Monthly Archives: December 2015

Roger Scruton on the annunciation vs a secular society

Posted by Augustinus

I admire Roger Scruton greatly. He is a philosopher of great distinction, known by celebrities and politicians, feared by academics and  respected by all.  He has the courage to defend religion against its cultured despisers. In this lecture he does more in 10 mins to identify what is distinctive about Christianity than the thousands of theological books on the topic! God asks us our consent to be in relation to us. The annunciation is the clue to the whole business…

Christians are under threat in middle east including Israel

by Augustinus

The systematic persecution of Christians in Muslim lands has been well documented. Less well known is the systematic persecution of Christians by some fanatical Jews in Israel. The church has to wake up to the fact that many if not most of these extremist Jews routinely trash the catholic church and even mainstream Jews believe in the myth that the church persecuted the Jews for centuries. No-one can deny that there was persecution of the Jews in European countries (and in the Muslim world as well) for centuries. That this persecution was orchestrated by the Church however is largely myth. The church is undergoing violent persecution in the middle east, Africa and Asia…The persecutors are mostly Muslim extremists or Communist fanatics. But we need to be aware of persecution no matter where it is coming from. There is a mystifying refusal by most Christians to wake up to the fact that there is a violent anti-christian strain among extremist  Jewish communities including powerful ones in Israel. Those extremist cults have a tendency to grow and and grow until they command positions of power.  See http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.693132

 

The Saint Michael Prayer

Master of Belmonte (Spanish, Aragon, active ca. 1460–90) Saint Michael, 1450–1500 North Spanish, Tempera and oil on wood; Overall: 85 1/2 x 47 in. (217.2 x 119.4 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1955 (55.120.2) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/471730

By Allan Gillis

I have over the years developed a prayer regimen. I am no “prayer-warrior” – that’s for sure!  But, I do notice (or have noticed) a direct correlation between success at my rigore and spiritual success/peace of heart. One thing I would like to commend to you dear reader; is the power of the St. Michael Prayer.
I’ve found the prayer to be succinct and very directed… against Satan and his minions who go about the earth torturing and tempting me to look away from God and fix my gaze on the world, material things and sin and death. Protecting me as a child of God is the task of St. Michael (as well as my Guardian Angel). Be aware of the angels!  Pray this prayer daily if you can work it in!  It has been quite effectual for me!

Pope Leo XIII gave us this prayer. This is the version still said after low masses (extraordinary form) and in some Novus Ordo parishes after daily mass as well as for private devotions such as after the rosary.

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

A Grand Inversion at the Heart of Neo-Catholicism

guitar-mass

Written by Patrick Archbold
Recently Published in The Remnant
Brought to you here by Allan Gillis – [emphasis my own]

I don’t care for the term neo-Catholic, for it is too often used as pejorative. For this reason, you will not often find the term in my writing, not least for the reason that I was frequently accused of being one.

The term neo-Catholicism actually has a meaning, even if that precise meaning is frequently ignored. Generally, the term refers to Catholics that take their faith seriously, but generally don’t have a problem with the Church of the last 50 years, even embracing changes that have proven themselves disastrous.

Well, that wasn’t me, not entirely. Prior to my traddification, I certainly recognized the significant problems in the Church. Further, I recognized the rupture that occurred during and after the council that gave rise to the neo-Catholic Olympic-level sport of hermeneutical gymnastics. But even as I recognized these things, it was hard for me to put my finger on the root cause. As it turns out, to some degree I too was infected by the same virus as many neo-Catholics. However, unsure of the proper diagnosis, my efforts at a self-cure were sometimes helpful and sometimes not.

So it is that I have spent much time pondering the questions of why I was able to see the problems of NuChurch, that I wanted nothing more than to be orthodox and faithful, but spent so much time in unhelpful pursuits.

Have you ever seen one of those images that at first glance seem like one thing, but after some time another image emerges? I remember one time I saw a knit image in someone’s home that on first glance seemed like a blocky maze pattern. I saw it several times before I realized that the spaces between the maze walls formed the name JESUS. Once I saw Jesus in the maze, I couldn’t un-see Jesus in the maze. From then on it seemed so obvious that it was all I could see when I looked at the image. I couldn’t see the maze anymore.

In similar fashion, once I realized the true difference between the ways I saw things before and the way I see them now, I cannot un-see it. In fact, it seems so obvious now; I am chagrined that I missed it before. As it turns out, there is one simple cause to all the problems that we see in the Church and the promoters of those problems are not shy about telling us about it.

When people ask me about why and how I changed, I tell them about the grand inversion. It is the one thing that separates otherwise well-meaning neo-Catholics from understanding how they in some ways contribute to the problem.

Several wise traditional commenters have focused on the problem present in Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium #161 “…above all the new commandment, the first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples: ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’…”

It is easy for Catholics reared on and fed modernist Catholicism to look at the above and not see the problem. I mean, who is against loving your neighbor?

But contrast it with how Jesus actually answered the question and the problem starts to reveal itself.

Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” —Matthew 22:36-40 (see also Mark 12:28-31)
See that? There are two separate commandments in order of importance. First “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.”

As you can see, NuChurch has inverted the order. First, NuChurch put love of God on a par with love of neighbor, as if they were one command. Love of neighbor, they would have us believe, is equal to love of God. But as can be seen from EG161, even that is not enough. Pope Francis, avoiding Jesus’ direct answer to the question, answers the question with another quote entirely, purposely avoiding love of God, not just as the primary commandment, but dropping it altogether in favor of the love of man.

This simple, but pernicious change is at the heart of NuChurch. Any Catholic from a century ago would understand that the love of God comes first and that love of neighbor, which derives from the first, is secondary. But now man is first and the love of God is a secondary to loving man, instead of the other way around. This is the grand inversion that is at the heart of NuChurch.

But don’t take my word on it. Listen to Pope Paul VI address this very question in his closing remarks from the Second Vatican Council:

“It might be said that all this and everything else we might say about the human values of the council have diverted the attention of the Church in council to the trend of modern culture, centered on humanity. We would say not diverted but rather directed.”
It is right there from the beginning. This error, this inversion of the Truth of God’s command is at the root of all of it including our man-centered liturgy, false ecumenism, indifferentism, and the false mercy of the current pontificate. They believe that the only love that matters is the love of man. Yet the Council of Trent takes a very different approach.

“Moreover, no honor, no piety, no devotion can be rendered to God sufficiently worthy of Him, since love of Him admits of infinite increase. Hence our charity should become every day more fervent towards Him, who commands us to love Him with our whole heart, our whole soul, and with all our strength. The love of our neighbor, on the contrary, has its limits, for the Lord commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. To outstep these limits by loving our neighbor as we love God would be an enormous crime.” —Catechism of Trent, Part 3, Chapter 5, Question 5
So ingrained has this inversion become in NuChurch, that when a Catholic puts the love of God and his commandments first as he always should, he is derided by no less than the Pope himself as a rigid and unmerciful Pharisee.

But once you see this inversion and understand it for what it is, your entire approach begins to change and your neo-Catholicism can no longer be sustained.

So what changed for me? I realized that love of God is the first and primary commandment and Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” And I realized that in order to love my neighbor, I must help them to keep God’s commandments too.

So I saw it. I don’t how or why, but I saw it. God’s grace is everything. Then what do you do? Well you try to put God first in every aspect of your life and you try to do the same for the Church by shouting it from the rooftops. And you fight against the ongoing process of making man the center of our religion. You fight against a false mercy that rejects the first commandment. You fight, because you love God. And only when you love God first, can you truly love your neighbor, even if your neighbor hates you for it.

The rotting and hostile culture

By Augustinus

My brother Al’s post on the rotting culture around us has prompted me to write this post to second his frustration and sense of isolation. As in the days of the collapse of the Roman Empire or the inter-war years in 20th century Europe—there is universal agreement from both right and left that something is deeply horribly wrong at the heart of our culture. Most observers agree that Christianity in the West is rotting away while Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and atheism are all enjoying tremendous revivals. As my brother Al points out in his post on the cultural rot, the signs of decay are all around us from the newspaper headlines to the cashier at the local supermarket. Like the poet said…the best are all demoralized and the worst are filled with a passionate conviction and fanaticism.

What is to be done? The Roman Catholic hierarchy which should lead a revival and a counter-offensive as in the days of Pope Urban, instead protect pedophiles or are championing the liberal bromides spouted by Western elites who hate Catholicism to its core.

Where can we look for hope? To God and to history. Prayer and work. When we look at history there have been several ages in which the Church leadership was utterly corrupt and unreliable. In those cases, saints arose and WITHOUT REPUDIATING ALLEGIANCE to the Petrine office, led a revival in the church that lasted for centuries. I am thinking of the Irish monks who evangelized all of Europe in the dark ages when it was in the grip of the pagans and of the Arian heresy and Catherine of Sienna; St Teresa of Avila, St Benedict of Nursia, St Bernard of Clairvaux, Ignatius of Loyola and many others.

Our Rotting Culture Really Irritates Me! – 1

youth

By Allan Gillis

This is the first entry with this title. I think I am turning into an old curmudgeon (at least that is what the lovely and gracious Mrs. Gillis tells me often!). Many times I find myself snickering quietly to myself or bickering to whoever is my companion at the moment of the assault on my “cultural sensitivities”…whether it be at a public event, a commercial heard on the radio, the lead for a story on my wife’s New York Times left on the table or the way some kids dress or speak in public. This bickering can often lead to sin on my part – simply because I’m NOT feeling or being “charitable” at the time. But, often it is the little things that really irk me.  For instance; I can’t stand being at a cash register and being told as I’m having my change handed to me to “have a good one”.  “Have a good WHAT!?!” Have a good day?, have a good heart attack?, have a good life? Where did this banality come from?  It is so pervasive…and all of a sudden too!  It seems our current public lexicon is laced throughout with many of these trite and vapid cultural talismans. I think the language (as well as dress) speaks so much about the state of the kulturkampf. I was at the supermarket last evening and I was so tempted to snap at this twenty-something kid as he assaulted me with his “have a good one” – “have a good what?”.  I would have probably seemed hostile. I might have sounded hostile (or like a grumpy old man) as I said it – so I didn’t. But, what added insult to injury – and further tempted me to “uncharitable-ness” was his stupid big buttons in both earlobes!  I’ll rail about THAT another time! Pray for me will ya?

Enviro-Whackos Shedding Light on Holy Mother Church – Literally!

ROME, December 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Howling, grunting, and roaring animals, along with images of overcrowded city centers, depictions of pollution, and negative portrayals of industrialization, appeared on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica this evening during a much hyped “climate change” light show.

The show was the finale of the opening celebration for the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. The event was watched by tens of thousands in St. Peter’s Square along with estimated millions worldwide through online streaming.

The multi-million dollar show titled “Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home” was created and funded by climate-change partisans and population-control advocates with the goal to “educate and inspire change around the climate crisis across generations, cultures, languages, religions and class.” Along with images of the world and its endangered animals, including lions, birds, apes, and whales, appeared New Age symbolism associated with ancient pagan deities.

The show also took place on the most important Marian feast day for Catholics, the Immaculate Conception, where Catholics celebrate Mary being conceived in the womb of her mother Anne without the stain of original sin.

Many pro-family leaders from around the world say they are flabbergasted that the pope would allow St. Peter’s to be used as a backdrop for promoting the controversial and contentious “climate change” agenda.

“I am sorry that the facade of St. Peter’s has been turned into a propaganda stage for the scientific fraud known as ‘Catastrophic Man-Caused Global Warming,’” Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews.

“I am sick at the thought that this most sacred space — St. Peter’s Basilica — will be the backdrop for the further dissemination of this fraud, whose ultimate goal is to impose a ‘Carbon Tax’ on the developed countries. This tax will not only cripple global economic growth and undermine democracy, its proceeds will be used to fund even more population control programs in the developing world,” he said.

The Vatican’s spokesperson for the event, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, called the event “unique…for its genre and for the fact that it is being displayed for the first time on such a significant backdrop.”

“These illuminations will present images inspired of Mercy, of humanity, of the natural world, and of climate changes,” he said.

Fisichella said that the light show on the Vatican is meant to link Pope Francis’ environment encyclical Laudato si’ with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop21) currently underway in Paris. The Vatican has shown strong support for the conference. Having the show conclude the opening Year of Mercy celebrations also links the pope’s message about “mercy” to fighting “climate change.”

Robert Royal, president of the Washington-based Faith and Reason Institute and a prominent Catholic commentator, called it “seriously wrong” to have a “radical environmental message” projected onto St. Peter’s.

“This is the kind of thing ideological politicians do, like President Obama’s rainbow projection onto the White House after the Supreme Court approved gay ‘marriage.’ The White House is the people’s house, all the American people’s. St. Peter’s is even far more universal than that.”

“Projecting onto it a radical environmental message — and one that has no chance of actually resulting in an international agreement, given the unreality of the approach — seems to make the Church just one more international NGO, something Pope Francis has explicitly warned it should not be,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Voice of the Family co-founder John Smeaton said that contrary to popular perception, the “environmental agenda” is tied to an anti-human agenda.

“The environmental movement commonly regards population growth as a threat. Developing nations are being flooded with contraceptives and subjected to pressure to legalize abortion. Given that contraception and environmentalism so often go hand-in-hand, it is deeply troubling that current Vatican authorities have so strongly endorsed the environmental agenda without taking an equally strong stance on the abortion and contraception agenda which lies behind it.”

“If the Vatican issued similarly strong and high-profile calls to world governments to end abortion, many lives could be saved. The St. Peter’s light show is a clear demonstration of the tragic truth that this papacy has the wrong priorities,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Partners

The event, billed as “contemporary public art,” was sponsored by organizations named after Greek and Roman pagan gods that push the climate change agenda and by an organization that directly funds abortions in developing countries.

The main financial backer behind the event is the US-led World Bank Group via its Connect4Climate initiative. The World Bank, created in 1945 to rebuild a war-torn Europe, has a long history (here, here, or here) of relentlessly funding abortion and contraception programs in developing nations under the banner of “ending extreme poverty” and “boosting shared prosperity.” Pro-life leaders have denounced the programs time and again as thinly veiled population control programs aimed at reducing populations considered by Western elites to be undesirable.

Other partners include Vulcan Inc., a private company based out of Seattle, Washington, that “strives to create a new kind of future” by “upend[ing] conventional thinking.” The company was deliberately named after the Roman god Vulcan, the deity of destructive fire, whose earliest known shrine existed in Rome at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, close by the Vatican.

STORY: Vatican’s ‘climate change’ light show skipped the most endangered species of all – the unborn child

Another partner is Okeanos, an environmentalist foundation with the purpose of raising awareness “concerning the various threats our oceans are facing.” The foundation rails against what it calls the “sins against climate.” The foundation is named after the Greek and Roman Titan god “Okeanos” who was held to be the divine personification of the sea whose fish in one hand and serpent in the other signify bounty and prophecy.

Obscura Digital, the San Francisco-based organization putting on the actual show, has its name derived from the Latin root meaning “dark.” The company specializes in creating “immersive experiences that will change the way you think about the world around you” using holographic projections, 3D animation, and dynamic visualization.

The organization has in the past (here and here) worked on climate change projects with the UN to show the “effect of human enterprise on the environment” and to issue a “call for global solutions.”

Pagan occultism

St. Peter’s ‘climate change’ light show and its prototype held in New York last August are bizarrely connected to pagan occultism.

The shows director Travis Threlkel, founder and creative director of Obscura, said in an August interview when discussing the New York version of the show that was projected onto the Empire State Building, that pagan deities were specifically incorporated into the presentation. He said the show included the greek pagan goddess Gaia, a Greek Mother Earth who has been appropriated by worshipers of nature, along with Aya, a Babylonian mother goddess associated with the rising sun and with sexual love.

It was at the New York show’s end that startling images of the faces of various pagan goddesses were projected onto the building. Predominantly displayed was an image of Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction. Kali, who was depicted with a long blood red tongue and whose name means “the black one,” promised wealth to those who satiated her lust for blood by human sacrifice. Daily human sacrifices of young children were offered on her altars in India until 200 years ago. She has since been culturally appropriated by New Age spirituality as a kind of Mother Earth goddess.

“Android” Andrew Jones, the artist behind the image, said at that time that he wanted to depict Mother Earth in her “fiercest form” to draw attention to what might happen if people ignored the implications of climate change.

The Vatican show included artwork and computer-generated designs by Jones, but it is unknown at this time what artwork was featured.

Jones, one of the world’s foremost digital painters and projection artists, specializes in portraying terrifying images of Greek, Roman and Eastern pagan deities. He said in an interview last month that he turns to these gods and goddesses by means of “psychedelic substances” (mind altering drugs) so that he can portray them accurately. He said the “deities” are “actively involved” in guiding his hand as he makes the work.

“These [drugs] are tools that grant portals and access into different realms that I still haven’t fully been able to grasp or say that I have uncovered all of their meanings. … They have evolved my ability to … discover new and interesting combinations of energy and matter. Some have … shown me greater nightmares than I could ever depict or wish to imagine ever again.”

“These spirits and the deities that [the images] represent [in India, Greece, etc.] are actively involved, enrolled, and contributing to humans reinventing the visual vernacular of these beings as time and technology evolves,” he said.

Jones said that good art connects the viewer to something “mystical.” He said in a 2010 video interview that a good reaction to his art happens when people “throw up, or urinate themselves, or [release] any sort of bodily excrement.”

While it remains unclear at this point if any of Jones’ pagan images whole or in part made their way onto St. Peter’s, various symbols belonging to deities mentioned by the show’s director Threlkel did. For instance, Aya’s symbol of the rising sun appeared at least on three occasions throughout the show, most prominently at the beginning when a giant sun was depicted rising upon St. Peter’s.

Catholic commentator Fr. John Zuhlsdorf wrote on his blog that the event was “irreverent” and even a form of “sacrilege.”

“St. Peter’s is, without question, a sacred place and object (a very large one, too!). It is, without question, dedicated by the Church to sacred purposes. The use of this sacred building and place (where St. Peter was martyred and buried, a pilgrimage place, etc. etc. etc.) as a projection screen for mere secular purposes is irreverent treatment,” he wrote.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf quoted the Catholic Dictionary which defines sacrilege as the “irreverent treatment of sacred things, persons or places, i.e., those dedicated by God or the Church to sacred purposes. It is a sin against the virtue of religion, of its nature grave, but admitting smallness of matter.”

“This has gone beyond ridiculous,” he said.

The priest said the image of the lion projected on to St. Peter’s made him think of a passage from St. Peter’s first letter: “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls, your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8).

A Very Serious Matter – The Remnant Speaks With Saliency

The Year of Mercy Begins

Brought to you by Allan Gillis    

The TiberWritten and published by The Remnant

O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE

An Urgent Appeal to Pope Francis to Either Change Course or Renounce the Petrine Office

Tuesday December 8, 2015
Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Your Holiness:
Pope Celestine V (r. 1294), recognizing his incapacity for the office to which he had so unexpectedly been elected as the hermit Peter of Morrone, and seeing the grave harm his bad governance had caused, resigned the papacy after a reign of only five months. He was canonized in 1313 by Pope Clement V. Pope Boniface VIII, removing any doubt about the validity of such an extraordinary papal act, confirmed in perpetuity (ad perpetuam rei memoriam) that “the Roman Pontiff may freely resign.”

A growing number of Catholics, including cardinals and bishops, are coming to recognize that your pontificate, also the result of an unexpected election, is likewise causing grave harm to the Church. It has become impossible to deny that you lack either the capacity or the will to do what your predecessor rightly observed a pope must do: “constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.”

Quite the contrary, as shown in the annexed libellus, you have given many indications of an alarming hostility to the Church’s traditional teaching, discipline and customs, and the faithful who try to defend them, while being preoccupied with social and political questions beyond the competence of the Roman Pontiff. Consequently, the Church’s enemies continually delight in your pontificate, exalting you above all your predecessors. This appalling situation has no parallel in Church history.

Last year, speaking of Pope Benedict’s resignation, Your Holiness declared that if you felt incapable of exercising the papacy “I would do the same.” On the first anniversary of Benedict’s resignation, you called upon the faithful to “join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility.”

With no little trepidation, being under the gaze of the One who will judge us all on the Last Day, we your subjects respectfully petition Your Holiness to change course for the good of the Church and the welfare of souls. Failing this, would it not be better for Your Holiness to renounce the Petrine office than to preside over what threatens to be a catastrophic compromise of the Church’s integrity?

In this regard we make our own the words of Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, in her famous letter to Pope Gregory XI, urging him to steer the Church aright during one of her greatest crises: “Since He has given you authority and you have assumed it, you should use your virtue and power: and if you are not willing to use it, it would be better for you to resign what you have assumed…”

Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!

Your subjects in Christ,
Christopher A. Ferrara
Michael J. Matt
Dr. John Rao
Professor Brian McCall
Elizabeth Yore
Timothy J. Cullen
Chris Jackson
Michael Lofton
Father Celatus
Connie Bagnoli
Susan Claire Potts
Robert Siscoe
John Salza, Esq.
Vincent Chiarello
John Vennari
Allan Gillis

Add your name to this petition at the end of this document. No additional personal information is required and your name will not appear online.

Libellus:

Your predecessor Benedict XVI, sitting for the first time in the Chair of Peter, reminded the Catholic faithful that “[t]he Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law,” but rather “the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word.” Accordingly, said Benedict, a Pope “must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.”

The course of your pontificate thus far has compelled us to declare publicly that you have failed to respect the nature of the Petrine office, abusing it in a manner the Church has never before witnessed. We hereby present to Your Holiness the main concerns that have aroused alarm in all ranks of the Church and have motivated this petition.

First, rather than the constant teaching of the Church concerning God’s word, you have consistently proclaimed your own ideas in homilies, press conferences, off-the-cuff remarks, interviews with journalists, speeches of various kinds, and idiosyncratic readings of Scripture. These ideas, ranging from the disturbing to the plainly heterodox, are well represented in your personal manifesto, Evangelii Gaudium. This document contains a number of astonishing proclamations the likes of which no Roman Pontiff has ever dared to utter. Among these are your “dream… of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.” It is incredible that a Roman Pontiff would posit a non-existent opposition between the self-preservation of the Holy Catholic Church and her mission in the world.

Second, rather than binding yourself and the Church to obedience to God’s word, you have repeatedly deprecated apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions, along with the faithful who defend them. Here too Evangelii Gadium sums up your line of thought: “More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mk 6:37).”

The Catholic mind staggers at the spectacle of a Roman Pontiff belittling the Church’s constitution, doctrines and customs as mere “structures,” “rules” and “habits” that rob people of spiritual sustenance, leaving them to starve at the Church’s door. You dare to say this respecting the very Church that built and transformed entire civilizations, nurturing countless saints, religious orders, priestly and religious vocations and institutes of charity for the salvation of souls and incomparable works of corporal mercy.

At the same time, you have so frequently derided the faithful who defend the Church’s traditions that one observer has compiled a “Little Book of Insults” recording many examples of this unprecedented verbal assault by a Pope against his own subjects. Among the epithets you have hurled at observant Catholics with reckless abandon are these: “fundamentalists,” “Pharisees,” “Pelagians,” “triumphalists,” “Gnostics,” “nostalgists,” “superficial Christians,” “band of the chosen,” “peacocks,” “moralistic quibblers” “uniformists,” “proud, self-sufficient,” “intellectual aristocrats,” “Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord,” etc.

Yet, not a single harsh word have you uttered concerning open enemies of the doctrines of the Faith or the sexual deviants who infest the Catholic hierarchy. On the contrary, you declared “Who am I to judge?” respecting “gay persons” among the clergy, and in particular the notorious homosexual cleric you have made the head of your very household, who shows a revolting familiarity with your person. You have granted widely publicized audiences to sexual deviants, including transsexuals and homosexuals, arranging these encounters personally by telephone. You have rehabilitated and even rewarded with prestigious appointments liberation theologians silenced and suspended by your two immediate predecessors, promoters of homosexuality, and prelates who covered up the sexual crimes of homosexual priests.

Evangelii Gaudium aptly summarizes the open contempt—without precedent in the annals of the papacy—with which you view the defenders of doctrinal and liturgical rectitude. You ridicule “an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige” and rashly accuse tradition-minded Catholics of being “without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on God’s faithful people and the concrete needs of the present time,” cruelly and unjustly caricaturing them as people who would reduce the Church to “a museum piece or something which is the property of a select few.”

A moment deeply revealing of your contemptuous mentality in this regard was your humiliation of an altar boy, broadcast to the world and memorialized on the Internet. As he stood in a prayerful posture, hands folded, at the entrance to the Vatican grottoes, which you were visiting, you pulled his hands apart, mocking him with the words: “Are your hands bound together? Ah, it seems they’re stuck!” To his credit, the boy put his hands back together immediately, resuming the comportment appropriate to the dignity of the occasion and in keeping with a sound spiritual formation. But one wonders what effect this public humiliation, now permanently accessible to the whole world, will have upon the spiritual life of an impressionable youngster.

In perhaps the most injurious of your insults of the faithful, Evangelii Gaudium denounces traditional Catholics for what you suppose to be “a self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism.” Presuming their interior dispositions, you declare that these Catholics “feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past”—as if our holy religion involved “styles” that become outmoded like fashions in clothing. You even go so far as to mock “a supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline” as “narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others…”

For the sake of truth and justice, Holy Father, we must say that it seems you yourself have spent a great deal of time analyzing, classifying and indeed judging others—to the growing dismay and embarrassment of your subjects, who have never seen such behavior from a Roman Pontiff. And this behavior shows no signs of abating. Recently, at a conference on priestly formation, you remarked—to laughter from your audience—that you are “scared of rigid priests… I keep away from them. They bite!” What purpose does such derisive rhetoric serve but to humiliate and marginalize those priests who still have the courage to defend the Church’s unpopular teachings without compromise in a world at war against God and His law? No wonder the mass media hail your pontificate!

But, more than words, Holy Father, you have directed the outright persecution of religious orders intent on restoring orthodoxy, sober piety, the interior life and liturgical tradition in the midst of what your own predecessor described as the “calamities” and “sufferings” the Church has endured in the name of Vatican II, including “closed seminaries, closed convents, banalized liturgy…” On your specific orders, the flourishing Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have been destroyed on account of what your apostolic commissioner (who later died of a stroke) called a “definitely traditionalist drift.” The affiliated Sisters of the Immaculate have likewise been placed under an apostolic commissioner on account of “deviations” consisting of a supposed “pre-conciliar” formation—meaning the traditional liturgy and the traditional conventual life, as if these holy things were contagions to be expunged from the Church like some disease. These are the actions of a dictator motivated by an ideology, not a paternal guardian of the Church’s sacred patrimony.

Yet, following a years-long investigation and disciplinary process initiated by Pope Benedict, under your supervision the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has been whitewashed and spared any discipline despite its support for abortion, euthanasia and “same-sex marriage” and its notorious promotion of what Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, described as “fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery.”

Third, in keeping with your programmatic disparagement of the Church’s traditional doctrine and discipline and those who defend them, you presided over and controlled a “Synod on the Family” that amounted to a sustained attempt to water down or adapt the Church’s infallible teaching on marriage, procreation and sexuality in order to accommodate the rebellious spirit of the age and the immorality it has fostered throughout our post-Christian civilization.

In the name of “mercy,” the progressive prelates who dominate your circle of advisors, including the infamous Cardinal Kasper—whose views you have been promoting from the beginning of your pontificate—now proclaim a false disjunction between doctrine and its intrinsically related pastoral practice, as if the Church could forbid immoral behavior in principle while accommodating it in practice. As one prominent cardinal has put it, this “is a form of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology.” Yet it has become a theme of your pontificate, as you invoke “mercy” endlessly against the Church’s moral laws, which you demean as “small-minded rules,” “roadblocks,” “closed doors,” and “casuistry.”

The progressives you personally appointed to the Synod’s secretariat and drafting commission, and the 45 additional progressives you added to the voting membership, including Cardinal Kasper, combined to attack the indissolubility of marriage by advocating “case by case” admission of the divorced and “remarried” to Holy Communion. This would mean the overthrow of the Church’s bimillennial sacramental discipline, rooted in the words of Our Lord Himself: “Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery… (Lk. 16:18).” That discipline was reaffirmed by Benedict XVI and John Paul II in the face of challenges by dissenters from Catholic teaching—Cardinal Kasper being foremost among them. It is readily apparent that you wish to abandon that discipline, as you did when you were Archbishop of Buenos Aires and when, even as Pope, you personally telephoned a woman in Argentina, civilly married to a divorced man, to tell her that she could receive Holy Communion despite what her “rigid” parish priest had said to the contrary.

At the Synod’s first session in 2014, you personally approved and ordered published to the world, before the Synod Fathers had even seen it, a synodal “midterm report” which was never approved by them and was in fact a fabrication, apparently written in advance, that did not even remotely represent their actual consensus. This disgraceful document called for a “case by case” abandonment of the discipline of the Church respecting the divorced and “remarried” and for “valuing” the homosexual “orientation.” One courageous prelate called it “a black mark which has stained the honour of the Apostolic See.” Yet, after the Synod majority rightly rejected it, you denounced “so-called… traditionalists” for “wanting to close [themselves] within the written word… and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises…” And then you ordered the same document to be circulated to the world’s bishops, along with three paragraphs in the final report that failed to receive the requisite majority but which you ordered included anyway, having “torn up the rule book” of a Synod that was “rigged” to achieve a preordained result, but by the grace of God failed to do so.

At the Synod’s second session in 2015, you required that all deliberations be based upon an Instrumentum Laboris so heterodox that an international coalition of clergy and laity warned that it “threatens the entire structure of Catholic teaching on marriage, the family and human sexuality…” When that document was likewise rejected by the Synod majority and replaced at the last minute by a compromise document—which nonetheless creates openings for the overthrow of the Church’s sacramental discipline)—you denounced “closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge… difficult cases.” That is, you condemned the Synod Fathers who had defended the constant sacramental discipline of the Church.

In your evident determination to accommodate the divorced and civilly “remarried,” whom you inexplicably characterize as “the poor,” just before Synod 2015 you devised in secret, without consulting any competent Vatican dicastery, a sudden and drastic “streamlining” of the annulment process. A world-renowned canonist, reflecting widespread alarm over this improvident “reform,” described it as “providing a path that looks like the Catholic version of no-fault divorce.” You yourself freely acknowledged that “it has not escaped me how an abbreviated judgment might put at risk the principle of indissolubility of marriage…”

Fourth, in keeping with your astounding suggestion—promptly hailed by the mass media—that the Church has been “obsessed” with “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” by your own admission you “have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that.” Yet these grave evils threaten the very survival of our civilization in the midst of what John Paul II called a “culture of death” and “silent apostasy.” While quite vocal concerning many political issues, you were utterly silent when once Catholic Ireland legalized “gay marriage” by popular referendum and the United States Supreme Court imposed this abomination on all fifty states.

On the other hand, as the Western world descends into an abyss of depravity and Muslim fanatics are massacring Christians throughout the Middle East, in Africa and in the very heart of Europe, you are preoccupied with “climate change.” Your book length encyclical, Laudato si’, the only encyclical you have produced, posits the existence of an “ecological crisis” and uncritically adopts the ideologically motivated, strongly contested claims of “climate change science,” which a Pope has absolutely no competence to assess, much less present to the faithful as indisputable facts.

The same encyclical laments “global warming,” the excessive use of air-conditioning, the loss of mangrove swamps, the supposed threat to plankton and worms, and the extinction of various plants and animals—denouncing this as an offense to God—before it even mentions abortion (while failing utterly to mention the supremely anti-natural practice of contraception). As to abortion, the encyclical speaks only of a failure “to protect a human embryo” when in fact abortion is the brutal mass murder of innocent human beings, ripped limb from limb in the womb or stabbed to death with surgical scissors at the very moment of birth.

Not surprisingly, the powers of the world have universally acclaimed Laudato si’ as part of “the Francis revolution” which the media, including the progressive “Catholic” press, have been lauding throughout your pontificate.

Fifth, you have consistently dismissed all doctrinal differences with Protestants as insignificant and have repeatedly declared, quite falsely, that “all the baptized are members of the same Body of Christ, his Church.” Here too you ignore the teaching of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and every Pope before them, including Pius XI, who taught quite to the contrary concerning the condition of Protestants: “For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.”

In this regard you seem heedless of the ever-worsening immorality and heresy of the same Protestant sects that engage in endless, pointless “ecumenical dialogue” with the Vatican. After fifty years of “dialogue” these sects condone divorce, contraception, abortion, homosexuality and “gay marriage,” purport to ordain women and practicing homosexuals as “priests” and “bishops,” and continue adamantly to reject fundamental dogmas of the one true religion revealed by Christ for the salvation of the world.

What of the truth that makes us free? (John 8:32) What of the witness of countless saints and martyrs who expended their substance and laid down their very lives to defend and pass on the Catholic Faith in opposition to the manifold errors and societal destruction spawned by the Protestant revolt, whose final consequences are playing out before your very eyes?

Sixth, in recent days, your public statements seem to have become increasingly careless and disordered, causing even greater scandal and apprehension among the faithful:

On November 15, during your Sunday participation in a Lutheran prayer service, you said that Catholic and Lutheran teachings concerning Christ are “the same,” being merely a matter of “Catholic language” versus “Lutheran language.” You characterized the defined dogma and ontological reality of transubstantiation as mere “explanations and interpretations,” declaring that “life is greater than explanations and interpretations”—as if “life” were “greater” than the Real Presence of God Incarnate in the Holy Eucharist, which Protestants deny.

On the same occasion you suggested that whether Protestants can receive Holy Communion is for theologians to determine, when the Church has already infallibly determined that this is impossible without conversion and profession of the same faith as Catholics. Stating that the matter was beyond your “competence”—but it is precisely the Pope’s competence to uphold the Church’s teaching in this regard—you suggested that a Lutheran married to a Catholic might receive Holy Communion after “speaking to the Lord” but that you “dare not say more.” But you had already said far too much by publicly referring a matter of grave importance for salvation to the error-prone private conscience of the individual: “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:29).”

On November 21, you declared to a worldwide conference of Catholic educators: “Never proselytize in schools. Christian education is bringing up the young in complete reality with human values and one of these is transcendence.” On the contrary, Catholic education is above all an inculcation in divine values: The Gospel and what it requires of Catholics, indeed the whole world, not merely human values or a vague “transcendence” bereft of its proper object, which is the God who has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate.

During your trip to Africa, November 25-30, you opined that the world is “at the limits of suicide” because of “climate change.” As you have throughout your pontificate, you failed to address the true threat of civilizational suicide in our time, remarked by your great predecessor, Venerable Pope Pius XII: that “almost the whole human race is today allowing itself to be driven into two opposing camps, for Christ or against Christ. The human race is involved today in a supreme crisis, which will issue in its salvation by Christ, or in its dire destruction.” By constantly directing the attention of the entire Church to a worldly “ecological crisis,” you cause the faithful to lose sight of the Christological crisis that threatens the eternal welfare of countless souls in our time.

During the in-flight press conference on the return to Rome from Africa, you denounced “fundamentalist” Catholics yet again, mocking the absolute religious convictions of orthodox members of your flock, based on the revealed word of God and the infallible teaching of the Magisterium on faith and morals:

Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions…. We Catholics have some—and not some, many, eh? —who believe they possess the absolute truth (che si credonono con la verita assoluta) and go ahead dirtying others with calumny, with disinformation, and they do evil…. Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God and it is idolatrous, like the idolatry of money.

Having denounced “many” members of your own flock as godless idolaters, you later suggested a moral equivalence between Christians and the Muslim fanatics who are slaughtering, torturing, raping, enslaving and exiling Christians around the world: “You cannot wipe out a religion just because there are some or a number of groups of fundamentalists at one moment in history…. Think of all the wars we Christians have waged. It wasn’t the Muslims who were responsible for the Sack of Rome.”

Yet again you embarrass the Church—and yourself—with an ill-considered remark quite unbecoming the Roman Pontiff. The historical record demands correction of your blunder:

First of all, the Muslims did sack Rome in 846, looting old Saint Peter’s and prompting Pope Leo IV to build the “Leonine walls” “to defend the see of Peter from an Islamic jihad.”

Secondly, if you were referring to the sack of Rome in 1527 by the army of Emperor Charles V, this had nothing to do with religious “fundamentalism” but rather involved purely political retaliation against Clement VII, a weak and vacillating Pope, who had improvidently forged an alliance with the King of France (Francis I) with whom Charles was at war. In fact, the Emperor’s army included German mercenaries, most of whom were Lutherans, and it was they who were principally responsible for the depredation of the Holy City and the violence done to its Catholic inhabitants.

Thirdly, during the same era, of course, Muslim marauders—who were indeed violent “fundamentalists”—were expanding the Ottoman Empire by the conquest of Christian lands until the resounding and miraculous defeat of the Muslim fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, which prevented a Muslim conquest of all of Europe and probably another Muslim sack of Rome.

Provoking still more scandal, in answer to a question concerning whether the Church should “change its position” on the immorality of contraception to permit the use of condoms as a method of limiting new HIV infections, you referred to this evil practice as “one of the methods,” thus appearing to legitimize it, while suggesting that it presents a moral dilemma for the Church, even likening it to Our Lord healing on the Sabbath:

The question seems too small to me, it also seems to me a partial question. Yes, it is one of the methods. And the morality of the Church, finds itself, I think, on this point before a perplexity. So, the Fifth or the Sixth Commandment? Defend life [with condoms!], or that sexual relations be open to life? But this is not the problem. The problem is bigger.

This question makes me think of one they once asked Jesus: “Tell me, teacher, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” It is obligatory to heal…. [B]ut malnutrition, the development of the person, slave labor, the lack of potable drinking water, these are the problems. Let’s not talk about if one can use this type of Band-Aid [cerotto] or that for a small wound, the big wound is social injustice, environmental injustice….

Thus, you appeared to accept that there is room for consideration of this “method,” although you view it as a rather trivial matter (a Band-Aid) even though it facilitates fornication and a culture of total sexual depravity. You then subordinated the moral law to concern for social and environmental justice! And so, once again, the Church is wounded by scandal and confusion on account of your habit of careless, off-the-cuff remarks to the press on weighty moral and theological questions concerning which a pope should speak or write with utmost prudence and deliberation, invoking the divine assistance.

Finally, there has just appeared on the Vatican website an interview of Your Holiness by the weekly Credere in which you allude favorably (yet again) to Cardinal Kasper’s false notion “mercy” and reveal that you intend to conduct a “revolution of tenderness”—an allusion to the title of Cardinal Kasper’s book lauding you: Pope Francis’ Revolution of Tenderness and Love. You declare that this “revolution of tenderness” will take place during your Jubilee of Mercy, which will involve “so many gestures,” including “a different gesture” on “a Friday of every month.”

Your stated motive for the “revolution of tenderness” is that, according to you, “the Church herself sometimes follows a hard line, she falls into the temptation of following a hard line, into the temptation of stressing only the moral rules, many people are excluded.” Affirming your interviewer’s suggestion that the Church must “discover” a “God who is moved and has compassion for man,” you reply: “To discover it will lead us to have a more tolerant, more patient, more tender attitude”—as if the Church were lacking in patience and compassion for sinners before your election.

What are these astounding affirmations if not an absolutely unprecedented threat by a Roman Pontiff to disregard “moral rules”—that is, the constant teaching of the infallible Magisterium—in the name of a false mercy, evidently with regard to the divorced and “remarried” and others you deem “excluded” in some manner? What are we to make of a pope who claims that the Church that Christ founded to teach infallibly on faith and morals has “fallen” into a temptation to take a “hard line” on morality? What besides horror should the faithful experience when a pope says such things, which have never been heard from the See of Peter in 2,000 years?

Catholics know that a true revolution of tenderness occurs in every soul that undergoes Baptism or, corresponding to the grace of repentance, enters the confessional with a firm purpose of amendment and a contrite heart, unburdens the weight of sin, receives absolution by a priest acting in persona Christi, and emerges “white as snow,” to quote your own predecessor, speaking of the Sacrament of Confession. The Catholic Church has always been an inexhaustible font of divine mercy through her Sacraments. What can your proposed “revolution” add to what Christ has already provided in His Church? Can you declare an amnesty on mortal sin? Can you pardon what is not pardonable without repentance and contrition? Can you outdo the mercy of God Himself?

The perception grows daily that although you are the Vicar of Christ, you simply have no interest in defending faith and morals, which are under attack as never before, nor any intention to call the wandering sheep into the sheepfold Our Lord established for their salvation. On the contrary, you appear to have devoted your pontificate to a veritable program of doctrinal and disciplinary laxity whose theme is the regular denunciation of orthodox Catholics combined with accusations that the Church lacks mercy. At the same time, you pursue social and political matters in which a pope has no competence or authority, such as “climate change,” environmentalism, and restoring diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.

After being buffeted by one storm of controversy after another occasioned by your unprecedented words and deeds, the faithful feel increasingly as if “the ship of the Church has lost its compass.”

In sum, Holy Father, over the past two-and-a-half years you have earned the world’s unanimous praise while throwing the ecclesiastical commonwealth into a state of confusion and division. You have ridiculed, berated and condemned the orthodox, shown limitless tolerance for the heterodox and the sexually deviant, and contrived to subvert the sacramental discipline defended by the very Pope you declared a saint. Accompanied everywhere by the adulation of the media and the roar of crowds, you seem heedless of Our Lord’s admonition: “Woe to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets.”

The situation has reached the point where a senior Vatican official, reflecting the concerns of Catholics of all ranks, was constrained to warn a world-renowned Catholic journalist that “This pontificate poses serious risks for the integrity of Catholic teaching in faith and morals.”

In agreement with this prelate, we are compelled before God publicly to declare in conscience that your pontificate can only be seen as a clear and present danger to the Church, a danger that seems to increase with each passing day. Indeed, the damaging effects of your pontificate are everywhere in evidence, with Catholics throughout the world now treating more and more dismissively the Church’s teachings on faith and morals, taking as their point of reference your own words and deeds—jubilantly trumpeted to the world by the media—rather than the infallible teaching of the Magisterium on faith and morals over the past 2,000 years.

Now, as you condemn the Church’s “hard line” on “moral rules” and proclaim a “revolution of tenderness,” we are faced with the imminent threat of unheard-of “gestures” of “mercy” that would undermine the moral edifice of the Church to the great harm of souls, whose salvation is at stake. Among these gestures would appear to be a post-synodal apostolic exhortation authorizing the admission of public adulterers to Holy Communion according to the judgment of individual bishops or episcopal conferences. This would mean nothing less than mass sacrilege, the practical destruction of the Church’s unity, the de facto abolition of the doctrine on mortal sin and the requirement of the state of grace for a sacramental life, the collapse of the Church’s moral teaching, and ultimately a surrender of her very claim to an infallible Magisterium. One has the sense of a nearly apocalyptic turn of events in the history of the Church.

We dare not judge your subjective motives or intentions concerning what you have said and done to the Church’s detriment in the course of a turbulent pontificate unlike any the Church has ever seen. But we cannot remain silent in the face of the objective harm the Church has already sustained, to the world’s endless praise for “the people’s pope,” or the further harm that now appears imminent.

To recall once again the words of your predecessor, a pope must exercise his power to “bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.” When a pope is unable or unwilling to pursue that end, when in fact he seems determined to act against it, would the Church not be better served if he relinquished the most august office of Vicar of Christ? Better this than to risk a fatal compromise of the Church’s doctrine and discipline, subverting 2,000 years of apostolic and ecclesiastical tradition and incurring, to quote the famous formula employed by Pope Saint Pius V, “the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

December 8, 2015
Feast of the Immaculate Conception

From today’s “The Remnant”

Modernity as the effort to destroy the Catholic Church

By Augustinus

What best characterizes the modern age? I would say that modernity is the age in which major military attempts are made to destroy the Roman Catholic Church.

Modernity is NOT characterized by “secularization” as most intellectuals seem to think. Just look at the rest of the world. Religion is growing everywhere. Hinduism is resurgent in India. Islam is growing in both numbers and militancy throughout the world. Eastern Orthodoxy is growing in both the Baltics and in Putin’s Russia. Judaism is alive and well and experiencing a rebirth in Israel. Charismatic forms of protestant Christianity are on the rise in both South America and Africa. Buddhism is experiencing massive growth in both its home countries and in the West.

The only religion that is on the defensive is Roman Catholic Christianity. That is because the one true church, the catholic church has been under concerted attack by the rest of the world religions ever since the dawn of the modern age. It began with the Protestant reformation.

When catholicism flowered during the Italian and Northern European renaissance, some people reacted with fear and envy rather than admiration, gratitude and reverence.  This fear and resentment against the Church-sponsored intellectual awakening and artistic flowering fueled a strong backlash against the church beginning with Luther in the North in what is now Germany–a territory where the Arian heresy lasted up to the middle ages. The Protestant “reformation” actually consisted of active military suppression and state terror against catholic communities in the newly minted protestant countries and military attacks against the Hapsburg Catholic territories.

The protestant wars against Catholicism issued in a stalemate but the protestant intellectuals had not given up.  Across western Europe protestant intellectuals began to paint the church as backward and superstitious and argued that Europe needed an enlightenment. The age of the enlightenment, however, involved extreme forms of persecution against Catholics across Europe (see especially Ireland and southern Germany) and the new country of America despite all its high flown rhetoric of religious freedom and toleration. The enlightenment also gave birth to the the French revolution with its rabid “anti-clericalism” which was really an outright assault on everything Catholic in France, Germany and Britain. The massacres of priests and nuns in these countries during the revolutionary period only slowed down but did not cease during the Napoleonic era. After Napoleon was defeated largely by Russian, Hapsburg and Catholic Polish forces, the anti-catholic legacy of the French revolution was taken up by the emerging communist movement until the uprisings of 1848 which once again involved bloody attacks against catholic communities throughout Europe. There was a brief period of respite during the latter half of the 19th century until the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 where we again note another series of attacks against the church including of course the orthodox church in Russia. World War I put an end to the catholic Hapsburg monarchy of  Europe and  then came the Nazis. All of these “movements” were virulently anti-Christian and specifically anti-Catholic. But none were able to destroy the Church. After the Nazis were defeated in World War II Vatican II occurred just 15 years later.

We are now faced a with a new array of forces out to destroy the church. The secular elites of the West, the heirs of the protestant intellectuals of past centuries, are now joined by a resurgent Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, charismatic protestantism and Hinduism. All are actively hostile to Roman catholicism. Only the eastern orthodox are not actively hostile though there are centuries of animosity there too.

This is the current situation facing the church today. Let he who has eyes to see, see.

This is the kind of leader we need here in the USA

By Augustinus

In Europe everyone thinks Marine LePen of France is a right winger. She has certainly opposed unbridled Muslim immigration into France and has criticized the socialist regime currently in charge in France but she relies on left-wing advisors, refuses to get married in the Church, and lives the kind of libertine lifestyle lauded by secular elites in the west–all this according to press reports out of France.

Marine’s niece however is a different story! Marion Marechal -LePen is still in her twenties but has won several elections and is poised to replace Marine as leader of the right of center National Front party in France. She appears to be a practicing Catholic. She makes the pilgrimage to Chartres each year; opposes abortion, meets with the country’s catholic bishops, insisted on marrying in Church, quotes Latin in debates with former Presidents of France, trounces those former presidents in those debates, polls high across among most constituencies in France and is universally regarded to be an extraordinarily smart politician–all this while still in her twenties!

The secular elites in Europe are worried about her! Check out this recent story:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/12035135/Marion-Marechal-Le-Pen-the-new-wonder-girl-of-Frances-far-right.html