Category Archives: protestantism

This Explains Quite A Bit!

Lifted from the recent issue of New Oxford Review:

Why American Politics Marginalizes Catholic Voters


By Kenneth Colston | October 2018

Catholics are outliers in American politics. Michael Doran’s public lecture “The Theology of Foreign Policy” (reprinted in First Things, May) provides a rich demonstration of this thesis. Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, attributes the enduring divide in American foreign policy not to animosity between Democrats and Republicans but to a 19th-century schism in Protestantism between modernists and fundamentalists. He names these two politicized Protestant camps the Jacksonians and the Progressives. Although he passes over it, Doran’s binary might also explain the division in domestic politics. Most arguments, Chesterton is claimed to have said, are ultimately theological, and this one rightly leaves Catholics out of the mix.

Both sides in the American Protestant schism, according to Doran, are missionary democrats. The Jacksonians (Andrew Jackson, Herman Melville, William Jennings Bryan, Harry Truman, et al.), it is well known, favored the common man against the elites. Less well known is that they drew their political bias from dispensational premillennialism, the belief in an imminent Second Coming that will, in the words of a manifesto published in Prophetic Times, a 19th-century, Philadelphia-based premillennialist publication, “avenge [Christ’s] elect,” “revolutionize” all “systems in Church and State” (if not destroy them), and spare only those “properly awake to these truths” (vol. 4; 1866). Consequently, Doran observes, the Jacksonian persuasion is a “sleeping volcano” in politics. The “guardians of freedom” are quiet (i.e., isolationist and nativist) when liberty seems safe, but stirred to full-throated, unilateral war when righteously indignant — enough to, say, drop nuclear bombs on city centers to rid the world of tyranny.

The theo-politics of the Progressives (the Roosevelts and Rockefellers, Woodrow Wilson, et al.), by contrast, builds on a postmillennial eschatology. Spreading the Gospel will produce a period of peace and prosperity by virtue of centralized, top-down initiatives in which the elect direct the common man through industrialization, education, social justice, multilateral coercion, and do-gooding — e.g., the war to end all wars, the United Nations and Peace Corps, the universal brotherhood of man, and the right to abortion-on-demand everywhere on earth.

This schism between Jacksonian and Progressive Protestants accounts for both unexpected conflations and surprising polarities. Both groups are militaristic missionaries — one to keep liberty alive, the other to forge universal brotherhood. The dispensational premillennialists, however, eventually became committed Zionists, while the postmillennial Progressives sought CIA-backed friendship with Israel’s enemies. Perhaps most crucially, these two camps of missionary democrats are bitterly opposed in their extreme views of human nature — utterly depraved versus ultimately perfectible, with original sin either destroying everything or doing nothing. Those extremes squeeze out the Catholic via media in both theology and politics.

Although not a schism, a different theo-political tension — between Augustinians and Thomists — animates Roman Catholicism without polarizing it. For Augustine, the soul is nearly helpless without divine grace, and so the state, without justice, is a “band of robbers.” For Thomas Aquinas, the soul is less damaged by original sin, and the polis is a requirement of man’s social nature. At the parish level, the Augustinian view edges out the Thomistic. American Catholic conservatives often oppose single-payer universal health care, regulation of the market, food stamps, environmentalism, trust-busting, and even blue laws as violations of subsidiarity. Liberal Catholics, less Augustinian on these policies, are nevertheless quieter on abortion and often favor contraception, same-sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and even sometimes robust military intervention abroad. Both groups show themselves to be, theo-politically speaking, more Protestant American than Roman Catholic in their distrust of government, more libertarian than communitarian. Culture often prevails over faith, or faith sneaks into culture. I once heard an ardent French atheist declare that he worked not only for himself but for all those who cannot work — mothers, children, the elderly, and the incapacitated. The preferential option for the poor seeped into the hearts of the Frenchmen whose revolution decapitated the saints’ statues.

Neither the Augustinian nor the Thomistic view, however, in itself creates democratic missionaries or American apologists. Christ is King, not the people or the commander-in-chief. Baptizing the nations does not mean making the world safe for democracy. There is no Gospel by compulsion. War must be rare and just, as little used as capital punishment. Revolution is usually disorder; dictatorship may be better than anarchy. The bias toward order is perennially Catholic.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church articulates this theo-political consensus. Any form of government that promotes order under the divine law is acceptable. Even a hereditary monarchy, so long as it respects the free choice of citizens, the natural law, public order, and the fundamental rights of persons (no. 1901) can possess legitimate, binding authority, even though the balance of powers and the rule of law are “preferable” to the arbitrary rule of men (no. 1904). Not irresistible, Catholic grace is operative from God on us and cooperative from God through us (no. 2008); the Catholic understanding of original sin leaves the stain of concupiscence, not the obliteration of the will, which naturally avoids evil and seeks the good (no. 405). Consequently, government is less a result of our fallen nature than a requirement for our humanity; we need it less to protect ourselves than to fulfill ourselves. We may even go so far as to say that it is part of our spiritual battle for holiness. Further, submitting to governing authorities but putting not her trust in princes, the Church eschews both violent righteous eruptions and oppressive utopian schemes.

Millennialism (pre or post), or a literal interpretation of the chaining of Satan and the reign of Christ on earth with the saints for a happy thousand years (Rev. 20-21), is not Catholic. (Does not the difference between Catholic and Protestant theology often come down to what is read literally by one and figuratively by the other, the Eucharist as the glorified Body and Blood of Christ for Catholics, “Do not resist evil” as the biblicus evangelicus for Mennonite pacifism?) Millennialism is explicitly denounced in the Catechism:

The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world [not merely at the end times but] every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. (no. 676)

The Catholic vision of the end times is marvelously vague: “The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven” (no. 677).

As a result, the Thomistic view of politics, milder and yet more positive than the Augustinian (and Protestant premillenniabpwhile also more limited than the postmillennial, prevails in the Catechism. The positive aspect of politics follows from Aristotle’s definition of man as zoon politikon: “The human person needs to live in society. Society is not for him an extraneous addition but a requirement of his nature” (no. 1879). Thus, not only the family but also the state “correspond more directly to the nature of man” and are “necessary to him”; we “associate with one another for the sake of attaining objectives that exceed individual capacities” (no. 1882).

Catholic politics is not Hobbesian tending toward authoritarianism, or libertarian tending toward anarchy; the Mystical Body of Christ has a natural political analog. At the same time, Catholic politics is limited by the principle of subsidiarity, by which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order” (no. 1883). Subsidiarity opposes “all forms of collectivism,” sets “limits for state intervention,” aims at “harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies,” and tends toward “the establishment of true international order” (no. 1885) — always with a “view toward the common good” (no. 1883).

The common good, that grand term missing almost entirely in American political discourse, in turn requires authority. But this authority is circumscribed by a limited view of the common good, and yet authority is defined more expansively than the typical American small-government model. Authority is limited by, first, the “respect for the person as such,” permitting him to “fulfill his vocation” through such freedoms as “the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion” (no. 1907); second, by “the social well-being and development of the group itself,” such as “food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on” (no. 1908); and third, by the goal of “peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order,” which “is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense” (no. 1909).

The second component of the common good is expanded from the American small-government model and “implies a universal common good” calling for an organization of the community of nations “to provide for the different needs of men” (no. 1911), such as questions of food, health care, education, immigration, and progress, in the order of persons “founded on truth, built up in justice, and animated by love” (no. 1912). As Chesterton observed, this Catholic view of the common good falls between Locke’s desire for security and Marx’s effort to recreate reality.

Military intervention, however, in order to secure the universal destination of goods, is noticeably absent. Indeed, the Catechism does not even outline just-war theory per se; rather, it sets the conditions for “legitimate defense by military force,” which is to be undertaken only when (1) the “damage” inflicted by the aggressor is “lasting, grave, and certain,” (2) “all other means of putting an end to it” are “impractical and ineffective,” (3) legitimate defense enjoys “serious prospects of success,” and (4) “the use of arms” does not produce “evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” Responsible authorities are further restrained by “the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict,” so that “non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be treated humanely.” Genocide is “a mortal sin,” and we are “morally bound to resist orders” to commit it. Peace through strength is itself cautioned against, for “the accumulation of arms” as a method of deterrence “gives rise to strong moral reservations” (nos. 2309-2315).

The Augustinian emphasis on original sin, the will remaining free, leaves enough room for Aquinas’s confidence in the intellect to inform the will to master the passions. Together these two classic Catholic poles result in theo-political caution through the principle of subsidiarity and rigorously conditioned self-defense. No earthly nation, no alliance or empire, enjoys special privilege in the City of Man. American Catholics must therefore be careful not to be more American than Catholic, especially since American politics, both foreign and domestic, like most things in American culture, is essentially Protestant, even when it is neither Jacksonian nor Progressive. The founder of the Constitution was James Madison, who studied at the Calvinist Princeton University, doing special course work under its president, John Knox Witherspoon, a political philosopher and Presbyterian minister. Is it any surprise that Federalist No. 10 so assumes the depravity of man that the separation of powers is not to fulfill man’s social nature but succeeds only if “ambition counterattacks ambition”? While this dark view of human nature checks the Progressives, it also excludes Catholics who seek something beyond political gridlock.

A newly organized third party, the American Solidarity Party (ASP), highlights this exile of Catholics from American politics. Without being explicitly Christian (that reticence is itself a sign of American secularism’s animus against Christ), its four core principles span the Protestant divide in American politics and express the Catechism consensus in charged Catholic language:

Part One: “I affirm the sanctity of human life.” Our nation began with the profession — however often it has been violated — that all persons are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, chief among them the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The ASP…affirms the foundational assumption that human persons, from conception to natural death, possess a particular dignity that sets us apart from the rest of the created world.

Part Two: “I affirm the necessity of social justice.” Social justice is the natural corollary of the sanctity of human life. We are designed to live in community, to thrive together, to bear each other’s burdens, to not only pursue happiness but to find it in love.

Part Three: “I affirm our responsibility for the environment.” The privileged place of human beings in the natural order means we have a special responsibility to care for the rest of the world.

Part Four: “I affirm the possibility of a more peaceful world.” Violence begets violence, which threatens life, liberty, and human dignity. At the same time, those who threaten the rights of the most vulnerable are rarely deterred by mere admonitions. The use of force is necessary at times, but it should be a last resort, taking as little life or liberty as possible; leaving open the door to reconciliation as much as prudence allows.

Have you heard of the ASP? I doubt it. It didn’t register even 7,000 votes in the last presidential election. Without at all endorsing it, I cite it as, on its surface, an all-in statement of Catholic theo-politics, billboarding the “culture of life” of Evangelium Vitae, the “common good” of Rerum Novarum, the “common home” of Laudato Si’, and the “world peace” of Pacem in Terris. Dig a little deeper and you will find the philosophic personalism of Pope St. John Paul II, the economic distributism of Chesterton and Belloc, the UN Thomism of Jacques Maritain, and the service to the poor of Dorothy Day — solidarity balanced by subsidiarity but reaching out to the nations.

The ASP is more all-four-cylinders Catholic than almost any Christian Democrat Party in the West. Its platform is as pure and chivalrous as Don Quixote in the bawdy inn, and it shows how marginal and isolated the American Catholic voter who would think with the Church really is.

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

The church and modernity

By Augustinus

There is a fierce and healthy debate going on in the world church concerning the church’s relationship to “modernity”. Modernity in its current incarnation is known as liberaism. Over at the liberal Catholic Herald, Adrian Vermeule, a highly respected Harvard Law Professor who holds a Chair in constitutional law, argues that liberalism in any form is toxic for the church. See

Vermuele also very nicely summarizes some of the positions in the American portion fo the debate. Rusty Reno over at First Things journal argues that liberalism per se is not the problem. It is “creedal liberalism”–i.e. that form of liberalism that arrogantly assumes its own inherent goodness and progressivity etc Similarly the Catholic columnist and blogger over at the New York Times Ross Douthat argues that liberalism per se is not the problem. In fact Douthat looks back to the first half of the 20th century up to the 1950s as an example of how the Church can flourish in a liberal democracy and positively influence the moral tenor of the culture.  Like Douthat and Reno before him the Iranian Catholic blogger over at Commentary Sohrab Ahmari, points to he Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II years as proof that liberalism and catholicism can co-exist and even work together to defeat totalitarianisms.

Vermuele will have none of this. He points to clear historical trends that liberalism and modernity slowly but inexorably eats away at the Faith by undermining those parts of the Church most eager to appear “modern”, “liberal” and “progressive”.  The greatest intellects, the most forward thinking sectors of the church; those churchmen who are using the latest sientific methods etc…all of these individuals begin to advocate an “updating” of doctrine” and practice. They sincerely believe that the updating will attract all those lost souls who hate and despise the church for its ‘antiquated” and “backward”, and “superstitious” doctrines and practices. All of the apparently enlightened and right thinking churchmen want the ‘updating” and that is why, Vermuele  argues, all of the protestant denominations are closing down and apostatizing. They follow their enlightened leaders down a trajectory that their forebears began in the 19th century…they discard antiquated social doctrines, then creedal doctrines that appear to conflict with non-progressive social doctrines and then the Trinity is discarded and finally unitarianism and atheism is the  end result.

But Vermuele does not see much hope in “traditionalist” catholics either as they too are bitten by the very ideology they denounce the most: Modernism. They see the solution to the modernist crisis in the church as a going back to some mythical time when the Church was not in crisis. But Vermuele rightly points out that there is no going back and the church was never not in crisis.

I do not know what Vermuele’s preferred solution is but his firm rejection of all existing proposed solutions seems unassailable.


Poste Vaticane – Commemorative stamping to honor Martin Luther

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

From Fr. Z’s Blog (with great respect)


Yesterday I heard that the Vatican Post was to issue a commemorative stamp honoring Martin Luther.  HERE

To honor someone who so publicly ripped asunder the fabric of Christendom is appalling.  Who’s next?  Judas Iscariot?

This is like:

  • Augustus Caesar minting coins honoring Marcus Iunius Brutus
  • Sparta founding a momument for Ephialtes
  • West Point renaming a building for Benedict Arnold
  • Norway designating a national holiday for Vikdun Quisling
  • The FBI creating a plaque for the Rosenburgs

I want a special commemorative stamp of Leo X, who excommunicated Luther.  His tomb is in Santa Maria sopra Minerva.  The next time I’m in Rome, I’ll bring flowers for his grave.

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.

Reflections on America on Independence Day 2016

By Augustinus

What should a Catholic think of America? To the extent that America has promoted the modernist heresy around the world then the Catholic has to view the USA in a negative light. For many the USA embodies modernism or the flight from traditional values and the embrace of an ideology that promotes a pulverized, homogenized, mindless people capable only of servile state worship.

On the other hand America has also constituted a bulwark against the deadliest heresies of the 20th century (Naziism and Communism) and it has arranged its political system (as de Tocqueville pointed out in the early 19th century) to allow a multitude of political structures interposed between the citizen and the state. Those intermediate structures buffer the citizen against the worst excesses of state power so they are absolutely essential to a free people. They include local polities (cities, counties, states), many levels of a judiciary, all kinds of business and civic associations, all kinds of non-profits, institutionalized political parties and most crucially of all… all kinds of religious groups.

Consistent with its principles of subsidiarity, solidarity and collegiality the Catholic Church thrives in those intermediate zones between the individual citizen and the power of the sword or state. The Church has learned that it pays too high a price when it is too closely allied with the state power or when it rules directly….and conversely it pays too high a price when it exerts no influence at all on the state power. Its optimal play is in between those two extremes. It can then check the arbitrary power of the state while still informing and infusing its political culture with real Christian values. The state in this case will NOT be a Christian state but maybe Christian state is a contradiction in terms if we recall that the modern state is really an inherently evil Leviathan designed only to accrue power.  That does not mean we cannot use the state for some good ends. it simply means that there can be no long term alliance with the beast without the alliance corrupting the non-state partner.

To play its optimal role in the political life of a people or country the Church needs to operate in that that legally protected intermediate zone in between the summits of power and the individual citizen. That zone provides an opening for a real civic culture where reasoned debate can happen and where consensus around fundamental values can be worked out. The Church always thrives where there is real reasoned debate and the Church therefore thrived in America in the 20th century after 19th century persecutions ceased and then right up to the modern era.

As everyone knows the turning point came in the 1960s. It was then that the Church’s influence on American life began to peak (with the election of Kennedy) and then abruptly and catastrophically collapse right after Kennedy;s asassination. It is no secret that America itself went into decline as well around that time.

In my view America went into decline right after the Catholic Church went into decline at the mid-1960s precisely because the decline of the Church triggered the decline of America. Most analyses of American decline agree that it started in the 1960s but most analysts say the decline was due to international economic forces and not to anything so “inconsequentially cultural” as the decline of the Church in America. After all, they say, the decline into political, cultural and economic stagnation was worldwide–it did not just happen in America.

I agree. The cultural decline was worldwide. But that this just strengthens the case for ripple effects from Vatican II. After all the Church then and now was and is a global player. Its influence extends around the globe. Most importantly intellectuals around the globe saw it at that time as a touchstone of orthodoxy in the West and the West was pre-eminent among global powers and had been pre-eminent for centuries. I suggest that Vatican II triggered the worldwide intellectual flight from orthodoxy and the resultant worldwide cultural decline and the worldwide drift into secularism that we see regnant everywhere today among political elites (not among ordinary people thank God).

I know this sounds unreasonable so lets return to the American case for a moment. Ask yourself, dear reader, a simple question: “Why, right at the peak of the Church’s influence in American life, did it suddenly collapse in terms of its influence?” In the space of less than 10 years the churches were abandoned. Priests, monks and nuns left religious life in droves, Catholic school systems all around the country went into steep decline in terms of enrollees. The political elite stopped listening to and worrying about the opinions of Bishops and Catholic laity stopped attending mass en masse!

Nothing else can explain so precipitous a decline in so short a period of time than THE major event in Catholic intellectual life at the time…Vatican II. The church went into precipitous decline in America because it sabotaged itself–it inflicted the damage on itself. Vatican II had similar effects in countries all around the world. The Church is the one true Church and therefore the entire world depends, whether they acknowledge it or not, on its spiritual capital. When that capital is squandered the world’s loses it spiritual North Star and it drifts in ignorance.

Now I am NOT one the those people who think Vatican Ii was invalid or a total disaster as I believe it produced some really wonderful documents and recovered some beautiful pieces of authentic catholic tradition. BUT the evidence is overwhelming that its efforts in many of its documents amounted to an inappropriate emphasis of some interpretations of some key Catholic positions. All of that language in these key documents was designed to appease the protestants. The ambiguous language of official documents from Vatican II allowed public interpretations of those documents to be slanted towards a more protestant understanding of things. Things like the nature of the Eucharistic sacrifice and the doctrine Extra ecclesiam nulla salus–no salvation outside the church were given non-orthodox portestant interpretations in the press and in intellectual circles.

Everyone therefore thought that the Church was “modernizing” and protestantizing itself! After all if the Church herself says that it is not the one thing necessary for salvation then why should anyone be Catholic? Why should anyone listen to it? Why dedicate your life to it? Why die for it?

Why did the Church Fathers at Vatican II allow the inappropriate emphases on key doctrinal issues in its documents? For the sake of ecumenical dialog with protestants mostly.  When you read the documents themselves however they are orthodox. But it is clear that they can be interpreted in manifold ways. It was the public interpretation of these documents that caused the cultural disaster. Why did the erroneous public reception of Vatican II documents win the war of interpretation? The Bishops who should have guided the interpretation of the documents were lax while the loudest voices on Vatican II were the protestants who shouted from the rooftops that the Roman Church was finally coming round to its point of view. Heretical Catholic theologians also played a very negative role. In any case the end result was that the world including Catholic priests and nuns and laity believed what they read in the press about the decisions of the Church fathers at Vatican II. The world therefore concluded that the Roman Church had now decided that it was just one more faith among the bevy of religions in the world parliament of religions.

The world therefore no longer had a spiritual North Star and it went into a permanent cultural decline–as did America. America today is at its lowest moral ebb–even minor restrictions against abortion on demand are struck down by a supreme court and the majority decision striking down those minor restrictions was written by a practicing Catholic (Stephen Breyer). But that is just one of the symptoms of moral and cultural decay in America today. the precious intermediate zone between the state power and the citizen is narrowing and narrowing down dramatically.

Nonetheless, America has a lot of inner spiritual resources it can and will call upon to shake off its moral stupor, pull itself out of its malaise and self-doubt and once more take its role at the head of the free nations of the world. But it can only do that if it recalls its Christian character and that can only happen when the Catholic Church revives itself….as it surely will. The only question is when will the Catholic Church revive and WHO will revive it?



Review of Storck’s “From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond”

By Augustinus

Review of Thomas Storck’s “From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond: The long jagged trail to a postmodern void.” Angelico Press, Kettering OH, 2015.

Thomas Storck is a familiar name among hard identity Catholics. He has served as a contributing editor for Caelum et Terra from 1991 until the magazine closed in 1996 and the New Oxford Review from 1996 to 2006. Since 1998 he has been a member of the editorial board of The Chesterton Review. He is the author of three previous books, The Catholic Milieu (Christendom Press, 1987), Foundations of a Catholic Political Order (Four Faces Press, 1998) and Christendom and the West (Four Faces Press, 2000). The current book, under review here,”From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond” is a collection of previously published essays written for various Catholic journals over many years up to about 2015. You can read many of his excellent essays at

Any Catholic concerned about the current Church crisis should read Storck. In Storck you will find insights into everything from why Christendom has declined in Europe and then throughout the world; what happened at Vatican II, how Catholics should think of America; how to evaluate the 60s; Catholic social teaching, what to think of the catholic intellectual rennaissance of the early 20th century, the nature of modernity and post-modernity, the role of Church vis a vis culture, philosophy of history, political theory and what the relation should be between church and state. He is an astute observer of the political world and has a discerning eye for long term historical trends.

In “From Christendom…” we get essays on all these topics and so it is a must read for any Catholic seeking to rebuild the church and the surrounding decadent culture. In what follows I will summarize what I took away from reading these essays. My “take” on Storck’s ideas will necessarily over simplify his positions. The reader is advised to read Storck directly. But I need to summarize his positions and some of his insights so that the reader can gauge my critique of those positions. In fact I agree with most of what Storck says but will disagree on some key and very fundamental claims he makes concerning the root of the problem and the solution to the crisis.

So lets begin with Storck’s insights or claims: Storck agrees with many Catholic intellectuals who claim that the root source of modernity and the unremitting hostility to the Church in the modern period lies in nominalism or the idea of late medieval philosophers that universals do not exist, only particulars exist. If there are no universals, then there are no standards against which we can compare particulars. The loss of standards leads inevitably to a loss of intellectual rigor and ultimate truths. Similarly, if individuals or particulars or instances are the only realities then individuals should be free and unconstrained. The nominalists also overly valorized the will of God putting it before God’s other attributes (such as his logos). God’s will and power according to the nominalists has no limits—he is utterly unconstrained. This idea had the effect of portraying God as arbitrary and absolutely free. Freedom understood as no barriers became the primary value for an emerging modernity at the waning of the middle ages and the birth of the renaissance and enlightenment.

The nominalist rejection of standards and universals and its elevation of freedom as the primary characteristic of God had the effect of severing the link between reason and faith that the Church had labored to build over many centuries via the syntheses of Athens and Jerusalem by the early Church Fathers and in the work of Thomas Aquinas in the high middle ages.

Once reason was severed from faith a Luther could claim that faith was primary and that only scripture contained God’s word—not the logos inherent in reality. Sola scriptura meant that scriptures were interpreted not by the church but by the individual conscience and thus the individual conscience  (not the mystical body of Christ) was the route to God. Protestantism was born and largely facilitated the cultural conditions for modernity.

i will return to a critique of these claims below.

What should Catholics think of Church and state and America according to Storck? Storck sides with Aquinas who takes the common sense approach that some combination of monarchy, democracy and republicanism is probably best. Storck sees these elements in the American polity but argues America and every other political system needs to be guided by the Church. He holds up the 1922 Irish constitution as an example of a Church guided democratic republic with a strong executive. That Irish constitution outlawed divorce and abortion, explicitly placed itself under God’s protection, provided absolute protections for religious liberty and so forth.

In America the church, according to Storck never really influenced American government. The New Deal coalition was the height of Church influence on America as catholics were key to the coalition. It gave us all the presidents from FDR to Nixon and enacted a pro Vatican and Catholic policy internationally and all the great social legislation domestically…from social security to civil rights to environmental protections—all consistent with catholic social doctrine according to Storck. The peak of the New Deal influence culturally came in the 1950s. The New Deal coalition ended when the other groups in the coalition accepted abortion legislation in the early 70s. The catholics then gravitated to the republicans but the republicans were never effective defenders of catholic positions. Today Catholics are not included in any stable political coalition in America. the Church’s social positions on some issues such as immigration and the environment are “leftist” while its cultural positions are “rightist” and its international positions unclassifiable on a right left spectrum.

Storck takes his philosophy of history from the Bible seeing the incarnation as the key event in world history. He takes the line in revelation that the apostasy of the gentiles will signal the beginning of the end of history. He sees modernity as this beginning of the end of history.

Storck says that in order to reverse the decline in Church influence and to rebuild Christendom we need to recall Pope Leo XII political and social teachings. There is NO INHERENT RIGHT to error. Only the church can preserve a polity from error so the Church has a right and duty to be the preeminent leader in a culture and polity. That does not mean we have to have a theocracy as Islam proposes. But it does mean that we need to work for political conditions that obtained in countries such as the 1922 Ireland before its recent apostasy; Spain before its apostasy, the Latin American countries before their apostasy and so forth to serve as models.

There is much else in Storck’s essays than these few remarks convey. I strongly recommend this book to every concerned catholic. It is a must read in order to think clearly about the current crisis.

Now what are my criticisms of Storck? I do not agree with Storck and the many other Catholic intellectuals who argue that nominalism was the source of the intellectual errors of modernity. This vastly overstates nominalisms influence. While Protestantism and many of the modernist philosophers share some nominalist assumptions, it is just not accurate to think that nominalism shaped their entire philosophies or even major portions of their philosophies.

The sources of modernity are complex. I think Storck is on firmer ground when he argues that severance of the link between faith and reason was characteristic of Protestantism and Protestantism was the major cultural force that ushered in modernity.

When science came on the scene during later stages of the renaissance and the beginning stages of the reformation it encountered a Christendom that either exalted irrationality (Protestantism) or could present only a hackneyed version of Aristotle’s philosophy as a guide to investigation of reality. Science, in short, found no partner among official Christian circles when it was struggling to be born.

The enmity between science and Christendom was briefly relaxed when the Jesuit order emerged in the 1500s and produced some of the best scientists in the world. The counter-reformation church had re-seized the cultural leadership during this period but it was not to last. The Jesuits were suppressed by the Pope (under pressure from despotic monarchies) in 1750 right when the enlightenment was emerging. With the Jesuits out of the picture secular intellectuals in alliance with scientists (who had previously aligned with the Jesuits) now took center stage and they have yet to be challenged for cultural leadership.

In short, Storck, like most other Catholic intellectuals has not yet grappled with science as key to modernity. For the Church to recover its cultural leadership its needs to assimilate science and it needs to produce the best scientists in the world….just as it did with the early Jesuits.



Converted Trump Now Running for Pope

From the Allium-Cepa News Network – brought to you by Allan Gillis( )


Donald Trump – Next Pope?

In shocking news first reported a week ago, businessman Donald Trump has converted to Catholicism and has now declared his candidacy for Pope. Today’s announcement coincides with critical statements Pope Francis made about Mr. Trump not being a Christian. Mr. Trump just held a rally outside of New York City. Although video is not available, A-CNN has just acquired the audio transcript which we are providing below:

Thank you….thank you. You know, when I first started this campaign, people didn’t believe me. First they said, he’s not converting, he’ll never convert. Then I converted. Then they said, he’ll never get baptized, he won’t want the water to mess up his hair. But then I got baptized. Then they said he won’t get confirmed, and I got confirmed. And then they said he’d never run for pope. Well here I am, and I’m running for Pope; and I’m doing very well I must say.

(Cheers, applause)

I don’t have to do this, when you think about it. I really don’t. I’m rich. I’m really, really, rich. I built a great company; a tremendous company. I employ thousands and thousands of people. So my friends, they ask me, they say Donald, you have everything you can dream of. You’re rich, you have an amazing wife, an amazing family, you’re very successful, why run for Pope? And I say, you know what? I have to run. My Church needs me. The Catholics need me. I have to make the Catholic Church great again. I have to.

(Cheers, applause)

You know, it’s a sad thing to say, but the Church is in such bad shape; terrible shape under Francis. The Catholic Church doesn’t win anymore. We just don’t. When is the last time Catholics won anything? Lepanto? When was that, the 1500’s? We don’t win anymore. But, let me just say, Under a Trump papacy, we are going to win again. We are going to win so much. We are going to win so much you are all going to be sick of winning, ok? But right now, it’s terrible. Just the other day, I see the Pope is praising Martin Luther. Martin Luther! Can you believe it?


Our Pope is over there praising Martin Luther; meanwhile millions of Hispanics are converting to Protestantism in Latin America. It’s true. We are losing millions and millions of people to the Protestants and our Pope does nothing. He does nothing. And I have nothing against the Protestants. Many of them are good people. I employ thousands of Protestants. I used to be a Protestant. But their leaders are just too smart for our leaders. We have people in power in the Church today who have no idea what they are doing. They are incompetent. All our leaders do is “dialogue.” We don’t convert anymore, we “dialogue.” What the hell is dialogue? Excuse me, but shouldn’t we be converting these people? If we have the Truth, why aren’t we converting them? But we don’t convert, we “dialogue”, and we lose millions and millions of these people to Protestantism. They are saying if the head of the Catholic Church thinks it’s ok to be Protestant, why convert? Why do we need to convert? Let him convert. Let the Pope convert. That’s what they’re saying. They’re laughing at us. There is no respect there. No respect. When I’m Pope, they are going to respect us again, let me tell you.

(Cheers, applause)

Another thing I hear a lot about is 2 Vatican. Have you heard of 2 Vatican?

(Crowd yells “Vatican II!”)

Vatican II? Is it Vatican II? Vatican II, 2 Vatican, who the hell cares. It stinks right? No matter what you call it, it stinks.

(Cheers, applause)

I was just looking at the numbers the other day, folks. Before Vatican II – tens of thousands of vocations to the priesthood and religious life in this country, thousands of baptisms, first communions, confirmations. Thousands and thousands of converts. Catholic universities all over the place, and I mean real Catholic universities, not the universities today that call themselves Catholic. Tens of thousands of Catholic schools with all kinds of nuns. There were so many priests the parishes were overflowing, ok? You couldn’t walk down your street without bumping into a priest, that’s how many of them there were. The Faith was exploding, it was really amazing, it was unbelievable. And then…. You have Vatican II.


Then you have Vatican II and they change everything. They change everything! You have the best Church in centuries, a flourishing Church, a vibrant Church, a converting Church, and they change everything. Now how stupid is this? How stupid?


You know people try to criticize me and they say I speak too plain and too simple. Look, I have a great education, I finished top of my class at the Wharton School of Finance, the top school in the country. I have a huge vocabulary. It’s huge. It really is. But when I see something like this, there really is no other word for it. I have to call it stupid. Because it is. It’s stupid. There’s no other word for it.

(Cheers, applause)


So they’re succeeding. The Church is succeeding, and they change everything. So then they say in Vatican II that the priests aren’t really the priests. I mean, we’re all priests, right? Isn’t that what Martin Luther said? We’re all priests? The Pope’s buddy, Martin Luther?


Then they try to say, oh but there’s a difference. The priests in the collars, if they even wear collars anymore. I saw a priest the other day; he was in a turtleneck and a cardigan. He looked like Mr. Rogers. Who the hell wants a priest that looks like Mr. Rogers? Who wants that? I don’t know. Anyway…so the priests in the collars can say the Mass and they can hear the confessions, but in every other way, we’re all priests. Men, women, kids, maybe even Muslims. I don’t know, can Muslims be priests under Vatican II? I have no idea. I wouldn’t be surprised folks, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s crazy.


So then they say we’re all priests and what happens to the priesthood? Plummets. Numbers go through the floor. Why be a priest if everyone can be a priest? Makes no sense. So now, if you’re a priest you can do what? Consecrate and absolve, right? Consecrate and absolve. So what do they do? Now they have “Communion Services.” They call them “Communion Services” ever heard of that?


The priest consecrates a bunch of hosts and then a layperson, usually a woman up at the altar in a pantsuit. Probably Hillary. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were Hillary.


You ever notice today that all the nuns dress like Hillary? When did that happen? When did nuns start dressing like Hillary? It’s scary. It’s really scary. Anyway, you have some layperson up there and they read the Gospel and say some words and do this and that and then they hand out the Communion that the priest already consecrated. The priest isn’t even there, he just consecrated the hosts. So in other words, he’s disposable. But then they’ll say, but he can hear confessions. He can hear confessions, but who goes to confession? Who goes to confession nowadays? When the Pope says “Who Am I to Judge” who goes to confession?


It’s all about mercy now. The year of mercy. God has forgiven you. So nobody goes to confession. And it makes sense, quite frankly. If I’m already forgiven, why do I need to go to confession, right? So then the priest numbers drop through the floor. No vocations. We had tens of thousands of vocations before Vatican II and now no vocations. And then they say, well we have no vocations, so we need to allow married priests and women priests, and maybe even Protestant priests. Have you ever heard of Protestant priests? Why not? We want to be inclusive, right? Don’t we want to be inclusive? Ridiculous, it’s just ridiculous.


That is why when I’m Pope we are going to make the priesthood great again.

(Cheers, applause)

We are going to make the priesthood so exclusive. I tell you. So exclusive and so special, you have no idea. We are going to have the best priests, the brightest priests. They will be lining up to enter the seminaries. And the seminaries will be the best seminaries, let me just tell you. No more dopey professors. The seminaries are a mess today, they’re a disgrace. You might as well have Bernie Sanders running our seminaries that’s how bad they are. They’re filled with dopey professors from the 60’s. Their brains are burnt from whatever they smoked. Who knows what they smoked back then, God only knows what they smoked. But they’ll be gone, I promise you, they’ll be gone.

(Cheers, applause)

They will be gone and the priesthood will be great once again. I will make the priesthood so exclusive. And you know how I’m going to do this? By building a rail. By building a great big beautiful altar rail in every single Catholic Church, that’s how.

(Cheers, applause)

A big beautiful altar rail separating laypeople like you and me from the priests. Of course, I’ll be on the other side of the rail, because I’ll be Pope, but you understand.


We have to build a rail because we cannot let anyone and everyone into the priesthood and we can’t diminish the priesthood. We want the best and brightest priests and to do that we need to make the priesthood great again. The priesthood isn’t great today. Our priests aren’t respected today. They are laughing stocks. I saw one the other day he was actually riding something during Mass. I had to ask my friend, I said what is he riding? He said, a hover board. I said what the hell is a hover board? Under a Trump Papacy, you ride a hover board during Mass you can keep riding it right out the door because that’s the last time you’re going to be allowed in.

(Cheers, applause)

So I’m going to build a rail. A big beautiful altar rail separating the priests, the true priests, the real priests, the priests with the cassocks and the collars and the vestments, from the laity. Because it’s not the same, folks. It’s not the same. Priests are priests and lay people are lay people. No more confusion. No confusion. The priests are the ones sacrificing to God on our behalf; we merely assist the priest as he offers the sacrifice.


That’s right. You know where I read that? Do you want to know where I read that? It’s a book called Trent. I’m a big believer in Trent.

(Wild cheers, applause)

I’m a huge believer in Trent. Trent is fantastic. You know, I wrote a best-seller. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, it’s called The Art of the Deal, have you heard of it?

(Cheers, applause)

You’ve heard of it. Ok. I wrote the Art of the Deal and it was one of the best selling business books of all time. I used to say THE best selling business book of all time, but now I say ONE of the best selling business books of all time, because if I’m off by one or two books the media starts busting my chops. So who the hell knows, but it was one of the best selling business books of all time. I have copies in the back, by the way, if you want to buy a copy. Anyway, the Art of the Deal is my second favorite book of all time, but Trent? Trent is my favorite. Trent is number one. I’m a big believer in Trent, ok?

(Cheers, applause)

So anyway, as a convert, I go to my first Mass last Sunday. And I’m sitting there. And it’s in New York by the way, which is Cardinal Dolan’s diocese.


And I’m killing him in the polls by the way. Have you seen the latest poll numbers? The latest poll out of New York has Trump 35%, Dolan 5%. It’s true…it’s true.

(Cheers, applause)

Absolutely killing the Cardinal in the polls. But he doesn’t like to be called Cardinal Dolan, right? He’s running as “Tim!” First he was running as just “Tim,” then he changed his campaign slogan and added an exclamation point after his name so now it’s “Tim!” Why not run as Cardinal Dolan? If you’re a Cardinal, why not be proud of that fact and run as a Cardinal? Although, to be honest with you, with the kind of record he has as Cardinal maybe he’s better off as “Tim! “ Who knows? He might be right to run as “Tim!”.



“Tim!” is a big supporter of the USCCB by the way. A huge supporter of the USCCB. He wants the USCCB telling you and your kids what to do in each of your dioceses ok? I’m totally against the USCCB and when I’m Pope I’m going to disband it. It’s terrible.


The numbers keep going down and the USCCB keeps getting money and wasting time and, it’s over folks. It will be over, that I can assure you. Anyway…. So I was sitting there at my first Mass in his diocese and I don’t know what to expect because I’ve never been to Mass before, and we all stand up and they start singing this song, ok. And I’m like, what is this song? It’s like…really bad. I mean really bad. And this lady, she looks like Nancy Pelosi, is back there behind the podium with her hand up leading the song and it’s just terrible. And I must tell you. By the way, I must tell you that this will not happen under a Trump papacy.

(Cheers, applause)

Simply will not happen, I promise you. I know musicians. I know great, great musicians. Wonderful musicians. They’re friends of mine. And they ask me, they say, Donald, what is the deal with the songs at Mass, they are so bad. And these friends are professionals. They went to Julliard, ok. The best musicians and they want to help the liturgical music in New York. They are dying to help the liturgical music in New York, but they say, “Donald we can’t” because “Tim!” won’t let us. That’s going to change under a Trump papacy. We’re going to have the best music, I promise you.


So they play this terrible song and the priest walks up and he’s talking about greeting your neighbor and then they say the words and then we say the words, and then everybody says the words, and then the lady butchers the psalms over the guitars and then we say the psalms, and I’m sitting there and I’m like…when do people pray at this Mass? Am I right?

(Cheers, applause)

When do people pray? Is it the few seconds in between when we’re talking? Is it during the bad music? When is it? It’s all talk, talk, talk. The Mass today is like a bunch of politicians. All everyone does is talk. All talk, no action.

(Someone in crowd: All talk, no praying!)

Who said that? This lady here? You’re absolutely right. All talk, no praying. You’re right. At one point I just wanted them all to shut up, because, look. I have nothing against talking ok; I can talk for hours unscripted. I don’t use a teleprompter, I don’t use notes. Someone said to me the other day, but Mr. Trump, the Pope doesn’t use a teleprompter either. And I said, well he actually should use a teleprompter, ok. He should use a teleprompter because when you go off script and you start saying Jesus apologized to people, which many people said was a blasphemy by the way, but when you’re the Pope and you go around saying Jesus apologized…Look, I don’t need to apologize for anything, ok. And if I don’t need to apologize for anything, you think Jesus is going to need to apologize for something? I don’t think so. I don’t think so, and so yes, the Pope needs a teleprompter. Maybe he can borrow Obama’s after he’s fired next year.

(Cheers, applause)

So anyway, I’m sitting there and the talking keeps going on and on and the bad music, etc. Then half way through I’m supposed to shake hands with people. I’m supposed to shake hands with people and I’m like…I’ve just been sitting here for a half hour and didn’t say a word to these people. Actually I couldn’t have said anything to them because of all of the music and the talking, and now after half an hour I’m supposed to introduce myself? After ignoring them for a half an hour? How stupid is this? I’m sorry, but how stupid is this?

(Cheers, applause)

And why am I shaking people’s hands when Jesus is supposed to be on the altar? Isn’t that what Catholics believe? That Jesus is on the altar? That’s what Trent says, right? And yet, we have all these people, all these Catholics, and they’re sitting there and saying hi, and waving, and shaking hands, and who is paying attention to Jesus? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I just converted last week, what the hell do I know? But I found that strange. It just shows lack of reverence, doesn’t it? Lack of reverence.

(Cheers, applause)

We don’t have any reverence any more in the Catholic Church. No reverence anymore. I’m a big believer in reverence. You have to have reverence. Because without reverence it all becomes a joke. And the Mass is not a joke, is it? And, I must tell you, that under a Trump papacy we will have so much reverence in the Mass again, you will not believe it. You simply will not believe the reverence.

(Cheers, applause)

And then the Communion comes and the bad music starts. It’s like I’m at a bad Woodstock concert, it really is. The guitars start, the guy with the ponytail starts singing. And I see people going up to receive God, ok. I just converted, but I read this in Trent ok, it says we believe Communion is God. It says it right here, I have it highlighted, ok. And the people are receiving God in their hand, crumbs are falling, they’re standing there putting it up to their mouth like a potato chip. They’re dressed like they just came from the mall. And I see this, and I’m like, what are we doing, folks? What are we doing? Are we Catholics or are we Protestants? I know some Protestants who wouldn’t receive Communion the way we receive Communion or dress the way I see some people dressing. No respect, folks. No respect, no reverence. Look, I have a meeting with a CEO and we want to do a deal he comes dressed in a suit. It’s respect. If he shows up in shorts and flip flops I tell him get the hell out of my office, ok. Because it’s a joke. He shows no respect and he’s not taking it seriously. He’s gone. Bye bye. And under a Trump papacy that’s where these people will be. You don’t respect the boss? Bye bye.

(Cheers, applause)

So anyway, that was my first experience at Mass, folks, and I almost left to tell you the truth. This Mass was so bad, I almost left, but then someone told me that this was the “New Mass.” Apparently there was an “Old Mass” and now there is a “New Mass” it’s called the Novus Ordo have you heard of it?


That is apparently what I attended, but I had no idea, I thought it was just the Mass. That it had always been the Mass. But no, this form of the Mass was apparently made up in 1969 by a Pope Paul VI. Sort of like by executive order, if you want to know the truth. He put it in like Obama, even though he had no consensus for it, he puts it in anyway and there you go. Well, I have to tell you folks, under a Trump papacy we are going to repeal and replace the Novus Ordo.

(Wild cheers, applause)

Repeal and replace the Novus Ordo. We have no choice folks, we have no choice. We really don’t. The Novus Ordo is going to collapse on its own anyway. Mass attendance keeps plummeting. We have to do something. The Novus Ordo will be repealed and it will be replaced with something much better and magnificent. More and reverent and beautiful. Don’t you want something reverent and beautiful for our Mass?


I found this book the other day. It’s a 1962 Missal. I read it, it’s fantastic. Maybe we go back to the 1962 Missal? Is that ok?

(Cheers, applause)

Maybe we go back to Latin. I’m a big fan of the Latin. When we used Latin we were number one. We went to English and now the Muslims outnumber us. They kept Arabic they go to number one, we ditch Latin, we go to number two. I’m just saying. Are there any Trads in the audience? Where are my Trads? Are there any Trads here?

(Cheers, applause)

I have to say that I love the Trads. Under this pope, the Trads get treated like second class citizens. He calls them, what’s the word? “Neo-Pelagians.” “Neo-Pelagians,” you believe that? By the way, why is the Pope always calling us names? He’s always calling us names. He never calls the Muslims names, the Protestants names. But he calls us names. He’s really not a very nice guy in my opinion, ok? He’s actually sort of a nasty guy. Isn’t calling a whole group of Catholics Neo-Pelagians, kind of nasty? And, by the way, did you see the papers today? Today he said I’m not a Christian because I want to build a wall to protect our country’s border? Can you believe it, folks? Just unbelievable.


I think we should also maybe build a wall around the Vatican so the pope can’t get on an airplane again, let me tell you. Too many interviews on the airplane. Way too many interviews.

(Cheers, applause)

And isn’t this the pope who’s always talking about the greenhouse gases and the carbon footprint and harming the earth? But yet he keeps flying all over the world on these big 747’s belching all kinds of pollutants all over the place. Why? To give interviews? Do you want your pope flying around giving interviews or making the Church great again? I’d be at the Vatican every day making us win again, let me tell you.

(Cheers, applause)

Francis Trump

But we have to take care of our Trads, folks. Under a Trump papacy, the Trads will be taken care of, that I can assure you. I know how to build. I build things for a living.  We are going to have a big beautiful altar rail in every Church. A big beautiful rail in the most magnificent, beautiful churches you’ve ever seen. The best incense, the best music, the best everything. And all kinds of Latin Masses. We’re going to have so many Latin Masses. It’s going to be huge! No more Latin Masses at 6am on Saturday morning. We’re going to have Latin Masses at every parish and top quality Latin Masses. We have to take care of our Trads, folks. We have to. We have to and we will.

And another thing we need is we need The Holy Office again. Whatever happened to the Holy Office? They went and they got rid of the Holy Office and now they have what? They have nothing is what they have in all honesty, but what do they call it now?

(Man in crowd: CDF!)

Thank you. That’s what they call it now, the CDF. And what does it do? Who knows what it does. Didn’t Pope Francis tell a religious order he visited not to even worry about the CDF? So what the hell good is it really? Does it even discipline anybody anymore?

(Man in crowd: Trads!)

Ha. Yes, you’re right. Only the Trads. But no they don’t discipline anyone anymore. Look, I’m all about discipline. I love the discipline. I’m the most disciplinarian candidate by far. But we need a strong Holy Office again. We need to build up the Holy Office so big and so strong that nobody would ever think about messing with it, ok? I know some theologians. They are like the best theologians. They went to the best schools, they got the best grades. And they are really tough cookies, ok. They are killers. They know their heresies. And they come to me and they say, Mr. Trump, the modernists are everywhere. They’re coming into the Church, they’re already in the Church, they’re in the schools, they’re in the seminaries, they’re in the parishes, they’re in the curia. And I ask them, why don’t you get rid of them? And they are sad and they are frustrated, and they say, Mr. Trump the Pope won’t let us do it. We know who they are, we know what they said, they’re heretics, but he won’t let us do it. It’s incredible. It’s incredible. Once I’m elected pope, this is all going to change.

(Cheers, applause)

It’s all going to change. I’m going to build a Holy Office so big, so mean, and so strong no modernist would even think of uttering a heresy. And if they did then God help them. They would be out of here so fast. That I can promise you. So we need to bring back the Holy Office and make it strong again. Make it respected again. No more CDF. CDF is out. No more CDF.

(Cheers, applause)

So, as I said before Vatican II was a disaster. It was just a disaster. We were winning; they changed everything, now we’re losing. So I turn on the TV the other day and I’m watching EWTN. I’m watching Raymond Arroyo, and he’s got this guy on there. This pundit, this author, and he’s bashing me, he just can’t stand me. What’s his name? George Weigel. You ever heard of George Weigel? I hadn’t. What a dope. This guy is so overrated. He wears glasses so he looks smart. But he’s always wrong. You think, if you’ve been a pundit for twenty years you’d get something right once in a while, but he gets everything wrong. He says Trump is wrong on Trent, Trump is wrong on Vatican II, Trump is wrong on the Mass. But how can I be wrong? Vatican II was like…a colossal failure. By every statistical measure it’s been a failure. But what does George know? George hasn’t done anything. George gets funded by the Catholic establishment, writes 500-page unreadable biographies, takes a nap, and then does an interview. I’ve built a company worth billions of dollars. A great company. An amazing company. I’ve employed tens of thousands of people. I know how to lead organizations. I know how to win. I make great deals. George hasn’t run anything in his life except his mouth. Total loser. The Catholic media is so dishonest. I tell you.

(Cheers, applause)

The Catholic media is so dishonest. Just the other day “Tim!” holds a rally, gets maybe 50 people, it’s all over EWTN. There’s like 50 old people there in a bingo hall, and it’s all over Catholic World Report, Catholic News Service, The Register, it’s all over. All the pundits are talking about Tim’s rally. I hold a rally, there’s 10,000 people and 5,000 more who couldn’t get in and Raymond Arroyo on EWTN says “Trump held a rally today and some people showed up.” That’s it. So dishonest.

(Cheers, applause)

So what about the modernists? I get asked about the modernists. I hear it all the time. People come up to me and they say, Mr. Trump what are you going to do about the modernists? The modernists have taken over my parish. The modernists have taken over my school. I hear it all the time. Just the other day, this poor mother came up to me and said, Mr. Trump, I don’t know what to do. I took my kids to Mass the other day and the priest said that Jesus didn’t know who He was. Can you believe this? Jesus didn’t know who he was. I’m serious, he said that folks. A priest, in a Catholic Church. Can you believe this? In another parish this man comes up to me and says they’re playing bongos at his Mass. Bongos, ok? Bongos. So, I have to tell you that the modernists are over there. They are ruining Masses, committing sacrileges, blasphemies, heresies, etc. I will knock the hell out of the Modernists, let me just tell you.

(Cheers, applause)

I will hit the modernists so hard. I’ve always said with the modernists, you behead the modernists. You knock out their leaders. You excommunicate the leaders. And you take their writings and you put them on the Index. People asked me the other day, would I bring back the index. I’d not only bring back the index but I’d bring back a lot worse than the index. These are not nice people, ok? They are murdering souls. Everybody’s souls, quite frankly. They need to know we mean business. I would absolutely knock the hell out of the modernists, ok?

(Cheers, applause)

Finally folks, let me just end by saying this. Our Church doesn’t win anymore. We used to win. We don’t win anymore. We lose on dialogue, we lose to the modernists, we lose to the Protestants. When I win, when I become Pope, we are going to take our Church back. We’re going to make our Church great again. We’re going to make our Church reverent again. We’re going to kick the *&^% out of the modernists quickly. So quickly. We’re going to win so much. We’re going to win with conversions, we’re going to win with vocations, we’re going to win with the Mass. We’re going to repeal the Novus Ordo and we’re going to replace it with something so much better. We’re going to win at the altar. We’re going to seal up the sanctuary with a nice big beautiful rail. We’re going to win so much. Win after win after win. We’re going to win so much that you’re going to be begging me, please Holy Father let us lose once or twice, we can’t stand it anymore. And I’m going to say no way! We’re going to keep winning! We’re never going to lose! We’re never ever going to lose! Register and vote! I love you all! Thank you!  

Trump Thumbs Up

Can’t you just hear Trump’s voice?!

“Celebrate The Reformation!”



By Allan Gillis

Yeah Baaaby!!!     PAAARRRTAAYYY!!!
Martin Luther he’s our man! …Roman Papists in the garbarge can!

The Pope is going to “celebrate” and “commemorate” the so-called Protestant “Reformation”!!! Yaaaayyyy!!!! Yippeeee!!  Check this out all you wild-n’-crazy dudes and dudettes!!!

“VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis will visit Sweden, one of the world’s least religious countries, for a joint celebration in October between Lutherans and Catholics to launch commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.”

A friend of mine reminds me; “To ‘commemorate’ is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as “to recall and show respect for (someone or something) in a ceremony.” My bud then asks; “How is it possible for a pope to “commemorate” and “celebrate” the occasion of the division of the Body of Christ, and the falling away of Christians from the Catholic Church in the Reformation? ”

Good question brutha!!!

May I remind Frankie-The-Hippie-Pope of what Cool-Hand Luther had to say back then – about one of Frankie’s predecessors?   Feast thine eyes you wretched fellow papists:
“Yes, we afterward established in our decretals that only the pope should convoke councils and name the participants.” But dear one, is this true? Who commanded you to establish this? “Silence, you heretic! What comes out of our mouth must be kept!” I hear it—which mouth do you mean? The one from which the farts come? (You can keep that yourself!) Or the one into which the good Corsican wine flows? (Let a clog shit in to that!) “Oh, you abominable Luther, should you talk to the pope like this?” …Shame on you too, you blasphemous, desperate rogues and crude asses—and should you talk to an emperor and empire like this? Yes, should you malign and desecrate four such high councils with the four greatest Christian emperors, just for the sake of your farts and decretals? Why do you let yourselves imagine that you are better than crass, crude, ignorant asses and fools, who neither know nor wish to know what councils, bishops, churches, emperors—indeed, what God and his word—are? You are a crude ass, you ass- pope, and an ass you will remain!” –

-Against the Roman Papacy, an Institution of the Devil. 1545.

…got to admit, Ol’ Cool-Hand Luther had a flair for flattery!

My “hero-editor” Matt Michael over at The Remnant further cites Luther and comments:

What are we witnessing here, if not the initial stages of a Vatican exoneration of  heresy and the rehabilitation of Protestant heretics, including Martin Luther who famously said of the papacy: “If I am prompted to say: ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ I must perforce add: ‘cursed, damned, destroyed must be the papacy.’

more on this later…

Review of “Phoenix From The Ashes” by H.J.A. Sire

By Augustinus

In “Phoenix From The Ashes: The making, unmaking and restoration of Catholic tradition” (Sire, Angelico Press, Keterring, OH 2015), the historian H.J.A Sire has produced a near masterpiece and exhaustive review of the sources of the crisis in the church today. If I am reading him correctly he traces those sources to 2 main events: the defeat of the Catholic cause during the religious wars of the 16th century and the rise of modernism which culminated in Vatican II in the 2oth century. The defeat of the Catholic cause during the 30 years war of the 16th century was engineered largely by a Catholic cardinal: Cardinal Richelieu in France who was a real servant of French royal power rather than the church. The passive Pope Urban VIII did little or nothing to help the Hapsburg Catholic power (centered in Spain and parts of Austria/Germany and other smaller nations in eastern Europe) so France in alliance with the protestant nations of Europe (the Nordic countries, Britain and parts of what is now Germany) devastated Germany, exhausted the Hapsburg power, enfeebled the Papacy and and set back the Catholic counter-reformation. What was left of the Catholic civilization which had flowered during the High Middle Ages exhibited a final cultural renaissance under Hapsburg rule in what remained of the Holy Roman Empire until its last emperor the saintly Charles was dethroned during the first world war.

Sire gives a negative account of Conciliarism as a phenomena supposedly inimical to Church tradition, although he himself shows how it helped to save the Church (along with St Catherine of Siena) during the crisis of the three popes. one does not have to endorse the view that councils have more authority than the Pope to see the virtues and the dangers of Concilarism. Obviously some sort of balance is required between the councils and the Popes to steer the Church rightly.

After Sire discusses the downfall of the Christian order in Europe (due to the 30 years war and the rise of capitalism wedded to a mechanical materialist version of science which he ties to protestant ideologies) he devotes the second half of his book to the dismantling of Catholic tradition. He provides a detailed review of the proceedings and documents of the Second Vatican Council and then devotes a separate chapter each to the destruction of the mass, the priesthood and the repudiation of the Kingdom of Christ. The destruction of the mass and priesthood was linked in Sire’s view to the protestant theological bias placed into Vat II documents by a cadre of cardinals and their advisors who were desperately devoted to their idea of ecumenism. For them ecumenism was to make catholicism more palatable to protestant theologians…so the mass was not a true sacrifice but instead a commemoration meal or a gathering of friends.  The Eucharist was not truly  the body and blood of our Lord as there was no real sacrifice. The priest was not overseeing a sacrifice but instead celebrating a meal with friends so his sacredness and role accordingly switched into being a presider or entertainer etc etc

Sire quotes Msr Bugnini who spearheaded implementation of the liturgical reforms after Vatican II as saying: “The Lord’s supper or the mass is the sacred assembly or gathering together of the people of God with a priest presiding to celebrate the memorial of the lord. for this reason…where two or three are gathered in my name I am there in their midst”(Art 7, original Gen Instruction, Novus Ordo).  Sire comments “We see here a compendium of modernist doctrines regarding the mass: the acceptance of the protestant notion of the Eucharist as the Lord’s supper…the spurious concept of the priest’s presiding at the mass instead of offering the the sacrifice by his priestly power in personae Christi, the presentation of the mass as a memorial instead of the reenactment of the sacrifice of Christ, the implication that the essence of the mass resides in the assembly of the people and not in its character as a sacrifice of Christ and worst of all the suggestion that Christ is present by virtue of the people’s gathering and not through his real presence in the Blessed sacrament” (p. 277)…One of the writes at this blog Stephen Shields OFS has argued that the crisis in the Church today can be traced to fall in belief in the real presence in the Blessed sacrament.

Sire also argues in the chapter on the Kingdom of Christ that Vatican II tended to adopt premises from modernist humanism and thus tended to the error that freedom of conscience protected outright error. There can be no right to belief in heresies but of course we have to beware using this principle to harm people with beliefs different from the Church. They are in error. There is no inherent human right to error but the Church needs humility and prudence to avoid persecution of others due to their errors.

There are many gems in this book and anyone wanting a fully argued case concerning the errors of Vatican II will find it in this book. Sire makes the interesting observation, for example, that the 60s did not produce Vatican II but Vatican II either produced the 60s or really contributed to some of its disorders. i did not know that the traditionalist Archbishop Lefevbre actually voted for most of the Vatican II documents including the one on Liturgy. It was the implementation of these documents that he at first was concerned with…I think Sire is too hard on John PaulI’s efforts to reach our to world religions but I understand the dangers in doing so. Sire’s assessment of Pope Benedict and Francis are mixed but I largely agree with them.