Friday, December 14, 2007

RIP Alfons Cardinal Stickler

A true son of the Church, Cardinal Alfons Stickler of Austria, passed to his eternal reward on 12th December, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He was 97 years old.

The Lord bless him, and lift him up, and make His face to shine upon him, and give him peace.

May he be welcomed by the angels into paradise, and may he hear those blessed words from the mouth of the Just Judge: Euge, serve bone et fidelis, quia in pauca fuisti fidelis, supra multa te constituam, intra in gaudium Domini tui — “Well done, good and faithful servant: because you have been faithful over a little, I shall set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

Melancholicus is saddened, because although the sacred college contains more than its fair share of fifth columnists, marxists, and general goofballs (the majority of whom were elevated in the previous pontificate), Cardinal Stickler was one of the good guys; he was Catholic.

The traditionalist movement, in particular, has good cause to be grateful to his eminence for his tireless efforts on behalf of the restoration of the traditional Latin liturgy, and we would do well to repay his goodness to us by offering our prayers and sacrifices for the repose of his soul.

Cardinal Stickler was one of the commission of nine cardinals appointed in 1986 to investigate the juridical status of the traditional Latin Mass. The commission found by a majority of 8 to 1 that Paul VI had never abrogated the Old Mass, but its findings were never officially made public.

In the closing years of the twentieth century, when the young Melancholicus was just beginning, in terror, to explore the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood, he was given two books to read by the then vocations director of the Dublin archdiocese, which explored the issue of celibacy from diametrically opposing viewpoints. One of these was typical dissident boilerplate so vacuous and forgettable that he cannot now even locate the work on Google; the other, however, was The Case for Clerical Celibacy: Its Historical Development and Theological Foundations by his eminence Cardinal Stickler. Melancholicus was as impressed by his eminence’s writing and scholarly erudition as he was nauseated by the work of the modernist author.

And so, though a callow youth without much education in sacred matters, Melancholicus was steered firmly on the path of orthodoxy by the guiding hand of a true son of the Church.

May he rest in peace.

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