Category Archives: Heresy

The Popes against Islam

by Augustinus

The Popes against Islam

Up until 30 years ago, the Popes have been the most consistent, most implacable and most effective enemies of Islam in history. The ancient Zoroastrian Persian emperors who had ruled most of the world until the advent of Islam folded under the onslaught of Islamic armies. The Byzantine emperors fought valiantly but failed. The Emperors of the western Holy Roman Empire, particularly the Hapsburg emperors, were consistently anti-Islam and led several successful struggles against Islamic armies—but they too were too often distracted with rivalries with other European powers to play a central role in the defeat of Islamic aggression against Europe. The Mongols battered Islam but they were weak ideologically and spiritually and so were ultimately either converted to Islam and just faded away into the mists of history. The Confucian Emperors of China were consistently anti-Islam but they were less threatened by Islamic armies than the rest of the world so they never had to confront Islam ideologically as did the rest of the world. The Hindu and Buddhist emperors in India have for centuries fought Islam but were too divided to prevent conquest and forced conversions of population in the North of India.

The only enemies Islam has never defeated are the Popes…at least until now.

Papal enmity against Islam began with the birth of Islam. They right at the beginning branded Islam a heresy and that has been the church’s position ever since. Gregory III (731-741) convinced Charles Martel to fight against invading Muslims at Tours (732). Without that victory Islam may have conquered France. Leo IV (847-855) himself fought at the battle of Ostia, saving Italy from Islam. Alexander II (1061-1073) funded the beginning of the reconquest of Spain. Urban II called for the crusade for the Holy Land at Clermont in 1095. Two hundred years of crusades would follow with many conquests by the West in the Holy Land but ultimate defeat due to internal divisions among European powers. There followed, from the 1300s to the 1800s, 500 years of repeated assaults of Islamic armies against Christendom. The climax of Islamic destruction of Christianity came with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Popes had worked feverishly to awaken Europe to come to the defense of the Byzantines –all to no avail. Nevertheless, the Popes began again to chalk up victories against Islam. Pius V (1566-1577) organized the resistance at the great naval battle of Lepanto and Innocent XI both funded and organized resistance at the great siege of Vienna (1683) and Innocent XIII did the same for the battle of Malta (1726-24). These 3 battles, Lepanto, Vienna and Malta literally saved Europe from becoming Muslim as the Ottomans finally began to decline militarily and ideologically.

The post Vatican II Popes have attempted to emphasize the good things about Islam (they venerate Mary for example) and to cultivate cordial relations with Islam. I think this is a terrible mistake. We all need to awaken to the mortal threat to Christianity that is Islam

Should there be separation of church and state?

By Augustinus

Across most of history religion was integral to the polis; to what we call today “political affairs”. It is only in the protestant west during the last 2 or 3 hundred years that protestant intellectuals have advocated separation of church and “state”. During the founding of the USA there were huge debates about “disestablishment” or whether each state would choose its own “established” church/religion. Inspired by the atheism of the French revolution Jeffersonian radicals in the USA won the debate over religion in the public sphere and so “separation of church and state” became settled constitutional doctrine in the USA.

The separation doctrine has never really worked that well because human beings are largely religious creatures. They don’t like leaving their religion behind when they enter the public sphere. The history of political conflicts within the USA since the founding has largely been fueled by intrusions of religion into politics. there would have been no civil war and no abolition of slavery without the abolitionist religious fanatics to cite just one example.

The only reason why the separation has SEEMED to work well for the USA in the last 200 years is because the only religions the state has had to deal with are the emasculated form of Christianity (i.e. protestantism); and a protestantizing form of catholicism (the “Americanist” heresy gained allegiance from most of the catholic bishops throughout the 20th century. Americanism was given new life by Vatican II and by similar anti-catholic trends in Europe in the 20th century.

These two forms of Christianity do not threaten the state as they are inherently statist themselves. When a religion casts away its identity markers such as distinctive dress, distinctive liturgical ceremonies, public processions, a distinctive calendar of commemorative days, religiously homogenous ghettos, neighborhoods or communities and so on …in short when a religion forfeits culture to the state the state has won and the religion will accommodate to the state’s liturgical feasts, the states commemorative calendar, the state’s values etc.

The separation doctrine, however, is on its last legs. It cannot survive the 21st century. Unlike the emasculated forms of Christianity that have existed in America until now Islam cannot and will not be assimilated into the modern state. Similarly the the left wing of the Catholic church which is the main supporter of the Americanist heresy is on its way out seeing its last gasp in the papacy of Pope Francis. In Europe and in Russia orthodox brands of religion are on the rise. You do not need whole populations to adopt orthodoxy for the orthodox to win. You only need a dedicated few like St Francis of Assisi who along with St Dominic largely saved the church in the 12 century just as St Ignatius and the jesuits saved the church after the reformation nearly destroyed it in the 16th and 17th centuries and St Benedict did after the fall of Rome and the dawn of the dark ages. It is the saints who save the church but saints who are also leaders who can organize and inspire other men with zeal.

3 prelates appeal to prayer:

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

“That Pope Francis may confirm the unchanging praxis of the Church with regard to the truth of the indissolubility of marriage”

Note: We were asked to promote the following text and prayer with you, our readers, and ask you and other media to please share it far and wide. It was written by Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana; Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda; and Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana:

Following the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, in some particular churches there were published norms for its application and interpretations whereby the divorced who have attempted civil marriage with a new partner, notwithstanding the sacramental bond by which they are joined to their legitimate spouse, are admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist without fulfilling the duty, established by God, of ceasing to violate the bond of their existing sacramental marriage.

Cohabitation more uxorio with a person who is not one’s legitimate spouse represents, at the same time, an offense to the Covenant of Salvation, of which sacramental marriage is a sign (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2384), and an offense to the nuptial character of the Eucharistic mystery itself. Pope Benedict XVI revealed such a correlation when he wrote: “The Eucharist inexhaustibly strengthens the indissoluble unity and love of every Christian marriage. By the power of the sacrament, the marriage bond is intrinsically linked to the Eucharistic unity of Christ the Bridegroom and his Bride, the Church (cf. Eph. 5:31-32)” (Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, 27).

Pastors of the Church who tolerate or authorize, even in individual or exceptional cases,  the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist by the divorced and so-called “remarried,” without their being clothed in the “wedding garment,” despite the fact that God himself has prescribed it in Sacred Scripture (cf. Matt. 22:11 and 1 Cor. 11:28-29) as the necessary requirement for worthy participation in the nuptial Eucharistic supper, such pastors are complicit in this way with a continual offense against the sacramental bond of marriage, the nuptial bond between Christ and the Church and the nuptial bond between Christ and the individual soul who receives his Eucharistic Body.

Several particular Churches have issued or recommended pastoral guidelines with this or a similar formulation: “If then this choice [of living in continence] is difficult to practice for the stability of the couple, Amoris laetitia does not exclude the possibility of access to Penance and the Eucharist. That signifies something of an openness, as in the case where there is a moral certainty that the first marriage was null, but there are not the necessary proofs for demonstrating such in the judicial process. Therefore, there is no reason why the confessor, at a certain point, in his own conscience, after much prayer and reflection, should not assume the responsibility before God and the penitent asking that the sacraments be received in a discreet manner.”

The previously mentioned pastoral guidelines contradict the universal tradition of the Catholic Church, which by means of an uninterrupted Petrine Ministry of the Sovereign Pontiffs has always been faithfully kept, without any shadow of doubt or of ambiguity, either in its doctrine or its praxis, in that which concerns the indissolubility of marriage.

The norms mentioned and pastoral guidelines contradict moreover in practice the following truths and doctrines that the Catholic Church has continually taught as being sure:

The observance of the Ten Commandments of God, and in particular the Sixth Commandment, binds every human person, without exception, always and in every situation. In this matter, one cannot admit individual or exceptional cases or speak of a fuller ideal. St Thomas Aquinas says: “The precepts of the Decalogue embody the intention of the legislator, that is God. Therefore, the precepts of the Decalogue permit no dispensation” (Summa theol. 1-2, q.100, a.8c).

The moral and practical demands, which derive from the Ten Commandments of God, and in particular from the indissolubility of marriage, are not simple norms or positive laws of the Church, but an expression of the holy will of God. Consequently, one cannot speak in this respect of the primacy of the person over the norm or the law, but one must rather speak of the primacy of the will of God over the will of the sinful human person, in such a way that this person is saved, by fulfilling the will of God with the help of his grace.

To believe in the indissolubility of marriage and to contradict it by one’s own actions while at the same time considering oneself even being free from grave sin and calming one’s conscience by trusting in God’s mercy alone, represents a self-deception against which Tertullian, a witness to the faith and practice of the Church of the first centuries warned:  “Some say that for God it is sufficient that one accepts his will in one’s heart and soul, even if one’s actions do not correspond to this: in this manner they think themselves able to sin while maintaining the integrity of the principle of faith and fear of God: in this way, it is absolutely the same as if one attempted to maintain the principle of chastity, while violating and breaking the holiness and integrity of the matrimonial bond” (Tertullian, De poenitentia 5,10).

The observance of the Commandments of God and in particular of the indissolubility of marriage cannot be presented as a fuller expression of an ideal towards which one should strive in accordance with the criterion of the good which is possible or achievable. It is rather the case of an obligation which God himself has unequivocally commanded, the non-observance of which, in accordance with his Word, carries the penalty of eternal damnation. To say to the faithful the contrary would seem to signify misleading them or encouraging them to disobey the will of God, and in such way endangering their eternal salvation.

God gives to every man assistance in the observance of his Commandments, when such a request is properly made, as the Church has infallibly taught: “God does not command that which is impossible, but in commanding he exhorts you to do that which you are able, and to ask for that which you cannot do, and so he assists you that you might be able to do it” (Council of Trent, session 6, chapter 11) and “and if someone says that even for the man who has been justified and established in grace  the commandments of God are impossible to observe: let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, session 6, canon 18.) Following this infallible doctrine, St John Paul II taught: “Keeping God’s law in particular situations can be difficult, extremely difficult, but it is never impossible. This is the constant teaching of the Church’s tradition” (Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 102) and “All husbands and wives are called in marriage to holiness, and this lofty vocation is fulfilled to the extent that the human person is able to respond to God’s command with serene confidence in God’s grace and in his or her own will” (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 34).

The sexual act outside of a valid marriage, and in particular adultery, is always objectively gravely sinful and no circumstance and no reason can render it admissible or pleasing in the sight of God. St Thomas Aquinas says that the Sixth Commandment obliges even in the case where an act of adultery could save a country from tyranny (De Malo, q.15, a.1, ad. 5). St John Paul II taught this perennial truth of the Church: “The negative moral precepts, those prohibiting certain concrete actions or kinds of behaviour as intrinsically evil, do not allow for any legitimate exception. They do not leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the “creativity” of any contrary determination whatsoever. Once the moral species of an action prohibited by a universal rule is concretely recognized, the only morally good act is that of obeying the moral law and of refraining from the action which it forbids” (Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 67).

The adulterous union of those who are civilly divorced and “remarried,” “consolidated,” as they say, over time and characterized by a so-called “proven fidelity” in the sin of adultery, cannot change the moral quality of their act of violation of the sacramental bond of marriage, that is, of their adultery, which remains always an intrinsically evil act. A person who has the true faith and a filial fear of God can never be “understanding” towards acts which are intrinsically evil, as are sexual acts outside of a valid marriage, since these acts are offensive to God.

The admission of the divorced and “remarried” to Holy Communion constitutes in practice an implicit dispensation from the observance of the Sixth Commandment. No ecclesiastical authority has the power to concede such an implicit dispensation in a single case, or in an exceptional or complex situation or with the goal of achieving a good end (as in example the education of the children born of an adulterous union) invoking for such a concession the principle of mercy, or the “via caritatis,” or the maternal care of the Church or affirming not to want to impose many conditions to mercy. St Thomas Aquinas said: “In no circumstances should a person commit adultery (pro nulla enim utilitate debet aliquis adulterium committere)” (De Malo, q.15, a.1, ad. 5).

A norm which permits the violation of the Sixth Commandment of God and of the sacramental matrimonial bond only in a single case or in exceptional cases, presumably to avoid a general change to the canonical norm, nonetheless always signifies a contradiction of the truth and of the will of God. Consequently, it is psychologically out of place and theologically erroneous to speak in this case of a restrictive norm or of a lesser evil in contrast with the general norm.

A valid marriage of the baptized is a sacrament of the Church and of its nature has a public character. A subjective judgment of the conscience in relation to the invalidity of one’s own marriage, in contrast to the corresponding definitive judgment of an ecclesiastical tribunal, cannot bring consequences for sacramental discipline, since the sacramental discipline always has a public character.

The Church, and specifically the minister of the sacrament of Penance, does not have the faculty to judge on the state of conscience of an individual member of the faithful or on the rectitude of the intention of the conscience, since “ecclesia de occultis non iudicat” (Council of Trent, session 24, chapter 1). The minister of the sacrament of Penance is consequently not the vicar or representative of the Holy Spirit, able to enter with His light in the innermost recesses of the conscience, since God has reserved such access to the conscience strictly to himself: “sacrarium in quo homo solus est cum Deo” (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et spes, 16). The confessor cannot arrogate to himself the responsibility before God and before the penitent, of implicitly dispensing him from the observance of the Sixth Commandment and of the indissolubility of the matrimonial bond by admitting him to Holy Communion. The Church does not have the faculty to derive consequences for the external forum of sacramental discipline on the basis of a presumed conviction of conscience of the invalidity of one’s own marriage in the internal forum.

A practice which permits to those who have a civil divorce, the so called “remarried,” to receive the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, notwithstanding their intention to continue to violate the Sixth Commandment and their sacramental bond of matrimony in the future, would be contrary to Divine truth and alien to the perennial sense of the Catholic Church, to the proven custom, received and faithfully kept from the time of the Apostles and more recently confirmed in a sure manner by St John Paul II (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 84) and by Pope Benedict XVI (cf Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, 29).

The practice mentioned would be for every rational and sensible person an evident rupture with the perennial and Apostolic practice of the Church and would therefore not represent a development in continuity. In the face of such a fact, no argument would be valid: contra factum non valet argumentum. Such a pastoral practice would be a counter-witness to the indissolubility of marriage and a kind of collaboration on the part of the Church in the propagation of the “plague of divorce,” which the Vatican Council II warned against (cf. Gaudium et spes, 47).

The Church teaches by means of what she does, and she has to do what she teaches. With relation to the pastoral action concerning those in irregular unions, St John Paul II said: “The aim of pastoral action will be to make these people understand the need for consistency between their choice of life and the faith that they profess, and to try to do everything possible to induce them to regularize their situation in the light of Christian principle. While treating them with great charity and bringing them into the life of the respective communities, the pastors of the Church will regrettably not be able to admit them to the sacraments” (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 82).

An authentic accompaniment of persons who find themselves in an objective state of grave sin and on a corresponding journey of pastoral discernment cannot fail to announce to such people, in all charity, the complete will of God, in such a way that they repent wholeheartedly of their sinful actions of living more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. At the same time, an authentic accompaniment and pastoral discernment must encourage them, with the help of God’s grace, not to commit such acts in the future. The Apostles and the entire Church throughout two millennia have always announced to mankind the whole truth concerning the Sixth Commandment and the indissolubility of marriage, following the admonition of St Paul the Apostle: “I did not shrink from the responsibility of announcing to you the complete will of God” (Acts 20:27).

The pastoral praxis of the Church concerning Marriage and the sacrament of the Eucharist has such an importance and such decisive consequences for the faith and the life of the faithful, that the Church, in order to remain faithful to the revealed Word of God, must avoid in this matter any shadow of doubt and confusion. St John Paul II formulated this perennial truth of the Church thus: “With this reminder of the doctrine and the law of the church I wish to instill into everyone the lively sense of responsibility which must guide us when we deal with sacred things like the sacraments, which are not our property, or like consciences, which have a right not to be left in uncertainty and confusion. The sacraments and consciences, I repeat, are sacred, and both require that we serve them in truth. This is the reason for the Church’s law” (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 33).

Notwithstanding repeated declarations concerning the immutability of the teaching of the Church concerning divorce, several particular churches nowadays accept divorce in their sacramental practice, and the phenomenon is growing. Only the voice of the Supreme Pastor of the Church can definitively impede a situation where in the future, the Church of our time is described with the following expression: “All the world groaned and noticed with amazement that it has in practice accepted divorce” (ingenuit totus orbis et divortium in praxi se accepisse miratus est), evoking an analogous saying by which St Jerome described the Arian crisis.

Given this very real danger and the widespread plague of divorce within the life of the Church, which is implicitly legitimized by the mentioned norms and applications of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia; given that the aforementioned norms and guidelines from some particular churches as a result of today’s global culture are in the public domain; given, furthermore, the ineffectiveness of numerous appeals made privately and in a discreet manner to Pope Francis both by many faithful and by some Shepherds of the Church, we are forced to make this urgent appeal to prayer. As successors of the Apostles, we are also moved by the obligation of raising our voices when the most sacred things of the Church and the matter of eternal salvation of souls are in question.

May the following words, with which St John Paul II described the unjust attacks against the faithfulness of the Church’s Magisterium, be a light for all pastors of the Church in these difficult times and encourage them to act in an increasingly united manner: “The Church’s Magisterium is often chided for being behind the times and closed to the promptings of the spirit of modern times, and for promoting a course of action which is harmful to humanity, and indeed to the Church herself. By obstinately holding to her own positions, it is said, the Church will end up losing popularity, and more and more believers will turn away from her” (Letter to families, Gratissimam sane, 12).

Considering that the admission of the divorced and so-called “remarried” to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, without requiring of them the obligation to live in continence, constitutes a danger for the faith and for the salvation of souls and furthermore constitutes an offense to the holy will of God; furthermore, taking into consideration that such pastoral practice can never be the expression of mercy, of the “via caritatis” or of the maternal sense of the Church towards souls that are sinning, we make with profound pastoral solicitude this urgent appeal to prayer that Pope Francis may revoke in an unequivocal manner the aforementioned pastoral guidelines which are already introduced in several particular churches. Such an act of the Visible Head of the Church would comfort the shepherds and the faithful of the Church, according to the mandate which Christ, the Supreme Shepherd of souls, has given to the Apostle Peter, and through him to all his successors: “Confirm your brethren!” (Luke 22:32).

May the following words of a holy Pope and of St Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church, be a light and a comfort for all in the Church of our days:

“Error when not resisted, is accepted. Truth, which is not defended, is oppressed” (Pope St Felix III, +492). “Holy Father, God has elected you in the Church, so that you might be an instrument for the stamping out of heresy, the confounding of lies, the exaltation of the Truth, the dissipation of darkness and the manifestation of light” (St Catherine of Siena, +1380).

When Pope Honorius I (625 – 638) adopted an ambiguous attitude towards the spreading of the new heresy of Monothelitism, Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent a bishop from Palestine to Rome, saying to him the following words: “Go to the Apostolic See, where are the foundations of holy doctrine, and do not cease to pray till the Apostolic See condemn the new heresy.” The condemnation occurred in 649 through the holy pope and martyr Martin I.

We make this appeal to prayer conscious that our failure to do so would have been a serious omission. Christ, the Truth and the Supreme Shepherd, will judge us when He appears. We ask Him, with humility and confidence, to reward all the shepherds and all the sheep with the imperishable crown of glory (cf. 1 Pet. 5:4).

In the spirit of faith and with filial and devout affection we raise our prayer for Pope Francis:

“Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam Meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam.”

As a concrete means we recommend to recite every day this ancient prayer of the Church or a part of the holy rosary in the intention that Pope Francis may revoke in an unequivocal manner those pastoral guidelines, which permit the divorced and so-called “remarried” to receive the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist without asking them to fulfil the obligation of a life in continence.

18 January 2017, the ancient feast of the Chair of Saint Peter in Rome

+ Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

+ Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

See more at: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/01/3-prelates-appeal-to-prayer-that-pope.html#more

Its worse than you think

By Augustinus

Acolytes of Pope Francis apparently do not believe that the church is in crisis. Like the Pope himself they apparently believe that further accommodations to fallen humankind and the world are in order all in the name of mercy, inclusion and understanding. The acolytes of Pope Francis tend to be better Christians than the opponents of Pope Francis at least in one respect: they are more forgiving of anyone who is accorded the sacred status of “victim”. If on the other hand a group or individual is given the label rigid” or conservative or reactionary, well then no quarter is given, nor mercy, nor understanding, nor inclusion. The opponents of Pope Francis, however, are little better. They at least see that the church is in severe crisis but they erroneously attribute the crisis to the legacy of Vatican II or to the long term effects of the reformation and the gradual adoption of the modernist heresy by western elites and then by most of the laity in the church.

Just as the French revolution ushered in the political vocabulary of progressive and reactionary, liberal vs conservative, right and left so too factions in the church battle it out interminably over all kinds of issues but always within the terms of the debate set originally at the French revolution….and thus the opposing sides never settle anything and never get anywhere.

To truly understand the seriousness of the crisis the church finds itself in at the present moment one needs to let go of seeing the world in terms of right and left, liberal and conservative, progressive and reactionary etc and instead see the world and the church as it really is.

If we turn our backs on the interminable and petty name calling between the liberals and the conservatives in the church we can then engage seriously with the theology of the church.  Due to the nature of their calling theologians can sometimes see history and the church in a clearer light than can the clergy and laity who are trapped in a historical moment. Real theologians are however few and far between especially in the modern era. They tend to want to follow the herd of academics to curry favor with the zeitgest and the state and other idols. Nevertheless, they have to contend with the eternal truths of the creed and that tend to force them to keep one foot in reality whenever considering the church in the world and the present historical moment.

When we look at the theological work in ecclesiology or the theory of the church in the world we of course find a lot of garbage and nonsense but we also find true gems that allow us to gauge the current crisis of the church and what to do about it.

The church is composed of several pillars: the Petrine pillar composes the papacy and magisterium and is suppose to safeguard basic dogmatic residua of the tradition. The Pauline pillar safeguards  and promotes the work of spirit in upbuilding of the body of Christ. The Jamesian pillar safeguards the dogma of the sacrifice of Christ and builds up the priesthood, the clergy and bishops. The Johannine pillar safeguards mystical and dogmatic traditions around christology, the Eucharist and the mystical marriage of Christ and Church. The Thomasian tradition safeguards the secret christian gnosis and the marriage of reason and faith that is the essence of christianity. The  Lazarus tradition safeguards traditions around easter and the resurrection. And finally the Marian tradition safeguards the purity of the church and works against heresy –the giving birth of monsters.

In the past history of the church you might have one or tow of these pillars not given due attention. For example while the era of the church fathers gave due weight to the petrine, pauline, jamesian, johannine and marian pillars the thomasian and lazaran traditions were not given due weight. In the middle ages the pauline, johannine and lazaran pillars were neglected. During the reformation the pauline tradition was emphasized by the protestant sects to the neglect of all other traditions/pillars. In the modern era ALL pillars are under severe attack.

Guardini’s “End of the modern world”

by Augustinus

A favorite book of all of post world war II Popes right up to Benedict and Francis has been Romano Guardini’s “The End of the Modern World” written by Guardini during the second world war but first published in America in 1956.  In that prophetic work Guardini goes through the list of theories concerning the modern world, as it was exemplified in the mass slaughters of the 20th century. Those slaughters were caused by the modern heresies of capitalism, communism, fascism and Islamism but Guardini argues that we cannot understand those slaughters or the modern condition with all the old theories….History is not some gradual decline from a golden age like the philosophies of India and of the ancient world contended. History is also not the narrative favored by modern liberals of gradual progress and emancipation rooted in science and technology. History is not cyclic and it is not merely a “nightmare from which I am trying to awake” as Stephen Daedelus exclaimed in James Joyce’s Ulysses. All these common understandings of where the world is going are incorrect according to Guardini. Instead the modern world we find ourselves in is in utter discontinuity with anything experienced by human beings in the past. We are as a species embarked on something completely new and there are as of yet no categories that can capture the great rupture that began in the 20th century.

Even the traditional Christian view of history will need deepening (not revision or “updating”). The Christian view of history involves a pivot point that occurred 2000 years ago in Palestine with the birth of Christ and then the scandal of the Cross and then a long period of expectant hope, based on the resurrection and the looking forward to the final revelation. While these dogmatic truths remain true in our current situation, most nominal Christian no longer believe these truths. Instead they have bought into one of the 20th century heresies. Yet it is these and other dogmatic truths of the Catholic church that will give us the categories to understand what is occurring to human beings in the modern era.

We live now, according to Guardini, in the era of the mass man; a frightening creature who knows more and more about less and less and into whose hands are concentrated enormous powers. Science has delivered Nature into the hands of the anonymous mass man-an utter mediocrity who because of the heresies he is taught in schools and via media is capable of the greatest crimes—all the while believing that he is serving “progress” or “emancipation” of some kind. A single individual infected with heresy who acts from the mass can press the button on a nuclear device or release into the air a pathogen that will annihilate hundreds of millions of people. Science and ‘democracy” and capitalism has delivered into the hands of the imbecilic mass man these and other awesome powers.

Needless to say the anonymous mass crushes true individuality and excellence which can only come about when the individual is oriented to God and Church. But Guardini does not merely catalogue the horrors of the mass man. Instead he asks what should the church do given this is what we have to work with? It as if the Church now has to develop a ministry or theology for working with autistic savants only because modern education is designed to create mere mediocrities who can nevertheless crunch numbers competently in a huge corporate or government bureaucracy. The imbecilic mass man has immense technical skills but no wisdom. Each individual is therefore a truncated individual with hypertrophied tech skills and absolutely no spiritual awareness. Or better his spiritual awareness is driven only by one of the modern heresies that accommodate the mass man: Islamism, democracy, capitalism, progressivism, liberalism or communism etc…

What happens to the church is such as mass society?  True doctrine and true belief begins to disappear. The church will need to respond to the rapid decline of true belief: “The rapid advance of a non- Christian ethos will be crucial for the Christian sensibility. As unbelievers deny revelation more decisively–as they put their denial into more frequent practice it will become more evident what it really means to be Christian…”

“Christianity will once again need to prove itself deliberately as a faith which is not self-evident; it will be forced to distinguish itself more sharply from a dominantly non-Christian ethos. At that juncture the theological significance of dogma will begin a fresh advance…I emphasize its absoluteness, its unconditional demands and affirmations. Dogma in its very nature surmounts the march of time because it is rooted in eternity….In this manner the Faith will maintain itself against animosity and danger.”

In order to withstand the onslaught of dehumanizing heresies thrown at the church from all sides the thing that will save the church is its reliance and its adherence to the ancient and ex cathedra defined dogmas. In addition, since human beings cannot live long without these life affirming dogmas the culture of the unbeliever will begin to die out. He with then flail about looking for anything but those dogmas to generate meaning and culture.

“At the same time the unbeliever will emerge from the fogs of secularism. He will eventually cease to reap benefits from the values and forces developed by the very revelation he denies. He will have to lean to exist honestly without Christ and without the God revealed through him. He will have to learn to experience what this honesty means…The last decades (meaning the world wars) have suggested what life without Christ really is. The last decades are only the beginning…”

The modern man is really a child who nonetheless has access to nuclear weapons. So how does the church deal with this situation. The church needs to be there to offer to mass man the old dogmas thus giving him an alternative to the heresies which will only lead to mass slaughters again.

Guardini claims that aside from the horrors of mass man the phenomena of mass man points to the need for a new theology and a new ‘personalism’ that can lead mass man away from the lure of the heresies. The new person has to be born out of the mass man. Indeed mass man makes possible the birth of the new person: “The new “Person” is destined to stand forth with a spiritual resoluteness never demanded of man before. Strangely the very mass which carries the dangers of totalitarianism also offer the fullest range of spiritual maturity to the new human person. Such a challenge demands an inner freedom and strength of character which we can scarcely conceive. Nothing else however can withstand the powers of anonymity which grow more immense day by day.”

 

The modernist heresy and the populist revolt

By Augustinus

Ever since Brexit, in Britain, the Italian referendum vote last week, the many polls showing the rennaisance of the Catholic right in France and Germany and now the Trump victory here in the states, there have been many analyses of what is happening in the west these days. Some say that all of these events represent a kind of populist revolt whipped up artificially by demogogic politicians using hate speech to corral the votes. Others say the populist revolt is real and would have happened without demogogic politicians because of the ravages causes by globalization on populations in every country throughout the world. Globalization has meant that the super-rich get richer and most of the rest of the world’s population gets immiserated. The only thing that interrupts this inevitable dialectic imposed on us by the neo-liberal elite (and embodied by the Clintons and the Obamas) is the occassional world economic collapse like we saw in 2008.

While there absolutely is a large scale reaction against the neo-liberal order going on across the world (as evidenced by the Sander’s campaign on the left and the Trump campaign on the right), I do not think that this analysis of the current political moment captures the whole story. Most especially I am interested in what the present political moment means for the Church.

When people rebel against globalization and the neo-liberal order with its identity politics, its politically-correct thought control police, its creation of “sacred victims” everywhere you look (from gays and lesbians to blacks and muslims etc), its promotion of abortion and pornography with the concomitant suicide of the west, its promotion of constant apologies for what the west supposedly inflicted on sacred victims and the constant war on religion, and the elevation of scientists as the new clerical order etc etc…I say when people rebel against all this …in my view they are rebelling against heresy. Therefore the so-called populist revolt is really a revolt against heresy.  These practices and ideologies are all legacies of the French revolution and then of the various incarnations of Marxist philosophy. They can all be conveniently referred to as modernism or the modernist heresy.

The populist moment then represents a kind of general revulsion or rejection of the bill of goods being sold to ordinary people over the last few centuries of “enlightenment”. When ordinary people living in southern France in the middle ages came across the Albigensians or the Cathari they were both impressed and repulsed by them. They were impressed by them because these fanatics were clearly intelligent, good people. The problem was that they were clearly insane. They urged everyone to stop reproducing because they saw the world as entirely evil. Yet they practiced free love and despised marriage. They practiced abortion while counseling abstinence. They accumulated wealth while preaching voluntary and literal starvation so one could leave this vale of tears and so on. The Cathari women were given the political and religious power so the women basically ran the cult.

I think people today see the left-wing ideologues, the social-justice warriors so commonly produced by our universities today exactly as ordinary people in the middle ages saw the Cathari. There is a mixture of admiration concerning their fanatical passion to fight injustice and to stop all hate speech and protect all victims and so on…and then repulsion at the fanaticism and the effeminate hatred of the world and the worldly things of the flesh. just as their was an overt suicidal ideology at the heart fo the Cathari heresy, so too there is an overt suicidal ideology at the heart of the leftist ideology. The left sees the West as the source of all evil in the world and the Church as the source of the West. Thus, there is an almost fanatical hatred of the Church among “progressives” and other leftists in the West.

The Cathari Albigensian heresy contributed to the ideologies that the French philosophes picked up on and that then fueled the French revolution. It is an old story…gnosticism in new guises. That is what modernism is–a world-hating, effeminate gnostic ideology. And that is what the populations around the world are reacting to. they are rejecting on a mass scale the old gnostic heresy in its most recent incarnation in the ideologies of the neo-liberal elite.

Just In This Morning…

This just posted on the awesome blog “1Peter5“:

“A Grave and Pressing Duty”: Statement of Support for the Four Cardinals’ Dubia

We [the blog 1Peter5] received the following statement of support for the four cardinals’ dubia this morning. It has been signed by various pastors, theologians, and scholars from around the world.


As Catholic scholars and pastors of souls, we wish to express our profound gratitude and full support for the courageous initiative of four members of the College of Cardinals, Their Eminences Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Leo Burke, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner. As has been widely publicized, these cardinals have formally submitted five dubia to Pope Francis, asking him to clarify five fundamental points of Catholic doctrine and sacramental discipline, the treatment of which in Chapter 8 of the recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) appears to conflict with Scripture and/or Tradition and the teaching of previous papal documents – notably Pope St. John Paul II’s Encyclical Veritatis Splendor and his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. Pope Francis has so far declined to answer the four cardinals; but since they are in effect asking him whether the above weighty magisterial documents still require our full assent, we think that the Holy Father’s continued silence may open him to the charge of negligence in the exercise of the Petrine duty of confirming his brethren in the faith.

Several prominent prelates have been sharply critical of the four cardinals’ submission, but without shedding any light on their pertinent and searching questions. We have read attempts to interpret the apostolic exhortation within a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ by Christoph Cardinal Schӧnborn and Professor Rocco Buttiglione; but we find that they fail to demonstrate their central claim that the novel elements found in AL do not endanger divine law, but merely envisage legitimate changes in pastoral practice and ecclesiastical discipline.

Indeed, a number of commentators, notably Professor Claudio Pierantoni in an extensive new historical-theological study, have argued that as a result of the widespread confusion and disunity following the promulgation of AL, the universal Church is now entering a gravely critical moment in her history that shows alarming similarities with the great Arian crisis of the fourth century. During that catastrophic conflict the great majority of bishops, including even the Successor of Peter, vacillated over the very divinity of Christ. Many did not fully lapse into heresy; however, disarmed by confusion or weakened by timidity, they sought convenient compromise formulae in the interests of “peace” and “unity”. Today we are witnessing a similar metastasizing crisis, this time over fundamental aspects of Christian living. Continued lip service is given to the indissolubility of marriage, the grave objective sinfulness of fornication, adultery and sodomy, the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, and the terrible reality of mortal sin. But in practice, increasing numbers of highly placed prelates and theologians are undermining or effectively denying these dogmas – and indeed, the very existence of exceptionless negative prohibitions in the divine law governing sexual conduct – by virtue of their exaggerated or one-sided emphasis on “mercy”, “pastoral accompaniment”, and “mitigating circumstances”.

With the reigning Pontiff now sounding a very uncertain trumpet in this battle against the ‘principalities and powers’ of the Enemy, the barque of Peter is drifting perilously like a ship without a rudder, and indeed, shows symptoms of incipient disintegration. In such a situation, we believe that all Successors of the Apostles have a grave and pressing duty to speak out clearly and strongly in confirmation of the moral teachings clearly expounded in the magisterial teachings of previous popes and the Council of Trent. Several bishops and another cardinal have already said they find the five dubia opportune and appropriate. We ardently hope, and fervently pray, that many more of them will now endorse publicly not only the four cardinals’ respectful request that Peter’s Successor confirm his brethren in these five points of the faith “delivered once and for all to the saints” (Jude 3), but also Cardinal Burke’s recommendation that if the Holy Father fails to do so, the cardinals then collectively approach him with some form of fraternal correction, in the spirit of Paul’s admonition to his fellow apostle Peter at Antioch (cf. Gal. 2:11).

We entrust this grave problem to the care and heavenly intercession of Mary Immaculate, Mother of the Church and Vanquisher of all heresies.

December 8, 2016, Feast of the Immaculate Conception

(Signed):

 

Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carambula, STD, JD

Chaplain and Faculty Member of the Roman Forum

 

Rev. Claude Barthe,

France

 

Dr. Robert Beddard, MA (Oxon et Cantab), D.Phil (Oxon)

Fellow emeritus and former Vice Provost of Oriel College Oxford.

 

Carlos A. Casanova Guerra

Doctor of Philosophy, Full Professor,

Universidad Santo Tomás, Santiago de Chile

 

Salvatore J. Ciresi MA

Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College

Director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild

 

Luke Gormally, PhL

Director Emeritus, The Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (1981-2000)

Sometime Research Professor, Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan (2001-2007)

Ordinary Member, The Pontifical Academy for Life

 

Rev. Brian W. Harrison OS, MA, STD

Associate Professor of Theology (retired), Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; Scholar-in-Residence, Oblates of Wisdom Study Center, St. Louis, Missouri

 

Rev. John Hunwicke, MA (Oxon.)

Former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford; Priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham; Member, Roman Forum

 

Peter A. Kwasniewski PhD (Philosophy)

Professor, Wyoming Catholic College

 

Rev. Dr. Dr Stephen Morgan

Academies Conversion Project Leader & Oeconomus

Diocese of Portsmouth

 

Don Alfredo Morselli STL

Parish priest of the Archdiocese of Bologna

 

Rev. Richard A. Munkelt PhD (Philosophy)

Chaplain and Faculty Member, Roman Forum

 

Rev. John Osman MA, STL

Parish priest in the archdiocese of Birmingham,

former Catholic chaplain to the University of Cambridge

 

Dr Paolo Pasqualucci

Professor of Philosophy (retired),

University of Perugia

 

Dr Claudio Pierantoni

Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile

Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Member of the International Association of Patristic Studies

 

Dr John C. Rao D.Phil (Oxon.)

Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University (NYC)

Chairman, Roman Forum

 

Dr Nicholas Richardson. MA, DPhil (Oxon.)

Fellow emeritus and Sub-Warden of Merton College, Oxford

and former Warden of Greyfriars, Oxford.

 

Dr Joseph Shaw MA, DPhil (Oxon.) FRSA

Senior Research Fellow (Philosophy) at St Benet’s Hall,

Oxford University

 

Dr Anna M. Silvas FAHA,

Adjunct research fellow, University of New England,

Armidale, NSW, Australia.

 

Michael G. Sirilla PhD

Director of Graduate Theology,

Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

 

Professor Dr Thomas Stark

Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Benedikt XVI, Heiligenkreuz

 

Rev.  Glen Tattersall

Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, Archdiocese of Melbourne

Rector, St Aloysius’ Church, Melbourne

 

Rev. Dr David Watt STL, PhD (Cantab.)

Priest of the Archdiocese of Perth

Chaplain, St Philomena’s chapel, Malaga

Visit them at:

http://www.onepeterfive.com/

Fr. Z In Consideration Of Catholic Snowflakes

This from Father Zuhlsdorf’s site today! It is awesome!

6 Dec – St Nicholas: SNOWFLAKE ALERT! NOT A “SAFE SPACE”!

soumela_nicaea_nicholas slaps ariusWARNING SNOWFLAKES!

This blog is NOT a Safe Space for you!  This post, especially, is NOT a Safe Space for you.

You know which sites you can go to to be affirmed and unchallenged by anything truly Catholic.  Please go to one of them NOW.

The Management

_____

There arrived in my email today an interesting study in contrasts, which I gave a bit more attention and detail.

Missale Romanum 1962:

Deus, qui beatum Nicolaum Pontificem innumeris decorasti miraculis: tribue, quaesumus; ut, eius meritis et precibus, a gehennae incendiis liberemur.

O God, Who didst adorn blessed Nicholas, the bishop, with miracles unnumbered, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayer we may be delivered from the fire of hell.

What’s this prayers pedigree?

16_12_06_Nicholas

Meanwhile, the experts of the Consilium, dedicated to turning every Mass – sorry… “liturgy” – into a Safe Space to make Catholics into Tender Snowflakes…

Missale Romanum 2002 (new composition for the Novus Ordo):

Misericordiam tuam, Domine, supplices imploramus, et, beati Nicholai episcopi interveniente suffragio, nos in omnibus custodi periculis, ut via salutis nobis pateat expedita.

We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas that the way of salvation may lie open before us.

Interesting choice, no?   Let’s water down the Four Last Things.

Our brothers in the Anglican Use surely took the following from the Book of Common Prayer, which in turn mined the Roman Missal

New “Anglican Use” Missal  

“O God, who didst adorn thy blessed Bishop Saint Nicholas with power to work many and great miracles: grant, we beseech thee; that by his prayers and merits, we may be delivered from the fires of everlasting torment.”

They got it right.

nicholas arius deck the hallsToday we are facing something rather like the Arian crisis in the 4th century.

Think about it this way.  There are a lot of people – more and more – going over to the position that Christ simply got it wrong about indissolubility of marriage (Kasperites).  That means that He wasn’t divine, right?  Moreover, these same people are reducing Holy Communion to a token of affirmation in the comfortable club we all more or less belong to.  What does that say for their belief in the divinity of the Lord?

The questions which are being hotly debated today go waaaaay beyond mere considerations of Communion for one group of sinners in hard cases (the divorced and civilly remarried).  The questions go ultimately to:  Who is Jesus Christ?

In the early centuries of the Church this question had to be settled by the Council of Nicea.  There were those who, following the heretical proposition of the priest Arius, believed that Christ was not divine as the Father is divine, that Christ was the greatest of creatures.

According to some accounts, during the heated debate of the Council the bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas, struck Arius across the face. Apocryphal or not, an exaggeration over time of a lesser micro-aggression or not, you have to admire the bishop’s zeal. After all, Arianism was not a small deal. They weren’t having a disagreement over the translation of a liturgical Collect. They were debating an issue which had torn apart the Church to the point the the Emperor Constantine had to intervene for the sake of civic unity.

The apocryphal story of Nicholas belting Arius in the chops continued. Nicholas, for his infraction, was taken to Constantine, divested of his episcopal garb and locked up. This is why Nicholas is sometimes in art not depicted with a miter, etc. During the night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and gave him an omophorion, the Eastern style of today’s pallium. When in the morning he was thus found clothed as a bishop, he was reinstated.

Nicholas-Icon-Meme-heretics

Dubia from the four cardinals

By Augustinus

The Dean of the Roman Rota (a Pope Francis appointee) recently publicly threatened to demote the four cardinals (Cardinal Burke among them) who requested that Pope Francis clarify the Church’s position on divorce and the family as laid out in Pope Francis’ summary Amoris Laetitia, of the recent synod on these issues. These kinds of thuggish threats are becoming more frequent in Francis’ papacy thus calling into question Francis’ judgment. Francis’ has also done himself no credit by not condemning Fidel Castro’s memory after the death of the tyrant and mass murderer this past week. Like many South American leftists Pope Francis may harbor some romantic conceptions of the madman Castro; which again calls into question Francis’ judgment.

If Pope Francis takes any kind of legal action to silence the four cardinals it would mark a turning point in the Francis papacy–the point where it permanently went off the rails into heresy.

Political theology

By Augustinus

How does one read the sign of the times? While I feel that the election of Trump to the presidency was a good thing (given that it was a repudiation of the totalitarian mindset associated with the effeminate political correctness mania sweeping the land), there were and are very smart, good, orthodox Catholics who supported Clinton (including our own Mr Shields); despite her clear facilitation of the abortion rights movement and half a dozen ions/other positions/things she advocated that merit automatic excommunication from the Church. Look at the “Catholic” politicians she surrounded herself with …from Kaine her running mate to Vice President Biden, to Secretary of State John Kerry to John Podesta and Nancy Pelosi. All catholics but all at odds with basic teachings of the church. Nevertheless, they are not evil persons. They have arguably done a lot of good for this country in crafting legislation that rights some injustices and so forth. But that is always the case with heretics. Heretics are very often, morally speaking, BETTER human beings than non-heretics. Look at Pelagius versus Augustine or look at Anthansius vs Arius and so on. The heretics are typically brilliant, likeable, good and compassionate people. Its just that the doctrines they were advocating were wrong, heretical and celebrations of death. Only people like the doctrinaire, boorish, rigid, and spiteful Jerome or Iraneaus or Athanisius could see the dangers these heretical but otherwise angelic creatures were spouting.