Christ stilling the waves

The Trumpeteer

  • Let us rejoice in the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady

    We have just celebrated the wonderful Feast of The Immaculate Conception, and we ponder Our Lady’s Immaculate conception where she was conceived without Original Sin and how only She and her Son, the New Adam who is both God and Man usher in the Redemption, and the recreation of Man in the image of God more perfectly and more mysteriously than if Adam and Eve had not fallen.

    In Amoris Laeatitia the floodgates of the Liberal Dam have been opened, and we see the beginnings of the wreck of marriage, and the utter denigration of chastity. Now here’s the rub, and it is a very important one. The concept of chastity which has been so underplayed since Vatican II, has all but been forgotten in so much discourse. Just think that most of the women who joined religious life prior to Vatican II were virgins or widows, and note also that there were special orders formed for “Fallen Women” (On the basis of the present state of things, there should be thousands of convents for such women in the Western World. That would solve the vocations crises,for women at least.) One such order was founded by that most delightful of saints, St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, a contemporary of the great Don Bosco, and in some ways more extraordinary than him, but his story must be told at a later time.

    With the underplaying of Virginity, there has been a concomitant down playing of chastity in marriage. St. Catherine of Siena said that many married people go the Hell because of sexual sins committed within the marriage bed. The one thing that couples do not need is “A healthy sexual life”. In the superb book by Archpriest Josiah B. Trenham of the Antiochian Orthodox Church entitled Marriage and Virginity, According to John Chrysostom (published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood) he relates a story, that I cannot put my finger on, which is embedded amidst Father Josiah’s fairly massive footnotes. It tells the story of an Orthodox bishop visiting a parish and being scandalized at a priest who has 10 children, and berates him for a far too active sex life for one who is a priest. The priest points out that he has only made love to his wife ten times, and so the bishop is gently rebuked.

    In the early Church you often see many, many, couples, especially in the 4th and 5th centuries embracing perpetual continence and living as brother and sister; the most colourful must be St.Melania and her husband Pinanius, but that too is a tale for another time. However the most perfect marriage was the virginal marriage of Our Lady and St. Joseph, and the marriage had to be virginal not just for the very obvious reason that no man could enter the sanctuary of the Mother of God, for that was God’s domain and no-one else’s, but because they had to be totally absorbed with Jesus, the God Man. Marriage like, religious chastity and virginal chastity is about contemplating God with all the faculties of spirit, intellect and body. Marriage is not and end in itself but a means to contemplation in the World, and a way to Heaven. It is not about couples constantly taken up with themselves in a silly dream world, sentimental romances, or sexual shenanigans, it is a window into Heaven.

    So the Pope and his advisors are missing the point. All remarried divorcees, when they come to the awful realization of what they have done, would welcome a life of perfect continence as that would be a life of penance, and a beautiful way to holiness, experienced by all those wonderful couples who throughout the ages have opted for perfect chastity within their, albeit, valid marriages. However as the Church just pays lip service to penance then this will uphill struggle, to say the very least.

    The consequences of divorce are manifold, children are emotionally, psychologically, and even sexually wrecked, spouses shattered, not to mention financial problems accruing to the whole aea of maintenance. What is essential to marriage is not sexual attraction, a harmonious life between husband and wife, though that would be wonderful, but the begetting of children for Heaven, in a nutshell producing saints for God, something that St. Bernard’s parents, St.Dominic’s parents and St. Thérèse’s did superlatively well.

    We should rejoice on this Gaudete Sunday when we think of great married people who decided to live as brother and sister, and show to divorced and remarried couples that they can live like these saints and so redeem the sin of adultery which is now rendered falsely innocuous under the name re-marriage; nothing could be more dangerous nor damnable than this.

    Underneath I append important commentaries on the grave happenings within the Church.

    Dubia debacle shows the Church is in a ‘religious civil war’, says famed Catholic historian

    ROME, December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Italian Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei has stated that Pope Francis’ refusal to answer questions by the four Cardinals about whether Amoris Laetitia conforms to Catholic teaching is itself “already an answer,” the implications of which, he says, indicates that the Catholic Church has entered into a “religious civil war.”

    “This situation is so grave that a neutral position is no longer possible. Today we are in a war, a religious civil war,” de Mattei told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview in Rome last month.

    “It is important to comprehend that today there is a clear choice between fidelity to the Church, to the perennial Magisterium, or infidelity, which means errors, heresy, and apostasy,” he said.

    De Mattei, a professor at the European University of Rome and the president of the Lepanto Foundation, stated that there is “tremendous confusion inside the Church” caused by the pope’s ambiguous moral teaching, especially as found in his April exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which he said has caused “division” and “fragmentation” among bishops, priests, and the faithful.

    The exhortation specifically has been criticized by faithful Catholics for undermining the indissolubility of marriage, opening a door for couples in adulterous relationships to receive Holy Communion, and for making conscience the final arbiter of morality. As some critics feared, the exhortation is already being used by some liberal bishops to welcome openly homosexual “families” into parishes and for allowing adulterous couples to receive Holy Communion in certain cases.

    When the four Cardinals privately asked the pope in September — following a standard procedure within the Church — whether the exhortation conforms to Catholic teaching on marriage, the sacraments, and conscience, the pope failed to answer their questions.

    Specifically, they asked: 1) whether adulterers can receive Holy Communion; 2) whether there are absolute moral norms that must be followed “without exceptions;” 3) if habitual adultery is an “objective situation of grave habitual sin;” 4) whether an intrinsically evil act can be turned into a “‘subjectively’ good” act based on “circumstances or intentions;” and 5) if, based on “conscience,” one can act contrary to known “absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts.”

    The cardinals then went public with their questions last month, only to receive harsh criticism from high-ranking prelates, including two who were recently made cardinals by Pope Francis. The four stand accused of being “troublesome,” in need of “conversion,” of committing “apostasy” and “scandal,” of giving the pope a “slap in the face,” and of creating “difficulty and division.”

    But de Mattei argued that it was not the four cardinals who created the problem, but the pope.

    “The cause of this confusion, the author of this confusion is not the four cardinals, of course. I think that the main author of the confusion is Pope Francis, because it is since his pontificate that things go so rapidly, so fast,” he said. “It seems sometimes that he likes to create this confusion.”

    De Mattei said that the cardinals acted in a “perfect way from a canonical point of view” when they submitted their five questions (dubia) to the pope.

    “I consider it very grave the fact that the Pope, who is the supreme head of the congregation, didn't want to answer. This is already an answer, in fact,” he said.

    De Mattei called it “very opportune” for the cardinals to pursue what one of them —Cardinal Burke — called a “formal act of correction” of the errors found in the Pope’s exhortation.

    “The importance of this initiative is not only to warn the Pope about the errors found in Amoris Laetitia, but also to warn the faithful, to inform the faithful, because among the faithful there is confusion but there is also ignorance. And I think that we have the duty to make the faithful aware of the gravity of this situation,” he said.

    “This situation is so grave that a neutral position is no longer possible. Today we are in a war, a religious civil war, unfortunately. I don't like this war, but we are engaged in it against our will. We have not created the situation, but this situation obliges everyone to pursue a clear position. And for this, I think we have to thank the four cardinals for their courage and to push them to continue their action and their witness,” he added.

    Magisterium ‘debased’ by pope’s ‘refusal to answer’ four Cardinals: famed German philosopher

    December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The foremost Roman Catholic philosopher in Germany has come out in support of the four Cardinals who asked Pope Francis to clarify ambiguities in his Apostolic Exhortation regarding the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics.

    “It is deplorable that only four Cardinals have taken the initiative regarding this topic,” Robert Spaemann said in defense of the dubia voiced by four Cardinals.

    In an interview with the Italian Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (New Daily Compass) on December 4, Spaemann underlined that the four who brought forth the dubia were correct in addressing the worldwide perplexity that Amoris Laetitia created in the episcopate.

    Spaemann is famous for his philosophical work on Christian ethics, bioethics, and human rights. He is a personal friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and professor emeritus of Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. He has already expressed his concern about the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia, calling it a “breach with Catholic Tradition.”

    “With the dubia, the Cardinals take on their proper duty to sustain with their council – insofar as they are ‘senators’ – the Church in the person of the Holy Father. […] The four Cardinals have chosen the right path,” Spaemann explained.

    Recently the highest protector of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith suggested that the Pope could consult his congregation to resolve the ambiguity. Spaemann added that the dubia should have gone to the CDF. “The first addressee of the dubia is the Pope, although in my opinion the writing should have passed through the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.”

    Regarding the silence of Pope Francis, who has hitherto not answered the Cardinals, Spaemann wrote: “The Pope’s refusal to answer the appeal of the four Cardinals fills me with great worry since, in a certain way, the supreme Magisterium in this case is being debased. The Pope clearly has a deep aversion to these decisions in which a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is required.”

    Spaemann emphasized that Christ’s way does entail a clear true-false distinction: Where on the one hand Pope Francis hesitates, “Christ, the Lord of the Church, on the other hand, always gives to His disciples a decision of the kind. In the specific question regarding adultery, he ‘shocks’ the apostles with the simplicity and clarity of his teaching.”

    The third doubt addressed if it is still “possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the law that prohibits adultery (Matthew 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin.” Spaemann argued against the subjectivist understanding of the discernment of conscience: “It is a grave error to think that subjectivity is the last criterion for the administration of the sacraments. It is also true that every action that goes against one conscience is evil but one can also act according to an erroneous conscience. This is the clear teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.”

    If a person finds himself in a situation that is perplexing (casus perplexus), a situation in which the person has to choose between two or more moral evils whereupon he would either go against his conscience or against the norm, in this case “from this dilemma one can only come out through ‘conversion,’ that is an opening of the conscience towards objective truth. The place of renewal of the truth is on the one hand reason, on the other hand Revelation.”

    The interview ended with an appeal from the Gospel of John (6:67): “‘Will you also go away?’ This is the question Jesus gives His disciples as the crowd leaves after having heard the words of Jesus. Peter does not discuss, but only asks: ‘To whom shall we go? Only you have the words of eternal life.’ (John 6:68)”

    Openly gay theologian defends four Cardinals: ‘I want a Church that speaks plainly’

    December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In the wake of harsh rebukes from cardinals and other churchmen over the dubia to the pope, German Cardinal Joachim Meisner has received unlikely support from one of his past adversaries.

    “The situation never before existed in this kind of dimension,” theologian David Berger wrote on his website. “They [the Cardinals] are hushed up in order to implement plans that contradict the Church’s teaching on marriage while the secular media applauds.”

    “The most ardent preachers of tolerance are almost always intolerant people,” he added, citing German philosopher, Walter Hoeres.

    David Berger might be one of the most controversial figures in recent times. He made a name for himself as a Catholic theologian and Thomist until publicly coming out as a practicing homosexual in 2010. This led to the Church’s revocation of his license to teach (missio canonica) by Cardinal Meisner, who thought this act necessary because Berger “does not seem to conform to the norms of the Church in teaching and way of life.”

    At the time, the theologian called the revocation a “heavy smash” against peace in the diocese. Today, his words are supportive of Cardinal Meisner. “While in my life I had to experience the hard hand of Meisner, I am most ashamed as a Catholic and theologian for this conduct [of Msgr. Vito Pinto] that would punish [the Cardinals] for holding on to a core teaching of Catholic thought.”

    Berger was referring to a report that Msgr. Pinto had said the pope could remove the four Cardinals' red hats over the dubia. But the news agency, Religión Confidencial, has since corrected the report and indicated that Msgr. Pinto had actually said the pope would not remove them as cardinals. Msgr. Pinto then redoubled his rebuke of the four Cardinals in an interview last week.

    “Even though the Rota has backpedaled and now gives the impression that everything was a misunderstanding, I know that nothing is published by the Vatican by accident. It was supposed to test the waters, how far they could go,” Berger explained to LifeSiteNews on December 1.

    “Those who were at a disadvantage under Pope Benedict seem to want revenge,” he noted. “Cardinal (Raymond) Burke and Meisner are welcome targets. One knows you can shoot at them without Pope Francis stepping in. The attackers give the impression that they fight for tolerance and openness, but they fight with the most despicable and intolerant means.”

    Regarding his own dispute with Cardinal Meisner in the past, he added: “I cannot have an opinion in the discussion [today] based on my bad experience with him. That would be pure subjectivism. The question is if Meisner and Burke [and the other Cardinals] are right or not.”

    Regarding the dubia, Berger voiced his support, explaining that Amoris Laetitia wants to get rid of everything that is against the the spirit of the times. “Now there is a wish to abolish central core elements of the Church’s moral teaching – which are irritating for the Zeitgeist – and Amoris Laetitia is a welcome ground for that. The intention [of those who hold this view] is that the Church’s teaching should be changed. That some Cardinals fight against this by signing the dubia is not just their right but their duty. Their office urges them to fight for the integrity of the Church’s teaching on faith and morals until their blood is spilled.”

    “And I am happy about it. The Church was not founded by Christ as a wellness center,” he added. “I prefer a Church that scolds me than a Church which mendaciously says yes to me and teaches me the Zeitgeist while making itself laughable and superfluous.”

    These words gain particular importance coming from Berger, who has strongly criticized the Church and clergy with statements such as “20 to 40 percent of Catholic clergy are homosexual” and with publications such as his book, Der heilige Schein (The Holy Sham: A Gay Theologian in the Catholic Church). He remains active in the homosexual scene, working as editor-in-chief of gaystream.eu while also writing politically and socio-political minded articles in The Huffington Post and the German disputation newspaper Junge Freiheit.

    “I want a Church that speaks plainly. At the same time, I uphold the Catholic motto fortiter in re, suaviter in modo [stronger in matter, sweeter in manner]. As opposed to Islam, the Catholic Church refuses homosexuality, but she would never demand the death penalty for homosexuals."

    “In recent years, I have experienced very respectful dealings with me as a homosexual by Church prelates. The Church also respects the forum internum and does not ask about things that belong in the Confessional. Therefore, I can respect her call for abstinence, which could also target married people, etc. Though when holding the mirror up to me, I do not always give a good image, I defend the doctrine unmistakably that there cannot be sacramental homosexual marriage (that would be a simulatio sacramenti).”

    Instead, he called for dialogue when possible. “I see many points where homosexuals and pro-lifers could work together — and they already do here in Berlin and in the USA, for example regarding PID [pre-implantation diagnostics].”

    Berger also made headlines in 2012, saying Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was gay. On August 26 of this year, he apologized publicly to Benedict XVI on his website. “I realized what kind of awful game I had taken part in and I was ashamed. And then I apologized,” Berger said to LifeSiteNews. “He has defended the Church’s teaching in a highly intelligent and uncompromising way. That why I learned to hate the media and everything bad that has been said about [Pope Benedict] – no matter if true or not.”

    Berger concluded with his support of the dubia. “I hope that Pope Francis does not gamble with the unity of the Church, only to appease a few liberal Catholics. Those are Catholics who use the Eucharist – the most sacred thing in the militant Church – in their fight for recognition of divorce as a means to an end.”

    Bishop Schneider: ‘We are witnessing today a strange form of schism’ within the Church

    December 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – "A certain kind of schism already exists in the Church," Bishop Athanasius Schneider said, and it consists of those who align themselves with the pope to advance their careers yet reject Christ's fundamental teachings on marriage.

    Schneider, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan told this to TV Libertes in an interview addressing Amoris Laetitia and Schneider's support of the four cardinals' dubia to the pope asking for moral clarification.

    "My questioning of Amoris Laetitia first of all concerns the very concrete question of admitting so-called ‘remarried’ divorces to Holy Communion," he explained. "In fact, during the last two synods on the family and after the publication of Amoris Laetitia, there was and continues to be to this day an arduous and tumultuous fight about this conrete question."

    "All these ecclesiastics who want another gospel, meaning a right-to-divorce gospel, a gospel of sexual liberty, in short, a Gospel without God's sixth commandment...make use of all evil means, that is to say ruses, deceptions, masterful rhetoric and dialectics, and even the tactic of intimidation and moral violence in order to attain their goal of admitting so-called ‘remarried’ divorces to Holy Communion, without the latter fulfilling the condition of living in perfect continence, a condition requied by divine law," said Schneider. "Once the objective is attained, even if limited to so-called exceptional cases of discernment, the door is opened to introducing the gospel of divorce, the gospel without the sixth commandment. And this will no longer be the Gospel of Jesus, but an anti-gospel, a gospel according to this world, even if such a gospel is cosmetically embellished with terms such as 'mercy,' 'maternal solicitude' or 'accompaniment.'"

    Citing St. Paul's letter to the Galatians, Schneider reminded the faithful that someone who "preaches a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you" is "anathema."

    "On the subject of doctrine and practice concerning the sacrament of marriage, and the perennial validity of the moral law, we are witnessing in our times an ambiguity of such scope only comparable to the general confusion of the Arian crisis of the fourth century," Schneider warned.

    If the dubia remain unanswered, he said, and "if the pope does not fulfill his task in the current circumstances, the bishops have to indefectibly preach the unchanging Gospel concerning the divine doctrine of morality and the perennial discipline of marriage, coming fraternally in this way to help the pope even, because the pope is not a dictator."

    Disputes over the indissolubility of marriage and sacramental practice aren't only a risk, but a reality, he continued. Schneider stated:

    It is not only a risk of schism, but a certain kind of schism already exists in the Church. In Greek, schism means to separate oneself from the totality of the body. Christ is the totality of the body of Divine Truth, and unity in His supernatural body is also visible. But we are witnessing today a strange form of schism. Externally, numerous ecclesiastics safeguard formal unity with the pope, at times, for the good of their own career or or of a kind of papolatry. And at the same time they have broken their ties with Christ, the Truth, and with Christ, the true head of the Church. On the other hand there are ecclesiastics who are denounced as schismatics despite the fact they live in canonical peace with the pope and remain faithful to Christ, the Truth, by assiduously promoting His Gospel of Truth.

    It is evident that those who are internally the true schismatics, in relation to Christ, make use of calumnies for the sole purpose of silencing the voice of Truth by absurdly projecting their own state of internal schism on those ecclesiastics, who, regardless of praise or rebuke, defend the divine truths. In fact, as Sacred Scripture says, the word of Divine Truth is not bound. Even if a number of high-ranking officials in the Church today temporarily obscure the truth of the doctrine of marriage and its perennial discipline, this doctrine and discipline will always remain unchangeable in the Church, because the Church is not human foundation, but a divine one.

    The bishop stressed the importance of praying for the pope and pointed out, "In Pope Francis’s words, he made [it] clear he did not have the intention of putting forward his own magisterial teaching" with the exhortation.

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  • SAINT ANDREW AND THE LIBERAL BISHOPS

    We have just celebrated the feast of St. Andrew, called by the Orthodox Church “The First Called”. What is delightful about St. Andrew is his spontaneity and enthusiasm, which is in stark contrast to his fellow Apostle Nathaniel, who is rather like a Yorkshireman, not easily taken in. I think in the States a Texan would be the equivalent of a Yorkshireman. So if Peter rushes in where angels fear to tread, and blurts out whatever comes into his head, then Andrew rushes so to speak towards “The Lamb of God” who his master John the Baptist has pointed out to him and to the other disciple who is with Andrew. So as Andrew and his companion, who is most probably John follow Jesus, he turns round and says “What do you seek?” and they answer “Where are you staying?” to which Christ replies “Come and See” and so the two disciples of John spend the rest of the day with Jesus. At the end of their time with him, on that momentous day, Andrew is convinced that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. So either very late on the day when Andrew met Jesus, or the next day, he rushes off to tell Peter that he has found the Messiah, who is Jesus of Nazareth.

    Definitely on the day after the meeting with Andrew and the other disciple, Jesus meets Philip and says to him “Follow Me” and so Philip goes off to tell Nathanael that they have found the Messiah, who is Jesus of Nazareth, to which Nathanael laconically replies “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” to which Philip says “Come and see.”

    Now what is important is that neither Andrew or Philip tell Peter and Nathaniel why Jesus is the Messiah, it is enough to see him, and then the revelation takes place.

    The problem with the Church today is that all vision is blinded by endless discussions, documents, seminars, workshops and goodness knows what else. Quite what St. Francis Xavier whose feast is on Saturday would make of this I do not know. All he wanted to do was to save as many souls as possible, and despite the fact that he was deprived of all the up to date 20th and 21st missiology techniques, his work prospered in Southern India, and would have conquered Japan but for the wretched Portuguese merchants who managed to destroy everything, and the curse of avarice is still among Christians today.

    The Tridentine Church which finished with the opening of Vatican II was very much a worshipping Church, and a devotional one. The present Church is very much a teaching one, and worse still is a classroom or University lecture Hall. The Apostles, for the most part simple men, had begun a tremendous adventure, where Christ was shown to them as the Lamb of God, where he told Simon that he was a rock, and told him and the other Apostles that he would make them fishers of men. Christ the Son of God, who is the God Man, preached in parables, and very simply; but today encyclicals and Apostolic Exhortations get longer and longer. I believe that Laudato Si and Amoris Laetitia have broken all records when it comes to length, and what good do they really do. Global warming is another secularist shibboleth, and chastity seems off limits in Amoris Laetitia, it is all about the needs of the couple who have got married again, when they shouldn’t have done; it is as simple as that. You cannot take the Law of Christ into your own hands. If we had the three hour fast back, everyone would be at the 11 o’clock Mass, not having communion anyway. It seems that the Law of Christ is there to bent, broken, or simply ignored because “I feel that I am right”. You don’t join a tennis club, and say “I want to change the rules of the game”. Why this blindness on the part of so many Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and religious? The blindness is because the shepherds are not really wanting to go and see where Jesus truly is. They don’t really want to be like Andrew, and John, Peter, and Philip, Nathanael and James. They don’t want to abandon themselves to Jesus, and begin the great adventure of following him. Too often they want the status of being theologians (God help us wasn’t theology basically tied up with Thomas. What else do we need) to discuss God, to dissect him, to analyse his laws, and change them, when it is too hard. The last thing that they want to do is trust, follow him, and become saints. Of course his laws on marriage are difficult, but he will give his grace. If you said a job was too difficult at work, and you weren’t going to do it, you would be sacked; you can at least give it your best effort. Also in all this thing about the divorced and remarried receiving communion, does anyone take into account the children, and how they suffer from divorce. No, what people want is Utopia, they do not want Heaven, because the only path to Heaven is the Cross; there is no other way to get there.

    It is an absolute scandal that people are being so horrible to the four cardinals who are bravely standing up for Christ. It is very depressing that the Pope is so bad mannered as not to reply to important letters. It is very sad that so many liberal clerics are being so nasty about the Cardinals who are dignified and don’t abuse their adversaries, and it is truly tragic that the Pope has been taken in by the liberal agenda, both within and without the Church. Does he not know that behind the liberal agenda stand the most evil men bent on the destruction of the Church. We know some of the names of these families, such as the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, and the real hater of Christians, George Soros. Sadly the Pope won’t be told. He is convinced that he must remake the Church according to his plans. If only he would follow Jesus as Andrew and the other disciple did and go and see where the Son of God really dwells. If he did that then he would save us all a lot of trouble. As it is rushing headlong into wrecking the Church, but perhaps that is not bad thing, as we can then start all over again with Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael, James and John, and experience that joy of following Christ, not knowing where it will lead you, but that it will lead you to unutterable love and the Kingdom of Heaven

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  • Christ the King, St. Francis, and the Pope

    When St. Francis began to preach that momentous day, after he heard the Gospel of the feast of St. Matthias being read at Mass about the sending out of the disciples by Christ to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cleanse the lepers, and most importantly of all, about taking nothing for the journey. Not long after this, the beginning of the order of St Francis, the first disciples arrive, and so begins the great romance and adventure of the Franciscan Order, sadly so blighted by disputes over poverty, that elusive Lady Poverty, so perfectly understood by Francis, but not by most people.

    Francis’s preaching, as one of his great biographers Omer Englebert points out, and is mentioned by Francis’ first biographer Thomas of Celano, is that “Contrary to the lay reformers who swarmed at the time, he did not curse his own day nor attack anyone. He confined himself to reciting the Gospel with such humility and charm and assurance, that it found again in his mouth its original power and freshness.” Francis’ literal imitation of Christ has never been surpassed, though his great contemporary and kindred spirit, St. Dominic, is a perfect imitator of Christ, but not so literalist.

    This is why people loved Francis, because his simple preaching would not allow of casuistry. He was black and white, as for that matter was that other great St. Francis, namely Francis Xavier; for it was on one of his journeys that that great missionary responded to the death of the pagan Chinese captain. He did not immediately pray for the man’s soul. When asked by a companion why he did not pray for the repose of the man’s soul, St. Francis Xavier replied “Because he is in hell”. One is not sure whether this was a spiritual knowledge, or a strict interpretation of “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” The chronological snobbery of our lacklustre unromantic age would say “Francis Xavier was very much a product of his times, and the Tridentine Church.” The subtext is “We of course know better”. It is the same dreary and heretical rubbish that Pope Francis came out with some time ago, when he said that the miracle of the feeding of the Five Thousand in fact was that everyone shared what they had, but that flies in the face of the text, which does not say anything about sharing, and worse still is an insult to Christ, who is King of all Creation and God.

    St. Francis Assisi saw himself as “the herald of the great King”, and his life of poverty gave him that great freedom of always praising God, either in contemplative prayer, praising out aloud, or singing. In fact Francis seems to, like all troubadours of his time, be singing so much of the time. If he is not doing that then he is to be seen sending out his friars to preach, by getting them to twirl themselves around until they fall over, and then go in the direction in which their bodies are pointing towards. There is no planning here, no incredibly long formation for contemplative nuns that the Pope has just produced, and which is another version of the Jesuit formation. Though St. Francis saw himself and his friars as spiritual versions of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, there was nothing of that rigid formation or militarism of Ignatius’ Jesuits. The Jesuit Order being militaristic seems to have become more like the S.A.S, or S.O.E in World War II, but St. Francis turns the whole world into a wonderful children’s playground. Here there is laughter, life, praise, and gratitude.

    The Pope having taken the name of Francis, which I suspect has more to do with Francis of Assisi than Francis Xavier, has sadly been more and more losing the point. He is not in the playground with St. Francis and his companions, instead is a schoolmaster or school prefect who is always trying to teach people a lesson; unfortunately it is never the right lesson. He tells us that three of the worst problems today are youth unemployment, the plight of the elderly, and global warming. St. Francis would boggle at such a notion, for him the greatest problem is that God is not loved enough and that there are not enough heralds of the great King, and he would be horrified at abortion and transgenderism. Because everything from an unborn baby, to one’s gender, and the whole of creation, are priceless gifts from a Creator who is so humble that he becomes a little baby, and becomes a tiny host at Mass. St. Francis was continuously amazed at God’s endless generosity. He would have not truck with climate change as he would be only too aware that God oversees the World not us. St. Francis had an immense trust, and quite what the Poverello would make of a plate dinner for the ultra-wealthy in the Sistine Chapel I dread to think. However, he would have been pleased that the Pope was housing refugees in the Vatican.

    One thing that St. Francis could not tolerate was the scolding mentality. He was too aware of his own sinfulness to go on about the sins of the clergy and the higher clergy. He did denounce wickedness, especially wars, and strove always to make peace, but the peace was based on beatitudes and humility and that everyone and everything is a brother and sister, and you don’t spend your time fault finding with your brothers and sisters unless you want to be really unpopular, and that sadly is what the Pope is doing.

    The Pope’s latest fault-finding is with the illustrious and noble Cardinals Burke, Brandmuller, Caffara, and Meisner, who simply asked for clarification on behalf of the very confused Faithful about the true meaning of this quite unnecessary Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Cardinals sent the Pope a private letter. He did not reply, surely this is discourteous, something that St. Francis was the complete opposite of. St. Francis was a true knight, noble and courteous. When the Pope is forced to reply, because the Cardinals have no option but to go public, he apparently goes into a rage, and goes on about people being rigid and goes on about morality being about the movement of life or something incredibly vague. Then on the Pope’s side, his doughty Knight Fr. Spadaro S. J. starts tweeting on his phone about the Cardinals being like Grima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings poisoning the minds. Of whom? I suppose the laity. What the good Father has failed to understand is that the illustration is wrong. The Cardinals are like Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and the Pope is like King Theoden, whose mind has been poisoned by an assortment of Grima Wormtongue’s like Cardinals Marx, Kasper, Cupich, and Father Spadaro himself. One thing that they will not be doing is playing in St. Francis’s idyllic garden. They won’t be seesawing with children on the seesaw a la Brother Juniper. Neither will they, like St Philip Neri and St. Felix of Cantalice be seesawing together in Rome. There is no joy in this Pontificate. There are no knights of Christ among these serious clerics, there are only plans, ideologies, and compromises with the cruel and wicked modern world. There is not attempt to convert, only to flatter modernity, and extol Modernism. It is a Grey Church, whose liturgy is short, banal and dull. Let us discover on this great Feast of Christ the King what it means to be heralds of the Great King and Knights of Christ. Let us romp in God’s playground and enjoy the Father’s warmth and the brotherhood of Christ, and let us take the Faith seriously and ourselves not at all, and let us not carp or cant or scold. Let us have the joy of St. Francis and let us pray that a little bit of it will rub off on the Pope.

    Let us hope that Pope Francis will be caught up in that immense vision of Christ the King, majestic, riding on his great white horse, flashing with jewels, crowned with the crown of all crowns, the Divine Kingship accompanied by a great army of every conceivable class of people, every nation that has ever existed, every civilization that has been founded, and in the rays flashing from the hands of the Divine King Christ Our Lord, may we see the beauty that he pours over all his beloved disciples throughout the ages, and let us hope that the poor Pope will finally experience true joy before it is too late.

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  • The Feast of All Saints

    Today we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, a feast that can be lost in a sort of vague half realized Heavenly Scene, which is best depicted by some of the Renaissance paintings of Heaven, in particular those of Fra Angelico, but perhaps the best way to understand this feast visually would be if you were attending the Divine Liturgy in the Ouspensky Cathedral in the Kremlin with the hundreds of icons gleaming in candle light amidst clouds of incense with the magnificent chants of the Russian Orthodox. Something of Heaven overwhelmed Grand Prince Vladimir’s ambassadors to Constantinople when they went to Santa Sophia “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty and we are at a loss to how to describe it.” Not long after Vladimir was baptized in 987 and so begins the history of Holy Russia, which the West has been oblivious of in the main.

    The life of the saints of Heaven is one of continuous praise of God. All those who go to Heaven are those who have worshipped God and not simply prayed to Him for things, for wealth, or good health, or for happiness. They are those who have loved God for his own sake and not theirs. It his glory that matters, and so the more that the saints have conformed their lives to Christ, the more his glory has overshadowed them.

    Whether we imagine Heaven as a wonderful Divine Liturgy, or the old Papal Masses prior to Vatican II, or even the various coronation ceremonies of Christian kings, what is important to remember is that the saints in Heaven, in their different ways reflect various qualities of Christ, as they are all his brothers and sisters. Heaven then is like some glorious garden with endless vistas of tree lined avenues, flower beds radiating unknown colours, fountains that create musical sounds, waterfalls like cascading diamonds, and scents beyond description, and all these different things represent the souls of the saints, and bask in the late afternoon Summer sunlight, which is the light of God himself. Heaven itself is so often depicted as the Golden Heavenly City of the Apocalypse, whose wall “was jasper, while the city was of pure gold, clear as glass” and the foundation stones of course are of fabulous jewels but I cannot think that it is only that, I am sure that it is some astounding garden cit. Above all it a city where love abounds, where the saints with the grace of God have triumphed and the prize is to gaze on God’s face forever.

    Is it not indicative of the era that we live in, that Halloween has become so important? This is not a secular festival, but an evil festival that is celebrated by people who are secular, and are playing with fire. It is all part of a world that is enslaved to the ugly, the dark, and the defiled. It is a celebration of sin, and a grand denial of the good, and those revellers think it is just a piece of harmless fun. Would that it was simply about witches on broomsticks, but it is not. It is a celebration of Hell. The sad thing is that Halloween simply means “All Hallows Eve”, which is the vigil of All Saints. Our present society wants none of the glory of the saints. Those who really rule the World deem the praise of the saints in Heaven laughable, for these earthlings do not wish to bow the knee to God, and to know his love, they want power and never to bend the knee to anyone or so they think, but if they do not worship God, they will end up in eternal bondage to Satan. Let us pray to God that they will repent, convert, and love God, for time is running out, and the forces of Heaven will soon execute God’s punishment on this profoundly evil age, which disguises its evil under the form of philanthropy and liberty, equality, and brotherliness; but do not be deceived God will not be mocked. If we love Him, Heaven will be ours, if we do not the gigantic city of Hell with its halls of despair, and its tortures beyond our wildest waking fears will be our eternal lot.

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  • How Long Will Your Church Survive Under a Clinton Presidency?

    By Simon de Hundehutte (from “The American Thinker”)

    If Hillary Clinton becomes president, there is little doubt she will continue unabated the policies of President Obama. This will include Obama’s heavy-handiness towards dissenting religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor when it comes to abortion decrees, as well as pastors who preach sermons considered “out of bounds,” and individual Christians whose conscience dictates they refrain from baking cakes or taking photos for “gay weddings.”

    So, with this in mind, just how long will it take for the church that you currently attend to either knuckle under to the new way of conducting “church business” or face punishment in Hillary’s America?

    That all depends on the type of church you now attend. The way I see it, there are presently two types of Christian churches in our country: a church where Jesus Christ is in the denominator or one where Christ is in the numerator.

    As in mathematics, the denominator and the numerator have two very different meanings. The denominator affects every number above the line. For purposes of this demonstration, the numerator can be a lot of different numbers, but the denominator is a constant. However, if that denominator changes, all the different numbers above the line in the numerator are affected.

    A Christ-denominator church preaches that Jesus is Lord and what He says through Holy Scripture dictates how you and the church conducts itself privately and in public. Your personal feelings are trumped by Bible doctrines. Cultural fashions may change but what’s written in the Bible doesn’t. A Christ-denominator church preaches biblical principles in season and out of season – it does not matter which way the cultural wind is blowing.

    A Christ-numerator church may also preach that Jesus is Lord. But what’s going on in the world is given full consideration as to how the message of the Bible is delivered. In other words, “the world” is in the denominator. A Christ-numerator church will talk about “social justice” and “saving the planet from man-made climate change,” for example.

    In a Christ-denominator church, everything in a person’s life is affected by following Christ: how he thinks, who he dates or marries, what job he will take, and on and on. All these things are part of that person’s numerator, since following Jesus is in his denominator.

    However, in a Christ-numerator church, making the world a better place is in the denominator. That means, faith in Christ (even personal salvation) is just one of a number of other important things that are in the numerator. All things that a person believes are affected by the foundational question: “How can I make the world a better place?”

    To people on the outside of the Christian religion altogether, members of a Christ-denominator church might appear narrow-minded, exclusive, self-righteous, and uncaring about the world and its problems. That certainly can be a pitfall of a Christ-denominator believer. However, since Christ came to “set the captives free” and “make all things new again,” Christ-denominator believers follow His lead. They don’t make things up because “it feels right” or to “go along to get along.”

    Under a Clinton presidency, as under the Obama administration, believers in Christ-denominator churches will continue to be pressured and punished – with an acceleration and intensity not yet experienced. By the end of Hillary’s first four years, Christ-denominators may very well be completely marginalized and “silenced.”

    And what about the Christ-numerator churches? Right now, they’re playing Hillary and Obama’s game. In fact, if it wasn’t for these kind of churches, Obama would never have been elected. Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic, make a formidable, even overwhelming, voting bloc. And Christ-numerators are about to hand Clinton the presidency, as they did Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    But, the tide will eventually turn against Christ-numerators -- it has to. The state will not tolerate dissenters; the Christ-numerator churches will become dissenters by default simply because Christ has at least a fraction of influence. In eight years, when Hillary’s second term grinds to an end, Christ-numerators will either join the already vilified Christ-denominators in retreat, or drop out of the ranks of church membership altogether.

    Either way, Hillary and the state win.

    By the election of 2024 when the Democrats choose again who will win (perhaps they will want to “make history” a third time with the first transgender president?), those who live by any remnant of Christian faith will have zero influence.

    And those who had Christ in the numerator may finally realize that they only have themselves to blame for the fall of Christianity in America.

    If Hillary Clinton becomes president, there is little doubt she will continue unabated the policies of President Obama. This will include Obama’s heavy-handiness towards dissenting religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor when it comes to abortion decrees, as well as pastors who preach sermons considered “out of bounds,” and individual Christians whose conscience dictates they refrain from baking cakes or taking photos for “gay weddings.”

    So, with this in mind, just how long will it take for the church that you currently attend to either knuckle under to the new way of conducting “church business” or face punishment in Hillary’s America?

    That all depends on the type of church you now attend. The way I see it, there are presently two types of Christian churches in our country: a church where Jesus Christ is in the denominator or one where Christ is in the numerator.

    As in mathematics, the denominator and the numerator have two very different meanings. The denominator affects every number above the line. For purposes of this demonstration, the numerator can be a lot of different numbers, but the denominator is a constant. However, if that denominator changes, all the different numbers above the line in the numerator are affected.

    A Christ-denominator church preaches that Jesus is Lord and what He says through Holy Scripture dictates how you and the church conducts itself privately and in public. Your personal feelings are trumped by Bible doctrines. Cultural fashions may change but what’s written in the Bible doesn’t. A Christ-denominator church preaches biblical principles in season and out of season – it does not matter which way the cultural wind is blowing.

    A Christ-numerator church may also preach that Jesus is Lord. But what’s going on in the world is given full consideration as to how the message of the Bible is delivered. In other words, “the world” is in the denominator. A Christ-numerator church will talk about “social justice” and “saving the planet from man-made climate change,” for example.

    In a Christ-denominator church, everything in a person’s life is affected by following Christ: how he thinks, who he dates or marries, what job he will take, and on and on. All these things are part of that person’s numerator, since following Jesus is in his denominator.

    However, in a Christ-numerator church, making the world a better place is in the denominator. That means, faith in Christ (even personal salvation) is just one of a number of other important things that are in the numerator. All things that a person believes are affected by the foundational question: “How can I make the world a better place?”

    To people on the outside of the Christian religion altogether, members of a Christ-denominator church might appear narrow-minded, exclusive, self-righteous, and uncaring about the world and its problems. That certainly can be a pitfall of a Christ-denominator believer. However, since Christ came to “set the captives free” and “make all things new again,” Christ-denominator believers follow His lead. They don’t make things up because “it feels right” or to “go along to get along.”

    Under a Clinton presidency, as under the Obama administration, believers in Christ-denominator churches will continue to be pressured and punished – with an acceleration and intensity not yet experienced. By the end of Hillary’s first four years, Christ-denominators may very well be completely marginalized and “silenced.”

    And what about the Christ-numerator churches? Right now, they’re playing Hillary and Obama’s game. In fact, if it wasn’t for these kind of churches, Obama would never have been elected. Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic, make a formidable, even overwhelming, voting bloc. And Christ-numerators are about to hand Clinton the presidency, as they did Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    But, the tide will eventually turn against Christ-numerators -- it has to. The state will not tolerate dissenters; the Christ-numerator churches will become dissenters by default simply because Christ has at least a fraction of influence. In eight years, when Hillary’s second term grinds to an end, Christ-numerators will either join the already vilified Christ-denominators in retreat, or drop out of the ranks of church membership altogether.

    Either way, Hillary and the state win.

    By the election of 2024 when the Democrats choose again who will win (perhaps they will want to “make history” a third time with the first transgender president?), those who live by any remnant of Christian faith will have zero influence.

    And those who had Christ in the numerator may finally realize that they only have themselves to blame for the fall of Christianity in America.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/10/how_long_will_your_church_survive_under_a_clinton_presidency.html#ixzz4OUTwkFUT

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  • SOME HARD QUETIONS

    SOME HARD QUESTIONS

    REGARDING THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    Several years ago Father Tomas Halik, the Czech philosopher priest, who one would hardly describe as being in the vanguard of the ultra-orthodox said that the Church was like a dying man, whose relatives didn’t dare tell him that he was dying. Just about a week ago Cardinal Burke said that he would ne, for some time, a de facto schism, which also is rather like Tomas Halik’s dying man. It is as plain as a pike staff, or the nose on one’s face.

    We then are confronted by a cabal of Cardinals, and bishops who would seem to want to change the teachings of the Church especially with regard to sexual morality. These men if they are successful will themselves create the schism, and then which side will the Pope find himself on. There was a lot to be said for the Byzantine Emperors, they could be very good, or very bad, orthodox or heretical, but their very power even if badly used could bring balance. This is especially true of Justinian, a fairly competent theologian and a great Emperor.

    In ‘The Three Chapters’ controversy, which dominated the Fifth General Council of Constantinople, convened by Justinian on 5th May 553, was the banana skin on which Pope Vigilius slipped. In 543 Justinian had anathematized the teaching and person of Origen; that he anathematized Origen’s person is unfortunate as Origen was indeed the stuff that martyrs are made of. However, Justinian then anathematized the ‘Three Chapters’ which were the writings of Theodore of Mopusestia as well as his person, and some of the writings of Theodore of Cyrrhus and Ibas of Edessa, who the Monophysites in the Empire considered to be Nestorian, which they were not. They were considered to be orthodox by the great Council of Chalcedon, and were indeed so. Initially Pope Vigilius refused to condemn the ‘Three Chapters’ but finally capitulated and was excommunicated by the Synod of African bishops who were absolutely right in doing such. Vigilius and Justinian had agreed that the only way things could be resolved was for there to be a Council and so there was, but before it met there had been a struggle between Vigilius who was in Constantinople, and Justinian.

    Vigilius wrote a private letter to Justinian saying he would do all that was within his power to obtain the condemnation of ‘Three Chapters’. Askisdas, the theological adviser to Justinian, persuaded him to condemn the ‘The Three Chapters’ in an edict. Vigilius demanded that the edict be retracted, and excommunicated Askidas. Vigilius then fled, accompanied by his clergy to a church, to seek sanctuary. However the police grabbed hold of the poor man who held on to the altar with such force that it collapsed. He was imprisoned for a second time by Justinian, but escaped across the roofs of the city, crossed the Bosphorus and as J.N.D. Kelly wrily notes “and took refuge, appropriately, in the council church at Chalcedon. By the time the Fifth General Council opened in Constantinople, Vigilius had summoned up enough courage to refuse to attend; his excuse was that there were not enough Westerners represented. On 14th May Vigilius issued his First Constitution, which condemned sixty of Theodore’s supposed propositions, but not the man himself. Justinian rejected this and turned the tables on the already fairly humiliated Vigilius by revealing his secret correspondence, in which Vigilius had promised to do all he could to get ‘The Three Chapters’ condemned. To really humiliate Vigilius Justinian ordered that Vigilius’ name be struck from the diptychs. The diptychs were those parts of the Liturgy where the bishop, patriarch or pope prayed for other bishops, patriarchs, etc. Justinian said he was not breaking communion with the Papacy but with Vigilius.

    This situation has resonances with the Pontificate of Francis. Because of his heretical statements there is great confusion. People posit various suggestions. The easiest one to propose in solving the problem is the following solution to the confusion, and the least tenable, namely that Pope Francis was invalidly elected. The reason put forward for this view is that the Sankt Gallen group, the liberal group of cardinals and bishops who were opposed to John Paul II and, sadly, included in their number Cardinal Hume, were a cabal formed up to, and during the 2013 conclave to get Jorge Bergolio elected as Pope, thus going against John Paul II’s constitution on Papal Elections, and also by this action excommunicating themselves in the process. On one level this is almost by the by as the electoral procedures for electing Popes have certainly developed over the last nearly two thousand years. It is interesting to note that the first Pope after Peter, namely Linus, was entrusted with this office as Bishop of Rome by Peter and Paul. In that case there was no election simply an appointment.

    The other solution is that proposed by the great Spanish Jesuit theologian Suarez. If the Pope is found to be a heretic, then he can be deposed by the bishops as he is no longer a member of the Church. I am putting this rather simply as the whole thing can be very complicated.

    What the whole madness of the present day Church reveals is where does this put Infallibility. Now Blessed Pius IX was so determined to save the Church from all her enemies that Infallibility of the Pope seemed to him a God given opportunity to do this. However, when the Bishops of the Catholic Church assembled in the Vatican for Vatican I they had not been informed, prior to this moment, that Papal Infallibility was on the list of subjects to be discussed. A lot of bishops were not keen on making Papal Infallibility a dogma (With the help of Hans Küng Pope Francis may just declare that he is no longer infallible!). Pius IX appears to have been almost the bishops to get them to assent, and quite a few left before the final vote, as they felt they could not vote for the dogma. Newman was very concerned about it, and quite rightly so. Another thing to take into account is that the Council broke up before it was finished due to the outbreak of the Franco Prussian War. It is good to know all this, and to realize that God does write straight with crooked lines, but It does beg a whole lot of questions.

    Another question is why has there never been a Reformation in Orthodoxy? The question may be partially answered by the following question. Does Faith seek understanding, or does understanding seek Faith? The former is Augustinian and the latter is Thomist. Thomas unwittingly opened the floodgates of the pursuit of knowledge. Simple peasants have become saints, and illiterate people have become saints, and Christ’s preaching and teaching was hardly of a kind that you would find in the halls of great Medieval Universities. Also you do not find anti clericalism in Orthodox countries, nor for that fact do you find it Protestant countries; make of that what you will.

    The problem is that the doctrine of development has become exaggerated since it was fully investigated by Newman. It can only develop within very tight bounds and most be squared with Scripture. This would be the Orthodox view.

    Also in the 19th century there was a lack of vigilance on the part of the Catholic Church with regard to the pseudoscience of evolution. The great Russian Orthodox writers, both priestly and lay could see the dangers and warned of the coming apostasy. That vigilance was lacking in the Catholic Church, and so science beguiled many priests and you ended up with Modernism which having not been destroyed by St. Pius X slumbered away until it was awakened with a vengeance at Vatican II.

    Finally why is the Catholic West so un-penitential these days, and the Orthodox East still so penitential? Why for the most part is Orthodox theology still so sound and modern Catholic theology one big heretical mess? Can anyone come up with some answers?

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  • The Assumption

    I think it was St.John Paul who said that “Before the Church is Petrine, it is Marian”, which is, for all John Paul’s holiness and philosophic brilliance, somewhat wide of the mark, but then so much in contemporary Catholicism is wide of the mark these days, and now with the unthinkable commission that has been set up to look at the diaconate for women, the Catholic Church is drifting further and further away from her Patristic and Apostolic moorings.

    There never were women deacons in the early Church, as far as I know, but there were deaconesses. The whole problem of language has been capsized by the gross subjectivity of our present age where you cannot have a feminine difference in describing a vocation or a job; not that you have to. You have actors and actresses, sculptors and sculptresses, but you do not have doctors and doctoresses, and of course you have teachers which covers both sexes. However, in the ancient world you did have priests and priestesses. The question that I would ask is why there had to be women priests? I suspect the answer is that even the mad cap proponents of women priests realized that priestesses were pagan and about sex. However the zeitgeist, which is about equal opportunities for women seems to be, in the final analysis, not about equal opportunities, but an attempt by many women to overturn the curse laid upon Eve, as a result of the Fall. It means that the fight of many feminists is a fight against God, and a flight from Mary Assumed into Heaven. The Glory of the Assumption simply casts the whole female priesthood and diaconate into the shade. The Glory of Mary is glory for women.

    Women wanting to be priests is actually nothing to do with the priesthood; it is more about women wanting to be men. It is all part and parcel of the horrific transgender lunacy, which is greeted by politicians, intellectuals, and that very dubious character, the media celebrity, as a sign of progress. What pray is progress? Why does a man want immortality by becoming part of a machine? Presumably such a deluded person wants false or, one might say technological immortality, though such a term is open to correction, as technology is changing all the time, and perhaps it will become something different as well. What he or she does not want, is immortality on God’s terms.

    Adam and Eve sacrificed immortality when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the only way back to immortality was through the Redemption. This we know was achieved by Christ on the Cross, and the Cross thus became the key that opened the gates of Heaven. We too must tread the Royal Road of the Cross, which is a road whose stones are made up of humility, utter service, and infinite love. The road to Hell is paved with what appears to be jewel-like stones that flash in the false light of Satan’s brilliance. The paving stones are called “my rights, finding myself, becoming the person I want to be, trampling over any opposition to my needs, self-affirmation, self- worth, and the most dazzling stone of all, “transgenderism”. The road to Hell is named after Satan’s cry of rebellion “I will not serve”. Only two human beings loved, served, and suffered perfectly, Jesus Christ who is also God and his Mother Mary.

    Christians these days do not sufficiently take into account what infinite suffering Christ had to undergo to save us. The knowledge of the price of our redemption, if we could fully appreciate it, would kill us. What marks so many Western Christians, be they Catholic or Protestant, is not only a loss of the sense of sin, but a blasé attitude, a defiantly casual attitude to Christ’s passion that is truly staggering and is beautifully realized in Satan’s very broad road to Hell. I used to get fed up when I was mixing with many religious, both female and male, who spent their time extolling one another’s gifts, and subtly inviting a commendation of their own, but where was the sorrow at the sufferings of Christ, who had given the gifts, and whose only return was our sins and our remarkable pride?

    The utter humility of God, lauded by angels at the birth of Christ, magnified at the Transfiguration, blazed across Time and Eternity at the Resurrection, finds its climax at the Ascension, and final fulfilment at the last Judgment. For, not only women, but for men there is a similar triumph, and that is the triumph of Our Lady, when she is assumed into Heaven. In contrast to Satan’s brag “I will not serve” Mary’s response to Gabriel is “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to his word”. Mary knew that she could not save herself. She saw herself as the slave of God, an utter nothing. What God wanted, she wanted with all her heart. It was his will that mattered, no other.

    It is this knowledge that we cannot save ourselves, which shows us that, like Mary, we can only get to Heaven, by accepting salvation from Christ Jesus, The God Man. He resurrects, but we are resurrected by him, and the most beautiful resurrection is that of Our Lady, who was assumed body and soul into Heaven. Just as Adam falls into a deep sleep and Eve is born from his side, so Mary falls asleep and is born up to Heaven on storm of glory amid countless hosts of angels. We cannot save ourselves, we cannot become the person we would like to be, and we cannot change sex or become immortal, only God can do such things, and he has better things to do than change people’s sex. We are only important for one reason that God in his love has made us out of nothing, and redeemed us because he loves us infinitely, and that the masterpiece of his creation is Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother. If we hold onto her hand she will draw us up to Heaven in her great train of glory, as she was drawn up to Heaven by the almighty and all powerful arm of her most beloved Son.

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  • A time for prayer, reflection and a temporary goodbye

    We are moving over the next few days.

    As far a we know we will not have easy access to the internet for a while. Therefore this site may not be updated regularly.

    However, we will be keeping it open, and sometimes we may find a way to add an article. It will still be a way to contact us if you need one, as we will still regularly go somewhere to check our e-mails.

    But this must be a time for prayer for all of us. A time to take in and reflect on all the disturbing things that are happening both within and outside the Church. But most of all a time to worship God, both silently and in our very lives. After all, it is for this that we were created, to love and worship God, and to do His will.

    So set your eyes on Christ, pick up your cross, and follow the narrow way which He calls us to follow, the Way that leads to salvation and eternal happiness.

    May the Peace of Christ be with you, and please continue to pray for us.

    Sr. Colette

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  • A Bishop, An Historian, And A Journalist Console The Confused Catholic

    As The Confusion grows greater and greater within the Church, and the Pope seems to encompass in his person and actions the impending tragedy of King Lear, the naïve optimism of a St. John XXIII, the political recklessness of King Charles I of England, and the utter stubbornness of his charmless son, James II, the following letter of the great Bishop Athanasius Schneider on how to deal with the present monumental crisis is of great consolation to the Faithful. This letter which was sent to Christopher Ferrara, the editor of The Remnant Magazine, which is noted for its erudition, and common sense is accompanied by an article by Christopher Ferrara himself, which is passionate, and fair. To finish with I have also attached from Rorate Caeli an article about Pope Leo XIII’s attempt to gain concessions from The Third Republic of France at the end of 19th Century, and which backfired on him, and on the whole Catholic Church for over a century. These three reflections give a very good understanding for, not only the concerned Catholic, but for concerned Christians, who wish to see God honoured in spirit and in truth. The three writers in clear and pleasant prose tell it as it is.

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider Replies to The Remnant’s Open Letter on Amoris Laetitia Featured

    Written by Bishop Athanasius Schneider

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider

    May 26, 2016

    Dear Mr. Matt:

    Thank you for your greetings. I wrote an answer to The Remnant‘s Open Letter, which I send to you in the attachment and you can publish. God bless abundantly you and your apostolate for the Catholic faith. With cordial greetings in Jesus and Mary,

    + Athanasius Schneider

    Dear Mr. Christopher A. Ferrara:

    On May 9, 2016 you published on “The Remnant” website an open letter to me regarding the question of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia”.

    As a bishop, I am grateful and at the same time encouraged to receive from a Catholic layman such a clear and beautiful manifestation of the “sensus fidei” regarding the Divine truth on marriage and the moral law.

    I am agreeing with your observations as to those expressions in AL (“Amoris laetitia”), and especially in its VIII’s chapter, which are highly ambiguous and misleading. In using our reason and in respecting the proper sense of the words, one can hardly interpret some expressions in AL according to the holy immutable Tradition of the Church.

    In AL, there are of course expressions which are obviously in conformity with the Tradition. But that is not what is at issue here. What is at stake are the natural and logical consequences of the ambiguous expressions of AL. Indeed, they contain a real spiritual danger, which will cause doctrinal confusion, a fast and easy spreading of heterodox doctrines concerning marriage and moral law, and also the adoption and consolidation of the praxis of admitting divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, a praxis which will trivialize and profane, as to say, at one blow three sacraments: the sacrament of Marriage, of Penance, and of the Most Holy Eucharist.

    In these our dark times, in which Our Beloved Lord seems to sleep in the boat of His Holy Church, all Catholics, beginning from the bishops up to the simplest faithful, who still take seriously their baptismal vows, should with one voice (“una voce”) make a profession of fidelity, enunciating concretely and clearly all those Catholic truths, which are in some expressions of AL undermined or ambiguously disfigured. It would be a kind of a “Credo” of the people of God. AL is clearly a pastoral document (i.e., by its nature of temporal character) and has no claims to be definitive. We have to avoid to “make infallible” every word and gesture of a current Pope. This is contrary to the teaching of Jesus and of the whole Tradition of the Church. Such a totalitarian understanding and application of Papal infallibility is not Catholic, is ultimately worldly, like in a dictatorship; it is against the spirit of the Gospel and of the Fathers of the Church.

    Beside the above mentioned possible common profession of fidelity, there should be made to my opinion, by competent scholars of dogmatic and moral theology also a solid analysis of all ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions in AL. Such a scientific analysis should be made without anger and partiality (“sine ira et studio”) and out of filial deference to the Vicar of Christ.

    I am convinced that in later times the Popes will be grateful that there had been concerning voices of some bishops, theologians and laypeople in times of a great confusion. Let us live for the sake of the truth and of the eternity, “pro veritate et aeternitate”!

    + Athanasius Schneider,

    Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana ■

    This letter appeared in the May 31, 2016 print/E-edition of The Remnant. To see what else you missed, subscribe today.

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    The Undertaker Pope: A Brief Study of an Infallibly Politically Correct Pontificate Featured

    Written by Christopher A. Ferrara

    In the fourth year of his pontificate, Francis continues to deliver regular payloads of explosive off-the-cuff remarks that delight the media and shock the Catholic faithful. It would be easy at this point simply to ignore these spectacles, but then one would be ignoring a key element of the manner in which Francis is attempting to realize his “vision” of the Church. As Francis himself has insisted, his “magisterium” includes an endless stream of informal speech in various venues: “I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear.”

    For Francis, “magisterium” and “what I think” are one and the same thing. What Francis thinks—and speaks incessantly—generally serves the ends of political liberalism and state power while confirming the Church’s post-Vatican II demotion to a mere religious constituency under the secular sovereign. In this regard witness, for example:

    • Francis’s warm relations with socialist dictators;

    • his lauding of pro-abortion and pro-“gay” politicians;

    • his abuse of the papal office as a platform for globalist enviornmentalism (thus advantaging the same transnational corporations he professes to deplore);

    • his refusal to intervene in opposition to the legalization of “gay marriage” because “the Pope belongs to everybody, he cannot enter the concrete, domestic politics of a country. This is not the Pope's role”;

    • his demand—flatly contradicting his professed abstention from domestic politics—for universal abolition of the death penalty (while declining to demand the abolition of abortion), open borders in Europe and America, and policies of environmental regulation and wealth redistribution;

    • his conspicuous failure to identify government policy, particularly in socialist countries, as a primary cause of the poverty he attributes entirely to the greed of the wealthy.

    As a mere social constituency alongside other religions and organizations, the Church cannot have any pretension to moral authority over the State, much less a divine mandate to make disciples of all nations. The Church is reduced to pleading for the State’s toleration of her existence. In his study of the Enlightenment as “the rise of modern paganism,” Peter Gay observes that “political absolutism and religious toleration [are] the improbable twins of the modern state system…” Francis accepts this intolerable paradox. To a greater or lesser extent so did his post-conciliar predecessors, as the “opening to the world” became an abject surrender to the spirit of our secular age. But never has that surrender been expressed with the brutal bluntness Francis exhibits.

    Most recently, for example, in an exclusive interview granted to the French magazine La Croix, Francis declared: “States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of History.” In only three short sentences Francis spouts a series of liberal platitudes suitable for inclusion in a modern version of Flaubert’s satirical “Dictionary of Received Ideas” (many of Flaubert’s own ideas having become the received wisdom of our time).

    An entire book could be written in answer to these bromides of liberal orthodoxy. Suffice it to say that the confessional state did not “end badly” simply because it was a confessional state, as if that were some fatal defect in its original constitution. From the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 to the fall of the House of Hapsburg at the end of World War I, the Catholic confessional state existed in one form or another as the basic model of political society. The modern state system, on the other hand, imposed on Christendom by force and violence, is undergoing the death throes of a neo-pagan empire after less than three centuries, as even Benedict XVI candidly acknowledged in his2010 address to the Roman Curia.

    The confessional state has “ended badly” only when it was undermined or overthrown by revolutionary cadres of Protestant, Masonic, deist, atheist, socialist, Communist and Nazi enemies of the Church, beginning with Luther’s revolt in the 16th century. The “grain of history,” therefore, is nothing more than the long trail of blood left in the wake of satanic violence against altar and throne that has claimed endless millions of victims over the past three hundred years. As John Adams put it in one of his letters to Thomas Jefferson, written in 1823: “It is melancholy to contemplate the cruel wars, desolations of countries, and oceans of blood, which must occur before rational principles and rational systems of government can prevail and be established.” This is not even to consider the hundreds of millions of victims of legalized abortion, now a virtual sacrament in the one-world universal Church of Toleration that administers the civic religion of post-Christian nation-states, or what Sidney Mead (in reference to the United States) called “the cosmopolitan, universal theology of the Republic.”

    Moreover, in certain Latin American countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Catholicism has never ceased to be the religion of the State, accorded juridical privileges and protections as such. And, as we see with the recently adopted Christian constitution of Hungary, even today, in the context of mass democracy, restoration of a confessional state remains viable, mutatis mutandis, if only the popular will is engaged in the project of restoring it. The example of Hungary confirms the truth of Romano Amerio’s observation in Iota Unum: “Faith in Providence thus proclaims the possibility that the world might rise and be healed by a metanoia which it cannot initiate but which it is capable of accepting once it is offered.”

    No such offer will ever come from Francis, however, who gives no sign of being aware of the suicide of the West by way of the social apostasy of post-Christian polities. For him, rather, the sociopolitical status quo represents a happy ending to the history of Christendom, which he seems to view as a long and sordid tale of woe. As he told La Croix: “I believe that a version of laicity accompanied by a solid law guaranteeing religious freedom offers a framework for going forward.” Francis has nothing to say against the earthly supremacy of the “mortal god” of Hobbes’s politics, the State before which the Church as a body is powerless, the Roman Pontiff is a mere organizational spokesman dutifully keeping his proper place, and the individual Catholic is confined to the ever-smaller ghetto of his individual conscience while civilization at large descends into an abyss of total depravity.

    Indeed, Francis blithely confirms the supremacy of the modern Hobbesian sovereign, whose will determines even questions of right and wrong. Thus, in the same interview, he gave the following answer to the reporter’s question about how Catholics should approach such issues as euthanasia and “same-sex marriage”:

    In a secular setting, how should Catholics defend their concerns on societal issues such as euthanasia or same-sex marriage?

    Pope Francis: It is up to Parliament to discuss, argue, explain, reason [these issues]. That is how a society grows.

    However, once a law has been adopted, the state must also respect [people’s] consciences. The right to conscientious objection must be recognized within each legal structure because it is a human right. Including for a government official, who is a human person. The state must also take criticism into account. That would be a genuine form of laicity.

    Here we have something new even by post-conciliar standards: a Pope who simply assumes that the State has the authority to enact measures that contravene the divine and natural law, provided only that it “take criticism into account” and allow Catholics to demur conscientiously from whatever evil outcome the State mandates once its lawmakers “discuss, argue, explain [and] reason.” This, says Francis, is how society grows! If only it were a joke.

    As Hobbes declared in the preface to his De Cive: “there are no authentical doctrines concerning right and wrong, good and evil, besides the constituted Lawes in each Realme and government; and… the question whether any future action will prove just or unjust, good or ill, is to be demanded of none, but those to whom the supreme [power] hath committed the interpretation of his Laws.” Even Hobbes would be pleased with a Pope such as Francis, the first in the history of the Church to concede supreme power to the legislature even in matters of morality so long as subjects whose conscience objects to particular immoral laws are not personally compelled to carry them out.

    But Francis does not stop at confirming the Church’s subordination to temporal power. He wishes as well to encourage the resurgence of Islam, as if to hasten an all but irreversible process of civilizational suicide. Thus in the La Croix interview, speaking of ISIS, he blithely proposes—as he has done repeatedly—a moral equivalence between jihad and the divine commission: “It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.” That opinion would be contemptible coming from anyone. Coming from one who holds the title Vicar of Christ, however, it is nothing short of ecclesiastical treason. Which prompts the question: By what epochal intrigues did someone who is practically a nemesis of the Church ascend to the position of its earthly head?

    Further on, Francis clearly implies that terrorist attacks in European capitals are to be blamed on immigration policy: “Coming back to the migrant issue, the worst form of welcome is to ‘ghettoize’ them. On the contrary, it’s necessary to integrate them. In Brussels, the terrorists were Belgians, children of migrants, but they grew up in a ghetto.” Here Francis echoes a shibboleth of the Seventies liberalism in which his thought is steeped: poverty, not the freely willed acts of morally accountable agents, is the “root cause” of crime. Now no less than a Pope declares that the “root cause” of terrorism is a lack of “integration.”

    But what would Francis have the cities of Europe do to achieve this “integration”—bus “migrants” into non-Muslim neighborhoods and demand that they be given apartments? Evidently, it has not occurred to Francis that Muslims prefer to live in Muslim neighborhoods, where the violent radicals among them find neighborly aiders and abettors who hide them from the police and dance in the streets when they set off another bomb or mow down another crowd with assault rifles. As even the New York Times is forced to admit, it is precisely within these “ghettos” that “migrants” are establishing Muslim-controlled “no go” zones wherein civil authorities are virtually powerless and sharia law obtains. Only Christians and other non-Muslims are expected to remain subject to state power; any attempt by them to secede internally into insular communities would be met with force.

    Respecting “integration,” Francis radically undermines his own position without seeming to notice the umpteenth self-contradiction in his welter of opinions: “I am thinking here of Pope Gregory the Great, who negotiated with the people known as barbarians, who were subsequently integrated.” This depiction of the conversion of pagan Europe invites laughter. The integration of the barbarian peoples was not accomplished by “negotiation” but by their baptism and incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ and the universal liturgical polity that was the social matrix of Europe’s emerging Christian culture and ultimately the Holy Roman Empire, which endured for more than a thousand years, from the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 to the abdication of Francis II in 1806 following the French Revolutionary Wars.

    But this is precisely the sort of integration the infallibly politically correct Francis rejects out of hand. Speaking of his own prior reference to the “Christian roots” of Europe, Francis makes sure to strip the reference of any suggestion of a reconstitution of Christendom, affirming yet again the subordination of Church to State:

    We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones…. Yes, Europe has Christian roots and it is Christianity’s responsibility to water those roots. But this must be done in a spirit of service as in the washing of the feet. Christianity’s duty to Europe is one of service…. In other words, service and the gift of life. It must not become a colonial enterprise.

    In other words, the Church has a duty to serve Europe, washing the feet of the EU’s high and mighty rulers, but Europe has no duty to serve the Church. No, that would be “triumphalism” and “colonialism”—sins of which the State, of course, can never be guilty vis-à-vis the Church. Far from the mind of Francis is the contrary teaching of Saint Pius X, promulgated precisely in opposition to the French “laicist” government with which Francis is so comfortable:

    That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him…. [T]his thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State.

    But that was then, and this is Francis: a Pope according to the needs of the worldly powers who praise him as no Pope in history has ever been praised by the Church’s adversaries.

    The Church’s willing subjugation to the modern nation-state, born in violent revolution, has been a matter of historical development ever since Leo XIII’s policy of Ralliement respecting the Third Republic—a disastrous failure Pope Saint Pius X attempted to rectify by reasserting the Church’s supreme prerogatives in the affairs of men (cf. Vehementer nos), as did Pius XI in his teaching on the Social Kingship of Christ (cf. Quas Primas and Ubi Arcano Dei). But not even during a post-conciliar epoch marked by the generalized surrender of churchmen to the zeitgeist have we seen a Pope willing to serve as the veritable pontifical undertaker at the funeral of the Church Militant, glibly reciting a few last words at the graveside in superficial remarks to reporters that he insists are “magisterium.” Check it out!

    How is it possible that a conclave could have placed such a spectacularly unsuitable man on the Chair of Peter? Perhaps one way of coping, at least psychologically, with this farce of a papacy is to take into account the unique circumstances that brought it about. Only a few days ago, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, who serves as personal secretary to the one and only “Pope Emeritus” in Church history, presented a book entitled “Beyond the Crisis in the Church: The Pontificate of Benedict XVI.” In the course of the presentation Ganswein made remarks—surely not without Benedict’s knowledge and consent—which confirm Benedict’s view that his renunciation of “the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter” was somehow not a total divestiture of the office of the papacy as such.

    According to Ganswein, while “there are not two Popes” as a result, there is nevertheless “a sort of exceptional state willed by heaven” according to which “the papal ministry is no longer what it was before…” Rather, Benedict “has profoundly and lastingly transformed it” such that “he has not abandoned the office of Peter [but] has instead innovated this office” so that there is “de facto a broadened ministry—with an active member [Francis] and a contemplative member [Benedict].”

    Antonio Socci notes the resulting conundrum: either Benedict has created a “momentous turning point which in fact involves a radical mutation of the papacy, which today has become a collegial organ (but this is impossible according to Catholic doctrine)” or else “this discourse [by Ganswein] brings into view the ‘nullity’ of the renunciation by Benedict XVI.” Indeed, if Benedict’s view of what he has done is false, if he had no power to alter the divinely instituted Petrine office by renouncing it on the understanding that he would nonetheless remain a “contemplative member” of it, then how could the validity of that qualified renunciation not be called into question?

    I propose no answer to the question. Only history will provide the answer. Meanwhile, however, one can only wonder whether the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the elevation of Cardinal Bergoglio to the papacy are in some mysterious way related to the unexampled recklessness of his reign, so pleasing to the world that sings his praises.

    "The ralliement of Leo XIII: a pastoral experience that moved away from doctrine" - by Roberto de Mattei

    Roberto de Mattei

    Corrispondenza Romana

    March 18, 2015

    The 1905 Separation, the complete failure of Leo XIII's policy of ralliement:

    "The Separation: 'Let us separate - I will keep your assets.' "

    Leo XIII(1878-1903) was certainly one of the most important Popes in modern times, not only for the length of his pontificate, second only to Blessed Pius IX’s, but above all for the extent and richness of his Magisterium. His teaching includes encyclicals of fundamental importance, such as Aeterni Patris (1879) on the restoration of Thomist philosophy, Arcanum (1880) on the indissolubility of marriage, Humanum genus (1884) against Masonry, L’Immortale Dei (1885) on the Christian constitution of the States and Rerum Novarum (1891) on the question of work and social life.

    The Magisterium of Pope Gioacchino Pecci appears as an organic corpus, in continuation with the teachings of his predecessor Pius IX as well as his successor Pius X. The real turning point and novelty of the Leonine pontificate, by contrast, is in regard to his ecclesiastical politics and pastoral approach to modernity. Leo XIII’s government was characterized in fact, by the ambitious project of reaffirming the Primate of the Apostolic See through a redefinition of its relationship with the European States and the reconciliation of the Church with the modern world. The politics ofralliement, that is, of reconciliation with the French, secular, Masonic Third Republic, formed its basis.

    The Third Republic was conducting a violent campaign of de-Christianization, particularly in the scholastic field. For Leo XIII, the responsibility of this anticlericalism lay with the monarchists who were fighting the Republic in the name of their Catholic faith. In this way they were provoking the hate of the republicans against Catholicism. In order to disarm the republicans, it was necessary to convince them that the Church was not adverse to the Republic, but only to secularism. And to convince them, he retained that there was no other way than to support the republican institutions.

    In reality, the Third Republic was not an abstract republic, but the centralized Jacobin daughter of the French Revolution. Its program of secularization in France was not an accessory element, but the reason itself for the existence of the republican regime. The republicans were what they were because they were anti-Catholic. They hated the Church in the Monarchy, in the same way that the monarchists were anti-republican because they were Catholics who loved the Church in the Monarchy.

    The encyclical Au milieu des solicitudes of 1891, through which Leo XIII launched the ralliement did not ask Catholics to become republicans, but the instructions from the Holy See to nuncios and bishops, coming from the Pontiff himself, interpreted his encyclical in this sense. Unprecedented pressure was exercised on the faithful, even going as far as making them believe that whoever continued to support the monarchy publically was committing a grave sin. Catholics were split into two currents of the “ralliés” and the “réfractaires”, as had happened in 1791, at the time of the civil Constitution for clergy. The ralliés accepted the Pope’s pastoral indications as they attached infallibility to his words in all fields, including those political and pastoral.

    The réfractaires who were Catholics with better theological and spiritual formation, on the other hand, resisted the politics of ralliement, retaining that, inasmuch as it was a pastoral act, it could not be considered infallible and thus could be erroneous. Jean Madiran, who did a lucid critique of ralliement (in Les deux démocraties, NEL, Paris 1977), noted that Leo XIII had asked the monarchists to abandon the monarchy in the name of religion in order to conduct a more efficacious battle in defense of the faith. Except that, far from fighting this battle, with the ralliement, he effected a ruinous policy of détente with the enemies of the Church.

    Despite Leo XIII and his Secretary of State Mariano Rampolla’s endeavor, this policy of dialogue was a sensational failure and unable to obtain the objectives it proposed. The Anti-Christian behavior of the Third Republic increased in violence, until culminating in Loi concernant la Séparation des Eglises et de l’Etat on December 9th 1905, known as “the Combes law” which suppressed all financing and public recognition of the Church; it considered religion merely in the private dimension and not in the social one; it established that ecclesiastical goods be confiscated by the State, while buildings of worship were given over gratuitously to “associations cultuelles” elected by the faithful, without Church approval. The Concordat of 1801, that had for a century regulated the relations between France and the Holy See, and that Leo XIII had desired to preserve at all costs, fell wretchedly to pieces.

    The republican battle against the Church, however, encountered the new Pope along its way, - Pius X, elected to the Papal throne on August 4th 1903. With his encyclicals Vehementer nos of February 11th 1906, Gravissimo officii of August 10th of the same year, Une fois encore of January 6th 1907, Pius X, assisted by his Secretary of State Raffaele Merry del Val, he protested solemnly against the secular laws, urging Catholics to oppose them through all legal means, with the aim of conserving the traditions and values of Catholic France. Faced with this determination, the Third Republic did not dare activate the persecution fully, so as to avoid the creation of martyrs, and thus renounced the closing of the churches and the imprisonment of priests. Pius X’s politics without concessions, proved to be far-sighted. The law of separation was never applied with rigor and the Pope’s appeal contributed to a great rebirth of Catholicism in France on the eve of the First World War. Pius X’s ecclesiastical politics, the opposite of his predecessor’s, represents, in the final analysis, an unappealable historical condemnation of the ralliement.

    Leo XIII never professed liberal errors, on the contrary, he explicitly condemned them. The historian, nevertheless, cannot ignore the contradiction between Pope Pecci’s Magisterium and his political and pastoral stance. In the encyclicals Diuturnum illud, Immortale Dei e Libertas, he reiterated and developed the political doctrine of Gregory XVI and Pius IX, but the policy of ralliement contradicted his doctrinal premises. Leo XIII, far from his intentions, encouraged, at the level of praxis, those ideas and tendencies that he condemned on the doctrinal level. If we attribute the significance of a spiritual attitude to the word liberal, of a political tendency to concessions and compromise, we have to conclude that Leo XIII had a liberal spirit. This liberal spirit was manifested principally as an attempt to resolve the problems posed by modernity, through the arms of diplomatic negotiation and compromises, rather than with the intransigence of principles and a political and cultural battle. In this sense, as I have shown in my recent volume Il ralliement di Leone XIII. Il fallimento di un progetto pastorale (Le Lettere, Florence 2014), the principal consequences of ralliement, were of a psychological and cultural order more than a political one. To this strategy the ecclesiastic “Third Party” was called upon, which throughout the 20th century tried to find an intermediate position between modernists and anti-modernists who were contending the issue.

    The spirit of ralliement with the modern world has been around for more than a century, and the great temptation to which the Church is exposed to, is still [with us]. In this regard, a Pope of great doctrine such as Leo XIII made a grave error in pastoral strategy. The prophetic strength of St. Pius X is the opposite, in the intimate coherence of his pontificate between evangelical Truth and the life of the Church in the modern world, between theory and praxis, between doctrine and pastoral care, with no yielding to the lures of modernity.

    [A Rorate translation by Contributor Francesca Romana]

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  • The Age of Kali

    THE AGE OF KALI

    Corruption is in the world through lust says the Apostle Peter (2Pet. 1:4); lust for wealth, lust for power, lust for fame, lust for knowledge, and above all, the lust of sexual desire, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes (1 Jn. 2:16).

    We live in the age of Kali, when sexual sin abounds. Modesty, Chastity, Virginity, and Purity have all but been banished from the western world. Immodesty, sensuality, nudity, and promiscuity are in the ascendant; bikinis, bare legs, bare arms, bare mid-rifts, bosoms and cleavages, low tops, tight trousers, short skirts, and tattoos give ample witness to the new paganism. One doesn’t need strip clubs, and peepshows, and porn mags, and adult films, because sensuality pervades the culture; in the media, in the schools and universities, in the work-place, on the streets, in parks, on beaches. And this easily wanders into our thoughts, and dreams, without us consciously desiring it, giving the Devil his opportunity.

    Sex is widely promoted by the media, and schools too have their compulsory “sex education”. “Sex is the mysticism of a materialist society” as Muggeridge acutely observed. We must all ensure that we have “good sex” and very importantly “healthy sex”, and lots of sex, even apparently well into our 70’s (Octogenarian sex anyone?). Because without a fully developed sex life we can’t be properly integrated human beings. So it goes.

    But this is an illusion. For the age of Kali is the age of illusion. She performs the dance of death, which brings destruction and chaos. She is the dark one who wears her necklace and belt of shrunken severed heads. The problem with sexual desire outside its proper God-given context of marriage and the procreation of children is that it is essentially selfish; it is only, at the end of the day, about self-gratification, and all too easily unleashes the darker side of human nature (Alas the Marquis de Sade was an honest man.)

    It is precisely because of the breakdown of the Christian moral order that the “permissive society” has come about. The Christian clergy are, by and large, indifferent to this. Indeed, through their cowardice they have contributed considerably to its success. And so there abounds fornication, marital breakdown and divorce, pornography and erotica, homosexualism, transgenderism (a form of transvestitism), contraception, abortion, “in vitro fertilization”, paedophilia and rape. This is the dismal reality of the “permissive society”, the illusion of sexual freedom. And if people are currently ending up in prison for under-age sex and paedophilia, know for certain that one day in the not too distant future it’ll be perfectly legal and totally acceptable. Already the LGBT are hard at work lobbying for “man-boy” love. Hey, sex is good for children, don’t you know, as long as it’s with “a responsible caring adult”. I tell you it’s coming our way. Yet do Christians take a stand when the LGBT are invited into Church schools, Catholic and Anglican? Do they make any meaningful challenge to the sexualisation of children through “sex education classes”? In a word, No! Courage and moral conviction are at an all-time low. The record of bishops here is just as abysmal as the record of bishops in Nazi Germany, both Catholic and Protestant, when faced with the moral challenge. Generally, silence and acquiescence. Apart from their role as bureaucrats (their primary concern) they are effectively useless. “Put not your trust in princes….for there is no help in them (p.145: v 2)

    The flesh lusts against the Spirit, says St. Paul (Gal 5:17), and both are contrary to each other. The lusts and desires of the flesh, and the fulfilling thereof, make us children of wrath (Eph. 2: 3). Two laws are at war within us, says the Apostle; the law of God and the law of sin. Only God’s grace through the Crucified One can deliver us from the law of sin; and the Virgin Mary’s prayers. For it is the Age of Mary, when those who would fight for purity must seek refuge with, and fight with Mary.

    The Devil is the original “cross-dresser”, He is Kali, the Dark One, who leads souls to their doom, as she performs her naked, or near naked dance, which is the dance of death.

    Sensuality and selfish desire will become more and more demonic, and will wreak awful havoc in human life, riding tandem with the industrial genocide of babies in the womb, “abortion”. People will become increasingly dehumanized through “sex, drugs, rock’n’roll” and media pulp, thereby releasing a veritable tsunami of supernatural evil. The world will be infested with demons, and all forms of sin against God and human life will characterize society and will be tolerated and practiced as being the most normal thing in the world, stimulating the vilest passions and unleashing a barrage of crime never before experienced. The holy estate of marriage will virtually cease to exist. For this is precisely the Devil’s aim: the destruction of marriage and the family through fornication, divorce, homosexualism, contraception, IVF and abortion. The State will take over all aspects of life, from the “production” and indoctrination of children, to the definition of morality and truth, to the euthanasing of the old, the sick, and the “non-productive”. Aided by a Devil pleasing feminist movement, the LGBT, a cultural Neo-Marxism, and a degenerate Christianity, the State will replace the family and will set itself up in the place of God. Fornication, which embraces all forms of sexual sin, will lead, as it always has done, to idolatry.

    The world has heard the Gospel and refused it. It has returned to its own vomit, the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (2Pet. 2: 22). The Christian churches in the West have lost or are losing the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). They are the Church of Laodicea in St. John’ vision (Rev 3: 14-22): spiritually blind, bankrupt, naked, and lukewarm. They will be spat out of Christ’s mouth unless they repent, return to zeal and “buy white garments” (rediscover their purity). The recent decision by the Church of Scotland to endorse sodomite and lesbian clergy reveals the desperate state of things. Other churches, including the Roman Church, are going or have gone the same way. The phallus has replaced the Cross, the flesh has triumphed over the spirit. Soon enough, the Abomination of Desolation, the ultimate blasphemy, will be set up in the midst of so-called Christian congregations who, knowingly or unknowingly, will engage in explicit worship of Satan; all in the name of “dialogue”, or “aggiornamento”, or “diversity” or “pluralism” or “development of doctrine”, or “ a new anthropology” (The Roman Catholic Bishop of Northampton’s recent nonsense) and other such slogans. Indeed, the age of Kali is the age of illusion.

    What can true Christians do against all this? 1) Hold fast to the Holy Scriptures as the infallible Word of God. 2) Pray the Psalms and the Rosary daily. 3) Fast regularly and live simply. 4) Stop watching T.V. (I don’t say films, because some films are good, but be discriminating!). 5) Take responsibility for their own faith, instead of relying on the clergy. 6)“Be sober, be vigilant, because the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for whom he may devour” (1Peter 5: v.8). And above all 7) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…..For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 Jn 2: 15-16)

    “Whosoever is a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4: v.4)

    Damon Jonah Kelly

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