His Mercy and being purified daily.

Formation is hard.  Obedience to authorities who at times seem like they don't grasp the weight of the world, or the seriousness of what is happening around us can be a huge challenge.  Still, through obedience we are forged as Saints, while authority divested from Truth ultimately becomes Tyranny.  For ourselves, (in this case myself) its important to be honest.

Here goes;

1.  I am a practicing Roman Catholic male.  I believe Her(The Church) to be the One True Church established by Jesus Christ for the Salvation of souls.  All other earthly endeavors (biotethical, social justice or otherwise) must flow from that reality.  The Church exists to make present the one Sacrifice of Christ in atonement for our sins. I believe in the fullness of the Truth as revealed in the Creed.  I believe in all the precepts of the Church, and should I not fully understand something, I will attempt to submit my intelligence and will to Holy Mother Church. 

2.  Stemming from the above point, I believe objective Truth exists and before entering into any 'Theological' training, a proper anthropology and proper metaphysics (Thomism) must be learned.  We need to relearn how the human mind 'thinks' and essentially why things are the way they are.  False philosophy contributes to false anthropology ultimately leading to false Theology.  Today's Theological landscape ranges from modernistic inspired pseudo liberalism, all the way to false emotionally driven fundamentalism. 

3.  I believe in the authority of the Magisterium.  While certain documents contain differing degrees of interpretation, I believe in is paramount to read everything within the context of the fullness of Tradition(or 'tradition.)   I promise never to break union with the Pope and Bishops in union with him.  I have read 'Laudato Si' and found it good.  I have also read 'Summorum Pontificum' and found it good.  I accept Vatican II, not the 'spirit of,'  'Commentary about, school of Bologna this,.. Vatican II is a pastoral Council, while Trent remains a doctrinal one.  Both these Councils contain or reaffirm doctrine and pastoral applications.   We must remember that doctrines are black and white issues, but people are not.  It is us who are ultimate shades of grey.  (This is made manifest in both degrees and hierarchy of Truth as well as degrees of sins.  (Gospel where Jesus encounters the Samaritain women comes to mind.)

4.  I refuse to be labeled any kind of 'ist.'  'Traditionalist' or 'progressivist,' ultimately lumps us into an ideological camp.  If I were to define myself, then I would say 'Traditional.'  I do not identify with 'hate mongers' or the extreme right, nor hippie whackadoos on the extreme left.  I love the Extraordinary Form of Mass and the Ordinary Form.  When both are celebrated properly, they can both elevate our senses to Heaven.  When both are celebrated mediocre, (An EF low Mass can seem like a 'drive-by' Eucharist, while an OF can seem like an attempt at cheesy religious entertainment) they both detract us from God and true worship.  We need to put Jesus first, and ideological banners in a secondary role.

5.  I am a man.  I was raised to be a man.  I am 'straight' (heterosexual).  I have never discriminated or been mean to a person with same sex attraction.  Sadly it is I who experienced a bullying from that crowd. I do follow the teachings of the Church on morals and if or when I fail with regards to chastity, I will make recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I believe the same should be true for those individuals.  I can draw a distinction between 'meekness' as opposed to weakness.  My Spirituality stems from and is expressed in this reality.  (Which is ultimately why, for the time being, I am drawn to the EF Mass.)  I played sports growing up and continue to avidly train in the Martial Arts and weights.  I have no interest in opera, theatre, frappacinos or ballet.  I enjoy hunting, fishing and pick-up trucks.  I fellowship with other men who desire to follow Christ and have also sought refuge in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

To conclude this five point manifesto, is that to a certain extent, Our Lord desires to transform our hearts, but not replace our personalities.  I continue along this journey, and will ultimately, hopefully let Jesus work through me.

Ad Maeoriam Dei Gloriam!


Julian Barkin said...


Great to hear you buddy. Good to see a man of a future priest who isn't going to cause scandal in our Church.

However Marco, you've stepped into dangerous territory while being a seminarian. You've formally declared you love of the EF in writing and for anyone with a computer to find. While it may be ok for a layman like me to say I love the EF/Latin mass. YOU as a seminarian are treading on dangerous territory.

Do you know your formators well enough that it's ok to have this attraction? If they are the least bit urked, this can have devastating consequences. At the worst these people may kick you out of seminary for that, being old codgers addicted like crack addicts to the spirit of Vatican II. They might also prefer effeminate man boys, if you know what I mean.

At the best, they may encourage it but they will give you no training and this is something you must pick up on your own. Regardless you are a marked man.

Marco, this is a serious set of questions. are you:
- willing to endure harassment by your fellow seminarians and your formators for your choice
- willing to understand that while things are improving, the EF is frowned upon by the majority of your senior priests and the miscatechized laity?
- understand that, alongside the Latin Mass, espousal of adherence to Traditon and Magisterium is essentially ignored, and that if you actively adhere to it as a priest you will forgo one or more of: parishes in non derelict areas of the diocese, promotion to the episcopacy and future appointments in Rome (excepting a Traddie pope taking over,) fair and honest treatment by your diocese, and may be complained against by priest and laity alike to your superior bishop and be transferred to far outskirts of your diocese?

If you honestly are not willing to undergo all this and agree with this Marco, you need to seriously rethink this vocation.

I hate to be a downer here, but based on what you've said public ally, I fear for you.

Just worried about my fellow brother in Christ, who knows the lay of "Traddie" land currently, Julian.

Marco Mastromonaco said...

Hi Julian,.. I respect your comments, and after much prayer, I will be honest. I don't love the EF more than the OF,.Jesus is Jesus period. What I don't like is ideology. Right now, I'm on a break from seminary. We have a truly holy Archbishop, but these battles are old and tired out. I want to be a clean slate. I love God and I love God's people. Whatever direction liturgically or otherwise should not distract from the Call to Holiness. I do not want to be one of those guys who 'hides.' My formators knew my opinions, and I believe they respected me for that. God bless!

Julian Barkin said...

Hey Marco, that's good to hear. Sounds like if you are in this, you are in it for he long haul, thick and thin, thinking years down the road.